Jing Yi continued to stroll around between the bookshelves, looking at the books inside randomly. To be honest, he didn’t really feel like doing this anymore. With Qiu Ling directly behind him, he wasn’t at ease looking up the things he wanted to know for fear of being discovered. And also, he couldn’t deny that he was in a bit of a bad mood. All of this just reminded him that he wasn’t that important to Qiu Ling.
No matter what he said, that wouldn’t change. Qiu Ling could pretend however much he wanted but in his heart, there would only ever be Jing He. What did a small mortal like him count for? Jing Yi gave a self-deprecating smile and then turned to Qiu Ling, motioning outside. “I think I’ve seen enough. We can leave.”
Qiu Ling continued to look at him as if he was trying to make sure what exactly he meant. Finally, he raised his brows. “Weren’t you looking for something? If you don’t feel at ease doing so here, you can just take a few of the books with you. In any case, there isn’t much to do in the palace. You might become bored inside.”
Jing Yi couldn’t deny that what Qiu Ling was saying made sense. “Well, I guess I could choose something.” He turned to the shelf next to him and just picked out a few books at random, not thinking about it too much. In any case, this was just so he could pass some time. It didn’t really matter what he took.
Jing Yi nodded and the two of them went back to the clerk, letting him register the books before they indeed left the Tower of Wisdom.
Qiu Ling turned to glance at Jing Yi and raised his brows. “Do you want to go back to the palace directly?”
Jing Yi nodded but didn’t say anything else. Clearly, he was still displeased.
Qiu Ling kept quiet, not trying to pacify him for the time being. In any case, since it was his behavior that had pushed Jing Yi to this point, he couldn’t just casually ask for his forgiveness. First, he needed to make up his mind. Then, when he was really sure that he wouldn’t just backpedal again in a few hours, he could bring it up. Before that, it would just invite more disaster.
Jing Yi actually felt unaccustomed to Qiu Ling being so quiet. Even though this matter with Jing He stood between them, he had never behaved like this before. Just what was different now? Had he caught onto something? Was he really angry? He couldn’t help but glance at Qiu Ling, the worry in his gaze evident.
Seeing this, Qiu Ling actually felt his heart stir. He looked at him for a moment and then reached out, brushing through his hair. “Don’t think too much. This situation … well, even though we’ve known for quite some time that it would come, talking about it and actually living it are still two different things altogether. Let’s just give both of us a bit of time to learn how to deal with it. When we have, I’m sure things will get easier.”
Jing Yi lowered his gaze, not quite sure what to say to that. In the end, he could only shake his head. “You can give yourself as much time as you want to. I’m afraid that that is a luxury I can’t afford though. You also know how this will end for me. By the time I could come to terms with it, I might long be gone already.”
Qiu Ling wasn’t sure how to respond to that. Jing Yi’s words might sound harsh but they were the truth as well. He carefully considered his words for a moment, not wanting to either dismiss Jing Yi’s feelings or give him any undue hope. In the end, he just sighed. “I don’t know what to say to that. Even if the gods wouldn’t find a way to deal with this, at the end of the day, there will likely come a day where you will die. Even if that is because of a natural. And then, Jing He would return. If it isn’t that the two of us coincidentally perish together, then the result would always be that I will be with Jing He afterward.” He knew Jing Yi wouldn’t like to hear it but he couldn’t deny it. As long as Jing Yi left before him, he would return to Jing He’s side. After all, he had promised him. How could he casually break his word?
Jing Yi nodded. “And I guess I can’t expect to perish with somebody as high and mighty as the dragon king.”
Qiu Ling looked at him, not quite sure what to say. If it was Jing He … he probably wouldn’t have hesitated even a single moment to tell him that he would perish together with him. In any case, how many dragons that had bound their soul were able to outlive their partners? While it wasn’t completely impossible, it was very unlikely. Most would turn crazy on the very same day. Even if they didn’t take their own lives, they were likely to court death.
But in this case … he knew that there was a Jing He where Jing Yi would cease to exist. So when he lost this one and got the other one back, he would likely stay sane, right?
Qiu Ling sighed, not quite sure what to say. “Don’t tell me you want me to die with you?” He turned to look at Jing Yi, slightly raising his brows.
This time, Jing Yi didn’t know what to say. “I don’t.” No, it’s not you who I want to see dead. The thought unwittingly crossed his mind, making Jing Yi clench his fists. Deep down, he probably indeed wished for Jing He’s death. Because only in this way would he be free. But that was naturally something he could never say out loud. He didn’t need to be told. If he dared to follow along the line of that thought, he was afraid that the chasm between him and Qiu Ling would only grow further.