By the time the two of them arrived at the actual foot of the Long mountain range, two weeks had already gone by. Jing Yi was confused at first when he noticed just how long they needed to get there but then he remembered that he, his parents and his grandfather had traveled this part of the way on horseback. But now, Qiu Ling and he were just walking. Naturally, they would need longer.
Anyway, the time wasn’t wasted. He hadn’t learned anything about cultivation but at the very least, he was able to make a fire by himself by now and had even learned how to prepare some simple food.
Thinking of that, he couldn’t help but look at Qiu Ling. From the originally heroic impression to the feeling of having to deal with an utterly lovesick fool all this time, Jing Yi had gotten to a point now where he couldn’t help but admit that there was far more to this person than he had glimpsed at first.
Even though Qiu Ling was indeed very emotional and carried his heart on his tongue as if he would suffocate to death if he couldn’t confess his love for him at least three times a day, he was also very knowledgeable. There were a lot of things he knew about the cultivation world and such things like how to survive on this kind of journey was no problem to him either.
This was a completely new side that Jing Yi never would have expected to see. Well, maybe he would have if Qiu Ling’s first words to him hadn’t been a marriage proposal. After all, the mighty hero he had at first expected certainly would have had this type of knowledge as well, wouldn’t he? It was a pity that Qiu Ling had destroyed this so fast and thoroughly.
Anyway, Jing Yi happy that he had agreed to go on this journey together despite everything that had happened. Obviously, they really needed to spend more time and get to know each other better before he would be able to decide on whether getting married or not would be a good idea. As for the initial feeling of rejection … nothing of that was left. In fact, he felt a bit drawn to him. Maybe this was just curiosity but perhaps …
Jing Yi once again looked over at Qiu Ling. He had managed to glean some things from his behavior on this journey so far but he still didn’t know anything other than that about him. On the other hand, Qiu Ling had met his family, knew about his friends in the Yun Zou Sect, and also knew about the things that were troubling him. Most likely, it was now his time to inquire more about Qiu Ling’s situation?
He hesitated for a while but finally couldn’t help but bring it up when they were setting up camp for the night once again. “Qiu Ling …” Jing Yi bit his lower lip and picked up a twig, poking the fire. He was sure that this was the right way to find out more about Qiu Ling but he still felt that it was a bit embarrassing.
Just what should he ask? About where he had grown up? But even if Qiu Ling told him, he wouldn’t know that place. He only knew the village, the way to the capital, and the Yun Zou Sect. Other than that, the world was a blank to him.
Then maybe he should inquire about his family? There should be some things Qiu Ling could say about that, right? He might be able to tell him about his parents or his childhood. It would be alright as long as he told him some stories. He just wanted to find out a bit more to feel closer to him.
Even though Jing Yi took his sweet time coming up with how he wanted to continue, Qiu Ling was naturally over the moon when his beloved’s paid him the attention of his own volition. Especially when he saw that there seemed to be coming more. Ah, his beloved was probably just too shy to continue further! Mn, that made him wonder what this was about …
Qiu Ling pondered for a moment and then inched closer, even inclining his head to be as close to him as possible. “What is it, my love?”
Jing Yi took a deep breath and gave a small smile. “I was just thinking … You’ve met my mother already and my father’s family. What about your parents?”
Qiu Ling who had just wanted to be affectionate with his beloved froze on the spot.
“Qiu Ling?” Jing Yi bit his lower lip, his gaze becoming cautious. He wouldn’t have … hit a sore spot, right? “They …” He tried to imagine what might be the problem. Could it be that … “They’re not alive anymore?” He felt horrible saying it like that but it was the only thing that seemed to explain why Qiu Ling was behaving like that.
Qiu Ling looked away and straightened up again, for once not seeming to have any intention to stick to Jing Yi. “Mn.”
“That … I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up.” Jing Yi also turned to the other side, looking down. Inwardly, he chastised himself. Why had he thought it would be a good idea to just casually ask something like this? His own father had died as well so he should know how much it could hurt. Back then, he had been lucky that he had been given something like a task to take his mind off the matter. If not for this goal of becoming a hero and making his father proud … It likely would have hit him much harder.
But who knew what had happened with Qiu Ling’s family? From the way he had agreed just now, it seemed that he had lost both his parents. And there was no way to say just when that had happened or how. It might be a horrible experience that haunted Qiu Ling even to this day.
Thinking of that, Jing Yi couldn’t help but feel compassionate. With a guilty conscience, he turned back and reached out slowly, finally rubbing Qiu Ling’s back. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up. I made you remember something bad. Sorry.”
Qiu Ling, on the other hand, blinked his eyes. Uh? How come he was suddenly shown so much affection? Don’t tell him being a pitiful person was actually this effective? If that was the case, he might want to unburden his whole heart! At the end of his sad life story, wouldn’t they end up married for sure?!