They exchanged a glance, seeing in each other’s eyes that they both had the same thought at the same time. Their hearts were pounding heavily but they still turned back to glance at Qiu Ling, making sure that he was alright.
He seemed to be calm enough, in fact, a while ago he had followed Jinde’s example and taken on his other form again. Considering how anxious he had been before, it could be said that his mood had turned completely. It going out of control seemed not just unlikely but downright impossible at the moment.
The two of them felt reassured so they finally rushed forward, only stopping when they had arrived directly in front of the shell.
This one was big, more than big enough for a dragon child. It had a nice curve to the upper part and the color was light, almost seeming to shimmer like a pearl in the darkness at the bottom of the sea.
Jinde and Leng Jin Yu knelt down next to it and Jinde reached out, gently stroking the surface. It was a bit rough but not too much, definitely something that felt nice to the touch. From up close, he could also see a few markings on top. The colors weren’t bright either, more like a few muted lines here and there. Still, they were beautiful. It was beautiful.
Without a doubt, this was the one.
Jinde turned to look at Leng Jin Yu who nodded in turn. Yes, in his eyes as well, this was the one that they had been looking for, the one that they should take home.
Jinde smiled brightly and then continued to rub the surface of the shell, finally reaching out to clasp it in his arms.
Actually, the shell was so big that picking it up wasn’t all that easy. But right now, that also wasn’t what he wanted to do. No, for now, he just closed his eyes and imagined for a moment how it would be when they had taken it up to the surface and brought it back to the palace, finally holding the ceremony.
At that time, it would be their child resting in there until ten months had passed. Then, that long-standing wish of his would finally be fulfilled. Just thinking about it, he felt a sense of gratitude.
Leng Jin Yu looked at him and then reached out, rubbing his hand. He could’ve used spiritual energy to say a few words even underwater but he figured that it wasn’t right at this moment. Anyway, Jinde would know what he meant even if he didn’t say it.
Jinde only took a few moments longer before finally, he got up and looked at his husband, leaning over to hug his shoulders and then kissed him on the lips.
Qiu Ling watched the two of them and then glanced at the shell. He also felt a bit of … excitement. It probably didn’t mean much for him to have a sibling. Anyway, he was already this old. What would he do with a brother or sister that young? Play with them?
He really couldn’t imagine that. So the situation was a bit odd for him. But still, this was his family. Just seeing Jinde and Leng Jin Yu be this happy … it made him happy as well. He always wanted to see them like this, just like … it had always been meant to be.
When the two lovers let go of each other, Jinde reached out, patting the top of the shell once more before he put it into his spatial ring and then got up with a bright smile.
Leng Jin Yu got back to his feet as well, taking his hand and then looking around, motioning at a few stones lying on the ground that they might want to take along.
Jinde nodded and they started to pick up what they felt they might need, spending a bit more time down there before finally, they figured they had enough.
Leng Jin Yu was the one to put away the spoils of this second search before the two of them turned to Qiu Ling, raising their brows.
He raised his back at them, wondering why they were suddenly in such a hurry after taking their sweet time before. Still, he just nodded and then followed them back up to the surface.
When the three of them walked out of the water, Jinde and Leng Jin Yu were still smiling brightly, already talking with each other and planning the next few months. Behind them, Qiu Ling stopped in his tracks though, turning back to the sea and looking at it with his thoughts and feelings tangled.
Today was the first time that he had managed to calm down underwater since the day his parents had died. In fact, had been so calm that he had been able to take on his other form just like Jinde did.
He never would’ve expected that to be possible. But it seemed that it was indeed true: As long as you were with people you trusted, as long as you didn’t need to live all on your own, you were able to keep a calm mind and feel hope.
Yes, it had taken him a long time but, finally, life had turned out to be like this. He had found his family again and had a lover. Even though there were still some things to overcome, there would be no need for him to worry.
After Leng Jin Yu and Jinde finished the ceremony today, after Jing Yi resolved to give the soul back to Jing He and they had their wedding, then really, what was there left to miss?
No, at that time, his life would be perfect. In fact, even though there was still a bit of a guilty conscience toward Jing Yi, he had to say that he was looking forward to that day.
At the time when his sibling was born, maybe he and Jing He would already be married. Then they could welcome that addition to his family together. No, they could welcome the addition to their family together. Because at that time, they would be exactly that: just one big family. That was what he had always wished for.