“The person he married, I happen to know them. Quite well, actually.”
Jing He quietly looked at Qiu Ling. He had thought as much before although that had been because he didn’t know why an ascended deity would communicate this kind of matter to his uncle otherwise or why Qiu Ling would be close with an ascended deity. Knowing about their relationship naturally changed all those assumptions.
Seeing that Jing He didn’t react much, Qiu Ling quietly felt relieved. “This matter is a bit difficult to talk about. Right now, only a handful of people in the dragon realm are aware of it. Your uncle also knows but otherwise, we’ve kept it a secret from anyone in the Nine Heavens.”
At this, Jing He’s expression changed slightly. His reaction might not seem big but inwardly, he suddenly felt worried. Something that had to be kept secret from people in the Nine Heavens … it sounded like that could drive them further apart. He naturally didn’t want to see that.
Jing He wasn’t sure how to react. Should he tell Qiu Ling that he would understand if he couldn’t tell him? But then, Qiu Ling likely wouldn’t have brought this up if he didn’t intend to tell him the rest as well. No matter how he looked at it, nothing he could think of seemed like the right choice.
Qiu Ling gave him a moment while thinking about how to continue himself. From the looks of it, his beloved didn’t seem to mind. He only looked confused. Finally, when Jing He still didn’t speak after a few moments, he gently squeezed his hands. “This matter … it has the chance to cause some trouble for us so we’ve done everything to keep it under wraps.
“You might remember how I once told you that, when I was young, I was rather close to my predecessor, Longjun Jinde. I think I told you that … my father was his right-hand man.”
Jing He nodded, feeling that he was starting to have an inkling of what this might be about. “It is him?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Yes. Actually, the relationship between the two of them was closer than I let on. My father … still got married to my mother and stayed with her until the end but I guess it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Jinde was the love of his life.”
Jing He felt a bit uncomfortable hearing Qiu Ling say this. For his father to marry somebody else and have a child with them if there was someone else he loved … knowing this, he couldn’t help but worry that Qiu Ling would be willing to do something similar. Who knew what circumstances there had been, after all? Maybe it could happen again.
Qiu Ling saw his expression and hurriedly cupped Jing He’s cheeks, making him raise his head that he had just wanted to lower to hide his expression. “Don’t worry about this. Matters back then … they were very complicated. A part of it is that my father was an absolute idiot in his last life, I won’t deny that. But these two were also played. If not for that, it wouldn’t have ended like that.”
Jing He faintly nodded but his heart was still in upheaval. Anyway, the two of them also had somebody against their relationship. Who was to say that his father wouldn’t try the same? Especially if this matter with the reincarnation of Qiu Ling’s father indeed had the risk of causing trouble for them as he had indicated before.
Jing He didn’t want to make trouble but at this point, he was too anxious not to think more. “You said this could cause problems. What did you mean?”
Qiu Ling reached back and rubbed his neck. “Well, Jinde was assumed dead all this time. I acceded to the throne because there was nobody else designated as his successor. But now, while you were on your trial, it turned out that Jinde never died but simply hid away to recuperate from the injuries he received in the last war against the demons back then.
“I think you can see where this is going: If Jinde’s return is publicized, my position in the dragon realm might not be as certain any longer as it is right now. At that point … I’m afraid it would just be one more reason for your father to refuse.”
Jing He frowned. “He … would he ask for the throne back?” He didn’t want to seem like he only cared about Qiu Ling’s position. In fact, while this had played a big role in what originally attracted him to Qiu Ling, it had long stopped mattering. He had to admit that Qiu Ling was right though. His father might still agree to let him marry the dragon king but he’d never allow him to be wedded to a commoner of the dragon race. That would be too good of an excuse to refuse to pass it up.
Qiu Ling shook his head. “He doesn’t care. In fact, I think he’s glad that the position is gone. After my father’s reincarnation found him, these two have been busy rekindling their relationship. In fact, other than getting married, they have a child on the way. So Jinde definitely wouldn’t want to divert his attention between his new family and any duty that would be pushed on him.”
Speaking of Jinde, his mind suddenly flashed to the battle. He had been rather out of it at that time because of Jing Yi’s death but it seemed that … Jin Ling had died? Then at this moment, Jinde should be … really distraught.
Qiu Ling took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, closing his eyes for a moment. He had never cared for Jin Ling but he wanted his family to be happy. Now, who knew how Jinde was doing? He should go and check up on him as soon as he returned to the dragon realm. Although …
He glanced at Jing He and suddenly felt complicated. To be honest, he really didn’t want to return anytime soon …