Hong Bao looked up at him and tilted her head. She had never seen this man before. “You are …?”
The man smiled. “My name is Xiao Li. I couldn’t help but overhear what you were saying just now. So you are planning a wedding?”
“Mn!” Hong Bao nodded. Thanks to Liu Cheng’s constant nagging in the Chun Feng Sect she had broken her habit of trusting every stranger she saw. Thus, Xiao Li didn’t get more than that as a response.
He smiled wryly. Hadn’t this girl just talked that boy’s ear off? Why was she suddenly keeping mum when he wanted to talk to her? “Mn, it seemed like you needed some help?”
Hong Bao shook her head. “No, it’s alright.”
Xiao Li looked at her. Hong Bao looked back.
“Are you sure about that?”
Hong Bao nodded. “I’ve planned most of it already. I just need to talk about it with those two.”
“I see. Well, then … I won’t disturb you any longer.” Xiao Li smiled wryly, turned around, and walked away. As soon as he was out of sight, he dropped his smile and punched the building next to him. “Damn this! How can it be so hard to find out something about that boy?! That girl definitely knows something. I have to keep approaching her.” He narrowed his eyes, straightened his clothes, and went back to the crowd that was slowly dispersing. He didn’t believe it but maybe he would get lucky and hear at least something.
Meanwhile, Hong Bao had happily skipped back home to the estate of her sister and brother-in-law. She might not have been able to talk with Qiu Ling and Jing Yi for now but those two would come over in the evening anyway. She could wait for that long. In the meantime, she would just train a bit so that Liu Cheng would be proud of her when she went back.
On the other side of the Hei Dian Sect, Qiu Ling finally put Jing Yi back onto the ground. He hadn’t returned to their house with him but instead brought him to an uninhabited part of the mountain.
He had noticed this place when flying to the Grandmaster’s palace the previous day and had thought immediately that he should bring his beloved over. It wasn’t anything more than a small ledge that was just big enough for them to walk a few steps in each direction but there was green grass on the ground with some flowers in-between and even a little tree growing crooked out of the mountain.
Qiu Ling pulled Jing Yi over to the tree and sat down at its roots with him on his lap. “Ah, isn’t this great?” He snaked his arms around his waist and leaned back against the trunk, looking up at the sky.
Jing Yi smiled and observed the ledge. It was indeed nice here. He could see all of the Hei Dian Sect that was outside of the caverns. He didn’t really have the mind to admire the scenery though. Jing Yi turned in Qiu Ling’s arms and examined his face.
Qiu Ling smiled. “Are you admiring your fiance?”
“Do you have any relationship with the dragons?”
Qiu Ling’s lips twitched. What kind of question was that? And so suddenly? How was he supposed to answer without ample preparation?
“So you do.” Jing Yi turned back.
Qiu Ling coughed. “That …” It seemed it was too late to deny it. “Uh, it’s not that bad, is it? You know even though I’m not human, I’m still the best husband you could ever find.” He tightened his grip around Jing Yi’s waist and pecked his cheek.
Jing Yi sighed. He didn’t care for that. But there was something else that bothered him. “Qiu Ling, be honest with me: When we met back then … in the Yun Zou Sect or, no, when you saw me in the capital was that really a coincidence?”
Qiu Ling gulped. “Uh … How could that be a coincidence, my love? It was naturally fate that brought us —”
“Qiu Ling.” For the first time since they had become a couple, Jing Yi’s voice was stern. He wouldn’t let his fiance worm his way out of this!
“Well …” Qiu Ling pondered what to say. Argh, he really hated that he couldn’t give away that they had already been lovers in Jing He’s life in the Nine Heavens!
Jing Yi turned around and narrowed his eyes at him.
Qiu Ling’s heart beat faster. Oh, Heaven! He really couldn’t keep this up! “It’s … not that easy to explain.”
“We have time until the evening.”
Qiu Ling tried to evade his gaze. Jing Yi let him. He would have to answer him sooner or later so he could take his time.
Qiu Ling broke down after not even five minutes. He just couldn’t take being stared at by Jing Yi like that. The accusation was just too strong! “Alright, alright!” He looked up at him, his mind churning faster. He couldn’t tell him the truth. He needed a good excuse! What could have made him approach Jing Yi as a mortal?
“I’m all ears.”
“You … can’t get angry at me.”
Jing Yi paused. “So it’s something that should make me angry?”
“No …” Qiu Ling frowned. “I don’t think so.” But he also didn’t have an idea what he should claim as a reason. What could make a dragon approach a human? Or Jing Yi in particular? Was there anything despite his immortal identity that would warrant that? His spirit veins? But they were ordinary. Something he owned? But the most valuable thing he possessed was probably that jade bracelet he …
Qiu Ling’s eyes flashed. Right! That bracelet he had given him. And the things he had claimed back then. And … he lifted his hand and lightly touched Jing Yi’s brow. “It’s hard not to notice. I … guess I got curious and … then somehow fell in love.”
“So it’s really because of that?”
Qiu Ling blinked. “Huh? You thought it …”
Jing Yi smiled. “I just wanted to make sure so I asked. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I thought it wouldn’t be important. Or, well, isn’t it unromantic? It’s so much better to say it was just fate. Actually, I still believe it was fate that brought us together.”
Jing Yi laughed and hugged him. “It’s alright. It certainly was fate. It’s just that … there was something that made you follow fate’s plan.”
“Mn. So you’re not mad?”
“Prove it!” Qiu Ling pursed his lips and inched closer. He had suffered such a shock just now. He just had to get something in return!
Jing Yi shook his head, cupped his cheek, and kissed him. Mn, dragon or not, Qiu Ling really was the best husband he could imagine. The only one, actually.
Unfortunately, they both didn’t suspect that Qiu Ling’s lies from this day would soon bring about Jing Yi’s hardest trial.