Hong Bao who had just reached out to grab another bun looked up. “I was in the Nine Heavens? But didn’t the guy who was supposed to bring me up there never show up?”
Hong Ai and Shen An De also exchanged a glance. So Hong Bao had actually been in the Nine Heavens after all but forgot that time as well. At least that explained why she had only reappeared one thousand years later. “If that is true … then why can’t she remember?”
“Hmph. Obviously, because they don’t want some dumb servant girl running around telling everyone about the Nine Heavens. What if she told the demons?” Qiu Ling looked at Shen An De and narrowed his eyes. This guy was part demon. If she had still known, she certainly would have told him everything. That old man had made the right call having her memories erased.
“Servant?” Hong Ai frowned. She had been chosen to ascend to the Nine Heavens because she had confronted the demons despite being alone and her sister had taken her place. As long as they hadn’t noticed, she shouldn’t have become some servant girl. “Why was my sister made into a servant?”
“How would I know?” Qiu Ling took one of the cups on the table and poured himself some tea. He certainly hadn’t bothered to find out anything more about Hong Bao. After all, he had only found out about her the day it came to light that Jing He might have died. And then, his father-in-law had almost immediately made his ruling. There was no reason for him to bother about her any longer.
“Then what did she do that warranted her being thrown out of the Nine Heavens again? Something like that shouldn’t happen, right?”
“Naturally.” Qiu Ling sipped the tea, his expression darkening upon remembering.
“So, what happened?” Hong Ai grabbed Shen An De’s hand. She had already lived this long but when it concerned her little sister she still felt like she would easily lose composure.
“Well, the gist is: She fell in love with some god who did something wrong and because she wanted to help him she did something that was even worse.”
“So she wanted to help someone? Why would they throw her out of the Nine Heavens for that?”
Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes and put the cup down. “If not because her plan had gone awry and was actually of benefit in the end, she wouldn’t even be alive anymore. You can be certain that the Heavenly Emperor would have had her executed on the spot and definitely not in a simple manner.”
Hong Bao finally stopped eating and stared at Qiu Ling. She couldn’t believe that these things really could have happened. She wasn’t someone who would commit a crime, was she?
Hong Ai gulped. It couldn’t be … she had nearly sent her sister to her death? She went pale imagining that her sister might have died in the Nine Heavens without her ever knowing about it. Wouldn’t Hong Bao have resented her for making her ascend in her stead then?
Shen An De also frowned. His sister-in-law was a bubbly person who was hard to control. That much was true. He could also imagine that she might do something dumb out of love. But something grave enough to warrant her death? He couldn’t believe that. “What did she do?”
“She plotted to kill the Son of Heaven.”
“The emperor?!” Hong Bao’s eyes went wide. “Why would I do something like that?”
Qiu Ling’s brow twitched. “Of course not! I’m talking about the Nine Heavens here. Naturally, it’s the Heavenly Emperor’s son!”
“Why would she …”
“As I said: She did it for that Shun Tao. Who knows what she saw in that old guy?” Qiu Ling frowned. Shun Tao was actually not that old-looking even though he wasn’t that much younger than the incumbent Heavenly Emperor.
Then again he himself probably shouldn’t judge him. He had long been the dragon king when Shun Tao took the position of Fate’s Scribe. Well, Qiu Ling still felt that he was looking way better. Tch, these goddesses were all blind. Not that he wanted any of their attention. He was very happy with just Jing He at his side.
Mn, his Jing He …
Qiu Ling smiled, creeping the couple on the other side of the table out. Hadn’t they just talked about Hong Bao plotting to kill someone?
Ah! Shen An De suddenly felt like he had seen the light. “Let me make sure that I understood correctly: My sister-in-law fell in love and tried to kill the Son of Heaven because of that. But when we last saw each other you accused her of having tried to kill your lover. So what you want to say is …”
“She tried to kill Jing He. She would have deserved being executed for that. Well, good for you that you messed up royally and killed a mortal instead.” He glared at Hong Bao who had gone pale.
“I … I killed someone?”
“Yeah. You did. But you got the wrong person. Otherwise …” His father-in-law never would have let her go. Actually, knowing that old man’s temper it might not even have been enough to quell his fury if Hong Bao’s whole family had been extinguished together with her had his son really died.
Qiu Ling snorted. Ah, well, he couldn’t fault him in this case. He, too, would cry out for blood if somebody dared to hurt his beloved. And if he actually … Qiu Ling picked up the tea again and wished it was wine. Just imagining it hurt so much. “Luckily, he’s alright.”
Shen An De frowned. “We’re talking about only one person here, right? So your fiance … is the Son of Heaven?”
Qiu Ling blinked. “Who else?” Honestly, was there anybody else he’d even think about marrying?
Shen An De and Hong Ai exchanged another glance. “Then … who are you?”
“Longjun.” Qiu Ling gave the name he had agreed upon with Jing Yi without even thinking. Unfortunately, he had forgotten that the person in front of him was part demon.
Shen An De scrambled to his feet, his eyes wide, and stuttered to get the words out. “The dragon king?!”
Qiu Ling looked up. Oh, it seemed he had just given himself away. Well, whatever. It might be easier to explain everything else that way. “What’s the problem, ah? Never seen a dragon, demon?”