Even though An Bai was shocked that his king would even come up with such an idea in the first place, he still had to agree that this was likely the best plan. After all, His Highness would be kept safe for sure. And if they went about this one step at a time, then there shouldn’t be a problem either.
Thinking it through, he finally nodded. “I would suggest we wait with the implementation of that part until the half-bloods have arrived here. That way, we can make sure that there won’t be any accidents.
“Also, in the meantime, I can already talk things through with Yi Zan.” He paused for a moment, his expression a little troubled. “Your Majesty … Would you mind if Yi Zan knew that person’s real identity?” They could definitely tell Yi Zan that this was a person important to His Majesty and leave it at that but Yi Zan was also Qiu Ling’s adviser. To keep him out of the loop … He wasn’t quite sure if it was the right thing to do. But this was also a decision he didn’t dare to make recklessly. After all, the consequences if this got out would be dire.
Qiu Ling gave a hum, giving it a thought. He knew that Jinde didn’t necessarily want too many people to know but in this case, it might indeed be beneficial if at least Yi Zan knew the truth. The same probably couldn’t be said about his family but at least for that adviser of his, there wasn’t really much of a reason speaking against it after Xiang Yong and An Bai had already found out.
“I think he should know. But … in this situation, I think it would be best if I was the one to tell him.” In any case, this person’s identity was special. And he didn’t want to have any misunderstandings spring up. If he made the situation clear to Yi Zan himself, then that was definitely for the best.
An Bai nodded and got up. “Then excuse me, please. I will go and inform Yi Zan. I would also take over his post for the time being if you don’t mind.” He was a little uncertain about this considering that his king had never wanted him around His Highness but Qiu Ling just waved, clearly not too bothered by this.
An Bai was slightly startled when things turned out to be this easy but he found his composure back after just a moment. “Well, excuse me then.” He left but his thoughts couldn’t help but stay on that matter for a while longer. Their king … just how much had he done to cover up his situation? How much of what they had seen in these years had been true and how much had just been a pretense to not let them find out?
To be honest, it was probably rather difficult for him. Living like that, without anyone to talk to about his problems should have made him feel rather lonely. Before this, there had been some doubts. He had been wondering if maybe they just hadn’t been good enough to be told. But now, he slowly realized that he was asking the wrong questions.
It wasn’t important whether they had been lacking and that had been the reason. No, the most important thing was that their king had clearly suffered. And while they hadn’t been able to help him through that suffering at the time and hadn’t even realized that he was, they were now.
Now, they could do something for him. They could help him through the rough patches and make sure that he would have it easier going forward, that there would always be somebody around to rely on to keep his secrets and discuss with him if something related to that came up. They had to make sure that he knew that he would never have to go through this on his own again.
After a while, An Bai had made his way over to the crown prince’s palace. This place actually felt a little nostalgic to him. He had gone to visit Jing He regularly at the beginning, answering his questions about the dragon race, asking him a few questions about the gods, slowly getting closer. This person, back then, he had felt that if he became their king’s partner, that would be great. He was definitely the kind of consort that he wished to see at his king’s side.
An Bai bowed toward the two guards at the entrance, showing a faint smile. “I’m here to change shifts with one of the others. I hope you won’t mind.”
Seeing An Bai and the fact that he actually entered through the main entrance and not the door by the garden made Huang Lan and Mu Kun feel better. Also, it wasn’t a secret that An Bai and Jing He had met up quite a few times in the beginning so their good feelings toward him were a bit higher than those toward Qiu Ling’s other advisers being there anyway.
Mu Kun immediately stepped forward. “Greetings, Scholar An Bai. Please, go on in.” He motioned inside and then just to stood at his position, wondering if there was something else that they should do. In fact, maybe it would have been better if there were some guards of their own race inside but then again, nobody had complained in the last few years. Who was he to make any decisions now?
An Bai stepped inside and met with the astonished gazes of Qiang Wei and Yi Zan. Clearly, these two hadn’t expected to see him come here or anyone really to switch with them either.
An Bai just smiled. “Yi Zan, there is something His Majesty would like to discuss with you.” Saying so, he remembered that Yi Zan didn’t know where exactly His Majesty was so he hurriedly described the position of the palace from the Court of Justice. Yi Zan should know where that one was at least.
Yi Zan nodded, having a rough understanding of the position but he still couldn’t help but feel a little ill at ease. “Say, this matter … is it anything grave?”
Whether it was Yi Zan or Qiang Wei, neither of them had seen the change in Qiu Ling yet so suddenly having their king want to talk to him really made him feel unaccustomed.
An Bai just smiled. He really would’ve liked to tell him that there was no reason to worry but he couldn’t quite put into words what had happened recently. This change … he was afraid Yi Zan would have to find out for himself.