To be honest, even though he hadn’t been completely aware of the ins and outs, he had always known that his father held complicated feelings toward him. It wasn’t that he hated him. No, this was still his child and even though he had had it with the wrong person, he loved him nonetheless. The problem was … this feeling couldn’t eradicate the circumstances of his birth. Naturally, Chun Yin was bothered by that.
It surely hadn’t helped that he absolutely sucked at being a parental figure. Frankly, at that time, while Chun Yin had absolutely wanted to marry Jinde and Jinde had wanted a child, Chun Yin hadn’t been ready for one. Not even one with the person he loved, much less one with Biao Han. He was too self-centered to raise a child well.
For Jinde, it probably hadn’t been a surprise to see it turn out like that. He had known Chun Yin almost all of his life, only missing out on the early years. But even then, he knew that Chun Yin had grown up with his mothers first who might be strict but still adored him. After that, he was the prized disciple of the king with a high chance to accede to the throne himself later on. The fact that his junior martial brother absolutely adored him and would do anything for him surely hadn’t helped to rein in his temper.
This kind of person, how could he have the patience and dedication to nurture a child? Maybe it should have developed after Qiu Ling was actually there but Chun Yin was preoccupied with a hundred different things every day, not really developing any kind of bond with his son until the time they left the capital city and there wasn’t much else to do than to take care of his child.
Jinde had seen all that. And he had taken it upon himself to make up for it even though this wasn’t his child. Every time Qiu Ling got into trouble, be it with one of the other children, the guards, or even Chun Yin, he would be there. If he needed advice, it would also be Jinde he ran to.
Those times, Qiu Ling had never forgotten them. In those early memories, Jinde had been the most important person to him, his position in his heart far above his own mother or father. When they left the capital city, he had felt conflicted because he didn’t want to leave this person but he had also witnessed the arguments between his parents and Jinde. He knew where his loyalty should lie but he still couldn’t help but wish it was different.
Needless to say, his attachment to Jinde had always been strong. Unfortunately, that alone was not enough to help. He had never lived through something like this. He didn’t have the experience to relate. Maybe because of how bad his family life had been, he could find the right words or actions even less.
Qiu Ling sighed and finally gave up trying to talk it out. “Well, I’ll just stay around, alright? If you need me or want me to do anything, just say the word. I’ll get to it at once.” He got to his feet and then hesitated for a moment before finally touching Jinde’s shoulder again. “I just want you to remember that there are people here who care about you. We won’t leave you alone with this. So whatever you need to get through this, we’ll help. You don’t have to do it alone.”
He didn’t wait for a response, somewhat aware that he likely wouldn’t get it. Jinde … just wasn’t in the right state of mind right now. It was already good enough as long as his words had registered to a degree.
Qiu Ling went to sit down at the table and pulled out the documents Xiang Yong had prepared. Anyway, since he was back from insanity and also back in the dragon realm, he couldn’t slack off. He might only want to accompany Jinde or stay with Jing He but as the dragon king, he had matters to take care of that couldn’t be pushed off. Not if he wanted to take this seriously. And if Jinde found out later that he had neglected taking care of their people just to foolishly ramble on next to him, he’d get into trouble.
Qiu Ling smiled to himself when he imagined that scene. Ah, if only Jinde got back to his feet fast. He could scold him all he wanted at that time. It didn’t even matter if it was deserved or not. He just … didn’t want to see him how he was right now.
He glanced over and noticed that Jinde had curled up further after he left. He sighed and wondered if he should call in Leng Jin Yu. But then, somebody should probably stay outside to be with their child as well. After all, even if it grew in a shell, some perception developed long before the shell opened. If their parents both weren’t around at all, who knew how the child would take it?
Qiu Ling rubbed his forehead. In the next few days, he should probably take the initiative to stay outside there whenever he wasn’t in the Nine Heavens. That way, Leng Jin Yu could spend more time with Jinde while still not needing to worry too much about how their child was doing. After all, they would still be with a relative.
Qiu Ling thought of the fallen god currently squatting next to the shell and felt like somebody should adopt him already. Clearly, he was already like a family member with how he took care of guarding that little one. Although then again, his beloved might have a heart attack if he introduced a fallen god as his adopted sibling. Ah, managing one’s family really wasn’t easy.