Bai Fen shelved her curiosity even though she really would’ve liked to know more. But in any case, she was very clear that the more she tried to pry, the less she would find out. Her son just was that type of person. Thus, she tried to think of another topic.
Unfortunately, she had just been gossiping with Qiang Yan about the dragon king so there was no way to just pick up where they had left off. Thinking about it for a moment, she couldn’t help but think that maybe it would be better to try and lower her son’s defenses a bit. “Now, seriously, you don’t need to feel embarrassed. I’m sure that whether it’s your uncle or me, we both have much worse stories to tell about suitors when we were young.”
There was a faint smile on Jing He’s lips but he didn’t say anything. In any case, this was a difficult statement to react to. On the one hand, he couldn’t refute it because that might make it sound as if he thought that his mother and uncle weren’t worthy of having those suitors. But clearly, both were good-looking and his uncle had been the disciple of the previous God of War, meaning that his status also hadn’t been low even though the two of them hadn’t been the children of any titled gods.
On the other hand, he also couldn’t agree with what she said because that would make it sound as if the situation with Longjun was indeed weird. While he did actually think so, it wouldn’t do to say that about the king of their allies. What kind of impression would it give if at some point it reached his ears? If he thought badly of him … The minuscule chance that he had of getting together with Longjun would be completely gone then, wouldn’t it? He did not want to risk that.
Bai Fen looked at her son with a complicated expression and then turned to her brother, slightly raising her brows so he could help her out. If he had some funny story to tell, it would definitely lighten the mood.
Qiang Yan just smiled, put his hands on his thighs, and stood up. “I’ll see if there are some snacks to eat.”
Bai Fen’s eyes widened and she stared up at him. “Why are you suddenly leaving? Don’t tell me that the stories you have to tell are so embarrassing that you can’t even bring yourself to admit to them in front of your own sister and nephew? We’re family! How bad can it be?”
Qiang Yan just chuckled and patted Jing He’s shoulder on the way out. “The most embarrassing story is definitely the one of your father and mother. Have either of them tell you someday. You’ll instantly feel better about what the dragon king is doing right now.”
Jing He’s cheeks flushed when his relationship with Qiu Ling was suddenly compared to that of his parents. Wasn’t the implication behind that that the two of them might also get married just like his parents? This really was quite bold to say.
Bai Fen clicked her tongue and shook her head at her brother’s back before she turned to Jing He. Seeing his expression, she really wanted to sigh. This son of hers … he was much too timid. “Well, he isn’t completely wrong. There were quite a few things that went wrong when your father pursued me back then.”
Jing He glanced at her, not quite sure if this was something he should inquire further about. His uncle had brought it up and his mother didn’t seem to mind telling him but maybe it would still better to just acknowledge it and then move on. After all, this was his parents’ private matter. Most likely, they would not want to expose that in front of their own child of all people. Otherwise, it might be a bit embarrassing.
Weighing the matter carefully, Jing He still felt that he should say something. After all, he already hadn’t responded much to what his mother said before and now, he was the only person left with her. To not say anything at all would be impolite. He just needed to say something that couldn’t be construed wrong. “I remember how mother mentioned that father was engaged to somebody else before. I could imagine that that would cause a few problems.”
Bai Fen nodded. “It definitely did. You’d better believe that that Yin Lin Lin was not happy when he started to chase me. She tried everything she could to not make it happen. But to be honest, things went further than that. Originally, I wasn’t quite happy with his pursuit myself.”
This time, a hint of surprise was visible on Jing He’s face. To be honest, he didn’t know that much about his parents’ matters since he had always felt that he shouldn’t inquire about it. And this also wasn’t the type of story that either of them would just tell him unprompted. Since he wasn’t one for gossip and didn’t have many relations with any of the other gods either, this really was knowledge that he would be hard to come by. From how the two of them got along, he never would’ve thought that there was a time where they had not been in love. It really was hard for him to imagine.
Bai Fen’s expression lit up when she saw Jing He’s reaction. This was really something that seldom happened. Being able to stun him with something, she should absolutely use that opportunity. “I guess it is strange to hear that being said about your own parents. If it was somebody else telling you, you might even doubt the authenticity. But it’s true. I really didn’t like him at first.
“I guess I was a bit prejudiced. You know how your uncle and I aren’t the children of any of the important gods and weren’t even from the capital city originally. We were just two orphans with nothing to our name. Clearly, the difference was quite huge.”
Jing He’s expression turned complicated for a moment before he restored his usual calm looks. This was something that he did indeed know about his mother and uncle. It was also hard to imagine now that she had been the Heavenly Empress for so long and acted as if it came naturally to her but it was something that he had heard early on.
From what he knew, the God of War had found them when he was out on a mission, and he took a liking to Qiang Yan because he saw that he would have talent with the sword so he took the two of them back and fostered him, making him the disciple that he wanted to raise to be his successor.
Since his uncle did indeed show that he had the talent, nobody said anything about it. And as Qiang Yan’s sister, his mother had also come to the capital city and led a better life than what would have been possible for her originally. To think that she was finally the one who made the engagement of the God of War’s daughter fall through … it was a little ironic. Well, the man himself hadn’t seen that happen anymore.
Bai Fen was also lost in thought for a moment before she continued to explain what she meant. “After we came to the capital city, the run-ins I had with the titled gods and their children weren’t always good. In my eyes, they were spoiled, arrogant pricks.”
Jing He slightly pressed his lips together, clearly scandalized by the fact that his mother would dare to say something like that out loud. Even if she thought like this, wouldn’t it be better to keep it to herself? But he didn’t dare criticize her.
Bai Fen chuckled and reached over, grabbing his hand. “I know, you must think it’s not a good thing to say. But in any case, it is the truth. I didn’t have a good impression of them. It definitely didn’t help that the one I would encounter most often was precisely that Yin Lin Lin that was engaged to your father. Knowing that he was her fiance and how she usually behaved, I was sure that your father would be exactly the same. When he fell in love with me and started to show interest, I thought it was revolting.”
Jing He very much wanted to disappear on the spot. Why exactly had he come over here? Even staying with his father and listening to him badmouth Longjun would be better than being with his mother and hearing her badmouth his own father. This really was something that he couldn’t deal too well with.
Bai Fen laughed at his expression. To be honest, she felt that the situation was quite good. She was sure that Jing He had actually developed feelings for Longjun by now. It was just that he didn’t dare to admit it or follow his heart. That was something that would need more time. But in any case, it would be good if he knew that a couple that he thought of as successful was one that had also not been in love from the first day.
Jing He’s experience was limited. He had never been in love before himself and didn’t have much contact with other people so if the one example he had in front of him was a bit more similar to what he was experiencing with Longjun right now, that would definitely help to speed up the process. And she didn’t mind sharing this part of her life with him either.
She smiled faintly when thinking back to that time. “Well, even though I didn’t requite his feelings and told him so quite directly he did not give up. He pursued me for a few years. Yin Lin Lin was not happy of course. Her father also didn’t like to see this and I guess your uncle was put in a difficult situation by it. But since I was continuously rejecting your father he never said anything and the God of War also didn’t blame him or me. With time though, my feelings slowly changed.
“I guess you will have trouble imagining this. Back then, we were all much younger. Your father was quite handsome in his youth and he can be very charming when he wants to. He is also a devoted lover. I guess that safe for his status that I did not like there was nothing wrong with him.”
Jing He lowered his eyelids, his gaze turning thoughtful. Nothing wrong with him safe for one thing … this reminded him quite a bit of Longjun. safe for the fact that his father disliked him there also wasn’t anything about him that wasn’t perfect. Most likely, his parents’ situation back then had not been that different from his right now.
Seeing his expression, Bai Fen smiled to herself but she didn’t voice any of her thoughts out loud. This was something he would have to think through by himself. She could only tell him what the truth had been.
Just then, the door opened and Qiang Yan returned with a plate with snacks, giving the two of them a smile. “And? Did she tell you the story about the trial?”
This time, it was actually Bai Fen who looked a little embarrassed.
Jing He was just puzzled. “Mother’s trial in the human realm?” He didn’t know much about that time either. His parents had only vaguely mentioned some of their experiences when telling him about the trials the first time and he had never inquired further.
Qiang Yan gave a hum and chuckled but didn’t explain any further. Instead, he came over and put the plate down, sitting down again. “Yes, ah, it’s been quite some time since then. I guess listening to the story now, it should be quite funny.”
Bai Fen cleared her throat and shook her head. “Ah, don’t listen to your uncle, Jing He. What I just told you was probably the most amusing part about my relationship with your father. Come, have a snack instead.” She pushed the plate toward him, hoping to get around that topic.
Jing He naturally wouldn’t pry but he still shook his head. “I don’t have much of an appetite. You eat some, mother.”
Bai Fen didn’t mind too much. She picked up one of the snacks and then slowly nibbled at it while continuing to explain. “In any case, your father and I are happy now. Even though things looked a bit difficult at first, it still worked out in the end. No matter what happened, I think if the feelings are there, it can be made to work.”
Jing He gave a faint hum, clearly sinking deep into his own thoughts. Bai Fen and Qiang Yan wisely started to talk about something else, giving him some time to himself. In any case, their objective had already been achieved. Everything else was up to the children now.