Duan Ming did his best not to freeze at once. Being handed a love token and tasked to deliver it had seemed straightforward enough when it was only the two of them who knew but it seemed like the Heavenly Emperor had been watching them even more closely than he expected. Every single action of theirs had fallen into his eyes. They could probably count themselves lucky that he hadn’t heard what they spoke about as well.
If he could have, he would have liked to just slip away and be done with this but since the Heavenly Emperor was already in front of him, his attitude solemn, it was best to go along with it and show him. Otherwise, he’d become even more suspicious.
He took out the pendant with a heavy heart, praying that the Heavenly Emperor had never seen it. Well, actually, it didn’t matter. He had seen that his son had worn it before, hadn’t he? In that case, no matter what he did or said, it likely wouldn’t be able to solve this situation. It seemed strange no matter what.
Rong Su felt slightly better when Duan Ming handed the object over without arguing or much hesitation. Even if he had been slightly late on the uptake, that was probably just because he was surprised.
Hmph, why was he even? Wasn’t it obvious that he would pay attention to his precious son to make sure this guy didn’t take advantage of him? Even if he was considering him as a spousal candidate, that didn’t mean that he really trusted him around Jing He already. No man could be trusted around his son. Didn’t they all just want to take advantage?
He pursed his lips and tried not to think about it. Instead, he turned his attention to what was in his hand. He had seen Jing He take this from his neck as if he had been wearing it. As expected, it was some type of pendant, a bright blue gemstone wrought in metal. The stone itself sparkled in the sunlight, reflecting the light beautifully. The setting though … it was silver but looked to not be of high quality. Instead, it seemed quite cheap.
His son could definitely get something better than this. So … why had this been around his neck? And why was it given to the man he wanted to introduce to him as a potential fiance? This made no sense.
He looked up at Duan Ming, not even sure how to ask about this. The whole matter just seemed so unbelievable in the first place. Where was he supposed to begin?
Duan Ming saw his reaction and could only grit his teeth and come up with an excuse. “Your Majesty must wonder why His Highness would give this to me.”
Rong Su inclined his head. Yes, that was one of many questions he had.
“To be honest … this was mine originally. Frankly, I am unsure how it got into His Highness’ hands or why he was wearing it. I assume it should have something to do with his trial though, seeing as we originally met at that time.”
Rong Su looked at him in surprise. “His trial?” He did know that Duan Ming had been in contact with that Zhong Jing Yi at that time. It was the one thing that gave him pause regarding him being a marriage candidate but then, it wasn’t like he had too many men to choose from so … well, he had had to look past that.
Duan Ming nodded. “Yes. Your Majesty might not know but a good friend of mine, Lan Ling, is very close to the ascended deity that was originally sent to help with His Highness’ trial. Thus, the two of us somehow got mixed up in that. After His Highness’ mortal reincarnation ascended, he also came to stay at the courtyard of the idle gods where we met.
“I presume the pendant got lost there and ended up with him. With everything else happening, he probably forgot to return it. When he died, Longjun might have assumed the pendant was important to him and thus returned it to His Highness. Not knowing what it was, he probably kept it.
“Actually, it’s quite awkward to take back, now that I think about it but it does hold some sentimental value and since we talked about the topic of his trial, it somehow came up. He was likely too embarrassed to keep it as well after I mentioned it.” He tried to look the awkward part when he told this story even though he felt inwardly that this might sound like it was way too far-fetched.
If the dragon king didn’t recognize the pendant, would he just hand it over to His Highness? And would His Highness bother to wear something that his lover handed him but didn’t recognize either?
No, he was a thoughtful person. This kind of pendant wasn’t much to the Son of Heaven but to a mortal? It should be worth quite a lot. This kind of thing wasn’t given to just anyone. It might actually be a gift from a love rival of the dragon king’s. Even if it wasn’t, the chance of that being the case existed. Thus, the Son of Heaven wouldn’t wear it until he remembered.
But then, this analysis only made sense if you accepted the relationship between the Son of Heaven and the dragon king to be true and important enough to take into consideration. The Heavenly Emperor … he clearly did neither. Thus, he might actually believe this kind of story.
Rong Su looked at the pendant again, wondering whether this was really something Duan Ming would possess. As the son of the Goddess of Magnanimity … it shouldn’t be? But then, he had said it held sentimental value. So maybe this had been given by some small goddess? Ugh, in that case, he really wasn’t worthy of his son. He wanted somebody clean for him who hadn’t had a bunch of lovers before!
He silently returned the pendant to Duan Ming, his attitude slightly cooler than before. Anyway, this was a good reminder that he shouldn’t get in over his head. His son’s future marriage had to be planned well. Even if this Duan Ming didn’t seem bad at first glance, he had to make sure about all the details first before he made any decisions!