After throwing those words behind, Chu Mu Yun no longer spared a glance at Xie Qian Lan and turned around to hold Shen Shui Yan, carefully treating his wounds while speaking with a downcast gaze. "Xiao Yan, I'm sorry."
He was apologizing to him for the confusion he experienced over the past four years.
Shen Shui Yan could not hold himself back at all. He pulled Chu Mu Yun hard, forcing him to lower his head so that he could kiss him hard.
His kiss was filled with pure ecstasy and deep affection, while his partner also reacted with the same passion. The two embraced as if there was nobody else around. No words were needed to describe their bone-deep love and rich affection that seemed as if they wanted to stay together for the rest of their lives.
Xie Qian Lan watched from afar, his face as pale as a sheet. In comparison, his fluttering red clothes looked as if they were covered in blood, magnificent still, but seemingly overflowing with mourning and despair.
Chu Mu Yun had only taken a glance at him from the corner of his eye before quickly looking away.
He pushed Shen Shui Yan away, and the smile on his lips seemed somewhat forced. "Wait one moment for me."
Shen Shui Yan looked at him without blinking.
Chu Mu Yun shot him a reassuring smile. "I still have some things to take care of."
Shen Shui Yan's brows were slightly wrinkled, but seeing how firm Chu Mu Yun's expression was, he didn't dare to utter the words that had already reached his lips. "Ah Yun, you won't leave me, right?"
Even though the forbidden art was dispelled and Chu Mu Yun was now sober, something still seemed different that made him feel uneasy and afraid. His heart, which had been lifted on strings, was still unable to settle down.
Chu Mu Yun kissed him on the forehead. "Don't worry."
After that, he turned to face Xie Qian Lan.
Xie Qian Lan locked eyes with him firmly, his vision flickering uncontrollably.
Chu Mu Yun began, "Xie Qian Lan, thank you for the past four years."
Xie Qian Lan's eyes lit up. He wanted to speak, but Chu Mu Yun was a step before him. "I can't accept the hidden connotations of the nuptial fruit, and I am also unable to accept what you've given me. Since I said that there's no longer any favors or grudges between us, I can't continue keeping those things either."
Realizing what he was going to do, Xie Qian Lan's eyes turned cold and empty. He finally spoke with a trembling voice that seemed fragile from unease, "Ah Yun..."
Chu Mu Yun shut his eyes and took out a transparent bead with light flowing inside of it. As he chanted something with his lips, a vigorous life force suddenly gushed out of his palm like crazy, and the immense power coming from it caused the airflow in the space to surge, lifting up his hair and revealing his handsome face. Under the dazzling illumination of the light, he was still that charming, perfect man who tugged at one's heartstrings.
However... he was no longer in reach.
Xie Qian Lan watched this scene without blinking, feeling as if he had been locked in place from his throat down to his heart. Even the blood flowing in his body had stopped, no longer making a sound, no longer beating, no longer flowing...
When the transparent bead overflowed with a light green color, Chu Mu Yun opened his eyes, and his face became much paler. Even his complexion had visibly worsened, but his eyes were still firm and decisive as he looked at Xie Qian Lan.
Xie Qian Lan's lips squirmed. A rare hint of pleading appeared on his usual wanton face. He didn't speak a word, but through his gaze, he truly was... pleading with Chu Mu Yun.
Chu Mu Yun looked away. "You probably won't be needing the cultivation, but this... Take it back with you."
This half of your life… will be returned to you.
Chu Mu Yun raised his hand, and the light green bead floated towards Xie Qian Lan.
After that, whether it be because of the life force draining out of him or the immense stabbing pain in his heart, Chu Mu Yun's body swayed slightly, and his complexion also grew worse and worse.
At this moment, Shen Shui Yan got up and took his hand. "Ah Yun, I can also get my hands on a nuptial fruit. I can also share it with..."
Slightly taken aback, Chu Mu Yun interrupted his sentence. "You know of the meaning behind the nuptial fruit?"
Shen Shui Yan looked seriously at him. "To stay together in times of trouble, to share one's life together, and to be one from then on."
Chu Mu Yun laughed most faintly and looked at him with eyes filled with affection. "Are you willing to become my companion?"
Shen Shui Yan quickly answered, "I am! Ah Yun, I..."
"Very well." A faint red appeared on Chu Mu Yun's bloodless lips. "Once we return, we'll..."
Before he could finish speaking, a strong green aura shot to the sky.
Everyone was stunned.
Chu Mu Yun's back was turned to it, but he could still see that the green light had practically changed the color of the entire pale violet sky.
This shimmering light represented life's radiance, and the energy that was surging forth was a tremendous force of vitality. This was…
Chu Mu Yun snapped his head around, horror filling his eyes.
Amidst the vast sea of green, that dash of vivid red stood out.
"Xie Qian Lan, you…" Chu Mu Yun tried to speak, but he couldn't seem to get the words past his lips.
Xie Qian Lan stared at him, his voice hoarse but eerily calm. "Since you don't want it, then just throw it away."
What he carelessly discarded... was more than half of his own life!
Chu Mu Yun was deeply shaken. His pain and reluctance, hidden deep in his eyes, couldn't be seen by Xie Qian Lan through the curtain of light, but they were all too clear to Shen Shui Yan, who was right by his side.
In that instant, it felt like something had struck a blow in his heart. He felt it, a clear and undeniable realization.
Chu Mu Yun had fallen in love with Xie Qian Lan, genuinely fallen in love…
There were no spells, no coercion, no external influences. Chu Mu Yun had really brought Xie Qian Lan into his heart, in the place that should have belonged to him alone.
His joy was devoured, and overwhelming anxiety and dread gripped his heart.
Why? Why couldn't his Ah Yun belong to him?
Why couldn't he be his and only his?
After all the twists and turns he endured, how could he tolerate the thought of his Ah Yun having another man in his heart?!
Intense hatred welled up in him. Shen Shui Yan's gaze toward Xie Qian Lan was filled with bare and undisguised killing intent.
Xie Qian Lan… It's all his fault!
From beginning to end, it was this man who had ruined everything and now occupied Ah Yun's heart!
How could he tolerate this?!
Chu Mu Yun was completely lost in his own thoughts because of Xie Qian Lan's actions. Watching Xie Qian Lan, sharp pain surged in his heart, making it impossible for him to conceal his emotions any longer.
Four years they spent together, with such genuine intimacy and affection… so genuine. How could Chu Mu Yun possibly just forget it?
Though he spoke with cruel indifference, no word jabbing at Xie Qian Lan did not also prick himself deeply.
Chu Mu Yun thought he could end everything by returning Xie Qian Lan half of his life back, but how could Xie Qian Lan accept it?
You can't just throw it away, but you can't have it back either." Neither this half of life nor all of his love could be reclaimed.
His resolute action made his feelings abundantly clear.
—You can throw it away if you don't want it, but I can never take it back.
Whether it was half of his life or all of his love, Xie Qian Lan would not gain back any of it.
Chu Mu Yun was still out of it when Shen Shui Yan suddenly approached Xie Qian Lan.
In the vast expanse of green light that covered the world, Shen Shui Yan's golden sword gleamed especially bright.
What was even more blinding was Xie Qian Lan's chest, which was pierced straight through.