The Gathering of Practitioners finally commenced but the initial excitement had died down. Somehow, the person that had originally been sure to get the first place had vanished.
The disciples that were left to fight felt glad but then couldn’t help but be disappointed as well. What good was it to win because the favorite had left on his own and didn’t bother about the fights anymore? Wouldn’t people just say that they had become lucky?
The most maddening was that their audience that had been eagerly awaiting the fights for weeks was now not even looking anymore. They just whispered amongst themselves, glancing over to the boy that the Grandmaster’s disciple had proposed to every now and then. All of them were wondering just how he had managed to make this peerless genius fall in love with him so thoroughly. Maybe they should go over and ask for relationship advice?
The person in question had no idea how he had managed to do this either. In fact, Jing Yi was still in a daze when the fights finally ended. He didn’t know who had won the Gathering in the end and he hadn’t registered any of the flaming remarks Shao Hai had to say about that ‘hateful disciple of the Grandmaster that couldn’t be trusted under any circumstances’.
Until the time Jing Yi went to bed that evening all of his thoughts were occupied with that burning gaze and those earnest words and that gentle hold on his hands. He even seemed to still be able to feel that person’s heartbeat.
Qiu Ling … He couldn’t help but blush thinking of him. Was this … love? But hadn’t they just met? Were you supposed to fall in love just like that? Ah, why wasn’t there anybody he could ask for advice? If he could just talk it over with his mother … But he hadn’t seen her in the past five years and he also knew that there was no way to change that. He couldn’t leave the sect at random. If there wasn’t a mission or an emergency with their family, then the disciples were required to stay in the sect so they wouldn’t slack off. And even if they went on missions, then they couldn’t just stray from the way. There just wasn’t any way for him to return home and ask her for advice.
Jing Yi sighed and turned onto his other side. Never mind being in love, Qiu Ling had asked him if he wanted to marry him. But what was marriage actually like? He knew it was some kind of relationship like how his parents had shared it. But that had been some years ago and as a child, he hadn’t paid much attention to it. He only had the vague impression that they had lived together in the same house and that his father had always done what his mother said. But that couldn’t be all, could it?
Was there nobody he could ask about that?
Jing Yi pondered. He knew a lot of people in the outer sect since he had already stayed there for five years and done tasks for almost all of them. But unfortunately, he didn’t know any of them well. With some of them, he was barely familiar enough to greet them when he saw them. He wouldn’t dare to just walk up to them and ask such personal questions.
Then that only left Shao Hai and Xiao Dong. But Shao Hai had always spoken of wanting to marry him himself so maybe it wasn’t too good to ask him? That would leave Xiao Dong as the only option …
Jing Yi thought of that cold face and couldn’t help but wonder if Xiao Dong was really the right choice for this. He probably didn’t know about things such as love and marriage? Then again, he often looked at Shao Hai with a similar determination as the one he had seen in Qiu Ling’s eyes today.
Jing Yi turned around again and sighed. He could at least try to ask Xiao Dong tomorrow. Maybe he was wrong about him and Xiao Dong was actually very knowledgeable about these things. It was worth a try. And if he couldn’t get an answer from him, he could still try to come up with another idea. Maybe Xiao Dong would even be willing to help him think of a way if he couldn’t answer his questions himself.
Satisfied with the solution he had found, Jing Yi finally fell asleep.
Meanwhile, a lone figure clad in a white robe stood in front of the building and looked up at the window of the room where Jing Yi was sleeping. Qiu Ling was of half a mind to go up there and just stay with him for the night but he held back. He clearly remembered what his mother-in-law had told him back then and he certainly wouldn’t jeopardize his own chances of success because of a single moment of weakness. No, he had to stay strong and implement his plan. Only that way could he make sure that he would be at his beloved’s side for the rest of his trial!
Mn, when they returned to the Nine Heavens, he should thank his mother-in-law. She really had the best ideas. Just thinking back to those days when he had implemented this plan to capture Jing He’s heart for the first time … his own heart hurt and happily thumped in equal parts.