Jing Yi sighed but he wasn’t about to give up that easily. Qiu Ling had probably done this a thousand times already. Naturally, he wouldn’t have any trouble getting it right on the first try every day. But for him, this was the first time he was doing this so it was expected that it would go wrong a few times.
He raised the flints again and struck them together, trying to create a spark. There was a clicking sound when they collided but nothing else happened. He furrowed his brows and continued, holding the flints a little closer to the twigs so that they would definitely catch the sparks when they finally emerged.
After a few more tries, even the last bit of sunlight had vanished, leaving Jing Yi in complete darkness. He tried to see his hands in the dark but it was impossible. He furrowed his brows, wondering what he should do. Even if he couldn’t light up the fire, it wouldn’t be that bad. He could just go to sleep and that would be it.
But what about Qiu Ling then? He was out there still hunting for some kind of food. If there was no light to guide him back, would he be able to even find the camp? And they were in the mountains, after all. What if he missed his step and fell down somewhere? What was he supposed to do then?
Jing Yi only hesitated for a moment and then continued trying to strike the flints together. He might not be able to see them but he was holding them in his hands. How difficult could it be?
As it turned out, imagining things and actually doing them were still two very different things.
By the time Qiu Ling came back, there was the smell of blood in the air. He stopped on the path, his eyes widening before he threw down what he had hunted and rushed to Jing Yi’s side. “What happened?!” He grabbed his shoulders, not caring at all if he exposed that he could see in the darkness. He just wanted to make sure that his beloved was alright.
Jing Yi was startled and dropped the flints, cursing immediately. “The flints!” He wanted to look for them but Qiu Ling pulled him back.
“That’s not what I want to know. You’re hurt! What happened?”
Jing Yi stopped and then gave a sigh. Even in this situation, all Qiu Ling cared about was his well-being. “It’s nothing. I was trying to make a fire but I didn’t manage to do so. Then there wasn’t any light anymore and I tried to do it blindly but I only managed to strike my hands.” If it hadn’t been dark, he probably would’ve looked away to hide his embarrassment. He really was an utter failure. “Anyway, what about you? It was already dark. Did you manage to come back alright?”
Qiu Ling tensed and then rubbed Jing Yi’s back. “Yes, it’s not a problem. I. … I made a makeshift torch. I do have another set of flints in my spatial ring. So that wasn’t a problem at all. I just … let go of it when I smelled blood. I was worried.”
“So it was like that.” Jing Yi couldn’t help but wonder why he hadn’t seen any light but he didn’t dwell on it. Anyway, there were trees around and he had been very focused on trying to make that fire. “Do you think we’ll still manage to make the fire? It’s already so dark.”
Qiu Ling reached out and casually picked up the flints, striking them together for show while he used his spiritual energy to ignite the fire.
Jing Yi stared at the flames that leaped to live in a daze. Qiu Ling really was very well-equipped for this kind of life. Just one try in complete darkness and he was able to achieve this. That really was admirable.
He looked up at him and found Qiu Ling looking right back. His cheeks flushed and he looked around for something he could say. In the end, he pointed at the small fire. “I didn’t find much wood. Do you still have some in your spatial ring?”
Qiu Ling shook and then took some dry branches out, adding them to the fire. “I forgot about that. I’m sorry. You probably needed so long because you first had to gather them, didn’t you?”
“I just casually grabbed a few.” Jing Yi could see that Qiu Ling was blaming himself for what had happened so he searched for a way to change the subject again. “Did you find something to eat?”
Qiu Ling blinked his eyes and then got up, tracing his steps back to where he had thrown his prey down. He carried it back to the fire and gave Jing Yi a smile. “I’m sorry. I threw them down … together with the makeshift torch. They should be alright after dusting them off and plucking the feathers.”
Jing Yi nodded and then looked at the two birds in Qiu Ling’s hands. They weren’t that big but definitely big enough to last the two of them for tonight and maybe even tomorrow morning. He reached out and took one of them from Qiu Ling, silently helping him prepare them.
At first, Qiu Ling had always been the one to handle this kind of thing. But the longer their journey progressed, the worse Jing Yi felt about letting him do everything so even with the food, he had started to do this kind of basic task. Even though he wasn’t nearly as skilled at this as Qiu Ling, he could at least help to reduce the time a bit.
Soon enough, the meat was thrown into the pot and the two of them waited until they could eat, quietly sitting next to each other.
Qiu Ling looked at Jing Yi and then reached out, taking his hand. “Tomorrow morning, we can get up early and then try working on sensing spiritual energy again. I’m sure you will be able to make some progress by then.”
Jing Yi nodded and leaned his head against Qiu Ling’s shoulder while watching the fire. “I sure hope so. After all, we only have a year and quite some time has already passed with us traveling like this, hasn’t it?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “It has. But you don’t need to feel rushed. Even if it doesn’t work out in that year, you will at least make some progress. I can take care of everything else.”
After all, there was no way in hell he would allow anybody to prevent him from marrying his beloved’s reincarnation.