Jing Yi leaned further away from Qiu Ling to make sure he wouldn’t try anything again and smiled wryly at Grandmaster Zhangsun. Never mind that he didn’t believe that he would be able to do what the Grandmaster had asked for him, this was too embarrassing!
Zhangsun Xun Yi didn’t think too much about Qiu Ling’s behavior. Anyway, he had already proposed to the boy and since they wanted to travel together, he felt that Jing Yi should have accepted the proposal already. Thus he thought that Jing Yi was unsure about the challenge he had issued. “Remember that you’ll have heavenly spirit veins after you take the pill. By then, cultivating won’t take you as much time. A year should be enough.”
Jing Yi lowered his head. The same thought going through his head once more. What he had said to Qiguan Cheng Da was true: He did believe that he should achieve his goal through his own hard work. Having somebody else gather the materials for him and just taking the pill seemed wrong. He didn’t want to be that kind of person. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how to bring it up. After all, Qiu Ling had put in so much effort to have that pill created and Grandmaster Zhangsun also wouldn’t like it if his disciple worked without result. Especially if he was hesitant about this anyway.
Qiu Ling grew restless. He didn’t care for these stages at all and he certainly wouldn’t let anybody tell him whether he could marry his beloved or not. He’d still decide that on his own! “Is that everything, Master? Can we go now?”
Zhangsun Xun Yi nodded. “Yes, you may go.”
Qiu Ling didn’t need to be told twice. He pulled Jing Yi to his feet and ran out of his Master’s palace as fast as he had run in. “Let’s go, my love!” Once again, he wrapped Jing Yi up in his arms and flew up into the air.
Jing Yi clung to his neck. This wasn’t fun at all! Did that idiot not know that he couldn’t fly? What if his grab loosened and he fell down?! “Qiu Ling!”
“What is it?” Qiu Ling halted in mid-air. His beloved’s voice had sounded quite urgent. Had they forgotten something?
“Let me down!”
“Hah? Didn’t you want to go to the capital? Don’t tell me you want to walk? That would take ages!”
“How can we fly like this? What if you drop me?”
Qiu Ling blinked. Oh. So his beloved was afraid. That … probably was the right opportunity to showcase his love?
Qiu Ling slowly descended. They had already left the Yun Zou Sect behind and were on one of the mountains of the Long mountain range that overlooked the forest at its feet. Qiu Ling gently put Jing Yi down. “There is no need to worry. I’d never drop you. I’ll never let go of you. I’ll hold onto you.” He took Jing Yi’s hands into his and gently caressed them.
Jing Yi blushed. He suddenly felt uneasy about raising such a fuzz. Qiu Ling was doing all this just for him and he had indeed held him tightly, not shaking in the slightest. “It’s alright … I’m sorry.”
Qiu Ling leaned forward and hugged him just as gently as he had held his hands. “You don’t have to be. I’d do anything for you. If you don’t like flying that way, then we’ll do it another way.” He stepped back before Jing Yi could grow uneasy and waved. The wind picked up and blew a cloud down.
Jing Yi’s eyes nearly popped out. What … What was going on? Wasn’t Qiu Ling a practitioner? “How …”
Qiu Ling smiled and stepped onto the cloud, pulling Jing Yi with him. Jing Yi yelped and grabbed his arm, pressing his eyes shut in fear but the cloud below his feet was soft but still firm. It only bounced a bit when stepping on it but then didn’t move. The feeling was quite strange.
Qiu Ling hugged his beloved from behind and put his arm on Jing Yi’s shoulder, his whole being radiating happiness. He turned to face Jing Yi, his lips almost touching his cheek. “Let’s sit down,” he murmured, his breath brushing Jing Yi’s ear.
Jing Yi’s legs went weak. Seriously, what was going on with him?! He could only sit down with Qiu Ling’s help, still wrapped in his arms. Jing Yi closed his eyes. There was nothing he could say about this. He had been the one who didn’t want to fly cradled in his arms. Now, Qiu Ling had already given him an alternative that would let them get to the capital fast while still being more secure. Qiu Ling had done whatever he could. Jing Yi sighed and leaned back into Qiu Ling’s chest, trying to ignore the breath that gently caressed his cheek and the heartbeat he could feel in his back.
Whatever his mother was going to say, he already felt like it wouldn’t be too bad to be with Qiu Ling. He hadn’t felt that strange repelling feeling from the beginning anymore for a while. If it went on like this … Even if he didn’t love him now, he might do so in the future. Qiu Ling just magically attracted him.
The cloud steadily rose back into the sky and started to move toward their destination.