Jing He had never been taught in martial arts and his thoughts were occupied so he hadn’t noticed anything going on outside. He still anxiously waited for what his uncle would say.
Qiang Yan gave a low hum as if he had to think about this very hard. In actual fact, he was listening to what was happening outside. It seemed the dragon king was rather wrought up. Could it be this was about what had happened last night? Could there be a misunderstanding going on on both sides?
Well, even if there was, he had no way to go and explain to the dragon king. Furthermore, it was much more important to get some information out of his nephew first. If there really was some progress in their relationship … he should go and tell sister, lest her husband ruined everything before it could even start.
Qiang Yan leaned back and crossed his legs, casually sipping his tea. “Even if Longjun had that kind of impression, I doubt the relationship between our races would deteriorate just because of that. You shouldn’t be too worried.”
Jing He didn’t calm down after hearing that though. Yes, he naturally didn’t want to be the reason the relationship between their races worsened. But even if that didn’t happen, wouldn’t Longjun still think less of him personally?
Seeing Jing He’s expression that hovered between accepting his fate and wanting to retort, Qiang Yan sighed. “Are you worried that he would go and tell other people? That your own reputation would be ruined?”
Jing He hurriedly shook his head. “No. No, I don’t believe Longjun is like that.” He furrowed his brows, thinking back to the day before. When Longjun accompanied him for the festival, he had felt different. For a short while, he had felt very secure with him. That kind of feeling … He couldn’t have imagined it. The man that could make him feel this way certainly wouldn’t go around smearing his reputation. Even if he really thought badly about him.
Jing He couldn’t explain his restlessness even to himself. Yes, why was he this anxious? Since it wouldn’t impact the gods as a whole and his reputation either, why did he still feel this miserable? Why did he still want to have a chance to see Longjun and convince him that he wasn’t like that?
Jing He reached out and gently brushed the windowsill. A year ago, this was the place where the plant Longjun had brought him had stood before the dragon king sneakily took it back. That man … His impression of him had been rather bad in the beginning but by now, he didn’t feel that way anymore. Maybe that was the reason why? Did he actually look up to this man so he didn’t want the dragon king to look down on him? But even if he knew, what would it change?
Jing He turned back to the table and slowly walked over, finally coming to stop in front of his uncle. “Uncle, I also can’t explain. I’m just feeling very uncomfortable with this. You … You’ve been to the dragon realm before. You also fought on the battlefield so … maybe you understand the dragons better than I do. Is there no way for me to rectify Longjun’s expression impression of me?”
Qiang Yan examined his nephew’s expression and reached out, lightly brushing his arm. “Jing He, we don’t even know what exactly he thinks right now. Maybe you are worrying too much. Actually, I think all this might just be a misunderstanding.”
Jing He lowered his head, folding his hands in front of his body to stop them from trembling. “So that’s what uncles thinks.” His expression said that he didn’t believe the same. And how could he? The circumstances had been like that and he had seen the gaze Longjun used to look at him. Such naked contempt … He certainly hadn’t imagined that.
Qiang Yan also saw that his nephew didn’t share his impression. He sighed and motioned over to the cupboard where the chest with the bloody heart inside had stood last year. “Back then when Longjun first saw you and just casually took your hands, speaking of marriage right on the very first evening or when he later brought this heart to you, were you not shocked? Didn’t you question his intentions?
“But then, in the end, it turned out different. There was just some miscommunication due to you two being of different races. Even if Longjun has been shocked yesterday at seeing you like this, he wouldn’t assume anything. He might just have needed a bit of time to calm down. After he thought things through, he will certainly come again and talk to you.
“So you can just take your time and calmly think through how you want to explain to him. And after you’re done, I’m sure things will be like before. There is no need to worry. Neither about the gods nor about your own reputation. I doubt Longjun would ever believe anything negative about you.”
Jing He carefully lifted his gaze to Qiang Yan’s face. Was his uncle serious with this? He didn’t dare to believe it but … It sounded reasonable if he said it like this. So maybe he could still hold hope? Maybe this man wouldn’t abandon him?
He finally nodded and smiled. “Thank you, uncle. I’m seeing more clearly now. It’s just as you said. I was worrying too much about things that happened before anything was decided. I should just wait and see.”
Qiang Yan nodded and got up. “I guess we should go and have a look at what’s happening outside then. If I’m not hearing completely wrong, Longjun might have actually returned already.”
Jing He’s eyes widened and looked over at the entrance. Unfortunately, only the screen in front of the door could be seen. He didn’t know whether that man had really returned. But his uncle wouldn’t say so just like that, would he?
Qiang Yan motioned over with a smile. “What is it? You don’t want to see him? I think he’s been causing a ruckus out there and your father doesn’t sound happy at all. I think it’s time for you to step out and calm those two down. Otherwise, the relationship between our races might really worsen. You wouldn’t want that, would you?” He smiled and stepped toward the door, waiting for Jing He to catch up. Ah, with that excuse, his nephew shouldn’t feel troubled to go out and have a look.
Yes, most likely he already had some feelings for Longjun. He still wasn’t far enough to admit that. Not to anybody else and not to himself either. He would still need quite a bit of time for that so he should be allowed to have that time. Until then no accidents could occur.
Jing He followed his uncle to the door, his heart beating madly. Was that man really out there? He hadn’t heard anything yet. The closer they got to the door, the more even he heard though. Right now, his father was once again hollering at the king of the dragon race.
“You really think you can do whatever you want, don’t you? I’d like to see how you want to force your way into this palace! You certainly won’t get to see my son!”
A sound of surprise escaped Jing He’s lips. They were arguing because of him? Longjun had actually come to see him? But he had just not been able to come in because his father was holding him back? His steps unwittingly accelerated and he only managed to calm down when he had almost reached the folding screen. He took a deep breath and waited for his uncle before the two of them stepped around the screen together and walked out.
His mother and his personal guards were standing in front of the door with his father a few steps in front of them. The Heavenly Guards were standing or lying sprawled on the ground in the distance as if there had been a fight.
Jing He couldn’t care less. His gaze was immediately drawn to that figure dressed in black that was standing in the middle. His hair and the wide sleeves of his robe were billowing in the wind. With his tall stature and broad shoulders, he really was a sight to behold. So majestic, so imposing. The sight that had made him feel afraid just a year ago, suddenly made his heart speed up once again.
Longjun! He really wanted to call out to him, to make this man turn around to him, look at him. He wanted to see his eyes, wanted to check whether this man was still as angry as the night before. But how could he do so? He couldn’t just call out. What if the dragon king thought that he didn’t know how to behave even more then?
Jing He didn’t have to do anything though. After a year of spending time together, Qiu Ling had already gotten used to anything about him. Just his light steps were enough to make him turn around.
His gaze brushed over Jing He’s figure, taking in the way his hair flowed down behind his back just like always, how is robe hugged his slender figure. There weren’t the slightest creases in there, not even a corner of the fabric out of place. Whatever had transpired in his palace, nothing bad had happened to his beloved. Nobody had forced him to get married, his worst fears hadn’t come true.
Qiu Ling immediately felt elated upon that thought. Ah, life still was fair! His beloved hadn’t been given to another man. Whatever that bastardly old man had planned to do, he hadn’t succeeded with it. His beloved was still his. And he was still as lovely as ever!
Qiu Ling didn’t think any longer and rushed past the other people, stopping right in front of Jing He and looking at him with a bright smile. Naturally, he didn’t forget to push that potential love rival out of the way. How dare he stand this close to his beloved! “Jing He, my dear, I was yearning to see you.”
Jing He felt as if struck by lightning. The dragon king’s voice was unbelievably gentle, his gaze just like it had always been. In fact, he might even be looking at him with the same unveiled adoration that he had shown back on the day they first met. And just like that day, he also grabbed his hands with that strange self-assuredness of his. As if getting this close was nothing out of the ordinary and merely expected between them.
Jing He had no idea how to react. He couldn’t help but feel that maybe this was how it was supposed to be. If only … If only there hadn’t been this many people looking at them. Then he could have taken a bit of time to figure out how he felt. Now, he had to try and retract his hands, moving away from this man which had just given him back his calmness. It was a pity, a real pity. He would have liked to stay close to him just for a short moment longer.