OMF V1C119 Law and Punishment

“Mother-in-law, what are you saying? How come I don’t understand a word?” Qiu Ling tilted his head and tried to wriggle out of her grip.
Bai Fen wouldn’t let him get away so easily, though. “You still dare to talk back at me! Do you really want to claim you don’t know what you’ve done?”
“I really don’t know! But I’ll apologize!” He grabbed her wrist and looked at her pleadingly.
Bai Fen relented under his gaze. She also didn’t want to punish her son-in-law. Although he had made a — no, several — mistakes he had done all of that because he loved her son so much and couldn’t see him suffer. As a mother, could she wish for a better lover for her son? Furthermore, Qiu Ling’s eyes told her that he really didn’t know about the trials. Well, he wasn’t a god, after all. It was to be expected. It was partly their fault for not making sure that he knew beforehand.
Bai Fen let go of him and even went as far as to pat his head when she saw his disgruntled look. “You really did something wrong.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling didn’t argue. Whatever his mother-in-law said had to be true. Had his father-in-law tried to get him to apologize he wouldn’t give in no matter what!
“Qiu Ling.” Bai Fen gripped his hands and sighed. “Since you’re going to marry my son in the future —”
“We’ll see about that!”, the heavenly emperor injected but he was ignored by both his wife and future son-in-law.
“— you should learn more about the gods. There are some things that need to be considered.”
Qiu Ling’s head drooped. He didn’t know what this was about but he understood that he must have done something wrong because he didn’t know something. Indeed, he knew next to nothing about the gods. Even after he and Jing He became a couple he hadn’t tried to learn anything about them. He had been content with learning everything he could about Jing He himself. What did he care for the gods?
“These trials. They are extremely important to us gods. Heaven’s law dictates that we pass them.”
Qiu Ling blinked. “Huh? I thought his father had forced Jing He to descend?”
The heavenly emperor clenched his fists. “What are you talking about? We’d never force our son to anything!”
Bai Fen shook her head. “It has nothing to do with that. Rather it’s the way we gods fulfill the law of balance. That is why the trials can’t be ignored. Each of us has to descend someday and pass these trials. Now, if someone went and tried to help in the mortal life we got, we might not pass any trial. You can certainly imagine what would happen if a god returned without having passed the trial issued by heaven.”
Qiu Ling gulped. “Death?”
Bai Fen nodded. “Yes. It’s commendable that you are trying to stand by Jing He’s side even in his mortal life. But with the way you’re doing it you’re endangering his life here in the nine heavens. So please, let him take the trials normally from now on and don’t interfere. If he manages to pass all of them in one go, he won’t have to descend anymore. He’ll stay with you for the rest of his life.”
Qiu Ling looked at his mother-in-law and even went as far as looking at the heavenly emperor for confirmation.
The heavenly emperor nodded. He didn’t really like this future son-in-law of his’ … Well, no, in fact, he didn’t mind him that much. It was just that he felt that no man was good enough for his precious son. He wanted a true born god with excellent manners, handsome looks and the greatest powers ever seen in their race. Only if such a man appeared before him would he be satisfied and think about allowing him to wed his son! Yes, he’d at least think about it. And he’d rigorously test that bastard if he actually dared to have dirty thoughts about his son!
Qiu Ling gulped and nodded. He couldn’t believe he had endangered Jing He’s life. All of this was his fault. He frowned. No, in all honesty, this was heaven’s fault! What was with this dumb law of balance? The gods were immortal and could use nearly all magic there was, but so what? Why did they have to be subjected to such suffering? This was unfair!
Since Qiu Ling had nodded and thus more or less promised not to interfere again with Jing He’s trial, the heavenly emperor turned toward the other culprits behind this incident. Everything might have started with Qiu Ling’s intervention but the final problem had surfaced because of Shun Tao, Hong Bao, and Yin Lin Lin.
Rong Su looked at the three of them and frowned. He didn’t even know where to begin. He took a moment to observe them and finally turned toward the woman on the right.
“Yin Lin Lin. Do you know what you did wrong?”
She pursed her lips. “I didn’t know the reincarnated god she spoke about was the crown prince.”
The heavenly emperor once again slammed his hand down on the armrest of his throne. “What kind of excuse is that? You convinced someone to steal the soul-devouring dagger that cost hundreds of our people their lives in the last war and made her kill someone with it. You of all people should have known better!”
Yin Lin Lin finally lowered her head. She had nothing to say to her defense. Indeed, she should have known better because one of the people losing their lives to this weapon in the war with the demons had been her father, the previous god of war. She should have been the last person to even mention that thing!
“Furthermore, you once again proclaimed yourself to be the goddess of love. Yue Xia already said he would never take you in even as a helper. So stop it already. If we hear one more time that you dared to assume that title you’ll be punished for that, too. In regards to your latest offense …” Rong Su tapped his armrest and narrowed his eyes. Her matters really were the last he wanted to rule on. But with her character and the history between them she wouldn’t give the god of justice, Li Yin, any face and just ignore whatever he said. No, unfortunately, he had to do this himself.
“Considering that you didn’t commit the crime yourself but were still partially responsible in the loss of a soul and endangered the life of the crown prince your status as an idle goddess, as well as your right of possession to your palace, will be revoked and you will be reduced to the status of a servant aiding in the ascension of the new deities for a hundred mortal years. After that period you are to report to the god of justice, Li Yin, to be judged once again.”
Yin Lin Lin wanted to retort but one cold glance from the heavenly emperor let her keep quiet. If Jing He’s father wanted, he could be pretty terrifying.
Rong Su turned to the next culprit. “Servant Hong Bao.” He stared at her for a moment. The woman in front of him was obviously not a true born god but an ascended deity. He didn’t know when she had made her way into the nine heavens but she must have been pretty young when she did. Everything she did had not been out of bad intentions and certainly wouldn’t have happened if Yin Lin Lin hadn’t conned her. But she still had brought not only a few problems and it might go on like this if he didn’t rule harshly over this crime.
“Because of personal interests, you broke into the palace of the god of war, stole the highly dangerous soul-devouring dagger and through its use destroyed a soul. Furthermore, you originally plotted to kill the crown prince. All these crimes are worthy of a death penalty.”
Hong Bao looked up at the heavenly emperor with shock. She had always only thought about how she could help Shun Tao. She had never even considered that she herself could get into trouble because of what she did.
“In consideration of the fact that you were able to save the crown prince’s life through some stroke of luck and were the deciding factor in bringing this whole problem to light we won’t punish you as harshly. You will keep your life but you will be banished from the nine heavens. First of all, you will return the soul-devouring dagger to the god of war Qiang Yan. Then, you will be allowed one day to say your farewells to friends and — should there be any — family and settle any matters pertaining to the nine heavens. After that, your memories, as well as any abilities cultivated after your ascension, will be taken from you. Finally, someone from the palace of justice will escort you back to where you came from.”
Hong Bao was utterly floored. Banished from the nine heavens? Losing her memories? She would … even forget him? Hong Bao turned to the side and looked at Shun Tao but the scribe’s fate didn’t pay her any attention. She wanted to say something but no sound came out. What was there to say? After one day they wouldn’t be able to see each other anymore. Their beautiful love story … it had ended before it could even start.
The heavenly emperor paid no heed to Hong Bao’s grieving expression and turned toward the last culprit. “Fate’s scribe Shun Tao. We are disappointed in your performance this time.”
Shun Tao hung his head. He had expected as much. In fact, this evaluation was quite light in comparison to the things he had imagined.
“Our son’s fate going off track and you not being able to salvage the situation on your own is to be expected if the person involved is Longjun. But you keeping quiet for a week and even trying to hide the matter from us is not a behavior fit for your station. You were lucky this time that nothing happened to our son and that the heavenly empress was able to figure out the reason.
For the next hundred days, you will stay in your palace and use the time to reflect on your inappropriate behavior as well as write a new fate for our son. Since your recent actions upset our truth in you, you will come over to our palace once a day to report on our son’s situation in the mortal realm. After the end of that period, you will be judged by the god of justice Li Yin according to your results.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Rong Su didn’t pay attention to the three gods anymore and turned toward Qiang Yan instead. “God of war Qiang Yan, we task you with investigating everything related to this case in detail. You should pay special attention to the question of how a servant was able to steal the soul-devouring dagger from your palace in the first place. You’re excused.”
He waved at the people in the room and everyone except for Bai Fen and Qiu Ling hurried out of the high hall. Some of them relieved, some in a grave mood.
One of those who were relieved was Shun Tao. He had kept his life and his position and even his punishment was rather light. At least that was what he thought. Had Shun Tao taken at least a short look at Jing He’s scroll of fate in this moment he might have coughed up blood and hurried right back inside and asked for a harsher punishment because what was going on in the mortal world right now might have even harsher consequences then Jing He’s mortal form taking its sweet time to pass the trials.

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