When Jinde and the other two returned to the dragon realm, they rushed straight to the courtyard connecting their room to Qiu Ling’s. Xin Lan was standing next to the shell in the pond, his head lowered as if he was deep in thought.
Jinde landed next to him and tilted his head. “Did something happen?”
Xin Lan shook his head. “No, nothing new. Neither out here nor in there.”
Jinde nodded and patted his shoulder before walking inside. He naturally trusted Xin Lan’s words but, right now, he just had to make sure how Qiu Ling was doing himself. Most likely, most of his time would now be spent at Qiu Ling’s bedside until he finally woke up again. Ah, it really was something new every day.
Leng Jin Yu nodded at Xin Lan in thanks and then followed his husband inside. He knew they couldn’t do anything but he also wanted to be at Qiu Ling’s side if possible just so they’d have any new information immediately.
Meanwhile, Xiang Yu stopped next to Xin Lan and the shell. He hesitated about what to do but finally remained where he was and just looked at the silver-haired dragon.
Xin Lan raised his head, this time not saying anything either. He just stared at Xiang Yu, his mind somewhat blank. He … didn’t like this person. He was an unwelcome reminder of his Xiao Yu’s death and as a fallen god who had never come of age and wouldn’t in the future either, he was annoying anyway. He absolutely didn’t want to spend time with him but … he felt odd looking at him and he couldn’t even say exactly why that was.
Xiang Yu requited his gaze, blinking a pair of limpid eyes in a daze. It seemed … they had seldom gotten along like this outside of his trial. Even though nobody had said anything yet, it was nice just being quiet. He was afraid of how this would end though.
Before Xin Lan could ruin the moment, Xiang Yu just crouched down and poked the shell as he usually did. “I hope you’re alright in there. I … I’ll have to leave for a while but I’ll come back to see you soon.”
Xin Lan quietly watched the spectacle.
“Well, there is just something else I need to do first.” Xiang Yu sighed and got back to his feet, turning to face Xin Lan. “You’re going to stay here, right? I mean, so you can keep an eye on him.”
Xin Lan gave a hum. He didn’t want to explain more but at least this short response seemed appropriate. He … he had a rather high tolerance for annoyances if the other side was a beauty. Apparently, that still counted even if the other person was Xiang Yu. That was a little surprising.
Xiang Yu nodded and kept quiet for another moment. He wasn’t really sure what to say. He didn’t want to argue again but between the two of them, it seemed as if everything ended in arguments sooner or later. Well, it was probably best to end this fast.
He lowered his head and hummed. “I’m going to the High Heavens. I haven’t seen Tian in a while and I have some questions.” He looked up at Xin Lan again, wondering what he thought. Unfortunately, at this time, Xin Lan’s expression had cooled. Clearly, he didn’t like this topic.
Xiang Yu hastily got out the rest. “Well, Jing He was taken away and we don’t know who did it. I suppose if anyone can tell, it would only be Tian so I have to go there. It’s just not right to keep lovers apart.”
Xin Lan refrained from saying anything. In his mind, he was silently cursing Tian though. He wasn’t even sure yet what that asshole had done to him. Surely, there had to be something. He would never just let him off lightly, not when he asked for something. That guy wasn’t so charitable.
Xiang Yu wasn’t sure what to make of his silence but figured that since they were alone and already on the topic, he should say the rest as well. “Also … I tried looking for Jin Ling’s soul to tell Jinde how it is doing since, well, he seems really sad about him. There is something odd about it though that I can’t explain myself so I didn’t say anything yet. I want to ask Tian about that as well.”
This time, Xin Lan finally showed some reaction. “Something odd about Jin Ling’s soul? Like what?” He didn’t care about that demon spawn himself but Jinde would be worried if he knew so this couldn’t just be ignored.
“Well …” Xiang Yu tilted his head, not quite sure how to say it. “You know how usually, the souls go to rest for a while after their death, right? Then the memories of their past life will be digested and only when that is done will the soul be reincarnated, right?”
“Well, Jin Ling’s soul … it’s like it’s a completely new soul that is going to have its first incarnation soon. I don’t know why but I felt terrified when I realized. Something must have gone wrong, right?”
Xin Lan stared at him in a daze before finally repeating his words. “Like a new soul?” This was indeed odd. And yes, Jinde would likely feel a certain way if he found out. “You didn’t tell Jinde anything about this?”
Xiang Yu shook his head. “No, he doesn’t even know that I checked.”
“Alright. Well, keep it that way until you have all the answers. He has already suffered a lot recently. He doesn’t need some half-baked insights right now.”
Xiang Yu felt a bit put off when Xin Lan said it like this but he didn’t want to argue so he only nodded. “Then … then I’ll leave now?”
“Sure.” Xin Lan didn’t say anything else and just waited for him to leave.
Xiang Yu held back a sigh, opened a portal, and then stepped into the High Heavens. Anyway, he shouldn’t expect anything else from Xin Lan. That dragon had never liked him all that much anyway.