Jinde thought for a moment and finally nodded. “Well, this isn’t a good situation but we can’t change it. We can only try to handle it. First of all, we need to inform Jing Yi.”
Fu Min’s eyes widened when he realized that he hadn’t even thought of that. His Majesty’s lover … he should have been with him, right? So what had actually happened to him at that time?
Jinde didn’t wait for him to think about it and just marched to the door, leaving their own room and rushing over to Qiu Ling’s door and giving a quick knock before he rushed inside.
Right now, it wasn’t the time for politeness. And also, he saw these two as his children. Well, Qiu Ling was his child in his eyes but since Jing Yi was his lover, he kind of was the same. Anyway, in moments like these, he didn’t feel bad taking some liberties.
Jing Yi hadn’t really heard when Jinde knocked but he did notice when there was the sound of hurried steps getting closer, as well as a light that shone into his face.
He first pressed his eyes together and then slowly blinked, trying to figure out what was going on. The first thing he noticed was that he was alone. At the very least, he was alone in bed, Qiu Ling nowhere to be seen. It couldn’t be said that he was alone in the room though, with four people in front of him, all of them looking at him with some agitation. “What happened?”
Fu Min wanted to explain but Leng Jin Yu grabbed him and shook his head, his gaze forbidding. He might not know Jing Yi that well but he knew he would take the news slightly better when it came from Jinde.
Jinde gave him a thankful look and sat down on the edge of the bed, wondering how to tell him.
Jing Yi felt more alarmed when he saw this. He sat up and then looked around for Qiu Ling, realizing that he wasn’t there at all. “What about Qiu Ling?” Clearly, this had to have something to do with him, right?
Jinde sighed and finally just gave him the straight facts.
Naturally, this didn’t go over too well. Jing Yi couldn’t believe what he had heard. “Qiu Ling did … No, that can’t be!” He couldn’t believe it. Not … not like this. “Anyway, it’s not like I really killed him! He’s still alive.”
Jinde sighed and then grabbed onto the blanket, pulling it to the side. As expected, there were some traces of blood there.
When Jing Yi saw, his hands trembled. “But … I don’t understand.”
Jinde nodded, not surprised at all. “You’re not a dragon. You wouldn’t understand.” In fact, if it had been Jing He, he might’ve been able to. After all, he had gone so far as to carve his own soul to make sure that he would always stay with Qiu Ling.
Now though, in this reincarnation, that was just a memory of the past that he had acquired, but that he wasn’t as in tune with as Leng Jin Yu was with Chun Yin’s memories. To Jing Yi, it really was just something a past self had done, not he himself. As such, he couldn’t understand what kind of desperation a dragon like Qiu Ling would feel in such a situation.
“The curse that Tian placed on all of us is … not that easy to describe. In a sense, it is as simple as never loving more than one person. You can only have those feelings of romantic love once and then that was it, no matter what happens to your partner.
“But at the end of the day, the curse goes far beyond that. Finding your fated lover, you will be driven to bind your soul to them. Resisting … isn’t easy. And it becomes more complicated the closer your relationship is. If your love is requited, if you start a relationship, if you spend time together, if you live together, if you get married, and have a child… With each of these steps, the wish to join your souls, to become one in the sense that only the dragons know, will become stronger until it is almost impossible to ignore.
“Some dragons have an easier time, for others, resisting is futile from the moment they spot that special person. Qiu Ling … from what he told me, while he knew Jing He was the right person for him, he only felt the pull for the first time a couple of years into their relationship. And even then, he waited.”
When Jinde said so, Jing Yi stared at him in surprise. He didn’t know that much about the dragons’ soul-binding but he knew how important it was to them and he had always thought Qiu Ling would have gone ahead with it as soon as he met Jing He. It had somehow always sounded like it. To now hear that this wasn’t the case …
At the same time, Fu Min couldn’t help but give Jinde a puzzled look as well. He knew about his king’s relationship with His Highness but this kind of detail was something even he had no idea about. How come some substitute scholar he had never heard of knew such intimate details? How did he even know His Majesty? He really wanted to know but right now wasn’t the moment to ask so he could only bite his lip and wait.
Jinde didn’t bother about him even though he could imagine that he and his husband might have some questions. Right now, he didn’t care about that either. No, right now, he needed Jing Yi to understand this matter because otherwise, there really was no way to go forward.
“By now, it has been years since his soul was bound to Jing He’s and even more years since you inherited that soul with the piece of his attached to it. But even if that wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t change a thing. The soul-binding can not be reversed. As soon as it happens, it is a matter for eternity. To try and separate those souls, that would cause damage beyond belief to the dragon in question.
“So you see, a bound soul is a serious thing. And as soon as it is done, it spreads through all parts of our lives: They become your other half, and being away from them for too long will weaken you. If they betray you, it will pain you. And if they die, their death will likely be your death because the pain of losing that person is too much to bear.
“Sometimes, there can be situations like Qiu Ling’s current one: Their soul-bound partner almost dies in front of their eyes and they lose the ability to distinguish between what is real and what is an illusion.
“Minds are … fragile things, easily led astray. If you believe something enough, then you might not be able to get rid of the notion without a lot of work being put in. So really, this wasn’t something Qiu Ling did consciously. But subconsciously, he’s afraid, he is traumatized. And this is something that I’m not sure he will ever be able to get over unless Jing He returns.
“But even then … if that happens under the wrong circumstances, it isn’t clear what that would mean. It could very well be that if your death causes Jing He’s return, he will still be in the same situation, maybe even worse because there was an actual death involved.”