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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 134: Reality: Yellow Wine

    Ming Yiyang did not receive Yan Qiling's answer as expected.

    The man merely poured himself another cup of tea and gazed out the window at the garden being caressed by the breeze. The bright sunlight illuminated one side of his chiseled profile, casting a glow upon half of his eye, making him appear like a figure in an oil painting.

    Finally, he said,

    "This isn't something to be taken lightly, Ming Yiyang."

    "Being attracted to an Incarnate Lord, in any way, means you've taken another step closer to death."

    "Even with a Symbiotic Talisman, it doesn't guarantee your safety."

    The man stared directly into the sunlight without flinching from its intensity:

    "Sometimes, an Incarnate Lord's pursuit of 'desire' surpasses their desire for 'life.' Although they can go to extreme lengths to survive most of the time, the power of obsession can make them indifferent to life and death."

    "Beware the desires of beasts, or you may end up playing with fire."

    The young man's eyelashes trembled in the warm light, his face devoid of any expression, leaving it unreadable how much he had taken in.

    Knowing that continuing this conversation might lead to an uncontrollable situation, he casually changed the subject as if nothing had happened:

    "I came in a hurry and didn't bring any clothes or toiletries."

    Yan Qiling also pulled himself out of his deep emotions, tilting his head slightly but not meeting his gaze directly:

    "Then should you go back to get them?"

    "Mm-hmm."

    Ming Yiyang acknowledged with a nod. He picked up the pink floral apron that Pan Hu had removed and put it on himself, his tone implying a matter-of-factness that needed no explanation:

    "I'll accompany you after lunch to get them."

    Yan Qiling turned fully to face him. Although his expression was indifferent, confusion was evident in the depths of his peach blossom eyes, as if questioning why he would need company for such a simple errand.

    Not allowing his confusion to linger, Ming Yiyang finished tying the apron straps.

    "Don't even think about running."

    He turned and entered the kitchen, leaving Yan Qiling alone in the living room to ponder the hidden meaning behind those words.

    Ming Yiyang seemed to take the concept of "following" very seriously, almost to the point of rigidity, as if it had become an unyielding bottom line for him.

    Yan Qiling slowly closed his eyes, attempting to perceive Ming Yiyang's emotions through the power of their shared life symbol amidst the fragrant tea aroma.

    Yet, there was only emptiness there, filled with a blandness that felt like chewing wax.

    Opening his eyes, warm rays of light pierced through his eyelashes, sinking into the depths of his pure black pupils. It was as if he had been trapped by a black hole, unable to escape.

    Ming Yiyang had tampered with the shared life symbol.

    This boy not only possessed a formidable physique and highly sensitive reflexes but also had a unique perspective on theoretical knowledge. It wasn't surprising that someone skilled in science and engineering would have an advantage in studying talismans and formations.

    Yan Qiling didn't immediately try to uncover the workings of the shared life symbol.

    Ming Yiyang was now akin to a bird startled by a bowstring. If his deliberate probing were discovered, who knew what actions the boy might take... Rather than inviting unnecessary trouble, it was better to pretend ignorance and avoid conflict.

    He picked up the camera from the table and carried it to the backyard.

    Just as he was adjusting the aperture, the doorbell rang.

    Yan Qiling stepped onto the terrace with the camera in his arms. Through the glass, he saw Ming Yiyang emerge from the kitchen with damp hands, his face solemn as he entered the hallway.

    The sound of the door opening echoed faintly, nearly drowned out by the rustling of the plants.

    Assuming that Ming Yiyang was letting someone in, Yan Qiling guessed it was likely Pan Hu, who had come to deliver something to Ding Tai.

    This would be a perfect opportunity for him to inquire about Ding Tai's condition through Pan Hu.

    Indeed, his assumption was correct. The visitor was Pan Hu.

    However, Ming Yiyang did not invite him in.

    The young man, leveraging his tall stature, stood firm at the entrance, blocking any direct entry for Pan Hu.

    His expression was as indifferent as the hue of his hair:

    "There's no need for you to cook anymore. I've already started. You can go back now."

    Pan Hu insisted on his right to enter, his eyes under the sunglasses scanning the corridor, trying to ensure Yan Qiling's safety.

    "I have chores to do, and..."

    "That's not necessary."

    Ming Yiyang interrupted directly.

    "None of that is needed from you now."

    Pan Hu was utterly astonished.

    "You want to monopolize Mr. like this? Ming Yiyang, I let you in because Mr. did take your eyes... but tolerating you last time doesn't mean I'll tolerate it now!"

    Ming Yiyang showed no fear, a chilly smile tugging at the corner of his lips.

    "If you want to make things difficult for your Mr., you can create a scene right now. Do you dare? Can you control how it will end?"

    With bared fangs, the transformed Pan Hu was held in check. Ming Yiyang, gripping the doorknob, spoke with a chilly tone:

    "I suggest you go home and spend some time with your wife. It would be beneficial for both of us."

    Pan Hu's rage flared up, but just as he was about to shift into his beast form, he deflated like a punctured balloon, reverting to human shape. He took a deep breath and reluctantly said,

    "…Take good care of Mr. Qiling. I'll come back. If you don't take good care of him..."

    "I'd do it anyway without your reminder."

    The young man coldly dismissed him with these words before slamming the door shut, bidding farewell to the guest.

    As he turned around, Yan Qiling stood in the hallway before him.

    The man wore the casual clothes he had changed into the previous night – a loose, cotton shirt that exuded an indescribable tenderness, and beige trousers that hung loosely around his ankles. His pale feet contrasted starkly with the dark wooden floor beneath.

    Light slanted through the floor behind him, illuminating his ankles and casting a muted, grayish glow over his entire figure.

    It was unclear how much of their conversation he had overheard.

    Ming Yiyang instinctively wanted to say something in his defense, but as he opened his mouth, he realized there was nothing to argue about. Regardless of how much the man had heard, he was already inseparable from him.

    Without the intention to explain, Ming Yiyang treated the man like a statue and swiftly passed by.

    As he was about to enter the kitchen, he heard the man ask from behind,

    "What are we having for lunch?"

    Pausing slightly, he replied,

    "Red braised pork with Shaoxing wine."

    An unknown concern welled up within him, and he entertained the idea of asking the man to help adjust his apron's waistband.

    However, when he turned around, the hallway was already empty.

    The young man stood alone in the corridor, a hint of self-deprecating amusement flickering across his face before quickly being smoothed away.

    Silently entering the kitchen, Ming Yiyang gazed at the spacious and brightly lit room with its vintage decor. His heart felt like it was filled with damp cotton, weighing heavily upon his chest.

    This was only to be expected.

    That was what he had to tell himself.

    After all, Pan Hu had spent far more time with Yan Qiling than with him. Now that he had forcefully driven Pan Hu away, even someone as composed as Yan Qiling would find it hard not to show any reaction.

    But it didn't matter.

    As long as he achieved his goal, that was sufficient.

    The Master of the Boundless had no emotions, and he didn't need the other party to have any either. He was merely... content with satisfying himself.

    If there came a day when he no longer wished to force things, he could simply part ways with Yan Qiling. In any case, this person wouldn't feel anything about it.

    Only he, in his human form, would suffer.

    Placing the sliced meat on the cutting board into a bowl, Ming Yiyang was just about to heat up the wok when the kitchen door behind him opened, and a clear male voice rang out clearly:

    "This is a fifty-year-old yellow wine, 'Daughter's Red,' given to me by a friend. It's perfect for braised pork. Give it a try."

    His gloomy mood instantly soared, transcending to heavenly bliss.

    Ming Yiyang tried to suppress this buoyant exhilaration, but he found it impossible to control himself, even his turning around to look at Yan Qiling was beyond his restraint.

    Before his mind could give the order, his hand had already taken the bottle of Daughters' Red wine.

    Flipping the bottle over for a closer look, he gazed at the smiling man before him and deliberately asked,

    "Why would you give such fine wine for me to spoil?"

    "Using it in cooking doesn't count as spoiling it."

    Yan Qiling was slightly surprised but still wore a smile, seemingly not taking offense at all.

    "Wine is meant to be drunk. Pouring it into a glass is one way, using it in a dish is another. Besides, you're a person with taste. It can never be considered spoiling, no matter what."

    Ming Yiyang paused, slowly exhaling, then turned around, softly sighing,

    "...If you keep being like this, I'll just have to accept it."

    "What are you acknowledging?"

    Uncharacteristically, Yan Qiling seized on the ambiguity in Ming Yiyang's words and countered with a question.

    Ming Yiyang remained silent.

    The man, however, tilted his head upward from beneath, deliberately positioning himself at Ming's side, fixing him with an unwavering gaze.

    "Our relationship doesn't involve acknowledgment or denial. We both simply made a choice. You did, and so can I. Once a choice is made, one must accept its consequences, whether they be sweet or bitter. What's meant for us should be acknowledged."

    "Yes," Ming Yiyang replied, returning the steady look and saying, "Today's braised pork won't disappoint you."

    Yan Qiling smiled slightly. "Excellent, it's been a while since I had this dish. I'm looking forward to tasting Chef Ming's skills."

    "Address me as Brother Ming."

    The young man wore a relaxed and self-satisfied smile.

    Yan Qiling did not entertain this absurd suggestion.

    "I wouldn't mind shortening my lifespan to call you by this name, but let's just stick with Xiao Ming for now."

    After saying that, he fell into contemplation:

    "Xiao Ming seems a bit too common. Do you have a nickname?"

    "No one in modern times would use such a name."

    Yan Qiling leaned against the countertop, watching the young man's busy figure as he muttered to himself:

    "......The brilliant moon ascends like a precious mirror in the sky, while celestial melodies in the clouds fall silent. It divides the autumn scene evenly with its full radiance, illuminating thousands of miles alongside Yun Qu. How would you address Yun Qu?"

    "Which Qu? The 'Qu' that inquires how it can be so clear and pure?"

    "In the journey of life, there lies a path like Zhai's, where Yun Qu signifies the trajectory of the moon in the clouds. 'Long accompanying the bright Yun Qu for thousands of miles' carries a profound meaning. It aligns beautifully with your surname, Ming."

    "As long as you like it."

    Ming Yiyang had no objections.

    "If you prefer to call me Little Ming, that's fine too. I don't mind."

    Yan Qiling gave a faint smile.

    After the cork was pulled from the aged rice wine, the aroma filled the entire room.

    For Yan Qiling, it was only after possessing this body that he experienced human sensations. He had always cherished the ability to savor the taste of food.

    Ming Yiyang's culinary skills indeed did justice to the bottle of rice wine he had presented.

    The tender pork belly melted in the mouth, its rich juices bursting with the distinctive sweetness of Shaoxing wine, blending with the soft meat as they flowed down the throat, warmly embracing the stomach.

    The lingering aroma of the wine persisted even after the meal was finished.

    Thus, Ming Yiyang's plan to drive home was put on hold. The traffic police in Guang City were strict, and even though he had only tasted wine-infused dishes, he might still have trouble if he encountered a breathalyzer test on the road.

    The two finally stepped out in the late afternoon, coinciding with rush hour. After a long, traffic-jammed journey, they finally reached the underground parking lot of the luxury apartment complex.

    As the driver, Ming Yiyang grumbled about the other drivers hogging lanes and their unpredictable speed, while Yan Qiling listened with a smile, as if there was some hidden amusement in his complaints that only he could appreciate.

    Removing his sunglasses, Ming Yiyang led Yan Qiling into the elevator.

    His home was not often visited by guests; the last time someone came was when Chi Zihe took him to the hospital after he suddenly lost his sight.

    Emotions swirled within him in the familiar surroundings, but he concealed any signs of unease, leaving others unable to discern his true feelings.

    They entered the corridor, and Ming Yiyang unlocked the door using his fingerprint.

    As he pushed the door open, Ming Yiyang instinctively reached for the light switch, only to discover that the living room was already brightly illuminated, its lights shining brightly.

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