Qiu Ling was of half a mind to go over and sweep Jing He up into his arms. It had been so long since they had seen each other. Fifteen years … That was even longer than he had known Jing He before the start of his trial. He really longed for him. Before he could take a single step, he felt some wetness on his hand though. He looked down and his mind went blank.
This … What was happening?
Somehow, he was greeted by his beloved’s crying face. It looked extremely pitiful. Big tears were rolling down his cheeks, his eyelashes trembled and his lower lip had started bleeding. He had obviously bitten down on it so as to not make a sound.
“My love!” Qiu Ling instantly let go of every notion of going over there. He wasn’t dumb. That there might look like his beloved Jing He but it was still only an apparition his mind had conjured up based on the countless memories he had of him. It wasn’t real. On the other hand, the boy next to him might not look like his Jing He but he still carried his soul. It was obvious what should have priority!
Qiu Ling encircled Jing Yi in his arms but was unexpectedly met with resistance. Uh … What now? This really was outside of his expectations. Shouldn’t his beloved feel comforted by his touch?
“My love!” he cooed once again and grabbed the back of Jing Yi’s head. Ignoring that the boy obviously wanted to escape from his arms he bent down and lightly kissed his cheeks, taking those tears away. “What are you crying for?” He asked him as gently as he could while trying to peer into Jing Yi’s eyes. Somewhere, there had to be a clue as to what had gone wrong.
Jing Yi averted his face though, obviously not intending to let him find whatever clue was there. “Why are you asking? Didn’t you want to go over there?”
When he answered, his voice trembled slightly. It tugged at Qiu Ling’s heartstrings, making him fail to notice what his beloved had actually said. After a moment, the words’ meaning hit him though. Once again, Qiu Ling was stunned speechless but this time, there was no panic. Instead, he calmed down at once and there was even a sweet feeling in his heart.
When Jing Yi didn’t get an answer, he took a peek at Qiu Ling to see if he was looking over to that person again and couldn’t even be bothered to pay any more attention to him. Instead, he was met with the sight of Qiu Ling’s eyes sparkling with almost as much affection as he had shown that beautiful man before.
Jing Yi couldn’t understand. At the same time, he didn’t know how to ask though, and could only stare at Qiu Ling in a daze.
Qiu Ling smiled even more brightly and leaned closer. “Eh, my love, it couldn’t be that you’re jealous, could it?” Qiu Ling had just been panicking because his beloved was crying in front of him but now that the realization had hit him, he didn’t know what to do with all the happiness inside his heart. The mood swing was too sudden to contain it and he just wanted to hug him close and swirl him around. Ah, what a great day! His beloved was actually jealous! This had to mean that he was very, very deeply in love with him!
“My love!” He hugged Jing Yi closer, laughing happily, just one step short of actually swirling him through the air. He only didn’t do so because he knew that Jing He would find such behavior scandalous and he didn’t want to aggravate him after he had just been so sad.
Jing Yi didn’t know what to think anymore. His tears stopped because of the shock and he only trembled a little, mostly feeling numb. It couldn’t be that … he had misunderstood somehow? That there was another explanation he hadn’t thought of?
He looked over there. That young man was still there talking with the person standing next to him. He was holding onto that person’s arm, smiling gently. He was still the only one that could be distinguished as an actual person. Even whoever was next to him had no apparent features even though there seemed to at least be the general impression of a really old man with a wrinkled face and a grim expression.
Jing Yi hugged Qiu Ling back and borrowed his head at his shoulder, trying to forget what he had seen. “Who is he?”
Qiu Ling kissed his cheek. “You don’t have to worry about that.”
Jing Yi took his hands back at once and tried to shove Qiu Ling off. Naturally, the dragon king didn’t budge. “Qiu Ling!” Jing Yi was about to cry again. He just couldn’t take it any longer. He didn’t understand. Actually, he did not even want to know. It would be so much better if he could forget about it but … he couldn’t. If he closed his eyes now, he would likely only see that man’s beautiful face and ask himself the very same questions again.
Qiu Ling sighed and cupped Jing Yi’s cheeks. It seemed he would not get out of this without giving at least a general explanation. Well, if that would make his beloved feel better, then he would do so.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t want to make you cry. But … you really don’t have to. I love you. I’ve said so before and I’ll repeat it as long as you want to hear it and … maybe even a bit longer. I will always love you. From the moment I first saw you I knew that.” He gently took Jing Yi’s hand and put it over his heart once again. It was beating madly. Of course, that had also to do with seeing Jing He again but he was not about to say that out loud.