Qiu Ling reached out and took Jing Yi’s hands, considering his next words carefully. “There are definitely things where you are better than him. You are … more open than Jing He ever was. You dare to speak your mind. If you like something, you can say so. If you dislike something, you can also say it. You’re not trying to be polite all the time. It’s quite refreshing.”
Jing Yi smiled faintly and then took back one hand to rub his eyes, wiping off the tears. “How many more things can you think of?”
Qiu Ling looked at him, his thoughts churning. He really had a difficult time doing this. Not only that Jing He was excellent all-around in his mind, but he also feared the moment when Jing He would wake up and remember this part. Because if he told Jing Yi where he was better than Jing He, then Jing He would have the same thought that Jing Yi had now in the future. Thinking of that, he couldn’t help but try and think of the least offensive things that he could easily explain away in front of Jing He.
“He worries too much. And he wasn’t selfish enough. Even though, as you said, he was pretty good, he never believed in himself. That is something that is different between the two of you. You might also have moments like this where you doubt yourself, but it isn’t to the point that Jing He reached. He was doubting himself all the time. Even though he never had a need to.”
Jing Yi smiled faintly. “In your mind, he is perfect, isn’t he?”
Qiu Ling’s gaze turned distant for a moment before he pulled was pulled out of his thoughts by Jing Yi’s voice. He looked at him and even though he had a hard time doing so, he finally smiled back and nodded. “He definitely was. I told you about this before, but when I met him, I suddenly felt that everything in my life was making sense. When I saw him, I felt as if I had held on for this.
“Between being with Jing He and being the dragon king, there was never a doubt what I would choose. I wouldn’t mind giving up my own identity just to be with him. Naturally, I think that there is nothing wrong with him.” He lowered his gaze for a moment, a hidden smile contained in it. But he also looked back up at Jing Yi, still looking at him with the same expression. “I know you have a hard time seeing it like this but you are also a part of Jing He.
“I don’t know that much about the trials but I feel that they aren’t completely unrelated to the original trueborn god. You are one part of him. Maybe the part that he needed to explore more. Maybe seeing himself through your eyes right now is also something that he needed to do.”
Jing Yi slightly furrowed his brows, not quite sure what to make of this. What Qiu Ling was saying made sense. From everything he had read so far, the trials were supposed to be a learning experience for the trueborn gods. Why would they be completely random? It truly made sense that they would be confronted with something that they hadn’t experienced in their own life yet. Or that they would be similar to their original selves in some way.
Yes, the doubts he had right now might indeed be the ones Jing He had had. That just made it even more hateful though. In any case, didn’t this means that when he woke up, Jing He would think back and what he would find would be thoughts of hatefully admiring himself, thinking how good he was? This guy, wasn’t he a little too vain?!
Jing Yi felt a bit of hate bubbling up in himself but he forcefully pressed it down again. Instead, he tilted his head. “Can I … can I see him?”
Qiu Ling looked at him, not understanding what he meant. “What?”
“Jing He, I mean. Can I go and take a look at him?” He had seen Jing He in Qiu Ling’s inner self. And he had heard of him more than once. But he had never seen him himself. It was a little strange. He always had this image of him from the day Qiu Ling had met him. He didn’t have his own image. Maybe if he looked at him, saw him with his own eyes, he would think differently.
Qiu Ling didn’t seem to intend on giving him the opportunity though. “I’m really not sure if that is a good idea.” In any case, he also knew that Jing Yi’s feelings for Jing He weren’t good. To let him go and take a look … he really didn’t think that that would be such a good idea. Who knew if Jing Yi would be able to take it? “Wouldn’t it be better to let it rest?”
Jing Yi gave a huff. “Let it rest? You also know that I can’t do that. This matter will stay with me until the day I die. In any case, you don’t need to worry. I really just want to take a quick look. Just … see him for myself once. Is that really asking too much?”
Qiu Ling pressed his lips together, not sure how to answer that. They had already attained permission to leave this building and look at the capital city. So far, the God of Justice hadn’t even sent guards with them to keep an eye on them because he apparently trusted that Qiu Ling would honor his words. On the other hand, he knew that this would be overstepping some boundaries.
Jing Yi slowly raised his brows. “Didn’t you ask before what you could do to help me with this? This would be one such thing. To let me find out these things by myself. To see him, to speak to the people close to him. If I understand him, maybe I will be able to see myself in him. Maybe it will make me feel that I’m indeed part of him. Honestly, that is the only way I can currently imagine this ending in a good way. Otherwise, they will indeed have to kill me against my will.”
Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes, his expression pained. “This feels as if you’re blackmailing me.”
Jing Yi looked at him, his expression calm. “Maybe I am. In any case, this is really something that I want to do. You don’t have to decide immediately. In any case, you also said that we would likely have a few weeks before anything will be decided. So just … think about it. Maybe you can find it in you to do this for me.”
Qiu Ling closed his eyes, feeling torn. He knew he shouldn’t but he also couldn’t not do it. Opening his eyes again, he put away the documents and then got up. “Let’s go to sleep for now. Tomorrow, let’s see if there’s something I can do.” He felt as if he would regret this but he at least wanted to give it a try for Jing Yi’s sake. Maybe this would indeed help. It wasn’t like there was anything else they could try.