Chu Mu Yun was shocked, completely unable to gather himself.
And it was then that he felt a ripple in the air. Someone had come.
Before Chu Mu Yun could turn his head, he heard a familiar voice calling out softly to him. "Ah Yun..."
It was clearly an extremely pleasant voice, but it sounded deeply sorrowful from the overt hesitation in his breath, as if one would be met with a tearful face as soon as one turned around.
Chu Mu Yun's heart thumped and his body went stiff. Very slowly but eventually, he turned around.
Under the golden sunset, the man stood there, dressed in purple, the translucent coat glowing as if it could absorb golden light.
Though, the gorgeous clothing and the long robes that went down to the floor were still no match for the exquisite features that could stun everything under the sky.
A vermilion mole sits between his brow and his dark eyes were like stars. The way his lips pursed slightly was like a deep sea of love pouring down, sweeping straight into the deepest, softest depths of his heart.
Chu Mu Yun's eyes did not even waver as he stared straight at him.
Shen Shui Yan went up to him and pulled him hard into his arms. Despite his forcefulness, his actions were seemingly immensely gentle, a contradiction, yet one that perfectly encapsulated what he felt in his heart.
He could want for nothing more than to embed him into his bones so that he may never leave him again, yet worried that he would hurt or upset him, so he only held him gently against the tip of his heart, offering him the most tender warmth even if he could easily trample on his organs and viscera with a single step.
Really...There was nothing exhilarating than the feeling of reuniting with something that was long lost.
Chu Mu Yun allowed him to hold him.
Shen Shui Yan had already recovered his memories, he remembered everything, but this has still not worn down his obsession for Ah Yun. On the contrary, it only strengthened his love further.
Ah Yun had stayed with him for ten years.
Ten years in his long life was barely worth a mention, but those ten years he spent felt like countless ages past. Everything he felt in those days felt so boring and drab, so unworthy of even remembering.
Without these ten years, he would never have known that there existed a person in this world that could teach him to make sacrifices in order to obtain what he wanted.
Without these ten years, he would never have understood that compared to just seizing and monopolizing someone, it felt even more wonderful to simply receive what this man had to offer.
It was so selfless, so beautiful, and above all else.
If for example, his life was a distant, endless void, then everything that Ah Yun had done for him in these years was to light up countless stars in the pitch-black void.
So... he easily dominated his sight, all his senses, and all his... obsessions.
He couldn't bear to lose him, and he didn't even dare to think about it.
Shen Shui Yan brought Chu Mu Yun back to Clear Mist Palace.
This palace, surrounded by frost and mist was like a heavenly palace that had descended onto the mortal realm. The mist is the clouds, where immortals were known to roam. It was a place that one would be eager to explore.
Chu Mu Yun was in a trance, silent the whole way through, not speaking a single word.
Shen Shui Yan was completely caught up in the ecstasy of finding him. Though he noticed his unusual reaction, he still chose to keep it to himself, almost in self-deception.
From the outside, Clear Mist Palace looked out of reach, like a distant paradise, but once he walked into it, the sense of familiarity struck Chu Mu Yun still.
Straight white jade steps, a magnificent hall with red tiles and golden bricks... The familiar layout, familiar style, even the greenery along the path, the winding corridor leading to the back garden where the flowers were in full bloom, a garden that held countless memories within it, memories belonging to only two.
At the back of the garden were mountains and lakes. The palace was built on a hill and the water was a clear azure. In summer, the sunlight covered the scene like a translucent golden shawl, glimmering beautifully, naturally. In autumn, the leaves fall reminiscent of a swaying boat riding into the sunset, free and wanton. Then there was winter, when the lake froze over with a layer of ice, covering the clear waters but not the beautiful scenery. A gust of coldness lingered in the air, framing the peaceful stillness with a slight chill.
Memories that span countless years and months, Chu Mu Yun remembered them clearly. He remembered he shared with him here in this palace, in this beautiful scenery.
—Heaven's Rain Palace.
This place which should have been located in the distant Human Realm had now appeared in the Demon Realm.
Appearing in the desolate Shangri-La, Clear Mist Palace.
Chu Mu Yun looked on in awe as he went forward, one step at a time, his eyes wandering around, filled with emotion and confusion.
Every inch of this palace seemed to contain the emotions that he poured out into it, but what confused him was... Why would these memories, which should have been unique to him and Xie Qian Lan, appear here?
Appearing in... this demon's palace.
Shen Shui Yan spent four years turning Clear Mist Palace into Heaven's Rain Palace, turning it into a place for him and Ah Yun to reside.
His memory was superb so nothing here would be the slightest bit off.
He had been waiting all this while, waiting for Ah Yun to return, waiting for him to see it with his own eyes, to see all the sincerity he had for him.
—Loading his affection into every last flower, grass, brick, and stone.
And now, he finally returned.
For a long time, Chu Mu Yun could not gather his bearings. Knowing not of tiredness or exhaustion, he walked and took in everything, but never dared to reach out and touch anything.
That was because what he saw in front of him was simply too illusive, too unreal.
These should have been the sights in his memories, memories belonging only to him and Xie Qian Lan, and yet... they appeared here, a place where they should never exist.
Love and hate were overturned.
Even after seeing this, Chu Mu Yun was still shocked but still could not bring himself to believe it. How could his emotions be turned around? How could such a ridiculous thing happen?
Would he not know who it was that he loved?
Would he not be able to tell which memories it was that he and Xie Qian Lan shared?
There was simply nobody who could even question how deep and strong their love was.
How could he possibly hate Xie Qian Lan? How could he possibly hate someone who loved him with every inch of his flesh?
It was absurd, simply absurd!
As Chu Mu Yun looked around, anger began to boil in his blood, eventually gathering together and occupying his entire heart. Finally, he stopped and turned around to face Shen Shui Yan.
For such a long time, he had not said a word to him, but now, he called out his name.
"Shen Shui Yan."
Shen Shui Yan had been following him all this while. A slight daze could be seen on his face when he suddenly heard his voice, but soon...
The surprise in his beautiful eyes was completely unconcealed, so was the fascination in those delicate features. He missed him, he waited for him, for every minute and every second. So, when he heard his voice, it felt wonderful as if he were in a dream.
But in the next instant, Chu Mu Yun dragged him from heaven and threw him straight into hell. "How long are you going to keep messing with me?"
The upturned corners of Shen Shui Yan's lips seemed to be frozen in place, unmoving.
Chu Mu Yun glared at him, his eyes pooling with vexation and hatred. "What do you want? What are you trying to get out of me? Is it my body? Do you want sex? Do you have any idea how much I hate you, despise you? You threatened me and tried to coerce me, controlling me with those filthy things!"
"Shen Shui Yan, I'd rather die than have to see you again!"