Qiu Ling sat on the grass while the sun slowly climbed up the horizon. He didn’t notice how the time went by. In his head, he was still replaying that scene of Jing He rejecting him and then running away. His beloved didn’t want to see him anymore. It seemed there was no chance for them.
The last light receded, leaving him in darkness. Qiu Ling blinked and glanced up at the sky. How … very fitting. The one person that had managed to pull him out of the darkness had left him and he was once again left in the dark.
Qiu Ling unsteadily stood up, blankly looking around the lake. What now? His whole reason for coming to the sect had been because he wanted to be close to Jing He. He had never thought it might turn out like this.
Slowly, Qiu Ling made his way through the outer sect and toward the gates to the inner sect. He passed by them without paying attention to the disciples guarding them and then continued on even further. Somehow, his steps brought him back to the formation leading to the special dimension.
He hesitated for a moment, then stepped inside and found himself in the dimension again. He walked to the lake in the middle and sat down on the boulder, silently staring off into the distance.
At the bottom of the lake, Jinde opened his bleary eyes. Ah, that brat was back again. Could it be that things hadn’t worked out well? Otherwise, he should have stayed with his beloved and forgotten all about the person that helped him.
Jinde sighed. This time he would have appreciated it if Qiu Ling didn’t remember about him. One day was by far not enough to make up for the spiritual he had expanded to refine that pill. Well, if things really hadn’t turned out well that brat probably wouldn’t notice.
He took a deep breath and leaped out of the water, hesitating at the edge of the lake. He looked down at his soaked robe and hair and then up at Qiu Ling. Obviously, that brat was out of sorts but that didn’t mean that he had lost all common sense. Jinde waved his hand, his hair and clothes drying. He winced and sat down next to Qiu Ling before he could fall again. He took another deep breath, his fingers clutching the boulder where Qiu Ling couldn’t see. “Why are you back so soon?”
Qiu Ling kept mum. He didn’t want to say it. Maybe if he didn’t say it out loud, it wouldn’t become reality?
Jinde observed his expression and continued to sit next to him. He didn’t say anything and just waited. Anyway, he didn’t trust his own voice too much. It was better to wait for the boy to open up on his own instead of risking to give himself away.
He looked up at the stars twinkling above their heads, his gaze softening. If not for his condition, this would be very good. When had he ever had the luck to have Qiu Ling drop by and ask for his opinion or his consolation? Having come this far, it wasn’t too bad.
Finally, Qiu Ling sighed. What was there to say anyway? Speaking about it wouldn’t help. It wouldn’t change the fact that his beloved had already rejected him. Still, he couldn’t take the silence. If he stayed silent, he would just hear the words his beloved had spoken again. No, it was better to fill this silence with something. Anything would work. As long as he didn’t have to hear it anymore.
“Back then … how did it feel?”
“Mn?” Jinde glanced over but Qiu Ling wasn’t looking at him. He still stared blankly ahead as if his thoughts were somewhere else. “What do you mean?”
“When he told you that he had decided on her how did it feel?”
Jinde averted his face. “Is that something you should ask?”
Qiu Ling took a trembling breath and stood up. He didn’t bother to answer and just went over to a tree and started to dig.
“Heh!” Jinde frowned. “What do you think you are doing?” If it hadn’t been for his condition, he would have leaped to his feet and followed but right now, it was all he could do to hang in there and not pass out. There was no way he’d be able to stop this brat from doing anything.
A moment later, Qiu Ling returned with two big flasks of wine. He handed one of them to Jinde and then woodenly sat down next to him again, not even looking at him directly. “Let’s drink.”
“Drowning our sorrows? I feel like I’m a little old for that.” He peaked at Qiu Ling and his expression derailed. That boy had already opened up the flask and started to drink!
Qiu Ling didn’t bother to comment as if he tacitly agreed or just didn’t care. Jinde couldn’t help but shake his head. If this was a normal day, he’d say it was the former but looking at him, it might very well be the latter right now.
He observed as Qiu Ling emptied half the flask, then he sighed and put the flask in his own hands onto the ground. He didn’t feel like it but since the child was troubled, he should be a good elder and make sure he tried to help. “Alright, what happened? Does that mortal already love somebody else? Is that it?”
Qiu Ling kept silent and continued to drink. He didn’t want to talk about it. He didn’t even want to think about it. He just wanted to forget. Forget about everything.
“Haish. Didn’t your father teach you anything? Who knows what dumb things you’ll do once you’re drunk?” Jinde sighed again. It seemed the younger generation hadn’t learned anything from their faults. Well, if it was him, he also wouldn’t have dared to tell him those stories from back then. Their past … it was too embarrassing to speak about and they didn’t even have anything to show for it. Maybe it was better to keep silent about it and hope that one day, things would be forgotten. Then again, he couldn’t imagine to ever forget.
That person, that night, the words that had been spoken … These things had forever been etched into his mind, randomly springing up and reminding him of that time long past that he would never be able to bring back.