An abyss stared at him as he ran past the corridors and ended at a dead-end. The floor started to become a black expanse advancing towards him. The longer he stared, the more he felt his heart hurt. He started to open all the doors he could see before entering the one which was the brightest.
Catching his breath, he started to look around the room he had entered. The room was very white, completely bare of any items in the room. It had a clean aesthetic look which appealed to him and he wondered, 'Would this have been the room I'd have entered if I was never reborn?'
The room started to distort into a dark jail cell and he was trapped in chains struggling to break free. He could see the old man that had captured him. The man kept walking closer as he watched helplessly. The man was in arm's distance away from and his mouth started to open before speaking, "You won't escape your fate, it's already written into the stars."
Ye Xiu suddenly woke up from the dream because he had fallen from his bed, jarring him awake. 'That dream, was it really like father said? That I was so traumatised by the kidnapping that I'd even dream about it now? I should go look for somebody to talk to and the best person that I know of is a person of similar age to me who had also gone through the same ordeal, Xiao Tu.'
Ye Xiu quickly got ready for the morning training and to inform his father that he needed to go to Xiao Tu's residence. The training went smoothly besides the fact the nightmare weighed heavily on his mind. As they started sparring he spoke to his father, "Father, could you accompany me to Xiao Tu's house later? I wish to go see him today."
"Today? That isn't a problem, how long will you be there?"
"I don't know how long I'll take so you can just leave me there and I'll be in the care of Xiao San and Mei Ling."
"Alright, we'll go during mid-day. I'll have to sort out some businesses before I travel out."
"Thank you, dad." Ye Qiu heard the informal way of address and smiled happily. His son had finally stopped being so formal with him. Ever since he was able to talk, he'd never addressed him as dad or Yu Er as mum and it had hurt them because they didn't know what they had done to make him call them so unfamiliarly.
- City Lord's Residence -
"I'll see you later then, dad!" Ye Xiu called out before going out on his search for Xiao Tu at the training grounds.
He spotted Xiao Tu training as usual and called out to him, "Xiao Tu! I'm here to visit you today!"
Xiao Tu stopped his movements and looked over to who called out to him before beaming out a smile. "Hey! I didn't think you'd come over to visit me so quickly after the vacation. Is something wrong or did you just decide to surprise me?"
Ye Xiu looked down at his feet ashamed at what he was about to ask because he felt that he was an 'adult' at heart. What he didn't know was the fact that with his childish body, his emotions were similar to a child's. He had the emotional stability of an adult and knew how to react maturely but when the emotions came bursting out, then he was similar to a child his age.
"Well, uh..." Ye Xiu started stuttering.
"What is it? Don't be shy, you can tell me what's on your mind."
"Well, I wanted to talk to you about our experience from the kidnapping. I got you into that situation and I'd like to say sorry! I didn't mean to drag you into such a traumatic experience. I feel guilty and scared because of it!"
Xiao Tu listened to Ye Xiu intently before answering, "You don't need to feel guilty about anything because I forgive you. Also, you shouldn't be sorry for dragging me into that situation because I was the one that should've stopped you in the first place. It's my duty to protect those that I cherish especially the ones who are younger than me!"
"No buts. I'll protect you in the future and you should learn to rely on others as well. Now just stay like this for the next few minutes and we'll be fine." Xiao Tu hugged Ye Xiu closer towards his chest, starting to pat and rub his head slowly.
"Cry all you want, I'll always be here for you."
Ye Xiu's sobs and sniffles could be heard for the 10 minutes before he fell asleep from fatigue. "He must've been tired from overthinking this... well he should just rest for now." Xiao Tu laid Ye Xiu's head on to his lap before he fell asleep as well.
Ye Qiu and Xiao San was watching from the windows of the residence. "Guess your son got over his trauma quickly."
"I had to speak with him before he'd be even willing to talk to anybody else but I'm glad he's over it. I was afraid that it would become an inner demon in the future. I'll leave him here for the next few days. It looks like he'll take comfort with having a friend with him right now." Ye Qiu left the property without a worry.
- Night Time, the same day -
"Hey, wake up Ye Xiu. It's time for dinner, we need to wash up before we eat though." The pair were still outside at the training grounds. Xiao Tu started to nudge him softly but Ye Xiu didn't wake up.
"Don't make me tickle you, my legs are numb now!" Xiao Tu threatened the sleeping Ye Xiu who smiled in his sleep before opening his eyes.
"I dare you to make me get off your lap!" Ye Xiu smirked deviously at his friend before running away from his friend.
Xiao Tu quickly got up and started chasing after him, Xiao Tu quickly tired because his legs were still numb. He was tackled to the ground by Ye Xiu and groaned. "Get off me! You're so heavy!"
"Would you like to repeat that again?" Ye Xiu asked with a deadly smile on his face.
"Ow, ow ow. Jeez, I'm sorry, now stop wasting time and let us go wash up. If we're late for dinner, my mum's going to chase and punish us. You don't want to know what her punishment is..." Xiao Tu shivered at the memory of his mother's punishment.
"Fine, let's go then." The pair entered the house to wash up before dinner.
- Dining Table at City Lord's Residence -
"Your father said that he'll be leaving you here for a few days, so you can wear some of Xiao Tu's old clothes for the moment." Xiao San looked at the overly-sized shirt on Ye Xiu which was adorable.
"If you're going to be staying here, you'll have to obey a few rules. One, you must arrive at meals on time or suffer Mei Ling's wrath. Two, any worries or concerns that you have shouldn't be kept to yourself and can be shared with everyone here. This is so that we can resolve any worries that you have because keeping them in is bad for your mental health."
"Third, you should feel as part of this family like you do with your own family. We consider you as one of ours so you should feel the same. Now let's begin eating. Don't talk while eating otherwise Mei Ling will whack us." Xiao San smiled mischievously until Mei Ling whacked him on the head for real.
"You shouldn't joke about people behind their backs. Eat up and don't be shy. Don't want you to be exhausted because you didn't have enough energy from not eating enough." Mei Ling sat down on her chair, beginning to eat.
- After Dinner -
"Ye Xiu, you'll be sleeping with me in my room! My bed has plenty of space for the both of us. We're going to have so much fun together!"
"S-S-SStop saying such weird things! The most we're going to do is sleep on the same bed. Another thing, why do you know such things at such a young age!" Ye Xiu stammered in shock.
"Weird things? Aren't we just going to talk and play together? I heard it from my mother when she was talking to herself about having fun with father. She said that they would have a good talk." Xiao Tu asked innocently with his head tilted to the side.
"It's not-whatever. Let's just leave the conversation there because it doesn't look like your innocence has been tainted yet. Instead of talking or playing, we should just go to sleep early. Don't you have to train tomorrow with your father? I heard you guys were going to start something new today when I was washing the dishes with your mother." Ye Xiu asked interested in Xiao Tu's training.
"Oh! Father said that we would be starting on weapons! I'll be choosing the weapon I'll be using as my main method of attack for the rest of my life. It's super important and I'm really excited! I don't think I'll be able to sleep now after talking about it!" Xiao Tu's mood was extremely excited as he thought about the training session for tomorrow but quickly started to be more exhausted.
Ye Xiu waited for Xiao Tu to fall asleep before slipping into the Dimension. He decided to plan a training method for the weapons he wanted to use because he was going to ask Xiao San whether he could join them for training. Xiao San said that he should treat this family as his so he wanted to begin his weapons training as early as possible.
'Now, what weapon should I learn first? The sword or the whip? I feel like the sword is much more useful for different situations compared to the whip right now.'
'First the whip, I'll have to choose the most comfortable length for my whip, I'll probably decide the whip when I'm fully grown because I wouldn't have my full reach then. That means that training for my whip would have to be put on hold.'
'Now the sword, I believe that I'll choose one of those traditional katanas that the Japanese had used. I'd want to practice my drawing speed for the katana because I want to surprise my enemies quickly together with the movement techniques that I'll be learning in the future.'
'I believe that the technique that the speed draw is called the Iaido. I'll practice the Iaido as many times a day possible for me because it's the best way to help my muscle memory develop. As someone once said, 'I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times.'
'Besides the Iaido, it'd be best for me to get used to the basics of wielding a katana. I'd need to learn the simple techniques such as stabbing, slicing, thrusting and etc. If I don't even know the basics then what use would my sword style be in the future?'
Ye Xiu looked through the library to find any manuals on the foundation of sword and whip wielding. He was able to find multiple manuals for each weapon so he decided to have the information transmitted into his head so that he'd be able to learn from them at any time possible.
The best thing about these manuals was that it ingrained the methods for performing techniques into him. That meant that every time he felt like he had moved in an incorrect manner then it would feel instinctually wrong to him.
After having absorbed all the information, he decided to exit the dimension and look for Xiao San to inform him that he wanted to join them for training tomorrow.
"You want to join us for training tomorrow? Sure! I said that you can treat us like a family so you don't have to be worried about me not letting you join unless it is dangerous. I find it adorable that you want to train with weapons so early but it's your decision after all."
"Thank you Xiao San." Ye Xiu bowed to him and thanked him profusely.
"There's no need to bow, we're family after all." Xiao San waved off his formal way of thanking him before walking back to his office. "Go to sleep, the training will be quite long after all."
"I'll see you tomorrow then." Ye Xiu walked back to Xiao Tu's bedroom before lying down on the bed where Xiao Tu immediately grabbed ahold of his tiny waist. Ye Xiu tried to escape the grip but was unable to. He eventually gave up and fell asleep as well.
Ye Xiu had a dreamless sleep this time and was able to sleep peacefully.