Qiu Ling shook his head to stop the endless loop but it just wouldn’t stop. No! He wouldn’t accept this! He couldn’t accept it. He couldn’t lose Jing He. Not him. Not him …
Qiu Ling thought back to that day when he had first seen him.
Those glittering lights that should illuminate the venue had ticked him off, the music that was being played in the background got on his nerves and it disgusted him to have all those people around him whom he didn’t know and for whom he didn’t care anyway. He especially hated those women who had pestered him the whole evening. He wanted them to go away!
He had stared at them as ferociously as he could until they finally backed off. When Qiu Ling had a bit of freedom he turned around and suddenly his whole world lit up: Jing He walked onto the venue, dressed in that blue robe with its simple design that gave him a noble and elegant bearing that stood out between these people who dressed as gaudily as they could to attract attention onto themselves. In fact, weren’t all of them there to highlight this person’s elegance?
The lights that had irritated Qiu Ling’s eyes painted beautiful highlights onto Jing He’s hair and made his pale skin look especially soft as if it was begging him to go over and extend his hand to verify if it really was as it seemed. Somehow, those lights seemed lovely now. Who had arranged them in this perfect way? He should ask that person for advice on how to arrange the lights in his own palace!
And then he heard Jing He speak and the annoying music turned into a magnificent accompaniment that couldn’t be missed. Ah, the gods really knew how music had to be made! He should ask them to lend him some of their musicians for his use in the dragon realm. And then he could invite that person over.
All those things suddenly seemed less unbearable to him. No, not just that. They were alright now, they were something he liked because they were what had led to him finding this person and finally making his heart beat again.
Yes, all the things he had had to endure in his life were unimportant. When he saw Jing He for the first time he felt like all the suffering had been worth it. Who cared about all that? As long as it led him to this person’s side, he could live with it.
It was like Qiu Ling had said to Jing Yi when he proposed: Taking one look at him and hearing one of his words had been enough. He had fallen head over heels for him. This person was his true love, the one he was destined to be with. He had always believed in that.
After all, since he had seen that person he had felt like all the darkness in his heart had been cleansed. He hadn’t felt alone anymore. He hadn’t felt unneeded and unwanted any longer. He hadn’t felt like a piece of wood tumbling in the roaring waves of the sea. For the first time since his darkest day, he felt like he had seen light again. That light was Jing He. Without him … he would be plunged into utter darkness again.
He couldn’t lose him.
These thoughts raced through Qiu Ling’s mind. Before Jing Yi had managed to leave his line of sight, he leaped to his feet and ran after him.
Jing Yi felt a tug at his arms, then he was whirled around and collided with a strong chest.
“No,” came a tight voice from beside his ears. “You can’t do this to me. Jing He … I love you. I love you more than my own life. Whatever it is you expect from me I’ll do it for you. Just … just give me a chance, please. Just one chance. Tell me what it is you want. What do I have to do for you to accept me?”
He let go of Jing Yi and looked into his eyes, his own tearing up. Jing Yi stumbled for words but couldn’t find anything to say. He hurt. Deep inside, he hurt being subjected to this gaze. He grabbed his collar and gulped, trying to make that feeling go away. He had felt bad from the moment he told Qiu Ling he couldn’t marry him. Why was it like that? Hadn’t he felt that not marrying was the right decision? Then why was he wavering so much?
Before he could sort out his feelings, Qiu Ling took a step back. He looked earnestly at him, sorted out his robes and went down on his knees.
“Jing He, if it is what you desire, then I’ll kneel down in front of you and beg you. Do you hear me? I’ll beg you. Just please, give me one chance. What can I do to make you love me? What is it that you desire? You …” Qiu Ling looked at him and tried to find out how to proceed. “You don’t want me to protect you, alright. I won’t do it. You want to … to experience adventures, alright. I’ll take you out of here. I’ll bring you to the most dangerous places if you want to. You … you want to become a cultivator, don’t you?”
He fumbled around and finally managed to find the Amethyst Lightning pill he had worked so hard for. “Here! This is … this is a pill that will remodel your spirit veins. I went to find all the ingredients and had someone refine it for you. Please, take it.” He stuffed it into Jing Yi’s hands while his own fingers trembled.
Jing Yi looked at those hands, those elegant hands that had seemed so strong before just like the man in front of him. Someone strong and infallible but now he was kneeling in front of him asking him for a chance, his hands and his voice trembling. He couldn’t take it!
“I …” Jing Yi gripped his robe harder. It felt suffocating. He couldn’t take it anymore! “I can’t!” He cried out and once again he turned around and fled.
But the feeling wouldn’t stop. He still hurt. His chest hurt. No, that wasn’t true. It wasn’t his chest, it wasn’t even his heart. Instead, it felt like his soul itself hurt. As if he had done something irreversible that had shaken his core itself. It frightened him but that only made him run faster.
He didn’t look back at Qiu Ling’s slumped figure even once. He didn’t see the hurt look in his eyes, the defeated expression on his face, the utter desolation his whole being projected. He didn’t dare to look because he didn’t know what he might do and he somehow felt like he couldn’t give in no matter what.
He felt like it would end in disaster if he did.