With Mingtian trailing a good bit behind and Xu Yan having to wait with Li Mei, Xie Yi walked through the higher grounds.
On his way, people stopped at the side and stared - they did not seem to recognize him, so he wasn’t overly sure why. He didn’t care too much.
Standing at Shi Yue’s door, he knocked and folded his hands neatly before his body to wait.
Inside, Shi Yue recognized the knock pattern and effortlessly identified the person in front of the door as Xie Yi. Expecting the youth to come back from his meeting with friends, he opened the door without a second thought.
Found a little fairy in front of his door, beautiful enough to topple a country, and closed the door again in confusion.
Shi Yue frowned, stared at the wood for a moment and opened the door again.
“Master”, Xie Yi called out with a smile. Shi Yue sometimes did that with the door. Whatever.
“Xie Yi?”, Shi Yue asked suspiciously. “What are you… Why…”
He looked over his disciple.
With the well-cut clothes, Xie Yi’s slender waist was even more obvious and with what Shi Yue recognized as heels, he stood as tall as Shi Yue.
The long eyelashes looked even longer and were curled softly, moving along with every blink.
In a trance, Shi Yue was quite speechless. (Mingtian was holding back his laughter at the side - Xie Yi was not going to snap him out of it since he would wait for his master to do something.)
He guessed quickly that it must be Li Mei’s work, but he was amazed by her skills.
He preferred thinking that it was Li Mei’s skills over acknowledging that Xie Yi simply had the looks to be turned into such a beauty.
Torn between wanting to look longer and getting a grip, Shi Yue closed the door in front of Xie Yi’s face for a second time.
“That’s rare”, he heard Xie Yi say through the wood. “Usually, you only close it once.”
“Why in the world are you wearing that outfit”, Shi Yue said while breathing in slowly as he leaned his head against the wall. If it was anyone else, he would have thought they wanted to deliberately seduce him - it would fit well into the pattern of confessing and helping him bathe - but… This was Xie Yi.
“I dunno”, Xie Yi admitted. “Li Mei wanted me to come over.”
“Have you seen yourself in a mirror?”
Shi Yue opened the door again and stepped aside. With a slightly grim face, he invited Xie Yi in, who promptly went to find a mirror to look at himself.
“I look like a woman”, Xie Yi wondered. “Or, no, not true. I guess you can still kind of tell I’m not a woman… A bit? Maybe?”
“Wash the make-up off”, Shi Yue sighed and brought over a basin. Xie Yi needed to get rid off that as soon as possible or his thoughts would take weird turns.
His disciple was very obedient in doing as he was told.
He finished wiping his face with a towel and looked back to his master. “It should be all gone? Do I look okay now?”
“Yes, that’s better”, Shi Yue lied with a stiff look.
Like hell it was. The make-up hadn’t actually done much difference. He still looked like a little fairy with his clothes cut like that and the hair softly braided.
That was the reason why so many stupid people had thought they could win against the leader of the Demonic Sect. He simply looked too innocently beautiful.
Shi Yue was fighting to keep the obnoxious voice in its corner, where it belonged. He didn’t want it in his mind but it was stubborn and persistent.
Xie Yi could somewhat tell that the way his master was looking at him was different from usual. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but he could see signs of Shi Yue unhappily struggling with something and that made him unhappy in turn.
“I’ll leave now”, Xie Yi hurried to say. He didn’t want Shi Yue to look conflicted for whatever reason. “I only came by for fun anyway. I didn’t mean to disturb your work.”
Shi Yue’s gaze softened considerably. “Don’t worry. Spend your day with your friends and come back later, okay?”
“Yes”, his disciple obediently replied before he left quietly.
Back in the room, Li Mei was pouting at seeing Xie Yi without make-up. “You washed it off? Why?”
“I don’t think Master liked seeing me with it”, the other said as he entered.
“Of course he’s going to be troubled by seeing his male disciple dressed as a girl. That was the point.” Li Mei rolled her eyes.
“Excuse me?”, came the stunned words from Xu Yan, who stared incredulously at his senior sister.
Li Mei clicked her tongue to the movement of her raised index finger waving before his face. “Everyone knows that Xiao Yi confessed to Master Li. I think this might be a good way to get him used to Xiao Yi, don’t you think? I’m sure he can seduce him.”
“I don’t want to seduce my master”, Xie Yi uncomfortably interjected. “I’ve said that, too.”
“Aren’t you… having any sort of problem with this?” Xu Yan’s face looked comical with how awkward it was.
Li Mei looked at him for several seconds. “Are you serious?”
Because none of them seemed to talk on the same wavelength, the conversation broke off weirdly.
At this perfect timing, Master Chen entered the room with a few files in her hand. “Li Mei, I need you to make…”
Everyone turned to stare at her. The voluptuous woman stopped walking and threw a confused glance around.
Li Mei walked towards her and stopped right in front of her. She used her hands to present the female cultivator. “Master.”
Xie Yi and Xu Yan nodded. Li Mei was Master Chen’s disciple.
Li Mei stepped on her tiptoes, her hands on the woman’s shoulders, and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. The Master only blinked and otherwise didn’t react to it. Li Mei once again looked at the two. “Girlfriend.”
“What”, Xu Yan dumbly said. He turned to his friend. “Did you know about this?”
“Don’t know.” Xie Yi hurriedly shook his head.
Master Chen’s eyebrows moved from scrunching to lifted to lowered. She looked at her disciple and Xie Yi in female clothing. “I really would love knowing what is going on here.”
“I’m proving my point of being supportive towards relationships between master and disciple, as well as between the same gender.” The young woman looked up at her girlfriend with upturned eyes and sweetly leaned on her.
The teacher let the thought run through her head.
She knew her disciple was close with Xie Yi and Xu Yan. She also knew that Xu Yan was very tight-lipped.
Xie Yi, well, he was into his own master.
Either way, she did not have to worry about this getting out and the annoyance that would follow and besides, she actually agreed that seeing Shi Yue get together with Xie Yi would be terribly amusing.
Mostly because Xie Yi was the polar opposite of what the Grandmaster had always said he wanted to marry one day. Also because they looked quite adorable together.
And out of pure spite for Shi Yue often teasing her for having to maintain a distance to her girlfriend in public.
...Hm. She couldn’t see any problem.
“You lot sure know how to cause trouble. Don’t mess around too much. Now let me finish my sentence; I need you to make a few potions for me until tomorrow.” She placed a list in Li Mei’s hands, gave her a kiss on the forehead and left.
The young woman giggled happily.
After an initial five seconds of surprise and confusion, Xie Yi had adapted much quicker than Xu Yan. “You two look cute together. She loves you a lot.”
Li Mei grinned shyly. Her cheeks were flushing a bit. “I could write a book about the troubles we are having, honestly. But it’s worth it for the person you like.”
“I’m not sure about my opinion on this”, Xu Yan admitted awkwardly. Hearing about same-sex relationships and seeing their actual interactions was different. It wasn’t like he had seen Xie Yi and Shi Yue do anything, he was only supporting a theoretical relationship.
“That’s normal”, the woman shrugged. “It’s because it’s something you’re not used to seeing. I guess for Xiao Yi it’s that he has no prejudice in the first place?”
“I don’t care about who is together with whom as long as it’s whole-heartedly”, Xie Yi confirmed with a blank face.
Xu Yan was so supportive of him, why did he look so surprised at Li Mei having a girlfriend?