Qiu Ling led Jing He over to the pavilion, giving Qiang Wei and Yi Zan a look to go somewhere else. If there was another person around, his beloved would feel even more self-conscious and with how bad things were going, he couldn’t let that happen.
The two dragons hadn’t intended to stay around anyway after their king walked out so they rushed around the corner of the building, pretending to go and guard somewhere else. In fact, they made it a point to walk to the other side of the palace where they were the least likely to disturb them. With their king being right beside the Son of Heaven, they weren’t needed anyway, and weren’t there still the two heavenly guards on the other side? Thus, being further away was good.
Back in the garden, Qiu Ling held Jing He’s hand until he sat down and only then let go to walk to the other side of the table in the small pavilion. Looking at his beloved, his expression still didn’t seem quite right. In turn, Qiu Ling himself felt like he was getting a headache.
It wasn’t that he didn’t know how Jing He was. You could think and think and believe that you had done everything perfectly but, in the end, he might still be able to see something he believed to be a sign of things being different after all. Or maybe he didn’t even need any signs. Just his own doubts were enough.
Right now, he seemed to have a lot of those but it wasn’t like he would admit to that even if he asked him. Thus, he could only try his best to reassure him slowly.
Qiu Ling thought for a while and used the opportunity to look around the garden, his expression a bit lost. “You know, I’ve come here during your trial. Even though I was accompanying your soul in the mortal realm, I still couldn’t help but miss the life we had here. So every now and then, when my mood was low and I was especially missing you, I’d come to have a look. Just seeing this place that means so much to you and … also seeing you.” He turned back to look at Jing He and smiled faintly.”
Jing He finally couldn’t keep his gaze lowered and glanced at Qiu Ling. This kind of confession, he was a lot more familiar with it than the distance Qiu Ling had shown before. Even though it wasn’t quite as explicit as he was used to, it still gave him hope that things weren’t as bad as he had feared.
Qiu Ling’s smile brightened when he caught Jing He looking at him. It seemed he had worried too much before. Even if he overdid it, that wouldn’t matter. Jing He clearly didn’t mind. Well, of course, he didn’t right now. For Jing He, they were still the same as they had been before he went on his trial: A couple that had just decided to get married after confessing their feelings for each other. Naturally, he wouldn’t feel any reluctance. He wasn’t aware of any reason to be reluctant yet.
Qiu Ling gulped when he thought of what Jing He was about to find out in the next few weeks. He told himself not to think too much and reached over the table, taking Jing He’s hands again. “I’ve really missed you. A lot. If I could …” He hesitated and then shook his head with a sigh. “Well, I don’t even know where to start with all this.”
Jing He looked at him in confusion. He felt happy that Qiu Ling was willing to be closer to him again but other than that, Qiu Ling’s behavior still seemed odd. It wasn’t quite like him. He hesitated as well but then couldn’t help but speak up. “What’s the matter? You know … you can tell me honestly.”
Qiu Ling nodded even though he wasn’t completely sure of that. Of course, he could say it honestly, but who knew how Jing He would react? He took a deep breath and then raised his brows. “It’s … I don’t know. I just don’t know how to say this so everything will make sense to you. I do know you haven’t remembered after all. I’d but … I don’t think it would be good to wait too long either.”
Jing He gave a faint hum. “You can just tell me roughly. If I don’t understand, I will ask.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “That might be the easiest way.” He still furrowed his brows but then just shook his head. “Well, let’s start with the most important part: Do you remember how you once told me about Tian and Xing?”
Jing He was startled and his eyes widened. “Yes?” Of course, he remembered. At that time, his relationship with Qiu Ling had only just started getting closer. Not to mention that he had always had special feelings for that story. He naturally wouldn’t forget. He didn’t understand what this had to do with his trial though. Indeed, just as Qiu Ling had guessed, he was confused. Seeing that this happened as soon as Qiu Ling started, he couldn’t help but feel embarrassed.
Qiu Ling smiled wryly at Jing He’s gaze. “You see, I met him. Tian, I mean.” He didn’t explain when and how. At this point in time that only seemed like it would make matters more complicated and he’d rather make sure that he managed to communicate the important parts. “As a matter of fact, so did your mortal reincarnation at one point during the trial.”
“I … met the supreme sovereign?” Jing He stared at Qiu Ling in a daze, unable to believe what he was hearing.
Qiu Ling nodded. “I’m not sure how much about the trial I’m allowed to tell.” He gave him a questioning look, feeling that he first needed an answer to that.
Jing He shook his head. “It’s not a problem to say anything ahead of time. The memories will return by themselves sooner or later.”
Qiu Ling nodded again. “In that case, you should know that we were separated several times during your trial, one of these being when the demon king kidnapped your reincarnation to threaten me. At that time, it seems you ended up in the High Heavens and encountered Tian. He told you something — although I’m not sure what — and when I finally saw him, he told me to remind you to take those words to heart. So whenever you remember …”
He smiled faintly. Surely, there was no need to tell Jing He to pay attention to what Tian himself had told him. With how he admired that person, he would definitely do that no matter what those words had been. Even the most mundane of greetings should have been etched into his memory when it came from Tian himself.