“Are you looking for something specific?” Qiu Ling watched as Jing Yi walked down the row, his fingertips lightly trailing the spines of the books. Come to think of it, he had never seen Jing He in this kind of situation even though he could very well imagine it. After all, Jing He had often spent time in his studies and there had regularly been books lying around as well. Clearly, he had been coming to the Tower of Wisdom to get books every now and then.
For a moment, Qiu Ling actually had the faint illusion of seeing Jing He in front of him: He was clad in a blue robe just like the scholars in the mortal realm often were, his black hair hanging down his back, shimmering in the dimmed lights of the tower and showing off the youthful charm beneath his serious demeanor. His slender fingers touched the spine of a book and gracefully brushed over the title before he pulled it out. He looked over his shoulder, his gaze soft and a faint smile on his lips while he opened the book and finally turned back to it.
What would he say at that moment?
‘I think that it doesn’t matter too much. All kind of knowledge is valuable. If Longjun wants to know what I’d be interested to know more about, then there would be a few questions. When it concerns the dragon race, I think I would prefer to ask Longjun himself though.’
Qiu Ling hurriedly looked away, his heart beating irregularly. Yes, this was definitely the kind of thing Jing He would’ve said on the day when they had gone to the roof of the Tower of Wisdom. After the ten years had passed, or if Jing He woke up now and they came here, things might be a bit more intimate. The kind of thing that Jing He would want to look up right now … it might be the wedding customs of the dragon race.
Thinking of that, Qiu Ling’s heart beat even faster. He remembered how when he came to see Jinde and Leng Jin Yu, there had been a book about the customs of the mortal realm on the table. Clearly, they had been preparing quite well for their wedding. When it was Jing He … he would definitely not be any less thorough. After all, he was also somebody who did not want to commit any mistakes. He would absolutely make sure to find out whatever he could.
And when he did … Thinking of the scene where Jing He would finally stumble upon a book that detailed the process, Qiu Ling couldn’t help but gulp. Jing He would definitely be appalled when he saw how the dragons actually married. This kind of simple and crude process … he didn’t even want to mention it to him. When they really prepared to get married, he would have to think about that kind of problem.
While he was lost in his thoughts, Jing Yi looked at him, his brows slowly wandering higher. Finally, he couldn’t help but tug at his sleeve. “Qiu Ling?”
Qiu Ling was pulled out of his thoughts and hurriedly turned back to Jing Yi, raising his brows as well. “What’s the matter, my love?”
Jing Yi stared at him, faintly realizing just what he had been thinking of. “Did you hear what I said?”
Qiu Ling stared back at him, inwardly chastising himself. “You were saying … that you weren’t looking for anything specific.” He tried to put some conviction behind it but unfortunately, he had gotten it wrong.
“I said it would be nice if I could find books that introduce some of the things that are to know about the Nine Heavens in a manner that doesn’t require me to have a lot of background knowledge.”
Qiu Ling closed his mouth, feeling like slapping his own face. Yeah, why hadn’t he just said that he didn’t really register what he had said? Now, he had made himself look stupid. “Well, that’s a good idea.”
Jing Yi continued to look at him, trying not to be too disappointed. “Have you come here with Jing He before?”
Qiu Ling continued to look at him, feeling like there was the knife being twisted in his gut. “No, I didn’t.”
Jing Yi nodded slowly. “I would’ve thought that was the case. With you being so easily distracted, I thought you would have recalled some memories. This place must be quite full of them. I mean, not necessarily just this tower but the capital of the Nine Heavens. After all, this is where you met and spent all your time with him. It’s quite logical that you would recall things every now and then. I’m not angry if you are worried about that.”
Qiu Ling looked at him for a moment, not sure how to answer. In the end, he reached out and took his hand, gently holding it. “I’m sorry.” He sounded a little hoarse when he said so, his guilty conscience clearly audible.
Back in the mortal realm, before he had known about Jing He, Jing Yi would have been distressed for his sake and immediately moved to comfort him. Right now though, he couldn’t help but feel that Qiu Ling had done this to himself. Nobody was forcing him to act like this. If he would just decide on one of them, this wouldn’t be happening. In any case, Qiu Ling could live his own life, nobody was threatening him for some other self of his. His troubles … he had created them on his own. It really was difficult to pity him considering his own situation.