Qiu Ling continued to purse his lips for a while longer but finally broke down under his beloved’s unrelenting gaze. “He didn’t write much. Just ‘bring that boy back to the sect’. Actually, if he is my Master, shouldn’t he be a little nicer? So you see, it’s completely true what I said before: He doesn’t care about me at all.”
While Qiu Ling was complaining about Zhangsun Xun Yi’s treatment, Jing Yi’s thoughts were already somewhere else. Bring that boy back to the sect … ‘That boy’ was obviously he. But why? Although a year had passed he wouldn’t have thought that they had to return exactly the day the time was up. That seemed a bit excessive. Wasn’t it alright to take a week or two longer?
Well, it seemed he had thought too beautifully. The Grandmaster really wanted them to return immediately. Even if he thought that it shouldn’t make a difference, he couldn’t change it. But then … What would happen now? He hadn’t managed to raise his cultivation level enough yet.
To be honest, he was almost there. In fact, if one only looked at some of his spirit veins instead of all of them, it could even be said that he had managed to fulfill the task. It was just … he had full spirit veins. So he needed to reach the root stage a full six times and that … he was afraid he needed more time.
His spirit veins of air, water, fire, and metal were all at the corresponding stage already. But on the other hand, wood and earth were a different matter altogether. He had always struggled with those a little. They were clearly his weak point. Even if he used the whole time they needed to get back to the sect to train it might not be enough!
He closed his eyes and sighed. Well, he couldn’t change it. If he had failed, then he had failed. He could only try and see if Grandmaster Zhangsun would allow him another chance. Maybe there was another option, something else he could do to convince the Grandmaster that it would be alright to let him and Qiu Ling marry.
Jing Yi opened his eyes again and looked at Qiu Ling who was still complaining about his mean Master tearfully. He couldn’t help but smile faintly and then reached out to brush through Qiu Ling’s hair. “He’s your Master. You should listen to him. Let’s return to the sect.”
Qiu Ling stopped his tirade but he wasn’t willing to give in just like that. “But you haven’t finished your cultivation and we can only marry when you reach that root stage. How could we return just like this? No, no, we need some more time! Let’s just pretend we didn’t get the letter.” He took the paper crane and wanted to throw it away again but Jing Yi hurriedly grabbed his hand.
“Maybe it’s not even about that. Maybe something happened at the sect.” Jing Yi couldn’t really imagine that. After all, if something had happened, then Grandmaster Zhangsun might indeed send a message to Qiu Ling but he would ask Qiu Ling to return himself, not for Qiu Ling to bring him back. That made no sense!
Still, if Qiu Ling’s Master asked for something, it wouldn’t do to ignore him. Thus, he could only try to talk Qiu Ling into it this way.
His plan actually worked.”Mn.” Qiu Ling pursed his lips, still a bit unhappy, but not completely opposed anymore. “How long do you think you’ll need to reach the root stage?”
“Well, there are only the earth and wood spirit vein lacking. The wood vein isn’t that troublesome. I think a day or two might be enough. It’s the earth spirit vein that is the problem. I was never good with that one. Most likely, I’d still need a few weeks.”
Qiu Ling nodded slowly. “Then let’s wait a week while you concentrate completely on your cultivation. Even if you can’t reach the root stage until then, you should be close enough that he’ll consider letting us marry.”
“Qiu Ling …”
Qiu Ling grabbed his hands and looked into his eyes. “Please. I already waited a year. I don’t want to wait any longer. It’s important to me. The most important thing in the world.”
Jing Yi sighed. “I’m sure it doesn’t have to do with that at all. Let’s go and find out, alright?” He hesitated when he saw Qiu Ling’s pleading expression. Gulping, he finally couldn’t help but make another suggestion. “If … if it’s really about our marriage, then we could still marry secretly, couldn’t we?”
Qiu Ling pressed his lips together. “I don’t want a secret marriage. I want to marry you openly. Everyone should know! You’re mine. And you’ll always stay mine. Why shouldn’t I openly admit to that?”
Jing Yi sighed. “I just said if. It won’t necessarily be that way. And anyway, isn’t the most important thing that we know that we’re married? Everyone else doesn’t matter.” Well, his mother would but they could just go and marry in the Long kingdom’s capital city. That shouldn’t be a problem.
Qiu Ling wasn’t completely persuaded but he still nodded in the end. If his beloved wanted to return, then they would return. Even if he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t refuse. “Alright. We don’t have to hurry though. The closer you are to your breakthrough, the better.”
“Mn.” Jing Yi nodded. Even though this wasn’t too straightforward, it was likely the best he’d get Qiu Ling to agree to. He’d take what he could get. This guy was just too stubborn for anything else.
Qiu Ling stood up and pulled Jing Yi to his feet and together they traveled back to the Yun Zou Sect again.