Jinde knew Qiu Ling quite well. He indeed didn’t return to the bamboo hut or the Yun Zou Sect and even left the mortal realm after a while. He didn’t really know what to do but somehow, his steps just led him into the immortal realm and over to the Nine Heavens. He wasn’t about to go and try to have a talk with Qiang Yan but instead, he went to Jing He’s palace. He knew that there was no way for his beloved to speak with him but just being close to his actual body would probably calm him down. At the very least, that was what he told himself.
Stepping into the palace, he gave Qiang Wei and Yi Zan a bland look but didn’t bother to speak up. He just passed by them and walked through the array and the traps that he had laid down and then sat down at the edge of Jing He’s bed, looking at his seemingly sleeping figure.
The other two dragons exchanged a glance and then quietly left, standing outside the door to the garden.
Qiang Wei couldn’t help but glance inside. “His Majesty didn’t look good at all. What do you think is the matter?”
Yi Zan just sighed. “No matter what it is he likely wouldn’t tell us even if we asked. Let’s just wait here. Spending some time with His Highness will likely help the most.”
Qiang Wei hesitated for a bit but finally nodded. Right, they couldn’t do anything. It was just a pity that His Highness currently wasn’t awake to be able to really have a chat with their king. If he could, this would probably work much better. Unfortunately … it didn’t seem like His Highness would return any time soon.
Back inside, Qiu Ling just quietly looked at Jing He. He had probably subconsciously hoped that he would feel better when he was here. Now that he was … he couldn’t quite put his feelings into words. On the one hand, seeing Jing He did indeed calm him down a bit. But on the other hand, there was also a feeling of guilt. When he promised Jing Yi that he would take him to the Nine Heavens and the dragon realm, hadn’t he decided against Jing He with that? Thinking about it now, he wasn’t sure anymore if it had been the right decision.
He reached out and gently took Jing He’s hand. “I’m sorry. I feel like I am doing everything wrong when it comes to the people that are important to me. Not just you but with my father as well.”
He fell quiet for a moment and shook his head. “You don’t know but my father came back for a few short hours. He’s been dead for so long, sometimes, I wasn’t even sure if I still remember him the right way. Maybe he was completely different from what I think? Maybe what is in my mind can’t even be trusted? I really didn’t know anymore. That kind of thought … it is unbearable. But what can I do? I can’t turn back time, I can’t bring him back. I can only try to remember as well as possible. There will be no guarantee. And today … I guess I remembered after all. I guess it was a little unexpected.”
He leaned down, his forehead finally touching the back of Jing He’s hand. “I wish you could have been there. It would’ve been so nice if you were able to meet him at least once. He’d probably like you a lot. I’m not quite sure what you would’ve thought of him though. My father … he was a little rough around the edges. Maybe he wouldn’t be refined enough for you. Then again, I think he was a bit of a charmer when he was alive. And maybe you already would’ve liked him just for the fact that without him, there wouldn’t be me.” He fell silent again, not quite sure how to continue. The opportunity was already gone. The two of them hadn’t been able to meet. Now, they never would. It really was a pity.
Qiu Ling sighed and then raised his head again, looking at Jing He’s face. “When he left again, I had no idea what to do. Then I came here. I guess this does tell me quite a bit. Jing He, I can’t live without you. But I’m still so worried. I just don’t know what to do. If only you could give me some kind of sign.”
He continued to look at his face, trying to see something from it but, of course, there was nothing there. It had already been several years since Jing He’s soul left his body for the trial. Now, there really was no chance that anything would change here. His beloved couldn’t let him know whatever it was that he thought of this. He would have to wait until his soul returned for that.
Qiu Ling reached out, the thought that maybe it would be best to end it right now going through his mind. Maybe if he had somebody else go and make sure that Jing He could return immediately, this whole problem would be solved. Since he was here, he could pretend that he didn’t know. He would likely feel guilty about it forever but after Jing He returned, he could take that. At the very least, he wouldn’t have let him down. His true lover.
Just when his fingers were about to touch his skin, a row of sharp teeth embedded itself into his finger. Qiu Ling raised his brows and then lifted his hand, staring at the thing that was hanging onto it.
“Oh. I completely forgot about you.” He grabbed the spiritual beast by the scruff of its neck and then held it in front of his face. “Where were you hiding, huh? Is my beloved’s hair nice?”
The thing could only bare its teeth at him but then started to immediately whimper when Qiu Ling just continued to stare at it.
He sighed and put it down again and, sure enough, the thing immediately went to take shelter at the crook of Jing He’s neck. Qiu Ling watched it but he didn’t bother to do anything. In any case, this should keep his beloved nice and warm.
Turning back to him, he leaned down and kissed him on the other cheek. Ah, if only, he would finally open his eyes.