Liu Qingge can feel the irritation crawling under his skin at the sight before him. He didn't expect anything out of the ordinary when Yang Yixuan requested his audience in Liu Qingge's private study. Expecting the usual comings and goings about sect affairs, he casually invited him in, but now his foolish disciple is kneeling on the ground before him, positioned in front of the bleeding corpse of a Black Moon Rhinoceros Python.
A small part of him can't help but be impressed. Killing a demonic monster of this caliber is not a task for the weak, and it reflects well on the cultivators of Bai Zhan Peak. That bastard Binghe is the only other person known to have slain the creature.
Liu Qingge inwardly smirks. As expected from my only disciple! But the stream of thought is immediately interrupted.
"Shizun," the young man says. "This disciple wishes to formally court you. Please accept this beast as a token of my affections."
A flash of white light is the only warning before Yang Yixuan is flung backwards in an explosion of wood and shattered porcelain. Hot tea splatters on the floor where a teapot once stood on a low table. He rolls head over heels twice until his body slams against the back wall. The room spins in front of his eyes before he finally sees a slim figure stop in front of him.
"What insolence!" Liu Qingge points Cheng Luan at his throat and frowns. "How dare you utter such nonsense in front of me!"
Yang Yixuan pauses only for a moment, mouth agape, before he steels his eyes in resolution and bows again before his master.
"I, Yang Yixuan, disciple of the mighty Bai Zhan Peak Lord requests to enter a romantic relationship with his master."
Liu Qingge swears he feels the all too familiar sensation of qi deviation pass through his core when Yixuan meets his gaze, devotion and affection visible in his dark eyes. He lowers his sword and slowly returns to his desk at the front of the room. He sits and lets his mind process this absurd request.
What fit of madness has overtaken this disciple? A romantic relationship? He had no need for such a thing. In fact Liu Qingge never even entertained the idea of pursuing such trivial matters. Obtaining strength and the power to crush anyone who might dare oppose him has always been his sole priority. Not to mention, just because he refuses to show affection for the opposite sex does not make him a cut-sleeve.
But isn't this situation eerily similar to that of Shen Qingqiu?
Qingge pushes the thought away. As if he'd ever let his disciple push him down and dishonor him like that.
"How long have you lusted after men this way?" Liu Qingge asks, voice cold. "Have you been looking at me with such dirty intent when you should have been memorizing the way of the sword? Or is this all a plan to steal my position as Peak Lord?"
This scheming brat! Is this actually just an underhanded ploy to defeat him? It wouldn't be unheard of. Everyone knew the position of Bai Zhan Peak Lord could only be won in battle by defeating the previous leader. Liu Qingge himself was only able to secure the position himself when his powers were unparalleled by any other cultivator in the Cang Qiong sect. The many cultivators of Bai Zhan peak toiled away in the sun everyday, running through stances and fortifying their golden cores, in order to reach the status of Martial Lord. But pride and their unbending sense of justice wouldn't allow for such a vulgar method as this.
Yang Yixuan stood up at this, anger causing his body to shake. "Shizun! I would never resort to such acts of deceit to surpass you! The principles of Bai Zhan Peak are my own, and I could never imagine defeating you with anything but my strength alone." His expression became grim with his next statement. "No matter how many times you've beaten me into the earth, I have always come back to stand by your side. This one has failed as a disciple for you to doubt me so."
"But what other reason could explain your absurd behavior?!" Liu Qingge yelled in response, knocking over a stack of papers as he felt himself rise from the table. He paid no mind to the growing mess, not when he still couldn't understand what could make his disciple get… feelings… for him.
"To answer your previous question, I have not lusted over you as a man," Yang Yixuan says. "I only see a person of unparalleled beauty and strength who fights for justice in this world. The absurdity lies in how i am willing to pursue you when I am not worthy."
This time Liu Qingge was speechless. He stood frozen above his desk, scowling at his disciple. Should he be angry? This disciple of his dared to call him beautiful. There is nothing beautiful about a god of war except for the fountains of blood that rain from his sword! But somehow he couldn't stop the wave of heat rising up the back of his neck.
Liu Qingge is not flustered. He would gladly accept death before succumbing to such tender words, but another glance at the way Yang Yixuan stands firm and unmoving convinces him that maybe his disciple is serious in his pursuit.
Yang Yixuan watches as Liu Qingge once again stands and walks toward him, sword still by his side. Yixuan has grown a lot since he was first accepted as a disciple. The scrawny weapon shopkeeper's son now stood at eye level with his master.Yixuan wouldn't be able to avoid his Shizun's gaze even if he wanted to. However, where Liu Qingge had a strong body composed of lean muscles and a narrow waist, Yang Yixuan was broad shoulders and thick arms. His large physical presence kept him from cowering in front of the intensity of the scowl the man before him was sending him. Liu Qingge finally stopped, close enough for Yixuan to feel his heat against his chest.
"I have heard your request, and I will respect it."
Yang Yixuan felt his heart start beating uncontrollably in his chest. He approached Liu Qingge with all the sincerity he could muster, but he couldn't even begin to predict what kind of response he would get. He doesn't remember when his feelings of admiration turned to love, but he could no longer stop himself from acting on these feelings when all he could think about was his Shizun flying majestically on Cheng Luan, his Shizun covered in blood as he drags a demonic beast in both hands into the training grounds, his Shizun staying up late to spar with him despite having battled earlier in the day. And also that sexy birthmark right under his left eye. He wandered the entire Cang Qiong mountain range until he found the fabled Black Moon Rhinocerous Python next to a small chasm to the demon realm. He engaged it in battle for two whole days before he emerged victorious, all for the sake of his beloved Shizun.
"However," Liu Qingge continued, "I will say it bluntly. I have no other feelings than that of master and disciple towards you. In other words I feel nothing when I look at you. I can't even begin to comprehend these feelings of affection you might hold for me, and you shouldn't expect anything more from me."
"Shizun…" Yang Yixuan could feel his heart dropping towards his boots. Being rejected so outright--!
But he is suddenly pulled forward by the collar of his robes, face mere centimeters away from Liu Qingge's face. "Lucky for you, the Bai Zhan Peak Lord does not back away from a challenge."
Liu Qingge releases him and begins to pace the length of the room. "Yang Yixuan, you have made your intentions clear and even prepared an offering. This action has not gone unnoticed. You are well aware a trophy as dangerous as this would impress me." He stops and glares at Yang Yixuan. "But you are also aware of how Bai Zhan Peak deals with all manners, correct?"
Yang Yixuan nods earnestly.
"Direct confrontation," Liu Qingge says. "You may come at me with any means to convince me of your feelings during this… courtship of yours, but I will also not hold back on destroying those attempts. The stronger will will win in the end."
"And also." Cheng Laun glints dangerously. "If this is actually a challenge for position of Peak Lord, my sword will always be ready." Liu Qingge abruptly turns away and stomps out the door.
Yang Yixuan stares at his Shizun's retreating back. Is it possible he actually has a chance? The energy in his legs finally gives out and he slumps to the floor. He feels a wry smile form on his face.
And so begins the battle for the Fearless Bai Zhan Peak Lord's heart.