Xiao Dong could have returned to his place in Elder Wang’s area but he really didn’t want to interact with people here too much. Anyway, he’d leave again whenever Jing Yi was ready. Thus, he accompanied him to the bamboo hut, intending to just stay there.
When they arrived, Jing Yi couldn’t help but look around in a daze. It really was true that things didn’t change as fast in the cultivation world. Nian Hong Fang and Ma Zhi Wu hadn’t looked any different compared to the last time and this bamboo hut was the same. It was as if he had only left yesterday.
Ah, if only that was the case. Back then, he really shouldn’t have rushed to ascend. What was so bad about staying in the mortal realm a while longer?
He sighed, drawing Xiao Dong’s attention.
“Why didn’t you tell them?” Wasn’t that why they had come here? He really couldn’t understand it.
Jing Yi looked over his shoulder and sighed. “I wanted to. At first. But then the longer I actually spoke with them, the more I felt like I shouldn’t. It seemed not to be fair to them, you know?”
Xiao Dong wasn’t sure if he understood that but as long as it was what Jing Yi wanted, he was alright with it. “Well, it’s your decision and you can still tell them later if you change your mind again.”
Jing Yi nodded and went to sit down at the table. “I guess I didn’t think it through well enough before we came here. I wanted to … to just leave something behind. After all, this will be the end for me. I don’t know if that makes sense?”
Xiao Dong came over to the table as well and sat down, thinking for a while. This situation was something that was hard to imagine. But if he imagined that he was about to die … “I think if it was me, I’d also want to say farewell to everyone. I’m not even sure why. Maybe it would give me some closure? And them probably as well.”
Jing Yi nodded. “Yes, I guess that’s something I want as well. But this is probably more for my own closure. Since it’s a decision I myself made, I think I want to be sure about it. Talking about it helps.”
He looked at Xiao Dong and smiled wryly. “You’re the only one I can really talk to about it though. For the others, it’s likely going to be strange. After all, they haven’t seen me in so long and they also don’t understand what is going on in the immortal realm. How would I even explain?
“But even though I know that, I think it would still help me. After all, it’s the end for real. What will remain of me after I give my soul back to Jing He? There’s nothing, is there? Since that’s the case, I at least want to leave behind some words, some kind of impression. I don’t want to be left with nothing at all.”
Xiao Dong looked at him, his expression turning a bit strange. “Actually …”
Jing Yi raised his brows, a bit confused by Xiao Dong’s expression. “What’s the matter?”
“Well, if you are just giving up your soul, doesn’t your body remain?”
Jing Yi looked at him oddly. “That doesn’t matter much though, does it? I mean without a soul, that’s not much of anything.” His mind couldn’t help but flash the image of Jing He lying on that bed, his body perfectly still even at the moment when he tried to kill him.
Yes, without a soul, a body was nothing. It was just an empty shell that you could look at but that held no meaning at all. He really didn’t care about it.
Xiao Dong’s expression was still wrong though and he seemed to be of a different opinion. “I mean, if your body is still there and the soul was also yours once … doesn’t that mean you could come back in the future?”
“Huh?” Jing Yi’s eyes widened. Had he just heard that right?
Xiao Dong pursed his lips. Was he wrong? “I mean, you and the Son of Heaven share one soul but you have two bodies. If you die, the soul goes to him because that is where the soul originally came from. But then, when you give up your soul, your current body won’t be damaged. So if the Son of Heaven were to die in the future, wouldn’t the soul do the same thing and return to its previous body? So, yours?”
Jing Yi stared at him in a daze. He had never thought about it but … it sounded logical. This soul was bound to his body just as much as to Jing He’s. In fact, it had stayed with him about half as long as it had with Jing He. If not for the fact that he had rushed to ascend, he could have gotten much more time with it. “That is to say … this will not be the end for me?”
Xiao Dong shrugged his shoulders. “I mean, it’s just an idea. I’m a dragon so I don’t really know the ins and outs of the gods’ trials. But I think that is how it should be. At the very least, I can’t see a reason why it shouldn’t be.
“Although, of course, this still relies on your body being kept well after death. After all, immortality means nothing after you die. You’d still turn to dust one day.”
“Then … isn’t this useless?” Jing Yi furrowed his brows. For just a moment, he had really thought it could work.
Xiao Dong shook his head though. “That’s just on the regular. There are ways to keep a body … intact. Just ask His Majesty. I’m sure he’d be delighted to do that for you after your … death.” He awkwardly looked away, realizing that this was a weird thing to say.
Jing Yi didn’t even notice though. He could only think about this possibility. Anyway, it wasn’t how he had imagined things to be but it wasn’t bad. If there was a chance of returning in the future, then maybe he should not mind giving up his soul for now. After all, in a sense, it was only borrowed just like Jing He had lent him his soul for a while. In the end, he would still be the one to receive it and he could still live a full life. In a sense, he was looking forward to it.