Leng Jin Yu sat in Hong Bao’s room with a hand held to his forehead. He didn’t know what to think. "Hong Bao …"
"Yes? Do you have an idea already?"
"First of all, tell me — and please take a moment to think deeply about this — the things you just told me are they exactly like the Fate’s Scribe told them to you? Nothing omitted, nothing added, nothing exaggerated?"
"Why would I do something like —"
"I said to think about it a moment."
"Oh." Hong Bao shut up and remembered her conversation with Shun Tao. It seemed she had told Leng Jin Yu all of it? "It really was everything. I didn’t forget anything."
"And you didn’t add anything?"
"Why would I —"
"Nothing you thought he might have implied?"
"No. He said all of that."
"Exactly like that?" Leng Jin Yu raised his brows. He didn’t trust her on this. Hong Bao was a little too creative in her understanding. She might not even have noticed that she misunderstood something or recounted it the wrong way. Actually, she might have made a good scribe herself. The things she was able to visualize could truly make up a trial.
Hong Bao nodded. Why is he asking all that? Of course, this was what Shun Tao had said!
Leng Jin Yu sighed. For the moment, he could only accept what she had said. "So, the gist of it should be that the Fate’s Scribe was responsible for the crown prince’s trial in the mortal world but somebody tried to thwart the prepared fate and so the crown prince is still unable to finish any trial as of now."
"Mn!" Hong Bao nodded again.
"And the Fate’s Scribe didn’t go to the Heavenly Emperor immediately but instead waited a whole week because he wanted to catch the culprit?"
"Yes. That’s what he said. That was why he monitored the gods in the courtyard."
Leng Jin Yu covered his face with his hands. Damn. He shouldn’t have gone with her. He shouldn’t have listened to this! He didn’t want to be part of this mess!
"What is it? Is it a difficult problem? Could it be you also don’t know how to help him?" Hong Bao scurried to the place next to him and gripped his arm, shaking it as if an idea might just tumble out of his sleeve if she did.
Leng Jin Yu dropped his hands and turned to her with a serious expression. "That isn’t the problem!"
"How is that not the problem? This is about Shun Tao’s life!" Hong Bao leaped to her feet, her hands clenched into fists. "I shouldn’t have told you!"
"Hong Bao." Leng Jin Yu leaned forward and stared into her eyes. "Tell me honestly: Do you know how grave of an issue those trials are?"
"Of course, I know that they’re serious! Otherwise, why would the gods go and do them?"
Leng Jin Yu slumped in his chair. "When did you say you came to the Nine Heavens?"
"Mn … It’s been some years here. So it should be around a millennium in the mortal world?"
Leng Jin Yu rubbed his brow. He had only been in the Nine Heavens for about two months and he still knew more than her. He really wondered with which of her qualities the Fate’s Scribe was supposed to fall in love. He didn’t say any of that though. The most important thing now was to get into her head how serious the trial of a trueborn god was. Maybe that would keep her from going around and causing even more chaos.
He took a deep breath and straightened up again. "Hong Bao, you do know about the Laws of Heaven, don’t you?"
"Of course!" Hong Bao replied as if it was a matter of course.
"Really?" He lifted his brows in a doubtful arc, unsettling her for a moment.
"That … aren’t they the laws that govern all living things?"
"Then why are you asking about that? Everyone knows them!" Hong Bao shook her head disgruntled. "You better think about how to help Shun Tao!"
"I am helping him through educating you."
"You —" Hong Bao pressed her lips together and thought for a while to find a good insult she could throw at his head but she came up with nothing.
"Yes, I know that you don’t like me saying this but it’s the truth. Now, back to the topic. If you know Heaven’s Law, then do you know the Law of Balance?"
Leng Jin Yu breathed deeply. So she had heard of the laws but had no idea whatsoever what they were about. Why didn’t this surprise him? "Then let me tell you about it because this is exactly the reason your crush is in so much trouble right now."
"Because of some stupid law?! I thought it was because of the crown prince!"
"Who’s the stupid one here! Those two things are more or less the same. Now listen!" He raised a hand to prevent her impending interruption. "The Law of Balance basically says that for every good thing there has to be a bad thing. For every power one has, there has to be a weakness. The gods, the demons, the dragons … This law concerns all of them. And because of their considerable powers, they have strong weaknesses. For the gods, this weakness lies in the trials they have to face. It is said that it would teach the gods compassion if … Whatever." Leng Jin Yu stopped explaining when he noticed how Hong Bao got impatient.
"The thing is that these trials have to be completed because of Heaven’s Laws. No god is able to circumvent that. The God of War completed these trials, your Fate’s Scribe did and even the Heavenly Emperor had to pass them once upon a time. Naturally, the same applies to our crown prince."
"So those trials are important. I get it." Hong Bao waved his explanation away. "That’s really interesting but I don’t understand what that has to do with Shun Tao."
"He is the one who picked the specific trials the crown prince is supposed to attempt and he wrote a fate that should enable the crown prince to pass them. But now this fate won’t come to pass. The crown prince can’t accomplish his trials and if he doesn’t …" Leng Jin Yu shook his head, the look in his eyes full of worry. "He could very well lose his life."