Ch.168: Everyone wants a piece
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Xie Yi’s eyes flickered over to Shi Yue and his tense face switched to a smiling one. The compliment was worth the trouble it had been to get this stupid robe.

Madame Bai watched the exchange before she sighed wistfully and crossed her arms. “Him, then. I can see why you decided on him. So you’re today’s star, hmm?”

“What? No.” Xie Yi frowned. “These people are here for the conference.”

“The leaders are here for the conference. The rest is here for the Grandmaster’s succeeding disciple. The good-looking and talented succeeding disciple.”

“What?” Shi Yue flinched to attention, taking a step forward. “What do you mean by that?”

“He’s… sixteen?” Madame Bai looked over to Xie Yi, who nodded. “High-level cultivator. Nice looks. Your disciple. This, as a package? Do you even know how many families are out there with their children? And I have to say, I’ve never seen so many fathers and mothers fully intending on even marrying their sons off if it works. As long as it suits his tastes.”

“I don’t get it. What’s going on?” Troubled, Xie Yi interrupted the conversation.

“People who want to have you married into their families, of course. Your father had to be brought into a separate room or they would have run him down. As long as either he or your master agrees, you’ll be married off!”

The youth only stared.

The concept was so ridiculous that his brain wasn’t following it. Who in their right mind would want their child to marry him? Hadn’t they heard the rumours of how weird he was?

Shi Yue’s eye twitched.

He… didn’t want that.

Whatever the reason, he wouldn’t allow Xie Yi to marry at such a young age. In this day and age, a cultivator would marry according to their prospects and right now, all that would happen was that he’d be “sold under value”. Moreover, it wouldn’t do anyone any good as long as Xie Yi liked him.

He also didn’t trust Xie Yi with a fiance. He wasn’t tolerant enough to deal with a person he didn’t know, so it was absolutely impossible to marry him off without his agreement.

Otherwise, they’d find the bride - or groom? - dead on the morning of the marriage.

Who would dare to decide the marriage for the former leader of the Demonic Sect?

“Don’t worry about that, Xie Yi”, Shi Yue decided. “Neither Feng Yan nor I would agree to that. You’ll have to tolerate people trying, though.”

Xie Yi deflated. “Alright. That sure does explain why so many people were staring at me, though.”

“They’d stare no matter what, pretty boy.” Madame Bai stepped closer and brought her hands against Xie Yi’s waist, causing the youth to flinch in annoyance. Her hands tugged part of the belt’s cloth away. “Look at how much space there is! How do you have such a slender waist? I’m sure it must be nice to hold you. Too bad I’m a woman… Although there are ways around that?”

Shi Yue had to cough from choking on his own saliva. This conversation was going ways he had never expected to hold a conversation.

He did have to admit, Xie Yi was very slender. It had been very visible when he had worn female clothing, since Li Mei must have pulled the belt tight…

The Grandmaster waved the thought away. “He’s not your prey. Let go of him.”

With Xie Yi’s continuously darkening face, Madame Bai decided to indeed pull her hands off him with a dejected face. “Pushing you down must be fun. Pretty face, nice body, beautiful voice. Ahhh, what a shame. If I was you, Master Li, I wouldn’t let the chance pass by.” 

The look in her eyes changed and Xie Yi felt every single hair on his body rise. It wasn’t killing intent, it was more of a very… very… hungry gaze… Paired with… Oh, he didn’t know, but somehow, he felt he was in danger.

Unsettled, Xie Yi stepped back and fled behind his master. 

Creepy! He knew men who had that kind of gaze on him before, but never women!

He had a vague understanding that she was talking about something sexual. His face and body were a visual aspect, his voice… Who knows what she wanted with that, but either way, she was interested in his body. In a weird way.

Ignoring the fact that this feeling wasn’t mutual, he still didn’t quite like the thought of sex, so the thought that someone looked at him like that was odd.

Shi Yue watched his disciple hide behind him with a complicated gaze. This kind of almost subconscious behaviour was quite adorable to watch.

It neither suited a sixteen-year-old young man, nor a violent sect leader, but it weirdly suited Xie Yi, who was always very honest with his behaviour.

He didn’t like the way Madame Bai was looking at him, and Shi Yue was both a visual barricade and a person in the correct position to be able to keep Madame Bai at bay. With that, he had decided that standing behind Shi Yue was the best place.

“Don’t flirt with my disciple”, Shi Yue chided anyway.

Madame Bai shrugged. “Since it’s you who’s asking… I’ll be out and waiting for later.”

Shi Yue rubbed his forehead.

Although today was a conference meeting for the new information he had gotten from Zhi Ci, it was also the day where he would officially take Xie Yi as his succeeding disciple. Because they had decided that they wouldn’t make a huge deal out of it, it wasn’t public.

Still, a huge number of people who had nothing to do with the situation had also come, with the intention of congratulating afterwards and forging relationships.

Madame Bai was one of those. She had nothing to do with the conference.

“It’s like waiting for the groom to enter the bridal chamber”, she whispered into his ear during a pause while passing him.

Shi Yue felt himself flush a bit and was ready to flare up, but the woman was already out of the room.

“For what? Waiting for what? I didn’t hear it”, Xie Yi complained from behind him.

“It’s nothing. It was nonsense”, Shi Yue growled in embarrassment.

He had never understood that stupid custom.

The bride would wait in the bridal chamber and the groom would drink out with the guests. Everyone would still be there while the groom would leave for the night and close family would actually wait for him to leave the next morning. 

Didn’t those couples feel like they were being watched?

Great, now Madame Bai had made the whole situation awkward. After all, he was going to retreat with Xie Yi for the ceremony and then return to deal with the visitors, so he could see how she had drawn the parallels.

An attendant peeked nervously into the room and Shi Yue lightly pushed Xie Yi forward. “Time for me to leave. Don’t cause a mess outside and don’t attack anyone. Actually, don’t wander around without Xu Yan and listen to him.”

“Yes, Master.”

Xie Yi didn’t resist the order and went to search for Xu Yan, who was waiting with Li Mei like a pair of guards right at the yard.

When they saw him, both took up station on one of his sides.

“Uhm?”

“Try not to talk too much. We will try to keep people away from you”, Li Mei laughed.

That… was slightly relieving.

“Where’s Feng Yan?”, Xie Yi asked, looking around and not finding him. As for Mingtian, he had probably fled the busy scene.

“We will bring you to him. It’s… inconvenient for him to go out…”

In the following four hours, Xie Yi got to know what it truly meant to be under the scrutiny of the public. Nearly every person that was still outside and not part of the Virtuous Sect seemed to be there for him.

“Right now I want to focus on cultivating”, Xie Yi monotonously repeated the sentence that Xu Yan had told him to say for the n-th time. “So, thank you, but I must reject your offer.”

The man in front of him opened his mouth with a frown, but Li Mei interjected quickly and with a sweet smile. “Junior Brother is very focused, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to be a Grandmaster’s disciple. It’s amazing, isn’t it?”

That shut the man up, thankfully.

Xie Yi shuddered when he turned away. “I never thought I would have to go through the same conversation pattern again and again in such a short time.”

“I’d like to say adults are scary, but I’m no child anymore, either. Sheesh, aren’t they finished soon? We are lucky that there hasn’t been anyone causing problems.” Li Mei twirled a strand of her hair around her finger and glanced around.

Xu Yan joined her. “I somewhat expected Yao Ming to appear.”

That made her pause. She bit her lip and looked at her two juniors. “Yao Ming, huh… Insider information, you know how, but I heard that he has vanished without a trace. His family doesn’t know anything… or at least they say they don’t, and the teachers didn’t give him permission to leave for such a long time. We don’t know where he is.”

Xie Yi’s eyes narrowed at those words. Before he could inquire more, the next group was already approaching him.

He only had time to shortly visit Feng Yan once, and found the burly man very happy with his small, quiet room where no one bothered him. He was planning on coming out later.

Setting this poll just for a future consideration C: Although finishing GWD will take... a while, and I've got a lot of prompts lying around, I do want to see the general interest in certain genres. I've got a number of prompts on my short-story collection for voting, but those are all sweeter ones. When I say dark, btw, I mean like this story but without the happy family, without the sweet love and fluff and the redemption. I mean - really, really bleak, and the only reason why it's a happy ending would be because it's the main characters' ending, not commenting on literally anyone else

Would you read a darker BL story with not much fluff (but a happy ending)?
  • I love dark stories! Votes: 44 21.1%
  • Yes (It's okay) Votes: 24 11.5%
  • Depends on the story, but possibly Votes: 80 38.3%
  • No, can't do without lots of fluff (but dark is okay) Votes: 37 17.7%
  • No, can't deal with dark stories (but less fluff than GWD is okay) Votes: 9 4.3%
  • No, I like my fluffy feel-good stories Votes: 15 7.2%
Total voters: 209
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