Qiu Ling watched Jing He’s reaction, unsure if he actually understood. He knew that acting according to what the gods saw as fitting decorum was important to Jing He. Throughout the ten years of their relationship before the trial, that had been a major issue.
At first, he didn’t get it and would consciously or unconsciously overstep the line. Later, it finally got through to him and he managed to rein himself in while also making use of some opportunities where they presented themselves. He had believed that at the time when Jing He finally agreed to marry him, this problem would have been buried once and for all. Now, it seemed that he might have thought too much.
Qiu Ling pursed his lips. Actually, he shouldn’t be surprised. Their engagement had been agreed on only between the two of them. It wasn’t official. Most likely, not even the Heavenly Empress or the God of War were aware yet. The Heavenly Emperor definitely hadn’t been told and nothing had been announced to the public. To Jing He who really cared about the rules, this had to mean that he didn’t dare to act in ways that he deemed to be unfitting for his status and their relationship.
Thinking about it in this way, Qiu Ling felt like saying more than he already had wouldn’t help. No, what was needed in this situation was a change of the status quo. As for how to do that …
He let go of Jing He’s cheeks and pulled back slightly, clearing his throat. “Well, I also know you’re particular about these things. If you feel uncomfortable with it, I will have to accept it. Although I’ve already said that I don’t mind and I hope it will give you some peace of mind. For now though … I guess we should focus on our life here.”
Jing He nodded again, agreeing to this. He couldn’t change whatever had happened during his trial but he could make sure not to commit any mistakes from now on.
Qiu Ling glanced at the inner robe that Jing He was wearing before retracting his gaze, not wanting to be too obvious. “Well, do you want me to wait outside while you get ready?”
Jing He glanced down as well, suddenly remembering that Qiu Ling had come in while he was still in bed. He hurriedly reached up, grasping the lapel of his robe while his cheeks flushed bright red. “This …” He didn’t want to throw him out but it also wasn’t right to show himself in front of Qiu Ling like this. So much for not committing further mistakes.
Jing He closed his eyes, once again feeling ashamed. This time, he hadn’t been able to do anything as Qiu Ling came in while he was trapped in that dream, recovering another memory. But then, he should have asked to be given a few minutes right after. How could he have waited for so long?
Qiu Ling watched as Jing He’s head sank lower and sighed inwardly. When Jing He left for his trial, he had thought things would be beautiful when he returned with their wedding fast approaching and them being together forever as the happiest couple in all three immortal realms. But now, it seemed like everything had changed since that day.
Here they were, not a single step further than they had been before the trial. He knew that there were still things to take care of but he would have wished that at least Jing He’s attitude would be different.
Come to think of it though, he was probably expecting too much. Hadn’t he himself only managed to overcome some of his issues during this trial? Yes, Jing Yi being a mortal reincarnation instead of his immortal self had given him the courage to admit to some matters he hadn’t dared to tell Jing He before. Because of everything else that happened, he had even opened up to his advisers and strengthened his position in the dragon realm.
This trial had, ultimately, benefited him greatly even though he had been so against it at first. But it had been a thousand years of new experiences and constant challenges after all. Of course, it had had some effect on him.
Jing He currently couldn’t remember any of it though. Maybe by the time he had regained all of his memories that would be different. Maybe his perspective as a trueborn god would also change after remembering life as a mortal. There was definitely such a chance. And even if it didn’t happen initially, there was a chance that it would happen over time when he had had the opportunity to consider every single experience and slowly learn from it.
Qiu Ling quietly reminded himself that Jing He had barely come of age by the time they met. Now, a thousand years of his life — nearly half of how long he had lived when they originally met — was still missing from his memory. He indeed could be called young and inexperienced and his expectations for him should be adjusted based on that.
Reassuring himself that all of this was normal, Qiu Ling got to his feet. He still reached out and cupped Jing He’s cheeks again though, making him look up. “I can see that you feel troubled, both by what happened during your trial and by the current situation.”
Jing He’s lips parted and he wanted to reassure Qiu Ling that this was all his fault but Qiu Ling already spoke up first.
“Don’t worry about it. We spent ten years together in the Nine Heavens so I am also more familiar with the way the gods think.” Of course, that went for Jing He in particular but he didn’t add that part. “You are worried because there is no relationship tying us together officially and you think that we have overstepped the line between what should be allowed and what shouldn’t more than once. Since you’re unhappy with this and I can hardly wait to be with your for all eternity, then let’s make it official as fast as possible.”