Jing Yi looked at his grandfather and slowly narrowed his eyes. “When did I say that I had a fiance?”
Qiu Ling’s happy expression collapsed on the spot. This … This wasn’t the right way to react! “Do you want to say you don’t?”
Jing Yi furrowed his brows in response. “I don’t. And even if, why would you think so?”
Qiu Ling looked away. Naturally, he would think so because he was his fiance! Why couldn’t his beloved just admit to it? After all, they had already been together for so long and had even slept next to each other for several nights, going so far as to hold hands. He had also done that after getting engaged with Jing He in the Nine Heavens so it couldn’t be that the threshold for being a fiance was suddenly higher in the mortal realm, could it?
Speaking of which … Qiu Ling furrowed his brows and then looked at Jing Yi inquisitively. “If you don’t have a fiance, then who was the young man you spent the night with?” Anyway, this was the truth. Even though he would expose this way that he had spied on him, that was still better than exposing who he was.
Jing Yi tensed up and his face flushed red. “What are you talking about?!”
Qiu Ling blinked his eyes and looked at him strangely. “When I went to check on you yesterday, I saw you sleeping together with a handsome young man. So I thought that since you seemed very close, he should be your fiance.”
Jing Yi wanted to refute but he didn’t know what to say. Most likely, they had indeed seemed very close. After all, Qiu Ling had even been holding his hand while he slept. What kind of other explanation could there be for that behavior? Should he say that they were just martial brothers of the same sect? Who would believe that that was the only thing going on if they got that close? And since his grandfather had already —
Jing Yi paused and then turned to stare at his grandfather. “Why would you even know who I spent the last night with?”
Thankfully, Qiu Ling had already pondered this very important question so he didn’t miss a beat when he answered. “I came to take a look because I was worried about you. You were traveling all alone and then came back to a place where you haven’t been in so long. I was afraid you’d be feeling afraid or that something might happen to you. So just in case that you needed me to comfort you, I wanted to be close by to do so. But I see that your fiance has taken care of you very well. As your grandfather, I can rest assured now.”
“You came to … spy on us for several weeks?” Because there was no way this had been a single occurrence. He might have followed them from the day they met in the forest!
Qiu Ling hesitated but then nodded his head. “Of course! You know that you’re very important to me. So I just couldn’t help but be worried.”
Jing Yi almost would’ve felt touched but then he remembered that he hadn’t seen this guy in six years. “Then where have you been while I was in the Yun Zou Sect? Where did you go all this time? If I’m so important to you, then you shouldn’t have just vanished!”
This time, Qiu Ling didn’t have an immediate comeback. Instead, he looked down, indeed feeling a bit guilty.
Jing Yi took a deep breath and sighed. “I’m sorry. I overreacted. Anyway, you don’t have to be there all the time. It’s not your task to guard me all the time. I can’t expect that. But even though you said you were busy back then, I would’ve thought you’d be coming to see me every now and then at least. But I never heard from you while I was in the sect. Not even a single time. That … did make me sad.”
Qiu Ling sighed as well. In fact, he had been there all the time. It was just that … He had been there as his true self and he had thought that it would be best if Jing Yi’s grandfather didn’t appear anymore so that his beloved would rely on his true self in the future. But it seemed he had made him worry and feel neglected. He shouldn’t have done that. Unfortunately, he could hardly tell him the truth. “Well …”
Jing Yi shook his head. “You don’t have to explain if you don’t want to. You have your life. I can understand if I can’t be a part of all of that.”
Qiu Ling reached over and patted his shoulder. “You’re a good boy. If I could, I would’ve spent more time with you. It’s just that …” His mind raced and he finally pulled out the only explanation that he could think of on the spot. Anyway, even though it had nothing to do with the time in the Yun Zou Sect, it was true for the year before that when Jing Yi’s father had died.
“This is actually related to what I said before. You know, the dragons live in another realm. The time there flows differently so while several years went by here, it was only a few days over there. It’s sometimes a little hard to keep track of. For me, not even a week went by. Actually, it’s quite strange to see you all grown up now.”
Jing Yi blinked his eyes in confusion. “Not even a week? But how … How can that be possible?”
Qiu Ling stared at him, frowning. How was he supposed to explain that? “Well, it’s another dimension. I don’t know how to explain this so that you could understand. Maybe it has to do with the spiritual energy that is tied to the dimension. It’s something that is inherent for every realm.”
Jing Yi nodded slowly even though he didn’t quite understand. “Well, maybe a cultivator would be able to understand better.”
Qiu Ling pondered and also nodded slowly. “Maybe.” Or maybe he just needed a better way to explain this …