Hua Lin Rong gulped. He definitely did not dare to tell Xin Lan the full truth. But he also knew that he couldn’t just leave things be. “Well, I guess you could say that back then, while he liked you quite a lot, he did not have a real understanding of what marriage should be like. I think that he just had an image in his mind that was beautiful to him so he wanted to pursue that. Now, after three years, he’s matured a bit. I do think he’s realized that maybe he was going too fast.”
Xin Lan slightly furrowed his brows. He had thought that something like this was the reason but he wasn’t quite sure. Something still felt wrong. “So he wants more time? Then why didn’t he say that?”
Hua Lin Rong had a hard time continuing with this. Right now, he was actually lying to Xin Lan. And even though he loved his brother, he couldn’t help but feel bad about it. “I guess everything just came too suddenly. While it was always clear that one day, we would return home to the mortal realm, he was not quite sure about when that would be. He probably wasn’t thinking about it anymore and just lived his life one day to the other.
“Now, when you asked him to return he realized what that would mean. And then he realized that if he said yes and went back with you, then he wouldn’t be able to say no even if he wanted more time. I guess he was just overly anxious at that moment.”
Xin Lan nodded even though he still wasn’t quite happy with that explanation. “I don’t mind giving him more time. But it sure felt like more of a rejection than just wanting some more time to think about it.”
“I can imagine that. But in any case, Xiao Yu is young. I’m sure that you understand that much. These things … I guess you are quite sure about them. Xiao Yu is different.”
Xin Lan nodded, feeling that this was indeed the case. “Well, maybe I was indeed a little too demanding in that regard. Then what now?”
“The two of you will have to have a talk about this as well. Just that … I guess Xiao Yu is a little worried that you will be angry. So maybe if you go to talk with him, try to be gentle. I know after that reaction from him, you’re probably angry. But —”
Xin Lan shook his head. “There’s no need to worry about that. In actual fact, I’m not angry. If anything, I would be disappointed. You might think that I’m older and don’t care much about these things but I have been looking forward to marrying your brother.
“It’s been three years now. While I don’t mind waiting longer if it is what he needs, I won’t deny that I would’ve liked to do so immediately. In any case, I love him. Nothing will change about that. So it really would be great to clear this up. And I wish there was some kind of timeline but I guess I can’t expect that of him. Not for now, at least.”
Hua Lin Rong gave a wry smile. That really was something that could not be demanded. Because after all, this was even more difficult than Xin Lan thought. It wasn’t just that his younger brother had gotten cold feet after all. If he really liked Bai Mu … who knew if things would get better after they returned to the human realm?
But anyway, they definitely needed to leave the dragon king’s palace. They could not stay here where Xiao Yu would always get to see Bai Mu. That would only make things worse. Thinking about that, he continued to smile wryly. “I still think that even if you didn’t want to get married immediately, it might be good to return to the mortal realm.”
Xin Lan raised his brows. “You don’t like it here anymore?”
Hua Lin Rong shook his head. “That’s not it. But … we’ve been here for three years. It was great being able to get to know the people here and learn more about your race. I think it has benefited both Xiao Yu and me. We’ve come to know a lot and for your future together, I’m sure that this will be very important.
“But maybe this isn’t what Xiao Yu needs right now. Maybe being back in a place where he feels a little more at home or going to a place that he is at least more used to would be better. I mean I can’t promise anything but I hope that if he is in a familiar environment, he won’t feel as anxious anymore. Then he might agree sooner.” At least, he might have an easier time rediscovering his feelings for Xin Lan.
Xin Lan showed a thoughtful expression. To be honest, he wasn’t quite sure why Hua Lin Yu had suddenly rejected him. But what his brother said actually made him think. It wasn’t completely unbelievable. Maybe here in the dragon realm, Hua Lin Yu had actually felt too dependent on him to actually feel like a relationship between them would work out.
“I think I can see what you mean. I’ll keep that in mind when I talk to him. Don’t worry. Even though things are looking a little grim right now, I’m sure we will be able to work things out. In any case, I do love him. I’m willing to fight for him. I’m also willing to give him the time that he needs. So there’s no reason to worry. Anyway, if he doesn’t like me, I won’t force him. I can only try my best.”
He gave a faint smile, actually feeling a little optimistic again. Both the things that Jinde and now Hua Lin Rong had said had given him something to think about. Yes, maybe there was a logical explanation for everything.
In any case, it wasn’t the end of the world. They were still a couple, they hadn’t really split up. They could get over this just how they had also gotten over the smaller arguments before. It was definitely possible.