“They don’t know?” Jing He looked at Qiu Ling in surprise. This kind of thing, he had never thought about it. There had never been a reason either. But considering what Qiu Ling had asked him before, it made sense now that he said it.
A trueborn god would know what they were because they had the magic, the body, and the soul to match. The same was true for a full-blooded dragon or demon. But what about the half-bloods indeed?
Yes, if you lived among the gods but lacked some magic, that should be an indication. But there could also be different explanations like a deformity of some sort. It wasn’t impossible. In the same vein, a dragon with additional magical abilities might just think they had gotten lucky and somehow mutated in a good way. Unless there was the dark magic of the demons involved, how would they know one of their parents wasn’t what they pretended to be?
Jing He didn’t know how to feel. He had said before that he thought the people falling in love with a demon were pitiful. He hadn’t thought that there might still be such a layer to it. But then, it made sense. Somebody who fell in love and reached a certain age might want a child. As long as they didn’t know that the other side was actually a demon, there was nothing speaking against it.
The longer he thought about it, the more he felt that these people had truly suffered. “That’s horrible. Not just their spouse, even their child …”
Qiu Ling faintly tilted his head, trying to gauge from Jing He’s expression what he meant. Even their child …? Why did this sound so ominous?
Jing He noticed his questioning gaze and wasn’t sure what else to say. “I mean, one day, they’ll find out that the person they loved was somebody else entirely, and then, even their child’s identity will be questionable, won’t it?”
“Questionable?” Qiu Ling felt his heart drop. This … did not sound good.
Jing He nodded. “Yes, if their child themselves doesn’t know about their status, how can they ever rest assured?
Qiu Ling’s lips parted but finally, he simply nodded. “You’re right. How could one … ever be sure in such a case?” Yes, wasn’t that what he himself had thought for so long? Since he had some demon blood, who could say that he didn’t fall on the wrong side of the equation?
He was able to use fire and earth magic without a problem. But he could also use wind and water just fine, so no conclusion could be drawn from that. And sure, he didn’t know how to use the dark magic of the demons but then, he had grown up outside of the demon realm and far from other demons who might have been willing to teach him. In such a case, wasn’t it normal not to know? That didn’t mean he didn’t actually possess it.
At that time, he had been able to take on his dragon form already which somewhat reassured him but since many demons had a different form as well … maybe what he possessed was just a general shape-shifting ability and since he had always seen others take on a dragon form, that was what his mind finally arrived at. It didn’t mean a thing.
In the end, that had only left Tian’s curse as the only way to say for sure whether he should be counted as a dragon or as a demon. And, to be honest, that had frightened him even more.
He didn’t have a close relationship with either of his parents and there were no other relatives. Could he feel such a thing as ‘familial love’? He actually didn’t know. And back then, he had been too young to realize that much of the fault for that had been lying with his parents instead of with him.
Then, there was his lack of friends or anyone else really. And it didn’t get better after his parents died. He hadn’t gotten close to anyone ever again until the day he met Jing He. How could he know for sure that he was able to feel love?
Looking at the person in front of him now, Qiu Ling felt a fleeting sense of that old panic welling up in him but he forced himself to focus on what he felt when he looked at Jing He: tranquility and belonging and some excitement about life that he otherwise lacked. If his beloved was happy, then so was he, and if he was sad, he’d feel a deep heartache, wanting nothing more than to cheer him up. And if Jing He wasn’t there … he only felt longing for him. These feelings, what were they if not love?
Also, it wasn’t even just Jing He. When he encountered Jinde again in the mortal realm, he had been so happy he could have cried. Toward this person, he had always felt torn. On the one hand, he was closer to him than his own parents. On the other hand, he had apparently been the reason his parents had been on such bad terms and also why they finally left the capital city where he had grown up.
Nowadays, he might sum that up in the word ‘love-hate-relationship’ because that was what it was: He wanted Jinde to be around but he also loathed him for what his identity had caused his life to turn into.
Of course, that was in the past. He was definitely too old to blame him for what had happened back then. The only one who was truly to blame was that mother of his and maybe his father who couldn’t distinguish right from wrong.
Anyway, the important part was that he definitely felt the familial love he had lacked for Jinde. He simply hadn’t been able to realize when he was still a child because everything else had been too much.
Both these people were proof that he was not a demon no matter what percentage of his blood might be from that part of the immortal races. It was just a pity … he doubted more and more whether Jing He would be able to accept that.