An Bai’s expression changed slightly. “You might not be wrong …” Thinking of Yi Yun’s calm reaction and how he had thought that he really hadn’t caught any hints that he was interested, this might indeed not just be about personal feelings.
Xiang Yong gave a hum. “I think it wouldn’t be odd if this was the case. Just think about it: You are one of the king’s advisers while he is one of the senior officials in one of the big palaces. Establishing a relationship between the two of you would be a high-profile way of showing the good relationship between our races and sending a signal to the common people.
“It would also be much easier to implement than His Majesty’s wedding since there is no parent in place to obstruct you. As long as you both agree, it could have gone forward fast. You might have been married in the next few months.”
An Bai chuckled and shook his head, feeling that Yi Yun was too conservative for not bringing all of this up. “You know, if he had told me all that, my reaction might have been different.” He still might not want to marry him but he could have sat down and discussed this with him to find alternative solutions.
If there wasn’t any … maybe he wouldn’t have been opposed to just having a marriage in name. He didn’t long for marriage but if the benefits were there, he’d do it for the bigger picture. Of course, that required the potential partner to be somebody like Yi Yun: someone who didn’t actually want to marry him because of deep feelings but for another purpose altogether.
If they got married, the two of them might get along well. They could work together, help their respective sovereigns to better the situation of their people, and otherwise go about life as usual. With their high-profile positions, they might not even need to live together. At most, they’d share a place whenever one of them visited the other realm for official business. This kind of marriage … he could do it.
Xiang Yong faintly raised his brows. “Are you reconsidering?”
An Bai hesitated but finally shook his head. “No, I was just thinking that it wouldn’t be too bad. He and I are rather similar. If we were to get married, I think we would get along well. It’s still not necessarily something I’d want though. There are certainly easier ways to establish a relationship between our races. What that Duan Ming said sounded rather convincing.”
Xiang Yong nodded. “I also think you shouldn’t get married just for the sake of our people. There is no real need to right now and many alternatives to strengthen the alliance.”
“I think so too.” An Bai sighed, feeling a lot easier after talking it through with Xiang Yong. Thankfully, he had contacted him right away. Thinking about this on his own really hadn’t felt good. “Well, the matter with my wedding is off the table and the other one will need careful consideration. Now, what about the love token for His Majesty? Should I come over?”
Xiang Yong glanced toward the door, not sure what to say. “Let me go over and check how things are looking over there.”
“Is … his situation not any better yet?”
Xiang Yong shook his head. “At least it wasn’t the last time I checked. I doubt there was any progress since then though. He’s … very much out of it. He doesn’t seem to react at all. His Majesty and his husband are both worried out of their minds.”
An Bai’s brows furrowed. This really wasn’t good. Unfortunately, if neither Jinde’s husband nor Qiu Ling was able to do anything, then he was also out of ideas regarding what could be done. “You know, maybe it’d be better not to disturb them. He might need more rest. Just … tell His Majesty when you see him the next time. While I’m sure he’d like to receive His Highness’s love token sooner rather than later, he’ll be understanding.”
Xiang Yong nodded. “Alright, I’ll do that. Was there anything else on your side?”
An Bai shook his head. “No. Something in the palace?”
Xiang Yong also shook his head. “No, nothing. It’s great since His Majesty came around and started doing his work again. Especially in the aftermath of the battle, it really helped with settling everyone down and making swift decisions. I kind of regret that the two of us didn’t speak to him immediately back when you found out.”
An Bai hummed in response. “Well, it really wasn’t clear how he’d react. I believe to a large degree, he was only willing to admit to his parentage because of His Highness’s trial. For one, he had already confessed to him and received a positive response so it was easier to be honest again. Then, he also came to see himself differently in that time. Plus, he gained the support of that person and his husband which should mean a lot to him. Most likely, it was only due to all of these things coming together that he was finally open to telling us.”
Xiang Yong couldn’t disagree with that analysis. While it would have been nice to have their king behave like a regular person much earlier, he hadn’t because of some deep-seated issues. Without working on those, it was impossible to change his ways. And couldn’t have gotten him to work on those issues without knowing the truth. So all in all, they had simply gotten lucky with how everything had turned out.
“Well, with how he is right now, I am a lot less worried about the future. Now, we only need to help him get married to the Son of Heaven somehow. After that, we’ll probably manage to usher in an even more peaceful time. Ah, the two of us might even get to have a vacation soon.”
An Bai could only laugh. “In your dreams maybe. With the relationship with the gods strengthened and things changing fast in the demon realm, the two of us will only be busier in the future. At most, we can count ourselves lucky that His Majesty isn’t pawning off everything to us any longer.”