Fanfiction: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan - Chapter 67 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 67

written by kakashi (With inserts from what moon-flower at Soompi remembered from TQ’s blog)

280’000 immortal years ago

It was rather ironic, Shao Wan thought as she lay next to Mo Yuan, that they would end their immortal lives in such close proximity. She was somewhat surprised that she didn’t mind. In fact, it was … oddly comforting to have him beside her.

She looked up at the small opening far, far above them, where the first glittering stars had appeared on the dark purple firmament. It was also ironic that their fall had taken them straight into a rock crevice of such depth. He would of course call it fate if asked about it, but Shao Wan didn’t often make Fate responsible for her own stupidity. Yes, she had thought it would be fun to battle the Celestial Prodigy with her powers sealed, like Zhe Yan and Donghua had suggested. Why Mo Yuan had agreed to it she did not know. She understood even less why he had not stopped the fight in time when they had gotten so close to the cliff’s edge. He had not done the sensible thing which would have been to stop when it was clear that one of them had to yield.

Foolish, stubborn man.

“Well,” she sighed, “here we lie and wait to die.”

“They will come and find us,” Mo Yuan said, clearly feeling far less poetic than her. He gritted his teeth when he spoke, probably because he was in a lot of pain. He had cushioned her fall, the fool, by rotating his body underneath hers, and now he was paying the price for his noble gesture by being completely unable to move and sounding like she imagined a mortal sounded when he was dying.

She tried again to break the seal on her powers, but Donghua's magic held. ‘So you can’t cheat,’ he had explained when she had asked what took him so long. Of course she would have cheated, he was right to make such an unbreakable seal, but lying on the cold, jagged rock like this and experiencing sharp pain and the threat of expiring like a mortal was not her definition of fun.

“Are you dying?” she asked into the dark.

“I... am… trying… not to,” Mo Yuan pressed out.

It sound like he was anyway. Quickly, she reached over to find his hand and check for his pulse. Involuntarily, she bumped her knuckles against his ribcage and he half gasped, half moaned.

“I am sorry,” she said and gently patted his broken body apologetically before she let her hand glide down his arm to feel his pulse. She did not like what she felt: If Celestials were like Demons, the situation was dire.

“Your father will be very angry,” Shao Wan said. Fuxi had always been so kind to her, but once she was to blame for his only son’s death, he might kick her out of school, “please don’t die, Celestial. I like going to school, I really do.”

Mo Yuan did not reply but continued to breathe laboriously.

“Celestial,” she said and turned her head towards him, even though it was far too dark to see anything down here, “a promise: if you don’t die, I will study really hard at school. And I will not fall asleep anymore! At least not more than… twice a day.”

“I...will….hold you to it,” Mo Yuan said, but his voice was a mere whisper. Was he losing consciousness? That wasn’t good.

Shao Wan remembered what Fong Hung had told her: “Do never discard pain as a nuisance - it always has a purpose.” She was in a lot of pain too, since she had broken her legs despite Mo Yuan’s noble gesture. She understood that her pain’s purpose was to show her she was still alive. Maybe she should give Mo Yuan more pain to keep him alive too?

Before she could decide whether that was a good or a bad idea, Mo Yuan started to shiver violently. Yes, it was damn cold down in this hole. It had snowed for the first time a couple of days ago and the nights were full of icy winds and early frost. She edged closer to him with some difficulty. The floor was very sticky – it was blood. His teeth were chattering, that’s how cold he was. Before she could provide him with some warmth, the chattering suddenly stopped and he lay completely still. Not good.

Quickly, she rolled over right next to him and nudged him. Harder, when there was no response. She cursed. “Celestial, don’t do this. Wake up! Wake up!”

She threw her arm over his body, grabbed his shoulder and shook him forcefully. He moaned.

“...hurts...” he whispered almost inaudible.

Good, so more pain was the answer to keeping him conscious. She stayed close in case he would slip under again and also because despite his bad shape, his body was warmer than hers. She hated the cold with the passion of someone whose temperature was always low.

Nestling against his body made this situation much more comfortable. She soon noticed that he smelled good. And very exciting. She sniffed his neck and put her face on his shoulder, inhaling his masculine scent. A shame he was such an uptight stick-in-the-mud, she thought, she very much liked what she could feel of his body through his robes – a lean, muscular warrior’s body. When she caught herself wondering about the texture of his skin, she snorted. Maybe if we make it out of here alive, she thought, maybe I can find out.

“What are you doing?” he breathed and she quickly withdrew the hand that had travelled from his shoulder down to his belly without her noticing.

“Checking for wounds,” she said.

“They’re on my back,” he replied and went very still again shortly after.

“Celestial,” she said and shook him, “Celestial!”

“ me,” he whispered, “I will persevere. Talk.”

So she did. She talked to him about how she had come out of her egg as the oldest Phoenix and how she had found Fong Hung there waiting for her. How they had become friends instantly and how they had grown up together. Then, how she had become the most powerful Demon in all the realms. She told him about all her fights, in as much detail as she could, making sure he understood how excellent a fighter she was. But with time she ran out of stories about her prowess and had to rack her brains for what else to tell him.

What came to her head next was a surprise even to herself. “Celestial, do you know the legend of the Phoenix and the Dragon?”

“A...mortal tale?” he asked.

“Yes, I read it in a collection of short stories,” she said, suddenly feeling excited, because she had really liked that story, but had never had a chance to talk to anyone about it before.

“Mortals consider these animals to be extremely auspicious,” she began. “Seeing both of them together is a very rare occasion that is said to lead to 888 years of prosperity. The story goes like this…”

She told him about the Phoenix who fell in love with a Dragon, but the Dragon was too haughty and did not consider the company of a Phoenix worth his time. The Dragon remained cold through all her advances. She brought him presents from the Phoenix world, she plucked out her most beautiful feathers to lay them at his feet, she danced for him - yet he was not even ready to look at her. Heartbroken, the Phoenix started to wither away.

“It’s a sad story,” she suddenly felt compelled to tell him, in case he was expecting a love story with a happy ending.

“Aren’t all mortal tales sad,” he replied in his hoarse whisper. “Such short lives lived in hardship, and death always looms large.”

He was becoming poetic after all. Who knew, maybe they would recite poems together before the night was over. Or mantras, more likely, since this was Mo Yuan.

“No, some are funny,” she replied. “They try to laugh the horrors of their lives away, it is quite fascinating. You should remember that trick when you have to go live a horribly sad, yet sappy mortal life yourself soon.”

“Maybe this...counts as my...mortal trial,” he coughed. “I am quasi mortal...and it’s definitely...a trial.”

Shao Wan sniggered. “If you were like me and good at cheating, you would find a way. But seeing you are the most rule-obeying Celestial bastard I’ve ever met, you will not benefit at all from almost dying down here.”

“Vexing,” he breathed.

Did he mean her? Talking to him like this was quite enjoyable, she found. At school, he never talked to her beyond the absolutely necessary. Actually, she realized, he was very much like the dragon in that story. Haughty and arrogant.

“Should I continue?” she asked him nonetheless, though feeling a bit miffed.

“If you please,” came his faint reply.

“The beautiful Phoenix lost all will to live because of the Dragon. She saw no point in life if she could not be with him. What she did not know was that there was a hundred-year spell on him that made him see everything that was beautiful as ugly and what already was ugly as even more ugly.”

Mo Yuan coughed again, this time longer. His body next to her spasmed and wouldn’t stop, and when it finally did, his breathing was very faint.

“Dammit, Celestial,” she said, “please tell me you cannot really die like this.”

“How think...I experience this,” he breathed. “If I do die, I hope...I die after hearing...the end of the story.”

She quickly continued since she knew she would feel horrible if she denied him his last wish: “When the Dragon was finally free of the spell, the Phoenix had lost her beauty. Her feathers no longer shone in the colors of the rainbow. Her eyes were empty, her head hung listlessly. And yet, to the Dragon, who had only seen the most extreme ugliness for one hundred years, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever met. His heart hurt from seeing her so sad and he tried to cheer her up. He brought her precious things from the Dragon world, he ripped out his most beautiful scales and lay them at her feet, he danced for her - but the Phoenix turned him down again and again.”

“She was right to do that,” Shao Wan interrupted herself to share some of her thoughts about this story with him. “He devastated her. So he deserved to go through the same and worse.”

“Vengeful,” Mo Yuan said.

“Only when it matters,” she replied. “Certain things are unforgivable.”

The end of the story was soon reached after this. “The Dragon could not win the Phoenix and it enraged him so very much, he attacked her. He was stupid, but in his dragon head, he thought that if he could not have her, he had to punish her for it. The two beasts fought for days if not weeks, neither would yield to the other, and finally, they crashed to the earth, bleeding from a thousand wounds. Very closely intertwined, they lay dying. In their last moments together, they realized how much they loved each other, but it was already too late. They could only feel regret for lost opportunities and being so stupid. But … when they took their last breaths and shed their final tears, a new world was born from the blood of the Dragon and the Phoenix, the most prosperous and happy world there had ever been. Even today, mortals keep looking for an entry into this world. The End.”

“That’s it,” Mo Yuan whispered.

“Yes, that’s it already. It’s a short story, I told you so. Maybe I recounted it wrong... It sounded much better when I read it in the book...”

“No, that’s it. It’s the solution. The blood. Use our blood. Dragon. Phoenix.”

What was he raving about now? Was he delusional? She put her hand on his forehead, but if he had a fever, it was only a faint one.

“Intermixed Dragon-Phoenix blood is powerful,” he said with urgency, “you would know it’s not only a legend if you had paid enough attention in alchemy class.”

Urgh, alchemy. That was her favorite class to sleep in.

“Use it to break the seal,” he said. “I can’t move at all, you have to do it.”

Normally, she would have believed he was just pulling her leg to humiliate her, but in a situation like this, where there were no others around, it seemed unlikely.

“What do I do with it?” she asked and started to feel for their blood on the rock surface, “eat it?”

“We did not learn that in alchemy class. We just heard about it as an ingredient.”

“See, I knew alchemy class was useless.” Shao Wan lifted her wet, sticky fingers to her mouth and, overcoming her revulsion, sucked the blood off. It tasted surprisingly sweet. Instantly, a great feeling flooded her body.

“Oh,” she said. “Ohhhhh… it feels much better than...” but what did he know about bodily pleasures, probably nothing at all. She tried to use her powers, but to no avail.

“It didn’t work, my powers are not back,” she said, still feeling very happy because of the tingling feeling all over her body. “Still, this will be good for you.”

She lifted her fingers to his lips after collecting some more blood from the floor and almost cried out in surprise when he sucked them into his mouth. The feeling of his wet lips on her fingers and his tongue cleaning them was very … sensual. Goosebumps spread from her head to her toes and her breathing quickened as her body responded. She quickly withdrew her fingers from his mouth when he seemed done. Damn Celestial. He was a sneaky bastard, he always managed to surprise her.


“The pain is gone,” Mo Yuan said, and he sounded much more like himself, haughty and arrogant, “praised be the mortal who wrote that story. Try to use the blood where Donghua made the seal.”

That was it indeed.

She smeared some blood on Donghua’s seal and it instantly dissolved, letting her use her powers again. She unsealed Mo Yuan’s powers the same way. He immediately healed himself and then left without one further word to her. What a rude bastard.

So mortal stories are not entirely devoid of truth, Shao Wan thought bitterly as she healed herself too and then scrambled out and away to try and be back at school before him.


She didn’t manage to catch up to him before he reached school and of course, he made her life hell after this, ensuring she kept the promise she had so lightly made down in that hole. Whenever she fell asleep in class, Mo Yuan stabbed her with his elbow, so forcefully she would yelp. Of course, he only woke her up and none of the others who also fell asleep frequently.

“Remember your promise,” he would whisper angrily.

She got so annoyed with him she even gave up her lunch time once to talk to Mo Yuan about letting her sleep more in class. But the bastard just ignored her and walked away, his white robes fluttering behind him, his Celestial aura ablaze with anger. He was quite a sight to behold, the Celestial, especially when he was worked up like this. But it made her just more determined to never yield to him.

It was snowing more frequently now and she often sat brooding at the window of her dorm, watching the flurry of flakes drift from the skies and fall to the ground, thinking about how to take revenge.

She hated the cold season and she had recently acquired a pretty orange cape with white fur trimmings that she wore over her school clothes for warmth. When he had seen her wearing it the first time, Mo Yuan had not complemented her like all the other males but had snapped with that cold, infuriating face of his that this was against the rules - everybody had to wear exactly the same plain, white garb here, to show that they were equals.

“What are you going to do?” she challenged him, “take it away from me? Just you try.”

He had clenched his jaw and walked away.

“What happened between you two?” Zhe Yan asked, who had overheard their conversation.

“Nothing happened,” Shao Wan said angrily, “but he seems even more disagreeable after almost dying next to me. You would think people bond over such experiences, would you not?”

Zhe Yan lifted his eyebrows. “Sounds like you two are bonded for life.”

“Fie!” Shao Wan spat, “the sooner I am rid of him the better.”

She stomped away. Minutes later, she almost bumped headfirst into the damn Celestial when she hurried across the courtyard, keeping her head low against the wind and the snow. He was just standing there, looking up to the sky, seemingly not cold at all, even though dragons were nothing more than glorified snakes, which, as everybody knew, did not fare well in cold weather, usually.

“Don’t you need to hibernate?” she snapped at him when he turned around to face him.

“You are in a particularly foul mood today,” he observed, narrowing his eyes at her.

“It got worse when I saw you,” she retorted.

“Have I… have I offended you, Demon Queen?” Mo Yuan had the nerve to ask. He even managed to look troubled. Offended her! Yes! His mere existence was a constant offense to her! “If so, let me apologize,” the hated Celestial added and inclined his head.

A thought appeared in her head. A slow smile spread across her face. He saw it. His features immediately turned wary and his body tensed. But she wasn’t going to attack him. She would do something much better.

“You have offended me indeed,” she said. “I was just about to go see your Father about it. I want to lodge a formal complaint.”

“A complaint?” Mo Yuan said and furrowed his brow, “what did I do?”

“You are trying to pretend you don’t owe me a huge debt for saving your life,” Shao Wan said, pointing her finger at him, “that is a huge offense in the Demon Realm.”

“Saving my life?” he echoed, “I wouldn’t exactly call…”

“Case in point, you’re doing it again.”

“What are you two standing in the snow for?” said Zhe Yan behind her. She turned around and saw that Donghua was with him, holding a book above his head so that his beautiful silver hair would not get wet. Excellent. Her back-up had just arrived.

“He owes me a life debt!” Shao Wan exclaimed, “and wants to get out of it!”

“Will you two finally tell us what you did to each other that night you went missing?” Zhe Yan eagerly said.

“We fell down a crevice,” Mo Yuan said, “until we found a way to dissolve your seal, Donghua.”

“Ouch,” Donghua replied.

“He almost died,” Shao Wan said dramatically, “until I remembered a very useful tale and managed to break your spell.”

“I don’t recall you finding the solution,” Mo Yuan said.

“And you would still be down there if I hadn’t thought of that story!” she snapped.

“Friends,” Zhe Yan said, and lifted his hands, “let’s be civilized about this. Either you two fight it out…” - “ usual,” Donghua interjected - “...or we have a little contest,” Zhe Yan finished. “If Mo Yuan wins, he is cleared of the debt you think he owes you. If you win, Shao Wan, you can call in a favor.”

“If I win, she takes off that cape once and for all,” Mo Yuan said with a sour face.

Shao Wan glared at him. Take off her beautiful, new cape? Never!

“Here are the rules,” Zhe Yan said. “I have a set of cards here. There are questions on them in different categories. You pull a card, you try to answer the question. Whoever gets more questions right, wins. Let’s say… out of ten. If it’s a draw, we continue until one of you gives a wrong answer.”

Shao Wan pressed her lips together, this game seemed unfair. Going up against the smartest Celestial at school in a challenge like this seemed like a game lost already. But, she decided, and lifted her chin defiantly, she had to have faith in her abilities.

Or in Zhe Yan, she soon realized, because more than half of the categories were issue areas Mo Yuan had little to no knowledge in, such as “rare animals of the realms”, “pastime and leisure”, “beauty”, or “mortal plays”.

Shao Wan proudly won with eight points - Mo Yuan barely got six questions right. He pressed his lips together angrily and shot threatening looks in Zhe Yan’s direction, but a bet was a bet and a win was a win.

“Alright,” Shao Wan said slowly. “I think it is only fair if I ask the same of you that you planned to ask of me. I want you to hand over your robe.”

“Excuse me?”

“I want you to take your clothes off, right down to your pants. And then, I want you to sit here in this courtyard, meditate for 4 incense sticks and think about how wrong you did when you were trying to cheat a Demon Lady.”

Zhe Yan and Donghua shrugged when Mo Yuan looked in their direction pleadingly and murmured something like “you lost, now pay.”

Shao Wan did not even try to hide her smirk when Mo Yuan started to disrobe. He handed her his outer robe, so vexed the anger basically radiated off him in waves, and proceeded to his inner robes, also throwing them into her arms. She looked him up and down in his pants and shirt, appreciating the sight. But when he took his undershirt off, she quickly averted her eyes. Everything about this situation suddenly felt much too intimate and being intimate with him was the last thing she wanted.

She watched from the corner of her eyes how he sat down cross-legged, his rigid back to her. It was very, very satisfying to see him fuming like this. Whistling a cheerful tune, she started to build a sizeable snowman next to him. Once it was done, she put Mo Yuan’s clothes on it carefully and then stepped back to admire her handiwork. Never before had she seen a more beautiful snowman.

“Four incense sticks,” she said to Mo Yuan’s back and skipped away, looking forward to celebrating her victory with some wine and sweets.

Not one incense stick later, she felt rather bad about leaving him in the cold like this. She went to the window to look outside. Mo Yuan was still sitting in next to the snowman, meditating in earnest. He must have felt her gaze on him, for he opened his eyes and looked up. Shao Wan waved her hand at him.

For reasons she failed to comprehend, a tiny smile spread across Mo Yuan’s face. It was a very handsome face, with eyes dark and deep like water. And when it smiled like this, it was impossible not to smile back.

Chapter 68