The Mei Xin festival slowly reached its climax and the gods poured back onto the square in front of the Heavenly Emperor’s palace. It was finally time to crown the most beautiful person of the Nine Heavens.
The board displaying the ranking had been taken down three hours ago to make sure there was still some surprise to who the winner would be. Those who had voted early and then gone off to enjoy the festival hadn’t noticed the uproar around the fallen god. In fact, they didn’t even know yet that there was one in the capital. With so many people around, not even those standing close to Xiang Yu and Xin Lan noticed that there was a fallen god among them. They were all busy with themselves and their assumptions on who would get the crown this time.
The people that had currently been lining up on the square to register someone’s name or vote for the beauty they liked watched the fallen god leave and Senior Xin Lan run after him. Not only a few of them rubbed their eyes and nudged the person next to them, asking whether or not they had seen the same thing. To their surprise, it seemed it hadn’t been a hallucination. It was indeed the case that a fallen god had visited their capital to put his own name on the list of beauty.
In one of the streets leading to the square, Jinde hid his face behind the fan. Leng Jin Yu still saw the wide grin from the side though.
“You seem to find that funny. I’m sure the gods are shocked.”
Qiang Yan returned to the city in a daze. He couldn’t believe what he had seen just now! Never mind that Li Yin had found himself a lover. How come that lover was a fallen god?! Weren’t they known to be deranged beyond repair? Getting involved with one of them was like sleeping in a nest of poisonous snakes! You were bound to get bitten and die a horrible death. He really couldn’t believe this. But it had to have gone on for a long time. Otherwise, why would Ru Zhen look so much like that fallen god? Ah, he couldn’t understand.
He roamed through the streets, not paying attention to his surroundings. He only vaguely felt that things were getting rowdy. Mn? Qiang Yan snapped out of his daze and barely evaded a woman running down the street. He raised his brows but didn’t think about it further. It was rather normal for people to hurry at a festival like this if they wanted to meet up with someone. Those young people were all exuberant at the Mei Xin festival. No wonder they were all hurrying like this.
“Is that really …”
While the young ones enjoyed themselves at the festival, the Heavenly Emperor and his wife sat in a pavilion behind his palace and drank tea.
“Who do you think will win this year?”
Bai Fen didn’t bother to reply. Wasn’t he sure that their son would win? Why was he even asking? To be honest, their son was a beauty but there were a lot of those around. Even his own husband was one! So if their status wasn’t considered, it would be hard to say who would come out on top. Wasn’t it just a question of preference?
The dragons, for example, loved their current king a lot even though he didn’t show up very often. They had also loved their previous king and had been happy to hear that he hadn’t actually died. Nobody had asked to have him return to his place on the throne though which showed that they respected the current Longjun very much. But if asked who was more beautiful among the two of them … they would definitely vote for the previous king. Hadn’t he been hailed as the greatest beauty of the dragon realm for a long time? If she remembered correctly, then there had even been rumors that half of the capital city had asked to marry him back in the day.
Qiu Ling carried his beloved away from the square but finally relented when they reached the next street and put him down. He still pulled him along to take a look at all the stalls at the side though.
Two hours later, Jing He had ended up with three more hairpins sticking out from the knot of hair in his neck, five sparkling bracelets around his wrists and two jade pendants hanging from his belt. He started to feel like a walking treasure trove.
“Ah, my love, look at those —”
Qiu Ling looked back at him and blinked his eyes, using the opportunity to pull Jing He into his arms. “What is it, my love?”
“Don’t you think this is enough? When will I get the time to wear all this?”
“Aren’t you wearing it right now?”
The trueborn gods and ascended deities started to pour onto the square in front of the Heavenly Emperor’s palace. Rong Su and Bai Fen were standing at the top of the flight of stairs, Jing He and Qiu Ling a few steps to the side, while Jinde and Leng Jin Yu had retreated almost to the side of the palace.
Jinde leaned against his husband and sighed. “Seems like the festival is about to begin.”
“And you’re not happy about that?”
“That’s not it. Where do you think Xin Lan and his partner are?”
“Why? Do you miss him?”
Jinde tsked. “What missing him? Aren’t you curious at all? Xin Lan started out as a womanizer and then stayed alone for so long. Just who is it he wants to bring?”
The Mei Xin festival was traditionally celebrated in the streets of the capital city, starting from the square in front of the Heavenly Emperor’s palace. The first of the three most-talked about couples of the immortal realms to arrive was Qiu Ling and Jing He.
It wasn’t that Qiu Ling wanted to come that early, quite the contrary in fact, but a certain someone had hurried to change his clothes and rushed back to Jing He’s palace with his wife, interrupting them right at the good part. Hmph.
Jing He glanced up and smiled at his husband’s miffed expression. “It’ll be a long day.”
“And we’ll get to spend every second of it together.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling perked up. That’s right! Even though his father-in-law had disturbed them just when they got to the good part, he had still been with Jing He all morning. And he could spend the rest of the day with him too. How great!
Jing He’s smile broadened when he saw Qiu Ling like that. His husband … seemed to have forgotten that they spent every day together anyway when they were in the dragon realm. Well, he wouldn’t remind him.
Meanwhile, in a dimly lit chamber in the demon realm, a man in an inky black robe stood in front of the dressing table he had fetched from a certain demon king’s room. He gloomily stared at the bronze mirror leaning against a casket with jewelry.
Mn … What should he do? Attending a festival … he had never done that. Not like this, at least. Not in the capital of the Nine Heavens …
He touched the mark between his brows, searching for information on that festival. Apparently, it was celebrated every year and in a grand way too. It was … a festival for lovers? Continue reading
Jing He and his father weren’t the only ones getting ready for the festival. Well, maybe they were. In a small house in the mortal realm, Jinde turned around on the bed, his golden hair flowing over the edge. “Husband …” He bent his legs and smoothed out his robe. “Husband!”
From the corridor, a sigh could be heard. “What happened?” Leng Jin Yu walked in with one bucket of water in each hand. He glanced at Jinde before going over to the tub behind the folding screen and pouring the water in. Mn, that should be enough. He put the buckets down at the side of the room and went to the bed. “I’ve finished.”
One slender leg stretched over and the big toe brushed his leg. “You were saying …?” Continue reading
Jing He sat in front of his dressing table and refused to look at the mirror. Who knew what he would see if he did? He folded his hands in his lap and examined his nails instead, letting the two men behind him do whatever they wanted with his hair. Mn, his nails seemed a little dull. He should polish them when those two left.
Behind him, the Heavenly Emperor Rong Su glared at the person next to him. “What are you doing? That doesn’t suit him at all!”
Qiu Ling glared back. “Even if it wouldn’t suit him, my beloved would still be the most beautiful person around! And how can you say this doesn’t suit him? He looks beautiful!”
“He looks beautiful because he always looks beautiful! You said so yourself!”
“Hmph.” Qiu Ling turned to the side and continued to comb his half of Jing He’s hair.
The Heavenly Emperor wasn’t willing to let things go this easily though. “You don’t appreciate him enough!” Continue reading