Qiu Ling stared at him, not quite sure what to make of this. He had always thought that when somebody found out about his actual bloodline, that they would certainly forsake him. How come he now had to be told that two of his advisers had already known since long ago and that it hadn’t changed anything for them? If he could’ve made this kind of experience sooner, his life could’ve been so different.
He didn’t know how to answer for a while and just stood there, looking at An Bai. “Just like this?”
An Bai smiled and finally put down the books that he had been holding all the time, and then sat down at his desk. He pushed the scroll he had been writing on before away and tidied up his brushes. “Your Majesty might not be able to understand this but we all have our own reasons, don’t we?
“I won’t deny that sometimes, I wished you would go about things differently. I sometimes wished you would pay more attention to the things we say and ask you to do. But I am still of the opinion that you are a good king. You are there for your people. The realm is currently very stable. If there needed to be another king chosen, it would likely lead to unrest. And I currently don’t know of anyone who would be able to calm that kind of unrest and lead us back to a good future.”
Qiu Ling finally left his place at the door and went over, sitting down opposite An Bai. His eyes were closed halfway when he looked at him. “And if there was such a person? Would you decide differently?” He could somewhat understand it. Right now, he might be the best candidate. If that changed, maybe An Bai would choose somebody else based on the blood. He wouldn’t be able to say that it was wrong.
An Bai shook his head. “A different candidate would also mean that the throne would need to change hands. No matter how well it is done, that would cause some trouble. It would make the dragon race weaker for a moment at least. I don’t think we should risk something like that. In any case, your blood doesn’t make you a worse leader. And I actually don’t think that there is much demon blood in you. I don’t know the exact situation but I would assume that it was at most a quarter or maybe even less.”
Qiu Ling gave a faint hum. “To be honest, I don’t know either. I only know it came from my mother’s side. I don’t know who her parents were though.” Now, he really wished he had asked his father a bit more. But who knew if Chun Yin had actually known anything about that? It could very well be that his mother had never told him or had fed him lies. Well, he could at least ask Leng Jin Yu. Not that it would make any difference to find out. It wouldn’t change his blood.
An Bai nodded. “I thought as much. Well, no matter how much it really is, you are obviously not different from a full-blooded dragon to any significant degree. You are under Tian’s curse of our race, you are able to bind your soul, you are likely also able to take on your dragon form, aren’t you?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “I am.”
“Well, the amount of demon blood in you is definitely negligible then. And even if it wasn’t, you would still count as a full member of the dragon race. It isn’t measured by the actual makeup of the blood but rather by what you inherit. What about your magical abilities?”
Qiu Ling’s expression turned a little difficult at that. “I didn’t inherit any dark energy but I am able to use four elements.”
An Bai nodded once again. “I see. Well, that is also something that can be explained with the old texts. Is your command about them as good as that of the wind and water energy?”
Qiu Ling hesitated a bit. “I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily worse. It is just that I didn’t use them as much so I’m lacking a bit of experience.” It was enough for everyday use though.
“Well, it’s not necessarily bad in this situation since it’ll make people suspect your heritage less and rather assume it’s a remnant of old blood. It would be even better if you didn’t use them much. But then again, I still think that it would be better to let people find out than to risk your life. If you need to, don’t hold back. You should use everything you can to make sure that you survive. In a fight, there is no time for explanations no matter the outcome.”
Qiu Ling smiled at that. “You don’t need to tell me. When it comes to fighting, I’m not one to hold back.”
An Bai couldn’t help but laugh lightly. “I guess I should’ve expected that.”
The two of them fell quiet again, not quite sure how to continue. Both of them had things they wanted to say but it was still hard to broach the subject.
Finally, An Bai couldn’t help but bring up the previous point again. “Your Majesty, this might be presumptuous but I know for a fact that your reign was always praised very much since the day you acceded to the throne. There was also a time when you did not have any advisers. Looking back at the years since I have come here, you have usually thrown your tasks to us. So I do wonder how things were before that. Can you explain that to me?”
This was something he had thought about very often. But no matter how much he thought, he couldn’t understand. And that was something that really bugged him. Maybe it was because he was a scholar and intent on finding the answers to everything. But in any case, he really wanted to know. So if there was some kind of explanation, he was interested in hearing that from his king himself. He couldn’t imagine that there was another way to find out about it.