RSH Stratagem 17: Expect Setbacks after Successes (4)

When Qiu Ling returned to the Nine Heavens that evening to once again meet up with Jing He secretly, he was greeted by several dozen guards, standing around Jing He’s palace, making sure that not a single person could slip inside unnoticed.

Qiu Ling stopped on a tree not far from the palace and watched the spectacle with confusion. Why were there suddenly so many guards around? Didn’t his beloved normally like things to be quiet? In fact, he had hardly seen anyone here other than the same two guards over and over.

There were a handful of others that would take over from time to time so they could take a break but that was all. It was always the same people rotating and never more than just two of them at the same time to guard the main entrance. Looking at how things were right now, it almost made him wonder if his Jing He had swapped palaces with somebody else. This definitely wasn’t like him.

Qiu Ling continued to look and couldn’t help but give a hum. The longer he looked, the more he couldn’t help but feel that these guards weren’t just there to offer him more security but to be on the look-out for something special. Or, well, someone special.

“This should be that old bastard’s fault. Maybe he heard of how Jing He and I spent such a beautiful night together and couldn’t live with the thought so he came up with this kind of nonsense?”

It certainly sounded like a possibility. At the very least, that was much more likely than Jing He suddenly moving out and having somebody else move in. It was a pity though. This meant that it wouldn’t be as easy to get into the palace and get him outside to spend time with him. Really such a pity!

Mn … Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes and watched the guards more closely. He didn’t believe that there was no way to get into this palace. It might take a while and require some effort but it was definitely possible.

After watching for half an hour, Qiu Ling still hadn’t managed to find a way to get in. He furrowed his brows in frustration but there was nothing he could do. Apparently, there really was no way to sneak in.

If he still wanted to do it, he’d have to fight these people. And if he did, that would once again draw the other gods over. Then, he’d have to fight a prolonged battle and might even scare his beloved. The last time, he had done so because he was afraid he would need to be fast and save his beloved from some man. But this time, his beloved should be all alone inside so there was no reason to fret. It was just a matter of when they would be able to see each other again.

Qiu Ling pursed his lips and looked around, wondering if he should really just go back. Since he had already come here and taken so much effort to observe the gods, he would feel that it was a pity if he didn’t make use of the opportunity somehow though. Since he couldn’t get in … Was there something else he could do?

His gaze finally landed upon a small bird that sat on a branch not far from him. Qiu Ling’s gaze lit up and he reached out his hand, beckoning it closer. Thankfully, animals listened to what the dragons said. This was just perfect.

“See the palace over there? My beloved is inside. How about you deliver a message for me?”

The bird chirped and then watched as Qiu Ling took out a scroll of paper and a brush and scribbled a message on the corner before ripping it off. He then tied the small strip of paper to the bird’s leg and motioned to the palace again.

“Alright, time for your big act. Just fly to the window and give it to the handsome person inside.”

The bird chirped again and indeed flew over, sitting down on the windowsill and looking inside.

Inside the room, there were two people. One was a beautiful young man and the other was a beautiful woman. The bird tilted its head, not quite sure which one that person meant.

The Heavenly Empress looked over when she saw a shadow outside and her lips twitched. “Jing He, my dear, it looks like somebody sent you a message.”

Jing He looked up in confusion and then over when his mother gestured to the windowsill with her head. Seeing the bird, he was still confused at first but then noticed the small strip of paper. He raised his brows but then got up and walked over, picking the bird up. He looked outside but he could only see the guards. There was no sign of Longjun anywhere.

Feeling puzzled, he untied the slip of paper. The characters written on it … Jing He stared at them in a daze and then pulled the paper closer, trying to decipher what Longjun had written.

“Aiya. He should have found a bigger bird. How are you supposed to read that?” Bai Fen leaned over her son’s shoulder and looked at the message unabashedly.

Jing He froze and his cheeks flushed. He turned around to her, not quite sure what to say.

“So? Did you find out what he wrote?” The Heavenly Empress didn’t bother about her son’s embarrassed expression. Anyway, if she always bothered about that, they’d never get anywhere.

Seeing his mother being so nonchalant about it, Jing He turned back to the message in his hands. “I think he wrote ‘Your father’ …” Jing He stopped awkwardly and peeked at his mother again.

“Haish!” The Heavenly Empress pulled the message out of his hands and held it in front of her face. “‘Your father is really being too unreasonable. Did you know that he put lots of guards around your palace? I haven’t found a way in yet. Anyway, I’ll figure out a way to come see you soon. Love you.'” She lowered her hand and looked out of the window with a complicated expression. “I guess I should compliment him for including yet another love confession?”

Jing He lowered his head. What had Longjun written there?

Bai Fen glanced at her son. “Actually, you can count yourself lucky that he didn’t write ‘You must be really suffering right now. If you want me to, I could take you away to the dragon realm so we can get married, then you can live with me.’ as well.”

Jing He would have liked to refute but … unfortunately, he also felt that this was entirely in the realm of possibilities when it came to the dragon king. He just was that type of person.

Bai Fen smirked when she saw her son’s expression. She handed the message back to him and then went to his study, returning with a piece of paper and a brush.

Jing He looked at her dumbfounded. “Mother, this …”

“Well, your suitor actually took the pains to send you a message despite the palace being surrounded so tightly. Don’t you feel that you owe him a response?”

Jing He’s cheeks flushed further but he finally took the brush. Yes, even though he felt that Longjun was unreasonable as well for sending a secret message when he obviously wasn’t welcomed by his father, he couldn’t very well just ignore him. He should respond. Although … he really didn’t know what to write.

« ToC »

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