In hindsight, with the memories Chun Yin had obstructed being uncovered, it was obvious: The black marks on Jinde’s body naturally did not come from the soul-devouring dagger. Not only was the scar left from the dagger on his wrist but the colorization of the scars on his torso clearly pointed toward them being left behind by the dark energy the demons used.
He had seen wounds like this on the battlefield in his past life but he hadn’t put two and two together when they appeared on Jinde’s body. He had simply accepted the explanation he had originally given himself as to why they were there. Chun Yin’s interference had done its part in helping with that.
That clue had been right in front of his eyes so he should have known. But even if he missed it, he should have realized since that wasn’t all there was. No, maybe even more compelling was a memory of Chun Yin’s he had inherited or rather a lot of memories that put everything into a different light.
When Chun Yin returned, Jinde had asked him how Biao Han had managed to kill him. Chun Yin had smiled and said that his thoughts had been elsewhere — namely in the capital city with Jinde — and that he hadn’t had his guard up against her since she was his wife after all. His inattention had supposedly been the reason for her succeeding in her assassination attempt. But the truth was: Chun Yin had lied.
Everything else he had told Jinde in that conversation had been true but this hadn’t been. Yes, he might have been distracted. And yes, he probably hadn’t guarded against her too much. But that alone wouldn’t have been enough.
Biao Han … she had been much but not a warrior. She had grown up in the demon realm, not the dragon realm and while she had a dragon form, she had always repressed that side of hers because she had fallen in love with Jian Heng and wanted to impress him.
In her mind, he likely would have taken only a woman of the demon race seriously so she had tried to behave as one and in that realm, physical strength wasn’t necessarily favored if there were easier ways to get what you wanted. A beautiful person surely didn’t need to fight as hard so she hadn’t put much effort into gaining strength, never utilizing the advantages she had been given as a half-blood.
In a fight against Chun Yin, she never could have won. Not if he had been at his peak or even in a good state. But the truth was: He hadn’t been. At that time, Chun Yin had been the weakest he had ever been. In fact, even if Biao Han hadn’t killed him, he might have died soon after that.
As for why, that was the reason he hadn’t brought it up to Jinde: Chun Yin’s soul had been bound to Jinde but not the other way around. While Jinde had been in love with him and couldn’t just fall in love with somebody else, he hadn’t had that bond. But for Chun Yin, their separation alone sapped him of some of his strength. Over time, it might have gotten worse but he hadn’t even lived long enough to find out about that.
No, some years after leaving the capital city with his family, just shortly before Biao Han made her move, he had felt his soul tremble violently as if it was about to shatter. He hadn’t realized what it meant at first but soon came to the conclusion that this was because of something that had happened with Jinde. When it happened again, leaving him in an even further weakened state, it finally sank in: Jinde had moved on and he was now with somebody else.
The day when the thought finally hit him, he had returned to the capital city, wanting to confront him. But then, he finally stopped before even stepping foot into the palace.
What right did he have to accuse Jinde of anything? What right did he have to demand of him to never be with another man? He had sabotaged Jinde’s possible relationships for a long time, only to finally renounce the relationship between the two of them once again when he found out that Biao Han was pregnant. Then, he had even left the capital, choosing his wife over the love of his life. At this point, what did his opinion on Jinde’s love life matter?
When he realized that, he turned back, knowing full well that as long as that relationship of Jinde’s continued, he himself wouldn’t make it. The feedback from his soul would slowly take away his strength and finally kill him.
That was the drawback of the soul binding, the reason why even two dragons in love tried to resist the urge to bind their souls together for as long as they could. Someone like him who had made too many mistakes and scared his beloved off … he deserved to die.
Still, he hadn’t wanted Jinde to become aware when he returned. Maybe Jinde could infer some but he hadn’t brought it up to Chun Yin when he had the opportunity to do so and hadn’t asked Leng Jin Yu about it either after the last piece of Chun Yin’s soul had integrated with his. So either he was sure enough of the part the soul binding had played in Chun Yin’s demise or it simply hadn’t crossed his mind.
If the latter was the case, Leng Jin Yu naturally didn’t want to go and rip old wounds open. Especially not if they had the possibility of making him feel guilty. Because right now, Jinde believed that this was all Jiang Heng’s and Biao Han’s doing. If he realized that his having that child with Jian Heng had played a part in it … surely, he would be wracked with regret.