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Red Candles

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Body in abyss heart in paradise

Body in abyss heart in paradise

Body in abyss heart in paradise

The red aromatic candle and the joss sticks held in their sweaty hands was flickered off by the swift breeze that passed by. The wind carried towards them was gentle yet ominous, the kind of wind that greeted you before destructive storm strikes.

Both pair of eyes was widened at the sudden occurrence. Their clear reflection in the mirror was darkened once the last light of the flame completely disappeared. The petite girl dressed in her black robes was tugging at her friend’s forearm, urging her to go back to their bedchambers already.

“M-Maybe... Ling Wen was joking with you? Ying Jie let’s go back hm? I felt like something bad is coming...Perhaps instead of the visit of Martial God, we’ll get maggot-swarmed corpse to our village”, Ban Yue stuttered.

She was overly familiar with the scene. Darkness and howling winds are bad omens and a clear sign for mortals to abort their mission instantly.

Little Ying was obstinate, however. Ban Yue could only pray that it was not some demons or monsters or bloodlust ghosts that trample over their small village. After all, the village in this area was full of farmers lead by the Rain Master.

If Yushi Huang found out about their summonings, they would certainly be punished and the villagers would distance themselves from them.

Ban Yue looked over at her friend once again before sighing in defeat. Little Ying’s eyes was confident as she hummed in relief. It sounded content. That made Ban Yue restless...

“Ban Yue-ah, Do you think Ling Wen deserved the vacation or not? That Martial God really is such a cruel and reckless god... We should at least request an ‘audience’ with him. Don’t you think so?”

“Jieeeeee, why can’t we do it at the altar instead? Why must it be in the bathroom mirror? Wouldn’t it be better if we invite him for a teatime through the temple instead of where we.... do our businesses?”, she whined.

“Silence. It’s h-“ Before Little Ying could finish her words, the lightning flashed like a razor blade, splitting the sky open and was followed by a huge roar of thunder. The ground shake violently for a good while before it was silent again.

A few debris from the ceiling fell down like sands indicating the magnitude of the earthquake earlier was formidable. Ban Yue yelped and hugged Little Ying’s waist tightly.

“What’s there to be scared about?” Little Ying giggled and rubbed her head.

“WHO SUMMONED ME”, A stern voice greeted them all of a sudden.

In the corner of their eyes, a white light shone blindingly at them. The two blinked rapidly to adjust with the brightness yet after 3 rounds of doing so, they still couldn’t make out the figure.

The man who just appeared was spilling with comical halo of light, his sword gleaming around his waist enhanced the gallant look. Whoever was infront of him would certainly been awestruck by the godly scene before them.

Jun Wu stood on the cubicle with overflowing charisma. His posture unflinching as he closely scrutinised the vicinity he was summoned to.

Brick wall...

Water pipe...

There were also pails filled with water and others with dirty clothes.

He looked to his feet and there was a curiously-looking black hole between the ground and bewildered Jun Wu looked questionably at the two girls in front of her.

“I never knew the mortals of this dynasty were this advanced to the extent that my worshippers’ altar is now situated in a custom-made room. The interior is indeed very unique. I fancy the extra thought of... putting a mirror here too” Jun Wu’s strong hands gestured to the accesorries hung on the wall.

“...”

“...”

“I’m afraid this is what you call the mortal’s ‘toilet’, My Lord.”

Jun Wu was silent.

The term was unfamiliar and quite ancient to the ears. He blinked for a while, processing the words before he nodded slowly. When he finished interacting it, his eyebrows furrowed lightly and his hands gripped the hilt of his sword, trying to exude hostility in the eccentric circumstances.

“Why have I been summoned into the man’s filthiest place? I believe there must be a good reason behind this unclever act.” Jun Wu’s tone was gentle yet passively aggressive.

The two youngsters didn’t care and ushered to open the wooden door. Their movement was ridiculous and hilarious at the same time. They lead Jun Wu outside to the open air where the sky was starless yet the moon hung low, as if anticipating the interactions between them in the village. The scene was serene and it made Jun Wu all the more demented with the situation he found himself in.

There was a small sitting area made of chopped woods and a lantern glowing with dim orange lights situated on the table.

“Here, Sir would you like a cup of tea?” Little Ying shyly poured into the ceramic. Its material was the finest quality they possessed in the household and they brought it out for this specific occasion.

Jun Wu, all familiar and knowing the act of decorum was obligatory before the mortals would ask for the favour of a God. So, he indulged in it and took the cup once Little Ying lifted the saucer towards him.

“Oh, that's very polite of you. I'm glad to see young ones still have proper manners in this day and age.” He sipped and eyes crinkled with a smile as he tasted the warm liquid washed over his throat.

It was refreshing, the least.

The tea was brewed freshly. It’s aroma was that of a juicy tangerine and sweet plum, it was the perfect blend inside Jun Wu’s tongue. The taste lingered around his tastebud once he gulped all of it.

He didn’t descended to the mortal realm for nothing after all.

“Have some mantou too sir! Tell me if you’d like a refill~” The smaller girl, who was called Ban Yue grinned at him. Her innocence and purity evident on her face as she handed a tray of warm and white puffy buns towards him.

“Thank you, young worshipper. You have pleased this venerated one greatly.” His hands reached out to grab the tempting squishy mantou.

The bun was fragrant and tantalizing. It was freshly steamed with red bean paste which was brought from the wealthiest merchant in town today. When Jun Wu bites into it, he could feel the pleasant smell wafted into the air and the taste melted into his mouth.

Jun Wu screamed internally. It really has been a while since he ate some good desserts in the mortal realm! Jun Wu was highly pleased as he smacked his lips.

“Thank you for the offerings, my children. Now, will you tell me what must I help you with?” Jun Wu’s eyes was bright as he looked at the two girls.

Their eyes was glinting with mischief before Little Ying coughed.

“Heavenly Emperor Jun Wu, this mortal only ask for God Ling Wen’s one year vacation to be permitted and executed as soon as possible... Preferably right away.”

Jun Wu studied their hopeful faces and sighed then shook his head. Signifying he completely disagrees with the idea.

How else would the Heaven’s Affairs be managed systematically?

It was lively enough with daily tasks, spiritual communication array gossips and banters, the upcoming Lantern Festival and there’s another matter of the Ghost Realms...

Certainly not.

With Ling Wen’s palace gone and not in service, the Heavens are bound to fall into chaos and in ruins.

Jun Wu will not allow that.

Noticing the two girls was frowning, he schooled his expression and mustered an encouraging smile.

“I was very pleased with the offerings. However, I am unable to authorize to the request as Ling Wen is highly efficient than any other new ascended Literature Gods. Ling Wen is after all, the most experienced in the black-and-white and the most familiar with the Heavenly Officials.”

He explained generously but Ban Yue was shifting uncomfortably. Jun Wu noticed the behavioral change and raised his eyebrows at her. She pursed her lips and looked around nervously, avoiding eye contact with the Martial God at all cost.

“Then, we can’t do much about it. Before we depart our ways, my Lord must remember that the only way to activate the antidote was to give Ling Wen a whole year vacation.” Little Ying smiled politely and took Ban Yue’s hands into hers.

Both of them bowed in respect before the confused God and walked off to the thick forest. Jun Wu was astounded.

Before he could activate his Spiritual Array, an uncomfortable bitter taste starts to swell in his throat. It made Jun Wu uncomfortable and dizzy it felt like the type of food Xie Lian would cook.

Such reactions are common among the Heavenly Officials when their tastebuds were trying to adapt to it.

Jun Wu’s vision became a tunnel and his head was throbbing. His hairs raised and he felt feverish...

Is he getting a food poisoning?

His arms automatically supported his head weight and his eyelids shuts itself. Stars peppered his vision and a nauseous feeling risened up to his bile.

He felt like laying down the ground at the moment.

As he lose his consciousness, Little Ying’s words ringed in his ears,

“The antidote could be activated when you give Ling Wen a whole year of vacation.”

“Ling Wen... You... are getting a year of vacation...” Jun Wu muttered breathlessly.

He had entered Ling Wen’s private spiritual communication array to announce it to her in a very rushed manner. Never in his whole life he felt so weak as he does right now and it made him quite ashamed.

Jun Wu’s stomach grumbled and it made his face red, crept with embarassment.

WHAT WAS IN THAT FOOD? Goodness...

“...Really? Th-thank you Jun Wu” Ling Wen said, her tone a bit happier than the usual sluggish one. Jun Wu could almost picture her face, small smile and a nod.

Ling Wen is probably humming in satisfaction at the moment. The thought made Jun Wu rolled his eyes internally.

Was it Ling Wen who set things into motion? Does she desperately needs vacation that must she ask two mortals to poison him?

His minds flashed with thousands of assumptions and accusations but he could only clutch his painful stomach, agonising over the pain.

Jun Wu, no longer able to stay awake finally plopped to the tableside.

The next morning he opened his eyes, Jun Wu was greeted with curious faces and a poke with a shovel on his handsome face. Some villagers flocked to the vicinity and stared in amazement and gawked at the stunning man. His robes were a bit dishivelled and stained with dirt when he was awake.

When he realized what happened, he immediately dashed towards the wood and ascended to the sky.

The enthusiastic villagers reported to Lady Rain Master, who was clearly enjoying plowing the field with her ox. When she received the report, he indeed saw Jun Wu on the sky, looking a bit pissed and Lady Rain Master softly chuckled.

“It was well deserved. I can’t wait to visit Ling Wen later.”