OMF V1C88 He Mistook Her

The woman looked around, but there were no unoccupied tables. Finally, she just leaned against the counter and observed from there.
Qiang Wei had gone back to Qiu Ling’s table and eyed his king warily. Qiu Ling still stood there, prepared to attack once more if Qiang Wei tried to touch him again.
“It was my fault.” Qiang Wei relented and lifted his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Why don’t we sit down again and continue drinking?”
Qiu Ling didn’t move. The thing Qiang Wei had originally anxiously waited for had happened: He had started getting drunk. An alcohol-induced blush had crept up his cheeks and his eyes were misty and unable to completely focus on Qiang Wei.
Qiang Wei took the cup from the table and offered it to his king. Qiu Ling only stared. Where had the flask of wine gone?
“May I?” Qiang Wei extended his hand. He wanted to take the flask that Qiu Ling was, in fact, still holding in his left hand, but his king’s eyes narrowed at the movement.
Damn. This was leading nowhere. He really hated when their king started drinking! He was so hard to please in that condition. Even harder than normal.
Madam Zhong couldn’t take the sight anymore. She stepped forward and grabbed Qiu Ling’s arm. She was a little afraid he would kick her just like his guest, but nothing of the like happened. Instead, Qiu Ling turned around to her. He furrowed his brow but not in the grim expression she had seen so often on this face. He just started to look pitiful. Even his eyes were getting mistier.
“Mother-in-law …”, Qiu Ling called out pitifully and hugged her.
Murmurs erupted around them. Madam Zhong looked like she was approaching her mid-thirties and Qiu Ling seemed to be around the end of his twenties in this appearance. It wasn’t strange for a man to marry a younger woman, but this seemed to be overdoing it a little? In particular, since that guy seemed to be a drunkard. What had the parents thought, marrying their daughter off to somebody like that?
The woman waiting at the counter frowned, too. “Using your status to bully those weaker than you and even hugging somebody else’s wife in broad daylight! So shameless!”
“Mommy …” Hugging Madam Zhong had finally gotten Qiu Ling Jing Yi’s attention. Unfortunately, he was already too drunk to notice.
“Mother-in-law, it’s all your fault!”, he complained, resting his head on her shoulder. “You said, I shouldn’t interfere and now look! He kissed somebody else. He’s going to forget about me.”
Madam Zhong sighed. He was never in love with you in the first place, though? He hasn’t even seen your true appearance! What are you expecting? But of course, she didn’t utter any of these thoughts. Instead, she patted his back. “Yes, yes. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have done that. Now, how about we get you upstairs into one of the rooms?”
“No!” Qiu Ling gripped her tighter and tried to see the counter. His gaze met with the woman standing there for a moment, but then he just searched further. Where is he?
“Why that? It’s a little quieter there. You’ll feel better.”
Qiu Ling kept mum and pursed his lips, his gaze still roaming about. “I want to see him.”
Madam Zhong sighed again. She wouldn’t really mind if he was sober, but considering how drunk he was … Who knew what he would do? She couldn’t let him have his way.
“What are you even saying? You’re drunk. Would you really want him to see you like that?”
Qiu Ling tensed up, his grip tightening a bit further. Madam Zhong winced. His grip was starting to hurt.
She patted his back. “There, there. Let’s go upstairs. You can sober up a bit first, then I’ll bring him upstairs to see you, alright?”
Qiu Ling was torn between nodding his head and protesting. He wanted to see Jing He. He wanted to see him so badly. But his mother-in-law was right, too. He would regret if his beloved saw him like this. He always … always only wanted to show him his good side. The ugly things he hid from him … there was no need to know.
There was a tug at his robes. Qiu Ling looked down and found Jing Yi’s scrunched up face below.
Ah. There he is. There he …
Qiu Ling frowned. No, something wasn’t right. His Jing He … he wasn’t supposed to look like this. Qiu Ling closed his eyes. He could see him with his eyes closed.
Jing He was looking at him, his dark eyes as clear as always. He smiled, gently, with a touch of misery. But he still extended his hand, still let himself be swept up in his embrace. That slim body … Qiu Ling hugged it tighter and ran his hand over Jing He’s back. His fingers somehow slid into that black hair, curling up, tilting his head back. Qiu Ling leaned in, wanting to kiss him. If another man could do so, why couldn’t he?
Qiang Wei face-palmed. He grabbed his king’s shoulder with one hand and his forehead with the other to stop him from advancing. “Your Majesty, you’re about to kiss your mother-in-law in front of his Highness”, he whispered into his ear.
Qiu Ling’s eyes flew right open and looked into Madam Zhong’s startled ones. His senses sobered a little. The strands of hair he was touching right now were definitely not Jing He’s silky ones. And in which way was this tiny, thin frame similar to his beloved’s graceful figure?
Jing He might not have been very manly, but he was still at least a head taller than Madam Zhong and though he was slender he couldn’t be described as thin. Everything on his body was well-proportioned as if it had been sculpted by the heavens themselves. How could he have mistaken this body in front of him for Jing He’s perfectness?
“Your Majesty, let’s go to the upper floor after all, alright?” Qiang Wei tried to pull Qiu Ling back, but his king was still stubbornly clinging to his mother-in-law, though he seemed to have understood she wasn’t the crown prince. “Your Majesty, the people are already talking. Even if you don’t care for your reputation, take your mother-in-law’s into consideration, would you?”
Qiu Ling blinked and tried listening to those conversations. His head had started throbbing, though, so he didn’t manage to catch much. But what he heard was enough already:
“Unbelievable! Marrying the daughter and still making a move on the mother! The father must be regretting letting him marry his daughter!”
“Right, right! Getting so drunk in broad daylight, beating people up when they only mean well and being so indecent with your own mother-in-law. What a lowlife!”
“Such scum!”
“Why is that woman not even resisting? It couldn’t be that there’s something unspeakable going on between them, could it?!”
Oh heavens, what had he done? Qiu Ling dropped his arms at once. Unfortunately, his streak of bad luck didn’t end there.
A row of sharp teeth sank into his hand. The flask he had been holding fell to the ground and shattered, the heavy fragrance suffusing in the air. Just smelling it made the mortals in the room intoxicated.
Qiang Wei grimaced. Damn, this shouldn’t have happened. He motioned and a breeze rushed into the room, spun around the broken flask and rushed out once again, taking the heavy fragrance with it to the sky. This was just making it less threatening, though.
The wine had been brewed from ingredients solely found in the immortal realm. It was meant for dragons and gods. Especially dragons with their sturdy bodies. If even their king could get drunk from less than one flask that meant this wine was potentially deadly to mortals.
Jing Yi who had stood right next to Qiu Ling, swayed on the spot, his fair face getting red. Qiu Ling swept him up into his arms. Finally! Finally, he had an excuse for getting close to him.
“Ah, my love! I missed you so much!” He didn’t care one bit about the people around him. He just leaned in kissed him.
He got a bite and a punch in return. But at least, he was on even grounds with that damned merchant’s son again. More or less.
Qiu Ling smiled happily.

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