While Yi Yun had tried his luck with An Bai, Li Yin went to visit his good friend at the Palace of War. Sitting in his study and swirling the cup of wine in his hand, he gave Qiang Yan a lazy look while the latter tried to get some work done.
To be honest, he didn’t need to ask for his opinion. He and Qiang Yan had been friends since they were children. There was pretty much nothing he didn’t know about him. And when it came to his attitude toward the alliance with the dragon race and the situation of the half-bloods, then even a moron would be able to tell where he stood.
Qiang Yan loved his nephew like his own son and that nephew was engaged to the dragon king. Even if his father didn’t want to accept the obvious, it wouldn’t change the circumstances. Qiang Yan as a loving uncle would naturally support this union.
As for his actual son … he was a half-blood conceived during one of his trials. He might not be related to the dragons but he had the blood of the gods, demons, and humans inside him. He was definitely one of the people that would be most affected by a change in status for the half-bloods.
Putting these two things together, Qiang Yan would naturally do everything in his power to make these changes possible. It benefited his own family and it was also in line with his general beliefs. So why should he decide differently?
So the actual question was whether he had any ideas on how to convince his brother-in-law. After all, the Heavenly Emperor was the ruler of the Nine Heavens and not just in a nominal sense. If he didn’t want anything to be implemented, it wouldn’t happen. He had the right to veto it. Thus, they could only convince him … or organize an uprising but that would put Qiang Yan in a difficult position.
Qiang Yan raised his head from where he was working on the documents and gave Li Yin a pointed look. “You know if there was something you wanted to say, you could get it out with by now. Or could it be you’re just here to while away your time?”
Li Yin gave a thoughtful hum and then raised his brows. “How’s your nephew doing?”
Qiang Yan’s lips twitched but he put down the brush in his hands and sighed deeply. “What do you think? His father still hasn’t seen the light, I’m afraid.”
“Can’t say I’m surprised. His parenting skills suck.”
Qiang Yan’s lips twitched even more when he heard that, his mind inevitably wandering to Ru Zhen who had become increasingly lawless over the years under the influence of Li Yin’s indulgence. Still, he also couldn’t deny that neither of these men was a good parent. One was too strict where he should let the reins loose a bit and the other had handed the reins over to his son and was barely keeping half an eye on him on normal days.
Li Yin didn’t bother to ridicule the Heavenly Emperor any further and instead relayed Yi Yun’s words. “So, I figured I should talk to you first since your family is at the heart of the matter. What do you think?”
Qiang Yan’s expression had turned serious again. “Of course, overall, this is a good thing. Frankly, I’ve always found it baffling how little our people interact. We didn’t even know about the curse until the dragons finally brought it up when they almost lost their king.”
Well, to be fair, he himself had known about it since Qiu Ling had once confided in him but he had also just gotten a rough idea and that had also been several years into Qiu Ling’s relationship with Jing He. It really couldn’t be said to be common knowledge in any sense. On the other hand, the trials of the gods had been just as much of a mystery to the dragons as Qiu Ling’s behavior had proven.
With this kind of mutual lack of understanding, it was a wonder their alliance had held steadfast for so long. If not for the fact that they had a common enemy in the demons, he didn’t think it would have been possible.
If they had ever managed to defeat the demons, the alliance probably would have fallen apart. If not immediately, then definitely sooner rather than later. After that, while they wouldn’t have opposed each other, they at most would have coexisted with hardly any overlap in the daily lives of their people.
Qiang Yan sighed when he thought of this. To be honest, it was better the way it was right now. He felt that both their races could only profit from working together. After all, they were roughly the same: both immortal people with magical abilities based on the spiritual energy of the world. And where there were differences, they might enrich each other in yet unknown ways. Why would he be against that?
Qiang Yan could only shake his head though. “This lack of communication is the major issue I see. Sure, with how close Jing He and Qiu Ling have gotten and with the current research going on in the Tower of Wisdom, this might be solved more easily but we’d need to establish a regular exchange. It can’t just stop at this one mission.”
Li Yin inclined his head. “Yi Yun wasn’t wrong that it might help to encourage marriage between our races.”
Qiang Yan smiled wryly. “I don’t disagree but that’s still a private matter for everyone. We can encourage it by promoting the possibility and spreading more awareness about the other race in each realm but they still have to develop the feelings by themselves. Tian’s curse certainly won’t make that easier either.
“No, rather than that, I think we should focus on exchanging information. Find places where we are similar, then study them in-depth on both sides and learn from the differences. By bringing together key people of both races, we can develop a better understanding of each other while also having like-minded people create personal relationships no matter of which kind. I think that would be a good basis for future development.”