Meanwhile, Xiang Yong had arrived at Jing He’s palace and explained the situation to Qiang Wei and Yi Zan who still hadn’t gotten the full story since An Bai hadn’t wanted to talk about it in front of everyone else. Hearing what had happened now, the two of them couldn’t help but feel that they probably should’ve been inside with their king all along.
Xiang Yong shook his head at them though when Qiang Wei brought the matter up. “Don’t worry about that. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as he is fully conscious. It will become a problem when he falls asleep or loses consciousness because of some other reason. I don’t think that we need to worry about either of those happening right now.
“I will accompany him back to the dragon realm now and we’ll see how things go. Maybe we will be able to solve this sooner rather than later. At the very least, An Bai seems to have some ideas on what to work on next. We just have to trust him.”
The other two nodded and then silently watched him go inside, still worrying. This was something that wasn’t that easily accepted. Yes, maybe An Bai had some ideas but just the fact that they were in this situation was bad enough, no matter what the final outcome would be.
Inside, Xiang Yong made sure to himself as soon as he stepped inside so he wouldn’t startle his king.
Qiu Ling looked up, already forewarned thanks to the visits of the Heavenly Empress and An Bai. Thus, he wasn’t startled as easily. Seeing Xiang Yong, he couldn’t help but smile wryly. “I assume that this is thanks to An Bai’s visit tonight.”
Xiang Yong walked to the middle of the room but didn’t go any further. “Well, I would be lying if I said that wasn’t the case. He indeed told me. I believe he also told the Heavenly Empress. They are working on a solution.”
Qiu Ling had already turned away from him again and was looking at Jing He’s face instead. “Working on a solution … Is there one? I’m not even sure myself. I’ll give it to him, An Bai is the scholar between the two of us, but I’ve lived for so long. I’ve seen firsthand how it turns out if a dragon is separated from their soul-bound partner. They while away. My father for sure did. And I guess I will only end up worse than him considering that there isn’t really anything to be done about whatever my mind has come up with.”
Xiang Yong felt a sense of alarm when he saw Qiu Ling like this. It sounded as if his king had already given up. That wasn’t good. If there was any chance to get him back to normal, that could only happen if he was actively working with them. “Your Majesty, I know that things might look like there is no way out right now but that isn’t the truth.
“You have people that care greatly about you, me among them. We will all do our utmost to ensure that you will make it through this alive and well. Also, don’t forget that one day, His Highness will make up. At that time, don’t you want to be there? What about that wedding you planned? You aren’t going to leave him alone, are you?”
Qiu Ling sighed deeply. “It’s not that I want to, but that I don’t see a way I can get around it. Anyway, I thought about it and I guess I might not be a danger just to myself. Somebody who can’t separate reality and illusion … You can’t know what they’ll do, can you?
“Tonight, I attacked myself. Tomorrow night, it might be Jing Yi. And that is something I couldn’t accept. Not to mention when Jing He comes back.” Right now, he was holding Jing He’s hand and he couldn’t help but squeeze it gently. Yes, right now, he really wasn’t sure if it wouldn’t be better for Jing He if he wasn’t there anymore. If he tried to think of it objectively, that seemed to be the case.
Xiang Yong hesitated for a moment and then still stepped closer, finally motioning at Jing He’s forehead. “You can’t forget that he carved his soul. For all intents and purposes, His Highness is pretty much the same as a dragon whose soul is bound. If you leave, you would leave him in the same situation you’re in now. The same situation your father suffered in. Do you want to do that to him?”
Qiu Ling looked over his shoulder and then slowly raised his brows at Xiang Yong. “You guys have been using that same tactic on me for way too many years. When I didn’t do what you wanted, you’d bring up Jing He, always using that to convince me. Don’t think I wouldn’t have noticed.”
Xiang Yong smiled, feeling a bit embarrassed when he thought of how they had really treated their king like an idiot while he had just been pretending, clearly understanding everything that had been going on. “Well, in this case, I’m serious.
“He would be heartbroken if you weren’t there anymore. So please, let’s work on finding a solution instead of just giving up. I believe that you also still want to do quite a few things. Isn’t there anything in your life that you still want to achieve? Whether it’s this wedding or something else, I’m sure that you also have goals.”
Qiu Ling kept quiet for a moment and then leaned down, kissing the back of Jing He’s hand. “There are and, to be honest, I guess Jing He wouldn’t be the only one to be heartbroken. So, no need to worry, I’m not going to do anything stupid. I just feel a bit … lost.
“It’s not like there’s anything I can do. Which is what makes this even worse. No, if I could just go out and solve the situation, I wouldn’t mind at all. But like this, my hands are bound and that isn’t a feeling I enjoy. Anyway, I guess you want me to go back to the dragon realm. I should. Jing Yi is probably worried already.”
Xiang Yong nodded, not saying anything else. Right now, he had the feeling that any word he said might set his king off into another spiral of despair. And that was something that he didn’t dare to do. Not in the situation.