RSH Stratagem 40: Make Memories for the Future! (5)

Qiu Ling fell quiet again, just gently stroking Jing He’s arm while he continued to reminisce. He already wanted to pick the story up where he had left off, telling Jing He about the days that followed, but suddenly realized that his beloved hadn’t said anything in the last couple of minutes.

Wondering what was up, he slightly lifted his head to take a look at him but Jing He had turned his head so that he couldn’t see his face. He lay down his own head again, looking up at the sky and listening to Jing He’s breath. Hearing how soft and rhythmic it was, he had clearly fallen asleep sometime while he was telling the story.

Qiu Ling wasn’t sure what to think about this. This wasn’t necessarily an important part of his life. And honestly, he wouldn’t have a problem with it if Jing He didn’t know. It was just that … he seldom opened up like this. Now, he had no idea how long Jing He had actually listened.

He sighed and leaned down, quietly kissing his shoulder. His lips lingered on the fabric of his robe for a moment before he pulled back ever so slightly. Jing He’s breath had not been disturbed by his light touch and he continued to sleep peacefully.

Qiu Ling looked into the distance, some pain contained in his eyes. “You don’t need to know about my heroics, although I certainly don’t mind if you do. The unfortunate thing is … no matter what, I can’t tell you everything.”

He fell quiet for a moment, his brows furrowing. He would love to be honest with Jing He, down to the very last detail, but he couldn’t do it. “You don’t know but … the actual reason I lived alone for so long, far away from civilization, and the reason why I didn’t think I should be king … it’s that I found out that my blood wasn’t pure.”

He shook his head at himself and closed his eyes, leaning down to envelop Jing He in his embrace. “I could never tell you this while you’re awake so … I’m afraid this has to be it for my confession. I just … I can’t be honest about this. Not with anybody and … especially not with you.”

He gave a self-deprecating smile. “I fell in love with you at first sight and I spent so long wooing you. I know I’ve been … somewhat successful but even with your feelings for me like this now, you’d still leave me if you found out that I have some demon blood. It’s only natural.”

He straightened up but his gaze brushed over the top of Jing He’s head and the silky strands of hair that ran down his shoulders. He reached out and gently wrapped one around his fingers, raising it to his lips.

“How utterly fitting to deceive you like this. I guess that goes to show what type of person I actually am.” He took a deep breath and sighed.

This wasn’t the first time that Jing He was sleeping in his arms. The last time had been when he had been sick. Now, he was drunk. Who knew what would happen in the future? Anyway, he was looking forward to when Jing He would finally sleep in his arms like this without needing any outside reason. And he was sure that as long as he didn’t expose himself, that day would come. As for now …

He glanced around them and then lazily lifted his hand, putting the things he had taken out into his spatial ring. He would’ve loved to stay here with Jing He. Just quietly lie on the ground and hold him and only go back with him late in the evening when he had woken up on his own. Maybe they could have even spent some more hours together at that time.

But he also knew that he couldn’t do that. When Jing He woke up, he would be embarrassed about getting drunk and falling asleep right in front of him. And he also knew that Jing He would be vexed at himself and worry about what he was thinking and … it just wasn’t right. He had to prove to him that he was reliable and worthy of his love. Even if he wasn’t, he still had to make Jing He believe that it was the case.

Having put most of the things away, Qiu Ling got up, and then gently gathered Jing He into his arms, picking him up. He stored the blanket and the pillows in the spatial ring as well and adjusted his beloved’s position in his arms before he flew back to the capital city, making sure to shield him against the wind.

He gazed at Jing He’s peaceful sleeping face and felt that he actually didn’t regret that the day was coming to an end like this. Yes, he had originally imagined something else. But this? This might be even more precious.

He didn’t have the chance to see Jing He like this too often. But it was something that was precious to him. He would’ve loved to have more moments like this and he was looking forward to adding more. It was a memory that he would cherish forever.

Upon entering the city, he couldn’t help but wonder where he should go. Take Jing He back to his own palace? He could sneak past the guards and put him on his bed, making sure that whether it was his family or anyone else, none would be the wiser. But then, that might make Jing He worry. After all, he would wake up and then he either wouldn’t see him because he had left already and worry by himself or he would be there but Jing He wouldn’t dare to ask him. So, at the end of the day, as a qualified lover, he should go and hand him over to somebody else instead.

Qiu Ling sighed to himself and then rushed to the Palace of War, making his way past some dumbfounded heavenly guards and to the study of the God of War.

At this time, Qiang Yan was going through some documents, not expecting anyone to come and see him. When the door was suddenly opened, he was startled, and already wanted to scold the person outside. Then, he saw Qiu Ling though, and also saw the person snuggling in his arms.

Qiang Yan stared at the sight in front of him with a similar expression to the guards outside but then threw down his brush and leaped to his feet instead, rushing over. “What’s wrong with him?!” After what happened last year, he wouldn’t take it lightly if he saw his nephew unconscious.

Qiu Ling hushed him and walked over to the table, sitting down while still holding Jing He in his arms. “Uncle-in-law, I’m afraid I got your nephew drunk. I figured it wouldn’t be a good idea to stay outside with him when he is in this kind of condition so I brought him back here.”

Qiang Yan stared at him with a blank expression, not quite sure what to make of this. Had he really just heard what he believed to have heard? He silently closed the door behind Qiu Ling and then walked around the table, sitting down opposite him. “Did you just tell me that you got Jing He drunk?”

Qiu Ling gave a hum and looked at his beloved’s beautiful sleeping face before he sighed. “Honestly, this was not supposed to happen. I offered him some wine but it was the kind that I gave to the Heavenly Emperor for his birthday banquet back then. It’s the kind that is suitable for women and young folks, do you remember?” To be honest, Qiu Ling wasn’t completely sure if Qiang Yan had been there back then but even if he hadn’t, he surely would’ve heard the story from his sister so he should know these details.

Qiang Yan had naturally also been there even though he hadn’t gotten involved in the situation so he knew what kind of wine Qiu Ling was talking about. And even though he wasn’t sure if he could trust Qiu Ling’s judgment on this, he was pretty sure that the gift had been chosen by one of his advisers.

The ones there that had accompanied him that day were An Bai and Xiang Yong. They were both rather trustworthy so he was sure that if they said it was suitable for Jing He to drink, then it would be. So his nephew getting drunk like this was surprising.

He sighed and rubbed his forehead, finally getting to his feet again. “Well, I’m not sure that happened but I suppose that is a question for another time. Now, as for bringing him back, that was indeed the right decision. There is a small room next door that can be used to rest in dire times. You can put him down in there for now. Let’s just let him sleep to get better.”

Qiu Ling naturally wouldn’t complain. Even though he loved holding Jing He like this, he also wanted him to get better. Thus, under the guidance of Qiang Yan, he walked over there and put Jing He down on the bed. Having done so, he couldn’t help but reach down, starting to arrange his sleeves and hair. His beloved was always meticulous about his appearance. How could he let him lie there with an untidy appearance? No, that definitely wasn’t allowed.

Qiang Yan quietly watched him, not sure what to say. He also knew how particular Jing He was about his appearance so he could understand why Qiu Ling would be doing this. At the same time, it was a bit strange to watch the dragon king do this.

While he knew about Qiu Ling’s feelings for Jing He and also how his nephew wasn’t as indifferent to him anymore as he had been in the beginning, they still weren’t officially engaged. So he wasn’t sure if he shouldn’t step in and make sure that the dragon king wasn’t doing anything inappropriate.

But then … this man had just carried Jing He back here when he had had a prime opportunity to do whatever he wanted with him without anyone knowing about it. So he felt that he shouldn’t speak up when it was just straightening out his hair and sleeves. That seemed to be wrong. No, right now, he’d just give him the benefit of the doubt.

Since he had made up his mind, Qiang Yan waited for Qiu Ling to finish and then patted his shoulder. “Very well. Now, let’s let him rest. Since you are here, why not sit with me and have a cup of wine with somebody who can handle it?”

Qiu Ling had actually wanted to stay with Jing He, but when his uncle-in-law put it this way, he faintly raised his brows and then nodded. Clearly, the God of War had something on his mind. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have done this. Now, he couldn’t help but be curious about what he might want to say.

« ToC »

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