OMF V2C69 Traces Of Bad Memories

Meanwhile, Jing Yi was wandering through another part of Qiu Ling’s inner self. He had finally managed to get out of the complete darkness but he wasn’t sure if that was any better.
Jing Yi frowned at the hut in front of him. You couldn’t say that it was dilapidated. Actually, it was in a pretty good condition. It was just that it looked somehow eerie. He couldn’t say why, though. It was just a normal, wooden hut with a door, two windows and a roof that was jutting out on one side. There was a bench below the roof as if it wanted to invite you to sit there on a rainy day and look out at everything getting wet while you didn’t have to worry about a thing.
This should have been a harmonious picture. So why did he feel so creeped out?
Jing Yi slowly inched closer. He listened for any sounds but there were none. Right, there were no sounds at all. Jing Yi stopped and looked around once again. There was nothing besides this hut: No people, no animals, not even any plants. It was as if everything had been sacrificed so that this hut could grow right out of the ground.
Why was this thing in Qiu Ling’s inner self? Did he have some kind of connection to this hut? Had something happened here?
Jing rubbed his arms to disperse the chill that was creeping up his body. Slowly, he stepped closer to the hut, half expecting the door to open but nothing happened. When he arrived in front of the door there was still no change around him.
He reached out to open the door but jerked his hand back as soon as he touched the handle. It was wet. He turned his hand and gulped. Was that … blood on his fingers? He looked up at the handle and indeed, it was coated in blood.
Jing Yi gulped again. He didn’t want to touch it but he had to. He needed to find Qiu Ling and he needed to find out what his inner demon was. Maybe Qiu Ling was in this hut. Maybe whatever was in there, whatever had caused these bloody traces, had to do with his inner demon. He had to make sure.
He opened the door and looked inside. Everything looked normal. There were two beds and a table with three chairs and some cupboards. Nothing out of the ordinary. There were some more bloody traces but not many and all of them were small.
Jing Yi went over and examined one of them. It looked like the mark of a hand, a small hand. He frowned and went over to a chest that was standing next to the bed. There were clothes inside. Sifting through them, most seemed like the things Qiu Ling liked to wear: Made of fine fabric in dark colors and sometimes with embroidery on it. It seemed those weren’t the clothes of just one person, though. There were robes for men and for women alike and he even found some clothes for children.
Jing Yi paused with one of those little robes in his hands. Two beds, clothes for a child and small, bloody hand-prints. Was this … something from Qiu Ling’s childhood?
He couldn’t piece together what had happened, though. Where did the blood come from? Had Qiu Ling been hurt? Or had something happened to his family? Jing Yi felt that the latter was quite likely. Hadn’t Qiu Ling once said something along the lines of him being the most important person to him? If he didn’t have his family anymore, that would explain it. After all, it was impossible for him to value someone he only knew for a few days more than his own flesh and blood, right?
Jing Yi put the clothes back, took one last look around the hut and left. He closed the door behind him and silently wiped his bloody hands on his robe. The stains vanished after a moment, thanks to the special silk. If it wasn’t for what he had just seen, it would be as if he had never been here.
Jing Yi sighed and continued on. He felt like he was getting closer to the cause of Qiu Ling’s inner demon. And maybe he would find Qiu Ling himself there, too. He just had to follow the clues.
He didn’t have to go far to find something. Though he would have wished that he hadn’t stumbled upon this scene. Behind the hut was a small hill. He had gone up there because it was the only thing different in the otherwise unchanging solitude of Qiu Ling’s inner self.
The hill turned out to be the beginning of higher ground. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that the hut had been built in a slight depression. Looking down at it from above, Jing Yi once more felt that this should have been a picturesque sight but he couldn’t shake the cold feeling inside him that the bloody traces had evoked.
Jing Yi sighed and shook his head. „I merely took one look at the memory preserved in his inner self and I can’t calm down. It’s no wonder this left him with something like an inner demon. Qiu Ling … I’m sorry you had to live through this.“
He turned his back toward the hut and instead looked down at the ground before him. The body of a man was lying there. His hand had grabbed onto his weapon and drawn it out half-way but his effort had obviously been futile. He still had his eyes opened and stared intently at the sky. It seemed as if he had tried to communicate some kind of directive before he died.
Jing Yi knelt down beside him. This man looked a lot like Qiu Ling, especially his eyes. It was obvious that he had to be his father. „So your father died early and in such a bloody way.“
Jing Yi sighed. His own father had died early, too. And even though he hadn’t been a great fighter and had lost quite easily to the men who came to make trouble in the teahouse, he had stood in front of his family to protect them. This man had done as much. Maybe he had seen his wife and child in the distance and wanted to tell them to just leave him be since it was too late for him anyway? He certainly wanted them to run away, to seek shelter from those that had managed to kill him. Even without him, they would be able to go on. He could probably die in peace if he knew that they would go on living.
Jing Yi reached over and gently closed his eyes. If Qiu Ling had been there, then they could have buried his father’s body. Most likely, Qiu Ling hadn’t had the time to mourn for him back then.
„You were probably fleeing for your own life. How could you have had the time to bid farewell to him? Maybe that is part of your inner demon. You regret not being able to send your father off in the manner he would have deserved?“
Jing Yi stood up again and looked over the dark meadow in front of him. Qiu Ling’s childhood really hadn’t been good. In comparison, he himself was lucky. At least, he had had his father for a few years and then people had come to help his mother and him. He never had had to flee. In fact, his own life had been quite blessed.
„When we get out of here I’ll make it up to you. You might not have been able to spend much time with your family when you were young and you might not have many happy memories but I’ll promise you that the two of us will make up for that. We’ll really marry someday and then when we’re a family we’ll make lots and lots of happy memories. I promise.“

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