It really wasn’t difficult to get lost in the feeling of strolling through an unfamiliar city, taking in all the new sights, and listening to what the people were saying around them. As soon as they left the guest house, the atmosphere of the city simply swept them up in it.
Jing Yi’s smile didn’t dim even once while they walked down the main street and instead seemed to be getting brighter and brighter.
Seeing him like this, Qiu Ling was also happy. He knew that his interference had made Jing Yi’s life more troublesome so being able to give him at least a few moments like this made him feel relieved.
He simply held onto his hand, looking around as well as they walked along the streets. He listened to the people walking past them and glanced at the side streets as well. “I still haven’t heard anybody talk about cultivators. Now, I can’t help but wonder if things were like this back then as well. Come to think about it, they might have been. Actually, cultivators are probably rare in the mortal realm compared to regular people.”
Jing Yi nodded. “At the very least, it wouldn’t surprise me. But anyway, the city really has changed. Now that I’ve had time to look around some more, I have to say that if I didn’t know that this was the capital city of the Long kingdom, I wouldn’t be able to recognize it. The houses aren’t the same anymore, even the palace seems to have changed. It’s a bit odd. Even though it was a thousand years ago, I would’ve thought that more would survive.”
Qiu Ling nodded but he actually didn’t feel that it was weird. “Even in the immortal realms, you would find that things change over time. It often starts very slowly with somewhat subtle changes.
“If you take a city like this, I can imagine what went down. One day, they send an edict from the palace, saying that they want no vendors on the main street. Those people need new places to conduct their business now so areas will be opened up for them. The main street will change as well though.
“From that day on, it will seem a lot wider, allowing even more traffic to pass through. People will now also have a direct look at the buildings to either side. The owners of those buildings will feel that they did should take advantage of that. They’ll give the buildings a new layer of paint, maybe add a few decorations, a nicer plaque above the door, or something like that carved screen we’ve seen earlier to the side of the door for a little more privacy and a touch of exclusivity. Maybe they will even overhaul the balconies on the second story or the carvings on the roof.
“Little by little, the face of the main street changes. People will talk about it and the owners of the businesses in the immediate side streets will feel the need to make similar changes to not lag behind and lose customers.
“Those changes permeate the city further and further, just one change at a time until, at the very end, so many changes have been made that it’s difficult to say whether it really is the same city as it was before or if something completely new has been created.”
Jing Yi looked up at him. He couldn’t help but wonder how it was in the dragon realm. “You said there were changes like this in the dragon realm as well. Is it the same though? I mean, is it happening the same way?” He couldn’t really imagine it. The Yun Zou Sect and the Hei Dian Sect had still been pretty much exactly the same after a millennium. And those were still places in the mortal realm. If they changed this slowly, then how could it be different in the actual immortal realms?
Qiu Ling thought for a bit and then shook his head. “No, it’s not. It takes a lot longer actually. And oftentimes, it is out of more … drastic reasons that this will happen. For example, the palace and the capital city were destroyed in the war to a large degree.
“Jinde oversaw everything being rebuilt but he changed the layout and the design of the palace to fit his taste and he gave people free hand to make changes as well. I guess he could sympathize with the feeling of not wanting to be reminded of the past too much.
“Later on, when I became king, I didn’t want to change much. After all, even though it wasn’t the palace where I had grown up, it reminded me of the person that had been important to me at that time. So, I guess in the spirit of not wanting to trample on his memory, I left everything as it had been even though I could have changed it if I wanted to. I was the new king, after all.”
He shrugged his shoulders and looked toward the palace of this kingdom, sighing faintly. “I am pretty sure that it was different in other generations. It is just that whether it was me or Jinde, we both ruled for so long that it seems difficult to remember the dynasties before then. I barely remember that the name of the dragon king before him was Gao Huan. I mean, not that I was alive at the time and would need to know. But I guess as one of his successors, it does feel strange to be so disconnected. Not to mention that he had a hand in raising my father and Jinde.”
Jing Yi gave a hum, even though he really couldn’t say much about such a thing. When it came to the matters of the dragon realm and the immortal races in general, he really didn’t know too much. He had tried to make up for it but it hadn’t been enough.
Come to think of it, when he returned, he wondered how life would be. Surely, after Jing He’s return, he would have his own wedding with Qiu Ling and then they would rule side-by-side. But what about after that?
Even though he shared the same soul as Jing He, he couldn’t take his place and he didn’t want to either. If he could, he wanted nothing to do with all of that. So that led him to the question …
“When I return, where do you want to live? The dragon realm? Or would you be open to coming back to the mortal realm?” He knew that the question might be a bit early but considering that he wouldn’t have much more time to ask such questions, he still felt that it was better to bring it up now. This way, at the very least, he wouldn’t miss the opportunity.