Jinde gave him a long look. He could imagine what was going through his husband’s mind. In a way, he felt comforted hearing that Leng Jin Yu was thinking about him so much. On the other hand, he felt a little guilty. “You do not have to do this. While I do want to know, I do not want to pressure you into anything.
“What we are living like right now is our life. Chun Yin has been dead for a long time. And I have been living with the things that happened back then for a long time as well. While it hurts to think about it, it is in the past. What we have right now is our present and our future. I would rather never find out what Chun Yin’s reasons were for the things he did back then than to lose my future with you. I lost him back then. I don’t want to lose you. So it is up to you.”
Leng Jin Yu nodded, giving himself a moment to think things through. “Well, there is a chance. But there’s no certainty in what the outcome will be if we give it a try. It could go well but it could go just as badly at the same time. We do not know before we don’t try.”
Jinde nodded. “That is the situation we’re in, yes. And I’m sorry to put that burden on you.”
Leng Jin Yu shook his head and interlaced his fingers with Jinde’s. “You don’t have to apologize. That’s something that we’ve talked about. We both want to know. Even though I can’t remember everything, there’s a bit. And you bet that I’ve been thinking about it more than once.
“I know that it will help you. It might not be as important anymore after your soul has been healed but there’s more to this. What happened with Chun Yin caused a different kind of injury to you. And if I can do anything to help you heal from that, then as your husband I should do that.”
“It will be at your risk though.” Jinde couldn’t deny that he was hoping Leng Jin Yu would decide on doing it. But at the same time, he was also worried. If things went wrong … He would never be able to forgive himself. Originally, he hadn’t thought about that too much because it had been so far away but now that he was healed and this was a very real possibility right in front of him … He didn’t know anymore what was right or wrong.
Leng Jin Yu sat up and pulled Jinde into a sitting position as well. He took his hands, tightly holding onto them, and looked into his eyes. “We’ve already talked about this. Why would we suddenly change our minds? In any case, I want to know and you want to know. Yes, things could go wrong but I think that we should give it try.”
Jinde nodded faintly but there was still a feeling of worry inside him. “And if it really goes wrong?”
Leng Jin Yu reached up and gently caressed Jinde’s cheek. “You won’t lose me. We’ve already been together for more than a millennium by now. We know each other. If you notice that I’m behaving strangely, you can help me through it. Losing myself because of some new memories … I really don’t think it will happen. But if it does, then you can help me figure out again who I was before. I’m sure that it is possible.”
Jinde took a deep breath and then nodded. “Alright. Then … should we start now or … do you want to give it a bit more time?”
Leng Jin Yu smiled and leaned forward, giving him a kiss. “There’s no use stalling for time. There is no reason to wait. We waited long enough. Let’s just do it and then see what happens. Maybe we are actually worrying too much.”
Jinde nodded, and then inched closer, carefully reaching out. He tapped the spot between Leng Jin Yu’s eyebrows and watched his husband close his eyes. There was a faint scar at the spot from when he had used the soul engraving dagger to cut off a piece of his soul to use to create this realm. Thinking of it, Jinde put the worry in his heart to rest. This man … He was able to do something like this for him. No matter what happened, he wouldn’t lose himself. No, he didn’t believe that it was possible. Leng Jin Yu was too strong for that.
He inched closer, his breath brushing over Leng Jin Yu’s face. Slowly, he closed his own eyes and then sensed for his own soul and the piece of Chun Yin’s soul that was attached to it. He touched his chest with the fingers of his left hand, slowly pulling.
A dragon’s soul was made to be parted so taking out a piece wasn’t a problem at all. He grabbed onto it, not just that part of Chun Yin’s but also a bit of his own, and then pulled it out of his body. He could sense it even now that it was airborne. He took a moment to admire the last bit that was left of his previous life’s lover: the deep, translucent red, like gems, like the color of blood. It was beautiful, eye-catching, and breathtaking, just like Chun Yin had been.
Thinking of how this was part of the soul of the man he had loved so deeply but who had already passed on, a few tears gathered in Jinde’s eyes. He would lie if he said that he did not miss him. A part of him had died with Chun Yin back then, a part that he would never regain. His life had turned for the better by now but that piece would still always be missing, leaving a hole behind.
He exhaled faintly and then pushed the part of the two souls further until it made contact with his other hand. And finally, he guided it further along, making it enter Leng Jin Yu’s body and attach to the soul inside.
He glanced at Leng Jin Yu’s soul and his lips curved up in a small smile. Looking at their bodies’ appearances, the difference between them was already obvious. Who would’ve thought that their souls were just the same? While Chun Yin’s was a dark red, Leng Jin Yu’s was actually a deep green. It wasn’t as bright and sparkling but instead seemed matte but smooth like something that would be soft to the touch, like velvet.
Jinde really wanted to laugh. Yes, they were too different. Even though they had originally come from the same soul, they differed so much that they could hardly be called the same person anymore.
Thinking about it for a moment longer, he finally took back his hands and grabbed Leng Jin Yu’s again, opening his eyes to look at him.
As for his husband … He didn’t need much longer. As soon as Jinde grabbed his hands, he also opened his eyes, looking at him with a gaze that Jinde had never before seen in those eyes.
Ah, maybe that wasn’t quite right. Maybe he had actually seen it once or twice. But it had been a long time since then. And having it happen now, at this time moment in time, actually frightened him silly.