Jing Yi blinked his eyes in confusion but then didn’t bother about it any longer. He hadn’t been very close to Guanyu and several years had gone by so it was no wonder that nothing had changed about that. Anyway, he’d much rather go and see his mother. After all, he hadn’t come here after he was able to leave the secret realm in the Leyuan region so it had almost been a decade since he last saw her. It was time to meet again.
He hurried over to the kitchen, eager to see her again. When he stepped in, his mother had just turned around with a tray in her hand, apparently about to go out and serve some of the customers.
Jing Yi stopped in his tracks and stared at her, unable to say anything or even form a coherent thought. His mother … She didn’t look quite like how she was in his memories. The black hair he remembered had mostly turned gray and even though she hadn’t looked that young anymore when he saw her the last time, he couldn’t remember even half of those wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. She had turned older in these few years.
He probably should’ve expected as much but suddenly seeing her like this when he had always remembered the young woman she had been back when he left for the Yun Zou Sect and then came to visit her once in between, it still hit him unprepared.
Madam Zhong also looked at her son, unable to comprehend what exactly was happening. The last time she had heard something specific about Jing Yi’s situation had been when Xiao Li came to the capital several years ago. After that, Qiu Ling had come by once but he had refused to tell her much about her son so she hadn’t been able to help herself and worried that something grievous must have happened.
Seeing him again alive and well … She couldn’t even feel relief. She just had a very hard time to convince herself that this wasn’t just her starting to hallucinate because she missed him so much.
Madam Zhong gulped and put the tray down behind her, gingerly reaching out to her son. “Jing’er, is that you?”
Jing Yi’s eyes turned red when he heard her ask that question. He hadn’t come back in so long, that even his own mother needed to make sure it was truly him. What kind of son was he?
He lunged forward and pulled her into his arms, his tears falling freely. “I’m sorry I didn’t come back sooner!” Why hadn’t he insisted to come back after he returned from the secret realm? He should’ve done that. It had been way too long since they saw each other.
Madam Zhong still had a hard time believing what was happening but seeing him react like this, she felt that this indeed had to be a child. Jing Yi had always been like this. Relying on her and easily getting emotional when he was standing in front of her. She reached up and patted his head before gently brushing his back. “What are you crying for? You finally found the time to come see me again. Isn’t that a reason to be happy?”
Jing Yi nodded but the tears were still falling down. “I should’ve come back sooner.”
Madam Zhong leaned back and cupped his cheeks, looking into his eyes earnestly. “What are you even talking about? You’re an adult now. It is normal for you to leave the house and have a good life somewhere else. I’m happy if you doing well in the Yun Zou Sect. That is all I want for you.” Anyway, she had long known that she wouldn’t be able to keep her son at her side forever. As long as Jing Yi was doing well and there was Qiu Ling to take care of him, she wasn’t worried. Of course, she would’ve liked to have him around some more but it couldn’t be helped. He had already grown up.
She looked behind him, finally seeing Qiu Ling standing next to the door. He hadn’t followed Jing Yi in, probably to give the two of them a moment together. “You’ve also come back.”
Qiu Ling smiled. “I’ll always be where your son is. Don’t you know that already, mother-in-law?”
Madam Zhong nodded and then patted her son’s cheek. “Look at that. You found yourself a good fiance. Anyway, wait a bit. I’ll bring this out and then we can take some time to catch up.”
Jing Yi nodded but then hesitated when he looked at her again. “Why don’t you let me do this?” Obviously, his mother wasn’t young anymore. She shouldn’t have to work so hard anymore.
Madam Zhong laughed, leaned forward and kissed his forehead. “You know, even though you haven’t returned in a while, I still know what you’re thinking even if you don’t say it. Your mother isn’t that old yet. I’ll still be able to carry a tray of food.” She gave him a look that seemed to be scolding him but was actually full of love and then picked up the tray, bringing it outside to the guests.
Jing Yi looked to the ground and then turned to Qiu Ling. “Was it that obvious?”
Qiu Ling went over and pulled him into his arms, giving him a gentle smile. “Even if it was, she won’t love you any less because of that. She can also see that you’re worried about her. Anyway, she’s right. Even if you do it today for her, what about tomorrow? Or do you want to stay here for the rest of her life?”
Jing Yi froze and his gaze grew distant. The rest of her life … He had never thought about it but while he had become immortal, his mother was a normal human. She still had some years but her days were still numbered. She would not always be there. One day, he would have to say goodbye to her, regardless of how much that pained him. That thought was hard to bear.