OMF V2C2 Realizing the Truth

Shun Tao acknowledged Leng Jin Yu’s words with a nod and the two of them left Qiang Yan’s study. Leng Jin Yu’s thoughts were already wandering to the scribe’s palace and the things the fate’s scribe would order him to do. If this mission could really get him into the god of war’s palace … It would be an unbelievable luck, though he felt a little guilty thinking how he had come to this point.
He couldn’t help but remember Duan Ming’s words: “Alas, we can’t see what people think in their hearts. If that is how you want to advance, then so be it. I wish you luck.” Those three had gotten completely wrong what happened but in the end, it was still true to some extent.
If not for Hong Bao asking him for help, he never would have gotten this chance. Maybe he should reject the offer? He did want to become part of the god of war’s palace but he wanted to do so through his own efforts not because of some lucky coincidences. Then again … The god of war wouldn’t have assigned him this task if he didn’t have a good impression of him. Hong Bao asking him for help had just presented him with an opportunity to showcase his aptitude in front of the god of war.
Leng Jin Yu took a deep breath. He would just have to work extra hard and show himself and everyone else that this due to his own effort.
Just when he thought about it, he noticed a woman in an orange dress slowly walking over. That type of dress was the official clothing for female servants of the lowest tier. Even he would normally not pay any attention to it but that gait was just too familiar. Her feet were always dangling in the air for a moment before she put them down, then she would nearly stand a moment before she lifted the other foot, dangled it in the air, too, and repeated the whole process. It was the typical, worried gait of Hong Bao. She had done that a hundred times in front of him while bemoaning how the fate’s scribe didn’t pay her any attention.
Thinking about it now … He hadn’t known her for long but he was surprisingly familiar with her. Hong Bao was just so easily excitable and loved to talk about the things she liked so that you didn’t need much time to get to know her completely.
Hong Bao was pursing her lips at the moment not really paying attention. She only looked up when she had nearly arrived in front of them. Her gaze met Shun Tao’s and both of them froze.
Hong Bao froze because … well, the fate’s scribe stood before her. That was Shun Tao, her one true love she would do anything for! And Shun Tao froze because he really didn’t know how to react.
In all honesty, he had been completely stumped when Yin Lin Lin accused him and Hong Bao of being lovers in the high hall. There were actually rumors like that? Since when and why? He didn’t even know Hong Bao for long or that good. What had given people the impression they were a couple? In fact, he had never thought of Hong Bao as a potential partner. She had just been there when he needed a servant so he had asked her for help. Had it been any other servant that day then he would have asked that person. It had nothing to do with her personally.
The problem now was: He could have told himself that Yin Lin Lin was just her usual, irresponsible self that assumed and did whatever she wanted. Maybe she was still hung up over him or maybe she just wanted to get revenge on him for rejecting her and thought that Hong Bao was the right person to scheme against for that. But being faced with Hong Bao now … He finally understood.
Yin Lin Lin was right. He was sure because even though he wasn’t that romantic and honestly not really interested in starting any sort of relationship at the moment, he was still knowledgeable in these aspects. He had written countless love trials. Of course, he could see the signs when he actually paid attention. And they were surprisingly obvious with Hong Bao: As soon as she saw him, her whole face lit up. Her eyes sparkled, a slight blush crept up her cheeks and the corners of her mouth very naturally lifted into a bright smile, showing two dimples.
Shun Tao wanted to kick himself. Seriously, how had he missed that the whole time? She had always looked at him like this and each day she brought over some self-made cookies, listened to all of his worries and tried to comfort him. Why else would she do all that if not because she had actually fallen in love with him?
Hong Bao happily skipped over, halting in front of Shun Tao and ignoring Leng Jin Yu. “Fate’s scribe!”
“Mn.” Shun Tao didn’t dare to acknowledge her any further. Even if he had been of a mind to find himself a wife, a troublesome girl like Hong Bao would have been his last choice. In fact, if he imagined that he got married in the future, then the wife he wanted at his side would be the total opposite of her: Mature and self-reliant with a sophisticated air. Someone who could truly share his burden and was able to create a spark of inspiration within him. An eloquent and intelligent woman who was organized and well disciplined, with high expectations for others and herself.
Hong Bao … She couldn’t even fulfill one of those points.
Shun Tao nodded slightly, stepped past her and continued on. He thought he was being obvious enough. He didn’t want to tell her that it was impossible between them. Hong Bao was young and he could even imagine that she had fallen in love for the first time. He didn’t want to be too harsh. Unfortunately, Hong Bao couldn’t understand his subtle way of saying things.
She stared into space for a moment, then turned around and ran after him, grabbing his sleeve. “Shun Tao!” At this moment, she didn’t even remember she couldn’t just casually call him by his name.
Shun Tao repressed a sigh. It seemed he had to be more direct. “What is it?”
“You … I …” Hong Bao looked down. “I’ll have to leave the nine heavens tomorrow. And … I won’t even remember anything.”
“Mn. You did wrong. Considering the crimes you committed you’re lucky to get away with such a light punishment.
Hong Bao looked up at him, her eyes wide. “But … I did all of that for you!”
This time, Shun Tao really sighed. He took the hand that was still holding onto his sleeve and plucked it off. “I never asked for that. I believe I was quite clear with what I required your help with. Doing all that … it was needless and pointless and it’s right that you’re punished for doing so.”
“But I did it for you!”, she repeated, tearing up. She had done everything just because of him! “I … I wanted you to be safe! You’re so important to me and —”
“Stop!” Shun Tao lifted his hand to interrupt her ramblings. “Hong Bao, I am the fate’s scribe. And you … you’re just a servant. I certainly don’t need you to worry about me. In fact, I also don’t want you to worry about me.” Shun Tao averted his gaze and continued on to his palace. His words might sound harsh, especially since it shouldn’t have been needed considering she’d leave the nine heavens the next day, but he felt like he should still say them.
Leng Jin Yu sighed and followed him. There was nothing he could do for her at the moment and most likely he was the last person she wanted to see now.
Hong Bao stood there as if struck by lightning, rooted to the spot. All this while, she had believed it would be enough if she just tried hard enough. If she showed him how much she loved him, if she made an effort to help him and gain his affection, then someday they could be a couple. But all this while … All this while her efforts hadn’t been appreciated. She … She had been a burden to him.
Tears slowly trickled down her cheeks. She had been given a day to take care of all her matters but … was there really a need? She felt like it would be better she would descend now, forgetting what the man she loved had just said to her.

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