In another palace in the Nine Heavens, Jing He had no idea that his wedding to Qiu Ling was already being planned. He put down the pot of tea with his head lowered before sitting down and pouring himself a cup.
Watching the steam rise into the air, his thoughts once again wandered off. He didn’t know what to do and he had nobody to ask. Even though this was his own life, everything seemed to be out of his hands as if he was only a bystander who had no say in matters and could only watch as they unfolded.
But then, he wasn’t a bystander. This was his life. How could it be dictated by others like this? He should have a say in what was supposed to happen and what was out of the question. He should be allowed to fall in love with whoever he wanted and marry the person if he felt it was the right decision. Maybe others could caution him but they shouldn’t be able to forbid him.
Jing He closed his eyes. He knew he shouldn’t think like this. The reason his life was like this was because of who he was. As the crown prince of the Nine Heavens, his life naturally didn’t just belong to himself. He had to make the right decisions for everyone. He couldn’t be this selfish. It was just … this time, he wanted to.
He lowered his head, his fingers clenching the hot teacup. Just this one time, he wanted to only think of himself and be with the man he loved. Was that really asking too much? Or was he really as unreasonable as his father said if he insisted on this?
Jing He opened his eyes and stared ahead. From outside, he could hear his father’s voice. Apparently, he had already started to work. This was the position he would follow in one day. By then, he would have to reign over the Nine Heavens. The foundation was laid earlier though. If his reputation suffered, how could their people believe in him to lead them successfully? Thus, even now, he had to be careful with what he did.
This wedding and his marriage though … He didn’t think it should have a negative effect. There was nothing wrong with Qiu Ling, after all. He was the king of the dragon race, an accomplished sovereign who had led his people successfully for thousands of years. To marry him would mean to add a person who could help him rather than somebody who would weigh him down. Surely, this was the case?
Even though the crown prince of the Nine Heavens had no official duties until the day he acceded to the throne, it was customary to give them some tasks before that and also have them follow their parent along for years to observe and learn before the thrown was passed to them.
He himself wasn’t at that point yet. He had only come of age twenty years ago which was nothing in the eyes of the gods who reached maturity after two millennia. It would be hundreds or maybe even thousands of years before he would even have to follow his father during his duties. Still, he had prepared all his life to be ready when that time came and he believed to have a good grasp on how things should be.
This matter with Qiu Ling didn’t seem doubtful to him if he thought it through. He could only see advantages. At most, the issue of having a child with mixed blood might be concerning but who had ever said that the heir to the realm had to be a trueborn god with pure blood?
In a realm that welcomed the ascended deities who had originally been human and also had half-bloods with the blood of the dragons or the human race, there should be no question that it would be possible to have a crown prince or crown princess and later a Heavenly Emperor or Heavenly Empress with mixed blood. It should be obvious. But if not for that, what had ever spoken against him and Qiu Ling being together?
Their age? That was laughable. Age meant nothing to the races who could live forever and Qiu Ling’s age came with an added maturity and a wealth of experience that would help guide him if he ever questioned matters. Attitude? He was sorry to think like this but Qiu Ling seemed more like a suitable king to him than his father ever had. This was even more true after regaining the memories from his trial.
Yes, no matter which part of their lives he looked at, he couldn’t find a thing to dislike about Qiu Ling or anything that would disqualify him as a possible spouse. His father seemed unreasonable to insist it wasn’t possible.
And yet, that person was his father, after all, and the ruler of the Nine Heavens. Whether it was personally or as a trueborn god subject to him, he should bow his head and agree to whatever he asked of him. How could he question him like this? It wasn’t right.
Jing He put down the teacup with a thud and covered his face with his hands. He didn’t know what to do anymore. He had no idea how to go forward. He needed his father to accept Qiu Ling but he had no idea how to make that happen and even feared that every word would make his father feel even more unacceptable. He couldn’t go ahead but he couldn’t retreat either. It seemed as if the perfect love he had finally found had been doomed from the beginning.