Qiang Yan had wanted to give Jing He some time to come to terms with what he had just heard before seeing how to proceed. Before he could figure out what to say, one of his transmission stones started to pulse.
He raised his brows in surprise and pulled it out, giving Jing He an apologetic look. “I’m sorry. Seeing as what happened in the dragon realm just now, I’d better answer this.”
“Of course, uncle. That is more important.” If he was honest, then he also would have liked a moment to himself. What he had just heard and even more so where his thoughts had jumped immediately after had shaken him.
He had never believed himself to be a good person. But to immediately think of himself after hearing that Qiu Ling had lost somebody, that was too selfish. He really should be ashamed. Well, he was. Unfortunately, he couldn’t change how faulty his personality was. He could at most pretend it wasn’t there.
Qiang Yan kept half an eye on Jing He just in case but already imbued spiritual energy into the transmission stone. Seeing Leng Jin Yu’s face, his eyes widened. “Leng Jin Yu?”
Leng Jin Yu inclined his head. “God of War. I hope I am not contacting you at an inopportune time?”
Qiang Yan’s expression turned subtle. “Well … I am with my nephew.” He turned the transmission stone so Leng Jin Yu could actually see Jing He. Anyway, they weren’t strangers. What was the big deal of showing his nephew?
Jing He looked up and found the apparition of an unfamiliar man in front of him. He let go of his previous thoughts and instead put on his usual smile, inclining his head. “Greetings.”
Leng Jin Yu stared at him in a daze. His first thought unexpectedly was that he understood exactly what Qiu Ling saw in Jing He. This youth seemed so soft, similar to how Jinde had seemed when younger or when deliberately showing off his fragile side. To him, that had always been like light to a moth. To Qiu Ling, it should be the same even if he would surely like to pretend it was different.
The thought was so odd that Leng Jin Yu just stared blankly for a moment. At the same time, a different question jumped out at him: How was he to address this person? He couldn’t help but think of Qiu Ling’s haphazardly calling people his in-laws left and right and tried to imagine himself calling out ‘son-in-law’ upon seeing Jing He.
The weird image immediately made him sober up and he awkwardly cleared his throat. “Your Highness.” That call had sounded a little too dry, especially after that weird pause just now. He could only hope that the Son of Heaven wouldn’t blame him.
Jing He’s smile had slightly stiffened. He didn’t know who this person was but the encounter just now had seemed odd. Was there something wrong with his face? Or had anything happened on his trial that would make this person feel strange about him?
Suddenly, he couldn’t help but feel anxious again. Maybe this was also why Qiu Ling hadn’t wanted to see him despite the state he was in? Yes, maybe if this had happened before his trial, Qiu Ling indeed would have come to him. But now, something had happened that would make him hesitate and rather not come to his side.
Qiang Yan cleared his throat to get Leng Jin Yu’s attention back and turned the transmission stone toward himself. He somehow regretted his action of having Leng Jin Yu and Jing He meet like this but now it was too late. “I assume there is a reason for you to contact me.”
Leng Jin Yu nodded, focusing on the matters at hand. “There is. Just now, a group of six people arrived from the demon realm.” He explained roughly what they had said and then switched to what they had come up with. “I was thinking that we should let them stay for the burial. After that, adviser An Bai would accompany them to the Nine Heavens so they can answer your questions more thoroughly and also hand over the bodies. We figured we should give you a heads-up though. Do you think this would be acceptable?”
Qiang Yan gave a hum. “They are basically messengers. If they are staying with you as a … short stop in between, I don’t see a problem with it. And it’s not wrong that this will give us time to inform my brother-in-law. It’s a pity Li Yin isn’t here.” He furrowed his brows when he thought of how his friend had chosen this time to take a vacation with his son. He really could have used his help right now.
Leng Jin Yu didn’t feel like he should comment on that. “Then I will leave any further arrangements to you. I should also get back to my husband …” He was still in the courtyard and turned to look over his shoulder to the door to their bedroom. He really didn’t want to leave Jinde alone for too long. Before that though …
He turned back to Qiang Yan and smiled wryly. “I hope I didn’t leave your nephew with a bad impression just now. I was simply surprised at seeing him after all this time. I sincerely apologize in case I caused offense.”
“It shouldn’t be?” Qiang Yan glanced at his nephew who still looked the same as always, very polite. But then, Jing He wouldn’t show it if he felt odd about this exchange either. “Well, I’ll explain. You should really get back to your husband.”
Leng Jin Yu nodded and the two of them cut the connection, one indeed returning to his husband’s side while the other turned to his nephew.
Qiang Yan put away the transmission stone and then looked at Jing He for several seconds before he sighed. “That was Leng Jin Yu. He is an ascended deity and was working with me before but finally married someone in the dragon realm. You could say … he is somewhat related to Qiu Ling so finally seeing you after hearing so much about you must have felt weird. Don’t take it to heart.”