In which there’s almost, but not quite, sexytimes. Mostly consensual, but with the usual slightly overbearing ML trope. (Ye You is into it, though.)
Wenren Heng’s breathing became tight, and almost immediately, he was able to see that his Junior Brother was trying to provoke him.
That previous obedient and tender youth had already grown up, with features that had become even more delicate and dazzling. And within this bright and splendid flower was a certain amount of sharpness, dyed by a languid expression. And it seemed almost as if every strand of those eyelashes bore an attractive force. Even a saint couldn’t help but feel moved upon seeing this person.
Since his Junior Brother had returned to the Central Plains, the other hadn’t tried to restrain his temper or disposition in front of him. At that time, he had already thought that this appearance of his Junior Brother’s was particularly attractive, but he hadn’t thought that this person would be even more deadly when he was willing.
He went over the matters that followed after his Junior Brother was hit in the death acupoint, and upon finding many instances of exploratory provocation, he couldn’t help but close his eyes for a bit.
In his heart, he felt as if the thick fog that had been obscuring the rocky path forward had suddenly been blown away by a spring wind. The place that had trapped him for ten years had finally regained its original form, and in front of his eyes was a smooth, flat road and vastness as far as the eyes could see. The plants and flowers that had been awoken by the wind were unfurling their leaves and spreading their roots outwards, currently quietly waiting for the traveler to arrive.
This bitter road had finally reached its end.
Ye You saw him open his eyes, with the habitual tenderness covered by some dense emotion, and startled. “Senior Brother…”
Before those words had even finished being spoken, he felt a softness on his lips, and immediately fell silent.
Wenren Heng had given him a kiss on the lips, not at all deep, and once again looked at him, letting go of his hand to touch his face, thumb softly caressing his skin. Wenren Heng had peeled back the layers of his heart’s firm outer shell, putting the most defenseless and most softly sincere inner core on display.
He said, in a low voice, “I truly like you.”
I truly like you.
He couldn’t help but repeat it in his mind.
At that time, after that night was over, the immature him had held those words he had most wanted to say from the bottom of his heart, but he had been unable to say them. After having been soaked in all these years of longing, worry, and silent forbearance over this unobtainable wish, he finally felt as if the bitterness had ended and the sweetness had arrived, and his feelings were overflowing like water that had finally made it through a canal.
How truly great, he thought.
You’re finally mine.
Ye You’s heart trembled.
With blood steeped full of vengeance, calculating an elaborate plot, entrenching himself in every step… In these twenty years, the ten peaceful years he spent on Heji Mountain were always the most vivid and colorful in his memories, a constant companion as he traversed this thorny path, continually moving against the wind.
After returning to the Central Plains, they had faced one another with hostility countless times, and Senior Brother always bore a face of unhurried calm, estranged and difficult to fathom. In that year, the thing that he had reluctantly given up, that he had thought he’d lose forever, had now finally returned to his side.
— I truly like you.
In this life, other than his desire for revenge, the only other thing he ever wanted was these four words.
He closed his eyes and then looked at this person in front of him. And, doing his best to keep his voice steady, he said, “Yes, me too.”
Wenren Heng fiercely pulled him over and hugged him in satisfaction for a while before asking in confirmation, “That year, you never turned into an idiot?”
Ye You didn’t know if the other wanted to get back at him and so cautiously gave only a single, “Yes,” as an answer.
Wenren Heng made a sound in confirmation and laid back down, continuing to hold him, before patting him on the back. “Let’s sleep.”
It’s over just like this?
Ye You silently looked at him.
Wenren Heng met his gaze and reminded, “This is a place where Buddhists cultivate spirituality.”
Ye You speechlessly leaned against him and laid down for a spell before weakly saying, “Senior Brother, my chest hurts, help me massage it.”
Wenren Heng pressed down on the urge to laugh that had bubbled up from his throat and, carrying his usual elegant appearance, asked rather gently, “Does it hurt below too? Do you need your Senior Brother to massage both of them for you?”
Ye You was roused into trembling.
He had found that since this Senior Brother of his had learned last night that he had recovered his memories, the other had seemed to be tearing off that fake guise of gentle nobility little by little and exposing some overbearing impropriety.
Right as he was hesitating, not knowing how exactly he should reply, he suddenly felt that his waistband had been untied, and a certain person’s hand had directly entered in exploration, truly looking as if it was sliding downwards. His breathing couldn’t help but stop — while he was provoking Senior Brother, he was extremely interested, but when he had truly managed to provoke the person into action, he ended up feeling somewhat anxious. He coughed, dry, and said, “Senior Brother…”
Wenren Heng stopped those hands above his waist and made a sound in acknowledgement before forcefully pulling the person into an embrace, giving him a kiss.
Their lips and tongues intertwined, their breaths mingling together and, in the blink of an eye, managing to send a rush of heat through the entire body. Wenren Heng couldn’t help but kiss deep, his two hands unconsciously stroking along the other’s body, and it was only when he almost couldn’t control himself that he stopped.
Ye You’s clothes had already been thoroughly spread open, his entire chest exposed. He urgently gasped for breath and struggled to say, “I think it really isn’t that good to do something like this at Shaolin.”
Wenren Heng again made a sound in acknowledgement, but his hand didn’t leave the other’s body.
Ye You couldn’t quite tell what his intentions were and added, “But if you really want to… um, be gentle.”
Wenren Heng didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and, pressing down on his arousal, said in a hoarse voice, “You aren’t paying attention to what time it is right now. Your Senior Brother isn’t that fast.”
Ye You thought about it a bit before understanding his meaning.
When they returned, the sky was just about to brighten, and it’d probably turn completely bright within two hours. Although the Abbot and the others also hadn’t slept for a night, they probably wouldn’t make up for the lost sleep, and since that surnamed Xiao had been captured, there were too many things that they wanted to ask.
Wenren Heng gave him a look. “Your mood is quite good today because you captured that person?”
Ye You honestly said, “Yes.”
Wenren Heng then knew that if this matter hadn’t gone smoothly, then his Junior Brother wouldn’t have been in the mood to provoke him. He asked, “Xiangxing City’s matters didn’t reach his ears?”
“It probably did reach him. After he was captured, he asked who I was,” Ye You said, “He had hurried over to do some work for the white piece. At the first opportunity, he would’ve gotten to know the situation, so he’s definitely heard about my existence before. Last night, he probably asked on purpose, wanting to mislead me and dispel my misgivings. He also didn’t open his mouth this whole way. I think that he most likely wanted to reach Shaolin before exposing that I still had martial arts.”
Wenren Heng asked, “How exactly did you capture Fuping?”
Ye You said, “I captured him with my own hands right under their eyes, and I even injured one of their people.”
Wenren Heng asked, extremely tenderly, “Before, weren’t you still saying that it was your subordinates that helped you capture him?”
“…” Ye You moved his eyes away and didn’t look at the other.
Wenren Heng pinched his chin and moved a bit closer, deciding to save each and every one of these things for the future, and have him pay them all back then, before asking, “What have you decided to do about this?”
Ye You was very calm. “I have my own methods to deal with it.”
Wenren Heng naturally believed him and, after helping him tidy up his clothes, told him to sleep for a while, as the day was about to start. Ye You was once again pulled into an embrace and stayed quietly for a while before making some more exploratory movements in the other’s arms. Wenren Heng’s hold immediately tightened, and the other said, in a low voice, next to his ear, “You better think this through. If you continue to provoke me, then I really won’t be able to restrain myself, and then we won’t even have to go over for breakfast.”
Ye You thereupon became well-behaved.
The two people were not at all sleepy.
Ye You felt as if he had only closed his eyes for a while to recover some energy before he heard some intermittent noise echoing from the outside. He knew that they were indications of people waking up one after the other and so opened his eyes.
Wenren Heng also opened his eyes at practically the same time, and upon meeting his Junior Brother’s gaze, he said, “Let’s go.”
Thinking that this person whom he had spent ten years longing for was in his arms, and that they had mutually revealed their innermost feelings already, he felt that if they continued lying down, then he’d be the first to become unable to endure, so he didn’t wait for his Junior Brother to reply before dropping a kiss on this person’s forehead and getting up.
It was just as the proverb said, ‘When people meet a happy occasion, their spirits will also be high.’ Although these two had not slept the whole night, they definitely still had an ample amount of energy. Ye You turned around and, leaning his head against his hands, watched his Senior Brother put on clothes. It was only when the other party looked over did he pull off the blanket and get out of bed, taking the clothes on the side and putting them on.
Wenren Heng guessed that after breakfast was over, his Junior Brother was probably going to confront that surnamed Xiao, so he asked about what was currently the most urgent matter, “Who’s the white piece?”
The hands that Ye You was using to tidy up his clothes paused slightly, and he turned to look at the other meaningfully. “I’ve actually mentioned it to you before, but you didn’t think much of it then.”
Wenren Heng raised his brows, and quickly looked through his memories.
Over the years, his Junior Brother had lived with much noise and excitement and had always intentionally avoided him, so the times they met were not many, while the matter with the missing memories had dragged on until it was finally exposed by him yesterday. Between them, they also had not said much regarding their evaluations of those elders of the martial arts circles, so he could remember every single detail. The moment his mind started searching, he remembered a certain line of conversation.
Before, he had truly not thought much of it, but at this moment, he felt a kind of extremely overwhelming shock at the implications. It caused even his usual calmness to falter and his expression to change uncontrollably. “You mean that…”
Ye You said, “I mean exactly that.”
Wenren Heng took a deep breath, finally understanding why this person would rather endure alone without searching him out. If it wasn’t for his words yesterday stating his willingness to die together which forced the other’s hand, his Junior Brother probably would’ve really gotten into another fight with him before finding a suitable excuse to seek shelter with Academy Master Ge.
Ye You was silent for a moment.
Wenren Heng looked at him. “That year, you knew that Martial Uncle would come and so had felt reassured leaving me with him before leaving. What about this time? Do you still want me to seek shelter with Martial Uncle?”
Ye You said, “Martial Uncle is already getting on in years, so I don’t dare to disturb him too much. But you and Prince Li are friends.”
Wenren Heng understood. It looked like, over these years, his Junior Brother hadn’t been completely ignorant to the worshipful attitude that Prince Li had towards him. Jianghu and the imperial court had always kept to themselves, each minding their own business, and with Prince Li being blood-related to the emperor, the white piece definitely would have some misgivings.
He walked forward two steps. “You didn’t think that I wouldn’t agree with your intentions when the time came?”
“I’ve thought about it, but Senior Brother, you can’t forget that I also have a Demonic Sect,” Ye You said, “My Demonic Sect’s foundation was established on the outside, and at the moment, even the Central Plains’ martial arts circles can’t reach that far.”
Wenren Heng nodded, thinking that if it had truly gone in the worst direction, then those Demonic Sect members might have actually followed their Sect Master’s orders and kidnapped him out of the Central Plains. He looked at this person for a while and, lifting up the corners of his mouth, said, “To be this considerate, Senior Brother is truly moved.”
Ye You looked at him and modestly said, fearless in the face of death, “I’m not bad, huh.”
Wenren Heng was just about to be angered into laughing, and he once again took two more steps towards the other. Ye You calmly stood there, waiting for him to get close before quickly ducking out of the way, sliding next to his ear and ambiguously puffing out a breath of warm air. When he reached over with a hand, Ye You once again ducked away, lifting a brow and laughing at him, before opening the room door.
The scarred man had also already gotten up and had coincidentally just walked to the door. Upon instantly meeting Sir Xiao’s dazzling, smiling face, he became dumbfounded.
Ye You restrained himself a little and amiably said, “Good morning.”
“…Good morning,” the scarred man answered unconsciously while he thought through this matter.
Yesterday, Sir Xiao had just suffered from the pain of losing his beloved and had even been carrying a face full of melancholy. How was he already completely fine today? Could it be that their Sect Master had finally made a move? That’s right, it definitely happened like this. He just knew it! Their Sect Master was this outstanding and, other than not knowing how to play the qin, was better in every way compared to that Fuping!
Wenren Heng didn’t take notice of the excitement in his subordinate’s eyes and helplessly walked over to pull that walking disaster back, pressing him down on the chair and letting him wash his face, before helping him apply a layer of medicine and carefully wrapping on the bandages.
Only halfway through the wrapping, they heard a series of footsteps echoing from outside the courtyard before immediately hearing Ding Xilai’s voice also echoing over, “Sir Xiao, it isn’t good!”
Ye You laughed for a moment and, upon seeing him push open the door and walk in, shot him a glance. “What is it?”
Ding Xilai said, “Early this morning, the Abbot and the others went to ask some questions. That surnamed Xiao kept insisting that you were the one who kidnapped Xiao-Zhong, and even said that you were the one who hid Fuping. He also said that you still have your martial arts, that you are a tiger pretending to be a pig, and that you definitely want to take opportunity of this mess to concoct some conspiracy!”
 灼灼其華 A reference to the poem 桃之夭夭，灼灼其華 , which is said to be about how a newlywed young bride was just like a beautiful and splendid flower.
[twiddles thumbs] So I’m glad Wenren Heng is learning about this cool thing called consent, but… and, I guess this is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things… but… asking to kiss someone before kissing them is cute!! It’s super adorable!! Verbal consent in general should be more of a thing!! Because, yeah, sure, body language, but come on, you can’t expect us all to be espers or to have known our partners for 10+ years. More authors should write displays of love preceded by verbal consent, please!! It’s way cuter than the alternative!!
Anyway, for those wondering who the white piece is, I also had no idea what line Ye You was referring to here until I read the comments. …Don’t worry, though, only a few people actually seemed to know, while the rest were just as lost as everyone else lmao. (Someone even commented that the only one they were sure wasn’t bad was Academy Master Ge LOLOLOL. Ditto, bro, ditto.)
For those who want to know exactly what line Ye You is referring to…
It’s the line in chapter 10, when he says, “When one family alone gets big, it becomes a target for the masses,” in reference to the feud between Pavilion Master Ding and Manor Lord Wei being solved by the Alliance Leader. Whether the “one family” he’s speaking about is referring to Pavilion Master Ding, Manor Lord Wei, or the Alliance Leader is left ambiguous. (And, Wenren Heng also mentioned that he had spoken about these same matters with Ye You back when he still had his memories, so Ye You had probably stated then who it was. Amnesiac Ah-Xiao, unfortunately, did not.)