Jing He looked at his mother, his heart jolting. This wasn’t the first time that she told him that he should do what makes him happy and choose a spouse himself. It wasn’t the first time that she said she would accept Qiu Ling either. It was the first time that she asked him directly whether he wanted to marry Qiu Ling or not though and her expression was so serious at this time that he dared not take this lightly.
Did he want to marry Qiu Ling? Of course, he did! He had always felt that his decision couldn’t just be based on his feelings though. After all, he was the crown prince of the Nine Heavens, and thanks to the curse of his family, he was bound to become the Heavenly Emperor one day. There was simply no other way.
Could this status and this future position be ignored for his feelings alone? He had always thought it was impossible but his mother raised a good point: Being forced into this life and having to bear the pressure of his identity every day, he might not be able to hold on for long without the right person at his side. If there was Qiu Ling though, things could be different.
Jing He turned to the side and looked at Qiu Ling’s solemn expression that showcased his good looks even more than usual and also made him feel reassured. Yes, what pressure couldn’t he bear with this man at his side?
And Qiu Ling’s identity also brought advantages with it that couldn’t be denied. When he acceded to the throne in the future, if he ever got stuck, he could just ask for his ideas. As the dragon king who had reigned for such a long time, surely, Qiu Ling would be able to help him out. Was this not also a benefit?
Jing He lowered his eyelids, his thoughts turning this way and that way. Even now, he couldn’t help but think of what this relationship meant for the future, whether it would cause problems for the realm and its people or could bring benefits.
But this wasn’t what his mother had asked, was it? No, her question had been very simple: Do you want to marry this man? This question, it didn’t need much consideration.
Jing He raised his gaze again, carefully looking at Qiu Ling’s expression that hadn’t changed and still looked just as regal as before. There wasn’t the slightest doubt contained in it as if he was sure what his response would be.
Jing He glanced at his mother and finally nodded. “I do.” His voice was only a whisper but for the first time, he dared to speak his mind on this matter.
His hands tensed when the words were out but Qiu Ling reached over and grasped his hand, stroking the back of his hand with his palm. Looking up, there was a faint curve to his lips and a softness in his eyes that broke some of the solemnity he had just felt.
Jing He exhaled lightly and squeezed his hand back. He had said it. Even though he was afraid of being judged for it, even though he was afraid of the future this might bring, he had still said it out loud. Qiu Ling … should be satisfied with this, shouldn’t he?
Qiu Ling continued to look at him for a moment before turning to Bai Fen with the same smile still on his lips. To be honest, ‘satisfied’ didn’t even begin to describe his mood. He felt exhilarated! Ready to go and hug the whole world if it was possible and tell every single person he met how his beloved had just said that he was the man he wants to marry.
He barely reined in his jubilant mood and just waited for the Heavenly Empress to speak. Anyway, this was an important moment and he couldn’t destroy the mood. It was just too suitable right now.
Bai Fen also smiled. She had waited a long time for her child to fall in love and even longer for him to admit it like this. Now, the day had come for these two to really walk forward hand in hand.
She nodded and reached over, taking Jing He’s other hand. She hesitated for a moment and then took Qiu Ling’s hand as well. “The two of you have known each other for a while.” She turned to look at Qiu Ling, her smile brightening a little. “You have even accompanied Jing He on his trial, gaining a deeper look at his self. With you being his partner, I will feel reassured.”
She fell silent for a moment, her gaze turning thoughtful. Glancing at her brother, she finally turned back to Qiu Ling. “You already know about the curse on our family. Since you have decided to marry Jing He, let me warn you again: In the future, you won’t be able to have more than one child. You need to keep this in mind at all times. Otherwise, a tragedy will befall you.”
The smile on Qiu Ling’s lips receded and he turned solemn again. He had found out about this curse during the trial so, of course, he had been prepared. Hearing Bai Fen say this again right now, he suddenly felt a certain weight on his shoulders though.
Originally, this wasn’t something that should have mattered much. As two men, they could only have a child the way Jinde and Leng Jin Yu had, after all. There wasn’t a chance of an unplanned pregnancy like between the Heavenly Empress and Heavenly Emperor.
But his mind couldn’t help but echo the words of Shen An De in the mortal realm: As somebody with demon blood, there was indeed a certain chance to cause that kind of tragedy to happen unless he prevented it forcefully. He hadn’t acted on that yet because Jing He hadn’t been back anyway but now, it seemed that he couldn’t push it off much further. As soon as Jinde was in a better state of mind, he had to ask him for help. Otherwise, Jing He would be the one who had to bear the consequences of his negligence. That was something he absolutely couldn’t let happen.