Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 34 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 34

written by kakashi
edited by LigayaCroft & Panda

Blood-red rain was falling. It was drifting down slower than snowflakes, like it was hesitant to touch the ground. Did it know of its evanescence? On unsteady legs, she twisted this way and that, catching drop for drop of the Fèng Lóng Xuè in her rainbow flask, until it overflowed.

When it stopped raining, Shao Wan felt very sad. Now there was no more Fèng Lóng Xuè blessing this world.

Darkness descended.

But there appeared a path between the bamboo stalks, one that glowed softly and reassuringly. She was to leave this place she had inhabited for so long? She would do it. She felt ready. On feet fortified by Dragon-Phoenix Blood, she glided through the bamboo guards that rustled as they bowed to her.

She felt it, even as she walked – the happiness was going to end. Did it not always end?

He was lying there in a pool of blood.



Why did all her dreams have to turn into nightmares?

She rushed forward, gathered his limp body in her arms, cradled his head against her breast. Ill-fated. Why could only one of them live at the time? She moved her fingers over his face, his closed eyelids, his brow, his nose, his lips.

“Come back to me,” she begged. She tried to make it sound commanding, but only a series of sobs escaped her mouth.

Above her, a million stars burst into existence, shimmering with a cold, distant light. As if called forth by them, a pale moon rose over the horizon. So cold. Shivering, she pulled his body closer. “I want to wake up from this dream and be with you on Mount Kunlun. I want to hole up with you in your cave and not come out again, ever. I want to…”

Suddenly, she felt eyes on her and she shuddered again more violently, this time from fear. As was the nature of nightmares, the eyes were almost like her own eyes, eyes she felt and eyes through which she saw herself simultaneously: naked, with unruly hair, blood smeared, cradling the Celestial’s lifeless body. Her breath caught in her throat. It was a Demon - a Blood Demon, come to devour them.

Do not acknowledge it, she told herself in panic, maybe it will go away.

But it came towards them quickly, yelling something unintelligible in its Demon tongue. Shao Wan shrieked and covered the Celestial with her body protectively. “Go away, go away, go away,” she implored it. If only she wasn’t feeling so weak, she would have fought it.

“Demon Queen,” the Demon said in a voice that seemed vaguely familiar, “it is me! Bai Qian! The Fox Woman!”

They were known to lie like this, cunning, vile creatures, trying to make her drop her guard. But she wasn’t stupid. Why would the Fox Woman be in this place? It’s trickery would not work on her. Why would it… a memory rose in Shao Wan then, unbidden and strange.

Please hold me, she had begged full of need, just for a while. I feel so frightened… like I’m dead. What if I’m dead? I am fearful I will never escape this fate, this prison.

There had always been compassion in the Celestial, even when he showed the most hardened of his faces to the world.

I cannot, he had said, but his hurtful voice was softening, his hand lifted and briefly cupped her cheek, you are inside my brother’s wife.

You are mistaken! She wanted to shout at her memories, it is me! Me! Shao Wan! I am your wife! Stupid Celestial, can’t you see the difference?

Do you even know the consequences? his voice echoed inside her skull.

The Demon touched her shoulder and she tried to swat the hand away. Blindsided! She had let her guard down because of the illusions it sent into her skull, now she was doomed! Would it suck her soul out? Or… his? “Spare him,” Shao Wan begged, “please, Demon, spare him.”

“I’ll take both of you to a doctor,” the Demon said, sounding rather exhausted herself, so full of tricks. “If we leave some of the supplies here, you two can ride on one of the horses.”

Ah, the dream was set in a mortal world. Shao Wan nodded knowingly and squinted at the Blood Demon. “Go back to hell, Blood Demon, where you came from!” she commanded and this time, her voice did sound as strong as she wanted it to sound. Taking heart, she got up, putting her body between the Demon and the Celestial while making a warding sign. “Shoo, shoo!”

The Demon got angry then, showing its true face, making her shrink back a little. “Enough!” it yelled at her. “Get a grip, Demon Queen! I am no Blood Demon, I just got doused with blood when your body rose from the pond.”

Her body? Shao Wan looked down at herself. Her body. Her body! She was in her body? Her hands suddenly shaking violently, she touched her belly, her thighs, her breasts. Renewed panic robbed her breath away.

“My children… where are my children!” she sobbed.

“Why don’t you put something on first,” the Blood Demon suggested, talking quietly and slowly, like one talked to a frightened Beast. It took off its own robe and handed it to her. The demon looked down on it hanging down from its surprisingly human looking hand and hesitated. “You are much taller than me. This won’t fit. Wait…”

The Demon took its offering back and walked away, leaving her alone in the dark. Had it eaten her children? Overcome by grief, Shao Wan sank down on her knees and curled into a tight ball on the ground.

It came back with a robe that it draped over her. “It’s one of Shifu’s robes,” she said, “it will be too big, but that’s nothing to worry about..”

Suddenly, it grabbed her hand. Gritting her teeth, Shao Wan struggled against the grip, trying to scratch the Demon, but she was weak and it seemed the cold night air was sucking more of her energy away from her with every breath she took.

“Stop it!” The Demon bellowed. It seemed it had washed the blood off and put on different clothes - and it really looked exactly like the Fox Woman. “If you don’t stop it, I will…. eat your soul,” the Demon said and showed a set of pearl white teeth that very strangely were not pointed.

Shao Wan stopped struggling, since she had no fight left inside of her and studied the Demon’s face instead. It was concentrating hard, her fingers at her wrist. Suddenly, it broke into a very wide grin. “Congratulations, Sister-in-Law! You are pregnant! What a cause for celebration.”

And that wicked Demon pulled her up and into a tight hug. “He will be so happy to hear when he wakes up,” it said with a quivering voice.

To her absolute horror, tears began gushing out of Shao Wan when it sank in what the Demon had just said, like a stream gathering speed as it flowed down a mountain, like the torrential rain during a thunderstorm.

“I don’t want to wake up from this dream anymore,” she sobbed into the Demon’s fragrant clothes, “I want it to be true, oh, I want it to be true!”

But didn’t she know? The worst nightmares were those where you believed you were safe and happy, and then found out you were not at all.


“You should not have eaten stones, Celestial, those are not tasty,” Shao Wan panted as she tried to lift the unconscious Mo Yuan onto one of the horses by herself.

“Wait, I will hel….!” Alarmed, Bai Qian sprang forward when Shao Wan’s knees gave way under her. Wedging herself underneath him, she managed to stabilize Mo Yuan’s body right before both would have landed in a heap on the ground together.

Bai Qian pushed her Shifu’s body up on the horse with a groan and then quickly removed her hands. “I hardly touched him,” she said, holding up her hands for proof and stepped back.

Shao Wan looked at her with narrowed eyes and murmured something unintelligible but menacing sounding before she turned her back and started walking, leading the horse.

Patience, Bai Qian told herself - not something she had in abundance. But wasn’t it only natural the Demon Queen would be feeling so confused after the long ordeal she had been through? Bai Qian understood she had lived countless mortal lives before she had gathered enough cultivation to ascend, just to find herself in a weak, deficient body that was doomed to die even in the immortal plains.

Bai Qian had gotten the other woman to wash the blood off herself - or rather, the Demon Queen had insisted on licking off what she could reach with her tongue first - and afterwards, her Shifu’s wife became a little calmer. She had put on the robe she had been given from Mo Yuan’s stack, tying it tightly around her belly. Then, she had gone over to fuss over Mo Yuan, stroking his hair, rocking him like a child, trying to feed him Dragon-Phoenix Blood from the flask. It was very painful to see him in this state and Bai Qian had to work hard to suppress her own worry. But she had checked on him when the Demon Queen had been curled up on the ground, and even though he was unconscious and burning hot to the touch, he was breathing faintly, but regularly.

It was not like that time he had drifted from the sky without a soul, Bai Qian repeated to herself. He would be alright again soon, just a matter of normal healing.

She trotted after the Demon Queen on feet miraculously cured and fortified from trampling on the blood soaked ground, leading the second horse by the reins. The sun was going to come up soon - the world around them was gaining color. Bai Qian turned one last time to look at the bamboo grove. It stood there, green and unsuspicious, a small bamboo grove on a mountain plateau.

They did not talk and rested little. The Demon Queen seemed to know exactly where they were going and Bai Qian was gladly leaving her the lead. It all looked the same to her: mountains, trees, streams, rocks. From time to time, Shao Wan fed Mo Yuan some blood from the flask at her belt, but he did not regain consciousness.

How were they going to leave this mortal world any time soon? Bai Qian worried. Much of her cultivation had been sucked out of her in that grove. Let it be her parting gift to her Shifu’s children and let them be content for a while, now that they were in a proper belly. But all three of them were now gravely weakened and in no condition to cloud jump. It looked like they were stuck for a while.

“This… this looks unfamiliar!” she complained on the third day of their journey, when they entered a light forest with many tall white and red pines and a few gingkos. The Demon Queen turned to her, “Just follow me.”

“Are we… we need to go back to town!”

“No,” the Demon Queen said, “no mortal doctor will put a hand on him. I’m taking him to a sanctuary where he can heal and gather strength.”

Suddenly, Shao Wan stopped. She lifted her hand, like she was probing the air in front of her. “Come closer,” she ordered Bai Qian, “I think you should be able to cross without issues if you hold onto me.”

Bai Qian stepped closer, cautiously grabbing onto the other woman’s robe. They walked on and she felt a slight dizziness, like when crossing a magical barrier. Not too long afterwards, a lake appeared before them - its deep blue surface reflecting the sky - at its shores a wooden house with a thatched roof, sitting comfortably on a sunny, slightly elevated patch of grass.

Breathtakingly beautiful.

“He built it for me,” the Demon Queen said proudly. Bai Qian cautiously stepped closer, breathing in the fragrant air. It would do well as a place of healing, it most certainly would. But… she eyed the pair in front of her apprehensively. The three of them? Here?

The Demon Queen led the horse with Mo Yuan into the courtyard and tethered it to the fence. Then, she started to lift Mo Yuan down.

“Wait!” Bai Qian exclaimed and rushed to her side to help her. Around the second day of their journey, the Demon Queen had stopped muttering things about a Blood Demon under her breath when looking at her and Bai Qian had assumed she was finally back to her senses. Indeed, she even accepted her help without a word and together, they carried Mo Yuan inside.

A magic barrier might protect a place from becoming ruins, but it did not keep the dust out - Bai Qian sneezed heartily when they opened the door.

Someone would have to clean. There even was a broom in the corner.

There was one large bed, a table with four chairs, a lacquered red-golden trunk, a colorful cabinet with many drawers, a screen with a red sun and cranes in flight, incense stick holders and empty vases.

One bed.

It’s where they put Mo Yuan down.

“I will undress him now,” the Demon Queen said, “he needs to cool down. You better leave.”

She tried to sound tough and commanding, but her voice was brittle and her exhaustion showing. Stubborn woman, Bai Qian thought, why had she insisted on walking when she could have ridden a horse? As she watched her move around the bed, the Demon Queen suddenly stumbled.

“Careful!” Bai Qian cautioned and swiftly caught her arm.

“I’m… just a little dizzy,” murmured her Shifu’s wife, pushing her hand away.

“Your body is probably adjusting to the pregnancy,” Bai Qian mused. “I remember, I felt so very tired in the beginning.”

Shao Wan shook her head stubbornly. “I won’t feel tired.”

Bai Qian sighed. “Fine, if you say so. I will go and look at the other… facilities.”

“Yes,” Shao Wan nodded, “there is a kitchen… it’s hard to miss. I’m hungry.”

Bai Qian laughed. “Me too. I’ve always wondered how Demon cuisine might differ from what I am used to.”

Shao Wan looked at her very puzzled. “Demon cuisine?”

“Yes, Sister-in-Law. What kind of things do you Demons cook?”

“If by ‘you Demons’ you mean me, then the answer is: absolutely nothing. I don’t know how to cook and I won’t ever cook.”

Oh, great. Bai Qian sighed and tried to remember whether they had passed any fruit trees on their way here. With nothing better to do, she would go and search the forest for edible things. She decided she would sleep on the veranda on the way out - it was warm enough during the nights and there were many animal hides in the little house that she could turn into a makeshift bed.

When she returned after a few hours - her skirts full of fruit, berries, mushrooms and Xun Ma to make tea for the Demon Queen - she found everything very quiet. Carefully, she poked her head in the door… there they were, sleeping. The Demon Queen had tightly curled up against the God of War, her beautiful face looking worried even in her sleep.

Very quietly, Bai Qian closed the door again and tiptoed away.


“Mmmmmmmmmhmmm,” the Celestial said.

Shao Wan shot up, heart heart beating rapidly. “Mo Yuan, can you hear me? Are you awake?”

“Not sure” he said, but she quickly lit a candle - and the flame was reflected in his dark, beautiful eyes.

“You are awake,” she said in awe. “Praise Pangu, you won’t die.”

“It worked,” he said, his voice hoarse and feeble, but full of urgency, “did it work?”

She nodded, too emotional for words. With trembling arms, he grabbed her and pulled her close, hugging her very tightly, burrowing his face into her neck.

“You are back. You are really back.”

Fighting back tears, trying hard not to sob like a child, she hugged him just as tightly. How long she had had to wait for this! His solid warmth, it was so familiar, so comforting. She still found it difficult to believe this wasn’t a dream, and she was constantly scared to wake up in a wrong body or find herself dying again. But in his arms, it seemed more real than before.

“And are you…”

She felt a tingle and gasped, “don’t use magic!”

But too late - he had used some, to do a perfunctory soul search no less, but his sharp indraw of breath was not only due to pain from magic biteback, it was also from excitement. “You are carrying our children,” he said, “a boy and a girl,” his voice so thick from emotion it drove her over the edge. She started sobbing uncontrollably, burying her face even tighter into his neck to hide her shameful tears.

“Shhhh,” he soothed her, “shhhhh, everything is going to be alright now. You are back. You are with me. I will protect you. I will let no harm come to my family.”

“Don’t you… dare…. die again,” she sobbed.

“Why would I,” he answered, stroking her head and back, “I won’t leave you alone.”

Should she dare believe it? Cautiously, very cautiously, she pinched herself. Nothing happened. “This isn’t a dream, is it?” she asked, her heart hammering in her throat.

He laughed softly. “Not a dream, no. But you must be very tired. Rest, Shao Wan. Rest as much as you can. Do you need anything? I will get you…” he tried to get up, but she held him back. “Stay,” she begged.

He sank back into the pillows. “A bit more rest won’t hurt indeed,” he chuckled, looking at her warmly. He lifted his hand to trace the contours of her face, her forehead, eyes, wiped away the tears on her cheeks and then softly caressed her lips. Her tears stopped. The hand hovered in the air for a few moments, then it returned to her mouth, softly pulling down her bottom lip, then grabbing her chin. His eyes fixated on on her mouth, he leaned forward and placed a very gentle kiss on it.

“Your plan was crazy,” he whispered, “but now you’re here. We’ll deal with the consequences later.”

He kissed her again, gently sucking on her lips, moving his tongue along her teeth, then entering her mouth to circle her tongue with his. Sweet, so sweet and pretty instantly awakening every part of her body. A low sound escaped her throat, a whimper of yearning. Would it still function, her body, after so long?

“Touch me,” she whispered and he did. His hands had always been so good in finding her skin even through layers of clothes. They went to her belly, their warmth spreading to her core, they went to her hips, they returned to her belly button, softly rubbing against it. And they went higher, travelling over her ribs, circling underneath her breasts, between them… and then he moved his hands over her nipples. She gasped and moaned, wanting more. The fingers returned, softly kneading and pinching them. His lips were back on hers, hungrier this time. His breathing had become heavy, his eyes were half-shut. He moved his mouth down her neck, to her collarbone, then he tugged at her clothes, baring her breasts.

“Ahhh,” he sighed and dived down to gently suck them. Now that his hands were free, they started travelling again, slowly, downwards. She arched her back, hoping it would speed up their progression, but of course not - had she forgotten it was all slow, slow, slow with the Celestial? Belly button, hips, thighs, finally the thighs… she was about to grab his hand and guide it to where she wanted it the most when suddenly, a strange feeling crept up in her and she stiffened. Instantly, he stopped.

“What is it?” he panted. “Does it hurt?”

Eyes. There were eyes on her.

“The… Blood Demon,” she shrieked, “it has come again!”

“What are you saying?” he inquired with a frown.

She dropped her voice very low, shaking from fear. “The Blood Demon is in my head. It is watching us!”

“Shh,” he said, “be calm.” He placed his hand on her forehead. It reassured her a little and the eyes went away, but only so that they were not easily visible anymore.

“It looks exactly like the Fox Woman,” she told him, “but I don’t trust it. It’s outside, lurking.”

“What…,” his face changed. “Is Seventeenth still here?”

Shao Wan shook her head and grabbed his arm. “Don’t trust it!”

He took her hand into his. “Shao Wan. Don’t you remember what you did?”

She did. And she didn’t. What was a dream, what was a memory? How could she trust any of it? She remembered how he had stabbed her. Several times? But there was not a scratch on her body, no scar at the heart where his sword had pierced her. Maybe it wasn’t true. Why would she feel so safe with him if he had killed her?

“Rest, Shao Wan,” he said, sounding rather concerned. “There is no Blood Demon outside. It is Seventeenth, Bai Qian, the Crown Princess. You possessed her body. But I fear…. I fear something might have gone awry when your soul went back into your body.”

Chapter 35a