Even though Xin Lan had just gotten comfortable next to Zheng Yin, he naturally didn’t have any problem with helping out. Especially not where Jinde was concerned. Even though he had finally gotten over his feelings for him, that was only in regards to his unrequited love. He still cherished him as a friend and as the one who had saved his life that day all those millennia ago. If he ever needed his help, he would naturally be there.
Walking back into the other room, he immediately went to stand behind Qiu Ling, putting his hands on his shoulders. “You do realize that I won’t be gentle with you in case you’re acting out.”
Qiu Ling smiled faintly but didn’t even bother to look at him. “That’s exactly what I’m hoping for from you.” To be honest, other than considering strength, he also wanted Xin Lan to do this because he knew that even if Leng Jin Yu was stronger, he likely wouldn’t be able to handle this well just based on the fact alone that he had complicated feelings about him.
Leng Jin Yu might not necessarily see him as his son, but there were some feelings that had carried over when he regained his memories of being Chun Yin. Even though there were still the ones from the original Leng Jin Yu who had at most been somewhat friendly with him, together that was enough to make for a delicate situation between them. One where Leng Jin Yu didn’t necessarily feel really close to him but also cared for him.
Of course, he loved Jinde and wouldn’t want to see him get hurt. But at the same time, he wouldn’t be able to hurt him either. And this was a problem when both of these couldn’t be realized at the same time. So yes, he needed somebody as ruthless as Xin Lan who would not mind injuring him to keep Jinde safe.
Seeing that Xin Lan had a tight grasp on him, Qiu Ling picked up the vial and flipped open the lid, his smile turning a little brighter. “Alright, here we go then. I hope this really helps.” With that, he downed the content of the vial, and then closed his eyes.
Jinde didn’t lose any time. He had already started to prepare himself when Leng Jin Yu went out to get Xin Lan. Now that Qiu Ling had used the water, he reached out and put his hands on his chest, closing his eyes to gather himself and then probing deep down with his spiritual energy to find his soul.
He saw the energy of the water sweep through Qiu Ling’s body, making a round before it returned to the spot where Qiu Ling’s soul was currently resting.
He didn’t know too much about the souls of the gods but those of the dragons were often located somewhere close to the heart even though they did move around every now and then. That was the place that he needed to focus on first.
Looking further, Jinde finally spotted the soul indeed hidden close to Qiu Ling’s heart. He smiled and focused on it in detail, slowly making out a few faint memories. There were those from when Qiu Ling was a child, still living in the palace, the ones from the time when he had turned older, going to the countryside with his parents, and finally, there was even that memory of how and Jing He had met.
Jinde would’ve loved to linger and watch to be a part of this even if it was in such a strange way but he knew that he couldn’t. Qiu Ling was already getting restless under his hands, not liking the fact that somebody was intruding into his memories and subconsciously wanting to protect the ones most important to him like the one he had just stumbled upon.
Jinde hastily continued to look, finally spotting the memory of Jing He being attacked close by. Well, it figured. Both memories contained this person that was special to him more than anyone else and both of them had had a big impact on Qiu Ling’s mind and heart.
Jinde pulled back and then used his spiritual energy to chase after the energy from the water of the River of Forgetfulness, weaving a net around it to pull it closer to where he needed it. The energy was already trying to wrap around Qiu Ling’s whole soul, covering the memories beneath it.
Well, he wouldn’t let it. He hadn’t been known for his ability to control spiritual energy for nothing. He excelled at this. And now, he would be able to make use of that even more so than he ever had when pursuing the art of refinement.
He could do this. He could save Qiu Ling. He had to.
He pulled at the energy, his grip on Qiu Ling’s chest becoming a little heavier while his brows furrowed. He hadn’t known how strong this energy was when he started. But now, he realized. It was straining against the net, straining to break free and do what it was meant to be.
Jinde gritted his teeth, sweat starting to bead his forehead. He added another layer to the net, this time not bothering to weave, but just enveloping it completely. He needed to get it closer to that spot in Qiu Ling’s soul that held the memory he wanted to encase. As close as possible. Even if one or two other memories were compromised, it would still be alright. He only needed to make sure that this specific memory was wrapped tightly.
His fingers dug into Qiu Ling’s robe and his own head tilted, the energy swirling around him almost becoming palpable, threatening to break away and not only ruin what he had achieved so far but also injuring the two of them in the process.