Xie Lian sees the murals
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Mu Qing and Feng Xin put up a fight, trying their best to protect him from the thing he wants desperately—Hua Cheng’s arms around him—until finally Hua Cheng has them wrapped in butterfly silk again and is scooping up the incapacitated Xie Lian and carrying him through the caves until they end up in something resembling a bedchamber.
Hua Cheng lays Xie Lian down onto a pile of somehow-fresh hay, already covered with the ghost’s own outer robe, and Xie Lian begs again with his eyes for Hua Cheng to look.
Hua Cheng won’t look. He keeps his gaze averted as he whispers, “Your Highness. Don’t… don’t be afraid. I'm not going to hurt you.”
Xie Lian wants to cry, but he physically can’t. He wouldn’t care if Hua Cheng did hurt him. He needs Hua Cheng beside him so much he’s ashamed of it. He understands those dark, twisted paintings in the mural. Hua Cheng thinks he’s the unworthy one. But he has it backwards.
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In which HuaLian continue on their quest to prove the other person is worthy of their love, even if they themselves don't feel worthy.
- Part 2 of Beloved AU