Fanfiction: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan - Chapter 9 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)
Chapter 9Written by Panda & kakashi
Edited by JoAnne
Mo Yuan was indeed very angry. Mainly at himself.
Though steady, he was also quite inebriated - a convenient excuse for several failed attempts to control his emotions. He was not ready to spend time with his gathered friends and disciples, this much was certain.
He went straight to his meditation cave, where he kept spare clothes. After putting away the tattered remnants of his wedding outfit, Mo Yuan chose a simple robe of soft, dark blue fabric. He healed the bites, the scratches, the cuts … and realized he was completely unscathed otherwise. Actually, he felt rejuvenated. It was unheard of - and presumptuous to even think it - but it looked like his close encounter with this Demon woman had done wonders for his cultivation.
He returned his hair to order but left it down, something he normally reserved for the intimacy of his bed chamber. He did not wash, unable to rid himself of her lingering scent. Let her essence disappear on its own and prolong the time of their goodbye.
He thought of her quivering, exquisite body, her smooth, hot skin against his hands, his face, his lips… her surprisingly soft breasts … her unchecked desire, her wetness, her pleasure … he closed his eyes in agony.
Had she not broken the spell by reminding him of who he was, he would not have been able to leave... indeed, he had not wanted to leave. He had even half-turned back, still at the orchard. He could not avoid the truth: he had seen a softer, more vulnerable Demon Queen tonight. As much as he respected and admired her bravery and fierceness, being the one to awaken that secret part of her felt like a gift of the heavens.
He sat down on his meditation cushion, forcing himself into a calming breathing pattern.
The unexpected events of this evening would not be repeated, he thought. This could go no farther. He had briefly lost his way today, but no more of that. Tomorrow, he had to deal with the mess of his cancelled wedding, had to offer apologies and re-enter negotiations with the family of the bride. He would have to go see the Heavenly Lord too; he tended to get upset when his plans derailed.
As for Zhe Yan, the meddler - that conversation could wait, but he would have to talk to Dong Hua Dijun before anything else. The Demon Kings had been quiet for years, observing the unrest in the Ghost Realm from the sidelines. That was likely to change with Shao Wan’s return. The Heavenly Tribe needed to be prepared for war.
Mo Yuan looked up - someone was at the cave entrance. He had half feared and half expected Si Yin to come, but it was Ye Hua, carrying two bottles of wine. His brother and more alcohol - two things he could really use right now.
“Mo Yuan High God,” Ye Hua bowed.
He saw that Mo Yuan had changed his clothes: he looked decidedly less tattered than when he had returned to Kunlun, but he did smell rather strongly of peach blossom wine. Ye Hua realized he had never seen his brother with his hair unbound. It made him look much younger. Much more like himself.
Mo Yuan sighed. “I really wish … you would call me Da-ge.”
Ye Hua stiffened. “Mo Yuan High God, are you alright?”
Mo Yuan sounded so weary. Ye Hua had felt his brother’s pain earlier, but it had quickly subsided. He had assumed that Mo Yuan was back to normal, but maybe Qian Qian was right? What if Mo Yuan was severely injured and just hid it from them? It was certainly what Ye Hua would do.
“Do not worry, brother, I am fine.” Lifting his eyebrows, Mo Yuan added, “I can see you came with some of Zhe Yan’s finest brew. Better make yourself comfortable.”
Ye Hua hesitated slightly before adjusting his black and gold robes and settling down beside his brother. “Thank you,” he said politely.
Both men drank deeply. The silence that stretched between them was not fully comfortable.
“You came to check on me.”
“Actually, it was…”
“…Seventeenth,” Mo Yuan completed the sentence. “Ah, but she’s not Seventeenth anymore,” he added. “I keep forgetting she’s the Crown Princess now, soon to be Heavenly Empress.”
“Yes, she is.” Ye Hua said this with a quiet emphasis.
Silence once again fell on both of them.
Admittedly, what Ye Hua wanted to challenge his brother with was ‘what do you feel for Bai Qian?’, but he wouldn’t - couldn't - dare.
Ye Hua remembered how much it had hurt him when he was so convinced Bai Qian was in love with her Shifu, not him. That she only loved him because they looked alike. It was the worst time of his life, second only to when he had failed her so completely as Su Su. The pain he had felt when he thought he couldn’t be with his love had been intolerable.
Bai Qian did love him, he knew that. She had married him, not his brother. It was evident she very much enjoyed their conversations and their passionate nights… but she would not stop talking about her Shifu. She would not stop worrying about him all the time. Worst of all was the way her face lit up when she saw her Master, and the way she would run to him, always eager to please. And the way he responded to her ...
Mo Yuan’s deep calm voice brought Ye Hua out of his reverie: “I told you before and I will tell you again that you and Bai Qian are fated. In hindsight, it was apparent even when you were still in Lotus Form. She will make an exceptional Heavenly Empress, Ye Hua. The realms are blessed.”
Talking almost as though to himself, Mo Yuan added: "Her talents would have been wasted staying on Mount Kunlun, half-heartedly trying and utterly failing to master Taoism.”
Ye Hua looked sideways at the God of War. He thought he had come here because he wanted peace with Bai Qian, who had pleaded with him until he had agreed. He thought he had come here to tell Mo Yuan, as politely as possible, that Bai Qian was his. Now, he realized that he had also come here because it pained him every day that there was a distance between him and his brother. One that he himself was to blame for.
“Do you really mean that?” Ye Hua asked in his quiet way.
“You should know that I never lie,” said Mo Yuan with a wry smile.
Then, more serious, he added: “Ye Hua, you know that the bond between Master and Student is sacred and everlasting. Our evolution, growth, and karma are shared. Not only am I their spiritual father, I will also defend each and every one of my children with my life if need be and know they would do the same for me. Bai Qian will forever be part of that family. Because of that, I am glad that she has found true felicity with you. Treat her well.”
The silence that fell as they continued drinking was more companionable than before. Ye Hua felt embarrassed for being so jealous, because he did know of the nature of the bond between Master and Disciple. He should never have doubted his brother or his wife. But - there was another subject troubling Ye Hua.
“Mo Yuan High God. I often wondered … have you ever felt any pain or intense emotion and knew it was connected to me?” He paused briefly, even more embarrassed now. “I felt intense pain when you had almost finished assembling your soul. Today, also, I felt something ... a very strong emotion.”
“You felt something today.” Mo Yuan cleared his throat.
“It must have been during your battle, when you were hurt?"
Mo Yuan did not answer directly, but a weight lifted from Ye Hua's shoulders when his brother replied. “I have only felt the link once, when you sacrificed your soul to the Bell of the East Emperor, Ye Hua. You felt my pain today because I was weak. Forgive me, I will control myself better from now on. Do not worry. This will not inconvenience you.”
He reached over to his brother and put his hand on his shoulder.
“Ye Hua,” he continued. “I feel guilty for bringing so much pain to you. I would have finished gathering the pieces of my soul eventually; you didn’t have to use your cultivation to help me, or sacrifice yourself to the Bell to protect me. Ye Hua, do not jeopardize your life for me again, do you hear me?”
Ye Hua felt compelled to nod … but of course he would give his life for his brother, just as he knew Mo Yuan would give his for him.
Likely guessing those thoughts, Mo Yuan heaved a sigh and continued drinking. Ye Hua followed suit and briefly wondered whether they shared the same low alcohol tolerance, because he was definitely nearing his. He felt increasingly lightheaded.
“Mo Yuan High God, you haven’t asked why Bai Qian told me to come check on you.”
“She must have been worried I got into danger.”
“Yes, she was concerned about that … and also the woman she met in Zhe Yan’s orchard?”
Mo Yuan froze, the bottle of wine halfway to his mouth. “She went to Zhe Yan’s orchard?”
“Yes she did. She met a very offensive demon goddess there.“
“You shouldn’t have let her go,” Mo Yuan whispered with urgency and quite alarmed. “Ye Hua! I told you all not to follow! Bai Qian is too impulsive! She could have been gravely hurt!”
“I…. tried to stop her,” Ye Hua said defensively, “but I'm sure you know how hard it is to keep her from doing what she sets her mind on. She was convinced you were in danger and determined to come to your aid!”
Mo Yuan fell silent.
It was entirely the alcohol's fault that Ye Hua probed further in a most impolite way, when it was more than clear that High God Mo Yuan did not want to share more information about tonight's events.
“Who was that woman?”
Mo Yuan only briefly hesitated before he whispered: “Her name is Shao Wan".
The way he said the woman’s name gave away conflicting emotions.
“I killed her … had to kill her during the Demon War. She is a formidable weapon.” Mo Yuan continued bleakly. “And now she is back …”
His voice trailed off. He looked pained.
“Ye Hua, our wish for peace in the realms may not be fulfilled. After her demise, the Demon Clan split into seven kingdoms. Her return will give them a reason for an uprising. We may have to get ready for another war, this time against the Demons.”
Mo Yuan left many things unsaid, but Ye Hua understood. The God of War thought he had a duty to fulfill. Personal feelings had to be pushed aside. He was all too familiar with this kind of reasoning.
“Save the realms, God of War,” he nodded, finding himself much more eloquent than usual, “but do not repeat old mistakes. We are duty bound by our destiny, but never think you have no choice.”
Mo Yuan looked at him then and said “I truly wish that I had one.”
Ye Hua finished his wine and sat quietly thinking. All of a sudden, he was struck by how comical it was that his mighty brother was confused about a woman.
“I guess we are truly brothers,” Ye Hua chuckled. His 3rd uncle had always said women were trouble, and while this was most certainly true, they were also the source of immense happiness. This, he noticed with some glee, seemed an area where he had more experience than his older brother.
“It’s not all that hard to win her heart,” Ye Hua began explaining with eagerness. “You just need to be very persistent. Do not let yourself be discouraged easily and be assertive, even aggressive if necessary. Move into her house! Cook for her!”
“Ye Hua!" Mo Yuan glared at him.
“Ah, but it’s time I went back to Xiwu Palace. I can hear Qian Qian's footsteps as she is pacing anxiously, waiting for me to come back with news.”
Ye Hua stood up. Lurching slightly, he smiled at his twin brother: “Frankly, if I may, your cultivation seems rejuvenated after meeting the Demon Woman, Da-ge. I will tell Qian Qian that you are very well. I take my leave.”