In another carriage entering the back door of the White Lotus Temple, Jinlong head was leaning on his arm. There was a shadow under his eyes indicating his sleepless night, but it did not diminished his striking looks a bit and only added the charm of a diligent man.
The rattle of the carriage continued when it passed the clearance of several monks. After several minutes, the movements came to a halt. Jinlong ceased his rest and opened the door without waiting for his aides.
Dark boots landed on the cold stone, dust swirled under his soles. Striding with majestic posture passing the row of monks whose lower back had bent paying him respect, Jinlong quickly made his way to the leading monk at the end of the line.
Holding a horsetail whisk in his one hand, High Priest Pu brought his hand on his chest and also bowed at Jinlong, "Greetings Benefactor." His amiable faced flashed a benevolent smile forming a warm aura around him.
"There's no need for formalities." Jinlong helped his old back politely. Such gesture suggested his level of respect for the bald monk.
"This one is fine…" Pu made a stopping gesture but inside warmness spread.
"The room…" Jinlong mumbled while simultaneously observing the surroundings.
Swishing his horsetail, High Priest Pu lifted his steps, "This one had already prepared it."
Two temple monks followed them.
In contrary to the North Guardian Temple, the White Lotus Temple was in better shape due to the fact that it was built, per se, by the previous Emperor's commands and only finished a year ago under Jinlong's assistance.
The previous Emperor loved for white lotuses was known by everyone, hence, the temple's name. This was supposed to be a summer resort where the he could retreat after retiring but such wish was not fulfilled, the previous Emperor died in the battle dealing with the Wei Country's sudden invasion. The construction halted for half a year before Jinlong continued the funding. To be called a Benefactor was an understatement.
The architectural structure of the White Lotus Temple was forming a bilateral symmetry. Jinlong and High Priest Pu's entourage were trudging towards the entrance of a rectangular compound with two sections of courtyards.
They took the left section's path where a pointed pavilion, artificial pond and mountain were built. White lotuses graced the pond with ethereal beauty making Jinlong paused in his steps. He was hit by nostalgia.
"Benefactor…" High Priest Pu called out breaking Jinlong's attention.
"Let's go", he replied after taking a long hard look on the glistening water filled with white petals.
At the same time, the two Su couple linked their arms. Ye'wu was behind them maintaining a meter of distance. Waves of shock kept splashing through him as he witness Master's sudden changes. Who was the one that had extreme aversions towards woman? Who said that no one could come a meter near him or else they'll be destroyed?
Just like Ye'wu, Long was also in deep thought. Oddly, he didn't feel an aversion at all and instead a comfortable feeling washed through him like he was used to her company.
Wait! He was used to her? His height was a head taller than the woman and thus Ning Lou couldn't see the changes happening in his eyes.
There was total confusion. The little moment of distraction created a gap on Long's acting.
"Husband?" her soft voice travelled to the air like cotton.
Drawn in by a kind of nostalgia, his mouth went ahead his logic, "Did we met somewhere before?" Unsure yet certain, the question escaped from his lips.
Turning her head to his chest she breathed the words in a teasing tone, "I thought husband said to only ask about our marital affairs?"
Warm breath tickled his body through the clothes. He withdrew his gaze on her before responding to her tease uttering a genuine confession, "I got distracted."
"Benefactors the side courtyard is ahead." The young monk interfered in between their exchanges. His eyes held appreciation for their closed relationship. It was rare to see a pair of loving mandarin ducks.
Both of them gave him a nodded of gratefulness.
"May peace be with you Benefactors and may you be blessed with a child." The young monk added and placed a palm to his chest.
Ning Lou smiled sheepishly. What a ridiculous idea, she wanted to curse but upon remembering that she was on holy grounds, she held the impulse instead.
Long, however replied some words befitting a father who was happy over the wish, "This one thanks the monk's kind heart", impeccable and without a place to nitpick, his beam got through the young monk.
Truly on the level of Oscar-actors, Long portrayed his role so well that Ning Lou felt she was lacking compared to the degree of practiced shamelessness Brother Long possessed.
There was a pinch on his sturdy waists. Ning Lou lifted her face to him at the same time. The smile she was wearing had cracks.
Noticing the twitches on the corner of her sultry mouth, Long whispered words to her ears, "Wife it's still daylight."
Even without eyes on the back of her head, Ning Lou knew he was enjoying spouting the ambiguous words. "You're enjoying this, right?" He had too much dedication to his role at the moment.
The tiny sounds of grinding teeth could be heard from his ears. The woman lost her temper at his tease. Chuckling, he withdrew.
However, in the second he did, he spotted a silhouette.
Long loosened his hold on her. His eyes stared at the figure not far from where they were.
Ning Lou detected the change in the atmosphere and looked ahead.
"Benefactor…" High Priest Pu swished his horsetail at Jinlong. This was the second time that the Emperor graced a certain direction for a long time.
High Priest Pu trailed the Emperor's glimmering eyes raging with suspicion and saw a couple returning their gazes.
He remembered that there seemed to be an appointment with a merchant surnamed Su.
"Your Majesty, they're here for a blessing. The wife had troubled getting pregnant." High Priest Pu informed further fanning the flames whirling in Jinlong's eyes.
"Bring them here", Jinlong tried to make it light but it sounded more of a command.
High Priest Pu was troubled but nevertheless it wouldn't harm to let the couple personally meet the Emperor.
Though, he was surprised at his sudden interest.
The monk dressed in a dull robe approached the couple. His eyes were steaming with concern.
"By any chance, are the two benefactors the Su couple who had troubling extending the family line?"
Ning Lou absentmindedly nodded.
Long also confirmed the monk's inquiry.
However his gaze remained towards figure. Narrowing into slits, they turned into sharp fangs of a snake carrying its venom.
On the other hand, Jinlong's piercing lenses shone with indiscernible golden light of a dragon, its five claws plunging into the of the foe's luster scales.
Two pair of orbs clashed creating sparks.
Ning Lou's vision was sprinkled with dark spots.
She had difficulty in breathing.
Memories of the past began piecing into a puzzle, connecting, and slowly joining together.
When the world finally turned dim, her figure fell into Long's embrace.
"Jaded Face Asura…" Her trembling words mumbled before sinking into oblivion.
Good day to my dearies!
I just received the contract this morning.
First of all, thank you for your support, whether you're a voter or a silent reader. The book will not be able to be contracted without you!
Seriously, I'm thanking each and every one from the bottom of my heart.
Lots of love,