Jing Yi looked at Qiu Ling with a complicated expression. How come this person that would normally joke around and never be serious was suddenly talking about the subject he had wanted to drop again? He averted his gaze and tried to take back his hands. “Actually, that’s not that important.”
Qiu Ling gave a hum in response and caught Jing Yi’s hands once again. “It seemed pretty important when you brought it up the last time. It also seemed very important when you started to talk about it today. Why don’t you tell me?”
Jing Yi looked up again, his expression tangled.
Qiu Ling just smiled. Even though he normally preferred not to think about anything too deeply and just focus on his beloved instead, that didn’t mean he was an idiot. Otherwise, that old geezer never would have wanted him to succeed him. One still needed a bit of ability to get forced into that kind of position.
Anyway, if there was something Qiu Ling decided on, then he would naturally see it through. He wouldn’t forget about it and he was indeed able to come up with a plan that would work. He had done so back in the war with the demons and he had done the same when he set his mind on wooing Jing He.
Now that the person he wanted to convince was Jing Yi, it was even easier. If it had been Jing He, then maybe his beloved would have been able to find a way around his plot. Well, if it had been him, then maybe Qiu Ling would’ve given in on his own. But this was his mortal reincarnation. The things they did here … Qiu Ling still hoped that they might be able to tie him and Jing He even closer together. So naturally, he wouldn’t give up any opportunities. If he did, then he really would be an idiot.
“Is it that you don’t trust me? Do you feel that I wouldn’t be able to understand?”
Hearing that kind of question, Jing Yi’s expression became even more troubled. “That’s not it …”
“Then what is it? Maybe I can help? This really seemed to make you feel sad. I just hope that I might be able to find a way to make you feel better. You know how important you are to me, don’t you?”
Qiu Ling’s earnest expression finally made Jing Yi give in. “But you can’t laugh! You have to promise!”
Qiu Ling nodded happily. Naturally, he wouldn’t laugh. After all, if there was anything to laugh about, he would’ve laughed ten years ago already. “I promise you.”
Jing Yi looked at him for a moment longer to make sure that Qiu Ling was saying the truth before he finally sighed. “Actually, this is a bit embarrassing. I met him for the first time when I was still pretty young. I …” He furrowed his brows and his lips twitched. “To be honest, I wasn’t the smartest kid around.”
Qiu Ling tightened his lips. Well … Unfortunately, there was nothing he could say against that. Tricking his beloved had really been too easy. It had actually made him worry that somebody else might try the same thing. Then what would happen? Because of that, he had paid even more attention to make sure that no bad person would approach his beloved.
Qiu Ling cleared his throat and made sure that his expression looked acceptable before he answered. “Well … I wouldn’t know but it’s not important how you were as a child as long as you’re the person you are now. That’s the one I fell in love with, isn’t it?”
Jing Yi looked away before he gave a short nod. “I guess so.” Although … He still wasn’t quite sure just how Qiu Ling had fallen in love with him. Still, hearing it again and again, even though he couldn’t understand, he also had no way to doubt it.
“Anyway, back then, my grandfather told me that …” He furrowed his brows again and pondered how to say it an at least slightly less embarrassing way. “Well, he told me that all girls were actually some kind of monster that would try to hurt me. He even told me of a way to identify them as these monsters.
“I instantly believed him and for as long as I lived in this village, I avoided the girls. In fact, even after my parents took me to the capital, I was still afraid. I was even afraid of my own cousin.
“If it had been true, then it wouldn’t be a problem. But he actually lied to me. And because I … Well, because I wasn’t very smart and believed him, this happened. I just feel that he shouldn’t have done that. How can you lie to a small child like that? He probably laughed at me a lot.” Jing Yi hung his head, making Qiu Ling feel a pang of regret for his actions.
Yes, maybe he had indeed gone a little overboard. He could have found another way to keep these girls from Jing Yi. Unfortunately, it was already too late. And considering that he still had a use for that sagely old man, he couldn’t give up right now. He had to give Jing Yi some sort of … reason for his behavior.
He furrowed his brows and pondered while looking at the hands he was still holding. Lying to him about this to make him keep his distance from those girls … The only reason that he could give was probably something that was close to the truth. “Well, I don’t know your grandfather but maybe he had a reason. Maybe he was afraid that you would actually get hurt.”
Jing Yi scoffed. “Get hurt? How? They’re just normal girls. They’re human just like me. Is there anything to be afraid about?”
Qiu Ling gave a wry smile. “Probably not? But maybe he has a different perspective on things. Maybe there was something in his past that made him believe that they could indeed be a problem. Maybe he told you that lie because he was afraid that you would experience the same thing he did so … He didn’t know what to tell you and made up a lie?”
Jing Yi already wanted to retort when he thought of what Qiu Ling had told him the last time he had brought up his grandfather. That woman that had tried to seduce his father and ripped apart his family? Someone like her would probably be a reason to make somebody feel that women weren’t good to be around. “I guess you could be right. Maybe he had his reasons for thinking it would be better this way. I still think it’s wrong.”
Qiu Ling smiled and pulled Jing Yi closer, hugging him to his chest. His fingers brushed through the dark hair and he couldn’t help but think of the person he had left behind in the Nine Heavens.
“Sometimes we do very stupid things because somebody is important to us. In the end, we might even realize that we were stupid ourselves. But by then, what has happened, has happened. We can’t take it back anymore. We can only apologize and keep going forward. I don’t know if you can forgive him. But I’m very sure that he meant nothing bad by it. He might not have done the good thing but he certainly tried to do so.”
Jing Yi laughed and hugged him back. “Who would’ve thought you could speak so well about somebody?”
“I always speak well of you.”
Jing Yi nodded. Indeed, Qiu Ling did talk well of him. But he had never heard him say anything like this about another person. Even when he had mentioned his Master, he hadn’t said much. So hearing his thoughts on what somebody else might think was actually quite novel. It made him happy that he brought it up.
What Qiu Ling said seemed reasonable. Maybe he had been too harsh when he told his grandfather off. He had actually made him run away. It made him wonder if his grandfather would come back to talk to him again. At the very least, he hadn’t seen him again yet. That truly would be a pity.
In that case, he should probably take the first step and contact him. Maybe he could give that a try tomorrow. For now though, they should probably see if they could get something to eat and then go to bed. It had already been another long day.