Qiang Wei became more flustered when he was directly asked this way. He had no idea that Jing He had simply misunderstood and was sure that he had somehow caught onto the fact that they hadn’t told him the truth before.
His gaze darted around and finally, he could only wince and admit to some of it. “Well, I’m not sure. The others haven’t told us much or maybe it’s that they themselves don’t know. It remains to be seen.”
Jing He raised his gaze to him, the worry in his gaze becoming stronger. He hadn’t known for sure but now that Qiang Wei admitted that he was right … how could he keep calm? “Then … then what is his situation right now?”
Qiang Wei gulped. Heaven, he really wished Yi Zan was here! He had no idea how to deal with this and the way the Son of Heaven was looking at him really wasn’t making it any easier.
He gave a hum, trying to find the right words, and finally realized that he couldn’t. No matter which way he tried to explain, it just didn’t seem right. Not to mention that he didn’t know much about the trials himself and didn’t want to risk causing any harm.
In the end, he sighed and simply gave up. “Well, how about I try and contact the others again? Maybe there is new information. With how little I know, I honestly can’t tell you what’s going on either.”
Jing He hesitated. “That would be bothersome for the other advisers though, wouldn’t it? Especially if Longjun is injured, they should focus on treating him.”
Qiang Wei stared at Jing He and slowly, he realized that something was seriously wrong. The king … wasn’t really injured. Not in a way that could simply be treated. But apparently, while the Son of Heaven had figured something out, he hadn’t figured out the real reason.
Well, it wasn’t that odd. The situation was so complicated with everything that had happened over the last years, that it would have been a wonder if he was able to guess. But then, no matter how he had seen through this or what he currently thought, there might be a way to salvage this.
He took a deep breath and then shook his head. “It’s just checking in. Also, I can contact Yi Zan. He should have arrived over there already so maybe he has heard something.” He looked around and then cleared his throat. “Well, I wouldn’t want to disturb the people in here. I’ll go out and contact the others, see what I can find out, and then get back to Your Highness, alright?”
Jing He nodded. “Yes, that … would be very much appreciated.”
Qiang Wei nodded and then hurriedly slipped away. The longer he stayed, the more likely he’d say something he shouldn’t. Right now, he really didn’t want to take the risk.
Jing He watched him leave as if the chair was on fire and couldn’t help but feel that he had to have stumbled upon the truth. Yes, with Qiang Wei’s rushed exit, Qiu Ling’s situation might be even worse than he had thought. Otherwise, he likely would have stayed to reassure him. But instead, he was afraid to say the truth. That could only mean that the truth was beyond his imagination.
Jing He lowered his head and hugged the Flame Heart tightly. He could only hope that Qiu Ling would be able to pull through. He wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he … No, he didn’t even want to think of that.
He shook his head at himself and hurriedly picked up the book about mythical beasts again. He couldn’t do anything other than wait for news from Qiu Ling’s side right now. Instead of worrying endlessly, it was better to fill that time with something useful. It might not help much but maybe when Qiu Ling returned, it would fill him with satisfaction to see how well his gift had been received.
He forced himself to calm down, petting the Flame Heart with one hand while holding the book with the other. To be honest, the book didn’t contain that much more information. Most of the text was spent describing its attributes and those of its living environment. Considering the rarity, this wasn’t too strange. Unfortunately, it really wouldn’t help him much with raising this one though.
After arriving at the end of the spread of pages, he turned to the next one but it already dealt with yet another mythical beast. Jing He sighed and closed the book, pulling the Flame Heart up higher on his arms.
Even though it hadn’t brought him much information, this was better than nothing. At the very least, he could draw some conclusions from what he had found. For example, with how the place it was born was described, he was sure that the small arrays he had created in his palace wouldn’t be enough. No, for this Flame Heart to grow into adulthood, he’d have to do more.
He thought for a bit, picked up the book again, and brought it back to the shelf where Qiang Wei had likely found it. He glanced over the other titles standing there but raising beasts of any kind wasn’t something that was done often or at least not in the Nine Heavens. In the future, if there was any opportunity, he should ask Qiu Ling or one of his advisers about it. Maybe they could help him. For now, he’d just have to rely on his own ideas.
He returned to the table so Qiang Wei would be able to find him later and slowly thought about how to adjust his palace so the little beast would live well with him. At the same time, he also remembered that he hadn’t given it a name yet. Maybe that was what he should think about first. Since he finally knew how it would turn out in the future, he also felt glad that he hadn’t gone ahead and judged by its current appearance. Yes, if he had done so, it would have turned out much too awkward.