Fanfiction3: A-Li's Three Lives, Three Worlds - Chapter 38 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 38

written by LigayaCroft
edited by Panda & kakashi

Everybody got roaring drunk, and the drunker they got, the more the liquor flowed. A-Li was left pouring one drink after another, left and right, for the Duke and Cai Jin. Thus, it was already halfway during the pig hour [1] when A-Li was finally able to extricate himself from the gathering.

He had planned an elaborate seduction for Huo Zheng all morning but since no servant had come to inform them that the Duchess had already given birth, all his plans had dissolved into nothing and right now, he was mad. First, a pig. Now, an unborn child. How his fate had gotten so intertwined with unexpected characters out to snatch bliss away from his grasp, A-Li would never understand. But as his new friends drank the night away, it had him sitting there seething mad.

Exhausted, he quietly followed two servants who each carried a lamp to light his way to the room that had been assigned to him by the house steward. With a nod of thanks, he stepped in and let them close the doors behind him.

It was then that he saw her.

The entire room was only lit by one lamp located on a table for two where Huo Zheng sat, her chin rested on the back of her left hand.

“Did you men have a wonderful time with liquor and women?”

Combined with her blank expression, her question was so pointed that A-Li knew whatever his response was would never be enough so he sought to change the topic.

“I thought the Duchess had begun having abdominal pains. But you’re here.”

“Xin Hua is tougher than everybody in this entire compound has led us to believe. I shooed the extra attendants out because having too many people around her only increased her alarm and fright, which then caused disharmony in her physiological functions and the disorder of her qi, thus increasing her pain. Take a seat. I know you may already have had too much to drink but would you still like some wine?”

A-Li nodded and sat down on the chair opposite from hers. He watched her as she took out a tiny flask from her sleeve pocket and poured the wine. She then lifted the cup and swirled the liquid inside.

“I had Xin Hua eat about three sheng [2] of non-glutinous rice porridge made with hen soup for dinner and had her bathed from the knees below with boiled peach root water right before I left. That was before the first night watch [3] and oh, would you look at the time now,” She tipped her head to one side and raised an eyebrow, leaving A-Li to internally complete her unspoken words.

His promise.


She had been waiting for him while he had been passing the time in the company of drunk men.

Huo Zheng’s expression remained unreadable under the lamp’s soft light. A-Li wondered if she was disappointed or worse, angry.

“Here. Take it,” She slid the cup she was holding over the table, and the simple movement brought about a whiff of white lillies, which once again reminded A-Li of his time in Tianying.

He took the cup from her hand, the fleeting brush of his fingers against hers enough to set his senses on fire. Oh, how he would love to press each fingertip against his mouth, suck it in, watch her eyes darken with desire —

But he should not overwhelm her by getting too excited. Instead, A-Li settled for downing the full contents of the cup she had offered.

“I drugged the wine.”

His throat suddenly closed up and the liquid that he had just imbibed threatened to escape through his nostrils so he had no choice but to hastily turn to the side and let it spray from his mouth.

“You,” he choked, slamming the empty cup on the table. “Y-you did what?”

Huo Zheng released a long, low sigh. Her eyes stared down at the lamp. Her lips pursed.

A-Li wiped the corners of his mouth with the edge of his sleeve, took a deep, calming breath and asked again, this time more gently, legibly — “Xiăohŭ, what did you put into my wine?”

Rénshēn [4],” she answered back in a flat voice without missing a beat.


“It is warm, it tonifies one’s qi and provides partial support to yáng.”

“Not that. I wanted to know why you would think I needed rénshēn.”

As if his query insulted her, her eyebrows met in the middle and she made a sweeping motion with her hand.

“Why?” He asked again, more impatiently this time.

“You know why.”

“No, Xiăohŭ. I don’t believe I know why.”

“Alright,” She sat straighter after exhaling another sigh and looked him in the eyes. “You obviously needed help… down there.”

A-Li coughed uncontrollably. “W-wherever did you get the idea — ”

“The time at the shepherd’s hut!”

“I vividly remember not needing any help, or have you forgotten what you felt against your thighs that time that you sat on my hips?”

Her eyes flashed and her body slanted away from the table. “I vividly remember you stopping me if that’s what you’re asking.”

Insane. This was insane.

A-Li raised his hands and at a loss at what to do with them, he linked his fingers over the crown of his head.

“Can’t a man who is about to lead a woman down the road of adultery take some time to think?” He asked and she rolled her eyes as she muttered something in response. “What? What did you just say?”

“I said it’s my body. I could very well do what I wanted with it!”

Her chest heaved, and splotches of red emerged on her skin as revealed from the low vee of her neckline. Maybe it was the play of the lamplight or the way her body was now angled but A-Li finally noticed she was only wearing a peach silk robe and — based on how her chest looked much bigger than it usually did as well as the taut peaks that strained against the clothing — nothing else.

The dragon in A-Li stirred in primal response.

Who needs ginseng tonic now?

Gods above, the jokes about him never stopped, did they?

“Did you get to drink any of the wine?”


She uttered a curse phrase, one that was surprising to hear, even more because it came from her.

“Did you just curse at my ancestors?” He demanded, frustrated that his body still wanted her even as her words and actions sought to make his mind explode with incredulity.

“I did. To the eighteenth generation.”

So he didn’t hear her wrong after all. A-Li laughed at the hilarity of their situation.

“The fact that you can still laugh at a time like this,” she said tightly as she tidied the table of her wine flask in slow and jerky movements. “It only confirms that you really didn’t.”

“You place too much belief in ginseng.” He admonished, as incredulity gave way to amusement. Here he was, hard with want for the virtually-naked woman in front of him, and he was still talking. He resolved to end it soon, but not before he got a few swipes at this woman who thought she had enough to outsmart him. “It is not an end-all cure for impotence. I will have to drink copious amounts to fix what you allege to be my problem. And here you only offered a tiny cup,” he baited at her, patting the cup. In response, her eyes flashed and a sinking feeling went down on A-Li’s stomach. Damn it, there was more. There had to be. “Xiăohŭ, what else did you put in that drink?”

She did not back down, crossing her arms over her chest before she gave a slow shrug. “Yín yáng huò [5],” she answered in a challenging tone.

A-Li was momentarily confused. “Yín yáng — goat…?”

“I gave you wine laced with horny goat weed essence, alright? That stuff was hard to find.” She pushed her chair back and was about to stand up but A-Li caught her hand. “What?”

A-Li tried to open his mouth but no words came out. Never, since Tianying, had he been drugged with aphrodisiacs, and never in his long life had it been brazenly and unapologetically done to him, especially by a mortal woman.

“See? You can’t even speak.” She tugged at his hand as she pulled herself up to her full height, a maddening vision in a long peach outer robe tied closed only by a red belt. “Does the memory of your late wife still haunt you that you refuse to move on? Or is the fact that I often dress like a man and not place much importance on my appearance that is off-putting to you?”

Stunned. A-Li was still stunned into silence by her rhetoric. The momentary lapse enabled her to tug her hand free. She turned to stalk toward the direction of the main door.

A-Li placed his body in the way. He did not lose his lead as Huo Zheng did her best to sidestep him, until with one wrong twist of her foot, she lost her balance and would have fallen flat on her back had A-Li not caught her.

“Where do you think you are going?”

“Out,” She struggled and pushed against his chest, stepping back to place him at arm’s length. “Let me pass.”

“Wearing only that?”

“Yes, why not?” She gave him a hard smile that didn’t last long on her face as it was replaced with a scowl.

“No, you don’t,” he stressed.

The scowl on her face drew even deeper. Oh yes, she would drive him mad but it was a madness A-Li was very sure by now, he would always welcome.

“You have already spent the first half of the night playing with courtesans. Obviously you didn’t want me so — oomph!” Her breath came out in a whoosh from her chest when A-Li pulled her against him.

It delighted him to see her eyes widen as her lower abdomen rubbed against that aching part of him. The scowl was erased by the soft sigh that escaped her lips. A-Li’s mouth watered as holding her this close, her smell — lilies, and woman — became even stronger under his nose.

She looked down, and then back up to his eyes again — her gaze questioning — and A-Li made sure her head stayed that way by holding her chin in his hand, willing her to look at him.

Willing her to see how much he wanted her.

Wanting her to know how much he needed her.

Needing her so much his heart was about to explode with the sheer amount of love that he felt for her.

Should she know?

Would she know?

There was only one way to find out.

“As you can see, I don’t need an aphrodisiac,” he joked as he pulled her even closer by tightening his hold on her waist. “I don’t need any of those because I have you. You’re my drug, Xiăohŭ.”

A moment of silence fell in that space between them, so still he wondered if either of them was still breathing. Only soft shuffling noises could be heard from outside — maybe of servants walking along the corridors or of soldiers doing their patrol over the frosted grounds — but there were no loud noises to take away from the two of them how monumental this night was going to be.

“I was never good at sharing, Xiăohŭ,” He confessed as his thumb rubbed across the soft cleft of her chin. “If we do this, you are mine.”

Her eyes softened as she swayed along with him to a tune only the two of them could hear.


“Now and forever, Xiăohŭ.”

“Now, that’s just stupid,” At this, her lips curved into a smile that never reached her eyes as she cupped the left side of his face and neck and pulled him down.

The scent of oranges.

Her warm breath.

The moisture on her soft lips.

And A-Li was back in heaven once again.


“Take off your clothes. I want to see you.”

A-Li didn’t need to be told twice — his hand was already untying his belt with aggressive tugs, his feet had kicked off his shoes until they each fell on the floor with heavy thuds — as he stalked after Huo Zheng who kept backing up so that he remained at arms’ length from her.

“What about you?” He contested as he shucked off his robe. His question was instantly forgotten though under the heat of her gaze, as it burnt a fiery trail from his chest and settled with a slight tilt of her head on to where his arousal had certainly made a statement underneath his trousers.

“You still have clothes on,” she snapped as she took another step back.

“I don’t remember agreeing that I get naked first.”

“It’s not a request. I need to make sure you’re not backing out again.”

A-Li intended to laugh at her absurd statement but a groan came out instead. In two strides, his mouth — weighted by weeks of frustration and lust — was heavily upon hers. She instantly melted against him, her mouth and tongue seeking, probing. As she planted kisses all over his face and neck, he swept her up by her hips, and she fought for balance by clamping her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck.

“You thought I was timid?” He asked, his fingers squeezing her buttocks through her robe as he drove her back against the wall. “You thought that I didn’t want you?”

She cupped his face in her hands and hungrily claimed his lips again. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” she moaned, her bare inner thighs riding against his navel.


Suddenly, his trousers were a hindrance. A-Li sought to rectify the issue immediately by lowering her, cursing again as her body slid against his until her feet reached the floor again.

She didn’t lose a beat, still trailing kisses on his jawline and neck even as she muttered some expletives about her belt.

Her robe dropped on the floor at the same time his trousers did.

And that was when the rest of A-Li’s best intentions flew out the window.

“Xiăohŭ —” he exhaled as his eyes skimmed all over her naked body for the very first time.

“You’re beautiful,” she purred, the light in her eyes dancing in the lamplight.

A-Li was about to say the same when her fingers wrapped around his length just as he saw her tongue slowly run along her upper lip, causing a strangled moan to escape his throat.

“Like a smooth shell covered in silk,” she murmured as her fingers moved to slowly run along his entire length to the head before sliding back to the base again. “Beautiful. Just like I hoped it would be.”

Fire danced between her fingers, shooting flames to all his nerve endings so that A-Li’s vision momentarily swam. Then to continue the torture, she was back on her way up his length again, and this time her roughened palm rubbed along the ridge and its head.

A-Li’s proudly-held self-control was almost ripped apart.

She could play all she wanted…later.

Maybe, on another day.

Just… not now.

Not tonight.

He grabbed the offending right hand and held it against the wall, even as he pressed the entire length of his body against her — skin on skin for the very first time, her perfect breasts soft against his chest, his arousal hard against her belly.

“So tell me, Xiăohŭ,” he demanded raggedly as he pressed even closer, his senses swimming in that signature heady scent of hers that was now combined with something more potent. “Do I look like a man who needs your aphrodisiacs?”

“I admit, not tonight. But eventually —”

A-Li silenced her mouth with a bruising kiss, and couldn’t contain his grin when he saw she now wore a dazed look when they resurfaced for air. Oh, how he would savor every piece of her flesh like it was the last tastiest morsel on earth.

Just… not now.

He let go of her hand so it could finally possess a breast and guide the plump flesh into his mouth. She gasped at his first lick — her right hand flew on his head to clutch at his hair while the other held on to his shoulder — which was soon followed with incomprehensible whimpers as he alternated between sucking and laving at her nipple in waves.

His right hand moved lower to cup her where she was hot and wet just as he moved his mouth to latch onto her other breast. She went wild, her nails digging into his shoulder and then unclenching so it could scrape over his back as her body bowed to his ministrations. His finger rubbed in circular motions around her nub, making her body jerk every now and then in response, until he could no longer restrain himself and slipped a finger inside her.

He felt her stiffen and exhale sharply above him before her hips took a life of its own as she greedily rode his finger toward finding her own pleasure.

As if he would let her.

“I need to be inside you,” he harshly choked out, his eyes frantically darting around the room.

“Hurry,” she pleaded, eyes aflame from her interrupted climax.


Too far.


Too small.



He pulled her toward the chair and sat down, his bare buttocks not minding how cold the wood had gotten since he sat on it last. Then he looked up at her — his naked goddess, bathed in soft, flickering light — and beckoned for her to join him.

For just a moment, he thought she looked uncertain.

And the next, she was over him, her left hand cupping the nape of his neck to tilt his head for another openmouthed kiss as her other hand grasped him and guided him inside her.

A-Li thought he saw stars explode as her flesh parted to accommodate him followed by the soft, tight walls closing down on him with a vise-like grip. By everything that was still left holy in the 12,800 hells, she was so hot, so tight, and so wet. He would have come right then and there had he not tasted blood.


He only realized it was his own after he licked the part of his lower lip right where she had bitten him.

“Shall I continue?”

A-Li blinked. “What?”

She moved a little while remaining fully-seated on him. A-Li bit his injured lower lip to stifle his groan, to bring him back a little from the edges of pleasure before he completely lost his mind.

“You look like you’re in pain.”

But he was. Why wouldn’t he be when everything inside him was about to splinter into millions of tiny little fragments?

He shook his head, or did he even manage to? “You’re killing me.”

“Good,” she gushed, one arm securely around his shoulders while the other gripped his thigh behind her for support as she raised herself slowly and just as slowly came down again, this time accompanied with a breathless sigh. “Good.“

She had started a storm, a campaign, to destroy all semblance of control he always thought he possessed, to shake and stir him up, and set fire to any other illusion that he had held on in his long life. With her, he was not a Prince but just a man, not a god himself but a worshipper at her very temple.

“You really want to kill me,” he moaned, his face falling forward to reclaim a breast as his hands wrapped around her tight body, one around her and the other on her lower back to hold her to him as she rode. “Faster, Xiăohŭ. Please.”

Because why should he be the only one to shatter? He wanted to see her break, too. He needed to see her own need consume her, see her own pride melt into a puddle, until all that was left was just the two of them — man and woman, interlocked, yin and yang.

And pick up the pace she did, to one so relentless, almost unforgiving. She took from him, devoured some and then more, until all that was left for A-Li was just this intense pressure to let go. Still he held on against the maelstrom she dragged him into, a mountain refusing to bow against a very powerful storm.

Her breath came in hurried pants. A-Li looked at her, stunned at the picture that she made with her body and neck curved back, taut, like a pulled bowstring. Suddenly, she fell forward, her arms leaning against his shoulders while her hands grasped through his hair as her eyes met his.

“A-Li…” She whimpered.

A plea.

For help.

For release.

A-Li cupped her hips, his hands rough on her skin as he helped her set the pace, this time thrusting ferociously — faster and even faster still — because this time, it was speed and not finesse that mattered. The musky combination of their sweat interspersed with the smell of sex, the shattering awareness of his body sliding along her tight and slick sheath, her hair in wild disarray from the force of his thrusts, and his caked blood on her lips — these and a myriad of other sensations and more emotions than his mind could cope with all tried to pull A-Li under.

He wasn’t sure how much longer he could take but not without her. Not without…

“A-Li —”

“I’ve got you,” he promised with a growl, his hands firmly gripping her buttocks.

And only then did she finally let go.

Chapter 39

* * *


1. Between 9pm to 11pm
2. (升) measure for dry grain equal to one-tenth of a cup
3. Between 7pm to 9pm
4. (人参) Ginseng
5. (淫羊藿) Horny Goat Weed. The name was derived from a fable of a Chinese shepherd who observed heightened affection between male and female goats after they ate the weed.