RSH Stratagem 46: Share Your Past and Future (2)

The two of them looked at each other quietly. The atmosphere was good and if it had been before, Qiu Ling definitely would have tried to take advantage. Right now, he was a bit apprehensive though. Maybe Jing He wouldn’t like it.

He hesitated for a moment and then just smiled faintly. “You know, I couldn’t help but notice that I have been talking about my past a lot. On the other hand, I know little about yours. Would you mind sharing some of it with me?”

Jing He’s lashes fluttered when Qiu Ling brought this up. He knew he shouldn’t think too much but being asked to share some stories of his past inevitably made his heartbeat speed up. It really was no wonder, was it? He had asked Qiu Ling about his past because he wanted to know more about the man he loved. So if Qiu Ling asked him the same … could he understand this as him telling him that he was requiting those feelings in full? It sure seemed that way.

The idea made him feel sweet and for a moment, he didn’t know what to say. Of course, he wanted to comply. After all, fulfilling Qiu Ling’s wishes as much as possible was what he had just decided on. This seemed like one that could be accomplished quite easily as well. It was just … “I am not sure what you would like to hear. I am afraid my life wasn’t very interesting.”

Qiu Ling gave a faint hum and lowered one hand, the other brushing through his hair as if it was nothing but a coincidence. “I don’t have many expectations. Just a few random memories you can recall will be enough for me. I simply want to …” He paused, leaning closer to Jing He. “I suppose I want to feel closer.

“Knowing each other at this point in our lives, I am already very happy. It is a pity that I missed out on much of what was before though. If I could, I would want to go back to share more of those memories of yours. Since I can’t do that, just being told about them seems good though.”

Jing He lowered his gaze, his cheeks flushing. The dragon king really knew how to flatter him. Yes, if they had met earlier … He tried to imagine it but finally couldn’t help but pause.

When he met Qiu Ling, it hadn’t even been a decade since he came of age. Meeting sometime between that day and his father’s birthday banquet still would have been alright but any earlier than that might have caused more problems instead of leading to sweet memories.

Jing He peeked at Qiu Ling’s expression. He had sometimes worried about his age compared to Qiu Ling’s. It wasn’t that he minded the dragon king being older. No, to him, this was extremely attractive. An older, mature man … what was not to like about that? But he had feared before that Qiu Ling would not be as appreciative of him being so young in comparison.

Of course, when he brought up his age, Qiu Ling had reassured him that he didn’t mind it and even liked it but … he wasn’t sure how much to trust those words. Maybe it was just flattery or maybe he had originally thought so but would tire of his immaturity later on. It was hard to say.

Jing He kept quiet for a moment and finally decided to be daring for once. He looked back up, his gaze brushing over Qiu Ling’s stunning features. “Seven years before we met … it was my coming of age ceremony.”

Qiu Ling gave a hum. “I missed that one. If I hadn’t, we indeed might have met earlier.” He clicked his tongue, still vexed at himself for not taking much interest in these matters before. He had thought it would be just another boring event in the Nine Heavens where he had to see the ugly face of the Heavenly Emperor so he had sent Xiang Yong and An Bai instead.

He hummed again while thinking back to that time and then raised his brows at Jing He. “What is it like? The coming of age ceremony of the gods, I mean.” He himself had never had one in the dragon realm since his parents had died before that day and he was living outside in the wilderness at the time so there had been nobody to arrange anything. He vaguely remembered hearing about it though. The dragons’ version was … very physical. The gods would probably call that indecent. Surely, theirs should be a lot more sophisticated.

Jing He watched Qiu Ling’s expression. There seemed to be a strange glint in his eyes for just a moment and Jing He’s skin seemed to heat up in response. He hurriedly retracted his gaze and instead looked down at his hands, folding them in his lap. “The ceremony … I am not sure about others but since you wanted to know about some memories, I could tell you about my own.”

Qiu Ling nodded. “I would love to hear that, yes.”

Jing He gave a hum and quietly thought back, his fingers moving faintly as he recalled all the details from that day. “The ceremony was held in early spring. The sun was warm that day, the sky blue, and there was a light breeze. Just looking outside gave me the feeling that it was a beautiful day full of hope.”

Qiu Ling watched him intently. He wanted to just listen but couldn’t help but interrupt. “That day … was it an auspicious date chosen for the ceremony or the day you literally came of age?”

Jing He looked up, his cheeks flushing once again. “That was the literal day I came of age. It happened to be an auspicious day though.” Even if it hadn’t been, he knew his father would have insisted. For him, waiting with his ceremony would have been a lot more dangerous than having it on an inauspicious day.

Qiu Ling nodded faintly. Despite wooing him for six years, he actually didn’t know which day Jing He’s birthday fell on. That was a gap in his knowledge he should close soon.

Jing He couldn’t bear to look at Qiu Ling and simply continued to recount the matters of that day. “The robe I wore for the ceremony was simple. I believe this is the case for all those who come of age although there aren’t many specifications. Mine …” He faintly tilted his head, feeling as if he could still see it in front of him. “It was white with no embroidery and no accessories to embellish it. I must have looked quite plain.”

Qiu Ling made a doubtful sound. Jing He would look gorgeous even dressed in rags, not to mention a pristine white robe. What need was there for embellishments when his stature, his face, and his hair could enhance any piece of fabric just by existing?

He finally couldn’t help himself and reached out, his fingers curling around the thick, black strands.

Jing He’s eyes widened and he looked at Qiu Ling in surprise. Even though the dragon king had always been daring, this … it seemed to go a step farther than usual.

Qiu Ling froze as well when he realized what he had done. He stared at Jing He, then at his hand that was much too naturally buried in his hair, and finally cleared his throat before slowly pulling it out. “I believe the contrast between your hair and that white robe must have been nice to watch. I regret not having been there more and more.”

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