Needless to say, Qiu Ling hid his body as soon as the door closed behind him. Then he opened the window, jumped out and rushed over to the room where Madam Zhong and Jing Yi would be staying. Naturally, he had to go and spy — Ahem, no, he had to go and accompany his beloved and his mother-in-law to make sure he could help out if they needed him to.
Mn, he was such a conscientious lover …
Meanwhile, Jing Yi had followed his mother to their room, his heart brimming with happiness. Back in the Yun Zou Sect, there had always been something to do and if nobody gave him a task, then he would go and find one for himself. Even though his main goal was to become a strong cultivator or practitioner, to a certain degree, this was also because he didn’t want to have to think about home. Otherwise, if he did, he would really miss his mother too much. Now, he was finally in the capital again and even though they wouldn’t have much time, he could at least spend some days with her. This was already very good.
Madam Zhong turned to her son when he closed the door and cupped his cheeks, taking another long look at him. “I’m glad you’re back.”
Jing Yi nodded. “Mn. I’m glad as well.”
Madam Zhong sighed and patted his cheek. “Alright. Enough of that. You’re going to stay for a while, aren’t you? Then we’ll have a lot of time to talk. For now, let’s go light some incense for your father.”
Jing Yi nodded again and followed his mother to the small shrine she had put up. The two of them knelt down in front of it, burned some incense and then prayed for his father.
Jing Yi looked at the wooden plaque with the written characters on it that symbolized his father’s name. Unfortunately, he couldn’t even read it. He sighed and instead looked st the incense sticks that were still burning, three streams of smoke wafting in the air.
It had already been five years since his father died. Back then, he had hardly understood what it meant. Now, he was old enough to have realized that he would never see him again. Thinking of his smiling face, his eyes couldn’t help but tear up.
“What is it?” Madam Zhong looked over and saw her son’s red eyes. She looked at him blankly and then reached over, pulling him into her eyes. “It’s alright.”
Jing Yi shook his head. “Do you think … Do you think he knew I loved him?”
“But of course!” Madam Zhong patted his head, not sure what to think. “Why would you think he didn’t?”
“I just feel that … I was always closer to you. I spent much more time with you. Wasn’t he disappointed?”
Madam Zhong looked at the memorial tablet and thought back to when Jing Yi had been young. “Well, I guess there were times when he was a bit disappointed. But that was mostly when you were still really young. And it wasn’t because you spent more time with me either. It’s just that … After your father and I married, we didn’t manage to have a child for a long time. We had already resigned ourselves to our fate, thinking that we would never be able to change that. Who knew that one day we would find out that I had become pregnant with you?” She smiled and wiped the tears from Jing Yi’s cheeks, smoothing out his hair.
“We were both so happy. Unlike some other parents, we didn’t care whether you would be a boy or a girl. We just wanted to have a healthy child, that would be able to grow up and live well. We will really afraid though. After all, it hadn’t been able to conceive you. So your father spent those ten months fussing over me, making sure that I did nothing too strenuous and tiring, always afraid that something would go wrong.
“Then, the day when you were supposed to be born came around. He rushed to the town to get a physician because I wasn’t doing too well. We were afraid things would go wrong at the last moment and you would be robbed from us. We weren’t resigned to that.” Her own eyes also got a little red and she dabbed at them with her sleeve. Yes, back then, they had both been afraid. Her husband probably even more so then she because other than losing his unborn child, he also knew that he might very well lose his wife as well.
“While your father was out, that Daoist Master I told you about came by and helped me. That was how you were born. It was a miracle. Another miracle. Both your father and I didn’t even know what to do with all the happiness we felt. And nothing ever changed about that.
“Your father …” She sighed. “He might have seemed like he was disappointed sometimes but it’s not that he was disappointed in you. He was just … I guess he had some expectations and when those weren’t fulfilled, he couldn’t help but be at a loss. I think he sometimes wondered if he was a good father at all.”
Jing Yi gulped and wiped his cheeks again. “He definitely was.”
“I know. I’ve always known.” Madam Zhong rubbed her son’s back and smiled. “So since the two of us knew that he was a good father, then he also knew that you loved him. He has never doubted that.”
“Maybe you’re right.” Jing Yi nodded to himself and looked at the tablet once again. What his mother said made sense but he still would have liked to be able to see his father one last time to tell him everything.
Madam Zhong patted his head. “Why don’t you stay here for a while? You know I always tell your father what happened each day. I’m sure before his reincarnation, he will listen every day and will be happy we’re doing well and haven’t forgotten him.”
“Mn.” Jing Yi nodded and then told both his parents about his time in the Yun Zou Sect.