Next to him, Jinde sighed. “It’s not impossible but I was under the impression that that had been dealt with by Qiu Ling. No matter what though, since feelings are evidently important to him and he was kept from being able to follow his, that could have had an impact. Whether that impact would be strong enough to cause a fall or not, I believe the gods are able to judge that better than us.”
Bai Fen nodded faintly, not saying whether she believed it was or not. Right now, she simply wanted to hold onto some hope. Maybe there was another explanation. Maybe it wasn’t too late for her child yet. As his mother, she simply did not dare to imagine such a future where Jing He wasn’t around any longer.
While Bai Fen did not dare to think too much, Xiang Yu couldn’t help but think of his own experience: At that time, he had also fallen because of his feelings for Yan Xia. When the deep love he felt was disappointed in the most cruel of ways, he hadn’t been able to take it. His soul shattered and he awakened as a fallen god.
Comparing that to Jing He … it didn’t seem that similar?
Xiang Yu pursed his lips. Jing He had a dedicated lover who cherished him deeply and was willing to face any challenges together. Why would his soul suffer from that? You couldn’t actually ruin your soul by being loved too much.
Coming to this conclusion, Xiang Yu felt that this was something positive to share so he piped up again. “Actually, I don’t think that’s it. Back when I —”
Jinde and Leng Jin Yu gave him an alarmed look. They didn’t know what he wanted to say but they knew full well that they needed to be ready for anything with this little fallen god.
Xiang Yu who had indeed wanted to say ‘back when I fell’ hurriedly changed his words. “When I had my first trial, I heard that there are different types of them. And in the same way, there are different types of fallen gods. Even though emotions play a big part, it’s not always a love trial just because love is involved.
“When it comes to Jing He, I don’t think it should have been that.” Still, it seemed a bit likely that he was a fallen god now. He really wouldn’t know which fallen god would spirit him away otherwise. It’s not like he did that, right? And he should have been the only fallen god keeping an eye on Jing He.
Bai Fen wasn’t sure what to make of this and glanced at her brother. Anyway, whether you called it a love trial or not, it seemed to make no difference.
Qiang Yan slowly nodded though. “He should know that Qiu Ling would stand with him no matter what. The issue is his father instead. He always felt like he should listen to him but if he does, he can’t be with Qiu Ling who he loves deeply. It’s … a trial of decision more than it is a trial of love. You’re not wrong about that.” Still, just like his sister, he realized that it made little difference if Jing He had indeed fallen already.
He sighed and reached out to pat Xiang Yu’s head. “Thank you. You’ve really kept close watch on him to be able to realize all this. Or I guess it’s rather that the Heavenly family really let you see a joke. Things like this … they shouldn’t be squabbled over, should they?”
Xiang Yu shook his head. In his mind, if two people loved each other, it was best to bind them to each other in every way possible. He really couldn’t see what Jing He’s father was on about. Now, look where that led!
Jinde patted Xiang Yu’s shoulder. “Alright. I think we’ve made some progress. Now, let’s check the rest of the way just in case. Maybe we’ll find more.” Inwardly, he couldn’t help but want to ask Xiang Yu about a comparison between what had happened with Jing He and what had happened to himself all those years ago.
He knew it wasn’t the right time for that though. Maybe it would never be. After all, it would still require reminding Xiang Yu of what had happened and he didn’t want that. Xiang Yu was pitiful enough and having to relive whatever had caused his current identity to be like that would only add to his pain. It didn’t seem right to force that on him.
The group finally covered the rest of the way from the Temple of Medicine to Jing He’s palace. Here, there really wasn’t much information to add. The weather had been bad but not the worst yet and Xiang Yu hadn’t paid that much attention to it. There hadn’t been many people around either. In fact, nobody directly crossed paths with Jing He until he reached the gates of his palace and walked inside.
Knowing that he hadn’t even greeted his own guards whom he could be described to be slightly closer to made their previous conjectures all the more likely: Yes, no matter how they looked at it, it seemed as if Jing He had indeed fallen. The signs in the sky accompanied him from his father’s palace to his own, finally going into full swing as he rushed out into the garden but was then taken away.
Standing amidst the remains of said garden, Bai Fen could only sigh. She had no words to describe her feelings at this point. She wasn’t even sure if she knew what she felt. The child she had raised despite the danger of the curse and despite the grief of losing his older sibling, he was gone now, likely never to be seen again.
And even though being a fallen god still meant that he would live on somewhere, with the curse on his father’s family, that would only be true until there was a sibling. And even though she wanted no part in that, she knew that such a day would arrive no matter what. And then her Jing He would truly cease to exist in this world.