The two coasts of Lake Qinghai were where the best restaurants in the city were. All of them had a picturesque view of the water.
There was a group of people seated at the best table in one of those restaurants, enjoying the beautiful sight.
Murong Qiu sat amongst this group. However, he was just a side character. Seated at the same table were people of a higher position than him.
At the head of the table was a young man, Xia Fan. He was a big character from the East Sea Prefecture and beside him sat the son of the City Lord, Wei Feng.
"Murong Qiu, any news from Mount Tianyao?" asked Xia Fan.
"Our people are still clearing the mountains. We got some news this afternoon saying that they found a mysterious area. It's possible that something could be hidden there," Murong Qiu reported.
"If this goes on, my people will have to be buried on Mount Tianyao. Shouldn't both of our groups send some more people over?" suggested Xia Fan.
"I will bring it up with my father when I return," said Murong Qiu. Wei Feng also nodded in agreement.
"Okay," said Xia Fan. He then added, "I hope you were not mistaken."
"The Pavilion Lord of the Earth Elemental Pavilion is my father's. My younger brother and I took care of everything personally. There's no way I could have been mistaken; there was definitely something that looked like a dragon at Mount Tianyao," Murong Qiu reassured him.
"Alright." Xia Fan turned his attention to outside the window. As fireworks filled the sky, two figures by the lake stood out to him. He was captivated by the girl's beauty. He pointed in their direction and asked, "Who are they?"
Murong Qiu looked over. His face frowned when he saw who Xia Fan was pointing at.
"Hua Jieyu, the daughter of Qingzhou City's ace, Hua Fengliu, and Ye Futian. He used to be a disciple of Qingzhou Academy, but left after rebelling against the academy. He is now Hua Fengliu's disciple," Murong Qiu explained.
"Hua Fengliu? As in the Qin Devil Hua Fengliu?" asked the man sitting beside Xia Fan.
"My father did some research on him. He really is known as the Qin Devil in the City of Donghai," Murong Qiu replied.
"If this is true, then that must be the daughter of Hua Fengliu and 'her,'" the man went into deep thought.
"He's the one who had his powers disabled by the Art Saint?" Xia Fan began to show interest. He would never have expected to meet such a legendary character from Donghai City here.
"That's right," confirmed the man. "That girl is a member of 'that family,' so it's best if you don't try anything with her. It'll only be trouble."
He knew exactly what type of person Xia Fan was and felt the need to warn him.
"I know my limits. Let's go say hello," said Xia Fan. He smiled, then got up and began walking out of the restaurant. The man followed behind him, as did the rest of the group. They all left the restaurant and headed toward Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu.
At this moment, Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu were enjoying the view but something felt amiss. They turned their heads and saw the lot headed in their direction. Ye Futian noticed Murong Qiu amongst them and was curious as to what he was up to.
"Miss Hua Jieyu, I am Xia Fan of the East Sea Prefecture," Xia Fan stopped in front of Hua Jieyu, his devilish eyes could not hide his admiration for her. No female he had ever met could compare to her beauty.
"Can I help you with something?" Hua Jieyu's tone was cold and aloof.
"I've always admired the Qin Devil's skills but have not had the honor of meeting him in person. To be able to run into you here is such an honor. Sorry to have disturbed you but if you are willing, please come join us at the restaurant for a meal," said Xia Fan. His smile was warm and inviting. Ye Futian furrowed his brows, he was completely invisible to this guy.
"No," said Hua Jieyu. Even though she was smiling, one could feel that she was trying to distance herself.
Besides Xia Fan, everyone had a strange look on their faces. Was she really going to be so blunt with him?
"I shall be excused then." It took a minute for Xia Fan to speak again. As soon as he turned his back, the smile on his face disappeared, replaced with a stone-cold demeanor.
"Mood ruined," complained Ye Futian. His hand reached out to try and grab Hua Jieyu's.
"What are you trying to do?" asked Hua Jieyu. She laughed and pulled her hand away.
"I thought our relationship was now confirmed," said Ye Futian innocently.
"Yeah, hasn't our relationship already been confirmed?" teased Hua Jieyu.
"Fox, how can you do this to me?" Ye Futian felt wronged. So, he couldn't touch her now that they're dating?
"Doing what to you?" laughed Hua Jieyu. "Now that we're dating, you are forbidden from flirting with other girls. Also, you have to come to me, no matter where I am."
"No, our relationship hasn't reached that point yet," Ye Futian felt like he was being scammed.
"Just you try! Father said that you're not trustworthy, and told me to hurry home. I have to go back," Hua Jieyu looked at Ye Futian. She did not want to leave him. They were going to have to part tomorrow. Would he be upset at her for leaving?
Ye Futian looked sad. Hua Jieyu could not bear to see him like this. She reached her hand out to him.
However, Ye Futian did not take her hand. He continued to look at her, "Do you really have to leave?"
Hua Jieyu knew when Ye Futian said "leave," he did not simply mean their parting right now.
"Parting ways after falling in love with one another, followed by a long journey to reunite. I never imagined my love life to be so melodramatic. Don't you think you're being a little unfair to me?" Ye Futian searched for something in her eyes. He obviously knew the kind of person she was after having spent months together. Even after realizing her feelings for him, there was no way she would pursue him actively. Plus, after what she had said before, Ye Futian knew exactly what was going on.
Hua Jieyu had a sad look in her eyes. She looked down when she felt her eyes begin to water. She did not know how to explain it to him.
"What do you want me to do?" she whispered, lifting her head to meet his eyes once again.
Looking down at her flawless face and puppy dog eyes, Ye Futian felt his heart melt. "If it's going to be melodramatic, so be it. Who told me to fall for a fox?"
The power of beauty was so great.
Hearing his words, she smiled, and her mood picked up. She looked at Ye Futian and said softly, "Okay, I'll make it up to you. What if I don't leave tonight and stay with you?"
"Umm... Aren't we going a little too fast?" asked Ye Futian, bright-eyed. Tonight? Stay with him?
Upon seeing the perverted look on his face, Hua Jieyu lifted her foot to stomp on Ye Futian. "What kind of dirty thoughts are you having? I didn't mean it like that."
"Like what?" Ye Futian blinked at her innocently.
"You...I regret everything I just said," she said. Before she could turn to leave, Ye Futian grabbed her by the arm and said, "I'll walk you back."
"Okay," Hua Jieyu nodded quietly, not trying to fight him on the subject. She let Ye Futian take her hand as they walked.
"Let's go take a boat," said Ye Futian. She nodded again, and they walked to the dock. After boarding the boat, they sailed down Lake Qinghai.
On the lake were many other boats. The surface of the water reflected the sky, lit up with fireworks. The couple sat next to each other at the front of the boat, leaning on one another like a picture, which attracedg looks of admiration from passengers on passing boats.
From across the water, a boat occupied by several people approached them. Two of them were shocked to see Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu.
"General Qin; Senior Sister Qin Yi," Ye Futian called out to greet them.
General Qin was dressed casually. He looked like any ordinary person, spending New Year's Eve with his family. Seeing who Ye Futian was with, General Qin gave him a thumbs-up.
"How romantic," teased Qin Yi.
Ye Futian chuckled as if he was caught doing something wrong. Another boat floated past them and they heard someone say, "Senior Sister, you have a really nice figure!"
By reflex, Ye Futian nodded and he hummed in agreement. He realized what he had just done immediately and turned towards Hua Jieyu, only to see her smiling wryly at him.
"But I still like you better," he blurted out quickly.
She huffed and turned away from him to stare ahead. Next, she felt an arm wrap around her waist. At first, she froze but then her body relaxed, tilting toward him and she laid her head on his shoulder. At that moment, everything was peaceful and beautiful. They felt closer than they ever had.
By the time Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu made their way back to her residence at Qingzhou Academy, it was already late at night. Compared to the busy city streets, the campus was dead silent. Hua Fengliu had already gone to sleep.
Stepping into her room, Hua Jieyu realized Ye Futian was still following behind her and her face flushed red.
"You're not going to kick me out this late at night, are you? It's dangerous out there," Ye Futian got his words in before Hua Jieyu could say anything. When he saw how hard she was glaring at him, he added, "Do you have the heart to do that?"
"You have your own room," she said to the shameless young man.
"You're leaving tomorrow. I just want to spend a little more time with you. I don't even know when I'm going to be able to see you again," he told her in a soft voice. Even though Hua Jieyu knew he was just trying to sweet talk her, her heart still softened. She'd allow this as compensation.
Walking next to the bed, she took off her outerwear, revealing her curvaceous figure. Ye Futian's eyes lit up. Hua Jieyu chuckled as she watched him. "How's my figure?"
"Perfect," answered Ye Futian, feeling a bit warm.
Hua Jieyu felt proud. She then climbed in between her sheets and had her back facing him as she blushed hard.
What a tease! complained Ye Futian. Women really did hold grudges...
"I can't see you this way," said Ye Futian but Hua Jieyu ignored him. However, she turned around to face him moments later and said, "Stay there, don't come any closer."
After that, she closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep.
Ye Futian sat there quietly and admired her beauty. Looking at her brought him warmth.
It seemed like a long time had passed when Hua Jieyu opened her eyes again to find that Ye Futian was still watching her. Gently, she whispered, "I can't fall asleep."
"Let me play a song for you," he said lovingly. He left his seat, and seconds later the sound of the guqin floated into her room.
It was peaceful and serene. The song flowed beautifully, full of love, but also with a hint of sadness. Hua Jieyu closed her eyes once again and drifted off to sleep. Quietly, two streams of tears rolled off her smiling face.
So, this was love. The warmth of a first love, the fluttering of your heart when he held your hand, and the sadness of parting.
Divine Prefecture Calendar, Year 10000. The morning of the first day of the new year.
A large black eagle descended upon Qingzhou Academy. It waited outside of Hua Fengliu's residence. Inside, Hua Jieyu was getting ready. Dressed in a long green dress, she lived up to her name as a goddess. Her beautiful smile never left her face.
As she approached the entrance of the residence, she looked back at Ye Futian. He was still playing the guqin. However, his eyes were fixed on her. They looked into each other's eyes and shared a smile. The look they shared bore a million unsaid words.
There was no promise to be together forever; no promises of "till death do us part;" just one smile. After that, Hua Jieyu left. She settled atop the black eagle and then was off into the sky. Very quickly, they disappeared into the clouds.
Ye Futian continued to play his instrument. Beside him, a handsome figure dressed in white stood silently and watched Ye Futian.