The Heavenly Emperor rushed over to the pavilion, ready to shower his son with his love. As a result, he stopped in his tracks, taking a closer look at Jing He’s face. After a moment, his brows drew together. “You …”
Jing He was startled out of his thoughts and looked up, seeming a lot like a startled deer.
His father’s expression darkened even further, making Jing He afraid that he had given something away. He hurriedly stood up and then lowered his head, hoping that whatever his father had noticed wouldn’t point in the direction of the dragon king. “Father …” His voice sounded a little quieter than usual, making him feel that his guilty conscience would be obvious.
The Heavenly Emperor stepped closer and then raised his hand, putting it against Jing He’s forehead. “Aiya, I should’ve come earlier! You should get inside. I’m afraid you’ve gotten sick, child.”
Jing He looked back up, not quite sure what to make of his father’s words. “I …”
“It’s alright!” The Heavenly Emperor patted his son’s arm and then put his own arm around his shoulder, leading him over to his palace. At the same time, he called out to the two guards at the front. “Mu Kun, you and put away the tea set. Huang Lan, you go and get the God of Medicine here.”
There was an affirmation from the other side and the two guards started to run to do as they had been told.
Meanwhile, Jing He was brought inside and tugged into bed very much like a small child. He still didn’t understand what was going on. Why would his father think that he was sick? Could it be that he still seemed too pale because he hadn’t slept well last night? He didn’t dare to ask for fear of exposing anything though and just stayed where he was, keeping his head down.
The Heavenly Emperor sat at his bedside, holding his son’s hand, and patting it every now and then as if to calm him down.
A few moments later, the God of Medicine was already brought over, looking a little worried when he stepped into the palace. “What’s the matter? How did something happen to His Highness?” Seeing the Son of Heaven in bed, his bushy white brows drew together and he hurried over, putting down his medicine kit at the side and then sitting on the edge of the bed himself.
Jing He wanted to say that he was alright or at most a little tired but his father was already speaking up for him.
“I think it must be because of that festival yesterday. Most likely, with everything going on outside, it was just too much for him. When I came to see him, his whole face was red as if he was running a fever. I’m afraid it’s rather serious.”
Jing He’s cheeks flushed red once again when he realized just why his father had thought that he was sick. So he had actually noticed his reaction to what the dragon king had done just now.
Thinking of how awkward it would be when the God of Medicine checked him and realized that he wasn’t sick at all, Jing He hurriedly spoke up. “Father, you’re probably exaggerating. I’m not feeling bad. Maybe a little tired. But that would be all.”
The God of Medicine merely nodded. Anyway, it wouldn’t be unusual that the Heavenly Emperor was overreacting where his son was concerned but it was still better to check just in case. “Well, let me see if there’s something wrong. I hope Your Highness won’t mind.” He reached out and lightly touched his cheeks and forehead before taking his pulse and then even probing his body with spiritual energy.
As for the results … He really couldn’t find anything that was wrong with him. Apparently, the Heavenly Emperor had really gone overboard again with this. “Well …” Even if he knew this, he naturally couldn’t say so out loud. “I guess a few hours of uninterrupted rest would do Your Highness very well. Other than that, I don’t think we need to take any additional steps yet.”
Jing He nodded, thankful that the God of Medicine wasn’t saying anything else.
The Heavenly Emperor wasn’t satisfied though. “Are you sure? Maybe you should check again just in case.”
The God of Medicine turned around, giving the Heavenly Emperor a long look. “Your Majesty, I have been the God of Medicine for a rather long time. You can believe me when I say that your son isn’t seriously sick. He is merely a little exhausted at the moment. It would be best to let him rest up for now so that can be taken care of.
“If not, then you might be right and this could indeed turn into an actual sickness. We better shouldn’t let it come to that, right? So I suggest that the two of us should leave now so His Highness can get some sleep.” He grabbed his medicine case and got up, motioning to the door.
While the Heavenly Emperor was overbearing and most people wouldn’t dare to defy him, the God of Medicine wasn’t worried. After all, just telling him that something would be good for his son’s health was definitely enough of an argument to deter him from acting out too much.
The Heavenly Emperor continued to sit where he was though, seeming reluctant. “But shouldn’t somebody stay with him to be here in case he needs something?”
“The only thing His Highness needs right now is some rest. Thus, everything that might distract him shouldn’t be here. That includes all people, even you, Your Majesty.”
Seeing that his father still didn’t want to go, Jing He couldn’t help but speak up. “Father, if something does happen, then Huang Lan and Mu Kun are right outside the door. I will call out and have one of them help me. Should anything happen, then I will send one of them to inform you immediately, alright?”
The Heavenly Emperor sighed and patted both of his son’s hands. “Aiya, you’re still the most sensible. Well, you should rest up then, child. I will come to see you in a few hours.”
The God of Medicine once again motioned toward the door but couldn’t help but caution. “I think it would be best to not come again too soon. Since His Highness will be sleeping, if you came too early, you would just wake him up. It’s best to let him sleep for as long as he can.”
The Heavenly Emperor nodded and then finally followed the God of Medicine outside, still rather worried about how his precious son was doing and whether there was nothing he could do for him.
As for Jing He … Well, he was indeed exhausted so he figured that he might as well really lie down and try to sleep for at least a bit. He pushed back the blanket and then got up, intending to take off his robe. Just when he reached for his belt to open it, a voice sounded from behind him.
“Were you really not doing well today?”
Jing He gasped and his fingers curled around the fabric of his robe. “Longjun?” He slowly turned around, his face looking quite a bit pale.
Qiu Ling went over, taking his hands, and looking at his face for a long moment. “You do look a little pale. You should probably rest up indeed. I’m sorry. You should have told me so right in the morning. If I had known, I wouldn’t have bothered you for so long.”
Jing He shook his head. “Longjun is worrying over nothing. I am indeed a little tired since there was a lot of excitement yesterday but it isn’t too bad. I just didn’t expect Longjun to come back so soon so I was a little startled just now.”
Thinking back to a moment ago, Qiu Ling nodded slowly. Right, it seemed he had indeed startled Jing He. “Well, then do you want to spend some more time with me or are you really going to sleep?”
Jing He looked at him, unsure how to react. If he was honest with himself … Naturally, he longed to spend time with the man he loved. But … if somebody came and saw them together while he was actually supposed to rest up … The feeling of doing something forbidden was very strong. “I have kept Longjun for a rather long time today. You are probably busy.”
Qiu Ling slightly tilted his head, wondering what Jing He was trying to say. Was this a moment where he should be polite and tell him that he did indeed have something to do since he was a very busy man and couldn’t push his duties aside any longer? That would probably save Jing He from having to admit that he was really tired and wanted to sleep?
Thinking of it like this, he finally nodded. “Well, that might be true. In that case, I hope you will excuse me. I will return to my realm and take care of …” He tried to think of something he was supposed to take care of but couldn’t remember anything. “Well, some very important things I’m sure. I will come to see you again after that.”
Jing He nodded even though he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the dragon king’s words. He just watched him turn around and then leave his palace, closing the door behind him conscientiously.
As soon as he was out of sight, Jing He collapsed onto the side of the bed, sitting there with his face vacant. Just now … he had almost taken off his outer robe. Longjun might have seen him and in just his inner clothing. If he really did …
Jing He’s whole face turned scarlet and he burrowed his face in his hands, feeling ashamed of himself. Just imagining what the dragon king might think of him if he really saw him like this made him worried beyond belief.
He got up and took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down. Walking over to his dressing table, he looked around to make sure that he really was alone this time and then opened his belt. He put it down, still holding onto his outer robe and once again looking over his shoulder before he also took off the robe. Only then did he turn around and returned to the bed, slipping under the blanket. He pulled it up to his chin and then turned onto his side, trying to do as the God of Medicine had told him.
Unfortunately, just like last night, rest did not want to come. Instead, his mind couldn’t help but return to the two times the dragon king had almost seen him in a very indecent moment. He seemed to have a lot of bad luck today. He could only hope that it would get better soon.