Thinking back to that day, Qiu Ling sighed. He really missed the time with Jing He. It wasn’t bad spending time with his mortal reincarnation either but there wasn’t the same feeling of familiarity that Jing He had given him.
Ah, come to think about it his mortal reincarnation was already sixteen years old. That was about a fourth of a long human lifespan. If the life was short, it might even be a third already. Most of this time he had stayed with him. He had watched him grow up but he still didn’t feel for him like he felt for Jing He.
“That is … probably strange? You’re clearly the same person. Why do I still feel like it’s different? Do your memories really play such a big role?”
Qiu Ling frowned. If that was the case, then who knew what would happen after Jing He woke up? Honestly, he was a little afraid of that. “You wouldn’t stop loving me, right? You … shouldn’t mind those things I told him after you wake up.” He stayed silent for a while before he finally stood up. “No, you wouldn’t. You know how much I love you and I’m sure you love me just as much.”
He closed his eyes and sensed for the mark of the dragon he had left on Jing Yi’s body. “Uh? Why is it …” He turned around in the direction of their house. It seemed Jing Yi had already returned.
Qiu Ling smiled and hurriedly flew over, barging right in, and sweeping the person inside up into his arms. “My love! Did you miss me so much? Don’t worry, your future husband is finally back!”
Jing Yi laughed and clung to his neck to not lose his balance. “Alright, alright. Put me down.” He waited for Qiu Ling to comply, tiptoed, and gave him a short kiss. “Senior martial brother Yue showed me around the Alchemy division. It seems I don’t have to go there every day so …”
“So we can spend a lot of time together?” Qiu Ling grabbed his hands. Honestly, this missing feeling of familiarity probably just resulted from the fact that Jing Yi had been too young before. It absolutely wasn’t the same as spending ten years with Jing He who had already come of age at that time. So looking at it that way, the time where he could really get to know Jing Yi as an adult and potential partner had started only last year. He couldn’t expect to know him as well as he had known Jing He after just that short amount of time. No, such a thing had to be developed through intense study over a long period of time.
Jing Yi’s lips twitched. “Well, that too.”
“Oh? You had something else in mind?”
“There’s still the mission. Right, could you find out something?”
“Mn. I’ve seen both of them. They’re alright.”
“Hah?” Jing Yi raised his brows. “You’ve seen them?”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling nodded and led Jing Yi over to the bed. “It wasn’t that difficult. Ah, well …” Qiu Ling pursed his lips and looked at his fiance pitifully. “That vile woman actually hit me.” He turned around and showed Jing Yi his arm.
“Heavens!” Jing Yi gripped the ripped sleeve and looked at the wound below. Blood had smeared everywhere but he could still see the gash left by the sword. “This …” Jing Yi bit his lower lip. “Why would she do this to you? Did you tell her who you are?”
“No. I didn’t.” Qiu Ling tilted his head. “Are you mad?”
“Of course not! Does it hurt?”
Qiu Ling wanted to shake his head but reconsidered at the final moment and nodded instead. “Yes. You don’t know but she didn’t just use a normal weapon. Who knows what that blade was made of? It burned like fire when it hit. I was rolling around on the floor in pain.”
Jing Yi looked up with a pale face. “Maybe you should lie down.” He stood up and pressed against Qiu Ling’s chest, gently coaxing him to do as he said. “Wait a bit. I’ll get something to wash away the blood and cool the wound.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling nodded and watched Jing Yi leave. Actually, it didn’t hurt anymore but the pain he had felt back then was alarming. What kind of blade was able to injure a dragon to this degree? If this got into the wrong hands … That wasn’t important now though.
Jing Yi hurried back inside with a bowl of water. He set it down next to the bed and started to open Qiu Ling’s robe.
“I never would have thought you’d try to strip me under these circumstances.”
Jing Yi gave half a smile. “It’s good you’re still able to joke around.” He gently took the outer and inner robe off Qiu Ling’s body and looked at the injury. It really seemed gruesome. He felt queasy just looking at it and his hands trembled when he dipped a cloth in the water and wrung it out. Qiu Ling reached over and gripped his hand.
“You don’t have to.” He hurriedly put his robes back on and tried to sit up but Jing Yi shook his head.
“What are you doing? Let me clean that up for you.”
“It’s alright. It’s not that bad. I can do it on my own.” He turned away with a guilty conscience. He had looked forward to his beloved caring for him. Back in the Nine Heavens, he had never dared to go to Jing He if he got hurt. First of all, he wanted to appear strong and dependable but he also didn’t want to burden him with it. Jing He might have been the nephew of the God of War but his father had made sure he stayed far away from any fight. He had never seen any injuries. Going there and showing him these things … Qiu Ling hadn’t had the heart to do it. It would have felt like tainting him.
Well, maybe he had tried once only to fail spectacularly. He had thought it might be different with Jing Yi but … apparently, that had been wrong. It wasn’t what he had expected. As much as he saw him as Jing He, he also saw him as someone different with these things. He had felt like it wouldn’t be as bad. But now that he saw that shocked expression on his face … He couldn’t go on. It was just like with Jing He back then.
“Qiu Ling, please. We have to do something.”
“It’s really alright.” Qiu Ling took the wet cloth from Jing Yi’s hands and stripped half of his robe again. He silently cleaned the wound himself and made sure that Jing Yi wouldn’t be able to see the gash. “You know, it’ll heal soon.”
“How could that be? It’s such a deep injury! It’ll probably take weeks.” Jing Yi bit his lip again.
“It won’t for me. Mn … How about bandaging it for me?” Qiu Ling turned around and smiled. The wound didn’t look as bad anymore now that the blood was gone. And honestly, he just wanted to feel it. Just once. He knew it was selfish but he couldn’t help himself.
Jing Yi hurriedly nodded and took the bandage Qiu Ling had retrieved from his spatial ring. He slowly wrapped it around his arm, all the while looking like he feared to hurt him.
Qiu Ling watched with rapt attention. How long had it been since someone had cared for him like this? These gentle hands, that worried gaze … he himself couldn’t believe how much he craved this.
“Jing …” He kept himself from saying that name again and changed it at the last moment. “Jing’er, you have no idea how much I love you.” With that, he leaned forward and pulled Jing Yi into his embrace.
Jing Yi looked up at him uncomprehending. But seeing the expression in Qiu Ling’s eyes he understood. “I’ll always be there for you. And … I promise I won’t be as frightened the next time. Then I can do everything for you.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling nodded but he didn’t intend to let this mortal reincarnation of Jing He see his wounds ever again. In the end, they really were the same person even though there were some slight changes due to the different experiences they had made. He couldn’t be like that to him anymore. He had to treat him just as cautious as he had Jing He.