Jing Yi bit his lower lip and chastised himself. What was he thinking? Never mind that this person was his previous life’s self, he was also the person that meant the most to Qiu Ling. Wishing for his death … That wasn’t what he should do. No, he should be able to take this. He should be able to take what had been between Qiu Ling and Jing He and move on from this. If he wasn’t … Didn’t that say more about him than Jing He?
He peeked at Qiu Ling But his lover was still smiling, fondly remembering the times back then. Obviously, he had been very happy even though it had taken a lot of time to make Jing He give in to him.
Jing Yi rubbed his brow. Come to think of it, he and Jing He had reacted pretty similarly. Jing He had taken ten years to accept Qiu Ling before he gave in and he had also taken his sweet time to accept his proposal.
At first, he had wanted to try it out only to reject him harshly and afterward, he only gave in after they spent the year traveling together. But then things turned difficult when they went to the Hei Dian Sect and he remembered that scene from his past life. And it had only gotten worse after he was trapped in the secret realm at the Leyuan region and took in the energy from that herb he found. The following misunderstanding had almost separated them forever and even when he finally decided that whatever had happened in his past life wasn’t important, the demon king had kidnapped him and told him those things. Even though he was back now, the matter that the demon king had revealed stood between them right now.
He would have loved to pretend it was different, but he also knew that they currently weren’t in a position to get married and spend the rest of their life happily. Obviously, Qiu Ling wasn’t able to deal with the fact that him being alive meant that Jing He couldn’t return. And he himself … Well, naturally, he wasn’t willing to give up his life for that person.
He had his own life. Why would he throw it away? There was still his mother and didn’t he also have friends in the sect? He also wanted to cultivate to become immortal and spend the rest of his life with Qiu Ling. Why shouldn’t he be allowed to do that? If he wasn’t wrong, then Jing He had lived several hundred years. If he was given that much time, then he should also be given that much time. It would only be fair.
Jing Yi glanced at Qiu Ling and squeezed his hand. “Qiu Ling …”
Qiu Ling turned to face him and smiled. “What is it, my love?” Now that he had managed to speak of what was bothering him, he felt slightly better. Yes, they were still in the same troublesome situation. But at the very least, Jing Yi knew. And because of that, Jing He would also remember. That was already very good, wasn’t it?
Jing Yi smiled wryly. ‘My love’, wasn’t that the way Qiu Ling had called him from the very beginning? Wasn’t that how he had called Jing He? He really didn’t like it very much.
Jing Yi sighed and forced himself to push the thought away. “I understand that the situation is difficult for you. But maybe we can agree on some things?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Sure, whatever you want.”
Jing Yi also nodded and then raised a finger. “First of all, you can’t call me like that anymore. If you do, it’ll make me feel like I’m just his replacement. But I don’t want to be. For the time I have with you, I want to be just myself. Just Jing Yi. Your … Jing’er.”
Qiu Ling nodded in a daze. He certainly had no problem with calling Jing Yi that way. “If that’ll make you happier.”
“It will. I just … I want you to love me for myself. Not because I’m his reincarnation. I know,” he interrupted Qiu Ling’s protest. “I understand that it’s not that easy for you. The two of us are tied together for you. But still. At least let me feel that it is just because of myself. That is all I ask of you.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Sure. I’ll … Try my best. I can’t promise though. It’s hard to separate even though I do have to admit that it has gotten better.”
Jing Yi nodded, feeling happy inside. If it had gotten easier, then maybe there was still a chance. “I know that it won’t be easy but you trying means already a lot to me.”
He fell quiet and pondered again, sorting his thoughts so he wouldn’t forget anything important. “I also understand that one day, he will have to return since he’s important to the Nine Heavens. But this is also my life. So I want some time. I can’t tell you right now how much I want. But at the very least, I still want to spend some time with my mother and my friends and I do want to see where my cultivation can take me. Can you accept that?”
Qiu Ling nodded again. “It’s your life. The trial wasn’t meant to be this way but it turned out like that. So it is the time you have acquired. Even if it means that Jing He will have to wait, it is the time you deserve.”
Jing Yi nodded. “I think it’s alright. There’s nothing I can change about being his reincarnation or, well, his trial. I can only try to make the most out of it, isn’t that right?”
Qiu Ling leaned over and hugged him to his chest. “Thank you. Thank you for being so understanding. Maybe we’ll be able to make it work out.”
Jing Yi snuggled up against his lover’s chest and stared at the bamboo that was gently swaying in the wind behind him. Yes, maybe hey would be able to make it work out. If Qiu Ling really fell in love with him and not as Jing He’s reincarnation but with him as a person, then maybe … he wouldn’t even have to give up his life.