Seeing Qiu Ling’s excited expression, Jing He calmed down further. Right, why had he worried at all? Obviously, Longjun loved talking about himself. Asking him a few questions shouldn’t be a problem. He might even welcome it if they were slightly more invasive.
On the other hand, Qiu Ling pondered deeply how he should answer. He didn’t mind praising himself a bit more in front of his beloved but the person he was supposed to compare himself to was his uncle-in-law. He should leave him a way out and not make him look too bad.
Thus, Qiu Ling kept quiet for a moment, his expression thoughtful as if he really had to consider how to explain this matter.
His cautious behavior made Jing He curious. Just what might be the answer? He had thought it would be something simple but with how Longjun looked … At the same time, he couldn’t help but appreciate that the dragon king was taking so much time to answer even such a seemingly simple question. He had actually judged him wrong in the past.
Qiu Ling finally looked up. “To be honest, I can’t say for sure. I don’t know the God of War very well.” In fact, he didn’t know him at all. He had only remembered who the guy was because of the previous interaction they had had after the blunder that Fu Min caused. Otherwise, he might’ve drawn a complete blank as to who this God of War actually was.
Ah, looking at it from that side, Fu Min wasn’t completely useless. Even though he hadn’t done his task well, he had at least managed to make sure that he wouldn’t forget about his beloved’s uncle anymore. That was also important. Maybe he should be a little nicer to him in the future.
Jing He nodded. “That is to be expected. If Longjun doesn’t know, then there’s no need to think about it any longer.”
“Well, I could imagine that it is because of the different way of fighting that the gods and the dragons employ.”
“Oh?” Jing He didn’t know about this kind of thing but he still paid attention. At that moment, he could hardly remember that his father had forbidden him from seeing this man. What counted was only this moment. “Could Longjun explain this a little more for me?”
Qiu Ling hummed, happy that his beloved was so interested in what he had to say. “Well, the gods are able to use all kinds of magic while the dragons are more limited in that perspective. On the other hand, our bodies are tougher because of our scales. And very often, a dragon would use their other form to fight. So clothes wouldn’t play a big role for us. It is different for the gods. Wearing clothes that will give them an extra means of protection is advantageous to them. So practicability is more important to them than appearance while we are in the lucky position to be able to pay more attention to the latter.”
Jing He smiled at that. “So it was like that.” He felt that it made sense. He probably should have thought of it himself. But fights were something he had never concerned himself with so he didn’t even know how to approach such a question. Well, if his father knew he had asked so much about that today …
Jing He lowered his gaze and pushed the thought aside. No, he didn’t want to think about that right now. For the time being, only Longjun was important. He should use this opportunity and ask him some more things.
Jing He pondered and then leaned slightly closer, earning himself a surprised look from Qiu Ling. “What I was wondering … Longjun has mentioned the dragons’ other form a few times. What does it look like?”
Qiu Ling tensed up and looked the other way, his fingers brushing over some invisible crease in his robe. “Well, there’s nothing much to see. It’s just a lot of scales.”
Jing He waited for some further information but nothing came. Surprisingly, the person who had patiently answered all the questions before didn’t seem to want to talk about this. Had he said something wrong? Maybe this was something very personal? Jing He wanted to ask but then stopped himself. If it really was too personal, then asking once was already bad enough. Talking about it any longer would only make matters worse. He really didn’t know enough about the dragons even though he had asked Scholar An Bai quite a few things already. Well, some things would be normal to the dragons to point where they probably wouldn’t even think of sharing them.
Jing He searched for something else that he could say and motioned at the table. “What I was also wondering … Longjun has had quite a few things prepared. Is there something that you like to eat especially?”
Qiu Ling looked back, his tensed shoulders slightly relaxing. “Well, to be honest, it’s not among these things.”
“Oh? That sounds as if there was some story behind it.”
Qiu Ling’s expression turned thoughtful as if what he remembered was from a long-ago time. “Well, that might be. It’s just that it makes me think of … some happy memories.” His lips tightened when he said so, making Jing He look away.
Ah, it seemed he had a talent for picking out the worst topics when talking to him. First, he asked an insensitive question and then he asked one that would remind the other person of something they didn’t want to remember. For a moment, he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t dare ask anything else and the dragon king didn’t seem as if he would say anything on his own accord for the time being. It seemed he could only say something himself.
Jing He’s gaze flickered and his own lips tightened as well. There were a few things he didn’t want to talk about but in this situation, it was still better than ruining the day. “I actually don’t have anything like that. I mean there are some dishes that I do like to eat but not to the point where I’d say that it is special or that I would have a real preference for it.”
Qiu Ling looked back at him, still looking slightly tense. “No?”
Jing He shook his head. “No, although I don’t know why. I just …” He sighed and reached out, picking up one of the pastries he had tried before. “I’ve actually never really thought about it. Does that sound strange?” He looked at Qiu Ling, trying to see if there was any kind of judgment in his eyes. To his surprise, Qiu Ling just looked at him thoughtfully.
“Why would it be strange?”
“I felt that a lot of people seem to be quite sure about this.”
Qiu Ling gave a hum and also picked up one of the pastries, looking at it with the same thoughtful expression. “In the end, it’s of no consequence, is it? But then again, one might feel that it says a lot about us as well.”
Jing He nodded, feeling that he might have some things in common with the dragon king. In the end, what was the reason that he didn’t want to speak about what that special dish was he liked? Wasn’t it because he was afraid somebody might glean too much from that? Just like he didn’t dare to think what he liked to eat because he was afraid of what that knowledge might be used for.
Maybe that was ridiculous because it didn’t matter just like Qiu Ling had said. Maybe they had also made experiences, showing them that being careful might be the right way to go.
“Is there actually something without consequence?”
Qiu Ling ate the rest of the pastry, pondering and finally leaned closer. “What’s your favorite color?”
Qiu Ling gave a smile. “What’s the consequence of that?”
“Longjun didn’t ask why. So what is yours?”
Qiu Ling’s lips parted and he seemed like he wanted to speak but then he fell quiet again. Actually, what was his favorite color? “It might be blue as well.”
“Then why is that?”
Qiu Ling looked at him, reaching out and gently tugging at the corner of Jing He’s robe. “When I first saw you, you were wearing a blue robe.”
Jing He just smiled, not saying anything else. Maybe this should have been expected. This man’s reason to like something or not, it really seemed so simple. Although … It was quite interesting how he had hesitated before he said that. Not before the reason but the color that he liked. It made him wonder what he had thought of before. Unfortunately, they weren’t close enough by far to ask that kind of question. After all, there was nothing without consequence. Not if he considered their positions.