Li Yin narrowed his eyes and pondered for a moment what kind of easy solution that might be. Leng Lu might be cynical but he wasn’t a liar. Since he said there was such a way, then there really was one. But he likely wouldn’t say it even if he asked him again so he could only try to come up with it on his own or at least get close enough that Leng Lu would deign to enlighten him.
Unfortunately, no matter how much he thought, he couldn’t think of anything. Just trying to kill the boy would be one option but the dragons would already be on their guard. After all, they knew what their goal was. And if a dragon couldn’t let their partner die just like that, then that would mean that they had to protect them.
This was probably what the curse actually meant: The dragon had to put the life of their lover first. So if they already had a hunch that somebody might try something, it would be against the curse to just let the person roam alone and run into danger. So whether it was the dragon king or his two advisers, somebody would always be around Zhong Jing Yi and be able to save him from any attempt on his life.
And if an attempt happened even once, then the dragons would have grounds to take Zhong Jing Yi away to the dragon realm. After all, they were trying to find a compromise. If one side started to diverge from the agreement they had made so far, then that would change everything all over again.
Finally, Li Yin could only sigh and ignore the matter for now. In any case, for now, nothing else would happen and a few days more or less wouldn’t make trouble for the crown prince.
Over in the other palace, An Bai and Xiang Yong returned from looking through the building, inclining their heads toward Qiu Ling. “Everything is safe. We couldn’t find any traps either. The layout of the building is also so that we will have an easy time to defend if somebody attacks.”
Jing Yi looked from the two of them to Qiu Ling and couldn’t help but question the implications of what he had just heard. “You just made a deal with them. Do you think that they will really just ignore it?” If this was only about him, he wouldn’t have any doubt about that at all but the dragons had just mentioned this might concern Qiu Ling’s life and death. He couldn’t imagine that the gods would be so callous to just go ahead in that situation. But he also didn’t understand the situation that well. The few memories he had from Jing He weren’t enough for that.
Qiu Ling’s expression turned thoughtful. “If it was just the God of Justice and the Heavenly Empress, I wouldn’t be worried. The main is with the Heavenly Emperor.”
“But he should also be able to understand the current situation.”
Qiu Ling sighed. “It is not that he doesn’t understand the situation. He does. He just cares much more about Jing He than he cares about me. In fact, his feelings for me have never been good. It could be that he would actually be quite happy if I were to disappear. After all, he never wanted me to go after his son.
“And with the curse being out in the open now, the likelihood of me marrying Jing He has just risen considerably. The Heavenly Empress was already on my side and whether he likes to believe it or not, Jing He has feelings for me. If Jing He was to know that the curse existed …” He fell silent for a moment, his gaze becoming complicated. He had never told Jing He about the curse. But he had sworn up and down that he would never love another person. That was true. The problem was just how Jing He would react after finding this out.
There were two possibilities and while one was very sweet, the other wasn’t that much so. Jing He was somebody who endlessly doubted himself despite not needing to. So he probably would have some worry that maybe it wasn’t that he was lovable but that the curse had forced Qiu Ling to do so. That was entirely possible with him.
Well, he couldn’t change that now. He could only hope for the best and that Jing He would instead feel reassured by the fact that his lover would indeed never be able to love somebody else and only ever be there for him. That was the kind of relationship he wanted anyway, wasn’t it?
Qiu Ling lightly shook his head. “In any case, the Heavenly Emperor would do anything for Jing He. Even if he has to sacrifice the alliance between our races, it could be that he will actually do so.” And honestly, he couldn’t fault him. He would do the same for Jing He.
Jing Yi pursed his lips. “And that even though their relationship wasn’t that good.”
An Bai furrowed his brows when he heard that. “You shouldn’t say something like this. Especially not in the current situation. Things are bad enough as they are. You really do not need to give the gods another reason to hate you.”
Jing Yi’s brows also furrowed when he was admonished like that and he shrunk further into Qiu Ling’s arms, glancing up at him. Unfortunately, his lover still seemed to be somewhat lost in thought and didn’t say anything in regard to what had just happened.
Xiang Yong lightly cleared his throat to diffuse the tension and turned to Qiu Ling as well. “Should we get some more people to guard this place?”
Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes, pondering silently. He knew that there really was the possibility that the Heavenly Emperor would try something but if they ordered more people to come here, it would send a sign that both sides didn’t trust each other. While this might be true personally, they couldn’t officially do that.
He had promised that he would think more as the king of the dragon race in the future and he hadn’t forgotten that. Now, this was one such moment where both identities were not that easily reconciled. “Don’t do so for now. If something happens, we can still call on them. Until then, we’ll treat it as if nothing will happen.”