RSH Stratagem 18: Get to Know Your Beloved by Heart (2)

Back in his own chambers, Qiu Ling searched through his spatial ring, as well as all his other possessions. The idea to go to that festival was very good but if he wanted to do this, he would need to bring everything necessary over to the Nine Heavens. First of all, he needed a mask.

No, he didn’t need just one mask. In fact, he would need two of everything. One for his beloved and one for himself. Only that way could he assure that nobody would be able to tell who they were. And only like that would they be able to have fun on their own without the Heavenly Emperor or the people he sent always hovering around them.

Unfortunately for him, Qiu Ling wasn’t able to find a mask anywhere. Not to speak of two, he couldn’t even find a single one. How was he supposed to take advantage of the situation then? He really needed that mask!

Qiu Ling put down his spatial ring and furrowed his brows. He wasn’t willing to give up just like that. There had to be another way. Well, he could either go out and buy one or he could maybe make one himself.

Pondering the question for a while, he finally decided that it would be better to make one himself. The end result might look the same at a quick glance but his beloved would definitely be more impressed if he spent the time and effort required to forge them on his own.

Once again, he searched through his possessions but this time, what he took out were all of the materials that he had amassed over time. There were actually quite a lot. Since he had never liked to just stay in the dragon realm and do his job there, he had often sneaked out under the guise of bringing back resources. In case he’d ever need them and wouldn’t be able to access the ones in the dragon realm, he had kept some of them for himself. Now, that actually came in handy. In the future, he should make sure that he kept that habit up. As it turned out, it was a good thing for wooing his beloved to be prepared for all situations.

Spreading out everything in front of him, Qiu Ling pondered deeply. He naturally wouldn’t have any trouble forging a mask. He wouldn’t even have trouble forging one that would fit his beloved perfectly. After all, he had spent so much time with him and looked at that face almost all the time. He was pretty sure that he knew him well enough by now to be able to make the perfect mask.

No, the thing was that he had promised Jing He to fulfill his heart’s desire. It might take him some time to find out what exactly that heart’s desire was. Until then, he had to show him with little gestures that he was the right one for him.

Considering everything that had happened, he felt that one way to do that would be to make this mask in a way that would fit Jing He not only in size but also in a figurative way. Something made from materials that could mean something to him or something with features that he would appreciate. I had to be something like that. If he put in the time and effort to make one in the first place, he might as well put in the time and effort to make it a perfect one.

Now, what should he use? His beloved was an elegant person but also somebody who liked to stay low-key. He wouldn’t want to draw attention even if he was wearing a mask to hide his identity. So maybe he should go for something that would fit that.

He reached out to take some common materials but then hesitated. Normally, his beloved would indeed do something like that but how could he effectively hide if he did everything as usual?

If he was the Heavenly Emperor and his son vanished on the day of that festival and he thought that he might be among the people celebrating it, he would definitely look for somebody with that kind of description. What was the use of wearing a mask then? He might as well go without one!

Qiu Ling shook his head at himself for coming up with such an absurd idea in the first place. He should’ve known that this wouldn’t work out. No, he had to somehow strike a middle ground. There was no way that Jing He would wear something very eye-catching but he might be able to accept a mask that was somewhere in between. Something that was able to draw attention but not in an ostentatious way but because of its elegance and tastefulness. He should be able to make something like that.

Qiu Ling once again looked over the materials and then nodded to himself. He picked up some blue-veined ice crystal first. This gem sparkled a little when light fell onto it. It would be a little too much if he made the whole mask out of it but it was definitely a good material to add some highlights onto it.

As for the base … He should probably make it out of some kind of wood. That wouldn’t be too hot even if it was a warm day. It would also be light to carry around but not so light that it could be blown away like fabric might.

He chose the wood of the whispering ghost tree. It was white with faint gray marks and so light that wearing it wouldn’t be any different from wearing nothing at all. Maybe embellishments he intended to make would weigh heavier than the wood itself.

Qiu Ling nodded to himself, feeling that he had made the best decision given the circumstances. He continued to look over the other materials but for the time being, he felt that he had everything he needed. He would first make the rough mask and then he could still see if he wanted to add something else.

With that thought in mind, Qiu Ling put the other materials back into his spatial ring and then go to work on creating the mask.

He used his claws to hack the wood into the rough shape of the mask and then ground it down with his spiritual energy to create the exact shape of Jing He’s face and make the surface smooth.

He looked it over as soon as he finished and then smiled to himself, picking up the blue-veined ice crystal and smelting it until he was able to apply it to the mask. At first, he was just trying to leave a few lines on it but seeing how a single layer of the crystal shimmered, he finally glazed half the mask with it and left the second half completely untreated. Next, he made sure to dry the crystal with his spiritual energy, making sure that it would stay in a smooth layer on top.

Now, half of the mask was in the muted white color of the wood and the other half was sparkling because of the crystal. It was beautiful. And it was also a lot like Jing He: It seemed elegant and it was actually simple but still breathtakingly beautiful.

Qiu Ling felt like he might not even need to do anything more but having a few additional details might be nice. For now, he put the mask down though and instead took out his materials again.

While the basic mask for Jing He was finished, there was still his own that needed to be taken care of. Looking at Jing He’s mask, he finally decided to go with something completely opposite to it. That way, the differences between them would be highlighted but they would still seem like a pair that was supposed to be together.

He chose a deep black wood and also glazed half the mask with a smelted ore. This time, he switched to the other half of the mask though, once again reinforcing the idea that they were two halves of the same coin.

Yes, this seemed to be the way it should be. They were supposed to be together. He was sure of that and he wasn’t afraid to say that out loud. Why wouldn’t he show it in such a way as well? If it was his choice, all the world would know what he intended to do.

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