“Hey… Wait, what’s your name? I forgot to ask!” Xuan Yuanbing realised she didn’t know the girl’s name.
“I’m Zhen Xiaoyan!”
“Xiaoyan, come, let’s have a chat. Tell me about Ye Lang, and about the people around him! Tell me everything!” Xuan Yuanbing dragged Zhen Xiaoyan over to a table, then gazed intently at her, full of anticipation.
She had already slept for 21 years, how could she be sleepy now? Even if she had her bed to sleep on, she wouldn't be able to fall asleep and would just spend the night accompanying Ye Lang.
If she had a choice, she would want to get to know Ye Lang better, and having a chat over candlelight would be the best!
“If you’re interested, I can tell you about him- but you’ll have to pick a main point or I won’t be able to tell you everything in one night! Maybe not even a year!” answered Zhen Xiaoyan obediently, she didn’t seem to know how to say ‘no’.
“It’s alright, tell me from the beginning. If you can’t finish, I’ll ask him in the dream. All I have is time…” said Xuan Yuanbing.
“Right, you both do have a lot of time!” mumbled Zhen Xiaoyan, her tone with a hint of admiration.
“But I like being able to feel stuff, hugging him in real life felt so much better than in the dream! And we weren’t used to be able to talk about our identities, I’m not sure if it’ll be the same in the future!” Xuan Yuanbing said with a chuckle. In reality, there was something she was even more afraid of: she wasn’t sure if they’d meet again in their dreams.
She used to be in a different state of consciousness, and it wouldn’t be the same now. She wondered if they would still have the same connection!
However, even if the connection no longer existed, she could still see him. And she was much more in control now too. In the past, she could only wait, sometimes not even sure if he would return.
It was terrifying to feel that way, she would never forget her fear!
Compared to her past problems, she felt as though her current problems weren’t problems at all.
“You may begin!”
“I’ll start with what I know. When Ye Lang was very young, he was kinda dumb…”
“He’s still dumb now!”
“I should say he used to be dumber, but more adorable… And at that time…”
The moon rose then set, the sun yet to rise. The skies were pitch-black. This was the darkest hour of the morning, and at this point, Zhen Xiaoyan was still talking to Xuan Yuanbing over candlelight. They’d been talking for hours, yet she was still talking about Ye Lang when he was seven…
Zhen Xiaoyan was a little sleepy but forced herself to stay awake because she didn’t know how to say ‘no’ and also because she liked talking about Ye Lang.
“Alright, you should sleep, it’ll be morning soon! I’m going to bed too, I’ll go meet the little idiot!” Although Zhen Xiaoyan didn’t express she was tired, Xuan Yuanbing could tell and didn’t insist on her staying.
“Okay, I’ll go to bed then!” nodded Zhen Xiaoyan.
“I’ll help!” Xuan Yuanbing smiled.
“Help?” Zhen Xiaoyan was confused. How could she help her sleep? Soon, she realised Yuanbing was referring to magic.
Xuan Yuanbing made a few easy gestures. Magic wrapped around Zhen Xiaoyan, and she felt very, very relaxed. This was a type of light magic to restore a person’s life energy. Pairing it with sleep made it much more effective.
Light magic was a very useful type of magic indeed, most of it focused on healing and support. There were, of course, scary, powerful spells too.
After making sure Zhen Xiaoyan settled down, Xuan Yuanbing ran to check on Ye Lang. She saw Ye Lanyu and the seventh princess hugging him so tightly even asleep and smiled. She decided to sleep there too, but she chose to lie on top of him as that was the only spot left.
Although she was very close to Ye Lang, she couldn’t spend too much time with Ye Lang in brought daylight. There was Ye Lanyu, his elder sister, to be wary of.
Xuan Yuanbing held on to Ye Lang but didn’t fall asleep immediately. She watched him quietly either because she wasn’t tired or because she didn’t want to fall asleep.
She didn’t want to fall asleep because deep down, she was afraid…
Little idiot, why do I feel like I’m still in a dream? Maybe I’m just scared, scared that none of this is real and that I’m still in that crystal…
From the moment I hugged you, until now, I still feel like this is all fake. It’s all such an unlikely coincidence! You find it hard to digest, me too! I never would’ve thought that the first person I’d meet when I woke up would be you, and you were right there in my arms!
I also never could’ve imagined, ever, that you were the one who saved me. You treated when I was riddled with injuries… You saw me at my worst, I wonder if you’ll not want me because of this… I’m warning you, don’t ever abandon me, even if you saw me with my wounds….
Little idiot, I’m going to sleep soon, but I’m too afraid to go to sleep… I’m terrified to find all of this only a dream…
If this is a dream, I wish to never wake up…
Xuan Yuanbing muttered to herself. Her mumbles grew slower, and slower…
She soon fell asleep. This time, she dreamt she was taking a stroll down the street with Ye Lang. In her dream, they were having so much fun.
However, it was only a dream. That wasn’t Ye Lang himself in her dream, it was only a figment of her imagination…
Xuan Yuanbing didn’t know that when she was talking to herself, there were two pairs of ears eavesdropping on her. They were asleep at first, but with such a huge commotion, of course they’d come awake.
They heard what she said, her words touched them very deeply. They could feel the helplessness and fear in Xuan Yuanbing. 21 years in a dream, anyone would be terrified!
Ye Lang was her only support, the only one her heart could depend on!
Perhaps they should treat her better…
“Little idiot! Where are you?!” Xuan Yuanbing rose the next morning to an empty bed, herself lying comfortably in the middle.
She panicked. Was yesterday just a dream?