The garden turned exceptionally quiet.
For Jing He, it had taken all his courage to even say these two sentences so he naturally fell quiet afterward and even lowered his head so he didn’t have to see his father’s expression that would certainly be disappointed.
As for Qiu Ling next to him, he currently felt like he was floating. It had felt good to hear Jing He acknowledge that he wanted to marry him in front of his mother and uncle earlier in the day. Considering that it had taken him ten years to finally accept that proposal when it was just the two of them, it had seemed like such a major step. He never would have thought that Jing He was ready to confront his father though.
Now, just a few hours later, here they were. Jing He’s father had caught them and clearly not reacted well and yet, Jing He had said out loud that he had accepted the proposal and even directly confessed that he wanted to marry him. He could imagine the courage it took to stand up to his father like this and he could only estimate the amount of love Jing He had to feel in his heart to bring himself to do this. Naturally, he was happy.
As for Rong Su … well, he was taking this rather badly. His son … his precious son had never had a rebellious phase in his life. He hadn’t even once talked back to him. At most, he would gently suggest an alternative view but even that was rare and he’d back down as soon as he told him that he was wrong. There was never any arguing and there was definitely no direct disagreement.
But now, today, just a week after his trial had ended, Jing He actually defied him for that bastard from the dragon race. He had not only disregarded all the warnings he had given him throughout the years and finally gotten involved with him but he had even directly contradicted his words to gloss over the shameful things that guy had just done to him. As his father, how was he to react?
Rong Su stared at his son in a daze. Seeing as he had his head lowered, he was sure that Jing He knew how wrong he was. Still, he was holding onto that bastard’s hands. That detail was basically stabbing into Rong Su’s eyes.
He took a deep breath and then called out. “Jing He, come over here.” He pointed to the spot next to him, trying not to show his feelings. He’d have a long chat with Jing He later as soon as he managed to drive that bastard away.
Jing He flinched and glanced up before turning to Qiu Ling. He had known his father would not be happy but … he had to be furious right now. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what would happen.
Qiu Ling squeezed his hand. “It’s alright. Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to go over either if you don’t want to.” He only whispered, hoping that the Heavenly Emperor wouldn’t catch his words. Right now, even though he was clearly trying to suppress it, he seemed furious at a glance. He didn’t want to put Jing He through that.
“He’s my father though.” Jing He looked at Qiu Ling in a daze. He had wanted to make sure that the man he loved wouldn’t have to carry those accusations but … maybe he had been wrong. Of course, his father couldn’t accept them being together. And he could do so even less when he was told about his feelings so suddenly. This might have worsened his impression of Qiu Ling.
Rong Su watched the two of them whispering and his brows drew further together. “Jing He!” He couldn’t believe that his son would continue to defy him like this. Just what had this man done to have him behave like this?!
Jing He flinched again and hurriedly lowered his head. “Yes, father.” He let go of Qiu Ling’s hand and walked over to his father’s side, not daring to lift his head. His cheeks were burning with shame thinking of what his father had witnessed earlier. Who knew when he had arrived or what he had heard? Even if it wasn’t for the fact that he disliked Qiu Ling, he might have been angry now. This was what happened if you did things without a sense of decorum.
Rong Su calmed down slightly when his son finally listened. He glanced over his appearance, making sure that at least his clothes were not in disarray, and then motioned toward the palace with his head. “You go inside first.”
“Yes, father.” Jing He nodded and walked behind his father, only daring to glance at Qiu Ling for a moment before he stepped inside and went to sit down at the table. He knew his father would come in later and chastise him. He could even imagine half the sentences he would say. What he didn’t know was what kind of response he should have.
He wanted to be with Qiu Ling, he really did. He had already told his mother and uncle as much and they weren’t against it. This was also following the wishes of both Qiu Ling and himself. It was only his father who disliked the idea so much. If only there was a way to convince him …
Outside, Rong Su leveled Qiu Ling with a dark look. “I am never going to accept this.”
Qiu Ling simply looked back. He knew that the current situation wasn’t optimal but he didn’t panic. Anyway, they had come so far. Some setbacks weren’t a problem. They could solve this. “We’ll see.” He didn’t say more and instead just turned away to leave, giving the Heavenly Emperor some time to calm down.
Well, if he had known just how much the situation could change in just a few weeks, he wouldn’t have been as calm. Unfortunately, he had no way of looking into the future.