Jing Yi went toward the courtyard where Xiao Dong and Shao Hai were normally training. He hesitated before turning the last corner though. What exactly should he ask? And how should he do it? Could he really just go over and … ask away?
He bit his lower lip. To be honest, he felt a little awkward imagining the scene. Although Xiao Dong hadn’t grown taller in the last five years since he got here and still looked the same as before, he knew that Xiao Dong was older than him. So … marriage probably wasn’t such a foreign thought to him? After all, with fifteen, people were old enough to marry. While he had only just reached that age, Xiao Dong had already passed it by several years. He should have thought about it a lot, right?
Just when he almost reconsidered, Xiao Dong stepped around the corner. He stopped in front of Jing Yi and raised his brows, silently asking what the beloved of his king might want. “Jing Yi. Did you just come? Is there something I may do for you?” He had always been courteous with Jing Yi. Now that his king had arrived and would stay at the sect, he would try even harder to please his king’s beloved. If his beloved was happy, His Majesty would be happy as well!
“Xiao Dong …” Jing Yi squirmed. He suddenly felt that the idea to ask him had been a dumb one. Maybe he should go and ask somebody else instead? How about senior martial brother Qiguan? He was much older so he might see him as a child anyway. It wouldn’t be as awkward asking him.
Xiao Dong motioned to the building to invite him in when he suddenly halted. Wait. He couldn’t invite him in! This was His Majesty’s beloved! How dare he even think about inviting him into his room?! He awkwardly cleared his throat and then waved his hand to motion down the path instead. “Ah, how about we go and take a stroll outside?”
Jing Yi blinked. “Alright?” What was it with people suggesting for him to take a stroll today? Was the weather really that nice? But it seemed just like yesterday?
Xiao Dong smiled relieved and hurried away from the building. He wouldn’t be able to make it up to his king if anyone misunderstood the situation. To make extra sure that nothing bad would happen, he looked for the path with the most disciples wandering about. He even went so far as to maintain an additional step of distance between them. No, nobody may misunderstand! This wasn’t any kind of romantic stroll!
He cleared his throat and looked even further away. “So what may I do for you?”
Jing Yi gulped and glanced at Xiao Dong’s expressionless face. Since he had already come over and since Xiao Dong had even asked if he could help him, he couldn’t just pretend that there was nothing. And anyway, Xiao Dong was his friend. Even if he found it strange that he hadn’t thought much about marriage yet, he would still try to help him earnestly. He should just get it out with.
Jing Yi took a deep breath. “Well … You see, I … I was wondering if you might be able to give me some advice.”
“Advice?” Xiao Dong blinked. He hadn’t expected this! Well, to be honest, he hadn’t been sure what to expect. Most of his time these years had been spent with Shao Hai, trying to prevent him from getting closer to Jing Yi so … He didn’t understand His Majesty’s beloved very well. Mn, what kind of advice might His Majesty’s beloved want from him? Anyway … “If it’s something I know, I’ll naturally help you.” This was his chance! Helping the king’s beloved was like helping the king himself. This was a great opportunity!
“Well, I don’t really know how to say this but … I was wondering about yesterday.”
“Yesterday?” For a moment, Xiao Dong didn’t know what this was about. Then, his face lit up. “Oh, you were talking about Hi— uh … Grandmaster Zhangsun’s disciple.” Splendid! This was even better than he had thought! If His Majesty was the subject, then he could try to steer Jing Yi in the right direction!
“Mn.” Jing Yi nodded. He waited to see if Xiao Dong would say anything else but nothing came. Ah, he had probably been relieved too soon. He wouldn’t get around asking himself, regardless of how embarrassing he thought it was. “It’s just that … I don’t really know about those things. I was wondering if you might know more about it.”
Xiao Dong’s eyes widened. Was this really the opportunity he had been praying to the Heavens for?! “Are you … asking for my advice regarding how you should answer?” He turned toward Jing Yi and narrowed his eyes that were sparkling with delight. Inwardly, he couldn’t help but chant ‘Say yes, say yes!’ He really wanted to give him advice!
Jing Yi got scared though when he saw those narrowed eyes. “Ah, never mind, I can go and —”
“No, no.” Xiao Dong hastily grabbed his sleeve. “It’s no problem at all! Actually, I had already felt like I should offer it of my own volition because your reaction yesterday was really lacking.”
“Lacking?” Jing Yi frowned. Well, he hadn’t said anything. That could probably be called lacking. Maybe it would have been better if he rejected him decisively?
“Mn. You know, I think you should accept.”
“Accept?” Jing Yi could only repeat what Xiao Dong had said. He had thought he could find out more about what marriage was like. Now, he instead got advice on how to proceed. And it was advice that he didn’t understand either. “Why?”
“He obviously loves you very much! He’d hold you in the palm of his hand and care for you for the rest of your life, keeping you safe and anticipating your every wish. Wouldn’t you love to have a partner like that?”
Jing Yi pursed his lips. “Not really.”