Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 15 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 15

written by kakashi & Panda
editing/consultig by LigayaCroft


With full force, Mo Yuan slammed the pickaxe down. Sparks flew to all sides and the jolt from the impact snaked up his arms like Celestial lightning.

Of course, with my kind of luck, Donghua has chosen to go travelling too. The Heavens are frantically trying to catch a renegade traitor who plundered the Dragon Shrine - Clang! - but the most powerful of all living Gods besides myself thinks it is more important to enjoy his time traipsing about - Clang! - with his family somewhere in the Fox Realm than to provide his services to all immortals.

Five more forceful blows and the black rock finally splintered. Using one side of the pickaxe as a lever, Mo Yuan dislodged a big piece of stone. Squatting down, he lifted it up and hurled it onto a growing pile to the side.

He swung again.


What made him angrier? That both Donghua and Zhe Yan cared not one tiny bit about the fate of the realms? That Ye Hua had insisted he should return to the Demon Realm right away, since nobody could know of the Dragon Shrine incident and anything else would be suspicious? Or that Yu Dian claimed not to know where the Mirror of Souls was?


“I will make enquiries with regards to its whereabouts”, the Demon had said with a polite bow. Mo Yuan snorted cynically at the memory. The Green Lord’s attentive politeness was a powerful weapon, he couldn’t even dislike him because of it. But Mo Yuan was sure Yu Dian knew exactly where the Mirror was. In fact, he suspected Yu Dian knew a lot more than he let on, about all kinds of things. How Mo Yuan knew? Instinct.

The innocent had one look and Yu Dian had another. The Green Lord was hiding something. Something worth risking the wrath of the God of War over.

Mo Yuan threw another piece of stone onto the pile. He would use them for the wall, after he had hewed them into the right size to make them fit well on top of each other. Suddenly, he remembered a certain mortal world and a certain house he had built there with a pang of sorrow. It must be in ruins, too much time had passed.

A small sound to the side made him turn his head in sudden alarm. But it was only a maid who peeked out from behind a rock. When she realized she had been spotted, she stepped forward demurely.

“Yes?” he asked curtly, not welcoming the interruption.

“High God Ambassador, would you like some refreshments,” she whispered, eyes properly downcast.

He had almost yelled at them yesterday and he felt sorry for it. But to be followed by a giggling flock of young women when walking through the palace was decidedly against his wishes and had been a huge strain on his already taut nerves, so he had raised his voice to tell them to stay away.

He straightened his back and moved his hand over his forehead, finding it surprisingly wet. He wasn’t used to sweating like this, but it was quite hot in the Demon Realm. It was very attentive of the servants to think a beverage would be welcome even before he himself had realized how thirsty he was.

She had brought a beverage and two wet cloths, he noticed with growing appreciation, as the maid handed them to him to wipe his face and his hands. The drink she served him afterwards was a bit sour, but it sparkled in his throat and made him feel refreshed instantly.

“My thanks,” Mo Yuan said when he handed back the cup. Her eyes grew huge when they met his. He scowled. Not even his disciples had dared look him in the eye like this. Upon seeing his displeasure, she made a small whimpering sound and ran away hastily.

Mo Yuan sighed and shook his head. Would he have to ask Yu Dian for guidance? Celestial maids most certainly were not as forthright and never as emotional, at least not when he had last had to deal with them. Suddenly, he felt a wave of nostalgia wash over him. Kunlun… there it had all been so easy.

He gripped his pickaxe again and continued to hack away at the the rock. It had surprised him to discover that the rock around the Obsidian Palace was immune to magic. Not only his magic, but all magic. It seemed to be a special feature of obsidian rock and it meant Shao Wan had carved out the palace by hand.

If she could carve out a whole palace by hand, he should be able to do the same for a garden.

His robe felt restricting. It was soaked with sweat by now and he could not move as he wanted to. Looking around and finding himself alone, he pondered the pros and cons of taking the robe off. It was very untoward to do this in public, but ever since his visit to the Thirty Six Heavens, and his reluctant return to the Obsidian Palace, he felt a great deal of residual anger and he thought that maybe, defying the Celestial sense of propriety would help him to get rid of some of it.

I don’t understand why you are wearing clothes anyway, Golden Dragon rumbled. It makes transformation much more complicated.

At least his true form was content these days. It meant Mo Yuan the Human could concentrate on other things. In times like these, he realized how much of an effort it normally took him to keep his true form in check. Don’t fight me all the time. Golden Dragon hummed with the certainty that his Fenghuang would come back to him and was content the human form had finally come to the same conclusion. Of course, he cared little about the plundering of the Dragon Shrine. Don’t be so sure nothing can harm you, Mo Yuan scolded his true form, but that was futile anyway.

He took the robe off.

Moving became easier after that and he soon also took off the second robe, since it stuck to his skin in an unpleasant way. After that had come off too, he realized it actually hadn’t been the second robe that was uncomfortable, but the third layer.

Am I really standing here in my undergarments?

You might as well take everything off now,
Golden Dragon laughed. Isn’t there a light breeze? It will feel good on your skin.

Mo Yuan took off his white tunic. To have his skin exposed to the gentle wind and the warm sun did feel good. Swinging the pickaxe became easier too and he made excellent progress afterwards. He concentrated on his breathing when he swung the tool and it became meditative in no time.

He only became aware of his surroundings again when somebody cleared his throat. The heat of the day was gone and the temperature was much more balmy. The evening was near. Mo Yuan stopped chipping stone and turned around. It was Yu Dian who had approached silently, wearing a sleeveless leather tunic, his hair in a loose ponytail. He had murmured something that sounded a bit like “no wonder they are so flustered”, but caught himself instantly and his face turned into the usual polite mask.

“Have you found the mirror?” Mo Yuan asked him with a frown and put the pickaxe down.

“I am sorry to say that I have not,” Yu Dian answered with a small bow, “but I do have a lead I believe could be valuable to find its whereabouts.”

He is a liar, Golden Dragon remarked and curled up to go to sleep.

“Then why have you come?”

“I went to the library and you were not there.”

Ah, right. They had agreed to look through the records of the Obsidian Palace together again. But since Mo Yuan had found plans of a garden that Shao Wan had wanted to build, he had forgotten his other duties.

“Very impressive,” Yu Dian breathed and looked at Mo Yuan’s work with unhidden admiration.

Mo Yuan followed his eyes. He had made excellent progress and had levelled a very large patch, with walls that were recognizable as such.

This one will not be allowed inside, Golden Dragon remarked. I will guard the entrance. This is only for me and Fenghuang. We will build our nest here.

The thought of a naked Shao Wan sitting in a nest pleased Mo Yuan a great deal… that was disturbing. His true form was confusing him… again. Ah, but they had made love in a nest, had they not… fine, he would let Golden Dragon build a nest in here. A large and sturdy nest.

Build the garden faster, Gold Dragon ordered, we will soon be reunited and I want it to be ready then.

“Shall I ask the Overlord for some soil to be delivered?” Yu Dian inquired, still looking at Mo Yuan’s work with awe.

“I would be grateful,” Mo Yuan answered and put his clothes back on. Yu Dian lingered.


“High God Mo Yuan, I think you should come to the Gates.”

“To the Gates? Why?”

“Ah…,” Yu Dian squirmed a little. “There’s… somebody there to see you.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Well… Demons. Many, many demons. They’re all queuing up to fight you.”


Tian Gu would never have thought it possible, but she was having an amazing time at the Demon Kingdom. The people are so much more fun than I have been taught they are! Except the maids she thought to herself, her expression darkening. She had never seen such aggressive, thirsty women. They fought themselves for the honor to serve Shifu and just today, she had heard a particularly bold one mutter that she would have him at all costs.

Have him! At all costs!

She was glad that her noble Shifu did not care about such women and on top of that, was much too busy to fall into their machinations. After training her and the guards in the early morning hours, he disappeared to work on what she had heard was going to be a garden. Rumors had it he was building it in the memory of the Demon Ancestor. One maid had claimed she had seen him cry, staring forlorn into the distance, his hair blowing in the wind… and all of them had made excited cooing noises while imagining to comfort him and mend his shattered heart.

Tian Gu snorted. If she ever felt magnanimous, she would describe to them what he truly looked like with his hair unbound. They would all faint and be quiet.

Trying to be a good disciple, she had volunteered to help with this task of his but he had given her a lot of scrolls to study instead. Once done copying scripture and learning things by heart he would later quiz her about, she was free to explore the castle at her own will. That often happened in the company of Yu Dian, who was very curious to learn many things about her. Later on in the evenings, Shifu would summon her and delegate her to help him with the gaggle of children that increased everyday in size.

It had all started only a few day after their arrival. A long queue of Demons at the Gates had waited more or less patiently for their turn to duel with the God of War. She had been very upset about it and had raged about the slight to Yu Dian but he had shrugged and explained to her that that was the Demon Way - his people mainly gained cultivation through fighting and the lure of challenging the esteemed God of War was one that was too heady to ignore.

Shifu had been calm about the situation as usual, but refused to fight. “If I fight one, I will have to fight everyone, which will take me years - but I have promised your Overlord to help her with some issues she has,” he had explained. The Demons had been very disappointed but after awhile, most had left. The most tenacious though were a group of children. They simply would not leave.

“Orphans,” Yu Dian had explained. “There were many casualties during the war and sadly, in some parts of the Demon Realm, the left-behind spouse likes to join their partner in death.”

Shifu had said to go out for a walk that evening. And the next. Outside, he had taught the children a bit of martial arts. Also the next day. And the next. Before long, Demons were flocking to the gates again, but this time to bring their kids for lessons.

He cannot escape being a teacher, Tian Gu thought fondly. Kunlun follows him everywhere.

She was done with her lessons for the day. Now, she was going to explore the North Wing, she decided and picked up her pace before ramming straight unto someone. Yu Dian, her senses registered and immediately her heart started beating faster.

“Princess,” he greeted with a slight smile on his face that made her stomach flutter.

She rolled her eyes at him. “Oh stop it. I have told you to cease calling me that.”

“I keep forgetting,” he bowed, “and are you not of royal blood even though you prefer the back of a horse to a throne?” He moved to stand next to her and took her arm in his. “So, where are we off to exploring today?”

It took a few seconds for Tian Gu to get over the heat that washed over at the sensation of his hand over hers. Clearing her throat, she replied with some delay, “I- I was thinking the North Tower. I heard that was one of the main living areas?”

“Good choice. The Demon Ancestor did most of her hosting there,” he nodded as they walked arm in arm towards the wing.

As always, Tian Gu marveled at the wild beauty of the Obsidian Palace as they were moving along, chatting about the Celestial Realm and other things. All the wings were so different. This one they were touring had clearly been designed for hospitality. It had a lot of amazingly furnished rooms which all opened into a magnificent and huge hall.

“This was the war council room,” Yu Dian informed her. “But during times of peace, this was where festivities and dances occured.”

“Dances?” Tian Gu repeated. “Court dances?”

Yu Dian looked at her in some confusion. “You do not know what dances are, Princess?”

“Of course I do, even though I have not attended one for many millennia...” She stopped, remembering the merry days in her parents’ palace, and took a deep breath before continuing. “I was just surprised to hear the Demon Ancestor held dances. I never heard that Demons liked that kind of....”

Yu Dian turned to her with an uncharacteristically stern expression. “Tian Gu, we are not animals. Just like the Foxes, we are far removed from our primitive namesakes. We live immortal life to the fullest of our capabilities. We fight to gain cultivation, drink to be merry and-” his gaze dropped to her mouth slowly and then back to her eyes as he moved closer till there was barely any room between them, “love with all passion. We have plenty.”

Tian Gu swallowed compulsively. His masculine scent was overpowering.

Finally, she thought and closed her eyes in anticipation of a kiss.

Someone cleared their throat. Alarmed, Tian Gu tried to move back, but Yu Dian held her glued to him with a hand at the small of her back. “It is only Yue,” he said with a glance over her shoulder. He sounded annoyed.

Yue bowed stiffly to her and then turned to Yu Dian. He also sounded annoyed. “I have an urgent message for you from the Demon Overlord.”

Nodding at Yi Mei Niang’s Head of Guards, but still not taking his eyes off Tian Gu, Yu Dian said. “Let us celebrate tonight.”

“A celebration of what?” Tian Gu gulped.

“It hardly matters, Princess. We can simply call it a celebration of life.”

Tian Gu giggled at the expression but then shook her head solemnly. “Shifu would not allow it.”

“Leave that to me,” Yu Dian laughed. “He came here to learn about our customs, did he not? And the first thing he should learn is that we Demons are very spontaneous. Talking about dances made me want to dance very badly. So, a dance we will have,” Yu Dian said with a mischievous grin and finally released her.

He went to a corner to confer with Yue in whispers and came back smiling although his companion looked grim as usual. “I shall see you at the party tonight, Princess!” he declared. “I will have a dress for you delivered!” Leaving her all excited, he left with the soldier.

Tian Gu was amazed at the speed with which things were arranged after that. She would have sworn Shifu would refuse, he was hardly the type for festivities, but Yu Dian must possess special skills of persuasion, because the entire household went into a frenzy to make this “celebration of life” possible, without any interference from the God of War.

At nightfall, the festivities started. Almost miraculously, the hall filled with brightly attired Demons, enjoying the music and the wine and food supplied in a never ending stream of plates carried in from the kitchen. The little students were also there, proudly showing off their new skills.

She spied Shifu in a dark blue robe, smiling at them. The sight gave her much joy. This place was truly good for him, she thought, he finally doesn’t look like he wants to walk into Nothingness anymore.

She looked for Yu Dian, but he was nowhere in sight. “Excuse me,” a low voice called near her then. She whirled in anticipation that deflated completely when she saw it was Yue.

“Oh, you again. I thought you left earlier.”

He frowned. Then, he pointed at the cup she was holding. “The Demon Overlord sent me back with wine for the Celebration and had me tell the God of War that although she could not attend in person, she very much approves of such activities.”

Tian Gu, her attention once again diverted as she searched the crowd, barely listened. But suddenly, her brain registered that he had asked her a question. “What did you say?” she asked incredulously.

“I asked if you would like to have a dance with me?” he repeated.

“I heard you, whatever for?” she asked, still surprised.

“I like dancing,” he told her earnestly. “And you look… stunning.”

Tian Gu stared at him. Stunning? She was just wearing a dress. Still, she felt it would be rude to simply brush him aside. I will have just one dance, she resolved and pushing all feelings of discomfort aside with the hope of enjoying herself to the fullest, she emptied her cup and stepped to a corner of the hall. Looking across to her partner, she scowled. It had been very dark that time she had taken him captive. No wonder she kept failing to recognize him. It didn’t help that he had obviously braided his hair just for the occasion.

They turned in the hall, the unfamiliar steps causing Tian Gu to stumble and almost fall until she was stabilized by a hard pair of hands. Once she righted herself, she murmured her gratitude but he simply continued dancing.

Her gaze once more wandered over her partner’s face and then settled on his mouth. It was a nice mouth, she decided, and she was immediately struck by the realization that it was strange for her to notice his mouth.

An elbow painfully digging into her side from their dancing neighbors made her realize she had again missed the steps. Once more, he helped her right herself. “You seem distracted,” he said, “do you want to stop?”

“Oh, not at all,” she said, hoping he would not notice how strange her voice sounded. She eyed him discreetly, noticing how broad his shoulders appeared in his robe.

“Is there something on my attire?” he asked.

She immediately took her eyes away and kept them aimed straight ahead of her. “No, of course not.”

“Then why do you appraise me?”

Embarrassed and slightly annoyed at his questions, she snapped, “I was just comparing how you looked now to back in the war when I had you trussed in front of me, noticing the changes.“

He stopped dancing and fixed her with an impenetrable look. “Changes? What changes?”

She looked towards the other dancers who ignored them, not wanting to meet his suddenly disquieting gaze. Finally she snuck a glance at him again and was hit by the fact that Yue was a very handsome man indeed. His dark eyes were mesmerizing in their intensity.

By the Horse Gods, what was happening to her? Was it the Demon air that was making her suddenly man mad? It was so confusing.

“Thank you for your help,” she said, ignoring his question. “I am aware my dancing is terrible and I think I should stop now before I squash somebody’s feet.” She looked up at him with a hesitant smile. Now she was even feeling sorry?

He looked at her and then, the corner of his mouth titled. “I enjoyed everything. You may squash my feet anytime.”

Tian Gu blinked and blinked, for what seemed a very long time, and actually jumped when a hand snuck around her waist.

“Am I late?” Yu Dian whispered into her ear and nodded haughtily at Yue, who bowed to Tian Gu and disappeared. “But I see you enjoyed yourself without me.”

Tian Gu managed a nod, her mind still swirling with confusing and conflicting thoughts.

Yu Dian stared at her. “Come, let me take you somewhere. You look like you could use some air.”

They wove through the throng, Yu Dian clearing a path among the Demons, Tian Gu’s hand firmly clasped in his. They navigated out of the hall and out of the North Wing, into a small courtyard. Tian Gu breathed in the night air deeply. She felt dizzy.

Moving close to her, Yu Dian took her second hand in his, his eyes fixed on hers. “Tian Gu,” he whispered. “Tian Gu, do you know how beautiful you are?”

His head moved forward and Tian Gu closed her eyes firmly, not least because the dizziness surged. His lips met hers. My first real kiss, her mind shouted in delight. But why did she feel so ill? She felt the softness of his lips, the way his arms moved to grip her shoulders to move her closer to him, his breath on her face. The intrusion of his tongue however had her jerk her head back.

Yu Dian eyes snapped open. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“No… nothing,” she stammered. “I was just taken off guard. I...this...”

His eyes glinting possessively, Yu Dian once again moved close to her. “Then let us take it slowly-”

“Tian Gu,” Shifu’s voice resonated in the small space of the courtyard and she jumped in fright. The God of War stood to the side and said in his stern voice “time for bed”. Yu Dian cursed softly under his breath, and then, with obvious reluctance, released her.

Tian Gu took a few seconds to compose herself before she turned toward her room. Mixed with the mortification at being caught by Shifu was the realization that she had felt relief at being interrupted.

Relief! What was happening to her?

Her head reeling, she fell on her bed and breathed in and out deeply in an attempt to fight the nausea that swept through her.


Mo Yuan was far less furious than he had thought he would be. He even felt a sense of relief that what he had expected had already come to pass, with relatively little harm to his disciple. He had observed her and her surrounding carefully all night, quite certain that his foes would reveal themselves at this occasion.

Yi Mei Niang’s Head of Guards was clearly here to report back to the Overlord. But the sullen look on the boy’s face changed whenever he set eyes on Tian Gu, who shone like a beacon tonight, in a blue dress that matched her eyes, her hair braided in Demon fashion.

Clearly, this man, who seemed unable to hide his feelings, was truly smitten. That left the other, whose eyes spoke of a complicated mix of things.

“Who drugged the wine?” Mo Yuan demanded to know from the Demon Lord in front of him. “I don’t think Yi Mei Niang would dare.”

Yu Dian shrugged. He no longer looked polite right now, but wary. Beating him unconscious would have given Mo Yuan some satisfaction, but he knew dealing with the aftermath would be a headache. Emissaries or Ambassadors did not fight people, unless they were attacked first.

“You could not possibly think I would drink it,” Mo Yuan snorted. “You were after my disciple from the beginning, were you not. To entice her, so that you could get information from her?”

Yu Dian shrugged again.

“Even to kidnap her? You disappoint me. Do you think me that incapable?”

Yu Dian pressed his lips together. Maybe it wasn’t his plan at all. Maybe he was just lending a helping hand.

“It is not an honorable thing to do,” Mo Yuan said. “She is very young and naive. But she is also under my protection. If you touch her again, I will make sure you are immediately removed from your duties. Permanently.”

Mo Yuan took a step forward, which had the Green Demon Lord take a hasty step back. “I am assuming some rebel leaders are here tonight? It is convenient. Why don’t you call for a meeting. Right now. It will spare me the hassle of travelling to Huang Juéwàng myself to hear their grievances.”

Yu Dian frowned deeply.

“I want to finish the garden in the coming days,” Mo Yuan said. “And I am sure we can all come to an agreement quickly. I can be very persuasive.”

Chapter 16