Chapter 401 Relationship Trouble, What Is Going on with the Realm
“You guys are Cao Bao and Xiao Shen?”
Li Nianfan was slightly surprised. He carefully looked at them.
They were the direct cause of Zhao Gongming’s death. One could say that they were born to curse Zhao Gongming.
During the era of the ‘Investiture of the Gods’, Zhao Gongming had 24 Dinghai Immortal Pearls. He was considered superior to all except Saints. At that time, he was being hunted. He passed by Wuyi Mountain and ran into Cao Bao and Xiao Shen who were playing chess.
They were lousy cultivators but they coincidentally had a Deluxe Merit Treasure that could knock off the items of their enemies. Due to bad luck, Zhao Gongming lost all 24 of his Dinghai Immortal Pearls along with his Dragon Rope. He was instantly at a disadvantage.
Li Nianfan did not expect that the two crucial ‘minor characters’ in the legendary stories would appear in front of him.
Cao Bao and Xiao Shen noticed that Li Nianfan was staring at them. It instantly sent a shiver down their spines. They asked anxiously, “Saint, do you know us?”
“I’ve heard of you. I’m the Deluxe Merit Saint but I’m just an ordinary man, don’t need to be so nervous.” Li Nianfan had to laugh. Then, he said, “You guys seem to be working for Zhao Gongming, right?”
In the legendary stories, Cao Bao and Xiao Shen were in the ‘Investiture of the Gods’. Interestingly, they became workers of Zhao Gongming. It was supposedly payback for their karma.
Xiao Shen was the Lord of Attracting Money. Cao Bao was the Lord of Collecting Treasure. They were responsible for managing finances and the market flow. They mainly managed the finances of the people. They were considered Chancellors of the Heavenly Palace.
Xiao Shen said with respect, “You’re right, Saint. We work for the Dragon Tiger Profound Altar Lord… also known as Zhao Gongming.”
Li Nianfan asked curiously, “Where is the Profound Altar Lord?”
Cao Bao replied, “The Profound Altar Lord was the student of a Saint back then. He’s much more powerful than us. He didn’t return after the catastrophe.”
Li Nianfan nodded. He had questions about the catastrophe.
So many experts were dead. Even Saints could not escape. Everything became a mess. The catastrophe was much scarier than any big tribulations or disasters.
Something was off. Li Nianfan stopped thinking about it. He asked, “Are you guys managing money in the Immortal Realm?”
“Yes, Saint,” replied Cao Bao. “It’ll be recorded as a sin if they hurt others because of money. Of course, those who give out money could repent for their sins. At the same time, we manage their finances properly, too.”
Xiao Shen nervously said, “We were looking for some entertainment while working just now. We won’t need to pay too much attention unless we have a rare case. Please, forgive us, Saint.”
‘I see. They were watching videos…during work?’
Li Nianfan laughed. “Alright, no need to be so nervous. I’m not your boss. I was just looking.”
The Gods of Finance mainly needed to avoid financial chaos. Money was the source of chaos, and the Immortal Realm would be in ruins if their money system was messed up. However… It was a relatively easy job.
Li Nianfan smiled and said, “Do your job properly. Fight for a bonus by the end of the year.”
Cao Bao and Xiao Shen sighed in relief after Li Nianfan left. They silently wiped off the cold sweat on their foreheads. ‘Is this the powerful aura of a bigshot? Too scary. We couldn’t even breathe.’
Cao Bao was taken aback. He asked curiously, “Xiao Shen, just now…do you know what the Saint meant by bonus?”
Xiao Shen carefully thought about it. “Bonus sounds like a promotion, right?”
“Promotion?” Cao Bao furrowed his brow. Then, he looked like he realized something. He excitedly asked in a shuddering voice, “For someone like the Saint, did he mean Deluxe… Deluxe Merit as a bonus?”
“Gasp-it might be.” Xiao Shen had wide eyes. He excitedly paced around the palace. “We stabilized the finance of the Immortal Realm. He most probably meant it! We have to work hard, do our jobs properly so that we can gain some Deluxe Merit by the end of the year!”
“Not Deluxe Merit, the Saint said it’s called bonus!”
“Yes, yes, bonus. We have to work hard for a bonus!”
Li Nianfan strolled around after walking out from the Palace of the Finance Gods. He gradually learned about their jobs.
The Heavenly Palace existed mainly to avoid chaos in the three realms. They did not manage everything, but they could if they wanted to. It was up to their moods.
Their main responsibility was to help when things go wrong. Once an uncontrollable situation occurred, they would do whatever they needed to do to stop the tragedy. Normally, they worked quite leisurely.
Meanwhile, at the Palace of Yue Lao.
A young lady held a bunch of red yarn in her hands. She stared at it and unknotted it.
There were about ten knots in the bunch. It was a knotted mess.
Her eyes were bloodshot. She looked like she was on the verge of a breakdown. “Dead-end knot, dead-end knot, and dead-end knot again! What’s going on?”
She pouted like she wanted to cry but no tears came out. She sighed and said, “What did the world go through after all these years? When did relationships become so complicated? I’m begging you all to put me back in the seal.”
She tried to detangle the knots for a while but she ended up turning it into a knotted ball…
“He loves her, she loves him, he loves her and her… Argh-just let me die!”
The young lady threw the knotted ball. She was completely done with it. She turned and looked at the old man sitting by the door.
The old man had very thin white hair. He was almost bald. He wore a red robe. He scratched his head while he frowned at a book in his hand. He looked troubled.
The young lady pitifully looked at the old man. She said in a tragic voice, “I failed…”
The old man turned his head and looked at the knotted ball. The corner of his mouth twitched. Then, he lifted his hand and dropped a pair of small golden scissors in front of the young lady. “It can’t be saved, just cut it.”
The young lady excitedly picked up the scissors and cut away. She instantly felt great.
However, before she could sigh in relief, two clay people with complicated relationships flew out. A red string quickly bound them together.
“Found true love so soon after cutting off all the complicated relationships?” The young lady was intrigued. However, she stared at the two clay people with fright. She covered her mouth with her hand.
She composed herself and picked up one of the clay people. She touched the pimples of the clay person. Then, she picked up the other clay person and touched it. Also pimples…
“These two…they both have pimples!” The young lady covered her mouth and stared at them in disbelief. It was a complicated fright, but she was also…kind of excited.
“It has changed. The world has changed.”
Her voice shuddered. She seemed to be excited. “Master, what do I do in a situation like this?”
“Duh, cut it.”
“Cut? Cut where?”
“The string. Where else?”
“Oh…” The young lady seemed disappointed.
The elder scratched his head and suddenly realized that a couple of strands of hair fell off. He instantly teared up. He angrily said, “Quickly cut it. Come with me to the Underworld after you’re done!”
The young lady was puzzled. “Master, why are we going to the Underworld?”
“To talk to Ox-Head and Horse-Face! This is bullying! They’re trying to make me bald on purpose!” he said while running towards the door. However, he stopped in his tracks when he collided with Li Nianfan.
“Saint… Lord Saint!”
The elder widened his eyes in horror. Then, he quickly saluted and said, “Greetings from Yue Lao to the Lord Saint.”
Xiao Luo also bowed and greeted, “Greetings from Xiao Luo to the Lord Saint.” Li Nianfan saluted back. He smiled and asked, “Yue Lao, why are you in such a hurry? Where are you going?”
“Sigh. Lord Saint, you came at the right time. You be the judge. Is the Underworld treating us unfairly?”
Yue Lao was full of complaints. He was resentful. He passed the book over to Li Nianfan and ranted, “Relationship troubles aren’t that easy to create. They simply wrote ‘relationship troubles’ and passed it off to me. What can I do?”
Li Nianfan opened the book and saw a row of words, ‘Relationship troubles. Every trouble they face will be harsh and brutal. An unsuccessful relationship, as if Fate keeps stopping them. However… Happy ending.’ ‘Huh?
‘Why does it look familiar?
‘Is this Yun Yiyi and Jiese?’
“Look, look at this,” said Yue Lao in agony. He said angrily, “It was fated to be an unsuccessful relationship but it needs a happy ending. Isn’t that contradictory? Most importantly… I have to prepare relationship troubles that will last for nine lives! I can’t think of any without balding out.”
“Um…excuse me,” groaned Li Nianfan for a moment. He said apologetically, “If I’m not mistaken, these two are my friends. I let the Underworld help them.”
Yue Lao instantly froze in place. He was dumbfounded. He did not move.
He was inhaling through his mouth. His teeth hurt and his heart went cold. He was mindblown.
‘What did I say? What am I doing? Am I going to die?’
Yue Lao sobbed and almost burst out crying. He said in a shivering voice, “I suddenly feel like this sentence was so well-written! As Yue Lao, I’ve always been searching for a challenge like this. Creating relationship troubles is my specialty. Such a challenging project. Interesting, so interesting. I’m already excited, I’ll put my mind to it. Don’t worry, Saint, I got this.”
Li Nianfan had to laugh. “Yue Lao, you don’t need to be like that. I won’t force you or trouble you.”
“Force me or trouble me?” Yue Lao felt his lips tremble. He shuddered and hurriedly said, “Not at all. It’s no trouble at all. I’m too happy and genuinely willing to do this.”
Li Nianfan said, “Yue Lao, about the relationship troubles, I have some ideas. You can use it as a reference.”
Yue Lao replied without thinking, “Feel free to say it, Saint. I’ll listen attentively.”
“Master, let’s invite the Lord Saint to sit down inside first.”
Xiao Luo quietly reminded him on the side. She sneakily glanced at Li Nianfan. He always had a friendly smile, she wondered why her Master was so afraid of him. He was so handsome.
“Yes, yes, of course. What am I thinking?” Yue Lao kept nodding in realization. “Lord Saint, please, after you.”
“Sorry for the intrusion, then.”
Li Nianfan walked into the Yue Lao Palace. He glanced at the clay people and the red strings. He had an idea but he temporarily held it in.
Xiao Luo jogged over to make some tea for Li Nianfan.
Li Nianfan said, “Yue Lao. Creating relationship troubles takes skill. I have a few short stories about troubling love, hope it helps you.”
Yue Lao said genuinely, “Please, teach me, Lord Saint.”
His hair was barely holding on. “My first story, ‘Butterfly Lovers’…” Li Nianfan immediately retold the popular love stories from his past realm. ‘Butterfly Lovers’, ‘Legend of the White Snake’, and ‘Romance of the Western Chamber’.
They were all short stories. It was not complicated but the romance was spot on.
Xiao Luo did not stop crying from the beginning to the end of the story. She kept sobbing. As for Yue Lao…he did not stop smiling He even picked up a brush in his hand. He was taking notes. He said excitedly, “Awesome. These stories are awesome! Xiao Luo, don’t just cry, take notes. Hurry up and take notes. These are precious materials. We can use it in the future to inspire others in romance.”
Li Nianfan felt his heart drop. He suddenly felt weird. ‘In the future… Will these tragically beautiful love stories be passed down for generations because of me?’
“Lord Saint, you’re truly talented. Each of these stories is deeply touching. They’ll be household stories. You’ve helped me a lot.”
Yue Lao was not trying to kiss up to him. He was genuinely impressed and thankful. Their jobs would be so much easier with the story templates. “The expert’s too amazing. Even the love stories are so impactful. So legendary. Is there anything in the realm that he could not do?’
Li Nianfan smiled and replied, “I’ll let you handle my friends, Yue Lao.”
Yue Lao went serious. He immediately promised, “Don’t worry, Lord Saint. I’ve got this. I’ll personally help them have a great experience.”
In the blink of an eye, it was the day of the battle.
Li Nianfan did not stroll around. He naturally followed along to check out how the soldiers fought the Demons.
There were 3,000 soldiers at the Southern Sky Gate that day.
Some cultivators were not even Immortals yet. They had to fill in for the number of soldiers. However, three days was not enough to gather 3,000 people.
So… The Jade Emperor once again taught Li Nianfan something new.
Almost 2,000 soldiers were actually clones of the Jade Emperor.
It was very shameless.
The leader, Taoist Taihua, was already the clone of the Jade Emperor. Most of the army was also made from the Jade Emperor. The battle was basically a solo battle of the Jade Emperor. He tried so hard to keep the reputation of the Heavenly Palace.