Shen Yuan takes a seat beside Luo Binghe, watching him chop dried pork belly into thin slices, rice cooking in the clay pot beside him.
By the river, Li Wei helps Liu Qingge wipe the blood off his body, a whole set of medical supplies sitting near them. Shen Yuan could see Li Wei's agitation from his raised tails and pinned back ears. Liu Qingge's definitely getting a lecture right now.
"Binghe, do you know if Master Liu always gets injured like this back at Cang Qiong? It feels like Li-er-ge's fixing him up every other day."
"I heard from the Qian Cao disciples that he's one of the hardest people to treat. Mu-shishu often had to tie him down just so he'd rest properly." Luo Binghe continues to chop the preserved meats.
"That can't be right. He willingly goes to Li-er-ge to get treated and scolded every time. You think he just got nagged into giving in?"
"Yuan-ge, could you raise the flames?"
Shen Yuan adds a little of his power to the campfire, the blue flames growing stronger.
"I'm not certain...but I think Liu-shishu acts recklessly on purpose so he has a reason for Senior Li to treat him." Luo Binghe arranges the sliced meats on his cutting board, preparing them for the pot. Beside him was a bowl of flowering cabbage and a bottle of soy sauce.
"I don't think he does. He gets way too angry if Li-er-ge coddles him too much."
"Yuan-ge, let's pretend you're Liu-shishu."
Shen Yuan lifts an eyebrow, but plays along, wanting to see where Luo Binghe was going with this example.
"Not many would dare to treat you gently because you're supposed to be one of the strongest men in the Human Realm. With that status, wouldn't you get angry at looking weak in front of Senior Li but continue to do it because it's the only care you've received in quite some time?" Luo Binghe pulls the cauldron off the fire, arranging the sliced meats on top of the cooked rice and placing it back on the fire.
Shen Yuan holds his head in his hands. The War God of Bai Zhan's just a massive tsundere? For Li Wei? What kind of development is this? It's just as bad as the scenarios in PIDW! No, it's even worse because Li Wei's his big brother! That's almost as unsettling as watching your divorced parent bring home a new significant other!
"Binghe, you have quite the imagination."
"Yuan-ge, your imagination is more advanced than mine."
"What's that supposed to mean, hm?" Shen Yuan reaches out and pinches Luo Binghe's cheek, his tone more exasperated than angry.
Luo Binghe laughs, gently plucking Shen Yuan's hand off and bringing his knuckles to his lips. "Nothing at all."
Shen Yuan snatches his hand back, turning a faint shade of pink. "Stop messing around, you'll burn our food."
Luo Binghe grins teasingly. "You're the one controlling the fire. If it burns, isn't it your fault, Yuan-ge?"
"So cheeky, do you want to sleep alone tonight?"
Luo Binghe immediately latches on to Shen Yuan with the stickiness of a burr, looking up at him with pleading eyes. "Yuan-ge, I'll behave. Please don't kick me out."