While Jing Yi resolved to shape a beautiful future with Qiu Ling as soon as he found him, the other person’s resolve was slowly collapsing.
By this time, Qiu Ling had spent several weeks in this inner self of his. Originally, he had wanted to wait things out but since that hadn’t worked, he had finally decided to try and work through things to find an exit. Unfortunately, while he had confronted one of the greatest fears, one of the most bittersweet memories of his life, and the biggest regret that still made him feel guilty to this day, he hadn’t gotten closer to solving this issue at all. It wasn’t wrong to say that he was dejected.
Seriously, he just didn’t want to do this anymore. He didn’t want to be confronted with things he hated anymore just to walk away and still not get out of here. What was the use of this? Just let him leave already!
Thus, Qiu Ling just sat there and stared at the woman opposite him with a deadpan expression. She looked back at him with one just as lacking. For a while now, he had been pondering her name in the hope that using that might garner at least some kind of reaction from her but … it had been too long ago. While he remembered how she had looked and what he had done, there was no way any other details would have stayed with him for this long. To be honest, he was actually amazed that he did remember her looks.
Being lost in thought, the two of them continued sitting there just like that without speaking or doing anything. Finally, Qiu Ling pulled himself out of his thoughts and shook his head. He couldn’t take it any longer. He furrowed his brows at her and spoke up as if that could change the situation. “What good does staring at me do? You’re still not going to come back to life.”
The woman didn’t answer. She just sat there and continued to stare.
Qiu Ling took a deep breath. He really didn’t know how long he had been sitting here, locked in this stupid situation. He wanted to stand up and go but he didn’t know where and he didn’t even want to guess what he’d encounter next. He just didn’t want to risk it.
He couldn’t help but get snappy when thinking of what might come. This whole situation was getting on his nerves. “Do you think you’ll live on as long as I feel guilty?” Qiu Ling frowned even more, his gaze boring into her.
This woman … measured in human years she looked to be about sixteen or seventeen. She was a dragon though so that would make her about four-hundred centuries old, maybe even a little more. That was close to the time when dragons came of age which also happened to be the time when they were allowed to get married. And, obviously, that had been exactly what she had hoped for.
“Seriously, I never would have married you. It was all your wishful thinking. Even if … that hadn’t happened.”
Qiu Ling pressed his lips together, inwardly cursing himself. This was getting him nowhere.
The silence between them stretched out and another hour went by. Finally, Qiu Ling sighed and made another attempt even though his hope of getting out of here was getting fainter and fainter. “You see … I’m sorry. There, I said it. And I actually really mean it. You could have had a nice husband and children and … well, you could have had a future if you hadn’t met me. I’m sorry for taking that from you. But it’s been long past. Why can’t you … just go away? There is nothing I can do about it anymore.”
He still didn’t get an answer. Qiu Ling covered his face with his hands. This was dumb. “You’re not even really there. I’m just imagining you.” He didn’t know whether he was talking to her or to himself. Maybe it was both.
“I’ll just stand up and go.” He said so but he continued to sit in the same place.
After a while, he looked back at her. “You know I totally don’t mind that you’re angry at me. Actually, you have every right to do so. Heavens, if somebody killed me before I could get married, I’d certainly want to make them pay. But seriously, this kind of making someone pay is dumb. Can’t you just come back as a restless soul and haunt me out there? Why do we have to do this in here?”
This time, he actually stood up, his gaze scurrying everywhere. He wanted to get out of there. Never mind facing off against whatever inner demons could still be thrown at him. He had ignored them for so long, he could continue to do so but he had to leave his inner self somehow if he ever wanted to see Jing He again.
“Jing He is still waiting for me. Who knows how much time has already passed out there? Ah.” Qiu Ling had only gone a few steps before he sank to his knees covered his head with his hands. “My love … I never should have gone and tried to save those insignificant people.” Qiu Ling groaned. “No! What should I do? You’re all alone on that cold beach now. You must be asking yourself whether I abandoned you or if I will still return. You’re probably sitting there right now, ripping out the leaves of a flower, trying to divine whether I love you or not. Uh, really, you don’t have to fret about that! I’ll always love you, always!”
He leaped to his feet again and started to pace up and down, completely ignoring the woman opposite him. “Don’t you worry, my love. I’ll make it up to you. As soon as I get out of here, I’ll fly over to where you are and pull you into my arms. I’ll hug you and shower you with kisses and then we can talk about our marriage again. You’ll see: You’ll feel much safer after we’re married.”
He stopped and pondered for a moment. “Before we talk about the marriage, I should probably confess my feelings again. Ah, I already told you in the most perfect way the last time. What am I supposed to do now?”
He frowned and a serious expression found its way onto his face. If one saw him like this, one might actually expect him to ponder on how to vanquish his inner demon. In fact, Qiu Ling had once again started to just ignore his problems. It might not have been a conscious decision but there was a lot fear could make one do. And for him, acting unreasonably had already become second nature.
“Mn … blue robe … your hair … Ah, I should include that too. Inner qualities are important.” From time to time, he mumbled to himself. In the end, he turned around to the woman that was still staring at him. “I’ve finished. I just found the perfect way to confess to my beloved again.” He still didn’t get an answer so Qiu Ling’s gaze wandered around, trying to find something else he could say or do. “It couldn’t be … that you want to know what it is?” He raised his brows and looked at her. “Ah, well, if it’s like this …” He waved with a smile and went over, sitting down next to her in the log. “Actually, I’ve composed a poem for him,” he said proudly, looking at her with a smug expression.
He might not know how to get out of his inner self yet but was sure that a poem was the next best way to confess his feelings. Jing He was a cultured person after all. He loved hearing poems. If he managed to compose a poem that was truly able to capture Jing He’s greatness and his love for him, then that would definitely deepen his beloved’s feelings. Thus Qiu Ling was satisfied with himself right now.
Satisfied enough to forget for a moment that he was still trapped in his inner self. Ah, thinking of his beloved just had this kind of magical effect on him.