OMF V2C31 Scars Of The Past

Qiu Ling stood at the edge of the sea and looked down at the water with a grim expression. No wonder this thing was called the Glowing sea. He could actually see lights down there. Great, just great. Why couldn’t this be the sort of ultra-deep sea where everything would be pitch black after some hundred meters? Seriously, was heaven toying with him? He sent a glare toward the sky but finally waded into the water.
As a dragon, he naturally had no problems with entering the deep sea. It was just that this kind of place was best traversed in his other form. The form he hated profoundly.
In fact, the water called out to dragons. Upon entering a stretch of water that was big enough to house the body of a dragon, they would naturally transform. It was an instinct routed in their core. Fighting against it and deliberately staying in their humanoid form would expend a lot of energy. More than they would have if they also had to travel. Thus, it was out of the question to just remain as he was.
Qiu Ling closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. „It’s for Jing He“, he told himself and gritted his teeth. „You can do it for him.“
In all honesty, he hadn’t taken on that form since his childhood. If it hadn’t been a natural instinct, he might have even feared that he had unlearned how to change forms. Well, it might have been good he could actually forget how to do it.
Qiu Ling took a look around. Nobody was there. Nobody could see him. He waited a moment and tried to sense any sort of life around him but there were only the creatures of the sea. No humans, no dragons, no gods, no demons. Nothing that could be a problem.
He took another deep breath, then his form changed. He didn’t dare to dally and instantly plunged himself into the water. For a moment, the few rays of sunlight that managed to break through the surface of the sea reflected on his scales. Then, Qiu Ling was diving too deep for any light to reach him.
He stopped there in the darkness, his eyes trained on the lights glowing at the bottom of the sea. His tail lashed out uneasily and produced waves that crashed onto the shore. Qiu Ling didn’t care about that, though. He only saw those lights and one thought penetrated his mind: If he went further down, someone might see.
He drifted around for a while. Neither could he go on nor could he go back. Maybe he should just return to his original appearance and continue on like that? But he knew that wasn’t a good idea. Even he would have to expend a lot of energy uselessly for something like that. He might not even make it to the ground. He could try, though. Just … Why was he even hesitating?
Nobody was around. Nobody would find out. And this could bring Jing He back to him sooner.
Qiu Ling’s eyes closed and he thought of his lover’s tranquil smile. Jing He, Jing He … Even if you knew, you probably wouldn’t hate me, would you? You would still be there at my side, smiling like that, gently looking at me. You certainly wouldn’t despise me. No, not you. Even if the whole world turned against me, you would still stay with me, wouldn’t you?
Having found some of his calm back thanks to these thoughts, Qiu Ling hastened to the ground. He only opened his eyes when he could feel the bottom of the sea right in front of him.
He looked over the herbs growing there but couldn’t find what he needed. He grew frantic. Where was it? He didn’t want to stay here! He wanted to go back up! He wanted to return to Jing He’s side!
He swiveled around between the plants without any idea how to proceed. At this moment, he couldn’t remember what had stood in the Grand Elder’s book. He only knew that that herb had to be somewhere around there.
His tail rammed into a shell and toppled it. It opened and a white pearl rolled out and stopped in front of him. The smooth surface reflected the lights of the luminescent herbs. And it threw back his image at him.
Qiu Ling recoiled but it was already too late. He had seen it. He had seen it again. He closed his eyes and furled his dragon body but the image haunted him. Those scales that were of the same beautiful black as his hair and eyes … and the markings that blemished them. Those markings that no dragon should ever have.
And even worse … Qiu Ling extended his head from under his tail and took another look at the pearl. A pair of eyes stared back at him that wasn’t of the beautiful black color he was so proud of. At least one of his eyes wasn’t. Instead, it was a deep crimson.
As bloody as the scene he had tried to forget all those years.
Qiu Ling stared but finally couldn’t take it any longer. He rammed his tail against the pearl, shattering it in a hundred small parts. And with the pearl and the shell out of the way, he finally saw it: The herb he had so desperately searched for. It looked just like seaweed, just that it was of a silvery-white color and gave off a sweet scent.
Qiu Ling used his magic to excavate it and then turned tail and fled. He didn’t want to stay even a moment longer down there.
He only managed to cross half the distance before he completely broke down. Ha lacked any energy to go on. His dragon form failed him and he turned back into the black-haired man as which Jing He knew him. He extended his arms but couldn’t actually do anything. The waves just toyed with him, throwing him around, letting him tumble from one side to the other until he was finally washed ashore.
Qiu Ling just lay there on the beach, unable to move even one inch. He just took the herb and put it into his spatial ring where the other ingredients already waited for him to take them out again and have them refined. This trip couldn’t be wasted. He couldn’t lose the herb. It was necessary to get his beloved back as soon as possible, after all.
„Jing He …“
Qiu Ling trembled. He really, really wanted to see him now. He wanted to make sure that his beloved wouldn’t leave him, that he would stay at his side.
He wanted to make sure his secret was still safe.

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