Zhong Gang watched his wife leave with Madam Zhong and stroked his beard. It was probably best to bring the subject of their children up as soon as possible. He scooted over to his cousin and leaned closer. "Ah Lei, truthfully, I like that son of yours. And my wife was taken with him after just one glance. Have you thought about his marriage yet?"
"Ah … No. Chun’er might have."
"Mn, mn. Yes. That’s something our wives should decide. But give it a thought! My Guanyu is really a good girl. She is pretty and well-behaved and the best of all: The two are already family! Wouldn’t we be even closer if they married?"
Mister Zhong scratched his head and pondered. "That’s true." He paused when he looked at his son though. "It’s just that Jing Yi is shy. I don’t know if he’ll be convinced easily."
"Ah, what convinced!" Zhong Gang slapped Mister Zhong’s shoulder once again, causing him to grit his teeth. "You’ll be living here from now on. They’ll see each other every day. With some time and a little nudge here and there, the two won’t be able to help but fall in love! Haha!" He laughed again. "Ah, but let’s not talk about that now. I’ll show you around. I let the servants prepare some rooms for you. I hope you’ll like them!"
"Don’t put yourself out on our account! We don’t need anything big. It’s not like we had much in the village anyway."
"Ah, you’re family! How could I give you just any room? Come, come, let’s go take a look." The two men left the room, forgetting Jing Yi but the boy had slipped out anyway.
He already sat under a tree in the garden, clutching the white jade bracelet Qiu Ling had given him. "Grandfather!"
Qiu Ling appeared next to him, a smile hanging on his lips. That’s right! Ask me for advice, my love! I’ll make sure that damn girl can’t harass you!
"What happened, little boy? You seem distressed."
"Grandfather!" Jing Yi leaped to his feet and hugged Qiu Ling’s leg.
"There, there. What happened?" Qiu Ling patted his head and moved on to stroking his hair. Mn, how nice. Although it wasn’t as beautiful as Jing He’s hair.
He just couldn’t help to compare even though he knew that this comparison was a little mean. Jing He was the crown prince of the Nine Heavens. He had grown up sheltered, with everything he needed or could possibly want for. Jing Yi had likewise enjoyed his family’s love but the Zhongs couldn’t provide him with the same amenities Jing He had enjoyed. With this difference in their living conditions, of course, Jing He’s immortal body would be in better shape.
Ah, just remembering that satiny hair, that soft skin, those supple lips … Qiu Ling inadvertently closed his eyes, his mind traveling back to the Nine Heavens. How often had he run his fingers through those silky strands, twirling them around his fingers while hugging Jing He to his body? There had been that one time when Jing He —
"Grandfather?" Jing Yi gripped the hand on his head and pulled Qiu Ling out of his thoughts.
"Uh … What did you say?" Qiu Ling took back his hand and coughed. Ah, what was it with those random flashbacks? He was really missing him too much … My love, come back to me soon!
"I said I’m scared!"
"Scared?" Qiu Ling went into a daze before he grew furious. "Who dares to scare my —" He coughed and had to pat his chest to calm down. Damn. He had almost blurted out his real thoughts. This had to stop, seriously. Or else, he’d be the one to scare the boy. "What I wanted to say: Who would dare to scare the people I care about? Just tell me who did it. I’ll go and beat them up for you!" Mn. The fist spoke louder than words.
"It’s my uncle!"
"Your uncle?" Qiu Ling blinked. Had his uncle done something? Furthermore, could he beat his beloved’s uncle up?
"He wants me to meet a girl!"
Jing Yi scrunched up his face. His grandfather wasn’t paying enough attention. What was wrong with him today? What should he do if his grandfather didn’t help him? Wouldn’t that girl get him muddy then?
Qiu Ling put a hand to his forehead. Right, there was something like that … His memories of Jing He had sidetracked him so much that he totally forgot about the problem at hand! But with Jing Yi’s reminder, he got back on track.
"How dare he!" He clenched his fists. No, this couldn’t be allowed!
Jing Yi’s face lit up at his grandfather’s fierce attitude. He would definitely help him!
Qiu Ling squatted down and grabbed Jing Yi’s shoulders. "Don’t you worry! I’ll think of something to keep you safe!"
"Mn! Thank you, grandfather!"
"For now, just make sure you don’t interact too much with her. I’ll see to everything else."
He smiled and pulled Jing Yi in for a hug. A sinister smile graced his lips. They wanted to steal his love and make him marry someone else? Over his dead body! He’d make that mother and daughter pair pay a painful price if they didn’t understand it the easy way.
He stroked Jing Yi’s hair again before finally letting go and giving a wry smile. "I should go now. But don’t worry. If they don’t understand when you evade them, I’ll be there immediately! Until then, I’ll think of a plan, alright?"
"Mn." Jing Yi put his arms around Qiu Ling’s neck and hugged him back. "You’re the best, grandfather!"
I know, I know, my love! He was so thrilled hearing that from Jing He! He couldn’t help but bury his fingers in his hair once again. Ah, this might just turn into an addiction …
Meanwhile, the boy made a thoughtful face and finally added: "After mommy."