OMF V2C3 Love Makes People Stupid

Shun Tao sat down at his desk as soon as they reached his study and opened the scroll of fate again. He frowned at the characters slowly forming. Zhong Jing Yi had already left the capital. It was mandatory to do something as soon as possible.
He looked up at Leng Jin Yu and motioned at the chair opposite him. “Please, sit. Tell me, what are your thoughts on this matter?”
Leng Jin Yu looked at the scroll of fate. He didn’t know the exact state of things but what Shun Tao had told Qiang Yan was enough to give him a general impression. “The overall goal, for now, is preventing His Highness from becoming a cultivator. Considering he should already be far behind on the trials he has to pass it would be good if these two things could be combined.”
“So you’re saying?”
“I trust the fate’s scribe with finding the best way to dictate his fate. It’s just … You’ve seen what Hong Bao —”
Shun Tao tensed. “What does Hong Bao have to do with this?”
Leng Jin Yu slightly lifted his brows. “This might not be appropriate for me to say but in a sense, she’s surprisingly similar to Longjun. He also did some stupid things because of his love for the crown prince. Now, look at Hong Bao: I advised her to give up and let you report to the heavenly emperor but she still persisted.
Likewise, I’m afraid Longjun won’t stop trying to ‘help’ his beloved. Merely adjusting a scroll of fate might not be enough. Thus, I’d suggest you try writing his fate but to be on the safe side we’ll send someone down. That person can keep an eye on His Highness and especially on Longjun and make sure the dragon king won’t interfere. Meanwhile, we might be able to use that person to have His Highness pass a trial or two.”
Shun Tao narrowed his eyes. “What are you thinking of?”
“I’m not really knowledgeable about the trials but I think I have heard that two of the major trials a true born god might want to pass are the trial of love and the trial of betrayal. Is that true?”
Shun Tao nodded. “So you’re thinking of that.”
“With a normal mortal, this might be difficult to pull off. But if we send a god or a deity down there they shouldn’t have a problem assisting His Highness in his trial.”
Shun Tao nodded again. “Indeed. Though, we’ll need an ascended deity for that. Gods’ are limited in the things they can do to interfere with another’s trial even if they take on a mortal identity. Ascended deities are different in this. I’m not that familiar with the ascended deities. There might be some in my palace but considering that His Highness wants to enter a deity sect it might be better to send someone with martial abilities.”
“I do know of someone who would be fit to take that role. It’s just …” He smiled wryly. “This matter is probably not something that can be told to just anyone. After what happened with Hong Bao … I do trust that person but I’m not sure if you would be alright with it.”
“Hm …” Shun Tao, too, didn’t know how to decide for a moment. “Well … The god of war assigned you to me because he felt you were suited. If I don’t make use of that I could just try to settle everything myself. In fact, I feel like it would be a good idea if you yourself descended.”
“I?” This time, Leng Jin Yu was really stunned.
Shun Tao smiled. “First of all, you already know about the whole situation so we wouldn’t have to involve anyone else. Second, you have been a cultivator before you ascended, haven’t you? That would make this task easier.”
Leng Jin Yu looked down at the ring on his hand. It was a memento from his life as a mortal, something he still hadn’t taken off even after all this time. Descending to the mortal world, seeing the places again he had once known … The notion was tempting.
“He went to the Yun Zou sect, you said?”
Shun Tao nodded.
Leng Jin Yu took a deep breath. He hadn’t been part of the Yun Zou sect and hadn’t really known anyone from there so most likely nobody would recognize him. There was nothing in its disfavor but two advantages. And this was the task the god of war had given him. It stood to reason that he should solve it himself.
“I will.”
Shun Tao nodded and turned back to the scroll of fate. After a moment, Leng Jin Yu hadn’t left, though. Shun Tao looked up. “What is it?”
Leng Jin Yu sighed. “I know, it isn’t my place to say anything but I had the chance to get to know Hong Bao this last week.”
“There is no reason to say anything.”
“I think otherwise. Yes, you don’t reciprocate her feelings and you certainly don’t have to. She did a lot of wrong things, too, and you were right to say that she should be punished for that. But … her punishment was already meted out. She’ll be leaving the nine heavens tomorrow and after that, she won’t remember a thing. Do you really have to make her this miserable for her last day here?”
Shun Tao rubbed his forehead. No, he hadn’t wanted to do that. But she just didn’t understand! What else was he supposed to do?
“After everything I saw this week I believe even if you said some nice words to her, it would be enough to let her walk on clouds. In the end, she did try to help you and she was one of the reasons your punishment wasn’t as heavy. Even if you don’t love her, don’t you feel at least a little grateful to her? Being loved so much and having someone who is willing to sacrifice everything for you … Doesn’t that move you even a bit?”
Shun Tao closed his eyes and sighed. Well, Leng Jin Yu was right in a sense. Even though he had never asked anything more of her than observing those gods and reporting to him she had done everything just for him. And moreover … she would be banished tomorrow. That wouldn’t have happened had he not gotten her involved. Maybe … Maybe he really owed her at least some nice words?
“Alright. I’ll go see her.”
Leng Jin Yu smiled slightly. “Thank you. Even though she’s … a bit of a burden, nothing she did was with malicious intent. I feel like one shouldn’t make it too hard on her. Ending this life on a high note, maybe it’ll be easier in the rest of her mortal life.”
Shun Tao nodded. “I guess I’ll be the one to write the fate of that.”
Leng Jin Yu nodded and stood up. “Then I’ll go and arrange everything to assist His Highness in his trial.”
After he had left, the first thing Shun Tao did was looking at the scroll of fate again.
Now, what should he write to get that child to quit? He grabbed his brush, ground the ink and rubbed his chin. Mn, there was one way that was pretty straightforward and without Longjun interfering it shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve his goal. Some sentences would suffice to get His Highness’s mortal reincarnation to leave the deity sect.
Shun Tao brandished his brush and the tip whirled over the scroll: Zhong Jing Yi and the other children arrive at the Yun Zou sect where their aptitude is further tested. Zhong Jing Yi is revealed to have six spirit veins and thus the lowest possible aptitude to become a cultivator. Thus, the man in charge of the test advises him to reconsider joining the sect.
Shun Tao put down the brush, closed the scroll of fate and kept it. Then, he stood up and went to the servant’s quarters. He asked where Hong Bao stayed just to meet with raised brows and astonished gazes.
“What is it?”
“Well …” The servant in front of him squirmed a bit. “Hong Bao … She left just now. She said she had to leave the nine heavens. She went to the justice court already.”
Shun Tao repressed a curse, turned on his heel and hurried over. The justice court didn’t look much different from any other palace in the nine heavens but it always had a solemn feel to it. If one didn’t have to go there one would stay away as far as possible. It really made one wonder how Li Yin, the god of justice, managed to go there and do his job every single day.
Shun Tao stopped at the gate and looked up with a taut expression. In a hundred days he’ll come here, too, and he had no idea how his punishment would turn out. Well, that was something he could worry about later.
He coughed and stepped up to the guards. “Fate’s scribe Shun Tao came to send off a servant girl named Hong Bao. She should be descending to the mortal world right now.”
The guards nodded with knowing looks and one of them pointed inside. Shun Tao felt a little startled that even people in the justice court would think there was something going on between Hong Bao and him but he pushed the thought aside. He would just send her off and then this whole fiasco would be over.
The guard brought him to the courtyard where the gods being punished would have to descend and bowed to the official standing at the side. “The fate’s scribe came by to send that person off.”
Hong Bao who had just stood next to the portal shrouded in a cloud of depression instantly livened up. She turned around, her face lit up and she hurried over, pouncing at Shun Tao and hugging his neck. “You came!” Tears streaked down her face once again and she sobbed into his shoulder.
Shun Tao sighed and patted her back. “It’s alright. I … was a little harsh earlier.”
“It’s alright!”
“Mn. Alright. Then … you should go now. Don’t worry. I’ll watch over you while you’re down there in the mortal world.” He patted her head, leaned in and kissed her cheek lightly.
Hong Bao took a step back and nodded vigorously, her tears changing for a smile in an instant. “Mn! I won’t!” She happily turned around and stepped up to the official.
The man nodded, signed a document and handed her a vial full of the water from the river of forgetfulness. Hong Bao looked at Shun Tao one last time and downed the content. Then she stepped into the portal and was sent down to the mortal realm.
Shun Tao sighed, shook his head and went back to his palace.
“Fate’s scribe.” The guards bowed. Shun Tao nodded at them and wanted to go inside but one of the guards turned toward him. “Ah, fate’s scribe. A young woman came by earlier and left a package for you.”
“Oh?” Shun Tao took the package from the guard and went to his study. A young woman leaving something for him … He couldn’t think of anyone who would do that. He sat down at his desk and opened the package: One serving of cookies lay inside.
Shun Tao lifted his brows. There was only one person who would bring him something like that. And if he needed any other hint, the form used would be a definite indicator: She had actually made them heart-shaped this time.
Shun Tao sighed and closed the package again. He somehow felt like he shouldn’t eat them, even though it was a shame. The one saving grace of Hong Bao was that she could make really tasty cookies.

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