The next morning, right after he finished breakfast Bai Xing looked for Jean.
"Can you tell me where I can buy or rent a horse?" Bai Xing asked.
"A horse?" Jean raised his eyebrows, "You're leaving?"
"No, I…just want to stroll around the woods."
"Oh, then you can use ours. Just remember to return before dark. There're many wild wolves in there."
Jean brought Bai Xing to the stable. There were 3 horses inside and Jean lend Bai Xing one.
"Thank you, Jean."
Bai Xing hopped on. He wore his hood and went away.
He entered the woods calmly. With the amount of time he spent in the forest when he was in Snow White's world, he was less afraid of the wilderness now.
He followed the directory and went deeper. Gradually, the sound of birds and small animals around him lessened and lessened until his surroundings became completely silent.
"Human, I don't have a good feeling about this part of the forest." The horse said.
They have chatted along the way so it knew that Bai Xing could talk to animals.
"It's alright. I know where we're going." Bai Xing patted its mane in comfort.
The trees around them shifted from time to time. If someone accidentally wandered there, they would definitely lose their tracks and couldn't even be able to tell from which way they came.
Fortunately, Bai Xing reached the castle safely by strictly following the directory's navigation.
If Hui wasn't in town, the only place left would be in the beast's castle. Hopefully, he could still recognize him if he got turned into a household object.
He jumped down.
"If I don't come back when the sun is about to set, you should return to your owner first. But don't bring him here."
The horse neighed in understanding.
Bai Xing entered the front gate which wasn't locked at all. He slowly walked forward as he looked around. The front yard was neat and the path towards the castle door was clean. The household servants must've taken good care of it until now.
He carefully opened the door. It generated a loud creaking sound, echoing along the entrance hall. The inside was also as clean and tidy as the outside. Only eerily empty.
At the end of the stairwell in front of him, just before it splits, was a destroyed painting, torn by claws. From the depth and number of its assault, Bai Xing could clearly feel the rage, resentment, and despair of the preparator.
Undoubtedly, it must've been the beast's doing.
In all honesty, he was quite curious as to what the beast looked like. Would it follow the one he knew, a hairy beast with fangs but with eyes of that of a human? Or would it truly be an abomination of a beast?
Well, recalling the zombie power source, demon genie, and electric Medusa, he would probably only felt moderately scared by however it looked. After all, it wasn't a man-eating beast or anything harmful.
Speaking of man-eating, he couldn't help but remember his first impression of Gr– Hui in Snow White's world.
He slapped his cheeks out of his daze. He should stop daydreaming and start searching.
Bai Xing knew the west wing was off-limit, so he went the other way. He opened the doors that could be opened and left those that were locked. He could hear the echo of every step he took from the emptiness and total silence inside.
He couldn't help but scrutinized every object he saw and passed. Though knowing those were actually people, he felt it would be rude to touch them, so he just used his eyes.
He opened another door and was instantly stunned by what he saw inside.
Facing the door were 4, floor to ceiling, stained glass windows.
The first one on the far left depicted the night woods. There was a clear path at the center of it with the full moon hanging high up. Displayed in front of the window was a mysterious black cloak.
The second one depicted a small cabin in a forest clearing. The sunlight shone upon it, bringing the warmth of the day. Displayed in front of the window was a mesmerizing green cloak.
The third one depicted a hall of gold. Silks hung from above and gems filled the pillars. Displayed in front of the window was a flaming red cloak.
The fourth one depicted the shore of a beach beyond the sea. A palace stood in the background under the vivid sky. Displayed in front of the window was an elegant blue cloak.
Bai Xing stood there, motionlessly. His hand gripped his chest tightly, fearing his swelling heart would burst. Waves of emotions overwhelmed him that he couldn't even tell what exactly was this feeling.
Those cloaks…were exactly the same as what he wore in each world. The stained glass windows also matched them in order.
He looked at the far end right where there was another window. Unlike the rest, it was a normal window, showing the scenery outside, that it looked very out of place.
Bai Xing approached it. He stood in front of the display hanger and subconsciously touched it with his other hand gripped his yellow cloak.
Could this be for…
He heard the door creak and turned around. At that moment, time seemed to stop.
Standing at the door was a 7 feet tall creature. Its huge body was covered with long gray fur of different shades. It has a snout face belonging to that of a wolf with sharp fangs and black horns on top. Its 2 pairs of eyes were the color of blood with slit pupils. It has a thick pair of arms with murderous black claws sprouting on each finger.
But Bai Xing didn't mind all that. All that he could focus on was the thumping of his heart and the familiar affection he felt once their eyes met.
"Grey?" Bai Xing called out in hope.
The beast stiffened in place. It gave a low growl before abruptly dashing out of the room on all fours.
"Grey…?" Bai Xing hurriedly ran to the door and caught sight of the beast. He promptly chased it, "Grey, wait!"
The beast didn't stop. It ran and jumped nimbly, trying to shake off Bai Xing's pursuit.
"Leave!!" it roared.
Bai Xing climbed up the stairs, but needed to stop to take his breath, "Why…? I…I came here to find you."
The beast stopped a distance away from Bai Xing, "You got the wrong person."
"I don't!" Bai Xing unhesitatingly refuted, "Those cloaks are the proof. My feelings also can't lie."
Bai Xing's hand on the railing tightened and he lowered his head, "If…If you want me to leave, if that's really what your heart wants, I'll leave. From your castle, from this world altogether. We will never meet again."
The beast's body tightened. Its claws dug to the floor.
"But I want you to say it straight to my eyes," Bai Xing lifted his face with his eyes on the verge of tears, "Do you really want me to leave, Hui?"
Hui's eyes widened. He hesitated, but eventually straightened his body. He carefully approached Bai Xing and knelt down. He wanted to wipe the tears streaming down Bai Xing's cheeks like what he often did in his dreams, but he suppressed himself.
This was reality. His claws could hurt him.
"No…I'm sorry. Please don't cry."
Bai Xing wiped them off with his sleeves, but they couldn't stop.
When Hui told him to leave, his heart almost couldn't take it if it wasn't for his belief in Hui's love for him. What if Hui really meant it? What if Hui really didn't want to be with him anymore? Even if he could enter this world again after its restoration, what meaning would there be if Hui didn't want to be with him?
"Please…don't tell me to leave again."
"…I'm sorry," Hui clenched his fist, "I won't do it again."
Bai Xing finally calmed himself down. He then studied Hui's current appearance. It was completely different than the cartoon or the adaptation one. It could be said he looked like a werewolf, the demonic kind. He was kneeling but that only made their height equal.
This was the first time Hui actually became one of the protagonists in the story. In the first 2 worlds, he became a minor existing character while in the last two worlds he became a non-existent character.
Bai Xing didn't expect Hui would become the protagonist in the last world. Then, the story has basically ended. Unless Hui fell in love with Beauty later…
No way he would let that happen.
"Hui…you didn't lose your memory this time?"
Hui was silent for a while before he answered, "Every night I dreamt of you. I'm not sure…if those are my past memories or not. I thought you only exist in my dreams," he looked up, "But here you are."