At the same time, Qiu Ling was on his way to the Heavenly Emperor’s palace together with Qiang Yan. After warning Jinde, he had indeed called An Bai over to have somebody on his side.
Actually, he really would’ve liked it if Xiang Yong was there as well but he couldn’t have everything. Since his other adviser was still in the dragon realm, it would take too long for him to arrive and he didn’t think that a late addition to the discussion would really help. Thus, he just left it at An Bai in the end.
On the other hand, Qiang Yan had first informed Li Yin of what was going on and after a short moment of consideration, he also contacted his sister. In any case, this was a family matter first and foremost but at the same time, as the Heavenly Empress, she also had a say in things. So he felt that it was just right that she would be there as well. Also, she would probably be able to handle her husband much better than any of them could.
The five people arrived in front of the Heavenly Emperor’s palace at the same time.
Li Yin smiled when he saw them but merely nodded before he walked inside.
Qiu Ling felt a little strange when he saw that expression but he figured that nothing should have happened. He had warned Jinde immediately, so even if Qiang Yan contacted Li Yin after he left his study, he would first need to explain everything while Jinde had been in the know and just needed to go. Thus, there shouldn’t be a way that Li Yin could have found out that Jing Yi was currently leaving. It would be enough to just drag things out here for a while.
He glanced at An Bai next, motioning for him to go inside. He hadn’t actually explained anything to him and just told him that he needed him to come to the Heavenly Emperor’s palace. Now, it really wasn’t the right time to change that so he’d just let him find out when they were inside. He was sure that An Bai was quick enough on the uptake to work with whatever he was given at the time.
An Bai inclined his head and followed his king, not sure what to expect but he had a rough guess. Recently, whenever there was something up, it would usually be about His Highness and his reincarnation. So today shouldn’t be any different. He could deal with this.
When they went inside, the Heavenly Emperor was sitting in his study, working through some documents. Hearing the sound of footsteps, Rong Su looked up, his expression first lighting up when he saw his wife but then turning dark again when he also saw Li Yin and finally even Qiu Ling behind them. Something told him that he wouldn’t like what he’d be hearing in a moment.
He got up and walked into the hall, shooting Qiu Ling an angry look. He still hadn’t forgiven this guy for how he was keeping them from getting their son back. If not for him, Jing He would have long returned. In fact, this trial would’ve ended years ago. And now, here they were, almost four years after his poor son had started his trial and he was still in that condition.
Bai Fen sighed when she saw her husband’s expression and went over to grab his arm, pulling him to sit on the throne while she took the spot next to him. “Since there is something to discuss, just sit down. Let’s keep this civil.” Saying so, she patted her husband’s arm, clearly reminding him in particular that there was no reason to make trouble.
Rong Su pursed his lips, clearly not happy about this but what could he do? Since his wife said so, he grumbled a bit but then kept quiet.
Qiu Ling and An Bai sat down on one side of them while Qiang Yan and Li Yin took the other. Then, Qiu Ling opened with the same speech he had given Qiang Yan. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well.
“Preposterous! We barely agreed to let that ascended deity live. Now, you even want to take him sightseeing in the dragon realm?”
Qiu Ling hadn’t really expected any other reaction. That was precisely why he hadn’t wanted to talk with his father-in-law about this from the very beginning and rather tried to go the roundabout way.
“This isn’t about going sightseeing …” He almost wanted to say ‘father-in-law’ but held back at the last moment. In this case, it would definitely agitate the old man too much and he would lower his own chances of somehow getting away with this.
“I merely think that — considering that the current situation can’t be solved easily — we need a more … sustainable solution. I don’t think it’s good to have him stay here for much longer.”
“Then he should just die! That would take care of the whole matter.”
An Bai cleared his throat to draw attention to himself. “Tianjun knows that this is impossible. We will have to wait for him to either die naturally or find another solution to circumvent the curse being activated. There is no other way.
“So far, neither our side nor the heavenly officials, have found anything. Or maybe the God of Justice’s people have made some new progress that I am unaware of?” While he was working together with them, he wasn’t updated about everything. If there were smaller hints, he didn’t doubt that Li Yin would keep them to himself. The God of Justice clearly had his own thoughts on the matter.
Li Yin smiled and shook his head. “Adviser An Bai is completely right: So far, we weren’t able to find anything. It really seems as if an opportunity to get this ascended deity killed would be for the best.” Saying so, he looked at Qiu Ling, the faint smile still on his lips.