Fanfiction3: A-Li's Three Lives, Three Worlds - Chapter 33 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 33

written by LigayaCroft
edited by Panda & Kakashi

Gun Gun stood to the side as he observed Mei Lin while she puttered around in the kitchen preparing dinner. He appreciated how she now seemed so familiar and comfortable doing such simple and menial things as cooking rice, roasting duck and making a vegetable soup. With her shoulders stiff and lips pressed together, and because she had refused to acknowledge him even though he had stood to the side for quite some time, he surmised that she was either angry or upset, which was almost always.

He couldn’t stand the cold shoulder she had been giving him any longer. His brows furrowed as he leaned against the door sill and finally asked, “Is something the matter, Mei Lin? You seem a tad bit upset.”

“Why would I be upset?” she answered back although she still refused to look at him.

“Are you upset that I proposed marriage to your friend?”

Gun Gun watched with growing fascination as a flush crept up from her neck to her cheeks and her spine stiffened. She threw a side-glance at him and all but flew to the firepit to turn the duck while it roasted.

“Gun Gun, we’ve settled a long time ago that your very presence is already annoying so why are you even asking that question?”

Mei Lin moved to place a pot on top of the other stove, ladled water into the pot, and threw Qianling’s freshly washed diapers in. Satisfied with the fire that had started burning, she stood up, wiped her hands on her apron and moved back to continue cutting the vegetables.

“Ling’er stood up today,” Gun Gun said, ignoring her last remark. “All on her own! She was hesitant in taking her first step but pulled herself up with the table leg and managed to stand there and look around, for a while. She let out a squeal then dropped on her bottom when she realized Li-Gē and I had been watching her the whole time. Don’t you think she is too advanced for her age?”

Mei Lin paused as she reached for the cabbage and Gun Gun saw a small smile form on her lips. The news pleased her, just like Gun Gun had hoped it would.

Her smile reminded him how he had yet to get used to this new and softer side of Mei Lin. New? Well, now that he had thought about it, he realized that she had always been the most responsible one in their group. She was like that sister he had never had. She had made sure that they stayed out of trouble and had efficiently directed their household staff to ensure they were fed and recovered after nights, and even weeks, of debauchery. It was a given that she would always grumble and scold them for their antics but as only he and Li-Gē knew, beneath that gruff exterior, she was very maternal, and it showed by how she had cared for them.

And had she become prettier or had she always been this beautiful? How come he had never realized before?

Not that he hadn’t known that she was… beautiful. Immortal men and women sang praises about Mei Lin’s beauty, which was a combination of the Demon Ancestor’s and the God of War’s renowned looks. Gun Gun laughed softly to himself at the childhood memory of arguing with Li-Gē over who among them would have the Demon Ancestor as his wife! It felt so long ago.

But why was he thinking of Mei Lin’s beauty?

Not that she would have a hard time finding a husband. Immortals from all the realms vied for her attention and sought her hand in marriage. Gun Gun’s eyebrows furrowed as he thought about the men that she had gotten involved with in the past. She lacked discernment and so, none of those she had chosen had been suitable nor qualified to be with her.

Gun Gun remembered how he and Li-Gē had tied up one of her former beau’s when they had found out that he had only pursued Mei Lin to increase his own notoriety. She hadn’t had much luck after that, he and Li-Gē had made sure of it.

It was for her own good. What kind of brothers would they be if they did not look out for her? Yes, she would most likely balk and be upset when she found out but then again, when was she ever not upset? No, it was better for her this way. They had to repay her kindness by being her protectors, and as one of them, it was his job to see to it that no men had any foolish notions of courting her or coming anywhere near her.

Gun Gun’s thoughts brought him back to the present and to her smile. That smile was the only encouragement he needed as he pushed himself away from the door and walked up behind her. As if she sensed his nearness, Mei Lin put down her knife and moved over to the shelf to grab some loquats. When she walked back and saw him standing at the table where she had been cutting up fruits and vegetables, she sighed.

She lifted up her chin, pressed her lips together and avoided his gaze as she walked back to the table and laid the fruits on the table.

Maybe it was his odd sense of timing but that sigh and the defiant look on her face caused Gun Gun to ask aloud the question that had bothered him, “When did you become so beautiful?” just as she sliced a loquat down the middle and consequently yelped.

Blood trickled down the wooden chopping board. Mei Lin muttered an expletive as she tried to reach for a towel when without conscious volition driven by years of cooking with his mother in the kitchen and coming out injured, Gun Gun grabbed her hand and stuck her cut finger into his mouth just like his mother had always done with his.

He pulled at the edge of his tunic to rip a strip of cloth to wrap her finger with but when he looked up and raised his eyes to Mei Lin’s wide ones, his mouth went dry and he suddenly felt warm as he realized with embarrassment what he had just done. Her pupils were dilated and he could see her chest rise and fall fast as she softly breathed through her mouth. Her gaze traveled to his mouth, where her finger was, and she gave a slight tug just as he irresistibly sucked on the tangy taste of her blood. Her finger came out with a soft plop.

And there now lay the bigger question: She had always been beautiful but when had she become so attractive?

Gun Gun’s heart started to hammer in his chest. Now that he had had a taste of the life-essence, he wanted more.

He realized he wanted to kiss her.

She didn’t seem to resist as he drew even closer. The classy notes of white tea — fresh and clean and sweet and innocent — played under his nose; and Gun Gun wondered how come he had never noticed she smelled like that before. The scent drove him crazy, making him want to lure her, possess her, corrupt her…

Her lashes fluttered as he lowered his head to her until she was so close, he could feel her sweet breath fanning his lips.


The sound instantly broke the insane spell that had wrapped around them, and they both jumped and moved away from each other. Gun Gun stood up and started stirring the nearby soup pot as he tried to catch his breath and reflect on what he had almost done.

He also snuck a look at the intruder.

Huo Zheng was in the kitchen and she looked distraught as she opened and banged cupboards closed.

“Mei Lin, I’m pretty sure I had an extra set of acupuncture needles here somewhere, have you seen them?” She asked as her head disappeared once again into another cupboard. “Oh and Gun Gun, you’re here. What have the two of you prepared for us tonight?” Her head reappeared and the door shut closed with another angry bang. “I don’t understand. They were here last week and now I cannot find them!”

“I found them and placed them in your room,” Mei Lin answered, her voice strained. “You really should stop leaving stuff haphazardly. Who leaves needles in the kitchen?”

“At least I know where I put them last!” Huo Zheng defended herself hotly as she turned to face Mei Lin. It was hard not to notice that she looked flustered and out-of-breath, and kept on adjusting her clothes as if they chafed her skin. But she softened as she caught Mei Lin’s injured finger. “Oh Mei Lin, what happened to your finger?” She flew to Mei Lin’s side and lifted the bleeding finger for a closer inspection. “We should stitch this up. Gun Gun, can you take over from here on?”

“Yes,” he croaked. His blasted heart would not stop hammering inside his chest. “I’ll finish. Go.”

Gun Gun listened for the sound of the two women exiting the room as he sucked at the remaining taste of Mei Lin’s blood in his mouth.

And realized only after some time that he had been stirring the boiling diaper pot.

Chapter 34