Bai Fen felt quite sympathetic toward Qiu Ling. She knew that her husband wasn’t a simple character. To please him … it wasn’t something that could be easily achieved. And it would be even more difficult if you were trying to do something that he was so much against.
If things went according to Rong Su, she was pretty sure that their son wouldn’t be marrying for another few thousand years at least. To him, he was still just a child, somebody that needed to be protected. And also, he wanted to keep him around. A person of the dragon race who would take Jing He with him to the dragon realm … this naturally wouldn’t fit well with what her husband wanted.
“I will try to think of something. But don’t think that this will be easy. We will have to go step-by-step. The first thing would probably be to give him a better impression of you.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “I guess so too. He seemed to be against me from the very beginning. The problem is I’m not quite sure why. So it could be difficult to work out how to change it if I don’t even know the reason.”
Bai Fen sighed at that. “Yes, I can imagine. To be honest, I think he’s just a little prejudiced.”
“Is that against me personally or against the dragon race generally?” This was something that he actually hadn’t been able to figure out in the ten years that he already knew the Heavenly Emperor. Or, well, the ten years that he had known him when he actually cared about this guy’s opinion somewhat because he was pursuing his son. Before that, he might’ve known him but he couldn’t have cared less about what he thought. Come to think of it, this might be part of the reason why the Heavenly Emperor didn’t like him much.
Bai Fen hesitated a bit when she was confronted with that question. “Well … it might be a bit of both, actually. You see, the dragon race is kind of known for being a bit … vain.” She gave an apologetic smile and then motioned at Qiu Ling. “I guess he sees you in the same way and that is not what he wants in a son-in-law.”
Qiu Ling gave a hum. “Well, who could fault us? The last king was a beauty and the current one is such a handsome hunk. Naturally, my people would feel that appearances are quite important.” He nodded, making Bai Fen rub her forehead.
Wasn’t this exactly what she had been talking about? If Qiu Ling was able not to say things like ‘I’m the most handsome man in the immortal realms’, her husband might actually look upon him more fondly. “In any case, this is something that he struggles with. I’m not sure how you could give him a different impression. By now, he probably thinks like that already. The other points … I’m afraid your past behavior doesn’t put you in a good light either. You seem reckless, thoughtless, immature, rude, —”
Qiu Ling raised his hands and waved them. “Alright, mother-in-law, you don’t have to insult me any further. I’ve understood already.”
Bai Fen sighed. “Isn’t exactly what I mean? You are calling me your mother-in-law when you clearly aren’t married to Jing He. In fact, in the eyes of the public and in the eyes of Jing He’s father, the two of you aren’t even engaged. But you continuously ignore this type of thing, despite knowing that it is important to the gods. Naturally, my husband will be losing respect for you this way.
“If you want to convince him that you would make a good son-in-law for him, you will have to prove that you are able to not make trouble for Jing He. One of the most important things will be that you are able to present yourself and him even in the Nine Heavens. If there is a festival that will require the presence of both of you, you can’t make a scene. He needs to be able to trust that.”
Qiu Ling leaned back, sighing faintly. “It isn’t as if I hadn’t taken part in a festival here already. You’ve both seen that I can do it. But it hasn’t changed anything.”
“But how often has that happened, Qiu Ling? To show a glimpse of how you could be every now and then just isn’t enough. Not if you want him to accept that you will spend your life with Jing He. After marrying you … there will be no way back. Jing He would never consent to a divorce. After having the ceremony, he will feel forced to stay with you for all his life even if he was unhappy at your side. Thus, there can be no doubt at the time a wedding is started to be prepared. We all know that. So you have to prove to Rong Su that you are able to give him the life that is necessary for him before that point.”
Qiu Ling nodded slowly. Well, he had promised An Bai that he would behave more like the dragon king. In any case, even with Jing He, he had slowly let some of that shine through. He had reverted back to how he had been before when Jing He had been reborn for the trial and every now and then, he actually had trouble keeping up either way because he had been acting for so long. But he knew that he could do this. And right now might be a good opportunity to show the Heavenly Emperor.
He looked back up at Bai Fen, his gaze serious. “I will show him. I will make sure that he understands that I’m the right one for Jing He. I’ll try everything I can. I promise you that. Jing He … will not lack for anything when he’s with me.”
Bai Fen nodded. “Very well. Go and work on that.” She motioned to the door, indicating for him to leave.
Qiu Ling nodded and got up, but continued to look at her for a moment. “Well, this is kind of awkward. But I guess I will have to bid you farewell then, Heavenly Empress.”
Bai Fen laughed and waved. “Don’t overdo it. Rong Su wouldn’t be happy then either. At first, you’ll probably be doing anything wrong in his eyes. Just give it a bit of time.”
Qiu Ling nodded at this reminder and then finally turned to leave.