At Baili Chao’s words, the two people finally went still and even Luo Lin’s mother stopped her screeching. They both looked up but their expressions were completely different. The man looked horrified and seemed to want to hold him back. He reached out but before he could speak, the woman eagerly interrupted him.
"Take him away?" She really seemed to like that idea. But before Baili Chao could say anything, she interrupted him as well. Her eyes suddenly shown with a crazy glint and she narrowed them, looking him up and down. "You can’t just take him away."
Baili Chao raised his brows, not having expected that. Just a moment ago, she had seemed really eager to get rid of him. Now though, things were apparently different from what he had thought. Well, maybe there was some kind of future for Luo Lin here after all. He would definitely like to see that.
His hopes were dashed with the woman’s next words though. "Don’t think I wouldn’t know how pretty my boy is. An old man like you, you think I would just let you take him away? You can but it will cost a price!"
Both men stared at her in horror and Luo Lin’s stepfather finally had enough. He pushed her off himself, and then got to his feet, trying to run outside. The woman hurriedly clasped his legs, starting to sob. He wanted to shake her off but there was no way as if she had managed to glue herself to him. He stared outside with a defeated expression, looking at the falling snow. After a moment, he finally closed his eyes, a sheen of tears visible on his lashes. When he opened his eyes again, he turned to Baili Chao. "If you take Luo Lin away, where would you go?"
Baili Chao looked at him, feeling that this man probably realized that the child couldn’t stay here with his mother being like this. "I am an Elder of the Teng Yong Sect. He can become part of our sect and cultivate. He’d have a good life there."
The man’s expression was reluctant but he still nodded. "That doesn’t sound bad. He would … probably make a good cultivator, a good immortal. He … he has that air about him." His voice sounded hoarse when he said so and he had to clear his throat before he could continue. "Then, just a moment. I’ll tell the servants to get his things." He nodded to himself and then tried to push his wife off again but there was no way to get rid of her. He sighed and wanted to call out but Baili Chao raised a hand and waved.
"No need for that. He will have everything he needs at the sect. Taking anything with him would just weigh him down."
The man stared at him, clearly unwilling to let that happen. But after a moment, he still nodded. "Then … can we at least say goodbye?" He might’ve said 'we' but clearly, he meant only himself. The woman to his feet was still sobbing and cursing her son intermittently, then claiming that she was really reluctant to see him go.
Baili Chao looked at the two of them and then thought back to the child out there, and figured that for better or worse, he might as well ask Luo Lin what he thought about it. "Give me a moment. If he wants to, he can say goodbye." With that, he strode out of the room and the estate, going over to the tree where that youth was still sitting in his bright red robe. He looked at him with some worry evident in his eyes and then reached out a hand. "I talked with your parents. They have agreed to let me take you away to my sect. You can become a cultivator that way. Do you want to say goodbye to them before that?"
Luo Lin looked at him, his gaze a little empty. "A cultivator?" His stepfather had read him some stories so he knew what that was. But he didn’t really have a good grasp on what it would entail. "Do they really want to see me again?"
Baili Chao wasn’t quite sure what to say but finally, he just told him the truth. In any case, the child knew what was up. He had lived this way for long enough presumably. "Your father asked. Your mother …"
"I know already." Luo Lin got up and weighed the spiritual jade between his fingers for a moment before wanting to hand it back to Baili Chao.
The Elder waved his hands, very much like he had just done in front of Luo Lin’s stepfather, and motioned for him to keep it. "The weather isn’t going to get better for a couple more days. You just keep it."
Luo Lin nodded and then went inside, going to a side room to wait for his stepfather. Meanwhile, Baili Chao stood on the spot for a moment before he followed him in some distance, wanting to make sure that nothing else happened. This child … he had suffered enough. He didn’t want him to have even a single bad experience more.