Qiu Ling put Jing Yi down regretfully. But his mood lightened considerably when he thought of what would happen next. He gently took Jing Yi’s hand and led him forward.
Jing Yi smiled. It seemed like Qiu Ling had already forgiven him. He was back to his old self. Still, he felt like he should find a way to make it up to him. Even if Qiu Ling didn’t mind, all his effort had still been wasted because he rejected the pill. It was only right that he did something for him in return.
He looked up at Qiu Ling’s smiling profile. He didn’t have to think much to realize what Qiu Ling might appreciate. In his eyes, spending time together would probably be enough of a repayment. Jing Yi still felt like it wasn’t enough but for now, he would do just that. Anyway, they would be traveling for a year. It shouldn’t be hard to find an idea somewhere along the line.
The place Qiu Ling had brought him to was the foot of a mountain. A lush forest grew all around and only a small path was left open. It looked a bit like at the Long mountain range, just that most of the trees were in full bloom, making it look like they had arrived at an ocean of color. White, blue, yellow, and violet petals were blown off every now and then, gently falling to the ground and forming a colorful carpet.
Qiu Ling looked at Jing Yi expectantly as if waiting for his opinion.
“It … looks nice?” That hadn’t been the point though, had it?
“Mn! Come on!” Qiu Ling pulled him along, obviously even happier now that he had gotten his approval.
The two of them stepped onto the mountain pass and started to walk upward. Jing Yi looked at Qiu Ling questioningly. If the place they wanted to reach was on top of the mountain, wouldn’t it have been better to fly there directly? Why had Qiu Ling …
After a moment, he smiled. There was no need to ask. He understood already. Qiu Ling wanted to spend time with him. Naturally, he would put him down here and then walk up with him. Wouldn’t they take several times longer this way?
Although this was once again a sneaky way of trying to get him to open up to him, Jing Yi couldn’t find it in him any longer to scold Qiu Ling for it. Anyway, Qiu Ling was helping him and he had promised to give him a chance. And he couldn’t expect him to always do things for him without getting anything in return, right?
Looking at it this way, the idea was quite good. After all, it wasn’t sure yet if he would be able to cultivate at the place Qiu Ling was bringing him to. If he was still unable to achieve any kind of breakthrough, wouldn’t this trip have been wasted? So it was better something else to do. Then they could still look back and say that this day had been a good one. It might not be the day he learned how to cultivate but at the very least, it was a day they had been able to use to see something magnificent together and maybe get closer.
Although the latter still required some work. Jing Yi looked back to the front and pondered before eventually turning back to Qiu Ling. “Qiu Ling.”
“Mn? What is it, my love? Do you need something?”
Jing Yi shook his head. “No, I just thought that we’ll probably be on the move for a while.”
“That’s right.” Qiu Ling smiled brightly, proving that Jing Yi had guessed right. It really was intentional.
“Then … why don’t we use this time to get to know each other a little better? We know next to nothing about each other, after all.”
“Oh. Alright.” Qiu Ling didn’t know how to go about that, though. Back then he had sent his men to find out everything about Jing He they could and everything else … Uh, he probably shouldn’t admit to it but he himself had done his fair share of spying on … ah, no, of observing his beloved, of course. There hadn’t been much that had to be told directly.
“So … You’ve come to the Yun Zou Sect five years ago. What did you do before that?” Jing Yi didn’t pick up on Qiu Ling’s problems and just started to ask. He really wanted to know more about him. That way, the distance between them should lessen and who knew? At the end of it, they might be close enough to finally make a decision.
Qiu Ling’s smile grew even more strained at that question. “I …” Actually, I followed you around the whole time since your birth. That was the truth but he probably couldn’t admit to that in front of Jing Yi. He had already been quite angry before when the lies of ‘grandfather’ came out. If he now found out that they were the same person … No, it was still better not to say it directly. Anyway, he wouldn’t lie. He would just … leave out a few details.
He pondered the question and how he could frame what he had done in a positive way. “Mn, I was outside trying to … help the people in need.” It wasn’t that far off. Hadn’t he always tried to help Jing Yi and his parents? Anyway, as long as his beloved would think that it was good, it was a great answer. Ah, maybe this wasn’t so bad after all …