As Xuefeng and the girls entered the dining room, he thought it would be awkward but to their surprise, everyone was happily chatting while eating. They wouldn't notice their presence if not for Little Mei who stood up from her seat and called out immediately.
\"Xuefeng! You are back!\"
Everyone stopped talking and looked in their direction but no one commented on their long absence. He looked at Yiren who probably suffered but she seemed fine, feeding her fluffy bunny on her lap.
\"Xuefeng, girls, come eat before food gets cold,\" his mother invited them to the table, showing a gentle smile and returned to the conversation. \"So do you really think we can allocate some lingerie to your Holy Land? We opened another production line so we should be able to supply another shop.\"
Only then did Xuefeng realize there was another person in the room, sitting on his seat.
\"Yes, Ma'am. I can order our architects to finish the shop by tomorrow. I'm sure our females will love it. They are not really interested in battles or fighting so our auction doesn't interest them. Once we add lingerie for women, they will go crazy for it,\" Tangwei described excitedly.
\"Good. We can settle it,\" Mu Lan decided with a smile, being the one in charge of the shops.
Meanwhile, Xuefeng pulled the chair for Wuying and approached their own seats. There was only one free left so he naturally gave it to Tianshi. Tangwei noticed that and seemed to realize she took his seat as she quickly stood up.
\"I'm sorry. I took your seat. Please si-\" Tangwei acted friendly yet polite but Xuefeng cut her off, putting her back on the chair.
\"You should sit and eat. I'm fine,\" Xuefeng assured her as he reached out for a snack on the table and popped it into his mouth. \"This gentleman will stand.\"
Tangwei didn't argue with him and simple accepted it with a smile. \"Thank you.\"
\"Don't be. You are after all the one working hard. I'm mostly playing around,\" Xuefeng said with a shrug, knowing he was the least active member on their clan.
Thanks to Ling and Ming, everything came really easily so he didn't even need to train too hard. All he did was face slap Royal Family and play with his wives so he didn't pretend he was the boss.
\"What are we talking about?\" he added to move on from the topic.
\"Right after you three left, Tangwei came and we talked about the daily report. Things has been moving so fast that we need to discuss daily,\" Liu Xiaobei explained. \"Do you want us to repeat for you?\"
\"No need. I trust you. Just continue and I will just listen from the side,\" Xuefeng shook his head, knowing he wouldn't know much anyway.
Just as he thought, the stuff they talked about bored him in a few minutes, making him glad he rejected his father proposal. Xuefeng knew he wouldn't be a good Clan Leader. Being free and adventuring with his wives was definitely much better for him.
As they talked about the business exchanges with the holy land, Nuwa joined them as well, negotiating as the representative of her race. Out of boredom, he started eating until he spotted someone gazing at him.
He turned to the side and noticed Little Mei who turned her head away, pretending she didn't look. A second later, she peeked at him again but this time their gazes met. She didn't look away this time but she blushed, acting as if she was debating on something in her mind.
Before he could question her, she suddenly stood up and grabbed him by the hand, pulling him away from the table.
\"Xuefeng, come with me for a second. I want to tell you something,\" Little Mei commanded without turning back and they left the dining hall.
She halted behind the doors and gazed up into his eyes. She still lacked a lot of centimeters of height to face him properly but she was growing with each day.
\"What is it?\" Xuefeng broke the silence, making Little Mei visually nervous.
Despite the shyness, she took a deep breath and asked, \"Do you remember the promise you gave me...? You said you will take me to the Heaven Realm if I reach Monarch Stage before your departure. Is that still valid?\"
\"Oh, it is, of course,\" Xuefeng nodded eagerly, already guessing what Little Mei wanted. \"I will keep my promise but you should know by now that the time of our departure is closing.\"
He knew she had little chance to make it so he didn't want to give her false hope. It was good to have a goal that could motivate her but he didn't want to use her feelings anymore.
\"Mhmm, I know,\" Little Mei nodded unbothered. \"I just wanted to know if you keep your promise. I'm improving really fast so I needed to confirm.\"
\"That's great. As long as you work hard, there is nothing impossible. You have Wu Kong who can accompany you in training. Make sure he doesn't slack too,\" Xuefeng cheered for her as he patted her head. \"Just make sure you rest too.\"
\"I will,\" Little Mei agreed immediately, closing her eyes in joy.
\"Shall we return-\"
Xuefeng thought their conversation was over and wished to go back inside yet she cut him off, stopping him by grabbing onto his arm. \"Wait. There is one more thing.\"
\"I want to make sure that you will come back home before you leave to Heaven Realm,\" Little Mei stated.
\"You mean after our mission in a few days? Of course I will be back,\" Xuefeng replied without much thought, considering it obvious. \"I won't leave to Heaven Realm without saying goodbye to my parents and everyone in the clan, including you.\"
\"Pinky promise?\" Little Mei extended her finger, similarly as the first time they met during the Spirit Awakening Ceremony.
He smiled from that memory and grabbed her pinky with his own.
\"I will pinky promise only if you stay a good girl and work hard for yourself. Don't cultivate for me.\" Xuefeng gave her conditions to which she immediately shook his hand, not even hesitating.
They returned to the dining hall after their little trade and he obviously received some strange looks from his wives, seeing how happy Little Mei was. When the diner was over, they naturally asked him about it so he recounted what they talked about. For him it was nothing but his wives seemed to be suspicious.
\"She definitely has a crush on you... Poor girl. She will get hurt once we leave,\" Tianshi commented sadily. \"I feel bad for her.\"
\"Me too, but there is nothing we can do. I already tried to prepare her for that.\" Xuefeng shrugged, knowing she might stop training if he rejects Little Mei completely so he chose the lesser evil. \"We will be leaving once we are all ready to advance.\"
\"Yes,\" his wives fully agreed and walked towards the bed as they reached their room.
When he saw their tricks, he couldn't help but grin. \"Talking about this, it's time to train. Don't ever think about going to sleep now.\"
\"Noooo...\" Everyone disagreed unwilling but he quickly shut them down with one argument.
\"Little Mei works so hard yet you think about slacking. At this point, she might even overtake some of you. She is like what, almost thirteen yet she already reached Overlord Stage. She might even join us to Heaven Realm.\"
His wives exchanged glances and they quickly sat down cross-legged, pulling out the rewards from the trials.
\"We will train,\" they announced united.