At the same time, Qiu Ling had already returned to the dragon realm. He made his way over to the palace as soon as he could to make sure that not too much time would pass while he was here. It was always dangerous to be in the dragon realm while the person he loved was in the mortal realm. Who knew how much time would pass over there while he was just delivering the sword and checking up on things? His beloved might miss him a lot. How could he let that happen?
Qiu Ling entered the palace and then went right toward Xiang Yong’s chambers. A few steps away from it, he halted though.
He stared ahead and then ducked behind a corner, taking out Hong Ai’s sword. He unsheathed the weapon and stared at the silvery blade. A weapon made for hunting demons, made especially to hurt those who had that cursed blood.
He raised his hand, looking at it with some uncertainty. He knew it was futile but he finally ran the blade across his palm, wincing at the sharp pain that coursed through his body. He clenched his hand into a fist, pressing it up against his chest while he fell down on his knees, sheathing the weapon again.
As expected. Nothing had changed. Well, how should it? He had to be a fool to believe that something would ever change. He could not change who he was, he couldn’t change who he had been born to, he could not change this cursed blood.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, fighting against the pain he had inflicted on himself. He pushed himself back up onto his feet and rounded the corner again, walking over to the door to Xiang Yong’s chamber.
He couldn’t change who he was. But … sooner or later, it wouldn’t play a role anymore. He had managed to deceive these people for so long. And the only one whom he hadn’t deceived, who he had actually told the truth to, had been able to accept it. He did not know for sure whether Jing He would be able to do the same or not. But he held some hope that he would. After all, Jing He obviously loved him just as madly as he loved him. Surely, he wouldn’t despise him just because of this, would he?
He paused for a moment and then finally knocked on the door, trying to push the thought away.
Unfortunately, nobody answered him. Qiu Ling cursed and then took out a transmission stone, contacting Xiang Yong. “Where are you right now?” He asked immediately when Xiang Yong’s apparition appeared, not even giving him the chance to greet him.
Xiang Yong also didn’t bother to talk in circles. Somehow, his king didn’t look too well. “Your Majesty, I am at the back of the palace. I’ve managed to gather some people. Have you been able to come up with a way to test them?”
Qiu Ling gave a hum and then started rushing over. “I’ll be there in a bit. Let’s get this over with as soon as possible. I need to return.” He cut the connection and then already reached the door, stepping outside. He glanced over the people of the dragon race that had gathered and almost wanted to laugh.
The dragon race’s people were quite colorful. Looking at their eyes and hair, he often felt like an outsider. He sometimes thought that maybe this was part of why he had felt so drawn to Jing He: For the gods, it was normal to have black eyes and hair. For the dragons, it was a bit of an anomaly. A desirable one but still strange for sure.
Now, the people that Xiang Yong had rounded up were quite a bit like this though. More than half of them sported black hair and most of them had dark eyes as well, even though it could hardly be said that all were pitch black. It seemed that the blood of your parents made quite the difference indeed.
Xiang Yong stepped toward him when he appeared, bowing. “Your Majesty.”
Qiu Ling nodded and then handed him the sword, not wanting to have any more contact with it.
Xiang Yong reached out, pausing for just the slightest bit before he took the sword out of his hand. His gaze swept up to Qiu Ling’s eyes for a moment but then he bowed again. “Then I will be conducting the test now, Your Majesty. Please give me a moment.”
He stepped away, turning back to the people that had been waiting and were currently trying to look at Qiu Ling in a not too obvious way so as to not give away their excitement at personally meeting the king.
“As I have explained previously, His Majesty needs people to go on a mission in the mortal realm that requires the participants to not be too influenced by things that are reacting to blood related to the dragons’ ancestry. There’s a good chance that because of the blood of the gods that is flowing through your veins, this will be the case for some of you. This weapon can be used to determine as such. Place hold out your hands, so I can test you.”
The dragons moved at once, all of them extending their hands. Even if it turned out that they weren’t eligible for this, they did not shy away. Anyway, they could be of use to their king. What honor that was!
Xiang Yong nodded and then unsheathed the weapon, flicking it once before he stepped in front of the first person and slashed their hand. Seeing the dragon wince, he lightly furrowed his brows.
It seemed that the weapons of those demon hunters were indeed quite potent. He could only hope that some of these people would be less sensitive to it than others. But anyway, those people would be more than enough to take out one puny mortal sect. They first needed to find that handful though.