Qiang Yan didn’t know what to say. In fact, for a moment, he almost regretted having asked Qiu Ling to stay and talk. He had only wanted to gain a better understanding of where the dragon king saw this going but it seemed that he had thought too simply.
Yes, this kind of honest conversation would naturally allow him a glance at some truths. That was the original intent behind it but he hadn’t taken into consideration that he might not be ready to face some of these truths. Now, he didn’t know how to react and there was an awkward lull in the conversation.
Qiu Ling didn’t mind too much. Anyway, he understood why the God of War would ask, and even though those memories were sad ones that he didn’t like to think too deeply about, that time had had a profound impact on him. It shouldn’t be strange to talk about.
He kept quiet for a moment but finally just shook his head. “Well, it has been a long time since then. I just want you to know that I am serious about Jing He.” He glanced in the direction of the side door and smiled faintly. “I have no family left so Jing He’s status in my realm is not something you need to think too much about.
“He will have the highest honor while living at my side and when the time is right, I will step back and hand the throne over to somebody else. Then after that, I will follow Jing He’s lead. As I said, I don’t mind it. I also don’t have any desire to rule in the Nine Heavens in any capacity. All of that will be left to Jing He and the titled gods as it should be.”
To be honest, there were still many things about the Nine Heavens he didn’t know. He was very much aware of it. Ruling would be difficult without that knowledge but then, he doubted the gods would be much in favor of a dragon having his hands in the decisions made for them.
Even though they were allies, that mostly concerned the war. Outside of that, the two races lived very much separately. That was also why the knowledge on either side was so little. Other than some dedicated scholars like An Bai, everyone else in the dragon race merely had surface knowledge of the gods. He was pretty sure that it looked the same the other way around.
Qiu Ling’s gaze drifted around and finally came to lie on Qiang Yan. The titled gods might know a little more, especially the God of War that had been in more contact with the dragons than others but he still doubted that he knew much.
He hesitated for a moment but seeing as this was literally his future uncle-in-law, he figured it shouldn’t be too bad to say some things. “Is the God of War aware of the curse on my race?”
Qiang Yan raised his brows. The three immortal races had all been cursed by Tian at the same time but, admittedly, he wasn’t sure how exactly the curse of the dragon race had played out. He felt like he had heard that it concerned their emotional life though, just like the demons had been bereft of the ability to love. “Not in detail, I’m afraid.”
Qiu Ling nodded and his gaze slipped to the door again. “What he cursed was our hearts. No matter how long our lives are, we can’t fall in love more than once.”
Qiang Yan’s expression froze and then, his brows slowly climbed up. That was to say … the dragon king’s feelings for Jing He would never change? Knowing this actually made him more relieved than it probably should have.
Tian’s curse was never as simple as it looked on the surface. Just look at their own race: They had to do some trials in the mortal realm or they would be punished. It didn’t sound like much but how many gods returned from those trials with emotional scars that couldn’t be healed for a long time? How many had even fallen like Tian’s lover Xing because they couldn’t bear the memories of those times?
Tian’s curse, to put it simply, was a trap. No matter how simple it sounded in theory when applied to actual lives, there would be repercussions. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise. This curse had been given as a punishment, after all. And while simply putting some restrictions on their lives might be punishment enough in some people’s eyes, the supreme ruler certainly hadn’t thought to let them get away that easily. No, he had likely gone for maximum damage in retaliation for what had been done to his lover.
Qiang Yan didn’t dare to try and think up the consequences of such a curse as the dragon king described it. He simply nodded. “So it was like that. Jing He … he might find some reassurance in this fact.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “I didn’t tell him yet. I’m not sure if he should hear it from me either. I … I know that there might also be some pressure with knowing this. After all, if he doesn’t accept me in the end, what am I supposed to do? I can only go for a loveless marriage in the end and I am not looking for that.
“Either way, I want you to know because it should change your ideas about our future. Among the dragons, nobody will say anything no matter whether Jing He is a god or a dragon. Since I love him, he will be seen as the right person for me and his status won’t be questioned.”
Qiang Yan nodded. Yes, if the curse of the dragon race was like this, then there naturally wouldn’t be a reason to speak against Jing He’s heritage. But then, he hadn’t been too worried about that. After all, the dragon king’s throne wasn’t inherited contrary to the one in the Nine Heavens. So convincing their own side had always been the more troublesome issue.
Even though that was the case, he was glad that Qiu Ling was willing to be this open about his situation. It went to show that he hadn’t judged him wrongly. “I know that you love Jing He deeply. Your behavior these years has shown this much. The only thing I am worried about is the circumstances of your relationship. But seeing that you have thought about this so much, I feel better. Even though there will be challenges, I know you will face them together.”
Qiu Ling gave a hum, his gaze staying on the door to the other room. “I don’t know when he will wake up. When he does …”
“I will talk to him.” Qiang Yan smiled and poured himself another cup of wine. “You shouldn’t worry too much. If this had been a year or two ago, it would have been different. But by now, Jing He’s feelings for you are a lot stronger and he has come to … well, maybe not a final decision but he accepts his heart’s desire. He will need more time to come to terms with everything but I think there is an end in sight for your efforts at wooing him.”
Qiu Ling chuckled. “This might be my only relationship in this life but I’ve seen enough to know you are never done with wooing the one you love. This goes even more so when my lover is not part of my race.”
Qiang Yan raised his brows in confusion but after a moment, it dawned on him: Qiu Ling wasn’t able to fall in love again but the same wasn’t true for Jing He. At the very least, there was no such limit imposed on him from the outside.
Qiang Yan laughed faintly after he realized what Qiu Ling meant and shook his head. “I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Jing He … he might not be a dragon but he can be stubborn. After his heart is set on one man, I don’t think there will be another one for him no matter what happens in the future.”
Qiu Ling gave a hum but didn’t bother to say more. Instead, he simply got to his feet. “Well, I think I should leave for now. Jing He won’t wake up for a while and there is still somebody to beat up in the dragon realm. So if you would excuse me.”
He inclined his head and then went out before Qiang Yan could figure out just who it was that Qiu Ling wanted to give a beating to. In the end, the God of War simply shook his head and got up himself, stepping into the side room to see how his nephew was doing.