It is already dawn but the sky is still dark. Lin Xulian, together with the eldest prince Xing Guang, Princess Xing Tanxing and Rui are in the entrance of a forest. This is a hidden path going to Qiangdu country that Xioa Tianshi marked in the map that Lin Xulian brought with her.
After more than a month in the eldest prince's manor, Lin Xulian was able to completely gain back her strength and health. And today, she decided to finally continue her journey to completely get rid the Gu poison inside her body. This also marks the start of her collaboration with Xing Guang in their plan for revenge against Emperor Xing Wenhe and his sister Xing Baihe.
They choose this time for her to leave to avoid the enemy's spies. Good thing those spies are not great martial artists and are oblivious that Xing Guang already know about their existence. But he kept quiet and let them loiter around them to avoid the enemy's suspicion. As for Rui and Lin Xulian, they did a great job in staying low and the spies thought that they are just ordinary travelers.
"I'm off big brother Rui, your highness eldest prince and Tanxing." Lin Xulian with her bird Fei resting on her shoulder, gave a determined look and smiled at the three people who sent her off.
"May the heavens bless your journey young miss Lin. I know you are capable but I would like to remind you to take care of yourself and be alert. Especially towards those unknown forces behind my emperor brother." Xing Guang said seriously.
"I know your highness. I will keep them in mind." Lin Xulian replied in equal seriousness.
"Lian, take care of yourself. We'll be waiting for you. Once you return, I'll help you skin that white lotus sister of mine alive. I don't care if we have half of the same blood. If I can choose, I want to be your sister instead." Xing Tanxing said while acting out a gesture of peeling something.
Lin Xulian laughed in amusement seeing Xing Tanxing's act. "I'll look forward for that. For now, you should focus on taking care of big brother Rui."
Mentioning Rui, Xing Tanxing got flustered and felt awkward. Especially because he is present and could hear everything. "W-what are you saying?! He is an adult. W-why would I need to take care of him?"
"But he said he will stay here and you will accompany him. He will be your responsibility. That basically means you will have to take care of him right? Did I misunderstand something?" Lin Xulian asked innocently.
Xing Tanxing wanted to pull out her hair in irritation. 'Is she playing with words? Or am I the one that's overthinking? Any more of these two dense sibling innuendo, I'll surely go crazy!' That's what Xing Tanxing thought. But outside she gave Lin Xulian a stiff smile. "Oh...haha…so that's what you mean. Sure, sure. I'll take responsibility." After saying those words, Xing Tanxing cannot brush off the feeling that she was played somewhere along the line.
Lin Xulian secretly smiled knowing that she achieved her desired outcome. After finally knowing what love and being rejected felt like, she knows how painful it is for her big brother Rui. And she wanted to take a risk and match him with Xing Tanxing. She can feel that she really cared for her brother and she also likes her. She just hopes that her brother could see the greatness in Xing Tanxing and move on.
Lastly, Lin Xulian looked tenderly at her big brother Rui. Looking back, he was always there for her. Even after getting married he chose to accompany her. She took everything he did for granted because she thinks it was normal for siblings. Even her big brother Huang, if not for his responsibility at the mercenary, he would want to stay by her side. That is why she never thought that her big brother Rui has romantic feelings for her. Unfortunately, she cannot return his feelings.
Rui rubbed her head seeing the way she is looking at him. And he knows that she is still feeling bad about the rejection. As for him, he still sad about it but he is more than determined to move forward after the closure. "Don't worry about me. Focus on your goal. I'll be waiting for you here. Just take care of yourself and return if things get too hard for you. Big brother will help you find the solution."
"Who do you think I am big brother? Are you looking down on me? Trust me, I will succeed and cure myself in no time and return unscathed. I will send a message through Fei once I arrive there." Lin Xulian said proudly. Fei also gave a screech as if saying that he can handle the task.
The two siblings looked at each other for a moment before Lin Xulian pulled her brother into a hug. "I will miss you big brother." Rui also returned her hug.
Just before the color of the sky lightened, Lin Xulian proceeded to leave. Xing Guang was the first to return in the manor since some of the spies who acted as his servant will soon enter his chamber to attend to him. If they would find out that he left in the middle of the night, they might get suspicious and report to their master.
Rui on the other hand stayed longer until he could no longer see Lin Xulian's silhouette. He can't help but feel nostalgic and remember his times with her. The little girl who would always cling to him every time she needs anything is big enough to go on a journey alone.
Xing Tanxing also stayed longer to wait for Rui. She looked at the direction where Lin Xulian went and gave a sincere promise. 'I promise I will take care of him, Lian.'