Qiu Ling felt indignant but considering everything that was going on, he didn’t make a big deal of it. Instead, he just pretended not to have heard anything and continued to answer Jing Yi’s question. “Disregarding his father, his mother is much nicer. I think she genuinely wants what is best for Jing He and she was able to see that he was unhappy with how things were before. She offered me help back then and I think that it made a big difference in how Jing He and I got along.”
Jing Yi nodded and couldn’t help but think of his own mother who had also somehow been charmed by Qiu Ling. Had he tried to do that because of his experience with Jing He’s mother? It certainly seemed like it.
With Jing Yi’s thoughts wandering and Qiu Ling not quite sure what else to say, the conversation came to a halt.
Qiu Ling couldn’t help but chastise himself for making things awkward. Maybe he should’ve answered this question in a different manner. Now, they were actually once again caught in an impasse. If things continued like this, he wasn’t quite sure they would make it together until Jing Yi’s ascension.
He looked around, trying to find something else they could talk about and finally, his expression lit up. He might not know what to talk about but who said that they definitely had to talk?
He turned to Jing Yi and took his hand, giving him a smile. “Back then, we’ve also stayed quite some time at the Hei Dian Sect. Would you like to take a look around? Even though we’re not on the mission anymore, you might also want to see what has changed since then.” After all, they had been called back rather suddenly and then never returned in all these years. Since then, a decade had already gone by so things were bound to be slightly different now.
Jing Yi hadn’t thought about this before but when Qiu Ling brought it up, his expression also brightened. “Right, let’s do that then. We could first go and take a look at the house where we stayed before. What do you think?” He held Qiu Ling’s hand and gave a sweet smile.
He still remembered how back then, they had been very close. In fact, they almost would’ve gotten married at that time without waiting to return to the Yun Zou Sect. To think that everything had changed so much since then … He still had a hard time believing that.
Qiu Ling nodded and the two of them left for that house they had lived in before. Even though it had only been a few weeks, it had still been a very intense time. Jing Yi couldn’t help but stop in a daze when they stood in front of that house, his expression hovering between complete blankness and surprise. “It doesn’t look much different. Do you think somebody else is living in there right now?”
Qiu Ling took a glance as well and then shook his head. “At the very least, I can’t sense any energy from inside. Even if somebody is living there normally, they shouldn’t be inside right now.”
Jing Yi nodded and then glanced at Qiu Ling, asking with his eyes whether they should take a look. Qiu Ling smiled and then pulled him over, opening the door for him and stepping inside behind him.
Just like from outside, the inside of the house hadn’t changed at all. There was still the same bed standing there that had they had been sleeping in together when one of the Elders surprised them, the table where Jing Yi had refined herbs for the first time and the two chairs where they had sat together when Qiu Ling tried to teach him how to write.
A smile unwittingly spread on Jing Yi’s face and he inched closer to Qiu Ling, motioning over. “If we can stay here for a while, then maybe we should ask if we can use this house. It’s really a place that carries a lot of memories, isn’t it? Even though it was only such a short time.”
Qiu Ling nodded and couldn’t help but smile back. He reached over and ruffled Jing Yi’s hair, feeling a little happy. Even though things were a little strained between them at the moment, that didn’t mean that it would always have to be like this. Of course, Jing Yi would need some time to adapt. But after that, they might be able to return to the relationship they had had before. That was definitely the thing he wished for the most.
“I’m sure that the Grandmaster will allow that if we asked. Let’s do that later.”
Jing Yi nodded and then went over to the table, tracing the faint lines on the top with his fingertips. “I still remember, when I came here, I had to join one of the divisions and I felt that doing alchemy would be very good. That way, I could support you. And then it wasn’t long until I found out that you actually weren’t human and didn’t need my help at all.”
Qiu Ling closed the door and followed him inside, pulling him into his arms. “There were a lot of things I did wrong. I probably should have told you before. It’s just that … I was also worried.
“Anyway, isn’t it still good that you learned it? After all, even though I might not need it, what about yourself? You’ve managed to become a real cultivator since then. You’re also getting into trouble every now and then so I guess you could say that having learned alchemy is still very good for you.”
Jing Yi sighed and turned in Qiu Ling’s arms, hugging him back. “Actually, you’re right about that. It’s just …” Well, he wouldn’t be able to use it for long, would he? After all, he was not supposed to live long. And other than that … “I started to learn back then. But then, we had to go to the Leyuan region and I was trapped in that realm. And then I was kidnapped to the demon realm and had to stay in the High Heavens and then several years went by while we were in that realm in the Yun Zou Sect, hiding from the Chun Feng Sect. So far, I haven’t learned anything new. In fact, I barely remember the things I did here before. I certainly don’t know anything about refining pills or even creating any potions. I’m not really an Alchemist.”