The coffin was put down in the spot that Jinde indicated and the four guards that had carried it inclined their heads and stepped back, silently leaving. Right now, there were many people to send off so they couldn’t stand with those left behind to mourn. Not to mention that the palace and the city still needed protection in case anything else happened.
Jinde hardly noticed their departure. He stared ahead, taking in the sight of the cemetery. “It’s bigger than I remember it.”
Leng Jin Yu nodded. He hadn’t been there when Jinde supposedly passed away but he had also come here to send off many of their acquaintances after the battles they fought when they were younger so he wasn’t unfamiliar with it. He didn’t say anything though, leaving the lead to his husband.
Jinde didn’t move for a long time. He knew there was no use in stalling but he needed a moment to calm himself down. This was still his child, after all. Finally, he reached out to the coffin, gently placing his hand on top. “Go on and live well in your next life. Maybe one day, we will see each other again even if we won’t know it.”
He closed his eyes, the fingers of his other hand grabbing tightly onto Leng Jin Yu’s arm. “You do it.” He pulled back from the coffin and turned his face, unable to look.
Leng Jin Yu quietly glanced at him but then raised a hand, flames igniting on his palm. He looked at the coffin in silence and gently lowered his hand, mobilizing his spiritual energy to engulf the coffin in the flames.
Those who did not have the body of a dragon could be either buried or burned. Jinde had chosen the latter when he left and now, he wanted the same for this child he had left behind. Usually, the dragons would use wooden caskets for this that were placed in a small building made to withstand the heat. The dragons would stand outside and watch or simply let matters take their course after the fire was ignited.
That was what Jinde had done but with Jin Ling’s identity, this was troublesome. No building had been erected for him and without, it just didn’t seem like a good idea to burn the body out here where people might recognize him and disturb them. Thus, they could only do it this way, allowing the body inside to burn before the coffin would.
Jinde’s grip on Leng Jin Yu’s arm strengthened and he pressed his eyes shut, unable to watch the flames engulf the coffin and the body within. He tried to focus on his breathing but each breath just seemed to bring with it the smell of the smoke.
“Jin Yu …” Jinde opened his eyes again and looked at his husband, his eyes tearing up.
Leng Jin Yu reached out and pulled him into his arms. “I know.” He rubbed his back and quietly held him. After a moment, he even reached up and pulled down his head to rest on his shoulder so Jinde wouldn’t have to look at the coffin.
Next to them, the fire burned, slowly turning the body inside the coffin to ash. Leng Jin Yu added more spiritual energy to take care of the jade coffin as well which was slowly turning black.
When the flames finally died down, he didn’t move immediately and instead just continued to hold Jinde. He could feel his body trembling but neither of them said a word. Either way, it wouldn’t change a thing.
Behind them, Xiang Yong and An Bai exchanged a glance and then silently stepped away. Ru Shu and the other five from the demon realm stayed for a moment longer but finally followed the two advisers.
They had wanted to bid farewell to their husband but they knew in their hearts that not a single one of them had been as close to him as the person now left in front of his ashes. They simply didn’t have the gall to stay and anyway, there was still something left to do for them. They should not hesitate too long.
Xiang Yong and An Bai were waiting for the six of them. They talked for a moment and the five of them took out the coffins holding the bodies of the other spouses of Jin Ling that had come from the dragon realm. They weren’t sure if they should stay and watch them be sent off as well. It seemed like the right thing to do but then, there were also the others that should be returned to the Nine Heavens.
“I will take care of it.” Xiang Yong inclined his head toward them. “Either way, we will first try to contact their families. If they want to take them back and deal with it on their own, we will let them do that. Otherwise, I will organize for them to be sent off here. It will likely take a few days so we can send note to the Nine Heavens or you might be able to return in time if you want to.”
The five of them nodded, agreeing immediately. Yes, this was indeed the best way to go about it. With that having been decided, they turned to An Bai and Ru Shu took the initiative to speak up. “Adviser An Bai will accompany us to the Nine Heavens?” He had suggested that yesterday but Leng Jin Yu had also contacted the God of War so maybe this wouldn’t be the case anymore.
An Bai nodded though. “I will. Let’s go immediately if you don’t mind.”
Ru Shu gave a hum and the six of them left the dragon realm and made their way to the capital city of the Nine Heavens to go and speak to the Heavenly Emperor. In their hearts, they could only hope that he wouldn’t be too harsh because of how they had married into the demon realm.