OMF V1C8 Being Beautiful Is a Sin

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Mister Zhong couldn’t wait to show his son to the other villagers. His wife was still asleep when he took the boy out of her arms. Mister Zhong opened the door to carry the boy outside when the agitated voice of his neighbor Miss Lian greeted him.
“He was as beautiful as Pan An but he claimed to be a Daoist. And when he headed off he vanished as soon as he took one step into the night.”
“That doesn’t sound like a Daoist but like a demon,” remarked Mister Pi who lived two houses further down the road. He had always liked to put on the air of a well-traveled and cultured man but the only thing about him that traveled well were the rumors he picked up with fondness and spread even further. A demon that helped with the birth of the Zhong’s child was very much to his liking.
Qiu Ling who leaned against the Zhong’s door hidden from mortal eyes watched Mister Zhong furrow his brow. He sighed. If he had known that the people would make something like that of his help, he wouldn’t have vanished so fast the previous night. Instead, he would have waited until that woman stopped her pursuit on her own. But then again … Who knew how long she would’ve followed him through the night? What if something had happened to Jing He in the meantime?
“What demon?” Mister Zhong slammed the door shut and hurried to the crowd of people that had gathered at the village’s square. “Didn’t he wear the robes of a Daoist? And aren’t Daoists cultured men? You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Lian Mei, to spread a rumor like that instead of being happy for your neighbor that mother and child have survived!”
The neighbor of the Zhong’s grimaced. “What rumors? I only said he had a face as beautiful as Pan An’s. Mister Pi said he had to be a demon!”
Mister Pi coughed. “A cultured man like me would never spread rumors! You’re probably exaggerating, Lian Mei. Certainly, the Daoist was —”
“Ask Madam Zhong! She also saw him.”
“My wife had other fish to fry than examining a stranger’s face!”
“You —” Miss Lian clenched her fists. She couldn’t believe what Mister Zhong indicated but she didn’t know how to retort either.
“Hmph!” Seeing that she had nothing more to say Mister Zhong turned away and looked at the child in his arms instead. His fury instantly made way for a smile and he stepped into the middle of the crowd. “That’s our son, Jing Yi! Jing like the friendly spirit that helped him,” he explained with another glance at Miss Lian. “And Yi as in righteousness.”
“A good name, a really good name.” Mister Pi ran his hand over his chin and examined the child that slept placidly. A smug expression occupied his face as if he had a brilliant idea. And indeed: “Maybe you should make that Jing as in quiet. Really, what an obedient child.”
Qiu Ling snorted. Was that the kind of environment Jing He had to grow up in? Those humans left a bad impression on him. He couldn’t help but wonder if maybe he should take him away after all. Perhaps that would be better for his beloved?
The village women surrounded Mister Zhong, gripped Jing Yi’s small hands and laughed delightedly. In his human life, Jing He was as favored as he had been as the crown prince of the Nine Heavens.
It seemed he should leave him in the village after all. Those women would let his Jing He have a good life. Qiu Ling sneaked closer to the humans and peered over Mister Zhong’s shoulder to look at his beloved. Jing He, Jing He, just how long will this trial take? He already longed to return to the Nine Heavens and continue the life they had there.
The newborn opened his dozy eyes and smiled brightly. Qiu Ling’s heart leaped. Had Jing He recognized him? But that couldn’t be. His beloved had drunk the water of the river of forgetfulness prior to descending to the mortal realm. All memories of his previous life were lost. He would only remember when he ascended again at the end of his mortal life.
Furthermore, Qiu Ling had hidden from the gazes of the mortals and Jing He was one of them for the time being. One of the women had probably woke him up and he enjoyed the attention.
Qiu Ling’s gaze darkened, thinking of what that meant for the future. Wouldn’t a lot of pesky humans try to steal his beloved from him? And this time Jing He wouldn’t even have the status of the Son of Heaven to deter them from making advances on him. Ah, he should prepare to chase those people away early on!
Qiu Ling returned to the door to plan some precautionary measures while still keeping an eye on Jing He. His mood turned darker with every moment though. Looking at him was fine but why were these humans even touching his beloved?! They should better get their hands off him!
The time of an incense stick later, the villagers finally went to work, leaving an angry Qiu Ling and an exhausted Jing Yi. Mister Zhong, on the contrary, was in high spirits when he returned to the house. He gave his son back to his wife and also went to the paddies, even humming a tune on the way.
Only Madam Zhong and her son were still in the village. Well, they and a certain dragon king who took a seat on the other side of the room and closed his eyes with a smile. For now, he couldn’t do anything but wait. He didn’t mind though. After all, his beloved was just on the other side of the hut.
Well, he might have been more alarmed had he had even an inkling of what was happening on the paddies right now.

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