Heaven Official’s Blessing – Ch 37

Chapter 37 : Behold the flower through red clouds, A heart filled with pity (II)

City Lord Hua’s Dice Shaking Lessons

There was a narrow parting in the gauzy, red curtains. From where Xie Lian stood, he could see the person behind the screens through the gap, while his body blocked this sight from all the other ghosts in the hall. Not that they would be bold enough to sneak any peeks.

The left eye gazed fixedly at Xie Lian, and Xie Lian stared back, somewhat fascinated.

The Hua Cheng before him not only seemed to be a few years older, he was also quite a bit taller. Previously, Xie Lian could still look him in the eye, but now he had to tilt his head to look up at the man.

After staring at each other for good, long while, Hua Cheng finally broke the silence.

“Do you want to bet on the biggest outcome, or the smallest?” he asked quietly.

His voice was deep and mellow, and Xie Lian finally came to himself. Since it was all the same whether he bet on biggest or the smallest, he opted for the former. “The biggest.”

Hua Cheng said, “Alright. I’ll go first.”

Xie Lian’s left hand was supporting the base of the black, wooden dice cup, while his right hand rested on the rounded top. Hua Cheng stood before him, his right hand covering Xie Lian’s left hand. He guided Xie Lian’s hand to give the cup a gentle shake, before lifting the cover. On the bottom of the plate, the two dice revealed a six and a five.

{T/N: To be clear, the dice cup consists of the cup with the opening facing down, and the plate/base on which it rests. Pic. So they’re shaking it with both hands over the top and the bottom.}

From where he was suspended high up in the air, Lang Qian Qiu could see all this clearly. His eyes widened in disbelief at the dice results. “How is this possible? ?”

Hua Cheng loosened his hold a little and said to Xie Lian, “Shake it like this. Give it a try.”

Xie Lian copied his movements and gave an experimental shake. “Not like that,” Hua Cheng said.

Despite his reprimand, Hua Cheng’s tone and manner were exceedingly patient and gentle. He gripped Xie Lian’s lower hand again, and his left palm covered Xie Lian’s right hand which was pressing down on the lid of the cup. “Like this,” he said softly.

And in this way, the backs of both of Xie Lian’s hands were enveloped in Hua Cheng’s palms.

Hua Cheng’s skin felt cool as jade, and the exquisitely beautiful silver vambraces emitted an icy chill like frosted steel. However, Hua Cheng kept his movements cautiously gentle, never allowing them to touch Xie Lian. Both his hands guided Xie Lian in giving the black, wooden dice cup a few measured shakes.

Once. Twice. Thrice.

Rattle, rattle, rattle.

The two dice rolled and bounced around inside the cup with crisp, clacking sounds. The gentle shaking motions made the backs of Xie Lian’s hands feel numb and tingly. This thread of tingling numbness traveled from his hands up his wrists and crawled onward, gradually spreading out.

As he shook the cup, Xie Lian lifted his gaze and swept a quick glimpse at Hua Cheng, only to discover that the man’s eye was not on the dice cup at all, but fixed steadily on Xie Lian instead. The corners of his lips were lifted in a sly smile. Xie Lian could not help himself from grinning back at him briefly, before suddenly recalling that the mob of ghosts and other customers of the gambling house were currently eyeballing them from all angles. He immediately schooled his expression and lowered his head, studiously concentrating on Hua Cheng’s motions. “Like this?”

The curve on Hua Cheng’s lips deepened. “En, yes. Just like this.”

As Xie Lian gave it a few hopeful shakes, Hua Cheng said, “Let’s open and have a look?”

Xie Lian lifted the cup. On the cup’s base were two white dice showing three points each.

Two threes were already unprecedentedly spectacular results. It was like a spring breeze was blowing through Xie Lian’s heart as he wondered, Have I actually managed to pick up the trick?

However, no matter how amazing the outcome, six points are still undoubtedly lower than eleven points. He gave a light sigh. “My apologies, I’ve lost.”

But Hua Cheng said, “It doesn’t matter, this round doesn’t count. I’m currently teaching you. Try again.”

At his words, both Lang Qian Qiu and Shi Qing Xuan were stupefied. The ghosts in the hall were even more dumbstruck. One after another, they began muttering among themselves.

“What does our lord mean? I thought he was going to teach that guy a lesson but he’s really actually going to just teach him instead? ?”

“This round doesn’t count? ? Does the game even work that way? ?”

“If this round doesn’t count, then when will it count?”

“It seems that our lord’s mood really is very good today……”

Hua Cheng quirked his left brow. The young woman outside immediately shushed them, “Everyone, please settle down.”

The noise in the lobby died down again, but although everyone had their lips sealed, their gazes grew even more avid and fervent. Hua Cheng gave a low chuckle, then whispered encouragingly in Xie Lian’s ear, “Again?”

It may be because he was currently the focus of all the ghosts, demons and humans in the gambling house, but Xie Lian felt his cheeks grow warm all of a sudden. “Okay.”

Rattle, rattle. He shook the cup twice again. This time, when he uncovered the dice, the result was two fours.

“How is it?” Hua Cheng asked. “It’s a bit bigger now, right?”

Although he felt something was amiss, Xie Lian still nodded his head. “Yes…… it’s a bit bigger.”

“Well done. Continue.”

In this way, Xie Lian was patiently and systematically guided, but for some reason, he heard soft giggles from the female ghosts all around. And he still could not quite figure out what the correct method for shaking the cup really was. In the beginning, he had earnestly dedicated himself to studying the way Hua Cheng positioned his hands and wrists, how to hold the cup, and how much force he used to shake the cup. But now, he simply allowed Hua Cheng to guide him while he shook the cup absently. As the dice clattered away, Xie Lian’s hunch grew stronger and stronger. Is San Lang just putting on an act……

Lang Qian Qiu, who was being treated to the full view from where he floated, seem to have arrived at the same suspicion as well. “You! There’s no use shaking the cup, that guy’s obviously just duping you! There’s no such thing as the correct way to shake the cup, he’s definitely cheating!”

As his voice resounded in the hall, Shi Qing Xuan buried his face in his hands again.

The ghosts below hissed in displeasure and began pelting dice at Lang Qian Qiu whilst scolding him, “Idiot child, shut up!”

“Noisy bastard, we’re just getting to the good part!”

“Didn’t you see that cultivator’s dice rolls getting bigger and bigger after he received our lord’s teachings? What more proof do you need!”

“Exactly! How ignorant are you!”

Lang Qian Qiu retorted angrily, “You, you fiendish pack of liars…… AH! !”

He suddenly shut up, his entire face turning an alarming shade of red. Below, some female ghosts had managed to grab hold of his belt which had been dangling down, and given it a firm yank. “Brat, you curb your tongue now,” they warned menacingly. “If you continue spouting nonsense, we’ll pull your pants down!”

Never in his life has Lang Qian Qiu been threatened thus. He was rendered speechless with rage. “You……you wouldn’t dare!”

If he was to be beaten up by the mob of ghosts, it would still be tolerable. But if his pants were yanked down, his esteem as a majestic Martial God would certainly take a drubbing. Lang Qian Qiu dared not utter another peep. When Xie Lian looked up, he was met with a pair of soulful eyes staring at him imploringly. It was equal parts pitiful and hilarious. Helpless, Xie Lian lowered his head again and murmured, “……San Lang.”

Hua Cheng gave a snort of laughter. “He’ll be fine. Let’s continue.”

“……”

Xie Lian wordlessly gave the dice cup a couple shakes again. Unsurprisingly, this time he shook out two fives.

Upon seeing this, the ghosts were even happier. Giddily, they taunted Lang Qian Qiu, “See that? The roll’s getting bigger!”

By now, Xie Lian was already certain that Hua Cheng was just amusing himself by fooling around. Hovering somewhere between laughter and tears, he thought, Sure enough, there really is no such thing as the correct method. For people like himself, any method is the wrong method, hence he should abandon all notions of a change in his fortunes. Just as he was about to end the farce with one last perfunctory shake, Hua Cheng said, “Wait.”

Xie Lian felt the hand holding his own tighten a little. He hesitated. “What’s wrong?”

Hua Cheng said obliquely, “This gē gē, have you decided on the stakes if you lose?”

Upon hearing him call Xie Lian ‘gē gē’,  Shi Qing Xuan and Lang Qian Qiu’s expressions were a sight to behold. The ghosts in the hall also felt their hair stand on end, with some going so far as to topple over from fright.

How embarrassing. Earlier, Xie Lian had indeed been so anxious, he had clean forgotten about the gambling stakes. “Well……”

He had originally thought of staking ten years of his own lifespan. However, it goes without saying that the lifespan of a Heavenly Official is very long. What is ten years worth?

Money and treasures? He was as penniless as they came.

Magical and spiritual powers? Non-existent.

After much pondering, Xie Lian could not come up with anything worthwhile. Left with no better options, he asked the owner of the gambling house, “Do you think I have anything on me that is worth betting?”

Hua Cheng chuckled. “Anything is fine. What do you have on you?”

Xie Lian thought for a moment, gave a light cough, then muttered truthfully, “I…… well, I only have a half-eaten steamed bun with me.”

Hua Cheng could not hold back from laughing at that, although everyone else present dared not do so and had to bite their lips hard.

After laughing his fill, Hua Cheng nodded. “Alright. The steamed bun it is then.”

At this, not only the ghosts, even the young women who hold some authority within the gambling house were shocked.

Since this gambling house was opened, there has been countless inconceivable bets, from internal organs, life spans and emotions to abilities. However, all these bets were simply not as inconceivable as today’s. A half-eaten steamed bun. Even Lang Qian Qiu could not help himself from exclaiming in outrage, “What…… what is the meaning of this? Are you saying that I…… I’m only worth a half-eaten steamed bun? ? ?”

The ghosts roared with laughter. Someone shouted, “What’s wrong with a steamed bun? This is a blessing for you, so just shut up already!” Xie Lian could tell that this voice belonged to Shi Qing Xuan who was hidden among the flock of ghosts. While he was torn between laughter and tears, Hua Cheng said to him, “Come, this is the last roll. No need to be nervous.”

Xie Lian said, “I’m not nervous.”

With both their hands holding the dice cup together, they shook it a few more times. Although Xie Lian spoke the truth about not being nervous, he could feel a thin sheen of sweat forming on his skin beneath Hua Cheng’s palms. Finally, they both stopped. It was time to reveal the results. Xie Lian took a breath, then lifted the cup—–

The two dice showed six points each!

Xie Lian sighed out, then looked knowingly at Hua Cheng. Hua Cheng lifted a brow. “Oh, I lost,” he deadpanned.

Despite his blunt concession of defeat and the evenness of his tone, he did not sound in the least bit sincere. The ghosts in the hall were also silent.

Earlier, someone had wondered “If this round doesn’t count, then when will it count?”. Well they have the answer now: The round will count when this person wins.

What madness is this!

However, no one would dare say anything about it. The young woman took the dice cup and held it up high. “Congratulations sir, you’ve won this round.”

Everyone else very helpfully cheered along, shouting, “Our city lord also lost very beautifully! Perfect!”

“The person who won was also personally coached by our lord, winning is also our lord’s victory!”

“Yes! Today was a real eye opener, we’ve learned the correct method for shaking dice! What fantastic insight! What a great benefit!!”

Hearing the excited racket around him, Xie Lian lips tugged up in a smile. Seeing him smile, Hua Cheng also smiled as he pushed aside the red screens. Above them, Lang Qian Qiu hollered, “Since you’ve lost, it’s about time you let me down!”

Hua Cheng’s eyes remained trained on Xie Lian, his smile unwavering. With a flick of his hand, Lang Qian Qiu came crashing down. The loud thump made Xie Lian’s eyes twitch. As Shi Qing Xuan could not reveal himself by rushing over, Xie Lian turned around to check on the Martial God. “Are you alright?”

Lang Qian Qiu clambered to his feet and patted the dust from his clothes. “I’m fine, thank you. He must have called you up for the game because he had intended to pull some trickery to make you lose. Fortunately, you won.”

Xie Lian thought, In this you are entirely wrong. If he had not been taking it easy on me, even if I were to play till the end of time, I would not be able to win you back……

A soft tinkling sound came from behind him. Immediately after, there were low gasps and exclamations all round. When Xie Lian turned back around, he saw Hua Cheng finally walking out from behind the red curtains.

When Hua Cheng previously wore the guise of a youth, his hair had been bundled together in a low, crooked ponytail. Now however, with his red garb and hair worn loose, his wild beauty was further sharpened. On the right, there was a thin, silky braid with a single red coral bead dangling from its end, lending him a playful air. Silver vambraces circled his wrists, silver chains hung from his boots, a silver belt wrapped around his waist. And from the belt hung a curved, silver scimitar. Both blade and owner were slender, graceful, and extremely lethal.

Hua Cheng leaned against the half parted curtains with his arms crossed, an inscrutable smile on his face. “Gē gē, you’ve beaten me.”

Fully understanding his ploy, Xie Lian said helplessly, “Alright, you can stop laughing at me now.”

Hua Cheng quirked a brow. “I wasn’t. How could I?”

Below, the ghosts were boiling over with excitement. Excited whispers filled the air, “Why did the city lord change his skin again today?”

“Help, I’m dying here, our lord’s new skin is simply killing me, so fresh and tender and handsome!”

“Haven’t you been dead for ages you hag? !”

It seems that Hua Cheng has never used his true form in public before, and frequently changed his appearance, leading to the ghosts within Ghost City being unable to figure out what he really looked like. Everyone thought this was another skin he pulled on. Only Xie Lian among them knew that in front of them, was the true form of the legendary Blood Rain Seeking Flower.

 

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Note : Character list & Appendix 

Special thanks to jag, Rainyoak, Miimaas, Anon (Jennifer), Jane Rose, Ruewey and ModestKowa for the kofis!!!

My motivation just…. died. I either need a break from translating or switch to my other (shamefully swept under the rug) novel TSWCSS to refresh myself.

Found myself sucked into another C novel which is ridiculously long (> 1K chapters). It’s called I Have Medicine! Very detailed world building, decently fleshed characters, slow burn romance, many fantastical beasts and plants with very VERY detailed descriptions, a good mix of genders… in short, a good novel that I’ve only managed to MTL halfway despite daily speed reading for over a week. XD Yes it’s really THAT long. Kinda similar in concept to Legendary Master’s Wife (which I dropped after maybe 150 or so chaps in because I found it boring and repetitive) but a great deal better. Either MTL it like me or wait a couple more years to see if the translation (at Chrysanthemum Garden) has been completed by then hahaha.

Happy reading.

-Syeki

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

Coffee Counter ☕️ 

 

33 thoughts on “Heaven Official’s Blessing – Ch 37

Add yours

  1. For a moment i thought Xie Lian would bet himself! Too early, too early… but i’d be so cute! Imagine Hua Cheng struggling cause he was planning to let gege win but now he wants the prize!!

    Btw we need a whole special written in Hua Cheng’s pov. Well, now that i think about it it’d be like “OMG gege is so beautiful!! He’s so cute! Gege… gege is touching me! What should i do?! Etc” lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, dear. Hua Hua’s innuendoes in this chapter are really something else.
    “It’s a bit bigger now, right?” caught me completely unprepared.

    Thanks for the translation!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hehehe I think I broke my facial muscles as I am stuck smiling silly from beginning till the end. That ge~ ge~ killed me. And Lang Qian Qiu, you know nothing of the two~ Sit quitely and obediently~ (Okay, I think this chapter totally broke me with me singing each phrase with “~”) 😆😂😊🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just caught up with your translation, and as someone who knew Chinese and had finished the raw, your translation is just so good and smooth! I totally understand that you want to take a break, just stay safe and be happy! Thank you for picking up this wonderful piece of work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is there another website where I can read chapter 38 and up? Ive been searching and I haven’t found any websites with the english translation for ch.38 ongoing. Im the kind of person that, when they get hooked on something, they just can’t stop! So currently Im desperately trying to find the rest of the chapters. Side-note: Im not trying to pressure the translator or anything!! They’ve done a wonderful job and Im very glad they have taken out some of their own time to translate this amazing novel for us.

    Like

    1. SUIKA & RYNN have already translated the novel and you can find it easily searching in your browser. Nevertheless, in my opinion, I find Deep Dream Translations translation more accurate.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for this chapter! Your translations have been really fun to read. I’ll probably come back to this translation after I blast through the MTL so I can appreciate the nuance a bit more lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for the chapter (:
    Love your translation and the author’s works. Hope your doing well.Please be healthy and put yourself first. It’s alright , sometimes you need a break ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Truly thank you for translating this! It’s a very long novel, but it’s one of my favourites! I’ve been rereading it again with your translations (which are great!). Thank you so much. For taking the time to do this!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love, love,love your translations. I don’t think I’ve laughed at a chapter harder than this one.

    If you’re burnt out, try something completely different such as learning basic crochet, cooking a new dish, or starting a daily jogging routine. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 🥺aaawwww, please translate TSWCSS. I actually enjoyed that one whilst waiting for the HOB translation.

    I also understand that lack of motivation, it sucks especially when you loved doing something . Recently, I haven’t been able to continue with my animations ( for school and personal).So , don’t force yourself to translate. Just what feels right at moment.

    By the way , 1K chapters ,WOW!!!, that’s paradise for me.

    Thank you for the beautiful translation. Stay healthy 😷 and happy 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the chapter! To be honest this is the only C novel that I look forward to now. The other ones I was reading kept getting annoying and the characters kept disappointing. I’ve gone back to reading western supernatural paperbacks. Yours is the only C novel that I look forward to now. Thank you, the two of them are so wonderful together!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Oh man, I look forward to these so much. I’ve recently gotten hooked on C-novels and Mo Xiang Tong Xiu is my favorite author. Unfortunately I’ve encountered a few too many bad translations of stories that I otherwise really like, and reading a bad translation sucks a lot of the fun out of the story, so I’m super glad to have found your site. If you need to take some time off, I don’t mind one bit, so long as you come back and don’t leave me hanging. Good translators are hard to find, much less a good translator and good writer ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Xie Lian was so cute in this chapter especially when he was pleasantly surprised when he rolled two 3s lol. Do you mind sharing what the characters for his name translate to, not sure if it was ever mentioned before? Thanks again for the chapter!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This chapter is one of my favorites, for obvious reasons hehe!

    Thank you so much for translating! This was fantastic as always. I totally understand getting a bit burnt out–take care of yourself and have fun! ❤ No worries and no rush! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Since this is my first time reading this novel, I got really exited about finally “seeing” Hua Cheng’s real body! Also this chapter was really funny, you did a great job in translating and capturing the feeling. Thank you for your hard work as always! <3333

    Liked by 1 person

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