Qiu Ling’s expression behind the mask was stormy. But even without seeing it, the tension in the air was palpable.
The other man unwittingly tensed up as well, somehow feeling a little worried. He told himself to calm down though. Anyway, he was right, wasn’t he? This had originally been his room. Now, it was suddenly occupied by somebody else. Why shouldn’t he be angry about that? And it was also true that if they hadn’t done anything indecent, the two of them wouldn’t be so worried about somebody finding out.
Qiu Ling stared at the man, slowly crossing his arms in front of his chest. “Would you care to repeat that?”
The owner of the teahouse started to sweat when he heard the satiny voice of the dragon king that seemed to be laced with a threat. While his words sounded completely reasonable, something told him that he wouldn’t be. “These two guests … I’m sure we can find a peaceful solution to this!”
Unfortunately for him, neither of the two men seemed inclined to listen to him.
The other guest harrumphed. “What kind of peaceful solution? I reserved his room months in advance. Why should I have to give it up to this person?”
Qiu Ling raised his chin. “Well, I’ve already paid for this room. I don’t see why I should give it to you. Especially after you’ve dared to insult both me and my company.”
Jing He slightly glanced back at that, feeling that it wouldn’t be good to argue any longer. Even though he was a little afraid of being chastised once again, he still turned back to Qiu Ling. “This … Maybe it would be better if we left after all?” Anyway, he had never seen any of these plays. While he had looked forward to it, it wasn’t like he had to. He might as well let go of it and go do something else. In fact, maybe it would be best if he just returned. He didn’t want this kind of confrontation.
The other guest gave a triumphant harrumph when he heard that. “Did you hear that? Even he knows what’s good for him! You should really take a leaf out of his book.”
Qiu Ling just ignored the man and turned to Jing He, reaching out and lightly touching his arms. Jing He wanted to flinch back but Qiu Ling had better reflexes and managed to catch him.
“My love, there’s no need to be like this. Since we’re already here, he might as well leave. Anyway, being so rude to us, he should also make it up to you. So even if I would have originally agreed to let him take the room, I definitely won’t do so now.”
The other guest gaped at him, unable to believe what he had just heard. This … This was beyond shameless! Wasn’t this guy the one who had insulted him first?! He was inverting black and white here! “You —”
“What?” Qiu Ling raised his brows behind the mask and then pulled Jing He back into his arms as if to shield him. “You wouldn’t want to get aggressive now, would you? Do I need to fear for my company? Seriously, how can you behave like this in front of such a gentle beauty?” He shook his head with clear disgust as if this person was really unbearable to an honorable person such as him.
The owner of the establishment really felt that his eyes had been opened. So you could actually do this kind of thing to get what you wanted … He was really surprised, especially since this was the dragon king. It seemed things were really different in the realm of their allies.
The other guest was just in as much of a daze as the owner, making the confrontation come to a halt.
At that time, things were turning interesting at another place in the capital of the Nine Heavens as well. Seeing that her son had gone out with Longjun, the Heavenly Empress couldn’t help but be worry that her husband would find out and soon go and try to disturb the two of them. Then, wouldn’t things fall through once again? She couldn’t let that happen! Thus she went to her brother’s palace, asking him to take care of the matter.
“I don’t care what exactly you do but make sure that you keep him occupied for as long as you can. This is a prime opportunity for Longjun to make advances on Jing He. And with the festive atmosphere out there and the fact that nobody will know who he is, he might even succeed this time. We definitely can’t let my husband destroy that.”
Qiang Yan nodded earnestly. “Just leave it to me! Anyway, I didn’t have time to bond with my brother-in-law for quite some time already. It’s time to hang out for a bit.” He gave a smile and wanted to rush away when Bai Fen reached out and pulled him back again.
“Right, when you’re out there: The two of them are wearing matching clothes, one of them white, the other black. Should you see that type of couple out there, steer Rong Su as far around them as you can.”
“I will.” With that, he really left his palace and went over to the Heavenly Emperor’s palace instead.
When he went up the stairs, one of the guards turned to him. “Greetings, God of War. If you wanted to go to the Heavenly Emperor, he is currently not in.”
Qiang Yan couldn’t help but feel alarmed. “You wouldn’t happen know where he went to, would you?”
The guard could only shake his head. “Unfortunately not. I am sorry.”
Qiang Yan waved. “No matter. I’m sure somebody will be able to tell me. Which direction did he leave in?”
The guard motioned for him and Qiang Yan couldn’t help but sigh. It seemed that his fear had indeed come true. His brother-in-law was on his way to go and see Jing He. Thinking of that, Qiang Yan hurried down the stairs again and then rushed after him, managing to catch him halfway.
Rong Su turned around, his brows raising slightly. “What are you doing here?”
Qiang Yan’s lips twitched. Couldn’t he sound a little happier about the fact that he was seeing him? Anyway, this was not the time to argue with him. “Why? Of course, I came to see you. It is a pity that I missed you when I went to your palace. So, how about doing something fun at the festival today? I’ve already given all the necessary orders so I should be able to accompany you for a few hours at least.”
Rong Su furrowed his brows. “That won’t be necessary. I am on my way to go and spend time with Jing He.”
Qiang Yan gave him a noncommittal smile and then motioned back down the path. “Then you should come with me even more. Jing He promised to spend the day with Bai Fen. So I’m afraid you’ll not get the chance to accompany him today.”
Rong Su wasn’t happy about that at all. “Well, then we should go over. We can just spend the day with the four of us together. Anyway, we’re all family.”
Qiang Yan reached over and put an arm around his shoulders. “Sure we are. But it’s important for a mother and son to bond and I also feel like us two men should have some fun every now and then as well. Or could it be that you actually have something against me and don’t want to spend time with me?” He raised his brows, seeming as if he really was serious with this.
The Heavenly Emperor wasn’t happy but seeing that Qiang Yan wouldn’t give up, he could finally only grumblingly acquiesce. “Very well. Then I’ll accompany you for a few hours. Not any more than that though!”
Qiang Yan just gave a happy smile. “But of course! I wouldn’t want to keep you for too long. But we should definitely have time to take a look at a few things and maybe have a cup of wine or another.” In fact, getting him drunk would be a great idea. That way, he wouldn’t be able to go and bother Jing He. The question was just where to go to make that happen.
As luck would have it, he finally went for the same establishment where Qiu Ling and Jing He were currently facing off against the other guest. And, just like the dragon king, the Heavenly Emperor wasn’t the reasonable kind. Thus, the poor servant that was leading the guests in could only hurriedly lead him up to the top floor, trying to steer the owner’s attention to the fact that another difficult guest had arrived.