Qiu Ling’s mood worsened. He looked at Qiang Wei pitifully and pursed his lips. Jing He … He wanted to see him so badly. But thinking about seeing him made him remember why he had started drinking in the first place: His beloved had kissed another man.
Yes, in his drunken state, Shao Hai kissing Jing Yi had somehow turned into Jing He taking the initiative to kiss another man. Ah, how could this have happened?!
“Where’s the wine?”
Qiang Wei sighed. Hadn’t they already talked about this? “You smashed the flask.”
Qiu Ling frowned. “Did you only bring one flask? That can’t be, right? Where are the other ones?”
“That …” Qiang Wei froze. He had indeed only brought one. Lao Chun had been so sure their king would go down after one flask at the very latest. Who could have known he would drink half of it and then smash it accidentally? What was he going to offer his king now?
Qiu Ling’s frown deepened. “You really only brought one flask? Why did you come here in the first place? Go, get me something else!”
“Your Majesty, if I return to the dragon realm to —”
“Who’s talking about the dragon realm? Just find something in this capital of the mortals!”
Qiang Wei started to protest but Qiu Ling waved.
“Just go. Don’t you dare come back without enough wine!”
Qiang Wei closed his eyes and took a deep breath. There’s no use arguing with a drunk, there’s no use arguing with a drunk … He could only repeat that sentence ten times in his head to calm down. Then he opened his eyes and forced a smile. “Of course, Your Majesty. I’ll be on my way now. Please, stay in this room until I come back, so you can start drinking immediately.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling waved again.
Qiang Wei turned around and went to accomplish his new task.
As soon as the door closed behind him, Qiu Ling flopped onto the table once again. “Jing He … Why did you do this to me?” He closed his eyes and conjured up his beloved’s image again. Unfortunately, it was still that picture of him with another man. Qiu Ling frowned.
Meanwhile, Qiang Wei left the teahouse after warning Madam Zhong that Qiu Ling was in the blue room. Madam Zhong nodded. She couldn’t help him and had even contemplated if it would be wise to break ties with him. Though, she did feel bad about these thoughts. He had helped them a lot and now she wanted to shoo him because of one drunken episode? It didn’t seem right.
But at the moment, she was afraid for her son. What if he really fell in love with somebody else? How would the Daoist Master react? He wouldn’t do anything to Jing Yi, right? But even if he didn’t, she didn’t trust that he wouldn’t do something to the person her son loved. In the end, didn’t that mean that her son couldn’t fall in love with anyone but him? Else, he’d be doomed to a loveless life. She didn’t want that for him.
Lost in her thoughts, Madam Zhong didn’t notice that the girl who had waited at the counter went upstairs after hearing what Qiang Wei said. She just went back to work, shelving the worries about the Daoist Master for later. After all, she could only wait and see. Maybe her son would fall in love with that man in the future. Then all her worries would have been for naught.
Hong Bao went up to the upper floor and looked at the doors. “Which one’s the blue room?” Finally, she shrugged and did what Qiu Ling had done.
“Ah, I’m sorry, I didn’t know this room was occupied!” She closed the first door.
“Oh, I’m really sorry, I somehow went into the wrong room!” The second door was closed.
“Oh no, it seems I was invited to the room next door!” A third door was opened and closed shortly afterward.
The people inside couldn’t help but wonder: What was it with the people today? Why did they all go into the wrong room?
Finally, Hong Bao opened a door and saw a man sprawled on the table, his brows locked in a tight frown. Her face lit up and this time, she stepped inside before she closed the door. Her gaze lingered on Qiu Ling’s face, then she started fumbling around at her lapel.
Qiu Ling’s eyes cracked open at the unfamiliar steps only to find an equally unfamiliar woman in front of him. And she was … What was she doing? Trying to get undressed? It looked that way.
Qiu Ling sighed. That reminded him of the past. Before he had fallen in love with Jing He, there had been quite a few women who tried to win him over. After all, who wouldn’t want to be the queen of the dragon race? He hadn’t cared and just ignored them. At least until he found Jing He … How could he let his beloved see something like that?
As a countermeasure, he had told everyone who wanted to know and, in fact, even everyone who didn’t want to know how deeply he had fallen in love with the gods’ crown prince. Since the day that information had started circulating, the number of such attempts had completely stopped in the dragon realm. Only in the Nine Heavens were some goddesses still trying to entice him.
Well, he couldn’t blame them. Most people didn’t know much about the other races. Maybe not even the Heavenly Emperor knew that dragons could fall in love only once in their lifetime.
Yes, just how the gods had to undertake trials in the mortal world to counter the plentiful magic they possessed, the dragons were also limited because of the power they had been blessed with by Heaven: As long as they lived, they could only love one person. And if that love didn’t come to fruition or — even worse — was betrayed, the lovelorn dragon would most definitely not survive.
As someone who had already fallen in love, Qiu Ling fixed a disgusted look at the woman in front of him and his voice dropped to a deep growl. “Woman, you better stop now with what you’re doing. However drunk this king is, he still wouldn’t spare you even a glance. This one is solely reserved for the crown prince!”