At the same time, Qiu Ling and Jing Yi also arrived at the dragon realm’s capital city. They made their way over to the palace, shocking the guards that hadn’t seen Qiu Ling in some time. They scrambled to greet him but by that time, he was already through the gate, Jing Yi following behind with his head lowered. He didn’t even dare to look around.
At that moment back in the Nine Heavens, it had felt like the right thing to do. If there was no Jing He, then he could stay alive. Nobody would have to argue over his life and death. So why wouldn’t he do it?
He had failed to take into consideration what would happen if he failed. And now, exactly that had happened. Jing He was still alive — or whatever that state he was currently in should be called — while he … well, he had also made it out alive but he had also caused quite some trouble for himself. He didn’t think that Qiu Ling would ever be able to forgive him for this.
Qiu Ling led him straight to his own rooms, opening the door and waiting for him to enter. Then, he just turned around and left. He didn’t even bother to close the door again.
Jing Yi wasn’t wrong: At this moment, he definitely wasn’t able to forgive him. He had seen that Jing He had almost died. If not for the preparations he had made like leaving that small creature with Jing He and laying down those arrays that the Heavenly Emperor had bitched about before, then Jing He would indeed be dead now.
Yes, Jing Yi would have managed to succeed. And that … that was something he couldn’t deal with. He knew that they were somewhat of the same person but they weren’t to him. The same soul didn’t actually make the same person. He had realized that along the way.
Now, he had to deal with his feelings for two people. That was difficult enough. It surely didn’t help that one of them wanted to kill the other. And then … when Jing He woke up, he would remember all of this. He would remember that his own reincarnation had tried to take his life to take over.
And he wasn’t sure if Jing He would be able to deal with that. In fact, he doubted it. His beloved had always been insecure. Surely, he would be racked with thoughts of not being enough after all this was over.
Qiu Ling stopped where he was, not sure what to do now. It wasn’t like he could suddenly solve this situation so he could only do something else. Usually, when he actually bothered to come back to the palace for once, he would hide away in the rafters of his own room, not being seen if he didn’t want to. But he had changed.
Over the course of this trial, he had come to realize that he couldn’t continue with the way he had been before. And he had made some progress. Even though what Jing Yi had just done made him want to hide again and just not think about anything, he knew that he couldn’t do that.
He was king. It was about time that he started acting like that again. The first part of that was probably actually being there and being able to be seen when people needed him for something.
Thinking about that, he finally made his way over to the throne room, popping himself down on that ridiculous chair, and then continued to stare blankly. He didn’t expect anyone to come by and require his assistance anytime soon. In any case, it wasn’t like his people were used to being able to rely on him anymore.
Once upon a time, when he had just taken over, yes, things had been different. People would come to him with questions. And even though he might have been a bit short and snippy with them, he had still done what was necessary, making decisions, taking action, whatever was needed for the things that they wanted.
That kind of king … they had probably been able to look up to. But when he started to gain some advisers, he had used the opportunity to pull back. In the end, this might have been the stupidest decision of his life.
Even though it had indeed kept people off his back and made it more unlikely that they would find about his heritage, it had also meant that there hadn’t really been anyone close to help him if there was something he needed for once.
It also meant that his reputation was bad. He hadn’t cared about that at first but it was probably part of the reason why Jing He’s father hated him so much. He really should have thought about that before.
Qiu Ling’s eyes narrowed and his fingers couldn’t help but curl around the armrest when he thought of Jing He again. He really didn’t want to remember that moment. It was … The pain that had shot through him … Even now, it made him shudder.
He felt like he had a good guess now just how it felt to lose your bound partner. Thankfully, things had turned out well. Otherwise … well, he was afraid the dragons might have needed to get a new king.
Qiu Ling sighed and rubbed his forehead, not quite sure what to do. And he needed something to do because he really didn’t want to think about this any further. Now, what was something quick that he could start with?
He closed his eyes and thought for a moment and then picked up a transmission stone, contacting Yi Zan.
From what that heavenly official had told them, he didn’t think that Yi Zan would have left after their group had been stopped at the gate. So in other words, Jing Yi had somehow managed to slip out from under his eyes.
No matter what the inside story of that was, he had to inform him that he didn’t need to stay around in the Nine Heavens. Most likely, things would be quite uncomfortable for his advisers there for quite some time.
Which reminded him of the question of whether it was alright for Qiang Wei to stay. But then again, especially after what had just happened, he definitely wouldn’t call him away from guarding Jing He. Instead, he wanted him to be more careful in what he did. Because something like this could not be allowed to happen ever again.