Back in the palace, Jing Yi turned to Xian Li and smiled faintly. “Brother Xian, you don’t need to stay around. I know you’re worried but, right now, there really isn’t much that we can do.”
Xian Li looked at him and shook his head. “Don’t bother about me right now. I know the situation is scary. It’s normal that you are afraid of what’s to come. Relying on friends for help is what should be done.”
Jing Yi’s smile turned wry at that. “To be honest, that’s not it. I’m not really … afraid. Yes, I made a mistake but it’s not the end of the world. Maybe some people are angry right now but I’m sure that that will pass by. So, there’s really no need to worry. Also, I’m in here and they probably expect the dragon king to have several people protect me if they really think he is that interested. So I don’t think you can really do anything.”
Xian Li looked at him, not quite sure what to make of this. He somehow had this feeling that Jing Yi was trying to get him to leave. He wasn’t quite sure why though. In any case, even though they didn’t know each other very well, they were on the same side. And right now, couldn’t Jing Yi use as many people supporting him as he could get?
Maybe he had also misunderstood him. Thinking of that, Xian Li leaned over the table, giving him a deep look. “Brother Zhong, just be frank with me: What is it that you want?”
Jing Yi felt embarrassed when he was asked like this. He had thought that maybe Xian Li would leave on his own accord if he told him that he didn’t need to stay around but now, he was actually asked what he wanted. Now, what was he supposed to say?
Thinking for a bit, he finally lowered his gaze. “You know, I am really thankful for your help. Both for you wanting to stay here and also for Duan Ming and Lan Ling going to find somebody who can help me.
“But right now, I just … This whole matter is a little much for me. You see, I’ve only found out recently. And actually, that was why I moved to the idle gods’ courtyard. I was living with him before here and then … well, I didn’t want to stay around.
“But I do like him. It’s a complicated situation and I think I just need some time for myself to come to terms with it. It’s nothing against you, just that … I still need some time.”
Xian Li looked at him, feeling that he somewhat understood where Jing Yi was coming from. “It’s not your fault. No matter what you might think right now, you’re the least at fault in this whole situation.
“The dragon king put you in a horrible situation there and I’m sorry that this happened to you. You definitely deserve something better. But I can also see how it might be too fresh to make any kind of decision. So yes, you should take your time to come to terms with everything and figure out how to go forward.
“You don’t need me for that but … I’d rather stay around. You know, Duan Ming and Lan Ling will come back here soon as they have gotten a response from the Goddess of Magnanimity. At that time, I’ll tell them what you just told me so that they’ll be in the know as well.
“As for you … I’m sure you still have a room here, right? Just go back there for the moment if that’s not asking too much or maybe have somebody assign you a new one. I’m sure that since all of this was brought about by the dragon king, his people wouldn’t have a problem with helping you out, right?” He looked at Yi Zan who immediately nodded.
“No problem. You know that you are always welcome here.” He nodded at Jing Yi, pitying him a little for having to lie this much. He had to admit that Jing Yi was doing really well though. This story was actually quite believable.
When Xian Li turned back to Jing Yi, he smiled. “See? You don’t need to worry at all.”
Jing Yi nodded and then glanced back to the door. “Then, would it be very impolite if I left now? You’ve really been a big help and I don’t want to treat you badly but … it’s really becoming a little too much.”
Xian Li shook his head. “Don’t worry about me. Right now, you’re the most important.” He smiled and then motioned to the door. “Just go. Don’t think about anyone else but yourself.”
Jing Yi nodded, got up, and then walked over to the door. Just when he was on the way out, Yi Zan followed along.
“I’d better stay close by in case the gods really try something.”
Jing Yi looked at him, not too thrilled at this. “It’s really not necessary. To be honest, I think I’m safe here for the time being. And … don’t get me wrong but since you’re one of Qiu Ling’s advisers, you’re really one of the last people I currently want close by.”
Yi Zan was a little taken aback when he was pulled into the lie as well but then he realized that Jing Yi was right: If he really came along, the others might be able to catch onto the fact that there was something strange going on. Thus, he could only sigh. “I’m sorry. Then, I’ll wait here as well. If anything happens or you feel that there is something suspicious, just come back here or yell for help. I’ll be there in a second.”
Jing Yi nodded and then left for the deeper parts of the palace, listening for any sounds behind him. When there were none, he finally entered a room at random, passed through, and opened the window on the other side.
Right now, there was one thing he had to do and he couldn’t allow anyone to be there when he did. In any case, they couldn’t blame him for this. It was their own fault. If they had just let him leave, he wouldn’t even have thought to try this. But he was sick of it. At every twist and turn, Jing He was always more important than him. Xian Li was right: Right now, he should only think of himself. And he would.