Yi Zan was still waiting in the hall with Xian Li and immediately answered the transmission. Seeing his king, and especially his defeated expression, he had a bad premonition. “Your Majesty!”
Qiu Ling faintly narrowed his eyes at him, not quite sure how to begin. He didn’t want Yi Zan to feel like he was responsible for this. No, in regard to this matter, he himself had dropped the ball long ago. So Yi Zan was probably the one with the least part in this. And it wasn’t like there had only been him. Qiang Wei also hadn’t been able to make the right judgment. Well, in that case, he should just tell him how things were. “Jing Yi sneaked out.”
Yi Zan stared at him blankly for a moment, not understanding. He glanced in the direction Jing Yi had left in but then realized that since he wasn’t with them, he actually couldn’t say for sure whether he was still in the palace. Realizing this, he had a sinking feeling. Turning back to the apparition of his king, he gulped. “He sneaked out and did what?”
Pain flitted over Qiu Ling’s face but he forced himself to say the words. “He tried to assassinate the Son of Heaven.” He really didn’t manage to bring Jing He’s name over his lips right now. “In any case, I took him back to the dragon realm. An Bai and Qiang Wei are currently there. You can go back to your original post. I … well, An Bai has other things to do. I’ll contact him in a moment as well though.”
Yi Zan nodded. “Yes, of course, Your Majesty.” He felt like his words were a little too perfunctory. In any case, their king had almost lost his soul-bound partner. That was something that wasn’t easy to take as a dragon.
He really wanted to ask how he was doing but then he also felt that they weren’t close enough for that. Even though he had been told about that secret with the previous Longjun, that had seemed to be a matter of necessity instead of something his king really wanted to tell him. Thus, he really didn’t think that he was the right person for this. Just following orders might be the best he could currently do.
Thinking of that, Yi Zan faintly cleared his throat. “I will go immediately. About the people from the idle gods’ courtyard …” He looked over to Xian Li who had already turned as pale as a sheet.
Yi Zan took a deep breath and then turned back to Qiu Ling. “Two of them went to ask for help in the conflict between you and the Heavenly Emperor or, well, Zhong Jing Yi and him. One of them is still here though.”
Qiu Ling sighed. “Ah, I see. Well, if one of them is still there, he should know where the others are. If he wouldn’t mind, maybe he could go and inform them of what happened. If … If they want to see Jing Yi, he is at my palace. They can come over too, my offer still stands. But I guess I would understand if they didn’t want to anymore.”
Yi Zan nodded. “I will do so, Your Majesty.”
Qiu Ling nodded and already considered cutting the connection when he realized that he really wanted to make sure nothing like this could happen again. “Yi Zan, when you are back in position … I don’t think it needs to be said but you and Qiang Wei need to be careful. I don’t think the gods will be happy and you need to be more mindful of similar instances being possible.
“Whatever happens, don’t leave your positions. Never. Even if I’m in danger, it doesn’t matter. You stay there. If I need help, I’ll ask one of the others. Even if I was to ask one of you, it would never be both. One of you has to stay there at all times. Tell that to Qiang Wei as well. This … it wasn’t really his fault. Neither was it yours. We all … We all messed up on this one.”
Yi Zan nodded and finally couldn’t help but ask the question he had been wondering about after all. His king had sounded a little choked right now. “The Son of Heaven … was he badly hurt?”
Qiu Ling didn’t get out a sound at first. He had to take a deep breath before he somewhat calmed down and finally shook his head. “No, I had some measures in place that managed to catch the attack. By the time the first two attempts had failed, Huang Lan and Mu Kun were already inside and tackled him to the ground. A step later, I arrived with the Heavenly Emperor and Heavenly Empress on my feet. So no, he didn’t injure him in the end. But it was … it was narrow. A really narrow escape. He almost managed to do it.”
In his mind, he once again saw that cut in Jing He’s white robe, directly over his shoulder. He knew that before the attack that the arrays had caught, he had needed to have attacked with some kind of weapon. Some kind of dagger or sword. So most likely, he had gone for the throat because it was the easiest way for somebody who hadn’t learned anything. Because yes, even after he had refused to teach him, Jing Yi had managed to find a way to do this.
He sighed when he thought of that and shook his head. “Well, he’s here now. And I’m pretty sure that the gods will make sure that he can’t enter the capital city ever again in his life. It’s not excessive either. I really can’t fault them.”
Yi Zan nodded but inwardly, he just felt relieved. “Well, as long as His Highness is alright, everything is well.”
Qiu Ling wasn’t too sure if he could agree with that ‘everything’–part but he was in agreement since the main concern was indeed that Jing He was alright. “He is. Now, just make sure that he stays that way.”
Yi Zan nodded and the two of them finally cut the connection, leaving that behind them. Now, it was on Yi Zan to organize the rest of the matter.