Fanfiction3: A-Li's Three Lives, Three Worlds - Chapter 35 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 35

written by LigayaCroft
edited by Panda and kakashi

Mo Yuan was standing by his bedroom window when he spotted his twin brother, the Heavenly Emperor Ye Hua, and his brother’s wife, the Heavenly Empress Bai Qian, appear in a cloud of white smoke by the entrance of his Sanctuary’s Assembly Hall. More guests were expected to arrive soon and his receiving area was expected to become busy by the next incense clock change. He could trust his disciples to keep the royals fed and occupied, but it was not a good enough excuse to still dilly-dally about.

With a sigh, he turned from the window and started toward his bed where Shao Wan was snuggled underneath the covers. She has not stopped groaning her complaints against the light streaming through the window since the sun broke out, and yet she still refused to get up. One of her long legs kept slipping out from under the covers to rub against the mattress’ edge, just like it was doing now, and Mo Yuan deftly caught her foot in his hand as he sat.

“You’ve tired me out all night, Celestial. I have no patience to deal with you today,” came her muffled voice from underneath the covers. “But I will not say no to a foot massage.”

Mo Yuan smiled as he slowly ran his hand from her foot upwards her shin and calf. He appreciated the feel of her smooth skin under his palms. Ah, if only he had enough time, he would spend it convincing her last night’s activities were not yet sufficient to make up for the time they had spent apart.

She shrieked when he pulled her by her leg, and when she alertly sat up to hit him, he caught her hand and lifted her on top of his lap. The side of her naked breast teased against his chest as he pressed her close and his heart raised by several beats faster. It didn’t matter if her black hair was in total disarray all over her face and she was muttering a string of expletives as his reward for his action — for Mo Yuan, the Demon Ancestor Shao Wan was still the most beautiful woman alive.

He gently helped clear her hair from her face and once the task was done, he dropped a kiss on the tip of her nose.

“Get dressed. Ye Hua and his wife are already here. I expect the rest to follow soon.”

And with that, he unceremoniously stood up, causing her buttocks to slide from his lap back on to the bed. Mo Yuan tried to ignore the delicious friction caused by her skin against his trousers. Instead, he got dressed and put his long hair back in order as he gathered his wits from the naked woman on his bed.

With a heavy sigh, she swung her long legs from the bed and stood up, stretching lazily like a freshly-woken kitten. Then she headed for the wardrobe to pick out her day attire.

She may be the Demon Queen with servants at her disposal but in Kunlun, Shao Wan dressed herself. Mo Yuan sat down on a chair to wait for her.

Ah, when would he ever get used to the mere sight of her? Since when did the act of putting on more clothes have the same effect as the act of taking them off? But it did, and for Mo Yuan, it only worked because it was Shao Wan.

Suddenly, a hard wind that smelled of sandalwood slammed against him, restricted his right to breathe and carried with it his daughter’s disjointed voice. They had not stopped arriving since he woke up this morning but this recent one caused a smile to break on his face. Could it be his daughter finally had had a change of heart toward him?

“Ah, I think she finally found it.”

Mo Yuan turned his gaze back onto Shao Wan who now wore an amused expression on her face. Crossing toward his dresser, Shao Wan picked up his copper mirror and put it close to her face.

“Hello? Hello? Offspring? Are you there? Mei Lin? Have you finally found my little present to the mortal worlds?”

Mo Yuan stood up and took the mirror from Shao Wan’s hands. “I have tried reaching her since I woke up but she hasn’t been picking up.”

“Huh,” Shao Wan shrugged and resumed setting herself to rights. “Could that be why she is sending us messages by way of prayers? Does she even know how an immortal sending a prayer to gods like us could be a nuisance? But ah, I guess this couldn’t wait. I think she finally found my books, Mo Yuan.”

Mo Yuan’s brows raised as understanding on the progression of Mei Lin’s messages all morning finally dawned on him.

He had been happy a while ago.

Now, he was parts-concerned and parts-embarrassed.

There were two things Mo Yuan had done his best to not let Mei Lin experience growing up: first, was for her to experience pain whenever he was around, and second, was the unfortunate day when her Mother’s books would turn up within her reach.

The first, he had done by keeping a safe distance from his daughter. The second though — well, his day of reckoning had come.

He should have destroyed those books when he still had the chance. If he had only found out about them the year they were released rather than many, many years later…

“And here they say her brother’s the serious one but they don’t know her that well. She’s the one who took after you. She needs to loosen up,” Shao Wan said, her face lit with an inner glow that for sure did not come from their activities last night. “All that fire and no viable outlet to unleash it on to — no wonder she still keeps on imploding. I hope wherever she is, she has been learning a lot.”

If to another parent, Shao Wan sounded like she was talking of a friend rather than her own daughter, she certainly did not mean it that way. She was as territorial as any mother would be but by all means, Shao Wan was not a coddler. She had always treated their children like adults from the day they were born, which could also be why they hit all their milestones earlier than other immortal children, and not just because they were offsprings of High Gods.

Mo Yuan took over Shao Wan’s fingers and continued the braid that she had been making on her hair. She released the strands with a relieved sigh; left to her own devices, her braid would turn out a bit lopsided to the right side. Mo Yuan didn’t mind. Braiding was one of those little things he had taught himself to do for his wife and his daughter. The task had always given him joy and also gave his ladies the opportunity to connect with him. With Mei Lin, it had worked for the first ten thousand years, until she had decided that she hated him.

“I keep on telling her, she has been wasting a lot of opportunities by not marking Dong Hua’s son.”

Mo Yuan’s fingers stilled on the crown of Shao Wan’s head. “Need I remind you, Queen, that as a fellow disciple of Lian Song’s, Gun Gun is Mei Lin’s brother.”

“Pah!” Her eyes met his on the mirror, and Mo Yuan just knew he had reignited a fire. “Don’t talk to me about disciple to disciple relationships. You fell in love with your dear Seventeenth even though you were her Shifu.”

“Shao Wan, do we have to talk about this again—”

She waved her hand dismissively. “I don’t care if the High Goddess Bai Qian is our Heavenly Empress, I still do not like her.”

“If I remember correctly, you do not like any female standing close to me,” He remarked teasingly, this time with a more forceful tug at her hair. “Even if it was a horse.”

“You flatter yourself too much,” She huffed although her cheeks looked more flushed than they were a while ago. “Anyway, as I was saying, we should tell Ye Hua to retrieve his son so he doesn’t look like an unwanted third-wheeler between our daughter and Gun Gun. How she sees that beautiful child as merely a brother is way beyond me! When I was around her age, I was attracted to you even as I wanted to claw your eyes out.”

“I don’t like Dong Hua’s son for our daughter, Shao Wan.”

“And why in the hells not?”

Mo Yuan momentarily paused but he purposely kept his eyes down on Shao Wan’s head of hair. How to tell her without being roasted alive? He was also pretty sure Dong Hua and his wife would not appreciate him if they knew about their son.

Mo Yuan snapped out of his thoughts and secured the end of Shao Wan’s hair with a tie. “We should go, our guests are waiting,” He said as he calmly patted her shoulder before striding out of their bedroom door.

“Oh no, you don’t—” He heard her shout from inside the bedroom as he strode down the corridor. Mo Yuan picked up his pace but knowing Shao Wan, his legs wouldn’t be able to outrun her soon enough.


How wonderful it was to pander to the fantasy that everything was fine but Ye Hua knew better than anyone that trouble was brewing past Kunlun Mountain. The visit to Lian Song’s Wuji Palace had given them no leads about the strange event in the Purple Demon Realm but the reports that they had obtained afterwards — about a confirmed, coordinated spate of attacks on immortals who had traveled in threes in the mortal realms — highlighted the need for the Family to bond all around A-Li, whom like his two other companions, still could not be found.

One woman and two men were always the victims.

It was not unusual for immortals to put on a disguise when they travelled, hence, lower immortals or mortals could not identify their true form save for the traces of energy that slipped out of their concealment spells. And the Celestial Research Authority would have found out much earlier too, had it not taken some time to identify the bodies as belonging to those of immortals’ because without their hearts — which contained their essence, their Yuánshén [1] — it virtually made their bodies naught but a container indistinguishable at first glance from a mortal’s cadaver.

All these events, happening in close succession to one another, had given Ye Hua a throbbing headache for days.

To the left, Ye Hua watched his brother and Shao Wan approach the assembly hall as they continued to argue in low whispers. Shao Wan was getting worked up as usual, but the amused glint in Mo Yuan’s eyes as the God of War observed the Demon Queen told Ye Hua everything was as it should be between the couple.

“We have tried everything and we still cannot find our son, Ye Hua,” Bai Qian’s voice was strained and her expression told him the same when Ye Hua turned around to face his wife. “You should not have let them leave Wuji Island.”

“Qian Qian,” He gestured at his wife, eager to show her the sight that got him so arrested since coming to Kunlun. “Come and take a look at that river that flows from the glacier Báilóng. Look at how it gleams like the finest jade.”

“A river is a river. I don’t care about any rivers. I care more about finding my son, Ye Hua. Ye Hua—!”

Despite Bai Qian’s efforts to counterweight, Ye Hua patiently pulled his wife to his side and dropped a kiss on her temple.

“I am not concerned.” He assured his wife who had been in a state of nerves since receiving the report on immortal killings. “At least I know our son is still safe because he is yet to become Crown Prince. Trust the prophecy.”

Bai Qian folded her arms across her chest, her eyes flicking upwards. “You know, it had been years since you died and went to Hùndùn and yet you still have to tell me about her. Just who is she and how could you dare bet our eldest’s life on her prophecy?”

“She did talk about this. Since I have seen the jade river flow from the glacier Báilóng, I think I can finally tell you —” Ye Hua pulled his wife even closer and whispered the secret he had kept for 45’000 years.

Bai Qian’s gasp was thankfully caught by the wind but her round gaze immediately turned on to her Shifu.

Ye Hua nodded, “I need to tell him soon, too. Come, Qian Qian, I believe your Father and Mother have already arrived. ”

“Ye Hua,” Bai Qian tugged at her husband’s sleeve. Ye Hua stopped to look back at his wife. “Is A-Li becoming a Crown Prince really that important to you?”

“No. But wherever our son is, I hope he’s tipping the scales in our favor.”


“Ah, just the group of people whom I wanted to see.”

Dong Hua said the greeting with all equanimity, and because this was one of those rare events where his wife was not with him, Dong Hua no longer needed to bow to his former classmates from Shuǐ Zhǎozé. Bai Zhi, his wife, Bai Hóngyù, and their ever-present third wheel, Zhe Yan — were all technically his grandparents-in-law, and though the idea was absurd, it was also true.

Zhe Yan stopped midway at sipping his tea to raise a brow at him. “I thought you were at the North Sea? What brings you here?”

“Same as you,” Dong Hua nodded to a disciple who poured him tea as he sat down on the vacant table beside the three. “I received the summons.”

Just then, Lian Song entered the receiving hall with his father, the former Tianjun.

“Lian Song!” Shao Wan called out from behind Dong Hua as she half-dragged a pallid-faced God of War behind her. “Have you found the children yet?”

“Not yet although I have narrowed down my list of haunts to a hundred mortal realms,” Lian Song answered with a minute shake of his head. It had been the same question everyone related to his three wards had been asking from the Water God of the Four Seas ever since they got wind of the string of immortals getting murdered with their hearts removed. “It shouldn’t be long now. I will resume checking one by one after our meeting is over.”

“So,” Dong Hua stretched the word so as to regain the attention back toward himself, just as Mo Yuan and Shao Wan took their seats at the head of the receiving area. Ye Hua and Bai Qian also entered and were ushered to the vacant table down to the right of the couple, as was befitting the highest-ranked guests. “I was going through my scrolls—” He began, and shot Lian Song a warning look to stay quiet. “And I came across a very interesting story.”

“I suppose we have time for a story,” Ye Hua muttered as he put his tea cup down.

Dong Hua tried to lift his tea cup but his fingers vibrated with so much excitement that he elected to put it down.

“I have completely forgotten about this but several thousands of years before we entered Father Immortal’s school, I have in my records a recounting of an event where Zhe Yan and Bai Zhi got into a physical fight that lasted for a day and a half over an immortal woman, which, by the way, was specifically not you, with all due respect, Fox Empress.”

“That’s preposterous,” Bai Qian remarked. “Everybody knows Zhe Yan and my Father fought over my Mother.”

“Oh! Oh!” Shao Wan excitedly raised her hand and waved it to get everyone’s attention. “I knew I wasn’t imagining when I remembered it after I saw Bai Zhi again after the First Demon War! You and Zhe Yan fought over a very beautiful older woman.”

Dong Hua’s interest was piqued by Shao Wan’s confirmation. “Yes, and she would have had you, Bai Zhi, because you were a catch and because… there was this line about you being a nine-tailed white Fox—”

“Because everything is better with a nine-tailed white Fox’s blood.”

Both Zhe Yan and Shao Wan shared a confused look with each other as they realized they had said the statement in unison.

“You copied that from me, Zhe Yan,” Shao Wan scoffed. “Everyone knows I get to say all the remarkable quotes.”

Zhe Yan leaned back and loudly laughed, “My dear sister, everybody knows I am the sagacious one. I am fairly certain you heard that from me when we were still youngsters.”

Shao Wan replied with a snort of dismissive laughter before she pointed back to Bai Zhi. “Come to think of it, I remember not liking you either before we entered Shuǐ Zhǎozé. I just don’t remember why.”

“Mother, Father,” Bai Qian called out, her hand smoothing and re-smoothing her skirt over her lap. “What were the two of you whispering about just now?”

“Heavenly Empress,” Bai Zhi cleared his throat and leaned on the table using his left arm for support. “It is true.”

Dong Hua slowly leaned forward. “So it was true that you and Zhe Yan fought for another woman’s affections?”

“I believe they did,” Bai Hongyu answered as she placed her hand on top of her husband’s. “I remember I colluded with Zhe Yan to capture my husband’s affections since he also had feelings for me but keep getting confused with his feelings for another woman. Zhe Yan, do you remember her?”

“It has been so long ago,” Zhe Yan nodded, looking up to the ceiling. “ I can’t even remember her face. But aren’t you all glad that I had colluded with the Fox Empress? They lived to have five wonderful children afterwards. Not all immortals could be as lucky.”

Shao Wan clapped her hands together. “So now it makes sense why neither the three of you found anything wrong that Zhe Yan fell in love with your son, Bai Zhen. I always thought it was a strange fox-family thing.“

“Unbelievable,” Bai Qian uttered and lifted her tea cup to her lips for a calming sip. “Just unbelievable. How could you let everyone believe otherwise all this time?”

Bai Zhi shrugged his shoulders at his daughter. “Everyone just assumed and we didn’t see anything wrong to just let the old rumors continue, Heavenly Empress.”

“Dong Hua,” Mo Yuan asked from the head of the gathering. “What brought this about?”

Dong Hua leaned his elbow against the table and his face against his knuckles so he could look at Mo Yuan. “If you remember, you asked me to investigate the temple at Biayun Mountain and confirm if we are looking at a resurrected Primordial God. This—” He made a circle using his index finger that in his line of sight included the Fox couple and Zhe Yan. “This bizarre love triangle was one of the theories that my research debunked. But a more major information that I uncovered was this: it turns out we were taught wrong in Shuǐ Zhǎozé. There were five Primordial Gods who defeated the Primordial God of Chaos and then ruled the Second Creation.”

“Preposterous!” Mo Yuan cut Dong Hua off before he could say any more. “Are you saying my Father Lord lied to us? Who are we to believe — the one who created us or your texts?”

Dong Hua raised both his hands and shook his head. “I am not putting words into Father Immortal’s mouth especially since he is no longer here to defend himself. I am merely stating what I found. Mo Yuan, what if he lied to us?”

The God of War didn’t look pleased at all. “You mean, he lied to all of us? Why would he do that?”

Because as much as you idolized your father, Mo Yuan, I always thought he had a lot to hide. Just look at how he sprung lotus-Ye Hua on you during the last minute, young man, Dong Hua wanted to say but instead he shrugged and bit his tongue.

“Everyone,” Ye Hua said loudly, although his voice remained even. “As much as I would like to discuss legends, we need to talk about the present situation at hand and how important it is that the children be located before any harm befalls on them. Further, please note that I have received intelligence reports that the rebellious talks have been gaining speed although no clear leader has still stepped up.”

“Lian Song, allow me to help make your work easier. If you could hand me some of the children’s favorite haunts, I could task my disciples to help find them faster.”

“Thank you for your kindness, Mo Yuan High God.”

Lian Song had said it so cooperatively that Dong Hua just knew he intended to give the Kunlun Disciples the less important leads. Lian Song would never reveal their main hideouts to the God of War himself, unless they wanted a shadow to relentlessly follow Mei Lin around.

“My birthday is tomorrow, lest everyone forget.” The former Tianjun commented as he rearranged his fisherman’s hat on top of his head. “It would be wonderful to see A-Li there.”

No one really paid attention to Tianjun because the gods had resumed talking on top of one another.

None, that is, except for Bai Qian.

“Yes, it would,” Bai Qian murmured, still eyeing her parents thoughtfully. “Yes, it would.”

* * *


1. (元神) Primordial Spirit