While Hua Lin Yu was grappling with his guilty conscience, Zhong Jing Yi didn’t feel like he was in the wrong at all. Instead, he was looking for a way to make the most out of this.
Seeing that Qiu Ling seemed to be a little torn, he knew that his best chance to achieve something would be by utilizing that. He didn’t want to make Qiu Ling feel bad but this might be his own only chance to stay alive. Could he really be fainthearted in that case? He didn’t think so. Thus, after giving him a bit of time to calm down, he went to make up.
Gently putting his hands on Qiu Ling’s shoulders from behind, he leaned down to hug him. “I’m sorry for making so much trouble. Without me, things would be so much easier for you.”
Qiu Ling closed his eyes, once again feeling guilty. His beloved shouldn’t have this kind of thought. He should be able to lead a happy life. But it had already come to this. He turned around and wrapped his arms around Jing Yi’s waist, leaning his forehead against his chest. “I’m the one who should be sorry.”
Jing Yi shook his head, seeming quite sensible. “Well, things will happen as they’re supposed to. The gods will probably figure something out. At that time, I won’t make trouble for you. I love you. No matter what they ask of me, I’m probably able to do it for you.”
Qiu Ling looked up, his gaze complicated. He didn’t want for this kind of thing to happen to Jing Yi either. To hear that he was willing to do this just made things worse. “You don’t —”
Jing Yi put his fingers against Qiu Ling’s lips, hushing him. “Don’t. It’s alright. Just don’t think about it. Just … if you want to do something for me to make it a little easier, then promise me that I’ll have some nice last days. I … want to do as much as I still can. Just see a few places, even if it’s just in the capital of the Nine Heavens.
“It might not be everything that I originally wished for but it’s better than nothing. I think that after that, it might be easier to let go.” He forced a smile on his lips, feeling a bit proud of himself. Hadn’t Qiu Ling always loved Jing He for being a gentle, understanding beauty? Well, he could be just as gentle and understanding as him! He would show Qiu Ling that the difference between them wasn’t that big. That he could be happy with him just as well. Maybe then, his lover would be willing to not go through with this.
Qiu Ling opened his mouth, the words failing him for a moment. This request … how could he have the heart to say no? Even if the gods wouldn’t like to see it, he would still do this. In any case, if this was the only thing that Jing Yi asked for, then he had no reason at all to refuse. After all, he would finally die. There was no way around that, so he should indeed do him this kind of small favor.
Qiu Ling finally nodded. “Of course. I’ll do everything you want. I … I’ll just go and inform the God of Justice beforehand. That way, they’ll know what is up and not make this into more than it really is.”
Jing Yi was slightly unhappy with that, especially since it sounded like Qiu Ling would not take him along while he did so, but he still nodded. “Of course. It’s probably better that way. I’ll just wait until then.” He continued to smile and stepped back, letting Qiu Ling go without making a fuss.
Qiu Ling gazed at him for a moment and then finally got up. “Alright. Then I’ll go immediately. I won’t make you wait too long.” He smiled faintly and then turned around, leaving in the direction of the Court of Justice.
He could already imagine that the God of Justice would not be happy about this but he didn’t intend to ask for his approval either. He would just go there to tell him. In any case, they couldn’t just imprison Jing Yi all the time. After all, who knew how long it would really take to come up with an idea on how to deal with this? At the most, he would be willing to discuss some terms under which the gods would be comfortable with this. But that was all. He would not let them dictate the general way of how to go about this.
When he arrived at the Court of Justice, one of the officials immediately brought him over. Just as he had expected, the God of Justice didn’t look too happy to see him.
“Longjun, you just left. What do I owe your visit after such a short time again?”
“Well, considering how long this will likely take, I came to inform you that I will show Jing Yi around the city a little.”
Li Yin’s expression stayed the same. “I was of the opinion that we had to put him under house arrest.”
“And I’m of the opinion that that is ridiculous considering that you don’t know how long you’ll need to come up with a way to deal with this mess. If it was just a day or maybe two, I could maybe be convinced. But right now, it could take much longer. But even if it wasn’t like that, he is supposed to lay down his life. You can’t expect him to not even take a look around after he has managed to ascend. It wouldn’t be fair.”
Li Yin just continued to stare at him, folding his hands on the table. “I was never under the impression that the situation is fair. But do you really think that he will have an easier time letting go after he has a better look around? Don’t you think this will make him even more reluctant to bid farewell to this life?”
Qiu Ling rubbed his forehead. “I don’t really think he can be more reluctant to lay down his life than he already is. Who wants to die? In any case, since matters are already like this, I would suggest we try to make this work. If you need to send a few guards with us so you will be assured that he won’t try to run away, then that is alright. But I do want to show him around. This bit should be allowed.”
Li Yin sighed and then got up from behind his desk. “Well, there’s nothing that much speaking against your request. But this is something I can’t just decide on my own. After all, we have already left the path that is laid out by the laws of the Nine Heavens. Let’s go ask the Heavenly Emperor.”
Qiu Ling raised his brows. “Any chance we could ask the Heavenly Empress instead?”
The God of Justice looked at him condescendingly but, in the end, he actually did lead him over to the palace of the Heavenly Empress. After all, it was pretty clear how things would turn out if he went to bother the Heavenly Emperor about this. He also didn’t want to be subjected to that kind of verbal abuse.