Qiu Ling waited until Jing Yi had calmed down again and then closed his own eyes, focusing on his magic. He actually didn’t know how exactly his magic worked. It was an innate ability of all dragons so the basics would come to them sooner or later. It was nothing they needed to think about.
Most of the time, they would learn the finer details from their parents or a teacher but Qiu Ling had figured most of that out on his own as well. He had no model on how to teach somebody. But maybe that was good. Maybe Jing Yi could learn it the same way as him: Just interacting with the elements around them and gaining an understanding of his own.
He didn’t know for sure but it was the only thing he could try. Thus Qiu Ling manipulated the energy of the wind, his magic once again spreading throughout his body.
Jing Yi tensed. He could feel it even clearer now. Yesterday, it had only been vague. If it hadn’t been completely new to him, he might have thought that he had only imagined it. But this, right now, was much stronger in comparison.
“Focus.” Qiu Ling’s voice sounded once again, quietly reassuring him. “Don’t think of anything else right now. Just … try to feel it. I’m sure it will naturally come to you.” He turned his hand and pressed his palm against Jing Yi’s. Then, he lifted his left hand while manipulating his magic and the strand of wind twirled around and rose up.
Jing Yi took a trembling breath. Before he could react further, Qiu Ling had taken his left hand again. He was gently cupping the back of his hand this time though, making it form a bowl. Jing Yi was confused at first but then, he noticed how the strand of wind had followed Qiu Ling’s motion. Right now, it was curling up in his hand.
And yes, this time, he could sense it. It wasn’t just a breeze grazing his skin. It was indeed a strand of wind and one that had taken on a form. It was like a living thing.
Qiu Ling smiled. His beloved seemed to have calmed down, so it should have worked. “Can you sense it?”
Jing Yi hesitated for a moment, not because he wasn’t sure how to answer but because he was afraid he would lose his focus if he spoke. In the end, he forced himself to calm down again. No, there was no reason to be afraid. He had managed to do it once. He would be able to do it a second time. “Yes.”
“Very well. You did great.”
Jing Yi still had his eyes closed but he could hear the warm smile in Qiu Ling’s voice. It made him feel … just as warm inside.
“Do you want to try to take it in?” Qiu Ling slightly opened his eyes and, as if on cue, Jing Yi did the same.
Jing Yi gazed at Qiu Ling, not quite sure what to think. He had tried for five years to get this far but it had never worked out. Shao Hai and Xiao Dong had also tried to help him but … never like this. In fact, Shao Hai had even felt that returning home and leading the same life as before would be an option.
But Qiu Ling had never even suggested that. Despite knowing him for a lot less time, he seemed to understand him really well. Or at the very least, he accepted what he wanted to do. And now that he had achieved part of that, he was genuinely happy for him.
Qiu Ling raised his brows, not quite understanding what Jing Yi meant.
“You don’t have to do all this but … you’re still doing it. I think I haven’t told you that I’m grateful for that yet.”
Qiu Ling gave a smile. “It’s alright. You can give me a kiss as thanks when you feel like it.”
Jing Yi hesitated but then leaned over and lightly pecked Qiu Ling’s lips.
The mighty dragon king who had waited for several years for his beloved to grow up again and did everything he could think of to seduce him … He couldn’t quite understand what was going on.
Well, not that they hadn’t kissed before. There had been moments and opportunities and actually, they had kissed more intensely than this but it felt different somehow.
Jing Yi laughed when he saw Qiu Ling’s stunned expression. “What? Wasn’t that what you asked for?”
“That … yes. Yes, I guess so.” Qiu Ling lowered his gaze to the hands he was still holding and then glanced up again. “I’m just surprised. It … Well, it was unexpected.”
Jing Yi watched Qiu Ling with a smile. Who would have thought Qiu Ling could also have moments like this? He suddenly seemed so much at a loss, it was almost funny. He held back the laugh though and instead looked at him earnestly. “Thank you, Qiu Ling. Not just for this. Although … This obviously means a lot to me. But you’ve done so much more. Probably more than I deserve. So … I felt like giving at least a little back.”
“Mn …” Qiu Ling finally requited his smile. “It felt like more than just a little.” And not just because of the kiss. In fact, he was even more happy to see him smile like this. Jing He had also looked at him like this. It was somehow happy, but also a bit melancholic, a bit like he couldn’t trust this sudden bliss.
That, in turn, made Qiu Ling feel melancholic but also happy at the same time because it was as if he had discovered a bit of Jing He in Jing Yi. It was as if he had come home after a long time.
He had spent years without being able to look into Jing He’s eyes or talk with him so this short illusion of having him in front of him again was like a dream come true. On the other hand, it made him hunger for more.
Qiu Ling closed his eyes, once again seeing that small smile in front of him. He would do anything he could to get it back.
Ah, my love, I’ll fulfill whatever wish you have in this mortal lifetime and then, when you wake up in your palace once again, then you’ll see that you can trust me with everything. Maybe then we can finally get married regardless of what your father or anybody else says. It should not be impossible, should it?