Back in the Nine Heavens, Jing Yi only had to take one look at Qiu Ling’s expression to realize why had taken so long. His hands clenched into fists inside his sleeves but he forced himself to show a faint smile on his face as if he hadn’t understood. “Did the God of Justice agree?”
Qiu Ling stopped in the doorway, not looking at Jing Yi directly. “Well, he didn’t want to agree outright so we had to go to the Heavenly Empress to ask for approval. She didn’t mind though. She just talked a little longer.”
Jing Yi nodded and went over, wrapping his arms around Qiu Ling’s waist. “So it was like this. I was already wondering what took you so long.” He craned his neck and gave Qiu Ling a kiss, wondering if he would actually confess to going to see Jing He as well.
Qiu Ling’s guilty conscience became heavier when Jing Yi said this. Clearly, he had been waiting. And while the conversation with the Heavenly Empress was something he couldn’t have gotten around, his visit to Jing He’s palace wasn’t. So once again, it had been his decisions that hurt him and this time, he really couldn’t say that he hadn’t known before.
He hugged him back and closed his eyes, feeling like he should probably say the whole truth. He was afraid of hurting Jing Yi though. Then again, he honestly couldn’t guarantee that he wouldn’t go to see Jing He every now and then now that they were in the Nine Heavens. He just wouldn’t be able to bring himself to do so. After all, being so close, he just couldn’t stop thinking of him.
It had still been a different matter when they had been in the mortal realm where the time was flowing differently but now that they were here, he felt that going there regularly was just a matter of course. If he was in this kind of situation, he would want to know that Jing He was sitting at the side of his bed every now and then as well. They were lovers, after all. What could be more soothing than having your lover with you?
Thinking things through like this, he finally cleared his throat. “After seeing her … I went to Jing He’s palace for a moment. I just … I couldn’t help myself. You know, I have this worry that something might go wrong. It helps a bit to see him.”
There was still a faint smile on Jing Yi’s lips but it definitely didn’t reach his eyes. A worry that something might go wrong … in other words, a worry that he wouldn’t die and Jing He wouldn’t wake up. It really didn’t sound nice if you looked at it this way. But just like before, he couldn’t say that and had to pretend that things were alright. “Well, if it’s something that you need to do to feel calm, then what am I supposed to say? It’s okay. Just … tell me before the next time, yes? I’d rather know where you are than to wait here and wonder what is going on.” He once again craned his neck, pecking Qiu Ling’s cheek this time as if this really wasn’t a problem for him at all. Inside, things were looking different and the longer this went on and the longer he stewed on his thoughts on the matter, the more he hated it.
Even though Qiu Ling had said before that he loved both of them for different things, he still hated this situation. To be honest, if Qiu Ling wasn’t around, he would be seething inside. That Jing He … he wasn’t even awake! He didn’t even have a soul at the moment. He was just a … a dead body. What was so good about seeing him?
Naturally, he couldn’t say that out loud. If Qiu Ling heard, then he could already imagine his reaction. It would just once again show that he was inferior. He didn’t want that. He wanted to at least be on the same level as his past self. Thus, Jing Yi pretended not to mind and that he understood the situation from Qiu Ling’s point of view. Just like Jing He probably would.
“In any case, since you’ve made sure that he’s alright, can we go then? Since I don’t know how much time I’ll have, I would like to go out and see everything as soon as possible. That way, no matter whether they find a solution next week or tomorrow or maybe in just a few hours, I will already have gotten the chance to see what I wanted to see.”
Qiu Ling nodded, feeling a bit better now that Jing Yi wasn’t complaining about his decision. It seemed he had worried too much. “Alright, let’s do that then.” He smiled and hugged Jing Yi once more before letting go and taking his hand. “Is there something that you would like to see first?”
Jing Yi pondered for a moment. “To be honest, there isn’t that much that I remember from the Nine Heavens. Just his palace and a few of the paths that he usually took. I guess that would be those leading to the palaces of his family members. He didn’t seem to be somebody who would leave his place too often.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Yes, Jing He has always been a little more reclusive. He likes it quiet.”
Jing Yi nodded. “Yes, that was the kind of impression I got of him from my memories. Well, I guess it wouldn’t do to go and visit these places again. His family probably wouldn’t take kindly to it.” He still smiled as if he didn’t mind at all. “How about just taking a look around here? You can just tell me whatever you know about these places. Anything I see is already good.”
Qiu Ling nodded and the two of them left the palace and just walked down the road in front of it.