Qiu Ling pulled himself out of his thoughts and turned back to Bai Fen, smiling faintly. “How has the Heavenly Empress been these days? I just returned yesterday so I am not quite up to date on what has been happening in the Nine Heavens yet.”
Bai Fen also smiled. “Oh, there is no need to worry about me. There wasn’t much these days and anyway, the matters that need to be handled in the realm, I leave them to my husband. I just used the opportunity to accompany my son since he’s finally awake again.” She turned to Jing He, her smile brightening.
Yes, this wasn’t wrong. It had been such a long time from the day Jing He left for his trial until the day he finally returned. They couldn’t make up for those three years they had lost but they could spend more time together now. This would help Jing He integrate back into his regular life despite the long trial and help her to truly feel that her son had returned to her side safely.
Bai Fen picked up the cup of tea standing in front of her and gave a hum. “I guess I don’t need to tell Longjun.” Anyway, this man had still come to visit Jing He even while he stayed with Zhong Jing Yi. Clearly, he himself had also been looking forward to Jing He’s return even if he was able to accept Zhong Jing Yi’s presence more easily.
Now that Jing He was back, he probably wanted nothing more than to spend every waking moment with him. In fact, knowing him, if he could, it likely wouldn’t just be the waking moments and he’d be hugging Jing He to sleep as well. Not that she thought her son would accept that …
Qiu Ling gave a hum in response. His gaze slipped toward Jing He who was sitting there quietly and then returned to Bai Fen. “I am aware of how close the relationship between the two of you is. It is only natural to want to spend more time together when the chance is there. Missing those we love … that is a feeling I am also very familiar with.”
His eyes narrowed. To be honest, he was indeed more than familiar with that feeling. It wasn’t just Jing He’s trial. It seemed like for all his life, the people he loved had slipped away quietly, leaving him one by one until nobody was left. And yet, after such a long time, they had returned in one way or the other, letting him feel the warmth of having a family once again.
He exhaled faintly and then picked up the teapot, refilling Bai Fen’s cup that had been emptied with a serious attitude. “It is that kind of situation that makes us realize even more how deep our feelings are.”
Bai Fen raised her brows. “Oh? That sounds as if you had a recent revelation.” She glanced at Jing He, feeling that she roughly knew where this was going. Usually, these two wouldn’t appear together for any surprise visits but now, here they were and Qiu Ling was even saying such things while Jing He stayed quiet and looked shy. It should be safe to assume that there was big news.
Qiu Ling hummed. The Heavenly Empress had long been aware of his intentions so it didn’t seem difficult to mention what he wanted right now. Still, this should be communicated well even if it was only for the sake of Jing He’s face. After all, this opportunity would only come once.
Qiu Ling straightened up and turned his body slightly, facing Bai Fen with the imposing bearing the dragon king should have. “I have been in love with your son for the longest time. I know you are aware of this and it can’t be called a recent revelation by any stretch of the imagination.
“Rather than that, what is new is that this trial has shown me that life is shorter than we might think. Even for the immortal races, there is no guarantee that there will be a new dawn waiting for us when night falls. We can wait and hope but there is no certainty. If there is something we wish for, then it has to be grasped in the palm of our hands before it is too late.
“As such, today, I want to ask for your blessing to marry Jing He. I swear that I will love him and only him for the rest of my life. I will cherish him and protect him and I will do everything in my power to ensure his happiness.”
Qiu Ling’s tone was solemn, leaving no doubt that every single word he uttered was what he meant. Hearing it, Bai Fen slowly nodded. “As his mother, I have only ever wanted Jing He to be happy. If being with you will bring him this happiness, then I will not stand in your way.”
She turned to look at her son, her expression not any less serious than Qiu Ling’s. “Jing He, child, I know it hasn’t been easy for you. Growing up as the son of the Heavenly couple, there has always been a lot of pressure on you. In the future, you will accede to your father’s throne and that pressure will not lessen. This life, it isn’t easy.” She lowered her eyelids, thinking of her own past for a fleeting moment before she forced herself to push the memories away and focus on what was in front of her.
Looking back up at Jing He, there only remained the same serious expression she had already shown before. “It can be easier with a spouse at your side that loves you wholeheartedly and whom you can give all your heart to. If Longjun Qiu Ling is that person for you, you have my blessing. So … do you want to marry this man?”