It’s That Woman Again (An OMF Halloween Special … Out of Season)

Author’s Note:

I have been a bit depressed for the last … well, almost half a year and didn’t update regularly as a result. This also meant that we missed out on a couple of extras in that time. I figured we could wait for the occasions to come up again this year but then, it seemed a bit wrong to make you wait this long. Thus, I decided to slowly update them instead even if the “right” time is still far off.

In the light of that: Let’s start with a Halloween special! This one was actually supposed to be a bigger series with several parts called “Oh, What a Nightmare!” but so far, I only wrote the first chapter. It can be read on its own though as just a sweet (very) short story so here you go. I’ll do the other parts whenever my mood is up to devastation again 😅 Anyway, here we go ~

“Fate’s Scribe, Fate’s Scribe!” One of the scribes came barging into Shun Tao’s study without even knocking, breathing heavily as if he had run the whole way there.

Shun Tao looked up from the scroll of fate in front of him. He wanted to scold the guy but when he saw how freaked out his expression was, he stopped. Oh, shit. Something bad had happened again. Please tell him it had nothing to do with his palace!

Shun Tao gulped and leaned back, holding onto the scroll of fate as if it was a lifeline that could somehow save him from the bad news and whatever consequences they would bring. “What happened?”

“It’s that woman. Hong Bao!”

Shun Tao tensed and his eyes widened unwittingly. Not her again! “What has she done this time?!” He could think of a hundred possibilities of varying gravity at once: Maybe she had brought over an unwanted gift that would be difficult to reject. Maybe she had once again tried to ‘help’ by going on some crazy adventure that would get him into trouble. Maybe she had even once again tried to assassinate the crown prince! With her, it could be anything.

The scribe brushed through his hair that was standing off in all directions, his expression still one of fear. “She … she became the demon queen!”

Shun Tao jumped to his feet. No matter how much he thought, he never would have been able to predict this. The demon queen … the queen of their enemies … Just thinking about it, he shuddered. As the demon queen, wouldn’t she be able to do even worse things? Having people at her disposal to do her bidding …

Shun Tao’s face paled. His grip on the scroll of fate slackened, and it fell out of his hands, dropping onto his feet, and making him double over in pain. “Ah!” He grimaced and held his foot for a moment, jumping around on the other. Wincing again, he finally picked up the scroll of fate. If something went wrong with that, he would be in for a world of trouble. Another world of trouble. As if Hong Bao wasn’t enough already.

He checked the scroll of fate but when he unfurled it, his eyes widened even further. “Oh, no!” The scroll had cracked in the middle. It was only a fine line but that alone was enough to render the scroll mostly useless. Whatever was written on there would go awry as soon as the god attempting the trial hit the spot that was cracked. “Oh, no, this is a disaster!”

The scribe that had come to inform him gave a sympathetic nod. “It is! I’m so sorry, Fate’s Scribe. But I’m sure it won’t be that bad. I mean it’s not like she’s going to storm over here and ask you to marry her, right?”

“Ah?” Shun Tao looked up from the scroll of fate and stared at the other scribe in shock. What was he talking about? After a moment, he realized that this guy hadn’t noticed what had happened with the scroll and was still talking about Hong Bao. He gave a strained smile and shook his head. “No, no, why would you even think of that? She has no reason to —”

The scribe was kicked away and a short woman stormed in. She wore a flowing black robe that flourished with each step and an elaborate blood-red crown that should make the demons tremble in fear. As for the god in front of her, the fact that she looked straight at him was enough to have the very same effect.

She pointed right at Shun Tao’s nose and raised her chin at him. “Fate’s Scribe, I’ve come to take you with me to the demon realm. Let’s get married immediately!”

“What?!” Shun Tao clutched the scroll of fate to his chest, everything in him screaming to run away. What was Hong Bao doing in his palace?! Actually, never mind this. He wasn’t going to marry her! She had been nuts when she tried to ‘help’ him with the crown prince’s trial and she was likely to be even crazier now that she had somehow managed to become the demon queen. If he married her, he would regret it forever.

Yes, there was only one way to deal with this.

Shun Tao whirled around and rushed to the window, intending to jump out and run away. If he could make it to the God of War’s palace or the Court of Justice, there was a chance to be saved. These two should be able to deal with her.

Before he had even lifted his foot to jump, a whip cracked and then coiled around his waist. Shun Tao screamed but there was no helping it. Hong Bao tugged at the whip and he was pulled backward, landing right in her arms.

Shun Tao stared at her in panic but Hong Bao only laughed, a crazy gleam in her eyes.

“Hohohohoho! There is no way to escape me!” With that, she threw him over her shoulder, jumped out of the window he had just opened and took Shun Tao away to the demon realm, leaving the scribes in his palace in a stupor.

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