Jing He nodded silently, not having the face to say anything after hearing what had happened. He couldn’t help but think back to the time he had spent outside with Qiu Ling.
At that time, he had originally only wanted to pretend to be drunk to have an excuse to get closer. But unnoticeable, he seemed to really have gotten drunk. The problem with that was that when he was truly drunk, he wouldn’t have any control over what he did. In fact, he could hardly remember anything past the fact that he had seemed to become more clingy and asked the dragon king to tell him stories. Had he done more than that?
He tightly grabbed the hem of his sleeve, feeling vexed. He shouldn’t have drunk. Not as much. Not when he didn’t know how it would affect him. No, he should have taken a sip or two and then declined to continue, saying that it was better to be careful. Now, how would he look in front of Qiu Ling?
When Qiang Yan didn’t get more of a response, he simply nodded to himself and then got up, walking to the door of his study. He waved one of the heavenly guards over and sent him to the Temple of Medicine before he returned inside and sat down in front of Jing He again.
For a moment, he wanted to bring up his previous thoughts but then, he reconsidered. Anyway, the heavenly physician would be there soon and he didn’t think it would be wise to start such a topic only to have to pause in the middle. Still, somebody should bring it up to Jing He. They had to.
Soon enough, the guard returned with the physician, and Jing He received a check-up. As expected, nothing was really wrong. After sleeping for a while, the alcohol had worn off. Save for a bit of a headache that would also reduce over time, there wouldn’t be any effects.
Jing He thanked the woman and then turned to his uncle as soon as the door closed. There was something he wanted to know but he didn’t know how to ask. If he did, he might seem desperate.
Qiang Yan raised his brows. “Is something the matter?”
“Oh, I was just wondering … Longjun wouldn’t have mentioned any details, would he? Did I misbehave in any way?”
Qiang Yan gave a hum and put on a thoughtful expression. “Well, he didn’t say anything of the like …”
Jing He’s expression turned anxious. From the way his uncle sounded, there seemed to be more to this nonetheless. “Did his attitude suggest anything?”
“No, it’s not that. It’s just … I can’t help but feel that he would have enjoyed it if you really misbehaved. Who knows if he would have brought it up in front of me then?” He clicked his tongue and shook his head. “Ah, you should really ask him tomorrow when he comes back.”
Jing He nodded, his heart worried. If his behavior had indeed gone out of bounds, he wasn’t sure if he would even be able to ever look Qiu Ling in the eyes. He had always paid so much attention to his image that he was sure Qiu Ling shouldn’t have thought badly of him before this. But then, while drunk, who knew how he had behaved?
Since he had gotten clingier when he started to become drunk, then maybe it had gotten worse over time? Maybe he had shamelessly thrown himself into his arms and even poured his heart out to him? Oh, Qiu Ling would have to think that he was desperate!
Jing He’s face flushed in embarrassment and he slowly got to his feet. “Uncle is right. I will do that and apologize profusely. Hopefully, he will accept. Now, I should prepare for that so I hope that uncle will excuse me.”
Qiang Yan gave a hum and watched him leave or rather flee from his study. Then, he got to his feet with a sigh as well. Count this as his small contribution to making these two talk about their feelings again. Now, there was still the question of how to convince his brother-in-law. Even though he knew it couldn’t be done in a short amount of time, it was better to start early.
With that thought, Qiang Yan left his study to go to the Heavenly Emperor’s study. He didn’t forget to send a servant to the dragon realm though, indicating that Jing He had not only woken up but also received medical care and was well. With this, he hoped that Qiu Ling would be relieved as well. After all, he had seemed rather worried.
Qiang Yan was indeed right. After trying to beat up Fu Min for the shit he had once again pulled and instead ending up fighting a round against Fu Heng, Qiu Ling’s time was spent worrying.
Since he was at the training ground of the soldiers, a person he hadn’t seen for a while noticed his tangled expression. After pondering for a moment, she came over and stood next to him with her arms crossed, her own brows furrowing. “Your Majesty, did something happen?”
Qiu Ling looked up and then sighed. “Shou Quan, it’s you. How’s your wife?”
“Well.” Shou Quan didn’t say anything else and simply watched his expression. If it had been before, she likely would have thought he was worried about something regarding his duties like an indication that the demons were thinking of invading. But after being in the know about his current situation regarding his love life, she had no doubt that this was about the Son of Heaven instead.
Qiu Ling noticed her stare and finally motioned over to Fu Heng. “That guy’s childhood friend switched out the wine I prepared to share with my beloved. As a result, I got him drunk.”
“Oh.” Shou Quan kind of wished she had her wife there for some advice. Usually, she was better at this than her. But then, she could imagine making the same faux-pas as the dragon king so … she could probably draw from experience.
She pondered deeply and then sighed. “I can’t say I’ve done the same but I’ve definitely done similar by accident. Anyway, if Yu Gan gets angry, I will take some time to think it through, and then go to apologize after I understand the issue. The important part is the understanding.”
Qiu Ling looked at her and raised his brows. “I’m not sure if I’m catching your drift.”
Shou Quan pursed her lips, not sure how to say this. “Well, everyone does some stupid things every now and then. But you can’t just say ‘I’m sorry’, can you? No, you should know what exactly you’re apologizing for.”
“Getting him drunk?”
“Yes, but … there is more to it, right? I mean, why exactly is it so bad to get him drunk? Just because you didn’t intend to do it?”
Qiu Ling slowly raised his brows. He wasn’t sure if he really got it but he was slowly getting there. “He … will likely be embarrassed after he wakes up because it will feel like we overstepped some invisible line. He probably also won’t be happy that I saw him like this. He does care about his image greatly.”
Shou Quan nodded. “There you have it. That’s what you should apologize for.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “I guess so. Anyway, right now, I am still waiting for news from the Nine Heavens. I hope he’ll wake up soon.” He raked a hand through his hair and sighed. “This really wasn’t planned that way. I guess I should also make it up to him.”
Shou Quan gave him a careful look. “Do you need help with that as well?”
Qiu Ling pondered, feeling that Shou Quan wasn’t necessarily the worst adviser in that regard, but finally shook his head. “No, I think I might have an idea already.” Anyway, since one outing had been ruined, he should suggest another one. Not tomorrow maybe but the day after might work out nicely. As for the place … well, he still had time today to look for one after he finally received news from the Nine Heavens, didn’t he?