Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 22 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)


Chapter 22

written by kakashi
editing by Panda & LigayaCroft

Hearing his steady deep breathing next to her should have been soothing, but Shao Wan’s heart was racing so much she thought it was going to burst forth and quiver in all its excitement above them. His fingers had found hers and interlaced with them right before he fell asleep and their gentle warmth seeped into her body, setting everything inside on fire.

How could he just sleep?

“It would mean a lot to you if you could touch her, wouldn’t it?” Zhe Yan had smirked at them not too long ago. “Talking may be less important, I’d say.”

Before that, he and Donghua had complained endlessly about how much they hated to sleep in the open and that they really regretted coming here over something so trivial as breaking the Laws of the Universe for the most annoying Phoenix in existence.

“Why do you think I never go to war anymore,” Zhe Yan had said, “I abhor the bugs and the hard grounds. I’m too old for camping adventures. I need comfort. Lots of cushions. Someone who rubs my feet before going to bed.”

“And I absolutely will not exist without properly made tea,” Donghua had added, followed by a detailed explanation about how such tea had to be made before Zhe Yan had cut him off, telling him that was common knowledge.

Donghua had also asked her questions “only Shao Wan would know”, since he still did not trust that she really was who Mo Yuan claimed she was. For example, “how many times did you secretly sneak out of school with my help? Show me the right amount of fingers!” Or: “How many bottles of wine did you drink that evening we had a competition of who could drink the most?” Of course she remembered everything in detail and after a while, he had kindly shut his mouth. Afterwards, he was visibly more agitated than usual and Shao Wan had been satisfied to see it… he knew he had made a mess of things and he could be certain she would take revenge once she had her powers back. Sweet revenge. She would magically chain him to the dirtiest hearth she could find. Make him cook naked. Never eat his food, not caring how hard he tried. Make him clean all day long. On his knees.

Mo Yuan had politely offered his tent to them, but they had feigned shock, saying they would never share a bed with another man who wasn’t a lover and since the tents were very small, it was basically like sleeping together. She had rolled her eyes back as far as they would go without falling out - could they, the most powerful Gods in existence, not just conjure up new tents? - and had then settled on quietly observing Mo Yuan while the three men continued to be complicated.

He seemed to glow golden in the fading light. His skin was so incredibly smooth. Not crawling over to touch it, lick it, was difficult. Wouldn’t it taste heavenly? Also, he looked… just a bit less orderly than she remembered. His hair was not bound as tightly as it had been and if she was not mistaken, he was wearing at least one layer of clothes less. There was a new kind of glimmer in his eyes, too. What was it? Maybe this was what he always looked like to mere immortals? Or was it the land that made him so… extra appealing?

Finally, they had settled on Donghua getting one tent to himself and Zhe Yan getting another. Mo Yuan wanted to ask his Disciple to vacate hers, but Shao Wan had vehemently opposed that idea. She did not dare speak around the three High Gods at all, since she felt that vicious curse hovering in her throat to stop her if she dared try, but waving her hands through the air and shaking her whole body was understood by them too. So it was her tent that Donghua had gracefully accepted as his sleeping quarters, which left her and Mo Yuan to sleep outside.

It was warm enough for that and there were a lot of blankets to wrap oneself in. It also meant being close to him. Very close.

Zhe Yan had gone back to the Peach Grove after coming to the Obsidian Palace for Mo Yuan and had done a few experiments there, as he told them with pride. Mo Yuan’s story about the temporary suspension of the curse had confirmed something he had suspected.

“MeiMei,” he addressed her, “if I am wrong, you will suffer, so let me apologize in advance if that happens. Just be… careful. Touch each other only a little, yes?”

“Why would they even want to touch?” Donghua had said with a deep frown, peeking over Zhe Yan’s shoulder, “she doesn’t look like herself at all!”

Zhe Yan had shot him a scathing look and Mo Yuan had looked embarrassed. Well, Donghua had a point. Why would he want to touch her? She looked like a… like a donkey and an ape had had a child and a monster had trampled all over it right after birth. But even if it just meant talking, it would be a huge improvement. There were things… many things she wanted to say to him. Where would she even start?

Zhe Yan had said her curse reacted not only to her trying to spill her secrets - ha, served the stupid curse right that they already knew everything even without her being able to talk about it! - but also to Mo Yuan in person. Knowing a bit about curses, Zhe Yan had figured out it worked via Mo Yuan’s unique energy-pattern. The moment he had commanded Demon Powers, that energy-pattern had changed, hence the curse had been tricked.

And if it had been tricked once, it could be tricked again.

That was Zhe Yan’s opinion, at least, and she was ready to believe it too - she did not really have other options. But how to change Mo Yuan’s energy pattern? “You Demons have a lot of interesting plants around, I have found one that works that way,” Zhe Yan had said.

“Just so we’re clear, I warned you,” Donghua had drily remarked. “I have a bit of experience with them and I’d advise him - Demon Powers or not! - to stay away from them.”

“You’re not helping,” Zhe Yan had said and that was the end of Donghua’s meddling. In a huff, he had left them and disappeared inside his tent, not to come out again.

Apparently it was the Xīnhuā plant that would change Mo Yuan’s energy pattern - she had heard of it. He just had to drink tea made from it and keep drinking it regularly, Zhe Yan explained. It was mildly poisonous, but he would make sure Mo Yuan would not take too much and anyway, “he is old enough to know what is good for him”.

She wasn’t so sure that was true, but again, what other option did they have?

The side effects apart from it being poisonous? A few sips from the water skin containing the brew and Mo Yuan’s eyes had started to close.

“Yes, sorry,” Zhe Yan had said with a little odd laugh, “it’s quite a sedative, apparently. But you will manage!”

Clapping Mo Yuan on the shoulder forcefully, he had nodded to her and had hurried away to his tent.

And so she found herself lying next to Mo Yuan in a small hollow at the bottom of a tree near the river, so nervous she thought she’d burst open, while he slept obliviously.

“My love,” he had whispered after it had become clear that it really worked and they could be close, “all will be well.”

Would it be?

“What if my body isn’t where I think it is?” she whispered into the night, “what if my Feather isn’t there either? What will happen to our babies if I die?”

She lay there sleepless, looking at the stars move above her, when suddenly, footsteps approached. Her heart stopped for a second, then continued at an even more frantic pace.

“Mo Yuan. Mo Yuan!” she hissed into his ear, “someone is coming - and it’s not Donghua or Zhe Yan. Mo Yuan!” she shook him.

“Hmmmmmhmhmmmm,” he said and put his arms around her to pull her close.

“You must wake up,” she said as quietly as possible and as loudly as necessary, continuing to shake him. She was quite certain he didn’t want to be found with her in his arms, at least not as long as she was in this form.

His eyes came open, she saw them shine black as liquid ink in the moonlight, and almost instantly, he threw an invisibility charm over them. “Fixed,” he said and suppressed a yawn.

Lian Song walked by, went to the river’s edge and squatted down. He dropped his hands into the water and just sat there quietly, before he got up and went past them again. As soon as he was gone, Mo Yuan’s eyes closed again.

But he wasn’t gone.

“He is coming back!” Shao Wan squealed.

This time, the Celestial Prince did not go to the river. No, he stood right in front of them and started talking to himself.

“How dare they exclude me from their secret talks like I’m a lesser Deity,” he complained. “And not even a proper greeting! Because I did not attend that school of theirs? Am I not the Celestial Investigator? And how dare High God Mo Yuan decide on his own we are no longer going after the wanted criminal without consulting me!”

“I think he knows you’re here,” Shao Wan whispered.

“He knows,” Mo Yuan agreed, “he’s from the Dragon family, he senses me. But you don’t need to whisper, he cannot hear us. He also cannot see us. We’re safe.” He buried his face in her hair wanting to go back to sleep.

Lian Song continued to mumble his discontent, it was a long list of things Mo Yuan had done wrong in his opinion. He ended with: “And why does he think it smart to aggravate our Demon friends? I always thought the God of War had more foresight than that!”

“He means Yu Dian,” Shao Wan whispered. “Listen, I wanted to tell you…”

“I don’t like it when you get close to him,” Mo Yuan said sternly.

“What? No… there is…”

“I do not like him one bit,” Mo Yuan continued, without even listening, “whatever Celestial Prince Lian Song thinks, I have good reasons not to trust that two-faced Demon Lord.”

“Yes, of course, but…”

“And he’s only getting close to you because he keeps observing me when he thinks I don’t notice and because he has realized that I value you.”

This wrong body of hers was quite capable of getting angry, apparently: all it took was one Celestial and his irritatingly familiar arrogance.

“You are still the same,” she proclaimed, “you have learned nothing in… how many years has it been? I have good reason to get close to the Green Lord, but while we’re at it, I do not like it when you get close to that long-limbed, nicely-shaped Disciple of yours! She took my Feather! I don’t believe you took that woman in, and not only that, as your only remaining disciple!”

“What are you insinuating?” he asked and moved ever so slightly away from her.

“Nothing!” Well, there was a bit to tell him about the Horse Princess’ mother and similar things, but that could wait. “But I do not like it and people will talk, because she looks at you with huge, adoring eyes and touches you all over and thinks she has a right to protect you, when protecting you is impossible because you just never listen and...ouch.”

It was the curse. The pain was starting and was rapidly increasing. Realizing what was happening, Mo Yuan grabbed the waterskin and drank a few sips of Zhe Yan’s concoction. “Are you alright,” he then asked.

She nodded.

Quite unexpectedly, he started to chuckle. “I have missed you so much, my Demon Kitten,” he said and kissed her on the lips.

It made her breath stop.

“Lian Song is gone,” he whispered and his suddenly low and husky voice send shivers down her spine and made goosebumps spring up all over her body. He bent down and kissed her again, a bit less gently.

“Mo Yuan…”

“Don’t worry,” he said and turned on his back with a deep breath, “I won’t touch you as long as you’re not quite yourself. Unless…”


“Unless…” he turned to her again, “you want to?”

“Are you not… sleepy…”

“Quite,” he said and buried his face at her neck, “but I can fight it.”

His hand came up and came to rest on her belly, ready to start exploring if she allowed it. Inside, her stomach started to do somersaults.

“You…,” she piped up, “this isn’t… it isn’t…”

“It’s just a vessel, Shao Wan,” he said, looking down on her with his dark eyes, “nothing more.”

“Just a vessel? Nothing more?!” She pushed him away and sat up. That - surprisingly - was not what she wanted to hear. “So why did that Fox woman preserve your body even though it meant jeopardizing her own life? Is the one you’re in just a vessel?”

“No, that was… different,” he said, sounding stubborn. “My soul was scattered, it needed the anchor.”

“By your theory, any other body would have done,” she said back, just as stubborn, “if this one I’m in is “just a vessel”, does that mean you do not care at all what body I am in and would… could… with… anybody?”

He heaved an extended sigh. “Shao Wan, I think you are overreacting. I wanted to do this for you. If I was mistaken and you don’t want it, I’ll just go back to sleep.”

But she did want it. Very badly. Only…

“I…,” she wanted it, but she was afraid. He wouldn’t like it. He would decidedly not like it, with these mosquito bites she had for breasts and if he did not like it, would it not mean he might turn away from her? Love was made with a body, not with a soul.

“Listen, Shao Wan,” he said and kissed her on the cheek. “I will not be able to keep drinking this tea when we continue our journey. I cannot be drowsy during the day, only at night. So please, let us not spend this little time we have together fighting.”

“Yes,” she agreed.

“Good,” he sighed, “and now come here.”

He pulled her close. “Of course I cared about your wonderful body. But that wonderful body was just like extra honey on the most delicious steamed bun. And I like the bun a lot even without the honey. So whatever body you’re in… I like it.”

His sudden silence made her scowl. Really? A bun??

“Hmmm… I think I do not express myself all that well right now,” he sighed. “It does make me incredibly sleepy, this… tea-”

“Mo Yuan, can you stay awake for a bit? I need to tell you s-”

She faltered. His deep breathing was quite telling. Mo Yuan had fallen asleep again, nestled closely against her.

“You could at least have given me some of that tea too,” she sighed and settled down, knowing quite well she would not find sleep easily.

But she was happy.

Yes, she believed it: everything was going to be alright.


When the day broke, Mo Yuan still slept soundly and very deeply, with no apparent signs of waking up. She had gotten some sleep in the end, but not much and as soon as it was getting light, she was fully awake. She started to shake him, first gently, then violently. When he finally opened his eyes, he was confused for a moment and thus very adorable.

The pain from the curse was there, but not strong yet. She kissed him on his forehead and smoothed back a few strands of hair that had come undone, resisting an urge to open it entirely. Would she be able to teach him about Demon braids? If he really was part demon like Zhe Yan and Donghua seemed to believe, he absolutely had to braid his hair. It would make any negotiations with her tribe much easier.

“You must get up and go somewhere else. I don’t want you to get into trouble because of me,” she told him. She was very grateful he kept up appearances around the others she was a man, it made her feel much safer. But she felt rather mortified at his behalf thinking about what it must look like to others.

“It would not be the first time these kind of rumors start circulating about me,” he shrugged, “Donghua thought it very amusing back when my body disappeared. Most people still believe the Master of Kunlun Mountains went and enjoyed himself with his favorite male disciple for a while.”

It had always surprised her, those moments when he revealed how little he cared about what other people thought of him.

“Swim with me,” he said while standing up and brushing some leaves from his clothes, but she shook her head. She had never liked to be in the water. Looking at it, that was something else, that she liked a lot - it soothed her to see the movement of the currents.

She saw the mischievous glint in his eyes too late - and so she could only squeal in muffled outrage when he grabbed her and threw her over his shoulder.

“Much easier than before - I might get used to this powerless and tiny you,” he remarked as he sprinted towards the river - and threw her in, butt first.

She made a spectacular splash. The water was ice-cold and it robbed her of her breath for a moment before she resurfaced, sputtering and floundering. Thankfully, there was not much of a current here and this body knew how to swim. After wiping the water from her eyes and resisting an urge to scream, she saw him take off his clothes.

“What are you…”

He teasingly raised his eyebrows at her - and stopped at the pants. And still, she was shocked. What had happened to the most proper of all Celestials in her absence? He would undress in such close vicinity to other people? She arched her head to see if someone was coming, but people still seemed asleep in the camp. Mo Yuan dived in elegantly and surfaced not far from her.

“Cold,” he said with a small smile, “helps to wake up.”

He swam towards her and grabbed her waist. “Does the curse notice me through the water?” he joked.

Surprisingly, there was no reaction from his touch at all. Water Dragon… should it not have enforced his energy pattern?

“Then we’ll spend the rest of our days in the water even if we get very wrinkly,” he whispered and pulled her close. Treading water, he kissed her, just a prolonged peck on the lips, but it still shocked her.

“What are you doing… we’re in plain sight!” she scolded him. “They just need to poke their heads out of their tents to see us!”

“But there’s nobody around,” he said and kissed her again. “I’m not sure it suits you to be so timid.”

Timid? She wasn’t timid! To prove it to him, she kissed him back. Her wrong mouth was smaller than her real one, but of course she remembered how kissing worked. It got heated very fast and she was beginning to quite faint when he broke it off.

“Lian Song is waking up,” he said a bit out of breath. “Let’s go over there…” he dragged her along the riverbank to some wicker trees and pulled her close again for another hot kiss.

“Ah”, he said with some regret after a much too short time, “he is looking for me and is coming this way.”

“Let go of me!!” Shao Wan said in agitation and struggled to push him away. “Hide!”

“We wouldn’t shock him much, too be honest,” he said, “Lian Song knows who you are. He put the pieces together, I don’t quite know how…”

“It’s because he is very smart and you should be nicer to him,” she scolded him.

“He won’t tell anyone,” Mo Yuan said, but she thought he sounded a little bit doubtful.

“Put up a shield around us at least!”

“If he’s as smart as you say, he knows exactly what’s going on.”

“You…” she kicked him as hard as she could in the water and swam away as quickly as she could, to hide further down underneath the overhanging branches of the tree.

“Oh,” she heard Lian Song say not long after, “I am so very sorry for disturbing your bath, High God Mo Yuan, but I thought I heard voices and was curious to see who would be up so early. Are we leaving soon or do I have time for a bath myself? If yes, I will go fetch my new friend the Green Lord Yu Dian, who has expressed a wish to show me some very special secret clams to be found in this river. ”

Chapter 23