Eventually, everyone left Oliver to rest, lest they hinder his recuperation in any way. Wang Shu would’ve sighed in relief had it not been for the handsome teenager sitting at his bedside, looking at him so intensely one would think he never saw a fellow human before.
Being stared at in this manner, anyone would feel uncomfortable, let alone Wang Shu who was still traumatized by their last interaction. But more than discomfort, he felt his anger bubble up at how brazen this person is. Was it not him who tried to kill him before? Why is he sitting all unperturbed like he has nothing to be ashamed of? Wang Shu used all of his self-control to stop himself from tearing at his smug-looking face. From chanting the heart sutra to breathing exercises, he barely managed to contain his hostility to deal with this fiend civilly.
“What, you came to try and kill me again?” he asked with cold eyes, icy enough to freeze hellfire.
Gustave has never felt so excited looking at a pair of eyes before. He has seen all kinds of hostile, evil, hateful gazes before, but this… Oliver’s emotions felt so raw, so innocently undisguised, so…beautiful. What was even more captivating was that his innocence doesn’t seem to emanate from a child’s ignorance as one would expect, but looked to be more like that of a celestial being not at all familiar with worldly sentiments. Gustave could even see how annoyed the kid felt at how easily affected he was by the happenings around him. It’s funny but intriguingly charming at the same time. He wants to see more.
“If you’re just going to keep staring, I might just have to pluck your eyes out!” Gustave was surprised but then almost laughed out loud at Oliver’s reaction to his own outburst. The kid looked as surprised as he was then furrowed his brows in frustration as if berating himself for losing his composure so soon.
Wang Shu, seeing the amusement dancing in the other’s emeralds, wished to pluck his own tongue out instead. When did he become so easily riled up? Back in the Azure cloud continent, he didn’t even have to raise his voice for people to do his bidding. Looking back, Wang Shu never actually had a reason to feel even the slightest bit aggrieved. His master protected him well, the elders were afraid of his master while the disciples were afraid of him. Apparently, his life has been too smooth-sailing and he wasn’t even aware of it.
“I mean no harm, in fact, I came to apologize for what I’ve done. It was…unintentional,” Wang Shu looked at Gustave and perceived his seriousness in the solemn expression his handsome features displayed.
“You wanted to kill me,” Wang Shu stated.
“I did,” Gustave affirmed.
Wang Shu looked wide-eyed at the other. He never thought Gustave would admit to it. Why is he being so honest about it?
“You said it was unintentional!”
“It was,” Wang Shu looked inquisitive as if to say ‘would you elaborate?’
Gustave smiled and obliged,” I’m not stupid enough to kill you so openly and were it not for your self-detonation, everyone would’ve discovered my offense. My powers got out of control.”
“Why are you apologizing then? Is it because you wish I don’t out you to father? If so, you don’t need to worry, he wouldn’t believe me over you, he seems rather fond of you.”
“My hostility was baseless, I took my hate on the innocent you who did nothing wrong and I’m acknowledging my mistake. I don’t want to kill you anymore,” Wang Shu could tell a lot was missing from the other’s admission of guilt that Gustave wasn’t willing to divulge. He won’t fixate on that for now.
“Even if you wanted to, you have no power to. Next time, I’ll make sure to end you for sure,” his cold penetrative eyes were back again and Gustave tried so hard to contain the tremor he felt shaking his soul at the sight.
“There won’t be a next time,” the teenager firmly declared “I promise.”
Before Wang Shu could answer, there was a knock on the door. He almost immediately smiled while calling his butler in.
Butler Walter came in accompanied by the usual maids bringing in a feast, from the looks of it. Seeing Oliver’s soft smile, the butler smiled even more broadly,” Young master, let me help you to the table. I asked them to make all of your favorite dishes.” He sounded genuinely happy.
Before the man neared the bed, Gustave got to his feet and unceremoniously picked him up. Wang Shu almost squeaked, he glared at other and gritted out,” What are you doing?”
Gustave who has already reached the table, gently seated him and smiled as if indulging a youngster. “Atoning,” he whispered. Then very naturally, he pulled out the adjoining seat and invited himself to a meal.
Wang Shu eyed the shameless youth and rolled his eyes. What atonement, he’s obviously stealing his food!
Feeling even hungrier after smelling the delicious aromas of the fine dishes his butler brought, he sent the man a grateful smile and dug in, ignoring the uninvited ‘guest’.
The butler who stood dumbfounded by the strange turn of events didn’t know how to proceed. Eventually, he remained silent looking at the eating pair, and felt they looked surprisingly harmonious.
After the meal ended, Gustave left for his afternoon sparring lessons feeling in a particularly good mood. Remembering his cousin’s chipmunk-like bulging cheeks as he stuffed himself with food, he chuckled lowly making some of the younger maids passing by blush. Oliver was such a cute and lovable child. He should protect him well so history doesn’t repeat itself. There’s no need to spill blood when the tragedy could be avoided.
“Fate isn’t to be toyed with, intruder“ Gustave halted at the husky voice that sounded right by his ear, grating at his nerves. His good mood vanished without a trace.
“What do you know?” he asked chillingly.
“keep out of my business,” he warned,” I don’t care for your intentions. Stand in my way and you’ll regret it,” his eyes flashed with a golden light, pressuring the girl to lower her head in submission. Seeing her meek reaction, he turned on his heel and walked away, leaving the unwilling Priestess looking at his back in resentment.