Qiu Ling’s decision hadn’t been a spontaneous one. To be honest, he hadn’t slept much the night before. At first, he hadn’t been able to fall asleep, and then, he had also woken up again long before Jing Yi. All that time, his thoughts had been churning, trying to think of some kind of compromise.
Letting him see Jing He was completely out of the question. Maybe that was stupid but he just couldn’t even stomach the thought. He felt like that was just inviting disaster and maybe … maybe he also felt like he would wrong Jing He if he let that happen.
In any case, he couldn’t fulfill Jing Yi’s wish. He couldn’t just ignore it either though. The Heavenly Emperor definitely wouldn’t provide any kind of help and would probably love to pick up a weapon or launch a secret attack to get rid of him already. So, in the end, he had only been able to think of Bai Fen.
She was close enough to provide some of the insight that Jing Yi wanted but she was also open enough to maybe give this a shot. It was the perfect way to deal with this dilemma. And still, this wasn’t something that he was looking forward to.
The first meeting between Jing Yi and Bai Fen hadn’t really gone well and there was also the fact that Jing Yi was the reminder that her own son still couldn’t return to her. As long as this was the case, Bai Fen would always be worried. To ask this of her was actually too much. He also knew that but he didn’t see another way. After a whole night, he hadn’t been able to come up with anything.
Qiu Ling sighed when he thought of her possible reaction again. It wasn’t ideal but it was the best he had to offer. In any case, he was just asking. He couldn’t guarantee anything.
Qiu Ling finally sat up when he thought of that and got out of bed to put on his outer robe. He looked at Jing Yi who was still lying there, quietly watching him. “Just to make sure this is clear: I am going to ask her but I can’t promise you that she will agree. She might say no. In that case, I can’t force her.”
Jing Yi just nodded as if it wasn’t that important. “Just try your best.” In any case, he had already expected not to get any help in this regard from how Qiu Ling had reacted yesterday. To see him give in halfway now was already great.
Qiu ling nodded and then left the palace. First, he went to Jing He’s palace though. This early in the morning, it seemed especially peaceful. Jing He’s guards, Huang Lan and Mu Kun, stood in front of the door as usual, not seeming as if they had taken a single step since the day that Jing He left for his trial.
Qiu Ling smiled faintly and evaded their gazes as usual, entering the palace through the door from the garden. Qiang Wei and Yi Zan looked up, inclined their heads when they realized that the visitor was their king, and then immediately left to stand outside the building to give him some privacy.
Seeing them, Qiu Ling’s mood was a little complicated. He had already talked things through with An Bai and Xiang Yong. It had given him a feeling of freedom that he hadn’t felt in a long time. Now, he actually felt that it would be nice if he was able to tell the other four the truth as well. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite know if that would really work out just as well again.
In any case, An Bai and Xiang Yong had figured things out by themselves long before. They had had time to come to terms with his bloodline and form their own opinion. The other four very likely didn’t have that luxury. If he told them, they would find out at that specific moment and would need to deal with it right in that instant as well.
Even if they might be able to come to terms with it in the end, their first reaction likely wouldn’t be a positive one. Even An Bai had likely panicked when he found out back then. But it was a different matter to just imagine that and to see it with his own eyes.
After everything that had happened in his life, Qiu Ling knew well enough that he wouldn’t be able to deal with it if he saw that rejection in their eyes. It would break the trust between them that was fragile to begin with. So he didn’t want to do it yet. Maybe he would in the future but not without any preparation. At the very least, he wanted to talk it through with An Bai and Xiang Yong. That was what his advisers were there for after all, right?
Shaking his head, Qiu Ling went to sit down at the edge of Jing He’s bed, looking at his face that looked as if he was just in peaceful slumber.
He reached out, gently brushing his cheek with his fingertips, and then leaned down to kiss his forehead. Just as usual, he felt calm when seeing him but also an unprecedented worry deep down in his heart. That fear that he would never wake up again was always there. That was probably why he understood so well why Bai Fen and the Heavenly Emperor weren’t thrilled.
“I’ve come to see you again, my love. It is just that I still don’t have any good news for you. There’s so much that has happened. I can’t even begin to tell you all of it. Right now, I just wish that there was a simple solution for everything. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be one. And I am not knowledgeable enough about these things to find one myself. If I had known, I would’ve tried harder before. In fact, I’m also letting you down with this.”
He sighed and then just held Jing He’s hand for a moment, not sure how to continue. He knew that Jing He couldn’t hear him. Coming here … it was just for his own peace of mind. But that was alright. In any case, if it was him who was in this situation, he would also want for Jing He to come and sit at his bedside, and just tell him his worries so he could take a burden off his shoulders. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t hear it or actively help him. Just being there and giving the person he loved more than anything else in his life a bit of peace for just one moment was enough.
“I still don’t know how you will react to everything when you wake up. So many things have happened. The experiences that you had as Jing Yi, some of those will likely be hard to stomach. And the things I have told you …” He shook his head, and his grasp on Jing He’s hands tightened a little. “To be honest, I’m worried.
“I know that you love me. I didn’t even realize how much you loved me back then. Now, there is no doubt about that. But at the same time, there are things that are probably hard to come to terms with. So I can’t help but wonder if just loving each other will be enough to overcome that. But I guess I will see that when you wake up. I’ll wait for that day.”
He raised Jing He’s hand and gently placed a kiss on his palm. “Anyway, I’ll have to go now. Jing Yi has asked me to bring him here so he could take a look at you but I refused. As a compromise, I said I would go and ask your mother if she would be willing to see him.
“I don’t know if it is the right thing to do but I have a slightly better feeling about this than about letting him see you. I don’t know why. I’m just a bit anxious. Maybe I just feel that everything will become even worse when the two of you meet somehow. I can’t even explain it myself.” He shook his head and then got up, putting Jing He’s hand down regretfully. “I’ll come to see you again soon. I love you.”
With that, he turned around and left the palace again and finally went over to Bai Fen’s palace instead.