Jinde smiled as he looked at Qiu Ling’s figure that was still pressing up against him. He couldn’t help himself and finally leaned down, kissing the top of his head. “Alright, don’t start acting spoiled now after growing this big. Not to mention the sibling you’re going to have soon, don’t you still want to get married? Xiang Yu told me things weren’t going so well. Do you need help with that?”
Qiu Ling awkwardly tried to wipe away his tears without being too obvious before he raised his head and peered at Jinde’s expression. Seeing that he seemed just as usual, he finally heaved a sigh of relief. Most likely, he didn’t have to worry. Jinde really was alright.
He finally gave a hum and nodded. “Well, it’s not going great. I don’t know what to do either so … if you can think of something, you can tell me.”
Jinde nodded and rubbed his head again while looking at his suspiciously red eyes. “Don’t worry. We’ll definitely think of something. With everyone working together, I don’t believe we can’t come up with a single plan.” He thought for a moment and then waved his husband and Xiang Yu over. “Alright, you tell us everything in detail. Then we’ll try to see what might work.”
Xiang Yu and Leng Jin Yu had given him a rough rundown before but they naturally couldn’t include all the details. Qiu Ling likely hadn’t told them everything either. After all, the situation hadn’t been good. Seeing how he was currently behaving, he probably wouldn’t have dared to put his own problems on their shoulders as well.
Qiu Ling had originally intended to ask his advisers for their opinion as soon as he checked up on Jinde’s and Leng Jin Yu’s situation. Now having the option to discuss with Jinde himself, he naturally wouldn’t hold back.
He went over everything from the beginning, even including the scene the Heavenly Emperor had stumbled upon that made him so angry in the first place. Maybe he should have felt embarrassed about it but seeing as Leng Jin Yu wasn’t his actual father and Jinde had probably done worse in the past, he didn’t think too much. At most, he was a bit worried about Xiang Yu but then, he also didn’t describe it in detail so it shouldn’t matter.
When Qiu Ling finally ended with last night’s visit to Jing He, Jinde gave a hum. “That is indeed a complicated situation.”
“Yes, that’s precisely it. I want to marry him more than anything but it’s not easy to do. Anything I can come up with would either anger his father further or besmirch his reputation or both. I can’t do that to him.”
Jinde nodded slowly. “I suppose some sacrifices might need to be made. If his father is looking for other suitors, it’s not a good sign. He might really try to force the issue. If he gets too far in that process, it would only complicate the matter. Taking that into consideration, I believe it would be best to act quickly.”
Qiu Ling pursed his lips. “I don’t disagree but I don’t see how.” Anyway, if he could have, he already would have had a ceremony with Jing He. He would have done so even before his trial but there simply hadn’t been a chance. Right now, the Heavenly Emperor thought even worse of him so … where should he even start?
Jinde didn’t answer immediately. He could see why Qiu Ling was unable to come up with a solution. Just finding a way to marry the Son of Heaven was easy. Finding a way that would not impact his reputation made for fewer choices but it wasn’t impossible. He could come up with several ways on the spot. Gaining his father’s approval though … that really was hard to do.
Seeing as everyone stayed silent, Xiang Yu couldn’t help but tilt his head. “Maybe we could —”
“We can’t kill him!” Qiu Ling immediately raised his hand to stop the suggestion that inevitably would have followed. “That’s my beloved’s father and he cares about him. So … we have to find a way that ends with that guy being alive and healthy.” Even though he might not like the guy, Jing He somehow did so this was a non-negotiable requirement.
Xiang Yu felt down though. “Oh.” In that case, he probably couldn’t help him.
Jinde’s lips twitched. This child was really putting out that suggestion too easily. They should probably make sure that there was always one of them around after Xiang Ling was born or who knew what these two would get up to? He really didn’t trust the joint decision-making ability of a child and a fallen god.
He faintly cleared his throat to pull attention back to the topic. “Qiu Ling is right. That would be a bit too extreme. Rather than that, we’d need to find a way to convince the Heavenly Emperor of Qiu Ling’s character so he’ll come to accept him.”
Qiu Ling pulled a face. “I’m afraid that won’t be easy. He is already super prejudiced against me. If he could, he’d make sure I wouldn’t leave the dragon realm ever again so that I can’t see his son. In that kind of situation, I can’t see anything I could do to change his view of me. Seriously, even if I somehow saved his life, he probably wouldn’t accept me. And it’s not like I’d get that kind of opportunity easily.”
Next to him, Xiang Yu put on a thoughtful expression. Actually, if it was about putting somebody in mortal danger … he could probably do that. Somehow, he didn’t think Qiu Ling and Jinde would appreciate the suggestion though.