Qiu Ling sighed at that. “I’m not quite sure what kind of answer to give to that. Maybe you have actually guessed part of it already. It is true. I would be able to do it on my own. In the first years, I did so. But I can’t deny that at the same time, it made me anxious.”
An Bai slightly furrowed his brows when he heard that. “Your Majesty’s meaning is … it is because of your bloodline?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Yes. Originally, I didn’t know about my demon blood. I found out in my youth long before I became king. But it was more kind of … an accident if you so want. And I didn’t really have the chance to come to terms with it. There was nobody to talk to about this, nobody that helped me through. In the end, I just tried my best to forget about it and hide from everyone. The problem is that no matter how much I deny it, I can’t change the fact that I do have this blood. And knowing this, it is difficult to be around other people.
“Being with somebody else or having close relations to anyone always makes me worry that they might find out. I had a thousand ideas of what could happen once they did. None of them were good. I didn’t imagine that somebody would just nod their head and say ‘oh, I already knew’ or ‘well, I guessed that all along’ or maybe even ‘I had no idea but it won’t change who I see you as’. Those weren’t the reactions I expected.”
An Bai smiled faintly but he did feel bad inside. It probably really would’ve been better if he had told the king that he knew. Then at least for the past few years, he would’ve had somebody at his side to talk things through with. Somebody that he didn’t need to hide from.
“In any case, I never wanted to be king. I especially didn’t want to be king after I knew what I was. But things turned out like this. Originally, I only came back because there was a war, and, well, I did hate the demons. Probably more than any of the full-blooded dragons ever could have had. There was some personal desire for revenge because of how my life turned out because of this blood. Who knew that that would finally make me into the dragon king?
“Truth be told, I didn’t quite know how to feel about it. On the one hand, I finally had a place in our realm, to actually have people look up to me and consider me as one of them felt good. This was what I always wanted. On the other hand, the longer it went on, the more I was afraid. Because if people got close to me, they might find out. So I didn’t really dare to get close to anyone.
“My first advisers were chosen only sometime later and my relationship with them wasn’t very close either. I just didn’t dare to open up. Even those people that I should’ve trusted, I just couldn’t.”
“So you finally pushed your tasks on them when they were available so you wouldn’t have to deal with it and then deal with other people.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Precisely. I guess it wasn’t as smart as I thought it would be.”
An Bai gave a hum but he wasn’t quite sure. To be honest, this had made it difficult to find out anything. If not for the comment that the Son of Heaven had made, he never would have guessed it either. Most likely, their king would’ve been the last person he suspected to be part demon. But maybe that was also because he was the king.
“I can understand that you are reluctant. But I think after all this time, you should trust us. Now, Xiang Yong and I already know the truth. As for the others, they probably haven’t seen through it but I’m sure that they will be on your side. The thing is just … you should probably tell them yourself.
“It is one thing to find out but it will be easier for everyone if they are told directly. It will give them some time to come to terms with it. And after they do, all of us will be better equipped to handle it if the secret should ever get out. I mean it is probably unlikely but should it happen, then …”
Qiu Ling sighed when An Bai mentioned that. “There’s one thing that you don’t know but that you should be aware of: The demon king actually knows about this.”
An Bai’s eyes widened and he almost leaped up from his chair.
Qiu Ling waved though. “He knew all along. And so far, he’s never brought it up. Either he is waiting for the right moment to make it public or he has no intention of doing so. It could actually be the latter.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure. The two of you have always been in some kind of rivalry.” An Bai fell silent after saying so, his expression turning pensive. “Is there some kind of inside story?”
Qiu Ling didn’t quite know what to say to that but finally sighed. “Well, my mother was his father’s … wife or whatever you call that in the demon realm.” He cleared his throat and finally tagged on at least a small explanation. “Also, you don’t know this either but just like me, he isn’t full-blooded either. And from the bit that I know, he isn’t actually that happy with being on the demon side of things.”
He didn’t mention Jinde since he really didn’t want to bring that kind of secret into this but he felt that it would be best if An Bai knew at least this much. It wouldn’t be a danger to either him or Jinde but it was enough to make the people that should be aware come to know about it. This was probably the best he could do to show his trust. And he also knew that it would help him in the future.