Rong Su was taken aback. This really wasn’t like his son. Being this direct … His brows furrowed when he thought about it and his gaze couldn’t help but slip through the room again, trying to find anything out of the ordinary. He still couldn’t spot anything but when he looked at Jing He again, his expression was still dark. “Who told you such a thing?”
Jing He lowered his eyelids, losing the bit of courage he had just managed to gather. This kind of talk with his father was useless. He would only get angry and refuse to listen to him. But then, why was he surprised? His father had never listened to him, no matter which part of his life it concerned.
He felt aggrieved but there was nowhere to vent. His father wouldn’t listen. His mother would understand but their relationship was strained enough. How could he do something like this? His uncle … he would understand as well but it also didn’t seem right to involve him in this issue. Other than them, there was only Qiu Ling but his opinion of his father was already low. If he told him more, that would get worse, and then how could they ever develop a good relationship?
Jing He didn’t know what to do but he still had to answer his father. “Nobody did. It just seems out of the ordinary for you to have me spend time with any of them.”
Duan Ming, he could maybe understand if they really were supposed to work on the preparations for the Jiyi festival. But those other two? One had been the nephew of a high-ranking member of his uncle’s Palace of War. The other was from his uncle’s palace as well but didn’t stay in the capital city. Instead, he came from the Eastern Heaven.
There was no official duty he could share with these people. So what else could this be about but getting married? His father had to think him stupid not to catch that.
Rong Su felt taken aback when his son pointed out this issue. He had actually thought he had been quite covert, dressing those two occasions up as coincidences. But it seemed that hadn’t been enough. Well, they had probably been too close together to seem all that coincidental but what else could he do? That bastard from the dragon realm was still hovering, just waiting for a chance to get his claws on his precious son. He naturally had to move fast!
He might feel caught but he didn’t feel guilty at all. To him, this was only the logical consequence of what had been happening. Since Jing He had poked holes in his cover story, he might as well admit to it.
Rong Su smiled faintly and reached over the table, patting Jing He’s hand. “Well, I did have an intention like that. I know you’re still young so there’s no need to rush but I think this Duan Ming is indeed quite promising. He has an upstanding character and even though he doesn’t have a career yet, he is working on it.
“Preparing for the Jiyi festival can help him a bit on that way and it’ll give you a chance to get along. You can see if you like him and when his career takes off, it won’t be too late to marry him.”
In his mind, he had already planned all of it. Doing it this way would allow those two to get gradually closer and also ensure that Duan Ming’s status wasn’t lacking at the time they finally tied the knot.
Of course, just preparing one Jiyi festival wouldn’t be enough. But it was a good point to start and depending on how Duan Ming performed, he could choose other tasks for him. Some of those could also include Jing He so they’d spend more time together but, of course, there should be tasks that only needed him as well. Only this way could he gain a good reputation for himself and become worthy of Jing He.
The more he thought about it, the more he felt that this was perfect. He patted his son’s hand again and smiled. “You’ll see, I’m sure you’ll get along well. Didn’t you also have fun when you talked with him yesterday?”
Jing He kept his head lowered. Fun? Of course not. The whole time, he had thought about hardly anything else but Qiu Ling and their relationship. And it wasn’t like he knew Duan Ming. At most, they got along politely.
The problem was that he couldn’t tell his father this. If he did, he would just say that he needed more time to get to know him. After that, they’d certainly get along well. Maybe he wasn’t even wrong. But at most, that would be as friends, not as lovers. After all, there was already Qiu Ling and his feelings for him wouldn’t change. Unfortunately, his father would never accept that.
Jing He lowered his head even further, hoping his father would finally stop with this topic and maybe even leave him alone. He really didn’t want any company right now. Or if he had to have company, then at least let it be Qiu Ling. He would give a lot to be held in his arms right now. Maybe then, he’d feel better.
Of course, Jing He’s wish couldn’t be realized as he wished. The Heavenly Emperor had used this tactic of staying close by to ensure that Qiu Ling couldn’t come by for three weeks and had been delighted at how well it had worked. Naturally, he wouldn’t give up now that he had found a suitable candidate to take Jing He’s mind off that bastard and his unwanted advances.
He happily started to impart some wisdom about the Jiyi festival and how to prepare, not forgetting to throw in a good comment about how suitable Duan Ming would be for this or that. He didn’t notice at all that Jing He was hardly listening, looking very much as if he wished to be anywhere but there.