For the third time this day, Hong Bao left the scribe’s palace. But this time she was neither in a daze nor did she cry. No, this time, Hong Bao felt nothing but determination. She would save the man she loved! She would find a way. Nothing was too hard to achieve this goal. Even going against the whole Nine Heavens!
She hurried back to the courtyard of the idle gods and finally managed to catch Leng Jin Yu.
"Leng Jin Yu!" Hong Bao grabbed his arm and scrunched up her face.
Leng Jin Yu sighed. "What is it now? Did the Fate’s Scribe ignore you again?"
"No! It’s way, way, way worse! You have to help me!"
Leng Jin Yu raised his brows. If somebody told him this, he’d normally think that there was a major problem. But … this was Hong Bao. Knowing her for a week was enough to understand that she would also say something like that even when she found out that one of her cookies had been scorched only after the Fate’s Scribe ate it. In that case, she might describe in detail how he had furrowed his brow, how his gaze had darted around and how he had struggled to gulp the crumbs down. She’d describe it as dramatically as if she had just witnessed the demise of a hundred lower realms.
With this in mind, Leng Jin Yu wasn’t too worried. He calmly looked at her. "What happened? We’ll see what we can do about it."
"Not here!" She peeked around as if every person around them could be eavesdropping on the huge secret she wanted to tell.
Leng Jin Yu didn’t answer and just let her grab his sleeve and lead him to an unoccupied corner. "So what is this about?"
"Shun Tao’s mission. You can’t tell anyone what you know about it!"
Leng Jin Yu raised his brows. How come she told him that right after he discussed this mission at length with the God of War? This couldn’t be a test the Fate’s Scribe and the God of War had devised together to review their palaces? He considered this possibility but decided that this was most likely just Hong Bao being her usual self. "Why is that?"
Hong Bao bit her lower lip and glanced around again. Satisfied that nobody seemed to be listening in, she bent forward and waved him closer. "Shun Tao told me today that he could get killed because of this!"
Leng Jin Yu’s brows lifted higher. "Because of the recruits?"
Hong Bao nodded earnestly.
Leng Jin Yu suppressed a sigh. This made no sense at all. She had probably just misunderstood something. "What exactly did he say?"
"I can’t tell you!"
Hong Bao once again glanced around. "I had to promise him. I can’t tell you more, really."
"But didn’t you want my help?"
Hong Bao pursed her lips. "Can’t you help me without knowing? I really can’t tell you."
Leng Jin Yu shrugged. "If it’s about not saying anything … Of course, I can comply in the future. Unfortunately, today the God of War came by and asked about it already. I didn’t see a need to hide anything so, naturally, I answered him honestly."
"What?!" Hong Bao’s eyes went wide and she grabbed the hem of his sleeve and tugged at it. "You have to go back there immediately! Tell him you misunderstood or something! He can’t know about this!"
Leng Jin Yu pulled his arm back to escape her grasp and took a step back as a precaution. "That would just make it all the more obvious, that something is wrong."
"Then would do we do?"
"I can’t help you if I don’t know what is going on. You’ll have to figure it out on your own." He turned away but Hong Bao grabbed his sleeve again and pulled him back.
"No! You’re so much more intelligent than me. You have to help me!" Hong Bao didn’t think of herself as dumb but she did regard herself as a kindhearted person that wasn’t able to understand the cunning ways of the people with high status. Leng Jin Yu should be way better at this than her!
Leng Jin Yu sighed and turned back to her. "Then you’d have to tell me what is going on."
Hong Bao pursed her lips. She had promised Shun Tao that she wouldn’t. But if she didn’t, then they might never find a way to get him out of this mess. She didn’t want him to die! Shun Tao didn’t know Leng Jin Yu but she did and she trusted him. She was sure he wouldn’t speak about it when he knew how high the stakes were! Instead, he might be able to come up with a way to help her save Shun Tao.
She contemplated a bit further, then pulled him with her. "I’ll tell you but we can’t talk here. Nobody else can know about this!"
And like that, the promise Hong Bao had given Shun Tao was broken the very same day. Ah, a woman in love should never be trusted. She might just get her adored one killed with her good intentions.