Jinde finally retracted his gaze and just took out the jar that Xiang Yu had brought over, pouring the water out into the lake and burying the soil from the River of Forgetfulness at the bottom. He could feel the energy seeping into his surroundings, quietly turning this lake into something of an even purer quality. With this, healing his soul might indeed become much easier. He closed his eyes and then stayed in the lake meditating to heal his injuries while his lover sat at the edge and cultivated, quietly accompanying him.
In another part of the palace, Qiu Ling and Jing Yi also passed their days peacefully training for a few hours every day. Jing Yi slowly made progress with learning how to fly, first practicing how to use his spiritual energy to form a small heap of soil that would be strong enough to carry his weight before he started to try his luck with water and finally air itself again.
Seeing how he slowly got better at grasping the concept, Jing Yi couldn’t help but smile. He certainly couldn’t be compared to the other disciples that had trained to use their spiritual energy for years on end but it was still better than before. At the very least, he soon wouldn’t be a burden to Qiu Ling anymore.
If he could, he would have liked for Qiu Ling to also show him how to fight but he could see that Qiu Ling wasn’t comfortable with that thought. Even though he said that he would think about it, he didn’t seem to actually do so. Instead, he tried to dodge the subject whenever it came up.
Jing Yi didn’t know for sure why he was behaving like this but considering the way Qiu Ling looked at him at that moment, he could imagine that it must have something to do with Jing He. Maybe he was afraid because of what had happened with that soul-engraving dagger? Maybe he didn’t want to put him into danger? After all, fleeing from somebody or defending himself was different from actually fighting. A lot of things could happen if he tried to fight but wasn’t good enough to win. What then? It really wasn’t something he wanted to let Qiu Ling go through. He had already suffered quite a lot. No need to add to his burdens.
Anyway, since Qiu Ling didn’t want to, there was nothing he could do besides waiting in the hope that he would change his mind about it. Well, that wasn’t completely right. There wasn’t anything he could do about learning how to fight if Qiu Ling didn’t want to teach him but he could still use the time in other manners.
Thus Jing Yi pulled Qiu Ling into the study whenever they finished practicing how to fly in the courtyard, making him continue with teaching him how to read and write. They had originally started this on their mission back in the Hei Dian Sect but he had only learned a few dozen words, not even enough to call him literate, and it had been several years since then.
Even though he had originally tried to keep up writing the words he had known back when he was imprisoned in the secret realm in the Leyuan region, there had been other things weighing on his mind and at the end of the five years, he hadn’t had the patience to keep up with something like this. Anyway, he had thought that his lover wouldn’t mind whether or not he could read or write. Since he loved him and was missing him he would have been happy if he put in more effort to escape from the realm and find him than learning something that he didn’t need right away.
Now, the matters Jing Yi had misunderstood were long cleared up and they had to wait in this realm once again without knowing how long it would be. If he still didn’t try to learn how to write, he would never be able to do so for the rest of his life. That truly wasn’t something he was willing to accept. Not being a burden in a fight was good but there were also other things happening in their life. He should be prepared for everything.
Thus the two of them first started with the words that Jing Yi could still more or less remember before they continued to add a few new ones every day. Slowly, Jing Yi felt that he was able to read some simpler texts so he took another few hours a day to try and read the cultivation manual that Grandmaster Zhangsun had given him once upon a time. He still couldn’t understand everything but he did understand enough to follow some of the easier instructions, slowly making him gain a deeper understanding of cultivation.
This development made him feel that if they stayed in this realm for a few years, the things he could do might actually start to correspond to the level he had reached. Soon enough, he might be able to call himself a real cultivator and finally step on the path that he had wanted to walk on since coming to the Yun Zou Sect: Being strong enough to help the common people in times of need and making sure that a tragedy such as his father’s death would never happen again.
With that goal in mind, Jing Yi worked as hard as he could, even forgetting about his intention of using this opportunity to get closer to Qiu Ling and make him give up on bringing Jing He back until his natural death.
In short, the two of them started to live together like any ordinary couple of cultivators would. It was only a pity that with Jing Yi’s eagerness to practice, their wedding had once again been forgotten. But then again, life in the realm was still much better than outside where things weren’t going too well.