OMF V4C57 Falling into Madness

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Jing Yi sighed and went back to cultivating. He had the time now, so why shouldn’t he use it? Just like yesterday he sat in the lotus position and started to take in the spiritual energy. He slowly guided it through his body, making sure nothing unexpected would happen.
Unfortunately, Heaven didn’t care what people planned. Not even an hour had gone by when Jing Yi’s hands twitched. The spiritual energy around him got out of control and shot off in every direction. He didn’t have time to care for that, though. Before he knew what was happening he fell down onto the bed again and pain shot through his body. He pressed his eyes close and the next thing he new he had returned to that other life.
When he opened his eyes he once again held a brush in his hand just like in the memory he had seen after eating the fruit of the Beguiling Night Tree. This time the painting wasn’t finished though and what it showed …
Jing Yi stared at it through the eyes of his past life in astonishment before the other hurriedly covered it. He jumped to his feet, walked a few steps and slumped down on another chair. He sighed but still looked back at where the painting was lying on the table.
“This is madness …” His voice was low, almost inaudible. If Jing Yi hadn’t relieved this as a memory, he probably wouldn’t have been able to understand even if he stood just a step away from him.
His past self covered his face with a hand and averted it but in the end, he couldn’t resist standing up and going back. He lifted the empty scroll he had thrown at the painted one and looked once again at the painting below, his heart thumping wildly.
Jing Yi had seen the general gist of it even before he managed to cover it but now he finally had time to take a closer look: The painting showed two men who were holding each other’s hands below the branches of a pine tree. They were looking off into the distance, their faces couldn’t be seen.
Still … Looking at this painting it gave off a feeling of contentment. These two men they seemed to be happy to share this moment. The quietness that they alone enjoyed in the other’s company …
Jing Yi couldn’t understand how this translated to ‘madness’ in his previous life’s eyes. Or maybe …
He tried to take a closer look at the two men to find out if they might be a depiction of himself and his lover but his past self already stood up again and slowly wandered to the door on the other side of the room. He opened it and looked at the garden outside.
“My Tian …” He sighed again, his heart squeezing painfully.
Jing Yi couldn’t help but perk up. Tian? Was that the name of his past lover? Then what was his own? Nobody seemed to have used it until now.
Before he could think about it any longer there was a knock on the door on the other side of the room. “Your Highness.”
The voice was deep and made him shudder. He instinctively clutched the frame of the door while looking over. The one behind that other door was obviously the man he longed to see.
“Your Highness?” The voice sounded again, a sliver of worry mixed in there that tugged at Jing Yi’s heartstrings.
His past self couldn’t refrain from slowly walking over there. He didn’t dare to open the door, though. “I’m sorry, I … I’m not feeling too well today. Please excuse me for not seeing you.”
There was a short silence on the other side before the rustling of clothes could be heard. The other person had obviously stepped closer. “What may be the matter?”
What may be the matter? Oh, how could he tell him? Obviously, it was because he couldn’t sleep at night because he thought of him all the time and it was because he couldn’t eat in the day when the one he loved hadn’t come by that morning.
“I …” He tried answering but the words wouldn’t come out.
With a sigh, he reached out and his fingers gently touched the wooden beams of the door as if this wasn’t just an object but the person he loved instead. He wanted to open the door, he wanted to see him, he wanted to talk to him but he didn’t dare to. Wouldn’t everything become even worse then? Just where would this lead? He could hardly think of anything else but this man these days.
Without him, he was empty. Without him, he was nothing. By now this person he hardly knew was everything to him.
The other man had obviously noticed that he wouldn’t get an answer. He wouldn’t be deterred by that, though.
“If you’re feeling unwell today, then you should lie down. Take it easy for today, take care of yourself. I … wouldn’t be able to take it if you … were to suffer any harm.”
Jing Yi leaned his head against the door, his heart throbbing painfully. How could he still utter such sweet words to him? Didn’t he know that he was driving him further and further toward that abyss? If he ever stepped over that edge, then there would be no turning back. He couldn’t allow that.
“I will.” He didn’t say anything more so as to not encourage him anymore.
He wanted him to go so that he didn’t have to carry on this arduous conversation but he also wanted him to stay for a while longer so that he could listen to his voice.
“Is … Is there anything I can do?” The man seemed to step even closer to the door. By now, Jing Yi could hear his breath.
“This … should be of no concern to you.”
“How can you say that? Aren’t we friends? A friends well-being is naturally my concern. If I were able to do anything to -”
A friend? Jing Yi’s heart gave another painful thump and this time it was too much. The ground suddenly seemed to come closer. A slight sound of shock escaped his mouth but it was enough to alarm the person on the other side of the door. Before he could tumble down, the door was already opened and a pair of strong arms pulled him into a warm embrace.
Jing Yi closed his eyes. This really … was madness. And he seemed to be falling deeper and deeper into it.

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