When Su Ru Hui was sent back to his quarters, he was almost at the brink of death. Ming Ruo Wu gave him a pill to stimulate his last bit of life force. He woke up from his coma with a muddled mind, feeling as if his head was filled with fog and he was in a daze. Many people surrounded him, with many servants coming in and out carrying basins of his blood. Su Ru Hui’s vision became increasingly blurry, with a layer of curtain-like mist covering his eyes, making it difficult to see clearly. However, he felt as if Jiang Xue Ya and Zhou Xiao Su had been there all along, as well as a blood-stained Sang Chi Yu.
Zhou Xiao Su couldn’t stop crying, while pushing and shoving Sang Chi Yu. “You go away. You killed my senior brother. I will never forgive you for the rest of my life.”
Su Ru Hui didn’t hear Sang Chi Yu’s response, only Zhou Xiao Su’s constant crying. Was Yu’er all right? Why wasn’t he making any sound? His thoughts were like strands of floating silk, dispersing, as if they were about to completely break. Suddenly, a drop of water splashed onto the back of his hand, followed by a series of pattering sounds as a string of large drops of water fell on his hand, cold and icy. He was confused and thought, “Is it raining?”
Beside him stood Sang Chi Yu, white as a ghost, constantly being pushed by Zhou Xiao Su, standing there like a puppet without moving. Su Ru Hui slowly realized that it was Yu’er who was crying, his little wife weeping for him. He wanted to get up and tell Zhou Xiao Su to stop pushing him around. He and Sang Chi Yu had already agreed to spend the rest of their lives together. If he died, even if Sang Chi Yu became his widow, Zhou Xiao Su would have to call him “brother-in-law” in the future.
Suddenly, Zhou Xiao Su’s crying stopped, and the gentle voice of their master came through, “Yu’er, Ru Hui’s five organs are ruptured, and he’s bleeding profusely. There’s no medicine in this world that can save his life. However, I have a risky plan. You may not know this, but your physique is different from others. As long as you cut out your heart and save Ru Hui with your blood, there may be a chance to turn the tide for him. Are you willing to give Ru Hui a bowl of your heart’s blood?”
What kind of method is this? Su Ru Hui was shocked. If his heart was ripped open to extract a bowl of blood, could Yu’er still survive? This wasn’t saving someone – it’s clearly using a life for a life! He moved his fingers and his lips trembled, but Jiang Xue Ya pressed him down and said, “Even if we’re all going to die, you need to stay still!”
“Don’t agree, whatever you do,” Su Ru Hui screamed in his mind. He wasn’t afraid of death, not at all!
He screamed, but no one could hear him. In the silence, Sang Chi Yu spoke up, “I will give him my whole heart.”
Afterwards, Su Ru Hui couldn’t remember what happened when Ming Ruo Wu cut open his chest and implanted something inside his body. He drank some anesthesia and slept until the third day before waking up. Jiang Xue Ya told him everything that had happened – how dangerous the process was, how Zhou Xiao Su was summoned into the medicine room twice to use her special power to heal Su Ru Hui and Sang Chi Yu’s wounds. She also said that Dan Tai Jing had received the news and opened a Gate of Nothingness to come to Yi Luo Mountain overnight. Finally, Jiang Xue Ya sighed and said, “Dan Tai Jing is so handsome. I was so busy looking at him that I forgot to look at you.”
As soon as he woke up, he saw that he was in his own small house, and his swordsmanship manual had been neatly arranged on a black wooden table. He sat up, loosened his belt, and checked his body. There was no scar or even a scratch. Everything was the same as before, not even a broken skin. Su Ru Hui almost thought that his trip to the netherworld was just a dream.
His master’s medical skills had improved.
Su Ru Hui felt that his wound had healed too well, but he didn’t know what was wrong. At that time, he was ignorant and only thought about eating, drinking, and having fun. He didn’t think about serious matters.
There was a commotion outside the door. Su Ru Hui put on his deer leather boots and pushed open the door while getting dressed. The daylight was just right, and the yard was so bright it was blinding. Su Ru Hui put his hand on the cool pavilion to block out the light and saw Zhou Xiao Su standing on the opposite side, at the door of the west wing, directing servants to pile up backyard debris in the west wing. Sang Chi Yu held a bundle in silence and stood at the door.
“Since you’ve recovered, leave quickly. You’re not allowed to stay here anymore. Go back to your cave.” Zhou Xiao Su pursed her lips and urged Sang Chi Yu.
Sang Chi Yu hesitated for a moment, then lowered his long eyelashes and grabbed his bag to leave.
“Wait!” Zhou Xiao Su snatched his bag and checked its contents. There was nothing valuable inside, mostly small trinkets given to him by Su Ru Hui, Jiang Xue Ya, and Zhou Xiao Su. It was hard to believe that Sang Chi Yu, who came from the Secret Sect, had nothing of value and was even poorer than Su Ru Hui, who had no mother.
Zhou Xiao Su picked out the three-headed dog toy given to him by Su Ru Hui, the flower and the praying mantis given to him by Jiang Xue Ya, and hummed. “These are all from us, you’re not allowed to take them. You leave the same way you came – empty-handed. Listen, we’re cutting ties with you. Don’t come to play with us again.”
“Cutting ties…” Sang Chi Yu repeated softly.
“Yes, cutting ties!”
“Zhou Xiao Su!” Su Ru Hui was so angry that he saw black in front of his eyes. He held onto the pillar to steady himself. “What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?” Zhou Xiao Su shouted, “Senior brother, look at what he’s done to you! They say he’s a little monster, and Da Long’s parents lost their lives because of him. Luckily, he has a good master, Dan Tai Jing, who helped him suppress the matter. I heard everything when Master saved you. Even Dan Tai Jing said he’s a monster and asked Master to turn him into a normal person!”
“You…” Su Ru Hui’s chest hurt, and this time he really felt that he had just been through a major surgery.
“Oh, let’s not talk about it,” an old nanny came to mediate. “Master Su has just woken up. Let’s go inside and rest. Xiao Su, don’t be angry with your senior brother anymore. Since young master Sang came down from the mountains, let him go back up. Don’t be angry with each other anymore.”
Zhou Xiao Su pouted and murmured, “I won’t live with monsters anyway.”
Su Ru Hui was in pain and couldn’t stand up straight. He tried to say something, but the old nanny picked him up and sent him into the house. Sang Chi Yu stood under the wooden porch and watched Su Ru Hui disappear behind the door. He handed his bag to Zhou Xiao Su, not bringing anything with him, dressed in all white. Zhou Xiao Su told the servants to take him back to his cave. The servants looked at each other fearfully. They were all afraid of Sang Chi Yu, who had caused the tragic death of Da Long’s parents.
“No need. I know the way,” Sang Chi Yu said calmly.
He left Pear Blossom Courtyard alone and walked to the door. He glanced back and looked at Su Ru Hui’s closed doors and windows. He pursed his lips and left silently.
Su Ru Hui had been locked in his room for two days. During these two days, he often heard crying and shouting coming from the entrance of the residence, saying that Da Long’s relatives had placed the bodies of his parents at the entrance, forcing Ming Ruo Wu to hand over Sang Chi Yu. This case involved a direct disciple of the Secret Sect, and the county magistrate personally came to inspect the case. The final result was that the Long couple was convicted of abducting a noble child and sentenced to death by a thousand cuts. As the criminals had already died, there was no punishment. Long family was dissatisfied, but Ming Ruo Wu gave them silver, and did not charge them for treating Da Long’s injuries, so they stopped causing trouble.
Su Ru Hui was not satisfied in his heart. Da Long was not a good person at all. Da Tai Jing was not dependable either. He created the regulations of the Secret Sect and had been promoting laws and enforcing regulations in recent years, setting a good example. He was Sang Chi Yu’s master, but he did not investigate the case at all. If the county magistrate had acted recklessly and sentenced Sang Chi Yu, Su Ru Hui believed that Da Tai Jing would not hesitate to lock Sang Chi Yu up in prison.
After lying down for another day, Su Ru Hui finally realized that he had lost his Infinite Deduction power. Ming Ruo Wu had originally planned to talk to him about it, but was afraid that he might become emotionally unstable. Zhou Xiao Su and Jiang Xue Ya had been extremely careful with him these past few days, afraid that he might become depressed. Spiritual power users were not the same as ordinary people. The former were like the clouds and cranes in the sky, while the latter were like dogs and cattle on the ground. Losing their special power was a huge blow. Su Ru Hui lay under his covers, feeling depressed for an hour before getting up to eat and drink. He slept more soundly than a pig. Ming Ruo Wu sighed repeatedly, saying that this kid had no heart or soul.
On the fourth day, Su Ru Hui found an opportunity to pack up his bedding and clothes, carrying a huge bundle as he sneaked out of the door in the middle of the night. He crept cautiously, but couldn’t make it past the gate before running into his master, Ming Ruo Wu, and Dan Tai Jing.
“Where are you going?” Ming Ruo Wu asked him with a smile.
Su Ru Hui chuckled. “Master, if you already know, why bother asking?”
Da Tai Jing frowned. “Yu’er has a murderous nature. You should not get too close to him. Almost dying once was not enough to make you understand?”
“Never mind what Zhou Xiao Su said. You’re his master. Why would you speak about him like that?” Su Ru Hui grumbled unhappily. “Don’t say it in front of him. He’ll get upset. I’m leaving now. You two continue to enjoy the moon.”
“Ru Hui.” Ming Ruo Wu stopped him, handing him a scripture. “Don’t worry, I have cured Yu’er’s illness. His special power won’t go berserk again. Bring him to morning class tomorrow. He’s ten years old and doesn’t even know how to read. It’s not acceptable.” He looked displeased as he glanced at Da Tai Jing. “If you want him to learn to be a human, he needs to learn manners, reason, and propriety. If he is kept locked up in a cave all day, he’ll turn into a wild beast.”
Da Tai Jing furrowed his brows slightly but did not object.
Su Ru Hui took the scripture and left. He entered the cave and found Sang Chi Yu sitting on a stone bed, hugging his knees. It was so late, yet Sang Chi Yu was still awake, sitting there alone like a solitary mushroom. When Su Ru Hui arrived, his eyes became vacant. His round, black pupils made Su Ru Hui think of a little wildcat in the woods.
Su Ru Hui placed his bundle down, untied the rope, and spread out the bedding on the ground.
“Zhou Xiao Su won’t let you stay in Pear Blossom Courtyard, so I’ll live with you in this cave,” Su Ru Hui said, sitting cross-legged on the bedding and patting his pillow. “From now on, I’ll sleep here.”
“No.” Sang Chi Yu retreated to the corner, staying far away from Su Ru Hui. “I hurt people.”
“It’s not you who hurts people. It’s Da Long’s family who hurt you,” Su Ru Hui said, displeased.
Sang Chi Yu lowered his eyes and whispered, “But I killed them.”
Da Long’s parents were dead, and everyone saw how Sang Chi Yu went insane. Even though it was Da Long’s family’s fault for taking Sang Chi Yu, everyone was afraid of the child who could not control his spiritual power. Furthermore, even his master claimed that he had a murderous nature. Su Ru Hui felt bitter. Why did the victim have to bear the blame? He wanted to argue with those people and tell them that Yu’er was a good child, but adults would always rely on their age and reasoning. He was too young to make a valid argument.
The atmosphere was too heavy, and the two of them remained silent for a while.
After a while, Sang Chi Yu spoke up, “My master said I’m different from others.”
“In what way?” Su Ru Hui said dejectedly. “I can tell that you’re prettier than others.”
Sang Chi Yu pursed his lips and said, “When we were in town, I thought you smelled nice.”
“Nice?” Su Ru Hui blushed. He couldn’t believe that this kid, who looked so quiet and demure, would say such bold things. He scratched his head and said, “You think I smell nice because you like me.”
Sang Chi Yu looked puzzled. “Is that so?”
“Yes.” Su Ru Hui looked like he knew everything. “It’s all written in Zhou Xiao Su’s book. Phrases like ‘fragrant with sweat,’ ‘national beauty and heavenly fragrance,’ ‘fragrant skin, slim waist, peach blossom beauty that intoxicates the soul’… Whenever a scholar likes a young lady, he thinks she smells good. In the end, you’re a boy, and you’ve made me your fragrant lady. Don’t worry, it’s not embarrassing to like me. You’re my wife, and you’ll like me sooner or later.” Su Ru Hui reached out to him. “Smell me, am I fragrant?”
Sang Chi Yu lowered his head and sniffed, hesitated, and shook his head. “It doesn’t smell nice anymore.”
“… ” Su Ru Hui muttered, “No wonder Jiang Xue Ya always says that men are fickle and unreliable. You’ve fallen in and out of love for me too quickly.”
Sang Chi Yu said gloomily, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, I don’t mind.” Su Ru Hui asked, “How’s your injury?”
Sang Chi Yu undid his buttons, opened his shirt, and Su Ru Hui saw his bandaged chest, thin as paper, with a trace of bloodstains on the bandage. Su Ru Hui felt a pang of pain in his heart.
Sang Chi Yu buttoned up his shirt and said, “You should go now.”
Su Ru Hui snorted and lay down on the ground, acting like a spoiled child. “I’m not leaving. If you have the ability, then move me away.”
Sang Chi Yu climbed off the bed and moved him. This child looked weak, but he was actually quite strong. Su Ru Hui was actually moved by him. “You’re my wife. Are you going to listen to me or them?”
Sang Chi Yu looked at him, frowning tightly.
Su Ru Hui coaxed him, “If you don’t listen to me, then you’re a bad wife. Are you a bad wife?”
Sang Chi Yu’s eyes became a little aggrieved, and he shook his head.
“That’s right, go to sleep. Sang Chi Yu is a good wife.” Su Ru Hui pushed him onto the bed.
Su Ru Hui was incorrigible, and Sang Chi Yu couldn’t win against him. The stone bed made a rustling sound as they both lay down to rest. Su Ru Hui quietly opened one eye and saw Sang Chi Yu sleeping above him, curled up like a cat. His silky long hair spilled over the edge of the bed, hanging in front of Su Ru Hui’s eyes. Unable to resist, Su Ru Hui used his hand to brush through Sang Chi Yu’s hair, counting each strand.
One strand, two strands, three strands. Sang Chi Yu was his silly little wife.