Gathering everything that Yu Gan and Shou Quan wanted wasn’t all that difficult. In any case, if the dragon king walked up to a stall and asked for something, then all the other customers would simply step to the side, curiously watching as he bought things.
Curiously enough, everything that he bought seemed to be food items. They were a bit surprised at that but seeing him hand it to his two followers, they figured that there might be an inside story.
In any case, getting to see the king himself on the anniversary of his coronation day was something that was worth celebrating. As such, everyone happily talked about the occasion, tiptoeing to watch him for as long as they could when he finally walked off.
Shou Quan couldn’t help but look at the things she had been handed and then put them into her spatial ring, feeling quite happy. “Going to buy things with His Majesty is so simple. Why is it never like this when only the two of us go?”
Yu Gan looked at her, wondering why her wife still needed to ask. She didn’t bother to say anything and instead just looked at the king who was looking back at them, clearly waiting for further instruction. That … was quite awkward to see, actually. “I think we have everything.”
Shou Quan gave her a look, not quite sure if she agreed with that. Anyway, if it was this easy to go and buy things with the king, they should make use of that. Anyway, they were doing him a favor right now so they could take a little bit of advantage. And getting food at the festival was always difficult. So when they returned later on, they would have trouble getting anything.
Yu Gan could imagine what she was thinking but she definitely wasn’t going to take advantage of their king at the anniversary of his own coronation. Actually, she would never take advantage of the king at all but she especially wouldn’t do so on this day. That just seemed so wrong.
In any case, being able to play for both him and the Son of Heaven in one day was an opportunity she would never get again. So this was something that actually felt like he was doing her a favor and not the other way around.
Qiu Ling nodded when she didn’t request anything else and turned in the other direction. “Let’s go then.” He didn’t wait for them to answer and just pushed off the ground, immediately rushing toward the Nine Heavens.
The two women followed, a little surprised that he didn’t take on his other form to go faster but he probably had his reasons so they didn’t think about it any further.
When they arrived at the capital city of the Nine Heavens, Qiu Ling didn’t bother to stop and just continued flying past the gate, and over to the palace that was standing a little further from the others, looking quite conspicuously.
Whether it was Yu Gan or Shou Quan, while they had been to the capital city of the Nine Heavens before, they had never gotten this close to any member of the gods’ imperial family. Now, they couldn’t help but feel excited.
Qiu Ling finally landed a little away from the main entrance and turned to the two of them. “I probably don’t need to explain but my beloved isn’t doing that well. I hope you won’t mind waiting outside for a moment while I explain to him.”
In any case, even if he had been doing well, they really didn’t think that it would be alright to just follow the king inside and surprise the Son of Heaven. It seemed a bit impolite.
Qiu Ling merely nodded and then walked up to the guards who were already looking at the two women he had brought with furrowed brows. “I’m back from the festival and brought somebody to meet His Highness. I’ll go and explain to him myself if it’s alright but it would be nice if you could announce me.”
He knew how particular Jing He was about his appearance. If he currently wasn’t in a state to meet anyone, he should give him some time to prepare. Not that he felt that it was in any way necessary. In any case, his beloved had always been the most beautiful person in his eyes.
Huang Lan and Mu Kun exchanged a glance. This suggestion sounded rather reasonable, contrary to the dragon king’s usual behavior so, finally, Mu Kun inclined his head and went inside.
When he stepped around the folding screen, he immediately lowered his gaze, not wanting to aggravate the crown prince in his current condition. “Your Highness, Longjun has arrived. He has … also brought two people with him. He said that he would explain to you himself. Should I send him in?”
Jing He was still lying in bed, currently clasping a cup of tea.
His uncle wasn’t sitting too far away, and couldn’t help but look up in surprise when he not only heard that the dragon king was already back, but that he had somebody tag along. “Who did he bring? Two of his advisers?” Because he really couldn’t imagine who else Qiu Ling might bring.
Mu Kun hesitated for a moment but then shook his head. “I wouldn’t think so. The two are both women and, as far as I’m aware, his advisers should all be men.”
Qiang Yan gave a hum and then got up. “Well, if Longjun is here, then I guess you won’t need me to keep you company and tell you about the festival anymore. I’ll go out and greet him and then send them in. I also want to see just who he brought along.”
“As uncle wishes.” Jing He lowered his head, not sure what to think. Why would Qiu Ling bring somebody over? That didn’t really seem like him. In fact, hadn’t he been angry when Scholar An Bai had been there when the two of them were supposed to spend time alone together? Why would he now have somebody else the? Was there some deeper reason? Did he not want to spend time alone with him anymore? Was it because of something he had done?
Immediately, there were hundreds of questions shooting through his head and his emotions got tangled. He did not want to think that it was like this but … it seemed so out of character.
Qiang Yan realized that his nephew once again wasn’t doing all that well and felt like cursing under his breath. The dragon king … what had he thought when he did this? Right now was not the moment to do anything that might aggravate Jing He.
In the end, he merely turned around and motioned for Mu Kun to follow him back outside. Anyway, the only way to take care of this would be to let Qiu Ling himself explain. In that case, he shouldn’t be standing around here and instead go out and get him.
When he stepped out of the gate, his gaze immediately turned to Qiu Ling and then to the two women who were waiting a little further back. Looking at them, he still wasn’t sure what this was about. As such, he could only walk over to Qiu Ling. “Longjun, it’s good to see you again. Did you skip the rest of your celebration?”
Qiu Ling very straightforwardly nodded. “Of course. I promised Jing He that I would come by as soon as I could. Anyway, the necessary things were all taken care of and I brought a present over.”
Qiang Yan tilted his head and once again glanced at the two women. “Oh? Do those two have something to do with that?” It was a little difficult to imagine that but it would explain why Qiu Ling and brought them. Anyway, he should have had his reasons. His feelings definitely couldn’t be doubted after all this time.
Qiu Ling nodded and then glanced at the two of them as well, not quite sure how to introduce them. Anyway, he wanted to see Jing He already, not stand here and talk to his uncle.
Thinking of that, he finally smiled brightly. “Oh, God of War, how about you talk to the two of them yourself? They can explain to you while I go inside and tell Jing He.” He didn’t even wait for a response and just skipped past him, walking into the palace and over to Jing He’s bedside, sitting down next to him.
He didn’t wait a single moment longer and immediately took his hands into his, giving him a deep look. From the looks of it, while Jing He wasn’t doing as badly anymore, he still wasn’t well yet.
“I’m sorry I’m so late. There were surprisingly many things to take care of for this kind of festival. But I managed to shorten the time and finally made it here. How have you been?”
Jing He looked up and seeing Qiu Ling’s expression, he hurriedly lowered his gaze again. “I’m fine. The dragon king need not worry.” Inwardly, his heart thumped faster. Oh, how had he worried just now! He still wasn’t sure why Qiu Ling had brought these women along, but his gaze had said that he had worried about him. And he would not do that if he did not hold some feelings for him, would he?
Qiu Ling was pretty sure that his beloved was once again lying to him but he still nodded as if he believed every word. “Well, I hope your uncle told you a little about how the festivities were. It’s a pity you couldn’t make it yourself but I’m sure that in one of the upcoming years, there will be an opportunity. Anyway, I think I promised you to bring back a gift, didn’t I?”
Jing He smiled, feeling that Qiu Ling was being too sweet. “I really don’t think that it is necessary to do so. In any case, today is in celebration of your coronation. I should be the one getting you a gift.”
Qiu Ling raised his hand, looking at the ring that he was wearing on his index finger. “I believe you already did. I liked it very much. Thank you.” His expression turned solemn when he said so. He just couldn’t help but think once again just what Jing He might have thought when choosing it. He would have liked to ask but right now likely wasn’t the right time for that. No, Yu Gan and Shou Quan were still out there. He should first explain, then let Yu Gan play, and after she and her wife left, he could get back to this topic.
Making up his mind, Qiu Ling’s expression switched to a gentle smile instead and he rubbed Jing He’s fingers in comfort. “Anyway, my gift might be a bit unusual. I was thinking that no matter what I would bring you, it wouldn’t do much for you in your current situation. It would just be something to look at, not really all that exciting.
“On the other hand, I’m sure that after a few days of being cooped up in here, unable to do much, you’re probably bordered of your mind. I know I would be. But doing anything yourself might tire you out too much so you really don’t have much of a choice.”
Jing He glanced up at him, his gaze softening. “Longjun has put so much thought into this.”
Qiu Ling gave a hum, feeling like bragging a bit about how long he had really thought about this but he also realized that right now wasn’t the moment for that either. “Well, I’m just trying to make you happy.
“I was pondering what you might like and then I remembered that you liked music. So when I saw a musician at the festival today, I asked her to come. So if you would like to listen to some music for a while, we can ask her to come in right now. Oh, she also brought her wife along. I hope that is alright.”
This time, Jing He didn’t look away after raising his gaze, the messy thoughts in his head coming to a stop. So those two women outside, their skills were what Qiu Ling had brought over? This was his gift to him?
He felt like an idiot for ever thinking that there might be some other kind of explanation. Of course, a man like Qiu Ling would never bring them over if there wasn’t some kind of reason behind it. And clearly, this had absolutely nothing to do with him losing interest. No, on the contrary, this was an incredibly beautiful gesture. Well, he should have expected that of Qiu Ling. When had this man not been perfectly accommodating to him?