Jing Yi was stunned into speechlessness. He wanted to argue but he couldn’t. Even if he said something, Qiu Ling was sure to see through him. Unfortunately, he was right. Back then, he had really thought the very same way. And contrary to Qiu Ling, he hadn’t even remembered everything.
‘Tian’ had just been a memory from what he assumed to be his past life. He hadn’t known the full story and still wanted to honor his previous promise, regardless of what had happened with Qiu Ling in this life.
And now, he really wanted to talk Qiu Ling into making a different decision? He wanted him to choose him over the person that he had originally promised to spend his life with even though Qiu Ling had lived through all that, remembered every detail, and was just waiting for that person to return? That really was … hypocritical.
He lowered his head, feeling somewhat ashamed of himself. Yes, what was the argument for? He had no right to ask him this. As much as it hurt, but that was the truth. Still, even if it was a shameful thing to do, he didn’t regret bringing it up.
He looked at him again, trying to find even the slightest bit of indecisiveness in Qiu Ling’s expression. “Are you really not going to marry me?”
Qiu Ling shook his head. “No, I won’t. That … is my final decision. I’m sorry. I know it would’ve meant a lot to you but things are like this now. I just can’t do it.”
“Despite knowing that this will hurt me?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Regardless of what I do, I will be hurting one of you. It’s either you or Jing He. And … especially in this case, I feel that my decision is for the best.
“Jing He … he is a little more particular about some things. Me not marrying somebody else before him will be a very big deal to him. Even though you’re his reincarnation, this would break his heart. I just can’t do that to him.
“On the other hand, I feel like you can live with this much better. And anyway, it’s not like I will leave you. I will still stay with you and live this life with you, I just can’t make it final. Is that not enough?”
Jing Yi sighed and came back, squatting down next to Qiu Ling once again. “Even if I say that it’s not enough, you won’t change your mind, will you?”
“No, I won’t.” This time, he stayed hard. It wasn’t an easy thing to do but he knew that he had to. If he didn’t … He sighed. This wasn’t a good situation for anyone. But he still felt that he had made the best out of it. It was the only compromise he could find right now.
Jing Yi leaned back against the wall, looking up at the sky. “Maybe it would be better if I left then. I mean … I’ve cultivated to the third stage now. There’s no way I’ll die a natural death anymore. Won’t that mean that you’ll have to kill me in the end? Or look away if something happens to me? I don’t know if I’ll be able to take that.”
Qiu Ling’s gaze turned complicated. Yes, this was still something he was worried about. But … that was a bridge he would cross when he got there. “We’ll figure that out later on. For now, we just should just focus on living our life. Why think about it right now?”
Jing Yi gave him a similarly complicated look. “The man I love might kill me. You tell me how I can just live like that. It’s difficult.”
“Even if it happens like that, it won’t be anytime soon. Right now, we’re still in the Yun Zou Sect. You’re still cultivating and trying to ascend. There’s also still your mother around and your friends. Isn’t that something worth living for? Everything else … We can talk about that after your ascension.”
Jing Yi nodded but his heart was heavy. This just meant that they would talk about it later, not that anything would change. He tried so hard to be the best he could be for Qiu Ling but now, he had to accept that he would never have the same value to him as Jing He. That was quite disconcerting.
The two of them sat next to each other, keeping quiet for a while. Neither for them knew what to say and slowly but surely, they couldn’t help but be afraid that their future days would all be like this.
When the tension between them had become almost too difficult to bear, Qiu Ling jerked and took out a transmission stone from his spatial ring. He imbued his spiritual energy and the image of An Bai popped up in front of him.
“Your Majesty, I’ve returned to the dragon realm. Xiang Yong told me that you had some commands for me?”
Qiu Ling almost wanted to heave a sigh of relief. This had come exactly at the right time. If An Bai could tell him what he wanted to know, then there would be something for them to do. And with something to occupy their minds, maybe things would turn well between him and Jing Yi again.
“Right, it’s good that you’re back. There was indeed a matter that I wanted to consult you with.”
An Bai lightly raised his brows. His king actually said that it was good to have him back. It made him wonder if he didn’t see him as unimportant as he had always thought he did. Anyway, this was a nice surprise. “Then please ask away, Your Majesty. I’ll answer you to the best of my abilities.”
“You see, one of our people was caught by some demon-hunting sect in the mortal realm and imprisoned at a place that is constructed to deal with demons. Considering the similarities between our races, it is difficult for a full-blooded dragon to get him out of there. I was wondering if … there was a possibility that a person that had mixed blood of the dragon race and another race that has nothing to do with the demons might be able to stand this. What do you think?”
An Bai’s brows raised even higher. “Your Majesty means somebody who is descended from the dragons and the gods or maybe a dragon and a human? To be honest, there is a possibility that this is the case. It is just that …”
An Bai couldn’t help but look a little uncomfortable. He glanced at Xiang Yong who didn’t stand far away and then sighed. “Well, there’s no certainty in this. Just like with somebody who has dragon and demon blood, what that person inherits from their parents can be very … different. One might have inherited so much from the dragon side of their family that they might very well be a full-blooded dragon or they could be closer to the other side. So it is impossible to say if they would be able to do anything about this just based on their parentage. We would have to see about the actual people.”