When they were out of earshot, Su Yan tugged at his boyfriend’s sleeve. "Ah Chang, say didn’t the stall owner only want one spirit stone or ten copper coins from us? Why did you ask for so many?"
Nie Chang looked around and finally grabbed Su Yan’s hand when he made sure that nobody paid attention to them. "Well, I figured we would spend some more time in the city. What if there’s something else you like? Furthermore, that artifact was too valuable to give it away for just one spirit stone."
"Oh." Su Yan nodded and didn’t discuss any longer. Instead, he turned his attention back to the stalls and shops around them.
Ah, being in a city full of cultivators was really something different! It was just as the novels described it: Shops with weapons and herbs and potions were all lined up next to each other, cultivators rushed about, most of them wearing the robes or some other identifying feature of their sect, and there were even some of the cliche scenes happening like young masters scolding unassuming youths just to be face-slapped half a minute later. Ah, this truly was great!
Su Yan clung to Nie Chang’s arm and grinned happily. "Ah Chang, actually, I feel like being in my novel isn’t too bad. When I reach level five and get the ability to change between a novel’s world and the special dimension at random, we should do this more often. We could spend our weekends here!"
Nie Chang barely held back a wry smile. "Let’s get to the fifth level first. Then we can consider that."
"Mn. Ah, look over there!" Su Yan pointed to another stall at the side of the road. "Are those flat cakes? And there are even some seeds on them! Let’s go try some?" He looked up at his boyfriend with sparkling eyes.
Nie Chang laughed and nodded. "Alright, let’s go then."
Thus the two of them went to take a look at another stall and then strolled through the rest of the city. Thanks to the spirit stones they had now, Su Yan didn’t hold back in asking Nie Chang to buy him whatever ancient snack they happened upon. He did hold back in the face of cultivation materials though since Nie Chang reminded him that he still hadn’t figured out his chaos cultivation.
At the same time, Xue Chang Fu and Yue Mu Gang were still sitting in the inn, drinking tea. While the Elder observed the other guests and tried to figure out who among them were the demonic cultivators, the Sect Master didn’t pay them any heed and used the opportunity to bother the person he liked.
"Ah Gang, isn’t this great? When did we go out alone like this the last time? We should do this more often!"
Yue Mu Gang wanted to brush him off at first but finally gave a low murmur. Mn, they really hadn’t done that in a long time and being together outside of the Jin Shan Sect was better than being together inside. At least then, he wouldn’t need to worry about them being exposed as much.
Xue Chang Fu raised his brows when he wasn’t treated as harshly as usual. How strange! Don’t tell him Yue Mu Gang was more easy-going outside of the sect? Ah, that might be true. Hadn’t he been less straitlaced before he became an Elder? Mn, maybe he should find some more 'missions' for them to do after this. After they got closer, this guy wouldn’t be able to go back to how he was before.
His lips curved up and he snuggled up even closer, blinking his eyes at Yue Mu Gang when he looked at him. "We can’t let anyone catch on! Don’t forget we’re supposed to be a couple now!"
"Mn." Yue Mu Gang turned back to the front and sipped his tea. Mn, supposed to be a couple …
While the two people were cuddling, the door to the inn opened and a group of cultivators came in, their brows locked in tight frowns. Yue Mu Gang didn’t seem to care outwardly but his muscles tensed. None of the guests until now had seemed like demonic cultivators but with how these people looked … Maybe they were indeed here to plan something?
The cultivators walked further into the room and finally sat down on a table not far from the two of them. They waved the waiter over and ordered a few flasks of wine before leaning over the table.
"It’s our bad luck for coming late. We should go to that stall again tomorrow. I don’t believe those were normal tanghulu."
Xue Chang Fu raised his brows again and tugged at Yue Mu Gang’s sleeve. "Did you hear that? I don’t think you need to pay attention."
"Who knows? Maybe it’s some codeword."
Xue Chang Fu pursed his lips. "Codeword? For what?" He pondered and finally laughed, his hand sneaking down and rubbing Yue Mu Gang’s thigh. "You wouldn’t be talking about your tanghulu, would you? Are you insinuating you want to put it somewhere?"
Yue Mu Gang froze. The hand on his thigh continued to rub up and down. When he still didn’t react, Xue Chang Fu raised his hand and his fingers scuttled up, making goosebumps break out on Yue Mu Gang’s skin.
Xue Chang Fu smiled and leaned even closer, his breath brushing Yue Mu Gang’s cheek. "I think we’re able to rent a room for the night here. If you want to …"
Yue Mu Gang caught the hand before it could cause even more mischief. "Don’t play around."
"Why not? Don’t tell me you don’t like it." He craned his neck and kissed Yue Mu Gang’s cheek, his other hand also reaching over.
Yue Mu Gang gulped. "You … better listen to those cultivators over there. Maybe they’re the ones we’re searching for."
Xue Chang Fu chuckled. "Ah, I’d much rather be told about your tanghulu than anyone else’s. So how about it? Do you want to go to a place where we could continue this conversation alone?"
Yue Mu Gang shuddered and glanced over. Thankfully, just then the cultivators next to them exclaimed.
"Fuck! Isn’t that the guy who exchanged the Seal of Doom for that tanghulu?!"
Xue Chang Fu froze. Seal of Doom? Wasn’t that one of his senior martial brother’s spirit artifacts? How come it was exchanged for a tanghulu?!