OMF V2C47 Nothing Has Changed

Qiu Ling and Jing Yi entered the capital city and made their way over to the teahouse where Madam Zhong still worked. Jing Yi stopped in front of the door, though. He looked at the familiar entrance and thought back to the time five years ago. Things had happened so fast back then … First, his father had died, then that strange man told him of the dragon king and finally he met Senior Martial Brother Wu and left for the Yun Zou sect.
Maybe it had been too fast and it would have been better if he stayed with his mother. Wouldn’t she have needed him at her side after losing his father? How could he just leave her in such a situation? Back then, he hadn’t been able to think as far but now he could and he felt guilty about it. How had his mother felt all those years? Especially since there wasn’t even a word from him. For all she knew he could have been dead long ago!
Jing Yi gulped but just when he couldn’t take these thoughts anymore, his hand was grabbed and Qiu Ling’s fingers interlaced with his. Jing Yi sighed and forced a smile.
“Thank you. I’m alright.” He took his hand back. Under no circumstances did he want his mother to see him like this. He had to make sure she was alright first, then beg her for her forgiveness and then he could slowly approach the topic of Qiu Ling and that marriage proposal.
He took a deep breath and stepped into the teahouse. Everything looked exactly the same: The wooden tables with the guests, the counter at the side with the doors to the kitchen and the preparation room next to it, the staircase to the second floor … The woman carrying a tray over to one of the tables.
Jing Yi’s eyes teared up. He hadn’t seen her for five years but he had thought of her very, very often. He had missed her so much!
“Mother …” Jing Yi couldn’t think of any decorum. He ran over and flung his arms around her neck, instantly breaking out into sobs.
Madam Zhong was stunned for a moment, unable to grasp what was happening. Someone had just run into the teahouse and hugged her before she was even able to see his face. But then, the person started to produce heartrending sobs. Even though Jing Yi had always been a quiet child and never really cried she still instantly knew it was him. Maybe it was just the instinct of a mother.
Madam Zhong sighed, lifted her hand and patted his head. It probably shouldn’t surprise her but after five years of not seeing him, her son had actually grown as tall as her. In a few years, she might need to crane her neck to look him in the eye.
“It’s alright. Mother is here.”
“Mother …” Jing Yi cried even harder, hugging her as tight as he could. “I’m sorry! I … I should have come home sooner. I … I should have … should have at least send a message!”
Madam Zhong chuckled. They both knew that that was complete nonsense. She couldn’t read so what good would a message do? Moreover, Jing Yi still couldn’t write a single word. He hadn’t needed to in the capital and even in the Yun Zou sect writing wasn’t something he absolutely had to learn. It would have been nice if he could at least read a bit just in case he ever managed to get his hands on a cultivation manual someday but how should he learn it?
Thus, the son and mother wouldn’t even have had the possibility to keep in touch through written messages. The only possibility would have been to send someone to tell the other person directly but who would go from the capital to the Yun Zou sect and just deliver some message for people he didn’t know? There was no one.
“It’s alright”, repeated Madam Zhong. “Come on. I’ll take you to the preparation room. You can slowly tell me everything. How much time —” Before she could finish her sentence, she finally saw the other person that had silently walked into the teahouse.
He had been so quiet that she might not have noticed him at all but some of the sharp-sighted female customers had spotted him and were instantly stunned into silence that had spread through the whole lower floor.
Qiu Ling ignored them but smiled at his mother-in-law. She obviously remembered him. Great! Now he wouldn’t have to work that hard. He just had to let her have a good talk with her son and then nothing would get in the way of their love!
Jing Yi wiped the tears from his cheeks and took a deep breath. He didn’t want to make such an impression on his mother after finally seeing her again. He dropped his arms and stepped back, looking at her apprehensively. “Mother”, he called out in a low voice, a little afraid how she would react.
Madam Zhong just smiled and patted his cheek. “You’ve grown taller. Now, come on in. Don’t just stand there like a stranger.” She motioned at the door to the preparation room but halted and turned back to Qiu Ling. “You, too.”
“Mn! Thank you, mo—” Qiu Ling picked up on Jing Yi’s warning glare and stopped himself before he could call her mother-in-law. Right. It seemed like his beloved didn’t want him to call her that for now. Mn, he’d have to wait until they were officially married.
“Ah, mother, I hope you don’t mind. This is my Senior Martial Brother Qiu, Qiu Ling. We’re supposed to travel outside together after my visit, so I brought him with me.”
“Senior Martial Brother”, repeated Madam Zhong and smiled wryly. This man certainly didn’t mind whatever identity he took on. It seemed he was still intent on winning her son over. “Well, then, come with us.” She took her son’s hand and led him into the preparation room, ignoring all the customers that were focusing with wide eyes and strained ears on her son and Qiu Ling.
The three of them walked inside and were greeted by the sight of Nie Huang brewing tea.
Jing Yi smiled. Yes, it really is just like back then. If not for Qiu Ling following me I could just imagine I hadn’t left at all.
He didn’t know yet that Qiu Ling had already been following him around back then. So, actually, there really wasn’t anything that had changed. All of them had just grown a little older.
Thinking back now, his biggest trouble back then had been how to avoid Zhong Guanyu. Now he had come back to ask his mother for advice on how to deal with Qiu Ling. So, yes, nothing had really changed. He was still being chased around by people who had fallen in love with him and he still didn’t know how to face them.
It was just … this time, it wasn’t that detestable. Actually, he liked that feeling of having someone close to him very, very much.

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