Chapter 103: Becoming Your God (VI)
“You can stay in the Yi Empire, but you have to accept me monitoring your every move.”
The War God finished having his fun, and left right after saying this.
Shang Ke’s mask expressed the joy he felt, ‘╰(*＾▽＾*)╯.’
Neil had appeared next to him at some point. He asked, “You’re still happy despite having to be monitored?”
Shang Ke gave him a glance, ‘(﹁”﹁).’ ‘You don’t understand this. He was the Evil God who locked horns with the War God as well as other gods for hundreds of years, but he hadn’t been exterminated and he was given the opportunity to turn over a new leaf. This was a rare opportunity.’
Since this was a good start, he was in a good mood. Therefore, he didn’t care that the expressions on his mask varied more than it usually did. He waved goodbye to the dumbfounded Love God and drifted back to his room feeling like he was on cloud nine.
Three days later, the selection ceremony for the imperial concubine was held. The Shu Clan had carefully prepared themselves before they escorted Tima to the ceremony. Shang Ke turned into his spirit form to join her during the ceremony.
In order to ensure that Tima emerged victorious, the previous Evil God had secretly cursed the other participants so they ended up seriously injured or ill. The curse didn’t affect every participant as some believed in powerful gods that could neutralize the effects of the curse. Some of these powerful gods were the Light God who was at the same level as the War God, the Healing God who was powerful in restoring health, and the Death God who had darkness attributes. However, the Death God would not willingly enter the land of light.
At the entrance to the banquet, Tima removed her mask and presented her invitation to the servant who was receiving the guests.
The servant’s eyes held immense surprise when he noticed her appearance. He inspected the invitation before he bowed and waved her inside.
She lifted her dress and gracefully walked along the red carpet towards the hall. Her heart pounded and her hands sweated. She felt the urge to leave when she felt more and more people’s eyes on her.
Although Shang Ke had helped her build up her courage and confidence, she had never experienced anything so grand. It was inevitable that she would be somewhat timid.
“Don’t feel nervous. Just treat them the way you treat plants and flowers.” Shang Ke told her as he floated towards Tima’s side. He looked like a man that was on patrol. It was a pity that mortals could not hear him except for in their sleep.
Thus, Tima did not hear his advice and she became more anxious instead as she entered the hall.
Shang Ke continued to cheer her up by commenting on another girl’s weight, another girl’s prettiness, another girl’s undignified laughing style, another girl’s messy haircut, and so on.
However, the cold sweat on Tima flowed heavily like a river.
“Pfft.” Laughter sounded on the side.
Shang Ke turned his head in that direction. He noticed Neil wearing a gorgeous outfit not too far away. He was holding a wine glass in his hands.
Neil was a god with a physical body and this made it possible for him to interact with mortals and flaunt his beauty.
Shang Ke drifted towards him and poked Neil’s waist with his elbow. “Help me with something.”
“What do you need?” Neil asked as he smiled.
“Ask Tima for a dance later. This is her first time at a ball and she doesn’t have any experience.”
“Sorry, I don’t know how to dance.” Neil regretfully turned him down.
Shang Ke gave him a look, ‘ →_→.’ You’re the Love God and you can’t dance? Did you dress up so nicely for this ball just to be a wallflower?
Neil laughed. “Instead of asking for help from an outsider like me, you should do it yourself.”
Shang Ke made a face, ‘ (╯︿╰).’ If I was able to do it myself, would I come to you for help?
“Even without a physical body, you can put on an outfit and make your spirit form substantive. This will allow you to be the same as a regular person.”
Shang Ke’s first reaction was to make this face, ‘(⊙▽⊙)’, then this one, ‘(= ︿ =).’ His body could be changed, but his mask couldn’t be removed. He couldn’t imagine dancing with a beautiful girl with such a terrible mask on his face. At first, he may look mighty and domineering, but he would soon look weird and ridiculous.
Neil looked at the masked face that was unable to hide his expressions. He held back the urge to laugh. ‘You don’t have to worry about the mask. I have a solution for that.”
Shang Ke made a face, ‘( °o°).’ What solution?
Neil seemed to pull out a mask from the air. It’s main color was white but it had an intricate deep golden pattern around the right eye. It made the mask look exquisite.
“How about this?” Neil held the mask near Shang Ke’s face and compared both masks.
Was this mask supposed to be placed on top of his own? Shang Ke glanced at the mask in Neil’s hand with a contemplative expression on his face.
“You better hurry up. The dance has already begun.” Neil pointed his chin towards the center of the room. “If you want, I’ll take you somewhere so you can get changed.
Shang Ke nodded his head, “Okay!”
In the hall, Prince Yitamo took his Imperial Mother’s hand and moved gracefully to the melodious music in the center of the hall. He dedicated his first dance to her.
When Tima noticed Yitamo, she felt a bit surprised. She hadn’t expected that the handsome young man that traveled with them for the past several days ended up being the prince of the Yi Empire. She had good feelings towards Yitamo, but only as a friend.
Her God Uno held an important place in her heart. The only reason she came to participate in the selection ceremony was for the Shu Clan’s future.
When the music ended, applause sounded from the crowd. Yitamo let go of his Imperial Mother’s hand and his eyes swept past the numerous girls that were present.
Yitamo had never seen Tima’s actual features before and since she stood in the back blocked by the crowd, he ended up choosing a girl closer to the front as his dance partner for the second dance.
The music began once again and the prince held the girl’s hand to lead her into dance. The other men on the dance floor looked for their own partners before joining him.
Tima refused several offers to dance and stood by herself in the corner. She felt gloomy as she quietly watched Yitamo dance.
“May I ask this lovely lady for a dance?” A gentle voice interrupted her thoughts. She started to refuse, but the mask on the other person’s face made her hesitate.
The man in front of her had on delicate black attire with a white mask that had gold highlights on his face. He was tall and strong, and he had naturally elegant manners.
Tima hesitated for a bit, but refused his invitation in the end.
“Tima, I didn’t teach you how to dance just so you can hide in the corner.”
Tima heard this and lifted her head to stare at the man in disbelief.
“You…. You….” Her heart pounded rapidly and she let out shallow breaths.
“Come on. Let’s dance.” Shang Ke offered her his hand.
“Okay!” Tima smiled before placing her hand in his. The hand felt cold, but it made her feel more excited.
The two stepped onto the dance floor and gracefully swayed to the music.
Shang Ke wanted to boost Tima’s ego. He carefully guided her so her graceful self could be revealed.
With Shang Ke’s guidance, Tima began to relax and become more accustomed towards dancing. Her personality became livelier. Her skirt swayed and it elegantly flowed when she turned. She bloomed like a budding rose under the melodious music.
Their elegant dancing style gained the attention of others. Tima’s gorgeous appearance dazzled and shone.
Neil noticed this scene and let out a low whistle. He didn’t think that Little Mask could give off such an elegant appearance. The mask hid his true self and made him look like a completely different person. Who would have ever realized that a rugged man with an animal hide skirt would be under that gorgeous attire? Neil couldn’t help but laugh after thinking about this.
Mhmm. His actual appearance was the cutest.
Yitamo’s attention was also attracted to this scene. He felt familiarity as he looked at Tima. He noticed that her partner had a mask on his face and something clicked. Wasn’t this Tima from the Shu Clan? Even though he wasn’t familiar with her facial features, he could recognize her dressing style and her body’s shape.
However, who was her dance partner? It wasn’t polite to wear a mask at a party that wasn’t a masquerade.
It didn’t matter to Yitamo that he was no longer the center of attention. He had no intention of finding a partner at this ball anyway. Occasionally, he would sneak peeks at Shang Ke. He had a feeling that he’d seen him somewhere before.
He finished his second dance with an absent mind. He was ready to take a break. He had only taken a few steps before he sharply turned around ninety degrees and headed towards Tima and Uno.
Shang Ke instinctively turned around.
“It really is you!” Yitamo stated as he stared at Shang Ke with an abnormal expression. It was like he was trying to hold back his laughter.
Shang Ke felt unhappy. He really was a dignified man. It wasn’t out of character for him to wear magnificent attire. It’s that revealing animal hide skirt that didn’t suit him!
“I didn’t think that you’d come to this ball. Would you care to join me for the next dance?” Yitamo asked with a gentle smile.
Shang Ke silently stared at Yitamo with his double-masked face. Are you okay in your head? Is it appropriate to ask a man who is the same height and stronger than you for a dance? Even if you wanted to embarrass yourself, this isn’t the proper way to do it. Can you really disappoint your people and your country in this manner?
Actually, Yitamo’s invitation to dance was made without thought. He thought it would be funny if he danced with him. However, once the words exited his mouth, he felt like it was a stupid action.
Cough! “I’d like to invite Tima for a third dance.” He quickly composed himself.
Shang Ke thought, ‘Why are you looking at me instead of Tima? Are you cross-eyed?’
Tima thought, ‘I really want to refuse….’
The music for the third round of dances started. Yitamo walked on the dance floor with an anxious Tima in tow. She turned around several times in hopes that her god would save her from this ‘Evil Prince.’ Instead, Shang Ke fiercely pushed with a gesture of farewell.
“If you weren’t wearing that mask, then that would have been better.” Neil regretfully said as he walked towards Shang Ke.
“Thank you for the mask. I decided to wear it forever and never take it off.” Shang Ke felt grateful.
The expression on Neil’s face froze, “I never intended for you to keep the mask.”
“That’s such a pity.” Shang Ke shrugged before sighing. “It seems as if I’ll have to reinvent one for myself.”
Shang Ke was happy that he finally found out how to be human again! He didn’t have to worry about that goddamn mask exposing his pure inner self anymore.
Thank you very much, Lord Love God! You’re the bestest friend that humanity can have!
Shang Ke gave Neil a sweet look to express his sincere gratitude.
Neil thought, ‘…. I suddenly feel as if I made a huge mistake.’
However, Shang Ke’s wonderful wish did not get fulfilled in the end.
After the dance, the fancily dressed Shang Ke escorted Tima and the rest of the group to their residences.
As he entered the courtyard, Shang Ke noticed the War God who had either stopped by in passing or specifically come to see him.
The War God looked at Shang Ke in his fancy attire. He let out a snort.
With the cold slight snort, Shang Ke felt his figure being removed from his outfit without any warnings. The formal outfit and mask were flung around so he was left with his original appearance and animal hide skirt.
“That’s inappropriate.” Saya commented in a cold manner.
Shang Ke made a face, ‘(┭┮Д ┭┮)’
He let out woeful tears for the death of his youthfulness.
No one in the world allowed him to be noble, elegant, and handsome.