Jinde waited for his lover to let go of him so he could get into the lake. When that didn’t happen, he glanced up only to find his expression to be not quite right. He continued to observe and finally raised his brows. “I wonder just what it is that’s bothering you.”
Leng Jin Yu glanced at him, his gaze flickering. “It’s …” He sighed. Since he had already reached out and since Jinde had seen that something was up, he might as well spill the beans. “Before when I … worked on that array, I remembered something.”
“Oh.” Jinde nodded. This wasn’t too surprising. The more time they spent together, the more often Leng Jin Yu was able to get a glimpse at his past life’s memories. After all, part of that soul was still with him in his original form. Things like this were bound to happen. The only astonishing thing in this case was that he had remembered something while they weren’t even together.
Leng Jin Yu saw Jinde’s calm expression. If he wanted to, he could just pretend that this was everything. But he did not have the heart to keep this to himself. He sighed again and then carefully grabbed Jinde’s shoulders, looking into his eyes. “It was a bit different this time. The memory was …” He narrowed his eyes, thinking back to that scene of waking up next to Jinde. “It wasn’t just a single image. It felt as if … as if I was there.”
“That must have been a huge shock.”
“Mn. It was at first. But luckily, I had heard from Jing Yi before when he remembered so I figured it out rather fast. Well, it’s not like I didn’t know that there were those memories.”
“So what exactly is it that has been bothering you?”
Leng Jin Yu looked away, wondering how he should approach it. Directly tell him? But he didn’t even know when exactly this had happened. So maybe it would be better to make sure of that first? He nodded to himself and then looked at his lover again. “Do you remember a day when the two of you slept with each other?”
Jinde’s golden brows raised. “How come you’re mostly remembering this kind of thing? We’ve only slept with each other three times but we’ve spent thousands of years together. I really wonder what your thoughts were on all the time back then.”
Leng Jin Yu flushed in shame even though the person being scolded wasn’t entirely him. “I …” He awkwardly cleared his throat. “I guess you were just too beautiful for him to ever forget about it? And often, the memories I acquire are tied to what we are doing.”
“Mn, sure.” Jinde’s gaze told him that he didn’t find this convincing one bit.
Leng Jin Yu pretended to count the petals of the flowers next to the lake. “So do you remember?”
“Of course, I do. Which one are you talking about though?”
“That … How would you know which one it was?”
“Oh.” Leng Jin Yu looked at the door on the side of the courtyard and furrowed his brows. “Maybe his room? It wasn’t yours at least.”
Jinde shook his head. “No, that’s not it. Two of these three times were in my room. The other one …” His expression blanked slightly and he tensed. In the end, he coughed. “Never mind. Part of the palace was destroyed in one of the wars, including my original chambers. I moved afterward. So if it wasn’t this room, then what you saw should have been our first night together.”
“When was that?”
Jinde’s expression still didn’t seem quite right and this time, he couldn’t even look Leng Jin Yu in the eyes when he answered. “That was … before I became king.”
“I see.” Leng Jin Yu nodded and gave him a moment to remember.
“So how much did you remember?” Jinde tried to be nonchalant about it but, in fact, it hurt. It wasn’t as bad as their last night together but it had been the first time when his hopes were dashed and it hadn’t been able to get over it. His only solace had been that Chun Yin might still remember and that he might make true on his promise to make him his partner after he became king. Who could have known … the one to finally ascend the throne hadn’t been Chun Yin at all and the previous promise had been null and void.
Leng Jin Yu cupped his cheek with his hand and leaned down, kissing his other cheek. “I’m sorry.” He really was. Now more than ever.
He straightened up again and furrowed his brows. “Actually, this memory was a little strange. I didn’t remember the actual night but instead how he woke up the next morning.”
Jinde smiled wryly. ‘He’. Leng Jin Yu was really good at separating himself from his past life at this kind of moment. “You saw him leave?”
Leng Jin Yu nodded. “Yes. But it was different from what I would have expected. In fact, he was … he was really affectionate. He was lying there for a while, hugging you and then just … looking at you. I could even feel how fast his heart beat. He was insanely happy.”
Jinde shook his head and pulled back, stepping out of his lover’s embrace. “You don’t have to make this kind of thing up. It’s been a long time.”
“I’m not making it up. In fact, I was wondering if I should bring it up precisely because it’s been a long time and I wouldn’t want to rip any wounds open but … You deserve to know the truth.”
Jinde gulped and closed his eyes. “In that case, why did he leave?”
“He made a trip to the kitchens.”
Jinde’s eyes couldn’t help but open again. “The kitchens?” He only murmured, some doubt emerging in his gaze. That kind of thing wouldn’t be unimaginable. After all, their night together had been passionate and they had drunk a lot before. Eating something would have been a good idea so if Chun Yin woke up, he might have really gone and done something like that. After all, even though he had often been overbearing, he had been a conscientious lover if he wanted to. He had a sense of responsibility, after all. Otherwise, he never would have stayed with his wife.
Jinde gulped again, his gaze full of hurt when he looked at Leng Jin Yu. “If what you say is true, then why didn’t he come back that day? Why did he evade me for a whole week?”