Fanfiction 2: Moyuan and Bai Qian - Chapter 8 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 8 - Yehua

written by LalaLoop
consulting by Juls
editing by kakashi

Yanzhi dropped on her knees, took Bai Qian’s injured arm and started to examine the scratches the Golden Lion had left. Her lips were tightly pressed together, as if trying to forget what they all had had to witness back in the forest. Bai Qian kept quiet, exchanging looks with Zilan once in awhile.

Yan Zhi drew out a small vial from her sleeve pocket and began pouring the content onto the cuts.

“This is only temporary,” she said, wiping tears off her face with her torn sleeve. “You’re going to need proper medicine afterward.”

The stinging pain made Bai Qian squeeze her eye close. But it quickly went away. “Shifu…” she unknowingly murmured.

“I'm sure Shifu has been informed,” said Zilan, his eyes fixed on the direction where they had heard the explosion.

“No, that's not what I meant...” Bai Qian muttered, standing up, her hands on either side of her head. The horrible pain from the lightning bolts still lingered. “We have to get to Ruoshui River, Lord Donghua is there. He…,” Bai Qian felt a terrible sinking in her stomach as she continued, “he is not well.”

“I’ll come with you,” said Yanzhi as she too got on her feet.

“No, Yanzhi,” said Zilan immediately. “You have to stay out of this.”

“I can help!”

“No!” Zilan shouted, looking at Yanzhi as though he thought she’d lost her mind. “This is one battle you can only help by staying hidden!”

“I know you’re as capable as any of us,” said Bai Qian. “But we cannot take the risk.” She had promised herself to always take Yanzhi’s side should Yanzhi and Zilan ever get into a fight. Though this situation was quite different.

“Exactly,” Zilan nodded. “We don't even know if our Shifu is strong enough to take on Qingcang. The Crown Prince is still recovering from his recent collapse. If anything happens to you and Qingcang gets stronger, it’ll be the end for all of us.”

Seeing Yanzhi was still looking unconvinced, Bai Qian advanced and looked her in the eyes. “Lijing gave his life to ensure your safety. We can't repay him by putting you in danger. I know you want to help, I know it kills you to sit on the side and watch but we don't have a choice.”

“Do as we say,” Zilan said again. “Go to Kunlun, I doubt it is free from disturbances right now but it's the safest place we know.”

Yanzhi angrily pushed her hair back, looking away from them, her arms folded. Taking it she had agreed to their plan, Zilan stepped closer.

“Here, take this,” he reached into his pocket and drew out his jade pendant. “Second Senior will let you in.”

“Wait,” Bai Qian interrupted. “Stop by the Peach Blossom Garden first, I don’t know where Zheyan or my brother are but we need to get words to them. We have to make sure they know what’s happening.”

“I think all the realms know what’s happening, Seventeenth,” said Zilan. “Did you not hear the thunder earlier?”

“If Zheyan is down in his own meditation cave or somewhere in the mortal realm looking for herbs, he wouldn’t have heard.”

Zilan muttered his agreement and said no more. Then, as Yanzhi had taken the jade pendant and was turning around to leave, he seized her hand. Pink patches appeared on Yanzhi’s cheeks despite their somewhat terrifying situation.

“I don't know what’s going to happen,” he said in a low voice, “so…”

“Let's all do our best and stay alive,” Yanzhi cut him off. Then, with one last look at them both, she wheeled around, got on her sword and vanished from sight.

He turned to Bai Qian, “what about you? You don't look too well.”

“I'll be fine,” she replied, praying she was right.

“Shall we go then?”

She nodded. Zilan took her hand and the pair of them disappeared from where they stood.

“Look out!” Zilan flung his arm sideway, pushing Bai Qian back as a jet of black shot pass them. He drew his sword and sent the ghost soldier who had just attacked flying across the field.

Arriving at Ruoshui River, they found themselves surrounded by panicking people and the sound of combat from all sides. Spears and swords clashed against shields, jets of black and silver collided. On the outer circle, people were screaming and fleeing the area - most of whom prisoners who were charged with guarding the bell, ghost soldiers and assassins wreaking havoc among the celestial guards. Looking further, they caught sight of a large protective shield being conjured.

Without hesitation, they threw themselves into the crowd, taking down as many ghost soldiers as they could, blocking distant attacks and spells that were flying everywhere.

As they sped to the shield, a shriek nearby caught Bai Qian’s attention. She turned to see a familiar looking woman dressed in rags, cowering on the ground in front of a ghost assassin with a spiked flail, ready to strike down. Without thinking much, Bai Qian swept her fan in their direction. The hit didn't kill the assassin, though it bought Sujin enough time to get back on her feet.

Moving closer to the center, they recognized a silver-haired figure and a group of celestial soldiers, who were struggling to hold up the shield around them. As soon as they got in far enough, Zilan exchanged a brief look with Bai Qian, then stayed to join the soldiers in their spell performance as she ran on to where Donghua was sitting.

“Fengjiu!” Bai Qian rushed over as she recognized the stirring figure in Donghua’s arms. Fengjiu was trembling and half unconscious with her eyes shut tightly. Donghua looked to be in a more desolate state, it seemed he had just gone through a duel himself.

“No fatal injuries,” Donghua breathed heavily, his arms wrapped tightly around Fengjiu. “But she was hit by Qingcang’s power while examining the Bell. She needs to be seen to.”

“Zheyan and my brother will be here,” she assured him, running her hand along Fengjiu’s white cheek. Then, Bai Qian’s attention was diverted to a pair of people who were fighting in the center of the field. It was Yehua, battling Qingcang himself.

“Where -- is Moyuan?” asked Donghua. “The Bell has been activated. And Qingcang is unusually strong. I don’t believe the Crown Prince can hold up for much longer, his powers have yet to balance.”

“Shifu has been informed,” said Bai Qian, springing up and dashing towards the duel.

Descending by Yehua’s side, Bai Qian deflected a spell Qingcang had shot at him. And she quickly realized they indeed needed help as she glanced at Yehua - he was looking almost as pale and exhausted as Donghua with blood was running down his sword arm. Recognizing the new arrival, Qingcang laughed and sent another force forward with his halberd, almost throwing Yehua onto the ground. Bai Qian swept in front of him and countered another deadly attack with a slashing motion of her fan. Behind her, Yehua quickly regained his balance.

“Haven't gotten enough of my halberd, I see,” said Qingcang to Bai Qian with a sneer. As soon as she saw him flick his hand she conjured a silver shield. The force rebounded and hit one of the assassins standing close.

“Where is Moyuan?” Qingcang spoke through his teeth.

Bai Qian gave no reply but kept staring back at him.

“Has he sent you two out here to die in his place?” he said. “Of course, the glorious God of War - always keeping up a worthy image, always capable of getting people to follow him unconditionally into battle.”

“Has as it ever crossed your mind, children,” Qingcang feigned a sigh, “that underneath it all, he is only a worthless bastard who simply excels at manipulation?”

Hatred rose inside Bai Qian, she lunged forward and struck down with her fan. And it turned out she was not alone. Despite his injuries, Yehua too had made a furious move toward Qingcang, forcing him to raise his halberd to block a massive attack that nearly caused him fatal damage.

“Very well,” the smirk disappeared from Qingcang's face as he regained footing from the blow. “You two have detained me long enough.”

“My Lord...” said the trembling voice of the Golden Lion behind Qingcang, now in his human form.

“Silence!” Qingcang bellowed, striking repeatedly at Bai Qian and Yehua with his halberd. Every force thrown at them was formidable and determined to kill. Bai Qian didn't know how long they could keep on fighting with Yehua’s powers unstable and herself significantly weakened by the earlier incident. The pain in her injured arm was starting to come back as well as the effect of the Double Crescent Halberd’s lightning bolts.

“But My Lord!” The Golden Lion shrieked again.

A puff of smoke shot down at the ground with the speed of an arrow, causing vibration in the air. Several ghost soldiers in the vicinity were knocked down from the impact. Some of them scrambled to their feet and backed away immediately, glancing around at themselves, raising their weapons. A second later, the silver smoke vanished and there he stood with Xuanyuan sword in his hand.

Qingcang wheeled around as Moyuan approached, looking calm yet decidedly displeased.

Slowly, he raised his sword. “Don't touch them again.”

“I'd like to see you try and stop me,” Qingcang laughed, his attention averted immediately.

“Leave,” Moyuan commanded, looking sternly at both Bai Qian and Yehua.



Bai Qian grabbed Yehua by the arm and backed away from the fight, though with difficulty. Besides her, Yehua clutched his chest, blood was dripping down from his hands. The black robe was making it difficult to tell where he had been hurt.

“He’s strong…,” Yehua breathed, “it's too dangerous...”

Indeed, panic was starting to rise inside Bai Qian - she knew for a fact Moyuan was not as well as he appeared. The pit in her stomach grew as she watched him stand in front of Qingcang unprotected - the former Ghost Lord, who looked like a version of the Bell itself, flaming with uncontrollable power and ready to explode any moment.

The sky was growing darker, thunder rumbled above them.

“Shall we?” Qingcang’s lips curled. Then, without waiting for a response, he sent a series of forces in Moyuan’s direction, who swiftly deflected them with a striking motion.

“Frankly,” he continued to strike. “I was getting bored with the young queen and the junior. Exceptional young talents, I daresay. But they still have so much to learn.”

Moyuan said nothing. Flicking his hand, Xuanyuan was tossed in the air where it multiplied itself. Five identical swords flew at his opponent. Qingcang immediately created a shield at the sight of the attacking swords. Though one of them got through and barely missed his face.

Cries of panic broke among the ghost soldiers, some of them advanced, attempting to aid Qingcang when they saw him stagger.

“Stay out!” Roared Qingcang, still sending out lightning jets and blocking attacks from Moyuan. “I will finish him!”

Both of them came to an abrupt stop and started circling one another.

“But before then,” Qingcang snarled. “Tell me, which one of the people you vow to protect would you pick to die here tonight?”

“None of them will die,” said Moyuan, briefly glancing up.

“Ah, but I'm afraid you will have to choose one.”

There was a rumbling groan from the sky above. Moyuan’s expression remained still. Though Bai Qian could see a look of sorts briefly appeared on his face - a look that told her he was preparing himself for something.

“You will not?” Qingcang sneered. “Shall we let your precious Bell of Donghuang do the task then?”

Clang. The Bell flamed up, as if on cue. The sound made heads turn and caused the panicking crowd below to become even more chaotic.

Qingcang roared in laughter, glared back at Moyuan, then drew his halberd and launched at him with maddening and continuous attacks, putting everything he had into keeping the God of War from reaching the Bell. Around them, people continued to scream in terror. Many were being pulled up and sucked into the Bell’s crimson fire as it grew in size.

As fast as she could, Bai Qian seized a handful of Yehua’s robes from the back, made an immense effort to throw him onto the ground and leapt up.

She did not want to die. No.

But this was how it must be.

Had they had the time to discuss and decide whose spirit and cultivation would be offered should the Bell break, the result wouldn’t have been any different - all of them would fight for the ‘privilege’ of saving the world, fight to not be left behind.

So be it - whoever got to the Bell first would not have to watch the others die. Knowing that there were at least three more people present with the exact same thought, all of whom exceeded her in speed, Bai Qian flew like she never had before with all the strength she could muster. The stinging pain in her arm didn’t matter much anymore. Once one had reached the Bell of Donghuang, Bai Qian’s heart pounded against her chest, no pain would matter.

There was a whooshing sound from below. Someone was catching up.

A black shadow shot past her.

“YEHUA!” Bai Qian screamed. Though other than yelling his name, she could not think of anything else to say - Come back, let me do it, let someone else be engulfed by the Crimson Hell Fire? If it had been her, she would have kept soaring upward just like Yehua was doing. Letting anyone else make the sacrifice was simply not an option.

He turned back for a brief glance that felt awfully longer than it was. Then, pressing his lips together, Yehua continued his flight up. He was faster than her, much faster.

Suddenly, Bai Qian felt something strapping around her ankle, preventing her from flying up any further. Glaring down at her foot, she realized it was a magically conjured ray of light. Another ray was shot up instantly afterward, brushing past her side, aiming at Yehua. He, however, flipped to one side to dodge it and continued to fly toward the Bell.

“Yehua!” came Moyuan’s terrified voice from not too far below. Bai Qian turned and looked further down. Moyuan, too, was flying after her and Yehua. The two rays of trapping light were coming from his palm.

It took Bai Qian several attempts to finally break free, she balanced herself and took off again. But Moyuan was quick to pass Bai Qian, in the process slamming down another force at her to make absolutely sure she could not catch up.

A pair of strong arms caught Bai Qian as she fell, clasping her tightly.

“Get off me!” She shouted, not giving a care who that was. “Get off!”

“It's too late, you can't stop him!” Bai Zhen tightened his arms around her.

But Bai Qian struggled viciously to be released. Bai Zhen simply did not understand - Yehua was flying to his own doom, and Moyuan was right behind him... She would rather have her soul shattered along with them than witness again the nightmare that had haunted her and her seniors all these years.

Light rays continued to shoot up at Yehua, but none of them caught him. It was no use. He had gotten close.

Struggling to break free from Bai Zhen’s grip, Bai Qian saw Yehua leap towards the crimson fire that emanated from the Bell. At its threshold, he turned back once more, but it wasn't in her direction he was looking .

A deafening bang filled the sky, accompanied by a blinding streak of light from the Bell, throwing everybody who was in midair back onto the ground with an enormous force. Regaining balance, Bai Qian looked around to see she and her brother had landed outside the protective shield. Just then, a magnificent azure phoenix appeared in the sky, waving its fiery tail, flying straight at them as a second explosion erupted. It gave a loud cry and spread its wide wings to shield them from the deadly force and the debris shooting down from the Bell.

The earth shook. In her brother’s arms, Bai Qian raised her own to cover her face, her eyes shut tightly.

As she opened them again, dust and smoke filled the air. Bai Qian shot her head upward just in time to see a black figure falling down from the sky. The Bell… Crimson fire… Where were they… But that was no longer important. She broke free from Bai Zhen’s slackening hold, ran past Zheyan, darted up and caught Yehua’s body. Something that felt like a breeze of wind whirled around them - a spell had been cast by someone to support their weight in midair. Bai Qian flung Yehua’s arm around her shoulders as they both descended onto the river bank.

“Yehua…” Bai Qian gasped, raising Yehua’s body once they both had dropped to the ground. A red line of blood was running down from the corner of his mouth. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders as his head dropped on hers. “Yehua!”

“Qianqian,” he began in a rasping voice, his shoulders slightly trembling. “A-li…”

“Stop --,” she quickly cut him off, trying to fight back tears. What was he thinking? That no one cared for A-li as much as he did? Bai Qian desperately held onto that one bit of anger that could make her forget the fact that time was running out, that blood was mercilessly pouring out of him, that she herself could feel consciousness leaving him by the second. She swallowed a sob as he suddenly went into a coughing fit.

“You --” she breathed, her trembling hand pointlessly cleaning the blood around his chin, “you idiot.”

“So are you,” Yehua gasped for breath, on his face a teasing smile, “I’m just a faster idiot.”

“You leave me --,” Bai Qian hissed, clutching his robe, her voice trembling. “You leave me -- and A-li -- and Shifu -- you wretched… And I swear, we will forget all about you. We will go on -- the world will go on like you never existed. Do you hear me?”

“I hear you,” he chuckled, as if he found the threat something quite delightful. “But what can I do?”

Moments later, Bai Qian saw through the corner of her eyes a figure entering the shield and rushing towards them. There was a sound of something metal hit the hard ground. She looked up to see Moyuan’s face white with fear.

A voice from the back of her head told her he would know what to do, he always did. Bai Qian opened her mouth in a habit to ask Moyuan to do something quick. But the look in his eyes made her stop dead. The brutal truth was, she had always understood that there was no more help to be had. No magical potion, mysterious life-saving plants, nor any amount of cultivation could undo this damage.

“Yehua…,” said Moyuan’s breathless voice. He immediately dropped down on one knee, his hands reaching for Yehua’s shoulders. His movements were so forceful that for a brief second, Bai Qian felt he had wanted to pry his brother out of her arms. He spoke the name as though for the first time. He stared at Yehua’s black robe, and like Bai Qian, was looking for the source of blood. But he soon gave up. His gaze moved to his twin’s face. The gaze was like that which he had always given Golden Lotus. Only this time, it was beyond his protection.

“Yehua… I’m your…”

“I know,” Yehua struggled to sit up straight, he reached up to Moyuan’s arm, a faint smile appearing across his face as two identical pairs of eyes met. “I remember,” his voice was no louder than a whisper. “You were always there… always…”

As Moyuan’s brows furrowed, as though he couldn’t fully believe what he’d just heard, Yehua let out a soft chuckle.

“I know you,” he said.

The cold in Bai Qian’s stomach rushed up her head. Tears spilled onto her cheeks despite her tremendous effort to hold them back. For a long while, both of them said nothing but continued to look at one another. Yehua’s breathing was becoming slow.

“Don’t --” at the sight of his eyes slowly closing, Moyuan abruptly clasped the colorless face with his hands, forcing him to open them again. “-- don't deny me… this one thing...”

“Please… ” Moyuan’s voice broke. The sound felt like a sharp knife twisting into one’s heart, frightening Bai Qian like nothing ever had.

A tear escaped from the corner of Yehua’s eye, on his face yet another frail smile. He gasped, trying to say something but only a coarse sound came from his throat.

“Please,” said Moyuan again. “For me...”

Another bellowing silence passed by.

Staring through her veils of tears, Bai Qian saw Moyuan make a sudden move to draw closer. Then, there was a look of terror flashing through his eyes as she felt the shivering shoulders in her arms become still.


Keep him safe and well. It is my last wish.

Keep him safe.

Keep him safe…

The world seemed to have vanished. All voices and footsteps and bursting sounds of people battling outside the shield had become meaningless.

Still gazing at the front, she saw his eyes closed with a deep wrinkle between his brows, his lips a straight line of despair and fury, his face very much resembling one’s reflection in a broken mirror.

Suddenly, a triumphant and somewhat maniacal laugh reached their ears.

Moyuan’s eyes shot open. There was no warmth, no kindness in them.

Not the benign Master of Kunlun she and her seniors had known
, Bai Qian shuddered, only the God of War with flaming wrath etched on every inch of his face. Like the angry currents of Zhuxian terrace - terrifying, threatening to crush any unfortunate soul who touched its surface into pieces.

Moyuan drew in a sharp breath and removed Yehua’s lifeless hand from his arm, gently putting it back by his side. Bai Qian’s eyes nervously followed him as he slowly stood, his arm outstretched. In an instant, Xuanyuan flew into his grip.

“Zheyan,” he said in a soft voice that sent shivers down her spine, his fingers running along the blade of his sword. “Look after them.”

No reply came from Zheyan. Turning to Bai Qian, Moyuan gave another clear and adamant order, “they need you here.”

“High God Moyuan…,” Bai Zhen stepped in front of Moyuan as he was about to leave the protective shield, frowning in deep concern.

“Move aside,” he said coldly, his eyes moving from Bai Qian to Zheyan, then Donghua. None of them uttered a single sound of objection.

“High God, you are not…”

“Move -- aside, Bai Zhen, or I will make you move!”

There was a look of mingled astonishment and fleeting fear in her brother’s eyes, perhaps it was because he had never been spoken to by Moyuan with such intensity. Cautiously, Bai Zhen stepped back with no more attempt to argue.

Moyuan glared at the black sky for a moment then soared up to where Qingcang’s laugh had last been heard.

Chapter 9