Heaven Official’s Blessing: Pei Xiu’s Backstory Hints at Hidden Heavenly Corruption

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 11 of Heaven Official's Blessing, "Right and Wrong, Buried in the Sand," now streaming on Funimation.

The seemingly kind guide that led the caravan travelers out of the sandstorm wasn't so kind after all: Zhao was revealed to be Pei Xiu, the subordinate of General Pei in the final episode of Heaven Official's Blessing.

In his past life, he was a young boy taken in by Xie Lian and was friends with Banyue, who later grows up to be the Imperial Preceptor. However, Pei Xiu changed into a soldier hell-bent on rising up in the ranks and ended up losing a dear friend. His story in Episode 11 reflects the hidden corruption of the heavens.

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From Boy to Soldier

heaven officials blessing ep 11 pei xiu soldier

Pei Xiu first meets Banyue when she was getting kicked around by the children of the Banyue Kingdom who call her a "hybrid." Seeing her beaten up like that lights up his protective instinct, proclaiming that he'll drive the Banyue people out of the border. He has seen his fair share of his people's mistreatment at the hands of the Banyue Kingdom's soldiers. He gets introduced to Xie Lian by Banyue and the three of them end up becoming quite close.

As he grows older, Pei Xiu enlists in the army but remains friends with Banyue. He promises her that the war between the Banyue Kingdom and Yong An will be over soon and nobody will suffer anymore. However, after Banyue hears that General Millstone is planning on taking down Yong An even if it means sacrificing his troops, she turns to Pei Xiu, hoping that he would have an idea to prevent so many people from dying.

Unbeknownst to her, Pei Xiu already has an agenda in mind. Without any connections to his name and his family background being so poor, Pei Xiu was never regarded as being worthy in the army. He was told that he had to work harder to make up for something that he couldn't control. No matter how many battles he'd won or the bravery he demonstrated on the battlefields, he was doomed from the start. Unless he wins an epic battle like conquering the Banyue Kingdom. But to do that, he had to betray the girl who had trusted him the most. And he had to watch, helpless, as she hung on a pole as punishment for her betrayal.

Pei Xiu: The Heavenly Official

heaven officials blessing pei xiu heavenly official

The Banyue massacre led to Pei Xiu getting promoted to a heavenly official, but unfortunately, blood still trailed after him. The spirits of the Banyue soldiers were restless and wouldn't leave him alone. Now that he had ascended, he couldn't kill the spirits because his every move was being watched by the heavens. As such, he created an avatar named Zhao to lure travellers into Banyue city, have the scorpion-tailed snakes bite them and feed their living souls to the spirits in Sinner's Pit to appease them. One can't ignore the irony of Pei Xiu using this particular pit to try to hide his sins.

This means that at least some (if not all) of the heavenly officials were aware of what Pei Xiu is doing. Perhaps because of political reasons, none of them dare say anything. After all, Pei Xiu is Pei Ming's subordinate -- they wouldn't want to insult Pei Ming if they suggested that Pei Xiu was doing something wrong.

Heavenly Outside, Hellish Inside


People often associate "heaven" with moral righteousness and good, and demons and ghosts with evil. In Heaven Official's Blessing's first episode, heaven looks glamorous, but it turns out to be absolutely rotten to the core. There are only hints of this in the final episode, but the Wind Master's comments about how the Upper Heaven is corrupted speak to a prevalent culture where gods are purposefully ignorant of corruption that's happening within the realm. If Pei Xiu ascended for wiping out an entire kingdom, it seems as though very few gods ascended because of doing "good" things.

Xie Lian appears to have very little faith in the justice system, believing that there might be "someone might pull the strings" and turn Banyue into a scapegoat. If the epitome of moral justice can't even trusted, then the very foundation of values that the heavens are supposedly built upon were never real: Heaven is a farce.