OMF V2C6 Realizing the Truth

Shun Tao acknowledged Leng Jin Yu’s words with a nod and the two of them left Qiang Yan’s study to discuss their further steps at Shun Tao’s palace.
Leng Jin Yu’s thoughts were already wandering to 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 unbelievable luck. Some fateful coincidences had led him to meet the God of War and somehow he had managed to leave a good impression on him, leading to being assigned this mission.
Just when he thought about that, he noticed a woman in an orange dress slowly walking toward them. 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 almost come to a standstill before she lifted the other foot, dangled it in the air 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. It didn’t need much time to get to know her.
Hong Bao was pursing her lips at the moment not paying attention. She only looked up when she 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 didn’t know how to react.
In all honesty, he had suspected before that Hong Bao might like him. Even though he wasn’t married, he had been the Fate’s Scribe for long enough to pick up on this kind of thing to a certain degree. He had written countless love trials, after all, and Hong Bao wasn’t very subtle. 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. And the way she had run over even if it was only to tell him two sentences … What else could this be about?
So no, he hadn’t been surprised about that. What had stumped was that there were actually people thinking they were a couple. How had Yin Lin Lin come up with that? Had he … let people believe that? To the point where rumors abounded? Then Hong Bao … had she believed the same?
Just thinking of that possibility made him want to smash his head against his desk. He had never thought of her as a potential partner, not even for a second. She had 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. But it seemed he hadn’t made that clear enough. He really wanted to kick himself right now. All of this … could have been dodged if he hadn’t been as polite with her.
Hong Bao didn’t guess any of his inner turmoil. Seeing him, she happily skipped over. She ignored Leng Jin Yu and just smiled at Shun Tao. “Fate’s Scribe!” Was this the moment where their beautiful love story would finally begin? Shun Tao should know about her feelings by now, after all! Maybe he was really moved by how far she was willing to go for him?
“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, the woman he would imagine to marry one day was the total opposite of her: Mature and self-reliant with a sophisticated air about her. 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 of others and herself. Hong Bao … She couldn’t fulfill even one of those points.
Shun Tao nodded, 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 she might have 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 rejecting her. 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 suppressed 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 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 for 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 don’t need you to worry about me. I don’t want you to worry about me either.” Shun Tao averted his gaze and continued on to his palace. His words might sound harsh, especially since she’d leave the Nine Heavens the next week, but he felt that he should still say them. He had to end things cleanly.
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 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 trickled down her cheeks. She had been given a week to take care of all her matters but … was there really a need? Wouldn’t it be better she would descend now, forgetting what the man she loved had just said to her?

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