Sheng Lingyuan never realized just how big the world was. The Nine Provinces under his rule seemed to be already wide enough back then. But having been dragged by his excited Xuan Ji all around, airplane after airplane, ship after ship, car after car, it seemed that one human lifetime was not enough to see all that there was that the world had to offer.
“Lingyuan,” Xuan Ji’s voice broke through his reverie, his eyes dragging his thoughts back to his side, “Don’t you like this place? You’re pretty quiet.”
They stood before a majestic tower in a city that Xuan Ji told him was called “The City of Love”. Sheng Lingyuan internally scoffed at the name, but Xuan Ji seemed pretty spirited when he told him this.
“Hm? I’m just taking in the scenery, that’s all.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get us tickets to go up there,” Xuan Ji pointed to a balcony up on the tower where many people gathered, “The view is much better up there. But it’s just too expensive.”
He pulled on Xuan Ji’s hand and hooked the other man’s arm around his own waist, the distance between them being reduced to almost nothing, “You could just fly us up.”
Xuan Ji made a face at him. “Humans don’t just fly up the Eiffel Tower, Your Majesty.”
“Ah, such an inconvenience to be just a human.”
“Next time, I’ll save up enough to bring you up there. They have the best food, too. There’s a famous restaurant on the second floor, I heard a really good chef makes the best food. We’ll have that next time.”
Sheng Lingyuan stared fondly at Xuan Ji’s animated face as he went on about his plans for their return and their next itineraries. He had been used to just hearing his excited babble inside his mind when they were younger. But now that he could see how exactly his eyes brighten and his whole face glow when he talked like this, Sheng Lingyuan could never get used to it. It's always a sight to behold.
“We’ll go to Versailles next, I’ll show you what their palace looks like. Personally, I think your Du Ling Palace was still much grander.”
“London has lots of cuisines, I’ve read in one of the travel blogs online. They have tons of tea, too! Maybe you’ll find something new you’d like, we could buy some and bring them back home.”
“Tuscany have great wines. Your Majesty, I think you could get cooking lessons there. Then you can cook for yourself if I’m not at home.”
“There’s another tower in Tokyo, they call it Sky Tree Tower. It’s much taller than the Eiffel Tower. Hm, maybe I should just save up for that one. But isn’t it a different experience to have an overlooking view of the City of Love? Ah, this one’s quite hard to decide on.”
Xuan Ji was offering him the whole world. Sheng Lingyuan found this adorably endearing, his heart warming at his words.
“I don’t think your monthly salary can cover all your grand plans, little chicken.”
“Trust me,” he winked at him, “I’ve got this. I’ll definitely show you the whole world as I promised.”
This little chicken who only used to know how to be a bothersome but necessary existence in his mind now strives hard to provide everything for him, to show him everything that he had seen, to make him experience the world as he came to know it.
Yet, Sheng Lingyuan never really needed all those grandiosity.
Just by the reassuring hand that tightly held his, the sometimes annoying chatter that escapes from Xuan Ji’s mouth, the warmth that have kept him company since he stepped again into this modern world, Sheng Lingyuan thought there’s no need to search far and wide for a beautiful scenery.
He lowered his head, pulling closer, capturing Xuan Ji’s smiling lips on his. The flux of tourists went past around them, the noise turning into a big blur. Right at this moment, there was only him and his Xuan Ji.
“The whole world,” Sheng Lingyuan whispered against his lips as they finally broke apart, staring at Xuan Ji’s flaming red eyes, “You have already shown me.”
The world would continue to revolve around the sun, another three thousand years could pass by, but if he’s with this one person, there’s no need to see tall towers nor ancient palaces. Sheng Lingyuan thought there’s no need to go too far.
His whole world was already right here in his arms.