Once again, the throne room fell quite. This time, there wasn’t the awkwardness from before but a high strung tension that made Shun Tao go rigid and Qiang Yan ponder deeply.
Finally, the Heavenly Emperor’s voice rang out, an edge to it that was seldom heard. “What did you say?”
Li Yin nodded his head and then stated his information once again as if it wasn’t anything outrageous at all: “I have gotten information that it is very likely that the idle goddess Yin Lin Lin — who was staying in the mortal realm as punishment for her involvement in the assassination attempt on crown Prince Jing He — has married the demon king Jin Ling and thus betrayed the Nine Heavens.”
“This information … How dependable is it?”
Li Yin kept quiet for a moment. Personally, he had no doubt at all about this information. But he would have a problem explaining this to the others so he couldn’t mention it right now. “This idea is so outrageous that I would find it quite strange for somebody to make it up. Thus, I’m more inclined to believe that this is indeed the truth. I have sent somebody to verify the information and should hear back from them very soon. As I said before, I normally wouldn’t have informed your Majesty before being absolutely sure but given the circumstances, I find that this is relevant information.
“If Yin Lin Lin indeed married the demon king, it would mean that she might have given him some kind of information about the Nine Heavens and maybe even His Highness, the crown prince, that would serve to endanger him in the future. In fact, the whole Nine Heavens might be in danger because of this.
“Thus, I do believe that we need the dragons now more than ever. With Longjun being incapacitated, things might be hard. It should be one of our first priorities to help the dragons make him recover. Otherwise, we will finally be the ones to suffer the consequences of that. After all, it is us who have likely been compromised.”
The Heavenly Emperor nodded slowly, finally putting on a serious expression. “If that is the case, I’m afraid there really is no way to keep out of this.” He turned to Shun Tao, his expression grave. “Fate’s Scribe, since it has come to this, make sure that my son will be able to finish as many trials as possible. Even though I will not hinder you from cutting short his trial to help Longjun, you should give him until the very last moment. This trial is important to him after all.”
Shun Tao nodded. “Certainly, Your Majesty. I will go and make preparations then.” Having learned from the previous time, Shun Tao bowed and then rushed out of the palace, returning to his own.
Li Yin glanced at him, snorting inwardly. This guy was really too timid. Couldn’t he put up with the Heavenly Emperor’s tantrum for at least a little while? This didn’t concern him as well after all.
Meanwhile, the Heavenly Emperor looked at the other two with a thoughtful expression. “How bad exactly is that bastard’s condition?”
The two of them exchanged a glance and finally, Qiang Yan took the lead in explaining. “Well, neither of us has spoken with the people of the dragon race. So the Fate’s Scribe would be the one who could give the most detailed explanation. From what he has told us, it doesn’t seem to be very good though.”
Rong Su nodded and leaned back, his expression grave. “Try to reach the people of the dragon race and ask if it would help to send somebody from the Temple of Medicine over. If we are able to help Longjun in some other way, then we should do so. I really wouldn’t like for Jing He to sacrifice his trial. Things have already started out badly for him. He should at least be able to finish his trial in peace.”
Qiang Yan nodded. “Of course. I will go and take care of it.” He glanced at Li Yin and then bid his farewell, leaving the palace behind.
Li Yin continued to stand in the same spot and looked at the Heavenly Emperor, waiting for him to ask.
Rong Su sighed and rubbed his forehead. “You do believe that this matter about Yin Lin Lin is true, don’t you?”
“I certainly do. She was always ambitious. She couldn’t become the Heavenly Empress and she can’t become the queen of the dragon realm either since Longjun is in love with the Son of Heaven already. Being the demon queen would be the only position that would grant her what she wants. Considering that among the high-ranking gods, the chance of marrying anyone of them isn’t good either, this might be her only chance. And we both know that Yin Lin Lin never liked to settle for second best.”
Rong Su closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Back then, he had insisted that he wanted to marry the woman he loved. He had broken the promise that his father had made to Yin Lin Lin’s father and he had thought that he would never regret it. Even now, he still stood by that decision. But he also couldn’t deny that it had been his own way of dealing with things that had led to this. “You go and make sure if it’s really true. If it is … Informs all the people that should know of Yin Lin Lin’s betrayal. There’s no way to go back after this. From now on, nobody can render her help. She can’t be given any information either no matter how minuscule it might seem.”
Li Yin nodded his head. “I will do so.” With that, he turned around and left the palace as well, leaving the Heavenly Emperor alone.
Rong Su glanced up at the ceiling, heaving a long sigh. “Heaven, you really have a way of being ruthless. How are we supposed to deal with this?” Well, at the very least, his son’s life wasn’t in immediate danger. That was at least a small ray of light in these dark times.