Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 9 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 9

written by kakashi
consulting by LigayaCroft
editing by Panda

279’800 years ago

Mo Yuan already knew he had a big problem - even when that problem did not stand in front of him, so angry that the air crackled with her fury.

“You!” she fumed and stabbed her index finger into his face. “You!”

He decided to remain quiet, the one defense he still had against her - that which obviously infuriated her so much, she looked ready to explode. He didn’t want to, but angering her seemed all he ever did.

If you cannot find peace with her, you cannot find peace with yourself. Do you understand? His father’s words echoed in his head often, joined by the new ones from a few days ago. I said find peace, son, he had scolded him, not start a dalliance. Remember who you are.

“I’m the laughing stock of the whole school,” she howled, “how dare you!”

He failed to understand what had happened. But he knew if he started defending himself, she would get even angrier. If he remained quiet, she would get angrier too. So... it seemed he had already lost any way this confrontation went. Like every single time he went up against her, even when he seemingly won.

“They are saying,” she seemed to be almost hyperventilating as she continued, “that you kicked me out of your bed when I crawled into it unbidden!”

“That’s…,” shock made him say something after all, but he clamped his mouth shut quickly.

“...a blatant, horrible lie!” She foamed. “It was you who grabbed me and pulled me onto the bed! You! And then, you fell asleep!”

He had only a vague recollection of what exactly had transpired that night, but what he remembered was enough to make his blood freeze from mortification. And then make his blood sing with glorious excitement. And then make him hang his head in defeat. Find peace, but do not start a dalliance. Find peace, but do not start a dalliance.

How could he possibly honor his father’s wishes? It seemed like he had been given an exceedingly difficult riddle on his birthday, a problem he thought about day and night. It was almost like he had swallowed a red-hot iron ball that was stuck in his chest and he could not get rid of it, any way he tried. Like a moth to the flame, he was inevitably drawn to her gloriousness. It seemed a given that he would burn miserably unless he made sure he did not even get close enough to see the light.

Who would start such a lie about them, he wondered? They had returned to the school unseen, in the middle of the night. He had taken great care not to act suspicious afterwards. He had made sure to stay out of her way, to…

Horrified, he lifted his head. Him! It was him. His behavior was at fault. It had looked like he had shunned her publicly, after interacting so frequently before. And of course, that was enough for the eager gossipers to jump to conclusions.

She stood there, looking at him with all the hurt and all the outrage she was feeling, her lips quivering, her beautiful eyes enlarged behind a sheen of moisture - and his heart overflowed. He wanted nothing but the best for her. And now he had hurt her?

“I would never kick you out of my bed,” he said quietly, instantly shocked he could say such words even when sober. “As nobody in his right mind would. Everybody knows that. They mean to hurt you with their words because that is the only way they can hurt you.”

She still scowled at him, but his explanation seemed to calm her down a bit. Only a bit though. “I demand justice!” she snarled, her voice still quivering. “Someone has to pay for this insult!”

“Very well,” he replied, agreeing so quickly she took a step back in surprise, “let’s duel.”


“Yes, you’ve offended me greatly. As if I’d tell people I kicked you out of my bed. What kind of man do you think I am?"

“One who falls asleep on women?” Now she pouted. Did she regret it? His heart picked up speed.

“Be glad I fell asleep.”

“Glad? Ha! You snored and kept me awake. I’ve been tired ever since!”

“I woke up in the middle of the night and it was I who found you snoring.”

“You watched me sleep? What kind of pervert watches women sleep?”

“You were so adorable and quiet apart from the snoring, I just couldn’t resist.”

She glared at him. “Who - gave - you - the - right - to - call - me - adorable, you blasted Celestial!”

“Well.” He glared back. “I say what I want, Demon Queen, whenever I want to. You, asleep, your mouth a tiny bit open, drooling delicately, were…” …Maddening. Enrapturing. Desirable. Lovable... “ an entirely different person, I just couldn’t bring myself to break the enchantment and get the nagging you back.”

She measured him again, now definitely more in control. “You clearly need a beating, Celestial. Your mouth is taking far too many liberties of late. A duel it is, you ba… blockhead. Where?”

“Right here,” he replied grimly. “I feel a great urge to punish you without further delay.”

“Your father forbade it!” she replied with a frown. “We are not to fight on school grounds anymore.”

“I must not have heard him say it.”

She gasped. “Outrageous! You would defy your father over something as trifling as this?”

“When is someone’s honor ever a trifling matter?”

Rather than attack him as he had thought she would, she took a few measured steps in his direction and peered at him with slitted eyes. “You mean to fight in front of all the other students so that they’ll see they were wrong and everything is as it was between us? Even though you would go against your father’s explicit wishes? That is unexpectedly courageous of you. But no, thank you, I do not want to get into serious trouble just for kicking your teeth in.”

She turned to leave.

“You… you don't want to fight with me?”

She shook her head, braids flying. “No, I have no wish to fight you anymore. I’m suddenly appeased and remember I have to go study. Good day.”

“But…” was she just going to walk away? Indeed so, she had turned her back at him and was sauntering away, in that confident, alluring way of hers.

“Do you…,” he called out and she stopped and turned, a half questioning and half wary look on her face, “...want to accompany me to the Beast Festival in the Ghost Realm?”

“W… why?” she stammered, suddenly looking very confused.

“I… I am to go on official business,” he stammered in turn, “I…,” he felt heat rise in his face. Dammit, for someone who always prepared everything so carefully in advance, he sure was a stupid fool to rush into this like a panicked chicken. “I am sent by my father to inquire about their breeding program and I…”

“Breeding?” she said and a sly look came into her eyes. “Oh, in that case, I will definitely come along. I am very interested in the subject. When do we leave?”

Maybe, Mo Yuan thought as he stood there blinking, watching the grin on her face grow wider and wider, he had just built his own trap, walked into it with his eyes wide open and on top of everything, felt very good about it.


“If I’d known it was so boring to talk about breeding, I wouldn’t have come! It’s almost as bad as philosophy,” Shao Wan murmured as they made their way from the large paddock towards the colorful stands and tents along the serpentine river, “who cares about pedigrees, just let the animals have a bit of fun together.”

That she was here with him nonetheless and that she was one of the main reasons why his mission had been wrapped up so quickly and successfully filled him with a mixture of pride and joy. She had commanded the Beastmaster’s attention from the moment they had appeared in front of him. Noticing the man’s blatant, almost open-mouthed staring, she had started to bat her eyelashes and to shower him with considerable charm, so that Mo Yuan had been able to negotiate an excellent price with the distracted man for the thoroughbred animals his father wanted to use for breeding.

He had liked it far less when the Beastmaster had invited her - and her alone - to his tent for “celebrations”. But Shao Wan, it being no surprise she was used to these kind of advances with her looks, had cleverly suggested a quick taste of the man’s self-made rice liquor out in the open - a sacred Demon custom, she had called it - to seal the deal. After that, the Beastmaster, obviously a man who could take no for an answer especially when Celestial royalty glowered at him, had bid them a friendly enough farewell, and had started to count his pile of money.

The strong rice liquor gave his step a spring and his head a spin and Mo Yuan couldn’t quite stop his eyes from returning to her figure walking next to him. If she noticed, she chose to ignore it, most likely because her attention was visibly commanded by the smells wafting through the air. Her eyes took on a hungry gleam, her nose trembled and she licked her lips at the prospect of food.

What was it that she liked to eat? He was not sure, he just knew she constantly complained about the meals at school, claiming the food made her sickly and weak. He observed her eyes grow round at the sight of one particular stand where a merchant was roasting meat on skewers.

“You’d like to eat this?” he asked but since the answer was obvious, he quickly procured four sticks for her, presenting them to her with a small smile.

“Mhhhhhm,” she made and started wolfing down the meat at an amazing speed.

“Have you never seen a woman eat?” she asked him with a frown, finally noticing his inappropriate attention.

“Frankly… never like this,” he admitted. “Are you still hungry?”

She nodded while licking her fingers, one after the other. “I have missed this. I didn't know you Celestials would systematically starve me at school or I would have brought my own supplies. All those plants...” she shuddered and dropped her voice, like she was letting him in on a secret. “They hurt my stomach.”

His eyes roamed over the food on display, settling on a merchant a distance away, who was roasting a whole pig on a spit. “That?” he pointed.

“Ohhhhhhh,” Shao Wan moaned and Mo Yuan couldn’t help but laugh at how she smacked her lips so loudly, a few people turned around and stared at her.

He bought her two big pieces from the belly part, watching the grease trickle down the side of her mouth and off her chin, keeping his hand from reaching up to wipe her face… trying to imagine how she would react if he did what he really wanted to do right now: lick the grease off that beautiful face. Instead, he brought her a black fermented drink that smelled a bit like nuts and watched her throat when she gulped it down eagerly, thinking how he would like to nibble on the tender white flesh.

“Thanks for feeding me!” she flashed him such a sweet smile after she had finished, he felt quite light-headed all of a sudden. “You’re not hungry?”

“No,” he lied. But damn, he was all kinds of hungry.

“So ascetic. We’ll find something for you,” she took him by the arm and drew him with her, expertly scanning the displays, eventually stopping where they sold some sort of savory rice cakes. “No meat for this man!” she told the merchant in a commanding tone. “Not even a trace. It's bad for his cultivation!”

The food was tasty and he was hungry after all, but when Mo Yuan turned around to thank her, she was nowhere to be seen. That dampened his mood considerably… had she found fault with his behavior again? He had thought they were getting along quite well for a change.

Quite irked, he wanted to walk away when strange cooing sounds somewhere behind him made him turn his head. There she was! Inside a fortified enclosure, petting a fluffy looking white ball of a baby beast, which enthusiastically licked her hand with a tiny pink tongue. Inside? His breath caught as he sped forward.

Shao Wan saw him. “Celestial!” she yelled all delighted, “look - at - this - ADORABLE - little - fluff ball. I want one for my palace! I need one!”

“Get out of there!” he yelled, but it was already too late. The mother Dai, which didn’t look remotely as cute as its young, screeched loudly as it descended on Shao Wan with its sharp beak and talons. Shao Wan looked up in surprise and barely managed to dodge the attack.

Mo Yuan vaulted into the enclosure without thinking. Too late he remembered the power suppression, the lack of a weapon, and the viciousness of a mother animal. He was lucky the big Dai was entirely focused on punishing Shao Wan and had no eyes for him, so he managed to sneak up to it and grab one of its legs. With a hiss, its head came around and its eerie yellow eyes fixated on him.

“Out!” he screamed at Shao Wan again, who scrambled to her feet and… starting shouting at the big beast.

“You ugly brute!” she yelled at it, “are you stupid? I was just appreciating your fluffy baby! No need to be so unfriendly!”

Mo Yuan was holding on as tightly as he could. The Dai’s wings had been shackled for the Festival, but it still was very strong, even if it couldn’t fly. It started hacking at him and he had to dodge, at the same time trying to convince Shao Wan to leave the danger zone. But she obviously saw no need to. No, after she was done yelling, she started attacking the Beast with stones she took from the ground, but also with fists and feet.

“What are you doing!” an angry Beastmaster shouted at them and scrambled into the enclosure too. “If you damage it, you will have to pay compensation!”

Since his master’s voice briefly distracted the Beast, Mo Yuan took the chance to leap towards Shao Wan, grab her around the waist and jump out of harm’s way with her. With an ugly thump and a grunt from him, they landed in the dirt. Quickly, he grabbed on tighter and rolled out of the enclosure underneath the bottom rail.

“Ha,” she said and snorted after they came to a stop. “I might get used to this Celestial cushion.”

She lay on top of him, his arms tightly around her, bleeding from a gash on her face, a few drops of her blood dripping onto his face.

“You are a reckless fool,” he snarled at her, breathing heavily, “did you not know you are never to touch a youngling?”

“Of course I know that,” she retorted angrily, “but I like to do what I want and I wanted to feel how fluffy that furball was.”

He saw she was rather shaken and decided to leave it at that. No real damage done, no need to scold her further. Scowling, she lifted her hand and brushed it over his face. Her scowl deepened when that did not bring the desired result and then, she bent down and... started to lick the blood off with small, rapid movements of her tongue.

He froze and of course, she registered his reaction. Her pupils dilated and the next lick was much slower and grazed the corner of his mouth. Her tongue moved up over his cheek to linger and lap at his temple and with a shuddering breath, he closed his eyes.

“Are you insane!” the Beastmaster continued screaming somewhere close to them. “You know how expensive these Beasts are? Only Kings can afford them!”

When Mo Yuan opened his eyes again, Shao Wan looked down at him, breathing rapidly. “Your skin tastes good,” she whispered. Inside of him, the Dragon stirred. He was going to defy his father. He had to.

“They’re an almost King and a former Queen,” a raspy, commanding voice said, “no need to cause such a ruckus.”

Shao Wan jumped up like she had been bitten by a fire ant and Mo Yuan considered it wise to straighten up as well, quickly bringing his dust-soiled robes in order.

In front of them stood a Demon Lord… no, a King, Mo Yuan corrected himself, recognizing the embroidery on his overcoat. As was Demon custom, he wore leather pants and a tunic instead of robes. His braided hair was bound into a loose tail at the back of his head and his muscular arms were bare and painted with intricate symbols.

“Wan Wan,” the Demon King smiled, “I see you are enjoying yourself, like I hoped you would at that school. You look...”

He reached up his hand and even though Shao Wan’s head jerked back instinctively, the cut on her face was closed instantly. “Would you please introduce us,” the King said and turned his cold eyes onto Mo Yuan, moving them over the dirt on his robes with deliberate disdain.

“Celestial,” Shao Wan said and the tone of her voice was cold and at the same time wary, “may I present to you the current Demon Overlord, Qing Jiang. Qing Jiang, may I present to you High Immortal Mo Yuan, Fuxi’s heir.”

Mo Yuan bowed his head, feeling the other man’s eyes measuring him. “A High Immortal at only 25,000 years from what I hear,” the Demon said, “impressive.”

“To become Demon Overlord at such a young age is even more impressive,” Mo Yuan replied politely.

Qing Jiang laughed a goat-like laugh that made Mo Yuan firm in his belief that he did not like this man at all.

“All thanks to our Greatest and First Demon Overlord Shao Wan, who abdicated far too soon. I am not worthy, I am not worthy indeed.”

“What are you doing here?” Shao Wan asked unceremoniously and a bit annoyed. Mo Yuan did not like the familiarity between them. And he especially disliked the way the Demon Overlord leered at Shao Wan. Like he was undressing her with his eyes.

“Buying beasts like you are,” the Demon Overlord shrugged with a smile, “but now that we have met so unexpectedly, let me invite you to my tent for a good meal! I cannot wait to hear all about your adventures at Father Immortal’s famous school. Come, come!”

And as if Mo Yuan were not there at all, Qing Jiang put his arm around Shao Wan’s shoulders and dragged her along chattering amiably. Fuming, Mo Yuan followed after.


It was very hot in the large tent. Hot and stifling. And it got progressively worse.

Shao Wan sat next to Qing Jiang, laughing and enjoying herself, a radiant Queen among her people, while he sat in quiet misery several seats away from her. The two Demon Ladies next to him chatted incessantly and he, trying to be polite, answered all their questions about the Heavenly Tribe and their customs even though his head was pounding.


Somebody threw down a dagger in front of him. “I challenge you!” another Demon warrior barked at him.

Mo Yuan groaned. Not again! Apparently, it was a Demon custom, but he did not trust that particular sequence of words anymore. He suspected that Demons turned anything into “Demon custom” at their convenience. And apparently, now they wanted an opportunity to beat up a Celestial, so they had made it a Demon custom to challenge their guest to fistfights.

Mo Yuan got up and walked forward rather unsteadily. It was another “Demon custom” to toast each other with liquor after the fight and whatever it was he had been drinking, it was very strong and he had had a lot at this point.

Mo Yuan took a deep breath and rolled his shoulders. The Demon attacked, putting much too much force into his first move. Mo Yuan dodged, grabbed the man’s arm and pulled, and the Demon went flying onto his back. There were no rules, or that was what they had told him, but the fight went on until one opponent gave up or did no longer move. Mo Yuan’s knee descended onto the man’s windpipe and he pressed until the body went slack.

The Demons in the tent roared. Somebody put a cup into his hand and he drank, eyes closed. The taste was becoming increasingly unpleasant. How many more fights were there going to be?

He put the cup down and his eyes searched Shao Wan’s. Yes, she was looking at him, but he could not quite read the expression on her face. Annoyance? Why was he annoying her again? Was it his fault these Demons knew nothing about martial arts? Some were naturally talented fighters, but none had any technique to speak of. Would she rather have him lose? Why was everything so complicated with that woman?

He went back to his seat and sat down inelegantly with a thump. He should have returned to the school a while ago, he realized. His father would be furious.

“You fight so well,” the Demon woman to the right purred into his ear and moved her hand to his neck.

“Very well,” the one on the left cooed and put her hand onto his knee. “Do you want to come to our tent with us to show us how it's done?”

“Hands off,” said a cold voice in front of them, “he is mine.”

The two Demon ladies immediately shut up and moved aside, as Shao Wan stepped next to him and hoisted him up. “Enough now,” she snarled. Now she was angry? What had he done? He tried to get a good look at her face, but failed. He was very glad she had intervened though. He would have turned down the offer of the ladies, but he had an inkling they would not have reacted kindly. Everything felt very precarious in this tent, like walking on thin ice.

“But the fun is only beginning,” Qing Jiang said slowly into the descending silence. “What have they done to you to make you their pet?”

“If you touch his son, Fuxi will be furious,” Shao Wan said quietly. “You know that. Did we not agree on a peaceful relationship? Any further and you’ll provoke Celestial wrath.”

“Peaceful?” Qing Jiang spat the word out as if it were poisonous. “You know how much the Heavenly Tribe looks down on us. You are a fool. He is yours, you say? Fuxi will never let you near his precious offspring. You are scum to him and scum we’ll always be.”

“That is not true,” Shao Wan said, but her voice quivered a little. “They respect me at school.”

“They do?” Qing Jiang laughed a mean laugh. “Someone who came out of an egg? They’re lying to you, Wan Wan. To all those high born Celestials, you are just dirt.”

“She is the best fighter by far,” Mo Yuan slurred, “they respect her indeed. I respect her.” There was more he wanted to say but he had to quickly close his eyes when the entire room turned on his head.

Qing Jian snorted. “You are still standing and talking? Consider it an official warning. Tell your father to be very careful. We Demons don’t forget.”

“Come,” Shao Wan whispered, “come.”

Mo Yuan scowled and wanted to reply something, but Shao Wan pulled on his arm when all of a sudden, a face appeared behind a curtain, a face he knew. A Celestial? He lifted his head in surprise, but the face quickly disappeared again.

“There was…” he murmured. What was the name of that person?

“Come now,” Shao Wan said again.

The cooler air outside gave him some reprieve, but he still felt like he was burning up.

“What did they give me?” he managed to inquire. He had been a fool.

“I’m not sure,” she answered, “and I’m glad we don’t have to find out. Let’s walk for a bit. Where did we put our things? Ah, yes, way over there, where we talked to the first Beastmaster. Come.”

She still held his arm, but he didn’t feel like he still needed it so he freed himself. “That was no Demon custom, right?”

“Yes, it is one,” she sighed, “we gain cultivation through fighting. Fighting with enemy tribes is very beneficial. The drinking is a custom too.”

“We are no enemy tribe.”

“As you have heard tonight, you’re still considered one. The Demons are not happy. The world outside your Celestial bubble is not quite as rosy.”

They walked on in silence. His head didn’t clear, but the cool air felt good in his lungs. “It could have been a sleeping potion,” he murmured. Everything about him longed to fall down on the spot and sleep.

“Wait,” she said and stepped in front of him. She peered into his eyes. He breathed in deeply, but she already moved away again. “Looks like it. Not much further and you can sleep it off.”


“It’s warm enough, Celestial. And your robes are already so dirty, they no longer can be saved anyway.”

He chuckled. His steps got more sluggish as they trudged up the hill, but they did make it to where they had left their bundles underneath some small bushes.

“Ah,” he said, letting himself fall into the soft grass, “what did they even want from me?”

“I am not sure,” she said quietly, settling down next to him, “likely to humiliate you? Or take you hostage? Qing Jiang knows many mean tricks. Stay away from him in the future.”

Mo Yuan took her hand. “Now you protected me again even though I vowed to be the one to protect you next time.”

“Ah, but you fed me and you charged into an enclosure with a wild beast to sa…”

He bent forward and pressed his lips against hers. He was grateful for her company and he had wanted to do this all day. There was a sound like a small sigh from her, but no resistance. He took her head between his hands and teased her lips with his tongue until she slowly opened them. Her hands came up and went to his shoulders, then linked behind his neck. Feeling encouraged, his tongue wandered into her mouth, swept across her teeth lightly, before it met her quivering tongue.

He wanted to taste and know everything about her.

He pushed his tongue in further and hers finally came awake, pushing against his, evading it, trying to enter his mouth in turn. He let her. Fighting her over something like this seemed silly to him, but part of what made her so extremely exciting was her prickliness.

He moved his hands over her collarbones and further down.

She pushed him away. “Stop.”

“My apologies,” he whispered, not sorry at all for kissing her, not sorry for wanting to feel her body, but sorry for not being fully clear-headed, for not being able to appreciate her beauty enough in the dark.

“You must sleep now,” she said. “You're going to pass out any minute… again.”

She was right. The world was spinning. “I will be sober in the morning,” he whispered, a promise… before it became too hard to hold on to consciousness.

In the very early morning, however, he woke confused and alarmed to a very angry father yelling at him through the copper mirror to get back to school immediately. With a hurting head and much regret, he packed up his things and walked away… but not without first putting a light kiss on her brow so as not to wake her and gazing at her features for as long as he could possibly allow himself.

Chapter 10