The tears were still in Zhuzhi-lang’s eyes as he looked down at the stunned, petrified Jiu-er underneath him.
After Sanye-jun had tossed him over, he and Shen Jiu had fallen, the cultivator too shocked to put up any resistance as they crashed to the ground.
As Zhuzhi-lang stared down at him, he smelled a scent he’d never smelled on Shen Jiu before.
Fear. Panic. An impulse that meant Jiu-er wanted to run.
Ever since he’d met Shen Jiu, the hot-tempered boy that hung onto Su-furen and irritated Junshang, Zhuzhi-lang had never smelt this sort of fear on Shen Jiu. Even when the boy’s life was at risk, facing monsters or getting into perilous situations, what burned harsher than fear was anger. Determination. An overpowering will to live no matter what.
Even when Zhuzhi-lang was injured, unable to return to his human form, stuck in his hideous form that was abhorred by all, Shen Jiu had only approached apprehensively until he could ascertain that it was truly Zhuzhi-lang.
“You look terrifying like this,” Shen Jiu had said with a huff. “Hideous, even. No wonder Tianlang-jun said so many people would just run at the sight of you. Even though you’re actually pretty gentle.”
The boy had reached out, not scared at the slightest despite his harsh words, scolding Zhuzhi-lang for his recklessness while binding his wounds. Even with Zhuzhi-lang in his unsightly half-human, half-snake form, his face the absolute worst combination of human and snake features possible, Shen Jiu didn’t hesitate.
Gentle. Even though Shen Jiu knew who he was, and knew what he could do, he said Zhuzhi-lang was gentle.
As a demon, a demon general under Junshang especially, being gentle wasn’t something to be proud of. But when the boy didn’t shy away from him in horror, even resting his back on his scales, Zhuzhi-lang wanted to be gentle for Shen Jiu.
He didn’t mind it whenever Junshang told him to watch over Su-furen, shadowing her steps during especially dangerous missions, as that fiery boy often showed up, capable of spotting him at least once during and glaring provocatively at him.
Zhuzhi-lang had always liked those piercing eyes, how aggressive they could be and how … alluring they could be.
But right now, those eyes, slightly red-rimmed from tears, refused to meet his, and Jiu-er wanted to run. Away from Zhuzhi-lang.
Zhuzhi-lang’s heart hurt. Was this how Junshang felt when he heard Su-furen didn’t actually betray him?
When they had first been attacked, ambushed after being called out by that note, Zhuzhi-lang couldn’t help but think Shen Jiu had been in on it too. He’d been so angry, he hadn’t wanted to see Shen Jiu ever again.
But all this time, Jiu-er was actually …
Zhuzhi-lang began crying again, the tears dripping onto Shen Jiu’s face, causing the cultivator to finally, finally look up at him, hesitant as he was.
Zhuzhi-lang cradled Shen Jiu’s cheek and kissed his forehead, feeling Shen Jiu jolt under him.
“Jiu-er,” he whispered. “Jiu-er, this one has missed you.”
He felt Shen Jiu tense even more. “… Why?” Jiu-er asked. “I… I let you… you were…” Shen Jiu’s hands were trembling, held up as if he wasn’t sure if he wanted to push Zhuzhi-lang away or not. Not that Zhuzhi-lang would let him. “Don’t you … hate me?” Jiu-er’s voice was so weak.
Zhuzhi-lang shifted uncomfortably. He might be a snake, but he wasn’t very good with lying. The last fourteen years of hatred weren’t something he could just write off.
“… Only because this one was a fool,” he admitted. “But now, this one hates that he hated Jiu-er.”
“You should hate me!” Shen Jiu shouted. “I just stood there, watching, as they ran you through! Over and over...” Shen Jiu sobbed, his hands covering his face.
Zhuzhi-lang watched him quietly for a moment before pulling one of Shen Jiu’s hands away, kissing his tears away as he cradled the cultivator’s face.
“This one is alright. This one is capable of surviving something like that,” he murmured reassuringly.
“That’s not the point! I...” Shen Jiu’s face contorted into a more familiar annoyance, although it still held some despair in it. “I… betrayed you.”
“Jiu-er didn’t betray us. Jiu-er survived. Jiu-er stayed alive for me,” Zhuzhi-lang murmured, nuzzling into Shen Jiu’s neck, feeling the tremor run through the cultivator’s body. It wasn’t entirely due to fear or frustration.
“That’s not how that works,” Shen Jiu snapped, but he shivered again as Zhuzhi-lang began to kiss along his neck.
“It is. Because Jiu-er is alive, he’s keeping Junshang’s son secret, keeping him safe.”
“I-it’s because he’s Yan-jiejie’s son! Who cares about that playboy bastard- Zhuzhi-lang-!” Shen Jiu gritted his teeth to keep from moaning as the demon’s chaste kisses began to include tongue and a few nips from teeth.
“Jiu-er believed in us. He admitted to Sanye-jun that he should have done something to help us. He knew we weren’t taking advantage of Su-furen, he knew we weren’t at fault.”
“… Tsk!” Shen Jiu scowled and turned his face away as Zhuzhi-lang pulled back to give him a tender look.
“Why should this one blame him?” the demon asked, watching Shen Jiu’s resolve begin to fray. “Hasn’t Jiu-er been blaming himself enough?” He bent down to nuzzle Shen Jiu’s neck again, his hands sliding underneath the openings of Shen Jiu’s robes. “Of course, if Jiu-er thinks he deserves to be punished…”
Shen Jiu, his lovely, hot-tempered Shen Jiu, whipped his head around and glared at him with those beautiful, piercing green eyes as he grabbed Zhuzhi-lang’s wandering hands.
“I thought I told you that playboy bastard was a bad influence on you,” Jiu-er sneered and lunged upwards, pressing his lips against Zhuzhi-lang’s, preventing him from answering.
It had been fourteen years. Fourteen long, long years. He hadn’t tasted Jiu-er in so long.
A hiss escaped Zhuzhi-lang’s throat as he felt Shen Jiu’s legs part slightly, allowing him to fit their bodies more tightly together even as he tugged Shen Jiu’s clothing loose.
Moments later, Shen Jiu’s Peak Lord robes had been tugged completely open, his pants thrown aside, and Zhuzhi-lang paused, admiring the beauty underneath him. Jiu-er had certainly grown older in the past fourteen years, but he had already been an adult before the war, so as a cultivator, what aged was his aura.
Gone were the last remaining vestiges of the impetuousness of youth, and in their place was the untouchable elegance of an immortal. His Jiu-er, lying amidst his undone robes and with his hair splayed out underneath him, was absolutely captivating.
“That… oil...” Shen Jiu panted, parting their kiss to gasp for air. “I … can’t… you have to prepare me.”
Zhuzhi-lang paused, Shen Jiu’s gasps triggering a thought that ran through his head. “Jiu-er. Have you … not taken another partner in all these years?”
“Just because I mentioned – it’s not like I wouldn’t have to be prepared even if ...” Shen Jiu’s indignant snarl drifted off as Zhuzhi-lang stared at him seriously. This foolish snake … isn’t that playboy bastard, so he probably just honestly thought of it without any other meaning.The cultivator huffed, giving up.
“… You were capable of surviving something like that, after all,” he finally said, not quite looking Zhuzhi-lang in the eye.
Zhuzhi-lang’s heart jumped, and he leaned down to kiss his Jiu-er deeply, sensuously, hissing in pleasure as Shen Jiu’s arms and legs came up to wrap themselves around him.
Jiu-er really was tight, but all it took was some careful preparation, and soon Zhuzhi-lang had those beautiful white legs thrown over his shoulders as he ground deeply into Jiu-er, ravaging the immortal beauty as his Jiu-er’s sweet voice gasped and moaned, clinging tightly to him just like he used to.
And when Jiu-er came with a shriek, tears pooling in his eyes as his fingers dug into the demon’s back, Zhuzhi-lang couldn’t help but kiss him again and again.
It had been so long since he’d had his Jiu-er in his arms.
“… That ...” As Liu Qingge and Sanye-jun left the Qing Jing Peak Lord’s residence, Liu Qingge couldn’t help but look behind them with a confused frown.
He’d known the snake was a demon, but …
“Mm, well, those two have some things they need to work through,” Sanye-jun said with a somewhat melancholy smile.
“… Their relationship?” Liu Qingge asked.
“Can’t you guess it?” Sanye-jun said with a chuckle.
Then… that snake demon and Shen Qingqiu were really …? For how long?
Lost in his confusion, Liu Qingge didn’t realize they’d already reached Qing Jing’s pavilion, almost running into Sanye-jun, who had stopped just shy of the entrance.
“Hm… I see. No wonder,” Sanye-jun muttered, attracting Liu Qingge’s attention.
He furrowed his brows, looking at the pavilion, but he didn’t see anything but Qing Jing disciples practicing their recitations.
“Shall we return to Bai Zhan?” Sanye-jun asked, smiling back up at him, and Liu Qingge just quietly took Sanye-jun by the waist, stepping onto Cheng Luan and flying off, back to his peak.
When they stepped off Cheng Luan, however, Liu Qingge didn’t remove his arm from Sanye-jun’s waist.
“…?” Sanye-jun tilted his head in confusion, that gentle smile that he gave everyone on his face as usual. It made Liu Qingge…
“…! Qingge-!” Sanye-jun gasped as Liu Qingge suddenly tightened his grasp, pulling Sanye-jun possessively against him.
The Demon Lord, disguised as a human, peered up at Liu Qingge’s face.
“Such a fierce look,” the Demon Lord chuckled, raising a finger to press on the deep furrows between Liu Qingge’s eyebrows. “What is it? Have I done something to displease you?”
Liu Qingge stared at Sanye-jun. To be honest, he knew why he was upset. But when he thought about it, it didn’t feel like he had any right to be upset.
Although he and Sanye-jun had been sharing a bed together, they had never discussed being partners, let alone being mutually exclusive partners.
Thinking about it put a scowl on his face, but he couldn’t bring himself to say anything, only holding onto Sanye-jun even tighter.
“… Qingge?” Sanye-jun asked, patting the Peak Lord on the back.
“… … Sanye-jun,” Liu Qingge whispered hoarsely. “Can I take you?”
Sanye-jun blinked a bit in surprise, but smiled, drawing back a little so he could look Liu Qingge in the face.
“Of course,” he said, pressing a gentle kiss to the Peak Lord’s forehead, and laughed. “It will probably be much easier, as well, now that I don’t have wings to worry about -”
“No,” Liu Qingge said, interrupting him. “I want to take you in the form you feel most comfortable with.” As Sanye-jun seemed to pull back in shock, he realized he might have asked too much. “… But of course, you can’t, since we’re at Cang Qiong…”
Sanye-jun placed both hands on his cheeks and kissed him. “It’s fine. If that’s what Qingge wants,” he said softly, “It’s not impossible.”
The smell of the warding powder hung heavily about the Bai Zhan Peak Lord’s residence, while inside, Liu Qingge’s large hands divested a Demon Lord of his robes.
As the silk pooled around Sanye-jun’s ankles, the Demon Lord’s back arched temptingly as his wings burst back into being, his antlers and tail soon joining them.
Beautiful. He was so beautiful.
Liu Qingge placed a hand behind Sanye-jun’s head, kissing him deeply, hungrily, like he couldn’t get enough of the demon.
As they clung and pulled at each other, they fell on the bed, Liu Qingge’s hands exploring every inch of the demon’s body.
Being inside Sanye-jun almost took Liu Qingge’s breath away. The feeling of Sanye-jun’s insides, tight and warm around him, was obvious, but the view of Sanye-jun’s graceful back, the demon on all fours on his bed, wings fluttering lightly from the sensation as he moaned, with Liu Qingge’s hands firmly placed around that thin waist, above those hips and perfectly formed ass, the stripes that littered the demon’s back as he threw his head back in the throes of pleasure, was overwhelming.
“Qingge… ah! Please-!” Sanye-jun moaned, pleaded, and Liu Qingge increased his pace, pounding relentlessly into that beautiful, lithe body, making the Demon Lord moan and gasp, little “Ah-! Aah-!”s escaping his mouth.
With a soft groan, Liu Qingge suddenly embraced Sanye-jun closely, pressing tightly against the demon’s back and burying his face into those soft wings, lips tracing the feathers on the part of the wings closest to the base attaching them to Sanye-jun’s back.
“Hiyaaa-! Ah-! Aaaah-!” Sanye-jun went wide-eyed and gave a squeal as Liu Qingge continued to ravage his wings, the sounds he made going straight to Liu Qingge’s cock, causing the Peak Lord to redouble his efforts with a loud groan as the Demon Lord clenched from the sensation.
Liu Qingge beganfucking Sanye-jun so hard that his arms trembled, buckling under the onslaught, the Demon Lord’s face buried in the bedsheets.
“Qingge, Qingge,” Sanye-jun panted, a shaky hand clasping onto Liu Qingge’s arm. “I want to … I want to see your face...”
“Mnnm” Liu Qingge moaned, nipping along one of the stripes on Sanye-jun’s back, before leaning back onto his heels, lifting Sanye-jun smoothly off his cock and flipping him around.
Sanye-jun wrapped his arms around Liu Qingge as he sank roughly onto the Peak Lord’s cock, bouncing in his lap, rolling his hips as he rode Liu Qingge’s cock.
…! The sight of Sanye-jun wildly chasing after his pleasure in his lap nearly drove Liu Qingge mad, and he kissed and sucked at every expanse of skin he could reach, marking Sanye-jun’s chest thoroughly, causing the Demon Lord to throw his head back as he keened, clenching so, so tightly around him…
Although he wanted to last a little while longer, Liu Qingge couldn’t stand it anymore. When he came, Sanye-jun seemed to shudder at the feeling of Liu Qingge’s cum filling him, sending the Demon Lord over the edge as well, painting both of their stomachs with white.
The stripes faded from Sanye-jun’s skin as the two of them panted, clinging to each other as they calmed down.
Smiling down at him, Sanye-jun leaned in and kissed Liu Qingge with a firm but chaste kiss, smile pressed against Liu Qingge’s lips as he gave a small hum of contentment.
“Qingge seemed especially agitated today,” he said. “Although I quite enjoyed it, does Qingge want to talk about it?”
Liu Qingge flushed. He felt rather embarrassed for letting his emotions get the better of him. Actually, he only wanted to bring the feelings of wanting to enjoy and have Sanye-jun enjoy each other when having intimate relations, but today … …
“… Is it because I didn’t tell you about knowing Shen Qingqiu?” Sanye-jun asked softly, and Liu Qingge shook his head.
That wasn’t it. At least, that wasn’t all it was.
“Then what is it? I’d almost think you were jealous…” Sanye-jun trailed off as he felt Liu Qingge suddenly tense.
“… … I’m sorry,” Liu Qingge muttered, burying his face in the crook of Sanye-jun’s neck.
“Sorry? What are you sorry for?” the Demon Lord asked, clearly puzzled.
“It doesn’t matter if you had past relationships, or even if you have someone else. I don’t have the right to be jealous,” Liu Qingge said darkly, even though it caused a fire of irritation to flare up. “We’ve never… we’ve never agreed to … anything.”
“Hm… so we haven’t,” Sanye-jun hummed, then stroked Liu Qingge’s hair. “But I would also be quite jealous if you had someone else.”
Liu Qingge tightened his arms around Sanye-jun. “I have no intention of sharing a bed with anyone else,” he said, practically growling.
“What a coincidence. I also intend on only sharing my bed with you.” Sanye-jun pulled back to smile broadly at Liu Qingge. “Can this be considered as agreeing to something?” he asked cheekily, and Liu Qingge stared at him, eyes wide, before pulling the smirking Demon Lord into a passionate, deep kiss.
“Yes,” the Peak Lord murmured against Sanye-jun’s lips, kissing him again and again, his arms embracing Sanye-jun tightly.
A few moments later, the two finally pulled apart, cleaning up from their activities before entering the bathtub, Sanye-jun rehiding his more demonic traits. Even with the warding powder, it would be prudent to be careful while being a guest at Cang Qiong.
“I really am sorry for not telling you about knowing Shen Qingqiu,” Sanye-jun said. “I meant to. Jiu-er is a child I rescued from a rogue cultivator, and we have a teacher-student relationship, nothing more, nothing less. However, I introduced him to Su Xiyan in order to help him enter a righteous sect, and he became something like her sworn brother. I imagined he would be overwhelmed with emotions when we spoke...”
“… Which is why you asked me to remain outside,” Liu Qingge said.
“Yes,” Sanye-jun admitted. “This trip to Cang Qiong was to give Qian Cao an elixir that would explain your breakthrough, to see Yue Qingyuan for myself, to see how Shen Qingqiu is doing, and to see the son of Tianlang-jun and Su Xiyan.”
Liu Qingge froze. “Son…?”
“Did you not think it strange for Shen Qingqiu to fight with you over a disciple, despite the child being far more suited towards physical cultivation?” Sanye-jun said, and Liu Qingge’s eyes widened.
“That boy? How did Shen Qingqiu know?” the Bai Zhan Peak Lord asked, brows furrowed. There was no demonic energy on the boy whatsoever.
“With the hair and jawline of Tianlang-jun, and the face of Su Xiyan, a child like that, how couldn’t he have known?” Sanye-jun sighed. “That boy is the spitting image of Su-xiaojie.”
Then Sanye-jun sighed again, turning to nuzzle into Liu Qingge’s shoulder, still maintaining the distance he normally needed for his antlers despite not having them currently, to the Peak Lord’s amusement. “… I’m sorry. I should probably have told you all this as well. I just wasn’t sure what I’d find on Cang Qiong, whether Jiu-er would still see this one as a teacher, or what the boy would be like. I’m sure that made you anxious as well.”
Liu Qingge hesitated a moment before admitting, “Also, that snake demon.”
Sanye-jun looked up at him in surprise. “What about him?” he asked.
“He’s clearly protective of you,” Liu Qingge glowered, “and you allowed him to enter your clothes.”
Sanye-jun blinked at him, staring until Liu Qingge felt a little ashamed, before he finally laughed. “Ahaha-! Me and Zhuzhi-lang? Hahaha-! Ah, that child is just like that, protective of his superiors, but trust me, there is only one person he’s set his heart on!”
“… Shen Qingqiu?” Liu Qingge asked, his ears flushing a bit.
“Ah… yes,” Sanye-jun said. “Well, he hasn’t come slinking back yet, so I suppose we can say they’re working things out.”
Liu Qingge sighed, turning his head to nuzzle into Sanye-jun’s hair. “They just know so much of you that I don’t,” he finally said, admitting the jealous feelings that were in the pit of his stomach.
“… Everyone has a lot they don’t know about me,” Sanye-jun said, but his face was pinched, not trying to be mysterious. “I’ve lived too long, it’s just impossible. Still…”
Sanye-jun fell silent, and Liu Qingge turned to look down at him.
The Demon Lord’s face was thoughtful, but also a little troubled.
Finally, Sanye-jun shook himself out of his stupor. “I’ve told you to call me Shen Yuan when in the human realm,” he began slowly, “And it’s true that many people have called me by that name in this life. But the fact that name is the first name I’ve ever had, a name that is very precious to me,” Sanye-jun turned to look Liu Qingge in the eye, “That is something that no one else in this world has ever known.”
Liu Qingge’s breath caught in his throat as he realized what Sanye-jun, no, Shen Yuan, was implying.
“Shen… Yuan,” he said, testing the name on his tongue. It felt different, so very different from when he’d been calling the Demon Lord by this name earlier in the day.
“Yes,” Shen Yuan said, a small smile on his face.
“… A-Yuan,” Liu Qingge tested, and he was surprised when Shen Yuan suddenly flinched with a sharp intake of air. Was he overstepping …?
Shen Yuan shuddered as he buried his face in Liu Qingge’s shoulder.
“… … It has been a very, very long time since someone has called me that way,” Shen Yuan whispered, his voice thick with emotion.
Liu Qingge’s arm around Shen Yuan’s shoulders tightened.
“That will change,” he murmured, kissing the top of Shen Yuan’s head. “My A-Yuan.”
Liu Qingge delighted in the shiver that went down Shen Yuan’s spine as he called his name.
His heart felt so full.