Jin Ling sat up and stared at the foot of the bed. He really wanted to give a sigh or maybe even curse out loud but then he would also have to explain that. He couldn’t be bothered to do that.
He turned to the side, his bare feet touching the ground and fished up his robe. He didn’t even bother to look at the woman behind him and silently put it on, getting up to go. Just when he had taken a single step, there was a tug on his sleeve.
Jin Ling closed his eyes, ready to utter a curse.
“Jin Ling … Are you leaving?”
Jin Ling restored the smile to his face and glanced over his shoulder. “Tai Na, I’m sorry but I have to go. You also know that I can’t stay in the mortal realm all the time. There are things I have to take care of in the demon realm.”
The woman sat up, wrapping the blanket around her body. “Can’t you stay at least a little while longer? As soon as you go, that bitch Yin Lin Lin is going to bother me again.”
Jin Ling sighed and went back to the bed, sitting down on the edge and taking her hands into his. “I’ll go and tell her not to do that. Don’t worry about it.
Tai Na pursed her lips. “You really think she’s going to listen to you? As soon as you turn your back, she’ll start again. She always did that when I was her maid and now it’s even worse.”
Jin Ling raised his hand and brushed back her hair, his smile turning even more charming. She was giving him such a good opportunity to further his plan. He should really thank her and use it well. “In that case … I could probably take her with me. Then she wouldn’t be able to bully you.”
Tai Na shook her head. “How could that be? If you take anybody with you, then it should be me. Don’t you love me?”
Nothing changed in Jin Ling’s face. “Of course I do.” Ah, how often had he said this sentence to people he didn’t care about? He couldn’t even count them anymore. Unfortunately, he still remembered their faces and as soon as he returned to the demon realm, he would have to see them again.
Come to think of it … bringing another wife back might actually be a good idea in that regard as well. That way, those harpies could make trouble for each other and would leave him alone for a while. Then he wouldn’t need to come up with excuses for why he couldn’t deal with them. Yes, whether it was this girl or that Yin Lin Lin, he should make use of the opportunity to the fullest.
“Tai Na, you also know it’s not that easy. Taking you to the demon realm … If I did that, I’d terribly inconvenience you. Gods don’t have it easy in our realm. Even if you are my wife, nothing will change about that. And I’ve already told you that the demon king can’t have just a single wife. There would be the others making your life difficult to gain my affection as well. Then there would be servants around that tried to pick on you in the hope that they’ll be able to gain the goodwill of one of my other wives.
You would be miserable and I don’t want that for you. Especially not if …” He looked down at their hands and shook his head. “I’m afraid that after a while in that environment, you wouldn’t be able to stand it anymore. Then you won’t love me as much anymore and you’ll want to go back to the Nine Heavens or maybe to the mortal realm and we would be over. I don’t want that. It would break my heart to lose you. Not to mention that you might not have it any better afterward.
“You also know what kind of stigma it is to marry a demon. Nobody would be able to accept that. Especially not if the one you married was their king. They’d make trouble for you, maybe even trouble for your family. Do you want that?
“I for sure don’t want that for you. Marrying you … That is my dearest wish. But since I know that I would be making things difficult for you, then I can only hold back. Not following my wishes, that is alright if it ensures that you’ll be happy. Now and also in the future.”
Tai Na couldn’t help but smile at his words. She inched closer and snuggled up to his chest. “Jin Ling, you really aren’t like how I imagine the demons to be. You’re such a good person. I really don’t get what the gods are saying about your race. Isn’t it all just slander? I’ve never been happier than at this time while I’m with you. I don’t want to be separated.”
Jin Ling nodded and rubbed her back. “Neither do I but there’s nothing we can do. We can only try and make the best out of it. I’ll come here as often as I can but you know that heavy responsibilities I have to uphold. If I’m not there, then things will get difficult. The demon realm is a chaotic place. Somebody would try to get the throne and who knows if they wouldn’t go to attack the Nine Heavens next? Knowing that the family of the woman I love lives there, I just can’t bring myself to allow that. I’ll hold onto that throne for you. To make sure that you’ll be able to live in peace regardless of where you are.”
“Jin Ling …”
Jin Ling smiled and reached down, putting a finger against her lips. “Sh. Don’t say anything. I’m doing all of this for you and I don’t mind doing it. In fact, I’m quite happy that you’re allowing me to do this. Meeting you, being able to convince you that I’m the right person for you, that’s the best I ever did in my life.
“Now, I’ll do something about Yin Lin Lin. Taking her with me to the demon realm would be the easiest and would ensure that you’re safe but … Well, since you don’t like the idea, I won’t do it. I’ll just have to come up with something else.” He put on a troubled expression and Tai Na bit her lip.
“If it’s really the easiest, then you just do that. What does it matter if you marry her? Since you only love me, then I don’t have to fear anything. Don’t you have a few wives already anyway? One more won’t make a difference, will she?”
Jin Ling shook his head and leaned down, kissing her forehead. “Of course not. You’re the love of my life. She counts for nothing. And …” He gently brushed back her hair again, cupping her cheeks. “Isn’t it also good like this? She’ll get into trouble in the demon realm for sure. I guess it could be called me venting some of your grievances. I will recount all of what I witness to you in detail when we see each other the next time.”
Tai Na laughed and nodded. “Alright, then let’s do it this way.” She craned her neck and gave him a kiss, not noticing how his eyes turned cold just before she was about to touch him.