When An Bai was woken up in the middle of the night, he needed a moment to piece together what was going on. “His Majesty? What does the Heavenly Empress have to do with that? Wasn’t he in the dragon realm?”
“He came to take a look at His Highness.”
An Bai stopped in the middle of tying his belt and looked up at Yi Zan. “He came to see His Highness. In the middle of the night.”
Yi Zan nodded, not feeling that this kind of behavior was that strange for their king.
An Bai kept silent and stood there for a moment before he hurried up even more, rushing out as soon as his belt was tied. He didn’t even bother about combing his hair or washing up to make sure that he was looking presentable. If this was just about their king getting injured, that in and of itself wouldn’t have been too worrisome. Things like that could happen. And the Heavenly Empress had said that it wasn’t that bad, so there might have been a simple explanation for it.
But after hearing that he had suddenly turned up in the Nine Heavens to see the currently unconscious body of his lover, An Bai had other thoughts. Was this precisely what he had warned Xiang Yong about? That their king may be troubled by what had happened because of the curse? He was afraid that whatever kind of injury he had gotten, it would be related to that.
An Bai had thought that they would have some time before this problem manifested but as it turned out, that wasn’t the case. No, on the first night, things had already started. Well, that couldn’t be changed, they would just have to deal with it.
They reached Jing He’s palace in a matter of moments, and An Bai nodded at the Heavenly Empress in greeting. The other two would’ve liked him to rush inside and take a look at their king immediately judging by their gazes but he couldn’t do that. No, in this kind of situation, the more information he had at his disposal, the better he would be able to take care of it. “Thank you for having me informed, Your Majesty. Might I inquire what exactly has happened?”
Bai Fen shook her head. “I’m afraid I won’t be able to answer that. I just noticed that there was an injury to his neck. It didn’t seem too deep but it was bleeding and he reacted strangely when I asked about it so I figured that it might be better if somebody from the dragon race took a look.”
An Bai’s brows furrowed but he nodded. “I see. I have a faint idea what this might be about. I’m going to have a look then.”
Bai Fen nodded and watched him walk inside before she sighed again. This matter, it really seemed to be getting worse and worse by the hour. Her son had almost died and now, her son-in-law had gotten injured.
To be honest, on a logical level, she knew that she probably didn’t need to worry about Qiu Ling. Anyway, he was a dragon so getting injured wouldn’t happen that easily. It probably wasn’t much, just something that she might have misinterpreted.
Also, he was older than she was. Why was she here trying to mother him? But then, to a certain degree, she had never been able to see Qiu Ling that way. To her, he was the suitor of her son, somebody that would likely marry into her family in the not-so-far future whenever this trial was finally over.
So yes, she saw him similarly to how she saw her own son and because of that, she couldn’t help but hold some protective feelings regarding him. Seeing him like this … it broke her heart.
Inside, An Bai didn’t go over to his king immediately. Instead, he merely stepped around the screen, taking a look from afar.
Right now, Qiu Ling was sitting at the edge of the bed, holding Jing He’s hands and just looking at his face. It seemed like a calm and quiet scene, something that was actually quite beautiful but An Bai didn’t dare to believe the harmonic picture.
No, there was something more. What could not be seen was the reason why the king was doing this. This wasn’t merely wanting to take a look at his beloved as it had been before where he came to just visit and sit with him for a while because he was in love and missed him.
No, this was trying to reassure himself that the person he was looking at was not actually dead. And that was a problem because there was no way to make sure. After all, right now, there was no soul in this body so he wouldn’t find what he was looking for. Realizing this, An Bai cleared his throat to get his king’s attention.
Qiu Ling immediately looked over, letting go of Jing He’s hands and rising to his feet, his body looking tensed as if he was ready to pounce.
An Bai didn’t step any further forward and instead remained where he was, already having expected this. To see it come true … he wasn’t sure how to think of that. It wasn’t unexpected but it wasn’t good either. It meant that what he had surmised before was likely to be true.
Yes, this was Tian’s curse at work. This was their king being at the brink of insanity because the love of his life had almost died in front of his eyes. If he was pushed any further toward that edge, it would be difficult to get him back from there.
And An Bai wasn’t sure how to prevent that. Time might be able to heal but that wasn’t a given. Especially not with His Highness being like this. If he could wake up, they probably wouldn’t need to worry but if not … they might be doomed.