OMF V2C20 With Time Comes Change

It goes without saying that Qiu Ling was the first one to break down. After seven consecutive days of neither seeing Jing He nor hearing anything about him, he couldn’t take it anymore. Thus, he barged into the nine heavens.
According to Bai Fen’s account of the happenings in the heavenly emperor’s palace, Jing He’s father, who had thought that this annoying pest of a possible future son-in-law had finally given up and wouldn’t bother his son any longer, flew into another fit of rage. Especially since his son who had looked slightly out of sorts for the last few days seemed instantly revived upon hearing that that guy had returned. There was even a beautiful smile on his lips!
Jing He, for once, had ignored his father’s temper and hurried over to where Qiu Ling was without hesitation. He only halted when he saw him and his chest that had felt stuffed for these days finally lightened up. He breathed a sigh of relief and slowly walked over.
Ah, the crown prince was just as pretentious as the dragon king. All these insecurities he felt inside, he didn’t want to display them before the man he loved. And yes, he really loved him. He just … had been too afraid to express it.
Qiu Ling saw him and the look in his eyes that was somehow different from before. This time, he wasn’t cautious. He bet everything he had one this one moment.
He grabbed Jing He by the shoulder, pulled him into his arms and slid his fingers into his hair. Then he kissed him.
Jing He stiffened for a moment but then he relaxed and just let it be. He had only started to struggle again when Qiu Ling became greedy and wanted to take it one step further.
Qiu Ling shook his head with a smile when he thought of that. This first kiss, the day they finally, officially became a couple … it had been quite a bit of time since then. He wanted nothing more than to take the next step and make Jing He his official consort. Even if it was only in the mortal world, it would drive him crazy with happiness.
He sighed, looking at that dark window on the second story. One week. Maybe it would work here in the mortal world just like it had back then in the nine heavens. He really hoped so.
Unfortunately, Qiu Ling hadn’t considered that Jing Yi in contrast to the Jing He of that time actually didn’t know him. Jing He had been hesitating because of the way he grew up but he had loved Qiu Ling very much already at that point in time. Jing Yi, however, wasn’t sure how to react because he knew nothing about marriage. If he knew what it was about, would he really agree? It wasn’t likely. Instead, it was quite probable that Qiu Ling had tried this ploy too soon.
Well, he might still have a chance if Xiao Dong’s answer the next day was able to convince Jing Yi. Thankfully, Xiao Dong was already worshiping Qiu Ling so he wouldn’t say anything bad about him. And since he was searching for an opportunity to prove his worth to his king anyway, this was just what he wanted.
When Jing Yi woke up the next morning his thoughts instantly returned to the things that had happened the day before. He couldn’t wait to ask Xiao Dong but there were still the chores he had to do. Just because he had another problem now he wouldn’t slack off on the things he was supposed to do.
Jing Yi might not have had the opportunity to learn cultivation but he had listened to a hundred different stories about heroes thanks to Shao Hai and Xiao Dong’s efforts. He had a pretty clear understanding of what kind of characteristics a hero should have. Not shirking his responsibilities was one of them!
He washed up, put the robe of the outer sect disciples on and went down to the first floor. Without hesitation he walked to the storage room and took out a broom, then he proceeded to sweep the floor.
After a while, two of the other disciples came down the stairs. The first one yawned and passed by him without greeting like on any other day. The second one wanted to follow, stepped past Jing Yi and suddenly froze. Slowly, he turned back and took in what he saw: Jing Yi. A broom. An incredibly clean floor.
Since Jing Yi hated everything dirty, of course, he would do this chore with special care. Since the day he took over this task of sweeping there had never been any dirt anywhere in the house. The other disciples didn’t care and had never paid him any attention anyway so they had never thought about it.
But now, the disciple at the door felt cold sweat running down his back. When his friend returned to ask what was wrong, he slapped his arm. “Fuck, are you serious? Look who he is! What is he doing with a broom in his hand?!”
The first disciple rubbed his eyes and looked. “Seems to be that Junior martial brother, Jing-what’s his name. And isn’t he just sweeping the floor? What are you making such a ruckus for?”
The second one grabbed him by the collar. “Idiot! That’s the boy Grandmaster Zhangsun’s disciple proposed to yesterday! Do you believe he’ll have us pay if he ever sees him sweeping the floor? Fuck, haven’t you seen yesterday how vindictive he is? I don’t want to get on his bad side!”
Qiu Ling had already seen everything there was to see, though. If this was a normal situation the disciple would have been right to worry. In fact, when Qiu Ling noticed that his beloved had to do these menial chores he was ready to unleash his fury on these so-called martial brothers. But then he remembered the trial. It was probably due to this that his beloved had to suffer this humiliation. Thus, he had grudgingly postponed his revenge. That didn’t mean he would forget about it, though. He had already noted all their names down for later.
The first disciple blinked and slowly shock spread on his face. Shit! His friend was right!
He hurried over to Jing Yi and just grabbed the broom. “Hehe, greetings junior martial brother Jing. What are you doing this early in the morning?”
Jing Yi looked up with slight surprise. Normally, his senior martial brothers just ignored him. None of them had ever tried to hinder him in his work. “Greetings, senior martial brother. I’m sweeping.”
“Ah, no need, no need. Why don’t you go and sleep a little longer? Ah Bo and I will do this.”
Jing Yi didn’t know what to do. This had always been his chore since he had entered the sect. Why were these senior martial brothers suddenly of a mind to do this chore instead of him? Well, they were his elders, after all, so he would comply. He’d just go and do some other chores.
“If the senior martial brothers insist.” He bowed and hurried out of the building.
The first disciple grimaced. “Tch. What an attitude! Just because that Grandmaster’s disciple likes him he thinks he can do whatever he wants!”
“Sh! Are you dumb? What if someone hears you?”
“What? I’m only saying the truth. I seriously hope those two won’t end up together!”
“Who knows? It came out of the blue so it might indeed just be some short-lived infatuation. Just wait until he drops him. Then you can pay him back.”
Somehow, them asking Jing Yi to let them sweep in his stead had turned into him using his relationship with Qiu Ling for his own benefit. Had they known what Jing Yi went to do next they might have thought differently. But that was for some other poor senior martial brother to discover.
When one of them left the building still wondering why two people he had never seen doing any chores before were actually sweeping the floor now he saw a slender boy sitting not far from the building next to the well and scrubbing clothes. At first, he didn’t pay it any heed but then he halted. That boy … had seemed familiar somehow?
He slowly turned back and examined that face. It was slightly red due to the exercise and thus, looked remarkably similar to the blushing expression Jing Yi had shown in front of Qiu Ling the day before. The disciple felt like his heart stopped beating. For heaven’s sake! Why was the beloved of their Grandmaster’s disciple washing their clothes?!
Yes, those clothes were not just his. They were the clothes from all the disciples living in the building. Those of the common people that believed cultivators always had clean clothes because their robes were made of special fabric and because they could make any dirt magically disappear anyway should probably take a trip to the Yun Zou sect.
The bitter truth was: They couldn’t just use magic. At least not when they had just begun cultivating. And as for special fabric … Damn, the sect couldn’t even pay for a decent hut for one of their most trusted elders! Did anyone really expect them to give every disciple special clothes?! Those disciples could thank their stars that they at least got to wear white robes! If Sect master Yuchi could do as he wanted to and wasn’t bound by old customs, they would all be wearing cheap gray! The cheapest gray he could find!
Since there wasn’t a shortcut to having clean and neat robes for the outer sect disciples they had to wash them by themselves. And just like the task of sweeping the floor, this chore had been heaped upon Jing Yi.
The disciple hurried over, grabbed his arm and pulled him to his feet. “Junior martial brother Jing, what are you doing? So early in the morning, there’s no need to wash the clothes. Why don’t you go and take a stroll to wear of the sleepiness? I’ll do this chore instead.”
Jing Yi blinked. What was it with his senior martial brothers today? “But senior —”
“No, no. No need to thank me. It’s what I should be doing.” He smiled and sat down where Jing Yi had just been sitting, starting to work so that Jing Yi couldn’t protest.
The boy didn’t give up so easily, though. This was his work, after all. He couldn’t leave everything to his senior martial brothers now, could he? “Senior martial brother, how about we do this together? Then we —”
“No, no, no need. Just go take a stroll. Look, the weather’s so nice today.” He paused a bit and then slyly added: “Actually, taking a stroll alone isn’t so nice. Why don’t you ask someone to accompany you?” Like our Grandmaster’s disciple, for example? And please tell him that it was my idea! Of course, he could only think that silently and hope that Jing Yi would get the hint.
“Oh. Well, if you insist …” Jing Yi could only turn around and really start to stroll down the pathway in front of the building. Of course, he didn’t go to get Qiu Ling. Instead, he went to the house where Shao Hai and Xiao Dong were staying.
If his senior martial brothers were this eager to do the tasks, then he might as well go and find an answer to the question that was tormenting him. After all, seven days weren’t long.

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