Fu Min sadly looked at the scroll of paper and the brush that were thrown at him but still picked them up with determination. Well, if he did a good job with this, then maybe His Majesty would forget about his last blunder with the God of War? That would be good. He really couldn’t take the way the king had looked at him for the past year. Ah, yes, he should do his best to make up for his previous mistake! He definitely couldn’t try to take a shortcut this time around!
Thus Fu Min started to ponder and quietly noted down one idea after the other, straining his brain to come up with new situations that his king could use to show himself in a favorable light and new presents he could give the crown prince to leave him with an even better impression.
Qiu Ling watched his adviser write and felt that this guy wasn’t that bad after all. Yes, he wasn’t good at gathering information but at the very least, he had a head that could be used for coming up with ideas. That was better than nothing.
Although … He couldn’t help but want to know just what he was writing. Were the ideas he was coming up with any good? As a responsible king, he should probably check on his subject’s work, shouldn’t he? Ah, then let’s see just what kind of situation would be good for him to woo his beloved … Actually, after he checked this guy’s work, he could go and already implement one of the ideas while Fu Min tried to come up with some more things. That would basically be him checking if those ideas were good at all, wasn’t it? Yes, yes, he was just doing this because of his sense of responsibility. He wasn’t just curious.
Qiu Ling’s gaze darted around and he finally shifted closer, eying the paper scroll. ‘Romantic picnic’ was the first point on the list. Qiu Ling raised his brows. A romantic picnic? That didn’t sound too difficult. He could probably organize that very fast. Doing it today wouldn’t be a problem at all.
Without so much of a second glance at Fu Min’s sorry figure, Qiu Ling rushed out of the door and went to drag over another one of his poor advisers.
Xiang Yong’s gray brows furrowed tightly. He was under no illusion that his king would suddenly have come over to actually do his work. No, most likely, he was here because he had some new task for him that would bring nothing but trouble. Unfortunately, there was no way to get away and this person was his king, after all. As much as he might think that this was troublesome and irrelevant, he would still need to help him fulfill this task to the best of his abilities. Well, maybe he could get An Bai to help them with some other things to free up some time for this. “Your Majesty, what may I do for you?”
Qiu Ling smiled and looked around to make sure that no busybody was around to eavesdrop on this important conversation. “You …” He pondered what this guy’s name was again. “Xiang … Yong. Ah, help me with something. You see, things are going very well with my beloved so it’s time for the next step. So I had this great idea to have a romantic picnic with him. Help me prepare for that.”
Xiang Yong eyed his king warily but still nodded. This didn’t sound too troublesome … yet. “Very well. Then what shall I prepare?”
This time it was Qiu Ling who furrowed his brows. “What do you mean what should you prepare? Didn’t I just say that it was supposed to be a romantic picnic?”
Xiang Yong nodded. “You did. So what kind of food would Your Majesty prefer? What about the location? Should I prepare that as well?”
Qiu Ling blinked his eyes. Well … Actually, he hadn’t thought about that too much. But it seemed there really were such things he had to decide on. The location was easy to decide though. His beloved couldn’t just leave the Nine Heavens. That bastard of an old man certainly wouldn’t let him. So they could only have the romantic picnic in the Nine Heavens. “Just pick a spot close to his palace. Something very romantic! As for the food … Do you think there’s something he likes especially?”
Xiang Yong sighed. How would she know what the Son of Heaven preferred to eat? “Maybe you should ask Fu Min about that?”
Qiu Ling shook his head. “No way! That guy isn’t reliable at all in providing information. I definitely won’t depend on him for this. You go and find out!”
This time, Xiang Yong was indeed really reluctant to comply with his king’s wishes. Preparing a picnic or whatnot was one thing. After all, he could still delegate some of these tasks to others. But finding out what the Son of Heaven liked to eat … That was way out of his league. He couldn’t just go up and asked somebody, could he? Well, even if he did, who would tell him? Wouldn’t that just open the door for some assassination attempts on the crown prince? Nobody would give that kind of information easily.
So if they wanted to know, then they definitely would have to send Fu Min. That guy was just too good at gathering information. He didn’t know just how His Majesty had come up with the idea that Fu Min wasn’t. Well, that wasn’t the problem now. He had to somehow get around this without using Fu Min it seemed. “Well, actually, I think it might be better not to use His Highness’ favorite food for this.”
Qiu Ling furrowed his brows. “Why though? Wouldn’t he like it more if it was his favorite food?”
Xiang Yong nodded. “That might indeed be the case but it would also mean that it is nothing special. He can certainly eat his favorite food in the Nine Heavens all the time. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that we here in the dragon realm would be able to prepare it in the way that he likes to eat it. So even if you did prepare his favorite food, it might not be to his taste. In that case, rather than risking that, I’d suggest preparing different dishes. Maybe there will be something among that that he’ll come to like. Then he would always relate this dish to you and the special memory he made with you. Wouldn’t that be much better?”
Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes. That was indeed a very good suggestion. “Well, since you’ve already thought about it that much, it would be mean of me not to take it into consideration. Let’s just go with what you said.”
Xiang Yong barely held back a relieved sigh. “Very well, then I’ll go and prepare everything now.” He bowed and then went to do as he said.
Qiu Ling watched him leave and gave a sigh. Ah, that was taken care of. Then he had to prepare himself now. After all, even though the location and the food were important, the most important were still he and Jing He. He had to look the best for his beloved so that when Jing He thought back to this special day, he would remember him to look his best.
When Xiang Yong went to report to his king after he finished giving the instructions to prepare the food and had somebody set up the location, he found him standing in front of two sets of robes with furrowed brows.
Xiang Yong’s lips twitched. He could imagine very well just what was going through his king’s head. He was of half a mind to leave again and come back later but who knew when his king would finally decide? Thus he gave a light cough and stepped closer. “Your Majesty, the location is being prepared right now and the food will be finished shortly. I’ll have it send over immediately afterward. You just need to go and lead His Highness there.”
Qiu Ling nodded, lost in thought. “You, ah, say, which one do you think would fit the occasion better?”
Xiang Yong gave the two robes a tired glance and pointed at one at random. “I could imagine that this one would highlight Your Majesty’s good points very well.”
Qiu Ling pursed his lips in return. “Are you sure? Don’t you think the other one would be better?”
Xiang Yong looked at the other robe that didn’t look any different as far as he could tell and wondered what to do. If he said yes, then his king would very likely not trust his opportunity anymore. If he insisted on his own choice he would very likely need to explain it. So how did one explain why one of two identical robes looked better than the other? He glanced at his king’s face and raised his brows. “Why would Your Majesty think that the other one looks better?”
Qiu Ling glanced from one robe to the other and then looked up at Xiang Yong. “It’s the seams, ah!”
Xiang Yong raised his brows further. “The seams? I’m afraid I don’t have as much of an aesthetic sense as Your Majesty. Would you care to explain further?”
Qiu Ling sighed as if this was greatly inconveniencing him and then motioned at the thread that had been used to sew the robes. “That one’s seams have been sewn with black thread and that one used gray thread. Don’t you think that while the former looks depressing, the latter gives me a stately look?”
Xiang Yong stared at the robes, hardly being able to pick out the difference in the color. Wasn’t it just one shade? Well, people in love were hard to understand. This king of theirs even more so than normal people. “It seems that Your Majesty is right. I didn’t look closely enough. Yes, your choice is certainly right. I’m sure that His Highness will love it.”
Qiu Ling nodded to himself and picked up the robe. “I know. He will definitely remember this day fondly!” With that, he ignored Xiang Yong and went to change his robe. Ah, he definitely couldn’t leave anything to chance. No, this opportunity had to be used right. Everything else would just be wasting an opportunity!