In the meantime, Xiang Yu was walking through the streets of the Long kingdom’s capital city with Jin Ling, taking a glance at all the wares of the stores they came by. He wasn’t willing to take just anything for Jinde and his baby so he naturally spend some more time on it.
Jin Ling quietly accompanied him, not saying much for a while. He only commented on what he thought when Xiang Yu seemed especially interested in something. His mind was churning though. He needed to somehow turn the topic around to Jinde. He didn’t want to wait too long either. After all, as soon as Qiu Ling and his lover returned, or even if only Shen An De came back, he would be discovered. And he somehow didn’t think that Xiang Yu would take kindly to being tricked.
He glanced at the rattle in Xiang Yu’s hand and gave a hum. “That does look nice. Even a really young child could use it so it might be an appropriate gift in celebration of the upcoming birth.”
Xiang Yu nodded. “Then maybe I should take this.” He didn’t move to actually buy it though. Instead, he continued to browse the store.
Doing this … it felt novel to him. As his true self, he had never gotten to do this, even though it hadn’t been the same as Mo Qing and Hua Lin Yu. Come to think of it, in both his mortal lifetimes, he had been taken out to the city by the man he loved. Whether it was Yan Xia or Xin Lan, they had both spoiled him beyond belief when they were in a relationship. Whatever he saw and liked, they would buy it for him, not thinking twice. He had always felt well taken care of.
He glanced at Jin Ling next to him when he thought of that and tilted his head. “Why are you here?”
Jin Ling turned to look at him as well, not sure what he meant. “Didn’t I offer to accompany you to give some feedback?”
Xiang Yu lowered his gaze and thought for a moment before looking up again. “Yes, but why? You wouldn’t have fallen in love with me, would you? If you did, I advise you not to do so. You’re a demon. I wouldn’t like you no matter what you did.”
Jin Ling smiled wryly. “I am a demon so I can’t fall in love in the first place. Isn’t that what you believe? So don’t worry about needless things. Anyway, I was simply …” He looked for some excuse and then sighed. “I guess I felt you could use some help and wanted to be nice. There was no deeper thought behind it. Anyway, I don’t have anything else to do right now so see it as me just wiling away my time for a bit.”
Xiang Yu nodded and then shook the rattle drum again. “Should I really take this?”
Jin Ling raised his brows. “What makes you hesitant?”
Xiang Yu looked at it and gave a hum. “You said I should take something for the child but then, I wanted to get something for the person having the child. Will it really be alright?”
Jin Ling gazed at him and his eyes narrowed imperceptibly. The person having the child? That seemed like a good moment to throw in a mention of Jinde and gauge Xiang Yu’s reaction.
He pressed his lips together and gave a hum. “I see what you mean. Well, I think any gift that takes the circumstances into consideration would be a good one. Something for the child emphasizes the new addition to the family. A new parent would usually like that. But your thought isn’t wrong either. A lot of people will only focus on the child even though the parents are important as well. This is indeed tricky.”
He put on a thoughtful expression, waited a moment, and then made a sound of surprise. “Right! How about getting two small things? This rattle drum isn’t bad as a gift that is intended for the child so you can take it. Then you can also find a little something for the parent. As for what to choose … I’m afraid I can’t give many tips for that.”
Xiang Yu looked at him questioningly, unable to follow.
Jin Ling put on the expression of a kind elder and happily explained. “Oh, it’s because this will be very personal. It depends a lot on who you intend this for. Mn, let me give you an example: You know how I grew up in the dragon?”
Xiang Yu shook his head. He knew that Jin Ling had some dragon blood but that didn’t mean that he knew more than that.
Jin Ling smiled faintly. “Well, I did. The dragons care a lot about their appearance so there are a lot of beautiful people as well. The greatest beauty of them all has always and will always be Jinde, the previous dragon king.” He felt uncomfortable when he had to say ‘previous’ but he still forced himself to say it. This was all so that he could see him again soon. If he managed to get any kind of information out of Xiang Yu, it would be worth it no matter how much it hurt.
He forced himself to calm down and continued. “There isn’t anything about him that isn’t beautiful but, personally, I always liked his hair very much. So when I was little, I would love to hold onto it and not let go. You can imagine that I messed it up quite a bit. In such a case, a fine comb might be a good gift. He sure would have appreciated that.”
Xiang Yu nodded. “Oh, then I’ll get one. I think I saw some in the store on the other side of the street.”
He wanted to turn around but Jin Ling hurriedly pulled him back.
“Ah, maybe I didn’t make myself clear. That was just one example from my personal experience. You should adjust it to fit the person it’s intended for.”
Xiang Yu frowned and stared at Jin Ling’s hand on his arm. “But it’s intended for him?”
Jin Ling stared at him blankly. Suddenly, he froze. “For him? Who … who is having this child?”
“Jinde, of course!” Xiang Yu pulled his arm away and stepped back. “Anyway, I’ll go and buy this now!”
He rushed away to pay for the rattle drum while Jin Ling stiffly stood at the same spot, his mind unable to register anything else but what he had just heard: Jinde … was going to have a child soon.