You Kept This One Waiting.

That night, Su Yang dressed in a set of dark clothes and snuck out of Iris Island to test whether Gu Feidi’s contingency plan was feasible. 

It was inconvenient to bring Gu Feidi as he couldn’t use his light movement skill, so he stayed in Su Yang’s residence. Also, as a precaution to cover for Su Yang if anyone was looking for him. Gu Feidi sat under a lamp with a manual in his hand. His eyes were on the paper, but he hadn’t turned a page. 

The Sanctuary had a curfew. Right now, it was quiet outside the window. Occasionally, insects would chirp, but maybe because of the cold, they would chirp only a few times before stopping. 

The candle in the lamp was flickering, and it was not until the wax was almost burned out that Su Yang pushed open the door, bringing the chill wind into the room. 

Gu Feidi was relieved. He placed down the manual and replaced the dying candle with a new one. 

“Gu Feidi, you are a genius!”

Su Yang pulled down his mask and happily stared into Gu Feidi’s eyes. He tried to suppress the excitement in his voice as he whispered, “The weakness you found will be our golden chance! There is a lot of wiggle room. Even if you can’t use internal energy, you can pass safely using the right speed!”

When he said this, Gu Feidi’s expression wasn’t happy, instead he spoke with concern. “Is the weakness’s gap that big?” He frowned. “But the Evil Sect rumoured in the Central Plains isn’t this careless…”

Su Yang said with a smile, “You still believe in the rumours spread by the Central Plains’ Wulin? Errors would accumulate in the retelling, so much so they can spread how black is the new white! The sinkhole has the Phantom City for protection. Generally, not everyone could break in, so the route may not be as rigorous. Plus, the patrol guards’ internal energy is no laughing matter either.”

With that, he loosened and took off his dark robes, and folded them neatly on the table. “I will take a bath first, and have a good night's sleep tonight. We will execute our plan tomorrow night!”

Gu Feidi pondered for a moment and nodded. “All right.”

When Su Yang returned from his bath, Gu Feidi didn’t leave his room. Gu Feidi already took off his outer robe and let his hair down, wearing only his middle robe. He sat on a chair by the bed reading, appearing very much like a person who would be sleeping here. 

“What’s with you?” Su Yang asked with a headache. “Are you not going to sleep in your own room?”

Gu Feidi raised his head and said, smiling, “It’s late and my room isn’t heated. Also, I have been staying in your room for the past few days. If I suddenly returned to my room now and a servant spotted me, I feared it might cause suspicion.” 

Su Yang agreed with Gu Feidi. This wasn't their first time sharing the same bed. There was no reason for him to be embarrassed. 

So he nodded, lifted the quilt, and burrowed into his blanket nest. “Have you done your nighttime routine?”

Gu Feidi put down his scroll and chuckled. “I will do that now.”

A quiet night passed. 

When Su Yang woke up early the next morning, he found himself in Gu Feidi’s embrace. 

Gu Feidi’s nose was above his forehead. Su Yang could sense the warm breath as it blew through his bed hair, down to his eyelashes. It felt as if a feather was tickling him, leaving behind an unspeakable itch. 

Smelling the faint fragrance of flowers from Gu Feidi, Su Yang’s heart rate suddenly increased. His heart felt as if it was pounding out of his chest and out of his throat. 

He jerked out of his arms and pushed Gu Feidi away, flipping over to sit up in complete shock. 

Gu Feidi was woken up. He opened his eyes frowning, and it was his turn to be shocked. After a brief pause, he relaxed and simply said, “Good morning.”

“You…” Su Yang tried to calm his racing heart. He wanted to cuss and blame Gu Feidi, but he didn’t know where to start.

Gu Feidi stared at Su Yang’s reddened ears and asked, “Did you have another nightmare last night?”

Su Yang immediately denied, “No, I didn’t dream.”

Gu Feidi questioned, “Then why did you wrap yourself around me in the middle of the night, refusing to let go?”

Su Yang: “!!!”

So it was his doing?!

Studying Su Yang’s surprised face, Gu Feidi’s eyes twinkled and he let out a yawn while he spoke. “You were out of it last night and I couldn't wake you up without using my internal energy, so I endured it all night. I am still sleepy after a restless night.”

Su Yang gazed at the faint bags under Gu Feidi’s eyes, a clear sign of sleep deprivation, and felt guilty. 

Thinking of the half-year they lived together in the same building, Gu Feidi would go to sleep right at nightfall without fail. Now, being a prisoner in his Evil Sect, he would sleep at the same time as him, which was later and later each day. In addition, Gu Feidi couldn’t use his internal energy to enter a state of deep meditation, and he also helped him organise topographic maps and patrol route documents. He certainly didn’t look as well as before.

Pondering over this, Su Yang looked at the light outside the window and said after more thinking, “No matter, we have nothing planned for today anyway. It’s important to keep our energy up. Go back to sleep, I might as well catch some shut-eye too.”

Su Yang lay in bed again and re-wrapped himself with his soft blankets. With his back facing Gu Feidi and sleeping as far away as possible, he closed his eyes. 

The drowsiness returned as he unconsciously fell back asleep. 

Gu Feidi observed Su Yang’s scattered hair on the pillow, reached out, and caressed it gently. Then he moved forward, encircled Su Yang’s waist from behind, and pulled the sleeping man back into his arms. Once the warm body was back in his embrace, he sighed contentedly and closed his eyes to catch up on sleep. 

When Su Yang opened his eyes again, it was almost noon.

Su Yang lifted his head slightly to see Gu Feidi, who was lying face up with his hands down on the bed. Now he was sure he was the one who slept without restraint last night. He was the one who held onto the stick-in-the-mud Gu Feidi and refused to let go.

But strangely, he didn’t have the impression of dreaming. Although he didn’t sleep as gracefully as Gu Feidi, he was never cuddled in bed. 

Hundreds of thoughts, but none of them were the solution. Su Yang was too lazy to come up with a logical explanation as he got up to do his morning routine and told Lian Jiu to start the day with lunch, 

Just as Lian Jiu was about to leave and have the cooks start lunch, Su Yang thought of something and stopped him. “Oh, also, I need medicine for internal and external injuries. Prepare them for me.”

“Is…the Young Master injured?” Lian Jiu asked.

Su Yang uttered, “No. Er, I need it in case of an unlikely event.”

The best scenario tonight was no accident. But it was always good to have insurance in the event of an accident.

Lian Jiu didn’t reply right away. He inconspicuously peeked over Su Yang’s shoulder and saw no movement from the Young Master’s bedroom.

It was almost noon, yet Gu Feidi hadn’t got up yet.

He understood clearly. “Don’t worry, Young Master. I will go get the medicine you need.”

Su Yang nodded. “Do that, put together every type of medicine available.”

Lian Jiu said, “This subordinate understood.”

By the time the meal was ready, Gu Feidi had got up and finished his morning cleaning routine. 

Later, Lian Jiu returned and handed Su Yang a small medicine box. Su Yang sat the box down on the table. “Did they complete my dried fruit bar order? Pack and bring me all of them later.”

After lunch, Su Yang took the dried fruit bar and medicine box into his bedroom. He then changed the container for powder and pills, from porcelain bottles to paper bags for travel convenience. 

Gu Feidi sat down opposite of him and glimpsed a small iron jar in the medicine box. With a slight frown, he reached for it.

When he unscrewed the jar, a fresh floral fragrance was released. A translucent pink paste was inside the jar. He stuck out his right index finger and tapped lightly on the paste. Then he rubbed the paste between his thumb and index finger. The paste was extremely smooth and moist. 

His ears turned red. He flattened his lips and gazed over at Su Yang.

Su Yang was focusing on folding a paper bag when he suddenly smelled of an overpowering fragrance. He lifted his head to find the source was the little iron jar in Gu Feidi’s hand. 

“What’s that?” He asked.

Gu Feidi shut the lid tightly on the jar and misled, “Maybe some kind of medicine ointment.”

Su Yang curled his lip discontentedly. “It’s too fragrant for any practical medicine ointment…” Then he added his assumption. “Maybe to prevent mosquito bites?”

Gu Feidi nodded in agreement. “Maybe.”

Su Yang suggested, “Then bring it with us. Maybe it will be of use.”

Chuckling, Gu Feidi stored the jar away.

After half a day’s preparation, the medicine and food were all packed and ready. They also got two sets of dark robes. Now they waited for night to fall. They lounged around in Su Yang’s courtyard for the rest of the afternoon. Su Yang already dismissed his servants for the day and once night arrived, he dragged Gu Feidi into his bedroom.

That night, the light inside of the Young Master’s room was put out as soon as nightfall hit. Lian Jiu watched from a distance and shook his head.

Mei Shisan stood on the ledge of the perimeter wall with his sword in his arms. He stared at the gate to Su Yang’s courtyard with a straight face. 

“I really want to know if the Young Master demanded much for his first time. I wonder if Young Hero Gu would be able to endure the night?” Lian Jiu gave an evil smile. “He must be. I hear nothing from here. He must be holding down his voice.”

Mei Shisan stayed silent for a moment, jumped down from the ledge, and approached Lian Jiu. “You should know not to speak what is contrary to propriety.”

Lian Jiu was still smiling. “What? Is my Senior Shisan nitpicking at my mistakes? Don’t tell me you want to ‘punish’ me like last time? Isn’t tonight your shift? Better not neglect your duty…”

Mei Shisan lowered his eyes and thought of something. The corner of his lips raised as he grinned. “There is no harm in neglecting my duty tonight…”

Lian Jiu was startled and what quickly followed was being kissed breathlessly against the wall by Mei Shisan. 

Just after midnight

Su Yang and Gu Feidi snuck out of Iris Island, encountering no obstacles. 

They followed their plan and evaded the patrolling petal retainers from the Plum Blossom Hall. When they came to the infiltration point, they proceeded without a hitch and soon arrived at the shallows around Bamboo Garden Island. 

However, the more smooth and successful their journey was, the more serious Gu Feidi looked.

Once Su Yang found the cave by the shoal and found that there was no guard. Gu Feidi finally couldn’t hold back his bad feeling and pulled Su Yang back.

“Beware of traps,” He whispered. “The Evil Sect’s defences would never be so lax. I won’t believe that luck has anything to do with us getting here so easily.”

Inside of Su Yang’s head: This is not luck, this is your protagonist halo!

In the script where Gu Feidi slipped into the Evil Sect by himself, he could find where they kept Pu Lingyun and escaped to the forbidden ground together. Now with the Young Master as his inside agent, why would they come across any impediment?

“Don’t worry,” Su Yang patted Gu Feidi on the shoulder. He said with a smile, “Everything will be alright.”

Gu Feidi let out a helpless breath, tightened his hold on his sword, and followed Su Yang into the cave.

As a cave within the Evil Sect domain and used as a spot to store the Sect’s forbidden secrets, there were oil lamps embedded in the cave wall. The fire swayed gently with the lake breeze, making the stalactites and stalagmites inside glisten monstrously yet vibrantly. 

They turned a corner and the pathways were lit with brighter lamps.

Gu Feidi stretched out his hand and grasped Su Yang’s wrist. He swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat as he gave Su Yang a look that said ‘do nothing irrational’.

Su Yang reassuringly patted the back of Gu Feidi’s hand with his free hand. “It’s fine. Why don’t you stay here and wait. I will have a look. If there are guards around, I can use my identity as the Young Master to avoid trouble.”

With that, he tugged his hand out of Gu Feidi’s grip and moved forward.

Gu Feidi had no choice but to catch up with Su Yang. 

In the last corner they turned into, they came to a wide clearing. A beautiful karst cave stood before them.

A stone gate was on the opposite side of the cave. Beside the gate stood a great number of oil lamp posts that were brightly lit, making the whole cave as bright as day.

A white figure sat cross-legged on top of a flattened stalagmite. 

The man in white’s long hair fell to the ground like a waterfall, and a gauze scarf covered his lower face. Both his eyes were slightly closed as if he was meditating. 

Spotting the man, Su Yang’s heart jumped in panic and he blurted out, “It’s you!”

The man slowly opened a pair of dark eyes, deep like an ancient wall. There was no personality or emotion in those calm eyes. 

After a brief pause, he spoke in an indifference in his voice, “Su Yan, Gu Feidi. This one has been waiting for you for a long time.”

Authors Corner

The author has something to say: 

The dense and easy to fool Su Xiao Yang.

Xiao: Pinyin for small (小). Inserting ‘Xiao’ in someone’s name could mean they are emphasising the person’s nasty or despicable nature, or giving the person a cute or delicate meaning, depending on the content. For this case, just emphasising Su Yang’s naivety.


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