Qiu Ling felt like he was walking on clouds. Ah, teaching his beloved how to read and write didn’t seem like such a bad idea. He couldn’t wait to teach him some other important words! How about ‘kiss’ next? It seemed like he should definitely know that one …
Qiu Ling indulged in that beautiful fantasy for a moment but didn’t go through with it in the end. He had already gotten his way and managed to worm a love confession out of Jing Yi. Now, it was probably time to get serious. After all, it would be too embarrassing if the Son of Heaven’s mortal reincarnation was illiterate. His poor beloved would be mortified when he woke up and found out. As the perfect fiance and future husband, how could he let that happen?
Thus, Qiu Ling grabbed the cultivation manual and opened the first page. “It might be better to start with easy words but I guess you won’t have much use for them. So how about practicing with the words inside this thing?”
Jing Yi nodded. He was grateful that Qiu Ling truly intended to help him and wasn’t just using this to his own advantage. As for how he went about it, he had no requirements. Anyway, he had no illusions that he would become literate any time soon. This kind of thing needed a lot of time. For now, each new word that he learned was a success.
“Let’s see …” Qiu Ling skimmed the text. He had no idea whatsoever what human cultivation was about. It seemed that this part of the text was only a general introduction of some sort though. He picked out one of the characters and copied it onto the scroll. “This one means ‘heaven’.”
“Heaven.” Jing Yi took the brush from Qiu Ling’s hands and copied the word onto his scroll. Once again, the result was less than stellar but he figured that this would change with time. He just had to continue trying. The most important thing was to remember the characters themselves.
He looked at the different strokes and tried to memorize them. It wasn’t that easy though. He had never had much to do with lettering. Disregarding the names written on the plaques above the gates of some estates in the Long kingdom’s capital he probably hadn’t seen any at all. Being asked to memorize several characters all of a sudden seemed downright impossible.
Jing Yi sighed. The character for ‘heaven’ didn’t seem as bad but ‘I’ had several more strokes and ‘love’ looked incredibly complicated. He put down the brush and shook his head, still looking at the characters. “This won’t be easy.”
Qiu Ling nodded and silently put a hand on Jing Yi’s shoulder. “It won’t. But we’ve got a lot of time and I’ll teach you whatever you want. So don’t feel pressured. It’s not like you have to be able to write perfectly tomorrow.” He kissed Jing Yi’s cheek, picked up the brush, and handed it to him again. “Just try again. The more you practice the easier it’ll get.”
Jing Yi smiled and pulled himself together. His fiance was taking this rather seriously. He couldn’t disappoint him. “You’re right.”
The two of them continued with their practice until the sky outside grew dark. Qiu Ling put away the brush and paper and hugged Jing Yi to his chest. “Alright, that’s enough for today. Let’s continue tomorrow.”
Jing Yi yawned and snuggled up to Qiu Ling. He also felt like it was time to stop. Even if he continued any longer, he still wouldn’t be able to keep remembering anything new. “Considering that I didn’t know how to write a single word this morning I’ve learned a lot. It’s just that … if we continue at this pace, then it’ll probably take years until I’m able to read the manual Grandmaster Zhangsun gave me.”
Qiu Ling couldn’t disagree. Even after working for several hours, Jing Yi was only able to recognize ten characters. Considering how complicated the cultivation manual was he would really need several years to learn enough words to even understand the gist of it. “Well, just because you’re slowly learning how to read that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by yourself. I can still read it for you.”
Jing Yi raised his brows. “You want to read the whole manual to me?”
Qiu Ling shrugged. “Why not?” Actually, he felt that the idea was pretty good. They could snuggle up in bed together — preferably without wearing their outer robes — and he could slowly turn the pages, his voice wrapping around them while Jing Yi would eagerly listen to him … Mn, he really couldn’t see anything wrong with that idea.
Jing Yi had some reservations though. “Well, it’ll take a lot of time. And you’d be pretty busy with teaching me how to read and write already. Wouldn’t that be too much? When would you have the time for your own practice then?” Not to mention that they still needed to think of their mission. He could still justify learning how to write since that might help with their investigation later on but working with this cultivation manual? There wasn’t an absolute need to use it especially after he had joined the alchemy division which wouldn’t teach him any demonic techniques. It seemed Grandmaster Zhangsun’s favor had been wasted on him-
Qiu Ling just smiled though, not taking that as a problem at all. “I don’t think there’s much they can teach me here anyway. So, isn’t it better to spend some time with my fiance? And do something useful?”
Jing Yi somehow felt like the last question had only been added for his sake. Well, whatever. As long as Qiu Ling was happy, it should be alright. He just had to remind him of their mission from time to time.