Qiu Ling didn’t need to think twice to realize what was going on. Once again, he had uttered Jing He’s name in his dreams. He certainly wasn’t surprised about that. More often than not, he would dream about him. Why wouldn’t he call out for him while he did so?
In any case, Jing Yi didn’t know that he actually was Jing He and, now, he had also seen him in his inner self a few months ago so hearing his name was probably making him jealous.
The question was: What to do? He would spend the rest of Jing Yi’s trial with him up until he ascended and would wake up as Jing He again. In that time, he had to make sure that Jing Yi was happy with him. On the other hand, there was no way he would ever just forget about Jing He so he would likely murmur his name in his sleep in the future as well. Thus, he needed an explanation that would serve both purposes: It had to soothe Jing Yi’s anger but also leave him an out in the future.
Pondering for a moment, Qiu Ling finally cupped Jing Yi’s cheeks and made him turn back around to him. “But that’s your name. My love, is everything alright with you?”
Jing Yi slapped his hands away. “How is that my name? I’m called Jing Yi. It’s clearly that person we saw back then in your inner self you’re calling out to.”
“Oh.” Qiu Ling let go of him and laid back down. He crossed his arms behind his head and looked up at the ceiling, seeming as if his mood was complicated. After a moment, he sighed. “So, you’ve been agonizing over this issue for the last few months?”
Jing Yi winced and averted his face. He really had but he didn’t want to admit it.
Qiu Ling reached over and grabbed his hand. “My love, I’m sorry. I’m at fault for this. I told you a lot of things back then but not everything. And I probably did a poor job at it. I should have said more regarding him.”
“I don’t even want to hear more about him.” Jing Yi bit his lip as soon as the words were out. That person was Qiu Ling’s savior. How could he talk about him like that? Even if he disliked him, he couldn’t let Qiu Ling know.
Before he could apologize, Qiu Ling had grabbed his waist and pulled him back. Jing Yi gave a yelp but his fiance caught him and hugged him to his chest again. “Alright. I’ll explain.” It seemed as if he hadn’t heard what Jing Yi said at all.
Qiu Ling absentmindedly stroked Jing Yi’s hair. “Yes, Jing He saved me from everything back then. My fear, my hate, everything seemed less severe after we met. I was really happy. Jing He … Ah.” Qiu Ling sighed. “He didn’t like me back. I spent ten years until I had finally wooed him. And then … he left.”
Qiu Ling’s voice lowered at the end and when Jing Yi glanced at his face it seemed grief-stricken. He regretted bringing it up. So that person already wasn’t there anymore. He had died. Well, he should have figured. With somebody so perfect, Qiu Ling certainly wouldn’t have left of his own accord.
Qiu Ling sighed again. He couldn’t tell Jing Yi the truth without risking to bring Jing He new trouble. Thus, he could only go with this vague account of what had happened and let Jing Yi fill out the blanks in the story with his own imagination. “That isn’t the important thing here though. That was then. This is now.
“Jing … Yi. We’ve been together for a year. And even if I use that name that doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. It’s just … to me, you are like the same person. Whether it was the Jing He back then or the Jing Yi now, I feel content being with that person. I can forget about the things that happened in my past and enjoy my life. That is only possible because you’re with me.
“That name is … I guess it is less a name by now and more of a title. In the time I was with him, it certainly referred to him. But it has been quite some time since he left me. By now, I don’t think of it that way. It is the name of the one who keeps the darkness at bay, the light of my life. It is as much you as it is him.
“You might not be able to understand this. Maybe I’m not making it clear enough either. But anyway, you don’t have any reason to be jealous or doubt my sincerity toward you. I love you. It’s just that sometimes I get caught up in my memories of my time with him because they are so important to me. And, it was ten years after all. The two of us have only known each other for one. Isn’t it normal that there is more connecting me to him than there is between us?”
“That’s true.” Jing Yi reached out and stroked Qiu Ling’s chest. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have reacted like that. It just hurts a bit that you don’t even know my name.”
“I do know I just never use it.”
Jing Yi shook his head. He could understand everything else but not that. Even if Qiu Ling explained his thoughts, he couldn’t wrap his head around it. “It feels strange if you do. No matter what that name means to you, I don’t feel that it has anything to do with me. I don’t like hearing it.”
Qiu Ling nodded faintly. “Then I’ll try not calling you that anymore.”
“You can’t. We’re in the Hei Dian Sect now. We can’t use our real names. Have you forgotten already?”
“Mn, right.” Qiu Ling fell silent. This was good in terms of not messing up when thinking of Jing He but not too great in terms of showing Jing Yi that he loved him. What could be done about that? “Well, then how about I call you Jing’er from now on?”
“Jing’er?” Jing Yi blushed. His parents had called him that when he was small. Being called that by Qiu Ling … it felt a bit weird as well.
“Ah, I think I like it.” Qiu Ling hugged him closer. Actually, this was pretty good. Thanks to his beloved’s jealousy he would now get to call him this way. He should continue to do so when they returned to the Nine Heavens. He could imagine how Jing He would blush when he did it the first time.
“Mn. My Jing’er.” Qiu Ling smiled but froze the next second. There was a calculating light in his eyes when he leaned over Jing Yi. “Right. Now that we’ve settled that … where’s my good morning kiss?”