OMF V1C81 What to Do?

Back in the nine heavens fate’s scribe Shun Tao was pacing up and down in his palace. Hong Bao sat at his table, biting her nails, her eyes following every step of his.
What led to this was, of course, the aftermath of Leng Jin Yu quietly walking off. Though he himself was still pondering his next action, Hong Bao had arrived at another conclusion. Thus, after freaking out for half an hour by herself, she ran to Shun Tao and agitatedly told him that Leng Jin Yu had figured out everything.
Naturally, she didn’t confess that rather than him figuring out everything on his own, her asking Leng Jin Yu for advice had led to this conclusion. What if Shun Tao blamed her? Oh, he had every reason to blame her, but she didn’t want that! She had only tried to help …
Hong Bao pursed her lips. It was the right thing not to say anything. Leng Jin Yu was so intelligent, he probably would have figured it out sooner or later anyway. She had just sped up the process a little.
“What to do? What to do?” Shun Tao muttered this sentence over and over while pacing. But he really couldn’t think of anything.
That Leng Jin Yu knew and he would certainly tell someone. That was what Shun Tao himself would do if he caught wind of such a story. This was, after all, pertaining the life and death of their beloved crown prince. Who didn’t understand what a major incident that was?
But he couldn’t let Leng Jin Yu tell anyone. He just couldn’t. He wanted to save the crown prince but he also wanted to save himself. Under no circumstances could the heavenly emperor hear of this before he had found the culprit! He needed some leverage. Something, anything that would convince the heavenly emperor of not killing him.
Unfortunately, even after a week, he hadn’t found anything like that. He had to confess soon. It would still be better confessing himself than somebody else telling on him.
Shun Tao sighed. Ah, this would be so much easier if I was human. Then I could just kill the one who knows my secret. But disregarding the fact that I don’t even know how that Leng Jin Yu looks, I can’t just go and murder him, can I?
Shun Tao stopped pacing and turned to Hong Bao. “I’m going to tell the heavenly emperor.”
“What?!” Hong Bao leapt to her feet and shook her head. “You can’t do that! Didn’t you say he would kill you? How can you go there?”
“I have to. If I tell him myself, he might be lenient …” Shun Tao furrowed his brow. Okay, no, he wouldn’t be lenient. That was the heavenly emperor they were talking about here. He wasn’t lenient. Especially not when it had something to do with his precious son. “Well, I could gain some time at least.” Though, that was unlikely, too. Whatever happened, he was doomed.
Shun Tao could only sigh and shake his head. “Telling him myself is still better than somebody else doing so. At least, I can die with my dignity intact. If he puts lying to the sovereign on my head, too, I will have an even worse end.”
“There must be something we can do!”
“Nothing I can think of.” Shun Tao sighed again and pulled out the scroll of fate. None of his counter-plans had worked so far and he didn’t have any more ideas on how to approach this. “I’ll better go now.” He turned around, prepared to head to his doom now.
“No!” Hong Bao grabbed his arm and held him back. “Please, don’t go!”
“I have to.”
“But —”
“Lying to the sovereign is a capital offense already warranting my death. The longer I wait, the worse it becomes. At the moment, they might still be able to save the crown prince. That might lessen my punishment slightly.” Maybe the heavenly emperor will at least leave me an intact corpse? No, wait, I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. Not dispersing my soul so that I may reincarnate as some lowly animal would probably be more like it.
“At least … At least wait until tomorrow!”
“Tomorrow?” Shun Tao smiled self-deprecatingly. “What difference will these few hours make?”
“Who knows? I might find a way!”
Shun Tao smiled and patted her head. “Alright, fine. You’ve helped me quite a lot these days. I’ll wait until tomorrow morning then. Whether I tell him now or then … It probably won’t make any difference.”
“Mn.” Hong Bao nodded and left the scribe’s palace.
Oh no, I have really gotten him into trouble. What should I do now? Normally, she would have run to Leng Jin Yu, but that guy had already betrayed her. There was no way she could ask for his help again.
Is there anyone else? I don’t know that many people in the first place and none of them are exceptionally smart or have any kind of status that could be of help.
Ah, being the crown prince must be nice. Whatever you do, nobody will find fault with you. You never have to worry or fear for your life. Of course, at that time, Hong Bao had already forgotten that all of that was happening only because the crown prince’s life was in danger.
While she walked back to her own room, her imagination filled in every information about the crown prince she lacked: She had never seen him so she imagined him as a despotic man with an eternal frown and a frozen displeased expression. Someone like that would certainly never smile and he definitely didn’t like cookies!
Such bad taste! Her cookies were delicious! Even Shun Tao had liked them. It was just that … he soon wouldn’t be able to taste them anymore. She should have brought him some today. They could have even shared them. Maybe she should follow him to confess to the heavenly emperor? They could at least die together as a tragic, star-crossed couple. Wouldn’t that be better than being left alone in this dark world without her beloved?
Hong Bao sighed and entered the courtyard without looking.
“Heh! Damn you! Watch where you’re going!”
She was pushed back rudely and landed on her butt. “Ay!” Hong Bao squinted her eyes and looked up accusingly. In front of her stood a woman in a pink dress with flowing sleeves, whose hair was done up in a fashionable style. Some silver jewelry poked out of those black strands, glinting in the sun.
“Whoa!” Hong Bao was stunned. “So pretty!”
The woman lifted her brows in obvious contempt. “Who’s this?”, she asked toward one of the servants from the courtyard.
The girl turned around and her eyes went wide. “That … That’s her. That’s Hong Bao.”
“You’re Hong Bao?” The woman frowned.
Hong Bao nodded. “Yes. Why? Were you looking for me?” She couldn’t understand. She had never seen this woman. Why would she suddenly come here?
The woman harrumphed. “Hmph. Stop asking so many questions. The goddess of love wants to see you!”
“The goddess of love?” Hong Bao tilted her head. Why have I never heard of her? Wait … Goddess. Of. Love?! Could it be … Could it be heaven took pity on me and send me help to save my beloved?!
She leapt to her feet and smiled at the woman widely. “Great! Let’s go see her right now!” She took her arm and dragged her to the entrance of the courtyard.
The woman was completely flabbergasted but soon managed to readjust her mental state. She stopped walking and plucked Hong Bao’s hands off her. “No touching”, she said with a strained expression. “And you better behave in front of our Lady. The goddess of love might be kind and gracious, but she can’t be disrespected!”
“Of course!” Hong Bao nodded solemnly and followed the woman to a magnificent palace. She completely didn’t see the malicious grin on the other’s face when she let her in.

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