WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Special Episode of Heaven Official's Blessing, now streaming on Funimation.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Heaven Official's Blessing dropped a sweetly domestic special episode, showing the aftermath of the Hua Cheng/San Lang reveal we thought we'd be waiting months to see. The two share a heart-to-heart with Hua Cheng making a significant promise to Xie Lian for the next time they meet. However, in true mysterious Ghost King fashion, Hua Cheng gives Xie Lian a gift before disappearing without any explanation.
A Night at the Shrine
The two of them return home, where Hua Cheng calls Xie Lian "Your Highness" for the first time. Xie Lian has been called by that title before, but it was the first time it had been said in such a tender way. As they talk, Xie Lian asks Hua Cheng why he was there to pick him up at the bridal sedan. Hua Cheng offers two different reasons: he went there specifically to see Xie Lian or just had a lot of time on his hands. Which one sounded more plausible?
Xie Lian brushes off Hua Cheng's flirting and notes that they've been together for quite some time, and, surprisingly, Hua Cheng doesn't seem to be in a hurry to leave -- which is strange. Doesn't he have things to do since he's the Ghost King? With a relaxed arrogance, Hua Cheng tells him nobody would dare order him around.
Hua Cheng's Insecurities
There is a moment where Xie Lian realizes he isn't looking at Hua Cheng's true form, even grabbing his face to check before asking if someday he can see his real appearance. Hua Cheng's confidence starts to crack as he wonders if his natural form were hideous, then would Xie Lian still want to see him? However, Xie Lian doesn't care -- he's still Hua Cheng, no matter what form he takes. It's a bit of a shock for Hua Cheng to hear, and he can't help but turn away, shoulders shaking. Though initially horrified, he might have made the Ghost King cry, Xie Lian reaches out only to realize that he's actually laughing.
As the two of them settle into bed, Hua Cheng turns to face Xie Lian's back -- an echo of when they first slept together, but this time, Hua Cheng is brave enough to face him. Still, he's not confident enough to touch Xie Lian despite wanting to do so, feeling as though there's still an invisible barrier between them.
The Impact of Xie Lian's Words
During events 200 years ago, Xie Lian once told Banyue that his dream was to save the world -- words that he's embarrassed to hear now, considering that he's a fallen god. Listening, Hua Cheng gets a strange look on his face and gently tells Xie Lian that while it may sound foolish, it takes a considerable amount of courage to say. Xie Lian's surprised expression breaks into a genuine smile. Xie Lian probably heard many people admonish him for such an impossible dream in his youth, but this might be the first time he has ever heard anyone defend his choices.
Before Xie Lian even met Banyue, he came across another child who didn't know his purpose of living anymore. While it sounds ridiculous to him now -- and he's since had 800 years to come to terms with his idealism -- he told the boy to make Xie Lian his reason for living. The seemingly isolated incident will come into play later, revealing a surprising connection.
Hua Cheng Gives Xie Lian a Ring
When Xie Lian wakes up the next day, he finds Hua Cheng has gone, leaving only a silver ring hanging off a necklace. The episode ends with a brief recap -- including the ghost bride encounter, the fight against Pei Xiu and Hua Cheng painting Xie Lian's portrait -- but this time with Hua Cheng in his real form, eye patch and all.
With the numerous parallels in the ending credits between Hua Cheng and Xie Lian, we can conclude that the boy Xie Lian saved was Hua Cheng back when he was human. Instead of the defenseless boy he was before, Hua Cheng is now strong enough to protect Xie Lian. Still, we don't quite know the significance of the ring or why Hua Cheng left it without giving it to him directly, but it symbolizes a big step in Hua Cheng and Xie Lian's romantic relationship.