The group continued to sit in the teahouse for a while longer, starting on the dishes as soon as they were brought over. Hua Lin Rong already seemed to have gotten over his previous hangups regarding Xin Lan completely.
Even though he was still fussing over Hua Lin Yu half the time, adding some food to his bowl, making sure that he had enough to drink and that there wasn’t even the slightest bit that annoyed him, he had stopped glaring at Xin Lan when he dared to touch his little brother or talk to him and was instead eagerly listening to him. Well, it wasn’t a wonder. More than half the questions that Xin Lan had to answer were coming from him in the first place.
“So, even if you aren’t working for him, have you ever seen the current dragon king? What is he like?”
Xin Lan nodded. “To be honest, I probably have a different perspective on him than other people.”
Xin Lan didn’t mind giving away any secrets of Qiu Ling at all so he answered truthfully. “Back when the king I served was still ruling, the current king grew up in the palace. I guess it wouldn’t be wrong to say that his father was serving my king.”
This time, Hua Lin Rong was even more surprised. “Serving the king? But shouldn’t he have been the king’s son?” That was how royal or imperial families chose their successors after all, wasn’t it? It couldn’t be that just anyone had been tested, right?
Xin Lan shook his head though. “That isn’t how it works in our realm. We decide just based on skill. His father was a skilled fighter, I’ll let him have that.” He didn’t bother to mention that Chun Yin had actually been the one who had been contending for the throne with Jinde. There really was no reason to say any other good words about that bastard. Saying that he was a good fighter was already quite nice and he only did so because he knew that back in his generation, Chun Yin had really been the strongest warrior of the dragon race just like Qiu Ling was right now.
Hua Lin Rong was already intrigued by just that fact anyway. “Then is his son just as skilled?”
Xin Lan nodded faintly. “Yes, he is quite good as well. And fighting is a highly valued skill in the dragon race so that is something he definitely has going for him. Other than that, it is a little difficult for me to say. I still remember how he was like as a child.”
Actually, Hua Lin Rong did have a heart for gossip and the two Huo brothers weren’t different at all. Even though the Jian Yi Sect prided itself in upholding righteousness and the disciples indeed tried to follow these teachings in their everyday lives, being cultivators wasn’t always interesting and with many people converging at the same place, there were just many things happening between them that could be talked about. So as long as it didn’t devolve into bullying, nobody minded if these young people gossiped a bit.
Thus, Huo Cheng finally couldn’t hold back and asked a question of his own. “Why? Could it be that his behavior as a child was really shameful?”
Xin Lan smiled faintly, enjoying this conversation more and more. “Well, I guess you could say that. He was a bit of a brat back then. Actually, I think you could say that he still is. It’s just that nobody would dare to think of him like that since he’s the king now.”
Huo Hai had been just as curious as his brother but hearing this response, he wasn’t happy. “I bet you’re just making all of this up. You’ve probably never even met the dragon king. Whether it’s this one or the one before that. You’re just telling lies to make yourself look more interesting!”
Hua Lin Yu furrowed his brows when his senior martial brother said that, now really angry at him. “How can you say something like this?” Anyway, had Xin Lan ever given them a reason to be like this? He hadn’t done anything to them!
Hua Lin Rong also wasn’t happy. While Xin Lan wasn’t necessarily forthcoming with details, he still felt that nobody would dare to make a story like this up. Also, this was something that they would likely be able to make sure on either when they ascended themselves or if they contacted somebody from their family that had already ascended before. So it wasn’t like Xin Lan would achieve anything by lying to them.
Xin Lan just gave a breezy smile as well. “Well, you don’t have to believe me. Anyway, if you want to make sure, you could just ask your Master. If I remember correctly, then she has met him.”
The other four all widened their eyes and stared at Xin Lan questioningly.
“Master met the dragon king?”
Xin Lan reached out and nudged Hua Lin Yu’s forehead. “You also met the dragon king. He is currently in the human realm. It’s that man we met in the capital city.”
This time, none of the others knew what to say about this.
The one who first found his voice back was Hua Lin Rong. “The dragon king … is in the mortal realm? And my brother and his Master both met him?”
“Yes, that’s the case.” Xin Lan said so very nonchalantly as if it wasn’t a big deal at all. Well, to him, it really wasn’t. “He came to the mortal realm because of his beloved. You do know how dragons are monogamous. Also, some of them have some trouble separating after they have found their partner. Thus, he’s been staying around.
“Xiao Yu and I went to see him just before we came home to your family since something had happened in his beloved’s family and we wanted to make sure whether we could help. As for your Master, she should have met him back when the matter with the demon-hunting sects happened. I’m sure that you can go and ask her if you don’t trust me.”