Even though, as the Heavenly Emperor, Rong Su had needed to study the history of their family as well, he had only looked at the official documents and remembered who their actual ancestors were, and what was important to know about their reigns. Don’t mention who had what wife and what concubine or not, he definitely wouldn’t know about this kind of love story. Thus, he actually had no idea what kind of ring this was.
Seeing that it didn’t seem too important and was just a spatial ring, he finally nodded his head. “My son still has the best ideas.” He reached out and patted Jing He’s shoulder before putting a hand on his back and gently steering him toward the door. “In any case, I think the two of us have spent more than enough time thinking about that dandy. We should better return now. It’s not too late to play a game of weiqi or have a cup of tea together.”
Jing He gave a faint hum and stored the jade box with the ring in his own spatial bracelet for the time being. While he followed his father from the treasury back to his palace, his thoughts couldn’t help but drift back to the man he wanted to give this to though.
He remembered that the dragon king was already wearing rings on his hand. Most likely, he wouldn’t have a problem with adding one or maybe replacing it. If he did … could he pretend that it was a sign that he had accepted this hidden confession?
Imagining this, Jing He lowered his head to hide the sweet smile that unwittingly tugged at the corners of his lips. This man, if he was able to one day truly confess his feelings to him, he would be more than happy. Unfortunately, he had to do it in this kind of way now. And most likely, this kind of hidden story would never be uncovered.
His gaze turned gloomy and he couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t anything that he could do. In the end, could he give him some kind of hint? Could he have the story delivered alongside the present? But that wasn’t good either. In any case, it would be too bold, too straightforward. How could he do something like that?
The carefully crafted image that had appealed to the dragon king before would definitely crumble. So no, this was not the way to go. He could only hope that Longjun would somehow grasp onto this himself or that maybe scholar An Bai would be able to figure it out for him. In any case, hadn’t he been reading up about the trueborn gods and the Nine Heavens quite a bit? Since he was studying them, maybe he would also take interest in this kind of story.
Jing He had to admit to himself that it was quite unlikely, but as somebody hopelessly in love, he could only try to hold onto this small kind of hope. Even if it wasn’t likely, it was still better than nothing.
Soon enough, they had reached the palace of the Heavenly Emperor and went inside together. Bai Fen and Qiang Yan were still sitting there, making Rong Su’s expression fall immediately.
Bai Fen glanced over the rim of the teacup, giving her husband a pointed look. “My dear husband, don’t tell me you aren’t happy to see me?”
Immediately, the Heavenly Emperor ditched his son and rushed to his wife. “How could that be?! My dear wife, I’m so happy to see you! You wouldn’t know, but I actually told Jing He to hurry up before so I could return to your side sooner!” He turned to his son, looking at him eagerly in the hope that he would support this bald-faced lie.
Jing He smiled faintly and then went over, gracefully taking a seat. “I am sure that father will always miss mother when being separated for even just one second. That should be how love is.” Not saying anything else, he picked up the teapot, and poured a cup for his father, handing it over with his head faintly lowered.
Bai Fen and Qiang Yan exchanged a glance. Just as expected, this child was missing the man of his dreams.
Actually, it seemed a little strange to say that about Jing He, since they would have suspected the dragon king would be more like this instead of him, but then again, if it was Longjun, he just would have rushed over and made a fuss about it. Jing He was indeed the type to silently suffer this kind of injustice.
The four of them continued to sit together for a while and Bai Fen paid a bit more attention to what exactly her son was doing or rather not doing. Soon enough, she realized that Qiang Yan was indeed right. Jing He wasn’t eating at all. He would silently sip his tea, but his expression was absent-minded all of the time as if he really wasn’t there with his thoughts. And looking even more closely, she realized that he had to be even more tired than she had originally thought. They really should deal with this matter fast or who knew what else would happen?
Qiang Yan had also glanced at his nephew a few times, and finally, he cleared his throat to inquire further. “So … you found a present for the dragon king?” He looked at Jing He instead of at Rong Su but his brother-in-law didn’t seem to get the drift.
He immediately gave a huff, clearly not happy to be reminded of that again. “Yes, we did. Do we really need to speak about that right now? I think we’ve already wasted enough time on him.”
Qiang Yan smiled wryly but wasn’t that easily dissuaded. “I do understand what you mean, brother-in-law, but this matter is important. In any case, I was wondering how you were intending to go about this. Do you want to go to the dragon realm to hand it over personally?”
Jing He’s hands shook a little when he heard that question. Go to the dragon realm and see the dragon king on the anniversary of his coronation? Hand over a present that was supposed to be used to secretly confess his love? Just thinking about it … Jing He’s heart jumped and he felt faint for a moment, unable to answer at all.
Qiang Yan’s gaze narrowed and he hurriedly reached out, grabbing Jing He’s arm. “Are you alright?”
The strong grip brought Jing He back to reality and he hurriedly nodded. “Yes … I just thought that it might not be such a good idea to do that.” Naturally, he would love to see Qiu Ling. And that festival for the coronation had to be quite the sight to behold. But he also knew that he shouldn’t do this. It would be wrong. In any case, he had never even left the capital city before. To think that he would go to the dragon realm … it was completely impossible.
As if to echo his thoughts, Rong Su already spoke up. “How could that be? Even if he was important enough to have one of us go personally, it shouldn’t be Jing He. Look at how young he is! Can he really make that kind of journey? No, let’s just send a servant to bring it over.”
Qiang Yan gave a hum but shook his head. “That might be a bad idea, brother-in-law. How about this? I can just go. In any case, Longjun knows me, and it would also be befitting his status as our allies’ king. Since I am the one among the titled gods that had the most to do with him, I think that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.” Also, he could use the opportunity to investigate a little and find out what was really going on. And Jing He also might not be too worried then. That was like hitting two birds with one stone.
The Heavenly Emperor grumbled but didn’t say anything against it. In any case, he also knew that this matter couldn’t just be ignored.
Qiang Yan nodded, put a hand on the table, and then got up. “Very well, I think there are a few more things to prepare. So I should probably go and do that right now. Jing He, how about you come with me so we can talk about the gift? I think it would be good if I at least knew what it is and what kind of information I should pass along.” He smiled and reached out his hand, gently grabbing his arm to help him up. When he touched him, his brows slightly curled. He had already noticed it when he just looked at him, but feeling it now, he realized that Jing He had indeed lost quite a bit of weight. That before definitely hadn’t been something that could be taken lightly.
Jing He hurriedly bid farewell to his parents and then followed his uncle outside, not quite sure what to say.
Qiang Yan also stayed quiet and just slowly went toward Jing He’s own palace. In any case, they needed to have a long chat, when Jing He got too tired, it was best if he was already back at home and could just lie down. He definitely didn’t want him to collapse at his palace. That would just make things even more troublesome.