The (named) characters of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu's novel Tian Guan Ci Fu are listed in the following subpages.
Note on naming: All names are constructed in the Chinese fashion of: surname (姓) + birth name (名).
Voiced by: Su Shangqing (animation)
Weapons: Fang Xin (sword), Ruoye (cloth)
The main protagonist of the novel. He's known as the Flower Crown Martial God, the crown prince of the Xian Le kingdom and is also one of the Four Famous Tales ("His Highness the Pleased God").
- Adorkable: One of the sweetest characters and easily gets flustered whenever Hua Cheng is around.
- Affectionate Nickname: Hua Cheng refers to him as ge ge (literally older brother and figuratively referring to someone older, though it can also be used in a flirtatious way), or dianxia ("your Highness"), depending on context.
- All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats: Xie Lian wears one. This is in honor of the nameless farmer that showed him kindness during his darkest days and restored his faith in humanity. He eventually gives it to Jun Wu in the finale.
- And I Must Scream: Xie Lian being restrained on an altar by his own kingdom's people as they took turns stabbing him in a fatal region with a spiritual sword to immunize themselves against the Human Face Disease. Xie Lian was conscious of the pain throughout and couldn't even scream due to being restrained with his throat stabbed through. The description outright states that Xie Lian was not recognizable as a human once it was forced to an end.
- Angst? What Angst?: Invoked. The 800 years Xie Lian spent alone till he ascended for the third time involved pain and humiliation such as getting constant misfortune caused by giving away all his luck, regular injuries to the point where he's well used to feeling pain, being nailed inside a coffin by the heart, getting caught between armies and flattened but you would never know just by looking at his cheerful deposition.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Xie Lian disguises himself as a woman on two different occasions in the novel, and is apparently both quite convincing and very attractive.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Almost all of Heaven consider Xie Lian a fool, forgetting that he ascended because of his skill with the sword.
- Broken Hero: Xie Lian was a wonderful crown prince of Xian Le, proud, regal, always in the right, and he ascended to godhood at a very early age, except he then intervened in the war of his own country, fell down, ascended again, fell again after only five minutes for picking up a fight with Jun Wu, and then spent 800 years picking scraps and garbage, surviving however he could, and by the third time he ascends, he is a completely changed person... to the point the fact that he is willing to eat food from the floor and sleep in the woods instead of seeking shelter at the other god's temples is embarrassing, horrifying and pitiful for Fu Yao and Nan Feng.
- Bungled Suicide: Upon finding his parents' bodies after they committed suicide. Xie Lian tries to hang himself shortly after finishing (and vomiting up) the dishes his mother prepared for dinner the night before their argument. Since he's immortal this only causes pain and Ruoye's spirit being born.
- Celibate Hero: Has not had sex due to his cultivation path which specifies that losing one's virginity will cause Xie Lian to lose much of his power. Not surprisingly, Hua Cheng appears displeased when he first hears of it. Until he and Hua Cheng consummate. Thereafter Hua Cheng provides him with spiritual energy if necessary. It's then Played for Laughs for the audience in an extra where Xie Lian believes he is 17 again and someone deflowered him when he was asleep.
- Deteriorates Into Gibberish: After Hua Cheng and him have an Underwater Kiss to prevent Xie Lian from inhaling the harmful fetus spirit, Xie Lian is in shock and momentarily becomes a mess.
- Determinator: Despite all the terrible occurrences and humiliation that occurred to him during the Xian Le and Yong An war to the point where Xie Lian intended to unleash the Human Face Disease a second time around, he stopped when one person showed him an act of kindness.
- Disguised in Drag: Xie Lian had to go through this twice to solve the cases. First as the bride to drive out whoever was killing the brides, and second as the pregnant mother to drive out the Undead Child.
- Eating the Eye Candy: He gets really distracted whenever Hua Cheng is around and has to quickly snap out of it when he realizes where his thoughts were wandering.
- Fan Boy: Of viewing and discussing martial weapons, particularly swords. Hua Cheng tries to gift him his entire armory in Paradise Manor upon seeing how excited Xie Lian got when he saw them.
- Friend to All Children: He's noticeably gentle around children. Saving Hong-Hong er when he was still the Crown Prince, gently assuring Lang Ying he wouldn't be scared of him if he took his bandages off, reining his temper over Qi Rong when Gu Zi is around and trying to give Ban Yue some proper nutrition when she would hungrily eat food off the ground.
- Friend to All Living Things: Animals, villagers, demons, ghost flames...
- Good Thing You Can Heal: He can eventually heal from any wounds inflicted on him, even when he gets sick or poisoned, he can walk it off in about three days. The stabbing by a hundred swords took him two months to recover though.
- Heroic Ambidexterity: Lang Qianqiu notes that he knows Xie Lian can wield his sword in either hand without any of his power diminishing.
- Heroic BSoD: Xian Le's war situation getting far worse partially because of Xian Lian's own actions eventually leads to this and it gets even worse once he is stabbed a hundred times by his own people in an attempt to protect themselves from the Human Face Disease, his last friend Feng Xin leaves him, and THEN Xie Lian's parents commit suicide. The culmination of these events lead to the Bungled Suicide and the birth of Ruoye.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Xie Lian was once a famous god who ascended as a very young mortal (17), but after he intervened in his own country's war which ended with disastrous results, people stopped praying to him, destroyed all of his statues and temples and even made very humiliating kneeling statues of him just so they could curse and step on his image.
- I Have Many Names: Xie Lian is also known as Xian Le, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Hua Xie, Head Priest Fang Xin and many more.
- It Was a Gift: Early on Xie Lian wakes up to find a ring on a chain around his neck after he and Hua Cheng share a bed for the night and assumes it was a gift from the other. Upon inquiring, Hua Cheng says it's nothing important. It contains Hua Cheng's ashes.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: He concedes after Hua Cheng brings him back during the climax of the Revervent of Empty Words arc that even if Xie Lian was to use the body swapping spell to go back to Shi Qingxuan's body in He Xuan's manor, he couldn't fight back against He Xuan's strength in his own lair in a mortal's body.
- Lethal Chef: Xie Lian's cooking is so bad it can be used as a weapon. The only person who can withstand his cooking is Hua Cheng.
- Loser Deity: He became known as a trash-picking god, and has the worst luck imaginable. At the beginning when he has no worshippers he just decides to just worship himself.
- Major Injury Underreaction: After many years of experiencing pain, Xie Lian has become so used to it to the point he'll continue running after a spirit even when there's a nail stabbed into his foot and treat it like it's nothing after he shakes off the initial pain.
- Master Swordsman: To the point where the Martial God of the East, Lang Qianqiu who himself was taught in swordsplay by Xie Lian when undercover as the Head Priest of Fang Xin would instantly die if they fought seriously.
- Messianic Archetype: There are shades of this in his backstory, especially given his multiple cycles of death and returning to being mortal. Xie Lian is willing to suffer a lot to try to help others, even complete strangers, generally to the distress of his own loved ones.
- His worshippers torture him by repeatedly murdering him in order to become immune to the human face disease. Even after that experience, he still tries to get the people of Yong An to do the same thing to him in order to save themselves. And that's after most of them have ignored him bleeding in the street for three days.
- Before his second ascension, he refuses Jun Wu's offer of returning to a peaceful life as a heavenly official and insists on getting a cuff that will direct all his good fortune to other people in order to concentrate the world's suffering onto himself.
- He also willingly takes the blame for the murder of Lang Qianqiu's family in order to preserve peace between Yong An and the former citizens of Xin Le, going so far as to hold his tongue even when Lang Qianqiu nailed him live to a coffin and left him repeatedly dying for god knows how long.
- Momma's Boy: He loved his mother and was spoilt heavily when young, and his horrible cooking could be emulated by her. When he finds that Qi Rong slept in her coffin and impersonated her, he gets furious.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When he was still the Crown Prince he helped an Yong-An refugee named Lan Ying bury his child and offered him money to buy food. Later on, Lan Ying becomes the leader of the Yong-An rebellion and fights Xie Lian on the battlefield. It gets worse for Xie Lian when Lan Ying is protected by a king's aura, so he not only couldn't kill him, any of Lan Ying's attacks could now harm Xie Lian.
- Not So Above It All: He does joke from time to time and makes snide remarks. He even thought it would be a little funny if his verbal password for his communications array was "Just recite the Ehtics Sutra a thousand times", but the other gods didn't think it was that funny when they realized the joke.
- Oblivious to Love: He and Hua Cheng are equally matched in terms of being completely dense to the other's feelings. This is deconstructed, however, due to Xie Lian's extremely low self-esteem brought about by all the tragedies he went through.
- The Pollyanna: Even after all that's happened to him and the constant humiliation he's faced, Xie Lian usually stays very positive.
- Power Limiter: Xie Lian has two cursed shackles that seal his spiritual energy: one around his neck and the other around his ankle. They break at the end of the novel thanks to Hua Cheng's assistance.
- Precision F-Strike: To Bai Wuxiang right before the Human Face Disease was released the second time around. Counts as a huge O.O.C. Is Serious Business moment as Xie Lian is almost always extremely polite no matter the circumstances.Xie Lian: I SAID FUCK YOU!!! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, TO DARE TALK TO ME LIKE THIS?? I AM THE CROWN PRINCE!!!
- Repressed Memories: Xie Lian admits that he doesn't like to or can't recall painful or unhappy events when others question him why his memory is faulty he gives a vague non descript answer when Hua Cheng questions him in the birthday extra how long Xie Lian spent being nailed to the coffin.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Xie Lian is the Warrior Prince — he directly participated in the war by descending from the Heavens because he wanted to help both sides and stop his people from killing each other. Unfortunately for him, it did not end well.
- Self-Harm: Occurs several times throughout the story in order to prevent Xie Lian from harming others or drawing arrays.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: By the end of the novel, he and Hua Cheng are happily this much to the horror of the other Heavenly Officials.
- Skilled, but Naïve: He eventually grew out of this.
- Spoiled Sweet: Despite when he used to live in the lap of luxury as the Crown Prince and being spoiled by his parents, Xie Lian is nothing but kind to others and would go out of his way to help the commoners because he knew it was the right thing to do.
- Trauma Conga Line: Everything goes downhill for him once Xie Lian first descends to help his country in the upcoming war.
- Warrior Prince: The Crown Prince of Xian Le who ascended to godhood due to his prowess with the sword.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: As a child till the war between Xian Le and Yong An and the constant ungratefulness of the common people despite all that he was doing soured this belief. He still retains a bit of this trope, citing that since one person helped him during the time he was a White Clothed Calamity, that was enough for him not to unleash the Human Face Disease on Yong An.
Weapons: E-ming (scimitar), wraith butterflies
One of the Four Calamities, "Blood Rain Reaching Towards A Flower", and the most feared among the Heavenly Officials.
- Accidental Pervert: As a soldier in Xian Le's army 800 years ago during the war, Hua Cheng ends up feeling up Xie Lian's body trying to obey his instructions of getting a lock of hair while the other is under the affects of aphrodisiacs caused by the Wen Rou Xiang. This was referred by the author as 'Huahuas sexual awakening' considering Hua Cheng at that point is a young teenager. Furthermore, one of the Wen Rou Xiang shapeshifted to Xie Lian's nude form to tempt Hua Cheng as he is stunned and immediately angered afterwards at the demons.
- Affectionate Nickname: He's called "San Lang" by Xie Lian, the name introduced to him when they met on the cart. Meta-wise the author and fans do refer to him as "Huahua" (Mandarin spelling) or "Fafa" (Cantonese spelling).
- Anger Born of Worry: He usually respects Xie Lian too much to reprimand any of his actions but shows this tendency whenever the other is injured, especially if it's by Xie Lian's own intentions. Late in the novel, Hua Cheng visibly shows anger at Xie Lian for the first time when Xie Lian unsheathes Fang Xin as he fears that Xie Lian is going to use the sword to stab himself once more.
- Animal Motifs: Butterflies and foxes now apparently from the manhua.
- Bishōnen: Xie Lian's narration repeatedly emphasizes how handsome he is. Ironically, Hua Cheng used to see himself as ugly due to constantly being bullied as a child about his appearance.
- Born Unlucky: As a child he was born under an unlucky star and was told he would have terrible luck for the rest of his life. Subverted when many years later he has incredible luck on his side.
- ...But He Sounds Handsome: When Hua Cheng is disguised as Lang Ying, Xie Lian (who is already onto Hua Cheng but wants to tease him) asks him who he thinks is the richest, strongest, most admirable person he knows. "Lang Ying"'s answer? "The man in red". Though he insists Xie Lian is the most handsome.
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: His body shatters away into silver butterflies due to using up all his spiritual energy at end of the fight with Jun Wu. Thankfully, he comes back one year later.
- Collector of the Strange: Paradise Manor is filled with exotic and unique treasures, all which Hua Cheng treats as commonplace belongings.
- Cooldown Hug: He receives this several times from Xie Lian both as a child and as a ghost, the former when Xie Lian assured him that he did not cause misfortune and the latter when Hua Cheng was furious.
- Declaration of Protection: When he was conversing with Xie Lian as a ghost fire in the past. Upon hearing Xie Lian saying that Hua Cheng's beloved wouldn't be happy if he couldn't rest in peace, Hua Cheng resolved to not let Xie Lian know. It's the main reason why he is very unhappy reverting back to a child form in one of the arcs as he can't protect Xie Lian as well as he normally would.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Asked Xie Lian as a child what was the point of living after undergoing so much suffering every day. To which Xie Lian replied live for him if nothing else.Xie Lian: I have no answer to the question you asked. However, if you don't know the meaning to your life, then make me that meaning, and use me as the reason to live.
- Determinator: Even dying not once but three times doesn't stop him from coming back and reuniting with Xie Lian.
- Devoted to You: So much to Xie Lian.
- The Dreaded: Among the heavenly officials. When Xie Lian first reveals he ran into him, they're all shocked and horrified.
- Dude, Not Funny!: As affectionate as he is to Xie Lian, he's frank when he tells Xie Lian that he doesn't appreciate the latter making jokes about the injuries he suffered.
- Embarrassing Password: He doesn't treat it as such, but Xie Lian does. When he whispers his verbal communications array password to Xie Lian, the latter gets so embarrassed by it he refuses to say it out loud.
- Eyepatch of Power: His true form sports one.
- Eye Scream: The eye in E-ming is his.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Mentioned quite a bit in the text when he's amused or teasing.
- Fate Worse than Death: When asked what was his worst experience he basically replies that watching his beloved being trampled on by others was the worst kind of suffering imaginable.
- Forced to Watch: In the past, Bai Wuxiang captured Hua Cheng as a ghost fire and made him watch Xie Lian being mutilated by his people countless times on an altar.Hua Cheng: To watch with your own eyes your beloved be trampled and ridiculed yet unable to do anything. That's the worst suffering in the world.
- Hair Decorations: Wears a red coral bead in a braid in his true appearance. It's one of the beads that Xie Lian wore when they first met. Mu Qing seeing and recognising it leads to the truth about Hua Cheng's identity and why he is obsessed with Xie Lian coming out.
- Hero Killer: Being a Supreme aside, he's also infamous for destroying the temples of thirty-three gods in one night. And that's after he defeated the martial and literature gods in combat and debating respectively. Later chapters reveal that he targeted said gods because they mocked and humiliated Xie Lian over a piece cultivated land after Xie Lian's first banishment.
- Howl of Sorrow: After witnessing Xie Lian being stabbed to a state where he is not even recognizable as a human being. Witnessing this acted as the catalyst of Hua Cheng becoming a vicious ghost.
- Human Notepad: He has a tattoo on his inner left arm which is Xie Lian's name written in his handwriting.
- Insecure Love Interest: For all his power and might, Hua Cheng harbors a lot of self-doubt and doesn't see himself as worthy of Xie Lian's love, outright stating he's afraid to do so when Xie Lian asks him how come he hasn't confessed to that 'special noble someone'. Ironically, the other thinks the same about himself when it comes to being undeserving of Hua Cheng's loyalty.
- I Will Wait for You: He's basically been waiting to meet Xie Lian again for over eight hundred years.
- Love at First Sight: When Hua Cheng was still a child he decided that if he was going to die, he might as well gatecrash the national offering to the gods ceremony to cause misfortune to everyone. But upon seeing Xie Lian he was completely stunned and forgot about his plans, which incidentally caused him to fall from the wall and Xie Lian saving him.
- Master Swordsman: He can match Jun Wu with E-ming and is on equal standing with Xie Lian.
- Mysterious Past: An In-Universe example, there are many rumors of his past but nobody except the ghost himself knows the truth.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His title is Blood Rain Reaching Towards A Flower (Xue Yu Tan Hua).
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Xie Lian asks him in the Ten Thousand Gods Cave who exactly is Hua Cheng's beloved after seeing the statues are all of him, Hua Cheng acts unlike his usual confident self and even asks Xie Lian could he not ask as he believes that Xie Lian doesn't return his feelings.
- Pet the Dog: Despite his hatred for generally any god that is not Xie Lian, he's noticeably a lot more civil towards the few gods who do not treat Xie Lian badly, such as Shi Qingxuan. He also seems to have a decent relationship with Yin Yu, a former god who's currently working for him.
- The Power of Love: For the past few centuries, Hua Cheng is the only non-god who had faith in Xie Lian. A god's power is determined by the amount of followers they have and how much said followers believe in them; and Xie Lian — even with his shackles — is more powerful that most martial gods and can even go toe-on-toe with the Heavenly Emperor himself, all thanks to Hua Cheng's undying devotion to him.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: He fits this description perfectly.
- Redemption Rejection: He was given the chance to ascend into godhood, but refused and chose to remain a ghost.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Part of the reason why he was hideously abused by others as a child was his red right eye, as well as the Head Priest stating that since he was born under the Star of Solitude he will cause misfortune to everyone surrounding him.
- Secret Keeper: He knew who "Ming Yi" really was the entire time, but he lets the other be as long as He Xuan doesn't involve Xie Lian in his plans.
- Shapeshifting: He has various forms he appears in, and transforms into Lang Ying for a short period before Xie Lian calls him out.
- Shrine to the Fallen: He has one dedicated to Xie Lian when Hua Cheng was trapped in Mount Tonglu, and it contains various murals and an estimate of 1000 statues.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: By the end of the series, he and Xie Lian are happily this much to the horror of the Heavenly Officials, not that Hua Cheng cares.
- Single-Target Sexuality: As he puts it, he is Xie Lian's most devoted believer.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He acts both friendly and loving to Xie Lian and Xie Lian only; he doesn't give a fig for anyone else. The only reason he'd lend a hand to help anyone is if Xie Lian asks him to.
- Terrible Artist: Strongly averted. Hua Cheng is an excellent painter and painted a portrait of Xie Lian back in his Crown Prince days in one night. He also dabbles in carving statues that are incredibly life like.
- Tranquil Fury: He exhibits this whenever Xie Lian is in danger or someone is preventing him from going to his highness' side, most notably when Feng Xin and Mu Qing try to block him from seeing Xie Lian after they discover the truth of the statues in the Ten Thousand Gods Cave or when Bai Wuxiang appears.
- Undying Loyalty: Hua Cheng has been a loyal follower of Xie Lian, ever since the latter saved Hua Cheng's life and gave him a reason to live.Hua Cheng: I won't forget. Your highness, I am forever your most devoted believer.
- Duality Motif: As a martial god and a Supreme-ranked Calamity, he's both god and ghost. However, he's several times more powerful in his god form.
- The Emperor
- Master Swordsman
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Sealed Evil in a Can: His final fate. After he's defeated by Xie Lian, he's kept sealed beneath the depths of Mount Tonglu.
- Shadow Archetype: To Xie Lian. Their backstories of wanting to help the common people out and the tragedies that occured because of their actions mirror, but their consequential behaviour differ.
- Top God: The oldest and most powerful of all the gods, he rules over the Heavenly Capital and all the other heavenly officials.
- Villainous Breakdown: By the time of Volume 5, Jun Wu is slowly getting more and more insane when confronted once and for all by the protagonists and he sees that no matter what he dishes out at Xie Lian, the latter refuses to break.
- Walking Spoiler: It's hard to discuss Jun Wu's character without revealing he's Bai Wuxiang.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: In the final volume, Jun Wu is revealed to be Bai Wuxiang.
Weapon: Zhan Ma (scimitar)
The Martial God of the Southwest.
- Character Tics: He rolls his eyes constantly. Especially when Xie Lian or Feng Xin are present.
- Clear My Name: He got wrongfully accused and imprisoned of being the father of Lan Chang's child Cuo Cuo, when in fact it was someone else. It takes breaking out, finding the mother and the child who escaped and the actual father coming in order to clear his name.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Everyone Has Standards: He's pragmatic in nature, but there are lines he won't cross. As Xie Lian put it best, Mu Qing is the type of person who would spit on a person's drink, but would never consider poisoning said drink.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Implied. When Hua Cheng was still serving in Xie Lian's army as a soldier, he was sent home by Mu Qing, partly out of concern since Hua Cheng was rather young for a soldier and the former didn't want to send a child out into the battlefield. However, Hua Cheng speculates that the real reason is because Mu Qing was envious of his talent with the saber, which Xie Lian personally praised himself. It isn't certain which claim is more true than the other.
- It's also implied he felt this way toward Xie Lian himself sometimes, especially because of their class difference.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Not So Stoic
- Pretty Boy: Not unusual for the genre, but he's noted to be slender and pretty enough that most people would mistake him for a literature god rather than a martial god.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Feng Xin's red.
- Those Two Guys: With Feng Xin.
- Sour Supporter: His relationship with Xie Lian may be rocky at the best of times, but he does look up to the prince and is truly loyal to him.
- Undying Loyalty: To Xie Lian.
- Virgin Power: He practises the same cultivation path as Xie Lian, which requires him to abstain from earthly pleasures like alcohol or sex.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Feng Xin. Both of them yell at and bicker with each other almost all the time, but they're both loyal to Xie Lian and will have each other's back when needed.
Weapon: Feng Shen (bow)
The Martial God of the Southeast.
- Archer Archetype: He prefers bow over sword anytime, and is deadly with it.
- Berserk Button: The mention of his wife and son is more than likely to get his blood boiling. Especially if you're Mu Qing.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Due to an accidental misspelling of his title centuries ago that caught on, mortals have come to believe Feng Xin possesses a "tremendous masculinity". He's worshipped as a fertility god by women who wish for a son, something that completely mortifies him.
- Hot-Blooded: It's very easy to get him mad.
- The Hyena: Played With. Xie Lian notes that it's very easy to make Feng Xin laugh at anything.
- The Illegible: He's completely terrible in writing. Hua Cheng is the only one who is worse than him.
- Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: When he rolls the die Xie Lian left after being "kidnapped", the number leads him and Fu Yao to Feng Xin's greatest fear: a womens' bath. He even considers being stuck in a swamp full of crocodiles less terrifying.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Mu Qing's Blue.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: When Feng Xin loses his cool he tends to swear a lot. Most noticeably considering he is one of the few among the main characters who swears frequently.
- Those Two Guys: With Mu Qing.
- Undying Loyalty: To Xie Lian.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Mu Qing. Both of them yell at and bicker with each other almost all the time, but they're both loyal to Xie Lian and will have each other's back when needed.
Weapon: Ming Guang (sword)
The Martial God of the North, one of the Three Tumors, and one of the Four Famous Tales ("The General Who Broke His Sword").
- The Casanova: He was already a womanizer in his mortal life, but when he ascended his preferences expanded from mortal women to fairies, lady officials, female ghosts and demons, as long as they are beautiful. It went to the point where mortals started worshiping him as a god of love.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite him chasing after any woman he found attractive, he made sure that whoever he slept with would live comfortably afterwards and would never kill any of his lovers just because they were pregnant with child.
- Master Swordsman: Was a well known general on the battlefield and received the title "The General Who Broke His Sword" when he ascended.
- Not Me This Time: This was his reaction to everyone in heaven when Lan Chang accuses him of being the father to her child.
- Odd Friendship: With Ling Wen and Shi Wudu, so much so the three of them are called the "Three Tumors" of heaven.
- Really Gets Around: In his mortal and immortal life, he was well known for hitting on any women he found attractive. It's gotten to the point where mortals see him as a love god instead of a martial god.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: The honest version; while he and Ling Wen have a good relationship, their relationship is strictly platonic and they don't appreciate being mistaken for a couple.
- Shipper on Deck: He was the first martial god to notice there was something going on deeper with Hua Cheng and Xie Lian's relationship.
- Strong and Skilled: All the upper ranked gods who managed to ascend are capable and earned their ascension.
- The Apprentice: When Xie Lian lived in Yong An as Guoshi Fang Xin, he became Lang Qianqiu's teacher. It's only after he saves him from E-Ming does Lang Qianqiu recognize him by his sword technique alone.
- Duel to the Death: He challenges Xie Lian to this after recognizing his former master. However, Xie Lian refuses to fight him and only wins by tying him up with Ruo Ye and beating in the duel on a technicality.
- Honor Before Reason: Is supposed to be in Ghost City undercover and nearly blows it when he violently interrupts a gambling session to stop a father from betting twenty years of his daughter's life and possibility for a happy marriage just so the man can have his wish of killing his other competitors granted. Shi Qingxuan even admits that had he known Lang Qianqiu was this hot-headed they would have made a different plan.
- Hot-Blooded: Lang Qianqiu is so passionate about everything, that he can't stand shady business, almost blowing his own cover; is generally the type that acts/attacks first, thinks later.
- Motor Mouth: When angered, he doesn't seem to know when to shut up. This is something Xie Lian finds out in the Gambler's Den and quickly becomes annoyed of.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Has No Social Skills, will repeat a question word for word if he doesn't get an answer, and has to be stopped from tasting strange substances.
- Blood Knight: Has loved fighting ever since childhood.
- Breakout Character: In-Universe example. Originally a nobody, he gained so many followers he ended up replacing Yin Yu as the Martial God of the West.
- No Social Skills: To the point where it affected the plot, leading to the fallout between him and Yin Yu.
- Quirky Curls: He's noted to have curly hair, and he's certainly nonconformist.
- The Sleepless: Played with; gods don't need sleep, but Quan Yizhen does so anyway.
- Unwanted Assistance: Keeps putting gold in Xie Lian's donation box despite Xie Lian rejecting it.
A literature god, and one of the Three Tumors.
- Gender Bender: Because Ling Wen's status as a literature god makes mortals think that she is a man, they built a lot of temples with male statues, thus making her stronger in male form, as opposite of Shi Qingxuan.
- Mission Control: Plays this role in the first few arcs.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Her mortal followers' occasional disbelief that a successful writer can be a woman may be viewed as being written from experience.
- Odd Friendship: With Shi Wudu and Pei Ming, although the latter might be treated as merely an acquaintance. The three of them are known as the "Three Tumors" of heaven.
- The Stoic: She's calm and collected throughout the books.
- Vetinari Job Security: Ling Wen's job is so indespensible to that once she runs away with the Reverent robe, the Heavens are unable to function properly, as no one else can do the work her palace does properly. Also extends to her being released from jail at the end of the novel with no further sentence mainly because she's needed to clean up the mess.
- Berserk Button: Never, do anything to harm his face or he will absolutely lose it.
- Big Brother Worship: He adores Shi Wudu and he's one of the few people Shi Qingxuan listens to. Shi Qingxuan holds his word high above others and does whatever he can to please him or get his recognition.
- Blow You Away: He can create gusts and tornadoes by waving his Wind Master fan.
- Break the Cutie: Gets it arguably the worst out of the cast.
- Cruel Mercy: After He Xuan kills Shi Wudu, a broken Shi Qingxuan asks him to kill him as well, but He Xuan refuses. (It's anyone's guess whether he refused out of spite or because he can't bring himself to kill Shi Qingxuan).
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was a target of the Venerable of Empty Words as a child, whose main goal is to make their target suffer, and to avoid the curse Shu Wudu had to crossdress Shi Qingxuan to avoid catching the demon's eye. It helped for a while, but the demon still found him and it took Shi Wudu's ascension and the swapping of fates to get rid of it.
- Gender Bender: The fact that he had to crossdress as a girl for years in order to get rid of the demon from his trail made him love his female goddess form. Not to mention that many statues of his were made female, thus giving him more power in the female form.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: After He Xuan enacted his revenge, Shi Qingxuan lost his brother, his best friend, became mortal and got crippled.
- Iconic Item: His beloved fan, which carries his spiritual power.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side: Ignoring the fact that he can literally shift between a female and male form, he also cares about his looks. As seen in the Ghost City's night market when he was pulled away by a group of female ghosts to beauty parlors. After he catches up with Xie Lian again he's worried his face was ruined but is giddy to find out he actually looks better and asks for a mirror to see the results for himself. Later on when he disguises himself as a maid to sneak into Paradise Manor he complains about having to swallow his pride to put on a dress, but Xie Lian internally thinks the Wind God is actually enjoying this.
- Nervous Wreck: During the Venerable of Empty words arc, Shi Qingxuan becomes this as they start laughing nervously and talking fast as they try to anticipate the venerable's next attack and worrying over hurting those close to him.
- Nice Guy: He's overall very kind to the people he meets, even tossing down ten thousand merits to the other gods just because he wanted to.
- Those Two Guys: Is usually seen with Ming Yi by their side.
- We Used to Be Friends: Any bond that he and Ming Yi may have had was shattered when Ming Yi reveals himself to be the Supreme He Xuan and kills Shi Wudu in front of him.
- The Almighty Dollar: Aside from being the god of water, he's also the god of wealth. Merchants and sailors will pray to him for a safe voyage, lest they risk having their ships and cargo sunk to the bottom of the sea.
- Big Brother Instinct: He would do anything to protect his brother Shi Qingxuan, even exchanging an innocent man's fate for his brother's in order to save him, or provoking the ghost king to kill him on his own instead of making Shi Qingxuan do it.
- Create Your Own Villain: He's indirectly responsible for the existence of "Black Waters Sinking Boats".
- Deader Than Dead: Gods don't reincarnate, after all. And unlike Yin Yu, he doesn't come back as a ghost.
- Defiant to the End: Shi Wudu considers it his victory that he and his brother lived for so many years in prosperity, while He Xuan, whose whole family suffered hideous misfortune and died because of Shi Wudu, can't get anything back.Shi Wudu: Everything I have today, I fought for myself. I will fight for what I don't have. I will change fate I don't possess. My fate is up to me and not the heavens!
- Odd Friendship: With Lin Wen and Pei Ming. They're even called the "Three Tumors" of heaven.
- Off with His Head!: He Xuan kills him in this manner.
- The Unapologetic: To protect his brother, he'll do anything and everything without a shred of remorse for who may be affected by his actions.
Weapon: Yue Ya (shovel)
The Earth Master.
- Big Eater: Is almost always seen eating in large quantities. Turns out it's from the trauma of starvation.
- Dead All Along: In two ways — the real Ming Yi turns out to have been killed a while back, and the man currently impersonating him is a Supreme.
- Deadpan Snarker: To Shi Qingxuan. Whenever he tells Ming Yi during their search for the Venerable of Empty Words that he's worried Ming Yi will be targeted because they're his best friend, Ming Yi replies that if there's option to not be friends anymore.
- The Stoic: They rarely if ever emote much.
- Those Two Guys: Is usually never seen without Shi Qingxuan by their side.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: He is actually the ghost king He Xuan disguised as the Earth God.
Weapon: Yu Long (sword), Yushi (kasa)
The Rain Master, and one of the Four Famous Tales ("The Princess Who Slit Her Throat").
- Food God: She's the goddess of agriculture.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: On paper, Yushi Huang doesn't sound very impressive: she doesn't have any shrines or temples, she only gets one lantern at the Mid Autunm Festival (which is lit by her Familiar just to say she got a lantern), and her spiritual item is a hat that brings rain. However, her status as the only Food God makes her extremely important, as hungry people lose all faith in all gods real quick. At the climax of the story, she's the only one Jun Wu can't afford to imprison or kill, which allows her to secretly assist Xie Lian and Hua Cheng.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She's known as "The Princess Who Slit Her Throat", because she did just that to save her kingdom from invasion. This act is what caused her to ascend and become a god.
- Modest Royalty: Although she is a goddess, she doesn't have temples or shrines built in her honor nor does she reside in the Heavenly Capital, as she's perfectly content with her lot in life.
Other Heavenly Officials
- Character Tics: Just like his general Mu Qing, he also rolls his eyes. This is because he's actually Mu Qing.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Just like his general Feng Xin. He's actually Feng Xin in disguise, and this is part of what gave him away to Xie Lian.
One of the generals under Pei Ming.
- The Beastmaster: Due to his close relationship with Ban Yue, he's able to control the snake-tailed scorpions, unleash them on traveling merchants who come near the kingdom and lure them to the Sinner's Pit.
- Big Brother Instinct: He looked after Ban Yue when they were both still human and during his trial for luring humans to their death in the Sinner's Pit, he takes full responsibility when he could have easily let the heavens punish Ban Yue and get off with a lighter sentence.
- Childhood Friends: Though not noted that heavily, he did look after Ban Yue when they were younger.
- The Exile: Due to his crime of tricking humans and killing them, he's banished from heaven for about three hundred years.
- God in Human Form: He takes on the appearance of A-Zhao pretending to be a guide for the Ban Yue pass so he can lure merchants and traveler's to the Sinner's Pit.
- Ship Tease: With Ban Yue.
- The Stoic: He's noted by the other gods to have an unreadable face, and some aren't sure what he could really be thinking.
Former Heavenly Officials
- The Nondescript: He has such a generically nice appearance, people will often forget how he looks like as soon as they turn away from him. The first time Xie Lian sees his face, he mistakes Yin Yu for someone else wearing an intentionally forgetable, unremarkable fake skin.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He ascended and became a god, a feat the immense majority of people will never be able to achieve, but he still feels mediocre and unremarkable due to Quan Yizhen easily outperforming and dethroning him.
- Power Limiter: As part of his banishment, Yin Yu wears a cursed shackle on his wrist that seals his spiritual powers.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: He appears to have died due to the cursed shackle sucking all his blood out in the final book, but is referenced to have recovered and back serving Hua Cheng in an extra.
Ghosts and Demons
The Four Great Calamities
- Attention Whore: Qi Rong just wants to be noticed... by almost everyone.
- Big Brother Worship: He greatly respected and adored his cousin Xie Lian when they were both still human. During the Offering of the Gods ceremony, he loudly cheered on Xie Lian's performance. However, after Xie Lian fell from the Heavens the first time, he became embittered and spiteful of Xie Lian leading them to become Clashing Cousins.
- Butt-Monkey: He sees himself as an all powerful demon that the gods and even Hua Cheng should kneel before. But most of the time he easily gets his ass handed to him by whatever god or demon king who happens to be in the vicinity and the other gods only see him as more of an annoyance than anything else.
- Clashing Cousins: With Xie Lian.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Literally no one except Gu Zi can stand Qi Rong, and at best his presence is only mildly tolerated. Even the Heavens sees him as a nuisance, with Xie Lian internally admitting the reason he doesn't send Qi Rong to Heaven was that he was going to be a headache one way or another, so it was best not to try at all.
- The Gadfly: He does and says absolutely anything to rile up whoever he runs into, and takes great delight when he causes discord.
- Green and Mean: His main color scheme and temperament. He even had statues of Xie Lian kneeling created so he could lay his feet on one as a footstool, and he says nothing nice about his cousin when he sees him or anyone.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Even in the past, it doesn't take much to set him off. Xie Lian theorizes he picked up this characteristic from mimicking the short temper of Xie Lian's father and being around the rowdy court.
- The Hyena: He always finds a way to get into fits of laughter. He gets absolutely hysterical when he manages to effectively push someone's buttons.
- Motor Mouth: Once he gets talking he does not stop.
- Pet the Dog: Grows more fond of Gu Zi, promising to look after and feed him and admits he sees him as a son before dying.
- Revenge: He helped in orchestrating the attack on the Yong An family, believing they took the land that rightfully belonged to the Xie royalty. He also helped Lang Qianqu's friend, who was the last of the Xie royalty hatch a plan to get close to the royals so he could kill them. Unfortunately, Xie Lian got to him first.
- Royal Brat: When he was still human, Qi Rong lacked empathy for everyone except the royal family. It was to the point where he beat up and dragged Hua Cheng who was only ten years old at the time in a bag behind him driven by Qi Rong's carriage, simply because he thought Hua Cheng deserved it for being the child who disrupted the Offering to the Gods ceremony.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Oh boy does he, he'd give even Feng Xin a run for his money. He shouts out profanity so often and so foul that when Xie Lian first sees him, he has to cover his ears.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He's called the "Night Touring Green Lantern", but no one is really intimated by him compared to Hua Cheng and it's noted that he's only called one of the four calamities because they needed someone to even out the ranks.
- Strong Family Resemblance: He has similar features to Xie Lian, but what sets them apart are their eyes and brows. This gives away that they're related.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Xie Lian remembers that Qi Rong used to be a timid little boy, but his temper got worse and more unhinged as he grew up.
- Villainous Glutton: He loves eating humans the most, but was also imitating He Xuan on purpose.
- Would Hurt a Child: Drags a beaten up child Hua Cheng in a sack behind his horse drawn carriage when he was a human and as a ghost threatens multiple times to eat Gu Zi.
- Anti-Villain: He Xuan may be a ghost hell-bent on killing Shi Wudu out of revenge, but only because said god was responsible for cursing his human life and any none close with him with misfortune by swapping He Xuan's fate with Shi Qingxuan's fate. It's telling that, besides his vengeance towards Shi Wudu, the gods do not consider him a threat despite his status as a Calamity because he never caused any trouble, be it in the heavens, the mortal realm, or the underworld.
- Big Eater: Due to the trauma from the past where he was imprisoned and starved, hunger ruined him and it passed on to his demon life, where he would either feed nonstop or refuse to eat anything. He would also devour hungry ghosts and water ghouls to increase his powers.
- The Bus Came Back: Appears in the last book after going to ground after killing Shi Wudu to assist in the final showdown.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Once Shi Wudu swapped his fate, He Xuan's life and anyone close to him were ruined. Hexuan's fiancee and sister were abducted and forced into sexual slavery, which eventually led to one commuting suicide and the other beaten to death. Meanwhile when He Xuan was falsely imprisoned in jail his mother passed away from illness and his father was implied to eventually die from overwork.
- Dead Person Impersonation: He took over Ming Yi's identity.
- Determinator: It takes plenty of willpower to experience all the shit he went through in his mortal life but have more than enough resolve to overpower and consume the spirit responsible for jinxing him. Of course, there's how patient he can be when it comes to exacting his revenge.
- Empathic Environment: Black Water's lair is a gloomy and ominious place.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite his hatred for Shi Wudu, it's strongly implied that part of him did care for Shi Qingxuan, even though he also sees him as the primary cause of his suffering.
- False Friend: He got close to Shi Qingxuan as part of his plan to murder Shi Wudu.
- Foil: To Hua Cheng. Both suffered in their mortal life, which was why they became vengeful ghosts after their deaths. However, they have different motives in becoming Supremes; Hua Cheng is driven by his love for Xie Lian, while He Xuan is driven by his hatred for Shi Wudu.
- Ironic Echo: "Dream on."
- Master of Disguise: He has plenty of other disguises besides his main one as Ming Yi, and in the final arc, he's able to disguise as Hua Cheng.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His moniker is "Black Water Sinking Boats". Definitely not an assuring title.
- Noodle Incident: It's never revealed what exactly happened that caused He Xuan to be greatly indebted to Hua Cheng. While the novel stated that part of it involves his gluttony, there are hints that it also has something to do with Hua Cheng assisting He Xuan in his plans for revenge.
- Pet the Dog: There are hints that while he resents Shi Qingxuan, he also cares for him to some extent. One example is when he fixed Shi Qingxuan's broken fan and gave it back to him in Volume 5.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Towards Shi Wudu, for transferring Shi Qingxuan's curse onto him, causing his entire mortal life to be full of nothing but misery, loss, and death — all of which robbed him of his chance to ascend into godhood. He succeeds in getting his revenge.
- Sadistic Choice: He gives the Shi brothers one. Either Shi Wudu switches Qingxuan's fate with one of the unfortunate ghosts of his realm and gives up his own godhood, or Shi Qingxuan kills his brother and gets spared in exchange.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: The Reverend of Empty Words, which got sicced onto him by Shi Wudu, was supposed to devour He Xuan after the latter's death. But He Xuan's hatred overpowered that outcome and he ended up absorbing the entity onto himself instead.
- Tragic Villain: Calling him a villain may be a bit of a stretch, but he did kill Shi Wudu, causing his younger brother to cross the Despair Event Horizon. And yet, it's hard to get mad at him for his actions when you take into account his backstory, which turned from fortunate and joyful to completely bleak and hellish thanks to Shi Wudu's machinations.
- We Used to Be Friends: It's not like he can continue being friends with Shi Qingxuan after he killed the latter's brother.
- You Owe Me: He Xuan has a huge debt to Hua Cheng, thus he readily assists the latter at any opportunity to lessen it.
One of the Four Calamities, the "White-Clothed Calamity". Xie Lian is deathly afraid of him, for reasons unknown.
- Berserk Button: When Xie Lian figures out that Bai Wuxiang is the Crown Prince of Wu Yong, Bai Wuxiang doesn't take kindly to being referred to as "Your Highness".
- Big Bad: In a way, since he's Xie Lian's greatest enemy and the one driving the whole plot.
- Break Them by Talking: To Xie Lian especially during his most vulenrable moments.
- The Dreaded: By everyone, but especially Xie Lian who is terrified of him like nothing else.
- Lonely at the Top: Bai Wuxiang's goal is to make Xie Lian become like him/his heir.
- Malevolent Masked Man: Bai Wuxiang is never seen without a cry smiling mask covering his face, and he's one of the Four Great Calamities.
- The mask was used to hide three other faces that grew on Bai Wuxiang/Crown Prince of Wu Yong's face, which are of the three former friends that the Crown Prince sacrificed to the volcano when they found out what he was planning (along with countless others). Bai Wuxiang/Crown Prince of Wu Yong is patient zero of the Human Face Disease.
- Stronger with Age: He's the first Calamity and thus the first of the four to become a Supreme, and is likely the most powerful. Even Hua Cheng, who is a powerful Supreme himself and is The Dreaded among the gods, doesn't have an easy time with him.
- White Mask of Doom
- All of the Other Reindeer: Was bullied and ostracized as a young child becaused she had mixed heritage between two countries at war.
- And I Must Scream: Trapped in the ruins of the Banyue kingdom, all immortal and unable to escape, Ban Yue and the soldiers who killed her were caught in an endless cycle of them hunting her and her taking revenge with spells.
- The Beastmaster: Controls scorpion-tailed snakes. Although later most of them stop listening to her because of Pei Su.
- Childhood Friends: With Pei Su when they were younger.
- Child of Forbidden Love: Not so much forbidden as frowned upon, but her parents were from two different countries with significant tension between them, and this caused problems for them and their daughter.
- Creepy Child: While she was the Head Priestess, people hated and feared her for her knowledge of dark magic and her gloomy personality. The centuries after her death didn't help.
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Is mentioned as having these.
- Deceptive Disciple: Ke Mo took her under his wing, but she ended up betraying him and his kingdom. For good reason.
- Little Miss Badass: Although immortal and centuries old, she's physically 15, in contrast to the largely adult cast. She's also the second most powerful type of demon there is.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: She's hyped up as the villain of the Banyue arc, but it's eventually revealed she betrayed her kingdom to keep them from enacting bloody revenge on the civilians of the invading country. While some of her actions are still questionable, she's far more of an Anti-Villain than our heroes were led to believe.
- Put on a Bus: After Xie Lian asks Shi Qingxuan to look after her, she ends up staying with the Rain Master in order to keep Pei Ming from kidnapping her and is only mentioned by name.
- Street Urchin: Was one before becoming Head Priestess.
- Undead Child: She's basically a ghost with the form of a child.
A former female general who fell in love with General Pei who was on the opposing side and gave away all of her army's secrets to aid him. However when he wouldn't return her advances she became mad, crippling herself in hopes that he would marry her then, to killing herself. She's since become a malevolent ghost killing brides who pass by the mountain.
- Abhorrent Admirer: General Pei tried to make it clear he didn't want to marry her, which flew past her head as she continued to demand he marry her even going so far as to break her own legs and kill herself.
- An Arm and a Leg: She broke her own legs because she thought it would make General Pei Ming like her more.
- If I Can't Have You...: Played with. She believes the brides coming around were here to marry General Pei, so she kills them out of envy.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She hates all the brides who come by the mountain to be married as she couldn't be married to General Pei.
- Stalker with a Crush: She acts like this before and after she became a ghost.
- Wight in a Wedding Dress: She wears a red wedding dress and kills any bride who come near.
- Woman Scorned: Because General Pei would not marry her, she broke her own legs and killed herself when none of her advances were met. Even after Pei Su comes to retrieve her, she hopes the General actually came himself, but when he confirms he didn't she curses that General Pei would never find love like she did.
- Big Sister Instinct: She looks after Lang Ying because she doesn't want him to get caught stealing, and even tries to protect him from the mob who believe he's the ghost bridegroom. They don't listen unfortunately.
- Bitch Slap: Provides one to Xie Lian, who she mistakes as a creep when he tries to offer her his robe to cover up the rip in her dress.
- Informed Flaw: Fu Yao and Nan Feng see her as incredibly ugly, but at most she just seems to be somewhat plain looking.
- Senseless Sacrifice: She tries to attack Xuan Ji in order to distract her for Xie Lian. However, he would have been able to stop her otherwise, so Little Ying ends up getting tossed into a wall enough to break her bones and kill her slowly. She even admits to Xie Lian as she dies that she knows she put herself in harms way for no reason.
A young boy who lives in the mountains and only comes down to steal food. Little Ying looks after him and even tries to keep the mob from attacking him believing he's the ghost bridegroom.
- Bandaged Face: His face is wrapped in bandages which he's afraid to take off. When he does...
- Big Brother Instinct: While Little Ying may be older than him, when the mob starts threatening her, he bites and kicks them to leave her alone. He's also heartbroken when Little Ying dies.
- Creepy Child: He's seen as this by the mob, due to his bandages and being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Facial Horror: Underneath his bandages hides the Human Face disease which shocks Xie Lian.
- Meaningful Name: He takes up Little Ying's name after she dies and Xie Lian makes note of this.
- Older Than They Look: Xie Lian believes this, since if the child has the Human Face disease, he had to be at least older than he appears. He's later revealed to be a ghost.
- The Speechless: He doesn't speak, which allows the mob to go after him believing he's the ghost bridegroom when he can't defend himself against those claims. Later on it's shown he can speak, but his words are very limited.