It went without saying that the first one to break down was Qiu Ling. What could he do? He had seen Jing He almost daily for several years. Not being able to make sure that his beloved was well and didn’t lack anything for a lengthy period of time … It made him worry endlessly! He just couldn’t stand it. What if something happened to his beloved while he wasn’t there? Those Heavenly Guards couldn’t be trusted, those Heavenly Physicians weren’t good enough either! He should be there himself to make sure that his beloved was alright!
Thus, after seven consecutive days of neither seeing Jing He nor hearing any news about him, he couldn’t take it any longer and barged into the Nine Heavens, frantically rushing over to his beloved’s palace. He had to see him and maybe even hold his hands to reassure himself. It couldn’t be pushed off any longer!
Who could have known that his beloved wasn’t actually in his palace at that point in time? Qiu Ling had followed his mother-in-law’s advice as well as he could so he hadn’t even sent somebody over to check on Jing He. He didn’t know what had been happening in the Nine Heaven’s capital city at all. He had just rushed over to Jing He’s palace because that was where his beloved would normally be.
Unbeknownst to him, the last few days indeed hadn’t been going too well for his beloved. He only found out about that later though when the Heavenly Empress laughingly told him the whole story starting from the day after the two of them talked: Apparently, Jing He had expected him to come and thus waited for him the next day. When he didn’t appear as usual, he had felt a little strange but didn’t think about it too much. After all, Qiu Ling would miss a day here and there if things happened in the dragon realm. Normally, he would run over the very next day, apologizing wordily and giving him some kind of present to ‘make up for his unforgivable mistake’. Jing He had expected the same thing to happen again.
Unfortunately for him, everything was different this time. On the second day, the person he waited for still didn’t arrive. The strange feeling intensified and Jing He couldn’t help but worry. He managed to hold on for another day before he went to consult his mother who feigned ignorance in return. All of this had been her plan, how could she admit to that in front of her son? Thus Jing He had to leave dejectedly, worrying that Qiu Ling’s patience had finally worn thin and that he wasn’t loved anymore.
Jing He was depressed and it got worse over the next three days. He regretted. He deeply regretted that he had never confessed his feelings to Qiu Ling. If he could, he would have turned back time and accepted his proposal right on the day they met. But it was already too late. The chance at happiness had been wasted and he had lost the man he loved forever.
Meanwhile, his father was elated. Even though his son had looked to be slightly out of sorts for the last few days, it was worth it if that annoying pest of a possible future son-in-law had finally given up and wouldn’t bother his son any longer. He didn’t deserve his Jing He! After a while longer, his son would also understand that. And now with that bastard gone, his precious son also had more time for him again.
Unfortunately for him, a servant finally came running over, reporting that Qiu Ling had come to see Jing He. Needless to say, the Heavenly Emperor flew into another fit of rage. Why did this guy have to return?! It didn’t help at all that his son’s usual, gentle smile revived upon hearing this news.
Jing He, for once, ignored his father’s temper and rushed out of the palace, running over to where Qiu Ling was waiting for him. He didn’t hesitate, he didn’t even think about what the other gods would think if they saw him running like that. He just rushed forward with a single-track mind, only halting when he saw the man he loved. His chest that had felt stuffed for these days finally lightened. He breathed a sigh of relief and walked over, his steps slow again.
Bai Fen might not have told Qiu Ling but she knew: Her son was just as pretentious as the dragon king. All these insecurities he felt inside, he didn’t want to display them in front of the man he loved. And yes, he really loved him. He just … had been too afraid to express it. But now that he knew what might await him if he continued to hesitate, that fear was nothing.
Qiu Ling saw him and the look in his eyes that was somehow different from before. This time, he wasn’t cautious. He bet everything he had one this one moment. He grabbed Jing He by the shoulder, pulled him into his arms and slid his fingers into his hair. Then he kissed him.
Jing He stiffened but then he relaxed and let it be. He only started to struggle again when Qiu Ling became greedy and wanted to take it one step further.
Thinking of that day, Qiu Ling shook his head with a smile. This first kiss, the day they finally, officially became a couple … it had been quite a bit of time since then. He wanted nothing more than to take the next step and make Jing He his official consort. Even if it was only in the mortal world, it would drive him crazy with happiness.
He sighed, looking at that dark window on the second floor. One week. Maybe it would work here in the mortal world just like it had back then in the Nine Heavens. He really hoped so.
Unfortunately, Qiu Ling hadn’t considered that Jing Yi — in contrast to the Jing He of that time — didn’t know him at all. Jing He had been hesitating because of the way he grew up but he had loved Qiu Ling very much. Jing Yi, however, wasn’t sure how to react because he knew nothing about either marriage or Qiu Ling. If he knew what it was about, would he really agree? It wasn’t likely. Instead, it was quite probable that Qiu Ling had tried this ploy too soon.
Well, he might still have a chance if Xiao Dong’s answer the next day was able to convince Jing Yi. Thankfully, Xiao Dong was already worshiping Qiu Ling so he wouldn’t say anything bad about him. And since he was searching for an opportunity to prove his worth to his king, he would certainly try hard to help him get married to his beloved.