Chapter 383 - Warming the Bed
Once they left this school district, Gu Zuo and Gongyi Tianheng were still accompanied by Teacher Han to watch the assessments of other potential students on numerous elevated platforms. For the subsequent Xiantian Realm, the assessments were virtually the same. It was only during the battles that the applicants no longer fought with wild beasts. Instead, these were true sparring sessions with each other.
After watching for a long time, Gu Zuo pointed out many who had first-rate aptitudes. Tianheng noted down their names. In the future, they would be kept under slow observation.
Gradually, they toured through the school districts, and observed the assessments. The color of the sky had already darkened.
An entire day had passed by, so the two had to depart.
Before Gu Zuo left, he asked Teacher Han, who had accompanied them for the whole day: “Does this teacher educate the Houtian Realm students?”
Teacher Han was at a loss for words. He didn’t know why Gu Zuo asked about this matter, but he nevertheless answered in an upright and honest manner: “To be precise, this Han manages the academy’s internal affairs. All of the Houtian Realms are within the jurisdiction of this Han.”
To put it simply, Teacher Han wasn’t someone who was responsible for instructing students like a classroom teacher or a lecturer. Rather, he was more like a department head or a district administrator.
This was classified as an official rank.
Gu Zuo nodded his head to express his understanding. After that, he glanced at Tianheng.
Tianheng faintly smiled.
Then, Gu Zuo rummaged around his sleeve, took out two small-sized, yellow-jade gourds one at a time, and handed them to Teacher Han: “Today, we’ve troubled this teacher to guide us. This is but a small token of our gratitude. I hope that this teacher doesn’t refuse it.”
Teacher Han was surprised, but he remembered the jade bottles that Gu Zuo gave to Yu Cheng, and he also recalled the question that Gu Zuo just asked… Since he wanted to develop a good relationship with these two people, then it would be fine to accept. Although he didn’t know what rank this Pharmacist Gu had reached, one would assume that this gift wouldn’t be too lacking if it was taken out and given to someone.
En, even if it was lacking, he would receive it with a cheerful mood.
Hence, Teacher Han straightforwardly expressed his thanks, and reluctantly sent them on their way from the academy.
Once he saw Gu Zuo and Tianheng’s backs disappear from view, he slowly let out a heavy sigh.
Fortunately, he didn’t offend those two noble personages.
Ah, especially that all-star prodigy…
After unhurriedly returning, Teacher Han lowered his head, popped open the gourds’ corks, and took a look at the medicinal pills inside. With this glance, he was a bit dumbstruck.
One gourd of Qi Linking Pills and one gourd of Rejuvenation Pills.
The former could be used straight up to Xiantian stage six. The latter was a healing pill that spanned the entire Houtian Realm.
This wasn’t the important point. What was important was that all of the medicinal pills were flawless.
While these two types of pills weren’t particularly brilliant, top grade pills could be easily obtained, but flawless pills were hard to find. Being able to gift this many flawless pills…was enough to prove a pharmacist’s capabilities.
Each gourd contained about fifty pills. Teacher Han personally had no use for them, but if they were taken to encourage the Houtian Realm students, then they would be invaluable.
Meanwhile, Gu Zuo was in the middle of pulling on Tianheng’s sleeve. He was happily going back with his family’s big brother.
As far as he was concerned, that small amount of medicinal pills wasn’t worth mentioning. His inventory was huge. In the future, there would be pharmacists among his subordinates, and he wouldn’t need to refine large quantities of such low-level medicinal pills by himself anymore. But those would still be left over… He would take ninety percent and place them in the treasury. When his realm was higher, the last ten percent would be taken out in passing to either reward others, act as welcoming gifts, or for convenience’s sake.
Just like today.
After giving medicinal pills to two people, Gu Zuo secretly felt pretty cool.
After departing, Gu Zuo had been lost in thought as he travelled with Tianheng to Ten Ultimates Sect. Without realizing it, when they got back to the summit, the sky had already darkened completely.
The stars covered the sky like chess pieces strewn across a board. The specks of starry splendor that sprinkled down were extremely beautiful. It layered the scenery of the mountain peak with a gentle, transfixing halo.
Gu Zuo followed by Tianheng’s side, absentmindedly stepping on his big brother’s shadow with every stride forward.
Tianheng’s pace abruptly came to a halt.
Gu Zuo also stopped.
Tianheng chuckled and said: “Ah Zuo, what are you doing?”
Gu Zuo suddenly reacted. He realized what he had just been doing.
Wasn’t this a game played by three-year-old kids?
Gu Zuo’s face reddened, and he promptly said: “It’s nothing. I’ll just keep following big brother.”
Tianheng didn’t expose him. After waiting for a moment, Tianheng kept an eye on Gu Zuo as they travelled together.
Gu Zuo hurriedly tried to forget the dark history that had just taken place as he trailed right behind Tianheng’s footsteps back to their house.
Later on, Tianheng wandered around inside the study before moving to the bedroom. Then, he opened a wardrobe, and took some things out. When he turned around, Gu Zuo bumped into him.
Gu Zuo: “…”
He ended up making a fool of himself several times tonight!
Tianheng couldn’t help laughing out loud. With great difficulty, he softly murmured: “Ah Zuo, you need to watch your step.”
Gu Zuo nearly facepalmed.
He didn’t have the face to meet others…
Fortunately, Tianheng didn’t continue teasing, and only carried things out the door. He turned his head, and spoke a sentence: “Ah Zuo, let’s take a bath and go to bed a bit earlier tonight.”
Gu Zuo also subconsciously turned around to follow him. Right at this time, Tianheng’s voice echoed out once again —
“…This way, you can quickly warm this elder brother’s bed, okay?”
Gu Zuo was silently soaking in the hot spring. Not far away was his bare-chested big brother who was calmly lounging against the shore. Gongyi Tianheng originally had an outstanding complexion, but at this moment, through the obscuring view of the dense water vapor, he appeared especially good-looking. Like a deity, he was handsome beyond compare.
For the past two days, Gu Zuo would hear about “warming the bed” from time to time. He was already rather used to it. However, under this kind of mood, amid these circumstances, listening to this phrase again caused his face to swiftly and involuntarily redden.
Even now, his ears were burning hot.
Gu Zuo shrunk down on himself.
The hot spring’s waters lapped at his shoulders, and practically slathered his face with heat.
Conflicted, he thought: This time, no matter how red my face gets, I can just say that I’m being overheated by the steam. I won’t lose any more face and be laughed at by big brother…
Indeed, Tianheng didn’t make fun of Gu Zuo. Perhaps, it was because he knew that Gu Zuo’s nerves were stretched to the extreme.
He grinned as he watched Gu Zuo soaking in the waters, and finished his own bath. Then, with a smile on his face, he came out of the hot spring, showing his back to Gu Zuo. This revealed a stream of dripping-wet, black hair that hung straight down, as well as a tight, firm, and slender body that was only partially hidden by the black hair.
Gu Zuo only saw a glimpse before turning his head away. He barely stopped himself from covering his eyes.
For some reason, it was becoming harder and harder…to resist the charms of his family’s big brother.
Even if it was a view of his back, that was a view brimming with attractive power!
This was obviously a completely normal scene of brothers getting along. In his mind, a moment of carelessness could’ve shifted things in another direction. Truly, truly… After taking a deep breath, Gu Zuo jumped up all of a sudden.
Just at this time, Tianheng turned his head, and opened his mouth: “Ah Zuo, let’s —” go.
Gu Zuo’s eyes widened. He almost wanted to run away!
Ah, but immediately following this, he remembered that he was actually wearing some underpants while submerged. There was absolutely no need to worry! As a result, he simply stood there as stiff as a board.
Soon after, Gu Zuo had no choice but to endure his family’s big brother attentively sizing him up and down. Then, Tianheng said to him: “Ah Zuo, you need more meat essence in your diet so you can grow stronger. Right now, this…makes your elder brother look at you with worry.”
Gu Zuo: “…”
Oh, right. He was short and skinny. His stature wasn’t any good in the least.
Suddenly, the charming yet nervous butterfly that had just started fluttering around in his heart was pierced by his big brother…
After returning to their bedroom, Gu Zuo moved to another room to change into a new set of underclothes. Then, he went back inside.
When he lifted his head, he saw that his handsome big brother was already reclining on the bed. Tianheng smiled at him, and beckoned.
Gu Zuo unconsciously walked over.
Once he reacted, Gu Zuo discovered that he had unexpectedly fallen for those charms again!
Of course, because he was frequently enamored, Gu Zuo had already developed a type of “my thoughts are a jumbled mess, but my face still looks normal” skill long ago. This being the case, he walked to the edge of the bed, and stood there hesitatingly.
Tianheng smiled and said: “Ah Zuo?”
Gu Zuo steeled himself. He lifted the quilt, and burrowed underneath so that only his head popped up.
Tianheng couldn’t restrain a chuckle: “We said that Ah Zuo would warm the bed for this elder brother, but who would’ve thought that Ah Zuo would come too late, and I would warm it instead? Ah Zuo, why are you distressed?”
Gu Zuo’s face was stiff: “I’m distressed that I couldn’t warm big brother’s bed in time. Truly, I’ve let big brother down.”
Tianheng blanked. Shortly thereafter, he muffled his laughter.
Gu Zuo silently burrowed back under the quilt.
Yes, yes. Keep laughing. But Gu Zuo understood.
En, all was right with the world when his big brother was happy.
After that, the two were about ready to sleep together.
This made Gu Zuo remember the last time they slept together. They had just reunited after a long period of separation. However, at that time, because he and his big brother finally saw one another again, he quickly fell asleep under an exhausted state of mind. Before they fell asleep, there weren’t any of those essential nightly discussions that the average person would’ve experienced. This time, he wasn’t the least bit tired. It also looked like his big brother wasn’t sleepy either?
Sure enough, Tianheng didn’t have any intention of going to sleep right away. He tentatively reached out a hand…
Gu Zuo sensed his dear big brother’s approach. His body tensed slightly.
Soon after, he discovered that a lock of his hair was being played with by Tianheng.
Tianheng softly pulled against the strands for a little while: “Ah Zuo, don’t fall asleep yet.”
Gu Zuo: “I won’t.”
But Tianheng still didn’t let go of this lock of hair. It seemed that he felt it was interesting, and kept playing with it: “Ah Zuo, do you remember? How many years has it been since the two of us first met?”
Ah, this was a true chat that communicated the feelings between two people.
Hearing this kind of topic, Gu Zuo’s heart stirred. He thought about it, and replied: “When I first met big brother, I was fifteen years old. Now, I’m nineteen years old, nearly twenty. So it’s been four years.”
Tianheng faintly nodded his head: “Over the past four years, we’ve gone through many things. I had forgotten to ask — Ah Zuo has worked hard in all respects, but have you ever once regretted looking for me to be your guardian that day? Although I want to, there are many things that I can’t do to truly help Ah Zuo. If it was someone else, I’m afraid that they would treat Ah Zuo even better. They also wouldn’t make Ah Zuo so tired, or rush you all over the place.”
Gu Zuo finished listening, and promptly shook his head. His attitude was serious: “To be honest, I’ve always felt that finding you, being honest with you, and forming a guardian contract with you had been the most correct decision I made after obtaining the system. If I hadn’t made a contract with big brother, and with someone else instead, I probably would’ve been killed by that person long ago. Or maybe, I would’ve been locked somewhere far from the light of the sun, refining medicine day after day like an old cattle without any rest.”
He summoned his courage, and gripped Tianheng’s arm. He clenched down before loosening his hold: “While I’ve been refining medicine for a long time, this is because big brother treats me well. As a result, I treat big brother well. I also get to research whatever medicinal pills I want to study, so I’m perfectly happy to do it. If it wasn’t for things like this, I would’ve certainly run away without a trace. If that didn’t happen, I would’ve used substandard products to muddle through any jobs. I wouldn’t have been willing to put all my heart into it!”
Tianheng beamed as he heard this. The corner of his mouth curled up into a smile.
After he finished listening to Gu Zuo talk, his mood seemed to improve, and his expression became even more gentle and soft.
Afterwards, Tianheng let go of Gu Zuo’s lock of hair. Instead, he placed his palm on top of Gu Zuo’s head, and gently ruffled it a few times. The feeling of the warm and soft strands that carded through his fingers caused his smile to deepen. As he spoke, his tone of voice seemed like a ripple that lightly splayed across the water, but he only spoke one sentence: “So Ah Zuo has never once regretted or disdained choosing me?”
Without the slightest hesitation, Gu Zuo said: “Of course not. I’ve always been happy getting to know big brother.” His voice lowered somewhat, “I’m more worried that big brother regrets it, that you feel like I’m holding you back…”
Tianheng’s palm stopped. Soon after, his clear voice entered Gu Zuo’s ears: “Absolutely not. Ah Zuo has never been a burden to me. Rather, you are my most important, most indispensable person.”
Gu Zuo heard this, and the rims of his eyes heated up slightly. He quickly blinked his eyes, and stifled those traces of heat that teared up.
Although he wanted to go back to the modern world, although he never dared to confess his feelings, although he had long thought that, one day, his position by his big brother’s side might be replaced by another person… Yet, now that he could hear Tianheng state so clearly that he was “indispensable”, it already made him feel extremely satisfied and contented.
— For a person who was secretly in love, the thing they wanted the most was no more than this line of recognition.
Gu Zuo pursed his lips. He quietly, and ever so slightly, leaned against Tianheng’s side.
He faintly lowered his head, but didn’t allow his big brother to see the dependence and yearning in the depths of his eyes. However, his voice still couldn’t help carrying a whisper of those emotions: “In my heart, big brother is also like this.”
…Though, it was even deeper than just that.
Tianheng’s gaze softened to the extreme.
He said nothing else. He just quietly watched Gu Zuo’s somewhat irregular breaths gradually even out.
This was Gu Zuo in a peaceful mood as he slowly sank into a deep sleep.
Tianheng beheld him for a long time.
Finally, after Gu Zuo’s consciousness had fully drifted, Tianheng quietly bowed his head nearer.
After that, Gu Zuo unconsciously snuggled closer.
Tianheng reached out his hands, and lightly embraced him.
At this moment, a wisp of deep pondering appeared in Tianheng’s eyes.
He slowly closed them.
Although the two would tell each other almost everything, he always felt that, sometimes, his little pharmacist would seem deeply worried and heartsick. However, whenever he wanted to pursue the matter, Ah Zuo would return to normal. It was like his perceptions were nothing but an illusion.
It was just that…
Tianheng lightly sighed.
When all was said and done, he still couldn’t bear to get to the heart of the matter.
It was better to observe some more, and find a way to relieve Ah Zuo’s worries.
T/N: Thanks for the correction, Charysa.
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