“Uncle, uncle, I have a favor to ask,” I said meekly. We left mother in her courtyard, and the both of us were walking idly around the palace with uncle’s servants and steward trailing behind us in a uniformed line.
“What is it?” he asked gently.
I felt my face suffuse with red. This was such an embarrassing request, but I needed to have a backbone if I wanted this love of mine to actually bear fruit.
“I want to be with Jin Lei when he undergoes those trials.” I was looking down, and it was as if my face was emitting steam.
“Mmm.” Uncle looked at me curiously, and I saw a flash of understanding pass before his eyes.
“Uncle, please!” I was desperate.
“Well…you do know how difficult it is for him, right? He has to live his three lives as a mortal with none of his powers as a deity. I myself cannot reveal what kind of trial he has to undergo as a mortal, but it would not be easy. If he were to fail, the consequences would be dire.”
My face paled a bit. “I’ll just help him in any way I can! I won’t hamper him!”
“He will be drinking the soup of oblivion, so he will not know you. His memories as a deity will be temporarily erased as a mortal. Will you support him despite it all?” Uncle had a small, teasing smile on his lips.
“I will!” I said with my fists clenching at my sides. Then I looked down at the ground again. “He doesn’t know me anyway, so I have nothing to lose.”
“He does not know you?” Uncle looked at me oddly. Well, in terms of fame I guess I was well-known throughout Heaven and the netherworld, so it was hard for anyone not to know of me. However, only a scant amount of people actually saw my appearance, as I would wear a veil over my face when I would go out of the palace.
I would sometimes even hear rumors of people saying I was so hideous that I had to cover my face in order not to scare away suitors, but I ignored them all.
Now that I thought about it, I never even had one suitor. I knew I had a good lineage, so why did none of the deity families come to me and arrange a marriage? I had never fallen in love with someone other than Jin Lei, so perhaps that was one reason why I never bothered questioning this aspect in my life.
I also only had a few friends my age, who I could count with one hand…and there was only one male in the mix (who later on became my father’s apprentice). Why did I feel that there was something wrong with this situation?? My dwindling youth seemed to pass before my eyes and my mood plummeted.
“What are you thinking about, Juju? You suddenly look quite depressed,” uncle commented while rubbing my back.
“I just thought about how no one likes me.”
“Who says they do not like you?” A murderous glint appeared in uncle’s eyes for a millisecond, and I thought I imagined it.
“I say no one likes me. I don’t even have a man courting me! I’m a failure of a woman!” I suddenly wailed. I didn’t think my appearance was shabby, and even at some point I thought I looked pretty decent.
My thoughts were always incoherent segments, jumping from one idea to the next. I had the attention span of a goldfish as well.
“It is not because no one likes you, your family is just overprotective.” Uncle’s words felt like it held a deeper meaning, but before I could dissect his words, he said, “Jin Lei is a difficult person to get close to. He is a recluse who wields divine power almost comparable to mine.”
My eyes widened like saucers. Jin Lei was almost as amazing as the Emperor? It was simply too much for my little brain to wrap around.
“That is why, you must not anger him so, Juju.” He caressed my head and looked at me helplessly. “I know how much of a misfit you are, but restrain yourself. Do not cause any harm to the mortals, or there will be divine retribution. Even I cannot protect you if things are to go awry. The most I will be able to do is lighten your punishment, but you cannot escape from it. If you promise me to behave, I will allow you to leave for the mortal realm.”
I nodded my head vigorously. I looked like I was having spasms.
“I promise uncle!”
“Do you like him that much?” He looked at me with a concerned expression.
I nodded my head again, this time with a vibrant color spreading across my cheeks.
“I see.” Uncle sighed then chuckled bitterly. “I thought this day would never come.”
“Huh?” I tilted my head, not really knowing what he meant. He cleared his throat.
“Since you like him so much, I will not prevent you from seeking him on your own will. You should be able to make him fall for you.” He hugged me and kissed the top of my head. “How could anyone not love my cute little niece?” He started fawning over me and I thought I heard him mutter under his breath, “I’ll kill him if he doesn’t reciprocate her innocent love.” That was obviously just my imagination.
He then grasped my wrist and turned it over. With two fingers of his other hand, he placed a golden seal on the inside of my wrist. I could feel it pulsate with warmth.
“I have given you three lives in the mortal realm. This seal will also allow you to find Jin Lei wherever he shall be.”
I was overcome with emotion, and my eyes started watering.
“The Heavens will be in your favor. May you win his love, my little Juju.”