“I wonder if Senior Sister cried at the sight of your scar.”
Xie Yi coughed. Let’s say she had not been amused. “It’s only a scar, why is everyone making such a fuss…”
“You’re a pretty person. Weird, but that’s how humans are; we like pretty things that aren’t marked.” Xu Yan carefully touched it. It looked bad right now, although the edges were fading to a paler pink. “Are you worried about how Master Li sees it? I mean, usually people want to look their best in front of those they like.”
“That’s only when you want to pursue someone”, Xie Yi responded and looked at his arms. His left arm was still black and blue from the bruises that stayed behind after it healed. The right one showed an equally ugly cut to the one on his face.
“And you’re not?” Xu Yan’s voice was incredulous. “You? Is it because you don’t know how?”
“No”, Xie Yi said, then corrected himself. “Well, yes, I also don’t know how, but that’s not the problem.”
He absolutely didn’t know how to pursue people.
“It’s a lot like with Lu Han’s situation. For one, I absolutely don’t suit him, and there’s nothing I can do about that - I will always be messy and blood-thirsty and fidgety, someone who is bad with people and doesn’t care about anyone other than the ones he likes. Completely unlike Shi Yue.”
“...And the other reason?”
“There’s too much I can’t say”, Xie Yi lamented.
He knew that much. If he had a partner he wanted to trust with all of his heart, then he couldn’t keep secrets like he did now.
This wasn’t about keeping a bad habit a secret. This was a full life of terrible mistakes that he couldn’t ever talk about.
If it was ‘only’ that, he could possibly decide to accept it, but this was a secret with too many effects. His habits and experiences, even his knowledge, all was too much based on that life.
He didn’t like the thought of always, always having to tell his beloved one that he couldn’t answer why something about him was the way it was.
“Couldn’t you share it with your lover when you trust him enough?” Xu Yan tried to cheer him up. “You don’t need to lay everything out in the open as soon as you get together.”
“I think”, Xie Yi started and hesitated. “...I think if it’s things that you yourself couldn’t forgive if you heard them, there is no way of sharing. Anyway, I don’t think I’ve got the right to have a lover currently.”
Xu Yan looked more than unhappy at hearing that but Xie Yi leaned forward, grabbed Mingtian and heaved him onto his friend.
Distracted, Xu Yan steadied the horned canine and glared at the black-haired youth.
“I’m all supportive, you know”, Xu Yan insisted on stating. “Whether you want to try pursuing Master Li or not, I’ll be on your side. Although I won’t be very helpful, considering I have no idea how to pursue a man. But I’d be rooting for you.”
“Do you know how to pursue a woman?”, Xie Yi snickered and gained another grumpy glare.
Xie Yi leaned back and looked up at the sky out of the window.
“You all do nothing but worry about me, it’s amazing. I would like to say that I’ve learned from it and will not do anything stupid again, but that would be a lie.” He watched Xu Yan as he said so, but his friend looked neither surprised or offended.
“I just don’t want you to be hurt, that’s all. But I know we are cultivators and there always be injuries. The only difference is that you are starting earlier.”
“I need to recuperate, and Master does, too. I’ll be very manageable for a while”, Xie Yi promised with a hand on his chest.
“How about we call Senior Sister over soon to find something to distract you? So you won’t get bored”, Xu Yan suggested.
Because neither Xie Yi nor Shi Yue could truly train at the moment, they had to search for different things to do.
Shi Yue was naturally resistant against boredom as a Grandmaster and while his body wouldn’t allow him to use spiritual energy for the moment, he had enough paperwork.
Xie Yi did not want to use it despite being able to; he wanted to let his body calm down first. That meant that next to normal physical exercises, he needed something else to do.
And frankly speaking, he wanted to do things that were as normal as possible. His mind felt weird after the episode with the outpost and he wanted to regain his peace.
“Sure, let’s see what kind of ideas she has.”
...Li Mei certainly had ideas. You could tell by the gleam in her eyes, although she didn’t say them out loud. She controlled herself very well.
“I’m in a very open-minded mood, so if you’ve got something, now is the perfect time”, Xie Yi repeated himself and the fidgeting girl finally couldn’t hold it back anymore.
Clasping Xie Yi’s hands in hers, she leaned in close and fluttered her long eyelashes up at him. “Can I pleaseee dress you up as a girl?”
Xu Yan and Mingtian gaped at her.
Xie Yi frowned, then shrugged his shoulders. “I mean, why not. As long as I’m not wearing a short skirt.”
Li Mei squeaked.
Xu Yan watched the change in fascination. The little beast was in a corner of the room, looking sceptical.
The female cultivator was singing to herself as she helped Xie Yi get into the female robes. She had chosen the long type that would cover his legs, embroidered with cute flowers and butterflies.
She braided his hair neatly over his shoulder, giving him a bit of a softer look, and pulled his fringe away with a pin.
Xie Yi let himself be treated like a doll and relaxedly watched her face come close enough to kiss. She was breathing shallowly through opened lips and was tilting his chin up a bit.
Xu Yan averted his eyes from the side, thinking the sight was a bit… weird.
“It tickles”, Xie Yi breathed out with closed eyes. He kept his voice very even to avoid moving too much. “And it's wet.”
The… pencil-like whatever-you-call-it was drawing along the lines of his eyelashes and leaving a black line, that much he knew. He only felt a bit itchy at its coldness and the moist feeling, as if it might drip into his eyes.1A/N: I hate eyeliner
He felt her apply a cream onto his face, a powder, move a lipstick or something similar over his lips - it was hard to hold back the urge to lick them - and picked up his hands to colour his fingernails.
Xie Yi was blinking constantly. His eyelashes felt heavy and he could see their darker rim at the edge of his vision. His lips also felt weird.
“Stop smacking them”, Li Mei scolded as she applied another layer of soft, nude colour onto his fingernails.
“Am I pretty?”, Xie Yi asked as he turned to the staring Xu Yan. He tugged his lips into a sweet smile.
Xu Yan made a sobbing sound. “...Thank god you are a man.”
If Xiao Yi had been born as a woman, things would have gotten terribly awkward once he grew up. Thankfully he had zero interest in men. He wasn’t sure they would have been able to be so close if a woman with such an attractive force had been placed in front of him all the time.
Xie Yi wasn’t fully matured yet and Li Mei kept that image with her choice of colours. It was a youthful, slightly mischievous and beautifully cute look.
Xie Yi twirled the skirt around. How funny.
“It’s airy”, Xie Yi commented. “I would hate this if it was a daily thing. It flutters too much.”
He waved his sleeves with several layers and twirled again.
It was pretty funny to just try it out.
“What are the heightened shoes for?”
“Gives you a prettier walk”, Li Mei explained. “Try walking forward.”
Xie Yi took a step, realized he wasn’t placing it right and took a minute to pace around the room before he got used to the feeling of his heel being heightened and the stiffness of the shoe.
“You make it look so easy”, Li Mei cursed unhappily. “How mean! Walking on heels is hard, okay?”
“I’m pretty sure I would go crazy wearing this for hours like you do”, Xie Yi admitted, lifting his leg to check out the shoes again. There was quite some block under his heels.
“Take this, too”, Li Mei said, holding out a fan for him.
Xie Yi took it from her and softly fanned his face. Xu Yan groaned at the side, holding his face in his hands.
“Sweetie”, the woman said after looking over the youth for a few seconds. “I really want you to appear before Master Li.”
“Should I?”, a very relaxed Xie Yi accepted bluntly.
“You’re not serious”, Xu Yan exclaimed as he jumped up. Contrary to his shock, Mingtian gave a wolfish laughter and ran over to Xie Yi, pushing him towards the door with his head.
Xie Yi shrugged. “I’ll be back in a while.”
Not that he knew what this should accomplish.