Qiu Ling hurriedly reached out and took the book from Jing Yi’s hands. This was his chance! “Ah, don’t worry about that, my love. I’ll teach you!”
Jing Yi observed Qiu Ling’s sparkling eyes and had a bad premonition. He really wanted to learn how to read and write but he suddenly felt that he might want to find another teacher. His fiance was obviously planning something fishy.
Qiu Ling naturally saw his hesitation. He grabbed his shoulders and tried to look serious. “My love, think of it this way: I could just read this manual to you but what about later? When you’re learning how to do that alchemy-thing you’ll probably need to read too. What will you do then?”
Jing Yi sighed. Qiu Ling was right. How could he become an Alchemist if he didn’t even know how to read? Considering what they had seen when they looked around the Alchemy division earlier that was something he definitely had to know. And while he had already admitted in front of Nian Hai and Yue Lin that he was illiterate, he didn’t think that either of them would volunteer to teach him. In other words: Even if he felt that Qiu Ling had hidden thoughts, there was no way to reject his offer.
Jing Yi sighed again when he arrived at that conclusion. “Alright. Teach me.” In any case, he didn’t think that Qiu Ling would go overboard. Looking back, he seemed to have behaved more seriously since arriving at the Hei Dian Sect. Even though he would return to being his usual, clingy self every now and then, when it mattered, he put the mission first. He should just trust him on this.
Qiu Ling nodded eagerly when he got Jing Yi’s approval. Not waiting a moment longer, he opened his spatial ring, sorted through the stuff he usually just thew in there haphazardly, and finally emerged with a scroll of paper, an ink stick, and an ink slab, as well as a brush. He triumphantly looked at Jing Yi, eager to be praised.
Jing Yi raised his brows. If he blended out his expression, his fiance seemed extremely motivated to work. Maybe he had worried without reason? He relaxed a little and gave Qiu Ling the smile he had probably waited for. “It seems you’re well prepared.”
Qiu Ling smiled brightly as well. “Well, didn’t I say you didn’t have to worry? I’m prepared for all kinds of situations and willing to teach you everything I know. Showing you how to write a few characters is really the easiest thing for me.”
He looked quite complacent when he said so but Jing Yi didn’t have the heart to say anything to it. He just nodded along and then pushed his chair a little closer.
“Alright, since you’re so well prepared you’d better make true on your words and show me. What do we start with?”
Qiu Ling’s smile turned enigmatic. He ground the ink, brandished the brush, and wrote down three characters with great concentration. Finally, he carefully blew the ink dry and turned around to Jing Yi, holding up the scroll with one hand. His expression clearly said ‘Look! Aren’t I the most awesome fiance you could ever find? I put so much effort into this. Tell me I did great!’
Jing Yi smiled. “That looks very awe-inspiring. What does it mean?”
Qiu Ling reciprocated his smile and pointed at the first character. “This means ‘I’. This one means ‘love’.” Qiu Ling’s finger proceeded to the next character and finally stopped at the third one. “And the last one means ‘you’.” Qiu Ling smiled happily and continued to show off the scroll.
Jing Yi put a hand to his brow and sighed. His misgivings really had come true. Well, from the very beginning, he shouldn’t have expected anything else. Was there really a situation that Qiu Ling wouldn’t use to either show off or proclaim his love? He didn’t think so.
Just as expected, Qiu Ling leaned closer to Jing Yi, his eyes glittering with anticipation. “Why aren’t you saying anything, my love? Don’t you think those three characters are pretty important? You’ll definitely need them.”
Jing Yi smiled wryly. Looking at the bright side, Qiu Ling had at least written down three characters. They might not be what he had expected but they were three characters nonetheless. He should probably just indulge him for a bit, learn how to write these three characters first, and then ask for some further lessons. That way, both of them could get what they wanted.
With his smile easing up, Jing Yi reached for the brush and dipped it in the ink like he had seen Qiu Ling do it. “Let me have a look at that.” He nodded at the scroll in Qiu Ling’s hands.
His fiance obediently put the scroll while taking out a blank piece of paper from his spatial ring, and placing it in front of him. He even went so far as to brush over it so there weren’t any wrinkles in it.
Jing Yi started copying the characters stroke by stroke, his brows furrowed in concentration. Even though he tried with all his might, it was obvious that he wasn’t as proficient as Qiu Ling with a brush. The strokes were a little crooked, the ink ran out halfway through, and the final product seemed somewhat strange even though he couldn’t exactly put his finger on what the problem was.
Jing Yi put down the brush, feeling somewhat lost. This was probably how it would look like if a child tried writing for the first time. To have it look like this at his age … He was somewhat embarrassed.
Qiu Ling didn’t seem to notice his tangled emotions. He gripped his hands, beaming happily. “You did well, my love! Now, how about we practice reading?”
Jing Yi laughed out loud, the embarrassment completely forgotten. What was he afraid of? The person who would first teach him how to write ‘I love you’ as his first characters surely wouldn’t judge him for his ugly handwriting.
He raised a hand and stroked Qiu Ling’s cheek. “No need to practice. I think I already know what this means.” He leaned forward and kissed Qiu Ling’s lips. “I love you,” he whispered, his lips curving into a smile almost as bright as Qiu Ling’s.