Jinde laughed again and then switched over to sitting on his lap, his arms still resting on Leng Jin Yu’s shoulders. “Actually, it’s quite simple. Since the child can’t be carried inside the body, something else has to be used instead. It could be anything but considering the dragons’ affinity to water, it’ll normally be a sea shell. A couple would dive down to the ground of the sea together and pick one out. It’s something you don’t hold back on. You’d want the biggest and most beautiful shell possible, something to brag about.
“Afterward, you bring it up and look for a secure place. That could be where you live but it could also be at another place. Anyway, it needs to be one you can reach regularly and you might want to settle down close to it.
“To create the child, you drop a bit of blood into the shell and then both douse it in their spiritual energy. You close up the shell and then return regularly to supplement it with more spiritual energy.”
“That is why you want to heal first.”
Jinde nodded. “Yes. It wouldn’t be impossible as I am now but … it’s better to wait. We wouldn’t want any accidents to happen.”
Leng Jin Yu nodded quietly, his gaze thoughtful. He had never really thought about it but it didn’t seem that strange now that he thought about it. He had been able to create a whole realm. Why wouldn’t they be able to create a child together? It was just …
He looked a bit embarrassed but finally couldn’t help but ask about what had been bothering him. “Creating something with your spiritual energy is something I can relate to. It’s just … How come it’s alive?”
“Silly. What are you thinking of?”
Leng Jin Yu’s face changed color at Jinde’s teasing expression. “I just … I just want to make sure. I’ve never created a living thing. It seems so …” He shrugged his shoulders, unable to even articulate his thoughts on this.
Jinde looked at him for a moment, his expression not as teasing anymore even though there was still a slight glimmer in his eyes. “Let me ask you something: How long did you take to create this realm?”
“A few hours, probably? Qiu Ling helped me.”
“Mn. And have you ever forged a weapon?”
“A few, actually. Why do you ask?”
Jinde nodded, not surprised at all. While he hadn’t talked about it with Leng Jin Yu before, Chun Yin had also been good at this. Somehow, he had always imagined it would be the same in this life. “Was there ever one with a spiritual consciousness among them?”
Leng Jin Yu’s eyes widened slightly. A weapon with a spiritual consciousness? “That … There was one. It’s been a long time but I think it’s still in the Jian Yi Sect.”
“Then what was different between that one and the others you forged?”
Leng Jin Yu’s lips twitched. He could see where this was going. “It took me much longer. Several years to be honest. It also took a lot of precious materials and boundless spiritual energy. More so than the others did.”
Jinde blinked his golden eyes at him, a brilliant smile on his lips.
“Yes, yes, I see. It’s the time and …” Leng Jin Yu furrowed his brows. Could he call their blood ‘materials’? But in a sense, it was true. It was something from their body that was used to make sure this child would have a bit of both of them, just like a child that was born by a traditional couple. In a way, this was mimicking nature. “I guess I do understand now.” Leng Jin Yu looked up and gave his husband a smile as well. “Then I guess now we only have to wait for you to heal.”
Jinde nodded. “Mn. Well, considering that Qiu Ling is getting involved as well, this might be happening sooner than we imagined.”
“You mean those items? What do you think the chances are he’ll really go through with this?”
Jinde smiled and inched closer to Leng Jin Yu, his breath brushing his face. “You’re thinking too much, my dear. Your son might be irresponsible whenever it doesn’t concern the Son of Heaven and egoistical at times but he likes me. And even if he would never say so, he likes you as well. Since he has the opportunity to help us and at no real cost to himself, he will naturally do so.”
Leng Jin Yu furrowed his brows. “How can you say there’s no real cost? A material like a phoenix feather …” He couldn’t even begin to imagine how valuable that was. How could Jinde minimize it like this?
Jinde just laughed though. “You’re looking at this from a human perspective. In the immortal realms, creatures like phoenixes aren’t as rare. You can just walk by a lair and pick some feathers up. It’s not a big deal. Especially not for Qiu Ling with his heightened magical abilities.”
Leng Jin Yu still didn’t look convinced.
Jinde sighed. “Would you rather he didn’t help us?”
“No, of course not. I just …” Leng Jin Yu didn’t know how to explain himself.
Jinde watched his expression and his own softened. “You’re afraid of accepting any favor from him, aren’t you? Because you feel like you owe him enough already.”
Leng Jin Yu closed his eyes. Yes, if he was honest, then he was indeed worried about that. Even though Qiu Ling hardly talked about it, he had seen how he reacted toward him. The way he looked at him, those little quips at what he had done in his past life …
Regardless of what he said, that was obviously the result of the hurt he had felt because of what had happened back then. And why shouldn’t he? His father hadn’t wanted him and probably resented him for driving the final wedge between him and the love of his life.
Jinde might say that Chun Yin had been a decent father but Leng Jin Yu couldn’t believe it. It didn’t really fit. And even if Chun Yin had tried, every child would have been able to pick up on the fact that he had just resigned himself to fate, reluctantly accepting that he had lost Jinde forever and needed to take care of this child now. That still wasn’t the kind of childhood Qiu Ling deserved.