Qiu Ling left the Nine Heavens in the evening, feeling completely refreshed. Ah, his beloved was not in love with somebody else! Instead, he might actually be in love with him. This was great progress! Now, he should go and consider his next steps. Then they would soon be able to marry. That was the thought he left with.
Jing He, on the other hand, was still in a complicated mood. He watched this man leave that had brought him a lot of trouble since they knew each other but also a very beautiful day at the festival. Finally, he went back to his palace, going about his evening as usual.
When he finally went to sleep, he was still feeling a little restless. He just didn’t know what to make of all of this. Was there nothing he could do to make a decision on this? Was there nothing he could do to make sure things wouldn’t go wrong? He didn’t want to disappoint his father. He didn’t want to disappoint his mother either. He didn’t want to make things difficult between the races. To be honest, he also didn’t want to lose the admiration of this person.
For a long time, he had always felt that it would be impossible to have a relationship with somebody that would truly love him forever. But now, there was a man like this. Other than not being a trueborn god, he was exactly the man that Jing He had always imagined to marry one day. He was strong and even though he often didn’t understand him, he felt that Longjun also had to be a very mature and dependable person. Having a husband like that was exactly what he wanted.
Well, maybe he had set his sights too high. This image of the perfect husband, it was exactly what was told about Tian, the ruler of the High Heavens, the sovereign of all realms. But how could he expect someone like this to love him? Tian was what a lot of people probably dreamed about. A person would either want to be like him or want to marry a man like him. But there was nobody that was like Tian and there was only one person that would be fit to be his spouse.
The most beautiful person in the Nine Heavens. The most kindhearted, the justest, the most modest, the most perfect person in the Nine Heavens. Even though his mother’s status had been low, he had fulfilled all these things. His personality and appearance had been impeccable. Naturally, Xing had deserved to be Tian’s other half.
Jing He sighed and turned to the other side. He wasn’t like Xing. His father was the Heavenly Emperor. His mother was the official Heavenly Empress. They even loved each other and had never been with anybody else in their lives. Well, his father had been engaged to somebody else before but he had only ever loved his mother. His uncle was also the God of War. He had been the disciple of the previous God of War and he had gotten that position because of his own strength. His mother had also proven that she was worthy to be the Heavenly Empress.
So in terms of his origins, he was even better than Xing. Unfortunately, he lacked in the other departments.
Jing He sat up and gave yet another sigh. His personality … He had always tried to be a good person. He wanted to love everybody equally, watch over them and listen to their problems, lending them his shoulder to cry on until they felt that their souls were being soothed and their hearts calmed and the world a better place.
He wanted to be just like Xing, looking at everybody equally, not condemning anybody. He wanted to be like him — able to forgive everybody regardless of what they had done. He wanted to be able to look past the most heinous crimes and absolve these people of their guilt.
He really wanted to. But unfortunately, he couldn’t. Deep down, he was afraid. He had been afraid when Longjun approached him that first day, he had been afraid when he came to look for him when they were alone, he had been afraid when he brought him that heart and told him that he wanted his, he had also been afraid when he thought that Longjun looked down on him.
This fear, it was deeply instilled in him. He was unable to turn back already. He couldn’t get rid of it. He could only pretend and pretend further that it wasn’t there.
A person like him, how could he compare to Xing?
Jing He stood up and slowly made his way through the dark room, sitting down in front of the dressing table. He raised his hand and a small flame appeared, lighting up the surroundings.
He picked up the mirror with the other hand and looked at his face. “If Longjun was able to fall in love with me at first sight, then at the very least, I should be as beautiful as him, shouldn’t I?” He put the mirror down and touched his cheek.
Unfortunately, Xing had lived long ago. He had never seen him and there weren’t any paintings left from that time that depicted him. What he had looked like had already disappeared with time. There was only word left that he had been the most beautiful person in the history of the Nine Heavens. Beautiful enough to make many fall in love with him at first sight and anybody else go crazy with jealousy, finally leading to his fall.
Jing He sighed and got up again, extinguishing the flame and going back to bed. The kind of person that was able to make a man fall so deeply in love that he didn’t mind changing the balance of the universe for you … Cursing three races, changing everything they had known about themselves up until that day. Just how deep did this love have to be? Ah, if Longjun loved him even half as much, then would there really be a reason to hesitate?
But who could tell him if Longjun loved him enough?
He didn’t know but he couldn’t help but wonder. That was his last thought before he finally fell into a restless sleep.
Jing He woke up when the sun was shining through his window and some birds were chirping outside in his garden. He sat up and brushed through his hair with his fingers, finally getting up to choose his robe for the day and do his hair.
He felt sluggish after this kind of night. His sleep had been fitful, his dreams filled with scenes from the past year and these old stories he had heard in his childhood.
Tian … He couldn’t help but once again think of this legendary sovereign. If Xing hadn’t been waiting for him and thus immediately accepted him, would he have also relentlessly pursued him?
He felt it was hard to say. On the one hand, Tian had loved Xing deeply even before the time they had actually stood in front of each other. That was the reason why Tian had descended to the Nine Heavens and taken on an ordinary trueborn god’s identity, after all. On the other hand, this type of man should be extremely proud. So would he really lower himself to pursue somebody who didn’t show interest? And would he continue to do so even after a year?
Jing He got up from his dressing table and wandered to the door leading to his garden. Looking out at the flowers, his slender brows furrowed. Whether or not Tian would have done so … Was there any reason to consider that? Tian was their supreme sovereign, even higher than his father. Not just the gods had to answer to him. Could he really compare Longjun with that kind of person? Even though he was a good man, he still had to be lacking in comparison, didn’t he?
He couldn’t help but think back to how Longjun had looked on the day of the festival and his thoughts came to a halt. Ah, even though comparing them might be blasphemy, he still felt that among all the men he had seen in his life, Longjun was the one who came closest to what he imagined Tian to be like.
And, well, since he couldn’t be as good as Xing, then shouldn’t the person he might marry also be a little less than Tian? After all, he would never dare to assume that he had the charm to make the supreme sovereign fall in love with him. That was entirely impossible. He was —
Jing He looked back and his lips curved into a smile, his gaze lowering in almost instinctive response. “Mother, you came to see me. I’m ashamed to have you walk all the way. You should have sent somebody so that I could have gone over.”
Bai Fen sighed. This child. Even after a full year under Longjun’s influence, he was still behaving like this. She really wondered if her plan would ever come to fruition. Well, she first had to see how far that man had gotten anyway.
She smiled and slipped over to the door, grabbing onto Jing He’s arm. “Oh, never mind that. My old bones will be able to take it. Rather than that … why don’t you whisper into these old ears just what was going on these last two days? Spending time with Longjun at the festival and then him coming over the next day, beating up our guards … That sure makes one’s mind wander.”