Qiang Yan watched his nephew’s expression. Most of what Jing He thought wouldn’t show on his face so he only saw the initial smile. As for the rest, he would have to infer it. In this case, he didn’t see anything that would suggest a problem. No, right now, Jing He should be quite happy?
He thought for a moment longer but really couldn’t see a way that his nephew’s thoughts could turn crooked. Anyway, he also didn’t want to say more. If he praised Qiu Ling too much, it would simply seem suspicious like he was trying to cover something up.
Qiang Yan gazed at the sky. Well, to be honest, he was trying to cover something up. But then, it was just for a few days. That really wasn’t anything worth worrying over.
He lightly coughed and then motioned for Jing He to follow him further down the street. “Well, let’s not talk about that any longer. I’m sure Longjun is able to toot his own horn more than well enough. I don’t have to help with that.”
Jing He’s lips moved. He wanted to protest and say that Qiu Ling surely wouldn’t do such a thing but he also didn’t think he should contradict his uncle. He hesitated for a moment and finally shook his head. He simply couldn’t leave it at that. “Longjun surely has done many things worthy to be admired but I don’t think he talks about them often. You’d often only hear about them from others.”
Qiang Yan gave a hum, very doubtful of that. Well, Qiu Ling might not do so in general but he certainly did when it came to Jing He. He wouldn’t expose his nephew’s lies though. This child might honestly think Qiu Ling wasn’t trying to impress him. “Yeah, it must be his advisers who are talkative. Either way, I’m sure you’ll get all the details later on.” This much really wasn’t a question. After all, Zhong Jing Yi had been part of a lot of the matters that had happened. Naturally, Jing He would remember quite a bit of this.
Qiang Yan sighed deeply and then motioned in the direction of his palace. “How about following me along to my study? If any news come in, we’ll be right there to receive it.”
Jing He nodded and quietly walked next to his uncle. To be honest, he wasn’t sure if it wouldn’t be better to go back to his own palace in case Qiu Ling came by earlier than expected. But then, he probably shouldn’t hold too much hope and he also didn’t know how to bring it up.
He pondered for a while and finally brought up another matter first. “I hope I won’t disturb uncle’s work. That matter you were contacted about earlier …”
Qiang Yan gave a hum. “That still needs to be solved, yes. Mn, how about coming with me to see your father later on? If you’re there, he’ll be a lot more receptive.”
Jing He simply smiled faintly. “I am sure father would listen no matter whether I am there or not.”
“Well … maybe but he won’t make as much of a fuss when you are.” He chuckled and fell silent again.
Jing He’s face wasn’t thick enough to pretend twice in a row not to be familiar with his own father’s prickly temper so he acted as if he hadn’t heard that comment and only lowered his head.
The two of them soon reached the Palace of War. The atmosphere had originally been solemn but when the guards saw their God of War appear together with the Son of Heaven, they were enthusiastically greeted.
Qiang Yan gave a dry hum while Jing He inclined his head in greeting, the same gentle smile as usual on his lips.
As soon as they reached the study, Qiang Yan sighed and went to sit down. “Ah, they will all be heartbroken when you get married.”
Jing He who was still two steps behind stopped in his tracks before hastily pulling himself together. He turned to the side and put down An Xin to let the flame heart play around while he made some tea but his thoughts were still churning.
He regarded Qiu Ling as his fiance but that relationship wasn’t official yet. They hadn’t even received his father’s blessings. In fact, he hadn’t told his father that he was inclined to accept Qiu Ling’s proposal this time around. With the trial directly ahead, it just hadn’t seemed right.
Now, he still needed to wait for Qiu Ling to return to him before anything could be done. After all, what if Qiu Ling really didn’t want to marry him any longer?
His brows drew together for a heartbeat before he forced himself to relax. No, he couldn’t allow himself to think like this. Qiu Ling wouldn’t do this to him. They had spent so much time together, a few short months wouldn’t suddenly change Qiu Ling’s attitude.
He stared at the empty cups on the tray, trying to reassure himself silently but the worry was still there. What had his uncle said? His cousin’s fiancee was human. Since Qiu Ling had helped with this matter, he might have spent some time in the human realm. In that case, a lot more time might have elapsed than just three months. That amount of time … it might indeed be able to change Qiu Ling’s mind or at least his heart.
Jing He tightly clasped his hands together, afraid to give himself away. He knew he shouldn’t think like this but since the moment he had woken up and hadn’t seen Qiu Ling, he felt anxious inside. He could divert his own attention by trying to focus on something else but sooner or later, his thoughts would always arrive at this question again: Did Qiu Ling still love him?
He picked up the tray and carried it over to the desk, pouring a cup for his uncle before adding one for himself. He wanted to ask for more details about this time just so he could get a better grasp on whether Qiu Ling’s attitude toward him had changed but he finally couldn’t find the courage. Not only was he embarrassed to bring up a man that was officially unrelated to him but he also wasn’t sure if he really wanted to know. After all, what if Qiu Ling had really had a change of heart? He wasn’t sure if he could take that.