Qiu Ling didn’t sleep for the rest of the night either. He thought about the matter with the Heavenly Emperor until his brain felt like it was in knots and finally just abandoned the thought and stared at his beloved sleeping face.
Inwardly, he felt a little angry at himself. He might have played the fool for years but he knew very well that he wasn’t really an idiot. He had managed to successfully lead the dragon realm for many years until he took in his first advisers. Now, how could he be stumped by this problem?
Unfortunately, no matter how much he hated it, he couldn’t change it. Anyway, it was a different matter now. Politically, you could do some things that wouldn’t work in private. Not if you wanted your future father-in-law to like you, at the very least.
Yes, he had about a hundred ways to force the Heavenly Emperor’s hand in allowing him to marry Jing He. The problem was that all of them came with downsides: The Heavenly Emperor would hate him even more than now, the relationship between Jing He and his father would be strained, and, worst of all, Jing He’s reputation might suffer as well.
So really, even though there were things he could do, none of them were something he should do. And so far, he hadn’t been able to think of a single thing that could circumvent all the negative consequences while allowing him and Jing He to get married anytime soon. It seemed like he could only try to grovel and hope for a resolution in a few years.
When night finally passed and the sun climbed up from beneath the horizon, Qiu Ling was still staring at the person in his arms. Jing He hadn’t woken up yet and instead seemed to be in a deep sleep. His expression was relaxed and there was even a faint smile on his lips. Seeing him like this … it truly was a great way to start the day.
Qiu Ling sighed and closed his eyes. He didn’t expect to be able to fall asleep in this situation but he didn’t want Jing He to worry when he woke up so it was best to look like he had also slept.
It took Jing He another half an hour before his eyelids fluttered and he finally opened his eyes. Seeing Qiu Ling’s face directly in front of him, he was in a daze for a moment. This … shouldn’t be something he was used to but with the memories from his trial having returned, it didn’t feel that unfamiliar.
Jing He lowered his head, his fingers curling around the edge of the blanket. They were all his memories but the way they returned made it obvious what had just been remembered. It also gave him the chance to truly think about every new memory he received.
The time spent in that realm was precious. Every night, he could sleep in Qiu Ling’s arms without a second thought. Every morning, he would wake up next to him. And the rest of the day would also be spent in Qiu Ling’s company.
He actually felt that his reincarnation had wasted that time by not focusing on Qiu Ling more. What about learning more about his magical abilities? Did he really need that if he had Qiu Ling to protect him?
Jing He looked up and then blushed when he realized that his fiance had woken up and was now looking at him.
Qiu Ling smiled and reached out, his fingers brushing over Jing He’s reddened cheeks. “Good morning.”
Jing He gave a faint hum, unable to say anything. Even though waking up next to Qiu Ling felt more familiar thanks to those memories, he still knew that it was different. He wasn’t that mortal Zhong Jing Yi any longer. He was Jing He now, the Son of Heaven. Of course, his actions now couldn’t be compared to the past.
Qiu Ling’s smile widened when he saw him like this. His beloved really was the same as always. After they got married … who knew how long it would take for him to get over his shyness?
He clicked his tongue and then leaned closer, kissing Jing He’s forehead. “How did you sleep? I hope it wasn’t uncomfortable with me here?”
Jing He hurriedly shook his head. “It wasn’t.” He didn’t dare to say more for fear of making him feel that he wasn’t welcome.
Qiu Ling nodded. “Well … I also had a good night with you in my arms. Although, admittedly, I couldn’t help but lament that we aren’t married yet. I should really work on that.”
Jing He’s lips unwittingly curved up. Qiu Ling had been sweet-talking him all the time since they met but it seemed that he was less and less able to keep a straight face when he heard such words. When they eventually got married, he might not be able to curb his expression at all. But then, maybe that wouldn’t matter either.
Qiu Ling smiled as well when he saw Jing He in a good mood. He turned onto his back and looked up at the canopy of the bed. The curtain next to them was still closed as was the window on the other side, so their surroundings were still plunged into twilight. “It’s already the next morning. Most likely, I won’t be able to stay much longer without being discovered.”
Jing He next to him gave a hum. “My father might come by soon.” His smile collapsed when he thought of this. He wished he could have spent more time in Qiu Ling’s arms but there was simply no way to do so. Not with his father’s recent behavior.
Qiu Ling sighed. “I guess I should leave first then.” He turned his head and smiled at Jing He. “Don’t worry. I’ll come back as soon as I can. We’ll figure this out.”
Jing He nodded. He didn’t want to worry right now so he simply looked at Qiu Ling for the little time they still had.
Qiu Ling sat up and sighed again, shaking his head. “I really don’t get what your father dislikes about me. I swear I’d be the perfect son-in-law.” He leaned over and kissed Jing He’s cheek with a smile. “Well, I’m off for now. Just wait for me to come back.”
Jing He nodded and watched silently as Qiu Ling reached over to open the window, glanced around to make sure nobody was there, and finally slipped out. When the window closed, he sighed as well and then got out of bed too. Either way, he could only hope that Qiu Ling was right and would find a way for them to go forward.