He paused when the other’s face fell in surprise at hearing the confession.
Shi Yue halted in his movements, listening. Xie Yi’s voice was calm but it had a sweet undertone.
“To me, he is not only my master. He is also one of the most important people in my life. He is the reason why I want to bring out the best in me. If it means he will smile and be happy, I’m willing to do anything”, Xie Yi continued calmly. “He is my most beloved person. That does not concern you or anyone else. You have no right to interfere with my matters and feelings, as I am doing nothing that hurts anyone else.”
Shi Yue’s eyes widened as he listened to the words. There was no halo around Xie Yi, or a feeling of everyone else being blocked out.
There was only an almost overwhelming desire to walk over and pull the man into his arms to hold him close.
“Of course you can think that I am disgusting, that’s none of my business. But if you believe you have the right to judge me or assume my thoughts, you are wrong.”
“You- You-”, the other stuttered, exasperated. His face was flushing red in shame. “You are just a fox trying to seduce Master Li! We don’t want someone like you to taint him!”
Xie Yi chuckled lowly and shook his head with a click of his tongue. “Aren’t you misunderstanding something? Master wouldn’t be stupid enough to be seduced and I’m not pursuing him.”
The murmurs that had swelled up, mostly surprised comments whispered behind hands, died down. Shi Yue felt a wave of confusion crash down on him, blocking out the sweetness in his heart.
Xie Yi humpfed. “Am I suitable for him? You’re kidding. I’m absolutely no-good compared to him. I have yet to find a person worthy of standing by his side. I obviously would never try to convince him to be with me in that way. I’m very much content being by his side like this.”
Everyone was stunned. Jaws had dropped.
“My master is not only strong, he is also good-looking, has a good personality, is just and intelligent”, Xie Yi said proudly while nodding to himself. “He should be with someone who can stand by his side proudly or someone who can offer him a home. Master will surely find the perfect person for himself. As for me, it’s good enough if I can manage to not cause him any more trouble.”
That was something no one had expected - Shi Yue least of all.
In his mind, a previously tiny voice jumped up in fury.
Can you please ask me whether I’ll accept before you reject yourself, ah?! I would have-
Shi Yue waved the voice away.
“Anyway, I hope you’ll let the matter rest now”, Xie Yi threatened darkly. “Don’t disturb Master with your stupid comments! If he truly believes that I intend to bother him, I won’t let you off!”
Xie Yi turned his head to the left, looking right at Shi Yue. A small, awkward smile bloomed on his face.
Shi Yue felt his breath hitch a bit.
“Master”, Xie Yi hummed with his usual, amicable tone that he had towards people he liked. “I’m sorry. You really have no need to worry, I won’t ever bother you. I like loving you, but you don’t have to concern yourself with it.”
The voice crawled back up again.
“I-”, Shi Yue began to speak hesitantly.
Xie Yi laughed sweetly and waved a hand. “Master, I’m really fine. Don’t force yourself. Nothing has changed.”
The voice shrieked.
“Of course”, Shi Yue said instead, smiling back. “You are, have been and will always be my precious disciple.”
And that stupid voice better shut its mouth and go back to where it came from.
Xie Yi did not notice his master’s unusual smile. He did not feel that there was anything wrong with what he did. He was quite relaxed at hearing those words.
His main problem was the worry that Shi Yue might be annoyed at him. In his last life, because he had messed it up so much, Shi Yue had really hated Xie Yi liking him.
Now, if he was tame and obedient and kept his distance without being pushy, Shi Yue should be able to tolerate it? He was a good person, he surely would.
As for speaking out his feelings in front of everyone, Xie Yi had no second thoughts about it.
According to Xu Yan, it was kind of obvious anyway. Why go through the trouble of trying to hide something that everyone knew?
Thinking like that, he couldn’t bring himself to care.
He wasn’t going to act out on it anyway.
As he had told Lu Han: He understood those feelings. He knew what it was like to be aware that you’re not suitable for the person you like. He knew it because around him, Shi Yue always had to adjust.
Usually, Shi Yue was more elegant. He liked clean things and peace.
But Xie Yi was fidgety and enjoyed fighting. He often caused a mess without wanting to and Shi Yue had to clean it up.
In his head, a relationship needed to be like MingMing’s and Xue Hua’s. Even if they had some differences, it was obvious that Xue Hua felt the most comfortable around Mingtian - two people completing each other. An equal relationship where both people could help each other but no one dragged the other down.
Not one having to run after the other to clean up. Xie Yi couldn’t carry his own weight yet, how could he even think of making Shi Yue carry it?
His heart clenched at the thought, but he was looking forward to Shi Yue finding someone he loved.
He was sure it would be a very good person who would be kind to even someone like him. A woman that could start a family with Shi Yue. Someone who would make Shi Yue happy.
And he’d do his best to help protect her.
That, too, was a nice thought in a way.
If she allowed him to stick around as Shi Yue’s disciple and her guard... Maybe even the one guarding their future children. Make sure they were always safe and sound.
The thought was both sickening and sweet.
Really, only those people, though - no one else he could tolerate around Shi Yue. Only the most perfect one. Only the most suitable one.
Xie Yi recognized the jealousy that clouded the vision and systematically cut it down until it was gone. ...Right now, it was still better to rid himself of negative feelings, even if it was unhealthy. He was too likely to get swallowed up.
Shi Yue glanced over several times but found his disciple relaxed, as if the scene just now hadn’t happened. It was confusing.
Weren’t people awkward or nervous about confessing? Wouldn’t you worry that the other side did not like you? Even if they did say it was fine, they could be lying?
The Grandmaster did not remember a very simple fact. Over time, it had pretty much slipped his mind and he would come to regret not reminding himself of it regularly, at a later date.
Although Xie Yi was beginning to question people and the reasoning behind their actions, he still believed Mingtian and Shi Yue quite blindly. As he did not lie to them, he did not believe he would be lied to, either.
Shi Yue had said it was fine. So it was.
“Master, Xu Yan was safe all this time, right? He couldn’t be hurt?”, the youth asked while staring forward.
Shi Yue nodded and sighed to himself. “He did not leave the other sect. He is unharmed.”
Phsycially. Other things, though…
“That’s good”, Xie Yi mumbled and skipped forward a bit. He wanted them all back together in the sect, which was like his home. He liked knowing everyone was here.
The guards saluted the two of them as they approached and made space for them to get up on the wall.
It was a simple defense structure but high enough up that Xie Yi had a good view. He hopped onto the heightened rim and dangled his legs over. Shi Yue only leaned against it.