OMF V1C66 Disappointed Expectations

The Zhong’s family dinner once again ended in disaster. Zhong Gang and Li Fang felt helpless, while their daughter Guanyu felt like crying. Jing Yi hovered between fear and anger, amusing his mother with his reaction, while Mister Zhong didn’t understand, what was going on.
Only Qiu Ling was incredibly happy. He felt like hugging … No, not the bad girl. Of course, he’d hug Jing Yi, when he felt like hugging someone. Mn, a hug should be alright?
He waited in the courtyard after the dinner, smiling at Jing Yi and spreading open his arms, as soon as he saw him.
Jing Yi picked up his pace and threw himself into Qiu Ling’s arms. “Grandfather!” He looked up at him, pursing his lips, his doe eyes wet with tears. “The dragon …”
Qiu Ling froze. The dragon? Does he remember? Could it be my love found some of his lost memories and knows about me? Ah, how great! I can finally drop this damn disguise! Everything will be like back home. My love, I’ll help you remember the rest of your past life!
“He wanted to eat me and my mommy!”, Jing Yi added with tears in his voice, bursting Qiu Ling’s bubble.
This … What had happened to the recovery of lost memories? Where was the emotional reunion with hugs and kisses? The rekindling of their love?
He felt cheated!
Qiu Ling swallowed back his bitter feelings and just sighed, hugging Jing Yi to his chest. At least, I can still hug him as his grandfather.
Thinking like that, Qiu Ling felt like crying. How come, he was now happy to appear as an old man? This wasn’t right! He’d rather be his usual handsome self, to sweep his beloved off his feet once again. But alas, Jing He couldn’t remember and he was too young anyway. I’ll wait, I’ll wait, Qiu Ling told himself once again. But with each passing day, that seemed to get harder.
“What dragon?”, he finally asked to distract himself.
Jing Yi clutched his sleeve and stopped crying, though his lips still quivered. “I found out, that my uncle’s daughter is a dragon!”
Qiu Ling’s eyebrows lifted. “The dragon, you’re talking about … is that Guanyu-girl?”
Jing Yi nodded earnestly.
“How did you think of that?”
“Mister Pi told us, there are tigers and dragons in the capital! I don’t know about tigers, but in the mountain of that dragon, there were bandits. So dragons must be bad! She has to be a dragon!”
Huh? Is there an archer somewhere? Why does it feel as if someone shot an arrow right into my heart? No, wait, that’s not just one arrow.
“Little boy, you certainly are a bright child. But, you know, you got it a little wrong.”
“Wrong? What’s wrong with that, grandfather?”
“You see … That girl, she isn’t a dragon.”
“Not?”
Qiu Ling shook his head. “Of that I’m sure. You don’t know, because you were still hiding, when grandfather told your parents about it, but actually, I know some dragons.”
Jing Yi clasped his hands over his mouth and stared at him with wide eyes.
Qiu Ling laughed and tussled his hair, his hand lingering a bit, before he reluctantly retracted it. “Let me explain: Mister Pi wasn’t wrong. There are indeed tigers and dragons in the capital.” In fact, there is only one dragon in the capital and he is standing right in front of you, but … I guess that explanation will have to wait another ten years or so. “But the ones you should be afraid of are the tigers only. So the girl is definitely a tiger. Mn, a tigress!” This time, I’m not even lying. She’s definitely a tigress. Crying, screaming, flailing her arms around and kicking … What a fierce girl! Fortunately she’s only a cub at the moment. When she’s a full grown tigress this would be hard for my beloved. Someone as gentle as Jing He could never defend against someone like that.
“So she’s a tiger.” Jing Yi nodded, but he still furrowed his brow. “But I still don’t understand. How come I don’t have to be afraid of the dragons?”
Qiu Ling smiled. Here it comes. Thank you for asking! This is the perfect opportunity to set up our future meeting as equals.
Ah, he felt like tussling Jing Yi’s hair again, now that he was so happy.
Qiu Ling cleared his throat and secured his naughty hands behind Jing Yi’s back. “You know, those bandits in the mountain? They had nothing to do with dragons. They were just some normal … arr, despicable humans. They’re bad people, but they aren’t dragons. In fact, normally, the dragon in the mountain would have helped your family, but on that day, he was away, unfortunately. So grandfather had to help you.”
“So the dragon wanted to help us?”
“Mn. That’s right.”
“So dragons are good people?”
“But of course! You’ll see in the future. The dragons … they’ll definitely take a liking to you.”
“Do you really think so?”
“Mn!” Qiu Ling bent down and smiled mischievously. “Can you keep a secret?”
“Sure!”
“Alright, but you have to promise! You can’t tell anyone. Not even your mommy!”
Jing Yi hesitated, but then he thought of the mud monsters. If it was better for his mommy, if she didn’t knew anything, then he wouldn’t tell her. Finally, he nodded.
“Actually, I’ve told your parents half of it already. They know, that grandfather knows some dragons. But that’s not all! The truth is grandfather has some dragon blood himself.”
“Really?!” Jing Yi’s eyes went wide. He had just been told, that dragons weren’t bad, but he still couldn’t fully believe it.
Grandfather is a dragon … but grandfather isn’t a bad person. So that means, dragons really aren’t bad people.
Qiu Ling observed the changes in Jing Yi’s expression, until the boy looked up at him with a hopeful smile, that seemed to say ‘So I don’t have to be afraid of them?’. He laughed and tussled Jing Yi’s hair once again. Of course, it wasn’t just because he wanted to. It certainly was because he felt the boy needed some friendly acknowledgment for understanding so fast!
“Mn. It’s as I said. And I’ll tell you something else: When you were born, I only had to take one look at you and I could see, that you were a really special person. That is why I gifted you the mark of the dragon. Here, have a look.” Qiu Ling summoned the water mirror and showed it to Jing Yi.
Jing Yi extended his hand, touching the flowing surface, before retracting his fingers at once, when it moved. He looked up at Qiu Ling, but the dragon king only smiled. Jing Yi turned back to the mirror and started touching his face instead.
Forget about the dragon mark, as someone who grew up in a rural village and was afraid of the river, he had never even seen his face. Being confronted with a head of black hair and large doe eyes, that conspicuously resembled his mother’s, he was utterly baffled.
“Is that me?” He looked once again at Qiu Ling.
Dragons? Tigers? All of that was long forgotten! He hadn’t even seen the golden mark, that glimmered on his forehead.

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