RSH Stratagem 16: Be a Little Personal (2)

Qiu Ling kept quiet for a while, wondering how to phrase his question. In the end, he still decided to be direct about it. Anyway, Jing He already knew him to be like this. “So is there anything else you’d like to do? I mean besides strolling around with me?”

Jing He looked up, not quite understanding. “Longjun’s meaning is …?”

“Is there a place you’d like to go? Or something you’d like to see? Or … anything you’ve always wanted to try? Anyway, we do have the time.”

Jing He shook his head. “Nothing of the like.” In fact, he had never thought about it. How would he dare to? Even if he did, would he really have a chance to give it a try? He could hardly imagine that.

Qiu Ling gave another hum and looked around. There wasn’t much going on at this time of the night. Somewhere else in the capital, some people might still be up but Jing He’s Palace was quite a bit away from any of the buildings. Even if they wanted to do something, it would be difficult. “So I guess it’ll be just the same as now. Walking, talking for a bit. You should tell me if I’m starting to bore you.”

Jing He shook his head. “Longjun would never.”

“Well … I would never do so willingly. I’m not quite sure what to tell you about though. With nothing else around to occupy your mind, you might find the topics I can bring up a little lacking.”

Jing He couldn’t help but feel pleased Qiu Ling was putting in so much effort to make sure he would enjoy this night. Considering that they hadn’t seen each other for a while, this really was nice. “Well, I’ve had the chance to ask Scholar An Bai about the dragon race. That makes me feel that I’ve managed to acquire a better understanding. There’s still many things I’ve never heard of though. Maybe Longjun would like to tell me a bit?”

“Well … If there is something you would like to hear, then I would gladly give you an answer. I just can’t promise that I will know as much as him.” He tightened his lips, reminding himself that he should go and teach that guy a lesson. How dare he try to impress his beloved?!

Thanks to the moonlight, Jing He was able to see Qiu Ling’s expression. He couldn’t help but be stunned when he saw him be miffed as soon as Scholar An Bai was brought up. Wasn’t he his adviser? Why was he still like this? But speaking of that … He should probably try to help out.

Jing He reached out and lightly put his fingers on Qiu Ling’s arm. “About the other day … I hope Longjun didn’t have a bad impression. To be honest, the question I wanted to ask that day was related to you. I would have been too embarrassed to do so in front of you. I hope you weren’t angry at him … or me.”

Qiu Ling’s expression lit up. “A question about me? What kind of question?” He hadn’t been come by again since that day and had completely forgotten about it since he was occupied with cursing the Heavenly Emperor because he was trying to keep him from his beloved. But now that he thought about it … Maybe Jing He had indeed looked a little awkward that day? Naturally, he wouldn’t want to admit something like that. He was a very reserved person, after all.

Jing He smiled noncommittally and looked away as if to prove Qiu Ling’s thoughts. “I only told Longjun so Scholar An Bai wouldn’t get into trouble. Can you really expect me to say it aloud? It would be embarrassing to me.”

Seeing Jing He finally look away and his voice lower slightly, Qiu Ling’s thoughts went haywire. Ah, the endless possibilities of just what his beloved could have wanted to ask An Bai … He might just forgive that guy if he was honest with him when he went to ask!

Anyway, that had time until later. For now, he should spend more time with his beloved and make sure that he was happy. Thus, Qiu Ling took a deep breath and then nodded. “Alright, if Your Highness doesn’t want to answer, then I will not ask. Rather than that, what else would you like to know? I mean you wanted me to tell you about the dragon race, right? Is there something you have in mind?”

Jing He pondered for a moment, his thoughts circling around what he had told Qiu Ling before. “I know a lot of stories about Tian. There are, of course, other important figures in the god race but Tian has always been the most important. What about the dragons? Are there any stories shared widely? Something any dragon would know so that if you asked somebody you just met on the street they’d be able to tell you that one?”

Qiu Ling blankly stared ahead. Yeah … What kind of story would people tell if you did that? To be honest, he had no idea. That really was a bummer. Here he was, for once having the chance to impress his beloved but he couldn’t come up with anything.

It made him wonder if he had never heard any stories. Trying to think back to when he had been younger, there were a few that came to mind but Qiu Ling couldn’t help but furrow his brows. He wasn’t quite sure if he wanted to talk about that. No, screw that, he’d much rather forget all about it.

But his beloved had asked for a story, hadn’t he? So it would still be better if he told him one. This was a chance for him, after all. And hadn’t he decided that his past shouldn’t interfere with his present or future? In that case, he couldn’t let this hold him back. Anyway, he did not need to disclose all the details.

He cleared his throat and turned back to Jing He, noting the fact that his beloved was — probably unconsciously — still holding onto his arm. A light smile graced his lips when he noticed. Well, this was indeed worth it.

“I’m not quite sure what kind of story a random person on the streets would tell but I can remember a story or two that I’ve heard when I was younger. Would you like to hear one of those?”

Jing He nodded. “Very much so.” In a way, he was even more interested in what kind of story Qiu Ling himself would have heard. He was much older than him so maybe he could even tell him of something that he had personally seen transpire in the dragon realm?

Qiu Ling felt pleased with himself when he saw Jing He’s interested expression even though he hadn’t even started telling his story. He reached up and lightly covered Jing He’s hand with his.

The crown prince’s eyes widened slightly when he noticed that he had still held onto the dragon king. He was embarrassed but before he could decide what to do, Qiu Ling had already spoken up again.

“Then do you want to continue strolling while I tell you or do you want to take a seat somewhere first?”

Jing He looked around and couldn’t see any place where they could take a break. “Well, how about starting to tell the story and if you find a nice place, we could stop there?” That seemed the easiest way to go about this.

Qiu Ling nodded and then thought back to his childhood and the story that person had once told him with a gentle smile on his lips, long before he was able to understand what exactly this story actually meant.

« ToC »

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