All gazes focused on Qiu Ling but he was too drunk to notice. He picked up his cup, only to find out that it was empty. When he looked for the bottle to refill it he still couldn’t find it. He frowned and his gaze turned to the other side of the table. With his brows furrowed, he snatched Qiang Wei’s cup and downed the content, smashing the cup after he was finished.
“I’ll skin that guy alive! How dare he touch my beloved?!”
“Your Ma—” Qiang Wei cursed silently. Damn, being around mortals was annoying. He couldn’t even speak normally! “Please calm yourself.”
“You want me to calm down?! I’m pretty calm not rushing over and killing him!” He leaped to his feet.
Qiang Wei panicked. Their king was volatile when drunk. Who knew if he wouldn’t try what he just said and indeed rush over and kill the mortal in this state? “Alright, alright. You’re very calm. Now sit down please and continue drinking.” Qiang Wei reached out to grab Qiu Ling and guide him to sit back down but his king got offended instead.
“Don’t you dare touch me! This one is solely reserved for the crown prince!”
The other guests couldn’t help but look over at the two people. Never mind that this was a teahouse where one normally wouldn’t expect a fight to break out but what had they just heard? This guy didn’t look too bad! Why wouldn’t he go and find himself a cute lover and instead take interest in the crown prince?
Naturally, the one they thought of wasn’t the crown prince of the Nine Heavens but the crown prince of the Long empire. Comparing these two people … there was no way to put it nicely. If Jing He was a gazelle, then the human crown prince was an elephant. If Jing He was a precious gem, polished until perfection, then the human crown prince was a rough stone covered in mud. If Jing He was a beautiful red rose, bewitching everyone with its fragrance, then the mortal crown prince was a durian hanging from a tree.
In short: There was no need to compare. Even thinking of it was futile.
Qiu Ling didn’t notice the strange looks he was getting and Qiang Wei didn’t dare to care. He still tried to reach out to get his king back to his seat but before his fingers could even grab the hem of Qiu Ling’s clothes, the dragon king lifted his foot and kicked him away.
Mn, his mother-in-law could be proud of him. Even though he was already tipsy, he had still kicked this annoying person out of the teahouse without damaging anything.
Qiang Wei’s figure described a less than graceful arc and he landed butt-first on the road. Damn this! Why hadn’t he asked Yi Zan to come down?!
Qiang Wei got up and dusted his clothes off, ignoring the people staring at him. “This isn’t anything personal,” he tried to convince himself. “His Majesty is just drunk. It’ll be alright again after he sobers up.” Muttering like that he straightened his sleeves and went back inside.
He didn’t notice that a girl in an orange dress had abruptly stopped some steps behind him, her eyes widening when she heard him mutter. Her thoughts churned and she followed him into the teahouse. What a coincidence! She had actually wanted to go to the imperial palace but now it turned out the crown prince wasn’t there at all and instead spent his time in this teahouse. Ah, thankfully, she had heard that just now!
Hong Bao looked around but none of the tables was unoccupied. Finally, she leaned against the counter and observed from there.
Qiang Wei had gone back to Qiu Ling’s table in the meantime and eyed his king warily. Qiu Ling still stood there, prepared to attack once more if Qiang Wei tried to touch him again.
“It was my fault.” Qiang Wei relented and lifted his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Why don’t we sit down again and continue drinking?”
Qiu Ling didn’t move. The thing Qiang Wei had anxiously waited for had finally happened: The dragon king had gotten drunk. An alcohol-induced blush had crept up his cheeks and his eyes were misty and unable to focus on his aide.
Qiang Wei waited to see if it was safe before he took the cup from the table and offered it to his king. Qiu Ling only stared. Where had the flask of wine gone?
“May I?” Qiang Wei extended his hand. He wanted to take the flask that Qiu Ling was, in fact, still holding in his left hand but his king’s eyes narrowed at the movement.
Damn. This was leading nowhere. He really hated when their king started drinking! He was so hard to please in that condition. Even harder than normal.
Madam Zhong couldn’t take the sight either. She stepped forward and grabbed Qiu Ling’s arm. She was a little afraid he would kick her just like his guest but nothing of the like happened. Instead, Qiu Ling turned around to her. He furrowed his brow but not in the grim expression she had seen so often on this face. He just started to look pitiful. Even his eyes were getting mistier.
“Mother-in-law …” Qiu Ling called out pitifully and hugged her.
Murmurs erupted around them. Madam Zhong looked like she was approaching her mid-thirties and Qiu Ling seemed to be around the end of his twenties in this appearance. It wasn’t strange for a man to marry a younger woman but wasn’t this overdoing it? In particular, since that guy seemed to be a drunkard. What had the parents thought, marrying their daughter off to somebody like that?
Hong Bao also frowned, her impression of the person she thought to be Jing He fell into a deep abyss. “Using your status to bully those weaker than you and even hugging somebody else’s wife in broad daylight! How shameless!”
The reincarnation of the person Hong Bao was cursing in her mind didn’t like what was happening either. He furrowed his brows and finally ran over to his mother, looking up at her anxiously.