Hualian is THEE ship of the century and Here's Why!

Hua Cheng giving Xie Lian his ashes in the form of a ring
Official Art by Starember

Tian Guan Ci Fu is, hands down, one of the best-written novels out there. But a lot of people are in it for the HuaLian ship, and that's completely understandable!

One really good aspect of this novel is that it does not forget that it is all about Xie Lian and his growth. And, of course, this includes the beautiful development of his relationship with Hua Cheng.

There are just so many layers to this novel that one blog isn’t enough to cover them all. This won’t be enough to cover why HuaLian makes such a beautiful ship.

But to the best of my abilities, I'll list all the reasons why HuaLian is the ship of the century!

The Beauty of HuaLian

Xie Lian lying down on Hua Chang's Lap
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

What sets HuaLian apart is how they don't approach their relationship, seeking to "fix" each other. They don’t expect each other to magically erase their pain but rather to provide a safe space for it to exist.

Hua Cheng may still harbor moments of self-loathing, and Xie Lian may continue to engage in self-sacrificing acts. The thing is, their love story isn't about a miraculous cure for their past pain but about acceptance and support.

They understand that healing is a journey, not a destination, and they'll walk that path together, hand in hand. This raw honesty and unwavering support make their relationship feel incredibly real and relatable.

That isn't to say that HuaLian's relationship lacks disagreements or conflicts. They possess distinct personalities and worldviews, after all.

Hua Cheng giving Xie Lian tea under an autumn tree
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

Their disagreements rarely escalate into full-blown fights. Even when their beliefs clash, they never abandon each other.

After all, Hua Cheng and Xie Lian value open communication and prioritize understanding. The Cave of Ten Thousand Gods arc is a great example of this.

Despite feeling awkward and embarrassed of the statues he had made in Xie Lian’s likeness, Hua Cheng still wanted to talk to Xie Lian. He was genuinely apologetic about it, though Xie Lian did not mind it at all.

Hua Cheng holding an umbrella up for Xie Lian
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

Hua Cheng also knows he can't stop Xie Lian from doing what he wants and even tells Feng Xin as much (except self-harm). This is evident when Xie Lian chooses to save Mu Qing from the lava waterfall.

The Black Water Arc is another example of them respecting each other's worldviews.

Xie Lian wants to help Shi Qingxuan but recognizes that interfering in a private matter is not his place. So he drops the conversation with Hua Cheng, understanding that everyone has secrets they're not obligated to share.

San Lang and Xie Lian gathering flowers with their chibi selves
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

From the beginning, both characters display remarkable openness about their views while respecting each other's boundaries on sensitive subjects.

This mature understanding is born from their shared experiences and the wisdom accumulated over 800 years. HuaLian holds no illusions about each other.

Hualian appears to have a perfect relationship because they consistently nip problems in the bud and avoid prying or putting each other in uncomfortable situations for answers. It's a beautiful dance of give and take.

About Xie Lian Learning to Love

San Lang catching Xie Lian
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

Xie Lian had gone through hell and back for 800 years—from being stabbed 1000 times to being betrayed by the one person who had caused all his suffering.

By all means, Xie Lian had the right to become a villain. But instead, he chose to be a good person.

TCGF fleshes out Xie Lian’s suffering thoroughly, and every single scene where he suffers breaks my heart.

This is where San Lang comes in.

Xie Lian had fully accepted the humiliation and suffering he had gone through at the hands of the other gods. And what does his beloved San Lang do? He beats them up.

Hua Cheng and Xie Lian facing against Jun Wu
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

Xie Lian’s genuine affection for Hua Cheng, evident from the start, blossoms into a passionate love that feels natural and heartwarming. He fiercely defends and protects Hua Cheng, accepting him completely without seeking to change him.

Xie Lian's consideration of Hua Cheng is nothing short of remarkable. He cherishes every aspect of Hua Cheng, even those he dislikes. This mirrors Xie Lian's idealistic belief in a love that surpasses trivial disputes and personality conflicts.

He seeks a bond built on unwavering commitment and effort, a sentiment reciprocated by Hua Cheng's steadfast devotion. His approach to love perfectly aligns with Hua Cheng's own.

Understanding Hua Chang’s Devotion

San Lang lying down on Xie Lian's lap
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

Hua Cheng’s love and devotion for Xie Lian supersedes life and death itself.

His love is a silent symphony, a thousand acts of devotion woven into the fabric of existence. He builds temples, paints portraits, and even sacrifices his very being, hoping his beloved might find safety and solace in a world that has often been cruel.

He doesn't yearn for grand gestures of reciprocation nor crave acknowledgment of his feelings. His love exists purely for the sake of loving.

Hua Cheng and Xie Lian lighting up a lantern
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

Hua Cheng's love for Xie Lian is a force of nature. Whether as Hong-er, Ghost Fire, Wu Ming, or Hua Cheng himself, he relentlessly pursues Xie Lian, defying insecurities and forced separations.

A particularly heartwarming instance is when Hua Cheng, disguised as Lang Ying, returns to Puqi Shrine despite Xie Lian's suggestion of temporary distance. Xie Lian, who clearly dislikes the separation, is overjoyed by Hua Cheng's presence.

But this doesn't mean Hua Cheng disregards Xie Lian's wishes. In fact, he may be the only one who truly listens to him. His return to the shrine stems from a desire to avoid misunderstandings that could separate them.

Xie Lian and Hua Cheng kissing in a modern world
Official Art by Starember on Bilibili

However, after their marriage, Xie Lian and Hua Cheng are now seen as one unit. To be blessed by Xie Lian, you need Hua Cheng to help balance his bad luck.

This means they can never be separated. Even death is beyond them now.

Seriously, is there a more beautiful love than this?

I strongly suggest you read the last chapter to fully understand the next parts (or the entire novel at this point).

I could wax poetic about Hualian's beautiful written relationship, but I'm afraid we'll have to end it here for now.

You can drop by the Otaku Community and let me know if you want a part 2!

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