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    Chapter 41 [VIP] The Jianghu Saga (22)

    Nanyan’s words were cut off as Su Mo’s voice suddenly came from inside the room.

    Su Mo clenched the embroidered purse in her hand. For some reason, hearing Nanyan's voice made her inexplicably anxious, as if she had an instinctive feeling that Brother Xiao might not be entirely indifferent to that woman.

    After all, having spent so much time together, even if it was just an act, there must be some feelings involved.

    That's why she was afraid; she feared that the words of that woman would once again snatch away Brother Xiao. She had already lost Xie Yu; she couldn't lose Brother Xiao too, so she instinctively called out his name.

    When Sumo walked out from the inner room and saw Nanyan standing at the door, her expression seemed to change slightly.

    She unconsciously moved closer to Xiao Guanxue, clinging to his sleeve, her face full of guard as she looked at Nanyan. "Miss Gu, why are you here again? Aren't you content with using Brother Xiao enough?"

    "If you want revenge on Xie Yu, go find someone else. Why keep bullying Brother Xiao?"

    Her words were a reminder to Xiao Guanxue of the events of that day, hoping he wouldn't be fooled again by this woman's sweet words and cunning plans.

    Sure enough, hearing this, Xiao Guanxue's expression grew colder. He didn't say anything, but his gaze towards Nanyan was somewhat indifferent.

    It seemed she hadn't finished what she was saying...

    And Nanyan, upon seeing Sumo emerge from the inner room, turned even paler. For a moment, her body trembled slightly, and she barely managed to steady herself by holding onto a pillar behind her.

    She turned her head, the look in her eyes making Xiao Guanxue feel inexplicably uncomfortable. She stared at him intensely, "What is she doing in your room? What did you two do?"

    Xiao Guanxue frowned upon hearing this, especially disturbed by Nanyan's doubtful and distrustful eyes, as if he and Sumo had indeed done something indecent. He felt a stifling anger in his chest.

    Did she really see him as that kind of person? She was looking down on him too much!

    "What do you think we were doing? Even if we did something, what's it to you? Are you the only one allowed to have ambiguous relations with your Brother Yu, and I'm not allowed to be involved with other women?"

    Xiao Guanxue took a deep breath, his voice growing colder, "Gu Nanyan, don’t say we have no relation at all. Even if we did, it would only be mutual use. What right do you have to say these things? You're interfering too much!"

    He didn’t want to get involved in her and Xie Yu's affairs anymore. Being deceived once was enough; he didn't want to lose a second time.

    At this moment, Xiao Guanxue was truly angry, and his words were unsparing.

    Nanyan, on the other hand, was so angry her face turned pale. She clenched her fists tightly, her knuckles whitening, about to speak.

    But then her eyes inadvertently caught sight of the small pouch in Sumo’s hand, and she widened her eyes in disbelief and despair.

    "That pouch... Why is it in your hands!"

    "...The pouch?"

    Xiao Guanxue was momentarily stunned, looking down at the pouch in Sumo's hand. He subconsciously pinched his sleeve, finding it empty. He then remembered that he had accidentally dropped his medicine box earlier, likely losing the pouch then.

    He frowned, wanting to clarify but also not wanting to diminish himself in her eyes, so he simply stated, “That’s my item. What does it have to do with you?”

    “It’s mine!”

    Nanyan blurted out instinctively, now trembling with anger, her eyes red with emotion, “That’s my jade pendant. She stole it from me, didn’t she?”

    Nanyan suddenly looked up, her gaze fiercely fixed on Sumo, “Sumo, do you enjoy stealing from others? Don’t you know that’s my jade pendant? Doesn’t it feel wrong in your hands? How shameless can you be, stealing someone else’s token of affection?”

    “Enough.”

    Xiao Guanxue's eyes turned icy as he heard the term 'token of affection', finding it bitterly ironic. It was something she had discarded, yet now it was being portrayed as a token of their love.

    "Ridiculous!"

    As Nan Yan's accusations grew increasingly outrageous, Su Mo, utterly confused and wrongfully branded as a shameless thief, blushed with anger.

    Xiao Guanxue immediately interjected, “Nan Yan, what nonsense are you spouting? I gave her the jade pendant. It wasn't stolen.”

    Hearing this, Nan Yan stiffened abruptly.

    She looked up incredulously, her eyes brimming with tears, “You... gave it to her? You gave the jade pendant... to her?”

    Xiao Guanxue, meeting her reddened eyes, felt a suffocating pain in his chest, turning away as he coldly retorted, “So what if I did? Am I not allowed to give something you rejected to another woman?”

    Nan Yan felt as if her head had exploded, dizzy and unsteady, barely managing to hold herself up against the door frame.

    Rubbing her throbbing temples, she struggled to stand, the pain in her chest intensifying.

    Choking up, she asked, “So, you plan to... marry her?”

    Xiao Guanxue hadn't expected such a question. Though it discomforted him to hear it from her, he replied sternly, “What does it have to do with you?”

    It was this response that pushed Nan Yan over the edge.

    She looked up, her gaze filled with resentment, “Of course, it matters to me. It's my possession; how can you give it to someone else…”

    Without finishing her sentence, she charged forward, fueled by unknown strength. She grabbed Su Mo's arm, fiercely prying her fingers open, repeatedly insisting, “It's mine, that's my possession…”

    Su Mo had never anticipated that Nan Yan would confront her so aggressively. Already wounded, her arm's injury reopened from Nan Yan's grasp, revealing an instant look of pain, and in shock, she momentarily forgot to struggle.

    Witnessing this, Xiao Guanxue only felt that Nan Yan was crossing all limits of decency. He had always known her to be haughty and unreasonable, but now, to behave so violently right in front of him was intolerable.

    He quickly seized Nan Yan's wrist, forcefully pulling her away while sternly reprimanding, “Nan Yan, have you caused enough trouble yet?”

    In flinging her away, he hadn't anticipated her loss of balance, causing her to fall backward, her arm striking the door frame harshly. The purse she held also fell to the ground with her motion.

    A crisp "snap" resounded.

    Fingers struck against stone, the sound of jade hitting the ground echoed, and the jade pendant shattered into two pieces in an instant.

    It seemed as if time itself froze in that moment.

    Nan Yan collapsed weakly onto the ground, her fingers trembling from pain, her face deathly pale without a hint of color, and an intense pain rapidly spread throughout her body.

    She clenched her fingers, as if seeking some strength, but in vain. It felt as if all her energy had been drained, leaving her unable to stand.

    Xiao Guanxue hadn't exerted much force; he didn't mean to push her. Unbeknownst to him, Nan Yan's recent illness had weakened her severely. The fact that she had stood for even a moment was a feat, and his push had left her completely unable to stand.

    This scene stunned Xiao Guanxue, and a wave of panic unconsciously surged in his heart, as if he had committed an irreparable mistake.

    He had never intended to hurt her, even though she had utterly manipulated him. He had never thought of causing her harm.

    At most, he intended to anger her with his words, just for show. As long as she would soften a bit, as long as she admitted that she had some feelings for him, he would have immediately forgiven her.

    But now... he had truly hurt her.

    Xiao Guanxue's heart clenched upon seeing the blood seeping through her fingers, her palms grazed and bloodied. Instinctively, he reached out to help her.

    "Yan... I'm sorry, I didn't mean it, I didn't want to hurt you..."

    "Don't touch me."

    Nan Yan fiercely slapped away his outstretched hand, her strength not light, smearing her blood on his hand.

    Xiao Guanxue pressed his lips together, remaining silent.

    He lowered his gaze, then extended his hand again, "You're hurt, let me tend to your wounds first, we can talk about everything else later..."

    "Get away!"

    But before he could finish, Nan Yan pushed him hard, using all her strength, causing Xiao Guanxue to stagger and hit his back sharply against the corner of a table. He grunted in pain, his face turning pale.

    "Xiao Guanxue, are you alright?"

    Su Mo, seeing this, rushed to help him up, concern evident in her voice, "Come, let me help you."

    She then turned to Nan Yan with disapproval, "Nan Yan, you're going too far. It's clear Xiao Guanxue didn't do it on purpose. If you hadn't started this unreasonable blame game, he wouldn't have accidentally pushed you."

    Her words implied that Xiao Guanxue's actions were in defense of her.

    Su Mo harbored resentment towards Nan Yan, disliking her from the start. Now, seeing Nan Yan's unreasonable behavior, she wondered why Xiao Guanxue still tolerated her.

    Meanwhile, Xiao Guanxue was momentarily stunned.

    He paid no attention to Su Mo, his gaze fixated on Nan Yan.

    He watched as Nanyan picked up the shattered jade pendant, its fragments staining her fingers red with blood. Perhaps because it hurt too much, she struggled to stand steadily.

    Xiao Guanxue instinctively wanted to reach out to her, but her cold, stranger-like gaze froze him in place, a suffocating sensation suddenly engulfing his heart.

    Nanyan then glanced up at him.

    She suddenly smiled, a bright smile like blooming crabapples, but her eyes quickly twisted into a resentful, contorted expression as she said, word by word:

    “Xiao Guanxue, you’re right. I am that selfish. So, if it’s something I don’t want, I’d rather destroy it than let anyone else lay a finger on it!”

    When she spoke, her tone was eerily calm, a calmness that bordered on decisive indifference, as if nothing mattered anymore.

    Xiao Guanxue had never seen this side of Nanyan.

    In that moment, he felt as if his heart was being tightly clenched by an invisible hand, a slight movement causing a tearing pain.

    He opened his mouth, wanting to explain something, but found as if something was blocking his throat, rendering him unable to utter a single word.

    Nanyan walked away. Xiao Guanxue watched her retreating figure until she disappeared. Then he looked down at his palm, noticing a trace of blood on the back of his hand. His fingers involuntarily curled up. How could he... have pushed her?

    Meanwhile, Xie Yu was tormented. He thought about how he had sent his beloved to another man...

    It was an unbearable feeling, like a heavy stone pressing on his heart. Every breath felt like countless needles piercing his chest, causing a dull ache.

    He wondered if they had reconciled by now. Nanyan must be happy, maybe even discussing marriage. That's good, really good. Someone as fickle as him deserved this punishment. Just seeing her happy for the rest of his life was enough.

    He couldn't entangle her anymore, couldn't let her get hurt anymore. He would just be her brother, honestly...

    Xie Yu thought so, but his heart ached like never before. It felt like something uncontrollable was flowing from his eyes, even blurring his vision. Blurred vision?

    Did he just see Nanyan?

    Xie Yu paused in his actions, then suddenly dashed out from the house, running straight to Nan Yan.

    His eyes filled with panic and anxiety. Seeing Nan Yan's soulless, vacant gaze, he couldn't care about anything else. He felt even worse than her, his heart wrenched in agony.

    "What happened? Who hurt you? Was it Xiao Guanxue? Did he say something he shouldn't have? Don't cry. I'll go find him right now and clear this up."

    Why... had it come to this?

    He was ready to let go. She was so happy this morning, laughing the most she had in days. She even asked if her rouge looked good... But why did everything change after seeing Xiao Guanxue?

    The pain in Xie Yu's chest intensified. Why couldn't she take better care of herself? How could he bear to let her go like this?

    He carefully wiped the blood from her face, clueless about its origin. After ensuring there were no wounds on her and no signs of vomiting blood, he felt slightly relieved.

    Hearing his familiar voice, Nan Yan slowly lifted her face. Her rouge smeared by tears, her eyes were red and swollen from crying.

    Tears that had been building up in her eyes seemed uncontrollable now, falling heavily onto Xie Yu's hand, as if piercing his heart.

    She said faintly, in utter despair, "He's going to marry someone else. He gave the jade pendant... to someone else..."

    "Jade pendant?"

    What jade pendant?

    Xie Yu was clueless about what she meant, but seeing Nan Yan's heartbreaking despair, he dared not ask in detail. All he could think of was confronting Xiao Guanxue for answers. What had he done to make Nan Yan so devastated?

    "Stop crying, Yan Yan. I'll go find him. I'll get revenge for you..."

    As Xie Yu turned to leave, Nan Yan suddenly grabbed his wrist. "Don't go. I don't want to see him ever again..."

    He suddenly felt the dampness where she clutched his skin.

    Looking down, Xie Yu realized her palm was muddied and bleeding. Her hands had been hidden in her sleeves, so he hadn't noticed her injury until now. The blood was hers all along.

    Xie Yu gripped Nan Yan's wrist, seeing her palm scarred and bleeding, felt both anger and pain, his forehead sweating, "You're hurt, why didn't you speak up? Do you not care for your hand anymore? Nan Yan, why do you torture yourself like this?"

    Nan Yan, however, seemed not to hear him, her soul seemingly lost, just shaking her head and repeating, "Don't go find him, Xie Yu, please don’t go find him..."

    Xie Yu quickly agreed, carefully prying her fingers open, "Alright, I won't go. Let me help you with your wound."

    He noticed the shattered jade pendant clutched tightly in her palm, its sharp fragments embedding into her flesh, blood soaking the jade.

    Xie Yu felt both heartache and anger at her self-harming actions, his heart tearing painfully.

    "Do you like him so much? To this extent?"

    Thinking this, he became even more cautious, gently extracting the jade pendant from her hand.

    The intense pain snapped Nan Yan back to reality. She suddenly snatched the jade pendant back, clutching it tightly, glaring at him furiously.

    "It's my jade pendant, mine! No one else is allowed to touch it, and even the things I discard, no one else can have!"

    She yelled at him, her eyes filled with resentment as if he were an enemy.

    Xie Yu's heart skipped a beat, focusing on her hand, "Okay, okay, I won't touch your jade pendant..."

    Nan Yan paused, then looked at the broken pendant in her hand, trembling fingers trying to fit the two pieces together. Missing a piece, they wouldn't align.

    "Why can't they fit together?"

    She murmured in despair, "What to do, it can't be put back together, it won't fit."

    Frantically grabbing Xie Yu's hand, tears cascading down like broken pearls, soaking her sleeve, "Xie Yu, help me, help me put it back together, please..."

    Seeing her like this, Xie Yu's eyes stung with tears. He embraced her tightly, patting her back, "Okay, I'll help you, I'll definitely fix it for you."

    As Nan Yan's fingers trembled, Xie Yu carefully took the jade pendant from her, drawing her into his embrace.

    Her crying turned from loud sobs to low whimpers, choking and coughing, blood streaking from the corner of her mouth.

    Her voice was intermittent, laden with extreme sorrow, a sadness lingering in it, “Go... home, Brother Yu.”

    “Take me... home, please.”

    Xie Yu's fingertips trembled as he gently wiped away the trace of blood, softly saying, “Alright, I’ll take you home. Let's go home.”

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