He shifted on his seat, naturally catching Xin Lan’s drift. “Nobody bothered explaining that to me.” He wouldn’t even know who to ask. Did An Bai also study that type of thing? Somehow, he couldn’t imagine it.
Shen An De sighed at that. He could probably just lean back and let Xin Lan explain but he and Qiu Ling didn’t seem to have the best of relationships and this was a sensitive topic. It would probably be better if somebody told them with as much tact as possible.
He glanced at his wife and then patted the table to get the couple’s attention. “In general, a demon’s pregnancy isn’t any different than that of the dragons. But that is as long as it stays between two demons. If one partner is of a different race, it can become dangerous.”
Qiu Ling’s expression fell. He hadn’t known about that and he really wasn’t happy to hear it. He had no idea if this was only true for full-blooded demons but he somehow doubted it. After all, wasn’t Shen An De himself only half-blooded? So since he seemed to be worried, chances were that this could happen even for somebody with less demon blood. Which begged the question: How much demon blood was too much demon blood?
Shen An De didn’t know about Qiu Ling’s background so he naturally wouldn’t bother to explain that and simply moved on to the actual explanation. “The problem is the dark energy the demons cultivate. A demon child needs this energy to grow. Just like the children of gods and dragons are nurtured by spiritual energy, the dark energy takes over that part in demon children.
“I guess I don’t need to explain much to you but your lover might not know.” He turned to Jing Yi, his expression tangled. “A female demon can naturally provide that environment but if the one pregnant is not the demon but their lover of a different race, things can be very different.
“If the dark energy is not provided, the child simply won’t be able to grow. Thus, if you wanted to have a child with a demon, you’d need to substitute the dark energy from outside. But you can probably imagine that that isn’t a good thing either.”
Jing Yi furrowed his brows. He didn’t know too much about the three immortal races but just judging by everyone’s expressions and what Grandmaster Shen had just said, he had a rough guess. “The dark energy is only suitable for demons to use so people of other races probably don’t deal well with it?”
Shen An De inclined his head. “Precisely. This is something that makes living together with a demon perilous in general because if we aren’t careful, we can affect our partners just in our day-to-day life. A pregnancy is much worse though.
“The dark energy directly enters the body and it causes harm. If you are strong enough, you might only notice that your strength is depleted faster. At worst, you will even see signs of your body breaking down. It can leave actual wounds that are visible to the naked eye. That on top of a ‘regular’ pregnancy …” He shook his head, not even bothering to describe it.
Jing Yi’s expression had fallen just like Qiu Ling’s now that he realized what this meant. Contrary to Shen An De and Ai Hua, he did know about Qiu Ling’s demon blood so he could naturally imagine what was currently going through his mind.
They had talked about children. Not as something they wanted in the near future but as something that was important to Qiu Ling in general. In fact, even though he hadn’t said it explicitly, he clearly wanted a child as soon as Jing He was ready.
Jing Yi needed a moment and finally took a deep breath. “Well, thankfully, we don’t have that problem. I can imagine that that makes things difficult for you though. Isn’t there another way to have a child? Just like … our friends, for example, they did some kind of ceremony I believe?” He hadn’t been there and he only vaguely knew how these things worked but that was the gist he had gotten.
At the side of the table, Xin Lan shook his head. “They can do that but you shouldn’t be too fast in discounting what he just told you as somebody else’s problem. He hasn’t told you all of it.”
Jing Yi and Qiu Ling both looked at Shen An De with puzzled expressions. Actually, after the first shock, they had both figured that this might sound bad but really wasn’t something they needed to think about no matter what kind of blood Qiu Ling had. After all, they were both men. What should they care about pregnancy?
Shen An De sighed and gave Xin Lan an annoyed look before he turned back to them. “He isn’t wrong. The dark energy has the ‘nice’ side-effect that you don’t need to be female to get pregnant. A demon child can grow in the body of a man just as well in the form of a … parasite, I believe it should be called. The dark energy ensures that the environment will be suitable and create something akin to a fake womb.
“But then, the two of you really don’t need to worry about that. I admit there is the possibility of a throwback that would allow the appearance of dark energy in a dragon. Especially so in a case like Qiu Ling’s where he is of a slightly older generation and probably from a line of dragons with long lives so that he is slightly closer to the origin in the demon race. But that possibility is marginal at best. Without a trace of demon blood somewhere in your bloodline that would allow the old blood to awaken, I really doubt there is any chance at all that this could happen.”
Qiu Ling nodded woodenly but inwardly, he couldn’t help but curse. It seemed that he would have to be very, very careful after getting married. Otherwise, he might inadvertently commit a grave sin.