One Winter’s Tale C1: Snow White … and a Certain Dragon King

Merry Christmas, everyone!

For this occasion, I’ll be posting another Oh. My. Fate?! extra: One Winter’s Tale, a special inspired by traditional fairytales. It’ll have three regular chapters as well as two bonus chapters for which my patrons decided the couples last year. I hope you’ll like the story! 😊

Dragon king Qiu Ling very earnestly looked at the book in his hands and furrowed his brows. This strange thing had been brought back by An Bai when he went out to gather new books to study. Who knew where he had gotten it but it seemed to be a collection of stories. They were … very strange. He really didn’t know what else to call it.

“Why would a wolf dress up as an old woman?” He raised his head and looked at Fu Min who could only shrug his shoulders.

“I don’t know. I’m a dragon as well, not a wolf.”

“Mn, that’s also true.” Qiu Ling looked back down and turned the page. He paused when he looked at the illustration that decorated it. This was the beginning of a new story but judging from the painting, it was much more promising than the ones he had read before. Qiu Ling started to read and finally leaned back, his eyes glued to the page.

Fu Min blinked his eyes in confusion and watched his king. Could somebody tell him why His Majesty was suddenly so transfixed? He leaned to the side but couldn’t see anything. Mn, what a pity!

Meanwhile, Qiu Ling reached the end of the story. He lowered the book and stared off into the air in a daze. This story … too beautiful! Actually, it reminded him a little of what his beloved and he had experienced themselves. Ah, might this actually be crafted after their experience?

He straightened up, threw the book into his spatial ring and got up, leaving the palace without another word.

Fu Min scratched his head. “I guess that means we won’t discuss anymore?” He shrugged his shoulders and got up as well, leaving the king’s chambers to go do something on his own.

Meanwhile, Qiu Ling reached the Nine Heavens. He stealthily rushed to that familiar palace and peered through the window. His beloved was sitting inside, a brush in hand and a scroll of paper in front of him. A cup of tea stood at the side, steam wafting into the air.

Qiu Ling’s gaze very naturally focused on Jing He’s face, looking very thoughtful this time. Mn … His skin was indeed as white as snow, his lips indeed as red as blood, and his hair indeed as black as night. This had to be a sign!

Qiu Ling slipped in and knelt down next to Jing He, looking at the painting he had drawn: A young couple stood below the branches of an ebony tree, one of them holding something out as if offering it to the other. Their gazes seemed to meet above this gift. Very romantic! Mn, this had to have a deeper meaning as well.

Qiu Ling leaned closer. “My love …”

Jing He flinched, finally noticing Qiu Ling next to him. He almost dropped the brush but Qiu Ling caught it in time, even conscientiously holding it away from the scroll of paper to make sure the ink wouldn’t smear on the painting. He certainly couldn’t let his beloved’s unspoken confession get ruined!

“Qiu Ling …” Jing He gave a weak smile and took the brush from him, cleaning it and hanging it onto the brush stand. Then, he rolled up the scroll and put it away before turning back to Qiu Ling. “I didn’t think you’d come by again today.” After all … hadn’t he only been here in the morning? Why had he come running over again in the afternoon? Hadn’t he said that he had to do something important?”

Qiu Ling smiled happily. Ah, he knew his beloved would miss him! “I came to see you.”

Jing He looked at his suitor, his gaze complicated. “Well …”

“No need to say anything.” Qiu Ling inched closer and reached out, carefully taking Jing He’s hand. His brilliant smile was slightly curbed and he became serious. “Say … how big is the chance that the Heavenly Emperor isn’t your father?”

“Th… What?” Jing He stared at Qiu Ling in a daze. Had he heard that right?

“Do you think that the Heavenly Emperor might not be your father, by any chance?”

Jing He still couldn’t quite believe what he heard. “That … seems unlikely?”

“How unlikely?”

“Very … very unlikely. Absolutely impossible, in fact.”

“Are you sure?” Qiu Ling furrowed his brows. This really didn’t fit the story.

Jing He opened his lips but didn’t know what to say for a moment. “He … He is the Heavenly Emperor. And my mother’s husband.”

Qiu Ling blinked his eyes. “And?”

“My mother would never … Anyway, if this kind of thing happened in my father’s family, somebody would know.”

“Mn …” Qiu Ling pursed his lips and pondered. “But it can’t be your mother.” There was no way the Heavenly Empress was an evil stepmother. She treated both of them way too good!

“Qiu Ling … just why would you ask something like this?”

Qiu Ling was pulled out of his thoughts. “Oh, that …” Qiu Ling pondered but finally shook his head. “It’s nothing.” He stood up but continued to look at Jing He earnestly. “Anyway, if you ever find yourself eating a poisoned fruit, don’t worry about it. Just wait for me to come. I’ll definitely kiss you.”

“Ah?” Jing He was completely confused. He still got up though. “Qiu Ling …”

“Mn. I’d do anything for you.” Qiu Ling leaned forward as if he wanted to prove to him just how far he was willing to go.

Jing He’s gaze flickered but he didn’t pull back.

“Mn …” Qiu Ling smiled and then patted his hand. “I should go now. Don’t sleep too late.”

“Ah. Yes.” Jing He nodded and then watched in a daze as Qiu Ling vanished as fast as he had appeared. Then, he sat back down and looked out of the window, trying to understand what had just happened. Unfortunately … he really couldn’t come up with an explanation.

He sat at the desk for a while but still couldn’t figure it out. In the end, he got up and left his palace, going over to his mother’s place instead. Anyway, it was still early. He might as well ask her for advice.

Bai Fen looked up from the game of weiqi she had been playing with her brother and raised her brows. “Jing He.”

“Mother. Uncle.” He nodded at the two of them.

“Jing He.” Qiang Yan smiled. “Did you come to play a game with your mother as well?”

Jing He looked at the board but shook his head. “No, I … I can accompany you though.”

Qiang Yan leaned to the side and pulled another chair over. “Sit then.”

Bai Fen and Qiang Yan went back to the game but after three turns, Bai Fen glanced at her son. “So why did you actually come?”

“Ah, that …” Jing He shifted on his seat and then looked from his mother to his uncle and back again. “I was just wondering about something and thought you might have some insight.”

“What kind of thing?”

Qiang Yan also looked up, twirling a game piece between his fingers.

“Well, how about … if a man would tell you that you should wait for him if you ever got poisoned and then mentioned that he would … kiss you, what does that mean?”

Bai Fen and her brother both looked at Jing He, then exchanged a glance. This man in question should be the dragon king, right?

Bai Fen cleared her throat. “That, uhm … might be a very creative way to propose?”

“Propose …” Jing He nodded. Maybe he should have known. This indeed seemed like something that Qiu Ling would do. “I see. Thank you. Then … I shouldn’t disturb the two of you any longer.” He got up and nodded at the two of them, before leaving for his own palace once again.

Bai Fen and Qiang Yan looked at him and then at each other.

“What did that man do this time?”

“I have no idea.” Bai Fen shook her head and sighed. “Ah, let’s continue with the game. The children should just sort this out between themselves.”

Qiang Yan shrugged his shoulders. “I guess they’ll ask for advice if there’s some real trouble.” Then, he put down the piece he had been holding the entire time. “Your turn.”

Bai Fen nodded and the game resumed.

ToC »

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