Jing Yi saw Qiu Ling’s expression but didn’t say anything. Anyway, while he did remember the capital city of the Long kingdom, most of that was still from the perspective of a child. He had come here when he was slightly older and had shown Qiu Ling around but at that time but they had only looked at the places that he was already familiar with. They hadn’t come to the outskirts so he lacked the comparison that Qiu Ling apparently had.
The three of them simply walked straight ahead and soon made their way to the main street. At this point, Jing Yi felt more comfortable comparing what he saw to what he remembered from back then. And he had to say that he indeed agreed with Qiu Ling’s thoughts: Everything had changed and become … more.
The main street had already been the one with the biggest houses that all showed their splendor but by now, that was even more so the case. The decorations on the buildings were a lot more sophisticated than back then and none of them looked as if they hadn’t gotten a new layer of paint in the past year. Everything was well-maintained to the point where he wondered if there was somebody going around and checking whether this was true for every building and forcing the owners to keep up.
The main difference was probably that the stalls he was used to from his childhood weren’t there any longer. There was nobody selling snacks or handmade wares on the side of the road. It was a little strange to see and he couldn’t help but wonder if this was also because they wanted to keep the streets clean.
Jing Yi would’ve liked to look around and find out more about the current state of the city but for now, it would probably be better to first find a place to stay and hold the gathering, and then, he could think about everything else.
He looked around and then turned to Qiu Ling. “For the gathering, it should be best to find a restaurant. There might also be some guesthouses with a large enough space to fit all of us. We might need to ask around for a bit though.”
Qiu Ling thought for a moment and then looked down at the robes that they were wearing. He himself wasn’t a problem but Jing Yi had changed into the robes of the Yun Zou Sect before. “Maybe you should change clothes.”
Jing Yi raised his brows and looked at himself, wondering what exactly was wrong with what he was currently wearing.
Qiu Ling also realized that he hadn’t been clear enough. “What I mean is that we don’t know the current situation. Back then, the Yun Zou Sect and the capital city were working together quite closely with the sect even coming here to recruit new disciples. But … it’s been a long time. The city has changed and we don’t know if the same is still true.
“I think it might be best to be a little more careful in that regard. Also, when it comes to this kind of place, they can be a bit snobby. If you wear a beautiful robe, they might be more accommodating.”
When it came to things like this, Jing Yi trusted that Qiu Ling knew better than him. Thus, he didn’t even think twice. “Well, do you have something that I could wear?” He did have some robes that he himself carried around but when it came to something specific, he would usually just leave that to Qiu Ling. After all, his lover had always liked keeping something for him. In fact, he was pretty sure that Qiu Ling was lugging around dozens of robes that he had never even seen.
Qiu Ling naturally didn’t need to be asked twice. He looked through his spatial ring for only a moment and then pulled out a robe that he indeed hadn’t shown Jing Yi yet. “This one should fit nicely. I still have our figures hidden so you can change here but we’ll need a place to drop the spell.”
Jing Yi’s lips twitched. He couldn’t help but feel that maybe this was something that they should have thought about before. He took the robe from Qiu Ling but motioned to the side street first. “Let’s go there and look for a place to stay out of sight.” Even though Qiu Ling had said that he could simply change here, he actually didn’t feel comfortable with that. While others might be unable to see him, he could still see them so he felt like he would be stripping down right in everyone’s views.
Qiu Ling nodded and then led the way, looking around until he found a restaurant that had carved screens set up at the side that were probably meant to shield the visitors from view. “Let’s duck behind one of those?” Actually, they could also enter one of the buildings and look for a room but it seemed like too much effort. Over here, hardly anyone was coming by or looking closely. As long as they were careful, it should be enough.
Jing Yi nodded and then hid behind one of the screens. He looked around, still feeling uncomfortable.
Qiu Ling noticed his gaze and made it a point to stand in front of Jing Yi. Even though it wouldn’t change anything, as long as his beloved felt better, that was enough for him.
Jing Yi smiled faintly and then took off his outer robe, hastily putting it away before putting on the one that Qiu Ling had just given him. To be honest, it was indeed a beautiful set, just as expected of what Qiu Ling would prepare for him. And yes, there was a certain splendor to it that fit in a lot better with the people of the capital city than the Yun Zou Sect’s sect robe would.
He tucked at the belt and the sleeves to make sure that everything was sitting right and then stepped around Qiu Ling. “Alright, how is it?”
Qiu Ling turned to him with a smile. “Well, I’m happy to know that we have another week until everyone else will get here.” Saying so, he grabbed Jing Yi’s hand again, dropped the spell that was hiding their figures, and then went back to the main street.
As for Wu Ya, he quietly trailed behind, pretending that he hadn’t seen the whole exchange just now.