OMF V1C2 Crafting the Perfect Trial

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In another palace in the Nine Heavens, a god sat at his desk, holding an ink-stained brush in his hand and frowning at a scroll of paper. This god was none other than Shun Tao, the Fate’s Scribe, who oversaw the palace that was tasked with writing the fates of the mortals and by extension the fates of those gods descending to the human realm for their trials.
He had taken up this office a good ten-thousand years ago and he had always loved this task of his and finished writing the fates he personally had to take care of swiftly. But this time he was agonizing over what to do.
Honestly, writing a fate for the mortal reincarnation of the crown prince of the Nine Heavens was by no means a thankful task. If it was too easy, he would be accused of not executing his task properly. If he wrote a fate too tough, he would be said to make things unnecessarily difficult for crown prince Jing He. He just couldn’t strike a balance between these two.
Shun Tao sighed, put down his brush and looked at the crumpled attempts lying around his study. It couldn’t go on like this.
He stood up, tidied up the room and left his palace, nodding at the other scribes rushing about. Naturally, he wasn’t the only one writing all those fates for the mortals. In fact, he only wrote some special ones that would have great influence on whole kingdoms or eras. The rest was left to the normal scribes or sometimes even the scribes in training.
Shun Tao slowly walked to a palace that stood far from the bustling places in the Nine Heavens. He stopped in front of the gate and nodded at the guards in front. “Fate’s Scribe, Shun Tao, came to see His Highness, crown prince Jing He.”
The guards cupped their fists and one of them led him inside to a comely study. Shun Tao thanked the guard and took a seat. On his whole way here he hadn’t seen even one person besides these guards. This crown prince of theirs really liked to live in solitude.
It didn’t take long for Jing He to appear although it was longer than he himself would have liked. Unfortunately, there was no way to send his lover away fast enough to hurry over immediately. Thus, he could only let his guest wait for a bit.
“Fate’s Scribe.” Jing He smiled apologetically and motioned at the chair again when Shun Tao got up to greet him. “Please, take a seat. What may I do for you?”
Shun Tao cleared his throat. “Well, the Heavenly Emperor informed me that your first trial is about to commence. Naturally, I will personally take care of writing your fate to make sure your trial will be a worthy experience. I was just wondering if maybe … Your Highness had some wishes regarding the trials? Is there any specific trial you’d like to experience or maybe one you don’t want me to include?”
Jing He’s gaze drifted to the window that showed part of the garden. Qiu Ling was probably still out there and waited for him to come back. Qiu Ling, his lover … Thinking of him, Jing He lowered his lids and wanted to speak up to ask the Fate’s Scribe to not have him experience a trial of love but he stopped himself at the last moment.
No, he couldn’t do this. The Fate’s Scribe would certainly report the content of the trial to his father. And if his father noticed that there wasn’t a love trial included … Wouldn’t he immediately think that this was because of Qiu Ling? He would probably assume that Qiu Ling had influenced him into having the trial changed. He couldn’t let that happen! He couldn’t give his father any more reason to dislike his lover. Especially now that their wedding was imminent.
“Did Your Highness think of something?”
Jing He smiled apologetically. “Actually, there isn’t anything specific I’d like to encounter or wish to avoid. Even if I did I probably shouldn’t say anything. This is Heaven’s trial for me. Willfully choosing something … That isn’t what I should do. I’ll leave everything in your hands where it should be.”
Shun Tao nodded. He couldn’t help but admire this crown prince of theirs. Everybody else probably would have jumped at this opportunity but he actually rejected the chance. “Your Highness really is a role model. Everyone of us should probably take a leaf out of Your Highness’ book.”
“The Fate’s Scribe is praising me too much. I only have confidence in your ability. Whatever fate the Fate’s Scribe creates it will certainly be the very best.” Jing He gave a small smile before lowering his gaze again.
Shun Tao couldn’t help but smile back. Ah, he had actually been praised by this person! He only felt smug for a moment though. Shit! Hadn’t the crown prince just skipped out on answering his question? Now how was he supposed to write that damned scroll of fate?!
Jing He silently examined the change in Shun Tao’s face and his brows slightly lifted. “If …”
“Yes?” Shun Tao eagerly slid a little forward on his seat. If the crown prince uttered just a little wish, it would already help him very much.
“Well, I just thought that … in case the Fate’s Scribe was worried because I attempted my first trial this late, then I just wanted to say that there is no reason to be considerate. In fact, it might be for the best if I could accomplish some more trials in this period. After all, who knows what the future might bring?”
“Mn.” Shun Tao nodded. “Your Highness is right. Considering your age it might be for the best to attempt some more trials this time around. Mn, I’ll take that into consideration.”
“Many thanks.”
“Well, then I won’t bother Your Highness any further. Farewell.” He stood up, bowed and left the study.
Jing He remained alone. He looked at the door through which the Fate’s Scribe had left and a sigh escaped his lips.
Qiu Ling didn’t know about the trials of the gods so he only lamented the time they would lose before they could marry. But Jing He was a god, he knew what would await him. If he really had to face a trial of love … Who could say that he wouldn’t give something away that should have been Qiu Ling’s? No, he couldn’t let that happen. The only man allowed to hold him, kiss him, and finally embrace him would only ever be Qiu Ling. Whether it was in this life or any other.
He would make sure of it.

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