An Bai rushed after the god to the Palace of Love, his heart thumping wildly. He only wanted to have some good news. If that could be true … oh, he would be eternally grateful.
When they arrived, the God of Love was already waiting at the door and motioned for An Bai to follow him.
The dragon fell into step next to him and couldn’t help but give him a worried glance. “God of Love, please excuse me for being so forthright, but could it be that you’ve already found something?”
The God of Love shook his head. “Not quite. But I couldn’t help but think about what you’ve told me about the dragon king’s current state. I know that finding a solution for the general problem is what needs to be done but that will take time. I had been wondering though if there wasn’t something that I would be able to do for you in regard to the currently most pressing matter.”
An Bai raised his brows, not quite sure what to make of that. “The most pressing matter?”
Yue Xia stopped walking and sighed. “I mean your king’s mental state. Clearly, it isn’t very good. I was wondering if there wasn’t something that could be done to stabilize him a little. I will admit that I don’t know that much about the curse of the dragons. That hasn’t really had much to do with me yet. But I was thinking that it might be similar to what a love trial might do to a god. What Longjun is currently going through would then be a state of mind similar to what a god experiences when they are close to falling.”
An Bai’s brows furrowed but he nodded. He knew about the fallen gods. And to be honest, talking about it that way, he had to admit that it was rather close to their king’s current state indeed. “Us dragons bind ourselves to our partners by using our soul and if I am not mistaken, then when a god falls, that is because their soul shatters. I guess you could say that there are some similarities there.”
The God of Love nodded and then motioned forward again, finally walking into the innermost courtyard with An Bai and stopping in the middle. He looked up at the tree that stood in front of them, the skin around his eyes wrinkling. “I am sure it is the same in the dragon realm but there are things left over from the old times. We don’t know about everything that they are able to do but we knew some.
“This here is what we gods call the Tree of Love. We believe that it takes its energy from a small sidearm of the original Great River. It should be running underground so that we don’t have definitive knowledge of it but it is likely that it is connected to this tree. And as such, the tree is connected to the High Heavens, giving it powers that we can only begin to imagine.
“What we do know about this tree is that it can show us details about the loves of a person, how things have developed so far in their life and what the Heaven might have destined for them. I was wondering if maybe Longjun taking a look at this would help him come to terms with what is currently happening.”
An Bai looked up at the tree as well and couldn’t help but step closer, walking around the trunk, looking up at the branches above with the silvery branches. The tree was beautiful, shimmering like starlight so that he had no doubt that this was indeed something coming from the High Heavens.
He couldn’t help but think of what he had read about Tian’s lover, Xing. Seeing as his name meant star and how he had often been linked to starlight, there might be more to this tree than the gods expected. Maybe this tree had been left behind by Tian and Xing themselves in the time they spent in the Nine Heavens with each other.
Well, no matter how it had gotten there, An Bai wasn’t quite sure how to expect this to turn out. Walking back to the side of the God of Love, he faintly furrowed his brows. “Might I inquire how exactly this would work? What could the king find out?”
“Well, we can inquire about a person’s fated partner through this. The name will be indicated on one of the leaves. I thought that maybe seeing his name and that of the person he is fated to might help him feel more at ease.”
An Bai’s brows furrowed even further. Usually, this might not be a bad idea just to stabilize the king, but he wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do at this very moment. “What if … What if it is not His Highness’ name on there?” He turned to look at the God of Love whose expression completely blanked.
An Bai smiled wryly. “Yes, I’d also like to think of them as a couple that will be together no matter what and might have been destined in the High Heavens. And I believe that His Majesty, as a dragon, is completely set on His Highness and that won’t change. But His Highness is a god, so who knows what might happen? I think that especially in this situation, this might be too much of a risk.”
The God of Love’s bushy brows drew together as well and he stared up at the tree, feeling that he had gotten excited over nothing. “You’re right. I did not think this through. If it is not what he expects and if he sees that there is another person destined for him or another person destined for His Highness, that might really push him over the edge.”
An Bai nodded. “Precisely that. I don’t think it is likely to happen but I don’t want to take any chances right now. This would be … more of a last resort. If he was so close to the edge that we were in danger of losing him any moment, I would personally drag His Majesty here and have him take a look at this. Because by then, it wouldn’t matter anymore. Either he would lose it anyway, or this would save him.
“But right now, we are not there yet so I don’t dare to risk it. Right now, we are playing for time. And I don’t think that we should do anything that could potentially shorten the little time we have left. So I’m sorry but yes, I don’t think this would be a good idea at the moment. But I will keep it in mind for the future if that would be alright.”
The God of Love inclined his head, feeling that what An Bai said was true. “Yes, I guess that is for the best. I’m sorry I disturbed you at work for just this. Anyway, since you’re already here, do you want to go and take a look to see whether they found something yet? It has been some time since I checked on them so maybe they have found something in the meantime.”
An Bai smiled, his expression finally smoothing out. “I would very much like to do that. Thank you for the offer.”