When he woke up again, Jing Yi felt completely rested for the first time in weeks. It gave him the illusion that he would be able to achieve anything right now. He didn’t act on the impulse though and continued to lie there, his thoughts wandering.
He had agreed to marry Qiu Ling but up until now, he hadn’t felt much anticipation for that time. Wouldn’t it be the same whether they were married or not? They spent every day with each other anyway. Wasn’t traveling together just as much of a proof of the feelings they shared?
But at this moment, he finally understood. It wasn’t the same. The type of feeling he had now was completely different from what he had experienced on their travels. He felt especially warm and secure. It was as if they were a family. There was someone beside him he could trust, someone who would take care of him and always have his back.
When had somebody bothered to cover him with a blanket the last time? When had somebody stayed next to him and held him in his arms? He remembered exactly: It had been when he was a child and that person had been his mother. Now, there was Qiu Ling.
Glancing at the blanket wrapped around them and the arms that had snaked around his waist, Jing YI couldn’t help but smile and think to himself how lucky he was. Even though his father wasn’t there anymore, he still had his mother and he had even had the fortune to meet someone like Qiu Ling who cared so much about him.
Jing Yi nestled closer and covered Qiu Ling’s hand next to him with his own. While he continued to look at him, he couldn’t help but think that he should do something for Qiu Ling too. Despite that one time when he helped him to get out of his inner self, he had never done anything for him. And even then there had been another person helping because he couldn’t even enter on his own. He himself. hadn’t done much besides finding Qiu Ling and listening to his story.
This relationship of theirs … it was quite one-sided, wasn’t it?
Jing Yi sighed but continued to quietly lie in Qiu Ling’s embrace and watch his sleeping face. It seemed he hadn’t been the only one who was tired. In fact, in the past year, he had never seen Qiu Ling sleep. When he fell asleep Qiu Ling was still wide awake and when he woke up the next morning Qiu Ling would always have gotten up already. He had never seen him this unguarded before.
Jing Yi examined the face he had already gotten so familiar with. His features were relaxed right now and he was even smiling a bit as if he was having a nice dream.
Jing Yi reached out and lightly caressed his cheek. Qiu Ling’s smile grew more pronounced and he pulled him closer with a practiced motion until Jing Yi’s head came to lie against his chest. Then, he sighed with obvious satisfaction. “Jing He … So you’ve come back.” Obviously, he was dreaming of the Nine Heavens and the end of the trial.
Jing Yi froze. His hand on Qiu Ling’s cheek trembled and he hurriedly took it back. That name again. More and more often he felt like Qiu Ling wasn’t really talking to him when he used it.
Jing Yi sighed but in contrast to Qiu Ling’s happy mood, his heart was heavy. He still remembered that person in the blue robe. His beautiful face, the valuable robe, his elegant movements … and the thing he remembered most clearly was Qiu Ling’s reaction. The expression he had shown when he saw that person again and spoke about him. Even though what they saw had only been a fragment of his memory he had been so happy. It was obvious how much he had loved that person.
Jing Yi tried to get out of Qiu Ling’s arms but naturally, he didn’t succeed. Instead, Qiu Ling pulled him even closer when he noticed. “Jing He. Where do you think you’re going?” The words he whispered made it even worse.
“Let go.” Jing Yi tried to free himself of Qiu Ling’s hands but they gripped onto him too tightly.
In the end, Qiu Ling opened his eyes. He seemed a bit dazed at first when he realized that the one in his arms wasn’t Jing He but his mortal reincarnation but after blinking twice, clarity returned. “What is it, my love?” He relaxed his grip but still didn’t let go of him completely.
Jing Yi sat up, not wanting to say anything. If Qiu Ling still needed somebody to spell out for him that his beloved was unhappy, he really wouldn’t be able to call himself a good lover. Naturally, he wouldn’t allow that.
He sighed and sat up as well. Leaning forward, he put his chin on Jing Yi’s shoulder and glanced up at his face. Anyway, acting spoiled usually worked. “You don’t want to talk about it?”
“I …” Jing Yi pressed his lips together. He wanted to but he didn’t dare to. What if Qiu Ling would indeed realize that he still loved that person and that he was just a replacement? Wouldn’t he lose him? He didn’t want to. He had already fallen in love with him. Even though he didn’t like the thought of just being a substitute, it still seemed better compared to being without the person he loved.
“Mn, I’m pretty sure my sleeping posture is extremely handsome. You can’t be miffed about that, can you?”
“No, I …” Jing Yi sighed. If he kept quiet, it wouldn’t change anything. “You said his name. Again.”
“Ah? Whose name?”