Bai Fen was angry about what had happened, but was angry at Jing Yi and in part also at herself, not at Qiu Ling. After all, the one who had tried to kill Jing He had been his reincarnation and he had escalated things because of the way he had been treated. Maybe Qiu Ling had been right and being more open with him would have been the better way to deal with this. Maybe then, it wouldn’t have come this far.
Anyway, letting Qiu Ling in to have a look at Jing He was something she wouldn’t hesitate to do. If things were the other way around, she would also want Jing He to be able to take a look at his lover to reassure himself and not torture himself any further.
Qiu Ling had no idea how he deserved her kindness. To him, he was to blame for most of what had happened, whether it was Jing He’s trial going awry in the first place, or what had happened with Jing Yi today. Still, he would not argue about it and was more than happy that he got the opportunity.
He stepped past the guards and walked in, immediately turning to Jing He.
Somebody had changed his robes since the attack, from the white one he had been wearing before to a lilac one that looked just as lovely on him.
Qiu Ling rushed over as if in a trance, sitting down on the edge of the bed and reaching out to touch him.
At the last moment, he remembered that there was probably still blood on his fingers though. He pulled his hand back and rubbed it on his robe, finally even using his magical abilities to wash them before he dried them again then reached out again.
He gently caressed Jing He’s throat, only finding uninjured skin there. There wasn’t even a scratch.
He heaved a sigh of relief and then leaned down, resting his forehead against Jing He’s shoulders. He knew that coming here was a double-edged sword. He could make sure that Jing He hadn’t been injured but he still couldn’t find any sign of life. Right now, he would’ve given everything to do so. After all, that was what he worried about it: Jing He dying, leaving him alone.
The Heavenly Empress watched him from the side and then pulled over a chair with a sigh. “Don’t worry, he’s alright. I get how you’re feeling though. Today …” She shook her head. “It was a shock. For a moment, I really thought that we lost him.”
Qiu Ling raised his head and turned to look at her, his gaze pained. “I know. I … I didn’t know what to do. If we had come a moment later, if there hadn’t been Mu Kun and Huang Lan at the door, if I hadn’t put down those arrays and left that creature with Jing He, he would have died.”
Speaking of the little thing, Qiu Ling turned back and tilted his head, finally spotting it buried under Jing He’s hair. It was looking up at him with vigilant eyes, clearly prepared to strike if there was any need. It seemed that it had taken a liking to Jing He and was willing to defend him even without orders.
Qiu Ling smiled at it and then reached out, pulling it out of there. “You know, taking you along from the Court of Flames was the best decision I’ve made in my life. Thank you.” He patted its head and then stuffed it back under Jing He’s hair, wondering if there was some kind of way to show his appreciation.
This thing had saved Jing He. He kind of regretted treating it badly before. Maybe it liked snacks? In fact, he should better raise this thing into a big one. In the future, if somebody came and tried something funny, it could scare them off.
He made a mental note to ask An Bai about this later, hoping that there would be a way to do so and that this thing wasn’t naturally this small even after being fully matured. He wasn’t even sure what the thing was but so far, it seemed quite useful.
Bai Fen smiled when she saw him like this and wanted to speak up again when her brows suddenly furrowed. “What’s that on your neck?”
Qiu Ling reached up, accurately touching the spot and wiping at it. “Oh, it’s nothing.”
Bai Fen look at him, feeling that it didn’t look like nothing. Instead, it looked pretty bad. Like the kind of thing she had feared to see on Jing He’s neck. It made her wonder what had happened but Qiu Ling didn’t seem like he would tell her even if she asked.
She fell quiet for a moment and then got up. “I’ve been here since the attack happened, feeling like I shouldn’t leave his side just in case. Anyway, it helped me a bit with calming down as well. I guess you’re feeling similar to me so I’ll leave you alone with him for a moment. Just take some time to reassure yourself. I will be outside.”
“Thank you.” Qiu Ling gave her a smile and then turned back to Jing He, gently taking his hands into his own. Yes, seeing him, seeing that he was uninjured, really calmed him down. Not completely put it was better than nothing.
Meanwhile, Bai Fen left the palace through the main entrance and then turned to Yi Zan. “Adviser Yi Zan, might I trouble you to go and get Scholar An Bai? I’m afraid your king is hurt. So I would like him to take a look.”
Both Yi Zan and Qiang Wei who had waited outside to give her some time alone with Jing He turned to look at her in worry. Their king was hurt? That seemed … well, it seemed so unlikely. Dragons were hard to injure in the first place and their king was especially tough to deal with. Who could have done this?
Seeing their gazes, Bai Fen sighed. “Don’t worry, it’s not too bad. I just want to make sure that there wouldn’t be any problems. Especially after everything that went down today, I feel like we should never take any chances where we don’t have to. Now, if you would?” She raised her brows at Yi Zan, hoping that he would indeed go to do this.
Yi Zan nodded and then rushed off, his thoughts churning. Even though she had said that it wasn’t too bad, it still didn’t seem normal. Yes, it was definitely better if An Bai took a look just in case. Maybe he could also get the whole story out of the king.
This matter was something that worried him, almost as much as that attempt on the crown prince’s life. Either way, it seemed as if their king had been in a dangerous situation twice in the same day. That wasn’t something that he wanted to hear.