OMF V1C43 She Wasn’t the Only One

While Mister Zhong had hurried down the hill to find his wife Jing Yi stopped somewhere in the forest. He clutched the bracelet Qiu Ling had given him and pressed his eyes shut.
“Grandfather! Grandfather!” He had called out a few times but nothing happened. The man who had helped him back in the village didn’t appear.
Jing Yi sat down, tearing up. He sniffled but still continued to call out despite his decreasing hope. “Grandfather …” His voice broke and he dropped the bracelet, curling his hands into fists and rubbing his eyes. The tears flowed down his cheeks without end. He was cold and afraid and … alone. “Mother, father, grandfather … Where are you?”
When Qiu Ling sent Mister Zhong away and followed the mark he had placed on Jing Yi’s body after his birth that was the first thing he heard. His heart jerked. Why had he needed so long? Look at this! His beloved was really afraid this time! Ah, he was sorry! He shouldn’t have left him alone. Whatever happened he should have followed him.
“Aiya, who’s going to cry?” Qiu Ling transformed into the old man again and stopped hiding his figure. He crouched down in front of Jing Yi and patted his head. “No need to be afraid, little boy. The bad man has already been taken care of. Your parents are safe.”
Jing Yi dropped his hands and stared at the old man in front of him, the tears still streaming down his cheeks. “Grandfather?”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling nodded. “I’m here. I’m sorry, it took so long. I went to save your father first.”
“Grandfather!” Jing Yi threw his small body at him, encircled Qiu Ling’s neck and clung to him. He buried his face in Qiu Ling’s hair, just like his father had done when he reunited with his wife.
Qiu Ling sighed and patted his back. “There, there. No need to cry anymore. I’m here. I’m with you. I’ll never let you be alone.” He closed his eyes and gently held him.
All of this … shouldn’t happen. Being slandered, being attacked, nearly losing his parents … His Jing He should experience none of that! He should be safe. He had promised him he’d always keep him safe. So … why couldn’t Jing He remain in the Nine Heavens? Spending his days in leisure with him … Wouldn’t that have been better? Why did he have to go?
Qiu Ling didn’t want to wait for him. He wanted to be with him. Now, right now. The trials that the gods had to undergo in the mortal world were foreign to the dragons so Qiu Ling couldn’t understand why his beloved wouldn’t budge on this matter. He felt rejected, unimportant, unloved. Why couldn’t his beloved stay? Couldn’t he do it for him? Why did he still want to go?
He hugged Jing Yi closer but that only made more obvious that the person in his arms wasn’t the Jing He he knew and loved. This person … was only a child. A terrified child that should be comforted.
Qiu Ling pushed all other thoughts aside and stroked his back. “It’s alright. Nothing happened. That man is defeated. I sent your father to look for your mother. He probably found her already.”
“Is … Is mommy … alright?” Jing Yi sobbed and grabbed Qiu Ling’s neck even tighter.
“Mn. She should be. Didn’t she run away? How about we go see her? I’ll bring you back to your parents.” He patted Jing Yi’s hair but the boy shook his head.
“No …”
“No? You don’t want to see them?” Qiu Ling leaned back but the boy stuck to him like a leech. He could only hold him gently. “Why that?” He lowered his voice, trying to calm him down.
“Mommy wouldn’t … wouldn’t like me crying.”
Qiu Ling closed his eyes. My love, your mother might not like it but what about me? His heart bled seeing him like this. It felt like he couldn’t breathe anymore. “Then stop crying, mn?” Qiu Ling stroked Jing Yi’s hair but the boy didn’t calm down. “How about this? I carry you back slowly. Until we get there you’ll certainly have stopped crying.”
“Mn.” Jing Yi nodded.
Qiu Ling rose and lifted him up. “Then let’s go.” He slowly went back to the path.
Jing Yi hugged him, his face still buried in Qiu Ling’s neck. Slowly, his sobs subsided until his breathing evened out.
“Thank you, grandfather.”
“Mn, it’s nothing. I promised I’d be there whenever you need my help.”
“I was really afraid when you didn’t come. I thought I’d be all alone from now on. Mommy sent me away too.”
“Your mother was just afraid that something bad might happen to you if you went with her. She did that with your best interest in mind.”
“Mn. Mommy loves me.”
“Mn.” She wasn’t the only one.
They both went silent. Only Qiu Ling’s quiet steps could be heard. But soon angry voices reached them from up front. Qiu Ling halted and looked at Jing Yi.
“Little boy, wait here for a moment, alright? I’m going to see what is happening there.”
“You’re coming back, right?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “I’ll always come back to you.” He patted his head again and put him down. His figure vanished and appeared on the path up the hill again.
The scene in front of him let him grit his teeth. Had he come too late?

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