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Published at 29th of February 2020 11:01:31 PM
Chapter 42

c42: On the Rooftop


[Host: justreads . net]
[February 29, 2020]

Mo Fang stepped forward pushing Shen Li behind him . With a cupped fist salute he said, “Her Highness did not mean to offend Goddess . ”

Xing Zhi narrowed his eyes . His tone was slightly raised when he spoke . “Oh General Mo Fang knows Her Highness’s mind? That is indeed rare . ”

Hearing the ill-will in Xing Zhi’s tone made Mo Fang frown . He was about to reply but Shen Li beat him to it .

“Why bother making things more difficult for yourself Mo Fang?” Shen Li dragged Mo Fang back by the wrist . She gave him a quick look of dissatisfaction . Mo Fang stared blankly back for a moment, not understanding, however he dropped his eyes like an obedient child and quickly situated himself behind Shen Li .

~“Goddess Lou spoke rudely to my general . I couldn’t bear it . How exactly did I bully her?” Shen Li looked at Xing Zhi before continuing . “High God, it looks like you’re only here to criticize and help her bully me . ”

Xing Zhi’s voice became even more strange . ~“Oh? Is Your Highness angry for your general? You treat your men like they’re little children . ”

“Better than High God who plays at being the hero for the damsel . ” Shen Li didn’t hold back . She countered in a bitingly, cold tone . She expected him to get angry at her outburst, but he didn’t . Instead she could see an ever so slight upward quirk of his lips . With gloomy eyes, she retreated a step .

Xing Zhi’s expression was unexpectedly cheery . It instantly reminded her of the past and anger burst in her chest . It was like before; he was playing her in the palm of his hand again . It was a two-man show with her being the puppet .

Damn it! Fine! She narrowed her eyes refusing to bite farther onto the bait he extended . This fish was going to swim away even if it meant tearing a bloody hole in her cheek to escape .

How treacherous! To harm herself just to get away . Xing Zhi thought he had nailed her securely to the hook only to watch her escape .

Shen Li’s face cooled . ~“If High God wishes to avenge the goddess, then please report the wrong to the Demon emperor . I will accept whatever punish is called for . Now if you’ll excuse me, I will be leaving . ” Shen Li dragged Mo Fang away with her without waiting for Xing Zhi to reply .

Youlan, still feeling thoroughly wronged, stared at Shen Li’s retreating figure then at Xing Zhi’s enigmatic expression as he too, looked at Shen Li leaving .

“The people of the Demon realm don’t know how to behave according to proper etiquette . For the Azure Sky king to treat a heavenly person this way… The allegiance she pledged is surely insincere . It will cause disaster one day . ”

Xing Zhi turned to her and nodded his head . Then he said, ~“That’s the way she is . It may be bad, but she might squeeze your neck the next time you provoke her . ” There was a chilly undertone to his voice . “Who knows, your corpse may not even stay in one piece . ”

Youlan felt a sudden chill on her neck . She looked at Xing Zhi weakly . “If that happens, will High God oversee justice for me?”

Xing Zhi gave Youlan a kind smile as he spoke but his voice was firm . ~“That is unlikely . The Demon emperor is very fond of the Azure Sky king and will likely defend her . It is unlikely the Heavenly realm will go to war, after all maintaining a peaceful relationship between the two realms is very important . However Goddess may rest in peace; I will be sure to place some fruit as tribute for you . ”

Youlan remained standing in the garden as, in a daze, she watched, the fluttering movements of Xing Zhi’s white robes as he walked away .


Shen Li’s pace was fast as she walked out of the palace . It wasn’t until Mo Fang whispered, “Your Highness…” that she slowed down . He shot her a glance before asking, ~“Why are you angry all of a sudden?”

“Angry?” Shen Li abruptly stopped . Unable to react in time, Mo Fang collided into her back . The force made her stagger and nearly fall down, which in turn caused Mo Fang to frantically grab for her waist .

Shen Li was preoccupied and didn’t notice his actions . Mo Fang on the other hand was quite red-faced . He quickly released her and took two steps back once she was steady on her feet again .

With a thud, he knelt on both knees and with another thud executed a fierce kowtow . “Your Highness, please forgive me!” He looked like he’d been caught committing a grievous crime .

Shen Li glanced at him . It wasn’t a big deal and she didn’t take it to heart, but Mo Fang’s reaction made her feel embarrassed . She coughed twice . “There was no harm done . Stand . ”

Mo Fang rose slowly but kept his chin tucked to his chest . Shen Li couldn’t see his face but she could see how red his ears were . She turned her head away pretending to not notice .

In a low voice she said, “I just finished straightening out the goddess, but High God Xing Zhi came by and ruined it . Why wouldn’t I be annoyed?”

Mo Fang had wanted to say something, but he lost his train of thought . Instead he said, “So it is then . ”

“Besides even if High God Xing Zhi is incredibly powerful, he wouldn’t dare do anything excessive to me here . ” Shen Li paused as she tried to find a reason . “It’s just that there wasn’t anyone else around and High God Xing Zhi is really hard to pin down . I could only suffer in silence, so I was trying to get away as fast as I could . ”

“Of course . ”

Shen Li resumed walking as she continued . “That goddess spoke so rudely to you . If I hadn’t been there, would you have just accepted the humiliation?”

“Yes, Your Highness . ”

“Ha?! Why should my men yield to those in heaven? They’re arrogant and willful about everything . They ride rough-shod over people and bully the weaker immortals . It’s clearly a problem with their house, but they try to shift the blame onto someone else .

Listen if either of them give you trouble in the future, whether it’s Fu Rongjun or his sister, you let me know and I will be glad to use martial law to punish them . Troubling our generals like this, it’s shameful! They’re slapping us in the face!”

“Your Highness says this but…” Mo Fang raised his head . “I’m afraid it would be inappropriate . ”

Both Fu Rongjun and Goddess were the Heavenly emperor’s grandchildren . Plus Fu Rongjun was Shen Li’s fiancé . If they forced the issue, he was afraid Shen Li would have a hard time later .

“There’s nothing wrong with it . We can’t let outsiders think our generals are easy to bully . ” Shen Li waved her hand . “Come on . ”

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“Your Highness, wait . ”

Shen Li turned around at Mo Fang’s call . Feeling that his gaze was not properly respectful, he dropped his head down and looked at the floor .

~“I heard Your Highness was injured in the Mortal realm…”

“Oh, that . It was nothing, just killing a couple of ya shou . ”

Mo Fang knelt on one knee . ~”My impulsiveness caused Your Highness to be punished and sent to the Mortal realm to search for Fu Rongjun . And now Your Highness is so injured . I deserve severe punishment!”

Demon generals didn’t have the best personalities, particularly Mo Fang; he was very short-tempered . Back then Fu Rongjun had been so annoying that Mo Fang impulsively kicked him . This led to an angry Fu Rongjun running away to the Mortal realm, which of course led to the Demon emperor sending Shen Li down to retrieve him .

Shen Li had been confused why Mo Fang hadn’t gotten angry with the goddess . It turned out he was holding himself back because of the aftermath with Fu Rongjun . He hadn’t wanted his actions to affect her .

Unexpectedly, Mo Fang still felt guilty about the whole affair .

She sighed then she said, “Rise . ”

He didn’t get up, so she stepped forward and forcefully yanked him up .

“OK, it’s your fault . You made the Demon realm lose face today . As punishment you must drink . Do you accept?”

Mo Fang stared intensely at Shen Li’s hands holding his shoulders . She dropped her hands when she noticed .

Mo Fang nod . ~“I will do as Your Highness commands . ”

“Great . Better to do so now than later . ” Shen Li waved her hand . “All right, let’s walk back to the barracks . You can tell me the names of everyone not on duty and we can drink together . ”

“Yes, Your Highness . ”


Mo Fang looked at Shen Li as she listened to the soldier names be called out . His gaze was soft . A flash of white caught his eye as he turned his head . Though that person’s expression was unchanged, his eyes were definitely lonely looking . Seeing the eye-catching figure made his lips quirked upward slightly at the sight .

Turns out bullying someone… felt pretty nice .

Everyone was a mess that night after three rounds of drinks . The servants had to support their respective generals home .

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The tavern sent notice to Rou-ya to pick Shen Li up, but when she got there, a drunken Shen Li refused and used the excuse of not wanting her drunkenness to disturb High God Xing Zhi . After saying so she turned away dismissively .

There was no way Rou-ya would be able to move Shen Li . She could only look to Mo Fang and ask, “General what should we do?”

“If Your Highness does not wish to return home, then how about spending the night at my residence?” Mo Fang said after a moment of silence .

Shen Li nodded . “OK . ”

With that decided, Rou-ya returned home and Mo Fang helped Shen Li walk back to his home . The streets were deserted, and the lights were just bright enough to illuminate the pathway . It was silent but for the sounds of footsteps: one stumbling, the other sure and steady .

He glanced at Shen Li who had nearly fallen asleep . Her Highness guarded her heart fiercely, but allowed others to see her unguarded tipsy self, even letting him take her to his home . She trusted him . . . had complete confidence in the Demon realm . It really was too much . . .

Mo Fang looked at the road in front of them . “Your Highness, I don't want this walk to end,” he said softly .

Shen Li wasn’t completely lucid and misheard . “Ah, yes the stars are nice . Let’s go to the roof and look at the stars . ”

The sentence, so out of the blue, made Mo Fang laugh . “Yes, let us gaze at the stars from my rooftop . ”


Rou-ya was just closing the gates of the estate when, out of nowhere, a figure in white surprised her . With her hand to her chest she asked, “High God is still up? Standing there, nearly scared me witless . ”

“Mm . There was a nice breeze so I came out to enjoy it . Your master has not returned yet?”

Rou-ya smiled . “Oh, it turned out High God was waiting for Highness . No Highness was a little drunk so she’s staying at General Mo Fang’s place . If there is something on High God’s mind, there’s no harm in waiting until tomorrow when Highness comes back to discuss it . ”

“Mm . ” Xing Zhi nodded . “I’ll go out and enjoy the breeze . ” He materialized through the wall, not waiting for Rou-ya to open the gate .

“This High God… sure acts like a ghost . ”


Shen Li reclined comfortably once she climbed up onto the roof . A realization struck her heart as the cool night air sobered her . Gazing at the stars on top of a roof alone with her subordinate, this situation . . . if anyone saw, it would be too ambiguous .

But she just got there . To leave so soon would be awkward . Out of the corner of her eye she saw Mo Fang silently sit down next to her . Shen Li was stuck so she decided to stay put for the time being .

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Who knew how long they sat there silently looking at the sky when Mo Fang finally broke the silence . “Did Your Highness see any stars?”

Shen Li shook her head . “There’s too much miasma . I couldn’t see any . ”

Mo Fang turned to look at her directly . ~”I saw . ”

Shen Li wasn’t dense . She looked Mo Fang in the eyes . Under normal circumstances she would have ordered him to look away and wipe those thoughts from his mind . But for some reason she couldn’t do it today . She opened her mouth but nothing came out . Maybe she was too drunk, maybe the cool breeze was doing things to her, or maybe something happened to her heart today . . .

“Why?” She raised an arm up and looked at the back of her hand . “This hand is covered in blood, have only held a spear, never touched a sewing needle . The owner of such hands . . . what makes me worthy of your attentions in this way?”

The question surprised Mo Fang . How was she not worthy? He stared in silence at her for a moment before speaking . “There are differences between Your Highness and ordinary women, but there are similarities as well . The way I see it, your red-tasseled spear is your needle and the Demon realm the fabric with which you embroider the beautiful mountains and lakes on . ”

Shen Li stared hard at Mo Fang . Her face was a comical half smile, as she sighed . “Mo Fang . . . you always say the silliest things . Also, you shouldn’t spill your secrets so easily . ”

~”I didn’t misspeak . Nor was I using empty flattery . You really are someone worthy of me admiring and loving . ”

“That won’t work . ” Shen Li finally said after being silent for a long time . She dropped her arm . “It won’t do . ”

He knew it was impossible . He looked down hiding his eyes . ~”I know our statuses are different . I know I should not dare, but I wanted to let Your Highness know how I felt .

Status wasn’t the issue . It was because she couldn’t let go . . .

“Azure Sky King! So it was you! You’re trying to steal my man?!”

The sudden scolding came from below . Shen Li moved over and saw an excessively frilly dressed Fu Rongjun looking up at the them with an angry face . He pointed at her . “This is too much!”

The two reacted differently: Shen Li raised an eyebrow . While Mo Fang’s face sank but he did not get angry .

“Your Highness, it will be better if you return home and stay away for a bit . ”

“Ha!? Stay away? Have you forgotten what I just said earlier? I will punish you with martial law later!”

Shen Li teleported to Fu Rongjun . “It seems like your memory is really bad . ” She raised her fist wanting to beat him .

Fu Rongjun raised his arms protectively in front of his face as he shouted . “High God! Do you see how she treats me?! How can you force me to marry her?!”

Shen Li’s arm stiffened . She turned her head and saw Xing Zhi leaning against the wall underneath the eaves . Had he been there since she got on the roof with Mo Fang? Had he been listening to them talk? How . . . ill-mannered!

Xing Zhi could see her eyes were as cool as ever, but the smile she had on her face didn’t reach her eyes .

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