Qiu Ling froze up when he was suddenly asked that question. So much for not mentioning to Jing Yi how he as a dragon likely wouldn’t be around when he came back for his second chance. He probably should have fessed up as soon as the thought came up. Now, he would either need to come clean now or he would have to talk this scenario through while being pretty sure that it was nothing but a beautiful lie.
He really didn’t want to say anything but the truth to his lover. But then, he also didn’t know how to say it. He still felt that Jing Yi deserved to have the chance of spending his last few days in happiness and look forward to that second chance.
He thought for a while and finally sighed. “Honestly, I’m not sure.” If, for just a moment, he considered that there was a possibility for them to still be together at that time, this was probably the answer that fit the best.
Anyway, he couldn’t be completely sure what the future would bring. How much time would there be between the time Jing He came back and … well, something taking him away again? Hopefully, it would be a very, very long time.
With how focused An Bai was working with everyone to find a solution to the situation a dragon with a lover from the god race would be put in because of the trials, it was entirely possible that they would find a permanent solution before then. It might not be easy, but there could be such a chance. So maybe he would indeed be there to accompany him at that time after all. If that was the case, he shouldn’t make him worry now. Instead, it was better to think of the scenario as true. And if that was the case …
“It’s tough to say when that time will come so I can’t make a good prediction. What keeps me tied to the dragon realm … there are a lot of memories but I guess mostly, it would be the people I know. There is my family, on the one hand, and I have also gotten closer with my advisers on the other. So at this point, right now, I don’t think I would want to leave forever. Traveling would be different but if it was a long time, I guess I’d always want to return.
“But at the same time, so much can change. Who knows? By then, my sibling might already be grown up. The throne … I might’ve been handed it to somebody else and my advisers would have retired with me since that is something that usually happens when the next king accedes to the throne.”
Yes, by the time Jing Yi returned, he likely wouldn’t be the dragon king any longer. He had thought about this in the past already. After his wedding to Jing He, they would first live in the dragon realm for a while. Then one day, he would put down his mantle and give the throne up to somebody else. Even later, Jing He would become the Heavenly Emperor so they would relocate to the Nine Heavens.
So by the time Jing Yi returned … they could return to the dragon realm or could go to the mortal realm. He honestly didn’t know what was right or what he would like better by then. He might miss his old home or maybe he would have lost all attachment to it. Actually, he couldn’t imagine a time that far into the future.
Jing Yi was still looking at the city around them while Qiu Ling talked and had to say that he could understand the feeling. “You know, I get what you’re saying. For me, I’ve never had these feelings.
“I grew up for several years in that village, but it doesn’t exist anymore. And it isn’t like I was very connected to the people there. I only ever had my parents. That only changed after coming to the capital city. With Shao Hai and Xiao Dong, it became a little easier and I felt a genuine connection with them. But I didn’t stay in the capital for long enough to feel like the place itself was something that was important to me.
“Conversely, I probably felt most at home in the Yun Zou Sect. It might seem odd but I did spend a significant amount of time there even though there were a lot of breaks in-between. I also made some genuine connections there even though my start wasn’t that easy. I guess that is the kind of place that I would want to return to but I really doubt that the sect will still exist when I come back.”
Qiu Ling gave a hum, feeling that this was very much true. Thinking of such a future … “Well, even if the Yun Zou Sect isn’t around any longer, there would still be others. If you think about it, Leng Jin Yu returned to the mortal realm for a while and very successfully pretended to be just another disciple. There are ways to pull it off. And even if you don’t want to do something like that, with your strength as an ascended deity, you’d be able to found your own sect if you wanted to.”
Jing Yi looked up at him, not sure what to make of this. “Founding my own sect?” That thought seemed ridiculous but looking at it more closely, he should indeed be able to do this. After all, as the Sect Master, what was important was that you had a high enough level and a wealth of experience.
His level was definitely high enough as an ascended deity. As for experience … well, he was still lacking in that department but by the time he would return, that would have changed. There would be all the memories at his disposal that he and Jing He had both made.
And there was nobody forcing him to come back down here and found a sect immediately, was there? No, he could just travel around with Qiu Ling for a while, and then, he could still do so. Actually, the longer he thought about it, the more he liked the idea.
Jing Yi smiled brightly and hugged Qiu Ling’s arm, sidling up a little closer. “You know, when I think about it, I can hardly wait for that time. I guess in a sense, it’s good that I won’t notice the time passing while Jing He is leading the rest of his life. That way, when I wake up, I will still feel just as excited as I do right now.”
Qiu Ling nodded, even though he felt a faint squeeze in his heart when Jing Yi mentioned the rest of Jing He’s life. That was something that he, for sure, did not want to think about. “Well, it’s good that you’re not feeling too resentful. I know the situation isn’t easy for you. You making the best out of it that you can … that’s a good thing. I really hope that you will be able to keep up that optimism. It’ll make things easier.”
Jing Yi nodded. In the past, he would’ve resented having to hear something like this but, right now, he felt that it was simply the truth. As long as he stayed optimistic, things would be easier to take.
And anyway, right now, he finally had a reason to be optimistic, didn’t he? After all, giving up his soul was no longer a death sentence but simply a break he would take, one that wouldn’t last forever but only until he could resume his life and all the things he had missed out on so far.
In a sense, he was looking forward to it. Especially since whatever Jing He did in the meantime couldn’t influence him any longer. Instead, it would simply add to the opportunities he had. Looking at it this way, life actually seemed good.