Naturally, Qiu Ling wouldn’t leave before he didn’t hear back from the Nine Heavens. Thus, after his talk with Shou Quan, he went to the throne room, eying the throne with some dislike. He hated sitting on that thing if he didn’t have to. It always felt like it was on fire and also tended to remind him of the far past.
Still, for whatever reason, this was where people would look for the dragon king first even though they should know by now that they usually couldn’t find him here. So despite his annoyance, he still sat down there and stared at the door, waiting for what would hopefully be good news.
With nothing else to do, his thoughts wandered off soon. He remembered the time outside with Jing He. Even though it hadn’t been long, he had felt incredibly happy. If he could, he really wanted a repeat, just without the getting drunk part this time.
Sharing some stories from his past had actually been nice. Sure, he needed to sidestep all those land mines that might expose his parentage but then, there were still enough stories he could tell that shouldn’t be problematic. The most important part was naturally that his beloved seemed to have liked it when he mentioned his past.
Come to think of it, he actually didn’t know much about Jing He’s past. Today, Jing He had given him just a glimpse of it and he had mentioned a sentence or two every now and then throughout the years but he hardly knew anything specific.
Qiu Ling lowered his eyes, looking at his own hands. He got the reluctance to speak about one’s past. In this regard, Jing He was very similar to him. He couldn’t help but wonder what the reason was though. After all, there could be no doubt about his bloodline so that wasn’t it.
His father was the Heavenly Emperor, the one who came from a long line of rulers that had never been disrupted since the beginning of their races. As for his mother … he didn’t know much but her brother was the God of War. Surely, there was nothing wrong with her either.
No, rather than that, this likely had to do with specific things he had experienced. He had mentioned before how his father had always stressed the danger of his status to him. So … could that be it? Had there been some assassination attempt or something?
He hadn’t heard of it but then, the relationship between the gods and the dragons was awfully distant. They fought in the war together, they politely exchanged gifts for special occasions, and they attended the truly special moments but that was simply for keeping up appearances. As allies in a long-standing war, they were … not close enough.
Qiu Ling hummed to himself. Actually, if he married Jing He, it would be a good thing not just for the two of them but for their races as well. It could bring them closer together. That thought … might be his in with Jing He.
He closed his eyes and sighed. By now, six years had passed and while he had made constant progress over the years, it wasn’t enough. He didn’t think that Jing He was ready to get married. In fact, he had been surprised when Jing He didn’t mind lying in his arms today but then, that had likely been fueled by the wine and not his actual wish. No, if he wanted them to get married, he needed to … up the stakes.
He opened his eyes again and there was a dangerous glint in them. He had always wondered how much his demon blood actually influenced him. His dragon blood was dominant for sure. He hadn’t doubted that even once since falling in love with Jing He. But that didn’t mean that his demon blood didn’t have the slightest effect on him.
This feeling of … being willing to do whatever it took to be with the person he loved, was that a dragon’s urge to be with their lifelong partner or a demon’s crazed obsession? He couldn’t tell and he couldn’t ask anyone about it. He could only quietly try to make sure that he didn’t overdo it.
As for Jing He, since his beloved had started to requite his feelings, he didn’t feel as bad about it anymore. Not to mention that he really needed to work hard to make this happen. Otherwise, Jing He would always pull back at the most important moment.
The way to stop him from doing that was to not only ensure that his feelings for him were too strong to be ignored but also to give him a reason to not play it safe. His emotions alone were clearly not enough for that. But at the same time, he needed to be careful. Otherwise, he’d only get a repeat of what had happened last year.
Qiu Ling drummed on the armrest of the throne, trying to find some inspiration on how to go about this. Hooking a person to the point of no return … in fact, he could remember watching that unfold in front of his own eyes. Yes, back then, hadn’t his predecessor managed to do just that?
He thought of Jinde’s golden eyes and the way they switched from calculating to soft and limpid in a moment. His father had fallen for it every single time, unable to keep up his tough attitude in front of him and instead treating him as if he was a fragile flower that needed protection.
In fact, there was a decent chance that this was precisely how he had fallen in love with him in the first place. It had worked so well because his father had always thought of himself as the stronger party between the two of them — despite the fact that Jinde could give him a run for his money when it came to the use of magic — and had regarded himself as his protector. So Jinde looking at him like that had appealed to this image he had of himself and the way he saw their relationship.
Honestly, Qiu Ling couldn’t even blame him for it. If Jing He looked at him like this, he would absolutely react to it the same way his father had to Jinde. He would want to wrap him in his arms, to comfort him, and promise him the stars in the sky. There was just something about those eyes that made his heart go soft and his hands ready to reap whatever life was necessary to bring a smile to those eyes.
Now, in return … what was it that appealed to Jing He? They had already established that what he was looking for was a man that would love him unconditionally for all eternity. As a dragon, he could promise that without a second thought. But he still needed to make it clear. So … he should probably flirt even more shamelessly?
Qiu Ling raised his brows. He was a bit surprised that this was the final conclusion but, well, he could do that. He had been holding back a little to make sure he wouldn’t step on the gods’ toes but then, his slightly more pronounced love confessions recently had seemed to be received well by Jing He. At the very least, he wasn’t telling him any longer that something was inappropriate even if it definitely was inappropriate. It seemed he was halfway there.
But surely, this couldn’t be all. No, Jing He wanted this reassurance but he wanted more than that. He wanted …
Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes, trying to understand what it really was his beloved needed. Actually, it was hard to say. Jing He had definitely reacted best to him showing his true self to him, the responsible side he had been hiding for so long. The reason for that … maybe it was buried in that past Jing He was keeping quiet about. In other words, he should get him to talk a bit more so he could figure this out.
Either way, both flirting wildly with him while seeming reliable and mature certainly wasn’t easy but it could be done and might have a very good effect if everything was timed right. It seemed that … he’d have to work even harder from now on.