OMF V2C62 An Even Worse Situation

A week went by without any progress in Jing Yi’s cultivation. He had left the mountain and went in the direction of the capital but he hadn’t covered much distance. He couldn’t even see the city wall.
It was to be expected. Qiu Ling hadn’t even needed an hour to bring him to the mountain but they had flown and that fast. And not even considering the fact that he’d need much more time to walk back to the capital under normal circumstances, there was another problem: The whirlwind had caused too much damage.
Trees had been uprooted and entire villages collapsed. The people … Jing Yi could only sigh. Their moment of carelessness had done such huge damage. He tried to help wherever he could but there wasn’t much to be done. Maybe he could have helped more if he was a cultivator but even then … He might be able to help them reshape the villages but could that help those people? A lot of them were injured, some even heavily. What could a cultivator do about that?
„You’d probably need to be an alchemist to help in such a case. I should ask Qiu Ling if he knows anything about it when I see him again.“
Jing Yi sighed again when he thought of that. He still didn’t know what had happened to Qiu Ling. Every once in a while, he would look up at the sky in the hope of seeing him fly over. But each time he was disappointed. Qiu Ling wasn’t there.
By now, Jing Yi was really worried. Even though they hadn’t known each other for long, he believed in him. Qiu Ling wouldn’t just leave him to fend for himself. If he could, he would have hurried back to him as soon as possible.
So that could only mean that something had happened to him and it had to be bad. Bad enough that he was actually unable to make his way back to the mountain.
Jing Yi looked in the direction of the capital and hastened his steps. He wouldn’t know what to do if Qiu Ling was really badly hurt. Maybe … maybe it was something different. Maybe Qiu Ling hadn’t been able to stop the whirlwind outside of the capital and part of it had been destroyed? Considering how he had used to help other people before he came to the Yun Zou Sect he probably wouldn’t be able to reject their pleas for help for even a moment.
Yes, that might be it. Qiu Ling might have figured that he would be alright even if he was alone for a while and had started to help the people. As soon as he was finished, he would hurry over and take him back. He’d probably be heartbroken and apologize without end as soon as he saw him again.
Jing Yi smiled wryly. As much as he had hated Qiu Ling’s clinging at first, he really missed it now. He would have given his eyeteeth for Qiu Ling to appear and pounce on him, hugging him without letting go despite his protests. But he knew there was no way that would happen.
While Jing Yi worried about Qiu Ling, another day drew to a close. The sky had already darkened considerably but this time, Jing Yi marched on. He didn’t know how far it was to the capital. But he wanted to arrive there as soon as possible. He had to see with his own eyes that his mother and Qiu Ling were alright. Unknowingly, the two of them had already become equally important to him.
Jing Yi hurried on through the darkness. Well, at least, he tried. The uneven ground was littered with fallen branches and stones the whirlwind had blown over. Every few steps, Jing Yi stumbled. He still persisted on, though. Each step took him closer to the capital. Maybe if he continued for only an hour more every day, he would reach the capital a day earlier.
The last light finally vanished and Jing Yi was plunged into complete darkness. He stopped for a moment and looked up at the sky once again. Some stars were already twinkling up there but they weren’t enough to illuminate his way. They also didn’t reveal any figure up there.
Jing Yi shook his head. By now, he should have given up his hope to see Qiu Ling on his way back. They would pro—
„Ah!“
Jing Yi slipped on a patch of loose ground and lost his balance. He tried to grab onto something but there was nothing close enough to him. He fell and slid down the ground in front of him, tumbling further and further down. Finally, he collided with something hard and stopped moving. He didn’t get up again.
In the capital, the situation wasn’t looking any better. Qiu Ling still hadn’t woken up after this week. Madam Zhong was running to the teahouse in the morning and did her work with only half of her mind there. If somebody asked, she told them that her son-in-law had fallen ill and that she was gravely worried.
None of the guests made trouble for her because of that. All of them could imagine why she was this anxious. After all, a lot depended on a son-in-law. Especially for a widow like Madam Zhong.
As soon as the last guest left the teahouse, Madam Zhong hastened back home. She sat next to Qiu Ling’s bed and peered at his face, looking for any signs of him waking up. She couldn’t find any, though. It was as if Qiu Ling had been turned into a jade statue and would continue to be like that for all eternity.
With each passing day, Madam Zhong grew more anxious, until she finally couldn’t take it any longer and went to see Yu Jin who had stayed in one of the rooms of Zhong Gang’s house in case Qiu Ling’s condition might worsen.
„Daoist Yu.“ Madam Zhong knocked on his door.
Yu Jin opened his eyes but he didn’t stand up or open the door. „What may I do for you?“
„It’s …“ She sighed. „My son-in-law is still not awake. I know you said you can’t do anything. But there is something else. Before he collapsed he had taken my son out of the capital. It’s already been a week but I still haven’t heard of him. You … might you know something?“
Yu Jin looked at the door. „Your son?“
„Mn. Zhong Jing Yi. He’s also from the Yun Zou Sect. So maybe you know him?“
Yu Jin lowered his gaze. „I’ve heard of him. I haven’t seen him, though.“
„Oh.“
The two of them fell silent. Madam Zhong wanted to beg him to go look for Jing Yi but in the end, she didn’t. After all, this wasn’t Qiu Ling. She couldn’t expect any help.
„Then, I’m sorry to have disturbed you.“
„It’s alright. It’s to be expected that you are worried. I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help.“ Yu Jin closed his eyes again. He understood what she had tried to say but unfortunately, he couldn’t fulfill her wish. He had to stay and keep an eye on Qiu Ling. If he went away and something happened to him at that time … He didn’t even want to imagine the consequences.
„In the end, what is it that kept his consciousness back even until now? I couldn’t find anything but it certainly isn’t normal. He should have been awake for a long time already.“

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