Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 17d (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 17d

written by kakashi
editing by Panda/LigayaCroft

“Why did you not alert me?” Ye Hua felt quite furious. In fact, his anger was so strong, he had difficulties keeping his voice steady. His Da-Ge had done it again. He naturally seemed to think he had a right to solve dangerous situations all by himself. But this, this concerned Ye Hua more than anything else. This time it was about his family, his own flesh and blood and Mo Yuan had done very wrong to deny him the opportunity to be of use in solving the crisis.

Not only was the bedroom in shambles, clearly telling a story of great destructive power. He had also immediately noticed his wife’s swollen eyes, despite her attempt to appear brave and collected. After he had called for the Medicine King to check her health, he had gently suggested she should go take a bath in the Lord of Numinous Treasure's Heaven's Spring. She had left in a daze. A-Li and A-Xi, both fine, were with NaiNai in one of the other rooms.

Truth was, Ye Hua felt like shouting at Mo Yuan. He hated that his brother had been the one to console Qian Qian, not him. That there was a silent agreement between them that built on millennia of familiarity. He hated that it affected him so much, still, after all these years. He hated that despite their bond of marriage, despite the history they had written together, he could never quite forgotten who had been the first to enter her life.

And he hated that Qian Qian was drawing away from him and that he felt so helpless and unable to stop it.

“I...,” Mo Yuan’s voice faltered. Seeing his brother so shaken yet trying very hard to pretend everything was fine mellowed Ye Hua. It reminded him of himself... of that time he had lost an arm and almost his entire cultivation, but had shown a brave face to his Qian Qian, in vain. Even then, she had known him too well.

He knew Mo Yuan too. They were very much alike, despite their different upbringing. His brother had probably wanted to protect him, putting up a shield around the Palace so that he would not run into danger unprepared. It was something Ye Hua admittedly would have done too. That did not make it any less infuriating, however.

“There is no shame in asking for help,” he said resolutely. “Especially when so much is at stake. I am offended, Da-Ge, I really am. Do you think me incapable? And did you not repeatedly assure me during the war you would not do anything reckless again?”

He caught himself thinking that maybe, had there been no great calamity with their mother at the time, he would have been the firstborn. It was quite an outrageous thought, considering their difference in age and Mo Yuan’s amount of cultivation that dwarfed his own by so much. Yet, when one looked behind the facade of the God of War, when one compared not their similarities but their little differences...

“I... I am sorry, brother,” Mo Yuan said. “I made a mistake. Please forgive me. I did not know...” he let his head hang. “I should have called for reinforcement as soon as the negotiations with the turtles were done.”

Seeing him so compunctious brought the definite end of Ye Hua’s anger. Because he knew his brother well, he knew he was feeling ashamed for not apprehending the traitor and was blaming himself for everything. He sighed deeply. “Tell me in detail what happened, Da-Ge. Let’s solve this together.”

“I am not sure what happened,” Mo Yuan said and recounted the strange encounter, admitting that he had been distracted and that those few moments of inattention had cost him his advantage, “he had a device filled with power. He used it to cloud jump and to get out of the Heavens despite the lock-down. I also... I am not sure he is whom I thought he was.”

It would explain things, but it also raised a series of new questions, foremost about who would possess that amount of power and what it meant for the Celestial defenses. Ye Hua had hoped for peace. Now he wasn’t so sure there could be any.

“I know of one place where strange devices were used,” Mo Yuan said. “Only, it has been... destroyed.“ Mo Yuan pressed his lips together. “It was called Lost Devil Tower and it used to be a prison for Demons who lost control over their powers.”

He grew silent and closed his eyes. He looked very pale.

Now quite the opposite of angry, Ye Hua moved towards his brother and put his hand on his shoulder. “Do you need me to help heal you,” he asked quietly.

“I will be alright,” Mo Yuan said, opening his eyes to look at his sibling, “he used Dragon Scales against me. Be careful, Ye Hua. They make us very weak and he seems to have taken all of them.”

“He also took the Soul Gathering Lamp,” Ye Hua exclaimed.

Mo Yuan nodded.

“Do you ... want to have some wine?” Ye Hua asked, now feeling sorry for ever feeling angry. He recalled the Disciple Mo Yuan had lost at the Devil Tower. There was so much pain. If only he had such powers of command, he would have ordered his brother to stay with him and to be happy.

“Some other time,” Mo Yuan said quietly, “I need to go back to the Demon Realm quickly, there is someone...”

“You are thinking to do it alone again!” Ye Hua complained. “I will come with you! I cannot allow you to always take everything on by yourself. I… hate when you do that.”

And there always was the risk that Mo Yuan would do something as infinitely stupid as getting himself cursed.

“You will not come with me,” Mo Yuan said, shaking his head. “You need to run the Heavens. Now more than ever, the Tribe needs you here.”

“I will be forever in your debt,” Ye Hua gravely said, “for saving my wife and our son.”

“No debt,” Mo Yuan said resolutely. “We are family. I will never let any harm come to any of you. But be aware I will not be able to come to the Heavens again soon. You have a difficult task, brother. Bring peace and happiness to our people and to...” he paused.

“... my wife,” Ye Hua completely the sentence. Mo Yuan nodded.

“If you were still on Kunlun, I would suggest she join you for a bit of time,” Ye Hua, surprising himself.

“Even better, Chang Shan is there,” Mo Yuan said and got up with a wince. “It may be a good idea. She can bring both kids, the disciples will be glad for the distraction and she can relax… and get bored.” They smiled at each other.

“I considered sending word to Qing Qiu to send her an invite,” Ye Hua said, “I think Qian Qian misses the Fox Realm a lot, though she never says anything. She has not seen her parents, her brother and her niece for too long.”

Mo Yuan seemed a little surprised to hear that.

“If I may,” he said. “Ye Hua, Seventeenth has never been one to be tied down too much. Her fox nature is strong.”

Of course, Mo Yuan was right. Qian Qian needed her freedom to roam. She had been trying too hard to fit in and to do everything right by Celestial expectations. He had seen it and had expected her to grow tired of it… but she had quite uncharacteristically dug her heels in. It made her unhappy. He would have to tell her that he wanted some of the old Qian Qian back… the one who drank peach wine when it pleased her and slept for days if necessary. She had changed and that was good. But now he had to make sure she would find a way to reconcile the change with what he knew she liked.

And he had just the idea...


Lian Song, Third Prince of the Celestial Heavens, was quite nervous as he approached Cheng Yu’s palace. After the recent revelations, it was apparent that his journey was going to start a lot sooner than he had bargained for. This was not the cause of his nervousness however, the thought of the adventure ahead made his blood sing. His nervousness arose from the person who lived in the abode that he couldn’t quite bring himself to enter.

Has my message been delivered? He thought anxiously. If that strange maid had delivered his message but Cheng Yu had seen no reason to seek him out… he was no sure his heart could bear it.

Gathering what was left of his courage he finally stepped into the courtyard… but stopped again right away at the unexpected sight of the woman who would not leave his dreams sprawled on her backside in the grass.

“Cheng Yu?” he sputtered, amazed at the sight.

She rewarded his comment with silence and a glare, then pushed herself off the grass, declining the help he offered by his outstretched hand. “I am about to start a new fashion in the heavens,” she commented drily, looking at the green and brown streaks on her once pristine gown.

“I do not think so,” he replied with a small mock shudder. Looking over her quite dishevelled appearance critically while moving closer, he asked: “I hope you are unhurt.”

“I am fine,” she muttered. “The only thing bruised is my pride,” she continued under her breath.

“I am glad to hear that.” He was now standing so close he could see the wisps of hair on her brow blowing gently in the breeze. Seemingly having no control over his fingers, they gently swept her hair that had escaped from its knot back over her head. He paused, observing how flushed her cheeks were and dropped his hands to ask: “So just what were you doing on the floor?”

A moment passed before she sighed and spoke: “My maid told me she had seen you pacing outside the walls. I was running to inquire if you needed to see me outside when I tripped and fell on that accursed white rock,” she ended with a laugh.

Laughing along with her, they adjoined into the inner rooms. She sent off for food and wine and once the maid delivered them, she dismissed her and turned to him, her eyes flashing with curiosity.

“Tell me the news! The entire palace is agog. My maid heard from the inner court maids that the Celestial Heavens may no longer be safe? That we were attacked by that strange tribe that lives in the God of War’s former quarters?”

“Is that the news that has spread?” he asked amazed and quite a bit amused as how Palace gossip always became twisted with just some grains of truth to prevent it from being pure fiction.

“Yes! There is a whole lot of other nonsense, especially about the God of War, but I will wait for you to tell me the real events.” She grinned expectantly.

With an answering grin of his own, Lian Song set down his tumbler and told his rapt audience about the recent incidents. As his tale got more detailed, the grin slid off Cheng Yu’s face and by the time he finished his tale, she looked quite grim.

“And that is the man you are going in search of?” she asked anxiously.

He nodded in agreement.

“But, but that is absurd!” she said in a near shout.

“Absurd?” he repeated faintly.

“Yes! He is clearly a very dangerous man. One who knows no boundaries or limits. One with a huge vendetta against the Celestials. Surely, you need an army with you?”

With a faint smile, he gestured to her to move closer to him, and put his palm over hers. “I am quite powerful you know,” he said with a wink. When he saw that she was still rigid, he pulled her in completely and put her head on his shoulder. “I will be fine.” he whispered against her head. “And if not, you can go and file a complaint with High God Mo Yuan.”

He marvelled at how at peace he felt in the moment, at how her body fit so perfect next to his and once again wondered if his message had been delivered. He longed to ask but he dreaded what the possible reply could be. So he decided to be content in the moment and relaxed his body into hers.

“Lian Song,” Cheng Yu muttered against his chest, “the maid that disappeared came to see me before she left.”

His body went rigid.

She lifted her head and looked searchingly at him, “I got your message. Forgive me for not responding earlier. I-,” she shook her head ruefully, “have been contemplating what my answer should be.”

“Cheng Yu, please,” he heard himself plead for what he could not exactly say. All he knew was if she rejected him he would be lost forever.

“Oh Lian Song, obviously, I still hold you dear to me. I just am not sure if I... love you.” She did not look at him, so he gently took her face in his shaking hands, the glow from the lamps across the room bathing her face. “What do I do with you?”

Her bluntness stole his breath like a blow, and yet… he took consolation in the fact that it was not an outright rejection. “If you can let me continue to pay suit to you, I will be satisfied.”

Her reached out and held his wrist as her dark eyes bore into his. “Do not ever lie to me again,” she said, very softly.

Lian Song swallowed, heart beating fast, not daring to move, willing her to see the sincerity in his words that he used all his self control to say slowly, “I will never hurt you again Cheng Yu. I promise with all that is holy. Every sunrise I regret what happened.” He swallowed and continued, “I only wish you grant me the opportunity to show you.”

For a long moment, she stared at him searchingly, but at last she granted him a slow nod and let go of his hand. “All I ask of you is that you do not hurt me again - our dalliance can be mutually ended with no hard feelings but betrayal would destroy our friendship.”

“Cheng Yu, I would never-”

Her fingers pressed softly against his lips, “I choose to believe you,” she said with a grin. His heart got lighter and raced so hard, he was sure she could probably feel it, especially when her lips replaced her fingers. And shortly he was completely incapable of rational thought. This was the kind of farewell any man who was facing danger could only dream of.


“Pack your things, we’re leaving as soon as His Majesty Lian Song joins us,” Mo Yuan said to Tian Gu, who had come running towards him the instance he appeared in front of the Obsidian Palace. He had not been able to stop Lian Song from coming along on this manhunt after what had happened. It had been very shameful having to admit in front of everyone the Celestial Traitor had slipped through his fingers like that, even if he possessed strange tools of power and had used Dragon Scales against him to weaken him.

“But Shifu…?”

“When will you learn to obey without questioning me,” he snapped at her and walked quickly towards the Green Room. He had taken much too long in the Heavens, much, much too long, he had to see her. Hold her. Talk to her. “Pack your things and ready yourself for a longer journey.”

“That strange Immortal is not there anymore,” Tian Gu exclaimed interpreting his intention correctly, “Shifu, why did you put a sleeping spell on me too? Did you not aim right?”

He stopped and glared at her. “Frankly, Eighteenth, I will put them on you from now on every time you question my decisions or obstruct my actions. I find myself a little short on patience.”

Tian Gu pouted but dropped her eyes. “I am sorry I am so unfilial,” she said contritely, “my father used to say that’s my biggest fault too when he got angry. Which wasn’t often, I would like to stress.” She looked up, but only met with his displeasure. “Please forgive me, Shifu, I will try to do better,” she said and bowed. “I really will.”

Mo Yuan nodded, but he was very distracted. Not only was he still feeling rather confused about Bai Qian’s emotional outburst. He could also feel the connection of the tether he had thrown around Ying Ming’s ankle constantly weakening. If he did not move soon, he might lose him altogether.

“Where is the Immortal?” he asked Tian Gu, “I left clear instructions to leave you two alone.”

Tian Gu seemed uncomfortable. She screwed up her face and cleared her throat, but did not say anything.

“It was Yu Dian?” Mo Yuan guessed and immediately saw from her reaction that he had been correct in his assumption.

With an angry snort, Mo Yuan turned his steps towards the guest quarters. Of course Yu Dian would latch onto this opportunity to question someone he had shown an unusual interest in. Tian Gu half a step behind him, he went straight to Yu Dian’s chambers and demanded entry.

Alerted by the sound of their footsteps, Yu Dian appeared from one of the rooms, keen to appear nonchalant, yet obviously rather tense.

“Where is the Celestial Immortal?” Mo Yuan asked impatiently.

“He is sleeping,” Yu Dian said, “he really isn’t well, you should…”

Mo Yuan shouldered past him to walk into the bedroom.

There she was. Lying on the bed sleeping, pale and frail. His heart contracted and he had to bite his lip so as not to say her name out loud. Not caring at all what the familiarity would look like to the others, he grabbed her arm to feel her pulse. It was much too unsteady and weak.

“Do you know any good physicians?” he asked between gritted teeth.

Yu Dian moved his head from side to side, thinking. “Hmmmm, well..... yes, I guess. I will send word to Yi Mei Niang with your permission. But High God Mo Yuan, are Celestials not different from Demons? I am not sure we…”

“It’s the best we can do right now,” Mo Yuan said, thinking to himself that maybe, part of her Demon essence was left, which meant a Demon physician might be exactly what she needed, “send word through that Guard of hers that keeps poking his nose into everything around here. That…”

“Yue,” Tian Gu helped and blushed violently.

“Yes, that one. You go talk to him,” he ordered his Disciple, “and tell him to make haste. I want to leave as soon as possible.”

“Oh, you are leaving?” Yu Dian asked and couldn’t quite help himself from sounding hopeful.

“No, we are. You are coming with me,” Mo Yuan said coldly, “we’re hunting a Celestial criminal with proven ties to the Demon Realm.”

“Oh?” Yu Dian lifted his eyebrows. “And where…”

“He seems to be headed for your kingdom.”

“My…?” Yu Dian grew pale. “Who… what…?”

“I am willing to give you the benefit of doubt that you do not know anything about this matter, but this is as far as my goodwill goes. In case I find evidence that you do know him, I will act swiftly.”

“You will…”

“Yes, I will probably kill you,” Mo Yuan snarled. “He has done great damage to my family and quite contrary to my nature, I find myself holding a considerable grudge.”

“I have not…”

“I said that’s what I’m willing to believe unless I am convinced otherwise. And now…,” he grabbed Shao Wan’s thin, small body and gathered her into his arms. “If you’ll excuse me.”

He shouldered past the young Demon, pressing her body close, as if Yu Dian were of a mind to snatch her away from him. Tian Gu watched him with slitted eyes and a deep frown. Let her think whatever she wanted to believe, Mo Yuan did not care.

Without thinking, he carried Shao Wan to the garden. There was no soil yet, only black, cragged stone and the water gently gurgling in the basin. Yet, here he felt at peace. He sat down with her in the shade of the wall, carefully arranging her body to sit in his lap, her head against his shoulder.

“I’m here,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around her. “I will never let you go again.”

He hugged her close. She seemed unconscious, but her body shuddered at the contact. Her breathing was too weak, he noticed, and it worried him greatly. What had she done to the rainbow flask before giving it to him during the War? Why had she swallowed it? He frowned and tried to remember something about it. They had gotten it in that mortal world… They‘re called Soulcatchers, the merchant had said.

His memories were hazy. Had he not also gotten an immortal dagger back then? Where was it? Kunlun? Or still in the mortal world? It had been shortly before they had learned about the Red Bamboo Forest… and before he had to suffer through the worst case of magic biteback he had ever experienced. He did not recall where he had put it.

He looked at the still face of her current appearance. Too still. He gently shook her, then harder. She did not wake. Now very much worried, he pressed both his hands against her stomach and started to transfer cultivation… carefully and only a little with breaks in between. There was no more fungal grass and the transfer of cultivation was a very dangerous thing to do in the best of cases. Not only was he still feeling the effects of the fight earlier, her body was also very weak and if he gave her too much, he might even kill her.

Yet, it seemed to be working. Her cheeks took on some color, her breathing grew stronger and more regular and after a last boost from his powers, she opened her eyes.

But when saw who was holding her, she squeaked and tried to scramble away from him, in the process scraping the skin of her hands on the sharp rock, drawing blood.

“Shao Wan,” he said urgently, holding out his hands, “Shao Wan, I know it’s you. Come here. Do not be afraid. I will help you regain your powers. Come here.”

It seemed like she was trying to say something, but not a word came out. Instead, she started spitting blood, much too much… and then, she collapsed. One last shuddering breath ... and then her heart stopped beating.

Chapter 18

End of Part I