The Mei Xin festival was traditionally celebrated in the streets of the capital city, starting from the square in front of the Heavenly Emperor’s palace. The first of the three most-talked about couples of the immortal realms to arrive was Qiu Ling and Jing He.
It wasn’t that Qiu Ling wanted to come that early, quite the contrary in fact, but a certain someone had hurried to change his clothes and rushed back to Jing He’s palace with his wife, interrupting them right at the good part. Hmph.
Jing He glanced up and smiled at his husband’s miffed expression. “It’ll be a long day.”
“And we’ll get to spend every second of it together.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling perked up. That’s right! Even though his father-in-law had disturbed them just when they got to the good part, he had still been with Jing He all morning. And he could spend the rest of the day with him too. How great!
Jing He’s smile broadened when he saw Qiu Ling like that. His husband … seemed to have forgotten that they spent every day together anyway when they were in the dragon realm. Well, he wouldn’t remind him.
Qiu Ling very happily took his lover’s hand and pulled him to the side. “Since nobody else is here yet, we should use the time and —”
“Jing He!” The Heavenly Emperor hurried over and pushed the stupid dandy out of the way. “Why don’t you come over? You only saw your mother for such a short moment before. You should spend more time with her.”
Jing He nodded but turned to his husband. “Father is right. Qiu Ling, you also didn’t have much time to talk to mother. Why don’t we go over together?”
Qiu Ling who had just wilted like a flower straightened up and hurried back over, taking Jing He’s hand. “Sure! Let’s go see mother-in-law!” He pulled Jing He with him and smiled at Bai Fen. “Mother-in-law!”
Behind them, the Heavenly Emperor glared daggers at the back of Qiu Ling’s head. This guy! How could he just tag along? Ah, no, how could he pull his son over as if this was what he had had in mind?! He was definitely doing this on purpose!
Bai Fen ignored her husband and instead patted her son’s hand. “You should spend as much time with your husband today as you can. You’ll be able to make a lot of precious memories at the Mei Xin festival. You should make use of that.”
Qiu Ling smiled proudly. “Don’t worry, mother-in-law! I’ll take good care of Jing He and make sure he’ll have an unforgettable day!”
“Hmph. It’s good enough if my precious son doesn’t die while you ‘take care’ of him.”
Qiu Ling pursed his lips. His father-in-law was too much! As if he was that unreliable!
Jing He smiled and rubbed his husband’s arm with his thumb. “Father doesn’t have to worry. We’re in the capital. Who would dare to try and harm me under my father’s eyes?”
The Heavenly Emperor couldn’t help but puff out his chest proudly. Hah! Hear that? His son trusted him this much!
“Qiu Ling just needs to accompany me.”
The Heavenly Emperor froze. What? His son still wanted to —
Bai Fen patted her son’s hand and went over to his husband, pinching his waist. “What are you looking like that for? They’re already married! You also agreed they could. Stop being like this already!”
“Indeed, indeed!” Laughter sounded behind them.
Qiu Ling didn’t even need to turn around to figure out who had come to help him. His lips curled up and he used the chance now that the Heavenly Emperor’s attention was diverted to lean over and kiss his beloved. “I’ll definitely accompany you and make sure you have the best day of your life.”
Jing He nodded and turned to look at the newcomers, his lips curving into another smile. The ones that had arrived where Qiu Ling’s predecessor Jinde and his lover Leng Jin Yu. Mn, it seemed his husband wouldn’t need to worry anymore. With the previous dragon king around, his father wouldn’t dare to behave too outrageously. Slighting Qiu Ling was a small matter since he wouldn’t say anything for the sake of their relationship but this predecessor of his … He wouldn’t tolerate anything. And even if he did, there were others that wouldn’t accept it if he was treated badly.
The Heavenly Emperor gulped when this god of plague arrived. Great. Just great! It was hard enough to deal with one dragon king. Why did another need to show up? Well, at least this one was married and wasn’t trying to go after his precious son. “Longjun …”
“Ah!” Jinde raised a hand and smiled. “How could I accept that title? I have long retired from that position. Isn’t the one who should be called thus your son-in-law?”
The Heavenly Emperor’s lips twitched. Did this guy have to remind him? “Senior Jinde —”
“Ah!” Jinde waved. “You’re making me feel old. Jin Yu, why don’t you deal with this? I’ll go greet that bear child. Under the assumption that he can leave his hands off the Son of Heaven for a moment.”
“What?!” The Heavenly Emperor turned around to make sure his son was alright.
Jing He had already taken his hands back and nodded at Jinde. “Greetings.”
“Mn. Son-in-law …” Jinde went over and smiled at Jing He. “That bear child wouldn’t have troubled you too much, would he?”
“You needn’t worry. Qiu Ling is nothing but sweet to me.”
“Mn!” Qiu Ling nodded eagerly. “I helped him get dressed this —”
Jinde knocked on Qiu Ling’s forehead before he could say another word. “What are you saying in public? That kind of thing should better be kept to yourself and enjoyed privately.”
“Ah? But —”
Jinde rapped him on the forehead again. “Sh. Let me talk to your husband. Go speak to Jin Yu if you’re bored.”
“No.” Qiu Ling moved behind Jing He and wanted to grab him around the waist.
“What an excellent idea!” The Heavenly Emperor hurried over and gently pushed Jing He to Jinde. Even though he’d prefer it if his son spent his time with him, the previous dragon king was still preferable over the current one. “Take your time, Jing He. Sen— Uh … Talking to such a lofty person will certainly broaden your horizon.”
Jing He nodded and stood next to Jinde, watching his husband trot over to Leng Jin Yu.
Jinde chuckled. “This day will surely be interesting. I heard the gods will vote for the most beautiful person?”
“Mn, that is traditionally a part of the festival in the Nine Heavens.”
“Ah, I guess you must have been chosen in all the previous years.”
Jing He smiled. “I didn’t attend any of the festivals before I came of age. And after that …”
“Then I guess this will be even more interesting. Who do you think will win?”
Jing He glanced up at the man whose golden hair shimmered in the sunlight. “Your chances should be pretty good.”
“If this was the dragon realm, it would be hard to say. Here in the Nine Heavens …”
“I doubt the gods are that biased.”