Qiu Ling brushed through his hair, his expression turning gentler. “Well, it’s not too late yet, is it? After we’ve managed to fulfill that task for Hong Ai and Shen An De, we can go and rescue the others and after that, we can ask in the Yun Zou Sect if they could teach you further. One of the people imprisoned there is Nian Hong Fang’s lover. And he is the disciple of the Grandelder. I’m pretty sure that he would be able to teach you a lot and he would definitely be willing to do so after everything you’ve helped him with.”
Jing Yi nodded. “In fact, I think that even if it wasn’t for us helping him, he would be willing to do it. Senior martial brother Nian just seems like that type of person.”
“See? Then there’s no reason to get worried at all. Just because you haven’t managed to learn until now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future either. Just take it slowly, one step at a time. Haven’t you also learned how to cultivate after having trouble in the beginning? And in the past few years, you’ve also learned quite a few new things. You can always continue to try. It’s never too late.”
Jing Yi nodded slowly. “You’re right. I was seeing this too pessimistic. Actually, I am in quite a lucky position. Despite my lacking aptitude, I’ve managed to achieve so much in not even thirty years. I really have nothing to complain about. This actually gives me a lot of time to learn other things.” It would also let him spend more time before his ascension. After all, everything he learned here would take him some time. Then he wouldn’t ascend too soon.
Jing Yi sighed to himself. Before this, he had wanted to cultivate as hard as he could, hoping that he would be able to ascend even a single day sooner. Now, he actually thought about spending more time in the mortal realm. It sure was strange how life was sometimes.
Qiu Ling smiled at that. “That’s right. So even if you haven’t had the chance so far, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have it in the future. And right now, you can take a bit of time to remember what you’ve learned before. Then, when we return, you already have something you can use as the basis.”
Jing Yi nodded. “Let’s do that then.” He wriggled out of Qiu Ling’s arms and sat down on the chair, trying to remember the time back then and how he had processed those herbs. It wasn’t easy at all. It had been several years and a lot had happened. He only had a very vague notion of what had been going on. It seemed that for some herbs, he was supposed to cut off the leaves while for others, he would just make some incisions or something?
He pondered but he wasn’t sure anymore.
Qiu Ling sat down next to him with a smile. “You can’t remember?”
Jing Yi looked up with an embarrassed smile and shook his head. “No, it seems like a can’t.”
“Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to right now. You have time. And shouldn’t there be a manual or something?” He felt like he remembered that Jing Yi had had one back then. “It should have been telling the story of that first alchemist or whatever and then the ideas that he had come up with?”
Jing Yi’s eyes lit up when Qiu Ling mentions a manual. “You’re right! He was called … Duan …” He narrowed his eyes and pondered for a moment but wasn’t quite sure what exactly it had been. Anyway, that manual should still be somewhere.
The two of them searched for a while until the familiar book finally fell into their hands. Jing Yi held it with his thoughts being all over the place. Now that he saw it, he did remember quite clearly.
“Back then … I didn’t know how to read yet. So you took the time to slowly read it to me. You were making comments about the things written in there. We really spent most of our days just with each other. If not for the fact that we just coincidentally stumbled upon Hong Bao, we might have never finished the task the Sect Master gave us.”
Qiu Ling smiled and inched closer, also taking a look at the book. “Don’t say that. Didn’t we start with this because we had found out too soon and needed to waste some time? You’ve just chosen the most sensible thing. You’ve also done that the past few years. I guess you really can’t stand the thought of wasting any of that precious time, can you?”
Jing Yi laughed in a carefree manner and turned back around to Qiu Ling. “Well, I always wanted to cultivate and learn other things as fast as possible so I would be able to help you out and stand at your side. So I guess I was very motivated and turned that into my strength.”
Qiu Ling looked at him and then reached over and took his hands. “Thank you.”
Jing Yi shook his head and squeezed his hand in return. “There’s no need to thank me for anything. I … I also did this for myself. Sure, it had to do with you but it was my own decision. If anything, I guess I should thank you.”
Qiu Ling shook his head, not willing to hear any of that. He hadn’t done anything. In fact, he had made even more trouble for Jing Yi that might have thrown him back. How would he have the guts to pretend as if he helped somehow?
Jing Yi threw the manual onto the table and then got up, encircling Qiu Ling’s neck. “It’s alright. Things … haven’t always been easy. They still aren’t right now. But if you ask me, the two of us make a good team. There are things I want to say thank you for but also things I want to apologize for and I’m sure that you feel the same. Not everything is perfect but that is alright, isn’t it? Let’s just … not think about the bad things any longer. There’s nothing we can do to change them.
“You’ve made your decision and while I’m unhappy with it, I can’t change it. But I can make sure that the time that I have left with you will be used in the best possible way. I think that you shouldn’t have a problem with that, right? Just promise me that for the time being, I’ll be the only one on your mind.”