Qiu Ling ate happily while Jing Yi couldn’t help but feel awkward. Reliving this situation just with another person couldn’t be considered normal, could it? He was already very happy that it wasn’t completely the same.
Back then, he and Shao Hai had talked with the people and thus taken more time to walk down the street and ate everything but that bowl of noodles when they arrived at this stall. The similarity was uncanny though and he couldn’t help but think about it.
The longer he did so, the closer he got to the inevitable truth: If Qiu Ling really wanted to do exactly what he and Shao Hai had done back then, then this one bowl of noodles with one pair of chopsticks was obviously meant for them to share. So in other words … He was supposed to eat from the same bowl as a man that had unsuccessfully proposed to him?!
No matter from which direction he looked at it, Jing Yi couldn’t help but feel that this was more than just a little weird. Back when he had been a child, he hadn’t minded much. Shao Hai was the first friend that he made and they had hit it right off. He also hadn’t known that it was strange to share a bowl of noodles. After all, his parents had often shared food as well. He had thought that it was a very normal thing.
But after living in the capital city for a while and then spending another five years in the Yun Zou Sect where he grew from a sheltered kid to a youth that understood the way of the world slightly better, he had already learned many things that should have been common sense from the beginning.
No, it wasn’t a normal thing to do. At least not between people that weren’t very close. For a pair of lovers, it wouldn’t be a problem. For two martial brothers … Things were a little different. And the fact that Qiu Ling had proposed to him complicated matters even further.
Jing Yi had a headache just thinking about it and ate as slowly as he could, hoping that Qiu Ling would already start eating the noodles first and then accidentally eat everything so he could somehow get out of the problem that way.
Unfortunately for Jing Yi, Qiu Ling wasn’t very helpful in this matter. He watched what his beloved ate and then ate the very same thing. If Jing Yi stopped eating, he would stop eating as well.
This was one of the very helpful advice he had once gathered from his advisers: If you like somebody, you had to show them in an unmistakable way. And doing the same thing as the person you liked was apparently exactly such a way.
It sounded strange but since all of these stratagems had worked on his beloved in the Nine Heavens, Qiu Ling was convinced that they would work just as well in the mortal realm. No, in fact, he was sure that they would work even better here considering that he had already gone through the motions once and thus could be that to have boundless experience. So it was only a matter of time for his beloved to fall in love with him again.
Qiu Ling was pretty sure that he wouldn’t even need a year. No, a year might still be too long. He had needed ten years to woo his beloved in the Nine Heavens but all things considered, he felt that he was much closer to Jing Yi already than he had been to Jing He at the beginning. At the very least, his beloved’s reincarnation already called him by his name. Jing He had only done so after a few years of wooing him. That could be considered a major achievement, couldn’t it?
Thus with one person hemming and hawing and the other person happily accompanying him in doing so, the two of them finally ate everything other than the bowl of noodles.
They looked at it and Qiu Ling very happily held up a pair of chopsticks, looking at his beloved with expectations.
Jing Yi’s lips twitched. “You … Seem to really look forward to this.”
Qiu Ling nodded eagerly, pushing the bowl of noodles closer to his beloved. “You eat first!”
Jing Yi looked at the bowl and the chopsticks and shook his head. “No need, you can eat it.”
Qiu Ling beamed even further. “You’re so considerate. That must be because you love me so much.”
Jing Yi grimaced but held back from refuting. Anyway, he had already rejected him once. Would it really change anything if he did it another time? He was afraid that the answer in regards to Qiu Ling had to be no. Qiu Ling just wasn’t somebody who could be deterred by such a simple thing as words. At that moment, Jing Yi probably should have asked himself if he would ever be able to get away should he not fall in love with Qiu Ling but all his thoughts were preoccupied with how to get around eating these noodles so the question slipped his mind.
Qiu Ling looked at the bowl and then at the chopsticks before he raised his gaze to his beloved’s face. Mn … Maybe he should lovingly give him the opportunity to eat first? That should be very romantic, shouldn’t it?
Thinking that, Qiu Ling handed the chopsticks over. “Why don’t you eat first? You’re … You’re probably very hungry.”
Jing Yi shook his head. “Not particularly.”
“But you are. I mean you’re not particularly hungry but you’re probably a little hungry, aren’t you?”
Jing Yi shook his head again. “No, you can just go ahead.”
Qiu Ling considered whether it would be better to ask his beloved another time but finally just nodded his head. “If you insist, then I should really do so. Everything else would not be taking your feelings into consideration.”
Jing Yi refrained to comment and watched Qiu Ling eat a few noodles. He already wanted to heave a sigh of relief, when the chopsticks were thrust in front of him once again.
“I’ve already eaten quite a bit. Why don’t you eat the rest?”
Jing Yi’s lips twitched. Honestly, not even a minute had gone by. Since he hadn’t been hungry before, he wouldn’t be hungry right now, would he? “There’s no need. You can you to rest.”
“Ah, I wouldn’t do that.”
“There’s only one bowl though. It would be better if you ate it.”
“I don’t mind sharing. In fact, being able to share the good things in life with you, that’s my greatest wish.”
“That’s … That’s very sweet of you. But I’m not really hungry right now.”
Qiu Ling’s face fell. His beloved wasn’t hungry? How could that be?! He had prepared everything very meticulously. These were definitely the same buns, the same baked cakes, the same pieces of bean curd, the same pickled plums and also the same fried bing as back then. How come his beloved wasn’t hungry anymore and didn’t want half a bowl of noodles? He had shared them with that stupid boy back then as well!
Seeing Qiu Ling’s defeated expression, Jing Yi sighed. He reached over, took the chopsticks and gave a wry smile. “Well, let me have a taste.” Anyway, this was just about sharing the bowl somehow, wasn’t it? Qiu Ling didn’t care how much he ate and just wanted to go through the motions. It was probably better to give in than to need to deal with his pitiful expression afterward. And sharing one bowl of noodles shouldn’t be that bad, should it? With that thought, he ate a few noodles before the chopsticks were given back.
Qiu Ling didn’t complain and just happily ate the rest under Jing Yi’s urging. He couldn’t help but stop once every minute though and ask his beloved whether or not he didn’t want anymore.
In the end, Jing Yi felt that this was the most frustrating bowl of noodles he had ever had the bad luck of having put in front of his nose.