Jing Yi had gotten himself trapped but the situation in the capital wasn’t looking any better. Even though several weeks had passed, Qiu Ling still hadn’t woken up. In fact, nothing had changed about his condition. He was completely unresponsive no matter what An Bai did.
Xiang Yong worriedly paced up and down behind him, his brows locked in a tight frown. Normally, he wouldn’t lose his cool but this was their king and they had never before been in such a situation. How often had their king recklessly charged into the battlefield when the demons attacked, fighting them without any regard for his own life and well-being? Nothing had ever happened.
But now, he was actually in this condition and there was nothing they could do. It seemed that the only way to make him regain consciousness would indeed be to bet on the crown prince’s influence. It was just …
He stopped in his tracks and looked at An Bai who was reading through some book, trying to find a way to help their king. Asking the Son of Heaven — whether it was the real one from the Nine Heavens or his mortal reincarnation — also had its downsides. He understood that very well.
“What are the chances of him waking up soon?”
An Bai closed the book and looked up. “Not very high. I guess it is a blessing in disguise that he is currently in the mortal realm. Even if a year goes by here, it won’t impact our realm too much. I’m just afraid that somebody will find out.”
“Who could? Other than us and Qiang Wei, there is only that ascended deity you told me about and the Fate’s Scribe, right?” He furrowed his brows. “I guess the Fate’s Scribe would tell the Heavenly Emperor after what happened before.”
“Yes, especially since he would need his permission to stop His Highness’ trial. And with him, the Heavenly Empress and maybe even the God of War will know. And we don’t know how many servants might overhear.”
Xiang Yong nodded and turned to glance at their king. If only he could wake up on his own … Who knew what kind of troubles he was facing in his inner self though? Most likely, it wasn’t pretty.
Since even the dragons were worried that knew their king and his strength quite well, it needn’t be said how Madam Zhong worried for him. That Daoist Yu had been tight-lipped since bringing him here, only explaining the basics to her. Now, she still only knew the same: Her son-in-law had gotten into an accident and her son was still on the road to come and see him here. She really didn’t know how things had come to this after such a short amount of time. Hadn’t it only been a few weeks since she had seen them last?
Unfortunately, there was nothing she could do but worry. With Qiu Ling and Jing Yi always on her mind, Madam Zhong was running the teahouse with only half of her mind at work. If somebody asked, she told them that her son-in-law had fallen ill and that she was gravely worried.
None of the guests made trouble for her. All of them could imagine why she was this anxious. After all, a lot depended on a son-in-law. Especially for a widow like Madam Zhong.
As soon as the last guest left the teahouse, Madam Zhong hastened back home. She went to check up on Qiu Ling, even though she knew that it wouldn’t change anything at all. Still, it could put her mind at ease somewhat to at least see that he was still lying there and looking just as usual and even though it might be dumb she hoped that her presence would somehow register. She just wanted him to know that even though her son wasn’t at his side right now, there were still people who cared about him. Well, not that that might be necessary.
She glanced at the two men standing to the side. One of them was the person the man from back then had brought over while the other had come later on after that other man said his goodbyes. She didn’t know their names or who they were to Qiu Ling but she could feel that these people were also worried about him. That did make her feel better.
Feeling somewhat reassured, Madam Zhong sat next to Qiu Ling’s bed and peered at his face, looking for any signs of him waking up. She couldn’t find any though. It was as if Qiu Ling had been turned into a jade statue and would continue to be like that for all eternity.
Madam Zhong wrung her hands and finally turned to the two men at the side. “I’m sorry but … You wouldn’t know if he will wake up again soon, would you?”
Xiang Yong turned to glance at An Bai. He was the one who had been treating their king and while he himself also knew the answer to that question, he felt that An Bai might be better suited to calm this woman down.
An Bai stepped forward and lowered his head. “I’m sorry. I know you are worried about him and I would love to give you good news but I’m afraid it won’t happen anytime soon.”
“I see.” Madam Zhong looked at his face again and then reached out, patting his hands. “Then, I shouldn’t disturb you any longer. Is there anything you need?” She had been delivering food to them every day but she hardly felt useful. If only there was something more she could do …
An Bai smiled faintly at her question. “Being able to see you care about him this much gladdens us. Just continue to do so and it’ll put our minds at ease. That is already worth a lot.”
Madam Zhong was stunned at first but then nodded fervently. It seemed she had been right: These people cared about Qiu Ling just as much as she and her son did.