At that time, he had been king for a long time. Even those other five advisers of his had been at his side for more than just a short amount of time. He did realize that there was a need for somebody else to join them though.
Just as he had said to An Bai: Before he had his advisers, he had done the job of being king all by himself. He knew what was necessary. And he knew that those five weren’t yet able to do all of that. This was because they weren’t well rounded enough.
Fu Heng was a warrior but other than that, he wasn’t too well-versed in the things that needed to be taken care of. It was great to have him when there were battles but otherwise, he could only be in charge of training the soldiers and making sure that they were ready for battle.
Xiang Yong was the exact opposite. It wasn’t that he was weak but his strength lay definitely in all those administrative tasks. Whether it was taking care of the treasury, taking care of so relations with the gods, making sure that things in the palace and the capital went smoothly, and that none of the other regions were neglected, he was definitely the best person to deal with it.
The problem was that there was only one Xiang Yong but there were many issues. He was unable to take care of all of them. Qiang Yan and Yi Zan didn’t really have a specialty in what to deal with but they were able to help out with some tasks. Yi Zan was usually in charge of the guards of the palace and the capital city while Qiang Wei would try and help out where we could which mostly ended up being some task that Xiang Yong needed to be taken care of.
On the other, other hand, there was still Fu Min who was usually just tasked with getting information that Xiang Yong wanted and using the rest of his time to get information that nobody actually cared about but that he just shelved for later.
In this way, things had more or less worked out but they weren’t going perfectly. In fact, they were far from perfect. He could see that Xiang Yong was constantly stressed and it would only be a matter of time until something would go wrong.
Being able to see this issue, Qiu Ling had finally decided that he needed to add one more person to the mix. Somebody who was smart and could deal with this kind of problem. It also had to be somebody responsible. So finally, he went out to look for precisely that kind of person.
As for how he had ended up with An Bai in that position … Well, there wasn’t much to say about this. He had looked around which people were available and finally noticed An Bai.
Each day when he went to check on people, he could see him busy with his books somewhere, giving the impression that he was hard-working and dependable and would be able to take on this kind of a big responsibility. Thus, after making sure with Fu Min that there was no problem with An Bai, he had finally approached him and told him his decision. From the very beginning, he hadn’t really thought that An Bai would say no. In any case, who didn’t want to be the king’s adviser? He had never heard of that kind of person.
Thinking back now, it seemed that An Bai had hesitated for a bit. But since he had finally agreed, there really was nothing to be said about this. Things had worked out well. It had also turned out that he had chosen the right person for this. So he could say that he had had some kind of intuition when he saw him but, actually, this would be praising himself too much. He had just been lucky. Like he had been with all his other advisers. There was no reason to pretend it was any different.
Qiu Ling sighed when he thought about it. “I’m glad that you did. You might not think that I rely very much on you but I did have my reasons for choosing you back then.”
An Bai nodded. “Then in the future …” He looked at his king, a faint hope in his heart. “I know that Your Majesty is probably still worried. But if I can promise you that Xiang Yong and I will be there to solve whatever problems might spring up because of your bloodline, are you willing to return to how things were before? I don’t expect Your Majesty to do everything by yourself. That is what we are there for as your advisers. But it would be nice not to have to do everything by ourselves. Just working together would be something nice to see.”
Qiu Ling got up and wandered to the other side of the room, looking out into An Bai’s courtyard. Contrary to the others that usually didn’t bother about it, he had used it to study some plants. It actually reminded him of Jinde a little. “After Jing He returns from his trial, things will change anyway. I don’t think that I could still be like this at that time.” He turned around, giving An Bai another long look. “Can you keep going until then?”
An Bai nodded. “However much time you need, Your Majesty.” He really didn’t mind whether it was one more year or two or maybe even ten. As long as he had his king’s promise that he would try to change, to be open with them, to work together with them, he would be satisfied. He wanted nothing but this, just this one promise. If that wasn’t asking too much, then he would do everything he could to achieve this goal.