While Yu Jin and Madam Zhong were settling Qiu Ling down, Jing Yi managed to arrive at the next town. He heaved a sigh of relief and couldn’t help but finally relax a little.
Since Yu Jin had gone to search for Qiu Ling he had stopped following the coastline so closely and had instead gone into the nearby forest. Thanks to that, he had been able to find some food and also refilled his water supply some time along the way. With that, the rest of the way had been somewhat easier, although it still couldn’t be said that he was even remotely used to it. Traveling without Qiu Ling was still strange and tiring.
Regardless of how difficult he thought it was, Jing Yi wouldn’t just give up. He hadn’t been able to help Qiu Ling when things went south so the least he could do was not to make any trouble and at the least manage to travel to the capital city by himself. It couldn’t be that hard, could it?
Jing Yi went further into the town, looking around curiously. He had never been to any bigger towns other than the capital city. Looking at it, there didn’t seem to be a big difference. The most obvious was that the city was more centered around the harbor instead of the royal family’s palace. But otherwise, he couldn’t see any difference.
Jing Yi stopped in a street not far from the harbor and looked at the ships drifting in the water. The capital city … It was on the other side of the sea. If he wanted to get there, he would either need to go by ship and cross the sea or he would need to travel on land, going around the sea. Both would take a lot of time. Most likely, he would have to travel for several weeks. Maybe it would be even longer.
Thinking about that, he couldn’t help but worry. When he left here, then Qiu Ling wouldn’t be able to find him even if he was doing well. After all, he wouldn’t even know where to look. But he couldn’t just stay here either. He had to make his way over. The question was how.
Jing Yi gritted his teeth and finally went over to talk to one of the people working at the harbor. Anyway, asking for some information couldn’t bring any harm, could it?
The man that Jing Yi walked up to looked at him strangely. “What are you doing here, kid? Where are your parents?”
Jing Yi stopped in his tracks, petrified. Back when he had been traveling with Qiu Ling, nobody had had any trouble believing Qiu Ling when he shamelessly called himself his fiance. As if it was the most natural thing to assume that they would be getting married soon. Now, when he was out alone, he was reduced back to a child. Even though he was only fifteen, that was still old enough to get married in the Long kingdom. Suddenly being talked to like that did make him feel somewhat strange.
The man leaned further down and peered into his face, furrowing his brows. “What’s the matter? Are you mute?”
Jing Yi hurriedly shook his head and gave a wry smile. “That’s not it.” He pondered for a moment and then decided that he shouldn’t care whether or not this person thought of him as a child or an adult. Anyway, as long as he was willing to tell him a bit, it would be good for him. Being seen as a child might actually be beneficial in that case. “About my parents … It’s a bit complicated.”
The man straightened up again and then raised his brows. “Complicated? How’s that?”
“Well, my father isn’t alive anymore and my mother sent me to a deity sect. She was hoping that I could become a cultivator and take care of myself in the future.” He felt a bit strange telling an unrelated person something like this and couldn’t help but lower his gaze.
The man gave a hum in return. “I see. But it didn’t work out that well, did it?”
Jing Yi scratched his neck. He could imagine what the man was thinking right now. “Well, not that well. A while ago, I went on a mission with another disciple. Now, I’ve gotten lost.” He looked back up at the man, seeming a bit pitiful.
The man couldn’t help but reach out and ruffle his hair. “Poor boy. That other disciple should have paid more attention to you. How can he just let something like this happen?”
Jing Yi had a bit of a guilty conscience when he heard that. It definitely wasn’t Qiu Ling’s fault. He had done what he could to help him to the point where he had gotten injured. It was his own problem for being too stupid that this had happened. “It’s not that. I wouldn’t fault him. It’s just that … I don’t really know how to get back home now. I’m not even quite sure where this place is.”
How could it be that this boy didn’t even know where he was at? That other disciple he had mentioned wouldn’t have played a joke on him, would he? That was going too far! “This is Haibin Town.”
“Haibin Town?” Jing Yi had never even heard of that place. “Is that … Is that still in the Long kingdom?”
This time, the man was dumbfounded. “The Long kingdom?” The man’s eyes went wide. “Of course not! This here is Wu state.”
Jing Yi froze after hearing that. Another state altogether … He certainly hadn’t expected that! “Then … Is the Long kingdom very far away?”
The man pressed his lips together, feeling a bit bad for what he had to say. “It’s not just far. That’s on the other side of the sea. You wouldn’t be able to get there without traveling for a few months.”
Jing Yi couldn’t help but lower his eyes, a worried expression on his face. Several months … He had already thought that it might turn out to be like this but hearing it from a local made him feel that the situation was really hopeless. Just when would he be able to see Qiu Ling again?