The night in Starfallen Sea was very silent. Qin Xiumo and Xu Zijun were still on full alert, guarding their comrades as they watched their surroundings. Behind Meng Qi, Sikong Xing also stood guard; her fingers of her right hand stayed in position, ready to summon her trusted black wave at any time.
Chu Tianfeng folded his arms around his chest, keeping his eyes fixed on Meng Qi and Su Junmo. Under the bright starlights, his eyes seemed to flicker slightly, making it hard to see what was behind that gaze of his.
Xue Chengxuan and Li Che stood beside Meng Qi, and neither of them made a sound as they watched her in silence. The two maintained high alertness – in the case Meng Qi could no longer hold it, they were ready to pick up immediately.
Li Che stared at Su Junmo’s pained face for a moment. His eyes followed the slender fingers on the latter’s neck and slowly moved up, finally landing on Meng Qi’s face. Li Che only dared to take a brief glance before quickly turning his eyes away, ashamed of his rudeness. He knew he shouldn’t be staring at a girl like that, but…
Li Che frowned slightly. It was very strange. Since that day in Xingluo City when Meng Qi saw through Ji Wujiong’s trick and saved him, she… started to appear frequently in his dreams. Sometimes strange images would also suddenly flash through his mind, even during the day. Those images were all over the place and inexplicable, but every single one showed the figure of a blue-robed young girl.
Li Che’s face turned slightly hot. He knew that he shouldn’t have any unreasonable thoughts about Meng Qi. Still, he already had a good impression of her from the first meeting, and watching her outstanding performance in the Grand Tournament only sent his favorability to the roof.
To put it simply, Li Che admired Meng Qi. Very much so. That day in the Apricot Forest, he was one of the youngsters whose blood was boiling with excitement, and there was nothing strange for him to think a lot about her during this period of time. Yet, that was not a reason to have such inexplicable dreams whenever he slept, let alone when he was wide awake.
Li Che’s face burned even more. He didn’t have a dao companion yet — a bonafide bachelor. Occasionally, he would have a chat with the seniors or elders in the sect, who told him that having a dao companion to accompany oneself on the road of cultivation would make the journey less lonely. These conversations left an impression on Li Che, who, when he once thought about the possibility of a future life partner, wanted someone like-minded, so that they could accompany and encourage each other as they went through the journey to attain their dao.
No one had taught Li Che how to choose a dao companion. But that day… when he saw Lu Qingran take the risk to save him, Li Che’s heart beat so fast for the first time in his life, and the reason had nothing to do with his beloved medicine.
From that moment onward, Li Che knew that he could never forget that beautiful and brave figure he saw that day. That’s why he was totally baffled when he started having frequent dreams about Meng Qi, and it was also her who he saw in the strange images that suddenly popped into his mind during the day.
Back to reality, Li Che scratched his head in puzzlement. It was too much for him to figure out! He really didn’t have the slightest improper thought for Fellow Daoist Meng Qi… he swore in the name of the medical ancestor!
Later, when he heard that Meng Qi had fallen into the Starfallen Sea, he remembered her life-saving grace and promptly went forward to join her rescue team. He departed for Starfallen Sea, had multiple fierce battles with his newfound comrades, and finally saw Meng Qi again. This reunion gave Li Che a new impression of her. She was supposed to be waiting for them to come to her rescue, but her appearance instead was like a divine aid as she suddenly descended from the sky and quickly turned the tide of battle to their victory.
Li Che sighed slightly. He turned in Meng Qi’s direction and once again took a quick glance at her calm and composed face, confirming that his heart was indeed not beating that faster.
So why did he dream of her?
Several images flashed through his mind when he looked at her just now. Why? He had only seen her a few times before, and even during their first meeting, he was poisoned and unable to see her face.
Li Che smiled wryly, unable to understand himself.
Just as Li Che was battling his inner conflicts, Meng Qi retracted her hand. She then opened her eyes and looked at Su Junmo. The white-robed man’s complexion was no longer as pale as before, and fine beads of sweat covered his forehead. After a while, he let out a white breath and slowly opened his eyes.
“How do you feel?” Meng Qi asked as she reached out her hand to Su Junmo’s wrist. Before their skin made contact, Su Junmo suddenly shrank his hand away, avoiding Meng Qi’s fingers.
“Huh?” Meng Qi raised her eyebrows.
Su Junmo glanced a bit before turning his head away in haste, as if afraid to look into Meng Qi’s clear eyes. “I…” His voice was dry and hoarse, sounding particularly awkward, “I’m fine.” He then took a deep breath and said again, “I’m already healed. The poison has also been eliminated. The blood of this fiery eagle is very amazing.” As he spoke, he closed his eyes and shook his head heavily.
Meng Qi stood up. Since he refused to let her check his pulse, so be it!
Su Junmo kept sitting cross-legged on the ground and remained in that position for a long time, looking as if something was greatly troubling him and putting him in a deep internal struggle. After a while, Sikong Xing couldn’t stand it anymore and quickly approached, “Su Junmo, are you really alright?” She asked, peering into his face.
“…I’m okay, don’t worry.” Su Junmo responded with a dumbstruck voice. He sat for a while longer before finally standing up.
Qin Xiumo walked slowly to Chu Tianfeng’s side and raised his chin toward the obviously awkward-looking white-robed man. The latter, who understood what Qin Xiumo was thinking, also looked at Su Junmo intently.
“I’m fine, really.” Su Junmo took another deep breath. He then bowed: “It’s my fault for making you guys worry.” He raised his eyes and glanced at Meng Qi quickly, “Meng Qi… Qi…” The nickname ‘Qiqi’ seemed to squeeze out of his lips with great difficulty, “Thank you for your help.”
He paused, suddenly looked startled, and quickly stuffed a brocade bag from his storage space into Meng Qi’s hands, “I know your rules. I’m… paying you now!”
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