On the other side of the sea, things had also returned to normal. The water swept across the sand just as usual, bringing some pebbles or shells with it each time that remained there for a while before they were pulled back into the sea.
Just outside of the reach of the waves stood Jing Yi, his eyes still closed like he had promised Qiu Ling. He had even covered his face with his hands and was constantly muttering to himself, trying to convince himself that nothing bad would happen. But even though he tried, he couldn’t help but be still afraid that something might happen to the people on the other side, maybe even to his mother and his friends in the Yun Zou Sect.
In fact, the longer he waited at the edge of the sea, the more he worried that something might have happened to Qiu Ling too. After all, this had been a dangerous task. What if Qiu Ling hadn’t been able to stop the wave? What if he had tried too hard and finally gotten injured himself? What if he had crashed into the water and … and …
Jing Yi didn’t even dare to think about it further. He wished that he could have been any type of help but what could he do? He wasn’t a practitioner or a cultivator. He didn’t even know how to take in spiritual energy. He also didn’t know much about these things or the world in general.
He was not just no help but even a burden to Qiu Ling. All of this had only happened because of him. Because he hadn’t been able to learn on his own and needed Qiu Ling’s help.
Jing Yi finally couldn’t take it any longer. He lowered his hands and opened his eyes, half hoping that he might be able to see Qiu Ling at the horizon. Unfortunately, there was nothing but the sea in front of him. Nothing could be seen of Qiu Ling.
Tears gathered in Jing Yi’s eyes and he crouched down, once again covering his face. “I’m sorry, Qiu Ling, I’m really sorry. This is all my fault …” He took a shaky breath and then lowered his hands. “Crying won’t help,” he whispered to himself. “I should rather think about what to do now. If Qiu Ling was alright, he would have come back by now. So … something must have happened to him.”
In that case, what could he do? He wasn’t able to fly so he could hardly go after him across the sea. There also wasn’t any place close by that he knew of where he could go and ask for help. And with the Yun Zou Sect being on the other side of the sea, he also couldn’t go there to alarm Qiu Ling’s Master.
Other than that … Where even was Qiu Ling? Had he managed to make it to the other side? Or was he somewhere out there at sea? Without knowing that, there was no way to help Qiu Ling even if he could find somebody willing and able to help.
Jing Yi sighed, wiped the tears from his cheeks and stood up. “It’s the worst possible situation but what will crying help? I can’t always depend on Qiu Ling. This time, I’ll have to depend on myself and also show Qiu Ling that he can depend on me. First, I’ll try to find the nearest town. I can ask people if they have seen anything or know how to get to the other side. Maybe they’ve even heard of another cultivation sect in the vicinity. Then I can go there and ask them.”
He nodded to himself and then looked both ways. Even though he felt that the idea was quite alright, he had no idea where the nearest town was. Which way should he go? “It probably doesn’t make a difference. Sooner or later, there has to be a city.” He shook his head, took a deep breath and then marched off in one direction at random.
He walked along the side of the sea, looking out into the distance every now and then in the hope of getting a glimpse of Qiu Ling’s figure rushing toward the shore after all.
Unfortunately, nothing of the like happened. The sky stayed empty and the bad feeling inside Jing Yi grew. He clenched his hands tightly, silently encouraging himself that he would find a way out of this situation and that he would soon see Qiu Ling again. When he did, Qiu Ling would definitely be alright. He would be smiling happily and pull him into his arms and once again drive him insane with the way he never listened to him and just did whatever he wanted.
Jing Yi closed his eyes and took another shaky breath. “I never should have been like that to him. Why did I always reject him? Is it really so bad? He was just … just a little excited. He was always happy around me. I should have been glad that I mean so much to him.”
He bit his lip and shook his head at himself. He shouldn’t think about that right now. He had to keep going and somehow deal with this on his own. He had to get stronger for Qiu Ling. He had to prove to him that he would be able to do it even without help. He had to … make up for what he did wrong before. Otherwise, he really wouldn’t be able to look him in the eye anymore.