“Actually, I … haven’t told you everything.”
Jing Yi’s heart raced. Qiu Ling hadn’t told him everything? Could it be … Was this the answer he had been searching for? The final clue that might enable him to decide between Qiu Ling and Tian?
He gulped and took a few deep breaths to get his heart back under control. Only then did he look up at Qiu Ling again. “Then … What is it? You can tell me. I won’t hold it against you. I’m sure … whatever you kept from me was kept from me for my own good.”
Qiu Ling’s gaze softened. Jing Yi trusted him this much. It really … made him want to kiss him.
He almost leaned forward and did what he wanted to but he caught himself at the last possible moment. Actually, he had bent down already. And actually, their lips were just half a breath short of touching. He looked into Jing Yi’s eyes that showed his inner struggle and sighed. Ah, this wasn’t the moment yet.
Qiu Ling lowered his eyelids and leaned back. “That senior martial brother Yu …” He furrowed his brow. Well, if he was at it, he might as well spill the whole truth. “Actually, he’s not really a disciple of the Yun Zou Sect.”
“Ah?” Jing Yi’s brows raised. What had Qiu Ling just said? “You … You want to talk to me about senior martial brother Yu?” Where was the profound truth he had been expecting? How was this related to their relationship? To his memories of Tian? He somehow … felt cheated by his former fiance.
Qiu Ling coughed. “Ah, no, that’s … I just … I mean it does have to do with that.” He looked at Jing Yi’s face again and sighed, reaching out for his hands. “You have to promise that you won’t get angry. I … I kept a lot from you.”
“Well, if it’s about senior martial brother Yu, I definitely don’t mind. His matters aren’t my —” He bit his own tongue. Oh no! Had he just revealed his previous lie?
Qiu Ling smiled. “Don’t worry. I already know that you only pretended to have fallen in love with him.”
“What? How … How could that be? I … I even kissed him!”
Qiu Ling nodded slowly. “Right. You kissed him.”
Jing Yi blushed. “That … I mean …” He looked away and lowered his head. “I guess I’ve been stupid.”
“Not that much. In fact, I did believe it at first. Actually, I still don’t understand why you would do so. Is it so bad to tell me you found some of your past life’s memories?”
Jing Yi lifted his head again. “How do you know about that?”
Qiu Ling smiled and flopped down on the ground, propping his head up on one hand. “That’s what I wanted to tell you.” His lips raised in a mischievous smile.
Jing Yi continued to sit in front of him and hesitated. Qiu Ling’s gaze said that he wasn’t up to anything good. He shouldn’t ask but … he wanted to know. In the end, he could only give in to temptation. “So then why don’t you tell me?”
“It’s not nice to talk like this. Come.” He patted the spot beside him. “Do you want me to spread out the blanket for you?”
“No.” Jing Yi shook his head. He hesitated again but finally just laid down beside Qiu Ling. “So will you tell me now?”
“Mn. If you want me to.”
Qiu Ling’s breath brushed Jing Yi’s face, making his cheeks flush red again. He felt as if it had been a long time since they were this close together even though he knew that they had spent the morning hours in even closer proximity and hugged just now.
Still, lying next to him, looking into his eyes and feeling his breath … it felt rather intimate. If he reached out now, he’d be able to touch Qiu Ling. If he inched just a bit closer, he would almost be lying in his arms. But even like this …
He took a shaky breath. “So what is it now?”
“That senior martial brother Yu of yours told me.”
“Because of my soul?”
Qiu Ling nodded.
“But that … that doesn’t make any sense.” Jing Yi narrowed his eyes and wanted to get up but Qiu Ling reached out and cupped his cheek, making him freeze on the spot.
“You … You said dragons were good at this. But how would he know …” His gaze flitted about and finally, understanding dawned in them. “Senior martial brother Yu knows about you.”
“Mn. He has known all the time. As I’ve said, he isn’t really a disciple of the Yun Zou Sect.”
“Then he’s a dragon?”
Qiu Ling shook his head. “He’s from the gods. An ascended deity.”
“So he was originally human like me and cultivated long enough to ascend to the Nine Heavens?” Jing Yi’s heart jumped. That had been what he worked for for the last few years. If he could also ascend, then he’d be able to find out —
He stopped the thought right there, his guilty conscience weighing down on him. Yes, if he ascended, then he could go and find that other man he had promised himself to. But that would also mean to lose the one he loved in this life forever.
Maybe it would be better if he kept cultivating and stayed at Qiu Ling’s side until he took his last breath without ever ascending. Then he might be able to pretend he just hadn’t been able to find out more about Tian. And maybe in his next life, he would be able to be with Tian instead. That way wouldn’t everyone be satisfied?
Maybe Tian didn’t even know that he had been reborn already. Maybe he would just patiently wait for him in the demon realm. Which reincarnation came to him … it might not even matter.
“Actually, I … haven’t told you everything.”