Li Yin furrowed his brows. “How long has scholar An Bai been sitting on this knowledge? You didn’t think to mention it before?”
An Bai heard the accusation in his tone but he didn’t react to it. “I thought about it for sure, God of Justice, but I’m not a part of your race. As I said just now: Usually, I would not get involved in this. I wouldn’t have the right to anyway.
“But more than that, the circumstances weren’t right either. In the beginning, when I found some things that seemed problematic to me, I didn’t know enough to really judge them and thus didn’t know if they were worth bringing up.
“We mostly know about the trials thanks to His Highness and the experiences His Majesty made while following his reincarnation. I might have heard some things before but I am not clear on the details to the same degree as the gods are. Thanks to my research into the matter now, I was able to find out more but it probably still can’t even compare to the knowledge that a god would have on this matter even if they weren’t a dedicated scholar.
“The questions I just asked, you probably have your own solutions for them. I am not saying that we need to discuss them right now either. I am well aware that at this specific moment, there are more important matters to solve. So I rather would’ve brought this up in another context as well but I nonetheless think that with a decision having to be made in regard to His Majesty’s request, maybe these possibilities should be taken into consideration as well.”
An Bai turned away from Li Yin and instead looked up at the Heavenly Emperor. This might not have been the perfect opportunity but since they were already on the topic, he would not do things half-heartedly now. No, since he had started, he would try to do his utmost for his king. Especially with what he had seen of Qiu Ling’s true ability over the last couple of weeks, he didn’t even have to wonder if that was the right thing to do.
“Tianjun, it is not my place to advise you. But for my king, I can only ask that you don’t decide just based on what is currently the law but also based on what might have to change in the future. Please take our race into consideration as well.
“I know that this matter pains you. To be honest, I hold your son in very high esteem. I would be glad to see him back and at the side of our king. And …” He glanced at Qiu Ling for a second, his gaze apologetic. “I apologize for saying this, Your Majesty — but I would rather see him at my king’s side than Zhong Jing Yi.
“I believe that he is the perfect partner for our king and I wish nothing more than for him to return. But at this moment, that is impossible. Until a solution is found, I — we all — will have to live with the fact that Zhong Jing Yi needs to remain alive.
“Seeing this, I think it would be cruel to keep him pretty much imprisoned at this place. I think that the compassionate thing to do would be to allow him free reign over his life until the day he either dies naturally or we find a workable solution.
“Tianjun can rest assured that when that day comes, I will advocate for that solution to be implemented and I am sure that His Majesty will not be of a different opinion. But until then, I do not see a need to force this boy.
“In fact, I believe that if you try to, there might be dire consequences. Right now, he is an ascended deity, and while he doesn’t have the same strength as a trueborn god, he has regained at least part of the memories of the Son of Heaven. He knows much more about the Nine Heavens than we could imagine a human to ever hold and I’m afraid that with his specific circumstances, there might be a lot of emotions that have not been dealt with. That combination … I personally think that it is a dangerous one.”
Not only the trueborn gods in the room but even Qiu Ling furrowed the brows at that. What An Bai was saying was that if they forced Jing Yi too much, he might start to retaliate and he might use the knowledge that he had received from Jing He’s memories for that goal.
Qiu Ling couldn’t help but think of that time after Jing Yi had found out about his true identity and they had gone to his inclusion. For that millennium, Jing Yi’s behavior had been a bit strange. He had clearly tried to replace Jing He in his heart and had become more and more unhappy when that didn’t work.
Now, he had joined the ascended deities. He had wanted to learn more and he had thrown himself into that with a fervor that was astounding. Thinking of that, Qiu Ling couldn’t help but wonder if maybe Jing Yi was already preparing for the kind of retaliation An Bai hinted at.
The problem was: If that was true, then what was it that Jing Yi would finally decide to do? This was something that he didn’t dare to do think too deeply about because he certainly would not like the answer. After all, Jing He had been rather isolated and the ones he had had the most knowledge on were the titled gods and his own family. So most likely, that was what Jing Yi would go for if he really tried to make a big splash to get out of the situation. And if he did … Qiu Ling didn’t think that he would be able to come back from that.