Fanfiction: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan - Chapter 58 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 58

written by kakashi

This morning, after Zhe Yan had finished examining him, the Phoenix had told Mo Yuan he would have a special elixir ready for him tonight, the last one he would need for full recovery. Since he had some important business to tend to at the Peach Blossom Orchard all afternoon, and because there was a faint possibility some adjustments needed to be made to the elixir at the last moment, he had asked Mo Yuan whether he could come and pick it up himself.

Naturally, Mo Yuan had agreed. Zhe Yan’s elixirs had worked wonders, he was feeling like his old self again. The headaches assaulted him less frequently, he was no longer strangely disoriented, and he could train for a whole day without feeling tired. In addition, going to the orchard was a welcome change from his daily routines and he even thought he might enjoy some wine with his old friend. Zhe Yan’s Peach Blossoms were of a particular, haunting, sad beauty in the light of a full moon, too white and too ethereal, shimmering like ghosts that found no rest but quivered in fear until the moment they fell into the abyss of the underworld.

However, as soon as Mo Yuan arrived at Zhe Yan’s Peach Tree Orchard at the agreed hour, he froze. He had been too gullible.

Her scent was so strong, it overpowered the fragrance of the peach blossoms. Her aura was so radiant, it burnt in the dark like a huge bonfire. His treacherous, useless heart responded by speeding up, so he slowed it down, forcefully, until his balance was reestablished and he felt nothing.

“Shao Wan is here,” Mo Yuan said to Zhe Yan, who was waiting for him in front of his hut.

“She is,” Zhe Yan affirmed, managing quite well not to look too smug, “she came by to pick up some more of Fong Hung’s elixir. He is growing at-”

“I am not interested in the pets of my enemies,” Mo Yuan cut the Phoenix off.

”Both elixirs are not quite ready yet,” Zhe Yan continued undeterred, “you have to wait. There’s peach blossom wine on the stone table.”

“Do you really mean to insult my intelligence?” the God of War said, quite astounded by just how little of an effort Zhe Yan made to mask his meddling intentions.

“Sit down and relax for a moment, Mo Yuan,” Zhe Yan implored, “please. Let’s set aside all differences, just for tonight.”

“I would rather go and count every single peach blossom eight times,” Mo Yuan said, “than sit down and drink with her.”

“Mo Yuan. You cutting her out is not the solution. Can’t you two talk? Maybe there is still a chance that we can solve this situation peacefully.”

Mo Yuan scoffed. “Peacefully? She made her intentions more than clear. She chose to be our enemy, Phoenix. Fine with me if you do not want to get involved in any more wars, but please, do me the favor and don’t get involved at all. It is tiresome.”

“Mo Yuan?”

Mo Yuan whirled around at the sound of her voice.

It was already dark, but the world got even darker - only she shone like a flame, like she was pulling all the available light towards her. The Demon High Goddess was beautiful beyond words. Her midnight blue hair was intricately braided and pulled together at her nape into another masterful plait. She wore her feather above her left ear, worked carefully into a silver barrette. She was dressed in a purple velvet gown that accentuated the curves of her body and showed just enough cleavage to make a man long to see the rest of the promise. He knew without having to check that her almond shaped eyes were of a dark brown right now, wary and alert, yet curious and inquisitive. But the most fascinating aspect of her appearance were her powers that flowed around her like a second gown, visible to his eyes. Mo Yuan had never seen anything like it: it was both mesmerizing thrilling and bone-chilling alarming.

“Very clever, Phoenix,” Shao Wan said, throwing Zhe Yan a dark look.

Mo Yuan pulled his reluctant eyes away from this glorious image of absolute power. “I was just leaving,” he said, turned his struggling body around and got ready to cloud jump away.

“No, do what you came to do at your brother’s place,” she said softly, “I will be the one to leave, High God Mo Yuan.”

His body turned back instantly, it had obviously just waited for an excuse, and froze again completely as their eyes met. Hers were full of questions and something like ... anticipation, which ... he suddenly felt he was not prepared for this.

“Are you well, Mo Yuan?” she asked gently.

He just continued to stare at her, wide open to any sort of attack she would want to throw at him, wide open to her uncanny ability to read people’s essence without doing any apparent soul-searching magic. When he felt her probing gaze, it was like a caress, a whisper against his skin, giving him goosebumps.

“You are well,” she said, “they scared me, saying how gravely hurt you are, but I see they lied.”

“Ehem,” said Zhe Yan, “I have to go back to the elixirs, they need to be stirred frequently. They should be ready in about two incense sticks - or more. Drink wine or don’t drink wine, but please, leave my peach trees alone.”

They stood there in silence and stared at each other in the dark after Zhe Yan had left.

But as time passed and the full moon rose and moved into the sky above them, Mo Yuan managed to find his bearing and reestablish control over his body. He was prepared after all - since it was a simple matter of willpower. He had not wanted to resist her during their brief dalliance, but now, he no longer wanted to yield, not even an inch.

He looked at her still form and he felt suddenly thrilled that she had changed so much since they had last stood here, the kind of thrill you felt when you met an old enemy and realized they had acquired new battle skills that you wanted to test out. Nothing about her reminded him of that impulsive, rageful creature that had pounded on him like a predator. She was assessing the situation just like him, patiently and carefully, so much more deadly than before.

Now that the spell was broken, he was able to see beyond the mesmerizing beauty. When his eyes adjusted, he noticed she was thinner than when she had left him. She had a haunted look, a faint paleness, eyes that lay too deep in their sockets. This woman was exhausted and her eyes spoke of a pained soul, waiting for someone to ease her burdens.

And that, that made her vulnerable.

...unless she was putting on an act to make him lower his defenses? Of course, that had to be it: She would make herself seem weak in order to lure him into feeling sympathy, into making a mistake. But he wouldn’t. He had fallen for her tricks once, and that was all he would ever fall for.

“I thank you for your concern,” he said coolly, “I am indeed well.”

Her head perked up when he spoke and her eyes shone brightly in the moonlight as she replied: “I am very glad to hear it.”

She managed to sound sincere. He now realized he had always underestimated her before, just another confirmation for how clever this woman had been in her deception all along.

“How is Fong Hung?” he asked, since he was sensing the mount nearby and since he knew this was a subject to rattle her.

“He has grown so much in so few days!” she said, her voice quivering just a little, “do you want to see him? He is just over there.”

“Please, Demon Queen,” he said politely and followed her with measured steps and high alertness, deeper into the orchard, towards that stone table that they both knew so well. Incidentally, Zhe Yan had put two bottles of peach wine there. Next to them sat Fong Hung, in the blue protective bubble Mo Yuan had put him in. He was almost too big for it now, but blinked rapidly when he saw Mo Yuan.

“He likes it in there,” Shao Wan explained, throwing Mo Yuan a look from the side. “I found a way how to open and close it.”

“The bubble doesn’t expand,” Mo Yuan said, somehow baffled, “he will soon be too big, it will hurt him.”

“Oh.” Shao Wan extended her hands towards the blue orb and small discharges crackled up. She pulled her hand back quickly, pressing her lips together.

Mo Yuan did not understand why she had kept her demonic mount in the cage he had made, especially not if the energy hurt her like this. It must be part of her trickery, he concluded, because it threatened to affect him, this gesture, her keeping something he had given her, even if it was only a cage he had made to kick her Mount off his mountain. Very clever.

“I could make a new one?” he offered, testing how far she would play along.

Her expression changed. She looked much more alert and quite wary all of a sudden. Of course, she was cautious, like she should be. Quickly, he reached for the bubble and split it in half, making action follow words, giving her little time to think. Deep down, the impulsive, gut-driven creature lay dormant. He only had to tease it out of her.

The very moment he was free, Fong Hung glared at him and quite clearly said: “老.” (lao)

Shao Wan stared at her mount with eyes as round as the moon above.

“Lao,” the toad said again, loud and clear, turning her head towards her, “Lao. Lao.”

“He has just spoken, hasn’t he?” she whispered. “What is he saying?”

“I think he is calling us old,” Mo Yuan suggested with a frown.

Shao Wan laughed, the sound piercing like an arrow through Mo Yuan’s resolve, then hugged the golden-green animal so fiercely, his eyes bulged out even more.

“Fong Hung, Fong Hung, you will soon be able to guard my back again! I knew you would come back, I knew it!” she cried and kissed the toad’s warty skin.

She was so close. Mo Yuan could see every strand of her hair, he could see her wet eyes and long, curved eyelashes, carefully painted like her elegant eyebrows, the powder on her flawless skin, her pointy nose, perfect for tapping one's finger against, her lips ... taunting him to punish them for how hurtful they had been. What if he just devoured them until she begged him to stop? What if he let it go further? What if he ripped that revealing dress off her and repeated what he had done during their first meeting here? He wanted to anger her, to make her lose her composure, to have her rage and scream.

But he could also see her feather and that took precedence over everything else.

It was right there in front of him. One quick move and it would be his. One quick move and he would tilt the odds in his favor, save his clan a lot of pain. Such a small object, such a small move, such immense consequences.

With only the slightest hesitation, Mo Yuan reached out his hand. He expected to hit a force shield, was getting ready for the pain and for his attempt to break it…

...“croak!” - Fong Hung took a leap from the table and bumped forcefully against his chest. Mo Yuan closed both his arms around the heavy animal instinctively, but the unexpected impact made him stagger backwards. Quickly, Shao Wan’s hand came up to steady him. It was only a brief contact, because Mo Yuan found his balance again immediately, but her touch was as painful as a thunderbolt during a heavenly trial.

Cursing silently under his breath, Mo Yuan put the glaring Fong Hung back onto the stone table. You already are protecting her back, aren’t you, Mo Yuan thought. You always were, from the very beginning. You never wanted me near her. You have more foresight than both of us together. He formed a large blue bubble between his hands, large enough to contain Fong Hung for some time longer, even in case his growth accelerated further.

“Should I…,” he swallowed hard. He had turned around to address Shao Wan and found her standing right behind him, watching closely what he was doing. So close again. His body cried out in yearning, but his head was the one in control.

“Yes,” Shao Wan said. She made a point not to look into his eyes, but had hers fixated on her toad. Yet, there was the faintest of blushes on her skin, and it gave him much satisfaction to see her discomfort, wherever it came from. Turning back around, Mo Yuan carefully enveloped Fong Hung with the bubble, closing it with a strong protective spell, leaving only a small door for her to open. The toad immediately licked the walls of his new home, looking content.

“Thank you,” Shao Wan said. “Thank you. For this... and everything else you have done for us. Thank you.”

He turned around again and this time, she was looking at him. They were of almost equal height so that her eyes were quasi level with his. They were doorways to another dimension - and his certain doom. This was the woman who had forever changed him and he wanted to hate her for it.

He forced himself to think of Cheng Yin, of how the Demon held Shao Wan in his arms, of how he kissed her, had her... and it was sufficient to instantly purge all the conflicting feelings from his heart. But it also was the end of his ability to pretend he wasn’t about to explode from anger. How dare she taunt him by pretending to be concerned about him? How dare she talk to him like nothing had happened?

“It is no matter,” he said icily, “I would have done it for anybody.”

She frowned, but before she could react, he added: “Would you care to sit, Shao Wan?”

“I cannot drink a lot,” she answered, throwing him a sullen look. But she sat down at one end of the stone table, after putting Fong Hung in his bubble on the ground next to her.

Mo Yuan sat down at the other end, took a bottle, uncorked it and said: “To old enemies.”

“To old enemies,” Shao Wan repeated and uncorked hers.

She only drank one sip, he noticed, before putting the bottle down again. He on the other hand didn’t care whether Zhe Yan had given them his aphrodisiac again or not, it wouldn’t work on him this time anyway.

“You can drop the act now,” Shao Wan said frowning after he had downed about half of the bottle. “What are you trying to achieve?”


Considering Shao Wan had only spent four weeks on Mount Kunlun, she had convinced herself she and the God of War had barely spent any time together. In the eyes of immortals, four weeks were as inconsequential as taking a breath or having one sip of tea. However, the truth was that in the 170’000 years she had spent awake, she had never gotten to know anyone more intimately. Was it because he had opened up to her in ways she had never known were possible? There had been moments during which he had hidden nothing and given her everything, like nobody had ever done before. She had seen his true essence, his very core. She knew him - whether she wanted to or not.

Because she had seen his true self, she had been fully aware of what she was doing when she had brought up that Fox Woman - the one thing he could not talk about without being emotional. It had been necessary, even if, or exactly because it would turn him against her. The appearance of her Feather had simply made something inevitable even more inevitable. Did he not have many people around him that truly mattered? His brother, his disciples, his High God friends? He would be angry, maybe a bit hurt for a few days at the most, as inconsequential as taking a breath or having a sip of tea, and then, their short time together would be just another memory - or not even that, since immortality was long and not many memories were worth keeping.

And yet, and yet! As soon as she had felt his powerful presence in Zhe Yan’s orchard, she had immediately rejoiced. She was actually glad Zhe Yan had meddled again because in the eight days since her return to the Demon Realm, the wish to speak to Mo Yuan one more time, civilly and unemotionally, had grown inside of her. She had hoped she could explain to him that she had never enjoyed hurting him, but that she had had no other choice. She wanted to make sure there were no troublesome feelings left between them. She had to make sure he… understood her.

But when their eyes locked for the first time, Shao Wan saw immediately that there was a deadly, simmering rage boiling beneath the cold, composed surface. She had never known Mo Yuan to be someone who would bear grudges for long, nor had she known him as someone who would let emotions consume him. She did not understand where this much anger came from - it seemed out of proportions.

She for her part knew already she would never again be able to look at the Celestial and not find him insanely attractive, so she was not surprised that her heart started beating fast at his sight and that her mouth went dry. She also did not even try to stop her body from expressing its urgent need to unite with his - the levels of pleasure she had reached with him still resonated within her daily. But she was different now than she had been, she had learned how to keep control, so she did not let him see even for a second how much his presence affected her.

Instead, she braced herself for the God of War’s attack. He had vowed to kill her and it did look like he would indeed try.

But the attack had not come.

Instead, so masterful at his deception, he had been kind towards Fong Hung, making her remember and regret she had never even thanked him for giving her and her mount a place to heal on his mountain. When she had instinctively touched him to steady him, his energy racing through her body had momentarily stopped her breath. It had sparked a fire within her, hot and raging, almost breaking her resolve. She yearned for his touch, for his lips, for his embrace - she yearned for it so much, her whole body ached.

But just when she had been ready to forget who he was, to forget who she was, and forget what that meant, he had dropped all pretense and had let her see what he really felt. He stood so very close to her and she saw it burning in the depth of his eyes: there was no going back to that very short time that was even too short for an immortal memory. Behind the rage, there was only hate.

Admittedly, she was shocked at this discovery. Yes, she had wanted to drive him away, to free herself of bonds that tied her down, restricted her, could even be deadly for her - but she had never thought the God of War would take it like this.

I think I made a mistake, she thought with a sudden chill. I think I overlooked something.

Still, he offered to sit and drink with her and down she sat with a heavy heart, curious to see what he intended to do next. Not much later, she lost her patience though. She had spent half the day in the fighting pits and felt her own exhaustion too keenly to sit opposite a man who was taunting her by drinking deeply from what was most likely spiced wine when she herself couldn’t.

“You can drop the act now,” Shao Wan said and frowned at him angrily. “What are you trying to achieve?”

Mo Yuan put down his bottle and chuckled. “I was planning to exploit your weakness, but then I realized you are not as weak as you first made me believe. Thus, I have lost interest.”

“You wanted to kill me?” Shao Wan asked. “I have been waiting for you to try.”

“Kill you? No, I do not want to bring destruction to Zhe Yan’s peach trees,” Mo Yuan said, “they are too dear to me.”

He was already infuriating her and he knew it.

“Then what?”

“Assess your powers, maybe.”

“Without a fight?”

“I can assess by just looking.”

“You were always hell bent to be contrary with me,” she observed. “You would rather starve than eat when I say I’m hungry.”

Mo Yuan raised his eyebrows a little. “Please. You make it sound like I base my decisions on your actions. That’s like saying the sun rises because the ant wants to wake up in the morning.”

She was so angry now she took a second sip despite herself.

“Despite it all, I am glad we met,” Shao Wan said, “I cannot stand the thought of you misunderstanding me.”

“Why should I misunderstand you? No, I understand you to the fullest. You made your intentions very clear.”

“My intentions. Yes, my intentions are the same.”

“It is so comfortable to know one’s enemy,” Mo Yuan said, and took another large swig of wine. “And I must admit, I have never known any other enemy as intimately as I know you.”

And he looked her over, slowly, almost making her blush as she felt suddenly self-conscious under his gaze, fighting an urge to check whether her hair was in order and her dress had not shifted out of place.

“I didn’t know this was the latest Demon fashion,” he continued, still looking intently at her body, “or I would have brought you different dresses from the mortal realm. I could not even imagine a woman could dress like this - we Celestials are just too uptight.”

“What’s your damn point,” she hissed, knowing there probably was no point besides angering her.

“I imagine you got what you wanted from me?” he continued, now looking straight at her face, “I hope you enjoyed yourself just as much as I enjoyed myself. I know you have a plentitude of men at your disposal, but it had been quite some time for me. It makes it a special service.”

“Stop,” she whispered.

He snorted. “Ah, and here I was thinking you Demons like to talk about bedroom matters all the time. But maybe it wasn’t my body you came for after all.”

She took several deep breaths. He would not get her to lose her calm, seeing how clearly he was out for just that.

“You probably think you outsmarted me, Demon Goddess. All those top secret military documents lying around for you to pick up and read? Well...guess again.” He sneered.

She just looked at him in silence, pressing her lips together.

“I never let you near anything that truly mattered,” he continued. “I made absolutely sure you would never see, hear or touch anything of value. You may call me a fool all you want, but I have not been fooled by you even once.”

“You know I did not choose to be kidnapped,” she snapped. “Stop making it sound like a war strategy!”

“Oh, you must not be overmodest,” Mo Yuan said. “I value cleverness and you most certainly were very clever. I always underestimated you, thinking you were all muscle, no brain.” He downed the rest of his bottle, then shook it. “What now, Demon High Goddess? My bottle is empty. How do you want to part? I am at your service.”

She wanted to smack that smirk off his face so much, but she would not give in.

“I only wanted to talk to you,” she said and swallowed down her anger and her disappointment.

“Talk? I’d say we’re done talking. The truth is, I was hoping you would offer your body again, but I do understand that it is no longer necessary.”

“I hate you,” she said impulsively, because his insults felt like daggers in her heart, regretting it the very moment it escaped her lips.

“Good,” he said all satisfied. “Good.”

He got up, looked at her again with his most infuriating and arrogant expression and said: “I will take my leave now, Demon High Goddess. Next time we meet, there will be no talking.”

And he was gone. Even now, she did not want to give him the satisfaction of raging or screaming. She collected Fong Hung in his new bubble, looked at it... and then destroyed it with a massive burst of energy. With a loud “plop”, it dissolved - only a blue shimmer remained for a brief moment before it, too, was gone.

Fong Hung could shoot her eye daggers all he wanted, she could no longer stand to be near something that felt so much like the God of War.

Chapter 59