OMF V1C34 A Letter From the Capital

Just like the Fate’s Scribe had written in Jing He’s scroll of fate a letter reached the house of Zhong Jing Yi’s family shortly after he had turned eight years old. He curiously eyed it, not understanding what his father held there. When his father didn’t explain he looked up at his mother.
His habit of asking silently and not speaking much still hadn’t been cured. If he talked, then mostly to his mother even though he had warmed up to his father a little more over the course of the last four years. Maybe this was something he had carried over from his life as Jing He.
Madam Zhong patted his head. “It’s a letter. Your father’s family probably sent it from the capital.”
Unfortunately, neither Mister nor Madam Zhong could read.
“How about … we ask Mister Pi for help?” Mister Zhong looked at his wife with his brows knitted together. They needed help to read the letter but everyone knew how much Mister Pi loved to gossip. If he read the letter to them, he’d certainly tell each and every person within a radius of twenty li about it later. They didn’t want that.
“Who else?” Madam Zhong sighed. Who knew what had happened for the main family to contact them?
The ones who lived in the capital were Mister Zhong’s cousin, Zhong Gang, and his family that consisted of his wife Mi Fang and their daughter Zhong Guanyu. Zhong Gang’s father had moved there from the small town he had been born in to open a restaurant. The initially small business had started to do better with the years. So it could be said that Zhong Gang’s family was far better off when compared to the Zhong’s from the village.
Jing Yi blinked at the letter. “How about asking grandfather?”
The grandfather he talked about was, of course, Qiu Ling. Mister Zhong’s, as well as Madam Zhong’s, parents were both dead so he had no older relatives in the village. Calling Qiu Ling his grandfather had somehow stuck from four years ago much to Qiu Ling’s misery.
Madam Zhong nodded. She felt that the Daoist Master would help Jing Yi with everything he asked for and reading one letter should be a small task for him. They wouldn’t inconvenience him with that.
But Mister Zhong wasn’t so sure. “Isn’t it a little exaggerated to ask a Daoist Master here just to read a little? Mister Pi might gossip but it’s not that bad, right?”
Madam Zhong lifted her brows. “Not that bad? Who knows which heretic practitioner they’ll find this time.” Yes, Madam Zhong was still furious about that incident from eight years ago.
Jing Yi didn’t care for his father’s opinion. He had already taken the letter and ran out of the house with it as soon as his mother nodded. He had called Qiu Ling a few times over the last four years to spend time with him. He hadn’t needed his help even once. But whenever he called him he did so in the forest at the shrub where he saw him for the first time. His mother had told him that it wouldn’t be good to let other people see the Daoist Master.
Once again, Jing Yi stopped at the shrub, took out the bracelet and held it between his hands. By now they were big enough that he didn’t have problems grasping it anymore.
Qiu Ling appeared before him with a wry smile. Still calling me that … He really hoped Jing Yi would be old enough soon to understand that that wasn’t really appropriate.
To help his beloved along with this realization he had even started to appear less aged before him. Only half the wrinkles decorated his face now. He didn’t look like he was eighty years anymore. More like … sixty-five.
Mn, he felt like he had made a good move. If his age regressed while Jing Yi grew older they could meet somewhere along the way. But, well, that was still something for the future.
“Grandfather, someone sent a letter! Can you read it?” The boy handed him the letter.
Qiu Ling had a casual look before folding the letter again. He’d love to make something up but he was afraid the Zhongs might find out so he could only tell the truth.
“They are asking your family to come to the capital. Your father’s cousin seems to have opened up a second business and needs someone working there. He thought it would be a good opportunity for your family.”
Jing Yi tilted his head. “So, we’re going away?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “If your parents want that. What? You don’t like that idea?”
Jing Yi thought about it and shook his head. “It’s alright. As long as mommy comes with us I don’t mind going to the capital.”
Qiu Ling felt like crying. That was the only thing his beloved ever thought about, right? Only his mother …
He handed the letter back to Jing Yi, feeling once again that time moved too slow in the mortal realm.
Jing Yi looked at the paper and then up at Qiu Ling. “When we go to the capital will you still come when I call you?” He seemed a little sad which lifted Qiu Ling’s turn.
He generously patted his little head. “Mn. Of course. As long as you have that bracelet you can always call for me.”
Jing Yi smiled sweetly. He wouldn’t miss anything from the village. He had always run away when he saw one of the girls like Qiu Ling had proposed. The boys from the village had teased him quite a few times when they saw him but Jing Yi didn’t go out much so there weren’t many opportunities and he also didn’t care. Soon after, the boys gave up and Jing Yi could be said to have lived more or less isolated for the last years.
Thinking about that … Qiu Ling felt a bit guilty. Jing He had grown up with an insurmountable distance between him and the other gods his age. It couldn’t be helped with him being the son of the Heavenly Emperor and the crown prince of the Nine Heavens. He was just too valuable for his people. Who would dare let him grow up like a normal child?
Now, in this mortal life of his, he could have had such a childhood: Loving parents, friends his age, a first love that he might be embarrassed about in a few years … And the person who took that from him was he, his lover. The person who should only want the best for him. But because of his jealousy, he had prevented him from getting something that Jing He surely would have loved to experience.
Qiu Ling sighed inwardly and let go of Jing Yi. “You should hurry home and tell your parents. Maybe … Maybe the capital is exactly the right place for you.”
“Mn!” Jing Yi smiled, waved at him and ran off again.
Qiu Ling watched him, feeling downcast all of a sudden. Had he created unnecessary trouble for his beloved? Should he let him be free in the capital?
But just thinking of how Jing He fell in love with anyone but him made his heart convulse with pain. Qiu Ling clenched his fists. Even though he knew that it wasn’t the right thing to do, he would still do it. Jing He … He would surely understand. He knew him good enough already.

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