The two of them went to the complex that housed the alchemy division. Looking around, it seemed that not much had changed in the past few years.
Jing Yi couldn’t help but look up at Qiu Ling, finally feeling contented again after the past tense day. “Let’s go in then?”
Qiu Ling nodded and the two of them went inside, holding hands. They looked around and Jing Yi’s smile brightened up when he saw the plaques above the doors. Back then, he had needed somebody to explain to him what those houses were. Now, he was actually able to rediscover it himself.
It was … It wasn’t just a sign of his progress, this was like having a new life. There were suddenly so many possibilities that he hadn’t had before. Sure, he had been able to get by but there had still been quite a few inconveniences. Now, things were different though. There were lots of things he could accomplish on his own without needing to go and beg somebody else. He was proud of himself for achieving this.
Qiu Ling gave him a moment to look around and catch up with his memories before he motioned around. “So … Where exactly do you want to go? Since you haven’t even finished the basic manual, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to look for any advanced books in the library. I also think you’re registered for a special group in this division, right?”
Jing Yi nodded. “To be honest, I’m not quite sure either. Back then, we weren’t here for long enough to actually experience any of that. I’m not sure what would be normal. Maybe we could go and ask somebody?” He wasn’t quite sure who they could ask though. This definitely wasn’t a normal situation.
Qiu Ling pondered. “Well, a regular disciple probably wouldn’t be able to tell you anything or make any decisions even if they did. We should probably look for somebody who has a bit of power here. Somebody who might know of previous cases that are similar or — even if something like that doesn’t exist — would be able to make a decision on their own about what should be done.”
Jing Yi nodded once again, a thoughtful expression on his face. “If I remember correctly, there was a disciple taking care of organizational matters. Maybe we could go and ask him?”
Qiu Ling didn’t know anything about that since he hadn’t been there when Jing Yi met that person but he still nodded. “That does sound like a good idea.” Anyway, it wouldn’t be wrong to give it a try. If it didn’t work out, they could still try to come up with something different.
Thus, the two of them went to one of the houses that were in the back half of the division. They looked around and Jing Yi tried to remember those days in the Hei Dian Sect back then. Everything was slightly vague but the longer he looked around, the more familiar it seemed. It should be …
He hesitantly walked a few steps but then sped up. The closer they got, the easier it seemed to find the right way and, finally, they stood in front of that study he had visited back then.
He stopped in front of the door, straightened out his clothes, and took a deep breath. The last time, the meeting had been a little strange. He really hoped that it would be easier this time around.
Qiu Ling gave him an odd look but just waited and then followed him inside when Jing Yi finally moved.
When they stepped into the study, nobody could be seen. Qiu Ling raised his brows and then turned to his beloved but Jing Yi motioned over to the desk where a heap of papers towered.
“Senior martial brother Yue?”
There was no response but the heap of papers rustled slightly. Qiu Ling raised his brows and then let go of Jing Yi’s hand, walking over to the desk and finally waving his hand. A gust of wind picked up the papers and blew them to the side, exposing a person buried below them.
Qiu Ling stared at him for a moment and then turned back to Jing Yi, pointing at the man. “Were you expecting this?”
Jing Yi smiled happily. Even though he hadn’t spent much time apart from Qiu Ling even at that time, it had still been enough to make a few experiences without him. This was one of them.
“Senior Yue?” He called out again, still a smile on his lips. Back then, there had been this very same problem when he wanted to register for the alchemy division. The solution to that … He pondered and then couldn’t help but laugh. “Could it be that the garden is on fire?”
Qiu Ling looked outside, feeling puzzled. “No, there’s nothing …”
At the same time, the person at the table shot up and almost jumped over the table, wanting to rush in the direction of the garden. When he saw nothing suspicious outside, he stared in a daze and then slowly turned around, prepared to scold the people that had dared to lie to him so cruelly. When he saw who it was though … “Jing He?”
Jing Yi flinched when he was addressed like that. Right. He had completely forgotten that back then, Qiu Ling and he had to enter the Hei Dian Sect using an alias. It seemed that he would have to deal with being called Jing He for a while once again. Thinking of that, he could only give a wry smile, the happiness from before completely vanished. What should have been a happy time had suddenly turned into yet another situation reminding him that he would forever only be a replacement to Jing He.