The pair of reddish eyes blinked twice before the darkness in them dissolved. He smiled, then tilted his head up a bit to ask for another one.
The movement was minuscule, but Shi Yue, who was perfectly focused on every single reaction, noticed.
He struggled to control himself and kept it at gentle kisses, their lips brushing against each other. He would have liked going for a deeper one but he wasn’t sure how much Xie Yi knew and was a bit worried the other would bite his tongue.
And he wasn’t going to endure the embarrassment of finding a medical practitioner and explaining why he lost a piece of his tongue.
Shi Yue thought that it was a huge shame he could not stay longer inside the room. He had only planned to check up on Xie Yi out of worry, but other than that, there was still a sect leader waiting for him to discuss more things.
Xie Yi lightly licked his lips, following him out. He personally agreed that it was a shame, but this also wasn’t the right time or place to indulge in such acts.
When Shi Yue left to talk to the sect leader, Xie Yi only waved after him before turning towards a different exit.
Walking outside, he gave a short shudder on the feeling of numerous eyes on him. It wasn’t too surprising given his status, but that didn’t mean he didn’t notice the malice some eyes held.
Xie Yi clicked his tongue and left the sect grounds. Mingtian did not react - he likely wasn’t around, which was also fine.
The young man stumbled over a rock at the thought.
…He should probably rid himself of the habit to walk outside alone as bait. Shi Yue would scold him. It was a dangerous and arrogant habit, so it wasn’t good to have.
He mumbled a quick promise to let this be the last time under his breath.
No matter what anyone said, Xie Yi was far too young to let the older cultivators take him seriously. The ones in the Virtuous Sect did because they knew him since he was young and had seen his progress, but in general, strong cultivators did not see him as a large threat without Shi Yue around.
He had heard some of them commenting on his “fake” spiritual sword in amusement, talking as if he were a little child.
Admittedly, he was barely an adult in this life. He could understand why they thought of him like that.
Most people would be wary of his status. Just like Yao Ming, there was a good chance that he had stupidly strong items he could use - they might not take him seriously on a personal level, but they were watching out for Shi Yue’s protective shadow over him.
That was why Xie Yi judged there weren’t too many options of who was after him.
Number one, a pretentious idiot. Someone who gravely misjudged their own strength and forgot to consider the possible hidden weapons Xie Yi had.
Number two, someone confident enough to kill him before he noticed. An assassin with enough strength and skill to kill him quickly, so that even if he had an ace in his sleeve, he wouldn’t be able to use it.
Number three… Someone who had enough power themselves to counter anything that a Grandmaster would give him to throw out.
Xie Yi was confused.
Grandmasters did not move around randomly. Shi Yue did, but Shi Yue moved not as a Grandmaster, but as a future sect leader. Most Grandmasters enjoyed their life or cultivated in peace unless there was a large event to call them out.
Technically, Grandmasters could move undercover but… They wouldn’t. Why would they? They were existences who were welcomed carefully.
That was why Xie Yi wasn’t sure what to think. Number three felt the most unlikely, but the first case would have long jumped out at him like an idiot, the second case would have missed a few excellent chances already and the third one was all that was left.
Well, he knew a Grandmaster who disliked him. Enough to kill him? Maybe, if it was convenient.
But enough to tell someone to notify him about Xie Yi’s whereabouts and then come over…? Or had he sent personal assassins? But then again, those would be pretty bad assassins, considering how many chances they were wasting.
Xie Yi tried and failed to come up with an acceptable answer.
There was always the chance that he simply did not have the necessary information to judge why a Grandmaster would come after him. He couldn’t read thoughts after all, so there was a high chance he was unable to come up with the actual reason why someone was trying to kill him.
Still, if the other party was truly who he thought it was, he greatly regretted not wearing the clothes that his sect leader had given him.
The snug, defensive clothes would be much better suited than the simple robe he was wearing right now.
Well, this was the difference between his past life and his current one. He couldn’t walk around with whatever clothes he liked without worrying about how suitable it was for fighting.
Anyway, since the other party wasn’t planning on jumping out all of a sudden, he would prefer choosing the place of their fight by himself. Xie Yi walked forward, trying to navigate to a quiet area that would be far enough away to avoid anyone from the sect noticing their fight.
It took a long time. He wasn’t disturbed at all - maybe his follower judged that Xie Yi was moving to his advantage - and freely choose the perfect place.
The ravine was overgrown with the abnormally high growing trees, creating a natural ceiling above him.
Xie Yi blew a strand of hair out of his face.
Fights between Grandmasters were disastrous, he had experience with that. He did not want to have a serious fight with the other person if possible and he hoped that his enemy would misjudge him enough to not seriously attack, either.
He needed the other dead as quickly as possible.
Xie Yi squatted down, gathering up some of the herbs growing around his feet. Now that he was here anyway, he might as well pick him, and his opponent reacted the way he expected.
He came out.
Xie Yi was holding back his laughter.
It was a bad, bad habit. It was a habit he rarely saw in righteous cultivators and much more often in younger cultivators or those with an evil heart - especially those of the Demonic Sect.
He understood, of course, although he had never cared for it.
He knew there was a type of thrill in dominating others. A type of pleasure felt from having others crawl at your feet, well aware they were about to die.
This type of habit was a privilege of the truly strong. Only those that were far above everyone else could leisurely take the time to instil fear in their prey without having to worry about the possible disadvantages that might arrive. An intelligent or collected person would not take the risk.
Xie Yi had never been the type to waste time on this. He preferred his enemies dead; a state where he was sure they could not cause him problems anymore. He disliked taking stupid risks and he found no joy in declaring his superiority openly anyway.
He sometimes tortured from hiding. Or came out before the final blow, sure. But he wasn’t going to pull the kind of stunt that some others liked.
The young man wasn’t surprised to find Grandmaster Zhu appear out of the forest. He had somewhat expected it.
The old man sneered. He was exactly the type Xie Yi judged him to be and with his inferiority complex towards the Demonic Sect and Shi Yue growing, he disliked the arrogant little junior all the more.
The reasons why he decided to go after Xie Yi were too numerous to clearly declare one of them as the main point. All he knew was that he wanted Xie Yi gone and now was as good as any other moment.
Xie Yi slowly stood up looking at the old man’s eyes.
He was indeed old. Old enough to have reached the end of his lifespan, slowly but surely.
Xie Yi grit his teeth at the realization.
If he had to name one of the hardest lessons he had learned… Then it was that people who were standing at the end of the line, faced with the looming certainty of their body slowly failing, could sometimes go to lengths that no one would expect.
The old bastards at the Demonic Sect had created a whole cult around themselves to survive.
And this man… might have gone a tad bit mad.
The dark eyes were a bit murky from his age and now additionally swirling with irrationality.
Xie Yi kept himself tense. It wasn’t nice fighting someone who was losing their mind as they were unpredictable, but there was nothing more dangerous than someone who kept themselves perfectly under control. The old bastards from the sect were the type to go to abnormal lengths while keeping their wits around, and that made them dangerous, but the one before him wasn't like that.
The moment the Grandmaster had lost control, he had stopped being a serious opponent.