Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 18 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 18

written by kakashi
edited by LigayaCroft & Panda 

When Shao Wan took one last, shuddering breath and her heart stopped beating, Mo Yuan jumped forward and started pouring cultivation into her without restraint and entirely without thinking.

Mo Yuan, the God of War, was a very powerful Deity who had a lot of cultivation. In the Immortal Realms, it was the most powerful of Gods that should understand the consequences of cheating the Laws of the Universe best because they had lived the longest, which they would not have, had they not obeyed it.

Transferring one’s cultivation, especially in large quantities, was decidedly against these Laws.

But this powerful God did not care.

A life without her, Mo Yuan knew he did not want to live it. Whatever the cost.


~ 330’000 years ago ~

I won’t be afraid, Mo Yuan tried to persuade himself. I won’t be afraid. I won’t be afraid…

But he was. He was terrified. His mouth was dry, his limbs were shaking, his heart wanted to jump out of his chest - the sound of its frantic beating almost as loud in his ears as the fast approaching thunder.

Not too long ago, Mo Yuan had proudly showed his Father Lord what he could do with that other power that was sometimes available to him. The first time he had felt it at his fingertips, he had shied away and established a protective shield, because it had been very wild, instantly trying to establish a hold over him. Curiously, this wild power seemed to reside in living things, plants, also, as he found out, animals. Later, he had bravely started to draw the power forth and mould it between his hands, eager to please his Father with his new skill.

But when he had shown him the sparkling golden rain and little exploding flowers he could conjure with it, his Father had not been pleased at all.

“Never again!” he said, his voice the dangerous calm Mo Yuan feared the most, “will you use this power.”

Mo Yuan had kowtowed, putting his forehead to the floor, horrified to have done something unfilial and forbidden.

“You know what happens when we cheat the Will of the Heavens?” his Father had asked sternly.

Cheat? He had cheated? Mo Yuan had felt fear rise inside of him. His ascension trial was impending.

“Punishment,” he had answered, trying to control his shaking voice. “Father Lord, the Universe punishes those who cheat.”

“Yes.” His Father had confirmed. “Cheating will lead to punishment. Using impure powers, or giving or taking power is absolutely forbidden. It is why Fungal Grass is such a dangerous temptation.”

Fungal Grass was used to purify the soul. Mo Yuan knew his Father Lord had been very worried immortals might use it to cheat their way to divinity so he had burned away all of it in the Realms, leaving only a little in Yingzhou toward the East Sea. That last patch of Grass was guarded by four magical, ferocious Beast that had cost his Father half his cultivation.

“Please forgive me, Father Lord,“ Mo Yuan had begged, “I will never to it again.“

“It is not for me to forgive,” his Father Lord had said, his voice softening somehow, “it is just for me to teach you right from wrong. As my only son, you will be one of the Realms’ most venerated Deities. You can never misstep.”

But he already had misstepped and now as he faced his Lightning Trial, he waited for his punishment.

Mo Yuan was certain he was going to die.

The dark clouds rushed towards the Terrace of Heavenly Wrath on which he was standing, filling the entire sky around him, robbing the ever-bright Heavens of their cheerful glow for a short amount of time. To both sides of him, guards kneeled, their heads bowed in reverence to what they were about to witness. Behind him, he knew his maids kneeled in a similar position. At the bottom of the stairs, his Father Lord stood, back straight, face impassive, his hands behind his back. His Father’s calmness did not help to lessen Mo Yuan’s panic… quite the opposite. His Father Lord’s trust in his abilities weighed heavy, making the upcoming failure all the more horrible.

It was almost a relief when the first bolt hit.

It snaked across the sky in the brightest of fires, momentarily blinding Mo Yuan. He had to close his eyes even though he had vowed he would face his end with them wide open. The pain when the lightning entered his body was excruciating and yet instantly solved Mo Yuan’s panic problem.

Pain meant he was alive and if he was alive, he had not been punished.

He should have known better.

The fourth bolt did not hit him, but his favorite maid behind him. Without the softness of her body and the safeness of her arms, his life would have been filled with hardness only.

She did not scream, but there was a brief, high-pitched, terrified whimper from her before she turned to ash. That sound haunted Mo Yuan’s waking and sleeping hours for many, many years.

But he learned this day. Punishment came in many forms. Harm to oneself was only one of them. Much worse was punishment that came in the form of punishment for somebody else. To cause grief to people one cherished, even loved... it was the worst form of torture.

And the Universe knew how to punish most effectively and most cruelly.


~ Present Day ~

“Is she alive?” Mo Yuan’s first words were when he came to. His body felt like he had undergone Lightning Torment for a thousand years.

“Some things never change,” Zhe Yan sighed and frowned at him.

“Is she alive?” Mo Yuan repeated, struggling into a sitting position.

“Which one are you asking about?” the Old Phoenix wanted to know, handing him a cup full of something that smelled horrible and, Mo Yuan was sure, tasted very bitter.

“Shao Wan,” Mo Yuan answered, not taking the cup, “is she alive?”

Zhe Yan’s frown deepened. “I did not know something was wrong with your head. I think I need to examine you again. Lie down.”

But Mo Yuan had finally managed to sit up and there was nothing that would keep him in this bed longer than the few moments he needed to gather enough strength to go see her.

“So I saved her?”

“Well, yes, you did. But you almost lost yourself in the process. That Disciple of yours prevented it,” Zhe Yan informed him, “I just happened to think it an opportune moment to go see how my friend fared in foreign lands. I must have special Mo Yuan instincts. Or maybe, you just always get yourself in trouble so it doesn’t matter when I come see you, I’m always needed. Will you drink this elixir now?”

“Tian Gu?” Mo Yuan asked puzzled.

“She has the strangest of powers... I’ve never seen anything like it.” Zhe Yan said thoughtfully. “That said, what exactly have you been doing with yours in the Demon Realm?”

Mo Yuan did not understand how Tian Gu came into all this, but it was true, she was always looking out for him. He also did not understand what Zhe Yan’s other comment was supposed to mean, so he decided to say nothing. But he took the cup from Zhe Yan’s demanding hand and carefully sniffed the fumes. His stomach revolted instantly. Obviously, Zhe Yan was convinced he needed punishment.

“And you thought letting loose a maelstrom of cultivation was a good idea?“ Zhe Yan asked.

Mo Yuan pressed his lips together.

“It’s not that you do not know what happens to Immortals who pour too much of their cultivation into somebody else, right?”

“Of course I know,“ Mo Yuan said quietly.

“Luckily, that Horse Tribe woman drew on power I’ve never seen before and managed to tie you down with it. Amazing, but she stopped you. Ah, don’t worry, she is fine. Or at least will be. That Demon Lord is taking good care of her.”

“What about Shao Wan?”

“You mean that Immortal who is disguised as a man I assume? She’s alive and conscious.” Zhe Yan moved closer to be able to peer into his eyes.

Mo Yuan felt relief so great he could have shouted in joy. “It’s Shao Wan, Zhe Yan,” he said, “she is back.”

“But there is nothing…”

“I just know, Old Phoenix,” Mo Yuan said. “Really, I…”

“Stop,” Zhe Yan said. “Lie down. Lie down I said!” He pushed against Mo Yuan’s shoulder with force to get him to comply. “You listen, Mo Yuan.” He then said, hovering above him like a father would hover over his unruly sick child. “If it is true, if… let’s say I believe you. If Shao Wan’s soul is inside that body, there are a few things we need to carefully consider. And now, you drink the potion.”

This time, Mo Yuan complied. It was as horrible as he had suspected, but effective, like all of Zhe Yan’s concoctions.

“I need to see her,” he told his friend with urgency once he had his to body’s need to retch under control, “really, I need to talk to her. She…”

“I said you lie down,” Zhe Yan said and this time, he sounded quite angry. “You will not go see her before we discuss this in detail.”


“You are a fool!” Zhe Yan growled, “do you think you finding Shao Wan’s soul inside a weak Immortal’s body is the end of your troubles? It’s only the beginning. Do you think Shao Wan, the Savior of the Realms, would have been punished to live hundreds of lives in the Mortal Realms if she had not done something to deserve this punishment? Think, Mo Yuan. Think!”

Of course, Mo Yuan had wondered about this.

“It is why I want to talk to her,” he said defensively.

“She cannot talk,” Zhe Yan said. “There is a curse on her.”

“See?” Mo Yuan said, excited all over again, “isn’t that proof that…”

“It is proof that Fate, your old friend, is very angry and does not want anybody to know it is her. From what I could find out, she ascended even though she probably should not have. If Fate…”

If Fate did not want them together, then insisting on being together could bring down another calamity. But Mo Yuan did not want to believe this.

“I will persuade Fate that she is mine,” Mo Yuan declared.

“The Heavens help us,” Zhe Yan sighed. “Let me run as far away as possible first.”

“We need to find out what she has done wrong,” Mo Yuan said, “we can rectify it and she will be free of the burden.”

“Or not.” Zhe Yan grumbled. “Listen, Mo Yuan. I examined that… “Shao Wan”. I was looking for a hidden seal, anything to act against this curse. I am convinced that her body is the seal.”

“Her body?”

“She is entirely trapped in it. And she ingested an artefact of yours?”

“It was hers. A flask I bought her in the Mortal Realm.”

Zhe Yan made some hmmm-hmmmmm sound and started pacing around the room. Seeing this as an opportunity to get up, Mo Yuan swung his legs out of bed, earning him a scathing look from the physician.

“And what was in that flask?” Zhe Yan then asked, obviously giving up the fight, since he said nothing as Mo Yuan got himself dressed.

“That I do not know,” Mo Yuan quietly said, “but it must be valuable because she hid it really well.”

Zhe Yan made some more hmmmm-hmmmmmmmm sounds and threw him a look Mo Yuan could not quite interpret. “You know what it is?” he asked.

“I have my suspicion,” Zhe Yan mumbled. “Whether I’m right or not does not matter, what does matter is that her body isn’t powerful enough to contain what is inside of her. It is sucking all the cultivation out of her.”

“I will give her more!” Mo Yuan instantly declared.

“You’ve done quite enough damage,” Zhe Yan sighed. “If you do this again, you might kill her. No, I will go get some cultivation pills from my stack.”

“When will she be strong enough to survive on her own?” Mo Yuan asked.

Zhe Yan shook his head. “I am not sure. We are looking at many millennia of rigorous meditation and cultivation practice. Maybe 60’000 years?”

“I will make sure she keeps practicing!” Mo Yuan said. It was doable. She was back. They had time. And he had patience… usually a lot of it.

“Well,” Zhe Yan said, “there might be another problem.”

“Another problem?” Mo Yuan echoed. Of course they would be.

“The curse,” Zhe Yan said. “I am pretty sure it’s to blame for her death today. Or rather, it’s you.”


“You cannot touch her. If you do, the Seal will react, which is going to be to much for her in her weakened state. It’s probably best if you stay away from her as far as possible. Which means at least an arm’s length. You hear me?”


Thank you, Shao Wan thought, her eyes filling with tears and slowly spilling over, thank you for recognizing me.

Her heart wanted to break at how Mo Yuan looked at her. He was obviously struggling against his need to hug her, in fact, he got up two times, walked forward, caught Zhe Yan’s eyes, bit his lip and went back to sit down again.

But they could not touch. When she had woken up in his arms, she had instantly known that this was bad, even before the pain had robbed her breath away and her senses had left her.

I will go find my body, Mo Yuan, she told him in her head, I will go and find Fong Hung, and he will know where it is. I told him to take good care of it.

“There is Chìbǎng poison left in your system, Shifu,” his female Disciple told him with a weak voice, “I am sorry to be so blunt, but I told you to be mindful and… I am sorry for meddling again, but I think I remember how to remove it entirely. Your physician here, the High God Zhe Yan has assured me you would follow my lead even if he doesn't stay with us. Please, Shifu. I…”

“Do not worry, Eighteenth,” Mo Yuan said, “I will do as you advise this time.”

Shao Wan did not want him to listen to that woman. She did not want him to talk to her at all, but because she could not say a single word herself to Mo Yuan did not mean he had no right to talk to others. She had to be content for the moment to sit still and watch that long-limbed, boyish thing with the strange blue eyes carefully, not least because almost all the men in this room, including Yue, whom she had really not expected to be here, seemed quite fixated on her.

The eerie blue eyes were turned in her direction and with a deep frown, Tian Gu pouted at her.

I am watching you carefully, Shao Wan thought and glared back. I remember you well from that time in my tent.

“I thought that was to blame for how strange your powers looked,” Zhe Yan added, looking thoughtful, “but I am not sure. How well do Demon Powers yield to you?”

“As is expected for a High God,” was Mo Yuan’s short answer. His eyes sought hers and lingered. Shao Wan felt her face flush deeply. She wanted to be alone with him. Alone, naked and in bed. Just looking at him was not enough. She needed to show him how glad she was to be back, how much she loved him for recognizing her when nobody else had been able to.

“Oh well, not my problem to solve,” Zhe Yan said and got up. “Everyone alive and breathing again for the time being? Excellent. Then I wish you success,” he addressed Mo Yuan and Lian Song, “so that you may finally apprehend that traitor and bring him to justice. I for my part will return to the Peach Grove where I will think long and hard about a few things.”

Shao Wan looked into the eyes of the Old Phoenix and nodded eagerly, but that was about all the curse would allow her to do.

“Very well,” Lian Song said and slapped his hands onto his knees, “we are finally leaving tomorrow?”

Mo Yuan nodded briefly.

“Then I shall check my luggage,” Lian Song said, “and will spend some more time in the library. It is quite excellent, to my surprise.”

You arrogant Celestial, Shao Wan fumed, did you think Demons cannot read?

“It is one of the finest libraries in all the Realms, especially for texts about martial arts”, Yu Dian said firmly. “Demon Ancestor Shao Wan spared no expense to find the rarest and most valuable books on the subject. I hear not even Kunlun can compare.”

“Ha!” Zhe Yan laughed, “no offense, Demon Lord, but you have obviously never been to Kunlun. There are many, many caves and about half of them contain books.”

“If we put the two libraries together,” Mo Yuan said and smiled at her, “we shall have an immortal’s lifetime of reading accumulated. Whether here or on Mount Kunlun does not matter as long as young immortals have access to these treasures.”

Once I have found my body, they will be able to put my soul back in, she thought. Mo Yuan, it will be like before. No, better. It will be even better.

She had to believe it. Even though she knew that the reason for her punishment was that she had done the exact same thing with the souls of her babies.

The Universe did not like the meddling with souls.

But was there not always a way? There had to be.

Chapter 19