The two of them returned to Jing Yi’s bamboo house, the mood between them still subtle. Qiu Ling couldn’t help but feel his guilty conscience raise its head. Despite what he had decided to do, he was unable to treat Jing Yi like before. The thought of Jing He was always lingering in the back of his head, reminding him over and over again that each friendly gesture he showed Jing Yi, might hurt Jing He in the future. But at the same time, he would hurt Jing Yi each time he held back.
Qiu Ling stopped in front of the door and pulled Jing Yi back into his arms. “Didn’t you want me to teach you how to fly?”
Jing Yi blinked and then glanced up. Qiu Ling still seemed … slightly awkward. “Qiu Ling …”
“You know you can tell me if something is bothering you.”
Qiu Ling nodded but didn’t speak up. How could he tell Jing Yi about this? It was bad enough as it was. There was no reason to make Jing Yi have the same doubts as him.
Jing Yi watched his lover’s expression and sighed. “Qiu Ling, didn’t we want to get married before I … was taken away?”
Qiu Ling returned him a questioning gaze but for a moment, there was a flicker in his eyes.
Jing Yi sighed. “I still stand by what I said before: I love you. I’ve done a lot of things wrong in the past but I do love you and I’m still willing to marry you. But … you also have your considerations. I don’t understand them very well since I’ve never been to any of the immortal realms and don’t know much about them but I can understand that you know a life different from the one we’re leading here.”
Qiu Ling nodded. He didn’t really understand why Jing Yi was saying this though.
“You …” Jing Yi gulped and took a deep breath. He had to bring it up. Even though it might hurt, it was still better to bring it up. After all, back in the demon realm, he had sworn himself to talk things through with Qiu Ling in the future instead of assuming something based on the few things he knew. “What the demon king said … about Jing He waking up after I die, that is true, isn’t it?”
Qiu Ling winced. Right. Jing Yi had already found out about that back in the demon realm. He had … almost forgotten with everything that had happened since then. “That isn’t —”
“You don’t have to lie.” Jing Yi put a hand against Qiu Ling’s lips and gave a smile. “It’s alright. I can take the truth. I’ve remembered some parts of that life and … I do know that we’re basically the same person. Originally, I thought he had died somehow and that his soul was reborn as me. But the demon king said those things and … his uncle also insinuated that something like that was going on. Furthermore, there was somebody in the demon realm that told me the same thing. So I … I know. I just want to make sure. I want to hear it from you.”
Qiu Ling’s lips tightened. He hadn’t wanted to speak about it. He had wanted to pretend that all this wasn’t true but … it seemed he wouldn’t get around it.
He sighed and then pulled Jing Yi with him, sitting down in the grass a few steps away from the bamboo house. “Well, what can I say? Since you already know … It’s true. Jing He … he descended to do a trial in the mortal world. It means that … he’ll have to live through one human life and experience what the humans experience. I don’t understand it too well.”
Jing Yi nodded. He remembered how he had talked about that trial with Qiu Ling back in his past life. He had thought that he must have died on that trial but as it turned out, the trial was still ongoing. He was indeed this trial.
He took a shaky breath and tried not to think too much. He had already known that this was the case. What was important was the rest. “So he will wake up after I die.”
Qiu Ling hesitated but finally nodded. “He will.” His lips quivered and he closed his eyes. “You will.”
Jing Yi gave a smile. Yes, to Qiu Ling, they had probably been just one person from the very beginning. They had always been ‘Jing He’. “Then if I ascend …” Would that be the end of his life?
Qiu Ling hesitated. He probably shouldn’t tell him too much, should he? In the beginning, that was what had almost cost Jing He’s life. His real life. He couldn’t risk that. But then again … Jing Yi already knew so much and a lot of that hadn’t been because of him. Even his own uncle had said these words to him so it shouldn’t be a problem?
“If you ascend, then Jing He won’t wake up. It’ll still count as his trial I think. So he … he won’t wake up. He’ll just continue to sleep.”
Jing Yi nodded. “So it’s like that.”
Qiu Ling nodded as well. He had no idea what else to say. Honestly, what would his beloved think now? He didn’t even dare to ponder too deeply. This really … wasn’t a good situation. “I’m sorry.”
Jing Yi watched his expression that clearly showed his remorse and couldn’t help but smile. This was so typical of Qiu Ling. Whether it was his love or hate or any other emotion, he showed them so plainly. “What for?”
“What are you sorry for? That trial … It wasn’t your idea, was it? I think I remember that you weren’t happy about it.”
“I wasn’t. I just … wanted to marry him so we could stay together forever.”
“But then I happened.”
Jing Yi took a deep breath. “Then … do you want to have him back? Or …”
Qiu Ling closed his eyes. This was the question he feared the most. Unfortunately, he couldn’t evade it this time.