Even though Jing He didn’t feel that what his father said was right, he nodded, indicating that he would do as he was told. Of course, he would never dare to bring this up in front of Longjun. Whether his appearance was kept up by using spiritual energy or whether he looked indeed that young, it wouldn’t be polite to ask that directly. If Longjun ever mentioned it on his own, he might ask for some more information but other than that, he would just pretend he had never spoken about this with his father.
Well, at the very least, he knew for sure that his father wouldn’t give in regarding the possibility of a marriage with Longjun. He obviously hated him. To expect that there was anything in this world that might make him accept that man was ridiculous. No, he could only stop thinking about it. Since his father wasn’t willing, there was no way things could ever work out with Longjun. No matter his status or how he was behaving right now, there was just no way to make it work without his father’s consent.
Just when Jing He wanted to find an excuse to leave and return to his own palace, a servant walked into the study and bowed to his father. “Tianjun, Longjun has arrived and requests to see His Highness, the crown prince.”
Jing He’s hands stopped mid-motion and he couldn’t help but look over at the servant.
The Heavenly Emperor’s expression had already darkened when he heard the title Longjun but when he saw his son’s reaction, he felt even more miffed. Why was his son even paying attention when this dandy was brought up? He shouldn’t have to deal with that bastard! “You tell him our son is unavailable so he should return to the dragon realm.”
The servant nodded but didn’t leave yet. “Then … should I tell him to return later?”
The Heavenly Emperor harrumphed. “Of course not!” Return to the Nine Heavens? Don’t make him laugh! This guy should better go back to his dragon realm and stay there. He didn’t want to see him here again for even a single moment.
The servant rushed to nod and then left the room, not daring to draw the ire of the Heavenly Emperor. Even though he didn’t want to have to bring such news to the dragon king, even if he angered this person, it would at least only be a matter of suffering once. If he upset the Heavenly Emperor though … He could forget about having a quiet life in the capital ever again. He’d probably need to immigrate to one of the other heavens.
Inside the study, Jing He looked at the door with worry. He understood where his father was coming from but he couldn’t help but feel that the way in which he tried to achieve his goal wasn’t the right one. Obviously, Longjun was a very headstrong person. Trying to get him to leave in this way might backfire. Most likely, he would turn up here in only a few minutes and demand to see the one he wanted to visit. Then what should they do? What if the situation escalated again just like two years ago when Longjun had come to his father’s study to ask for his hand in marriage? He didn’t want to see that kind of chaotic situation repeat itself!
The Heavenly Emperor glanced at his son to mock the dragon king but found his precious boy looking distraught. He couldn’t help but worry again. It couldn’t be that even though his son had just agreed to what he said, he inwardly still wasn’t convinced that Longjun wasn’t the right person for him, could it? If that was the case, he had to pay more attention to him! He definitely couldn’t let him get close to that bastard or his precious son would be taken away by this unworthy scum. He would never let that happen!
Rong Su carefully reached out and gripped his son’s hand, patting it gently. “Jing He, ah, let’s spend the rest of the day together as well. Since you’re finally free of that person, you should enjoy yourself.”
Jing He hesitated. “Father …”
Rong Su’s eyes narrowed. “It couldn’t be that you’re not happy about this, could it?”
Jing He glanced at his father’s expression before lowering his eyes again and shaking his head. “That’s not it. It’s merely … Knowing Longjun, I find it unlikely that he’d just do as he’s told and stay away. I guess it would be much more likely for him to come over here and demand to see me in person.”
The Heavenly Emperor felt gratified inside that his son was thinking about this matter so clearly. He still gave a huff. “What are the heavenly guards for if not keeping people we do not want here out of the palace?”
Jing He nodded. “Father is naturally right. It is the duty of the heavenly guards to keep them out if you refuse to see them. I’m just afraid that the guards aren’t a match for Longjun.”
Rong Su couldn’t help but think of previous occasions when that bastard had managed to make his way to son’s palace despite the heavenly guards trying to keep him away. His son was probably right. Still, he didn’t want to hear that! He squeezed Jing He’s hand and gave a strained smile. “Don’t think too much. It isn’t like that guy is that strong.”
Jing He kept his thoughts to himself and just continued to silently massage his father’s shoulders. He couldn’t help but long to return to his own palace and enjoy the solitude though. Especially right now …
Before he could finish the thought, a commotion could be heard outside. “Longjun, please wait!”
The Heavenly Emperor’s brows furrowed and he rose from his chair, motioning for his son to stay where he was. It seemed that dandy had indeed dared to break into his palace. Ah, then if he really came to his study … His brows furrowed together even further. He had to do something!
He turned to Jing He and gave a brilliant smile. “Jing He, my dear, it seems you were right about him. He just can’t take no for an answer. He has no manners at all! I will talk to him. You should go and leave through the back.”
Jing He glanced at his father and then nodded. He got up and left without looking back. Ah, maybe this was for the best. Maybe if his father really told Longjun off, he would indeed stop coming by. Then his own life would return to how it had been before. He’d spend his days alone in this palace, without having to make sure that he was dressed well enough to meet that man. He wouldn’t have to talk about all these irrelevant things and keep up a happy expression. He could just … be for himself. Wasn’t that very good?
Jing He reached his palace and smiled at Huang Lan and Mu Kun before he stepped inside. His smile collapsed and his gaze darkened. Never seeing him again … It did hurt a bit. Even though he hadn’t necessarily expected to marry him, he had still thought that maybe things would change. He had thought that maybe this man was more than he seemed. And it was certainly nice to have somebody around who wouldn’t hurt him and who would spend some time with. Unfortunately, it was already impossible.
He stepped past the folding screen, his gaze trained on the ground as usual. He walked toward his study, only to stop halfway over. On the ground in front of him … He could see the hem of a black robe. That kind of black robe …
Jing He raised his head only to be met with the inquisitive gaze of Qiu Ling. His expression derailed for just a spell before he managed to force a smile back onto his lips. “Long—”
Qiu Ling furrowed his brows. “Aren’t you feeling well?”
Jing He couldn’t even finish his greeting. How come the person he had barely known for two years and had never talked about anything consequential with was able to see at a glance that he wasn’t doing well while his own father failed to see how much his words hurt him?