Fanfiction 2: Moyuan and Bai Qian - Chapter 7, Part 1 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 7 - The Bell of Donghuang

Part 1

written by LalaLoop
consulting July
editing kakashi

Bai Qian was sitting on the steps leading into the Fox cave, resting her head against the rock wall.

She had never truly appreciated her occasional hot temper, her tendency to display emotional outbursts whenever she felt the need, and her willingness to trust others and confide in them her secrets. She had never fully realized how fortunate she was until now.

Her eyes became blurry.

Do you understand now? His voice echoed.

Bitterness washed over her. She wanted to smile, she had gotten an answer after all, but instead, she could not decide which part of his answer had brought tears to her eyes.

Was it on purpose? Bai Qian scoffed at her own question - of course it was. He had said before they’d begun their conversation that she would need it - not the intellectual display, but to listen so that she herself could uncover the greatest flaw of the man she had always worshipped.

How clever, how elegant - Bai Qian let out a bitter laugh, brushing the tears from her face - to delve into her soul and manage to lay his bare for her to see, to make no effort to stop her from taking out her last bit of anger on the tea set and the door, to not reveal what he thought she needed to learn in plain words which he knew might slip her mind.

A ruthless man with himself he had been. A man capable of treating others just as ruthlessly.

In his own ruthless way he had made her see what lay underneath the emotional detachment, the disadvantage of being the heavily feared and respected God of War, and made her realize that her ability to react to pain was her strength, and the freedom to do so was something to be embraced.

He had admitted to his fault in a prideful manner indeed, such visible pride that had undone his good intention. The very same pride along with his sense of superiority had made him prone to secrecy and fed the irrational belief that he would be able to handle and cause everything to assemble itself in time.

The weakness of his brilliance lies in his insistence that his love was one-sided without seriously considering the other possibility. Zheyan had said. And how right he was.

The skills known for their coldness and practicality, the great intelligence that allowed him to calculate and view others - with the exception of perhaps his own disciples - as chess pieces on a board, the trait that had enabled him to persuade hearts and minds to follow him into battle had, at the same time, prevented him from believing he would ever come face-to-face with someone whose heart would not require a plan of conquer but a simple question.

And that was not all. Perhaps, Bai Qian thought, he had taken a risk in telling her more than she should know. A risk in revealing that he was not entirely the kind and gentle master she and her seniors saw everyday, but also an unsympathetic strategist who had disregarded the voice of his own heart, who had refused it a chance to take charge, even when it had bled and cried out in desperation, who, on occasions, had no difficulty in inflicting on someone else the same pain.

“Not that great a risk,” Bai Qian blinked. She knew very well that Moyuan would never assume the risk without a valid reason. He would never place a task upon her without knowing she’d be able to see it to the end. And he had been successful, far more successful than those who charged head first into battle. Because he had taken the trouble to understand her, to - as he had put it - know her by heart, and in the process, had ensured that she would in turn understand him, would see through the mere surface.

Bai Qian laughed again as she admitted to herself that if it hadn't been for the battle of the Bell, she would have understood him much sooner - the man who was simply excellent at hiding his loneliness, who refused to put her through the same experience.

Some footsteps and angry noise inside the cave pulled her back to reality.

Bai Qian stood with her eyebrows furrowed. And as she entered the cave, she heard Fengjiu’s furious voice.

“Don't force me into an arrangement!” Fengjiu stomped out to the front, followed by her father.

Bai Qian walked to Zheyan, who was standing by the rock table. They exchanged a look without saying anything. She knew this must have to do with Lord Donghua.

“You have seen with your own eyes the Stone of Reincarnation,” Bai Yi held out his hand in a calm manner.

“I don’t care. You don’t understand!” Fengjiu shouted. She was now on the verge of tears. “Why don’t you look at Shaoxing, or Ghost Lord Lijing, or Gugu, or High God Moyuan. Look at what they’re willing to do, then you wouldn’t mind so much that I’m only asking for a chance to pursue what I believe in!”

Bai Qian gasped then glared at Fengjiu. She knew she would have to make the facts known some time, but she would have preferred to do so herself. The little fox turned red and looked away instantly, biting her lip.

Luckily, Bai Yi did not seem to regard the inconsistency in Fengjiu’s list of names as anything more than a plain mistake from someone who wasn’t thinking clearly.

“Don't try and bring other people’s stories in to defend your case, the circumstances aren't the same. And I know you are desperate, dear,” Bai Yi chuckled, looking slightly amused, “but I must say this, if I were trying to convince my parents to go speak with someone who understood affairs of the heart, I would not point to High God Moyuan.”

Zheyan made a sound that indicated hilarity while Fengjiu grunted in frustration. She looked at Bai Qian briefly then stormed out of the cave.

“She’ll be fine.” Bai Qian shook her head as Bai Yi was about to go after Fengjiu. “Leave her alone for a moment.”

“Children,” Bai Yi sighed and also retreated to his quarters in Qingqiu cave.

Zheyan chuckled as he always did whenever Bai Qian, Bai Zhen, or Fengjiu threw a tantrum.

“Tea?” he asked, sitting down at the table.

“Please,” Bai Qian replied and sank into the rock stool opposite of him.

“Well, what was it?” Zheyan poured some hot tea into the cup and handed it to her.


“That's twice in a row now.” His smile widened, “it had better be something important this time.”

“What are you talking about?” Bai Qian frowned for she only understood half of what he’d just said.

“I want to know why Moyuan cut short our discussion on the future of weaponry earlier today when you showed up at my garden.”

She kept her eyes on the tea cup while Zheyan continued.

“You do realize that last time we were in the middle of a talk about the uses of the meditation elixir when he decided to go to Qingqiu because you stumbled onto some broken glass and hurt your hand, don’t you?”

“First of all, I didn’t just hurt my hand,” Bai Qian corrected him, “I passed out. It could have been fatal. Secondly, it wasn't my fault that he happened to be there when Migu went to see you. And no, I didn’t realize that. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Shifu doesn’t talk a lot. And I’ve decided a long time ago to just go along with whatever he does.”

“You have a point,” said Zheyan as he poured himself some tea.

“And I’m sure ‘the future of weaponry’ wasn’t that significant a discussion. It’s the God of War, he knows his priorities.”

Zheyan chuckled and shook his head. After a short silence, he rephrased his initial question to “has anything changed?”

“Yes,” Bai Qian replied, deeply thankful for Zheyan’s skill of making awkward conversations less so. But she quickly corrected herself, “well… not changed, ‘improved’ is more like it.”

“Anything you care to elaborate?”

Bai Qian gave a shrug. Half of her wanted to tell Zheyan everything that had happened. Though afraid that ‘he confessed’ would sound much too serious, and not exactly wanting to give Moyuan the satisfaction of knowing that she had somehow managed to understand his ridiculous speech, not even behind his back, Bai Qian simply said, “he answered my question.”

Zheyan smiled his usual know-it-all smile, and now was one of the times Bai Qian felt relieved to see it.

“What do you think then?”

Bai Qian looked at the ceiling, pretending to be deep in thoughts.

“I feel a bit sorry for High Goddess Yao Guang now,” she said with a solemn face that made Zheyan choke on his tea and break into a long laugh.

“I agree,” he winked, lowering his voice. “But we mustn’t let him hear that.”

Bai Qian shook her head in agreement, trying hard not to laugh herself. But again, her laughter turned into tears. Zheyan put down his cup and reached for her shoulder.

“I know,” he said, then quickly changed the subject. “Do you plan to see him again? Before the meditation, I mean.”

Bai Qian slightly gasped. She had completely forgotten that she would eventually have to see Moyuan again. This, of course, presented a number of frightening scenarios she was not at all prepared for.

“What is it, Xiaowu?” Zheyan’s voice sounded as though from a distance. “You know that tonight couldn’t be the last time you and Moyuan meet, don’t you?” He asked, his voice mingled with curiosity and suppressed laughter.

“No - I did not know that,” said Bai Qian truthfully.

Zheyan pressed his lips together to stop himself from laughing then patted her on the head. “You’re right, some things haven’t changed at all.”


Two puffs of black smoke subsided in mid air, a pair of cloaked men took their place. Slowly they approached one another. One of them drew out his sword. Though the moment they came face-to-face, the taller one of the two raised his arm and struck. The sword flew off the other man’s hand and landed on the ground.

“Put it away, you fool,” he said in a voice that sounded like crackling fire. The hood slid off his head, revealing a bestial face with vicious looking eyes and hair that glittered like gold under the moonlight.

The shorter man held up his arms as though to surrender and slightly whimpered.

“The celestial court?” The Golden Lion asked, baring his sharp teeth.

“The young Crown Prince is just back from his trial,” answered the man in a calmer voice, almost proud of himself for disclosing the information. “They are celebrating.”

“Very good. What about the less ignorant ones?”

“Donghua has been increasing security along Ruoshui River. No news from Kunlun.”

His eyes flashed dangerously, “they think they can contain the Ghost Lord.”

He pushed the man aside with his hand and looked up at the sky.

“They have removed the guarding spirit. They have their God of War back. Let them laugh their last laugh before they pay the price,” he hissed.

“Wouldn’t it be easier if we just had him assassinated first?” The man asked, desperate for some approval.

“Assassinated?” He barked, “your humor fascinates me.”

“He is weak.”

“Yes, ‘weak’ as in ‘it’s been a long time since he wielded Xuanyuan Sword’, you imbecile. But he remains a powerful immortal who can turn twenty of you into ash with a flick of his finger. And have I not told you!” He seized the man by his collar and lifted him up from the ground. “The Ghost Lord’s wish is clear - we are not to touch him!”

He then threw the man onto the grass with such force that he groaned in pain.

“Go back and make sure Lijing does not suspect anything.”

Chapter 7, Part 2