OMF V1C74 Talking Sense Into Him

A storm was brewing in Qiu Ling’s eyes. Damn, even when he courted Jing He back in the nine heavens, he hadn’t dared to be this straightforward! How could that guy be this brazen?! He’d teach him a lesson!
Madam Zhong took one look at Qiu Ling’s face and knew that it spelled trouble. “They’re just children.”
“You’re way too laid-back, mother-in-law! This is dangerous. You wouldn’t want him to lead your son astray, would you?” He looked up at her, frowning, but was met with an empty look.
Madam Zhong’s thoughts were somewhere else. What did he just call me? Mother-in-law? It seems, whatever happened in Jing’er’s last life wasn’t that simple.
Qiu Ling blinked, now distracted himself. Why is she looking at me like this? He wanted to ponder on it, but with what was going on in the middle of the room he didn’t dare lose focus. No, I can’t think about this now. I have to separate that vile scum from my beloved!
His hand moved, but was caught in a soft grip. “Don’t. It’s just a child. Nothing to worry about. Shouldn’t you know Jing’er by now? He doesn’t open up that easily in front of other people.”
Qiu Ling lifted his brows. “Madam Zhong”, he stated solemnly, “I tricked your son into opening up to me in less than ten minutes. Don’t try to fool me with nice words.”
Madam Zhong didn’t know how to answer. She certainly hadn’t expected such words. “So you don’t have any confidence to make him fall in love with you again?”
Qiu Ling tensed up. How long had he courted Jing He? One year? Two? Even more? He had taken so long for that even in the nine heavens. In a place, where Jing He had been isolated most of the time, with not much contact to other people.
The heavenly emperor’s love and protection might have been a little too much. He was always afraid to lose the son that was so precious to him so he didn’t dare take any chances. Who knew if someone he trusted that day would turn into a traitor the next? Who could be sure that some unrequited affection wouldn’t turn into hate and compel someone to take drastic steps? Who was to say that someone wouldn’t get ambitious and kill the heir to the throne to pave a path for himself?
Finally, the only ones Jing He had regular contact with were his parents and uncle. The rest of the gods … they saw him. Whenever there was an occasion the crown prince should attend, he’d be there, quietly sitting in his place, never directly looking at anyone, only doing what was expected of him.
He seemed perfect looking from outside. But Qiu Ling knew him good enough. Jing He had been lonely. Lonely and scared. When he had started courting him, Jing He hadn’t known what to do. On one hand he wanted to accept this love, he wanted to finally have somebody else in his life, whoever it might be. He didn’t want to be so alone anymore. But on the other hand he was scared and didn’t dare follow his heart.
It wasn’t wrong to say he had lived like a prisoner until then, even through that prison was made out of the most luxurious materials and the one guarding it was a person he loved and who treated him kindly. With such a life, of course there would be some reservations. Of course he wouldn’t believe that his father isolated him like that without good reason. And of course that made him suspect Qiu Ling’s reason for getting closer to him.
Winning over such a person hadn’t been easy. The trust between them had to be slowly accumulated and Qiu Ling certainly wasn’t eager to wait that long. He wanted to sweep him up into his arms right from the first time he saw him. Persevering for so long … He himself was surprised he could do it. But he had already been head over heels for Jing He. Waiting some years, he had willingly made that sacrifice.
But that was all the more reason that he didn’t want to yield to any other person now. He might be able to accept some little girl circling around his beloved, but this was different. From the very beginning Qiu Ling had never taken any woman as serious competition. With how Jing He behaved, he wasn’t suited to be with any of them. He needed someone more outgoing, someone who would take the lead in their life and make him feel secure.
So, of course, Qiu Ling saw other men as the greater competition. Especially men who showed that they had the necessary qualities.
Saving his beloved in the time of need, successfully holding off the danger … That was exactly the kind of thing that would move Jing He! He had to do something now or his beloved would be taken away!
Madam Zhong observed the changes in Qiu Ling’s face and sighed when he finally returned to his scowl. She sat on the chair beside him, not letting go of his hand lest he do something irreversible. “He’s been alone all the time. He should make some friends.”
Qiu Ling wavered. Yes, he should. It would be good for Jing He to experience something like that in the mortal world. He had thought of that himself even when they were still in the village. It was just too hard to stomach for him that his beloved might fall in love with someone else. If he wanted to allow him to have a friend, he had to make sure that this wouldn’t happen.
He faced Madam Zhong with an earnest expression and gripped her hands in return. “Be honest, wouldn’t you rather have me as your son-in-law than some son of a merchant?”
“Daoist master … My son is seven. I’m not thinking about getting a son-in-law for another ten years at least.”
Qiu Ling shook his head. “I know, I know. But in another ten years: Wouldn’t you rather have me as your son-in-law than some merchant’s son?” He hopefully looked at her, making it hard to reject him.
“You … probably wouldn’t be a bad choice?”
“Right!” Qiu Ling smiled widely, his eyes turning into little crescents. “So shouldn’t you advise your son? To be honest, I don’t mind that other child. I just don’t want your son to be led astray.”
“That …” Madam Zhong didn’t mind humoring Qiu Ling a bit. He wasn’t a bad person and seemed serious about her son, not to mention how much he had done for her family. But she still didn’t like where this was going. “Daoist master, there is something I want to ask. Please take a bit of time to think about it before giving your answer: Are you sure … Are you sure the person you love is my son?”
“Of course!” Qiu Ling, of course, didn’t take any time. Who else would it be if not Jing He?
Madam Zhong shook her head. “You misunderstood. What I meant to ask was: Are you sure it’s my son you’re thinking about and not the person he was in his previous life? I know people reincarnate and still retain the same soul after that. But aren’t they different people nonetheless? My Jing’er … He probably grew up completely different from the life he had before. You seem like an important man. You certainly wouldn’t have fallen in love with some poor villager. So, please ask yourself: If Jing Yi was only Jing Yi, the boy you see over there, would you still love him?”
Qiu Ling gazed at her deeply before looking at Jing Yi. If Jing Yi was only Jing Yi … But how could that even be? This was Jing He’s soul. This body had only been formed, because the fate’s scribe willed it like that. It was only a container for that noble soul. He had never been intended to be more.
This boy … he was just as pitiful as Jing He. And just as lovable.

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