Fanfiction: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan - Chapter 22 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 22

Written by Miniorchi and Chimera
edited by kakashi and JoAnne

After lingering at the palace as long as she could, watching people pay their respects to the Celestial twins, Li Ying headed back towards the Demon tents, feeling disappointed that the festivities were over. It had been so enjoyable! She had lost count of the days; had it been 6? 7? 8?, but she knew - it had not been nearly long enough.

It was baffling to her that it was possible for so many clans from different realms to come together in such a peaceful manner. Demon clan festivals were always rowdy and violent, competitions to showcase one’s warrior skills. Male and female warriors alike thirsted for an opportunity to increase their cultivation through bloody battles. Injuries or even the death of weaker demons were normal occurrences there.

Li Ying had never had the chance to prove herself in battle and thus, her cultivation remained lower than she wished it to be. Her dear brother had not let anyone come even close to drawing blood from her after that one incident 80,000 years ago: A shady demon from another clan had underhandedly thrown a dart towards her neck during a fight with her brother. Furious at this breach of etiquette, her brother had blasted his opponent through several pillars at the battle arena. The man died slowly and gruesomely from a broken back. His screams, later turned to mere whimpers, had been heard for many hours until he was silent forever. From that day on, nobody had dared to come near her and all she ever got at those festivals were hateful stares, but no real fights.

In fact, to gain cultivation and skills, Li Ying had to fight with hired Demon assassins in secret. She had to pay these warriors handsomely and in secret (using the money that her brother gave her for clothes and other possessions) because the risk was high: if her brother caught them, death was certain for her opponents. But she knew that if she did not go behind his back, she would be forever dependent on him and the bodyguards he assigned to her.

Li Ying sighed. Her brother’s extreme protectiveness also meant that it was hard for her to make any friends among Demons. That’s why she had been so delighted to meet Shao Wan back at the Obsidian Palace - she had really hoped to be able to get to know this legendary warrior better. Sadly, after disappearing overnight the Demon goddess had been too busy to exchange more than a few polite words with her at the festival. In contrast to their first meeting, the Demon ancestor also seemed much more wary of her now. Li Ying suspected it had something to do with her brother, but she could not quite figure out what their relationship was.

What was clear: Her dear brother was extremely jealous of how the Demon goddess looked at the God of War. She had seen him fuming. Li Ying had never seen anyone like High God Mo Yuan herself. He was one of the oldest living gods, but looked so young - exactly like his twin, even though the crown prince was more than 300,000 years younger. High God Mo Yuan’s aura was very strong but he often withdrew into himself completely, veiling his powers. She did not understand why - Demons always boasted about their prowess. A man as powerful as he would certainly be Demon Overlord in her world, but the Celestials had a different system of power and she did not understand it at all. Why would a warrior like him choose to sit on a mountain day and night and teach Taoism to only a few disciples if he could rule the world?

She had hardly ever met (or even seen) any Celestials before, and she had been surprised by how different they were when compared to how she had imagined them. She was particularly struck by how polite, even friendly they were to everyone - so unlike demons. Apart from that, she had mainly come to admire their ability to party. She had always imagined Celestials sitting around prettily, having boring conversations over bland tea. But ye heavens, the food! She had never before tasted such exquisite delicacies. And the wine! Much more potent than what she knew from the Demon realm, which was very surprising when considering the Heaven Tribe’s insistence on propriety and appearances.

The night before, Li Ying had managed to sneak away with a bottle of Peach Blossom wine brewed by High God Zhe Yan himself. She had drunk it all down at the beach, looking at the stars and the moon, feeling heavenly. The amusing result of her drunkenness had been that she had cloud-jumped into the wrong tent, right into bed with a sweet-tasting man.

She had craved those honey peach blossom candies all day. Just thinking about them made her salivate. They had been so delectable and exceptionally unique! The ones he'd had delivered to her tent this morning were nice, but sadly not the right kind. Realizing suddenly that she and all the other people were soon going to leave this place for good, she knew that she had to find that man as soon as possible and ask where he'd gotten the original candies.

Li Ying stopped, thinking. What was his name again? They had been introduced days ago. Wasn’t he a Prince of the Western Sea? She hit herself on her forehead three times. She was so bad with names … How could she find the candies if she didn’t even know the name of the supplier? Ah, but she knew somebody who would know- her brother! Cheng Yin’s memory was superb. He would certainly know which prince it was if she described his looks.

Quickly, she turned towards her brother’s tent.

“Brother Lord!” she called out cheerfully and stepped in.

“Li Ying!”

She froze. He sounded angry and her brother’s tempers were not trifling matters. The light in the tent was quite dim, but she immediately noticed the slender female straddling her brother. Before Li Ying could turn away, mortified to have walked in on the couple, Cheng Yin pushed the woman off him and quickly put a blanket on top of her. Pulling another blanket towards himself to cover his nakedness, her Brother Lord sat up and faced his sister, one leg on the floor and the other folded so his arm would rest over his knee. He looked regal despite his rather disheveled state, she noticed.

“I am sorry for disturbing you,” she said with a nod towards the female figure, who struggled a little underneath the blanket. She should have known not to enter so quickly, Li Ying thought, she should have guessed her brother would live up to his legendary seduction skills on the last night, being the most handsome and charming High God of the Demon Realm.

“Dear sister of mine, what do you need?” Cheng Yin said, showing only a little of the annoyance he must be feeling for being interrupted. Well, she did feel sorry because seeing her brother make love wasn’t something she wished to see, but she also felt her request was quite urgent. If that prince got away before she found him, she would have to live without those sweets!

The lady under the blanket sneaked out a hand and began caressing Cheng Yin’s stomach. Her brother’s breathing quickened and he stopped the hand from going anywhere else with a distracted look on his face. Okay, she had to leave him to it as quickly as possible, Li Ying thought. Always curious, she tried to catch a glimpse of the woman, who was herself peeking out from underneath the blanket.

It seemed to be a Celestial, Li Ying noticed, judging by the looks and the way she wore her hair. Not merely a servant either; her jewelry was too valuable. The young woman looked vaguely familiar but Li Ying was simply too bad with names. She was sure her brother knew what he was doing, but this was a bit of a surprise. Celestial women were usually so sheltered, they were rare to come by as bed-companions..

“So there is this prince…” Li Ying started.

“You mean Die Feng, the Second Prince of the West Sea?” came Cheng Yin’s reply immediately.

“How do you know?” her eyes furrowed.

“Wasn’t he the one who escorted you back late last night?” he asked as he tried to push away the lady’s arms, now wrapped around him as the Celestial vied for his attention, “How did he taste?”

Her brother already knew everything. It probably meant he had watched her and the Prince last night from the shadows. A strange, unsettling habit of his.

“Let me guess, honey nectar?”

She blushed. She should have known that he would not simply let her walk away after interrupting the Celestial lady sampling his lotus root. Now he would tease her.

She pouted at him. “Brother!”

“Alright, alright,” he raised his hands, surrendering, “What do you need to know, my little sister?”

Li Ying already had what she wanted. “I was going to ask for his name, but you already told me. Die Feng, you said? Would I find him up at the palace?”

“You didn’t know his name?” He chuckled, “You vixen. How was your first Celestial? Any exciting pain?”

“Brother, I didn’t sleep with him!” She protested, “I just want to ask him where he procures his sweets.”

“You should take a bite next time,” he teased her again. True, she had had the same thought as well. This particular Celestial did taste really good. Honey nectar … and sea salt. A bite or two would be worth a try.

“Try at the palace,” Cheng Yin said, and then his voice changed and became dark and dangerous. “Unless you want to pay the God of War a visit? Your prince is one of his disciples.”

Oh, right… she faintly remembered, but she wouldn’t dare go there. The God of War was incredibly handsome, just like his twin, but also really scary. A Kunlun disciple? How interesting.

“I suggest you try new flavors when opportunities arise,” her brother advised, “but be careful with Celestial men. They are not to be trusted.” He turned to the Celestial woman who seemed to be feeling desperate. That was Li Ying’s cue to leave.

She quickly bid her brother goodnight and left him alone with the lucky lady.

Maybe it was her brother’s obvious infatuation with that woman that made her think some particular thoughts about the Celestial man. Die Feng. They had been introduced at the beginning of the festival, but he had not really registered with her until last night. He had been very gallant! Not many men in the Demon realm would have gone out of their way to escort her safely back to her tent, and it was very thoughtful of him to send her the sweets this morning.

He was cute, too - he had blushed when she licked him. All the other men that she knew would have taken the opportunity to enter her tent for a night of passion after such an obvious invitation, while he'd never even thought about it and left promptly. Were all Celestial men this honorable, or was he immune to her charms? She would see whether she could find out. Smiling at the thought, she headed straight to the palace in search of her new source of mysterious sweetness and amusement.


Much as Die Feng loved Kunlun, he missed certain luxuries from time to time. A proper warm bath, for instance. Water always helped him think of new perspectives. On his last night at the palace, Die Feng wanted a good long soak. The palace attendants knew not to disturb him; he would return to official duties later.

As a child, Die Feng had been besotted with the huge marble and coral bath chamber in the south wing. When they were children, much before Die Yong’s illness, his brother would sometimes tease him and ask, “How can a child of the sea spend time in still waters?” Die Feng would solemnly say, “Even raging waves need a still shore to beat against, da-ge,” making his brother laugh.

Die Feng liked walking along the beach while listening to the waves and he enjoyed an energetic swim in the sea as much as the next water kingdom child, but the bath chamber spoke to his need for solitude and stillness. The marble walls and ceiling of the chamber were inlaid with red, turquoise and green corals depicting the transformation and flight of Kun Peng. Beneath the corals, with water that flowed through a spring-fed cistern, the enormous bath had been cut into the floor. The chamber was lit with night pearls enveloping it in a soft glow.

Lying back with his eyes closed, Die Feng thought of his brother. It was no secret between them that Die Yong preferred the company of men. When marriage to the Eastern Sea princess had first been proposed, Die Feng had taken Die Yong aside and asked him if he truly wanted to go through with it. Die Yong had replied that he would have to marry sooner or later to produce an heir, and it was his duty to secure the kingdom with the alliance. After the kingdom was secure, he might be able to keep a male lover or two if he was discreet. “And it is not as if I will ever be with the person I truly like,” Die Yong had sighed, referring to the Celestial crown prince. “Let me take responsibility this time.”

While his brother’s words were reasonable, as the time to depart for Kunlun drew nearer the matter troubled Die Feng more. When the time came, would his brother really be able to reconcile himself to the match? Was it even fair to expect him to do so? And what of the woman Die Yong would be marrying? Did she know what she was getting into with this match? They had been taught since birth that kingdom and duty came before personal desires. It was an honourable notion and it preserved peace in the realm and ensured the well being of the people dependent upon their leaders, yet Die Feng couldn’t help being reluctant to see his family suffer.

The festival had gone on—and was about to conclude—peacefully. His parents had expected much more upheaval when guests from so many clans had accepted the invitation. However, the situation had remained under control and Shifu had successfully brokered peace for the time being. How much that peace depended on the Demon High Goddess Die Feng couldn’t say, but Shifu seemed to have reached a truce with her. She was immensely powerful, he could clearly sense that from afar, and her beauty was majestic, arrogant, commanding. She certainly commanded Shifu’s attention, anybody could see that, and Die Feng approved. Underestimating your opponent was a fatal mistake and the better you knew your adversary the better your chances of winning. Shifu had lost contact with his adversary for many years and it was natural that he would seek to regain that knowledge.

Of the other Demons, it was especially the Yellow Demon Lord, Cheng Yin, who exuded danger, and Die Feng was relieved that he had not caused more trouble at the festival. Cheng Yin’s sister on the other hand…she stirred up trouble all right. Die Feng smiled, remembering her drunken antics the previous night. Unlike her brother, she did not have an aura of malevolence but she was still dangerous in an entirely different way. He hoped that his gift of sweets this morning would keep her satisfied and that they would have no reason to run into each other again. Now that he was safely away, her outrageous behaviour was amusing. He was almost disappointed that there would be no occasion to observe her again.

With a loud splash, something fell into the water. Die Feng’s eyes snapped open. What on earth?

The water in front of him was undulating with ripples and bubbles. He approached cautiously. The top of a braided head broke the surface, followed by two eyes – one violet, one brown. Eyes with the same glint he had noticed when they were introduced at the start of the festival, and again at the beach last night.

Die Feng fell back with a yelp, “Princess!”

Princess Li Ying was dressed in light yellow. The water had rendered her gown nearly transparent. He could see the shape of her curves, her generous bosom outlined against the fabric clinging to her body. The water drops slid down her bare white arms. Blushing, he averted his eyes.

Li Ying looked around. “Oh. So this is why the maids were calling after me.”

“You’re in my bath!” Die Feng sputtered.

“Well, it’s as good a place as any.” Li Ying shrugged. She looked at the ceiling, “The corals are lovely.”

“What are you doing here?” he almost wailed. There was an odd sense of deja vu to the situation except he had not been nearly as flabbergasted when she dropped into his bed. He had had all his clothes, on for one.

“I tripped,” she explained in the same nonchalant tone.

“You tripped.” Maybe if he repeated her words the situation would make more sense.

She lowered her voice as if letting him in on a secret, “I’m not very good at cloud-jumping.”

“You don’t say.” Die Feng reached for the towel. It was too far, damn it. He edged in that direction.

She eyed him with interest.

Die Feng gave up and summoned the towel with magic. After pulling it underwater and tying it around his waist, he felt somewhat calmer.

“You don’t have to worry about being deemed inadequate,” she said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“You covered yourself,” she pointed at his towel clad waist. “It is mostly men who obsess about size,” she assured him. “Women don’t care so much.”

He choked, “That’s not what I–”

She smiled and went on, “But now that I’ve found you, let’s talk.”

The woman was not going to hurry up and leave? “You want to talk?”


“Right now?”


Die Feng forced his voice to be calm, “Princess, may I ask you a question?”

“But of course.”

“How much have you had to drink?”

She looked surprised. “Not a drop. Why do you ask?”

“No reason,” Die Feng bit his lip.

She had been a bit drowsy last night. Today, she was all alert. She really didn’t seem drunk, though going by the way she acted, it was hard to differentiate. Surely she must have come to apologise for last night? It would be an embarrassing situation for any woman to land in. But apologising was unnecessary, really! Indiscretions happened, he understood. She should just let it be and leave. Quickly.

As if on cue, Li Ying began, “Last night I–”

Die Feng firmly interrupted her, “Please, don’t apologise. We need never speak of it again.” The sooner this encounter ended the better.

“Who’s apologising?” said Li Ying. “I had the good fortune to find your bed.”

“That’s all right, I under–” he pulled up short as her words registered. “Good fortune?”

“It led me to the peach blossom candy. I’m glad–”

“You are not apologising?” he asked incredulously. Wasn’t her behavior last night a drunken mistake?

“Why would I apologise?” she asked in surprise.

She wasn’t even bothered? “You are not embarrassed?”

“What’s embarrassing about it?” A line appeared between her brows as though she was confused.

Her lack of concern was beginning to bother Die Feng. Did the girl have no inhibitions? “You landed on my bed in the middle of the night.”

“So?” she asked.

“You were drunk,” he continued.

“So was everyone else,” she replied.

“You kissed me,” he relayed her final offense, his heart beginning to race. Die Feng had never imagined he’d speak of the kiss out loud but he had to know. How thick was her skin?

“You call that a kiss?” she raised an eyebrow.

“What else would you call it?” A voice inside his head was screeching at him to back off but brazenly, he plunged ahead.

“I call it a taste,” she smirked.

Die Feng couldn’t stop himself, “You greet new men by taste-testing them?”

Her eyes flashed and before he could move, her lips were on his neck, branding him.

“Last night was a taste,” she drew her tongue against his skin to emphasize her point. “This,” her teeth nipped at his shoulder, “is a bite.” She glanced at his lips. “A kiss would have me thoroughly devour your mouth and leave you inflamed and burning to follow me to bed.” Her eyes bore into his. Her lips drew closer, her nose almost touching his. “Like food, these are pleasures to be taken freely when the body builds an appetite,” her voice was low and warm.

Die Feng was breathing hard. Provoking the princess had been a mistake. Demons really were open minded, he realised. He retreated from her grasp, trying to ignore the places where he tingled from her touch.

“What did you want to talk about, then?” he asked, hoping it would be a safer topic.

She moved closer. “Thank you for the sweets you sent to my tent this morning. I enjoyed them.”

“It was nothing,” he said as he backed away.

“But I can’t stop thinking about the taste from last night,” she continued.

His face heated again. “You–”

“The peach blossom candy,” said Li Ying. “I’ve never had anything like it.”


“Where did you get it? More importantly, where can I get it?” she asked eagerly.

“My 2nd Kunlun junior makes it.”

“I must find him,” she said with fervour.

Threatened by a vision of Li Ying turning up at the Kunlun gates, Die Feng hastened to make an offer. “I can send you some when I return.”

“You’re going to Kunlun?” she asked.

“Yes, I am the 1st disciple. I live there.”

Li Ying clapped her hands in glee. “Wonderful! So you promise to send me the candy?”

“Upon my honour,” he smiled.

Li Ying closed in. The smile froze on his face as he felt his back hit the wall. Her lips brushed against his collarbone. “Don’t run,” she whispered, her breath warm on his skin. Her tongue darted out to taste him.

The heat of her tongue was all he could feel. He groaned. Her hands were on his shoulders, holding him in place. Her breasts brushed against his bare chest, the soaked fabric of her gown a poor barrier. Without even looking, he remembered her shape outlined against the clinging material. A current jolted through him and he cursed his mind for conjuring that image.

His hands lightly curled around her back. Her wet braids had fallen forward leaving her neck bare. Die Feng nuzzled her ear, mesmerised. One by one the water droplets melted against his touch. He wanted to capture them with his mouth. Why didn’t he? This was like the haze of intoxication, except Die Feng was not drunk at all. His lips parted.

Li Ying raised her head and looked into his eyes. “New men don’t usually taste of sea salt.” She kissed his cheek. “Goodbye.” With that, she was gone.

Suddenly the bath seemed too cold.

Chapter 23