Qiu Ling looked at him, waiting for his response. Qiang Yan really wasn’t sure what to say. Clearly, what Qiu Ling had just said was idiotic but he still seemed to expect him to give a serious answer to that. How to deal with this situation … he felt like he was slightly out of practice.
He pondered for a moment and then leaned closer, knocking on the table. “Then, are you going to let him explore the world alone?”
Qiu Ling’s gaze flickered at that. That was to say, he wouldn’t. Right now, he had had to stay away from Jing Yi for just a day or actually just a night and it had been excruciating for him. To imagine that he might have to do the same for a prolonged period of time … that would be difficult if not downright impossible.
No, he just couldn’t do it. It was … well, this was what it was like to be a dragon after you had bound your soul. Naturally, you could be without the other person but it wasn’t enjoyable. You would miss them, even more than you had before and by the time you were ready to bind your soul, you were usually so deep in over your head that it was already agonizing not to see them for even an hour of the day.
Qiang Yan leaned back and gave him a faint smile. “That’s what I thought. I know Jing Yi is a little more resilient than my nephew but still, you wouldn’t go that far. If there’s a danger to him, you’d try to take it out. I don’t think anyone or anything that is after him would be able to get even close. And that is true whether he is in the Nine Heavens, in the dragon realm, or anywhere else. So please, don’t try to spin this any other way. I know the truth and I won’t let you pretend that it is any different.”
“So you’re going to say no? Just like that?”
Qiang Yan sighed, rubbing his forehead. Qiu Ling was really giving him a headache! “I’m not saying no ‘just like that’. I’m saying no because that is what we originally agreed on.”
“When we originally agreed on this, we thought that it would only take a few weeks though. Now, it is already clear that it won’t. Can we really keep up an agreement made that way? Shouldn’t we rather amend it now that it has become clear that it will turn out different than we imagined? Wouldn’t that be the responsible thing to do?”
Qiang Yan clicked his tongue and shook his head. Qiu Ling wasn’t wrong but … “Even if we were to do that, I alone wouldn’t be able to. That is something that the God of Justice should be involved in and also the Heavenly Emperor.
“Look, Qiu Ling, I really like you. I also have to admit that as somebody who ascended on his own trial, I’m not really keen on seeing Jing Yi die this way. I know how agonizing it was for me and I do know how difficult it was for me to get back to my normal self afterward.
“That is why out of all the people involved in this, I’m probably the one who has the easiest time understanding what you’re going on about. But that doesn’t change that the situation is complicated. And you’re making it even more complicated right now. Are you aware of that?”
Qiu Ling faintly furrowed his brows and lowered his gaze. He knew. If he just ignored this and let Jing Yi stay in the idle gods’ courtyard, that would be much easier for everyone involved. They wouldn’t have to change their agreement or bring it up at all. It was just that he couldn’t do that.
“I don’t want to either. But I can’t change our curse and I can’t change that I love him. I just … I just want what’s best for him.” And he knew that for Jing Yi, it wasn’t good to stay here. He needed to get away. Away from Jing He and his family and all those things that were tied to his past life. He would be able to thrive in the dragon realm in a way that he wouldn’t be able to here even after joining the idle gods’ courtyard. As his lover, he should fight for him to be able to go there.
“We all want what’s best for Jing He and, if possible, for Jing Yi as well. But it’s not so easy to decide that. If you want a compromise, you will have to go about it the right way. So I can’t help you. I really can’t. I’m sorry.”
Qiu Ling nodded and kept quiet for a moment before he looked back up, his expression becoming a little more closed off. “Well, I’m still of the same opinion. So, could I trouble you to contact the God of Justice and then come with me to the Heavenly Emperor to talk things through? I will also contact An Bai to come along. He is better at explaining some things than I am so this should help.”
Qiang Yan looked at him, surprised that he still wanted to try this even though it would involve his brother-in-law. He had thought that Qiu Ling would back off for sure if he couldn’t solve things this way.
Looking at him quietly, he finally nodded. “Well, I guess it can’t hurt to try. But you shouldn’t get your expectations too high up. It is unlikely that either of them will agree.”
Qiu Ling nodded and then got up. “I’ll leave you alone in case you want to privately warn them a little further.”
Qiang Yan nodded, not pretending that he wouldn’t give them a heads-up.
Qiu Ling stepped out of the study and then put some distance between him and the room before he fished out a transmission stone, hurriedly contacting Jinde instead of An Bai.
Over in the hall, Jinde glanced down at his necklace and raised his brows before picking it up. There weren’t that many people who would contact him this way so he immediately answered. Seeing Qiu Ling’s expression, he could imagine that things hadn’t gone too well. “What —”
Before he got any further, Qiu Ling already cut him off. “Leave the capital, now.”