Qiu Ling finally caught an hour of sleep before Jing Yi stirred but as a dragon he wasn’t so fragile that this would impact him much. Thus, he got up with the same energy as usual, making Jing Yi not suspect in the least that something was wrong.
The two of them got dressed, took another look around the bamboo house that might not be waiting for them when they came back the next time, and then left it hand in hand, walking up the Sect Master’s peak to get Wu Min Huan.
When they knocked on the door, Wu Min Huan opened it with a bit of delay and then looked at them in surprise. “Junior martial brother Zhong?”
Jing Yi nodded. “Mn, I wanted to come and get you for that gathering!”
Wu Min Huan was stunned for a moment but then laughed. “So it was like that. I almost thought you had forgotten about me since I didn’t hear anything for a week.”
Jing Yi’s expression turned sheepish. “I’m sorry. We probably should have sent a message at least. It was just that something else still came up and … well, it finally seemed better to come in person.”
Wu Min Huan waved his hand. “Don’t worry about it. Have you seen the others already?”
Jing Yi shook his head. “No. We went to pick up Shao Hai last evening and agreed to meet at the Grandelder’s palace after we came to see you. So … are you ready to go over?”
Wu Min Huan nodded but then held up a hand. “Wait a moment.” He went back inside and finally came out with a small box. He held it up and smiled before handing it to Jing Yi. “You mentioned that you were getting married so … I figured I should get you a little gift. It’s nothing much, just a little something I picked up on a mission once. It kind of reminded me of you a little.”
Jing Yi wasn’t sure what to expect. He thanked him and opened the box, finding a wooden pendant inside. It looked … well, it was hard to say but the shape somehow looked like a small, furry animal.
Wu Min Huan laughed when he saw his expression. “I hope you don’t find it lacking. It’s a piece of tranquil wood that can help with cultivation when your mind isn’t peaceful. I … I know that you don’t technically need that anymore and as a cultivator giving this to an ascended deity, I am also a bit embarrassed if I’m being honest.
“But … the shape reminded me of how I picked you up when you were only a little boy. I’ve watched you grow into a youth here in the sect, find love, go out on important missions, climb level after level, and finally even ascend. And yet, when somebody mentions you, the person I think of is still that scared young boy I picked up and brought to the sect.
“At that time, I felt like it was fate. I doubted myself when I found out that you had full spirit veins but you’ve proven that my first instinct was right: You are made for this life. And I hope that this pendant will remind you of that if you ever run into trouble in the immortal realm.”
Jing Yi stared at Wu Min Huan in a daze, finally nodding with a heavy heart. Wu Min Huan had no idea just how much this meant to him. This gift and these words … they were only about him and only about this life. It reminded him that no matter what else had been going on, there would be people who remembered him like this.
Thinking of that, he almost teared up but he forced himself to take a deep breath and calm down. Today was a happy occasion. “Thank you.” He took the pendant out of the box and then looked at Qiu Ling. He had nothing to use to put it on but with how many things Qiu Ling was usually carrying around, the same shouldn’t go for his fiance.
Naturally, he was right about that. Qiu Ling opened his spatial ring and casually pulled out several different ribbons, holding them on his palm so Jing Yi could choose.
The wood of the tranquil tree was of a powdery gray color that almost seemed off-white in the sun. After thinking for a bit, Jing Yi picked a black ribbon to go with it. He tied it at the top and then put the pendant on, holding it in his hand for a moment to admire it. Only then did he look back up at Wu Min Huan. “Thank you, really.”
Wu Min Huan shook his head. “It’s good if you like it. Anyway, we should probably go now.”
Jing Yi nodded and the three of them made their way over to the Grandelder’s palace. When they arrived at the door, they could already hear Nian Hong Fang’s cheerful voice from inside.
Jing Yi’s lips curved up. This was exactly how he had imagined today’s gathering to be. If everyone came together later, it would be even more fun. He actually rushed ahead, giving the three people inside a bright smile. “Senior martial brother Ma, senior martial brother Nian, good morning!”
The two of them looked over and nodded, already having heard the plan for today when Shao Hai came over earlier. Before that, they had also been just as confused as Wu Min Huan and had actually been pondering what to do. They had feared that something might have happened so they likely would have gone to the capital city to check and see whether Jing Yi was alright. Clearly, neither of these people really thought of him as an ascended deity but instead still as the younger disciple of the same sect that they should protect.