“Oh, wait. I was told I’m naturally seductive. I’m not sure how, but I was told that much.” And being seductive means that you tempt people to do it with you or something like that.
Xu Yan made depressed sounds. “Yes. That’s why I’m so worried about you! Your tail of people following you is getting longer and longer because they think you’re doing it on purpose!”
“I really don’t want some guy coming after me, though. How do I stop it?”
“I… don’t think you’ll be able to if you never actually realized you’re doing it. It’s natural for you.”
“What exactly am I doing, though.”
Xu Yan shut his mouth.
Even if he took only one example; the mere act of Xie Yi stretching after a nap looked seductive enough. He could not list the number of things that Xie Yi subconsciously did.
“I’d say you’re a natural male temptress. Does that even have a word?”
“Why are you asking me?”
“Sorry. I’m a bit out of it. I can’t even…” God, he did not want to ask if Xie Yi never got aroused. He never saw him take… private time for himself.
Although he was curious, he neither wanted to ask nor know what he would do with the info so it was better to forget about it.
“In the end, who explained it to you?”
“My older brother.”
“You have an older brother?”
“Not by blood.”
“I have never met him before”, Xu Yan grumpily mumbled from his bed.
“The situation is a bit complicated but I’ll introduce him one day.” Mingtian could simply walk around in his human form as Wu. Shi Yue knew him like that, too, and he knew they were acquainted.
“You’d better.” Xu Yan had a tone of complaint.
He yawned and pulled his blanket around him.
Xie Yi turned to Mingtian and tugged him a bit closer, also rolling himself up.
“Well, enough for today. Let’s go to sleep.”
“Un. Good night.”
When it was time for the group to leave, Shi Yue called Xu Yan into his office.
Since they had interacted a lot before, Xu Yan was not too tense in front of the Grandmaster and knocked at his door with a relaxed expression.
“Master Li, it’s me”, Xu Yan greeted as the door creaked.
Shi Yue smiled and motioned for him to sit down. Without looking up, he ordered his papers and placed them to the side before folding his hands.
“What have you called me for?”
“Exactly for what you expected. I want you to keep an eye on Xie Yi while he’s out.”
Xu Yan hummed and nodded. He was Xie Yi’s common sense.
“Master Li, is there anything specific?”, Xu Yan asked, thinking it was weird that he was being specifically asked when the cultivator should know that he’d do it anyway.
Shi Yue nodded gravely. “There are three things that I must ask you to keep an eye on. First, if you happen to spot Yao Ming around - even if you are uncertain! - please notify Xie Yi immediately and try to avoid going in his direction. I highly doubt he will appear but I'd prefer an additional pair of eyes watching out.”
That point was not weird for Xu Yan. Everyone in the sect knew that both of them were not friendly but maybe only Xu Yan had a clearer picture of how exactly it had gotten - he knew the truth behind both attacks on Xie Yi.
“The second shouldn’t surprise you, either. Since Xie Yi will have to be close with a group he is not used to and you will be visiting a foreign sect, I’d like for you to watch out that he doesn’t cause a mess.”
Shi Yue sighed. “The last thing is what worries me the most. You might already know that Xie Yi has numerous cracks on his core that have gotten continuously worse with the events over the year. He does not show any signs of suffering because of it but we do not know what to make of the whole situation.”
“Since usually, people with cracked cores are not supposed to be able to cultivate far”, Xu Yan added thoughtfully. That was also the reason why Yao Ming had rejected Xie Yi joining the sect; with a cracked core, cultivation was supposed to be very limited or lethal and not even faster like with Xie Yi.
“We are worried about his state. Please keep an eye on him, especially now that he has a new sword spirit. In case he acts weird, do seek help in the sect.”
“Of course I will. He’s my precious friend.”
“Thank you. ...Hmm, on a side note, I’ve gotten the information that a good friend of mine is currently travelling around. There’s a chance that he will meet Xie Yi and if he notices he’s my disciple, he’ll certainly stick around.”
“May I ask what his name is? So that I’ll recognize him?”
“His name is Huo Cheng. He is a prince - it won’t be hard to notice him. If he does tag along, please try to ensure that Xie Yi won’t be constantly sparring with him.”
Xu Yan promised solemnly. It felt like a large burden, but on the other hand, it wasn’t like this was his job. It was only Master Li asking him for a favour. And he doubted the Grandmaster would let Xie Yi go out if he truly expected something to happen.
Feeling relieved that it had been nothing bad, Xu Yan left to find Xie Yi and also relay him the info that he had been told - there was no use hiding it from him.
A quarter-hour later, Shi Yue heard a scuffle outside. Confused, he placed his papers away again when the door was thrown open.
Attendants and guards were flurrying around, half dragged into the room.
Shi Yue stared at the tall, muscular man with surprise.
“Hi, Master”, Xie Yi called out from under his arm, relaxedly hanging there and only tilting his head up to look at the cultivator.
Shi Yue’s eyes went from Wu - who had stormed into his office for… some reason - to his disciple and the tense guards.
He waved his hand. “I know him. Don’t worry, you can leave.”
Everyone looked relieved. Trying to stop the weird man had been like trying to stop a wild bull and frankly speaking, it was impossible without wanting to hurt someone who was obviously a friend of their Grandmaster’s disciple, even if they had never seen him before.
Wu stalked inside and changed his hold on Xie Yi so that he hung in his arms like a doll, pressing him tightly. Xie Yi looked peacefully unconcerned.
“Long time no see. I’ll be accompanying the kid on his trip and need your official permission or I’ll get stuck at the gate of the sect they’re visiting.”
Silence fell. Shi Yue looked numbly at Wu before turning to his disciple.
“What exactly is he doing here and why?”
“Uh, I told him I’m going on a trip. He suddenly insisted coming along. I don’t know why. He picked me up and came here directly.”
Wu Mingtian was glaring. ...Because, because, because! He knew about that Huo Cheng guy! He had informed himself! He was not going to let Xie Yi meet that beauty-lover ever again! He could not interfere well as an animal!
“Wu, I do not appreciate you storming into the Virtuous Sect unallowed”, Shi Yue growled, standing up. The mood turned heavy and the pressure was sinking down on all of them.
Then man snarled in a bestial way. “Are you trying to challenge me?”
Xie Yi frowned. He could not move a lot when being held so tightly so his struggle was futile. Sighing, he opened his jaw and bit the arm that was right in front of his face.
Wu did not make a sound or move other than flinching and looking down. Shi Yue, on the other hand, sucked in a breath at the immediate smell of iron.
“Don’t be mean to my master. Even if you’re angry, you’re not allowed to fight him”, Xie Yi ordered, his eyes flickering with complicated emotions.
Wu’s face fell into a guilty expression.
“Sorry”, he mumbled, rubbing his head on top of Xie Yi’s. “Everything’s fine. We won’t fight.”
Xie Yi’s red eyes moved to Shi Yue. The Grandmaster hesitated, then pulled his aura back.
He was offended by Wu breaking in but that was indeed no reason to risk a fight. He was simply wary of the man taking everything for granted.
“Let’s talk calmly. You are worried about Xie Yi?”
“How could I not be.”
“There is no senior cultivator accompanying them on purpose. They are not supposed to lean on anyone with more experience than themselves.”
“I only want to keep some pests away and make sure he won’t get abducted by someone in another sect. I don’t plan on helping out otherwise or interfering with their fights.”
Shi Yue could absolutely believe that Wu was capable of destroying the notion in anyone’s head if he followed Xie Yi like a guard.
“If I let a Grandmaster’s partner accompany my disciple to visiting another sect, they’ll think I’m inciting a war.”
Wu’s face turned unhappy. He had probably not thought about that.