The trickling of a spring could be heard in the distance.
"We must be getting close to Lotus Lake," Jun remarked. The forest on this side of Heaven's Gate was carpeted in bright green moss with lush trees. Much more ethereal than the woods up to the Celestial City gate.
"So, what's our plan?" Jun asked. "Before, we were going to sneak in. But since we're now posing as divine messengers, we might have a better shot with a legit-sounding excuse."
"Hm…" Sagi glanced behind him to Jun. "What if I say we're going to check to see if there's an available room for the new Chosen One?"
"That might be a weird question, though. They might already be set up. Or, since it's a baby, there might be a nursery."
"You're right… We could make it more vague? Say we came to check if everything's prepared."
"Oh! That might work. They might even show us around and we can gather more information that can help us understand Ai."
"And ask if anyone knows about him and his first love!"
The nodded to each other with conviction. Luck (and Sagi's brain) was on their side. Hopefully, it'd continue to be.
Soon, they saw it---a gorgeous lake of clear waters. There was a fresh fragrance in the air and lily pads floated on the surface. "We're close!" Sagi announced, excitedly.
Jun grunted. "My legs can feel it, though. That we're on a mountain."
"Let's get a drink of water from the lake." Sagi grabbed a curved leaf from the foliage and went to the lake's edge. Before Jun could follow his lead, Sagi offered the leaf to him.
Jun approached the lakeside and gently took the leaf of water from Sagi's hand. "Thanks." Sagi nodded. Bringing his lips to the leaf, he immediately noticed the slightly floral scent of the water. He took a sip. "It's delicious!"
"Is it?" Sagi placed his hands under Jun's and Jun passed it over without much thought. Sagi took a sip right from the part of the leaf where he had. "You're right. Here, drink more."
Jun hesitated. Yeah, this was no time to be embarrassed about an indirect kiss but he couldn't help but realize that's what it was. He took the leaf from Sagi. "Thanks." After drinking the rest of the water, he handed it back. "Take a good drink too."
Sagi did, then set the leaf to float on the water. "Let's get going." They both stood up. "You said you were tired, right? Take my arm." Sagi lifted it, elbow bent.
He could get through an indirect kiss but this was too much. Did Sagi have zero self-awareness? Flustered, Jun stumbled back. "No, I'm---" He felt his foot slip on a rock. It was clear what was coming next.
With a loud splash, Jun fell into the lake.
"Jun!" Sagi rushed into the water. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," Jun groaned, propping himself up on his elbows. At least he'd fallen into the fairly shallow part. "Just wet." He took the hand Sagi was extending and Sagi lifted him to his feet. But Sagi's strength brought Jun into his chest.
Freaking out again, Jun shoved Sagi away. Aaand fell back into the water. Sagi, whose chest had been muscular under his hands, hadn't been shoved far. But, the moss was slippery. Sagi didn't fall into the water, but his head fell into a rock.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Jun asked, panicked.
"I'm sure," Sagi said, smiling despite the blood running into his eyes.
"I'm so sorry!"
"It's fine. I probably startled you." His cheeks turned as red as the blood.
Jun turned away and slapped his face. This was no time for either of them to be getting embarrassed. "Do you think the people of Heaven can die from natural causes like injuries?"
Sagi shifted his eyes. "Haha, what a morbid question."
"But it's a good one. The old fruit seller didn't say anything about it. Do you think my bloody head will be weird to the Celestial servants?"
Ugh, so much stress. Screw luck and now Sagi's brain was possibly damaged.
"It's the peach grove."
"Great, I'm starving." Jun reached up and plucked a ripe peach off the tree. He bit into it. So sweet. "Do you want one?" Jun asked, turning to Sagi. But Sagi was frozen.
"Y-y-you ate one."
It was then that Jun remembered the guard's warning. "It should be okay, right? Ai is being held by whoever in the Sun Palace, right? We don't even know what his punishment is yet and the rabbit god said he'll probably be put back to work but I doubt he's back in his villa so soon."
"Y-yeah… I guess you're---" Suddenly, Sagi's face turned pale.
Why did Sagi get so pale?
A. Someone is behind Jun
B. Jun’s pants fell down
C. Eating the peach had side effects
D. His vampirism is showing!
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