Silence enveloped the table and all eyes landed on Qiu Ling and his eager expression. Madam Zhong shook her head in resignation and picked up her own chopsticks, starting to eat without saying anything.
Jing Yi’s face flushed red and he glanced at the piece of meat in his bowl. Surprisingly, this was one of his favorite dishes back when he had lived in the capital with his family. It made him wonder how Qiu Ling knew him so well and he couldn’t help but feel a little sweet that somebody was paying so much attention to him. On the other hand, he couldn’t help but be embarrassed that it had happened in front of his family. Especially with Qiu Ling’s expression that made it seem as if he was still waiting for praise.
Jing Yi cleared his throat and quietly picked up his chopsticks. “Thank you.”
“Mn, no need to thank me. If it’s you …” Qiu Ling’s expression was overflowing with gentleness.
On the other side of the table, Guanyu’s eyes turned red. Why was the person she liked treating her cousin this well? Shouldn’t he be giving her something to eat instead?! She was much more beautiful than Jing Yi!
Mi Fan also looked at Qiu Ling with a complicated expression. This kind of care … Although she didn’t know any other people that were part of a deity sect, she couldn’t imagine that it was normal between martial brothers. Actually, this kind of eager attentiveness reminded her a lot of how her own husband had behaved before they got married.
Thinking of that, she first glanced at Jing Yi who had lowered his head in embarrassment before she turned to look at her daughter who clearly seemed unhappy with the situation. It seemed things wouldn’t be as simple as she had hoped. Never mind that Jing Yi was still scared of Guanyu from before, now there was also a person at his side that treated him so well. If it was only one of these two things, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem. But in combination, Guanyu’s chances of getting together with Jing Yi were abysmally small. Her only advantage was that they were part of the same family but that also wouldn’t help much if Jing Yi wasn’t staying at home and if the other person was their guest for the time being.
Mi Fan pondered and finally decided that she had to prepare well. First of all, she had to limit Qiu Ling’s chances of getting closer to Jing Yi. Then she had to have a good talk with her daughter to make sure that she wouldn’t scare him off even further. And then … she’d see how things were going. Matters of the heart couldn’t be rushed, after all.
For the time being, she reached over and patted Guanyu’s hand, giving her a glance to reassure her that she had her back and would help her to get together with the person she liked. Well, who would have thought that this mother and daughter pair had such a big misunderstanding as to whom this person was?
While the two of them were wondering about the future, Zhong Gang continued to ask Jing Yi questions, oblivious to the strange atmosphere at the table. Originally, he had only been surprised that Qiu Ling was acting so fast, not even letting him finish his sentence. Thus he just got back to the topic they had been discussing before. “So about these people that are … dual cultivators, are there many of them?”
Jing Yi felt that his knowledge was lacking so he looked at Qiu Ling for help.
Qiu Ling didn’t know but still showed a thoughtful expression. Even though he might not know for sure, the answer should be obvious, right? “Well, not everybody can become a cultivator in the first place since they need spiritual veins for that so the only ones that can choose to become dual cultivators are the ones that have them. Then it also takes time to learn sword arts and how to use your spiritual energy so I doubt there are many.” He nodded to himself, feeling that this was very logical and then picked up another piece of meat for Jing Yi, smiling brightly.
Jing Yi looked at his bowl and then at Qiu Ling’s, finally picking up something and putting it into his bowl. “You should also eat something.”
Qiu Ling’s expression lit up and he picked up the piece of meat, eating happily before he turned back to Jing Yi as if asking for more.
Jing Yi looked away, not acknowledging his gaze. Anyway, he couldn’t be asked to feed his senior martial brother, could he?
Qiu Ling deflated slightly but thinking back to how his beloved had very lovingly given him this piece of meat, he still felt great. Anyway, his beloved was probably just shy.
While the two of them exchanged these good feelings, Zhong Gang pondered what Qiu Ling had said. “So does that mean that they might return home earlier if they only learn one thing? Then what about Shao Hai? You see, Shao Chen is really worried. Wouldn’t it be nice if his son could return earlier?”
Qiu Ling didn’t really know what to say to that so he kept quiet. Jing Yi gave his uncle a complicated look though. “That … I don’t know if it works like that. I think many of the senior martial brothers have been in the sect for a long time.” In fact, he didn’t think that they had returned home at all in these years. That probably wasn’t the usual thing to do?
Zhong Gang’s expression fell. “Oh, so it’s like that. Well, I guess we can only hope then.”
Jing Yi nodded, feeling a bit guilty. Shao Hai had come to the Yun Zou Sect for him, after all. Now, his father also had to be alone. He had never thought about this before but it was actually quite sad. The same could probably be said about Xiao Dong although he didn’t know Xiao Dong’s family very well. He had only seen his mother at the teahouse before and that had also been for only a short while. Maybe he should ask about her and go and visit Shao Hai’s father. Then, when he went back to the Yun Zou Sect next year, he could tell Shao Hai and Xiao Dong how their families were doing? They’d probably like that very much.