Yunyou Cave was located far up in the north, thousands of miles away from where Lin SuCi was captured. Yan Boshen had chased desperately for nearly a month before he finally reached the place, and the return journey would not be easy as well.
Where Yan Boshen brought the little kitten to rest was somewhere that was a safe distance away from Yunyou Cave, a city where a large sect had jurisdiction over.
It was also very cold there. Their breaths could be seen, creating a fog in front of their face, and everything was iced over.
However, Lin SuCi felt that it was pretty good.
Baby animals had high body temperature, and he had high body heat. In Cardinal Sect, he always slept on the ice bed with Yan Boshen. With the cold air here, it was perfect for him.
This was the first time Lin SuCi had traveled so far away. He followed Yan Boshen around the place they were resting at, looking left and right with relish.
The street here was not as wide as the city near where they lived, and there were many lanes and alleys around.
Yan Boshen led Lin SuCi along, looking for an inn to stay.
The inns here were either plain or simple. In the empty room, other than a low daybed, there was nothing else.
As soon as Lin SuCi saw the daybed, sleepiness came over him.
This time, he had really suffered a lot. Throughout the entire ordeal, he did not even dare to close his eyes. Seeing that bed was like seeing his greatest desire, and Lin SuCi leaped onto it immediately.
Yan Boshen grabbed his collar. “Go wash up first.”
The kitten had traveled from the back mountain of Chongyun Sect all the way to Cave Yunyou in a month. His new clothes had long worn out, and once again, from being a clean little kitten, he turned into a dirty stray cat.
There was no tub in the room. From his ring, Yan Boshen took out a gigantic curved leaf. Collecting water in the center, he fashioned a simple tub from it.
Lin SuCi yawned as he made his way over. When he leaned over the edge of the leaf, he was shocked by his reflection in the water.
“… I’m so dirty?”
Lin SuCi completely could not believe that the dirty little thing in the water, looking ragged and unkempt, was him.
He had actually swaggered through the market looking like this?
Lin SuCi plopped into the water, emitting a stream of bubbles from his mouth.
Yan Boshen had been tense ever since retrieving Lin SuCi. When looking at the desolate Lin SuCi in front of him, his eyes softened.
“You’ll be alright after washing up.”
Lin SuCi pursed his lips.
Forget about everything else, but the dirt… He really did not like being dirty.
His new yellow clothes were all stained and dirty, and the original color had disappeared.
Not only that, when Lin SuCi removed his clothes, he could vaguely feel a constriction. No matter how he tried, he was unable to free his arm.
Struggling for quite some time, baring his teeth, Lin SuCi finally managed to take off the clothes that originally fitted him. Fortunately, the inner layer within was loose, and did not cling to him tightly like a restraint.
Lin SuCi stripped himself bare in no time at all, scooping up water and pouring it over himself.
“Boshen Boshen, quick, help me.”
Lin SuCi patted his own shoulder, turning his head. “There’s another layer of…”
Before he could finish, Yan Boshen’s finger tapped on him. Lin SuCi shrunk into a ball of fur, landing steadily in Yan Boshen’s palm.
Falling straight in Yan Boshen’s palm, Lin SuCi looked up to see Yan Boshen calmly rolling his sleeve up, scooping up water and washing his fur.
“I’ve noticed that each time you bathe me, you always transform me back.”
Yan Boshen’s eyes did not even twitch. He quickly cleaned up the dirty kitten in his hand, then, with some nice smelling soap, he lathered up the fur on the kitten.
Lin SuCi’s two little paws held onto the edge of the leaf, allowing Yan Boshen’s hand to knead about his head. White foam gathered on top of his head, and Lin SuCi’s ears twitched.
“Are you embarrassed about giving me a bath when I’m human-shaped?” Lin SuCi grinned with narrowed eyes. He accidentally ingested some bubbles, and spat with his tongue hanging out for a long while.
Yan Boshen pinched Lin SuCi’s little tongue, his thumb and index finger rubbing it and running clear water over it.
When Lin SuCi curled his tongue back, the soft barbs on it brushed against Yan Boshen’s finger, and it was a little… itchy.
Yan Boshen lowered his eyes, decisively turning the kitten around in his hand so that he was facing the water, and scrubbed his back and tail.
It had been quite some time since he had been raising a kitten. The kitten felt very comfortable in Yan Boshen’s hands, and Yan Boshen could be considered to be skillful now. Lin SuCi swayed his tail back and forth, his four little paws splashing across the water, feeling contented.
Forget it, he would just remain as a kitten. Was it not good to be served?
If he was in his human form, Lin SuCi also would not really dare to lay flat on his back and allow others to rub and scrub him.
A large square cloth wrapped around Lin SuCi, patting and rubbing him dry. Yan Boshen placed him on the bed, “Go to sleep.”
Lin SuCi crawled out from the cloth, placing his paws on Yan Boshen’s wrist. “You haven’t washed up yet!”
“By the way… Were you injured?”
As Lin SuCi spoke, he became a little more careful. “Oh right, that fellow has some extraordinary strength. Did you…”
Yan Boshen interrupted Lin SuCi indifferently.
Lin SuCi did not feel that he was fine.
With his two paws, he hugged Yan Boshen’s arm, nagging, “You should go wash up too, and see if you got injured.”
Yan Boshen remained apathetic.
Lin SuCi thought of something. “You’re not allowed to get into the bed if you don’t wash up.”
Yan Boshen paused. He pulled Lin SuCi away from his sleeve, changed the water in the leaf, then raised his hand and erected a very thick barrier between him and the bed.
Lin SuCi sprawled across the bed, listening to the quiet sound of water splashing about.
With four paws raised towards the sky, he listened for a while before calling out loudly. “Boshen Boshen, do you want your back scrubbed?”
“Boshen Boshen, do you want your back scratched?”
Lin SuCi flipped over, secretly turning back into his human form. Sneakily, he pulled on a robe that Yan Boshen had tossed aside, creeping around the barrier, and he continued speaking as though nothing had happened. “Boshen Boshen, do you want a back massage?”
Yan Boshen, who was on the other side of the barrier, “…”
Lin SuCi stuck his head out from behind the barrier. Before his grin could even fully form, his eyes fell onto Yan Boshen’s bare back.
Yan Boshen raised his hand, and a cloud of fog blocked Lin SuCi’s view.
Lin SuCi hesitated, then spoke quietly. “Boshen… Eldest Senior, you’re injured.”
A glance was enough for him to see it clearly. There was a huge purple bruise on Yan Boshen’s back, so dark it was almost black.
Lin SuCi wiped his face, and the fog dissipated.
Yan Boshen had already drawn his inner robe over his body, covering himself.
“Hold on.” It was rare that Lin SuCi would have such a serious face. He held onto Yan Boshen’s hands, and pulled that inner robe down.
Unable to do anything, Yan Boshen was a little awkward. “… It’s fine, don’t look at it anymore.”
Lin SuCi was still pulling at the robe with great strength, almost tearing it off.
He saw another purple bruise on Yan Boshen’s chest, looking just like the one on his back. Lin SuCi hissed, as he could almost feel the pain of those bruises.
This was clearly an outward sign of an internal injury, it was very serious!
“Li Wen is an ancient beast. For me to just be like this after a fight with him is already a very good outcome.” Yan Boshen drew his robe back up, speaking composedly, “I’m fine, you should just go to sleep.”
Lin SuCi was already wringing his hands, extremely upset. “You wait here, I’ll go back and take my revenge on him now! I’m going to rip all his fur out! I’m going to tear his skin off, and give it to you as a winter blanket! I’m going to let him know how serious it is for him to go against his superior!”
Yan Boshen was speechless. “… Don’t tell me you really think that you can control him?”
At this point, Lin SuCi was a little confused, but his mouth responded very quickly. “Of course! I can control him with no effort at all!”
Yan Boshen removed the barrier. “After you were caught… Tell me everything that happened in detail.”
Lin SuCi climbed back up onto the bed. Sitting with his legs crossed, he laid out the key points for Yan Boshen.
“He didn’t kill me when I was unconscious, but after I woke up, he seemed to want to eat me. Thankfully you gave me the ring of spiritual energy…” Lin SuCi touched his wrist gratefully. If not for the three rings, he would have most likely ended up in Li Wen’s mouth, and become his food.
“Later on, he said something about… making me stay. Why would I stay? Of course I had to go and look for you!” Lin SuCi twitched his ears, boasting about himself at the same time. “In the midst of extreme danger, I still thought about you. Boshen, are you touched?”
“And then?” Yan Boshen did not look touched at all.
Lin SuCi continued, “So of course, I ran. Just as I was running, I suddenly had a breakthrough. If not for you mentioning it, I would still be thinking that I’ve been captured for only a day. Turns out it was an entire month! When I woke up, I escaped, and saw you.”
“Your energy has integrated with you. Only taking a month to do so, it’s already very quick.” However, Yan Boshen frowned slightly. “How did the breakthrough happen?”
Lin SuCi thought about it, then used Li Wen’s words. “He said I absorbed the spiritual energy that had accumulated in his home over dozens of years.”
Yan Boshen was deep in thought.
“So, am I now his master after absorbing the spiritual energy of his home?” Lin SuCi spread his fingers out, excited. “If so, why don’t I command him to be our family’s steed, and make him carry you around every day in recompense?”
Yan Boshen knocked on Lin SuCi’s head. “Don’t think about it, it’s impossible.”
Lin SuCi shrugged. “Alright then… So what about you, how did you find me? Is our teacher ok? How is Chongyun Sect?”
Then he asked casually, “What about the unlucky children that were rescued?”
Yan Boshen looked straight at him. His eyes made the kitten avert his gaze, refusing to look at him.
“It’s because of the spiritual rings I gave you.” Yan Boshen let the guilty Lin SuCi off. “Huilian and Linggu are looking for you as well, but they weren’t as fast as me.”
“As for the unlucky children you mentioned…” Yan Boshen’s voice was low. He saw how Lin SuCi looked up at him with a slightly guilty conscience. A pause, and he continued slowly, “No one died.”
Lin SuCi exhaled a long sigh of relief.
It was enough that the little fool did not die. Anyway, he was the undefeatable protagonist. As long as he could survive this accident, in the future, he would still be the protagonist of the world.
How could the protagonist die? Would it not be a great joke?
Lin SuCi relaxed.
He pushed at Yan Boshen. “You’re injured. Do you need to be healed? Let me help you!”
Yan Boshen was robotically indifferent. “You know how to do it?”
Lin SuCi, “…”
Oh no, he really did not know how to do it. He had not learnt it yet.
Yan Boshen pressed the little kitten on his clavicle, turning him around on the bed.
“Don’t think about it anymore, go and sleep.”
The lights in the room went out.
Lin SuCi listened to the rustling of the wind outside the window. With the light from the moon, he looked at the youth next to him.
Yan Boshen had been looking for him for a month, it must have been tough. His eyes looked bruised, and despite them being closed in sleep, his fatigue could still be seen.
He most definitely had had a hard time looking for him.
Lin SuCi sniffled, feeling a little complicated.
His eldest senior was an outwardly aloof yet warm-hearted person. He was actually so nice towards him, and Lin SuCi could not see a hint of any scorn towards him. Instead, he was even willing to sacrifice himself for him.
“Eldest Senior, don’t worry. When we go back, I’ll be obediently, and I’ll definitely stay away from danger…” Lin SuCi quietly spoke, sounding very solemn.
Yan Boshen opened his eyes suddenly, and there was still some alarm within them. “No!”
He paused, and responded with a serious face. “It’s better that you don’t say things like that anymore. Every time you say something like this, things always seem to go in the opposite direction…”
Feeling a headache, Yan Boshen raised his hand to his forehead, sighing silently.
Lin SuCi, “…”
He thought about it carefully. It seemed as though that was true?
Lin SuCi flipped over, sitting across Yan Boshen’s waist. He raised his hand, vowing solemnly. “I swear, I will definitely not follow the rules! I will not listen! I will do anything I want! I will cause trouble everyday! Wherever there’s danger, I’ll go! I’ll even dare to hit the emperor!”
Without thinking, Yan Boshen held Lin SuCi around his waist. Only then did he realize what Lin SuCi was saying. “…”
Expressionlessly, he stared at the majestic-looking Lin SuCi sitting on him. His voice was a strange gentleness that made Lin SuCi break out in goosebumps. “I’ll send you back to Li Wen right now, ok?”