Honestly? I didn’t really like this when I read the first chapter for the first time. It was just an overview, a tl;dr of Xie Lian’s background. But I thought that maybe, I was too tired and at the same time, occupied by other novels.
Heaven Official’s Blessing
Summary from Sakhyulations:
For you, I’ll become invincible!
“Have you heard? The rubbish Heaven Official is having an affair with the ghost realm’s number one bigshot!”
I loved this summary! It sounded like a gossip from a tabloid. It made it seem like the novel was pure fun, humor, laughter to no end…
…pfft. As if.
Eight hundred years ago, Xie Lian was the Crown Prince of the Xian Le kingdom; one who was beloved by his citizens and the darling of the world. Unsurprisingly, he ascended to the Heavens at a very young age. Now, eight hundred years later, Xie Lian ascends to the Heavens for the third time as the laughing stock of all three realms. On his first task as a god, he meets a mysterious demon who rules the ghosts and terrifies the Heavens……yet unbeknownst to Xie Lian, this demon king has been paying attention to him for a very, very long time.
May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!
I gave this another try after I finished Mo Dao Zu Shi and instantly loved it. Chapter 1 was interesting and not boring at all. I didn’t know why I thought it wasn’t at first but that chapter raised a lot of questions. While the story started lighthearted, as if Xie Lian’s existence was really a big joke, it also gave off a feeling that the story would turn to angst real soon.
When Xie Lian was introduced, I instantly loved him too. He’s too chill and carefree. Like nothing could bother him and you’d have to be really annoying to irritate him. But sometimes his personality was just tad indifferent which made me sad for him since the world might have shattered his ideals hundreds of years before. So as not to be disappointed anymore, he set a lower expectation and a higher tolerance on things. Like he’d seen so much and known so much that nothing affects him any longer. After all, 800 years was long — long enough to accumulate heaps of regrets and guilt.
Hua Cheng though. Tsk tsk. So smooth. If Luo Binghe was the sticky, crybaby, but OP top and Lan WangJi was the kuudere yet beast in the bed top, Hua Cheng was smooth, like a real Casanova. His charm lay on being a caring gentleman yet oh so elusive and mysterious. Their first meeting was still one of my favorite moments. I’ve seen fanarts of the scene and it was eerie yet so beautiful. It was a sight to see, though it would have been really creepy with the bloody rain lol.
Hua Cheng has a lot of (ambiguous) quotable quotes! Like he appeared as someone saying his opinions on a topic but also felt like he experienced those himself. I should have started taking notes of them. Here’s the latest one that I’ve encountered:
“But for some people, someone who exists in this world is hope in itself.”
Thanks to a certain video cover, I somehow got the idea that maybe, just maybe, Xie Lian met Hua Cheng wayyyyy before. Maybe even before his first ascension. And if that was the case, then all the flirty and playful actions and words HC do were actually really sad and painful. He’s just passing it as something trivial. Maybe to not scare off XL? XL seemed a little emotionally scarred so he’ll be a little terrified if pushed at the wrong moment.
I love all of their talks. I know the plot’s kinda stagnant at that part, but I love it still because these two are just so easy together. Maybe compared to the other MXTX couples (LBHxSQQ = misunderstanding galore, LWJxWWX = unless they’re drunk, but a lot is unsaid because well LWJ is very reserved), HC x XL talk things out. Their views on things, trivial or not, their worlds, their pasts.
Since this was also a child of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, it was impossible not to compare. While I loved the characters of Mo Dao Zu Shi, I had a problem with the storytelling. The continuous back and forth between the past and the present disrupted the momentum of each arc. I think to address that, MXTX separated this story into 5 parts. They clearly mentioned on the site that volumes 1, 3, and 5 were in the present timeline. Meanwhile, volumes 2 and 4 were in the past. With this, you’ll clearly know when the arc started and ended. At least now, the flashback wouldn’t appear randomly.
When I started reading CNovels, one of my problems was the number of names and terms that I have to memorize. I thought I’m getting used to it after reading a few. But I assumed too early. Heaven Official’s Blessings have way more names, titles, nicknames, pet names, and whatnots than my brain cells could ever handle. Thank goodness Yume-chan created this list and this post saved me from pulling my hair out of frustration.
I’m done reading the first volume of the novel. I heard volume 2 is heartbreaking so… wish me luck.
Volume 2 was indeed heartbreaking. This book was during Xie Lian’s time as Crown Prince and his first ascension. Because of the prince’s youth, he’s rather idealistic and naive. His hero complex made me afraid for him. XL was reckless. He was used being put in a pedestal, the savior. While his way of thinking was understandable, I found myself constantly agreeing with Guo Shi. I also thought that XL ascended too early. He’s still very much attached to his mortal life. And three years of wandering around the world was not enough to gain all the wisdom he needed to put things into perspective as a god.
But one of the best thing in this one was the kid he saved. Hong Hong Er was cute and sticky. Mysterious even if he’s still a small bun.
Thank goodness this volume only lasted 30 chapters or my heart wouldn’t last. Besides I was eager to go back to the present time~
Volume 3 is the longest volume — the part where most of the things happened. There are characters arcs along the way.
The most notable was the one between Shi QingXuan and the other ghost king. My friend warned me about it. But it didn’t stop my heart for breaking into a thousand pieces when I got to that part. It’s just misfortune galore. A big mess of things.
There’s also the birth of another ghost king. A lot of small misfortunes happened again. Let’s see… at the top of my head, the story about Jin Yixian and Ling Wen made me sad. But as much as I wanted to understand the entire story, reading MTL was very difficult on this part and I kept on getting confused with the story.
There’s also the connection of Feng Xin to the ghost girl Xie Lian met earlier in the ghost city. This was also connected to the fetus who kept on appearing since chapter 2. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT!? Feng Xin who could not stand girls like when he interrogated Xuan Ji (the ghost from the first case) or when they got thrown into a woman’s bath in one of Hua Cheng’s random door. I couldn’t picture him wooing a girl even. But I felt bad for him. And I liked Feng Xin so…
Another mini angst is about another god and then another ghost, Quan YiZhen and Yin Yu. I didn’t realize that Yin Yu was the guard Xie Lian was following during his ghost city trip in Volume 1!
Anyway, back to their deal. It’s just so heartbreaking for all of them. It somehow reminded me of The Three Idiots where the protagonist said, “If you got a low grade, you feel bad. But if your friend got a better grade than you, you feel worse.” I think Yin Yu became one of my fave minor character here.
And a QYZ x YY shipper.
Scattered within this volume are the mini fluffs and flirtings of Xie Lian and Hua Cheng. Those were like rays of sunshine after the storm. They were there for each other, protecting the other, and just being an adorable unofficial couple altogether (or at least at this part of the story). I loved every moment they feed dog food to the rest of the gods. Feng Xin and Mu Qing’s horrified reactions were golden. I’ll never get tired of them.
The big bulk of revelation about HC and XL’s feelings happened in this volume too. I’ve never been so scared for HC than in this part.
So this book is just one hell of a roller-coaster ride.
But it’s much better than the stairway to feels of Volume 4.
Meanwhile, volume 4… I had to take a break before reading this volume. I remember taking a peek at the spoilers while on the way to a party. I had to stop reading as soon as I started tearing up. You know things are not going to go well when the starting scene is a dream about the death of Xie Lian’s parents. It was the shortest volume but it was also the most painful! Too much angst! Volume 2 looked like tiny bit sad book when placed alongside this volume.
This is also the volume where Mu Qing decided to break my heart. He’s one of my fave before. Like maybe, more than Feng Xin. I loved how he goes head to head with Hua Cheng. But of course, none of his sarcastic remarks ever get to HC — he’s much sassier than MQ anyway.
So yeah, MQ decided to ‘betray’ XL using a poor poor excuse (which might be 1% true??). He had his reasons like he could help better if one of them flies, in order to fly he had to be chummy chummy with the other gods blah blah. Later on, in book 5, it was revealed that he was just tsun tsun and actually wanted to be friends with XL. But then I was already 😑. I thought they’re friends? Like, it’s already pretty obvious?? But I guess since MQ kept on doing the chores for XL even if they were poor, it still felt like he’s a servant even if XL thought of them as his friends. They’re just not on equal footing.
Wow, thinking about it now that way lessen my dislike with MQ.
Oh, and I have to mention that guy, the one who wore a straw hat, he became my favorite minor minor minor character (he is that minor lol). Even if he swore like Feng Xin, his small act saved Xie Lian. And the scene where he went back and nagged XL to find a shelter from the rain was really cute and sweet. Sweet in a way that even if XL was in that dire circumstance, the straw hat guy lit up a tiny spark of hope within XL. Even if it’s tiny, it meant a lot. I guess, that this was also a reason why XL always have that hat with him? It’s like a reminder of sorts?
Once you get past the hell that was volume 4, volume 5 was a tiny bit better. It was time to face the final boss, time to wrap up loose ends.
I loved the appearance of Xie Lian’s former master. Just like everyone else, Guo Shi had mother hen tendencies! Everyone wanted to shield XL from his dashing prince charming www.
“But sometimes his personality was just tad indifferent which made me sad for him since the world might have shattered his ideals hundreds of years before.”
I mentioned this before and I was right. The world shattered his ideals and HIM. Now I get why Hua Cheng got so overprotective of him every time because that’s what you’d like to do with Xie Lian — protect him for anything and anyone who wants to hurt him.
Those sneak kisses though www.
I was looking forward to the last sentence of Tian Guan Ci Fu. I was in love with Scum Villain’s and I remembered liking Mo Dao Zu Shi’s too. While I think that it was still a very fitting line, it wasn’t that impactful as I thought it would be. Maybe because I know that they would still be together after all. Like I already have a fill of fluff. Or maybe, just like XL, I believed HC will come back. He’s unshakeable after all.
Volume 1 re-read
Xie Lian had to act as the sniper for Jun Wu. 🤨
Jun Wu calling Xie Lian as Xian Le – I thought it was terms of endearment but it felt more like an insult or a reminder of some sort.
Re-reading HOB and seeing XL accustomed to poverty makes me want to cry for him. Younger him wouldn’t recognize him.
I also realized in my re-read that dating Hua Cheng was like dating Google — you ask, he answers. Gods’ history? He got you. Latest heavenly gossip? You bet he knows. Ghosts whereabouts? Duh.
“But for some people, someone who exists in this world is hope in itself.”
Bringing this quote back because I’ve realized, through my re-reads, that this applied not only to Hua Cheng but also with Xie Lian. It was obvious for HC, for he made XL his reason for existing. Meanwhile, for XL, that one small act of kindness from a stranger was a make or break for him. It was a reminder for him that no matter what happened or what horrendous things done to him, one person who cares was enough.
Wow. Just wow. I never thought I would have been able to MTL 230+ chapters. I sure have pestered a lot of people with my questions and clarifications. After all the heartaches, the feels, the angst, the fluff, it was worth it. It made me think how much more will I be able to appreciate the story and its characters if I actually understand the nuance of the words and not just get the general outline of the story. But well, we could only wish. But I still wanted to buy the book! I don’t think it’s available now? But hopefully, once it’s available, I’ll be able to buy it alongside the rest of MXTX books.
Also, you might want to check this out: https://twitter.com/yummysuika/status/1076213565739085824