Qiu Ling almost beamed when he thought about that. On the other hand, Wu Ya was startled.
“He isn’t?” He mumbled more to himself than that he really asked about it but he couldn’t help and take a few more looks at Qiu Ling. “If Jinde isn’t your other parent, then who is?”
Qiu Ling pushed away the happiness in his heart and crossed his arms. His stance seemed to be a little more amicable though. “Anyway, you haven’t even introduced yourself. Why should I tell you about who my parents are?”
Wu Ya also raised his chin at that. “Is that a way to speak to your elders, boy?”
Qiu Ling shot a smug look back. “Is that a way to speak to your king, old man?”
Wu Ya wanted to quip but the words that Qiu Ling had just uttered took a moment to sink in. “Wait. What?”
Qiu Ling raised his brows at him. “What? Didn’t you ask why the dragon king would give them that box? Well, why would I get involved if this didn’t have anything to do with me? You really think I’m so idle?”
Next to them, Jinde lowered his hand to his mouth, stifling a laugh. Yes, this was certainly the way his stepson normally behaved. It seemed that he had gotten over that scare quite easily. Well, it was a relief and maybe he should have expected this. After all, Wu Ya and Chun Yin had gotten along in a similar fashion. In the end, Qiu Ling was very much like his father in some aspects.
Wu Ya continued to look at Qiu Ling, his mouth opening and closing several times without him being able to utter a single word. This person … Not only was he Chun Yin’s son, but he was even the current dragon king? That … He just couldn’t understand! “Then what about your father?” He would’ve thought that Chun Yin should be the dragon king right now. After all, hadn’t those two said that they were the dragon king’s disciples? That meant that the chances that succeeding their Master were quite high, right?
Qiu Ling’s expression turned a little soberer at that. “He’s dead. He has been for a long time.” While he said so in a rather nonchalant way, there was still a trace of hurt flashing past his eyes.
He couldn’t help it. Whenever he thought back to that day, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss and betrayal. Not only had he lost his family, but he had even lost half of his identity. That kind of feeling … It was the worst.
Wu Ya had a difficult time answering him after that. Chun Yin was dead … That, too, was hard to believe. And it was especially hard coming up with some words to say to the son that he had left behind. “Well … I’m sorry. Must have been hard for you.”
Qiu Ling didn’t answer and turned to look at the person that his father had already become. Well, anyway, he had his family back. And these two were more of a family to him than his original parents had ever been. He didn’t know if that was grounds to be happy or sad.
At that moment, Qiu Ling’s figure exuded a kind of loneliness that was hard to miss. It made Wu Ya feel even more awkward and finally drew Jing Yi over. He had wanted to stay out of this since it didn’t concern him but when he noticed how Qiu Ling looked, he just couldn’t help but walk over and grab his hand.
While he hadn’t seen what exactly had happened, Qiu Ling had told him all about it and he had also seen that place in his inner self. Clearly, that memory haunted Qiu Ling until this day. What kind of lover would he be if he didn’t go to comfort him even in this situation?
Qiu Ling turned to look at him, his expression lighting up a little. He reached out and pulled him into his arms, his fingers brushing through his hair. Yes, not only did he have a new set of parents, but he also had a lover now. Sometime in the future, the two of them would even get married. And then, sometime even further down the line, Jing He and he might even have a child together. They would be a real family. And he would make sure to protect that family. Nobody would be able to take that from him.
He put his chin on top of Jing Yi’s head, imagining the future. He longed to settle down in that way. It was a bit of a pity that he still needed to wait for Jing He’s trial to be over before they could do that. But, well, he had waited ten years for him to fall in love. He could wait some more decades before finally having his wish fulfilled.
Wu Ya looked from one person to the other, clearly wanting to ask just who this person was. Judging from the way they behaved, they were pretty close. He even would have suspected that this person might be Qiu Ling’s spouse but thinking of the fact that Chun Yin and Jinde had pretty much acted the same way back then only for Chun Yin’s son to now tell him that his other parent wasn’t Jinde, he wasn’t sure of that conjecture anymore.
Maybe he didn’t know enough about the dragon race and this was the way that friends treated each other? It seemed a little strange but how would he know what the dragons thought? Thus, he finally motioned at Jing Yi. “So, who is that friend of yours?”
In return, Qiu Ling furrowed his brows and shot him an angry glare. “Obviously, that’s my lover! You’d better not get any ideas!”
Wu Ya was taken aback. It seemed that this wasn’t the way to treat a friend after all. He really couldn’t understand these dragons.