Qiu Ling imagined how he hurried back to the Nine Heavens just in time to see his beloved open his eyes, how he pulled him into his arms and kissed him before finally taking him to the dragon realm so that they could get married. His gaze softened and he smiled. “Mn. That would be nice. Unfortunately …” He stretched and leaned back, propping himself up with his hands behind his back. “Unfortunately, it’s impossible.”
Hong Bao frowned. “It’s not!” What was this guy talking about? The Goddess of Love had told her that it was possible.
Qiu Ling shook his head. “Sure it is. Jing He told me that the trial will end when his mortal lifetime comes to an end. That means we’d need to kill him to end the trial. I can’t do that. Even though he’s in another body right now, that is still him. I wouldn’t do something like that. And you can’t do it either because I already know what you’re going to do and I wouldn’t allow you to kill him.”
Hong Bao shook her head. “How can you be so stubborn? Don’t you want him to go back to the Nine Heavens with you?”
“Of course. Ah, how nice would that be …” Mn, he could imagine it. How Jing He would gently wrap his —
This time, Hong Bao slapped his leg. “We don’t need to kill him. I met the Goddess of Love and she told me that it’s not necessary to kill him to end his trial.”
Qiu Ling raised his brows. He didn’t know anything about that but he should have heard something that important, right? Jing He certainly would have mentioned it. Qiu Ling pondered as well as he could in his drunken state but finally shook his head. “No. Even if there was a way, you can’t do it. Jing He was adamant about taking this trial. Even though I don’t like it and want him back in the Nine Heavens I won’t betray his trust.”
“Are you sure?” Hong Bao looked at him questioningly. “You know, if that was me and Shun Tao, I’d definitely do it. Wouldn’t he be happy being with me again? He probably already misses you.”
Qiu Ling’s gaze wavered. Mn, he was missing him too …
“I mean, he didn’t know any better before he started taking the trial. He could probably not even imagine how long he’d have to be without you.”
Ah, indeed! His Jing He, he probably couldn’t imagine something like this! And now, his soul was crying out for him, longing for his warm embrace and his sweet words.
“You really have to!” Hong Bao grabbed his sleeve once again. “If you don’t let me do it, then the Heavenly Emperor will kill Shun Tao tomorrow!”
“Oh? It’s that grave?” Qiu Ling looked at the door. Jing He was out there and with somebody else at that. Not with him. If he let this continue and Jing He woke up, he’d probably be devastated! Just imagine: He might kiss that other person or do even more intimate things with him when he grew up. Wouldn’t he feel guilty when his trial ended?
No, he couldn’t let this go on! He couldn’t risk that his beloved might feel bad. But Jing He trusted him and the trial had been important to him. Argh, he needed some good advice!
“Let me think about it for a while.”
“What is there to think about?! Shun Tao will die!”
“If it’s about that … just ask my mother-in-law for help.”
“Your mother-in-law?” Hong Bao blinked. “The woman serving tea on the lower floor? What could she do?”
Qiu Ling rolled his eyes at her. “No, the other one. You know the Heavenly Empress.”
Hong Bao pouted. “But she’s the wife of the Heavenly Emperor, isn’t she? And he’s the one who wants to kill Shun Tao.”
“Ah, but my mother-in-law is much nicer than my father-in-law. Just because he’s in a bad mood and wants to kill someone, she wouldn’t go along with it. You don’t know but it’s obviously her who’s showing him the ropes in their relationship. So asking her will be enough to solve your problem. There’s no need to bother Jing He’s mortal reincarnation.”
Hong Bao frowned. That sounded good but … “I can’t just go to the Heavenly Empress, can I?”
“Mn, that’s also true.” Qiu Ling pondered. Finally, he leaned forward and slammed his hand on the table. “I’ll go.”
“Mn. She’s my mother-in-law. Of course, I should go and talk to her. She’d certainly love to see me again.” And she could definitely give him some good advice in regard to Jing He’s trial. Ah, and if he was in the Nine Heavens already he might even go and see his beloved.
A slight smile played at his lips and he stood up. “Well, I’ll better go now. Don’t worry, little goddess, I’ll be back soon.”
“Oh, you don’t have to hurry. As long as you save Shun Tao, everything is alright. I’ll just wait here.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling smiled. Then he hid his presence and returned to the Nine Heavens, his heart beating wildly in anticipation. Ah, it had truly been too long since he had seen his beloved.