Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 9 - I'll Follow Your Lead
Meng Fuyao only stared speechlessly. The man never stopped shaking his head.
Following a gust of wind, he dropped down from the tree like a patch of soft cloud. Without seeing him do much moving, he had already arrived at Meng Fuyao's side. Lightly laughing he said, "Little lady, looking at your shaking, I'm guessing you must be pretty cold, how about we ... get warm together ..."
Shameless! Meng Fuyao glared at him with her wide eyes, it was clearly because I was scared!
Face to face, the appearance previously covered by shadows was now revealed. That kind of facial radiance, was like a bright moon rising from the horizon of a jade sea, in an instance shining through the limitless heavens. In that moment, Meng Fuyao was struck into a daze.
After that moment she immediately shook herself awake, rebuking herself a thousand times inside her heart for being such a flower-obsessed idiot1. Continuing to shrink backwards, she plastered on a look full of nervousness on her face, while her finger was furtively reaching for her soft whip.
However before managing to touch the handle of the whip, her fingertip suddenly trembled, as if flicked back by some invisible force. Opposite, the smiling guy retracted his finger while shaking his head, "Girl, acting won't work every time."
In the cool moonlight, the man's long clothes fluttered loosely in the wind, containing a bit of carefree laughter. The scattered appearance even seemed to slowly float forward, the wide robes and long sleeves drifting like clouds, making one think of Luan birds soaring high above the nine heavens.2
There is a type of appearance, that could be called sacredly pure.
There is a type of bearing, that could be called mesmerizingly charming.
Yet very few could meld such purity and charm together without so much a watery ripple, transforming into a unique aura where insouciance arose from nobility, and profoundness arose from warmth.
The ground's gravel lightly crunched, and a type of lightly intriguing fragrance floated. The man had an elegant demeanor, yet he impolitely sat down nearby; in the blaze's glow, he slightly turned his head.
Meng Fuyao's breathing hitched a little.
The slant of his long eyebrows that reached the temples held a flowing, relaxed aloofness; it invoked scenes of natural willows by azure ponds, containing within the scented flowing light of spring.
The refined, almost divine tracing of his side profile, made it seem like all of heaven and earth's colorful brilliance was gathered underneath his eyes.
Beauty beyond the mortal realm will cause loss of one's ability to speak - and right now, Meng Fuyao felt that she had forgotten how to form words.
The man only smiled smoothly, casually brushing at the dust beside him. After seeing that the ground wasn't going to get any cleaner, he didn't fret over it, but instead suddenly extended an arm to hug her shoulder, pulling her down onto the ground.
Meng Fuyao tumbled away in a flash, falling onto the wet ground with a "gu dong" sound while yelling, ".. you, what are you doing?!"
Resting his head on his arm, the man didn't get up but slightly looked at her askance. An udumbara-like3 smile blossomed on his lips. "What am I doing? The night frost is heavy, and I am cold. If I sleep alone I'll be even colder, so I've decided to be together with you."
Meng Fuyao's face turned red. "Um, I can't take advantage of your moment of weakness ..."
"I like taking advantage of moments of weakness." The man's robe sleeves lifted up, and the long winding cloth wrapped around Meng Fuyao's waist and impolitely dragged her over. "Shush now, be good."
His body's light, strange scent was fragrant like wine. When his robes wrapped around her, the mesmerizing fragrance drifted into the air, igniting all of Meng Fuyao's logical faculties with a bang. Fuyao froze in place, afraid to move, and was temporarily unable to respond to this impending crisis. She faintly heard a low chuckle by her ear, his breath brushing against her earlobe and lightly tingling.
That tingling sensation was an itch inside her heart, an itch she wanted to relieve herself of like a cat. Meng Fuyao heard her heartbeat fly upwards, while her face burned so hot that she fell into a feverish haze.
Her body that had never been felt by a man before was now instinctively going soft. Her mind, however, was continuously reminding herself to stay clear-headed. Meng Fuyao stretched out her two hands to desperately brace herself against his chest, and just when she was about to exert force to free herself, her palms suddenly heated up.
Like a river breaking through its dikes, a warm stream surged through the places where the two connected, gathering in Fuyao's slightly blocked four limbs and eight meridian channels4. The arriving energy was dense and mellow, like the spring sun or a hot spring, vigorous and drawn out.
The warm flow was like a pair of tender hands, displaying a mysterious technique inside Meng Fuyao. The torn meridians from her injuries were surgically healed one by one, the toxins driven out bit by bit, and even the almost completely evaporated inner qi within her dantian5 started to slowly recollect together and condense, the qi rippling and swirling more plentiful and lively than ever.
Her pale face gradually recovering its healthy red, Meng Fuyao stared wide-eyed in disbelief at the smiling while eyes-closed man. He was actually using this method to heal her wounds? Who was he? How did he know her situation? Why was he helping her?
Her eyes couldn't help but search his body up and down. Men of the Five Regions Continent liked wearing accessories on their clothing to show their status, and looking at the extra stuff they wore could give a general idea of their background. Unfortunately this person clearly did not follow the common trends, as besides his inconspicuous light-colored robe that was made of uncommon materials, nothing else could be seen.
Meng Fuyao's vision finally fell on the man's slowly retracting right hand, where the previously noticed mark was now seen a little clearer to be vaguely shaped like a flower petal.
Feeling her sight, the man still didn't open his eyes but lightly said, "The inner qi that I have lent to you will only have effect in the next three hours. If you want to use it, you'd better hurry."
Meng Fuyao started, only reacting to what he said after a few seconds. She suddenly leapt up, looking at him in shock and stuttering, "Who are you? How do you know ... do you know ..."
"You should have known that overdosing on 'Finger Frost' would harm your meridians, yet you ate four strands in one gulp, and was in such a hurry to meditate and recover. If not for revenge, then what for?" The man sat while smiling and raising his eyebrows at her, "Although, I will give you a warning, Pei Yuan's family background is not common power. Are you sure you want to continue?"
"It's not like she can rely on her family to walk over everyone." Meng Fuyao laughed with a few hints of slyness and arrogance. "A debt must be repaid! As for what happens in the future, if she doesn't come for me then just as well, but if she does, I'll escape, and once she relaxes her guard I'll turn around and bite her. You know," she blinked her eyes, "those born into nobility, sometimes actually have less freedom than wandering cultivators like me."
The man glanced at her, laughingly praising her. "Good, pretty good."
Meng Fuyao elegantly smiled.
"Pretty despicable of you."
Not looking at the darkened face of Meng Fuyao, the man again began to speak. "Pity that the Profound Origin sect has so many people, and Pei Yuan's martial ability is not weak. As you are right now, just winning against her will be difficult. If you wanted to punish her while also not alarming anyone else, it's going to be easier said than done."
Meng Fuyao examined him. This person must have long been watching on the mountain cliffs, and saw the previous events clearly. After thinking of this her anger welled up, and she hatefully said, "That's none of your business! You didn't help me before, why are you trying to be the good guy now?"
"Before I wasn't on the same mountain, I only saw the movements of you two from far away." The man was not angry, "So do you want it or not? If not I'll take it back."
Meng Fuyao paused, then realized he was talking about the lent internal qi, and grumpily yelled, "I want it!"
Right after her yell the man let out a low chuckle. With a colorful brilliance flowing in his eyes like a galaxy, and a voice with unconcealed humor, "En ... you want it?"
The "En" was said soft and caressingly, full of provocation. Meng Fuyao's words had just come out of her mouth before she realized her wording, and her face flushed red. Before she could think of an appropriate response, the man already grinned while pulling her hand. "Since you want it, then I'll follow your lead ..."
1. A flower = slang for a hot young guy. Why you ask? Probably cuz girls like to gaze at both pretty flowers and pretty guys
2. Luan = type of mystical bird like the Phoenix
3. Flower of a fig tree in southern Asia sacred to Buddhism4. The pathways inside the body that hold qi and cultivated power