Heaven Official’s Blessing – Ch 36 (2/2)

Chapter 36 : Behold the flower through red clouds, A heart filled with pity (I)

Hua Hua’s Real Form

At the sight of Lang Qian Qiu, Xie Lian and Shi Qing Xuan both buried their faces in their hands.

Xie Lian gave a low groan, “……my lord Wind Master, did…… you not tell him…… that we have to be more careful here, and not draw attention to ourselves……”

“I…… I did,” Shi Qing Xuan muttered back helplessly. “But…… this is just how he is…… there’s nothing I can do about it…… if I had known earlier…… we should have just met up with him before coming down here……”

“I understand…… I understand……”

Behind the curtains, Hua Cheng laughed softly.

Xie Lian’s heart gave a worried thump.

During the days spent by Xie Lian’s side, the youth had laughed often. Xie Lian could pretty much tell by now when he was being sincere, when he was being snide, and when he was feeling murderous.

Hua Cheng drawled, “You enter my territory, yet dare to cause a ruckus. Aren’t you a gutsy one?”

Lang Qian Qiu turned his gaze over to Hua Cheng, his eyes scintillating as he demanded, “You own this gambling house?”

The ghosts gathered around began sneering at him. “This foolish child thinks too highly of himself. Do you even know who you’re speaking with? This is the master of our city.”

Some of them laughed grimly and added, “It’s not just this gambling house. The entire Ghost City belongs to him!”

Lang Qian Qiu remained unfazed, but Shi Qing Xuan gave a start of fright at the revelation. “Oh gods, the one behind the curtains, is it him?! Blood Rain Seeking Flower? ? ?”

Xie Lian, “En…… it’s him.”

“You’re absolutely certain?!”

“I’m absolutely certain.”

Shi Qing Xuan looked fit to tear at his hair. “Shitshitshit, what’s going to happen to Qian Qiu now?!”

“……let’s just pray he doesn’t expose his own identity……” Xie Lian offered feebly.

Lang Qian Qiu swept a stormy gaze around in a circle, his anger palpable. “This hellhole reeks of foulness and evil, with ghosts and demons running wild inside. What kind of filthy scum are you, what kind of wicked deeds are you overseeing here? How could you run such an establishment? You are all completely lacking in humanity!”

The ghosts hissed and booed at him. “We’re not human anyway, what do we want with humanity? You can take your useless concepts and shove it!”

“Who the hell are you anyway, running in here to point fingers at us!”

Hua Cheng gave a low chuckle. “This den of mine has always been a hellish place. There’s a path in Heaven for you to tread, yet you disdain it and come charging into Hell instead. So tell me, what am I to do with you?”

Hearing him mention the word “Heaven”, Xie Lian and Shi Qing Xuan immediately understood.

Hua Cheng already knows where Lang Qian Qiu came from!

However, the meaning hidden in those words completely flew over Lang Qian Qiu’s head. Standing at the far end of the long table, he drove his palm down on the table again. All the ghosts and people who had been crowded around him scrambled to back away as Lang Qian Qiu sent the entire table flying towards the figure behind the curtains. But the red silhouette remained languidly seated, and with a gentle wave of a hand, the long table was sent hurtling back where it came from, straight at Lang Qian Qiu.

Seeing the long table fast approaching him, Lang Qian Qiu thrust out one hand to block it, then quickly realized it wasn’t enough and switched to using both hands instead to push it back. As he strained against the table, light blue veins gradually popped up on his forehead. The previous gaiety in the lobby had dissolved into a messy scene of run and hide for your lives, with Xie Lian and Shi Qing Xuan remaining rooted as they debated whether or not they should lend a hand. After all, while their identities were still concealed, they could still provide aid in secret. If they were to leap out to help Lang Qian Qiu now, they risk being nabbed together.

Lang Qian Qiu gave a grunt as he finally managed to push the long table back. Behind the red curtains, Hua Cheng’s silhouette remained languidly draped over the side of his seat as he held up a hand, pressed all five of his fingertips lightly together, then spread them apart. The table exploded into sharp fragments as they were sent whistling at Lang Qian Qiu.

These splinters of wood were no less dangerous than flying daggers or any other weaponry. If Lang Qian Qiu was to continue hiding his powers in a human body, he would not be able to dodge this incoming attack. Hence in the next moment, a faint aura of divine light enveloped his body. Xie Lian and Shi Qing Xuan panicked simultaneously. Crap! He’s about to reveal his godly form!

However, the faint layer of light vanished as quickly as it appeared. It would seem that Lang Qian Qiu has finally recalled that they were supposed to be on a mission right now, and their identities should not be revealed. During this moment of peril, he chose to immediately retract his divine power. Unfortunately for him, Hua Cheng had no such misgivings. Very calmly, the red silhouette pressed his five fingers together again, then lightly gestured upwards.

And Lang Qian Qiu suddenly found himself rising up and hanging suspended in midair, floating spreadeagled under the lobby of the gambling house’s ceiling!

After being trapped so, Lang Qian Qiu still seemed to have trouble processing his current situation, his expression dumbfounded as he struggled for a while in the air. Nursing a headache, Xie Lian muttered, “Well, now his powers have been sealed, he won’t be able to reveal his divine body even if he wants to.”

“The Ghost City is Hua Cheng’s domain, he can suppress anyone if he so wills it,” Shi Qing Xuan agreed.

Although Lang Qian Qiu is presently under someone else’s control, there was still a silver lining to it. With his true identity forcibly suppressed, their secret remains protected. After all, if he had revealed his divine powers during the fight earlier, it would not have been easy to explain why the Martial God of the East, Tai Hua ZhenJun, had barged into the Ghost City to stir up trouble. In all these many years, apart from some special circumstances, Heaven and the Ghost Realm have always strictly minded their own businesses.

With the uninvited guest who had caused havoc in the gambling house dealt with, those humans and ghosts who had fled away came creeping back in, gathering in the lobby to point and laugh at Lang Qian Qiu who was suspended in the air. Lang Qian Qiu has never suffered such an indignity in his life, and his face slowly flushed red, lips clamped tight as he secretly tried to call on his power to throw off the intangible shackles on him. Every now and then, a ghost would attempt to jump up as high as it could to smack his head. Fortunately for Lang Qian Qiu, Hua Cheng had hung him pretty high up, so he was out of reach, otherwise the humiliation would have certainly been too much for the Martial God to bear.

Behind the red curtains, Hua Cheng gave another low chuckle. “We have caught an interesting little toy today. Well then, let’s have some fun with him. Whosoever is lucky enough to win big today can take him home with you to roast or broil or stew as you please.”

Cheers and excited shrieks filled the lobby at his proclamation. “Big or Small! Let’s play Big or Small! The one with the biggest roll gets to take him home to cook!”

{T/N: 大小 (dà xiǎo) – lit. big small. Also known asSic Boin casinos. Except that here in the novel, the player shakes the dice cup instead of the dealer, and they’re just aiming to see who gets the highest points. Fairly simple.}

“Oh my, this little fellow looks very tasty eh, heeheeheehee……”

“Hahahahahaha, don’t you feel stupid right now? Serves you right for stirring up trouble in here without even knowing who’s the boss!”

Four burly men wearing masks came bearing a new long table. Nobody spared any attention for the masked man still rolling on the ground, howling in anguish as he clutched at his hand. Once again, everybody crowded around the long table, eager to start the next round of gambling, with the stakes this time being Lang Qian Qiu who was suspended in the air. Seeing how the gambling was about to continue full swing again, Shi Qing Xuan paced around nervously, wringing his hands. “What should we do? Should we go up and try to win him back? Or should we just fight it out?”

Xie Lian asked, “My lord Wind Master, how good is your luck?”

“Obviously it’s good on some days and bad on some,” Shi Qing Xuan replied. “How can there be any certainty with luck?”

Xie Lian said, “There is. Take me for example, I have never been lucky.”

Shi Qing Xuan, “That bad?”

Xie Lian nodded sadly. “My best dice roll has always been two points.”

{T/N: 2 points aka snake eyes roll. Pic}

Shi Qing Xuan knitted his brows, then slapped his leg excitedly as an idea came to him. “How about this, since your best roll is two points, you could bet on getting the smallest number instead! I’m absolutely sure that no one could roll any lower than you.”

Xie Lian considered it briefly. “That could work. Let’s give it a try.”

Thereupon he moved closer to the long table, saying, “How about we change it up a bit? Let’s see who can roll the lowest number? Who ever gets the lowest is the winner. How about it?”

At the lively and noisy table, some said yes, some said no. Xie Lian grabbed two dice and gave it a test roll.

He silently mouthed, “Small small small.” After tossing the dice, the two Heavenly Officials huddled together to see— two sixes!

{T/N : So it’s 12 points, also known as boxcars. Pic}

Xie Lian, “……”

Shi Qing Xuan, “……”

Xie Lian rubbed at his brows and said sheepishly, “Seems like my luck is really just that bad. It wouldn’t change just because the rules have changed.”

Shi Qing Xuan unconsciously copied his movements, also kneading at his brows. “How about we just fight it out then.”

At this moment, one of the young women approached the curtains and bent over slightly, like she was listening to the person behind the curtains speak. She nodded, then raised her head and announced, “May I request for silence please. Our lord has something to say.”

Everybody fell silent immediately, it became remarkably quiet and peaceful in just a short second. The young woman continued, “Our lord says to change up the rules a bit.”

The ghosts all chorused, “Our lord IS the rule!”

“Whatever our lord wishes will be our command!”

“How should the rules be changed?”

The young woman said, “Since our lord is in a good mood today, he would like to play a couple rounds with you all. Everyone can bet with him, and whosoever wins can bring away the thing up there with them. Whether to steam, boil, fry or pickle, is all up to the winner.”

The ghosts hesitated when they heard they would be playing against their city lord. It would seem that Hua Cheng has never joined in their games before. Some of the more daring ones were eager to give it a try, yet no one dared to be the first. Lang Qian Qiu, who had been persistently trying to struggle free above them, was livid. “Who are you calling a thing? I’m not a thing, what right do you have to use me as your gambling stake?!”

A number of female ghosts in the crowd snickered at his furious objections and eyed Lang Qian Qiu hungrily, their bright red tongues sweeping over their lower lips, looking eager to tear him apart and swallow him into their bellies. Xie Lian thought,  Ai…… my dear child, it’s best if you talk a little less. 

With a silent sigh, he stepped forward and said mildly, “Since that is the case, I humbly request to be the first to try.”

{T/N: 在下 (zài xià) – my humble self, eg. kindly permit this humble one to….) 

The silhouette behind the curtains stilled for a moment, then slowly got up.

The young woman in front of the curtains smiled. “Then, please step forth, sir.”

Within the lobby, everyone immediately parted to make way for this courageous soul. As Xie Lian stepped close, the dealer handed him a polished, black dice cup. “If it pleases you to start first, sir.”

{T/N : 您 (nín) – formal and polite ‘you’, as opposed to the informal 你 (nǐ)} 

Previously when she addressed the other gamblers present, her manner, whilst mild and soft, had nonetheless contained a sense of careless flippancy. But right now, when she addressed Xie Lian, her manner was very polite and subservient. Xie Lian accepted the black, wooden dice cup and replied with a gentle “Thank you”, then gave a light cough.

{T/N : In the raws, she addresses Xie Lian as nín (super polite) and the other gamblers as nǐ (你 – casual)} 

Having practically never touched these kinds of things before, he began shaking the dice cup as best as he knew how, feigning intense concentration like that of an expert gambler. As he whipped the cup this way and that on the table, he lifted his head and threw a quick glance above him at Lang Qian Qiu. Lang Qian Qiu’s eyes were opened wide as he stared back at Xie Lian anxiously, but thankfully, he remained silent. His expression gave Xie Lian a sudden inexplicable urge to laugh, but he held himself back. After shaking for a long while, Xie Lian finally stopped.

Countless pairs of eyes were trained on the dice cup in his hands, and Xie Lian felt that this little dice cup had grown enormously heavy. He wondered if there was a correct way to reveal the results. In the end, just as he was about to lift the cup away, the dealer said, “Please wait.”

Xie Lian, “What’s the matter?”

The dealer replied, “Our city lord says that your way of shaking the cup was not correct.”

Xie Lian thought, So there really is a proper way of shaking the cup? Could it be that my previous bad luck was because my methods were all wrong? 

He said humbly, “If I may ask then, what is the right way of shaking the cup?”

“Our city lord invites you to come forward, he is willing to teach you.”

Hearing this, everybody inside the gambling house sucked in a sharp breath of surprise.

Xie Lian heard some ghosts muttering apprehensively, “This is really unprecedented. Is this man about to die soon?”

“What does our city lord mean by this? ? ? Who is this guy ah? ? ? Why teach him? ? ?”

“Don’t we all just shake the cups like that? ? What kind of correct way is there? ? ?”

Xie Lian was also pondering this same question, but the young woman was already gesturing for him to approach the red curtains. “Please,” she said sweetly.

And so, clasping the black, wooden cup in his hands, Xie Lian walked over and stood before the red curtains.

The gauzy curtains fluttered, lending movement to the red silhouette. The person behind the curtains was standing on the other side, the both of them only half an arm’s width apart.

Xie Lian held his breath for a moment. A hand parted the red curtains, extending out to cover the back of Xie Lian’s hand, supporting the dice cup.

It was a right hand, pale and slender, the fingers distinct. There was a red thread tied around the third finger.

Against the polished, black dice cup, the paleness was even more striking, the red even more vivid. Slowly, Xie Lian lifted his eyes.

Behind the gauzy curtains that were like red clouds, stood a silent youth around the age of eighteen or nineteen.

It was San Lang.

His clothes were still redder than maple leaves, his skin still white as snow. It was still the same handsome face, but the features were now even more defined and clean cut, having cast off the boyish softness and replaced with a calm maturity. Although he is still a youth, he is also now a man.

He had an air of wildness and arrogance about him, and the gaze fixed on Xie Lian still twinkled bright like the stars in the night sky.

But it was only from the left eye.

The right eye was hidden beneath a black eye patch.

 

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Note : Character list & Appendix 

Thanks to Rainyoak, Anon (Marina), Anon (Wetnys), JannaD, brunhilda, ExistentialCat and neo for the Kofis~!!!!! ❤

I must have split the chapters wrong, this second half of the chapter was nearly double the previous one.  _(:3」∠)_  Or maybe it just felt incredibly long, haha.

Hua Cheng’s name literally means Flower City, the same city as ‘city lord’. So it’s like, Flower City, our City Lord, lol. No, it does not sound weird or awkward in Chinese.

The title : Behold the flower (Hua) through red clouds, A heart filled with pity (Lian), HuaLian is the popular portmanteau of this couple. 🙂

I kinda feel like at this point, XL has already developed a 20-30% crush on HC. Or is it just me?

The formal and informal ‘you’ actually sound a little similar (to me). Tbh I didn’t even know there was a formal ‘you’ in Chinese until I started reading C novels (I fail so hard at being Chinese). But once you know it exists, it’s easy to pick out when you hear it. I was quite tickled to hear my parents addressed this way by the hotel staff during our last holiday in China (shortly before the pandemic became widespread).

Lang Qian Qiu sounds a little bit like Shen Qing Qiu. The ‘Qiu’ (秋) is actually the same character, but for SQQ, Qing Qiu means ‘clear autumn’. For LQQ, Qian Qiu means ‘a thousand years/through the ages/for all eternity’. Yea yea I know, very off topic haha.

Just found out last night that the actor Xiao Zhan of WWX from The Untamed (adaptation of MDZS) was receiving pretty heavy flak for some of his fans’ actions which led to the banning of A03 in China. Poor guy. 😦

Happy reading.

-Syeki

Like what I do? ❤ Please consider buying me a Ko-fi~ 🙂

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35 thoughts on “Heaven Official’s Blessing – Ch 36 (2/2)

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  1. Kyaa! HC’s upholding his promise. Seems he already anticipate XL’s arrival. Must be due to XL’s “good” luck, hence he is very certain that XL will come 😂 And that big bad wolf tactic to steal XL’s tofu 😆😆

    On the matter regarding Xiao Zhan, I was incredibly shocked when I stumbled upon reports about it on YT. He got huge and then bammm. I was sad when I saw the clip where he finally says something after some months going silent. The backlash he received either he said something or remain mum will be just the same I think. It is ironic that he in a way become like WeiYing, the character he potrayed where his voice never heard/mattered as the judgement placed by other people and like Xie Lian’s said, “you are what other people said you’re” (the image/reputation).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First and foremost, I have to say 谢谢你! The quality of this translation is fantastic. I am so pleased you took this up after Sakhyu! From reading other novels, I have seen how important a good translator is, and you are doing a smashing job. It can be easy to translate and say “they said this or that”, but it is not easy to translate and tell a story that is engaging. The way you express this novel in the English language is beautiful and not easy to come by. I can’t read translations that are hurried and given no effort. You clearly think about what is being said and what is the best way to express it in English. I truly appreciate your efforts to bring this novel to us. If I weren’t in the early stages of learning Chinese I’d offer assistance, but I can only handle basic sentences 😂
    Once again, thank you so very much! And please never feel like you have to rush through these translations. Take your time and do it when you find the time. I’d much rather a quality translation than a fast one!

    On topic of Xiao Zhan, I was so miffed when I finally got the whole story! Absolutely ridiculous that he is feeling the backlash for something he had absolutely no involvement in! People are illogical and cruel. He does not deserve the treatment he has received from this situation. He still has my support!

    And finally… YES! True form Sang Lan, I love me a man with an eye patch 😂 XL definitely fancies SL a bit. The way his heart reacts to hearing his voice… Just saying!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you 🤗. When I read the full translation , it felt like a long detailed summary of the novel. Somethings feel reserved and rushed whereas Syeki’s are truly beautiful. Every word that been typed is done with patience and diligence. To be honest, I really want read this translation because that way each word is savored by the reader. If you want to read a beautiful translation where the reader doesn’t feel disillusioned in end , this is the right site you are reading from. Just pray that there’s update soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi! Thank you so much for translating, yours gives it a stable way to see the characters, its really vivid and poetic, it turns everything so vivid and the details you add makes it much more better and easy to understand, I hope i can translate as great as you someday!
    I’ll be waiting for more translations!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for your awesome translation. Eager for the next part as always!!!!

    I have a quick question if you don’t mind: LQQ’s title is “Tai Hua” and I’ve been wondering what this translates to? Especially since I’ve seen him also refered to as “Tai Hua Dianxia” which seems to be similar to XL’s “Taizi Dianxia” (“His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince.”). Is it a denotation of his rank/royal style, or is it his heavenly title?

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tàizǐ diànxià means His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. Taizi – Crown Prince. Dianxia – Your Highness. Tai Hua is just a title (and can also be referring to the Mount Tai, one of the sacred mountains in China). Its kind of like how Feng Xin and Mu Qing are also called Nan Yang and Xuan Zhen. Hence Tai Hua does not relate to his rank or anything. It’s just another ‘grander/fancier sobriquet.

      Like

  5. That was awesome, I’m dying to see what happens next. Just to double-check though, Hua Chang was his adult-self behind the curtain and when he showed himself in front of Xie Lian he was his younger-self once again, right?

    I actually looked up the situation that you mentioned with that “Untamed” actor, and have come to a conclusion. It sucks being famous in China. If you will get blamed for whatever strangers do, as long as they say that they do it in your name, then you’re bound to get screwed. This whole situation is so illogical — especially since the reason this is even happening is due to China’s laws.

    Frankly I’m shocked that A03 was not blocked sooner. I love it like crazy, but it definitely breaks more rules on taboos than Pinterest, which was blocked around two years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hua Cheng now appeared as his real self to Xie Lian, which is technically his adult self.

      Behind the curtain he may have been slightly older, but how he appears to Xie Lian once the curtains part is his true appreance, to keep his promise. It’s older than “San Lang” but different (probably somewhat younger/more handsome/etc) than what the other ghosts have seen him as before. It’s implied he rarely uses his real form, but he does for Xie Lian. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. When Hua Cheng first appeared as San Lang, he appeared to be 16-17 years old, and with both eyes. Right now he appears before Xie Lian as a 18-19 year old guy with an eye patch. It is implied that Hua Cheng has never appeared in front of others in Ghost City with his true form, so many do not actually realize that the one they are seeing now is their city lord’s true form, and assume it’s one of his many guises, As Nye says, we may not know what skin he was wearing while he was still behind the curtains, but once he shows up in front of Xie Lian in his current true form, he more or less sticks to using it. So right now, what Xie Lian is seeing, is his true ‘adult’ form. His real form’s age doesn’t go beyond that cus… well, he died young.

      Like

  6. Hi! I’ve just found this story and I’m loving it so far, especially with the way you write 🙂
    I really want to read the whole thing Right Now, but I think I’d prefer to wait for your translations if you have any sort of update schedule? If not, then do you know where I can find the entire story?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello this is a strange question, but if it’s not too much trouble, may I know the chinese name of the chapter 36’s title? Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful translation…thank u…today I learnt a new word..’ gaiety’…today is also my birthday..n I consider this chapter as a gift .. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I also think Xie Lian felt a little percent thing on Hua Cheng now 😂
    Thank you for your translation 💙 your footnotes help a lot esp this is my first time reading C Novels 💙👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for the translation 🤗🤗 ,I feel bad though. Recently, I found the full translation and I am reading book 😶3 chapter 123. I can’t believe I read 87 chapters in 5days but I admire your style and the notes are nearby in your translations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is because this translation is nearly poetic.

      The cultural context is intricately knitted in the translation of the stoey.

      I have seen other translations but the feeling is not the same.

      This translation strikes directly to your heart.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you for another beautifully translated chapter! I love your T/Ns as well – learn so much about the language as an ABC 😆 Even though I already finished reading the novel from other translation site, I still find myself anticipating yours every week. Keep up the great work! 👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  12. thank you for the chapter! The AO3 thing was full of controversy, so I didn’t dwell too much into it.

    Behind the curtains, Hua Cheng laughed softly.

    Xie Lian’s heart gave a worried thump. [ohh boy]

    Liked by 1 person

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