Jin Ling was standing in front of the window, looking out at the empty space there. When he heard the door, he turned back, raising his brows at Ye Yang. “Well, I hope you bring good news this time.”
Ye Yang gave a hum and closed the door behind him before walking over. He didn’t try to pull Jin Ling into his arms as he had usually done, not quite sure if that was because the reaction he would get to his next words would be a bad one or because he really didn’t care anymore after spending so much time with An Bai. Instead, he just leaned against the wall next to him, crossing his arms and faintly furrowing his brows. “I have news but I’m not sure if I should call them good ones.”
Jin Ling stared at him and then reached out, sidling up to his chest all by himself. “Well, as long as you tell me, it’s alright.”
Ye Yang stared at him, and then thought of An Bai’s detached look, wondering if his taste had really changed so much. Or no, maybe the fact was that when Jin Ling acted disinterested, he actually liked it more. Who knew if, with An Bai, his interest would still be there when the other person finally gave in? Somehow, he doubted it.
Realizing that his thoughts had once again wandered back to the dragon, he decisively pushed it away, focusing on Jin Ling instead. Usually, he would’ve given him a smile but he figured that it wasn’t appropriate right now considering the topic. “Well, considering the current situation here, the dragon I was trying to get information out of was finally willing to talk a bit so I could come back here to help you out.”
Jin Ling’s copper-colored brows immediately rose. “That is to say they are trying to trick you and me.”
Ye Yang gave a hum but then shook his head. “To be honest, I don’t think that’s it. I thought about it and what he said seemed plausible. You see, it’s like this.” He repeated what An Bai had said and then came to his conclusions. “When I originally went to the mortal realm to inspect that array, I realized that I couldn’t identify what the key was. That was the problem from the very beginning. A soul … that is more than just unconventional. And because of that, I am sure that it is the right answer. If you don’t want to have anybody march into your private space, what better way would there be to make sure of that?
“Other things can somehow be attained. You can cut off a strand of hair, get a drop of blood with just a short prick, and carry those things around easily. There is really nothing that you can’t get in the world. That is, other than a soul. That isn’t something you can just … get your hands on because you want to. Even if you try to, the other person would notice.”
Jin Ling took back his hands, his expression turning stormy. Right. You couldn’t just get your hands on somebody’s soul. If you wanted to have a part, it needed to be given. Wasn’t that how the dragon’s bonding worked?
Jinde … he had never given anyone a part of his soul as far as he knew. And the man he had surely wanted to do that with had long died and gone through reincarnation. Now, he was human, unable to split his soul and do the dragon’s bonding anymore.
Realizing this, Jin Ling’s thoughts slowly traveled to a different place. If this was a realm that the two of them had retreated to, and the key was a soul, then that soul could only come from one partner. Since one partner was a human whose soul could not be split, then the soul that was used could’ve only come from Jinde. Because human partner or not, Jinde would still be able to split his own soul and give it away, attaching it to that human’s soul.
Thinking of that, his hands clenched. He didn’t want anybody to have part of Jinde’s soul, especially so that man’s reincarnation. He had dared to betray Jinde, to the point where Jinde had been heartbroken for so long. How did he deserve his forgiveness?
He took a deep breath, trying to calm down until his face turned peaceful again. Anyway, there was one good thing about this: If part of Jinde’s soul had been given to his partner or was used as the key for the array, then this meant that had greatly recovered. At the very least, Jinde wasn’t in danger of dying and his soul fizzling out anymore.
No, that wasn’t the case anymore. He wasn’t dead, he wasn’t dying, instead, he was slowly healing. Everything else … well, he didn’t care about that. That could be dealt with. No, the important part was that Jinde was safe. Yes, he couldn’t reach him, but he was a patient man.
For thousands of years, he had waited. He had waited to find out if Jinde really was dead and bit by bit, he managed to uncover everything. Now, he knew where he was, and even though he couldn’t reach him at the moment, he knew how to get there and he also knew Jinde’s general state. How great was that?
Thinking of that, he gave a smile that seemed bright on the surface but actually didn’t reach his eyes at all. Then, he reached out to the Ye Yang, wrapping his arms around his neck and craning his neck to give him a kiss. “You did really well, Ye Yang. I’m proud of you.”
Ye Yang looked at him and, for a moment, he couldn’t help but feel a chill in his heart. Something told him that this had not gone according to plan. No, something about the way Jin Ling looked right now was wrong, completely wrong.
He hesitated for a moment but then reached out and grabbed his waist, holding him. “Then now that you know that you can’t get in, are you going to focus on the fight for the throne?” This was what needed to be done after all, wasn’t it?
Jin Ling smiled, then pulled his hands back, patting his chest. “But of course. Don’t worry about it. I already have an idea.” He pulled out of Ye Yang’s grasp, and then walked to the other side of the room, opening the door with a smile. “You just wait here. I’ll go and organize everything.”
Ye Yang nodded and watched him leave in a daze, not sure what to make of this. Something told him that there was more to this. But he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to know just what that more was.