Chun Yin looked at Qiu Ling, his mood complicated. This was his son. But just like with Jinde before, he didn’t really know what to say after the first few remarks. He would’ve liked to ask more about his life but he was afraid that there wasn’t enough time. In the end, he could only sigh. “Is there something you want to know?”
Qiu Ling raised his brows at him, not quite sure what he meant. “About what?”
Chun Yin shrugged his shoulders. “Anything. The time back then, my family, whatever else you want to know. There isn’t much time but I’ll try to answer whatever I can.”
Qiu Ling put on a pensive expression but finally shook his head. “I think I have actually understood more or less what happened back then. Now that I’m with Jing He, I think I can also understand a lot. As for your family … I admit I would’ve been curious back then but it doesn’t matter, does it? I’m pretty sure everyone is already dead. I am the only one that is still alive.”
Chun Yin stared at him but finally couldn’t help but nod. “That’s true. I’m pretty sure my family would have loved being able to meet you. You were exactly the type of child that my mothers liked.”
Qiu Ling scoffed at that. “You know, you could be telling me anything. It’s not like I can go and verify it. In any case, it’s alright. Even if you feel regretful, you don’t have to try and make it up to me. I’m not a child anymore.
“Back then, I probably would’ve given a lot to hear this kind of thing. Especially in the time immediately after your death. It would have given me a lot. But now … everything has changed already. I’m not that youth anymore that is hiding away or traveling around aimlessly to evade others and find some place where I belong.
“I am the dragon king. I have a lover now and a place I can call my own. Not everything is great even with that but I’m not the same anymore. And I think especially after the ten years that I spent with Jing He, I really am different. Jing He’s trial is actually helping as well. Nothing you are able to say to me in a few hours will change more than that has.”
Chun Yin could only smile wryly. “I guess there’s nothing I can do as a father.”
Qiu Ling stared at him, feeling that while Chun Yin definitely wanted to help him, this was at least in part also about helping himself. He had probably died with a lot of regrets. Now, he wished to make up for that. Giving him the opportunity to do so would probably help him to make this second passing easier for him.
Pondering for a moment, Qiu Ling felt a sense of determination. While he had to admit that his favorite parent probably had been the one who wasn’t actually related to him, namely Jinde, his relationship with his father hadn’t been that bad. In fact, even in the time after they left the capital city, he knew that his father had always tried hard.
It hadn’t always been easy for him and he definitely fucked up a lot but he had tried his best and Qiu Ling had noticed that. He really wanted to make this easier for him. “Since there is limited time, I’d rather ask your advice on some things if you wouldn’t mind.”
Chun Yin raised his brows, looking at him with some surprise. “My advice?” He certainly hadn’t expected this. Was his advice worth anything? “Well, what is it about? I’ll try my best.” He couldn’t help but feel a little hopeful that he would be able to actually answer Qiu Ling’s questions.
Qiu Ling pondered, thinking that maybe he should bring up the thing with Jing He. In the end, he shelved that for later though. In any case, right now, there wasn’t much that he could do about that. And there was another issue that he had been thinking about. An issue that had more to do with his father as well. “Well, you know about me being the dragon king. You can probably imagine that it is a little awkward when I think of my mother’s heritage. So I was wondering what your thoughts were on that?”
Chun Yin’s expression immediately turned grave. “See that’s what you meant. It really isn’t easy. I think you don’t have to be worried in general. It’s not like you are a full-blooded demon. That would indeed be a problem. You can’t even be counted as a half-demon. It’s at most a quarter of your blood that is from their race. In fact, I don’t know who exactly your mother’s parents were so it could be even less than that.”
Qiu Ling slightly frowned but still nodded his head. “That’s good but … I’m afraid it’s still obvious. You can’t see it clearly when I’m like this but when I take on my other form, there are markings on my scales and claws and my eyes are different as well. It’s nothing that it could just be overlooked.”
Chun Yin nodded. Back when he died, Qiu Ling hadn’t been old enough to be able to really take on his other form yet. So he had never seen it. If he had, he probably wouldn’t even have died in the first place since that would have been a dead giveaway that something was wrong with his wife. After all, it definitely wasn’t his blood that had made Qiu Ling like this.
Come to think of it, that might be the reason why Biao Han had done what she did at that time. She was probably worried that when Qiu Ling was finally able to take on that form, her plot would come to light. And then, she wouldn’t have been able to take his life. Even though he had that thought, Chun Yin hurriedly buried it at the bottom of his heart. He would never say that. And definitely not in front of Qiu Ling. Instead, he focused on the problem his son had right now.
“I’m not a scholar. My knowledge is really limited in regard to these things but I believe that some dragons do have these markings even without direct demon blood in their veins. This could be a different explanation to use if you are accused. With both me and your mother dead, there is really nobody who can prove the difference.
“If you’re really worried, I would urge you to look it up. Or have somebody that you trust look it up in your stead. Maybe one of your advisers would be able to do it?” He hadn’t remembered much yet so he didn’t know if there was someone like that at Qiu Ling’s side. He sure hoped so though.
“Well, there is An Bai. He’s a scholar so maybe that would be a possibility.”
Chun Yin immediately nodded. “You should definitely make preparations for that. It doesn’t have to be immediately if you don’t feel up to it yet. But it is better to do it sooner rather than later. In case something happens, you want to be prepared to know what to say. Although … after reigning for a long time, maybe they wouldn’t even care.”