RSH Stratagem 30: Create Lasting Memories (2)

Jing He obediently drank the cup of tea that Qiu Ling handed him, acutely aware of the dragon king’s gaze on him. He felt sweet inside, to be honest, but also quite a bit self-conscious.

Right now, he probably wouldn’t leave a good impression. He tried not to let it get him too much so. From what the dragon king had told him before, he had been distressed at seeing him in such a condition. So he definitely couldn’t let it show anyway. While he wanted his care, it wouldn’t do to burden him with this.

Qiu Ling almost heaved a sigh of relief when Jing He had finished sipping the tea and took the cup back from him, almost wanting to ask if he wanted another one. In the end, he kept quiet.

Jing He would need to be slowly nursed back to health. He couldn’t expect some miraculous recuperation after just one day. He had to be patient with this. And in this case, that also meant that he couldn’t force him to take more than he could take. No, he had to give Jing He time to recuperate at his pace. He could at most encourage him a little.

Thinking about that, he looked around the room, wondering if there was anything else he could do. Reminding him to drink this tea every now and then was already good but that couldn’t be everything.

Well, according to what the God of Medicine had said, the most important matter was to take his mind off the things that he was worrying about. In that case, he should find something for Jing He to do. It was just that in his current condition, there probably wasn’t much that he could do. But somehow, he needed to occupy him.

Jing He saw Qiu Ling’s expression and couldn’t help but wonder what was going on. “Longjun, is something the matter? Do you … need to return to the dragon realm?” Qiu Ling seemed so preoccupied. He couldn’t imagine another reason.

Qiu Ling turned back to him, a little startled at first, but then he smiled and shook his head. He reached out to take Jing He’s hand again and took a moment to sort his thoughts. “That isn’t it. I just figured that it was probably boring to lie in bed all the time. Is there anything you would like to do? There probably won’t be much possible considering that you can’t do any strenuous activities right now but maybe there’s something that you can think of?”

Jing He was startled as well when he realized that the dragon king had been preoccupied with thinking about him. He felt like his cheeks flushed and hurriedly averted his gaze. “Something I’d like to do … I couldn’t think of anything like that.”

“Ah.” Well, Qiu Ling hadn’t hoped for much, to be honest. Looking around, his gaze fell on the open door to his study and he narrowed his eyes. “Well, maybe you’d like me to read something to you?”

Jing He followed his gaze and finally nodded. Right now, he didn’t have much to say so maybe it would be better if they had something else to do. Listening seemed much either as well. “If Longjun doesn’t mind. I’m sure that you have a lot of other things to do though. You probably shouldn’t bother with this kind of thing.”

Qiu Ling turned to look at him, his thumb brushing over the back of his hand. “You know, there’s nothing that I would like to do more than this. Spending time with you is my greatest joy.”

This time, Jing He was sure that his cheeks flushed. His eyelids fluttered and he hurriedly looked down again, wondering if he should say something. He probably had to. “Longjun … must be joking.”

“Nothing of the like. I do not joke often and certainly never in regard to this kind of thing. In any case, I do enjoy spending time with you. And if anything I do can help you get better faster, then I’ll do it. So just give me a moment to find something to read to you.” He raised Jing He’s hand and pressed his lips against his skin before he let go of his hand and then got up, walking over to the study.

Looking around, there were indeed a few books. He picked one up but then grimaced. This was actually some history book. While he didn’t have anything against that it definitely wasn’t the kind of thing that he wanted to read to Jing He.

Putting it down again, he picked up the next one, only to find a similar result. Ah, why did his beloved not have anything more exciting here? He had to sift through several books before he finally found one stashed away in the corner that was a lot more to his taste.

He smiled to himself and then carried it back, giving Jing He a smile while he sat down at the edge of his bed again. “I found this one in your study. I hope you haven’t finished all of it yet.” He held up the book and Jing He’s face reddened even further, making him look not quite as sick as before.

“That …”

Qiu Ling raised his brows, in this case, a hint of joking glimmering in his eyes. “You wouldn’t have happened to really have read all of it yet, would you?”

Jing He hurriedly shook his head and then lowered it, mumbling an answer that wasn’t quite clear but it probably meant something to the extent of ‘I didn’t, I wouldn’t, I daren’t’.

Qiu Ling smiled to himself and then opened the book, his eyes roving over the lines of characters while his smile became even more pronounced. He cleared his throat and then slowly started to read.

“All-encompassing is the darkness, just one spot lit brightly. Your gaze ignites a fire in my heart, your smile guides my way through the realms.

“To hold your hand for just a moment, longing for eternity, to gaze upon the night sky and welcome the sun with you: This is my greatest joy.

“Forever may not be long enough to express my love for you. Everywhere might not be far enough to show you my affections.

“My deepest wish is nothing but to call you mine one day. To have you look upon me and hear you call me sweet names.

“One day, holding your hands and hearing you whisper at my side, I do not need to see you for my heart to be filled by your sense.”

Qiu Ling’s gaze lingered on the words for a moment longer before he turned to Jing He, finding that he had held his breath. He didn’t say anything for a moment and just continued to look, feeling that whoever had written this, they had done a good job. Honestly, he felt that every single word echoed his own thoughts when it came to Jing He. “I wonder if the rest of the collection is just as good.”

Jing He took a shaky breath and glanced up before hastily lowering his gaze again. To be honest, when reading that collection, he had thought of the dragon king every single moment. He had wondered how it would be to have him express his feelings in such a way.

To suddenly hear him read one of these poems … he didn’t know how to deal with that. It made him feel as if he was dreaming. Yes, most likely, that was it. He was so exhausted that he had just drifted off again without noticing. Most likely, Longjun had never started to read to him. These were just his own shameless thoughts.

Qiu Ling noticed that Jing He wasn’t answering and closed the book, putting it to the side before he leaned slightly closer to Jing He. “What’s the story of the book?” He felt that with how he had gotten to know Jing He, he would probably be able to tell him. Yes, if there was something special about it, he would for sure be able to tell him.

At this, Jing He looked up again. He really wasn’t sure if this was reality or just a dream but when being asked such a question, he really couldn’t help but answer. “It is said that these are poems that the ruler of all realms, Tian, but for his husband, Xing.”

Qiu Ling gazed at him, feeling that this probably meant a lot to Jing He. Throughout these years, he had heard him reference Tian and Xing several times. It was safe to assume that they held a special meaning to him or maybe the gods in general. “He must’ve loved him a lot.”

Jing He nodded. “Yes, he certainly did. I wouldn’t know of any man more devoted to his lover. In any case, I don’t know for sure that these were indeed written by him. Maybe they were just love poems collected over time and then somehow they were ascribed to him. It might be that only one or two of them are indeed written by his hand but I guess it is also possible that they are all his works. Who could say for sure?”

Qiu Ling nodded and opened the book again, leafing through the pages. He really would’ve liked to read more. Something told him that it wouldn’t be good for Jing He’s heart if he did though. His poor beloved seemed to have been completely startled when he read the first one. In that case, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to continue with this. After all, to agitate him even more … that definitely wasn’t what he was trying to do here.

“Well, I’m afraid I can’t compare in that regard. I’ve never in my life written a poem for somebody. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be good at it either. Although I should probably try to some time.”

Jing He couldn’t help but glance at him again before hastily looking away. The dragon king writing a love poem … he really wondered how it would be. Knowing him, it would probably be something rather straightforward, directly telling his feelings, not mincing his words in any place. Yes, his love confessions were fiery like that.

To receive one like that … Jing He couldn’t even think about it. His heart was beating madly just imagining it. He definitely didn’t dare to entertain that thought any longer.

Qiu Ling also realized that maybe this wasn’t the best topic of discussion so he put the book aside. “Well, reading another man’s love poems to his husband seems a bit strange. I’ll try to find something better for you before I come back the next time.”

At that, Jing He was pulled out of his thoughts. “Does Longjun have to leave already?” Well, it had been some time. Naturally, the dragon king wouldn’t have the whole day to accompany him. What had he been thinking, feeling like he would stay much longer?

Qiu Ling shook his head though. “No, that’s not it. I just feel that it would be impolite to leave now to find a book. Especially since it would need some more time. And I don’t really want to leave you alone right now. There should be somebody at your side all the time. Although … that might also be a little uncomfortable for you?”

Jing He hastily shook his head. “Of course not. I am very happy that Longjun is taking time out of his day to spend it with me.”

Qiu Ling nodded. “If it’s exhausting, you can tell me though. I will definitely give you some time to yourself if you need it. I am sure that your mother sees it the same way.” His gaze darted around and finally, he couldn’t help but bring up the one matter that he had been wondering about for some time now. “Say, what about your father? I’m surprised that I didn’t see him here either yesterday or today.”

Jing He’s expression blanked and he finally looked in the direction of the door. Most likely … nobody had to his father yet that he was sick?

« ToC »

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