A few more minutes went by until finally, Jing Yi’s brows twitched. Before he could open his eyes, somebody had thrown himself across his body. “My love! You’re finally awake! I’ve waited for so long!”
Jing Yi was still in a daze just like Qiu Ling had been when he woke up but the eager tone of voice called him back to reality fast. He blinked his eyes, trying to see the person above him only to be greeted by a wave of black hair. He had no doubt about who this was though. “Qiu Ling …” Speaking up, he couldn’t help but frown slightly. Was this really the same man who had just told him about his tragic past? Why did he sound completely different now? It was as if what had happened in his inner self hadn’t been real at all. He had just gone back to how things had been before.
“Jing’er!” Madam Zhong grabbed her son’s hand. Once again, tears were streaming down her cheeks but this time, they were tears of happiness. Finally, he was awake! Not only had Qiu Ling returned, but she also had her son back.
“Mother …” Jing Yi only noticed that his mother was beside them now. He blushed, completely embarrassed that he hadn’t paid attention to her and, well, that she was seeing something like that.
He wriggled around, trying to pull out from under Qiu Ling but he didn’t have any luck. Jing Yi’s brows twitched. Somehow, this scene felt all too familiar. “Qiu Ling, get up.” He squeezed Qiu Ling’s hand but, naturally, that had the inverse effect to his wishes.
Qiu Ling snaked his other arm around his waist and raised his head, looking into Jing Yi’s face. His hair was hanging down at the side, shielding them from Madam Zhong’s view. “Mn, my love!” Qiu Ling bent down and kissed him, ignoring the fact that his beloved was trying to shove him off.
Jing Yi turned his head aside. “Qiu Ling …”
Madam Zhong smiled and quietly left the room. She felt like she should give her son and son-in-law a little privacy. After such an ordeal that they had only managed to overcome together, they were probably even closer now. A third person shouldn’t intrude. And anyway, since her son was back now it wasn’t like she would have to wait much longer until she could talk to him again.
Back in the room, Jing Yi was still trying to get his lover off of him. “Qiu Ling!”
“Don’t worry. Mother-in-law already left.” Qiu Ling went for another kiss but once more his lips met slender fingers instead of silky lips.
“You’ve given her such a bad impression!”
“No, you don’t need to worry. Mother-in-law likes me. She won’t mind us being affectionate. After all, she was married once. She knows what longing means.” He pulled Jing Yi’s hands down and at least gave him a quick peck. He knew he wouldn’t get more at the moment. It was a pity but he’d have to live with that for the time being. Well, there would be many more opportunities in the future. There was no need to be too sad.
Jing Yi didn’t know what to say. He just looked at Qiu Ling with a mixture of resignation and indulgence. He wouldn’t be able to change this man’s behavior anyway. Why should he try? It at least went to show how much Qiu Ling loved him.
Thinking of that, Jing Yi couldn’t help but soften his stance. He smiled faintly, reached up, and circled his lover’s neck with his arms. Looking at him for a moment, he finally raised his head to give Qiu Ling a kiss of his own. “Are you satisfied now?”
Qiu Ling pursed his lips. “No, no. Another one.”
“Alright. But get up first.”
Qiu Ling hesitated. “I really get another kiss if I get up?”
Qiu Ling sat up and pulled Jing Yi along. Before his beloved had the chance to change his mind, he pulled him up against his chest and took over his lips. He didn’t stop at one kiss though. After the first one, he just wrapped Jing Yi more tightly in his arms. After the second, he pulled him onto his lap, and after the third, he thought about pressing him down onto the bed again.
“How about we marry right now?” he whispered when he withdrew for a moment.
Jing Yi smiled but shook his head. “Did you forget already what your Master said? We can only marry when I’ve reached the root stage.”
Qiu Ling blinked. Mn, it seemed there had been something like that. “Then what stage are you at right now?”
“The seed stage.”
“And the root stage is the next one?”
Jing Yi nodded and got a relieved sigh in return.
“Then it won’t take long. Let’s go and train right now!”
Qiu Ling already wanted to leap to his feet and drag Jing Yi out for practice. Unfortunately, his lover wouldn’t have it.
“Qiu Ling, there are different levels to a stage. It won’t be that fast even if we train the whole day. Grandmaster Zhangsun already said that I’d be able to make it in a year but that was under the assumption that I have heavenly spirit veins. Now, my aptitude is worse. It’ll be a miracle if I actually manage to reach the root stage in a year.”
Qiu Ling froze. “You want to say … we can only marry in more than a year?!”
Qiu Ling felt like his whole world was collapsing. This couldn’t be! He had finally gotten his Jing He’s promise in the trial as well but now he had to wait a whole year?! Damn this! Just what kind of grudge did Heaven have against him?!