Jing He stared at the other person, unbelieving. He had thought that for sure, the dragon king would once again leave his palace secretly to avoid running into his father. After all, he knew how his father thought about this … whatever it was between them. But now, the dragon king had actually sat down there as if it was the most natural thing in the world and had even taken over the instrument, making it seem as if he had been there for a long time. Well, not that he hadn’t been there for a long time but it hadn’t been him who played.
Jing He didn’t know what to do about all this so, in the end, he merely stayed quiet and lowered his head, peaking at the folding screen every now and then to see if his father was already there.
He didn’t need to wait for long. The Heavenly Emperor stepped into his son’s palace, looking around the folding screen to make sure that he wasn’t disturbing his son’s rest. His wife had reminded him several times that if he found that his son was still asleep, he should not go in past the folding screen. Otherwise, he might actually disturb him which wouldn’t be helpful at all. Even though it pained him, Rong Su had finally acquiesced. Thus, he made sure that he took a look especially quietly.
When he did though … What he saw was his son sitting at the table demurely while that bastard from the dragon race was right opposite him, even leaning toward him. The Heavenly Emperor stood on the spot as if struck by lightning. His poor son had just tried to rest and now this guy was here, actually disturbing him! How could he do something like this?!
His brows furrowed and he stomped over, stopping right next to the table. “Longjun, what do you think you are doing here?”
Qiu Ling looked up and blinked his eyes, finally giving the Heavenly Emperor a bright smile. He didn’t like this guy but this was still his beloved’s father. Thus, it would be much better to treat him nicely. This would also show his beloved how earnest he was. “Father-in-law, how nice of you to drop by.”
Needless to say, the Heavenly Emperor wasn’t happy with that greeting at all. “Who are you calling your father-in-law?! You’re at least two times older than me!”
Jing He on the other side of the table flushed red, being reminded of this fact. Was this really something that could be told to the dragon king’s face just like this? It seemed a little … impolite. But what was he supposed to do? Between his father and the dragon king, he really didn’t have any business stating his opinion.
Qiu Ling just continued to give the Heavenly Emperor a breezy smile, not being bothered at all. In any case, he was sure that he was quite a bit older than just two times his father-in-law’s age but he definitely wouldn’t correct him on that. “Well, I came to spend some time with my beloved, of course. I heard that he wasn’t doing well. To be honest, I’m a little hurt that you wouldn’t send a message to me informing me of this.”
The Heavenly Emperor pointed at his nose. “Who are you calling your beloved? Shameless!”
Qiu Ling just gave him a puzzled look. “Why though? Isn’t it your son? There isn’t anybody else.” He turned back to Jing He, giving him a look as if he really couldn’t understand his father but was willing to endure him for the sake of their relationship. “My love, how do you feel? Did the music help you relax?”
Jing He stared at the dragon king in a daze, not sure how he was supposed to react to that. Clearly, he had been the one who just played the instrument. How was it supposed to help him relax?
Thinking for a moment, he felt that actually, it wasn’t wrong though. If not for the fact that the dragon king had stared at him so intently, he really would’ve felt relaxed while playing. It was a way to guide his thoughts in a certain direction, and the second song had actually managed to lighten his mood a little. Thus, he gave a faint smile. “Now that Longjun mentions it, it did indeed help.”
Qiu Ling smiled in return and then reached over, taking his hand. “I’m glad that my idea was able to benefit you. If there’s anything else I can do …”
Before he could say more, the Heavenly Emperor reached out and pulled his son’s hand back, angrily staring at the dragon king. “You can kindly leave!”
Qiu Ling just continued to smile and didn’t even look at the Heavenly Emperor. Jing He was sure that in a moment, these two would start to argue but Qiu Ling actually surprised him.
“Well, if that is what father-in-law wants me to do, then I should not argue. In any case, I also understand that Jing He needs to rest.” He got up but lingered for a moment longer, looking at Jing He. “Then, I will return tomorrow. I hope you will already be doing better by then. While I always enjoy seeing you, I certainly enjoy most to see you doing well.” He faintly inclined his head and then left the palace, taking off to the dragon realm.
Back inside, the Heavenly Emperor wasn’t happy despite being able to make him leave. He had wanted to throw him out but this guy actually managed to have it seem as if he was doing this to do his Jing He a favor. He was just taking advantage of his beloved son! He huffed for a while and then sat down where Qiu Ling had sat before, still feeling angry. “Who does this guy think he is?”
Jing He refrained from answering that question. Who did he think he was? Well, obviously, he was the dragon king. This kind of behavior … He actually felt that it fitted him quite well. But naturally, that kind of thing could not be told to his father. He also didn’t dare to badmouth the dragon king though so he could only stay silent.
The Heavenly Emperor didn’t mind it. In any case, his son had always been a little quieter and he had never heard him speak badly about anyone. Even if he thought that the dragon king was insufferable, he probably couldn’t find it in his heart to say so out loud. He reached over and patted his hand, trying to calm Jing He down. “Don’t worry about it. Father won’t let that man bother you in the future.”
Jing He actually felt a sense of crisis at that. His father didn’t intend to put guards all around his palace once again, did he? Jing He couldn’t help but worry and finally spoke up to try and dissuade his father. “Father, I’m sure that Longjun didn’t mean anything bad with it. Isn’t it nice that he came to check on me when he heard that I wasn’t doing well?”
The Heavenly Emperor looked at his son, slightly furrowing his brows. What did he mean ‘wasn’t it nice’? What was nice about this? This guy was clearly just trying to take advantage of his son!
The more he thought about it, the more worried he became. It seemed that his poor son didn’t even notice what the dragon king was trying to do. He sighed and patted Jing He’s hand again, squeezing it lightly. “Jing He, you’re really too good. If you continue like this, you’ll just be taken advantage of. This matter is definitely not as simple as you think it is. Even if you can’t see it, he has ulterior motives. Believe me.”
Jing He slightly furrowed his brows, not sure how to react to that. Did the dragon king have ulterior motives? Well, he was sure of that. Obviously, the dragon king was behaving like this because he still wanted to marry him. But … was that really so bad? “Father, I still don’t think there is a need to worry. In any case, he didn’t bother me.”
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the right thing to say. Hearing that his beloved son actually didn’t feel bothered by the dragon king, made the Heavenly Emperor worry even more. “Jing He, he wouldn’t have succeeded in wrapping you around his little finger, would he?” His gaze instantly turned questioning, making Jing He a bit fearful.
“That … No. How could that be?” He lowered his gaze, feeling nearly overwhelmed by his guilty conscience. Wrapped around his finger … he certainly was. At this moment, while he was still holding onto his thoughts of what his role was, it couldn’t be denied that he was willing to let the dragon king do quite a few things that went past what decorum should allow. Surely, that was not the right way to think. He could definitely not give in to the dragon king any further. The result of that … No, that was unimaginable.
Unfortunately, the Heavenly Emperor couldn’t help but feel that there really was something going on. While his son was usually quiet and didn’t speak much, not even looking at him when he invited him to speak about his worries seemed a little wrong. “Jing He, you tell me the truth, what are your thoughts about the dragon king?”
Jing He looked up at his father, not sure how to answer that question. “He …” He wanted to deny his feelings but finally couldn’t bring himself to do so. If it was just that he did not resent this man or if maybe he felt that he could have a polite relationship with him, then maybe he could just agree with his father. That wasn’t the case anymore though.
He had fallen in love with him. This was the man he had lost his heart to, the only one he would ever love in his life. Even if it couldn’t be, how could he deny him like this? “Father, I think you’re too harsh on him. He really hasn’t done anything bad in the time that we’ve known him, has he?”
Rong Su stared at his son in a daze, unable to believe what he heard. His son … His precious darling son had really fallen into the dragon king’s trap. Just how could he have let that happen? He had really failed him as his father! In the future, he would have to try harder to show him the dragon king’s true face.