Qiu Ling toured all the three immortal realms in search of the materials he needed, making sure he only got the best of everything. He definitely couldn’t let his beloved suffer even the smallest grievance!
Meanwhile, Jing He continued to stay inside his palace for a while. He went about his usual routine but finally, he couldn’t help but stop. He did not know what Qiu Ling was trying to do but he felt like he should do something himself.
This time, he felt that his father had gone too far. Did he really need so many guards around his palace? Even if it wasn’t for Longjun, they truly made him uncomfortable. It would be for the best if he could get his father to ease up a little. Even if he didn’t take back all of them, it would be good if he could at least reduce their number.
Jing He pondered for a moment and went to check his image in the mirror before he nodded to himself. He definitely couldn’t let his father notice that he was feeling ill at ease with the situation. If he did, his father would just construe this into something it wasn’t.
He went to the door and almost heaved a sigh of relief when he saw that one of the two guards by the door was still Huang Lan. He gave a small smile and nodded. “Huang Lan. Mu Kun isn’t here today?”
Huang Lan turned around and bowed. “Greetings, Your Highness. No, Mu Kun was guarding the door at night and is currently resting.”
“I see.” Jing He fell quiet for a moment and looked around. The guards had slightly shifted when they noticed that he came out and several pairs of eyes were now on him. He tensed but forced himself to try to appear calm. “I am headed over to my father’s palace. How about you accompany me?”
Huang Lan bowed again. “It’s my pleasure, Your Highness.”
Jing He nodded and went ahead. Normally, he wouldn’t ask anybody to accompany him. After all, the distance wasn’t that far and he didn’t believe that anyone would be bold enough to attack him on the way to his father’s palace.
But, while he normally wouldn’t, the situation right now was special. His father was already on edge because he mistakenly believed that Longjun had taken advantage of him. These guards were his way of trying to keep any ‘unsavory’ person away. Naturally, if he wanted his father to relax his attitude, it would be necessary to show him that he was dependable and would do anything necessary to keep himself out of harm’s way. Maybe then, his father would understand that there was no need for such tight security.
Before Jing He could leave, one of the guards his father had sent stepped in front of him and bowed as well. “Your Highness, please let us send a message to the Heavenly Emperor first. Also, I don’t think having just one escort would be enough.”
Jing He stared at the man in a daze. Huang Lan and Mu Kun never would have dared to talk to him like this. In fact, no guard should do so. Even though he was always polite, he was still the Heavenly Emperor’s son and thus far above their station. Criticizing his behavior like this …
He lowered his gaze and nodded despite everything. Even though he felt this behavior to be wrong, he would not argue. It would not fit his image. He could not allow himself a blunder like this. “Very well. Please have somebody inform my father then. I will head back inside until his answer arrives.”
“Many thanks for your understanding, Your Highness.” The guard nodded and then turned away, going to organize everything.
Huang Lan looked at Jing He with worry but kept quiet. Even though the dragon king had often made him and Mu Kun feel inadequate and caused quite the confusion to His Highness at times, he had never hurt the crown prince. In fact, it sometimes seemed as if his presence might have had a positive influence on him. At the very least, he wasn’t always alone anymore and on some rare occasions, they had actually looked like a well-fitting couple.
Huang Lan wouldn’t dare to have any opinion on the matter of whether or not their crown prince should marry the dragon king but at the very least, he had an opinion on how the dragon king treated him. And, to be honest, he was very satisfied with that. It was plainly obvious that the crown prince was the most important person in Longjun’s eyes, somebody who was cherished and protected. After being his guard for so long, that was what he wished for him.
On the other hand, seeing him disrespected by a mere guard … Even if that person had been sent by the Heavenly Emperor, Huang Lan was furious that he would dare to do this. Their crown prince did not deserve to be treated like this! If the guards wanted to blame somebody, they should blame Longjun! But most likely, they wouldn’t dare to even look at him crossly after seeing how strong he was. Useless fools.
He wanted to curse at them but seeing that the person next to him wasn’t Mu Kun today, he finally stayed quiet. His words of rage wouldn’t change anything about what had happened and wouldn’t make these people treat their crown prince with more reverence either. Instead, it might even make His Highness feel more embarrassed. Hmph, he’d just wait until tomorrow!
Jing He had no idea that his personal guard was inwardly raging. He himself just sighed and let it be, waiting for his father’s response. Knowing him, it shouldn’t take long and he might even berate those guards after the fact, not even caring that it had been his orders that led to this. That was just how he was.
In fact, Jing He was spot on with his observation about his father. This was precisely what the Heavenly Emperor would do if he found out what that guard had done. For now, that wasn’t the case though. The person that the guard had sent over phrased his reason for coming to the Heavenly Emperor’s palace differently.
“Your Majesty, the Son of Heaven has requested to see you. Would you —”
“Who did what?” The Heavenly Emperor wasn’t paying any attention, his gaze still focused on a small booklet lying in front of him. Ah, he felt that nobody could fault him for this! There were so many people who wanted something from him every day. He should be allowed not to care about each and every one of them.
The guard looked at him with some confusion but then repeated. “The Son of Heaven has requested an audience with Your Majesty.”
“The Son of —” Rong Su suddenly straightened up. “The Son of Heaven?!” He jumped to his feet and threw the booklet at the guard’s head. “Damn this! Just say that my son wants to see me!” He didn’t wait for the response and instead rushed out of his palace.
Ah, his precious son missed him! He definitely couldn’t let him wait. He had to go as fast as he could and make sure that he wasn’t lacking anything. Mn, this was such a nice surprise.