OMF V1C74 Disappointed Expectations

Qiu Ling didn’t even try to guess what Jing Yi was thinking. Instead, he happily dashed into the courtyard when Jing Yi rushed out and dropped the spell that hid him. Then, he leaned down a little and spread his arms open wide. Mn, my love, come here! Give me a hug!
Jing Yi picked up his pace and threw himself into Qiu Ling’s arms. “Grandfather!” He looked up at him and pursed his lips, his doe eyes wet with tears. “The dragon …”
Qiu Ling froze. The dragon? Could it be his beloved found some of his lost memories and remembered him? Ah, how great! He could finally drop this damn disguise! Everything would be like back home.
Ah, 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 his bitter feelings and just sighed, hugging Jing Yi to his chest. At least, he could still hug him as his grandfather.
Thinking of 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 but his lips still quivered. “I found out that my uncle’s daughter is a dragon!”
Qiu Ling’s eyebrows rose. “The dragon you’re talking about … is that Guanyu-girl?”
Jing Yi nodded solemnly.
“How did you come up with that?”
“Mister Pi told us that 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? Was there an archer somewhere? Why did it feel as if someone shot an arrow right into his heart? No, wait, that wasn’t just one arrow!
Qiu Ling smiled wryly but he couldn’t bring himself to tell his beloved outright what utter nonsense he had come up with. Ah, for his beloved, he would sugarcoat even such an ugly truth! “Little boy, you certainly are a bright child. But you still 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. “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 before he reluctantly retracted it. “Let me explain this to you. That Mister Pi wasn’t wrong. There are indeed tigers and dragons in the capital.” In fact, there was only one dragon in the capital and he was standing right in this courtyard but that explanation would have to wait another ten years or so. “You don’t have to be afraid of dragons though. The ones you should be afraid of are only the tigers. So the girl is definitely a tiger. Mn, a tigress!”
This time, he wasn’t even lying. She was a tigress! Crying, screaming, flailing her arms around and kicking … What a fierce girl! Fortunately, she was only a cub at the moment. If she was a fully grown tigress this would be hard for his 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 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 wasn’t at home. So grandfather had to step in.”
“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 that she didn’t know anything, then he wouldn’t tell her. Finally, he nodded.
“Actually, I’ve told your parents half of it already. They also 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.
He pondered the issue for a moment. Grandfather is a dragon … but grandfather isn’t a bad person. So that means dragons really aren’t bad people. Grandfather was right!
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 ‘Oh, 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 touch it. 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 a water mirror and showed it to Jing Yi.
Jing Yi extended his hand, touching the flowing surface. It moved and he retracted his fingers at once. He looked up at Qiu Ling but the dragon king only smiled. Jing Yi turned back to the mirror and started touching his face.
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 at that moment.

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