Jinde smiled faintly. He could guess what exactly was going through her mind right now. Even though he didn’t remember ever meeting her back when he had still been king of the dragon race, his appearance was rare enough to make people have doubts.
He didn’t intend to play around since the situation was serious, so he simply put away the hat and nodded toward her. “I apologize for covering my face but you can imagine it isn’t quite convenient for me to expose myself here.” In fact, he still couldn’t believe that he had gotten away with walking bare-faced around the dragon king’s palace. People really were too gullible or maybe his time had passed too long ago.
Bai Fen finally pulled herself out of her daze and nodded as well. Motioning at the table where she had been sitting before, she sighed faintly. “I can imagine. Well, why don’t you sit so we can have that chat?”
Jinde inclined his head and went to sit down first, Leng Jin Yu following after him.
Bai Fen took a seat as well, her gaze still resting on Jinde. She had quite a few questions about his appearance here but for now, there was something more important. “I’m sorry to have to ask this but considering the letter you wrote … What is your relationship with Qiu Ling?”
Jinde reached to the side and took Leng Jin Yu’s hand while his eyes narrowed. “I guess you could say … he’s my stepson?”
Bai Fen needed a moment to digest that. In fact, as soon as she realized who this ‘Jiang Li’ really had to be, she figured something like that. After all, she was sure that they weren’t actually blood-related. The thing was though … She turned to Leng Jin Yu, raising her brows. “Then your relationship …?”
Leng Jin Yu smiled wryly. “That is something I can’t put into a single word.”
Jinde chuckled. “Oh, he wants to say Qiu Ling is his son.”
Leng Jin Yu’s smile turned even worse. Thankfully, he didn’t have to explain this relationship often. Looking at the Heavenly Empress, he still made an attempt at damage control. “In my previous life, I was part of the dragon race. At that time, he was indeed my son.
“Unfortunately, I was calculated by the people from the demon race and died prematurely with my soul not intact so I was reincarnated as a human later on. After ascending, I was pulled into the matter regarding your son’s trial and recovered my memories back in the mortal realm. That is … roughly what happened.”
Bai Fen stared at him, not even sure what to say. That line of relationship … it sounded rather complicated. Even more so … “That seems awkward.”
Leng Jin Yu hummed. “To say the least.”
“Qiu Ling knows about this, right? And he … he accepts this.” She wasn’t too sure about the latter. Somehow, she couldn’t imagine Qiu Ling accepting a father in this way.
Leng Jin Yu nodded slowly. “He does know. As for accepting …” He wasn’t sure how to say it and finally shook his head. “He certainly accepts that these are the facts but I wouldn’t call us close. Even with the memories intact now, it’s been too long and, frankly, the relationship wasn’t that close even before my death in my last life. He … was always closer to Jinde.” He glanced at his husband, not embarrassed to admit this. Even as Chun Yin, this had been as clear as day to him which really hadn’t made things easier at the time.
Jinde smiled faintly, his thoughts traveling to Jin Ling for a moment. These two children, they had both been close to him. He sighed as soon as the thought struck. Right now really wasn’t the moment for that. He finally nodded. “Right. Either way, the two of us can be considered the closest he has to family. Naturally, we’ll want to advocate for him.
“In that regard … we should have a chat about your husband’s behavior. Frankly, I find it rude beyond pale. What is there about my stepson that makes him unsuitable to marry your child? To be honest, I cannot see a single thing. That does leave me with the question if maybe this is not about him as a person but about our race. The gods wouldn’t really feel that we are beneath them, would they?”
Bai Fen looked at him and felt that she understood why Qiu Ling liked this person. Clearly, they had the same style of arguing. Even though Qiu Ling usually did it in an aggrieved manner with her, she had also gotten to see his other side once or twice. At those times … yes, he seemed exactly like Jinde right now.
Bai Fen smiled and shook her head. “I agree with you. Both about there being nothing about Qiu Ling that isn’t suitable and also about my husband’s behavior being rude. Believe me, if this was only up to me, the wedding ceremony would already have been planned long ago.”
Jinde’s expression eased a little. He had known that the Heavenly Empress was on Qiu Ling’s side but he had still needed to test if this would also be the case if she had to directly speak out against her husband. Now, it seemed he didn’t need to worry. She was indeed willing to defy him as long as it meant her son’s happiness.
He nodded, his previous anger seemingly vanishing in a flash. “It’s good that you agree. In that case, why don’t we talk about what can be done to change the situation? The children are already this old. How long can we really delay their wedding? I don’t think it’s suitable to wait all that much longer.”
Bai Fen who didn’t actually think that her son was old in any sense of the word still nodded. “I also think getting married earlier is better. As for how to accomplish this … I might have an idea.”