OMF V2C19 Mother-In-Law Still Knows Best

They had been walking in the gardens. The heavenly empress Bai Fen had only smiled when he complained to her about how his relationship with her son wasn’t moving forward. He had even thought that she might be amused by his heartache.
But finally, she had halted in her steps and turned around to him, her gaze profound. He had instantly stopped talking and perked up. That was definitely the moment where his wise mother-in-law would share one of her insightful thoughts with him!
“Longjun, since the day you have fallen in love with my son: What have you done?”
Qiu Ling blinked. “I did everything you told me!” And some more things but he didn’t want to confess that. If she knew, she might not like him anymore. Some of the ideas he and the other men from the dragon folk had come up with were probably not something he could tell his future mother-in-law.
The heavenly empress just continued to gaze at him. That was obviously not the answer she wanted.
Qiu Ling slightly frowned and pondered her question. What had he done since falling in love with Jing He? “I … tried to get his attention and make him fall in love with me as much as I’m in love with him?” There was still no reaction. “Mother-in-law, don’t be like this! I’ve done so much to chase your son! How would I know what you want to hear?”
Bai Fen smiled. “Indeed.”
Qiu Ling blinked. “Indeed? What do you mean?”
Bai Fen resumed her pace and, of course, Qiu Ling followed right after.
“What do you mean? Your son-in-law can’t understand your profound thoughts without help!”
“You’ve done a lot of things to win him over. Now, what has that son of mine done?”
“Uhm …” Qiu Ling thought of Jing He and a special glimmer appeared in his gaze. “Well …” He probably couldn’t utter his real thoughts here, right? He cautiously looked at Bai Fen but she didn’t seem to be bothered by this kind of gaze. “Ah, don’t fault me, mother-in-law. Actually, yesterday, he let me take his hands and —”
“That’s not what I’ve asked about, though.”
Qiu Ling shut up. “Huh?”
“I asked what he has done. In regards to this relationship between you, what has he done?”
“What do you mean?”
“You just said you’ve done a lot of things to chase him. So, what has my son done to reciprocate?”
Qiu Ling was stumped for words. That question was unexpected. And even worse, there was nothing he could say. Because honestly, Jing He hadn’t done anything. Well, he had let his guard down around him bit by bit and he was obviously feeling much more comfortable around him but he had never done anything of his own accord. In fact, at that point in time, there was still a thin wall separating them.
Take holding his hands: It was something Qiu Ling would bring up like this in front of Bai Fen because he felt it was a big step in their relationship even though he had already chased Jing He for quite a few years. Until then, occasions like these had been rare. They could spend their whole day together, wandering in the gardens outside or staying in Jing He’s palace and talking but that was it. Jing He still shied away when Qiu Ling tried to do anything more.
He didn’t mind any seemingly accidental touches but as soon as it went beyond that he would evade. Holding his hands? That was out of the question. Kissing him? Dream on! He couldn’t even think of that.
If he was honest, Qiu Ling did mind that. It had sometimes made him question if he would ever be able to enter a true relationship with Jing He. At that time, it really hadn’t seemed like it. Hadn’t he been so much in love with him that he didn’t mind waiting some years it would have been completely impossible.
Now, faced with Bai Fen’s question, the uncertainty in Qiu Ling’s heart had reemerged. Could it be that Jing He didn’t reciprocate his feelings? Was that why he couldn’t name even one instance where Jing He had been the one to take the initiative?
Bai Fen smiled when she saw that he had understood. “You’re making it too easy on him.”
“That boy, he has grown up alone and, honestly, too pampered. He is our only child so we wrapped him in cotton wool. Especially his father. Jing He … He probably didn’t know how to handle you at the beginning. Your approach was quite forceful, after all. Someone like him who was always handled with special care … He just wouldn’t know how to react. But you did manage to wear his defenses down.”
“I did.” Qiu Ling smiled. He felt proud of that!
“Then, do you feel that he loves you?”
Qiu Ling pondered. Disregarding the fact that they hadn’t had much physical contact … “I do.”
Bai Fen smiled sweetly. “But you still haven’t kissed him, have you?”
Qiu Ling looked away, dismayed. Somehow, that grin on his mother-in-law’s face looked gleeful. Shouldn’t she want her son-in-law to make better progress? “So, what do you want to say?”
“Jing He is taking you for granted.”
Qiu Ling lifted his brows and turned back toward her.
“Since the day you met you’ve run over nearly every day. And if it wasn’t every day, then it was every other day. And you’ve shown a lot of patience when it comes to him. He probably feels like … You would give him a hundred more years regardless of how he behaves.”
“I would.”
“And that’s the problem.”
Qiu Ling frowned. “Mother-in-law, I really can’t understand you today. How is that a problem? Shouldn’t you be glad that your son found such an understanding partner?”
“I am. But the worrisome thing here is my own son. He’ll take advantage of your attitude. As long as he doesn’t have to decide he won’t. He’s feeling … too secure. He likes it the way it is now. He likes your care and the time he spends with you but he also likes the life he had before. There weren’t many people in his life. Actually, disregarding Rong Su and me, there is only his uncle. Everyone else would merely count as an acquaintance. He certainly wouldn’t want to risk one of these relationships.”
“You mean his father.”
“Mn.” Bai Fen nodded. “Rong Su doesn’t like you and he has made that quite clear to Jing He. That boy is afraid of how it might affect his relationship with his father if he accepts you as his partner.”
Qiu Ling’s heart sank. “But that won’t change. His father won’t just start to like me suddenly. He doesn’t even give me a chance.”
“Indeed. But that isn’t the issue at hand anyway. My husband will come to terms with it someday. The important thing now is to make clear to Jing He that he can’t stall you forever. He has to decide. Either you are important enough to him to risk having a fallout with his father … or you aren’t but then he can’t have you around.”
Qiu Ling gulped. He couldn’t help but fear that Jing He might choose the latter. “Then what if —”
Bai Fen shook her head. “You just said that you feel like he loves you. I think so, too. He is just too comfortable with the status quo. You have to do something to show him the consequences of his behavior. Let him see where it could get him.”
Qiu Ling looked at the ground. He didn’t want to hurt his beloved. And this would definitely hurt him. But he also knew that his mother-in-law was right. Jing He wouldn’t change his attitude if he didn’t do something.
“So, what do you propose?”
“Let him feel what it is like to not have you around. And then see how he reacts.”
“You mean, I shouldn’t come over for a while?” Qiu Ling looked at her pitifully. Not coming over would hurt him just as much as it would hurt his beloved!
Bai Fen cruelly nodded. “You either stay away for a while now or stay away forever later. If you choose the second option you might get an invitation to Jing He’s wedding someday. Just that the other name on it will not be yours.”
Qiu Ling clutched his chest. His mother-in-law was just too vicious! “How long?”
“At least a week. Seeing how stubborn my son is, a month might even be better. Let him get anxious about it. We’ll see. Maybe he’ll even run over to the dragon realm.” She smiled.
This woman … Seeing her like this, Qiu Ling shuddered. Thankfully, she liked him! Otherwise, he never would have had a chance at getting Jing He.

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