OMF V2C67 I’ve Decided

Jing Yi sat at Qiu Ling’s bedside, holding his hand and looking at his face. Another day had gone by but Qiu Ling still hadn’t woken up. The question if he should try to access Qiu Ling’s inner self to help him overcome whatever it was that tormented him got more pressing with every hour.
Jing Yi wouldn’t mind getting into a dangerous situation if it meant that he could help Qiu Ling. It would be the right thing to do, especially considering that Qiu Ling had done so much for him already. But he was afraid that his lacking knowledge of cultivation and his low level might cause problems that would even worsen Qiu Ling’s condition. After all, his Senior Martial Brother, Yu Jin, had said that entering someone’s inner self was dangerous for both people. He couldn’t risk hurting Qiu Ling even more.
But what else could be done? Even that Senior Martial Brother Yu didn’t have an idea. He himself certainly wouldn’t have one. No, they would need somebody more proficient than themselves.
Jing Yi pursed his lips and finally stood up, caressing Qiu Ling’s hand for a moment, before he turned around and hurried to Yu Jin’s room again. He knocked.
“Senior Martial Brother Yu?”
In the room, Yu Jin once again cracked his eyes open.
“I … I’m sorry to disturb you again. It’s just … I was wondering … Do you think we could ask Grandmaster Zhangsun to come over? I mean Qiu Ling is his disciple, after all.”
Yu Jin sighed. “I’m afraid that even the Grandmaster won’t be able to help him. And even if he could: How do you want to call him over? I can’t leave, in case anything worse happens to him. As for you … How long would you need to get back to the Yun Zou Sect?”
Jing Yi lowered his head. That was true. So that couldn’t be done either. Unfortunately, at that moment, he didn’t think of the paper cranes the people in the inner sect used to send messages. Otherwise, he might have at least managed to inform the Grandmaster. But just as Yu Jin had said: It wouldn’t have helped anyway. Zhangsun Xun Yi, too, would only have been able to find out that Qiu Ling’s condition was likely tied to the appearance of an inner demon. But he couldn’t have done anything to help him.
Jing Yi stared at the door in front of him and bit on his lower lip. “Senior Martial Brother … if … nothing is done and Qiu Ling doesn’t manage to overcome this, then … what will happen to him?”
Yu Jin sighed. “He’ll stay like this. In the end, his cultivation base will be assaulted resulting in a Qi Deviation and, finally, death.”
Jing Yi closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against the door. “So it’s certain that he’ll die”, he murmured.
“Not necessarily. There is still the possibility of him overcoming the inner demon on his own. It’s hard to say how likely that is, though. Considering that he managed to become Grandmaster Zhangsun’s disciple his mental strength should be good. That speaks in his favor. But I don’t know him good enough to guess what this inner demon is. If it could harm him enough to trap him in this condition, then it might be too much for him to handle.”
Jing Yi paced around in front of the door. What Senior Martial Brother Yu says doesn’t sound good for Qiu Ling. It seems quite likely that he won’t make it. In that case, wouldn’t it be better if I just tried? There shouldn’t be a problem with that. Maybe I’ll really be able to help him overcome this, after all, he did trust me very much previously. I should at least be able to enter his inner self.
“Senior Martial Brother Yu, would it be possible for me to help Qiu Ling? We are quite close so I feel like … If he would permit somebody to enter his inner self, then that person would probably be me.”
Silence greeted him from the other side of the door. In the end, he only got a noncommittal grunt.
“Senior Martial Brother?”
There was a sigh. “I also don’t know. You might be right. We can only try. You have to seriously consider this, though. If you fail, you might both die.”
Jing Yi looked back at the other side of the building where Qiu Ling was lying in his room. If he didn’t try, then Qiu Ling would most likely die. If he dared to attempt entering his inner self, then there was a chance of them both surviving. He couldn’t back off just because of fear.
“I’ll do it. Just … let me bid farewell to my mother first. Just in case.”
“Alright. Come and get me when you’re ready. I can at least guide you in entering his inner self.”
“Thank you, Senior Martial Brother Yu.” Jing Yi bowed, even though Yu Jin wouldn’t be able to see it from inside. Then, he turned around and went to the room where his mother was staying.
She was sitting there in front of the shrine that was holding his father’s memorial tablet. Jing Yi lowered his gaze and went over, kneeling beside her.
If something really happened to him, then she would be left all alone. Having her watch her only child die before her … Wasn’t that too cruel?
He bowed in front of his father’s memorial tablet and sighed. “Mother, father, the two of you have always tried to keep me save back then. But father also believed that a man should fight for his family. For me … Qiu Ling is part of my family already. Now, he’s in grave danger and I might be the only one who can save him. The thing I decided to do is dangerous, though. Mother, father, I’m sorry. I know, I should accompany you until the end but I might not be able to do so.”
He turned toward his mother who could only sigh. “I expected as much. Your father … He would certainly be proud of you.”
Jing Yi nodded and looked up at his father’s memorial tablet. “You’ve already lost father and I —”
“Sh.” Madam Zhong took his hand and shook her head. “Whatever it is you have to do, Qiu Ling would do the same for you. You wouldn’t be the son I brought up if you didn’t do this.” She took a deep breath and stroked his hair back. “Just be honest with me, is there any chance that the two of you will live?”
Jing Yi nodded. “There is. It’s small, though. I can only try my best and hope that Qiu Ling will be able to do the rest himself.”
“I’ll come with you and wait for you two to come back.”
Jing Yi prepared to refuse but in the end, he only nodded again. She would probably feel better if she could be there, even if she was unable to do anything besides waiting.
He stood up and helped his mother to her feet, then he went to fetch Yu Jin. The three of them entered the room where Qiu Ling was lying. Jing Yi looked at his mother for the last time, then he sat down next to Qiu Ling.
Yu Jin nodded. “It’s best if you lie down. And here, take his hand.”
Jing Yi followed his command and interlaced his fingers with Qiu Ling’s.
“Now, close your eyes and concentrate. I’ll do the rest. If he really accepts you, then you’ll be able to enter his inner self. I can’t guarantee where inside you’ll appear, though. It might be close to him but you could also be somewhere far away. You’ll have to search for him and then find out what is holding him down. You can interact with him, so whether you’ll manage to achieve anything will depend on how close your bond is and how much that inner demon torments him.”
“I understand.” Jing Yi closed his eyes, calmed his heart and concentrated on Qiu Ling next to him. He would be able to do this. He would save Qiu Ling and safely return with him. He promised himself as much.
Yu Jin waited a moment, then he lightly touched Jing Yi’s hand. A sliver of spiritual energy entered Jing Yi’s body and jolted his inner self. Before Jing Yi knew what had happened, the foreign spiritual energy had already brought him to a dark place.
Jing Yi stared. This … was Qiu Ling’s inner self?

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