Chapter 46 – Astray Demon Lord’s Son (4)

Realizing belatedly what he had done, Zhou Ji glanced down at the flower lanterns people were holding around him, quickly shifting his gaze away. He raised a hand and unconsciously rubbed the back of his neck.

He hadn’t known that giving a flower lantern carried such a meaning, and when he gave it, he had no intention of expressing such sentiments.

He had never dared to think along those lines.

“…Young man, what would you like?”

Lost in thought, Zhou Ji heard the voice and looked up to see the face of the uncle selling pastries. The man, thinking Zhou Ji hadn’t heard him, repeated the question.

Naming a few pastries, Zhou Ji took them, handed over the money, and finally left the crowded area.

Breathing in the relatively fresh air again, he walked quickly back to where he had been, only to find that the person who had been standing there with the lantern was now gone.

Amidst the sea of people and the constant noise, Zhou Ji looked around, his hand holding the paper bag slowly tightening.



Chen Luosong had been swept away by the crowd. The main road was fairly wide, and walking within it was only slightly crowded, but when carriages passed through, with guards clearing the way, people were pushed to the sides. When it got too crowded, one’s movements were entirely out of their control.

Caught in the crowd, he was pushed forward, eventually ending up at the edge of a road by another river.

With too many people around blocking his view, he couldn’t discern his location. Chen Luosong wasn’t worried though; he walked slowly along the roadside.

They couldn’t return tonight, so he and Zhou Xiaoji had a place to stay in the city. Even if they got separated, they would eventually reunite at the inn.

There were fewer people here than in the previous area. On one side was the street, and on the other side was the riverbank. People sat by the riverbank chatting, and many pleasure boats floated on the river, with faint music emanating from them.

Further along the riverbank, a covered bridge extended out over the river, reaching into the darkness.

The bridge had no lights, only briefly illuminated by the passing pleasure boats before returning to darkness, with no trace of anyone on it.

Chen Luosong, holding his lantern, slowly walked towards the covered bridge.

The closer he got to the riverbank, the more noticeable the breeze from the river became. As he stepped onto the bridge, the night wind blew against him, causing his hair and the hem of his clothes to flutter backward.

The noise gradually faded behind him, and the lantern in his hand swayed in the wind, its light flickering.

The covered bridge led to a pavilion in the middle of the lake, but there was no one on the bridge, and the pavilion was even quieter.

Finding a random spot to sit, he placed the lantern beside him and leaned against the railing, half-closing his eyes as he looked at the distant pleasure boats anchored on the lake, his long hair hanging down.

He wasn’t worried about the emotional tribulation. It was inevitable for the Sword Sovereign to pass through it, and as long as he remained in the capital, they were bound to meet. Since they would meet anywhere, he might as well find a quiet place and rest a bit.

There was no one here, only the faint sounds of laughter and music from the pleasure boats, and the gentle evening breeze.


In the long, unbroken silence, faint footsteps sounded on the covered bridge.

Qi Ming had not joined his friends on the pleasure boat, annoyed by their pestering, he sought out a quiet place. The pavilion connected by the covered bridge over the river was rumored to be haunted by non-human entities that bewitched people, with the stories becoming increasingly exaggerated over time. Eventually, no one visited the pavilion anymore, making it his refuge for solitude.

He originally thought it would be as quiet and empty as it had been many times before, but as he approached, he noticed a faint warm yellow light emanating from the pavilion.

Someone was there.

Holding his lantern, he slowly walked closer, and as he rounded a column that obstructed his view, he saw the source of the light—a flower lantern.

The warm yellow light illuminated the figure leaning against the railing.

The person was dressed in white, their hair tie loose as if it would slip off at any moment. The wind from the lake stirred the already precarious hair tie and scattered strands of hair, and the person sitting by the railing quietly had their eyes closed.

…A non-human entity that bewitched people.

The scene before him defied his usual understanding, making it difficult for Qi Ming to discern whether this was a person or a non-human entity. Before his mind could process it, his body had already taken a step forward, moving him into the pavilion.

As he got closer, the figure sitting by the railing became clearer. The lantern in his hand swayed, and almost without thinking, he bent slightly and reached out to catch the hair tie that was about to slip off.

At the moment he extended his hand, the previously quiet person opened their eyes. The light-colored pupils were clear and focused on him, with no sign of having just awakened.

Qi Ming’s hand stopped mid-air, and for a moment, he didn’t know what to say. He stood there awkwardly, then finally retracted his hand and stood up straight, hearing the other person say, “You finally came.”

The voice was pleasant, though very soft, as if it could be scattered by the wind at any moment.

Just as he was about to stand up straight, he paused again, not understanding the meaning of the words, and asked, “What?”

The words had no special meaning; they were just something Chen Luosong had blurted out casually.

The wait had been much longer than he had anticipated, almost making him fall asleep. He slowly sat up, rubbing his somewhat stiff body. As he was rubbing his arm, the person standing opposite him cautiously asked if they could sit beside him.

He smiled slightly and said, “This place isn’t mine.”

This wasn’t his place, so there was no need to ask his permission to sit or stand.

Perhaps it was because the lantern in his hand flickered in the wind, but Qi Ming’s mind also seemed to waver. He hurriedly averted his gaze and sat down to the side. After sitting down, he placed his flower lantern beside him and introduced himself as Qi Ming from the Prince Duan’s Mansion.

Chen Luosong responded, saying, “Chen Luosong.”

Even in such a place, with hardly anyone around, Qi Ming still sat upright, his back straight as bamboo. Qi Ming, the heir of the Prince Duan’s Mansion, born into a noble family, had experienced a full human life. He was also a part of the Sword Sovereign’s soul, which could be seen as the Sword Sovereign’s reincarnation, although the Sword Sovereign himself was still alive and in seclusion in the Immortal Sect.

Qi Ming glanced at the flower lantern placed on the other side and asked, “Is this your lantern?”

Chen Luosong confirmed it was, without elaborating further.

This was given to him by Zhou Xiaoji. Since he had accepted it, it was now his.

The long-silent pavilion by the river was rarely filled with conversation, but this brief liveliness couldn’t last long.

Having met the person he was waiting for and feeling the effects of the wind after so long, his chest began to itch slightly. Knowing Zhou Xiaoji must be looking for him by now, Chen Luosong realized he couldn’t stay any longer and got up to leave.

Before he realized what he was doing, Qi Ming inexplicably stood up as well. It wasn’t until Chen Luosong turned to look at him that he realized how abrupt his actions seemed. Moving his lips but unsure what to say, he finally decided to pick up his own flower lantern and offered it, saying, “If you don’t mind, I’d like to give this to you.”

Chen Luosong lifted his own lantern slightly and smiled, “One is enough to light the way.”

The covered bridge was quite long and lacked any lighting. Without a lantern, the return journey would be difficult.

As if reading his thoughts, the person standing behind him said, “A friend’s boat will come to pick me up here later.” He no longer needed a light source, so the flower lantern was no longer necessary.

After saying this, he tentatively extended the flower lantern forward again.


By the light of the lantern, Chen Luosong looked up at the person standing opposite him, and was speechless for a while.

The last time he had been this speechless was when he found out that he had inadvertently become the sponsor of several little stars.

The person standing opposite him still carried the grace and composure of someone born into a noble family, but his eyes drooped slightly, and his nose twitched oddly. It seemed that if Chen Luosong refused again, the next moment, the man might burst into tears like a distressed tiger.

So this is the Sword Sovereign’s reincarnation…

Chen Luosong finally accepted the flower lantern. Holding two lanterns now, he bid farewell and turned to leave.

Objectively speaking, having two lanterns instead of one did brighten his view significantly.

Qi Ming watched the warm light fade into the distance until it completely disappeared before he withdrew his gaze, his hands slowly unclenching.

He felt a bit nervous.

It was his first time giving a flower lantern, and the first time being refused. Having never been refused before, he struggled to figure out how to react to a second refusal.

The clouds dispersed, revealing the moon, its faint light reflecting on the water and illuminating the previously dark pavilion.

In the distance, music and faint shouts could be heard. Qi Ming turned his head and saw a slowly approaching boat, with familiar figures on board. Stepping forward slightly upon seeing these figures, he sensed something and looked down. There, on the dark seat, was a white hair tie, trailing down and barely touching the ground.

It was the hair tie he had tried to catch earlier, now completely loose.

He bent down to pick it up, and just as his fingers were about to touch it, a sudden gust of wind from the river lifted the light hair tie into the air.

Qi Ming immediately reached out, his body moving swiftly, and caught the hair tie in mid-air.

Then, he leaped over the railing and plunged into the water, the people approaching in the boat witnessing the entire scene.


After leaving the covered bridge, Chen Luosong went directly back to the inn where he was staying without stopping anywhere else.

He asked the innkeeper, who told him that Zhou Xiaoji had returned once, but had left again, probably to have some fun or to look for him.

Instead of going straight to his room, Chen Luosong sat in the inn’s lobby, unable to drink alcohol, so he sipped on some warm water.

As the streets gradually emptied of people, Zhou Ji returned to the inn. The moment he entered the lobby, he spotted the familiar figure he had been searching for and quickly approached him.

When Zhou Ji sat down at the table, he carefully looked over the person sitting opposite him, checking from top to bottom to ensure there were no abnormalities. Once satisfied, he finally breathed a sigh of relief.

Chen Luosong, having been stared at for quite a while, lifted his eyes and noticed Zhou Ji’s chest still heaving. He handed over the cup of warm water he had been holding.

Zhou Ji took the cup, drank a sip, then set it down. He carefully unwrapped the pastries he had been carrying and handed them to Chen Luosong. “I bought these tonight.”

Chen Luosong tasted a few bites, then slowly continued eating.

As Zhou Ji toyed with the cup in his hand, he saw the other man eating and smiled. He then remembered something and brought up what he had heard about the significance of flower lanterns while buying the pastries.

Chen Luosong, unaware of these customs, quietly listened. When he heard about the meaning behind giving and receiving flower lanterns, his eyebrows raised slightly, and he glanced at the lanterns beside him.

Zhou Ji followed his gaze and saw the two lanterns sitting quietly to the side.

One was the one he had given, but the other was unfamiliar.

His hand, which had been playing with the cup, suddenly paused.

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