Outside, Leng Jin Yu’s expression darkened as well. This was taking more out of Jinde than expected. If he didn’t break through soon, both of them might get injured. He fretted, trying to find a way to help but not sure what to do.
At this moment, he was indeed useless. He could also command spiritual energy well, much better in this life than in his last but … he wasn’t as close to Qiu Ling. Even though in his last life, he had been his father, Qiu Ling would not expose his soul in front of him. That trust, he wasn’t sure if he would have had it as Chun Yin, but he definitely didn’t have it as Leng Jin Yu.
He stared at the two of them, his eyes turning red. How come he was so useless? He wanted to do something, anything, to help them get through this. And yet, there was nothing. He wasn’t strong enough, not close enough, not … just not enough no matter how he sliced it.
He closed his eyes and hung his head, shaking his head at himself. A faint sound escaped Jinde’s lips, making him look up again.
Jinde was struggling, right in front of his eyes. How could he let that happen? He might not be a dragon anymore but he was still an ascended deity. There had to be something he could do. He refused to believe that there wasn’t.
Leng Jin Yu clenched his hands into fists and his eyes suddenly widened. He reached out and put his hands on Jinde’s shoulders just like how Xin Lan was holding Qiu Ling back.
He didn’t try to hold him back though. Instead, he tried to show him that he was there, that he would support him no matter what happened. If he needed anything from him — whether that be his spiritual energy or merely his reassurance — then he would be there. Not as a dragon, not as somebody of his own generation, not as somebody strong enough to stand by his side, but just as his husband.
Jinde relaxed slightly, his spiritual energy flowing more smoothly. Yes, he and his husband had managed to get through so much. This was nothing compared to that. He could do it. What was some spiritual energy from a heavenly source? Their races had been made by Tian just as much as the Big river had been forged by him back at the beginning of time. He could do it. He could.
He pulled again. Once. Twice. And then, with a last jerk, he drew that cluster of energy right next to the memory he wanted.
He took a deep breath and then released it, making sure to regain his focus. He had the energy where he wanted it but that didn’t mean that things were over. No, now came the actual, difficult part of it.
He opened the net he had woven, just the slightest bit, and then pulled out a thin strand of energy. He pulled further and further, slowly starting to wrap it around this memory that was not supposed to be seen.
As if the spiritual energy could feel that it was finally allowed to do what it was intended to do, things became easier. Pulling it out of that net and twirling it around the memory almost seemed to turn into a natural instinct.
The further Jinde continued, the more he could see the memory flicker in front of him. It wasn’t gone but with the strands of energy in place, it wasn’t as easily seen. Parts of it were hidden: first, the beginning of it with the anxiety Qiu Ling had felt when he found out what had happened, then the mad rush to Jing He’s palace, and then finally how he left with Jing Yi.
Jinde focused on the middle part, obscuring more of that scene when Qiu Ling had arrived and realized that he had almost come too late. He also took some more care to veil that moment when Qiu Ling’s eyes had focused on that gash on Jing He’s robe.
Finally, the energy ran out but by then, the memory had been covered tightly, not a single image peeking through. No, all of it was secured and clearly not going to be recovered anytime soon.
Jinde’s lips curled up in a smile and the skin next to his eyes wrinkled in happiness. He already wanted to pull back when he realized that maybe there was something else he could do. He sat still for a moment before finally using a strand of his own spiritual energy and wrapping it around that cocoon he had just made.
This couldn’t do much. It definitely couldn’t do more than the water of the River of Forgetfulness would. But since he had already gotten access once and Qiu Ling had not thrown him off yet, this was something he should try.
Only when he had woven another layer around this place, even adding a seal on top, did he finally pull back his spiritual energy and then his hands before opening his eyes and looking at his stepson. “I’m done. How do you feel?”
Qiu Ling opened his eyes as well and, for a moment, he didn’t know how to react. He knew what had happened. He knew it just like how he knew the reports one of his advisers might’ve given him or a story he had heard at a time. But looking for that memory, there really was nothing.
In a way, he was relieved but at the same time, he was also afraid considering that this was something that had to do with Jing He. It made him feel that these trials of the gods, they really weren’t anything good.
To think that his beloved had once forgotten him just like this … If not for the fact that he knew that the memories would be recovered again later on, it would probably give him a reason for renewed anxiety.