RSH Stratagem 19: Let Go of All Masks (4)

The servant hurried over and gave the two of them a professional smile. “What may I do for the two Young Masters?”

Jing He felt a little unaccustomed to being called like this but he didn’t say anything and just defaulted to Qiu Ling to take care of the matter.

Qiu Ling didn’t have any inhibitions. “We heard that your storytellers are supposed to be good. Get us a room.”

The servant raised his brows and looked from one person to the other, wondering how he had managed to get two lunatics like this. And they even seemed to be dressed decently. He inwardly shook his head but his smile turned a little strained. “What name did you reserve the room under?”

Qiu Ling looked at him, not quite understanding what he was talking about.

Seeing that he didn’t get any response, the servant wanted to sigh. He had expected this. Turns out he had been right. It had just been a misunderstanding. “You see, the Jiyi festival is very popular. And as you pointed out just now, our teahouse is one of the places that is the most famous for our storytelling. Naturally, a lot of people will come here to enjoy it. As for the private rooms, they have been reserved since a few months ago already. I’m afraid if you haven’t made a reservation, then you won’t be able to get a room.”

Qiu Ling looked at him in a daze. So this guy actually wanted to tell him that he had taken his beloved here but wouldn’t be able to sit in a room with him to enjoy the stories? “How can this be?” This was absolutely impossible! “You actually want to tell me that nobody else will be able to listen to the stories?”

The servant’s smile turned even more strained. “Well, there naturally is a public area. If you hurry over now, you might be able to still get a seat. Otherwise, you might be able to stand against the wall if you really want to listen.”

Qiu Ling was even further taken aback. This person … He was actually asking his beloved to sit among the common people or even stand at the back?! How could he do this?!

Thanks to the mask, nobody was able to see how Qiu Ling’s expression changed.

Jing He still glanced up at him, lightly tugging at his hand. “Maybe we should leave then?” He also wasn’t too keen on sitting among all these people. Even though he was currently wearing a mask, he had always hated it to be in a crowd. To imagine having to squeeze in with so many people, being subjected to their gazes and that maybe for several hours … He felt faint just imagining that.

Qiu Ling glanced at the person next to him and even though he couldn’t see Jing He’s face, the way he held himself told him exactly in what kind of mood Jing He was. He furrowed his brows, feeling that he hadn’t planned this enough. Maybe if he had come here earlier, he might’ve still had a chance. Now …

Qiu Ling pondered for a moment and then turned to Jing He, taking both his hands into his and pulling him closer. “My love, wait here for a moment. I’ll be back in just a minute.”

Before Jing He could ask what it was that he wanted to do, Qiu Ling had stepped back and then grabbed the servant by the scruff of his neck, walking a few steps away from Jing He. He bent down until he was on eye level with the servant and then lowered his voice. “How much for one of the rooms?”

The servant’s brows twitched. “I’m afraid you didn’t hear. I said that the rooms had all been reserved. You would have needed to do that several months ago.”

Qiu Ling shook his head. “I’m afraid you haven’t understood. I’m not discussing whether there is a room available or not. I want to know how much I have to pay to get one of them. I don’t care whatever you tell the other person but I need one of those rooms.” Anyway, he had never been known in the dragon realm for being reasonable. Why should he behave differently now that he was in the Nine Heavens? Anyway, if he was able to make sure that his beloved had a nice day, it would totally be worth it. And right now, nobody knew who he was.

What Qiu Ling didn’t know or rather what he didn’t bother to think about was the fact that Jing He might be standing a few steps away but that he was still more than close enough to hear exactly what Qiu Ling was saying. Hearing him talk like that, he was in a daze. He had always known that the dragon king was a little … assertive. It was one of the things that he really admired in him. Seeing that he was so intent on making this work, his heart thumped faster.

Unfortunately, the servant rolled his eyes. “Listen, do you have any idea who the people are that are reserving rooms here? We’re talking of the highest-ranking and wealthiest people in the capital. Do you honestly think you’ll be able to pay more than them?”

Qiu Ling tilted his head. “Do I look like I can’t?” Anyway, he was the king of a whole realm. The only one who might be able to pay more than him would be the Heavenly Emperor and even that was something he doubted. After all, that guy was a child compared to him. Well, not that that was something he would ever admit out loud.

Seeing that Qiu Ling wasn’t backing off, the servant gave him a scrutinizing look and then pressed his lips together. “Well, wait here for a moment.” This was something that he couldn’t decide on his own. But, well, the teahouse was a business. And this type of thing wasn’t completely unheard of. They might just … lose a reservation if it was really necessary to put this person up somewhere. If he was willing to pay a lot, that would be possible. But he did need the owner’s permission to do that. In fact, he would need to let the owner handle this. He could only hope that this guy would really be able to fork enough money over.

Seeing the servant leave, Qiu Ling was feeling a little complacent. He went over to his beloved, taking his hands once again, and pulling him closer. “Don’t worry. I will make it possible for you.”

Jing He wasn’t quite sure if it would really work out but he still nodded. Anyway, he did trust this man. And if Longjun was so sure then maybe there really would be a way.

A moment later, the servant returned with a man that was dressed in a simple yet elegant robe. It seemed that he was the owner of the teahouse.

The man looked at both Qiu Ling and Jing He and felt that it might indeed be true that the two of them would be able to pay for one of the rooms. He went over and nodded, turning to face Qiu Ling. “I heard that you were interested in one of the rooms?”

Qiu Ling nodded. “Yes, if you have one, then you can just tell me the price.”

The owner raised his brows but then waved at Qiu Ling and Jing He, leading them up to the fourth floor.

Except for the first floor, there were private rooms in each of them. Considering that this person really didn’t seem to worry about his budget, he wouldn’t just put him on the second or third one where the rooms were not that expensive anyway. Instead, it made more sense to put them on the fourth floor and then relocate that person to the floor below. It was not ideal but it would work out.

He stopped in front of the door to one of the rooms that were of lesser quality among the ones on this floor and then motioned over. “This room would be free.”

Jing He already wanted to thank him but Qiu Ling looked from the owner to the room and back again, slowly raising his brows. He wasn’t satisfied at all.

“I want another one.”

The owner blinked his eyes in confusion and looked at the room. “What’s wrong with this one?”

Qiu Ling motioned over to where the stage was. “Obviously, we won’t see very well from here. I want one that will give us the best view.”

The owner’s lips twitched. “This customer, I’m very sorry. You haven’t reserved a room and come here on the day of the festival and actually think that you will be able to get the best room?”

Qiu Ling looked at him, pondering silently. Well, it was true that he hadn’t reserved anything. But he hadn’t known about the festival until last week. So it really was a bit much to expect him to reserve a room, right? And anyway … He was the fucking dragon king! While he normally couldn’t care less about the status, he still felt that he should have the right to be a bit demanding every now and then.

Thinking of that, Qiu Ling gripped the owner by the shoulder and pulled him with him to a corner. Before the owner could ask what was going on, he reached up and pulled down the mask. “Alright, you better listen well now. I have no idea how this works among the gods but you’ve probably heard that I’m a fairly unreasonable person. If I say that I want to have the best room, then I will have said room. I don’t mind paying for whatever it’s worth but I don’t accept a no.”

The owner stared at the person in front of him, spellbound. While it wasn’t easy to see like the dragon king even for a person who ran a fairly influential restaurant, Qiu Ling had been involved in the Da He festival once. Naturally, all the people of the capital city had gotten a very good look at his face when he stood next to the crown prince and the imperial couple on that bridge. Thus, the restaurant’s owner had no trouble at all to recognize him. “Long … Longjun!”

Qiu Ling raised his brows. “Yes. So can we get on with this now? How was I supposed to know that I would have to come and reserve something in the Nine Heavens? This kind of thing would never happen in the dragon realm!” He put on a righteous expression that said he was fairly put off by this horrible practice that they had, making the owner break out in cold sweat.

“Yes, we really should have taken into account that you might want to come by. Please follow me then.” He didn’t bother to say anything else and just rushed toward the best room they had, actually even going up to the highest floor in case this person would be put off by the fact that he had to settle for the fourth floor.

Qiu Ling smiled to himself and put the mask back on before returning to Jing He’s side. “I think that has been taken care of. We can enjoy ourselves now.”

Jing He gave him a worried look in return. “This … Won’t this bring trouble?”

Qiu Ling glanced at him and then couldn’t help but freeze for a moment. Right. Now that he had exposed who he was, this might lead to them. Still, it had allowed him to get the best room in the teahouse so it was probably worth it. “Uh … Don’t worry about that. I will take care of everything.” He reached out and grabbed Jing He’s hand again, trying to reassure him.

Jing He wasn’t quite sure what to make of this but still nodded in the end and followed him to the room.

The owner was still sweating profusely when he showed them to the room. He really looked as if he wanted to run away the next moment. Before he could, Qiu Ling leaned closer to him. “I hope I don’t have to say that I’m here incognito for a purpose, right? So nobody will find out just who is in this room, right?”

The owner nodded eagerly. “Of course not! Not a soul!”

Qiu Ling gave him a long look. “Very good. You see, I actually brought somebody with me today. Since it is my company’s first time here, it certainly wouldn’t do to ruin his experience, don’t you think so?”

The owner once again nodded hastily. “Of course, of course. I certainly won’t breathe a word about this.”

“Very good. If you do … Well, you are the only person who knows that I’m here.” With that, Qiu Ling turned around and closed the door behind them, before sliding into the seat next to Jing He. “So, my love, I really hope that you like this.”

Jing He gave him a worried look. He really didn’t know what to say to this. In the end, he just kept quiet. Anyway, there was no way to change the dragon king.

« ToC »

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