In recent days, a momentous event was approaching.

Because of this event, the ghosts in the Ghost City were in a state of unease. Xie Lian was also taken aback when he heard about it. Like a group of ghosts informing him secretly, he felt anxious and asked, “Birthday?”

“Exactly!”

Indeed, the Lord of the Ghost City, Hua Cheng, was about to celebrate his long-awaited birthday, whose age was unknown!

Xie Lian was caught off guard and felt a sudden nervousness. He asked, “Um, how did Sanlang celebrate his previous birthdays?”

The group of ghosts answered in a chaotic manner, “It was very lively!”

“He didn’t really celebrate, just caused some chaos…”

“But the Lord didn’t care at all?”

Upon hearing this, Xie Lian asked, “What do you mean by ‘didn’t care’?”

A ghost replied, “The Lord never celebrates his own birthday.”

“Exactly, he never pays attention to what we do or even looks at the gifts we give him. Every year, we just have our own silly fun.”

“The Lord is forgetful, as if he doesn’t remember his own birthday!”

Xie Lian thought for a moment and immediately made up his mind. Since Hua Cheng didn’t pay much attention to his previous birthdays, he must find a way to make this one unique and enjoyable for him. Otherwise, his birthday with Hua Cheng would be no different from any other day without him.

Firstly, a birthday gift must be given. Xie Lian fell into deep thought, wondering what to give.

The ghosts looked at him eagerly and asked, “Master Xie, are you thinking about what gift to give the Lord?”

Xie Lian replied, “Well, to be honest, I… I’m not really sure what the Lord would like. I’m afraid that if I give something he doesn’t like…”

A butcher interrupted, “Hey, why are you worrying? As long as it’s from you, Master… Xie Lian, I’m sure the Lord will be ecstatic.”

“Yes, even if it’s just a scrap of paper, he will definitely be happy with what Master… Xie Lian gives. It’s different from what others give!”

Xie Lian laughed awkwardly, feeling that such thoughts were too self-centered and frivolous. He said, “You can’t say that. Choosing a gift requires thought… Do any of you have any suggestions?”

Well, Hua Cheng had been in the Ghost City for many years, and perhaps the group of ghosts knew his preferences better. With their collective wisdom, they might be able to come up with a suitable and creative gift. The ghosts exclaimed, “Yes, we have suggestions!”

They handed over a variety of miscellaneous items, such as chicken claws, pig hooves, and tentacles. Xie Lian hadn’t seen most of these things before and found it intriguing as he was surrounded. He randomly picked up a small green jade bottle that looked particularly mysterious and elegant and asked, “Oh? What’s this?”

The ghost who presented it said, “It’s an extraordinary love potion! Just a few drops can make the affected person go crazy with passion, while the person who administers it remains unaffected! And it doesn’t harm the body!”

“…”

Xie Lian solemnly said, “Thank you for the suggestion. However, genuine feelings should not be manipulated with a love potion. Let’s not use it in the future.”

The ghost offering the potion nervously replied, “Yes, yes, we won’t use it. We won’t use it. But in reality, we hardly ever use it. It’s just because you asked, Master Xie Lian, what would be a good gift!”

Xie Lian chuckled and wondered why they thought he would give a love potion. He said, “I think our Lord probably doesn’t need such a potion.”

The ghosts all chimed in, “Exactly! If the Lord wants someone, does he need to use a potion? Come on!”

Xie Lian inwardly thought that was the absolute truth. For example, he didn’t need any potion at all. As soon as he saw Hua Cheng, he was already overwhelmed with emotions. He felt truly embarrassed.

To avoid his embarrassment from showing on his face, he quickly picked up another box and opened it, asking, “What’s inside this? Pearls? Elixir?”

The ghost presenting the treasure said, “These are fertility pills!”

“…”

Xie Lian didn’t even need to ask what the pills were for. He immediately closed the box with a snap and helplessly said, “What is all this…”

Why were they suggesting such inappropriate and unconventional gifts for him to give to Hua Cheng?

In any case, after a chaotic discussion, Xie Lian realized that he wasn’t getting any useful suggestions. He instructed the group of ghosts to secretly prepare for the celebration of the Ghost King’s birthday, to give Hua Cheng a pleasant surprise. As for himself, he continued to ponder slowly.

Perhaps he was too preoccupied with this matter, and his worries were written all over his face. On this day, while accompanying Hua Cheng to practice calligraphy, Xie Lian was deep in thought when he suddenly heard a voice beside him saying, “Gege.”

Xie Lian snapped back to reality and turned his head, asking, “What?”

Hua Cheng was gazing at him intently, and he put down his brush, saying, “Could it be my imagination? Gege seems to be worried about something. Can you tell me about it and let Sanlang share your burden?”

Xie Lian’s heart tensed up, and he immediately straightened up, warning, “Don’t put the brush down. Don’t be lazy, pick it up and continue.”

Hua Cheng laughed and took up the brush again, sighing leisurely, “Caught red-handed.”

Relieved that he had managed to fool him before, Xie Lian secretly let out a breath. Little did he know, Hua Cheng wrote two lines and then casually said, “However, recently, Gege has been acting a bit unusual.”

Xie Lian’s heart tensed up again, but he maintained a calm and composed demeanor, saying, “Oh? What do you mean by unusual?”

Hua Cheng scrutinized him carefully for a while and smiled, saying, “It seems like you’re exceptionally… compliant.”

Xie Lian smiled faintly and said, “Haven’t I always been like this?”

Unable to come up with a solution, Xie Lian decided to take a risk and seek help from others. And the first people he thought of were his capable subordinates from the past.

The three of them squatted in a secluded and deserted dilapidated temple. After an awkward silence, Feng Xin said, “What are you all looking at me for?”

The other two continued to stare at him, their silence saying it all.

Helpless, among the three of them, Feng Xin was the only one who had a wife in the past. It was reasonable to think that he would understand how to please someone. However, they made him feel so embarrassed that his face turned black. He said, “…It’s useless to look at me. I’ve already given her something.” It was that gold belt, the one Xie Lian had given to him.

Mu Qing found it absurd that he was being asked such a question and managed to restrain himself from rolling his eyes. He just wanted to resolve the matter quickly and said, “That works then. The belt is not bad. Why don’t you give him a gold belt too?”

Xie Lian completely ignored his sarcastic tone and said, “I don’t have another one. They’re all gone!” All of them were given away!

Mu Qing became even more sarcastic and said, “You’re doing so well now. You have temples and worshippers all over the streets. Can’t you just ask for another belt through a dream? Are you worried that you won’t be able to get one?”

Xie Lian said, “That would be meaningless. If I have to rely on worshippers to provide gifts for someone’s birthday, it would be too perfunctory.”

Mu Qing realized that no matter how sarcastic he was, it wouldn’t affect this person. His tone finally became normal as he said, “Why are you so troublesome? Just make it yourself.”

Xie Lian eagerly said, “Great idea! But I don’t know how.”

“If you don’t know, you can learn.”

Xie Lian replied, “That’s true. Who should I learn from?”

Impatiently, Mu Qing said, “How would I know? Just find anyone…”

Before he could finish his sentence, Mu Qing noticed that both of the other two were looking at him simultaneously.

Two hours later, Xie Lian had seven or eight holes in his hands, which were bound tightly with bandages to prevent them from bleeding. Meanwhile, there was an indeterminate object of unknown meaning and shape in his hands.

Mu Qing couldn’t bear to watch anymore and asked, “What is this?”

Xie Lian sighed and said, “It’s a belt.”

Mu Qing said, “I know it’s a belt. What I’m asking is, what’s embroidered on the belt? What’s the meaning of these two potato-like patterns?”

Xie Lian replied, “They’re not potatoes! Can’t you see? They’re two people.” To make them see clearly, he even gestured, “These are the eyes, and the mouth is here…”

After confirming that it was indeed two people’s heads, Mu Qing said incredulously, “How can someone embroider two big heads on a belt? Can you even wear this? Your sense of fashion isn’t that bad, so how did you end up making something like this?”

Xie Lian couldn’t help it. While he was skilled at carpentry, well-digging, and masonry, he seemed to have a natural aversion to domestic tasks that leaned towards femininity. Once he picked up a needle and thread or a cooking spoon, things would quickly spiral out of control. He glanced at his hands, bound like zongzi rice dumplings. Although he didn’t feel any pain, the progress was slow, and he couldn’t help but feel helpless. He said, “…I’ll make some changes.”

But once the wood was carved and painted, what else could he change? At most, he added a layer of petals around the big heads of the two little figures, turning them into two awkward, affectionate, and clumsy big-headed flowers. Feng Xin and Mu Qing’s expressions became even more unbearable.

Veins popped out on Mu Qing’s forehead as he said, “I’ve taught pigs, and yet you’re so clumsy. Always stabbing yourself with needles?”

Feng Xin said, “When did you ever teach pigs? You’re just bluffing!”

Mu Qing, not mincing his words, said to Xie Lian, “Forget it, give up. You don’t have the talent for this.” It was rare for him to say “you don’t have the talent” to Xie Lian so bluntly, and he felt pretty good about it. Feng Xin couldn’t stand it anymore and said, “Can you please shut up for a moment? You haven’t even praised His Highness once since earlier. Dressing yourself and making things by yourself are two different things! Besides, it’s not that bad. At least this belt can still be worn.”

Mu Qing said, “Fine, let him give you the thing he made. I’ll respect you if you dare to wear it.”

Before Feng Xin could reply, Xie Lian quickly took back the belt that was so ugly it was laughable and said, “No, no. I can’t use this. I’ll keep it for myself!”

This kind of thing was truly unsuitable as a gift!

Feng Xin and Mu Qing couldn’t be of any help, so Xie Lian turned to the next person for assistance.

“Gift-giving? Crown Prince, you’ve come to the right person by asking me. Back then, I… haven’t I seen all sorts of rare treasures?”

The two of them squatted by the street, and Shi Qingxuan’s enthusiasm was soaring. He spoke incessantly, clearly an expert in the field. Xie Lian became even more humble in seeking advice. Shi Qingxuan spoke confidently, saying, “There are indeed treasures without an owner, but if you want to acquire them, it will undoubtedly require great effort.”

Xie Lian quickly said, “That’s not a problem. It suits my intentions.” The greater the effort required, the more precious it must be, and it would better reflect his intentions. It would be perfect if he could obtain the most difficult-to-obtain treasure in the world, one that no one else had been able to acquire. If he could bring it as a gift for Hua Cheng, it would be truly extraordinary. Just the thought of seeing Hua Cheng raise an eyebrow and curl his lips filled Xie Lian’s heart with uncontrollable excitement and anticipation.

After contemplating for a moment, Shi Qingxuan said, “The Starry Sky Flask! Crown Prince, you must have heard of it, right? This flask is a treasure. When placed in the night, it reflects the stars and moon in the wine within, absorbing the essence and aura of the heavens and earth. Not only is it elegant, but it can also greatly enhance one’s cultivation…”

However, as Xie Lian listened, a strong sense of foreboding emerged in his heart. He quickly interrupted, saying, “Wait a moment.”

“What’s wrong?”

Xie Lian gestured with his hands and said, “Qingxuan, are you talking about a small black jade flask about this size, with fine fragments of starlight embedded on it?”

Shi Qingxuan exclaimed, “Huh? Crown Prince, how did you know? Have you seen it before?”

“…”

Not only had he seen it, but last month, he wanted to pour some water but forgot about the injury on his hand. He accidentally dropped the flask and shattered it. Hua Cheng immediately came over and asked about his injured hand. Xie Lian found the broken flask quite beautiful and unique, so he asked Hua Cheng what to do and if it could be repaired. However, Hua Cheng simply said it was just a trinket, without even glancing at it, and ordered his subordinates to sweep away the broken pieces of the flask. Then he grabbed Xie Lian’s injured arm and left.

Now that he thought about it, was the rare treasure mentioned by Shi Qingxuan the same as the Starry Sky Flask he shattered?

Xie Lian’s heart sank halfway. After a while, he said, “…This… might not be suitable. Let’s change to something else.”

“Oh.” Shi Qingxuan didn’t understand, scratching his head, and after pondering for a moment, he said, “Then the next one, the Eight Wilds Brush! This brush is extraordinary. Its tip is made from the tail of an ancient monster, while the handle is crafted from a branch of jade bamboo that grows atop a mystical plant. When not writing, it sprouts…”

Xie Lian said, “Jade bamboo leaves?”

Shi Qingxuan said, “Exactly! Crown Prince, how do you know? Have you seen it?”

How could he not have seen it? It was the brush Hua Cheng used every day to practice calligraphy. Sometimes, if he wrote poorly, he would blame it on the brush, and he would toss it to the ground or kick it away, often making Xie Lian search around for that poor brush and then pick it up, wipe it clean, and keep it.

“…” Xie Lian said, “This might not be suitable either. Let’s change to something else.”

Shi Qingxuan listed seven or eight items in a row, and Xie Lian realized that these so-called rare treasures mentioned by others were all so familiar and miserable. Either they were the stool Hua Cheng stepped on or the stall he set up; either they were things he used for entertainment or things he lost!

It made sense. In this world, what rare treasures could there be that Hua Cheng hadn’t seen or couldn’t obtain?

Therefore, thinking about birthday gifts for the Ghost King in this direction was simply unfathomable.

In his desperate attempt to find a solution, Xie Lian had almost asked everyone he knew and could ask. But Quan Yizhen only knew how to stuff gold bars, and Hua Cheng didn’t lack money. Pei Ming, he only knew how to give gifts to women, and if you asked him what to give to a man, he couldn’t come up with a serious answer. Ling Wen, although she was protected by several high-ranking officials and was indispensable to the Heavenly Court, she was currently buried in a sea of paperwork, on the verge of losing consciousness. She didn’t know anything except for processing official documents, and it would be more peaceful for her to stay in the prison.

With no help available, when there were only two days left until Hua Cheng’s birthday, Xie Lian was at a loss.

He stared with bloodshot eyes all night, filled with red veins. Finally, as the day was about to dawn, he thought of what he should give.

With a mind full of thoughts, he quietly got up from the bed and looked at Hua Cheng, who was sleeping peacefully beside him.

Hua Cheng’s black hair was as dark as a raven, his long eyelashes were like ink, and his eyes were tightly closed. One couldn’t see that one of his eyes was missing. The natural aura of his handsome face and his expression, filled with inherent aggression, was softened a bit when his eyes were closed. At this moment, he appeared inexplicably gentle.

Xie Lian’s heart skipped a beat and he couldn’t help but extend his right hand to gently stroke Hua Cheng’s face. After all, he was afraid of waking him up, so he didn’t dare to touch too much and quickly withdrew his hand.

Little did he know that before he could get back to bed, he felt a tightness around his waist and was pulled back by a hand. A lazy voice came from behind, “Gege, why did you wake up so early?”

Hua Cheng was actually awake!

His voice was soft, tinged with a trace of sleepiness. Xie Lian felt his face grow hotter as Hua Cheng spoke into his ear. He said, “It’s not just received. It’s the backlog from before…”

As he spoke, he felt it was difficult to maintain a normal conversation in this position. He was about to get up again when Hua Cheng also sat up, wrapped his arms around Xie Lian’s neck from behind, and rested his head on Xie Lian’s shoulder. He said, “Since it’s been backlogged until now, what harm is there in letting it continue to pile up? Gege was tired last night, so rest a little longer.”

Xie Lian struggled against his persistent arm and coaxing voice, feeling extremely reluctant. He said, “I… It has been backlogged for a long time. I can’t let it pile up anymore…”

Hua Cheng said, “Oh. Then shall I go with you?”

Xie Lian hurriedly said, “No need. It won’t take long. I’ll go and come back. You should rest!”

Hua Cheng said, “Are you really not bringing me along?”

Xie Lian said, “No! You can’t come with me, absolutely, absolutely cannot!”

Hua Cheng opened his eyes slightly and asked, “Why?”

“…” Xie Lian hesitated for a moment, then suddenly turned around, grabbed Hua Cheng’s shoulders, looked straight into his eyes, and solemnly said, “You, have to practice calligraphy.”

Hua Cheng innocently looked at him, blinked his eyes. Xie Lian, with a stiff scalp, said, “Today, you must stay in the pavilion all day to practice calligraphy. I’ll check when I come back!”

Hua Cheng appeared even more innocent, tilted his head, but still obediently said, “Oh.”

Finally managing to handle the situation, Xie Lian crawled out of bed, rolling and crawling. Hua Cheng leaned against the table, squinting as he watched Xie Lian’s figure fleeing, and smiled, resting his head on his hands and lying down again.

Xie Lian first went to a desolate mountain and obtained what he wanted. Then he went to the bronze furnace.

Inside a small house in the thick forest of the Bronze Furnace Mountain, as soon as Xie Lian entered, he saw the National Master sitting at a table, pulling three empty shell people and playing cards with a serious expression. Without saying a word, he immediately turned around and left. However, as soon as the National Master saw him, his eyes lit up, and he shouted, “Stop!”

Xie Lian knew that the National Master would only make him stop when he was playing cards under one particular circumstance. Sure enough, the next moment, the National Master overturned the table and said, “Let’s stop playing. What’s the matter with you? Why did you come looking for me?”

Xie Lian turned around and saw the three empty shell people lying askew on the ground. He knew that the National Master was about to lose. Against his better judgment, he said, “It’s actually not a very serious matter.”

The National Master, however, was busy saying, “No, no, I can see that you have a serious expression. It must be something serious! Let’s put the cards aside, and let me help you first!”

“…”

Before Xie Lian could explain his intentions, the National Master’s expression changed again. The two sat on a crude bench, and Xie Lian could only hear the National Master scolding him, “It’s really not that big of a deal. It’s just a birthday. Is it worth thinking about it for so long and running around far and wide to get that kind of thing yourself?”

Xie Lian knew there was no point in explaining to others, as they wouldn’t understand even if he did. He rubbed his forehead, which was turning red from the self-inflicted friction, and said, “Anyway, I’ve already obtained the raw materials. I just can’t remember how to make the Longevity Lock in the style of the Immortal Music that I used to make when I was a child. I would like the National Master to give me some guidance. You don’t have to do it yourself; I can forge it myself.”

The National Master still seemed dissatisfied and said, “You don’t need to prepare a birthday gift at all. You’ve already given yourself to him. What else does he want as a gift???”

“…”

Was he implying that “you are the best gift yourself”? Xie Lian couldn’t stand such a sentiment. He couldn’t even think about it himself. He slapped his forehead and thought, “I’m not that narcissistic.”

Seeing him shaking his head repeatedly, resisting from the bottom of his heart, the National Master said, “You really have no ambition. You, a Heavenly Official who has ascended three times! The God of War with a Flower Crown! The Prince of Immortal Music! At seventeen, you dared to declare in front of the world that you wanted to save all living beings! At eighteen…”

Xie Lian immediately said, “National Master! Stop! National Master! Don’t say it! Don’t say it!”

What was there to be proud of in this kind of dark history!

The National Master looked at him with a complex expression, as if he hated that Xie Lian wasn’t living up to his potential. He said, “Crown Prince, you really don’t need to belittle yourself like this.”

Xie Lian said, “It’s not that I’m belittling myself, it’s just…”

It was natural to want to give the best to the person you admired. But inevitably, he couldn’t help but feel that he wasn’t good enough.

Seeing Xie Lian in this state, the National Master sighed, folded his hands in his sleeves, pondered for a while, and said, “The Longevity Lock, right? Wait a moment, let me think. It’s been too long, and I can’t say for sure that I remember all the techniques and consecration ceremonies.”

Xie Lian said, “It’s fine. If you can’t remember, I’ll forge it based on my memory. Sincerity can bring results.”

After a moment, the National Master looked at him and said, “Do you want to ask him?”

“…”

He didn’t mention a name, but Xie Lian knew who “he” was.

Jun Wu was sealed deep underground in the depths of the Bronze Furnace.

After a long silence, Xie Lian still shook his head.

After spending half a day in the Bronze Furnace Mountain, Xie Lian returned to the Ghost Market.

At this time, there were only a few hours left until Hua Cheng’s birthday. The ghosts had discussed with Xie Lian and pretended that nothing had happened on the surface, but they were secretly busy preparing the Ghost Market. Xie Lian slipped into a small shop, and soon the ghosts gathered around, anxiously and excitedly asking, “How is it? How is it?”

Xie Lian thought it felt like they were stealing something, and said, “How is your City Lord? Did you notice anything unusual?”

The ghosts said, “No, nothing. The City Lord has been in the Thousand Lantern Pavilion all day.”

Xie Lian was slightly puzzled, “All day?”

“Yes! The City Lord seems to be in a good mood today. Mr… Xie, have you prepared the birthday gift for the City Lord?”

Only then did Xie Lian feel relieved. He patted the Longevity Silver Lock that he had painstakingly crafted in his sleeve, smiled slightly, and said, “It’s ready.”

The ghosts were overjoyed, and they discussed the arrangements for tomorrow’s birthday celebration before returning to the Thousand Lantern Pavilion. As soon as they entered, they found Hua Cheng practicing calligraphy.

Without needing any prompting from him, Hua Cheng was actually practicing calligraphy on his own. This was truly a rare sight. It seemed that his mood was really good. Xie Lian couldn’t help but find it amusing to see the precious Eight Wilderness Brush in his hands creating such twisted and ugly characters. He shook his head and heard Hua Cheng say as he heard Xie Lian’s return, “Brother, you’re back? Good timing, come and see the results of my practice today.”

Xie Lian smiled and said, “Alright.” He wanted to go forward, but at that moment, his expression froze, his feet stopped, and he furrowed his brows.

Hua Cheng immediately sensed that something was wrong and in the next instant, he was by Xie Lian’s side, asking, “What’s wrong?”

Xie Lian quickly regained his composure and said, “It’s nothing.”

It wasn’t nothing; just in that moment, his heart had a slight pang of pain.

Hua Cheng wouldn’t let him be careless and walked up to hold his wrist, asking, “Where did you go? Did you get injured again?”

Xie Lian said, “No.”

That was true; he hadn’t actually been injured these past few days. Although he had been running around, he hadn’t encountered any danger. Hua Cheng pondered for a moment, found nothing, and let go of his hand. Xie Lian calmed himself and also didn’t notice anything. He thought it was probably just an illusion and smiled, saying, “Maybe I just twisted something. Anyway, let me see how your practice went today.”

Hua Cheng smiled and took Xie Lian’s hand, saying, “Come here.”

Before Xie Lian could respond, his heart suddenly hurt again.

This time, it was definitely not an illusion! He clearly felt that if the first time was like being pricked by a needle, the second time was like being scratched by something sharp. If it weren’t for Hua Cheng coincidentally turning his face, Xie Lian would have a hard time brushing it off as “nothing” this time.

But it wasn’t the right time to disturb Hua Cheng. The two of them played in the Thousand Lantern Pavilion for a while, and then Xie Lian found an excuse to go out and carefully examine himself.

After a while, he let go of his hand, his expression solemn.

Of course, the result was nothing wrong. Otherwise, Hua Cheng would have discovered it when he held his hand earlier.

Why was his heart hurting for no reason?

After pondering for a moment, Xie Lian speculated that he might have been afflicted by some evil spirit or poisoned, but he wasn’t panicking. At least not now. In a little while, it would be Hua Cheng’s birthday, and if something happened at this time, Hua Cheng would definitely be too preoccupied to celebrate, and Xie Lian would probably end up being held down to treat the injury.

Xie Lian was accustomed to enduring pain, and he had experienced strange occurrences like this before, so he didn’t think much of it. He decided to get through the day first and then find a way to deal with it quietly.

In the evening, as the time approached, Xie Lian returned to the Thousand Lantern Pavilion. Hua Cheng was still inside, idly doodling and creating waste paper. Xie Lian couldn’t help but find it amusing, but before his smile could fully form, he felt another pang in his heart. Rubbing his chest with his fingers didn’t help much. He thought to himself, “It seems that this thing is quite formidable… I’ll endure it a little longer.”

He took a deep breath and walked out, speaking in a gentle voice, “San Lang? There’s something I’m afraid I need your help with.”

Hua Cheng put down his brush and asked, “What is it?”

Xie Lian said, “Please close your eyes.”

Hua Cheng raised an eyebrow but didn’t ask any further questions. He closed his eyes as instructed. Xie Lian held his hands and smiled, saying, “Come with me.”

It was the reverse of that night with Jun Wu on Mount Youming. Hua Cheng smiled and said, “Okay.”

Xie Lian held his hands and slowly walked to the door, saying, “Be careful of the threshold.”

Hua Cheng had been wandering in the Thousand Lantern Pavilion for who knew how long, so he naturally didn’t need to be reminded of how to walk there. However, he still lifted his boot when Xie Lian reminded him. The silver chains on his boots jingled as they moved together, and the two of them stepped out of the gate and onto the long street.

They walked for a while, and Xie Lian said, “Okay, you can open your eyes now.”

Hua Cheng followed the instruction and opened his eyes. In an instant, his pitch-black eyes seemed to light up like ignited lanterns.

The long street was adorned with colorful lights and decorations. Compared to its usual chaotic appearance, it was much neater and cleaner. It seemed that every household had put in a lot of effort to tidy up, and the old, tattered signs had been replaced with new ones. The eaves and corners of the buildings sparkled, giving off a refreshed look.

The ghosts had surrounded them at some point. They had been too afraid to make a sound earlier, but as soon as Hua Cheng opened his eyes, they started enthusiastically cheering and making a commotion, shouting things like, “Happy birthday, City Lord!” and randomly shouting things like “May you have a harmonious marriage” and “May you have a child soon.” It was chaotic!

Seeing this disastrous effect, Xie Lian slapped his forehead. They had clearly trained for a long time to shout in unison, but why were they still shouting haphazardly now?

Hua Cheng remained expressionless, seemingly unaffected by the uproar. He raised an eyebrow and said, “What are you all doing? You’re making so much noise.”

The ghosts had given up on their training results and had shameless faces. They said, “Let it be! There’s no one else here anyway!”

Hua Cheng chuckled, turned around, and saw Xie Lian standing behind him with his hands behind his back. He said, “San Lang, I heard… today is your birthday?”

Hua Cheng seemed to have been waiting for this for a long time. He crossed his arms, tilted his head, and smiled, “Hmm. Yes.”

Xie Lian cleared his throat a few times, then suddenly jumped up and quickly put the Longevity Lock around Hua Cheng’s neck, saying, “This… I hastily made it, I hope you don’t dislike it!”

The Longevity Lock was carved with patterns similar to his wrist guards, including maple leaves, butterflies, and fierce beasts. It was exquisitely crafted and contained a powerful spiritual energy. It was clear that it was not an ordinary item. The ghosts cheered and exclaimed, “Fantastic! It’s so beautiful! What kind of treasure is this?”

“Ah! Only the City Lord is worthy of such a treasure! And only such a treasure is worthy of the City Lord!”

They exaggeratedly praised it, leaving Xie Lian at a loss between laughter and tears. He became more nervous and didn’t know whether he should ask Hua Cheng how he felt. Hua Cheng remained silent, but his eyes were bright, and a smile appeared on his lips.

After a while, he picked up the silver lock as if he was about to say something. However, at that moment, a sudden change occurred.

Xie Lian suddenly felt his knees go weak and knelt down to the ground.

This was truly unexpected, and the ghosts who had been happily watching let out gasps of surprise. Hua Cheng’s smile vanished instantly, and he quickly caught Xie Lian, asking, “Gege? What’s wrong?”

3 / 3

Xie Lian’s face turned pale, and he forced a smile, saying, “I’m… fine.”

Before he could finish speaking, his throat constricted.

This is bad, it’s happening again!

That inexplicable heartache returned, but this time, the pain was more intense than ever before, as if his heart was being blown apart.

Xie Lian inwardly cursed. He didn’t expect the pain to come so fiercely, getting worse with each occurrence, and it had to happen at this critical moment!

He managed to stay calm, but the intense pain persisted. It felt as if someone was wielding a wooden wedge and hammering it into his heart. Xie Lian struggled to breathe, unable to lift his head, and cold sweat dripped down his forehead. Hua Cheng’s expression completely changed. “Your Highness?!”

He grabbed Xie Lian’s wrist, but still couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He asked, “Your Highness! Where did you go yesterday?!”

Panicked voices echoed from all directions. Xie Lian opened his mouth, but it felt as if something was stuck in his throat, preventing him from speaking.

Hua Cheng’s grip on his arm trembled. Seeing the usually calm and beautiful face of Hua Cheng filled with a tinge of frantic worry, Xie Lian’s heart seemed to be struck by a heavy blow. Unable to bear it any longer, he finally lost consciousness.

Before losing consciousness, his mind was filled with apologies.

Today was Hua Cheng’s birthday.

After an unknown amount of time, Xie Lian suddenly woke up, still in a daze, staring blankly at the ceiling above. He thought, “This is… Thousand Lantern Pavilion? What happened to me… Did I fall asleep?”

As he gradually regained his senses, a hand supported him, and Hua Cheng’s voice sounded nearby, “Your Highness?”

Xie Lian raised his head and indeed saw Hua Cheng’s face, burning with anxiety between his eyebrows. Xie Lian was taken aback, about to speak, when a wave of intense pain shot through his heart again.

This time, he was completely awake. He immediately arched his body, his fingers almost digging into his chest, exerting so much force as if he wanted to tear out his own heart. Hua Cheng quickly caught his wrist, saying, “Your Highness!”

If Hua Cheng hadn’t caught him fast enough, Xie Lian’s heart would have had five bloody holes by now. At that moment, a voice from the side said, “Something doesn’t seem right. Maybe you should let go of him first!”

Ming Yi was actually here too. Hua Cheng said, “If I let go, what if he hurts himself?!”

Feng Xin’s voice rang out, “I’ll hold him down for you! If you don’t find out what’s going on quickly, his pain won’t stop!”

Xie Lian’s body was arched, feeling the other hand gripping his wrist. Hearing these words, Hua Cheng hesitated for a moment, but then he did release his grip.

Strangely enough, as soon as Hua Cheng let go, the pain subsided somewhat. Xie Lian could at least move now. He turned over and found Feng Xin and Ming Yi standing by the bed, probably summoned to inquire about the situation. Meanwhile, Hua Cheng stood not far away, staring at him intently.

Just that look caused the slight relief from the pain to resurge in Xie Lian. Seeing his complexion change again, Ming Yi said to Hua Cheng, “Stay away! It seems like he gets in pain every time he sees you!”

Upon hearing this, Hua Cheng’s figure froze, his expression extremely terrifying and indescribable. However, he immediately moved away and withdrew outside the room. And as he disappeared from Xie Lian’s line of sight, the severe pain in his chest abruptly ceased. The pain had been going back and forth, driving Xie Lian almost insane. He took a breath and said with difficulty, “What… exactly… is happening?”

Ming Yi and Feng Xin still firmly held him, preventing him from moving and looking at Hua Cheng. Ming Yi said, “What’s happening? You should ask yourself that! What’s wrong with you? You must have gotten involved with something!”

Xie Lian replied, “If I got involved with something, wouldn’t I know it myself?”

Besides, Hua Cheng had already examined him. Ming Yi furrowed his brows and asked, “Did you go to any strange places these past few days?”

Xie Lian answered, “The only places I’ve been to these days are Copper Furnace Mountain and… the tomb of the Divine Seer.”

Ming Yi frowned, “What? The tomb of the Divine Seer? Which Divine Seer?”

Hua Cheng, standing outside, already understood. He said, “The tomb of the Divine Seer, Fang Xin?!”

Xie Lian said, “San Lang, please come inside…”

Hua Cheng’s deep voice came from outside, “Gege, you should rest here. I’ll go and take a look.”

Xie Lian said, “I’m going too!” However, as soon as he tried to get up, he was immediately overwhelmed by pain and had to lie back down. After Hua Cheng finished speaking, there was no sound. He must have already left. Xie Lian wanted to struggle and get up again, but Ming Yi said, “You better not move around. You can’t even walk anymore!”

Xie Lian was held down by four hands, still struggling, and said, “I’ve experienced pain before. I’ll get used to it.” He couldn’t just avoid seeing Hua Cheng because it would hurt.

But Ming Yi said, “You may be willing to endure the pain, but your San Lang definitely isn’t.”

Xie Lian was stunned as he recalled the expression on Hua Cheng’s face when he fainted, as well as the expression when Hua Cheng felt pain every time Xie Lian approached. His breathing faltered, and his heart felt as if it was being torn apart, his face turning pale. Feng Xin and Ming Yi stared at him in astonishment. Feng Xin exclaimed, “Didn’t Blood Rain Seeking Flower leave? Why is he still in pain?”

Ming Yi, being perceptive, said, “Were you thinking about him just now?”

Xie Lian clenched his teeth and endured for a while before weakly saying, “How… can I… not even think about it?”

Ming Yi said, “Stop thinking. It seems like the more you think, the more intense the episodes become, and the more you suffer. Let me pour you a cup of water to drink.”

Xie Lian didn’t even have the strength to shake his head in refusal. Ming Yi got up to pour water while Xie Lian closed his eyes, trying to calm himself. But the calmer he became, the more worried he felt. He didn’t know what kind of curse or entity had afflicted him. Neither Ming Yi nor Feng Xin could find any clues. And now, Hua Cheng had gone alone, which made Xie Lian extremely anxious. At that moment, Ming Yi handed him the tea cup. The cup was elegant and white, and the thought that Hua Cheng had used it just the previous night made Xie Lian lose all color in his face and lie back silently. Ming Yi, seeing that Xie Lian’s thoughts had flown to someone else again, couldn’t even hand over the tea. He frowned and said, “Why do you always have to think about him? Don’t you care about your own life?!”

Xie Lian replied, “I can’t control it.”

If it were as simple as not thinking about someone just by deciding not to, many troubles and sorrows in the world wouldn’t exist.

Ming Yi said, “Why don’t I just knock him out so he won’t be able to control his thoughts?”

But as Xie Lian’s former attendant, Feng Xin would never lay a hand on Xie Lian, let alone allow anyone to hurt him in his presence. He immediately interjected, “No! I think it’s better if you talk to him more, divert his attention. That way, he won’t keep thinking about Blood Rain Seeking Flower.”

Ming Yi said reluctantly, “What can I even talk to him about? No matter what I say, he’ll still associate it with Blood Rain Seeking Flower. Knocking him out might be the best option!”

Feng Xin said, “We can’t resort to violence! How about playing a game of idioms? If he’s busy with that, he won’t have time to think about anything else. I’ll start: ‘Life is better than the southern mountains!’”

He detested this game, and his expression showed his aversion. Ming Yi detested it even more, but he reluctantly continued, “When mountains and rivers turn hostile.”

Xie Lian, feeling helpless, weakly continued, “The wicked are doomed.”

As soon as he finished speaking, he curled up again. Ming Yi couldn’t believe it and said, “How can you associate that with him? There’s no connection at all!”

In Xie Lian’s mind, how could there be no connection? Zhu, the color red, crimson garments. Thinking of red garments, how could he not think of Hua Cheng?

Tortured like this, he couldn’t bear it anymore. With a burst of strength, he broke free from the hold of the two men restraining him and rolled off the bed with a thud. Feng Xin and Ming Yi were prepared for his strong outburst, but they couldn’t suppress him. Seeing him break free, they hurried to intercept him, but both were pushed to the ground by his palm. Ming Yi looked up and happened to see him rushing towards the door, saying, “Where are you going? Don’t run around!”

But Xie Lian had reached his limit. He took out two small dice from his sleeve, rolled them, and stumbled into a doorway.

Hua Cheng had said that no matter what number Xie Lian threw, he would be able to see him. And with this leap, Xie Lian didn’t know where the dice had taken him, but he had indeed fallen into someone’s embrace. Hua Cheng’s slightly surprised voice rang above his head, “Your Highness!”

Xie Lian hurriedly hugged him, afraid that he would disappear again, and said, “San Lang! Don’t go alone, I… want to be with you…”

Hua Cheng seemed to want to hug him back immediately, but his arms froze halfway. He forced himself to restrain his emotions and said in a deep voice, “Your Highness, quickly go back. You will be in severe pain.”

The terrifying Ghost King Blood Rain Seeking Flower, who struck fear into the hearts of all in the Three Realms, now seemed at a loss as to how to handle him. Neither embracing nor pushing him away seemed right. Embracing caused pain, and pushing caused even more pain. Xie Lian gritted his teeth and held him even tighter, trembling as he said, “Let it hurt!”

Hua Cheng said, “Your Highness…”

Rather than sitting somewhere else and thinking of Hua Cheng until the pain drove him mad, it was better to hold onto Hua Cheng tightly and be driven mad by the pain. The more it hurt, the tighter he had to hold him. Xie Lian’s forehead was covered in tiny beads of sweat as he intermittently said, “Just wait for me, just a little longer, I’ll be fine soon, I’ll get used to it. I can endure pain well. When you’re by my side, I can endure even when it hurts. If you leave, then… I won’t be able to bear the pain anymore…”

After hearing these words, Hua Cheng was completely stunned. After a moment, he whispered, “Your Highness…” It sounded like a sigh, tinged with agony, as if he was even more tormented than Xie Lian.

Xie Lian took the initiative to embrace him, enduring the unbearable pain. As he tried to steady his breath, a voice suddenly came from behind, “Is this made from melting your silver mask?”

Dizzy and disoriented, Xie Lian realized that they were in a desolate and eerie graveyard, the same place he had visited a few days ago—the tomb of the National Master. And standing behind them was another person, tall and upright—it was Lang Qianqiu.

In his half-dazed state, Xie Lian hadn’t noticed the third person’s presence. At this moment, he was too preoccupied to feel embarrassed. Feng Xin and Ming Yi caught up with them. Ming Yi had been knocked to the ground by Xie Lian’s palm and was seething with anger, his temples throbbing as he shouted, “What are you running around for? Even four hands couldn’t hold you down!—And what kind of ghostly place is this? It’s like a graveyard!”

Feng Xin also surveyed the surroundings and said, “This is a graveyard, right? And it looks like a grave that has been dug up. This is the tomb of the National Master Fang Xin? Why is Taihua here too?”

Lang Qianqiu’s expression wasn’t great as he replied, “I heard there was activity at the National Master’s tomb a few days ago, as if it had been visited by grave robbers. I came to take a look.”

He had already been somewhat absent-minded when he arrived, so naturally, he hadn’t noticed the third person. Now that he had noticed, he didn’t have the energy to exchange greetings or explanations. He focused on Xie Lian and asked again, “Is that the Longevity Lock you crafted from that silver mask? Did you come back the day before yesterday and take the mask?”

After hesitating for a moment, Xie Lian nodded.

During his time as the National Master of Yong’an, he always wore a silver mask. The mask itself was made of rare silver and forged by a half-pound silver demon. It not only concealed his face but also possessed the miraculous ability to rebound spells, providing protection. When Fang Xin, the National Master, “died,” the mask was buried with him as a burial item.

When giving a gift, it was only natural to give something that one would treasure as well. Xie Lian had racked his brain and finally remembered that he had once possessed this precious item, which had been extremely useful and had saved him several times. He had been infatuated with the mask, but he hadn’t taken it with him when he climbed out of the coffin. So he rushed to the tomb of the National Master that night, dug up his own grave, retrieved the mask, and melted it down into a silver liquid to forge a new Longevity Lock.

The expressions of everyone present were strange. After all, the tomb of the National Master had never been visited, and the grass had grown several feet high. Xie Lian hadn’t even bothered to clean it. Not only did he not clean the tomb, but he also dug up his own grave… Nobody else would do such a thing!

After an awkward silence, Xie Lian looked at Lang Qianqiu, who had a peculiar expression, and explained, “I didn’t take it from your place. That mask was crafted from a silver demon that I had previously subdued…”

If it had been something belonging to the Yong’an royal family, he would never have used it as raw material to make a birthday gift for Hua Cheng. He didn’t know that Lang Qianqiu was still paying attention to the tomb of the National Master. He thought that Lang Qianqiu had buried him and then didn’t care anymore. Otherwise, he would have at least filled the dug-up grave back, and it wouldn’t have alarmed Lang Qianqiu to come and investigate.

Lang Qianqiu was taken aback for a moment, then angrily retorted, “I never brought that up with you!”

Hua Cheng glanced at him, his gaze slightly cold, and Lang Qianqiu shuddered. Xie Lian, however, looked at the silver lock and suddenly furrowed his brows, as if he had remembered something.

His gaze met Lang Qianqiu’s, and he realized that Lang Qianqiu was thinking the same thing. Hua Cheng wouldn’t miss this opportunity and said, “Is the problem with this Longevity Lock? Your Highness, do you know what it is now?”

Xie Lian did have a clue, and he had guessed what was happening, but he didn’t know how to broach the subject. However, Lang Qianqiu, with a pale face, spoke up on his behalf.

He said, “It’s himself.”

Hua Cheng’s voice turned cold. “What do you mean?”

Xie Lian hurriedly interjected, “Qianqiu!”

Lang Qianqiu glanced at him and fell silent. Apparently, he also didn’t know how to continue. But if he didn’t speak, others would continue for him.

After the banquet, Prince Yong’an Lang Qianqiu had captured Fang Xin, the National Master, and, seeking revenge, had forcefully nailed him to the coffin, sealing it in a desolate wilderness, where no one was allowed to mourn or pay respects. Of course, there was no one who would have mourned or paid respects in the first place.

At that time, the blood flowing from Xie Lian’s heart, pierced by the peach wood nail, stained the silver mask, which was treated as a burial item, with crimson. The demon aura from the silver demon preserved the blood, allowing it to separate from Xie Lian’s body and remain alive.

And when Xie Lian returned a few days ago and visited the grave, he dug up his own grave, took the silver demon mask, and forged it into the Longevity Lock. The blood on the mask was awakened by him and took the opportunity to return to his body.

No wonder Hua Cheng and he had repeatedly investigated but found no abnormalities. It was because the culprit was something inside his own body—the blood, which naturally wouldn’t be detected as abnormal!

Huacheng’s expression flickered, but Xie Lian couldn’t see it. He quickly held him back and said, “Sanlang!”

Lang Qianqiu wanted to kill him, seeking revenge for the death of the former Lord of Yong’an, who had indeed died at his hands. Nailing him inside the coffin was just tit for tat. Xie Lian took a few breaths, but then another wave of intense pain surged through his chest, causing him to involuntarily groan. The color of burning pain reappeared between Huacheng’s eyebrows as he asked, “Your Highness?”

Lang Qianqiu hesitated for a moment, seeing Xie Lian’s face as pale as paper, and said, “Should… Should I help?”

Knowing what Lang Qianqiu would think in his situation, Xie Lian quickly replied, “It’s okay, it’s okay, Qianqiu. You don’t need to help. It’s not your concern. It’s my own carelessness. You can let it go.”

Ming Yi also felt that it was awkward for Lang Qianqiu, who was both the victim and the perpetrator, to be present in this situation. He said, “That’s right, Taihua, you don’t need to worry about him. Just go back.”

After a silent moment, Lang Qianqiu said, “Okay.”

However, despite saying “okay,” he didn’t leave. The others didn’t pay attention either because Xie Lian was writhing in pain again. Even in such pain, he refused to let go of Huacheng. Feng Xin said, “Let’s resolve this matter first!… Your Highness? What’s wrong with you?”

Xie Lian had struggled fiercely just a moment ago, but after a crisp sound, he suddenly calmed down and lay in Huacheng’s arms, covered in cold sweat, motionless.

Huacheng held him tightly and whispered, “Your Highness, it’s over. The pain is gone, right?”

It was then that everyone noticed he was holding a broken, glimmering silver dust in his hand. The Longevity Lock he had cherished and worn on his chest was now missing.

As long as he destroyed that Longevity Lock, the strand of demonic blood that had tainted his heart would naturally calm down. So he held the Longevity Lock and gave it a gentle squeeze, shattering it.

Xie Lian’s breathing gradually steadied, and as he turned his head, he saw the flickering silver specks trickling through Huacheng’s fingers, meeting his gaze. For some reason, his heart ached again.

He murmured, “Hmm… It doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Finally breaking the curse, Xie Lian bid farewell to Feng Xin, Ming Yi, Lang Qianqiu, and the others, walking slowly back towards the Ghost Market with Huacheng.

Side by side, Xie Lian’s face remained flushed the entire way.

It was all because of Feng Xin and Ming Yi.

Before they had parted ways earlier, Feng Xin wiped his sweat and couldn’t help but ask, “So, what exactly is it about Blood Rain on Douluo that makes Your Highness react like this? What’s the deal with this heart’s blood? Is it intentionally making things difficult for you?”

Xie Lian knew exactly what was going on, but upon hearing the question, he hurriedly said, “Let’s not delve into that.”

Feng Xin was puzzled and asked, “Why not delve into it? Otherwise, what if it happens again next time? We need to understand it clearly.”

Ming Yi sneered, “Can’t you figure this out? That blood has been flowing out of his body for so many years. After returning, he’s not accustomed to it and will definitely act up. If his heart were calm and unperturbed… well…”

But if his heart was restless and agitated, then the blood would surge, causing unbearable pain, reliving the agony of the peach wood nail piercing his heart.

Xie Lian didn’t dare to look at Huacheng’s expression at that time. He felt like he had lost face in front of Huacheng for the rest of his life.

In other words, whenever he saw or thought of Huacheng, his heart couldn’t help but stir and the pain would become unbearable, causing him to writhe in agony!

Thinking of this, Xie Lian’s heart started pounding again.

Fortunately, now, even if his heart was pounding rapidly, it wouldn’t hurt anymore.

Suddenly, Huacheng, who had been silent for a long time, said, “Your Highness.”

Xie Lian immediately responded, “What?”

Huacheng said, “How long were you in that grave?”

Xie Lian was stunned for a moment and said, “I don’t remember.”

It was a very long time, so long that he didn’t want to count. Pain, hunger, blood loss, hallucinations. At first, he didn’t move at all, then he couldn’t help but regret, frantically pounding on the coffin, trying to break free, but ultimately succumbing to the boundless darkness.

It wasn’t the same kind of pain as when a hundred swords pierced his heart, as if he would never be reborn. But it was an enduring, lingering, and dull pain.

He sighed. Huacheng immediately asked, “What’s wrong, Your Highness? Does it still hurt?”

Xie Lian shook his head. After a while, he mumbled, “Sanlang, I’m sorry.”

Huacheng was puzzled and asked, “Why are you apologizing to me?”

After hesitating for a moment, Xie Lian said, “Today was supposed to be your birthday, and I wanted to celebrate it properly, but instead, it’s been a day of suffering, just trying to find a way to break the curse.”

Originally, he had planned to endure until the end of Huacheng’s birthday, but he couldn’t hold on.

Xie Lian continued, “Even the birthday gift I gave you was destroyed in order to break the curse.”

And it was Huacheng himself who crushed it. As Xie Lian thought back from beginning to end, he felt that today was just disastrous, utterly disheartening. He couldn’t imagine what Huacheng’s feelings would be like.

However, Huacheng’s voice softened as he said, “Your Highness.”

He paused and said, “I have received your birthday gift.”

Xie Lian was taken aback. “What?”

But please don’t say anything like “You are the best gift” and so on. That would only make him feel more embarrassed.

Huacheng gazed at him, smiled slightly, and said, “Your Highness, you said that even if it hurts, you still want to come and see me. Even if it hurts so much, you don’t want to leave.”

“…”

Huacheng whispered, “I’m happy.”

Remembering how miserable he looked when he said those words to Huacheng, Xie Lian coughed lightly and wanted to pretend naturally by covering his face. But suddenly, Huacheng pulled him close and embraced him tightly.

Xie Lian was taken aback, feeling the slight tremor in Huacheng’s chest as he heard his deep voice.

Huacheng said, “I’m truly happy.”

“…”

I’m happy too. Xie Lian thought in his heart.

Even if it hurt, Huacheng had never once thought of giving up on him throughout the long century.

Realizing this, Xie Lian felt the greatest joy.

The two of them embraced each other tightly. When they returned to the Ghost Market, the restless and anxious ghosts who had been on edge all day immediately turned from chaos to jubilation upon seeing the safe return of the two. Huacheng still didn’t bother to say a word and entered the Thousand Lantern Pavilion with Xie Lian. However, when they entered, they discovered that there were many additional items inside.

Huacheng asked, “Who brought these in?”

Xie Lian picked them up one by one and examined them. He said, “It seems to be a gift box? This one must be from Lord Yushi, such fresh vegetables… and this one is from Qing Xuan?… Alright, this one must be from General Pei…”

After going through them, he became more and more delighted, smiling happily and saying, “Sanlang! It’s a joyous occasion! These are birthday gifts for His Majesty the Ghost King sent by everyone.”

He had been going mad for the past few days, asking people everywhere what would be a good birthday gift. Although he didn’t say who it was for, probably no one couldn’t guess it.

However, Huacheng had no interest in these things at all and said, “Big brother, don’t look at them. We’ll throw them all out later. They take up space.”

Seeing that he was really planning to have someone throw them away, Xie Lian hurriedly said, “Then let’s not throw them away. It’s still a thoughtful gesture from everyone… Wait, why is this here too? Who sent it?” He actually saw aphrodisiacs and fertility pills mixed in with the pile of serious gifts. He couldn’t help but feel helpless and set them aside like a hot potato. Huacheng, on the other hand, seemed to be somewhat interested in them and was about to pick them up. Xie Lian quickly stopped him and said, “It’s not something good! Don’t look at it!”

In the end, after much hesitation, Xie Lian decided to give Huacheng the belt he had originally made with his own hands as a replacement for the Longevity Lock.

When Huacheng saw it, he laughed so hard that he almost couldn’t catch his breath—although ghosts didn’t need to breathe. In any case, he hugged Xie Lian tightly and praised him non-stop, making Xie Lian feel extremely embarrassed and lie motionless on the bed, pretending to be dead.

But what made Xie Lian want to pretend to be dead even more was that the next morning, Huacheng actually wore that thing and got ready to go out as if nothing had happened. Xie Lian almost fainted when he saw it and immediately rolled off the bed and pleaded for a long time. Only then did Huacheng reluctantly agree to wear it the other way around and show the side without embroidered patterns to the public. In this way, Xie Lian managed to avoid the fate of having his handiwork publicly humiliated.

As for the fact that because of Huacheng’s grand gesture that day, it became known to the whole world that Xie Lian had fainted on his birthday due to being mesmerized by the Blood Rain Seeking Flower and had been in a state of ecstasy, well, that’s another story!