RSH Stratagem 45: Move Your Beloved’s Heart (3)

The song that Qiu Ling had been playing finally came to an end. He lowered the bow, meditating on the meaning of life for a while. He had wanted to show off to his beloved but … he was afraid he had made a ton of mistakes just now.

Well, this couldn’t be blamed on him. The way Jing He had looked at him was simply making his hands itch to reach over, pull him into his arms, and do something more outrageous right afterward. Focusing on playing an instrument was really asking too much in this kind of situation!

Thankfully, it didn’t seem like Jing He had realized how substandard his playing had been. His expression … Qiu Ling wasn’t sure what to call it. It seemed absentminded in a way, a bit thoughtful but also lost as if there was a lot on his mind that he couldn’t make sense of but that he was trying to find some inspiration to deal with.

Qiu Ling didn’t immediately say anything. He kept the instrument and then looked up at the sky. The originally inky color had faded a lot, turning into a dark gray like the deepest parts of the clouds in a thunderstorm with a few hints of a dusty color at the edge. In just a few minutes, the sunlight would likely pass the horizon, starting the beautiful spectacle he had brought Jing He here for.

Qiu Ling faintly raised his brows and then shifted to the side, making sure that Jing He would be able to say well. He stayed quiet for a heartbeat and then faintly cleared his throat.

Jing He was pulled out of his thoughts. He flinched when he realized that the song had come to an end, immediately embarrassed. What would Qiu Ling think now? “That …”

He wanted to explain but Qiu Ling reached over and put his palm on the back of his hand. “The sun is going to go up in a moment. Look over there!”

Jing He’s gaze followed the movement of his hand as Qiu Ling pointed at the waterfall. Just as the dragon king had said, mere moments passed and the first light of the day appeared on the horizon.

The water that had previously reflected the stars but then turned dark like a river of ink in a shadowy landscape started to show a glimmer of light like tiny dots of gold dancing on its surface. With every passing moment, the glittering display became brighter, more splendid. There were flecks of gold and yellow, some red parts as if a roaring fire had been lit below while the darkness receded more and more.

Jing He stared in a daze. He had lived in the capital city all his life but he had never ventured out further than the big palaces of the titled gods. He had never seen such a scene, not knowing what he had missed out on.

Staring at this beautiful scene in front of him, he almost wanted to sigh. The only thing that could have made this moment more perfect would have been for Qiu Ling to hug him. But, of course, he couldn’t simply ask him for that.

Jing He smiled and pulled his gaze away from the water, looking at Qiu Ling instead. “It is indeed beautiful. Thank you for taking me here.”

Qiu Ling inclined his head. All this time, he hadn’t been paying attention to the water at all. Instead, he had been watching Jing He. Seeing his beloved’s face in the early morning sun, the way his eyes seemed to be lit up by the golden flecks of light, his cheeks flushed not by his embarrassment but the sunlight … it truly was a sight to behold.

He hesitated but then reached out and took Jing He’s hand. “You should look at the waterfall. Don’t miss the rainbow.”

Jing He nodded, his fingers lightly squeezing Qiu Ling’s hand back. He didn’t say anything but turned over there, watching intently.

The waterfall wasn’t big but some droplets would still spray up as the water coming from above hit the surface of the water below, creating a faint mist lingering in the air. When the sunlight fell on those drops, the air seemed to transform right in front of his eyes, turning into a multi-colored arch like he had seldom seen them before.

Jing He gave a hum. He watched for a while and then turned in the other direction. He looked over the river vanishing somewhere in the distance, over the fields of grass next to it, toward the horizon, and finally up at the sky. The gray color had been washed away. Instead, the sky seemed to blaze with bright colors, the clouds themselves painted orange, red, pink, and violet.

“It’s beautiful.” He watched the clouds pass by slowly, drifting over the landscape that he had just admired. Inwardly, he couldn’t help but wonder where they would go.

Finally, Jing He tore his gaze away and turned to Qiu Ling instead. “In the dragon realm …” He wasn’t sure how to continue asking and lowered his head.

Qiu Ling lightly pressed his hand. “What about the dragon realm?” He didn’t know what his beloved wanted to know but he would love to answer either way. He just … wanted to do whatever he could to make Jing He happy. And naturally, he would be especially happy being able to talk about the place he came from. After all, this was likely to bring them closer together.

Jing He pressed his lips together but finally plucked up his courage. “I just can’t help but wonder … Never having left the capital city, how is it outside? Not just in the other eight heavens but also in the dragon realm. Does it look the same? Is it … just as beautiful? Or is it different from here?”

Qiu Ling looked at Jing He wordlessly for a moment and then leaned a little closer. “Between the gods and the dragons, how different do you think we are?”

Jing He was taken aback, his eyes widening. Had he said the wrong thing? He reconsidered his words but seeing as he had admitted to not knowing anything about the world outside, he felt that Qiu Ling shouldn’t mind. Finally, he simply thought about the question he had asked. “There … seem to be quite a few differences.”

Qiu Ling gave a hum and pulled back. He bent one leg and rested his arm on top, motioning into the distance. “In that case, I should likely say that the dragon realm is just the same. For the most part, there is no difference but then, there still is some. As for putting it into words … I guess I might need to describe it to you in detail.”

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