At this point in time, Jing He was sitting in the Heavenly Emperor’s study, accompanying his father while he worked on official matters. He conscientiously refilled his cup of tea when it was empty, went to order the servants to get him snacks when he felt that his father might be hungry and personally ground the ink for him so he wouldn’t need to bother about trivial things.
Every once in a while, Rong Su would take up a breather and look at this son of his, feeling gratified. Ah, his Jing He was so sensible. Just look at how seriously he was taking care of his father! Who else could boast of having such a perfect son?
He smugly thought of that poor God of Justice, Li Yin, whose son did nothing but make trouble for him all day, hooking up with men left and right and breaking all the rules of etiquette at least once a day.
Thankfully, his Jing He was completely different from that degenerate. Never mind him knowing the rules of proper behavior by heart and following them to the letter, he had also never shown interest in any man.
Mn, very good. His son had only recently come of age so there really was no reason for him to think about these things. They could very well wait for another millennium or two before they even had to consider this.
At that thought, he couldn’t help but remember that bastard from the dragon race. Ah, he really should try to come up with a plan to get rid of that dandy before he could harass his poor son any longer. His Jing He was probably suffering very much because he had to spend so much time with him. It was just because he had been raised well that he still hadn’t lost his temper at that guy.
Come to think of it, his poor son looked as if he had lost a bit of weight. Ah, had his cheekbones always been this pronounced? And could it be that his chin had turned a little sharper? Mn, his waist had definitely turned smaller in the past two years. Looking at him like this, he was afraid his poor son might be swept away by a gust of wind.
Feeling remorse in his heart for not being able to take better care of his son even though Jing He treated him this well, the Heavenly Emperor reached out and grasped Jing He’s hand. “Jing He, dear, you’ve been working hard. You must be tired.”
Jing He gave a gentle smile and shook his head. “How could that be? I’m merely doing some small things to ease the burden on your shoulders at least a little, father. One can hardly call that work at all. I’m not like you, having to manage all these affairs of the Nine Heavens, expanding so much effort for our people. If I can do even a bit to make matters easier for you, then it won’t tire me out. Instead, I’ll be elated.”
Seeing his precious son’s small smile, the one who was elated was actually Rong Su. Ah, hearing these words, he felt like he was brimming with vigor! There really was nothing better than having an obedient and thoughtful son like this. He patted Jing He’s hand and smiled with satisfaction. “Having a son like you is already taking a lot of that burden from my shoulders.”
“Father is flattering me. As long as I don’t add to your troubles, it’s already very good.”
Rong Su’s lips curled up even further. “Ah, how could you ever trouble me?” He couldn’t help but think of that shameless dandy once again though. If only he was able to make him leave somehow …
Jing He who had just wanted to slowly bring up the matter of his marriage closed his mouth again. He didn’t know what it was but even though his father was generally in a very good mood, he would’ve moments like this when his mood suddenly took a turn for the worse. Just what was it? If he couldn’t figure that out, then he could forget about bringing up the matter with Qiu Ling.
Jing He put down the cup that he had been holding and grasped his father’s hand. “I’m glad father thinks like this. It means a lot to me.”
Rong Su nodded and looked at their hands. Ah, having this kind of son really made him happy. He should indeed make sure that his son wouldn’t suffer. “Well, it has still been a long time that we’ve spent here. Even if you haven’t handled any official affairs, you’ve still stayed all of the time with me. You must be bored out of your mind.”
Jing He gently shook his head. “Nothing of the like, father. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
Rong Su shook his head but this time, Jing He pressed on.
“Father …” He seemed hesitant about speaking up and his gaze lowered even further. “I couldn’t help but feel that something has been weighing on your mind today. What might be the matter? Maybe it is something I can help you with?”
Rong Su raised his brows before deep satisfaction emerged in his eyes once again. He wouldn’t have thought that Jing He noticed but this was once again proof of how well-behaved his son was. He paid that much attention to his parents that he was actually able to detect such slight changes in his mood. Ah, he would bet that that Li Yin had never had the luck to receive so much care from his son!
The next moment though, Rong Su still couldn’t help but sigh. It was precisely because his son was this excellent that such a dandy had taken an interest in him. Well, who wouldn’t? Just one glance at Jing He and everybody would realize that he was a first-class beauty with a peerless temperament that knew how to behave. In which regard was he lacking? Obviously, in none!
Rong Su took his son’s hand again, patting it gently. “Jing He, the past two years weren’t easy for you. Again and again, you had to deal with that … person.” He really wanted to say something else but he felt that it would taint the ears of his precious son if he said what he really thought.
Jing He’s eyes widened imperceptibly and he glanced at his father’s face. Clear displeasure was written in his expression. Obviously, this subject wasn’t something he liked to bring up. Who would’ve thought … He would talk about it on his own? Jing He couldn’t help but rub the hem of his sleeve with his free hand, pondering what to do.
It was good that his father breached the subject instead of him but judging from how we talked about it, that wouldn’t help at all. He definitely couldn’t marry Longjun if his father didn’t agree. But then what about his mother’s opinion and that of the other gods? Longjun would indeed be the ideal partner for him. If his father could agree, that would be very good.
The Heavenly Emperor had no idea what his son was thinking and just continued to ponder all the trouble his poor son had needed to go through. “Ah, just thinking about how he dared to take part in our Da He Festival, showing up in public with you as if you were a couple.” He shook his head and tapped on the table with his free hand, his displeasure getting even more obvious. “And didn’t he run over here at least every two days? He has taken up so much of your time. He should really leave you alone again.”
Jing He lowered his head further, making his black hair fall over his shoulders and shield his expression. “Father is certainly right … though I doubt Longjun is willing to give up. At least it didn’t seem that way to me.”
This time, the Heavenly Emperor slapped the table with more force. “How dare he! Is my precious son somebody he can just covet like that? I will accept him forming an idea about you but it has already been two years. Shouldn’t he have already realized that you will never be interested in him?”
Jing He’s heart went cold at those words. Ah, he had known that this would be his father’s reaction but it was still hard to stomach. Why wasn’t he allowed to love?
Back in the old days, hadn’t Xing as the son of the Heavenly Emperor fallen in love with what everybody supposed to be a nameless god? He had been disdained by the Heavenly Emperor’s first wife and her children but he had been happy and in the end, hadn’t it turned out that the man he loved was the most excellent of all? The sovereign of all realms?
Since that was case … Why wasn’t he allowed to fall in love even if they knew who the other person was? Yes, he might not have liked the dragon king at the beginning. He might have thought as frivolous of him and not have taken him seriously but at the very least, he knew that this person had a very high status that made him deserve other’s respect if nothing else.
That person was suitable for him. So why … Why was it still not enough? Would it have been better if the person trying to woo him was somebody who really had no position at all?
Even though those were his thoughts, Jing He didn’t dare to utter a single one of them. He merely nodded meekly. “I do not know either why Longjun is so persistent.”
His father harrumphed. “Isn’t it all because he thinks he is irresistible? Hmph, what nerve! He should better think twice if he wants to go after my son!”
Jing He glanced at him listlessly before lowering his gaze again. He understood that whatever he said wouldn’t change anything but he still spoke up, trying to achieve at least something. “Well, be that as it may … He is still the king of the dragon race, father. Our races are allies. It wouldn’t be good to reject him this harshly, would it? In fact, maybe it would strengthen our relationship if we accepted his demands.”
This time, the table broke when the Heavenly Emperor’s fist was brought down.
Jing He winced and took his hand back, hiding his trembling fingers below his sleeves. Ah, obviously, he had gone too far this time.