heaven official’s blessing volume 1 – moxiang tongxiu

Heaven Official’s Blessing Volume 1
by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

Series: Heaven Official’s Blessing #1
Published December 14th 2021 by Seven Seas Entertainment
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Representation: M/M romance, Chinese cast


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Born the crown prince of a prosperous kingdom, Xie Lian was renowned for his beauty, strength, and purity. His years of dedication and noble deeds allowed him to ascend to godhood. But those who rise, can also fall…and fall he does, cast from the Heavens again and again and banished to the mortal realm.

Eight hundred years after his mortal life, Xie Lian has ascended to godhood for the third time. Now only a lowly scrap collector, he is dispatched to wander the earthly realm to take on tasks appointed by the heavens to pay back debts and maintain his divinity. Aided by old friends and foes alike, and graced with the company of a mysterious young man with whom he feels an instant connection, Xie Lian must confront the horrors of his past in order to dispel the curse of his present.


My introduction to Heaven Official’s Blessing was the donghua. I remembered picking it on the whim because I wanted to watch something while eating lunch. Little did I know there was such beautiful art and story. ❤️❤️ I wasn’t expecting it to be a BL/danmei since it’s a Chinese work (and we know how they are about non-heterosexual couples).

After finishing the donghua, my sad self wanted more so I read the fan translated novel. Although it was insanely long, Mo Xiang Tong Xiu kept me wanting more. At that time, Starember was updating the manhua so my focus went to that until the season ended. Of course, my crazy ass would stop at nothing unless I consumed every piece of TGCF content, and I ordered the beautiful Taiwanese books. My excuse is that it will help me learn Traditional Chinese once more. Can you feel my sister’s judgemental look when I told her this? 😂

“Body in the abyss, heart in paradise.”

Let’s see, we start off with Xie Lian’s third ascension, and immediately he owes 8 million eight hundred and eight thousand merits. Even a god will have debt. In comes Mu Qing and Feng Xin asking who break the bell or who moved his palace respectively. I’ve read the whole book before so I’m aware of what transpired between this trio. It made this whole interaction so awkward.

i adore this conversation between xie lian and ling wen 😂 what a comical start to the series:
    “Congratulations, you have won first place on the chart of ‘Heavenly Official Most Hoped to be Banished Down to the Mortal Realm’ of this calendar cycle.”
    “Well, no matter what, first place is first place,” Xie Lian said. “But since you’re congratulating me, is there anything that’s actually worth being happy about?”
    “Yes,” Ling Wen replied. “First place on this chart receives one hundred merits.”
    Xie Lian immediately said, “If there are any similar charts in the future, please absolutely call me up.”
    “Do you know who second place is?” Ling Wen asked.
    Xie Lian pondered for a moment, then replied, “That’s too hard to guess. After all, in terms of ability, I should be able to take the first three places myself.”
    “Pretty much,” Ling Wen said. “There isn’t a second place. You’re so far ahead that you’ve left everyone in the dust.”
    “That’s too great of an honor,” Xie Lian replied. “Then who was first place for the previous calendar cycle?”
    “There is no previous winner,” Ling Wen said, “because this chart was first established today.”
continuation (when xie lian accidentally offended muqing and fengxin):
    “Do you know why you got first place?” Ling Wen continued.
    ”By popular demand?” Xie Lian guessed.
    “Let me explain the reason to you,” Ling Wen said. “Please look at that bell.”
    He took a good look for a while, then asked, “Did you perhaps point in the wrong direction? There’s no bell anywhere.”
    “I didn’t,” Ling Wen said. “It’s right there; don’t you see it?”
    Xie Lian looked again seriously, then answered honestly, “I don’t.”
    Ling Wen replied, “It’s all right if you don’t. There used to be a bell there, but when you ascended, it fell because of the tremors.”
    “Now, please look over at that golden palace. Do you see it?”
    Again, Xie Lian looked to where she was pointing and saw amidst the haze of clouds the resplendent golden glazed roof. “Ah, this time I see it.”
    “It’s not right if you see it,” Ling Wen said. “There wasn’t anything there before.”

Xie Lian receives a mission from Ling Wen to clear his debt. AND THIS MEANS XIE LIAN IS MEETING HUA CHENG SOON.💓🦋💓🦋💓

“May heaven officials give their blessings. No paths are bound.”

@ tea shop,

a silver butterfly flew past Xie Lian slowly (we all know who’s spying his husband), and we meet Nan Feng and Fu Yao! This Xianle trio has my heart, seriously. To me, MQ and FX’s thoughts are quite hard to understand but their eyes hardened when they saw XL’s cursed shackles. 😢😢

lol, Mu Qing pestered his followers or destroyed his statues until they beautified his image. Feng Xin’s accidental “Tremendous Masculinity🍆” title was hilarious. He was supposed to be “Perfect Sun”. AND HE ONLY FOUND OUT YEARS LATER WHEN HE WAS SAW THE AMOUNT OF FEMALE WORSHIPPERS. HAHAHA.

fu yao and his eye rolls:
    Fu Yao commented in disgust, “If I were the ghost groom, I’d wipe out this entire troupe for sending such an ugly thing to me.”
    “Fu Yao, you’re not speaking as an immortal should,” Xie Lian said. “And can you fix that eye-rolling habit of yours? Why don’t you set a small target for yourself first and roll only five times a day or something like that?”
    “Set it at fifty times a day and it still won’t be enough!” Nan Feng added.

Xie Lian saved Xiao Ying from being harassed but got slapped instead. The scene when Nan Feng cracked the pillar apart was funny too. Lmao.

i’ll just say that xie lian makes a beautiful bride:
    “Is there anything you wish to say?”
      Fu Yao nodded. “If I were the ghost groom and someone sent a woman like this to me…”
        “You’d wipe out the entire town, was it?” Xie Lian finished for him.
          Fu Yao replied frigidly, “No, I’d kill the woman.”

@ wedding procession,

Xie Lian was the only one who heard the infant singing while in the sedan. Ruoye, the only spiritual device Xie Lian could control, makes an appearance! I’ve seen a lot of cute fan art of Ruoye but when you think about the origins of Xie Lian’s spiritual device, it’s incredibly depressing. 😭😭

The curtain was lifted and HUA CHENG MEETS XIE LIAN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FREAKING FOREVER. Hua Cheng safely brought Xie Lian across the forest with hanging corpses to Temple of Ming Guang. THEY DIDN’T EVEN SPEAK BEFORE HUA CHENG BECOMES SILVER BUTTERFLIES?!

hua cheng helping xie lian from the bridal sedan:
    Xie Lian reached out.
    He rose to his feet, ready to push aside the curtain to descend the sedan, but the man had already moved first, lifting the red curtain for him. This man who had come grasped his hadn’t but didn’t squeeze too hard, as if he was afraid of hurting him, somehow giving the impression of taking the utmost care.

No matter how high on his guard Xie Lian was, to be treated this way, he couldn’t help but think: If he was a real groom, then he’d genuinely be a most gentle and considerate one.

Hua Cheng steps on skull and breaks enchantment immediately: HOW POWERFUL.
Hua Cheng: *needs to protect bb from blood rain* here’s the umbrella ☔

xie lian about hua cheng’s silver butterflies while nan feng and fu yao were like why was “血雨探花“ here:
    They’re like silver, yet also like crystal. They don’t seem to be living creatures. But they look quite pretty.”

@ Ming Guang Temple, Mount YuJun

I thought I would be seeing Xiao Ying for a while but she was killed so quickly. All she wanted was to protect her friend and Xie Lian from Xuan Ji. When Xie Lian found out that Xiao Ying’s friend had survived the Human Face Disease that wiped out his kingdom 800 years ago, I was in agony. Man… That period of his life is tough, I only can feel that now that I know what happened then.

Wasn’t expecting General Pei Junior to make an appearance once again but that’s for the next arc!

Xie Lian used to say this in the past when he busked on the streets. It used to be funny the first time I read the book but after finding out how he ended up doing that, it’s really sad:
    When Xie Lian heard them, he blurted out of habit, “Thank you, thank you. Please support my act with money if you have the means, or with applause if you haven’t.”

Xuan Ji’s story was filled with bitterness. A one-sided love that turned sour when feelings weren’t reciprocated. But! Ming Guang have such a bad reputation. But his reply to Xuan Ji’s curse of “never having someone to truly love” was pretty funny. By the end of the series, I think he was quite enamoured by one of the side characters. Hehe.

in communication array

According to Ling Wen, Xuan Ji is a subordinate of Green Ghost Qi Rong and they can’t find any child spirit.

Xie Lian asked about the “young man who can control silver butterflies” and everyone is stunned to silence. 🦋 Love that only Xie Lian can speak about Hua Cheng without fear.

Hua Cheng aka Crimson Rain Sought Flower

  • part of the Four Calamities/Ghost Kings of the Ghost Realm
    • Ship-Sinking Black Water (supreme): water ghost; low-key
    • Night-Touring Green Lantern (savage): vulgar; always causing trouble; “there to pad numbers” [LOL😂😂]
    • White-Clothed Calamity (White No-Face)(supreme): destroyed Xianle Kingdom; already defeated.
    • Crimson Rain Sought Flower: wraith butterflies. Supposedly ascended but jumped down to become a ghost.

Hua Cheng’s ascension fight against the 35 heavenly officials is simply chef’s kiss. Cockiness was the downfall of the 33 that took up the challenge. They’ll have to face the consequences of broadcasting the whole ordeal to the mortal and refusing to make good of their word: Hua Cheng burning down all their temples in a single night.

Spoiler thoughts about Hua Cheng’s 1 vs 33
    I wasn’t aware of this until later into the book. If my memory serves me well, Hua Cheng did that to those that bullied Xie Lian when Hua Cheng was a little ghost flame. 😭😭 MY HEART.

Upon finally learning the name of that young man in red, Xie Lian felt his spirits lifted inexplicably. He smiled. “So he’s called Hua Cheng? Hm, it’s a fitting name for him.”

Was that little silver butterfly really that scary? Xie Lian wondered. It wasn’t that bad… It was kind of cute.

@ Mortal Realm, Puqi Shrine

After paying all his debts, Xie Lian went to the Mortal Realm to start a shrine for himself, Prince of Xianle (ascended thrice as a Martial God, a Misfortune God, a Rubbish God)

Xie Lian meets San Lang on an oxen cart. ❤️🍁❤️🍁❤️

He asked San Lang about Crimson Rain Sought Flower: Hua Cheng is blind on his right eye, and his only weakness is his ashes.

Can’t believe that the Ghost Realm have such a romantic notion regarding the ashes. It makes Hua Cheng’s gift so much more precious.

Truly the Misfortune God, Xie Lian can’t even shake out a good fortune to check which road is safe to take. 😂 But San Lang is like “here, both are good” when he tried.

Every time Xie Lian was trying to test out San Lang’s authenticity, I always thought that it was to check if he was human. It’s just him double checking that San Lang is Hua Cheng, a Ghost King.

Xie Lian invited a homeless San Lang to stay at Puqi Shrine, and they shared a sTrAw MaT (i love the one bed only trope~). He also caught a glimpse of the weird tattoo on San Lang’s arm [we all know what that story is]. Next morning, Xie Lian saw San Lang’s portrait of the God-Pleasing Prince of Xian Le.

There was a sword in one hand, a flower in the other.

@ Puqi Shrine, journey to Banyue Pass

We’ll be meeting the state preceptor of the ancient Kingdom of Banyue. Xie Lian will find out about his connection to the state preceptor. [and we will know who the state preceptor of Yong’an is in the future.]

Nan Feng and Fu Yao joined Xie Lian and San Lang to Banyue Pass. Honestly, can’t blame San Lang for his hostile attitude. towards the two.

Fu Yao finding out about the 1 bed only trope. YES THEY ARE SHARING.
    Fu Yao: “where’s the bed?”
      Xie Lian: *points to the straw mat*
        Fu Yao: “You two are sleeping next to each other?”
San Lang wants Xie Lian’s water bottle only. EEEP
    San Lang: “can i have some water?”
      Xie Lian: “yeah sure, here.”
        San Lang: *pass water back to Xie Lian who drank from it*
          San Lang: looks at him can i have more?

journey to Banyue Pass

Xie Lian was swept away by the wind and told Ruoye to “grab hold of something dependably solid”,

  1. San Lang.
  2. Nan Feng and Fu Yao
  3. huge boulder where they found shelter within

Finding out about Xie Lian’s past as a Central Plains soldier was incredibly heartbreaking but only he would pick up a spoiled compass and wondered into the wrong place.

San Lang’s sombreness after Xie Lian got stung by a scorpion-snake was glaring. He changed from a cheery young man and became really serious. Is it because he feel like he couldn’t protect his love even after becoming a Ghost King, a formidable player in all the realms? 🥺😭

@ Banyue Pass

Man, when I found out about Xie Lian’s “General Hua Xie”, I was like “Aww, he chose the surname ‘Hua'” and also, “shit, he’s the general”. Never could’ve expected that A-Zhao is General Pei Junior’s clone, and the downfall of the Kingdom of Banyue was by him and, in extension, Banyue.

San Lang jumping down first
    However, behind him, San Lang stepped forward.
    Xie Lian’s heart lurched, and he looked back.
    With his arms crossed, the youth was nonchalantly looking down into the dark, bottomless Sinner’s Pit with intrigued air.
    This wasn’t a good sign. Xie Lian called out, “San Lang?”
    San Lang looked over at the sound of his call and smiled softly. “It’s fine.”
    He called again, “Wait, San Lang, don’t move!”
    At such a height, at the very edge of the pit, the hem of the youth’s red clothes danced in the night breeze. San Lang glanced at him gain with a smile.
    “Don’t be scared.”
    “You… come back here first. Come back here, and I won’t be scared,” Xie Lian said.
    “Don’t worry, I’m just going to leave for a bit. We’ll see each other again soon,” San Lang said.
    Before he finished, the boy took another step forward, his arms still crossed. Then with a light leap, he instantly vanished into the unfathomable darkness.

San Lang whispering “哥哥” when he was falling, in the donghua, got me feeling. I loved the whole interaction between San Lang/Hua Cheng and Xie Lian from there onwards.

San Lang carrying Xie Lian “因为脏”
    The next moment, a pair of hands caught him lightly.
    Whoever it was caught him perfectly, as if they were waiting there at the bottom just to catch him. With a hand across his back to grasp his shoulders and another under his knees to support his weight, they easily dissolved the devastating force of the fall.
    “It’s San Lang, right? Are you all right? Are you hurt?”
    It took a moment before he heard the youth respond in a deep, low voice, from somewhere very close to him. “I’m fine.”
    “San Lang, are you really all right? Put me down,” Xie Lian said.
    “No,” San Lang replied.
    Xie Lian’s arms involuntarily climbed up San Lang’s chest once more and held on tight to his shoulders, subconsciously clutching at his clothes.
    But the arms carrying him were steady; even with all the spinning and sidestepping, the hold was still strong and secure.
    “San Lang, why don’t you put me down? I’ll be in your way like this.”
    “You’re not in the way. Don’t get down,” San Lang said.
    “Why can’t I get down?” Xie Lian asked in spite of himself. This guy couldn’t possibly enjoy fighting while carrying someone, could he?
    San Lang’s answer was only two words: “It’s dirty.”
    “You can’t possibly keep holding me like this!”
    “I could,” San Lang replied.
why are you standing with that dude?!
    “I know better than anyone where my place is,” Xie Lian replied.
    “Then how dare you still stand next to him?!” Fu Yao shouted.
    “Because… if I stand next to him, the snakes won’t come,” Xie Lian answered earnestly.
    Hearing the response, San Lang pfft-ed and laughed out loud.

back at Puji Shrine

Xie Lian can finally openly converse with San Lang about 血雨探花 😍😍 Everything from here, except Hua Cheng leaving, is simply amazing~

“I want to save the common people” scene just showed how pure and simple Xie Lian’s dreams were in the past. He knows it’s easier said than done now.

Nan Feng not staying for dinner
    Nan Feng: *i’m not leaving Xie Lian with Hua Cheng*
    Xie Lian: oh you’re staying? that’s great! i’ll cook something for us.
    Nan Feng: *press fingers to temple* actually, something cropped up suddenly. i need to go *rushes away*
San Lang aka Hua Cheng
    He turned to look at the youth next to him and smiled cheerfully. “He’s not hungry, how about you?”
    San Lang smiled cheerfully back. “I’m starving.”
    Xie Lian grinned and stood up again, before turning around and casually tidying the altar table.
    “All right, then. What do you want to eat, Hua Cheng?”
    Behind him, there was silence. Then chuckling.
    “I still prefer the name ‘San Lang.'”
can i see your real face?
    Hua Cheng arched his brow. “It would be, but I’m the real thing.”
    Xie Lian turned to look at him, somewhat surprised. “Eh? This is your true form?”
    “One hundred percent authentic,” Hua Cheng declared.
    If anything must be blamed, it would have to be the look on Hua Cheng ‘s face, like he was welcoming Xie Lian to test it out himself.
    Without thinking, Xie Lian raised a finger and poked Hua Cheng ‘s face.
    After poking, Xie Lian snapped back to himself in shock, yelping Oh no! in his head.
    “…Not bad.”
    Hua Cheng finally burst out laughing, and he crossed his arms with his head tilted.
    “What’s not bad? Do you mean this skin?”
    “Yeah, it’s quite good,” Xie Lian said sincerely. “But…”
    “But what?” Hua Cheng asked.
    Xie Lian stared at his face and studied it for a moment. Then finally said, “But can I see your real face?”
    Hua Cheng closed his eyes, and a moment after, he smiled softly. “I’ll let you see it someday, if there’s a chance.”
can’t stand his face either.. (but we know the real reason..)
    “Do you have something against the Green Ghost Qi Rong?”
      “Yeah,” Hua Cheng replied.
        “What’s that?”
          “Can’t stand his face.”

“What’s there to be afraid of?” Hua Cheng said. “To dare speak of the people of the world, whether to save or to destroy them, is admirable. The former is harder than the latter, so it’s even more respectable.”

“if you have no other reason to live, then live for me”
    “Many, many years ago, there was someone who told me they couldn’t live on anymore. They asked me for the reason they were alive and what was the meaning of their life.”
    He glanced at Hua Cheng. “Do you know how I answered?”
    It might have just been Xie Lian’s imagination, but there seemed to be light in Hua Cheng’s eyes. He asked softly, “How did you answer?”
    Xie Lian said, “I told them, ‘If you don’t know how to live on anymore, then live for me! If you don’t know the meaning of your life, then make me that meaning, and use me as your reason to live.”
hua cheng is insecure about his real face. [dude, you’re more good-looking with your OG looks]
    “You know, Your Highness, we’ve only known each other for a few days. Is it all right for you to say so much to me?”
    “Well,” Xie Lian huffed, “what’s the problem? Whatever. Those who have known each other for decades can become strangers in a day. We met by chance, and we may part by chance. If we like each other, then we shall continue to meet; if we don’t, then we shall part. At the end of the day, there’s no banquet int he world that doesn’t come to an end, so let’s take it easy, and I’ll say what I want to say.”
    Hua Cheng seemed to have chuckled, then suddenly he said, “If.”
    Xie Lian turned his head to face him. “If?”
    Hua Cheng said softly, “If I was ugly.”
    “Huh?” Xie Lian gaped.
    Hua Cheng finally turned his head slightly. “If my true appearance is ugly, would you still want to see it?”

Hua Cheng left by the time Xie Lian woke up who received a necklace from the former.

“I promise you won’t find another person more sincere than me in this world.”

That’s it for my review/recap of Heaven Official’s Blessing Volume 1 by Moxiang Tongxiu. I’ve read the whole series before in 2021 so I’m still pretty familiar with the details of the books. Regardless, I feel like I’m always finding out new things about the world and the characters. There are many layers of relationships in this series–some runs deeper than others, and not as fine and dandy as the surface. I’m excited to reread the whole series. At the same time, vomit-document my thoughts and favorite scenes in my blog.

Hope you had fun with this post as much as I did writing it up!

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