Xie Qian Lan was born south of the Gate of Death where the environment was harsh and much more brutal than the Spirit World north of it. And, there was a great lake where he stayed most of the time. In there slept countless brutal and bloodthirsty beasts that were mostly in the form of fish as they lived underwater.
Xie Qian Lan suffered quite a lot at their hands, and even more depressingly, you couldn't find anything normal south of the Gate of Death, so there wasn't any ordinary food at all. Before he could do away with food, the only things he could eat were fish, and it was those super large spiritual beast fishes whose flesh was like steel.
As time went on, an extreme hatred of beings such as fish grew inside of Xie Qian Lan, so much so that he wasn't even the least bit interested in knowing that the fish north of the Gate of Death was actually a very delicious and tasty food.
But now, Chu Mu Yun had prepared a feast of fish.
Xie Qian Lan had a terrible look on his face. Chu Mu Yun asked, confused, "Qian Lan?"
He looked at him with a face filled with warmth, and even unconcealed anticipation in his eyes. He was anticipating him to be happy, as if his heart could be filled with joy and satisfaction when it happened.
Xie Qian Lan's thoughts were disrupted slightly but he restrained his emotions. Chu Mu Yun does not know that he hates fish, so...
But soon, he began to think...Why would Chu Mu Yun think that he liked fish?
Xie Qian Lan's heart sank, but he hid his thoughts and came over with a cheerful face.
Chu Mu Yun gave him a light peck on the lips.
Xie Qian Lan circled his arms around his waist and deepened their kiss.
Seeing that they were about to go too far, Chu Mu Yun pushed him away while panting. "Eat first."
Xie Qian Lan thought he could make him forget about the fish with the kiss...
But Chu Mu Yun stepped in before he could get far. "I spent all morning cooking and I don't even know if it turned out well. Give it a taste?"
Hearing him say he spent all morning on it made Xie Qian Lan feel a little bad, but...fish...
While he was still in a daze, Chu Mu Yun had already pulled him to his seat.
Xie Qian Lan looked at the table full of food and...felt a little unwell.
Chu Mu Yun noticed the change in his expression and couldn't help but ask, "What's wrong?"
Xie Qian Lan turned around and was greeted by the sight of his worry and concern. His handsome dark eyes were filled with deep affection as full as the ocean. This is what he tried so hard to obtain but couldn't, and now that it was being paid out in front of him, how could he not feel anything?
Gritting his teeth, Xie Qian Lan picked up the chopsticks.
Chu Mu Yun put on a smile as he said, "Try it and see if it's cooked well."
He picked up a piece of fresh fish and brought it to Xie Qian Lan's mouth. Putting on a smile, Xie Qian Lan ate it. The taste was much better than he expected. Plus, being watched by Chu Mu Yun so seriously, it would taste like a delicacy even if they were just poor bits of wild vegetables.
Chu Mu Yun looked anticipant at him.
Xie Qian Lan gave him a heartfelt smile. "It's tasty."
But soon, his smile was frozen on his face, because Chu Mu Yun continued with, "It's a pity that there's no rainfall fish here. That one's your favorite. If we have the opportunity to return to the human realm, I'll catch them for you again."
Naturally, Xie Qian Lan knew that that was the local specialty there after staying at the Heaven's Rain Palace for so long.
Rainfall fish, a fierce carnivorous fish that wasn't easy to catch, but its flesh was fresh and tender. It was...
Shen Shui Yan's favorite.
In an instant, it felt as if a bunch of needles had been stabbed into his chest. The sudden gripping pain caused Xie Qian Lan's brows to furrow slightly.
But Chu Mu Yun did not notice the change in his demeanor this time. He was smiling and happy, and the way he laid out the dishes for Xie Qian Lan was very skilled and attentive, clearly very used to taking care of people. He also seemed to be enjoying it.
They had not known each other for that short of a time, but other than the intimacy they shared in bed, they hardly even spoke when they got out of bed.
After all, that was the way he used to obtain him. He even thought that the more Chu Mu Yun hated him, the more he would want to make him submit. It won't be much fun if it's too easy after all.
But now...After being "loved" by Chu Mu Yun for this period of time, Xie Qian Lan found that hard to even accept.
Chu Mu Yun smiled. "But it's fine. I'm sure there are better things in the Spirit Realm. I'll go and look around in a couple of days. I'm sure I'll find something that will satisfy your tastebuds."
His words were filled with pampering, because he had spoiled Shen Shui Yan all through his life, keeping him deep in his heart and holding him in the palm of his hands. After they became lovers, that just gave him more reason to spoil him.
Xie Qian Lan listened to his words that were filled with love and affection but it felt like a pot of medicine was being brewed inside of his heart. the tumbling bitterness rapidly surged up to the tip of his tongue.
Chu Mu Yun turned to look at him. "Why'd you stop?"
Xie Qian Lan could endure eating the fish that he didn't like, but there was no way he could accept the fish Chu Mu Yun cooked for Shen Shui Yan.
He held the back of Chu Mu Yun's neck and kissed him. "I'd like to have you first."
Chu Mu Yun was stunned, but he didn't push him. With a look of indulgence in his eyes, he allowed him to take him in the large, empty room.
Xie Qian Lan enjoyed his submissiveness and cooperation and was completely addicted to the entwining pleasure they shared. But once he reached his peak, he quickly remembered that Chu Mu Yun's mind was filled with Shen Shui Yan.
Xie Qian Lan did him furiously. Even though he was in complete possession of this man now. He had his body, his love, and admiration. He was the only person reflected in his eyes.
But...he experienced it again. The same feeling he felt when he was pushed into the rift...Something he could only hope for, something he couldn't get.
At the end of their tussling, Chu Mu Yun passed straight out. Xie Qian Lan looked at the food on the table irritatedly. Lifting his finger, he destroyed it all.
But destroying it was useless. It was just like laying a thin gauze over the dirt. The more you try to conceal it, the more conspicuous it becomes.
Xie Qian Lan carried Chu Mu Yun back into the bedroom and when they two laid down in bed, Chu Mu Yun said in a blur.
His voice was very soft, as if he was mumbling to himself, but Xie Qian Lan's level of cultivation was so great that if he willed it, he could even clearly make out the buzzing of a mosquito.
"Qian Lan, you're still young. Don't be so..." But he never finished what he was saying. However, that half a sentence was enough to cool Xie Qian Lan's heart.
How long has it been since someone used that word on him?
Even if he looked young, scarcely could anyone match the amount of time he had lived in the Spirit Realm.
So these words...were not meant for him.
But what of the words he said truly were meant for "Xie Qian Lan"?
Beneath the illusion of sweetness and warmth, the harsh truth was hard to dispel.
It's true that love and hate had been swapped within Chu Mu Yun, but not only were his feelings changed, even his memories were distorted. There were some deeply rooted things that couldn't be changed completely.
Such as the favorites of his beloved that he remembered so well, all the little habits of their interactions...So, even if love and hate had been turned upside down, he still relied on instinct to remember who his beating heart truly belonged to.
When he woke up the next day, Chu Mu Yun and Xie Qian Lan were intimate for a bit before he said, "My body's just about recovered. Let's...go back to the Human Realm."