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"Don't be mad," Shang Qinghua says nervously, even as he's trying to subtly tug his hand free from the cuff it's caught in.

"Why would I be mad," Liu Qingge states. He has that way of talking, you know, like his questions aren't really questions and you shouldn't try to answer them?

"Maybe because, this definitely isn't going to come off," Shang Qinghua suggests, answering anyway because he can't not provide information.

Shang Qinghua tugs on the handcuffs again to see if maybe he's a liar and they will come off. He's trying to be extremely sneakily this time to keep from bothering Liu Qingge, but he's not nearly sneaky enough — Liu Qingge's eyes dart down and look at Shang Qingjua's hands and the way they're kind of jerking Liu Qingge's hand around in little motions that are probably super annoying because the chain connecting the cuffs is way too short, alright! It's not Shang Qinghua's fault!

"Sorry," Shang Qinghua adds, not entirely sure what exactly he's apologizing for. The tugging? Standing so close to Liu Qingge? Bringing them to this temple in the first place? Talking at all ever? Saying sorry can helpfully cover a lot of ground all at once.

"Will it nullify the poison or is it a trap," asks Liu Qingge.

Shang Qinghua nods. "Yes," he says. Then he reconsiders and adds, "Both!" hastily because, oops, this isn't Cucumber-bro, so Shang Qinghua needs to try and communicate like a real human being.


Liu Qingge turns his back to the alter and strides back the way they came in, leaving Shang Qinghua no choice but to hurry forward to try and keep pace while also awkwardly not being able walk next to Liu QIngge in the narrow hallways. Liu Qingge has to tuck his arm behind his back and Shang Qinghua has to hold his arm out ahead of him just to give them both enough space to walk. They're so close together that when Liu Qingge stops right before exiting the temple, Shang Qinghua walks right into his back, which is more or less like walking into a wall.

"Draw your sword," Liu Qingge says. "We'll both have to fight."

Shang Qinghua has been trying desperately to not think about that during their walk through the temple. "If I draw my sword it will just get in the way," he says honestly. "Besides, isn't this—" He raises his handcuffed hand in the air, displaying Liu Qingge's equally-trapped hand. "—your sword hand? Let's just wait for someone to come looking for us. Since we definitely won't die of poison before they get here."

Liu Qingge looks, briefly, like he's been insulted. Like Shang Qinghua has called his mother a dog or something. Cheng Luan slides from its scabbard without Liu Qingge touching it and hovers in the air, ready to strike because of course Bai Zhan's War God could keep fighting handcuffed to two dead weight Peak Lords if he had to.

Shang Qinghua sighs. It's going to be a long, long day.