Ye Hua looked up surprised to hear Mo Yuan’s voice.
“What did you just say Ye Hua?” Mo Yuan asked again.
Ye Hua looked at Si Yin who looked as if he was frozen in place. Si Yin’s eyes blinked rapidly but he was speechless. Ye Hua realized Si Yin was so impressed with his clever solution that he was at a loss for words. Now it made sense to Ye Hua why Si Yin liked to drink wine so often. It probably calmed his nerves because he became overexcited easily.
Ye Hua noticed even Mo Yuan’s expression was one of great surprise. Ye Hua didn’t have a clue his ideal would be so ingenious that even High God Mo Yuan would be so moved. Ye Hua felt his self pride spread throughout his entire body.
“I’m engaged to Bai Qian of Qing Qiu, so the snake and my uncle are now safe. They are being sent to the North Seas.” Ye Hua’s voice never changed and remained as soft as ever.
Si Yin who had been sitting down shot right up. “But you’re only 50,000 years old!? That’s impossible!? I wasn’t consulted….I mean..…surely Bai Qian doesn’t know about this?” Si Yin looked towards her shifu in complete shock and disbelief.
Ye Hua stood up beside Si Yin and asked calmly. “What does my age have to do with me saving the snake?”
“Not the snake, Ye Hua! Your engagement! I’m..no..Bai Qian is much..much older than you. Doesn’t that bother you!?” Si Yin asked in an unusually high pitched tone.
“I’ve never seen Bai Qian. We’ve never met. It’s inevitable that I’ll have to marry someone anyways, so marrying Bai Qian will be fine.” Ye Hua said proudly, but suddenly had a creeping suspicion that he’d done something wrong. Si Yin didn’t look overjoyed. No. He actually looked more disturbed than before.
Ye Hua looked at Si Yin confused. This was the first time Ye Hua had gone out of his way to fulfill such an usual request, that benefited someone other than himself. Didn’t Si Yin want him to save the snake spirit? Did he not save the snake and his uncle’s life?
High God Mo Yuan seemed to be the first to snap out of their confused state.
“Ye Hua, who did you say you were engaged to and why?” Mo Yuan asked.
Ye Hua told Mo Yuan of the snake and how it lead him to become engaged to Bai Qian of Qing Qiu. He didn’t mention much about Si Yin’s request because he didn’t want his friend to get into any trouble. Mo Yuan absorbed Ye Hua’s explanation and turned to Si Yin, whose face was the same shade as a strawberry.
“Ye Hua, perhaps this will do for today and we can finish this discussion when Si Yin can..”
“What about love!?” Si Yin yelled, cutting Mo Yuan off. Ye Hua turned and faced Si Yin.
“You don’t love her so why would you marry her!?” Si Yin questioned seriously.
Ye Hua was at a loss for words. He thought carefully of what he should say next and replied. “What about love?”
Once Si Yin heard his reply, he suddenly ran off in tears. Ye Hua was at a loss. He looked at High God Mo Yuan, who was looking at Si Yin, who was running off crying. Ye Hua wondered if he’d been the one struck by lightening? His mind was a void similar to when he’d received one of Lord Pu Hua’s lightening rods. Black, empty, and void.
Mo Yuan turned back to Ye Hua slowly. “Si Yin has much on his mind and might be more sensitive than usual. Perhaps you coming back another day would be best.” Usually calm, non-reactive Mo Yuan was nodding a definite ‘yes’ which strangely made Ye Hua nod in agreement and return to Celestial Heaven.
Back in Celestial Heaven, Ye Hua was more confused than ever. Nothing seemed to make sense. Why wasn’t Si Yin pleased and why did he cry? Ye Hua was in deep thought when his third uncle Lian Song came into his study after being announced. This was the first time they had spoken since Ye Hua accepted the engagement with Bai Qian.
“I know she’s much older than you but consider it a good deed done. Ye Hua, you saved second brother and his snake today.” Lian Song went on to say a few more things before realizing Ye Hua wasn’t listening to him.
“Ye Hua, didn’t you hear me? Have you changed your mind? What has driven you into such a state?” Lian Song had great worry in his eyes.
Ye Hua hesitantly told Uncle Lian Song about Si Yin and how he enjoyed being in Si Yin’s company. Ye Hua told Uncle Lian Song about their growing friendship and how he was discovering new things within himself as a result of their friendship. Lian Song listened intently.
“So you saved the snake because Si Yin asked you to?” Ye Hua nodded. “ And Si Yin was upset about you being engaged to Bai Qian of Qing Qiu? Ye Hua nodded again.
Uncle Lian Song took his fan, opened it completely and fanned himself off. After a few moments Lian Song understood everything.
“Ye Hua, do you not like any of the women around you? Has there not been a single goddess that has caught your eye in all these thousands of years?”
Ye Hua was already in a state of confusion over Si Yin so he found his uncle’s question highly annoying. He tried not to show it but he replied firmly.
Uncle Lian Song’s eyes became big and he fanned himself swiftly again.
“I always knew keeping you in such seclusion would hinder you someday.” Uncle Lian Song shook his head.
“Ye Hua it’s the natural flow of life and balance when a man and woman love each other.”
Uncle Lian Song paused as Ye Hua turned his sharp eyes to his uncle. Lian Song shifted uncomfortably and fanned himself again.
“It’s not common, but there have been cases when a man falls in love another man as a woman could fall in love another woman.”
Uncle Lian Song was sweating profusely regardless of his rapidly moving fan.
“In a school of all males for example. After being together for thousands of years without the presence of women.”
Ye Hua jumped up so quickly that Uncle Lian Song fell over on his side with his fan in his hand.
“Are you saying that I’m in love with Si Yin!? Ye Hua shouted.
Uncle Lian Song’s eyes grew huge as he looked towards the entrance to see if anyone else heard Ye Hua. Lian Song made the hand motion for Ye Hua to sit back down and lower his voice.
“No, not you Ye Hua, but perhaps your friend Si Yin might have developed feelings for you that surpass friendship?” Uncle Lian Song’s eyebrows moved up and down, encouraging Ye Hua to understand.
“I knew women went crazy for you but who would have thought you’d have a man fall in love with you….That Si Yin isn’t a real manly man. He’s a tiny wild fox…but he is on the pretty side. It’s unfortunate that he wasn’t born a female..” Lian Song looked at Ye Hua who didn’t look pleased with his explanation. He could practically see Ye Hua’s brain in action. Ye Hua’s eyes became tiny and focused as he closed in close to his uncle.
“So..you’re saying Si Yin is in love with me?” Ye Hua’s voice heavy with doubt came out in a whisper.
Lian Song smiled and nodded. “Yes. That’s actually what I’m saying.”
Ye Hua forcefully slammed his fist on his desk which caused everyone outside his study to fall on their knees and bow.
This was truly a dilemma for Ye Hua.
He enjoyed his friendship with Si Yin, but didn’t want to give Si Yin any hope into thinking his love would be returned one day. Ye Hua didn’t love Si Yin but did completely enjoy their time together. Was this love? Ye Hua had never been in love so he didn’t have anything to compare it to. Ye Hua needed to find a way to remain friends with Si Yin without hurting his feelings by rejecting Si Yin’s romantic love towards him. Ye Hua stayed up all night in contemplation. This was something Ye Hua never anticipated. Ye Hua wasn’t ready to end his friendship which had just begun. Wouldn’t it be similar to planting a peach tree only to cut it down before its first bloom?
To be continued…