Yu Gan looked at him, not sure what to say. She had wanted to give some advice but she hadn’t expected that the king would pour his heart out to her like this. She couldn’t blame him though.
This problem, it was indeed quite big. And she herself didn’t have any advice in regard to that either. Also, being king … even though people usually didn’t think about that, it was probably quite lonely. There was so much to do, so much to take into consideration, even the person he loved couldn’t be won over as easily as it might be the case for other people. He probably didn’t have many people to talk about these things either.
Qiu Ling sighed and shook his head. “I’m sorry. That … wasn’t what you came here for. I think you wanted to give me some advice?” He turned to look at her, feeling that he had probably massively overstepped just now.
Yu Gan hesitated for a moment but then nodded. “Well, I can’t change what you just told me. But I think that, no matter what, if two people love each other, they will be able to overcome adversities. Even if it is something as big as this, it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that will be in your way.
“Anyway, with how our races age, it isn’t like the incumbent Tianjun couldn’t have another child with his wife, right? Nobody said that the current Son of Heaven will have to take over the reins of the Nine Heavens. Or even if he does, maybe the next heir could still be the child of a sibling. That should be an option, right?”
Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes and couldn’t help but give a hum. “Actually, if you say it like this, that might indeed be an option. I haven’t brought this matter up to Jing He anyway. Right now, he is still at that stage where I’m pretty sure he likes me, but he hasn’t said so. So I’m left to guess. It’s looking good if I might say so but there are no guarantees. So I will get back to that whenever he actually admits his feelings to me.”
Not to mention that Jing He was also incredibly young. He tended to forget about that most of the time because he really wasn’t immature at all but he had only come of age a few years ago. Children were probably the last thing he was thinking about. At the very least, they should be in a practical sense. Surely, someone as thorough as Jing He would have had thoughts about the problem of inheritance as soon as he started to ponder the possibility of them being together.
Well, that was still a question for another day. For now, he first needed to woo him further. “Now, I believe you also had some advice in that regard.”
Yu Gan smiled, happy that it seemed that she had been able to solve one matter for the king already. Really, today was a successful day for her. She felt more accomplished than she had in a long time.
She pushed the thought away, not wanting to get in over her head, especially before she had answered the king’s actual question. “Well, it actually isn’t much. Just that, while I’m a musician I don’t care how my wife thinks about music if I’m being honest. She’s her person and I am my own. We can have likes and dislikes that are different.
“That is something that I accept and even enjoy a bit. While I love her and I would like to spend every single moment together with her, sometimes, it just doesn’t work out that way. So I will let her go off to beat up men, and I will go and play some songs. That’s just how life is. Sometimes, you will have your own things to take care of. If everything was really the same, I think some boredom might come up.”
Qiu Ling faintly raised his brows. “Do you think I should give up learning?”
Yu Gan shook her head. “No, that isn’t quite what I mean. If you find that you actually enjoy playing, then you should continue. It isn’t wrong to try a bit and learn some more until you are able to say whether you really like it or not.
“But it doesn’t matter how proficient you are. I believe that the Son of Heaven will be happy just to hear that you’ve put in so much effort to learn about something that he enjoys. Whether you yourself actually enjoy taking part in that activity is another matter altogether.
“Actually, I think that you should confess to him. When my wife did, that was something that impressed me and I think that this was the actual beginning of me starting to like her as a person. It was just something that changed how I looked at her and in a good way.
“You see, I’m no fool. I’ve played the huqin for hundreds of years. I started when I was still small, learning to play from my own father who was also interested in music. I’m able to tell whether somebody is a beginner or not. And my wife playing for me made it obvious that she lied. That was something that I wasn’t necessarily happy about it. While I could imagine why she had done it, it isn’t really impressive to be lied to, is it?”
Qiu Ling sighed. “I guess it is not. But sometimes, it is difficult to admit that there are things that you can’t do if you want the other person to look up to you.”
Yu Gan shook her head. “With all due respect, I think that this is the actual problem: He doesn’t need to look up to you, Your Majesty. If you want to be together, the two of you should be equals. There is no looking up in that kind of relationship, only being on par even if the things you are good at differ. I’m sure that the Son of Heaven isn’t as good of a fighter as you are. So who cares if you’re not as good of a musician as he is?
“You should admit to your shortcomings just as much as you should admit to what you are skilled in. You don’t need to be perfect. After all, we are able to overlook the flaws of the people that we love very easily. In fact, even if we see them, they are something that makes the other person even more charming.
“When my wife originally played for me and I realized that she had lied, I was angry about being lied to. There was nothing good in that. But when she later did the same thing for our anniversary, I thought that it was adorable.
“I still think it was. Because by then, I loved her and I still do, I will never stop. So now, what was once a problem, has become something to like about her. She can’t play, but so what?
“That is how it was for me. And I think that for the Son of Heaven, it would be similar. So I would suggest that you tell him the truth. Not someday in the future when he has already figured out the truth for himself but before you actually play for him.
“Tell him the truth, tell him why you lied in the first place, and then tell him that one day you will play for him, no matter how good you will be, and that you want him to know that you learned to do so just for him. If that doesn’t melt his heart, then you’re not as far as you think you are.”
Qiu Ling looked at her and slowly nodded. “Actually, I think I like your suggestion. It also takes the edge off things a bit. After all, this way, even if I’m not that good, it wouldn’t matter because he would already know. Instead of noting how much worse I am compared to how good I pretended to be, he would see the progress I made.”
Yu Gan nodded at that. “That is exactly what I mean. I’m sure this will help you going forward. Now, we’ve almost reached the Qing Song square. I hope that Your Majesty already has your eyes on something?”
Qiu Ling sighed when she brought it up and shook his head. “No, nothing really seems to fit. For my beloved, I want something that is … special. You see, this isn’t the first time I have given gifts. I gave him something of cultural value first, or, well, I tried to start with something he might like, but I made a bit of a mistake with that so I switched the gift afterward. Then recently, I gave him something I had made myself. Somehow, nothing of what I’m able to buy here seems like it would be right for him.”
Yu Gan gave a hum, looking around. “Well, these are all things the people of the capital or the vendors who came from outside made. I guess you could go for something with cultural significance again and tie it back to what you originally gave him. Or maybe there would also be something that has some link to memories that you’ve made. Your Majesty will know better than me what could work in that regard.”
Qiu Ling nodded slowly, but he still had trouble coming up with anything. When talking about memories, it would be nice to take something to eat from the dragon realm considering that they had shared some foods from the Nine Heavens the day they went out for the Jiyi Festival. Unfortunately, his beloved wasn’t in a condition to eat just anything right now so he needed to be careful.
He also didn’t want to always give him things that he would just put down somewhere. It just … it didn’t seem right. No, especially in the current situation, it would be best to get him something they were able to make new memories with. He really wasn’t sure what that could be though.
He pondered for a moment, while Yu Gan next to him already raised her hand and waved, clearly having spotted the person that she was looking for.
Looking over, Qiu Ling couldn’t help but raise his brows. The one rushing over to them … he had already seen her before. Now, this was a surprise.