Qiang Yan nodded when Bai Mu answered his question without hesitation. It seemed his son knew who he was. Well, considering that he himself hadn’t known back when he did his trial, there was no way that Huan Yin could’ve told him. So it should be Qiu Ling who mentioned it. So this information should be something that Bai Mu had only acquired recently.
Qiang Yan didn’t mind too much. He himself had only found out about this child not too long ago. He couldn’t expect that Bai Mu knew more about him than he knew about his son. But the fact that Bai Mu had any idea at all would already be helpful in explaining things. Qiang Yan took another deep breath. “Then what do you know about the trueborn gods?”
Bai Mu furrowed his brows. “Trueborn gods?” He had heard of the gods but he hadn’t known that there was something called the trueborn gods. But … it should be the same, shouldn’t it? In that case … “My mother only told me that her mother was half-god and half-human and her father was a full-blooded demon. That is all I know.”
Qiang Yan nodded. “Right. Even being half-god, half-human won’t be enough to ascend to the Nine Heavens just like that so she shouldn’t have known much about them.” He looked down at his hands and his brows drew together. He had never thought much about the rules of the Nine Heavens. But right now, he couldn’t help but wonder if maybe they were unfair. “The Nine Heavens is a place where only the trueborn gods and those that have ascended live.
“Even being the offspring of a trueborn god won’t allow anyone who isn’t a trueborn god themselves to live there. They can only live wherever their other parent comes from and then hope that they’ll someday be able to ascend. That was the reason your grandmother couldn’t live in the Nine Heavens and also the reason why your mother couldn’t follow me when I ascended.”
Bai Mu furrowed his brows in response. “My mother never wanted to ascend just because part of her blood was that of a god. She worked hard for her ascension.”
Qiang Yan nodded once again. “She did. I know that she did. When I met her, she had already cultivated for a long time. There is no way to deny that she was talented and hard-working. The problem is –” He interrupted himself and looked at Bai Mu. He couldn’t really tell his son that he was the reason his mother hadn’t been able to ascend back then, could he?
Bai Mu stared at his father, wondering just why he had stopped talking. Was it something he felt he couldn’t tell him?
Qiang Yan sighed and leaned back. “What use is there in holding anything back now? I’m sorry for having to say this. The thing is … while your mother would have been able to ascend, there was still you.”
Bai Mu tilted his head to the side. Him? What did this have to do with him? Back then, he hadn’t even been born yet.
Qiang Yan could imagine what went through Bai Mu’s head. He gave a wry smile before he explained what he himself had only found out when he heard about Bai Mu the first time. “I didn’t know either. Back then, Huan Yin was pregnant with you. And even though you hadn’t been born yet, you also counted as a person that would need to ascend to go to the Nine Heavens.
“Back then … I don’t know if Huan Yin knew. Even if she knew that she was carrying a child, she certainly never would have expected that that would keep her from ascending. After all, we both knew almost nothing about the Nine Heavens. We only knew it was a place where we would go after the ascension. But other than that …” He shook his head and sighed. “How should we have known?” He observed his son’s expression.
Bai Mu took the information in stride. He didn’t seem to question it or seemed reluctant to accept it but he didn’t seem to really care either. Well, it was to be expected. His mother hadn’t ascended, that much he already knew. The question was rather why had his father who had accomplished his wish and gone to the Nine Heavens never come back to see them?
“You must be wondering why I’m talking about this. The thing is … I didn’t know about this either. I always thought that Huan Yin hadn’t managed to ascend. I always thought that she had died trying. After all, I didn’t know that she was pregnant. I would never have guessed that. So I never even thought of going back and searching for. But I should have. I certainly should have then things wouldn’t have turned out this way.” Qiang Yan sighed. Yes, he regretted it. He should have gone and taken a look. And be it only to see what had become of her mortal body. The woman he had once called his wife, how had he been able to ignore what had become of her? But unfortunately, things weren’t that easy. Not between the mortal world and the Nine Heavens.
“I loved her. You don’t have to believe anything else but this. I really loved Huan Yin and if I had known, then I would have stayed with her. Unfortunately, I didn’t and by the time I found out, it had been too long already.
“You know, about us having a child … I only heard about it recently. In fact, it was only this week.” He gave a wry smile. “Maybe Qiu Ling told you but the person that got trapped in the dimension your mother and I created that was my nephew’s mortal reincarnation. Right now, he’s going through the same thing that I went back through back then. It’s a trial.”
Bai Mu’s gaze flickered. This week? His father had only found out about him this week? Well, he had never expected that his father knew about him, not when he really thought about it, at the very least. After all, he had never come to look for them. Who should have told him that he had a son when he didn’t go to see the mother?
But still, it somehow hurt now that the person himself admitted that he had only heard about him this week. All these years that he had longed to see this person, all these years his father had spent without knowing that he even existed. It really was hard to bear.