Jing Yi continued to eat for a moment, not noticing that something was wrong with Qiu Ling. He just thought that he was pondering over which place they could go next. Maybe he had also never been to the sea or it had been a long time since then? Then naturally, he would need some time to consider which place was the closest to them.
When Qiu Ling still didn’t react after a moment, Jing Yi couldn’t help but glance over. Seeing him with his chopsticks still raised but his face completely empty, Jing Yi also froze up.
He stared at him, his heart suddenly thumping heavily. He took a shaky breath and then put down his bowl and chopsticks, shifting closer to Qiu Ling and grabbing his arm. “Qiu Ling. What’s the matter?” He looked like something had completely spooked him. Had he noticed something around them? Was there some kind of danger that he couldn’t notice? He couldn’t help but fear whatever it was that was able to make Qiu Ling look like this.
Qiu Ling was finally pulled out of his memories when we heard Jing Yi’s voice. He flinched and then looked over, moving his chopsticks a little further and finally putting down his bowl as well. “I’m sorry. I …” He took a deep breath and then exhaled slowly, shaking his head. “I just remembered something from … a while ago. … It wasn’t a nice memory. I’m sorry, I just got up absorbed in it.”
Jing Yi still stared at him with worry written on his face. “Are you sure you’re alright?” Even though Qiu Ling had just said so, he couldn’t quite believe it. The way he had just looked … That wasn’t normal at all.
Qiu Ling gave a strained smile in return. Ah, if he could, he would really like to turn back time. Just why had he needed to think of this while his beloved was close by? Wouldn’t Jing Yi wonder what was wrong now? And what if he asked? Then what should he say? This really wasn’t a situation he wanted to be in. Especially not now when things had been going so well. If it set them back …
He looked away and forced himself to smile more before he picked up his bowl again and continued to eat a few bites as if nothing had happened and as if it had really just been a momentary lapse of attention. “So … You were just saying you wanted to see the sea?”
Jing Yi watched his expression and indeed couldn’t help but wonder just what had gone wrong. The last thing he had said was indeed that maybe they could visit the sea.
Could it be that that was what had triggered that memory of Qiu Ling’s? So it probably wouldn’t be too good if they actually went there. “That … It was just an idea. We could probably go to any other place as well. Maybe a lake would do? Or a river?” He couldn’t help but observe Qiu Ling’s expression closely while he said so.
Who knew what exactly that memory was? In any case, it had to be something that haunted him. Maybe he had witnessed something very bad at sea? Or maybe it wasn’t actually the sea but just water?
Regardless of what exactly it was, this had to remind him of that. “Well, if you don’t want to, we could also go somewhere else. I mean there are still another four elements, aren’t there? I think the sequence we go to places that are full of them doesn’t really play a role.” He looked away and then motioned at the fire in front of them. “Actually, we’ve also had to do with fire already. Maybe there’s a place you can remember that has to do with that?”
Qiu Ling stared at the flames for a moment but his expression didn’t turn any better. Fire … That wasn’t anything dragons could do. They were creatures of the air and water. Using the element of fire would never be anything good.
He cleared his throat and then shook his head. “No, I think your idea was pretty good. You’ve already managed to sense the air and had a very short encounter with the element of the water. It would only be logical to continue with that. I actually do know of a place that would be quite good for that. But it could be a little far away. Maybe it would be better to have a look around if there’s something closer by. We can just fly over the area and take a look from above to check.”
Jing Yi nodded but didn’t say anything else for fear of mentioning the wrong thing again. He couldn’t help but continue to worry inwardly though. There were so many things that mentioning would make Qiu Ling have a look like that.
Just what had happened in his past?
On one hand, he really wanted to ask and understand. On the other hand, he understood that it would probably pain Qiu Ling if he did. He didn’t dare to say anything. In the end, Qiu Ling would probably mention it himself when he was ready to do so.
He should just wait for that time. The worse the memories were, the longer it would probably take. And even though they had gotten closer, he probably wasn’t even close to dependable enough for Qiu Ling to put his trust in him in regard to these things. After all, who knew what it was?
Judging from all the stories that Shao Hai and Xiao Dong had told him, there were so many cultivators out there that had suffered some grievances before. A lot of them would go and seek revenge later on.
If there was that kind of story behind Qiu Ling’s behavior, then he naturally wouldn’t tell somebody who would just be a burden to him. No, if he wanted to find out, then he first had to prove to Qiu Ling that he wasn’t completely useless. He definitely had to try harder in learning how to cultivate.
When he could do that, then he would be in a position to ask. Not before that.