Back in the house of the Zhong family, the preparations for the funeral were in full swing. Jing Yi had been holding vigil next to the casket for the past days, his face was slightly pale but he refused to get up. He was quietly burning incense for her, hoping that it would somehow help her find peace wherever her spirit had gone.
Qiu Ling was kneeling next to him. Considering that they had never gotten married, he wasn’t officially considered a part of this family but he didn’t care. This was his beloved’s mortal mother and she had also welcomed him with open arms. Not only had she agreed to their relationship, but she had even helped take care of him back when he had been imprisoned in his inner self. If there was one mortal that he owed, it would be her.
And even disregarding that, he just couldn’t bring himself to leave Jing Yi alone with this. His beloved was very obviously suffering. The least he could do was to stay at his side. Thus, he quietly burned incense with him, hoping that Jing Yi would pull through this and not get consumed by this sorrow.
While Qiu Ling was immersed in his thoughts, his transmission stone suddenly started to pulse, alerting him to the fact that somebody wanted to talk to him. He tightened his lips but thinking of how Fu Min and Fu Heng still hadn’t arrived, he also didn’t think he should ignore it.
He turned to Jing Yi and lightly grabbed his shoulder. “I’ll step out for a moment to check if there is news about your cousin. I’ll be back immediately.”
“Mn.” Jing Yi nodded weakly but didn’t even look up at him.
Qiu Ling continued to look at him for a moment before he got up and walked outside. He didn’t even need to take out his transmission stone though. Fu Min and Fu Heng were standing on the other side of the courtyard, the unconscious Guanyu half-hidden behind them.
Qiu Ling raised his brows, turned to glance over his shoulder, and then walked over. “What happened?”
The pair of husbands exchanged a glance and finally, Fu Min cleared his throat. “We found her but she wasn’t very accommodating. Anyway, we managed to get her here. Fu Heng pressed an acupoint so she shouldn’t be able to say anything wrong.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “You did well.”
The two dragons stared at him in a daze. Had their king just praised them? And even in such a serious tone? This sure was new …
Fu Min hurriedly shook himself out of his reverie when he saw that Qiu Ling was about to turn away again. “Your Majesty, there’s one more thing.”
Qiu Ling raised his brows. He just wanted to return back inside to accompany his beloved. What else could there be?
Fu Min smiled wryly. “It turns out that her husband is a demon.”
Qiu Ling slowly blinked his eyes. A demon? It had been years since he saw Xiao Li but he distinctly remembered that that guy had behaved strangely when they appeared. He had thought it was just because he was afraid that his lies would be uncovered but it seemed there had been more to it. No wonder he had run away so soon. “How have you dealt with him?”
Fu Min and Fu Heng exchanged another glance. “Uh, we hit him unconscious, tied him up, and locked him into a utility room.”
Qiu Ling blinked again. His gaze roamed over the courtyard before he finally turned back. “Make sure none of the servants can enter the room. We wouldn’t want anybody to find the family’s son-in-law in that kind of compromising situation until the funeral is over.”
Fu Min and Fu Heng nodded seriously. “Don’t worry, Your Majesty. We’ll ensure that he stays hidden until you give the word.”
Qiu Ling nodded and then turned to glance at Guanyu. “You should hand her over to her mother so she can help her prepare for the procession. It’s only a few more days until then. She shouldn’t miss those.”
Once again, the two dragons nodded and this time, they didn’t try to hold Qiu Ling back when he turned and went back into the hall.
As soon as he had left, Fu Min turned to Fu Heng though. “How to tell her mother to help? Her daughter is currently unconscious.”
Fu Heng glanced at Guanyu and furrowed his brows. “Hm … Let’s take on another appearance first. After that … let’s just say a mortal wasn’t able to take the rushed journey so she fainted from exhaustion?”
Fu Min’s lips curved into a smile. “How sneaky!” He leaned forward and grabbed his husband’s lapel, pecking his lips. “I like it!”
Fu Heng smiled as well and then picked up Guanyu, following Fu Min through the estate until they found a servant that could guide them to Mi Fang. As for their explanation … it was surprisingly well accepted.
Mi Fang nodded with tears in her eyes. “Thank you so much for making haste! I’m sure Guanyu would have been devastated if she had missed her aunt’s funeral. Ah, I still can’t believe that Ru Chen won’t be around anymore.” She dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief, seeming to be more distressed over Madam Zhong’s death than about her own daughter’s unconsciousness.
The two dragons exchanged another glance but couldn’t really figure it out. In the end, they ignored the matter and just nodded politely.
Mi Fang was indeed desolate after Ru Chen’s death. While she had originally been unhappy when her husband called his family from the countryside over, she had soon let go of her prejudice. The two women had bonded over having children of the same age and when she saw Ru Chen suffer after her husband’s death, she really hadn’t been able to hold onto any negative feelings she might have still had. By now, she had long taken her as a sister. To think that she would now never be able to see this sister … She really didn’t know how to feel about that.