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Beauty and the Beast

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Shen Yuan always grumbled about how his life was boring and uneventful. He had a stable albeit stagnating job as a teacher at the Institute of Magic, teaching the youngsters magic history and introduction to bestiaries.

His life consisted of the stuffy air of classrooms, backaches from hunching over scrolls in the library for too long and spilled coffees that he had with his colleagues-turned-friends semi-weekly. Getting his teaching degree was perhaps the most exciting event ever happening to him - which is to say, it wasn’t very exciting either.

When he was a teenager, his heart thrummed with ambition. He always imagined himself getting a job as a field researcher, documenting super awesome magical beasts and discovering species of unknown origins. Not whatever he had right now.

Shen Yuan made a face. The coffee in his mug was mild and tasted of measly milk powder. With a tap against the rim of the cup, his coffee heated up to the point of steaming - one of the many effortless tiny magic spells that kept his miserably boring daily life somewhat bearable. 

His friends - those assholes - kept calling him “grandpa Shen” for his tendency to, well, lead an utterly humdrum life that “only an ancient wizard could settle for”. Qi Qingqi’s words, if anyone was wondering. Shen Yuan huffed in indignance, for the nth time that morning. 

He could be fun when he wanted to be! He could go out on an adventure without the world ending, thank you very much! In fact, he was going out next week for research! He already booked his train ticket!

Shang Qinghua argued that didn’t count, while Qi Qingqi was making a hanging rope out of the air and pretended to hang herself. Shen Yuan pointedly ignored his fellow teachers, pushed his glasses further up his nose and claimed he had a class to prepare for.

Now, as he was standing in front of the ruins of a once magnificent estate on a remote plain where the nearest train station was still five hours of ride away, Shen Yuan sort of regretted his impulsive decision. Even the road that led here was overgrown by nature, and full of potholes - evidently no one has been using it for a long time.

Needless to say aside from Shen Yuan’s stubborn ass, nobody was around. Even animals seemed to avoid the area besides from some black crows cawing at a nearby tree. Shen Yuan wasn’t one for superstitions, being a teacher of magic and all, but even he couldn’t shake off the slightly ominous yet sad feeling that crept upon him. 

“Something bad had happened here,” he murmured to himself, stating it as fact rather than as a wistful musing.

He had read about this estate in a wrinkly old scroll that he found fallen behind the bookshelves of the school’s dungeon library. This estate was once in possession of a man named Luo Binghe, the young heir of the Luo family and a talented cultivator.  

Shen Yuan’s eyes bulged from his sockets when he read that line. Cultivators have long become nonexistent! The last known cultivator died roughly a hundred years ago and no one else managed to amass that much magical powers to form their cultivator’s core anymore. Theories to explain this phenomenon varied, but Shen Yuan sided with the one that claimed cultivators having had a special magical constitution that could only be attained via being born into that bloodline. Family lines died out all the time.

The scroll didn’t contain a lot of information, and many parts were so faded it was unreadable even with restoring charms cast on it, but a part of the text still caught Shen Yuan’s attention.

It spoke of a unique rune carved into the cornerstone of the Luo Estate, that allegedly had the power to charge the runes within its vicinity, giving them an eternally regenerating life and a nonexistent expiration date. Such a rune was considered very rare and expensive even back then - which Shen Yuan dated it roughly 600 years in the past - but now, it was all but extinct.

Even the headmaster of the Institute of Magic, Yue Qingyuan, hasn’t seen a full and working rune-renewing rune in his entire career, and the man was the most knowledgeable person Shen Yuan has ever had the luck to meet. The two of them often spoke of long-lost techniques of cultivators with awe and marveled how different charms, spells or runes could shape their every-day life if only someone could bring them back.

That being said, of course, Shen Yuan didn’t even dare to hope he could find a full, unbroken ancient rune on this dreary lifeless plain. But he still kept his fingers crossed, for maybe finding parts of the rune or another detail that other researchers may have missed. 

If only he could somehow bring an ancient rune back to life! No one could call him boring after that anymore! He might even find a partner!

His insides were fueled by the excitement of all these possibilities, but his thin body shuddered pitifully as the cold wind embraced him. The autumn weather already turned to the more chilly side, the cold mercilessly bit at his exposed cheeks. Shen Yuan had a feeling his fingers would have gone numb a long time ago had he not worn gloves.

Without further ado, Shen Yuan mutely set to work. Cradling his notes and scrolls to his chest, and slinging his bag over his shoulder he climbed up the ruins. By the time he reached the top of the rock and brick pile, he was already panting.

“Damn you, Qingqi! It’s all your fault for not inviting me to the teacher’s association practice matches,” he heaved and blissfully ignored how the woman has been physically trying to drag him to the matches multiple times. On the other side of the country, Qi Qingqi sneezed loudly.

From up there, Shen Yuan could see that the Luo Estate was a lot bigger than what he could see from the alleged once-front gate. To the far left, there were still wall parts remaining standing while the right side looked like something had exploded there a long time ago. There was a deep crater, debris sprawled all across - wood, bricks, mortar, and glass. 

“Just what happened here?” Shen Yuan whispered to no one, as he set to climb down from the rubble and walk over to the crater. 

He tried to read up about the Luo family before actually coming here, but to his bewilderment he found nothing . No contracts of property selling or buying, no claims of patents for spells, runes or charms, and no records of the family’s accolade into noblehood - because there was no way a family of cultivators who owned such a grand estate wasn’t nobles.

Shen Yuan didn’t even find the magically maintained birth or death certificates of any of the Luo family members! That alone was a thrilling discovery. The High Priestesses of Huan Hua Temple have been managing the records since the beginning of time, operating the last working ancient rune to still exist - the rune that sensed a life coming into the world, and sensed the death of an existing one. 

It was impossible to cheat such records. No known spell was able to alter the ancient rune’s work. But that didn’t change the fact that the Luo family and this Luo Binghe had no records. It was as if they never existed!

“But this estate exists,” Shen Yuan continued to think aloud, carefully stepping onto stones and over the gapes and crooks. “Which means the Luo’s had to exist too.” 

Shen Yuan almost had the fancy to try and investigate this matter more, even though what happened to the Luo’s had nothing to do with his research of ancient runes. Such work would not reap him any benefits, save for maybe satisfying his curiosity, therefore Shen Yuan forced himself to ignore that itch in his brain that was worryingly fixed on this issue. 

Casting a warming spell over himself, he walked around the crater and carefully inspected the still intact rocks and bricks along the way. The scroll spoke of the Luo Estate’s cornerstone but to find a single stone or wall-piece in this mess was like searching for a needle in a roll of hay. 

He walked until his legs were protesting and his shoulders aching under the strap of his bag. It was already late afternoon, yet he found no sign or tail of the cornerstone. He felt like he just wasted an entire day, and it was beginning to darken. He was tired and grumpy, having no fancy to drive back to the train station, ride the train back to the capital and still having to walk back to his small apartment. But he also didn’t fancy spending the night in this godforsaken ruin all alone...

The only thing worth mentioning was that he found a small broken piece of clear amethyst glass - a magical crystal that had the ability to gather light, making the houses equipped with amethyst glass to be much brighter inside.

A single square meter amethyst crystal glass cost as much as Shen Yuan earned in a year! So to say it was a rather unreachable luxury, was an understatement. Still, Shen Yuan slid that small piece of glass inside his pocket - to show his students later, and of course to add it to his magical stone collection. 

He just finished that trail of thoughts when something creaked under his feet, and loudly. Belatedly he realized it was the sound of an old wood beam breaking, and then he found himself falling. 

“Fuck!” 

The impact hurt. Of course, it did. He fell meters and landed on solid concrete. Shen Yuan heaved in pain, blinking the stars out of his eyes before remembering to cast a healing spell onto his body. Yet his luck was worse than the worst, as he felt his healing spell running into a problem - his right ankle was sprained.

That almost had him laughing in hysteria. Shen Yuan didn’t know any advanced healing spells. His specialty wasn’t healing, after all! He never learned a spell that could mend sprains! Feeling helpless and frustrated, Shen Yuan cursed again. 

The ceiling looked so high and unreachable from his position sprawled on the ground. He couldn’t even call for help from here! No one came around this abandoned area, and meanwhile, his co-workers would know something was wrong when he didn’t appear for his classes on Monday, but that was still three days away!

Shit.” 

Sitting up, Shen Yuan finally looked around and promptly dropped his jaw. He initially thought he fell into an old dungeon or a dried-up well but the room he found himself in was neither of those. 

It looked and felt ancient. 

This seemed to be an actual room rather than a storage space, the furniture appeared to be covered in a thick layer of dust, but other than that it was impeccable. Furthermore, there was an unknown, strange magic thrumming in the walls and the ground under his bum, concentrating underneath him as if the room itself was alive. Shen Yuan would have panicked more if he hadn’t immediately felt that this strange magic had no bad intentions - it merely checked him out like a guard dog would sniff around an unknown man.

Then as if deciding on something, the concentration of magic dispersed back into the walls. And then Shen Yuan’s jaw dropped once again as the entire room lit up as if someone turned on the lights, only that there wasn’t a single source of this gentle light. It seemed to be coming from everywhere at once.

Even though the machination wasn’t visible, Shen Yuan would still be a fool to not recognize it for what it was - an ancient guard and illumination rune! Still alive, and complete and working! 

Shen Yuan laughed. The sound was broken while tears were coming to his eyes that he quickly wiped away. His luck wasn’t rotten after all. Sure, he had sprained his ankle and was currently in a bit of a tight spot, but still! 

This discovery wiped away all and every complaint Shen Yuan may have had. This meant everything to him! Finally, he could move out of this tiny old apartment and could afford to quit his stagnating job. He could finally afford to become a field researcher, with a proper team and a workshop!

His heart was beating so fast, he could hear it in his ears. Hurry, he had to hurry and find the actual runes! Shen Yuan knew he absolutely couldn’t relax until he saw them with his own eyes.

Quickly gathering his scattered scrolls he pushed himself to stand up. He didn’t even pay attention to his throbbing leg as he followed the gently pulsing light that seemed to “run” in a certain direction.

“It must lead to the rune,” Shen Yuan mused aloud and walked forward with a noticeable hobble. He was so excited, his priority of getting out of this underground maze was completely forgotten.

The corridor echoed with his steps, but not in an ominous way. Shen Yuan was accompanied by that gentle light, never being left in complete darkness. Whenever he stepped into another room or corridor the rune lit up that space and shut down the light behind him. It spoke of the rune’s indefinitely intricate and sensible design, as it wasn’t only energy saving but it was also programmed to follow movement!

Shen Yuan who had spent every spare minute of his life studying runes knew just how difficult it was to even craft a single automated rune. And that was only that - an automated one. But this one underneath Luo’s Estate was also partly intelligent! 

Cultivators were truly something else!

He almost didn’t notice how he stumbled into an enormous hall. It looked like a giant ball-room with gorgeously crafted columns holding the ceiling up, once-shiny marble tiles covering the floor and vines with heart-shaped leaves clambering all across the walls and columns. 

Shen Yuan’s eyes widened, mouth opening around a soft gasp. Heart-shaped leaves! This was the legendary- “Blood-heart vine!”

Cultivators’ favored home plant - more of a pet than anything - that was known for its magic purifying effect when drunk as a tea as well as its loyalty to its care-taker. Blood-heart vine was poisonous to anyone outside its owner unless the owner specifically brewed the tea or medicine themselves. 

So damn cool! Shen Yuan was vibrating in excitement.

Unfortunately, it was almost completely extinct too due to the Blood-heart vine preferring a cultivator’s presence over simple magic users or ordinary people. The only one still thriving and in full bloom could be found in Huan Hua Temp--

“What are you doing here, human?” 

The strange voice was deep and its timbre rang with clarity. It instantly sent a wave of shiver and panic down Shen Yuan’s spine. Spinning around faster than his sprained ankle could take, Shen Yuan fell to his knees and with wide eyes stared up at the source of the voice, not unlike a spooked rabbit staring at a fox.

In front of him, a few steps away started a staircase that led up to a grand-looking throne. Behind the throne stood a magnificent tree, its roots sewn into the stone throne and its stairs, and leaves humming as if alive.  

It all looked like a scene out of a romantic novel, the grand room with its magical plants and delicately decorated building stones but Shen Yuan saw none of their beauty. His brown eyes were straining onto the figure leisurely resting on the throne.   

It was a man, but no - he wasn’t human . The strange man had some human features, but overall he still had the body of a beast; intertwining horns on the crown of his head, fur coating his body from waist down and legs ending in dragonic paws. He also seemed to have an incredibly long tail - one that brushed the bottom of the stairs - slowly swishing in what appeared to be boredom.

Shen Yuan’s heart beat with awe and distress, his limbs losing their strength and insides turning gooey. 

The man-beast was like nothing Shen Yuan had ever seen before, be it in real life or one of his books. If anyone else were in his place they probably would have long screamed bloody murder and fled but Shen Yuan was rooted to the spot in part astonishment, part petrifying fear. 

Who-… no. What was he?

The man on the throne lazily tipped his head to the side, resting his chin on his hand - which was also covered in fur and ended in long talons. Those crimson red eyes seemed to penetrate Shen Yuan’s chest and see into his very core. “Can you comprehend this Lord’s words, human?”

Shen Yuan blinked slowly as if not wanting to miss even a second of this moment, his mouth falling open to stutter, “Y-yes, I can.”

There was an uncomfortably quiet and tense pause. Oh god, he just offended this ancient being. Shen Yuan gulped, and hastily added, “My Lord.”

The man-beast blinked and leaned slightly forward, letting the light hit his face. Shen Yuan shrunk back half a centimeter, his gasp half-stuck in his throat. The man-beast had two pairs of tusks hanging out of his mouth, not unlike that of a boar’s, and an intricate glowing red symbol on his forehead that was covered with his ink-black hair until now. He also had elongated ears like an elf’s. 

Indignance flared in Shen Yuan’s chest, but his self-saving instinctual fear held his tongue back. How dare this man-beast be so beautiful?! Shen Yuan has never seen anyone so attractive before, and he was co-workers with Liu -gorgeous- Qingge! Have some mercy on Shen Yuan’s single and very-ready-to-mingle heart!

“Well?” the man-beast drawled, although there appeared a flicker of something in those terrifyingly beautiful eyes. It seemed like he was laughing at Shen Yuan with his eyes alone. 

Sir, Man-beast Lord, Shen Yuan’s pitiful love life wasn’t a laughing matter!

Shen Yuan shifted, wanting to finally stand up and regain some of his dignity but he forgot about his sprained ankle. In the end, he fell back onto his knees; a painful hiss leaving his lips and face turning pale.

So much for regaining dignity...

Before Shen Yuan could have answered, the man-beast furrowed his eyebrows and stood up. The teacher remained kneeling on the cold, hard ground almost trembling in dread and pulsating pain as the man-beast jumped down from the throne and landed right in front of him - the loud thump resounding in the hall.

The man-beast was so massive up close, towering above him threateningly. 

Squeezing his eyes shut, Shen Yuan’s life flashed before him. Well, he had lived a good life. At least he could say he discovered an ancient rune before crossing over! Take that Shang Qinghua and Qi Qingqi!

That deep voice sounded from right in front of him, sending a new wave of shivers down his body. “Your ankle is sprained.”

Eyes snapping open again, Shen Yuan craned his neck to look into those crystal-like red orbs. His heart skipped a beat and not only because of fear. Damn, he looks really gorgeous! “That. I - yes, I fell. Um, I’m truly sorry to intrude. I swear I didn’t know someone lived in this place, um Lord - ?”

The man-beast narrowed his eyes, studying Shen Yuan with a more critical look. The teacher shed silent tears inside. He hoped the man-beast would tell him a name but the other didn’t seem to realize or just didn’t want to indulge. 

“What is your name, human?”

Shen Yuan blinked, feeling miffed and it must have shown on his face because the man-beast’s eyes flashed again. 

“M-my name is Shen Yuan.” 

The teacher didn’t intend to give his real name but being under the scrutiny of this gorgeous and also very terrifying beast, Shen Yuan’s brain turned to mush. The man-beast looked so big and strong. To Shen Yuan’s horror, he felt himself twitch in his pants.

The man-beast nodded, then freaked Shen Yuan out by leaning down and effortlessly picking him up from the ground. Shen Yuan did not squeak but heavens have mercy on him, it was something equally embarrassing that left his mouth.

“This Lord welcomes you, Shen Yuan, into my humble abode.” And then their surroundings morphed and the next thing Shen Yuan knew was that he was placed on a bed in a rather grand looking bedroom.

Even in his dazed state, he heard the alarm bells ringing in his head. What happened? Where did the throne room go? And why was he on a bed?! It’s true he had the hots for the man-beast but he wasn’t shameless enough for an immediate fuck right after the first meeting! 

He tried scrambling off the bed, stammering incomprehensibly, “T-that, I can’t possibly! It’s not proper but most importantly- Lord, I am but a poor teacher, nothing worthy of your time, surely. Wait! Where are you touching -?! That’s right, my leg is injured, my ankle might be broken too so-” 

The man-beast, mindful of his talons, pushed him back into the bed Shen Yuan so diligently tried to escape. “No. Your ankle is only sprained but it can worsen if you move about. This one must ask Shen Yuan to stay still. It has been a long while for this Lord - this sight.”

Shen Yuan chuckled deliriously, sweat already dampening the back of his shirt. “That’s why we should possibly, probably take it slow?! Your Lordship definitely must have a - a unique constitution, but I’m just a simple human. There’s no way of knowing if we’re even compatible!

The man-beast hummed noncommittal, not sparing a look at the human’s face. He was still cradling Shen Yuan’s swollen ankle in those frighteningly big, furry palms. “That poses no challenge. This Lord can control his strength so that your mortal body may accommodate to the intake.”

Shen Yuan was ready to spit blood, trying to sit up and pull his leg back. “Please, there’s no way my poor mortal body can ever accommodate!” 

That earned him a low growl from the man-beast. Shen Yuan immediately froze up then, letting the other pull his shoe off and tear his trousers away. Heart pounding in his throat, Shen Yuan trembled like a leaf in the wind.

Oh god, he was going to lose his hard-guarded virginity tonight, wasn’t he? If he had known, he would have worn his only designer briefs and maybe sprayed on some cologne! He never felt so unprepared and scared in his entire life.

“It won’t hurt,” that slightly hoarse voice promised in impatient exasperation, but Shen Yuan just turned his head away and closed his eyes. He almost started crying like a little child when he was jolted by a strong, warm flow of magic penetrating his swollen ankle and effortlessly mending the injured ligaments and simultaneously easing the pain.

Shen Yuan reopened his eyes, staring at the man-beast in fascination. Wait, he was being healed? He thought- 

Looking at the man-beast in hard concentration on his ankle and not stopping the flow of healing magic until the swell noticeably shrunk and the painful red color dispersed, Shen Yuan suddenly felt very dumb and very embarrassed.

Then Shen Yuan’s leg was placed back down and the human didn’t know what to think. Reluctantly rotating his injured ankle around a few times and feeling nothing of the leftover pain, Shen Yuan’s mouth remained open.

He… he totally misunderstood the situation, didn’t he? 

Very intelligently he breathed, “Oh.” 

There was a sound similar to a snort, and the man-beast had one corner of his mouth lifted. Shen Yuan was so flabbergasted that he even found it in his heart to not get angry at the obvious laughter at his person. 

“Now then, you’re all healed up to be useful to me.” 

Whatever gratitude was brewing in Shen Yuan’s heart was wiped clean in an instant. With growing suspicion, he asked, “What... do you mean?”

“It means what it means, or does Shizun have trouble understanding?” There was a dangerous glint in those red eyes. 

“I’m not a Shizun -” he started but was cut off. 

“You said, you’re a teacher.” Eyes narrowed. “Or were you lying?”

Shen Yuan shook his head, face pale but cheeks still slightly red. “I did not lie. I really am a teacher, but I’m not a master-level teacher? I mean I have my master’s but I didn’t finish the doctorate.”

When the man-beast knocked his head to the side in confusion Shen Yuan figured he should stop rambling. “It’s complicated…?”

The man-beast shook his head, gorgeous wavy curls bouncing with the movement. “Matters not. Shizun is Shizun.”

“Then Shizun it is,” Shen Yuan forced on a smile. Well, never mind the details. “D-did my Lord need this teacher’s help with something?”

“Help? This Lord needs no help,” the man-beast frowned as if the mere thought was displeasing him. 

“Then… can I leave?” Shen Yuan cautiously asked, his right hand finding the strap of his bag and gripped it. 

“Shizun wants to leave ?” the man-beast looked angry but part confused. As if he couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that Shen Yuan didn’t wish to stay. Shen Yuan internally shuddered at being stared down by this huge beast who could kill him at least five different ways in his seat.  

“I can’t possibly impose for long, plus I have to go back to teach -” 

His concerns were waved away with a hand movement. “Shizun shall not leave.”

“Is this because you healed my leg? You want payment?” Shen Yuan completely abandoned speaking in circles and formal words. This whole situation was starting to stress him out beyond his limit.

“This Lord has no need for material goods. However, he lacks the companionship of another who may bear his grace and benevolence.”

Bear grace and benevolence… 

“You mean a servant?!” Shen Yuan got so angry, his entire face grew red. He indignantly slid off the bed and readjusted his bag on his tired shoulders. “Listen, I’m grateful you healed my leg, but you did that on your own volition! I haven’t asked you nor have I agreed to pay for the service no matter how appreciated it was!”

The smirk disappeared from the man-beast’s lips, the atmosphere turning icy. “Impudent human! Do you not know who you’re speaking to?!”

Shen Yuan refused to wilt under the glare even as his insides were in anxious knots. Still, that didn’t stop the bratty tone his tongue adopted. “Seeing as your Lordship still has yet to introduce himself, naturally I do not know.”

The man-beast straightened up, drawing to his full height and proudly stared down Shen Yuan. His forehead symbol was pulsating. “This one’s name is Luo Binghe, Lord of this Estate and sole heir and owner of the Luo vaults.”

Shen Yuan froze stiff in his stand, blinking up at the man-beast in disbelief. “Luo Binghe? But- but you can’t be him. That scroll, that was 600 years old! Not even cultivators lived that long! If you’re Luo Binghe then you’re -… you’re a...”

“A what?” Luo Binghe drawled, slowly crowding Shen Yuan against the wall in a deliberate threatening stance. 

“A demon.” Shen Yuan gulped, suddenly feeling the chill of the room a lot stronger. 

Oh god, a demon! How did he not sense the demonic essence of magic that permeated this entire place?! Stupid, stupid, stupid!

“Yes,” Luo Binghe agreed unhurried. Shen Yuan could spy the demon’s pearl-white teeth that filled his mouth alongside the tusks - even the small ones were sharp. “Shizun’s deduction is correct.”

Luo Binghe raised a hand then, towards Shen Yuan’s face and Shen Yuan retreated until his back hit the wall, trying so hard not to tremble as that big palm curled inward and the back of the fur-covered fingers touched his cheek gingerly. 

The teacher looked like a spooked small kitten, hackles raised, trying to look tough but ultimately failing as its ears flattened against its head in anxiety. The sudden gentleness in Luo Binghe’s eyes was frightening, as the demon continued to caress Shen Yuan’s cheek. It was confusing, being threatened but also being handled so carefully.   

“Now then, Shizun shall have no more objections against staying with this Lord, shall he?” 

Shen Yuan mutely jerked his head ‘no’. He didn’t dare oppose anymore, lest the demon guts him right then and there!

This seemed to please Luo Binghe immensely. With a last swipe of caress, he withdrew his monstrous hand and smiled amiably - well as much as it was possible with the double pairs of tusks hanging out of his mouth.     

Shen Yuan’s bag was carefully lifted off his shoulders and a furry hand reached out towards him in a similar fashion to a gentleman offering to help a lady off the cart. The teacher couldn’t quite hide the shaking of his hands anymore as he reluctantly accepted the offer.

The demon looked satisfied, as he began to lead Shen Yuan out of the room. “Fear not, Shizun. This Lord takes care of what’s his.”

Shen Yuan shuddered, his heart skipping a beat. He fucked up royally, didn’t he?

 

 

 

 

The first day spent in the underground palace of Luo Binghe felt like a fever dream. 

Shen Yuan was given a room of his own, double the size of the one where his leg was healed, and twice as luxurious. His old little apartment in the city wasn’t even as big as half of this room! There was the biggest bed Shen Yuan had ever seen in the middle of it, flanked by fancy bedside drawers. A bit to the right sat a fancy set of dressers, and to the left was a vanity table with an enchanted mirror.

Opposite of the bed was a grand fireplace, the image of a fire dancing was vibrating in its heart, but the flames didn’t produce smoke nor did they burn the wood. There were even windows, opening above, pleasantly keeping the place aired-out and bright. But, strangely, from the outside, these windows weren’t visible - Shen Yuan had walked across the entire layout of the once-estate at least twice.  

From his room opened a private bathroom, equally grand and bright. Shen Yuan had no idea where this place got the clear water from, but he didn’t question it.

Even after the first glance, it was evident that literally everything was operated by charms and runes. Each more unique and more intricate than the previous. If Shen Yuan were staying in these rooms under different circumstances he would have been ecstatic! For a teacher and part-time researcher who was enthusiastic about runes, this place was like a goldmine - no, scratch that - a diamond mine! 

The only problem was the house host… 

Not in the traditional sense- no. Luo Binghe had given him every and all kinds of luxuries a guest could ask of their host. Shen Yuan could even argue the demon went over and high above the necessary level of hospitality.    

It was just that, Luo Binghe was so utterly terrifying .  

Shen Yuan huddled up between the bed and the bedside table, trying to make himself as small as possible. He didn’t dare to get on the bed lest he dirtied it and earned the demon’s ire. 

After being settled in, Luo Binghe left him to his devices even though it looked like the demon didn’t want to. But perhaps Shen Yuan looked just as sick as he felt, which prompted his oh so gracious host to leave him be for the time being. 

The solitude was a blessing, for Shen Yuan could panic and overthink in relative peace. Because no matter how inviting the bed looked and how tired he felt, Shen Yuan was feeling too paranoid to sleep.

Even hours later, when he sort of calmed down, his fright never quite disappeared. He felt like a mouse locked into a maze with a hungry cat - sooner or later he would be sniffed out and devoured. 

That’s what demons do, do they not? They grow stronger by eating the cores of cultivators. 

It didn’t calm his nerves to know he was nowhere near a cultivator’s level. Who knew since how long Luo Binghe had been here, starving? Shen Yuan’s pitiful magic reserves may only be enough to pass as a piece of dried up biscuit - compared to a cultivator’s core - but a biscuit was still a snack!

It was much later when the skies outside began to brighten and the watch on Shen Yuan’s wrist read 6:45 am that he finally fell asleep leaning against the bed. Exhaustion had him fall into a deep dreamless rest, missing the pair of red eyes that were staring at his still figure from a hidden peephole of a painting on the wall.

The next time Shen Yuan came about was well past breakfast time, jerking awake when his head slipped off the silky duvet. The first thing he registered was the painful knick in his neck and a numb backside. For a while he just sat there in good “Grandpa Shen” fashion, blearily blinking around trying to figure out where he was and how did he end up falling off the bed. Then his eyes widened and the tension was back in his bones, clambering onto his shaky legs.

“It wasn’t a dream,” he spoke as if pained. “ Fuck...”  

For a few minutes, he just stood there with an aching neck and messy hair having a mini melt-down. Then there was a series of raps on his door which made him jump. 

“Yes?” he called out reluctantly after a lightning-fast hair combing session. He refused to appear looking like he just woke up. 

He nervously waited for Luo Binghe to open the door and begin his mission of becoming Shen Yuan’s personal terror for the day. But to his surprise, no one answered and the door remained shut.

Shen Yuan had half the mind to think his ears were playing a trick on him but there was another series of knocks. The teacher called, louder than before in case the demon had hearing problems? “Yes. Come in!” 

He was beginning to get annoyed when there was no movement even now. With big strides, he walked up to the door and pulled it open. “I already said, it’s open -” 

There was no one in the corridor. 

Shen Yuan slowly closed his mouth from where he left it open in the midst of talking. A shiver ran down his spine. This has got to be some sort of joke, right?  

He was about to close the door and stay the fuck away from that haunted hallway when he noticed a card on the floor - almost stepping on it. Picking it up, there wasn’t anything interesting about the paper. It merely read in beautiful cursive letters:  “Shizun’s presence is solicited in the dining hall”

Shen Yuan frowned. “That’s it? No maps? This place is a maze! How the hell am I to get there?!”

Just as he finished speaking the previous sentence gradually got erased and a small section of a map appeared on the paper which showed the way towards the dining hall from his room. Shen Yuan’s eyebrows traveled up in fascination. “Well, that’s convenient…” 

Of course, even the invitation cards are charmed. 

Shen Yuan narrowed his eyes, pushing the glasses further up his nose as he turned and studied the card more carefully. He did sense a magical essence saturated in the paper but to his surprise, a charm-fueling rune or magic-rich stamp was missing from it. Without such essentials, charms cast on objects run out of power easily - it was as if trying to turn on a flashlight without batteries. 

But this piece of paper didn’t seem to run out of magic and even had enough to produce an automated reply. Shen Yuan was once again lost in thoughts, trying to understand how this could be. 

He stood there long enough for the card to change contents again; “Lord Luo Binghe is requesting Shizun’s presence in the dining hall” 

“Tell your Lord this teacher has yet to shower and change clothes. Unless he wants to see a scarecrow loitering around,” Shen Yuan decisively said, and set to open the wardrobes in hopes of finding a new pair of pants since Luo Binghe tore the sleeves of his own. 

The card gave him a new message: “Shizun’s presence is expected now

Shen Yuan paused, glaring at the card. He had half a mind to just ignore it and set to take a bath, but memories from yesterday night about Luo Binghe’s sharp talons and tusks flooded his head and he quickly decided to obey the command.

He changed into a pair of pants he randomly grabbed from the wardrobe at lightning speed and was out of the door in the next second. With the help of the charmed card, he found the dining hall fairly easily much to his own surprise. He seriously wasn’t good at directions in general.

When he entered through the automatically opening double-doors, Shen Yuan’s jaw hit the floor. The entire place smelled amazing. The poor teacher’s stomach almost growled out loud, while his nose was twitching in delight.

There was a fancy long table in the middle of the hall and it was full of food, packed so tight it was a miracle the furniture didn’t buckle under the weight. All types of yummy, fancy dishes wherever Shen Yuan looked. Steaming soups with freshly baked bread, baked salmon with lemon slices, boiled lobster with olives and potato salad, multiple whole spring chickens prepared with aromatic spices and steamed vegetables on the side, and lastly, lemon cake and chocolate cake slices along with many-many types of fruits. 

Just to name a few.

But then Shen Yuan noticed Luo Binghe on the other side of the hall and the light atmosphere suddenly disappeared. Shen Yuan’s own stance immediately became guarded and cold again, masking his obvious hunger as indifference.  

Was he going to be further humiliated by being forced to wait on the Lord to finish eating while he himself was close to starving?

“Shizun, it’s wonderful of you to join. Come on inside!” Luo Binghe called out, waving him closer, and if Shen Yuan hadn’t known better he would have said the demon looked shy. 

He stepped further into the room and the doors quietly closed behind him. “This teacher -” 

Shizun, ” the demon corrected. He was just as tall and terrifying as Shen Yuan had remembered, and just as beautiful with his red eyes and ink-black hair. 

Shen Yuan closed then opened his mouth again. “This Shizun has obeyed the Lord’s command and would like to know what is expected of him.” 

Luo Binghe briefly paused on his way over to him before resuming walking. He came around Shen Yuan - who did not gasp at the barely-there brush against his shoulders - and pulled out a chair.

“Be seated, Shizun.” 

Shen Yuan walked over with tense steps and allowed Luo Binghe to help him sit. The demon almost skidded all the way to the other side to be seated too. 

All of it was strangely bizarre as if Shen Yuan wasn’t a prisoner but some high-end guest who merely came to share some gossip over a cup of tea. Even if Shen Yuan was coddled until he felt like he was a newly-acquired pet cat, a demon was still that, a demon. No matter what act Luo Binghe put on, or how good he was towards Shen Yuan, this place was still a prison and him a prisoner.

Plus for a free man, suddenly being imprisoned was a hard pill to swallow. Therefore Shen Yuan couldn’t give Luo Binghe many free passes.

“Answering Shizun, he is not expected to do anything. This Lord simply called him to have a meal with him. Shizun may eat whatever he fancies, as much as he can bear.” Luo Binghe gestured to the table-full of food.

“Lord Luo is surely generous,” Shen Yuan eyed the many delicacies in front of him. He desperately wished he could just dig in and not worry about anything, but sadly his anxiety and the strangeness of the situation didn’t let him relax.

After all, it was really too strange to serve a prisoner a seven-course meal and have him stay in a suite.

Luo Binghe tipped his head in acknowledgment taking a sip of some wine, studying the human across to him. “Didn’t this Lord say he would take care of what’s his? This Luo Binghe’s generosity, Shizun shan’t question but learn to anticipate it.”

Shen Yuan’s entire mouth felt sour at that sentence, even though he just ate a sweet grape. He slowly placed the utensils back onto the napkin. “This lowly one doesn’t understand. I most certainly don’t deserve such lush treatment.” 

He was eyeing Luo Binghe warily, trying to figure out where this whole thing was going. Why was he even here, sitting across this demon Lord at his table, when Luo Binghe made it clear yesterday he wanted a servant out of him?

“Nonsense,”  Luo Binghe waved a clawed hand, “Shizun shall be treated with the utmost respect and care. Now then, eat up,” Luo Binghe made the plate he picked full of the best-tasting food levitate and sent it towards Shen Yuan. “Shizun is too thin and pale, he must eat more.”

Shen Yuan tensed up, eyebrows furrowing. With a cold shudder, he suddenly understood everything.

Luo Binghe wanted to fatten him up before eating him! Respect, what respect? He was just a cattle in the eyes of this demon...

Trembling with righteous anger, Shen Yuan stood up and swatted the floating plate away from him. His chair screeched loudly, while the plate full of food splattered on the floor in a messy heap. “This Shizun has been thin and pale since birth, and doesn’t need to be fattened up!” 

Luo Binghe furrowed his eyebrows, a low hum sounded from within his chest. A warning.

Shen Yuan ignored it. “I know what you’re playing Luo Binghe. I know where this is going! I might not be a cultivator or anyone of importance but I am a teacher and I know things. So if you think I would happily tag along in this play-pretend game you created, then you’re very wrong!” 

“Who said anything about play-pretend? Tell me, Shen Yuan, do you take me so cheap to think this Lord would harm his own?!” Luo Binghe angrily raised his voice, standing to his full height too. He easily towered over the human, with Shen Yuan barely reaching the lower side of his pectorals. 

“No need to say it when it’s clear as day! No one, but your kind would treat their prisoner to such a fancy meal and house them in comfort, pretending to be someone of integrity! Waiting for them to lower their guard,” Shen Yuan countered even though his hands were visibly shaking at his sides.

Shut up!” Luo Binghe roared, more beastly than human. He punched the table, plates, and trays of food and utensils went clattering on the floor. “You righteous ones, always thinking you can judge me for what I’m worth when you know nothing about me!”

“Actions speak louder than words, and your ulterior motives couldn’t be any clearer, demon! ” As soon as Shen Yuan finished yelling he realized he had crossed a line that shouldn’t be crossed. 

Luo Binghe was livid, his eyes a burning depths of a volcano, lips pulled up into a snarl and that powerful tail tensing into a pose that said the demon was ready to pounce at any second. He strode over and bent over the human, clean claws twinkling in the candlelight. Shen Yuan thought this was going to be the last thing he saw before he died. Then immediately after, his stupid horny brain supplied with how lucky he was to have this as the last sight. 

“Seamlessly running your mouth. Talking back as if you know even a small fraction of me,” Luo Binghe punctuated every sentence with a deep growl. “Trespassing on my property and then questioning my goodwill! Don’t think this Lord doesn’t know how Shizun happened upon my humble home. It was with the intention of plunder!”

Shen Yuan glared back into the beast’s eyes, stubbornly refusing to step back even though they were so close he could feel the heat of Luo Binghe’s breath on his skin. “At least my intentions didn’t involve murder!”

Luo Binghe roared into his face, absolutely furious. He raised his hand and for a second it looked like he was really going to swing it down and free Shen Yuan of his head. Shen Yuan got so scared he even forgot to close his eyes, lightheaded from the intense panic. But then Luo Binghe spun around and wreaked havoc in the dining hall instead.

The teacher cautiously edged backward to the doors, when plates and pieces of china went flying, feeling both fear and vexation at this display of violence.   

“Doesn’t want my goodwill? Then Shizun will be my guest and receive none!” Luo Binghe bellowed. “Starve for all I care! If Shizun thinks it beneath him to eat with me, then he doesn’t eat at all!”

Shen Yuan fled the dining hall, stumbling over his own shoes in his hurry to get away from the furious demon. He didn’t remember how he found his way back to his room. His vision was already blurred by the time he slammed the door closed and huddled up in the corner. And then he proceeded to cry his eyes out.

It was more out of helpless anger than anything, although Shen Yuan felt an innumerable amount of cathartic relief in his tears upon coming so close to death multiple times yet still getting to keep his life.

Shen Yuan kept crying until he couldn’t anymore, and then he continued sitting on the floor with a blank look until it was almost nightfall. He knew he had to get out of there as soon as possible. Originally he hoped to be able to reason with Luo Binghe into letting him go, but after today’s episode, it was obvious no further words will help. Not even the working ancient rune tempted him to stay any longer.

“If I stay I’ll die,” he whispered and then determinedly looked around. He had a ceiling window very conveniently after all. The only thing he needed was to figure out how to hoist himself up and then he would be on his merry way!

In the grand scheme of things, it really wasn’t difficult to push together some furniture and then climb onto a chair balancing on top of the vanity table. By doing so, Shen Yuan finally came in contact with the ceiling window which surprisingly easily gave way. 

The wards must have been guarding against outsiders coming in, and not the other way around.    

Shen Yuan was delighted by this small mercy, and also blessed the heavens for his petite body. Had he had a bit more meat on him, he wouldn’t have been able to pass through the opening. Even like this, it took some work to squeeze himself through but when he finally did he didn’t even look back and set to run. 

His rental scooter was still where he left it, but due to the time limit, his key didn’t work anymore. He only rented it for the duration of a day, after all, and any more above it, the scooter’s timer locked itself. It became essentially useless.

Shen Yuan cursed under his breath. The train station with that small village was hours of ride away, but at the moment with him being on the run, it didn’t matter. The teacher cast a warming spell over himself and set to run - the further he got from this godforsaken place the better.  

He barely felt his fatigue and his empty stomach. The adrenaline kept him going even as the sun set and the world was blanketed in darkness. And then the fear didn’t let him stop, ears constantly tricking him into hearing movements from behind and forcing Shen Yuan to take steps after another.

The winding path, overgrown with nature didn’t help his case either, bushes and tree branches slapping him, clinging to his clothes, holding him back. 

Hurry and run! Get away!

Then there was a loud “Awoo!” from nearby ending in a sharp whistling sound. It was coming from so close that Shen Yuan’s blood almost froze in his veins. He was a bestiary teacher, he knew what that was. 

Bone-backed wolves! Magical beasts that always hunted in a pack but were at least twice as big as normal wolves and twice as bloodthirsty. Their most distinctive features were their backs where their spine was half-way jutting out from the flesh and fur. Also, widely-known that their calls ended in a sharp whistle...

At the second and the third awoo’s, Shen Yuan knew he was fucked. No one could run away from Bone-backed wolves, especially not on foot! His only saving grace would be to find a suitable place where he could maybe hide or scare the animals away with some fire spells. 

But Shen Yuan hadn’t eaten anything in two days, and his magic reserves had been almost completely exhausted. 

A big shadow passed by at his left. 

Shen Yuan cried out, forcing his tired legs to run faster, panic wrecking through his body. He broke through a dense bush and found himself in a small clearing, just in time to see two giant wolves stepping into the field from in front of him. 

In his panic, Shen Yuan grabbed a thicker stick from the ground and swung it around like a maniac. It didn’t just not work but also it seemed to make the Bone-backed wolves angrier! 

One of the wolves pounced on him, and Shen Yuan’s life flashed before his eyes. But right before the beast would have collided with him, there was a loud growl echoing in the air and a blur of something big smashing into the wolf throwing them both over. 

Shen Yuan stood there gaping, finally gaining enough time to think of casting an illuminating charm. What he saw took his breath away. Luo Binghe was tackling the wolf to the ground, the two beasts snarling at each other and biting wherever they could. 

The two other wolves seeing this, immediately charged at Shen Yuan making the teacher squeak out a yelp. He barely managed to duck as an injured Bone-backed wolf was tossed in the air as if it was nothing but a pebble, hitting square the ones charging at him. 

And then Luo Binghe dashed over, putting himself between Shen Yuan and the wolves. Another round of loud snarling and brutal fighting broke out, and Shen Yuan had all the intentions to just turn tail and run away unnoticed in this mess.

But, the pained yell from the demon made him pause and no matter how much he wanted to take another step away his heart didn’t let him. Luo Binghe was saving his life. Shen Yuan would have long ended up in a wolf’s belly had it not been for the demon charging in like a cannonball.

But still, anger was swirling inside Shen Yuan’s chest at the sight of Luo Binghe. Because if it weren’t for him then this whole situation wouldn’t have happened!

With a last swing of his clawed hands, Luo Binghe tossed another wolf into the air and that seemed to signal the end of their fight. The wolves withdrew quickly and quietly, leaving the two of them alone in the clearing. 

Luo Binghe was bleeding from multiple wounds, chest heaving for air as if he had just run the marathon. He had enough in him to turn around and look at Shen Yuan before collapsing onto the ground with a groan. 

Shen Yuan wanted to roll his eyes. A powerful demon like Luo Binghe being knocked out from a little bit of fighting with a small pack of bone-backed wolves? Laughable. But then Shen Yuan noticed runes running across Luo Binghe’s body in multitudes of X-shape, getting more visible and looking more painful by the minute.

Upon closer look, Shen Yuan recoiled. Those runes were literally burning the skin and fur, eating away at the demon’s very life source! Such a powerful demon-trapping rune, who could cast but a cultivator?!

Shen Yuan furrowed his brows, gently placing his hand on one of the lines on Luo Binghe’s shoulder. The demon made a pained sound, looking at the human with a mixture of ire and surprise.

But who activated this rune? Luo Binghe didn’t seem to have any problems walking around back in the estate, so why was he being punished by the rune now -? Oh. 

“You cannot leave your Estate, can you?” 

Luo Binghe’s eyes flashed, a weak growl coming from his throat. “Bound to it for eternity. He made sure of that.” 

Shen Yuan gulped. He still wanted to just turn tail and run, but something in the way Luo Binghe looked like, lying on the ground, so pitiful and broken, it prevented Shen Yuan from leaving. Leaning in close he threw the demon’s left arm around his shoulders and spoke. “You have to help me, Binghe. You have to walk. I can’t carry you.”  

Luo Binghe hissed sharply, his lips drawing back showing off his gore-covered tusks. He looked unreasonably sullen at being forced to rely on a human for help. Shen Yuan tsk-ed. 

“None of that bratty shit, now! This is just as uncomfortable for me as it is for you. So unless you want me to leave your sorry ass here on the ground I suggest we do this together. ” Shen Yuan gave a side-glare to Luo Binghe who blinked back at him surprisingly demure all of a sudden. 

“Together,” the demon agreed after a beat of silence. 

Shen Yuan nodded, and then pulled the demon up who also put his energy into his legs. The poor teacher almost collapsed with Luo Binghe weighing him down all of a sudden, but then after the first few steps, they both found a middle-ground. 

By the time they finally stumbled - quite literally, into an undignified heap - in the underground estate both of them were exhausted. Shen Yuan’s legs were killing him, while Luo Binghe looked like he was minutes away from a very nasty fever.

Demon and human, both lay on the hard tiles next to each other, trying to catch their breath. Shen Yuan turned his head to look at Luo Binghe, and well enough, the runes were dispersing from his body as soon as he stepped back inside the estate grounds.

Luo Binghe heaved deeply as the last of those torturing lines disappeared, and seemed to collapse even heavier onto the ground. All tension left that huge body, as if every existing muscle went limp. Shen Yuan had no idea what the aftereffects of a demon-containing rune were, but if it was any giveaway, Luo Binghe looked utterly exhausted.  

“Well, that was somethi -” sighed Shen Yuan but then had to stop to cough. His throat felt way too dry, and similarly to the demon, he was devoid of energy- “Man, death never felt this close before.”

“Wouldn’t have happened if Shizun obediently stays here,” Luo Binghe mumbled, sounding not unlike a petulant child.

Shen Yuan snorted, and with a groan he turned to lie on his back. “And I wouldn’t have run away if you didn’t lock me up.”

Luo Binghe turned his head to look at him, offended. “Shizun is this one’s guest.”

“Then you and I have very different meaning for the word guest,” Shen Yuan bit back immediately, still finding some leftover energy to glare at the demon at his left. 

“This Lord doesn’t understand,” Luo Binghe furrowed his brows, his voice a mere whisper from fatigue. “Shizun trespassed yet instead of hurting him, this Lord practiced leniency and even offered to host him. Had so much time passed that people no longer recognize signs of benevolence?”

Shen Yuan pursed his lips. “Has so much time passed over your head to not realize you’re keeping a prisoner instead of a guest?”

They both fell mute, a quiet tension passing over them. A pair of red eyes stared into deep brown ones, both studying the other and refusing to back down. 

A long time has passed before Luo Binghe broke the silence, “Why does Shizun think this one wants him as prisoner?”

Shen Yuan groaned and pushed himself onto his elbows with great effort. He was more exasperated than angry at this point, feeling like he was talking to a grade schooler. “You kidding me right? You said it yourself yesterday, and I quote “Shizun shan’t leave”. You tell me if that makes me a prisoner or not.”

Luo Binghe blinked at him, his handsome face scrunching up with confusion. “But… why does Shizun want to leave? Didn’t you come for the power rune?”

Shen Yuan had the decency to blush and look away. “That- yes I originally hoped to find some parts of the ancient rune. And I mean I did find it in a way, but - but...”

The demon waited for the answer and seeing that the human wasn’t about to continue he reached over with the soft side of his tail, nudging Shen Yuan. “But?”

“But you were here.” Shen Yuan refused to look at him.

Luo Binghe’s expression seemed to have cleared up. Then simultaneously it darkened from understanding, and turned to stare at the ceiling in resign. “This one understands.”

Shen Yuan frowned in confusion. “Do you?”

“Of course. No matter. No one and nothing has ever let this one forget his demonic nature and unsightly appearance.”

Shen Yuan whipped his head back to the demon. “Wait.. no- no. You think I’m scared of you because of your appearance?

“Isn’t it the case, Shizun?” Luo Binghe fixed him with his deep-red eyes, his horns clinking as they came in contact with the ground.

Shen Yuan sat up, gesturing wildly with his arms. “No?! What the hell? I mean - you did me a scare the first time I saw you but that’s not what matters.”

Luo Binghe’s voice was low, “It was this one’s demonic heritage then.” 

No , you moron,” Shen Yuan didn’t know where this insane bravery was coming from but he actually reached out and thumped Luo Binghe on the head. “It was the way you behaved! This Shizun couldn’t care less about your appearance of demonic heritage. But I really didn’t appreciate being locked up and treated like I was nothing more than future food!” 

The longer he spoke the more flabbergasted the demon in front of him looked. Shen Yuan had to discreetly cough and turn away from those twinkling eyes, feeling slightly guilty for talking out of his own ass. He definitely wasn’t as big of a saint to not have prejudice against demons, but he would rather bite his tongue than admit it.

He made his bed, now he gotta lay in it!

“Shizun thought this Lord wants to … eat him?” Luo Binghe blinked slowly sitting up too.  

Shen Yuan cursed inwardly, cheeks rapidly reddening. Luo Binghe was still so big and insanely beautiful. How was he supposed to form coherent sentences like this? “What else was I supposed to think?! You locked me up, but then put me in a suite ! And then didn’t let me take a shower but invite me to a fancy meal? Who does that?!” 

“This one already told Shizun, he thinks of you as a guest!” Luo Binghe raised his voice too. It was quite hard to miss the indignance from his voice.

“After telling me I wasn’t allowed to leave!” Shen Yuan hissed. He felt unreasonably angry again, mostly at himself for reacting so easily to Luo Binghe’s close proximity. It was like being flayed open whenever those eyes settled on his person.

“Because it’s dangerous for a human out there at nighttime!”  

“You most certainly didn’t mention that part!”

Luo Binghe growled, lips drawing back for a few seconds to show off his tusks. “If this Lord told Shizun there was danger awaiting outside, wouldn’t you have tried your luck with whatever was outside anyways?”

Shen Yuan shut up then, not having anything to refute that. Because the demon was right. He would have run away even if Luo Binghe said there were a whole group of demons out there for his blood. After all, who would believe a demon that is trying to keep you inside their lair? Demons weren’t famous for their kindness or hospitality. 

“This one thought so too,” Luo Binghe sighed and collapsed back onto the ground, his arms shaking from the strain. Shen Yuan didn’t know how to feel. He desperately wanted to stay bitter at Luo Binghe because that was the easiest way out of this situation. However, his conscience didn’t let him do that. 

Blinking at the demon lying there, still bleeding from multiple wounds from his fight with the wolves, Shen Yuan couldn’t ignore the guilt and compassion in his gut. And then he had to go ahead and spout all that nonsense about not caring about appearances and demonic blood too. Shen Yuan had never before wanted someone to think highly of him before and it was super confusing coming from someone who has already embarrassed himself in front of said person in the worst way possible.

Kneeling up with a groan, the teacher placed his hand gingerly on the demon’s shoulder. “Come on. Do that thing again and take us to a room where I can clean your wounds.”

Luo Binghe didn’t answer with words nor did he look at him, but the next second their surroundings morphed and Shen Yuan found himself kneeling in the same room where his ankle was healed. He was glad to note Luo Binghe was teleported right on top of the bed, otherwise Shen Yuan didn’t know how else he could have put the demon up there.

He stood and walked over to the wall filled with cupboards, and began to look for clean gauze and some warm water. Then Shen Yuan approached the bed where Luo Binghe was lying dutifully, finding those red eyes following his every move not unlike a predator that was eyeing the prey. A shudder ran down the teacher’s spine, having to grip the bowl stronger to prevent dropping it. 

“This will hurt a bit,” Shen Yuan warned in a rather breathless tone and then pressed the wrung out cloth onto a wound on the demon’s bicep. Luo Binghe clenched his jaw but other than that he didn’t move or make a sound. Except looking between the place where they touched and up at Shen Yuan’s face with fascination in his eyes.

Shen Yuan tried to ignore the intense staring along with the rising blush on his cheeks and carefully wiped the wounds on Luo Binghe’s body clean. It was impossible not to notice how well-built the demon was, gorgeous muscles all over, even those underneath the soft fur were obviously ripped. 

Even like this, beaten and exhausted, Luo Binghe thrummed with strength. His body was built in a way that could half a mountain or split open dragon’s scales, big like an ox and agile like a leopard. Wherever Shen Yuan accidentally touched him, skin-to-skin, he could feel an immense amount of magic in his veins locked away behind an invisible barrier. Like a river flowing unrestricted beneath a thick layer of impenetrable ice. No one could have so much magic reserves without a core to host and generate it. 

A cultivator’s core. Shen Yuan gently gasped. Luo Binghe had a cultivator’s core even though he was a demon!

Shen Yuan had so many questions, but didn’t know how to bring them up. Just who was that person who sealed Luo Binghe away? How come Luo Binghe had demonic blood in him when the scroll only spoke of a human cultivator? And if he was a demon from the beginning who was living peacefully as a human cultivator, why did he get condemned still? What happened to the other Luo’s?

Shen Yuan wasn’t sure if it was a wise thing to bring it up to being with. No reason to cut the floor underneath his own feet by making the demon angry again. That didn’t mean his curiosity dispersed though.

Silently working, Shen Yuan wrapped up the demon’s wounds in gauze after cleaning them out. He wasn’t sure if he was doing it right since fur may press into the wounded flesh, but by now he already finished wrapping. If Luo Binghe didn’t like it he would have stopped him, right? 

Self-consciously Shen Yuan stepped away, taking the bowl with him. “There, all done.” 

His heart skipped a beat when he saw Luo Binghe was still staring at him with a strange unrestrained fire in his eyes. Somebody help, what was the etiquette in this situation? “Well um- rest up? Try not to move much and even if you have to, don’t put strain on your muscles. Erm… this Shizun will go now.”

Before he could have actually taken a step towards the door his arm was caught. The hold was laughably feeble from Luo Binghe but Shen Yuan was marooned firmly in the spot by those eyes. “Shizun really is leaving now?”

Luo Binghe looked like he was seconds away from bursting into tears, reminding Shen Yuan of a giant baby. The human froze in place, heart beating wilder. That look on the demon’s face unconsciously had Shen Yuan wanting to reach out and pat him on the head and placate him. 

“I’m only going back to my rooms. Need to get some sleep as well,” the teacher replied softly as if he was talking to one of his upset students, “Unless Binghe has decided that after this Shizun’s stunt he wasn’t welcomed in those rooms -”

“No!” Luo Binghe almost yelled, both his hands coming forth to hold onto the human’s arms. His big hands completely enveloped Shen Yuan’s by sheer size. “No. Shizun is most welcome back to his rooms! Anything! Just… please don’t leave.”

Shen Yuan felt overwhelmed with this kind of reaction, having those big beautiful eyes staring at him filled with so much sincerity and pleading. Luo Binghe mumbled that last part, nevertheless for a teacher who has worked years with moody teenagers Shen Yuan’s ear picked it up easily. 

“This Shizun isn’t leaving,” freeing a hand he couldn’t help petting the demon on the forearm right beneath a wrap. “I would actually love to start anew. If- if Binghe would have it, then this Shizun would be most honored to be invited into Lord Lou’s magnificent mansion.” 

Luo Binghe breathed in sharply, mouth slightly hanging open. He recovered within a second though. “Shizun-  The honor is this one’s! Shizun is this Lord’s guest for as long as he cares to stay.”

And then the demon did something that made Shen Yuan’s heart want to escape straight out of his chest - Luo Binghe leaned down and pressed a chaste kiss to the back of Shen Yuan’s hand. His tusks brushed his skin as well but it was merely ticklish at most.  

“That- t-thank you Binghe,” Shen Yuan stuttered, willing and failing to keep his cheeks blush free. “I will bid goodnight then.”

“May Shizun have sweet dreams,” Luo Binghe reluctantly let the small hand slide free from his hands, but the small smile on his lips was sincere.

Shen Yuan all but fled the room, but this time not out of fear for his life but in fear that his heart would bounce through his chest if he stayed a second longer. As exhausted as he was he still sprinted back to his rooms - with the help of the gentle warm firefly leading him - and fell face-first into the soft silk blankets screaming.

Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he was making a terrible mistake. He should have just run away when he had the chance because at this rate, even if he gets to keep his life, his heart will be completely captured and devoured by something entirely different within days .

 

 

 

 

Shen Yuan was preparing for a bath, humming a nonsensical song. He was feeling especially festive today after all those amazing magical spell books Luo Binghe had shown him - full of ancient and some long-lost spells in it! 

He was even allowed to practice-cast some on paper figurines and an unfortunate chair that got permanently shrunk into thumb sized. Shen Yuan cringed again remembering that, even though Luo Binghe continuously reassured him that chair wasn’t of importance. 

And then let’s not even mention the food he was being fed. Gourmet specialities that melted on his tongue, the most fragrant of soups, and the most tender part of meat with fresh vegetables. 

He would never eat from the school's cafeteria again! 

It had been exactly three days since he had fallen through the roof and into the underground Luo Estate. Three days since he had gotten the biggest emotional rollercoaster of his life but Shen Yuan was still standing and alive. It had taken some getting used to, but by now he was thriving .

Luo Binghe and he had managed to talk things through after the Bone-backed wolf incident and Shen Yuan hadn’t noticed anything suspicious ever since. The demon was like an overgrown child, eager to prove himself, wanting to please Shen Yuan so much he often stumbled around making the teacher stifle his laughter. After removing the biased and prejudiced glass from his eyes, Shen Yuan finally saw Luo Binghe for what he was - a lonely, misunderstood soul who just wanted a friend.

When Shen Yuan realized this he mentally kicked himself in the bum. And being desperate to get rid of his guilt, Shen Yuan eagerly threw himself into socializing. He sought out Luo Binghe right the next morning, making the demon freeze from surprise in the midst of a chaotic kitchen - he had flour all over his fur too.  

And what did Shen Yuan do? Scold him, of course, for being out of bed with his injuries. He couldn’t help it okay?! He was a teacher, some things were ingrained into his very personality. 

Shen Yuan felt his cheeks redden just from thinking of that scene. But tell him, how was he supposed to know that demons heal inhumanely fast?! Though the absolute starstruck look on Luo Binghe’s face was almost worth the embarrassment. Only almost because Shen Yuan would still very much like to go back in time and seal his own mouth. 

What was with him chiding demons almost twice his size? And what was with said demon getting absurdly happy from it??

Shen Yuan shook his head, attempting to rid his mind of the questions. Luo Binghe was eccentric. He had spent a long time alone down here. He was bound to behave weirdly around a sudden companion. Right? Right! 

Shen Yuan went on about preparing for his bath. He stripped off his used clothes and slipped on a fluffy bathrobe and impatiently waited for the bathtub to be filled. After all, he wanted to get a good soak before dinner, which was still a few hours away.

Luo Binghe said he was going to show him something special. Shen Yuan didn’t know what that entailed, since in his humble opinion, all the meals so far has been over the top type of extra. He was sort of excited to see what Luo Binghe’s “special” meant. 

He slid into the water, letting out a pleased sigh at the welcomed sting of the heat on his skin. Steam filled the space, smelling like lavender and eucalyptus herbs that were soaked into his bathwater.

Shen Yuan lazily traced the elegant letters of the water-temperature regulating rune on the side of the porcelain bathtub. This rune wasn’t considered rare or expensive, though the strokes of the castor were definitely superior to everyone Shen Yuan had seen.

He sort of wished he could have had his calligraphy set with him, would have loved to copy this beautiful style into his collection. Maybe Luo Binghe could lend him some paper and ink? There were too many gorgeous illustrations and runes written in the most beautiful handwriting around here to not copy a few.

Shen Yuan hadn’t even noticed how he grew sleepy, his body too comfortable in warm water and nose filled with the pleasant scents. At some point he must have dozed off because the next time he came about was to the sound of a door being thrown open. 

Shen Yuan flailed in fright, his blood freezing in his veins despite being submerged in hot water, his heart almost jumping out of his chest.

“ - not answering?” that deep voice boomed, full of wildness, “ Shizun?!”

Luo Binghe strode into the bathroom with strong steps and grabbed the sides of the bathtub so violently Shen Yuan thought he was going to tear it out of its place - water, and Shen Yuan both inside.

Staring into those red eyes twinkling with a furl of emotions five centimeters away from his face, Shen Yuan found his throat wasn’t working. Under all that worry and explosive impulse, Luo Binghe looked so incredibly pitiful. As if he was going to start crying, but Shen Yuan couldn't even finish that line of thought as he saw teardrops gathering in Luo Binghe’s eyes, slowly  overfilling.

As the first drop trailed down the demon’s cheeks, Shen Yuan reached out a wet hand. His empathy making him forget his fear and confusion.

“I don’t know what happened but Shizun is sorry. It seems I fell asleep in the bath. I wanted to wash up before joining you for dinner.” He gingerly patted Luo Binghe’s forehead. “Did something happen?”

It was Luo Binghe’s turn to freeze completely. The demon stared at him as if he had never seen a human before, eyes wide and eyebrows filled with wonder. That taut back relaxed and the ice melted away from his long tail as it’s fluffy tip started swishing tentatively, not unlike an abused dog’s after experiencing an affectionate rub.

And then Shen Yuan’s actions caught up with his brain and his cheeks got painted red, a darker shade than Binghe’s eyes. He was about to withdraw his hand when Luo Binghe caught his wrist and nuzzled into his open wet palm.

“Shizun is forgiven,” he crooned, nosing Shen Yuan’s thin wrist. 

The teacher’s eyebrow twitched, despite the sensual shiver that ran down his spine. He’s forgiven when the one who broke his door in half was Luo Binghe? This brat! And the demon still didn’t give him an explanation!

“Well, I did oversleep I guess?” Shen Yuan laughed sheepishly, sitting up properly in the tub, searching for the clock on the wall. He totally missed the way Luo Binghe’s eyes strayed onto his reddened pale shoulders, watching water droplets running across the dip of his collarbones. “Have to get dressed and then we can go.” 

“Of course, Shizun,” Luo Binghe agreed easily but didn’t move. Shen Yuan’s eyes flickered to the demon’s massive body and very attractive face a few times, unsure as to why Luo Binghe wasn’t moving out of the room. Did Luo Binghe want him to get out of the tub while he was standing right there?! 

Hands coming up to massage at his nape, Shen Yuan self-consciously laughed. “Would Binghe please move- ?”

Luo Binghe blinked down at him, those intelligent eyes widening a fraction in understanding, before he nodded. And then he did something that caught Shen Yuan completely off guard. Luo Binghe reached his big hands into the water and lifted Shen Yuan out like he weighed nothing.

Forgetting to even yell, Shen Yuan scrambled to grab onto Luo Binghe’s shoulders for support as he was lifted into a princess carry. He was a grown-ass man and yet here he was being carried around like he was but a child. Shen Yuan had already known Luo Binghe was strong, but experiencing it first-hand on his own body was an entirely different knowledge. 

Dazed, the teacher even forgot to protest his case or complain about immodesty, as he was carried out of the bathroom and into the spacious bedroom. Luo Binghe must have cast a commandless spell for Shen Yuan’s entire body got bathed in a comfortable heat and in a few seconds his skin and hair was dried. 

“Oh.” The teacher was so fascinated he barely registered being gingerly placed on the silken bed sheets, his hands refusing to unhook from around Luo Binghe’s neck. Face on fire, Shen Yuan quickly dropped his hands, apologizing, “Sorry.”   

Luo Binghe smiled at him, more feral than not, and it ignited those sparks of lust in Shen Yuan’s belly into flames. “Shizun needn’t apologize to this one. He can depend on me.”

Shen Yuan quickly gathered the sheets and hid himself in them, while Luo Binghe went on to rummage through the wardrobe for clothes. He had chosen a pair of skin-tight pants and a loose knit pullover that would sit rather low on Shen Yuan’s collarbones. Paired with that he brought over Shen Yuan’s shoes and fluffy cotton socks. 

“Thank you Binghe,” he murmured. 

“Does Shizun require further assistance?” Luo Binghe asked, eyeing him with demonic intensity. His tail was swishing behind him shyly, looking eager for a demon who was at least two heads taller than Shen Yuan.

“That’s all right. It’s not necessary,” Shen Yuan was in a hurry to reject the idea. Who was he to use the lord of the house as a personal attendant?! He didn’t have a death wish thank you very much.

Luo Binghe deflated a little but nodded and left the room, finally leaving Shen Yuan to his own devices. As soon as the door closed behind the demon, Shen Yuan grabbed a pillow and smothered his beet-red face into it - the embarrassment and his mortifying lust for the demon came crashing down on him. 

He almost got hard just from being picked up! Imagining what Luo Binghe could do to him in the bedroom seeing as he could lift him up so effortlessly…  the mere thought of it sent Shen Yuan into another intimate whining frenzy with his pillow. Shen Yuan could just be chilling and in the next second thrown over Luo Binghe’s back and he wouldn’t be able to do anything - completely at the mercy of the demon.

Shen Yuan’s entire body flushed with the force of his desire. What would it be like feeling those big hands underneath his naked thighs, but this time around his legs would be parted wide around Luo Binghe’s torso, his hole taking the demon’s dick -

“Stop, stop, stop it!” Shen Yuan rebuked himself furiously. “What’s wrong with me?! He just wants a friend! He’s off limits you stupid horny idiot!!”  

Worst is, he was buck naked in the bathtub, no way to hide his half-hard dick. What a way to awaken his manhandling kink! Couldn’t it have happened when he was at least clothed?! And while it was possible his interested lower region went unnoticed by Luo Binghe, he definitely stared too much at the demon’s abs for it to be platonic!

Shen Yuan nervously glanced at the closed door, before falling back into the pillow. How was he supposed to face Luo Binghe now?! Right after the incident nonetheless!

“Get a grip, Shen Yuan,” he murmured to himself in a grave voice, “You can do this. Pokerface all the way, and you might even survive.” 

He reluctantly peeled himself off the bed and got dressed with the prepared clothes. He was so side-tracked he didn’t even realize he forgot to wear underwear until he was already dressed. He paused, looking back towards the drawers when there was a knock at the door. 

“Shizun? Are you ready?”

Shen Yuan bit his lips and made a split decision to forgo briefs - he had made Luo Binghe wait a bunch already. He didn’t want to make the demon wait more, plus he only had to survive a dinner anyways, and then he could excuse himself, saying he was tired or something.

Brilliant!

“Coming!” he called and skipped to the door. However, he wasn’t calculating with Luo Binghe standing right on the other side and couldn’t stop in time, ramming straight into Luo Binghe’s rock-hard abs headfirst. “Oof!”

Rock-hard because damn, that hurt, but also because holy shit that had to be at least an eight pack. Luo Binghe what do you need such muscles for?! To kill this Shizun, for sure. The demon reached a hand out to steady him, looking like he didn’t even feel Shen Yuan running into him.

“Shizun should slow down,” Luo Binghe teasingly noted, the smallest of smirks on his lips, “lest he falls for something else. In which case this one must take measures .” His voice deepened at the end into a vaguely threatening growl.

“Huh?” Shen Yuan’s brain was a fuzzy mess, face red from embarrassment. It certainly wasn’t helping that Luo Binghe was radiating warmth, the proprietary hold on his waist still persisting like a wordless promise. That big hand was so close to where he truly wanted it, just a slip downwards and- stop it! Shen Yuan had to physically wrench himself away from the demon, self-consciously righting himself. “You were saying?”

Luo Binghe just shook his head amiably. “Let us go, Shizun.” 

He smoothly placed a hand to Shen Yuan’s lower back and began to guide him down the corridor. It took everything out of Shen Yuan not to gasp at the physical touch. He really wasn’t in the right mindspace to be around the demon at the moment!

Then the teacher tilted his head to the side, eyebrows furrowing as Luo Binghe’s words caught up with him, “What does Binghe mean by taking measures? And isn’t it supposed to be “falling over something”?”

Luo Binghe pinned him with a pair of fiery eyes for a second, making Shen Yuan think he said something wrong, before the demon relaxed his features into a pleasant smile. “Shizun is wise. This one is thankful for the guidance. But it’s this one’s job to get rid of obstacles in the way.”

Shen Yuan couldn’t shake off the feeling he was misunderstanding something. “Anyways just because I’m clumsy, Binghe doesn’t need to rearrange any furniture… really.”

“Of course, Shizun,” Luo Binghe agreed with him amiably but in a manner that screamed ‘I am going to do the opposite either way’. Shen Yuan narrowed his eyes at the demon, a few seconds away from raining an earful on him when they arrived at a closed door which scattered his intentions. 

What immediately distracted him was that the door didn’t automatically open for them - unlike most of the doors in the estate. The second thing catching his attention was the magic that pooled around them, forming into a protective glass-like wall which radiated an unwilling hostility.

Or rather, in front of him, to be more specific . The space in front of Luo Binghe was unobstructed, very obviously so. Shen Yuan shifted half a step closer to the demon, not knowing what to expect. He had never run into such dense, hostile magic, not even when he fell through the roof and the guard rune checked him out. 

Luo Binghe didn’t seem perturbed by the mechanism, although there was a sheen of nervousness in his stance. But that raised the question; what was behind that uninteresting door to be guarded more fervently than the estate itself? 

“Félre az útból!” Luo Binghe commanded on a language Shen Yuan had never heard before. The magic wall obeyed the demon’s words, whatever they were, and fell away into nothingness. Shen Yuan didn’t even have time to ask what sort of language that was when the door began to slowly slide open in front of them.

Shen Yuan held his breath, half waiting for a monster to jolt forward or to see heaps of gold twinkling in the light. Luo Binghe’s hand sought out Shen Yuan’s, squeezing it gently in wordless encouragement. To whom it served as reassurance, it wasn’t obvious. Perhaps to both of them. 

Luo Binghe was the first to step forward after the door opened fully. The teacher watched the demon’s wide back in awe, allowing himself to be led through the narrow door completely unsuspecting as to what to expect.

Inside was a rather small room, dimly lit, and very unkempt compared to the rest of the estate. Cobwebs hung from the walls and corners, the air was stale and the floor tiles were barely visible under the thick layer of dust. At first glance, there was nothing of value in there despite the high security, and for a few seconds Shen Yuan’s heart beat with unease.

Did he misunderstand Luo Binghe in the end? Was he going to die here?  

The demon turned towards him then, and stared down into his eyes with utter seriousness. He opened his mouth only to close it again, obviously struggling to form words. Shen Yuan’s distress grew by the seconds. 

In the end, unable to bear the heavy silence, he asked, “What did Binghe bring me here for?”

Luo Binghe pursed his lips tight around his tusks, before making up his mind. He squeezed Shen Yuan’s hand one last time before releasing it and waving both his hands with a powerful burst of magic. “Mutasd magad!”

And then the whole room transformed in front of Shen Yuan’s eyes. The dirty, dark little room evaporated and got replaced by a grand hall, filled with gold linings and marble tiles wherever his eyes could see. No trace was left of the dusty storage room, even the air was clear and fragrant. 

Shen Yuan gaped as he took it all in, feeling how the insanely rich magic was permeating into his body and veins instantly. Just by standing there he already felt stronger, his magic reserves bloating into their all-time peak, and he barely have been standing there for a minute.

Even without words from Luo Binghe Shen Yuan immediately understood - the ancient rune was in this room. There was no other explanation as to why there would be such pure and dense amount of magic in the air. And true to Shen Yuan’s deduction, his eyes landed on the most intricate and difficult lines of a sentence written into a creamy white marble in the most sophisticated chirography he has ever seen.

There it was! The ancient rune! 

Shen Yuan almost forgot to breathe. He felt like his whole life was narrowing down to this one moment in time, that nothing else would ever top this experience. He had been chasing an unrealistic dream. Chasing after the ancient runes, hoping he could maybe one day catch a glimpse of a broken section of one. Never in his wildest dreams would he have imagined he would stand in front of an alive and complete rune, one that was thrumming with power almost blindingly bright.  

Tears were gathering in Shen Yuan’s eyes, as he took it all in. For Luo Binghe to show him all this, what did it cost exactly? The demon was sealed away inside this underground estate, wholly dependant on this rune to keep his comfort and safety. Luo Binghe’s very livelihood was this rune, yet that soft-hearted fool was showing it to him. 

A human. He was showing it to a human whereas humans were widely known for their greed and selfishness. Luo Binghe was showing Shen Yuan the ancient rune because he knew the teacher was interested in it and ignored the possible devastating scenarios that might play out if Shen Yuan were to betray him. 

How could someone be so selfless? 

Shen Yuan heaved his first sob, tears running down his cheeks. Luo Binghe who had been mutely standing by his side spun towards him in concern. Dropping on his knees the demon immediately made Shen Yuan face him, hands coming up to cup the human’s shoulders. 

“What’s wrong Shizun? Are you in pain?” His voice was laced with worry. 

Shen Yuan cried harder, shaking the demon’s touch away. “How can you be so stupid?!”  

Luo Binghe froze in his position, eyes widening in panic. “S-Shizun -?”

He looked pained like someone had caused him physical injury. Ridiculous. As if a fragile human like Shen Yuan could cause any real damage to someone as powerful as him. Shen Yuan wanted to punch him in his perfect face just to prove a point, but his emotions were overwhelming him and sobs continued to pour out of him.

“So damn stupid! Who shows - who trusts someone with this when you barely know them?!”

Luo Binghe smiled at him, a strained and sad smile. It made Shen Yuan see red in an overprotective-mother-hen type of way. Without thinking he drew Luo Binghe into a tight hug, smothering the demon’s face into his sweater. “How can you be like that, huh?! Stupid and selfless and perfect?!” 

The demon went limp, hands dropping to his sides. His red eyes were wide and full of unshed tears. “...Shizun.”

Shen Yuan pulled him even closer, hands combing Luo Binghe’s luscious locks. “How can I bear to leave now? Knowing you, you’d get yourself cursed twice should I look away for a minute!”

Luo Binghe upon hearing this, relaxed into the hug like a boneless puppy. He murmured a petulant yet blissed reply, “Would not.”

“Yes, you would! Silly, naive child!” Shen Yuan hiccuped, “Hasn’t your mother taught you not to trust humans?”

Luo Binghe tentatively raised his clawed hands to carefully return the hug, burrowing his face deeper into Shen Yuan’s chest. “But this one trusts Shizun.”

“How can you?” Shen Yuan shook his head, drawing backward enough to be able to look into the demon’s eyes. Even with tears in his eyes, Shen Yuan effortlessly took on his teacher mode. “A few days is not enough to get to know someone, Binghe, let alone to form a deep trust. You shouldn’t put your faith in people easily, especially not humans! What would you do if I were some despicable thug who was just waiting for the right moment to strike and steal the runes?!” 

Luo Binghe listened calmly, enduring a sheen of redness clinging to his cheeks from the continuous kind rebukes. “Is Shizun upset this one trusts him or is he upset because he can’t return it?”

Shen Yuan paused, tears still streaming down his skin, looking at him with a mixture of incredulity and heartache. Was that what Luo Binghe was worried about? He wasn’t even concerned about his livelihood being destroyed but was worried for what- that Shen Yuan would misunderstand his intentions for something ridiculous again?

Just how lonely was he? Just how many times was he abandoned? 

Shen Yuan could almost feel his own empathy as physical pain in his ribcage, tearing at his tender heart and pushing more tears to his eyes. Luo Binghe who was still waiting for an answer, seeing the new tears, misunderstood and that hopeful glint dimmed in his entire stance. Even his long ears dropped and flattened - like a puppy being kicked or a starving child being denied food.

And Shen Yuan desperately wanted to wipe that expression off Luo Binghe’s beautiful face, but he still couldn’t form coherent thoughts let alone sentences, so he did the next best thing he could think of. Cupping the dejected demon’s face and tilting it upwards he pressed his lips to Luo Binghe’s.  

He almost immediately panicked. He had never kissed anyone before, he had no idea what he was doing! Gosh, this was a terrible idea! 

Shen Yuan almost withdrew, apologies ready on his lips when Luo Binghe made a delightful noise deep in his throat and clumsily kissed back. 

And suddenly everything felt right again. The kiss was wet from Shen Yuan’s tears, tasting slightly of salt and Luo Binghe’s tusks were awkwardly pressing against his cheeks but it was comforting in a way he has never thought kisses could be. That despondent aura had dissipated, replaced by sparks of lust and an overwhelming amount of happy relief. 

Shen Yuan focused all his attention on their lips, trying to match Luo Binghe’s enthusiastic rhythm and not prickle himself on the demon’s sharp tusks. It proved to be a challenge he definitely didn’t live up to and then his lips were pushed apart and mouth got filled with Luo Binghe’s warm tongue.

Hng,” the teacher moaned from the feeling, finding it both arousing and overwhelming to be barely able to breathe. He couldn’t close his mouth even if he wanted to, Luo Binghe was insistent and thorough, and so much bigger. 

A simple french kiss between humans may leave them panting for air, but the same with Luo Binghe was like attempting to deepthroat a tentacle. Shen Yuan was getting lightheaded, his attempts at taking air weaker by the second but he still didn’t try to push Luo Binghe away. 

It felt so damn nice to be held by those big hands, to be wanted and needed. Shen Yuan felt secure in the demon’s hold, even as he was sweetly suffocated by the love raining on him. Luo Binghe’s eagerness was like a dam breaking, all that pent up desire and love and yearning now finally finding an outlet, a subject to focus on.   

Just when Shen Yuan was truly getting short of breath Luo Binghe broke the kiss, murmuring “Shizun Shizun Shizun” against spit-covered lips like a worshipful mantra. Shen Yuan desperately gulped a big lung-full of air, eyes glazing over as he took in Luo Binghe’s gorgeous face. He was no longer looking sad.

Good. 

Playing with the demon’s hair, Shen Yuan placed his forehead against Luo Binghe’s. He was too invested in whatever was brewing between them to properly freak out over giving away his first kiss. “This Shizun wasn’t upset about either of those things. I feel really honored by Binghe’s trust in me, and thankful that Binghe showed me the rune. You truly made me happy.” 

“So… this one did good?” Luo Binghe whispered in a self-conscious way, trying to steal a glance at Shen Yuan’s face and failing when the human stubbornly kept their foreheads touching.

“Yes and no.”

“...no?” the demon’s voice sounded incredibly small. 

“No, because you still should be more careful and protect yourself and your possessions better. I could have been a person with evil intentions!” Shen Yuan wasn’t yet over his indignance about that. “It’s unwise to bare your weaknesses or most important secrets to outsiders!”

Luo Binghe tilted his head, not unlike a dog that was trying to look at their owner better. “But this Lord knew Shizun wasn’t harboring evil intentions.”

Shen Yuan finally let them separate, looking disapproving at the demon whose tail was swishing behind him like a lovestruck puppy’s. “How could Binghe possibly know that?” 

“The rune, Shizun,” Luo Binghe motioned towards the powerful rune on the stone. “It senses intentions. It wouldn’t have led you to me if you had even a speck of harmful intent.” 

The teacher blinked, processing. “ Oh … that’s - possible?” 

Luo Binghe nodded. “It was included in it when the Lou Estate was built. To fend off our enemies.”

“How does it fend them off?” Curious, Shen Yuan asked. 

The demon grinned at him, red-eyes flaring. He truly looked like a monster for a second, savage and irresistibly sexy. “Entraps them in an endless illusion where they wander around until they drop dead from exhaustion.” 

A shiver ran down Shen Yuan’s spine. How cruel! Although if he really thought about it, only those get trapped who approached with harmful intentions. Maybe it wasn’t so unreasonable after all…

Then his shiver of horror turned into one of pleasure as he felt one of Luo Binghe’s hands crawling downwards, trailing down his spine. Shen Yuan tightened his hold on the demon’s naked shoulders. 

Right, why was Luo Binghe naked most of the time?! He wore a wide belt around his waist with a carefully embroidered loin-cloth hanging from it to hide his privates. But that was it. Shen Yuan had never seen him wear more. 

The handsome demon’s general nudity was especially attacking his heart right now, with how suggestive the mood turned. That big hand was still mapping his spine, claws gently scratching against his cloth-covered skin which sent tiny shivers through his body. And while Shen Yuan was lost in thoughts Luo Binghe began to nuzzle into his neck with careful head movements due to his horns.

Warm breath on the sensitive skin of his neck had Shen Yuan moan. He felt so easy in front of the demon’s techniques but he was a virgin who has never been intimately touched before so he wasn’t too upset for getting hard for Luo Binghe. When he felt a warm tongue on his neck, Shen Yuan had to bite his lips. 

“Erm… Binghe?” he was getting antsy. 

Luo Binghe hummed against the skin of his neck, leaving soft kisses along the column of his neck making Shen Yuan weak in the knees. He had to grip the demon’s shoulders to be able to stay standing, desire coursing through his veins. He never wanted anyone as badly as he wanted Luo Binghe now.

Yet he still couldn’t bring himself to just go with the flow. Not before he confirmed something. So steeling his trembling legs he wormed his way out of Luo Binghe’s hold, forcing the demon to look at him in the eyes. 

“What are we?” he asked in a whisper.

Luo Binghe blinked at him through his own wanton haze. “Shizun?” 

“What am I to you, Binghe?” Shen Yuan clarified, his heart beating in his throat. “I- I can’t give my heart away if- if this is just a fleeting thing -” 

Luo Binghe gathered his hands gently, bending down to kiss his knuckles. Shen Yuan could feel him tremble slightly. “Shizun is this one’s first, and this lord wishes him to be his only.” 

Shen Yuan gasped. A proposal just like that? Luo Binghe didn’t look like he was joking, those deep red eyes holding clarity and jaw set firm, while his tail was twitching nervously. Why was he even nervous? As if Luo Binghe couldn't get anyone he wanted with his looks and wealth. As if Shen Yuan rejecting him was something to be nervous about! How could Shen Yuan not climb him like a tree? 

“... yes,” he blurted before he could stop his lips. “Me too I… I want.”

Luo Binghe lit up with his whole being, sweeping Shen Yuan into his big arms, effortlessly standing up and spinning them both around. The teacher had to hold onto the demon’s shoulders, clinging to him with his arms and legs, and trying to comprehend that he just agreed to marry an ancient demon.

“Shizun- Shizun this one’s beside himself with joy,” Luo Binghe crooned against his ears, his chest rumbling like a cat’s when it’s happy. Shen Yuan giggled, unable to hold it in. Well, society and its expectations can go stick it. If it truly weren’t meant to be, then why was he the happiest he has ever been? Luo Binghe had more integrity than most men out there. 

Leaning down he pressed shy kisses to the demon’s cheek and the corner of his lips - some landing on the tusks. “This Shizun is too.”

And then he was kissed again, sweeter but not any less enthusiastic as the previous one. Shen Yuan had more of a chance to actually kiss back this time, enjoying the way their lips slid against each other, savoring the other’s taste. Subconsciously he was clinging to the demon harder, desperate to feel more of Luo Binghe’s hot body pressing so deliciously against his small one. 

One of Luo Binghe’s hands came to hold him underneath the bum, making Shen Yuan jump slightly from the sudden touch and breaking their kiss.

“Shizun is so sensitive,” Luo Binghe hummed with a pleased smile on his lips, bringing both his hands to cup the human’s ass and thighs, simultaneously pulling him closer and hooking him higher on his waist. 

Face on fire, Shen Yuan hid into Luo Binghe’s neck and half-heartedly hit the demon on the chest. “It’s Binghe’s fault.” 

Luo Binghe didn’t seem angry about the accusation. If anything the sparks of his inner happiness were shining through the cracks of his old heart. Purring in his throat, the demon nuzzled into Shen Yuan’s neck and suggestively kneaded his ass, coaxing further small moans from Shen Yuan’s lips.

“Is it?” Luo Binghe chuckled lowly, before nibbling on the human’s reddened earlobe. “Then this one shall take responsibility.” 

“How- how do you plan to take responsibility? Oh,” Shen Yuan gasped as he saw their surrounding morph. All he could register was that they were in a bedroom before he was thrown onto the bed and Luo Binghe climbed on top of him.

If it were under any other circumstances Shen Yuan would have panicked - Luo Binghe was massive. Like this, being at the demon’s mercy with no immediate escape route it really was stark clear just how frail Shen Yuan was compared to the man pressing him into the soft duvet.

But with his head in the clouds and heart bursting with joy, Luo Binghe’s big form weighing down on him was like a reassurance. The demon didn’t change his mind, he still desired him - that bulge pressing against Shen Yuan’s thigh was as good a sign as Luo Binghe’s confession was. 

His lips were claimed again, and mouth lazily eaten out. His nose was filled with Luo Binghe’s heady but grounding scent, while the demon’s gorgeous hair pooled over his shoulders, curtaining their faces away from the world. Shen Yuan clung to those strong biceps flexing ever so frequently as Luo Binghe still held most of his weight off to not to crush him. Meanwhile, the demon’s right hand begun to map down Shen Yuan’s arm, wondering over to his side and then stomach.

Shen Yuan shuddered deliciously, groaning into Luo Binghe’s mouth. Nobody had touched him similarly, nobody made him feel this way before - there was already so much to focus on, Shen Yuan was having trouble keeping up with it all.

“Shizun, do you truly want this?” Luo Binghe thankfully pulled away then, breaking the kiss although his hand rested on the human’s waist like a brand of iron. “This one wants you so bad, but I will stop if Shizun asks.”

Shen Yuan panted for air, a bit ashamed to be so out of breath when they hadn’t done anything yet, but he felt immense gratification seeing Luo Binghe’s flushed cheeks and wide-blown eyes. 

That’s right. They were in this together. 

That thought calmed him down enough to be able to consider the question. Could he really make this journey if he was already so overwhelmed? Shen Yuan’s dick said yes, his brain said he was going to die if he didn’t have the demon’s dick inside him within ten minutes, but his hole clenched in worry.

It was pretty impossible not to notice how well-endowed Luo Binghe was. Even from a logical standpoint, Luo Binghe was almost twice his size. Shen Yuan barely reached his pectorals while standing. Just looking at it from a pure anatomy perspective, their compatibility would be a tight fit - if not impossible.

But damn it, Shen Yuan really wanted it, even if he had to die! He wanted to know how it felt to be with the one he loved, to be embraced and loved in the body and soul. He had guarded his chastity up until now, waiting for the right one to come along and sweep him off his feet. And Luo Binghe did just that, fair and square. He also did more, like make his entire body sing in anticipation or dripping just from a french kiss. Shen Yuan was more than eager to give his virginity to Luo Binghe - actually, scratch that, he wanted to fling it at the demon at full speed. 

Screw fear! Fuck a demon! 

Yet here was Luo Binghe, dick hard between his fur-covered thighs, a demon built like a god, magnificently burly, capable of manhandling Shen Yuan with a single arm and he still had yet to fuck Shen Yuan’s brains out of his body!

As much as he wanted to scream at Luo Binghe to just take him, Shen Yuan’s heart was overflowing with adoration seeing how patient Luo Binghe was despite his own obvious desire. He was waiting for his consent, which made Shen Yuan feel like he ate a jar of honey, the sticky sweetness settling low in his stomach. The whole time Luo Binghe only ever moved his thumb to massage nonsensical patterns into the dip of Shen Yuan’s left hip bone.

“Binghe.”

Eager eyes watched his face with hawk-like intensity. “Yes, Shizun?” 

Shen Yuan wordlessly wiggled his legs free and with the same momentum, he parted them for Luo Binghe. The demon’s eyes widened then narrowed, a rumble coming from his chest like a purr. Shen Yuan stubbornly kept his eyes engaged with Luo Binghe’s the whole time, even though his shyness almost got the better of him. 

“I want you,” the teacher whispered into the warm air between them. It was so very quiet he was scared the demon wouldn’t hear him. Shen Yuan wasn’t sure he got enough shamelessness in him to repeat it.

But then - “Anything for My One,” Luo Binghe crooned against his lips, and all but tore the clothes off Shen Yuan with his claws. Had the teacher been more sober-minded he would have complained but with his lust-muddled brain, he found it extremely hot. 

Any type of strength demonstration was going straight to his dick until it was left hard and weeping. And oh gods, they were so close now, their clothes shredded and thrown away, skin pressing against skin - and fur. 

There was a lot of fur, it tickled Shen Yuan’s under thighs but it wasn’t as weird as he thought it would feel. The skin against skin was what truly threw him off his track. It shouldn’t be this hot, especially with the way sweat already began to cover Shen Yuan’s inner thighs and palms, but the feeling of smooth warm skin pressing against him was without compare. 

But then Luo Binghe positioned himself between spread milky thighs and their erections brushed against each other.

Ahn! That’s - hmmm,” Shen Yuan threw his head back, thighs jerking around Luo Binghe’s wide waist as if trying to close but unable to. Loving the sweet noises, as if enchanted Luo Binghe kept moving his hips, but not before reaching down and finally tearing his only cloth away from his body.

It was so alien, hot and hard but also wet. A lot wetter than Shen Yuan could ever hope to be from mere foreplay but knowing where that dick was going to go, Shen Yuan was glad for the lubricant.

The teacher clung to Luo Binghe as the demon was rocking them together trying to keep his embarrassing noises in. But it was a mission impossible, for the demon seemed to find all his weak spots that left his body thrumming with desire. 

“Shizun sounds so beautiful,” Luo Binghe pressed a kiss onto his ear before pushing himself up. “Let me love you thoroughly.” 

Shen Yuan reluctantly let his hands slip away from Luo Binghe’s shoulders and watched the demon lift himself back up before he was almost completely off the bed. But before Shen Yuan could have gotten a word out, two wonderfully-big furred hands came under his kneecaps and roughly pulled him to the edge of the bed. 

The yelp that left his throat came from deeper within, with a raw quality to it. Shen Yuan’s eyes widened, staring at Luo Binghe like a startled deer at a hungry wolf. Luo Binghe seemed to notice it as he flashed an animalistic smile down at his lover and then promptly took Shen Yuan’s dick into his mouth down to its base.

Shen Yuan let out a surprised scream, his back arching off the bed. He would have squeezed Luo Binghe’s head like one does a grape between his fingers without finesse, had it not been for the demon still holding his legs apart. The teacher didn’t know if he wanted the sensations to continue or to get away from it; amidst his strung-up nerves, Shen Yuan’s left hand found one of Luo Binghe’s horns and gripped it hard.

“Holy fu - ahh! Oh my gosh- Binghe!” It was one thing to receive your first blowjob without any warnings but those sharp teeth and tusks being so near his dick made Shen Yuan queasy with fear. “Ohh- s-slow down please!”   

But it wasn’t just fear, he figured pretty quickly, as Luo Binghe pulled off with an obscene pop and grinned up at him. He tilted his head into the hand that was holding his horn. “Shizun can reprimand this one. It will help me know best how to make Shizun scream.”  

Shen Yuan’s cheeks burned scarlet red at that. The hand holding the horn came to whack Luo Binghe across the forehead. “Then stop calling me “Shizun” when we are… like this,”  

The demon’s eyes twinkled even brighter - be it from the reprimand or the hit - and Shen Yuan couldn’t shake off the feeling he was in relative danger. But he didn’t have time to think about it as Luo Binghe nudged Shen Yuan’s dick with his cheek, breathing hot air onto the sensitive head making Shen Yuan inhale sharply. 

“This one understands,” Luo Binghe nodded, “My One is shy.” 

“Who’s shy you- hmm, ” Shen Yuan began indignantly but was cut off when the demon put his mouth back on him. Despite the intimidating amount of sharp teeth in Luo Binghe’s mouth, Shen Yuan couldn’t feel anything of them, not even a small nick or a scratch. It was unfairly hot, seeing Luo Binghe, this gorgeous massive man on his knees, servicing a weak human as if Shen Yuan was a God and he was a servant.

“Uwwh -” Shen Yuan couldn’t withhold the whimper. He wanted Luo Binghe to have him, to pick him up, to press him against the wall and kiss him until he couldn’t breathe. To hold his hands above his head while he took his pleasure from Shen Yuan’s body. The teacher’s whole body tensed like a string on a violin, pulled and teased until he was dancing on the edge and crying sweet melodies. He tried holding it, he really did, but that warm wet mouth was driving him crazy.  

Shen Yuan had some pretty intense orgasms in his life, most of them were with the help of his dildo or his fingers, desperately trying to fill in the empty space a lover would. So it was both exhilarating and strange to not be alone in bed now - to not having to do everything himself - but one could get used to good things at an alarming rate.

“Binghe, I’m - I’m coming- !” he managed to warn a second before he tipped over the top, his whole body shuddering. The muscles in his abdomen were tensing and his mouth was opening around an ‘o’ as he silent screamed through his orgasm. 

Luo Binghe kept sucking him through it, until he came down from his high and his body slumped back onto the bed almost crying from the touch of overstimulation. And then the demon pulled off, licking his lips like a cat that just got cream, while Shen Yuan heaved a breathless sigh.

Luo Binghe stood then, wiping his lips with his thumb not unlike those models in commercials. His voice had a scratchy quality to it, deep yet grounding, “Hmm, this one was right. Shizun is a vision when he is in the throes of pleasure.”

“Wha -?” Shen Yuan searched for Luo Binghe’s eyes through his post-orgasm haze. The demon chuckled and shook his head, climbing over him again - a big hand coming to cup Shen Yuan’s face.

“My One is perfect.”  

“No one is perfect, Binghe,” Shen Yuan argued but leaned into the hand holding his face. His mind was slowly clearing up and then he promptly turned beet red. Oh gods, he just came into Luo Binghe’s mouth but worst of it, Luo Binghe actually swallowed everything! Blush intensifying Shen Yuan hid his face behind his hands, wanting the bed to swallow him up. 

Luo Binghe didn’t let him hide though, gently prying his hands away from his face to kiss Shen Yuan’s embarrassment away. And while it didn’t work completely, Shen Yuan still loosened up enough to chase after those kisses with his lips and hands unconsciously gripping into Luo Binghe’s mane. 

The heated air was smelling like sex now, sweat and pheromones were mixing into their own scents. It was a heady mixture, impure but encouraging - if you’re already dirty then might as well get even dirtier, right? Otherwise it will be an offence against the bathwater later. If he needed to clean up after this anyway then he might as well go all out like a proper virgin bride on their wedding night who’s a needy slut at heart. 

Shen Yuan didn’t know where these types of thoughts were coming from. Maybe it was bravery after having his orgasm. He tasted the sweetness of the icing and now wanted the whole cake. Regardless of what it was, his inner shamelessness was surfacing unstoppably along with his needy self. 

He pawed and pulled and whined until he had Luo Binghe climb completely over him, that big wonderful body blanketing his average one - which seemed tiny in comparison. He was aware he was clingy, that he acted like a spoiled brat but his lust wasn’t satisfied yet and Luo Binghe was still so damn gorgeous and smelled like home and sex. 

Shen Yuan wasn’t even feeling remotely embarrassed when parting his thighs for the second time that night to welcome that strong torso in between. Luo Binghe was rougher now, his hands gripping his flesh harder, his hips pressing down stronger, his kisses more enthusiastic. 

It had Shen Yuan’s head swimming, and scrambling to keep up with the pace. And then there was the feeling of Luo Binghe’s dick slotting perfectly between Shen Yuan’s soft-side of his inner thighs that made the teacher jump slightly. He still hadn’t caught a glimpse of it but it felt heavy, and pulsing and so damn big. Shen Yuan could feel his asshole clench and unclench in anticipation. 

Luo Binghe was saying something, Shen Yuan could hear him but not the words individually. He couldn't concentrate when he was so close to getting dicked down by a dick that no-doubt would ruin his ass. 

“Is Shizun listening?” Luo Binghe pinched Shen Yuan’s jaw and tilted it up so they faced each other. Those fingers were holding his face sternly, yet those talons were carefully kept off the soft skin. 

Shen Yuan licked his abused and slightly puffy lips, guiltily soft. “What was Binghe saying?” 

Luo Binghe’s eyes burned red along with his mark on his brows. “Would My One prefer me casting a spell for the pain?”  

“That -” Shen Yuan felt some of his shame returning, “wouldn’t it numb everything?” 

Luo Binghe eyed him for a while, looking like he was searching for something then pushing himself up until he rested on his heels in between Shen Yuan’s spread legs. “It would but only for a while. This one has been told that with a size like mine it would be needed.” 

Shen Yuan glanced down, appreciating the sweat-covered pecs and abs until his eyes landed on the one thing he had been thirsting for. It was huge, almost like a fifth limb . Glistening with pre-cum and Shen Yuan spied non-sharp barbs sitting alongside its underside ridge and some bigger ones around its base - when he noticed them his heart skipped a beat. 

Under the scrutiny the monster dick began twitching against those rock-hard abs. It was both an arousing sight and a terrifying one. 

As gorgeous as it all looked, Shen Yuan couldn’t shake off the wave of panic that hit him out of nowhere. He could definitely not take that without tearing or breaking something! His tiny ass just wasn’t big enough for a dick this size! Even if he was a bit of a size-queen, there were still limits to what his body was capable of! 

He was about to say so, politely but firmly explaining to Luo Binghe why this could never work between them when he saw the look on the demon’s face. Luo Binghe looked so hopeful yet proud and happy to be under Shen Yuan’s scrutiny; like someone who knew they did a good job and was waiting for a well-deserved praise. 

Shen Yuan’s words got stuck in his throat. Who could say no to that face?! It was like dangling a piece of treat in front of a puppy only to ruthlessly put it away the next second! Who could be that cruel?!

Gulping, Shen Yuan looked at that monstrous dick again with a complicated yet wanton expression. Or could he take it? Should he try at least? 

“Shizun can touch it,” Luo Binghe purred, leaning down to press his nose into Shen Yuan’ collarbone. “Everything this one has is Shizun’s too.” 

Despite his better judgment Shen Yuan’s hand went to get ahold of that monstrous but beautiful cock. It throbbed under his fingertips, swelling even bigger if it was even possible while Luo Binghe gave a low groan into his neck. 

Shuddering and not just from fear, Shen Yuan licked his lips as he watched enraptured how the angry-red head slid between his fingers. It was so wet from the precum, and as hard he was it was also soft to the touch making Shen Yuan fascinated with it, as his fingers kept massaging the veins and the barbs like soft bumps underneath his fingertips. 

“Shizun,” Luo Binghe whined, straining to hold himself still as the teacher was studying him with innocent fascination.

Shen Yuan’s cheeks were dusted red the longer he played with that massive dick, his curiosity and lust melded together. He slid his grip up to the head again, watching as more pearly liquid dribbled out of the molds of the glands. It was fascinating how big everything was and how Luo Binghe’s dick was the closest he has ever seen to a real life dragon dildo. So much that Shen Yuan zoned out and the next time he came to his senses he already had a finger pushed inside the urethra til the second knuckle.

He froze, mortification settling in. But then he heard a low moan by his ear, not one of pain or discomfort, and felt sharp teeth gently nibbling on his skin. “More Shizun…”

Still Shen Yuan could not continue, the shock with his own self was too deep, and hastily pulled his finger out and hand away. “ Sorry.” 

“Shizun needn’t be,” Luo Binghe answered with a groan, hips jerking. 

“But I am!” Shen Yuan cried, hugging his hands to his chest. What was he thinking?! 

Luo Binghe shook his head, before waving around his left hand and murmuring a spell under his breath. “If Shizun is scared he hurt me he should rest assured he didn’t. This one already said, Shizun may do whatever he wishes to this one - reprimand, or even hit. I cherish Shizun’s touch, as I shall cherish him in return.”  

Shen Yuan got more and more embarrassed the longer Luo Binghe spoke. But his thoughts got muddled and tongue tied when he saw Luo Binghe’s left hand travel down dipping between his legs and a fur-covered finger brushed against his hole. 

The sensation ticklish enough to have Shen Yuan clench down. Luo Binghe leaned down to bite Shen Yuan’s lips before dipping his tongue in for a brief moment, “Don’t bear down, Shizun. Please relax.” 

Easy to say!

Shen Yuan closed his eyes instead, trying his best to relax his pelvis muscles. He felt wetness dripping onto his hole and ass, but defying gravity, this lubricant didn’t spill over but instead entered inside bringing forth a weird sensation, like tears wetting a person’s cheek but as they began to dry it cooled down the skin. He almost clenched down again if it weren’t for Luo Binghe who continued to massage around the tender skin of his hole with the soft pad of his finger. 

In the end, it felt like he was wet in places he has never been before and no matter how much his hole was twitching nothing was spilling out. 

“Shizun I’m going to cast a painkiller spell,” Luo Binghe informed him, deciding to do so even though Shen Yuan never gave an answer. 

Shen Yuan nodded mutely, still refusing to look at Luo Binghe out of embarrassment and rather studied the pattern on the duvet as he was trying to get used to the magical lubricant pooling in his ass. Luo Binghe murmured another spell and it worked fast and effectively, within half a minute Shen Yuan couldn’t feel anything down there, not even the ticklish sensation from the demon’s fingers or the cooling feeling of the lube. 

“Woah I - I don’t feel anything,” Shen Yuan whispered, curiously reaching down with his own hand to map around. It was definitely a weird sensation to not feel anything. 

Luo Binghe pressed a kiss to the corner of Shen Yuan’s lips before pushing a pillow beneath the teacher’s hips and hauling his limp legs wide open. “This one will be going in, Shizun.” 

“Wait!” Shen Yuan’s heart was beating in his throat. Even if he couldn’t feel anything it was still scary to see that monstrous dick nearing his hole. “Wouldn’t the other pose be better?” 

Luo Binghe paused, his perfect eyebrows furrowing. “What pose?” 

Shen Yuan pulled his legs free out of the demon’s hold and turned around, pushing his hips and ass high and his front snuggling into the blankets. He has heard that doing it doggy style was easier on the bottom. Plus maybe if he didn’t see it going in, it perhaps wouldn’t actually kill him. 

It was a stupid thought but Shen Yuan’s brain was a messy place at the moment.

“No,” Luo Binghe growled, and without further ado he flipped Shen Yuan back onto his back like he weighed nothing. “Shizun’s face - this one wants to see.” 

He was still talking as he positioned himself against that fluttering hole and began pushing in. Shen Yuan made a confused sound, hands flying to hold onto the demon’s biceps. The spell was working like a charm, even as the fat head of Luo Binghe’s dick popped inside the initial thigh ring of muscle Shen Yuan felt no pain at all.

That being said, he still felt something. Like a dull pressure in his bottom, with a noticeable stretch except it was sort of like holding a yoga pose than feeling like his skin was going to rip. For Shen Yuan who loved the sting of the stretch when he played around with his dildos, this was the weirdest feeling ever.

But Luo Binghe didn’t stop there and pushed forward, feeding Shen Yuan’s small hole his giant dick. Even with the helping charms, the demon couldn’t push it in all in one go - their sheer size difference was too big for that.

When the barbs began to press inside too, Shen Yuan’s lips fell open around a soft “Oh” while he kept looking into Luo Binghe’s eyes. He found it helped him somewhat concentrate and also relax at the same time. However, even against the painkiller spell, Shen Yuan could literally feel every single bump as they pressed against his hole and slowly popped inside. It was maddening.

“Shizun is doing so good,” Luo Binghe crooned, his chest was rumbling again. It was cute, even amidst their circumstances.

“Hngg,” Shen Yuan bit his lips when he both felt and saw how the demon pushed even more inside. There was no pain, but what really surprised the teacher, there was not even a single tear either. He could see it with his own eyes how incredibly wide his ass was stretched, how painful it looked to be so tautly open yet all Shen Yuan could feel was a marvelous heaviness and a wonderful pressure against both his bladder and his prostate.   

They had to repeat this push-and-stop a few times until finally Luo Binghe was nestled all in. They both groaned, feeling relief as well as satisfaction. Luo Binghe looked ecstatic, his tail was literally wagging slowly behind him. 

Meanwhile, Shen Yuan had to take a few deep breaths, his thighs trembling around the other’s waist.

“So full,” he whispered in awe, trailing his fingers along the line of his stomach bulge. It had always been his favorite part of being stuffed - seeing how his body accommodated to the intrusion. That , and feeling that wonderful borderline-painful stretch. There was just something incredibly arousing about being stuffed and looking like he was pregnant - or at least very actively getting there.

“Shizun feels so warm around this one,” Lou Binghe growled, his eyes flashing. His hands then winded underneath Shen Yuan’s back and hauled him up without warning. 

Ohhh,” the teacher groaned as he was made to cling to the demon, feeling the dick sliding out of his hole a bit - a few of the barbs popping out too. 

“Wet and tight. This one has never felt so good before,” Luo Binghe nipped at Shen Yuan’s jaw with his sharp teeth, as he moved his pelvis back and forth. Shen Yuan whimpered at the feeling of that huge dick moving in and out of him, especially hung up on the feeling of those barbs squeezing past his sensitive rim.

Luo Binghe began setting a rhythm, not even relatively as soft as Shen Yuan was expecting. His insides were forced to accommodate not just to the stretch but also the movements - his gut especially, it felt like Luo Binghe was reaching into his stomach.  

Shen Yuan tried to hold onto the demon with his legs as well but his thigh muscles were shaking too much, and in addition the base of his legs were still numb.

“Binghe… it’s ahn- it’s so big,” Shen Yuan mumbled, one of his hands still cradling the bump on his stomach. Luo Binghe groaned as if in acknowledgement, his own thighs shifting to accommodate both his and Shen Yuan’s weight. 

With the shift, Shen Yuan truly got the full taste of that dick as his own weight pushed him down on it. With thighs trembling, and arms clinging like his life depends on it, the teacher cried soundlessly. 

Everything felt so overwhelming, from the top of his head to the tip of his toes, Shen Yuan could concentrate on nothing but the point where they were connected. The rocking constantly forced Shen Yuan’s insides to accommodate, until the quivering hole wouldn’t even attempt to close up when Luo Binghe momentarily pulled out.  

“B-Binghe… it’s so much, too much- ” Shen Yuan gasped, whimpering into the demon’s pointed ear, his entire being shaking. 

Luo Binghe growled and bit Shen Yuan’s shoulder sharper than previously, leaving a sting in its wake. “Not enough.” 

“What not enough? It’s- ahhn its so deep already!” Shen Yuan felt borderline hysterical, pleasure wildly assaulting him over and over until he couldn’t fight it. He had come once before this, but his dick still got hard, pitifully ignored and squashed between Shen Yuan’s distending stomach and Luo Binghe’s rock-hard abs. A friction not enough to tip him over the edge but enough to keep Shen Yuan on the edge.

Luo Binghe inhaled deep, his nose burrowed into the teacher’s hair while his big hands hoisted Shen Yuan up until he slipped out of his beloved’s body. “Not deep enough. This one wants more of you, all that you have, deeper, stronger.”

Shen Yuan got a moment to breathe before he was flipped around, until his back was flush against Luo Binghe’s front. It felt like sinking into warm sheets, having those wonderful arms close around his small and sweaty frame while that weapon-of-a-dick bumped against his cheeks. Shen Yuan wanted to lean forward, getting on all fours to get Luo Binghe back inside himself despite all his whining just seconds ago. 

“So beautiful,” Luo Binghe sighed, effortlessly pulling Shen Yuan back up before he could’ve touched the bed fully. Shen Yuan made a confused sound but then the demon swept him off his knees too, holding him underneath his kneecaps while folding him in half. 

There was nowhere to move from that pose, nowhere to escape, only whimpering as Luo Binghe’s interested dick caught in the dip of Shen Yuan’s gaping hole and steadily filled him up again to the brim. It hit differently in this position - as if the penetration was indeed deeper, reaching further into Shen Yuan’s insides pushing at his stomach trapped by his own legs.  

The pressure was intense, the curve of that monster dick pressing against all the vulnerable spots inside. And there was nowhere to run from the intrusion, not even his pathetic squirming got him anywhere - if anything it only helped Luo Binghe to reach deeper. Shen Yuan knew he was crying, his tears blurred his eyesight. He had never felt like this before. Like he was about to come but also like he was going to lose control of his bladder.

Luo Binghe was crooning in his ears, speaking in low, hushed tones, telling him how beautifully he was taking him. “Shizun’s body is working so hard. You take this Lord so well, my One is truly worthy of my love.”

“...Binghe- ahn, ahhhn it’s- I don’t…. it’s too much,” Shen Yuan begged, his whole body pulled like a string until taut. The pressure in his lower region was starting to peak, his own small dick leaking heavily while his backside kept trying to bear down on Luo Binghe inside him. “I can’t take it, I can’t-

“Of course Shizun can,” Luo Binghe folded himself over Shen Yuan, kissing his ears, hair and tears away. “Everything this one gives you, you will take. Like a perfect spouse, my One, you will take all of me.” 

Shen Yuan sobbed, his fingers long turned white with how hard he was clinging to the demon. Luo Binghe seemed to get encouraged by his crying as those powerful hips became stronger with their thrusts, knocking the literal breath out of Shen Yuan’s lungs. 

“Shizun is so good to me. So perfect,” Luo Binghe shifted Shen Yuan into one hand and his other one dropped down to feel around the vulnerable spot where his dick was edged inside. “Your small body stretched so wide for this Lord.” 

“Binghe -” Shen Yuan heaved, scrambling to hold onto his sanity. Being forced to deal with the stretch, the intense pressure in his ass left him delirious. Yet, even with the almost threatening promises Luo Binghe kept whispering into his ears, Shen Yuan didn’t feel fear.  

“Going to cum?” the demon crooned, sounding delighted. “My One can come anytime. This Lord will make sure Shizun feels nothing but pleasure.”

“That’s not- I don’t know… ohhn!

Luo Binghe’s chest rumbled with his laugh and then he moved to stand up from the bed, all the while keeping them tightly together and connected. And then to Shen Yuan’s horror, Luo Binghe began walking like that, with him folded up against the demon’s chest, thighs trembling from those barbs popping in and out of his rim.

“No…. ahhn, oh my gosh Binghe -” Shen Yuan intended to reprimand the demon. What  was he walking around for while they were having sex? His old hips could barely take Luo Binghe as it is! But he ended up whimpering, the heat of pleasure overwhelming him. 

Shen Yuan squeezed his eyes tightly closed, biting his lips. However, his attempt to escape somewhat from the assaulting sensations backfired. With the deprivation of his sight he focused even more on the monster dick moving inside him. 

It still didn’t hurt, although being folded so snugly and stretched taut started to accumulate an ache in his muscles. Shen Yuan hiccuped, feeling this stomach distend with every push and collapse with every pull. There was so much to feel, his entire body was trembling like a leaf in the wind. 

“Open your eyes, Shizun,” Luo Binghe coaxed him, that dripping voice going right into Shen Yuan’s ears. The demon stopped walking, even his thrusts stopped momentarily. It scared Shen Yuan, he shook his head refusing to open his eyes.

“Open them.” It was a command, more domineering than before. It shook the teacher’s very core. Shen Yuan snapped his eyes open in the next second and what greeted him was nothing he was prepared for.

He saw himself, folded and completely immobilized by powerful hands against Luo Binghe’s chest while his ass was on complete display. With a perfect view of how he took that huge dick with ease. Like a whore...

Shen Yuan wanted to recoil, the image too much for his scrambled mind. He wanted to push the mirror away, to not look. It was one thing to be doing shameful things under the cover of a blanket, and entirely another to see himself debauched and completely overwhelmed as clear as day. 

He whimpered, his throat unable to contain the sound. He didn’t know he was capable of this look. He didn’t know he could look so slutty while getting the dicking of his life. 

“That’s it… keep looking,” Luo Binghe whispered in his ear, and resumed his thrusts, “Look at how far and wide you accomodate. Look how perfect you are… how pretty you sound.”  

Shen Yuan blinked fresh tears out of his eyes, wanting to shake his head but Luo Binghe’s fiery eyes kept him still. He knew he wasn’t perfect, far from it. He knew Luo Binghe was just biased and in the throes of pleasure and pumping testosterone, mistaking him for a beauty. 

“Shizun is beautiful- so fucking perfect,” Luo Binghe growled, leaning down to bite along Shen Yuan’s neck.

But even then, it did something to Shen Yuan. Those praises stirred the pool in his belly, leaving him panting and straining. He wanted to be beautiful, to be perfect for Luo Binghe. He wanted to be the one who could get Luo Binghe this worked up.  

“Ahnn- yes, ” Shen Yuan yelped, raising a hand to seek the demon’s head out. It ended up landing on one of his horns, pulling on it. “For you… I want- Binghe. I want-” 

He was being taken apart - completely, unable to resist. Luo Binghe found his eyes through the mirror and smiled - tusks and sharp teeth on display - before stepping completely up to the mirror and pushing Shen Yuan against it. 

Luo Binghe shifted his hold on him, a hand coming up to hold Shen Yuan’s against his own horn. “This one will give you everything. So you’ll never leave, so you will never even think of leaving. Shen Yuan - Shizun - you’re mine.” 

Shen Yuan nodded, moans and cries freely spilling from his lips. “Binghe! I’m coming- I’m going to come - ahh nnng! ” 

The pleasure had peaked to it's all time high. He cried out as he came, warmth hitting his inner thighs, some splashing the mirror. Shen Yuan’s virgin body couldn’t produce much, his cum was already mostly translucent even though this was only his second orgasm. 

Luo Binghe growled upon feeling Shen Yuan squeeze down on him. Shen Yuan yelped as he was hoisted up from the mirror and walked back to the bed. He barely registered being thrown on the bed and his legs pulled open before he was being pounded into the sheets with ferocious energy. 

“Hnng! Binghe- so big…” Shen Yuan scrambled to hold on, Binghe’s arms and the quilt had been equally a target of desperate clawing. “Too much… I can’t take it.”  

Luo Binghe seemingly didn’t hear him. The demon’s eyes and forehead mark began to glow red, his snarls and growls increasing along with the rhythm of his thrusts. He was close too, his self-control slipping away slowly. 

Shen Yuan felt like an empty shell, wrung dry of everything he had. Yet Luo Binghe kept fucking him, through the orgasm and beyond - until Shen Yuan’s hole felt tired and raw, until his stomach was protesting and his dick twitching pathetically from the pain-pleasure. 

He had never felt like this before. Even when he played around with his dildos, stuffing himself full, he never kept going past his finishing point. He still felt pleasure, like he wanted to come but couldn’t. Yet the feeling didn’t cease, those barbs and the curves nudged his prostate, and rim and all over until he was truly crying like a maiden begging.

“Please, please, Binghe- I need ahhh! I- its so good, so big hnng, please!” Shen Yuan wanted to come again and again until he thoroughly rode out his pleasure. Until Luo Binghe was there to give him what he needed. However, physically, with his limp dick, Shen Yuan wasn’t able to cum anymore. It felt like a river overflowing yet the dam gates were tightly shut.  

“Shizun, Shizun, Shizun…” Luo Binghe kept calling, those intense eyes never leaving Shen Yuan’s face.  

“Please, please, plea se hhhng, hnngg, ah ahhh!” Shen Yuan tossed his head, his back curving off the bed as he truly let go of all inhibitions or restraint. And that heavenly dick kept filling him, stretching him so wide and then some more. It grew, it felt bigger yet again, so big it brought tears to Shen Yuan’s eyes. 

Distantly, in the back of his mind he panicked, not understanding what was going on. The base of Luo Binghe’s dick was growing wider, the space between those barbs was getting filled up. Shen Yuan couldn’t form words anymore, his back tensing and lips spilling incoherent moans.

And it wasn't just his imagination, Luo Binghe’s dick was swelling with a knot.

Luo Binghe became frantic then, fucking Shen Yuan as rapid as he could before his knot grew so big it couldn’t be squeezed in and out of that abused rim. Shen Yuan cried out when the knot was shoved into him, the stretch was deliciously painful. 

And then Luo Binghe got stuck inside as his knot finished swelling into its final size. Simultaneously, Shen Yuan cum again, his eyes rolling back into his skull. His limp dick twitched a few times, his stomach splashed over by a hot clear fluid, a tiny simile to what was flood was being released inside his tummy.

To Shen Yuan’s utter shame, he couldn’t discern if he actually pissed himself or if he came, his entire being was shaking with tremors. But now that he concentrated on it, there was a heavy pressure on his bladder now thanks to that knot edged snugly in his ass. Shen Yuan’s face grew hot, a new layer of blush covering his cheeks from embarrassment.

He had never peed himself during masturbation before. Although it had to be mentioned that his previous endeavours didn’t include knots and barbs nor a sexy demon who would fuck him into overstimulation. But even then, Shen Yuan felt very ashamed as well as horrified when he caught himself relaxing his muscles and felt that steady trickle of fluid was leaving his dick again. 

In his embarrassment he quickly clamped down, but also squeezed down on Luo Binghe inside him. They both groaned, the stimulation leaving them straining. 

“Shh, Shizun…  it’s okay. You’re taking me so well,” Luo Binghe heaved deeply, and began to pet Shen Yuan’s waist down to the curve of his ass in an intimate albeit innocent fashion. It helped Shen Yuan relax enough to not squeeze down anymore.  

Then Luo Binghe carefully leaned down Shen Yuan, but kept his weight off the human. “Shizun, Shizun…” the demon nuzzled into Shen Yuan’s sweaty neck, not unlike a puppy.

Shen Yuan weakly hit him on the shoulder, trying to calm his breathing and distract himself from the fact that he soiled himself like a child. “Quit calling me Shizun when we’re already like this.” 

Luo Binghe shook his head, smooth hands carefully cradled Shen Yuan to his chest as he turned them around. “Shizun is Shizun. Even if he became this Lord’s lover.” 

“You’re unbelievable,” Shen Yuan whined as the knot got nudged when Luo Binghe shifted them. “And you didn’t even tell me you have a- a knot!”

Luo Binghe didn’t sound apologetic, although he resumed patting Shen Yuan’s back in placating motions. “Shizun didn’t ask.”

“Who would think to ask!” Shen Yuan grumbled half-heartedly. Despite all the whining he was very ready to lay on Luo Binghe’s warm chest and not move for a while. 

“Shizun seduced me. This one was too captivated to think straight.” 

“Excuses, excuses...  who forgets such a thing?!” Shen Yuan tiredly raised his head to glare at Luo Binghe. He wasn’t that angry to get stuck like this with a very attractive demon, but he still wanted to be informed beforehand! Besides lying on his stuffed stomach was becoming uncomfortable.

“Shizun is right. This Lord is at fault and asks for punishment,” Luo Binghe furrowed his nose into Shen Yuan’s hair.  

“Punishment? What punishment?” the teacher furrowed his brows. He was twitching all over, no position was comfortable for more than a few seconds. If he rested his full weight on Luo Binghe his poor stomach would be squashed - and with how his belly has grown from the demon’s cum and dick still inside, it was not a good position.

“Anything that Shizun may deem acceptable,” Luo Binghe sounded blissed and not at all apologetic.

Shen Yuan grumbled under his breath, feeling increasingly frustrated by his stuffed belly. 

No position was comfortable!

So he pushed himself up to sit on Luo Binghe’s lap, looking down at the demon who was almost pouting because their post-sex cuddling was interrupted. Shen Yuan settled then, his stomach more or less comfortable now although the stretch was something amazing as that monster dick was still stuck inside him.  

“I want to go home,” Shen Yuan said then, only to mess with Luo Binghe. It seemed to work as the demon immediately furrowed his brows and sat up too, hugging him posessively.

“Not acceptable,” Luo Binghe was quick to refuse. Those beautiful eyes were glowing crimson again. 

“Then next time Binghe may not knot me.”  

“Also not acceptable.” 

Shen Yuan raised an eyebrow. “You said ‘anything ’. Or was Binghe lying?” 

Luo Binghe made a whining sound, not unlike a puppy. “This one would never lie to Shizun.”

“Then what’s the matter?”

“If that’s what Shizun wants… then this one will comply,” the demon looked and sounded like a kicked puppy. 

Shen Yuan wanted to laugh at him, but he bit his lips in time as he felt a new wave of cum pushing inside him. He felt so full, filled to the brim and then some more. It truly felt like he was pregnant with how his usually flat stomach was stretched out.    

It was blissful to say the least. Shen Yuan had never been so content before. So to deprive himself and Luo Binghe of this would be cruel. 

“Hmm, I am open to suggestions though. Maybe this teacher was too hasty in his judgement.” 

Luo Binghe whipped his head up really quickly. His eyes shining and lips parted in a dashing smile filled with teeth. “What does Shizun wish for? This Lord will give you anything as long as he isn’t deprived of your love.” 

“Cook for me those calf ribs again. I’m craving them,” Shen Yuan decided then. And if anyone judged harshly they didn’t know Binghe’s cooking! They were the most delicious thing in the whole world. Getting his brains fucked out of him was totally worth it if he got fed afterwards. 

“Of course, Shizun! Anything Shizun! This one will prepare them right now!” Luo Binghe almost moved to get up when he abruptly halted. Shen Yuan breathed deeply upon feeling that massive pillar shift inside, before looking incredulously at Luo Binghe.  

The demon looked both horrified at himself and apologetic. “Sorry Shizun! So sorry , this one got too enthusiastic! A correction shall be made; this one will prepare the dish for tonight’s dinner.”  

Chuckling, Shen Yuan leaned in a kissed Luo Binghe’s red face. “That sounds wonderful, Binghe.”

“This one will cook for Shizun everyday, every time. For as long as Shizun would have me. This one will give you my all, my strength, my love everyday.” Luo Binghe emphasized his intentions by squeezing Shen Yuan’s waist with his big hands. 

Shen Yuan almost cooed, his heart warmed by the attentiveness and sweetness of this puppy-of-a-demon. Luo Binghe’s chest rumbled in satisfaction, and hugged Shen Yuan close, nuzzling into his skin. 

They stayed like that until Shen Yuan’s entire bottom was starting to go numb from the long-lasting stretch. Until Luo Binghe’s knot shrunk down enough for his dick to be able to slide out. Shen Yuan sighed in relief, sagging into Luo Binghe’s hold, feeling like a limp noodle. 

It should’ve been embarrassing feeling the abundance of cum trickling out of his hole, wetting his thighs and the sheets beneath them, but strangely enough the teacher felt content. He felt his backside flutter, very slowly trying to shrink back into its original size. However the long session left him feeling like he had a proper prolapse this time.

Luo Binghe carefully laid him down on the cleanest part of the duvet, combing the long hair out of Shen Yuan’s face. He was doing that thing again - his throat was rumbling like that of a cat’s when it’s happy. 

Shen Yuan hid a giggle into the sheets, letting the demon caress him, pamper him. Luo Binghe maneuvered himself to spoon the human, his big tail coming up to blanket Shen Yuan’s naked form. 

“Shizun is so beautiful like this,” the demon sighed, pressing a kiss to Shen Yuan’s head. “So soft and pretty… smelling like he’s this Lord’s. It is why, this one is having troubles controlling his … more primitive urges.”

Shen Yuan shuddered slightly at that, but he was still too comfortable to be truly scared. He had managed to take that giant dick up his ass and lived! That ought to count as something! He would like to believe he wasn’t scared of anything anymore.

At least that’s what Shen Yuan thought. When he felt a fully-erect dick poking against his abused hole again, and feeling Luo Binghe crowding in on him while marking down his neck - well, Shen Yuan feared for his ass. 

“I can’t possibly take more, Binghe!” aghast, Shen Yuan opposed. 

“Nonsense! Shizun can take it,” Luo Binghe murmured on a low, core-shaking voice.   

Growing more scared, Shen Yuan turned to look over his shoulder. “I’m just a human, Binghe. I truly can’t.” 

“Yes you can. Shizun isn’t fully human anymore.” Luo Binghe said it, as if it wasn’t a big revelation. But Shen Yuan’s eyes widened.  

“What did you say?!” his voice shook slightly, “I’m - I’m not human? Anymore?” 

“Shizun and this lord have just practiced dual cultivation. Shizun, furthermore, has received this lord’s essence which will be absorbed into your sacred body and turn into spiritual energy.” Luo Binghe explained, his eyes held so much love though, as he was softly caressing the teacher’s naked thigh. “This one can already feel some of his strength in you, and it’s been barely a few hours.” 

Shen Yuan furrowed his brows and focused on his magic inside. He was prepared to find nothing out of ordinary, but he indeed found himself stronger than before. A foreign yet familiar energy was slowly pooling in his core, strengthening him. Blinking at the enamoured demon, Shen Yuan gulped.

“I feel stronger.” 

Luo Binghe smiled, his tusks twinkling in the candlelight. “Yes.”

“I have your magic essence inside me.” 

“Yes.” 

“And I’m no longer human?” 

“No.” Luo Binghe looked amused and leaned closer to press an insistent kiss to Shen Yuan’s lips. “And this lord will make sure Shizun will grow stronger and stronger, until he forms a core too, and becomes a cultivator.”

“A cultivator? Me?” Shen Yuan blinked. He felt more and more shocked. 

Luo Binghe drew him into his arms effortlessly and went on to kiss his human’s earlobe. “Yes. You’ll live on forever with this lord, as his cherished beloved. We’ll rule this realm together, and bring prosperity to all.”

Shen Yuan sat there dazedly for a few more seconds before turning to look up at the demon. “Let’s just say that everything you said was the truth. There’s still a tiny bit of a problem here.” 

Luo Binghe looked displeased. “What is it?” 

“Well… you’re bound to this estate, for starters. You were also cursed, of which I still don’t know the full parameters of, but it greatly hinders your cultivation. Otherwise you’d have made yourself known to the world before.” Shen Yuan sent a peek at the demon to see if he was following. 

Luo Binghe studied him, not in a hurry to answer. Shen Yuan was starting to get a little antsy for being stared at for so long by someone so handsome. 

“...what?” 

Luo Binghe smiled, dazzling. He took Shen Yuan’s hand and held it tightly. “Shizun is right. This one was cursed by someone he always looked up to. This one also lost his parents, lost his dignity, most of his fortune and half of his cultivation.” 

Shen Yuan stayed silent, as Luo Binghe hadn’t talked about his past with this much straightforwardness before. 

Luo Binghe smiled at him, a sad smile. “The one who cursed this lord was his first Shizun, Shen Qingqiu.” 

Shen Yuan breathed in sharply, eyes widening. He recognized that name. Shen Qingqiu was a famous cultivator who was most well-known for his leaf-knives technique that no one else managed to perfect to this day. 

Shen Qingqiu.. cursed Luo Binghe? Shen Qingqiu was Luo Binghe’s Shizun?  

The demon must have seen the questions on Shen Yuan’s face for he laughed. “Shizun looks like he recognized the name.” 

Shen Yuan nodded. “Yes, I taught about him in school. Amongst others. He was quite famous amongst cultivators.” 

Luo Binghe looked sour. “Oh yes. Shen Qingqiu was refined and knowledgeable with an elegant countenance, and a strong cultivation base. Only the books don’t mention his rotten personality, or the way he mistreated his disciples or everyone weaker than him.”

“He did?” the teacher asked carefully, his heart beating with sympathy and curiosity. 

“Flogging, humiliating, overworking to the brink of death, discriminating, locking them up in the woodshed amongst many. Even before this one’s demonic heritage was revealed, Shen Qingqiu enjoyed tormenting me especially,” Luo Binghe looked small “This one still doesn’t understand why…” 

Shen Yuan got so angry on his behalf, he sat up. “There’s no need to understand anything here! That Shen Qingqiu was a sick bastard, scum of earth! Shizun, what Shizun?! That sort of disgusting worm shall never be called a teacher! He doesn’t deserve to be called a teacher or respected for it when he was the farthest from an actual Shizun!”

Luo Binghe looked up at him in wonder and surprise. Then in a small voice he inquired. “Shizun really thinks so?”

“Yes! This Shizun knows so.” Shen Yuan puffed up his chest in anger. “If only I could’ve met with this scum, I’d have given him a piece of my mind!” 

Luo Binghe looked as if he was going to burst into tears any moment. He drew Shen Yuan back into his arms and held him tightly but tenderly. “Shizun truly carries this one in his heart. This Lord couldn’t ask for a better lover. However, Shizun does not need to worry about Shen Qingqiu anymore. This lord has torn him limb from limb and hung him up in the dungeon.” 

Shen Yuan didn’t show his surprise, but slowly nodded. “Is he still alive?”

Luo Binghe shook his head, his eyes and insignia on his brow glowing red again. “This one hasn’t checked on former Shizun in years. He might be, he might not.” 

Shen Yuan shuddered softly. Luo Binghe looked terrifying but also super hot like that. “I see.” 

Luo Binghe grinned, feral. “This one can go and check if Shizun wishes.”

Shen Yuan shook his head. “He deserved what he got for cursing you, and ruining your life. He may rot in there for all I care.” 

The demon kissed him then, quite passionately. Shen Yuan was left gasping for air after they separated. 

“You’re so gorgeous like that, Shizun,” Luo Binghe sighed. 

“Don’t get side-tracked now.” Shen Yuan showed at the demon’s strong pecs, with flaming cheeks. “You still haven’t told me about the curse. We need to look for a way to break it as soon as possible!” 

“Shizun, there is no need.” 

“What do you mean there’s no need?” Shen Yuan furrowed his brows and looked at Luo Binghe questioningly. 

The demon smiled at him brilliantly, murmured something under his breath and then said, “Because it’s already broken, Shizun.” and with that, his appearance was morphing, visible to the naked eyes. His tusks shrunk back along with his horns. His fur disappeared making way to smooth, unblemished skin. His tail evaporated into thin air. 

Shen Yuan gaped in shock as he saw the demon in front of him transform into a human. Luo Binghe grinned at him after the morphing finished, teeth white and dull like a normal human’s. He was very different like this, but he was still himself. His eyes twinkled the same, his smile dimpled and his mane black and gorgeous as always. His hands were strong and perfect for hugs. His scent was the same. An extremely handsome demon, just in his human form. 

Shen Yuan gulped. “That’s… Binghe is that really you?” 

Luo Binghe laughed, his eyes twinkling with unshed tears. “Yes Shizun. It’s me, your Luo Binghe.”

“How?” Shen Yuan blinked back his tears too, hugging Luo Binghe close. “I… didn’t do anything.”

“Shizun saved me…. You loved me, when no one else did. Despite my nature, my appearance, the curse.” Luo Binghe hiccuped into Shen Yuan’s neck, his tears finally overflowing. “Shen Qingqiu was clever but even he couldn’t count for everything. The curse he placed on me is the Heart-Devil curse, the -” 

“- strongest of the curses out there,” Shen Yuan finished it for him, hugging him tighter. “It’s impossible to break by anyone or anything, but it has one weakness: love.” 

“Yes,” Luo Binghe heaved around his crying, nuzzling into Shen Yuan’s hair. “But who could love a beast?”

“I do,” Shen Yuan laughed wetly, his tears wetting his cheeks. “I love you, Lord Luo Binghe.” 

Luo Binghe followed suit, laughing like he hadn’t had a single worry while his tears continued to roll down his cheeks. “You’re killing this one, Shizun.”

“I hope not,” Shen Yuan croaked out through his tears. Luo Binghe’s shoulder shook as he burrowed his face into the teacher’s neck. 

They rolled around, clinging to each other as if they were the other’s lifeline, as if they separated they would die and never be reborn. Shen Yuan kissed Luo Binghe’s face wherever he could reach, wrapping around the taller man like a koala with both his legs and arms. 

“Shizun loves this one,” Luo Binghe whispered, awed.

“Yes,” Shen Yuan laughed. 

Luo Binghe pulled away enough to be able to look at the teacher in the eyes. “And now Shizun’s love gifted this one’s old appearance back.” 

“You look so different like this,” Shen Yuan trailed his fingers along Luo Binghe’s jaw and up to his facial features. 

“It’s weird,” Luo Binghe agreed, “This one has had my beast form for hundreds of years. Now, this feels alien.”

“I bet,” Shen Yuan nodded, still studying Luo Binghe’s human face. 

Luo Binghe suddenly perked up, “Shizun, now you don’t have to worry about knots anymore.” 

They had a second of silence between them before they both burst into laughter. Shen Yuan laughed until he couldn’t, his tears turned sparse until his joy wiped them away. 

“Silly! Did you hear me complain about it?” 

“Yes?” Luo Binghe looked incredulous, “Shizun did!”

“Nonsense! Didn’t happen. Besides -” Shen Yuan whispered into the demon’s ear- “I preferred your beast form.” 

 

 

 

 

“You're not gonna believe who just walked into the building!” Shang Qinghua came bursting in the door, looking out of breath. 

Qi Qingqi who just splashed coffee all over herself looked murderous. “ What?”

“Shen Yuan is back!” Shang Qinghua didn’t notice the anger on her face, or chose not to. 

That opened Qi Qingqi’s eyes, “He’s alive? What happened to that little rascal?” 

Shang Qinghua finally caught his breath and gulped. “Yes, but you’re never going to believe with whom did he came back!” 

“Well, don’t leave me hanging!” she almost threw her empty mug at her colleague. 

“He came back with a demon lord!” 

“What?” Qi Qingqi demanded. 

Shang Qinghua nodded. “Someone called Luo Binghe apparently! Long lost in the history records and all and Shen Yuan somehow saved him from a curse?” 

What?” 

“Yes! This demon is like two meters tall! Has a dragon tail and looks like a weird combination of a boar and a mountain goat with all those horns and teeth!” Shang Qinghua made dramatic movements with his hands. “But he’s also very gorgeous? It’s sort of annoying…”

Qi Qingqi looked like she was seconds away from a qi deviation. “ What?!” 

“And that’s not all! They’re apparently demon married to each other and working on turning Shen Yuan into an immortal cultivator?” 

Qi Qingqi cried out, furious and disbelieving. She grabbed her co-worker’s collar in her rage. “ What?! Married?? To a fucking demon?! When I worked so hard to get him together with men like Liu Qingge or Yue Qingyuan?! I worked so hard I almost spit my lungs out! That unthankful little shit!”

“Hey! Don’t take it out on me! If you don’t believe it go check it out! They’re in the main hall!” Shang Qinghua yelled, cowering from invisible hits. Qi Qingqi dropped him on the floor unceremoniously and swept out of her office.  

Five minutes later, Shang Qinghua found her staring down at the lovely couple downstairs with an enraptured face. “Qingqi shijie?” 

“You were right,” she sounded resigned and excited at the same time, “This Luo Binghe is drop-dead gorgeous. I’m sort of jealous now. Remind me, how did our idiot find this demon man, again?” 

“Shijie no.

“Shijie yes. ”