Qiu Ling’s expression changed. Right. He hadn’t thought about this before but it was true. As somebody who had already bound his soul, he was unable to hurt his beloved without hurting himself. There was no difference between hurting Jing He in his actual body or in the one of his reincarnation since the soul was still the same. And the soul was what counted in the soul-binding of the dragons. So naturally, it was the same with Jing He.
He furrowed his brows, trying to wrap his head around what this meant. In any case, he had originally promised Jing Yi to give him some more time. Until his ascension, until he had had time to see the dragon realm … All of that hadn’t happened yet. So for now, there was no reason to think about it. There was still the question of what would be after that. “Even if I can’t, it’s not like I can’t let somebody else do it. Sooner or later, I’m afraid it will have to happen.”
Chun Yin nodded. “Indeed. And at that moment, you need to be decisive. Look at it this way: If he dies, then that’s the end for him. But your true lover will just return. That is the person that you will actually spend eternity with. That is the person that will be at your side until the day you die. Don’t you want that to be the real him?”
Qiu Ling lowered his head, trying to figure out what he actually thought about that.
Yes, he had always imagined it to be Jing He. The moment he first saw him at the banquet of the Heavenly Emperor, there had been such thoughts. He had imagined their wedding, how they would live their everyday life together, how they would have a child, and maybe even some thoughts of how they would grow old together.
While he had had a few thoughts like that regarding Jing Yi, it had always been fleeting. Maybe that was because he had met Jing He earlier, he didn’t know. Maybe it was also because deep down, he realized that Jing Yi was just one step on Jing He’s path. He had to be born so Jing He could continue to live, he had to die so that Jing He could come back to life. That really was the only reason for him to have been born anyway. It was cruel to him but it was a necessity for Jing He.
Qiu Ling rubbed his face. “I suddenly understand why the gods are born without memories from their previous life in their trials. It’s probably not just so they take the trial seriously, this also makes a lot of trouble.”
Chun Yin nodded. “It certainly seems that way. But … I think that what you need to keep in mind is that he is the person that you love. And you need to do what is best for him in the long run. So if that means that you have to let his reincarnation go, then that is a sacrifice you need to be willing to make. Take it from somebody who lost the love of his life: There is nothing too difficult to do for the person that you want to spend your life with.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “I understand. You know, I wouldn’t have a problem if it was anybody else. I can choose between anyone and Jing He, even between my own life and his. I would always put him first. It’s difficult in this kind of case because I’m unable to see the two of them as different people. I mean they obviously are. Even though they share his soul, they are not the same person. So how am I supposed to deal with this? It’s really making me worried.”
Chun Yin reached over and put his arm around Qiu Ling’s shoulders. “I don’t know either of them. I don’t know the whole situation. I guess you could say that I don’t even know you. I can only tell you that looking back on my own life, the only regret that I put a burden on the two people I cared most about.
“Whether that is Jinde or you, I never wanted to hurt either. So I know that you are in a difficult position. Because to you, your lover and his reincarnation are these two most important people. But in your situation, you have to choose. You can’t have both. Only one of them. And as hard as it is, you know what you have to do. You see, maybe you should talk with Jinde about this.”
Qiu Ling pursed his lips. “I already did but he just said something similar. He wasn’t really much more of help than you were. He basically also just told me that I need to decide.”
Chun Yin nodded. “He might have a different perspective on things after today. You know, as much as it hurts to admit it, I’m afraid he would prefer his current husband over me. I would like to say it’s different but it’s the truth. So I guess for a short moment, Jinde was in the same situation as you today. You should go and ask him about it. He might have some insight that will help you.”
Qiu Ling turned to look at him, his gaze complex. “That is the most father-like thing you’ve ever told me in my life.”
Chun Yin laughed and took his arm back. “Is that so? Well, I’m glad that it’s something like this. Maybe after today, you will look back and say that at least in one situation in your life, your father was a guiding light for you.”
Qiu Ling smiled faintly. “Don’t worry too much about it. To be honest, you have been one several times already. You might not have been there but I do remember the things that you taught me when I was young and I also remember how your own life played out. Even if I couldn’t turn to you for advice and ask about anything specific, thinking of you was something that guided me over the years.”
Chun Yin smiled faintly at that. “You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that. I hope that in the future, you’ll have somebody else to turn to though. That reincarnation of mine actually isn’t bad. And well, he has lived two lives. Now that he’ll remember mine as well, his advice will probably be more profound than mine. It’s probably nice to have him around.”
Qiu Ling nodded but inwardly, he couldn’t help but think that he would rather have had his real father around even if he wasn’t as knowledgeable. He didn’t say that though. After all, he didn’t want his father to die with regrets again.