Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 11 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)


Chapter 11

written by kakashi
editing/consulting by LigayaCroft and Panda

279,800 years ago

“Have you seen Mo Yuan?”

“W…why?” to her annoyance, Shao Wan felt herself blush. Had they finally found out about the kiss? She had been expecting their teasing to start for quite a while, but nothing so far. She searched Donghua and Zhe Yan’s faces, but she only saw concern there, no mockery. And… she realized there was something like guilt in Donghua’s. Very strange.

“What have you done to him?” she challenged him, feeling apprehensive all of a sudden. Mo Yuan had seemed very out of sorts lately. He certainly did not need his stupid friends to make his life even harder.

“No… nothing,” Donghua answered. This was also the first time she ever heard the Rock stammer. Had they thrown Mo Yuan off a cliff during a prank and now his body had disappeared?

“It’s his father,” Zhe Yan hurried to explain when he saw her face darken, “he…-” Donghua threw him a look. Zhe Yan shrugged and sighed. “She will find out anyway, Donghua. Meimei, Father Immortal is passing the crown to Donghua, not to Mo Yuan. He informed both of them today.”

Shao Wan jumped up. “You bastard,” she yelled at Donghua, “and you accepted? You know exactly how much this meant to him. What kind of friend are you?”

Meimei,” Zhe Yan tried to assuage her, “Donghua wasn’t asked, but ordered. How could he have ref...”

“And he can’t speak for himself?” she snapped and glowered at the two men. She was beyond furious, she realized. Why? What was it to her whether Mo Yuan became Heavenly Lord or not? She’d be enjoying life in the Demon Realm in the future, frolicking around in the Obsidian Palace to her heart’s content, with as little ties to any Celestial bastards as possible.

She walked out on her two friends in a huff and headed straight for Fuxi’s study. Knocking seemed the right thing to do, so she knocked - but her restraint didn’t extend to waiting for an answer, so she entered rather forcefully.

Father Immortal, who had been absentmindedly stroking his beard, looked up from a scroll he was reading. “Demon Ancestor,” he said. “I have been expecting you. I have a few important things to say.”

He had? She frowned, her displeasure churning inside of her, but bowed… he was the creator of the realms after all and deserved her respect, even though there was a growing group of Demons claiming it had been his wife Nüwa who had created the Demon Tribe, not him. It was why people like the current Demon Overlord could win followers by speaking ill of Father Immortal, whom they owed no loyalty to in their opinion. In fact, many Demons called him an Usurper - some, the most extreme, even a murderer. Nüwa had been the one who saved the Heavens from a great calamity when the pillars collapsed had perished while doing so… they said Fuxi was to blame. To Shao Wan, it was shit-stirring that served no purpose other than creating strife between the Clans again, but right now, she found she also had a hard time respecting Father Immortal like a filial daughter or disciple should.

“Father Immortal I have come to ask you to recons…”

He waved her silent. “Demon Ancestor. As the former ruler over all the Demon Clans, I wanted to inform you ahead of time that I will pass the title of Tianjun of Jiuchongtian to Donghua in the near future. He is the best suited because not only does he have a very high amount of power and a strong will, he also is completely unattached, with no clan alliance. I know that the Realms are far from peaceful. After my demise, another war is very likely.”

What was he talking about? His demise? Was he… she squinted at him. He did look rather old, but she had always thought that was by choice, not because his powers were waning. Was his great calamity near?

“My son on the other hand will move to Kunlun Shan, the axis of the worlds, to provide the stability the realms need. There, he will be a Taoist monk, a teacher, a shining example of virtue, for everyone to look up to. Also, he shall be the God of War, his strategic mind and fighting skills shall be used to strike fear into our enemies to prevent future wars. He willingly offered to take a vow of celibacy in front of the Heavens, to accelerate and bless his spiritual growth.”

Shao Wan felt a strange sensation at his words, as if her stomach was dropping out of her body, while at the same time, something hot climbed up her throat.

“I was very content when I heard you had an interest in joining my school,” Father Immortal continued. “I knew you would benefit from my teachings - as all Demons would.”

But? There was a “but” coming, she felt it in the air. Nothing about what Father Immortal had just told her made a lot of sense to her. Did he not know his son lived to please him? Did he not know how much he would think Father Immortal’s decision was due to his failings? All the hard work… for nothing?

Father Immortals voice took on a commanding tone all of a sudden and she perked up. “There is one thing I cannot tolerate, however: You and my son. I will not tolerate such a union.”

She gaped at him. Union? Union? They had barely touched lips and Father Immortal was talking about a union?

“I…,” she bristled, wanting to rectify his mistake, but he did not let her speak.

“You cannot fully comprehend what I am saying, but I do know things you do not know… cannot know. I have looked at the stars. Should you dare to defy this, the consequences will be very dire.”

Her confusion must have shown, for he sighed. “Let’s just say that it is a thing of lineage.”

Ah, yes. She straightened. She, a woman with no family, born from a mysterious egg in a mountain, a Demon by choice. Him, Father Immortal’s true born son, representing everything Celestials were proud of. Fuxi will never let you near his precious offspring. You are scum to him and scum we’ll always be. She hadn’t begrudged Qing Jiang his words, because she knew them to be true, at least in essence.

“I understand,” she said with a firm voice. In truth though, she did not understand - neither his words, nor her own feelings. She had come here to protest his choice of successor. Instead, she had been told she could not marry his son. Why, by Pangu’s smoothly shaven balls, had this conversation taken such an unexpected turn?


Shao Wan found Mo Yuan in the mortal realms, in the Golden Dragon inn they had been to before for his birthday. There he sat, looking sad and lonely, eyes fixated on a plain, brown cup he kept turning back and forth in his hands. It was the first place she went to look for him and it pleased her a great deal that she had been right about his choice of hideaway.

“Look who’s moping,” she said and sat down at his table.

His head jerked up at the sound of her voice and his eyes grew a bit rounder when he realized who had just joined him. This time, they both were wearing disguises. Two male scholars, an inconspicuous and convenient choice for mortal world sejourns. Only, he did not seem to stop looking at her, as if her appearance was the most astounding thing he had ever seen.

“Is there something strange on my face?” she asked, brushing her hand over her nose and self-consciously touching the tight top-knot.

“No,” he answered quietly.

“Then stop staring,” she said. “It’s making me uncomfortable. I don’t like dressing as a man in the first place, it’s constricting.” She pointed to her poor, squashed breasts.

He looked, sighed, nodded and waved the innkeeper over, asking for a second cup. Soon, they were drinking wine and munching on crunchy snacks.

“You should come back to the school,” she said cautiously after a while, since it didn’t seem like he was going to talk at all, “your friends are worried.”

He snorted. Yes, she was still angry too. Sometimes, Donghua and Zhe Yan were hard to stomach.

“I’ve heard Mount Kunlun is very beautiful,” she continued, but as soon as she had said it, she pulled a face at her own stupidity. That was certainly not what he wanted to hear right now. He looked at her again. Intensely. How could eyes emit such heat? She quickly had to remind herself that she was rather angry with him for just leaving her in the Ghost Realm the last time, instead of waking her like any polite companion would have. However, she could not mobilize any anger, as hard as she tried, and felt slightly dizzy all of a sudden instead. Since when did his eyes have such an effect on her? Was he trying a new kind of magic?

“Mount Kunlun is not the problem,” he said.

“Ah,” she answered, feeling hot all over. “Good. Good.”

She put her hand on her forehead. Was she sick? He continued looking at her. She felt her heartbeat increase. The damn wine, it must be to blame! Maybe the innkeeper had spiked it?

“Right!” she said, suddenly dying for some air, “let’s go for a walk. It’s a fine spring day outside and I saw an artisan market in town.”

He nodded and fumbled in his sleeve for money. She was faster - again - and threw some coins on the table. “The next round is on you,” she declared and flashed Fuxi’s son a bright smile. He did not return it.


It really was a very fine spring day. The air was fragrant with the scent of cherry blossoms, the sun was warm and the town square was bustling with a fair that had much sights to offer, even for immortals. Walking along the stalls with this particular Celestial in such peace and harmony made Shao Wan happy. They had come a long way, she marveled. If their much improved relationship was any indication for the peace possible between the five tribes, the realms were heading towards a prosperous, harmonious future. It had not even taken a great effort.

“This is for you,” Mo Yuan said and pressed something into her hand. It was a beautiful jade ornament… a belt hook, she realized. He must have bought it when she had wandered off to look at some shawls. “For you to hang your whip,” he explained. He looked shy and apprehensive, like he was afraid she would reject his gift.

“It’s…,” she felt quite overwhelmed. There were nine dragons on it, playing with what seemed to be an egg. Bending a little forward and standing slightly on her toes, she planted a kiss on Mo Yuan's cheek. Initially, she had aimed for the mouth, but two scholars did not kiss on the mouth, at least not in public. Well, they did not kiss on the cheek either, but she didn’t think anybody was watching them in particular, and if, it could still be seen as affection between friends, “...lovely,” she concluded her sentence and blushed. Why was her face so eager to heat up these days? That had to stop.

“Are you hungry?” he asked with a husky voice that made her stomach flutter. She nodded. She felt like interlacing her fingers with his as they walked on, but that was out of the question. A taoist monk…

“How long will your vow be valid for?” she finally asked, the question she realized she had been burning to ask but didn’t think she wanted to have answered.

“88’888 years,” he replied immediately. “So you’ve talked to my father?”

She took a deep breath and nodded.

“He wants me to do it tomorrow,” Mo Yuan said quietly. “Apparently, it’s an auspicious date for vows.”

“Ah, better stock up as much cultivation as you can immediately, I guess,” she said. Willingly? It didn’t quite sound like it. That gave her some small satisfaction.

“I’m thinking about doing something irresponsible”, he whispered. Goosebumps spread all over her body, even though the sun was warm on her skin.

“I… I don’t think you should,” she whispered back. A man who followed rules, a man that everybody so inclined could look up to without hesitation. It was who he was, it was who he had to be.

“We are in the mortal realm, Demon Queen. Nobody needs to know.”

For a few breaths, everything seemed to stop around them. But ten, he broke the spell by taking her by the arm and leading her to a small business a little to the side. They served noodle soup - it smelled delicious. His eyes were on her all the time they sat there, she could feel them, burning, asking… she preferred to look down into her bowl, slurping noodles and chewing on tasty meat.

When she was done, she looked up and met his hot gaze.

“You have to stop looking at me like this,” she told him sternly.

“No,” he replied. “I will look at you all I want and for as long as I can.”

“You will still be at school, won’t you? For a while?” she asked. She briefly wondered whether she should chide him for being so dramatic about his situation - but then, she, too, felt like everything was going to change.

“Yes,” was his answer. “But I feel it won’t be enough time…” Enough time for what? “... to get to know you,” he concluded his sentence after a short moment of hesitation.

“Your father…,” she began.

“What did he tell you?” he demanded to know, something like anger flaring up in his dark eyes.

She pressed her lips together. It was embarrassing to talk about this. A union? Even the word offended her. Well, undeniably, the thought of the Celestial prodigy staying celibate for so long filled her with regret. Admittedly, she had thought about his kiss and about what could have followed a lot. But a union? Did Celestials really think there was only one possible tie between man and woman? Her attraction to him would not last long, she was sure. He was… too stuck up. Too boring. Too… she swallowed hard.

“That it’s a matter of lineage,” she said quietly. You and me… we cannot be.

“Lineage?” Mo Yuan frowned. “Lineage… yet, he hinted at larger things,” Mo Yuan continued. “I guess it has something to do with the Demon clan. Something in your prehistory. Something the Demons did that was very inauspicious?”

It was a possibility, Shao Wan thought. There was much she did not understand about how the Realms had come to be and the larger order of things. But why did it have to affect whom she could spend time with?

He paid for the noodles and they walked on, looking at more of the colorful items on display. Human ingenuity knew no bounds, she thought. It filled her with awe to see these frail beings make the most beautiful things with their powerless hands. How would it feel to know one’s life was short? How would one value time?

Time… they did not have much of it left themselves. About eight immortal hours? That was four months down here. Maybe she should ask him to stay here with her for a bit. She would grow bored of him and wouldn't feel regret afterwards.

She linked arms with him. Two friends walking down the street, enjoying a beautiful spring day. His body was warm and solid next to her, someone she would like to lean on from time to time. A body whose purpose was to become a symbol for Celestial virtue. A body that… their eyes met. She looked away quickly as her breath caught in her throat. It was possible he would laugh at her if she asked him. She lacked courage.

“Do you want to see the famous temple outside of town?” he asked her. “It is fabled to possess great healing powers and it must be situated in the most beautiful of valleys. A real gem, it is said.”

“Yes,” she said without hesitation.

They walked out of the town in silence, their grips on each other arms getting tighter the fewer people were around. The Celestial seemed to know the way and she was happy to follow him in silence. It was quite a long journey and just when she was about to start complaining that walking wasn’t something she enjoyed much, they stepped into a gorge that was green from moss and lush with periwinkle. “Ohhh,” she said and grabbed his hand. It reminded her very much of a similar place in the Demon Realm that she liked a lot. There were places in the mortal realms that felt like little pockets of eternal beauty, with the power of immortality flowing through them, and this certainly was one of them.

At the far end, a smallish, somewhat worn looking Buddhist temple stood on a little hill. The wind carried the faint sound of bells and the scent of burning incense in their direction. Yet, when they got there, they found themselves alone... whoever had lit the incense sticks had left. After passing the Guardians of the Four Directions in the front hall and smiling at the 'Laughing Buddha' with his fat paunch and joyous expression, Shao Wan nodded towards her favorite statue, the great Deva Wei To, the Projector of Buddhist temples and the Faith. Always clad in full armor and holding a scepter-shaped weapon resting on the ground, Wei To, a general under the Four Heavenly Kings, was the fiercest of the Buddhas and, as she had always thought, the most important. Without someone to protect what was of value, how could what had value persevere? Contemplating the statue, she realized that this one looked a bit like… Mo Yuan. Frowning, she threw the real Mo Yuan a look, but he seemed to have no interest in his Wei To lookalike. He was staring ahead, to the altar in the main hall.

On the altar sat a contemplative Gautama Buddha and his two foremost disciples. That was not what had caught the Celestial’s eyes, even though the statues were of exquisite workmanship. It was like Buddha was an afterthought here: For above him soared two beautiful creatures, their representations filling the entire wall. It was quite dark in the temple, but the gold, silver, red, blue, and green of the images glowed with an inner light.

“Fenghuang,” Mo Yuan whispered.

Hearing him call to her true form like that made Shao Wan quiver with the desire to transform into a Phoenix and grace this world with her presence. To fly with him.

“Golden Dragon,” she called back.

Mo Yuan growled. He started to shimmer golden, like the image of his true form on the wall. “I… can’t,” he said with much effort and obvious regret, “my presence will be known in the Heavens, they will send someone to investigate.”

“Not if… I hide our presence,” she said. So much like the Celestial tribe to monitor the true form transformations of their members. Control was everything to them. But she possessed something of Celestial powers Celestials did not have control over.

Her hand went to her belt, to her whip. His eyes followed her movements. “All they’ll see is a Celestial thunderstorm,” she told him. “Just don’t… let yourself be caught by the whip once I activate its special powers, please. It’s very unpleasant, to say the least.”


Once the sky above them was busy being angry like a proper Celestial thunderstorm, shielding them perfectly from prying eyes from above, she transformed. It had been a while and when she found herself in her graceful bird form, she screamed in joy as she took to the air. Mo Yuan, still human, looked up at her with reverence.

“You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” he said and transformed as well. As soon as it was done, the whip returned to her, clearing up the skies.

Fenghuang felt instinctive fright at first, because Golden Dragon was very powerful and looked ferocious. Like liquid gold, his body streaked through the air and around her, his scales crackling with his energy. But he obviously meant her no harm, so she allowed herself to relax.

“Let’s fly to the moon together,” he said with a deep, rumbling voice that resonated in her skull.

“It’s not even out, you silly dragon,” she teased him. “Let’s fly towards the sun instead!”

“Haha,” he laughed, “the sun? Don’t you know it’s fire and burns you? No, I will build you a castle in the clouds. One befitting a Queen such as you are.”

“A castle in the clouds?” she quipped. “One that will float apart as soon as the West Wind blows? You have to do better, Golden Dragon, to woo me.”

He came very close then and nipped her in the neck, lightning quick. “Ouch! You brute!” she screamed.

“This is how dragons woo,” he rumbled, “you don’t like it?”

“Look at my slender neck!” she cried, “and look at your huge snout! A little bit too much wooing and my neck will snap apart!”

“I’ll only woo a little then,” he nodded and moved forward again. This time, she quickly dodged his attempt to bite her and flew higher up. He eagerly followed. The silly dragon probably did not know that wooing her wasn’t necessary at all. For how could she see him in his magnificence and not want to be with him forever?

He was the yin to her yang. Together, they were perfect harmony. A union between them… how was this not meant to be? To lose herself in him, to be one, not two. That was her purpose.

The streaked across the skies together for hours, until the night fell and the stars shone their silvery light on them. It was then Golden Dragon gently grabbed his Fenghuang’s slender neck with his claw and guided her to a small cave in the mountains.

She put some of her feathers there and he shed a few scales. They built a nest together for them to sit in. It was warm and very cozy. Golden Dragon rumbled soothingly in his throat and gently blew his breath on her. She felt very content like this.

Until… until she realized her human wanted something else. Her human wanted the other human. Very much.

She remembered everything then. Realization brought pain. So little time.

“Mo Yuan,” she whispered.

“Shao Wan,” he whispered back.

They transformed into human form at the very same time, two immortals in a nest in a cave high up in the mountains, slightly shivering from the sudden cold on their unprotected skins and the excitement that suddenly gripped both of them.

“Yes… I am going to do something very irresponsible,” he said and bent forward to kiss her.

Chapter 12a