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When We Became Three

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"Someone save my baby. 

Please save my child. 

I won't make it home.

I can't see my baby for one last time.

Somebody save my baby. 

He is all alone in Yiling.

We love you A-ying."


Xie Lian woke up with a jolt, the begging of the woman still ringing in his ears. Heart beating fast, he turned to look at his husband who was still sleeping peacefully by his side. 


Xie Lian touched his cheeks and realised that he was crying. He had not cried in a while. He slowly sat up on bed without waking Hua Cheng, while his ears wrung with the woman's pained words. He buried his face in his hands and sat there leaning on the headboard in a daze. 


"A-Ying! A-Ying! Please be safe A-Ying!"


It was the middle of the night in the Ghost City and the moonlight seeped into their bedroom through the open window. Sighing, Xie Lian opened his eyes and watched the full moon shining brightly in a cloudless night sky. 


Xie Lian did not want to waste another moment. He walked away from bed to answer this dying last prayer. He was thinking deeply of the baby in the woman's words. How the baby must be terrified of being left alone. He frowned as he thought of the child left alone without parents. Left alone to fend for himself. This mother, who at the moment of her death had prayed to him. To him, to protect her child. To keep him safe. 


A Baby. A small child left all alone. The child must be hungry. Was the he safe at home? Does he have a home? Will he be asleep thinking his parents will be home when he wake up? Crying himself to sleep every night. Waiting for someone who will never return.


"Mama loves you A-Ying."


Xie Lian had many questions swirling on his mind. He put on his outer robe thinking of how Hong-Er was left all alone on the streets and how he had struggled to survive without anyone caring for him. He thought how he himself found it difficult to be alone at times.


How the feeling of being left alone still haunted him. He knew that if he cannot save the child soon and get him to his relatives, the child will have to live a terrible childhood. Live a childhood filled with hardships. Too young to face the cruel world all alone. 


It was the sad truth. The fate of this unfamiliar mother and son was a reminder. That fate was cruel. Xie Lian wanted to give this child something better than the cold streets. He wanted to see him now. He could not wait to meet him as he hastily tied his hair. 


Hua Cheng woke up from his sleep sensing the missing warmth by his side. He opened his eyes to see Xie Lian getting ready to go somewhere. But it was the middle of the night. He felt anxious looking at the worried expression on Xie Lian's face. 


Hua Cheng sat up on the bed, "Gege"


Xie Lian broke away from his string of thoughts when he heard Hua Cheng's voice. He smiled at him.


Xie Lian, "San Lang, I have a last wish to fulfill."


Hua Cheng saw Xie Lian's smile falling and being replaced by a frown as soon as he said that. He did not wish to see his smile drop. He watched as Xie Lian put on his shoes and got ready to leave. 


If his Gege wished to answer a prayer now, that is what they were going to do. 


Hua Cheng quickly put on his outer robes and picked up E-Ming. He could see the concern in his Xie Lian's eyes as he started drawing the distance shortening array. He wanted to ask whether this can wait till the morning. But he will never question his Gege. He believed in Xie Lian and would be with him in whatever choice he made. 


Hua Cheng did not know what made his Gege so sad. But he understood that this was important for his Gege. So there was only one thing to ask. So he looked Xie Lian with a soft expression. 


"Dianxia, what do you need?"


Xie Lian looked up, with a determined look, "Go to Yiling." 


Yiling in the mortal realm, Hua Cheng knew that place. Nothing remarkable, an ordinary village within the boundaries of the Cultivation world. If his Gege wished to go there now, he will go with him.


Xie Lien finished his drawing and turned back to see that his husband was already dressed and has strapped E-ming to his hips. Instantly Xie Lian's panic was gone. He chuckled at his husband's enthusiasm. 


"Then I'll accompany Gege." Hua Cheng said smiling so sweetly in the moonlight. He walked to the door and stood side by side with Xie Lian.


Xie Lian nodded once and could not help but smiled wider at his husband. Not in a million years was he going to get used to this feeling. Of having someone there for him anytime. Be it night or day. To walk together was a thousand times better than walking alone. 


Still smiling he said, "By the heaven official's blessing no paths are bound."


The distance shortening array lit up illuminating both their faces in golden light. Hua Cheng opened the door while holding Xie Lian's hand and interlocking their fingers. He gently squeezed his hand reassuringly, Xie Lian melted into that touch. Definitely, going together was better. 


Together, hand in hand they stepped into an empty street. 


A chilly wind greeted them as soon as they stepped onto Yiling. Ruoye shivered and snuggled closer. Tightening it's hold around Xie Lian's arms. Hua Cheng hugged Xie Lian closer as the cold wind brushed past them.


The beautiful dark blue sky of Yiling was adorned with countless stars reminding them of another journey. A journey they took manu years ago. Xie Lian looked at Hua Cheng's face and he could see that, both of them were thinking the same thing. 


A faint orange light was starting to spread from the horizon. Xie Lian took a deep breath, the air was cold. Then he started walking forward and Hua Cheng walked along side him. Shoulders brushing together. There was nothing more that he needed now than his husband's presence by his side. Comfort. 


Hua Cheng glanced at Xie Lian to see a seriousness and concern on his face. He looked like he was really concentrating on something so Hua Cheng left him alone to his thoughts. It was not so odd for his Gege to be concerned for other people. His Gege was kind. So kind that he would throw away his own wellbeing for others. He would venture into the Cultivation world forgetting sleep. To answer a prayer. 


For some time they walked in a straight path without a destination in mind. Hua Cheng did not mind. As long his Gege was with him he did not mind at all.


But Xie Lian looked so worried. That cannot be. So he carefully called, "Gege?" He was watching Xie Lian's face carefully. 


"Mm" Xie Lian hummed, still walking forward and keeping his eyes straight ahead, searching.


Hua Cheng understood the gravity of the situation from that response. Something was bothering Gege. It must be urgent. He waited for another second before asking, "Why are we here?"


"Someone save me child."


Xie Lian could hear the woman's voice replaying in his head. He unconsciously quickened his steps. He did not have any time to lose. He wished he could just appear right before the child so he could take him somewhere safe.


Xie Lian turned his head to face Hua Cheng. A sad smile on his face, "To find a baby, San Lang. He- he is all alone."


Hearing this Hua Cheng only nodded his head in response. That was enough. His Gege need to find this child and he will help him. The two of them walked in silence while Hua Cheng drew small circles with his thumb on Xie Lian's hand. 


"FengMian please raise him in Lotus pier."


"San Lang. The child is alone. So we need to take him to Lotus Pier, to a person named FengMian."


Hua Cheng nodded once again with a smile, "San Lang understands." Xie Lian also nodded feeling much better. The anxiety draining away. 


Both of them continued to walk through the empty streets of Yiling. Hua Cheng sneaked glanced at Xie Lian as they walked. Talking about this prayer had seemed to relieve some of Gege's nerves.


Hua Cheng , "Gege, What's his name?"


"My Wei Ying mama loves you."


The woman had said that name in such a cheerful voice in contrast to her situation. Saying her child's name, laughing through her last moments to say how much she loved her child. So much love but she could no longer hold her son. Could not see him again but she used her last breath to say how much she loved him. 


Xie Lian smiled at his husband and said, "Wei Ying"