It took one long month for Lin Xulian to finally gain back the strength and health she lost because of the Gu poison inside her body. But she still cannot leave because her big brother Rui still hasn't given her the consent. What pisses her off even more is whenever she tries to convince him again, he would make some excuses to brush off the topic.
One morning while Lin Xulian was meditating, she heard a screech of a bird. When she opened her eyes and looked up, she saw her flaming red bird Fei descending towards her. She stretched her arm and let him land on it. She then noticed the note tied in his leg. She thought it was the letter she wrote and Fei failed to deliver her message. To her surprise, it is actually her big brother Huang's reply.
"You are really a convenient bird. I'll feed you later as a reward." Lin Xulian said while petting his head. Fei stood proud with his chest out from Lin Xulian's complement. Lin Xulian can only shake her head in amusement.
Her heart constricted after reading her brother's message. Aside from his acknowledgement of her warning, he also stated that Feng Jun Yi is currently going all out in searching for the red clad assassin who "killed" her. She felt a bit guilty for deceiving him. He has an empire to think about but he still wasted some time and resources to find justice for her.
Learning that Feng Jun Yi still cared for her, although he doesn't love her, Lin Xulian cannot help her heart from having complicated feelings. She knows that his desire to give her justice is genuine and that made her happy. But she still cannot brush off the fact that once in their life, he wanted to use and take advantage of her to the point of fooling her.
'I wish I remained oblivious and didn't know what love felt like. That way we can still be friends just like before.' Lin Xulian thought while looking at the distant direction of the Gonglu country.
****** Rui only watched Lin Xulian while she is immersing in her nostalgic thoughts. And he knows she is thinking about Feng Jun Yi again. He is the only one that could make her show that sad look after all. Rui took a deep breath and prepared himself. He decided that today, right now is the time he would confess to Lin Xulian. He slowly approached Lin Xulian and gave a light cough to catch her attention. "Lian'er, I am here to give you an answer. But I would like to say something first."
Lin Xulian whipped her head towards Rui's direction and smiled at him. "Big brother! Are you finally permitting me to go?" She asked nervously.
"I am. But before that, I would like to confess something." Rui started nervously. "We grew up as siblings for eighteen years. But throughout those years, I never considered you as my sister. Because from the moment I saw you, I know I wanted more….. Lian'er, I love you. Not as my sister, but as a woman. And before I let you leave, I want you to stop thinking about me as your brother." Rui said seriously while looking at Lin Xulian straight in her eyes.
Lin Xulian went speechless after hearing what her big brother Rui said. Her mind went blank for a moment in attempt to process what he really meant. And no matter how she thinks about it, she can't disregard the fact that her big brother loves her in a romantic way. She was about to reject him but Rui stopped her.
"Lian'er, you don't have to answer now. I'll give you time during your journey. I'll wait until you return. Then you can give me an answer. Just keep my confession in mind." Rui compromised.
Lin Xulian's eyes reddened and her heart constricted. "Big brother I can't. I've known you as my brother since I was three. That's basically my entire conscious life. I just can't forget that you are my brother." Lin Xulian explained.
"But we are not blood related." Rui refuted. But Lin Xulian's tears fell in reply. He made her cry. This hurt him more than the rejection. "Is it because of Feng Jun Yi? Do you still love him despite of everything? But you loved him for not that long. It should be easy to forget about him, right? Don't you think maybe you fell in love with him because he is already your husband? You just had no option. But you are free to choose now. Please try and look at someone else; look at me." He insisted.
"It has nothing to do with him big brother. I just can't. My heart can't." Lin Xulian said then she grasped his hands and look at him straight in his eyes. "I don't want to lose my big brother Rui." She said with tears in her eyes.
Seeing her reaction, Rui felt guilty. He can clearly see it in her eyes that she felt bad for rejecting him but she had no choice. He can also see fear in them. She is afraid. Afraid of losing him, her brother. Admitting defeat, Rui hugged her and let her cry in his shoulder. "I'm sorry Lian'er. Forget I said anything. I promise I won't disappear. You won't lose me okay? I'm your big brother. I'll be your big brother forever."
Although in pain, Rui comforted Lin Xulian. He also realized something. He doesn't want to lose her too. If he can only be her brother, then he should just be contented. He also understands her feelings. He felt it for eighteen years too. There are times when you just can't love someone no matter what you or they do. He also rejected some women during his missions so he understands how Lin Xulian feels. You just can't force love.