Fanfiction3: A-Li's Three Lives, Three Worlds - Chapter 53b (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 53b

written by kakashi
character consulting by Bunny
edited by Panda/LigayaCroft

“And who is minding the teas?” Mei Lin snapped at Gun Gun in lieu of a greeting when she sidled up to him as they walked after the High God.

“I have sold them all,” Gun Gun snapped back, trying not to keep looking at her hair and what was glittering it it. But his anger was boiling over: How dare she discard his hairpin like this! He had spent so many hours carving it, he had even gotten blisters from holding the knife. What an ungrateful wench she was!

“Impossible!” Mei Lin hissed.

“Mei Mei,” A-Xi came to his help from behind them, “it is indeed true. He sold them all to a rich dowager lady within only a few incense time!”

“You did… what?” Mei Lin stopped dead in her tracks, making XiShui bump into her with a grunt.

Gun Gun pressed his lips together. In front of them, Yu Dian and Xiao Yu turned around to see what the commotion was. Too agitated to care, he yelled: “Yes, I sold them, and you could at least say thank you!”

Shhhh, stop yelling, have you gone mad? Thank you?!” she laughed bitterly, “you know exactly that you should have sold them to as many buyers as possible so they would come to Huicūn to place more orders. You’re in such trouble. NaiNai will rip your head off!”

“Well, I didn’t do it that way, and sold is sold,” he said stubbornly, though suddenly feeling a bit uneasy. He had forgotten that specific instruction. “You shouldn’t have run off if you feel so responsible for the stupid teas.”

“Stupid teas!” Mei Lin hyperventilated, “after crawling around in those fields until you got bleeding fingers and calluses on your knees, you are one to talk! And did you not once bring tea plants to the hut to save them from the cold?”

“That was then. Now I’m so done with tea,” Gun Gun mumbled, “and I’m so done with you.”

“Ah, is that why you used a poor old lady to skip the work you should have done?”

“She wasn’t poor at all,” Gun Gun defended himself, “and what are you insinuating I did?”

Mei Lin scoffed angrily. “I know exactly what you did. Why else would she have bought all the tea from you? You are good at one thing and that you use whenever you can.”

Gun Gun gasped at her accusation. “I would never….!”

“... sleep with a woman to get what you want? Haha, see how I’m laughing?”

Gun Gun shut his mouth, turned his back and walked away. That she would think so lowly of him… it hurt him. It hurt him much too much. If he could have, Gun Gun would have walked out and away, not to return. But the High God Xiao Yu was wiggling his finger in mocked outrage at them. “Don’t be so loud, children. The realms have seen enough Dragon-Phoenix drama to last several Creations. Leave it to your God of War, Young Master and you to your mother, Pretty Bird. I get so tired of it.”

So he did know. Gun Gun swallowed nervously and tried not to show the discomfort he felt. The next disaster was in the making. If Mei Lin found out… she would certainly lose all trust in him.

“Please forgive us, High God, Demon Lord,” he quickly said and bowed to both, hoping this would stop his lookalike from saying anything more. “It was very bad form.”

“As the oldest of the group, you should be more responsible. They all look to you for guidance,” the Green Lord said coldly. As much as the reprimand galled him, Gun Gun had to admit that he was right. He had to get a grip on himself, fast. Bickering in public, letting himself be this unbalanced by a mere hairpin and by her accusations… he bowed even deeper. “Yes, Demon Lord,” he said quietly, “Please be lenient.”

The two elder gods turned around again and continued walking, leaving Gun Gun to ponder his state of mind all by himself. For him to forget his upbringing like this… it was shameful. But fact was, he had never before made something with his own hands for a woman that wasn't his mother. What right did he have to expect anything from Mei Lin though? Should he not just be content she had worn his pin for as long as she had? Maybe, but fact was, he was not content.

He was extremely jealous, to the point where he felt he would soon lose all reason.

Gun Gun had known jealousy in his life before. At an early age, he had been jealous of A-Li because he had grown up with his father, a luxury Gun Gun had not enjoyed himself. Later, he had been jealous of Mei Shui because he had a sister, something he had always wanted. But he had never been jealous because of a woman before. They had always all flocked to him and he simply needed to choose from what was offered, sometimes flung at him. It wasn’t that he had never formed an attachment. Some of them he had favored for weeks, months, once even over a year. He had enjoyed their company greatly, was always gallant and attuned to their wishes. But now he realized that none of them had ever left a lasting impression. None had ever stirred more than a certain part of his body. Fact was, beyond wanting to be generally liked, he had never before cared about a woman’s deeper feelings towards him.

It was entirely different now. He was about to have his heart broken and he did not have a clue how to guard against it. It scared him.

They sat down at a round table that was soon covered with food, including a huge pile of red shrimp balls. It all looked and smelled delicious and Gun Gun realized just how hungry he was. It was a welcome distraction. He avoided to look at Mei Lin as he politely attended to his Elders, filling their cups when they were empty, making sure their bowls very always full.

“How did you two children find out about the Purple Fang?” Xiao Yu asked the munching duo.

That was the sort of question not to ask XiShui, but Xiao Yu seemed to possess all the patience in the world, because he listened to their detailed explanations without falling asleep or interrupting them. He even seemed interested! Not for the first time, Gun Gun was amazed at their passion for weaponry. They had read every single book in the immortal and mortal worlds about the subject and could talk whole days about just one single detail of craftsmanship. Listening to them recount their painstaking search for this one weapon made Gun Gun feel… useless. What had he done with his life? Wasted it.

The gloom he had been feeling earlier became stronger. To wash down the lump in his throat, he quickly emptied several cups of wine.

“Quite remarkable,” the green-eyed High God cuckled, “what are your plans, young ones? If your schedule permits it, would you care to join me for a bit for my travels? I might think of a thing or two to teach you.”

“Shifu! We are so honored!” the two cried and touched their foreheads to the floor.

It was strange to be feeling… old in comparison to them, Gun Gun mused, shoving another shrimp ball into his mouth. Had he ever had that much enthusiasm about anything? Yes. For Mei Lin. I want to study her and know every single thing about her. I want to draw her in different lights. I want to make songs about her and sing them to the world.

“What news from the Demon Realms?” Xiao Yu asked the Green Demon Lord when the friendly chatter moved on to another subject and Gun Gun’s ears perked up.

“All is quiet,” Yu Dian answered promptly, “it has not been this peaceful for years.”

Xiao Yu’s eyebrows went up questioningly. “And how is the Lady Shao Wan? I did not have the pleasure to see her when I last visited my Yuan-Yuan.”

“Ah, she has a lot on her mind,” Yu Dian said. “And it seems she is having strange dreams…”

“I have them too, whenever I am away from my Yuan-Yuan for too long,” Xiao Yu said, “which is basically always. Tell her to spend some time at Kunlun, it will do her good. And tell her she shouldn't take a good thing for granted.” He sighed deeply.

“Father has a lot on his mind too,” Mei Shui informed them. “And on top of that, he has been very worried about Mei Lin, even though he does not speak of it.”

Now Gun Gun could not help but look her way. Mei Lin pouted, but to people who knew her like him, she also looked guilty and very sad. Part of him wanted to reach out a hand and tell her it would be alright: A certain freedom from one’s parents was a good thing, but it was also very painful. He too often missed his mother and worried about her health.

“Will you come back?” Mei Shui asked his sister gently.

“Soon…” she answered, but it sounded doubtful. Her eyes searched Gun Gun’s as if she wanted confirmation from him, but he quickly looked away.

“I hear we can look forward to another wedding soon, Green Lord?” Xiao Yu asked and popped a shrimp ball into his mouth. “Am I invited? I greatly enjoy weddings, but all my friends are so old, they are just not in the habit anymore.”

Yu Dian nodded grimmly. “It is my honor, High God.”

The Green Lord was very busy making alliances with all the influential Demon families, and as some wagging tongues said at the Overlord’s behest, since she was already tied to one man thoroughly and could not do more for the balance of demon affairs.

“Your weddings are the best, Uncle!” Mei Shui said, “I wish you would marry at least once every year!”

“That may kill him, boy,” Xiao Yu said sternly. “One woman is already handful, but one every year? He would never be able to leave his harem again.”

“I will tell Mother and Father I should get married soon myself,” Mei Shui continued eagerly, “we really should be doing our own share for the stability of the realms.”

Gun Gun moaned inwardly. They had reached the second XiShui passion: lineage and the power balance of the realms. That one day at Kunlun, they had glued together one thousand pieces of paper to be able to draw the family tree of an obscure family somewhere in the South Sea. It had all gone very well until A-Li and Gun Gun had conjured some strong winds.

“Considering status, Mei Lin should marry someone like A-Xi… or you, Gun Gun, for stronger ties between Celestials, Demons and Qing Qiu.”

Mei Lin hit her brother over the head so hard, he spit out the entire wine. “Mind your own business, you books for brain! Just go ahead and get married first! But do you even know what a woman looks like? Not that you get married to a monkey instead and only notice in your wedding night.”

Everybody snickered but Gun Gun, who quickly started looking for something underneath the table to hide his burning cheeks.

“Please excuse the disturbance, Young Master, there is a message for you,” said a melodious voice from behind the door.

“I count...four Young Masters here, dearest, you have to be more specific,” the High God Xiao Yu chuckled, “ah, it’s five! One just surfaced from underneath the table.”

“May I enter?” asked the courtesan at the door.

“By all means,” Xiao Yu replied and watched with unhidden interest as the woman glided across the floor and knelt down next to Gun Gun, a small piece of paper in her outstretched hand. “If you please, Young Master.”

“You do need to tell me your secrets one day,” Xiao Yu said, “we do look quite similar, but I was never even remotely as popular with the ladies. Could it be my personality?”

Gun Gun took the piece of paper with a frown and unfurled it. “Meet me outside now,” it read and was signed with “Painted Flower”. Gun Gun jumped up, startling everybody. “I have to… someone wants to…”

“Hohoho!” Xiao Yu laughed, “this young man will get an entirely different dessert than us.”

“Follow me, Young Master,” the courtesan said sweetly and led him out the door that he could not reach quickly enough. “This way, please,” she said once they were outside and led him up a flight of stairs. “In here,” she chirped and opened a sliding door for him.

“Gùzhǔ!” exclaimed the slender woman who was waiting for him there, “I have finally found you! I was worried.”

“Wényīng!” Gun Gun said, “it is not safe here! You must leave immediately.”

“After I finally get to see you? No,” she said stubbornly.

“But he’s here too!”

She nodded and pulled a face. “I know. He has been asking more frequently for me, which makes it very difficult for me to leave. I fear he might be suspicious of me.”

“Then leave for good,” Gun Gun implored her, “take cover.”

She shook her head. “My duty is not yet done. But no more about me, Master. I have been able to collect many names, here…,” she nestled within her sleeve pocket, giving Gun Gun time to have a good look at her. She looked tired, but her beauty was not diminished because of it. Quite the opposite: there was a wild streak in her and it showed most when she was agitated and preoccupied like now, reddening her cheeks, making her eyes shine like rare gems.

He read the scroll she gave to him, then nodded. “Excellent work. What else?”

“Have a seat, Master,” she said and pointed to the bed. “I have some other news.”

It was a lot she told Gun Gun and as always, she seemed to relax the more she was able to pass on, until it felt like chatting to a friend. I wonder how old she really is? Gun Gun wondered and smiled when she started talking about “the horrors of the harem”, as she called it.

“The absolute worst is the second wife,” she complained, “giving everybody a hard time just because she came in second. Oh, Master… you should probably go back, look how much time has passed!” she pointed at the incense clock. But Gun Gun was not paying her any attention anymore. He heard voices outside.

“... pretty sure my wife is here,” one said, coming closer.

“We’ve never seen this lady before, my Lord,” said a female. “And most certainly, no wife of anybody would frequent this establishment!”

“I insist. I think I heard her voice.”

Both of them inside the room froze.

“Quick!” Gun Gun whispered, “under here!” He lifted the blanket of the bed, pulling Wényīng in with him, covering her with his body and himself with the blanket so that only a small part of his head poked out. Use magic in the mortal world? Never advisable, but sometimes, one had to when things were desperate. He changed his hair color to black and put an appearance altering spell on top. It should do. Hopefully. Doors were being opened further down the corridor under the protest of the courtesans. Then in the adjacent room. Then, their room.

Wényīng started to moan and writhe underneath him, startling Gun Gun, but he understood her intentions immediately and began to move his hips, making grunting noises.

“You will not disturb a customer!” a lady shrieked and slammed the door shut again. “She is not here!”

The door closed again and they kept going until the footsteps were no longer audible. “I like you better with silver hair,” Wényīng giggled beneath him when they stopped, “turn it back.”

Gun Gun smiled at her, changed back into his normal looks and threw off the blanket, feeling great relief that they had avoided discovery. “But now you need to…” the rest of his sentence got stuck in his throat. Somebody was standing in the room, staring at him with big, furious eyes.

“M… Mei Lin,” he stammered.

“And this dummy was feeling sorry for what she said earlier,” she spat out. “I am just stupid. I know you, Bai Gun Gun. I know you too well. Why you can still disappoint me is beyond me.”

“, Mei Lin, please!” he said and tried to get up, hopelessly entangling himself in the blanket and almost falling off the bed.

“I will be going, take care,” Wényīng whispered behind him and made a run for the window.

“You stay here and fight!” Mei Lin shouted and sprinted after her, but Gun Gun managed to throw himself off the bed and into her path. She stumbled and fell with a grunt of pain as he tackled her legs with his arms.

“Let go of me, you… you evil womanizer!” she raged and tried to kick him.

“Please be quiet,” he urged her, “please.”

Legs were disappearing out the window: His informant was climbing up to the roof. She would be fine. No time to feel relieved though.

“He warned me! He will rush to my aid if I scream for him,” Mei Lin gave back, till trying to free her legs, but he held on with considerable strength. “Uncle Yu D…”

Desperate, Gun Gun let go of the legs and jumped forward to clamp his hand over her mouth instead. “Please,” he whispered into her ear, “please, Mei Lin.”

She bit him, drawing blood. “You little…” he howled and barely was able to dodge her when she tried to headbutt him.

“Uncle Yu D…,” she began again. This time, he glued his lips to hers, muffling all the sound. It surprised her and she lay completely still. Using the opportunity, his tongue invaded her mouth, immobilizing hers, then teasing it into full submission with slow, hungry strokes.

“Better,” he whispered when he disengaged. “You are too loud.”

There it was again, right in front of his eyes offending him. He reached up into her hair, pulled out the shiny hairpin with a single movement and threw it out the window.

Much better,” he smiled all satisfied, quickly pinning her arms to the floor in anticipation of her reaction.

“You…” she pressed out and struggled against his grip, but in vain.

“I am much stronger than you, it is pointless,” he remarked wary, “just give up.”

"Bai Gun Gun, you don't own me and you never will," she said coldly. “Let go of me.”

“But I want to own you,” he replied, feeling a mixture of anger, desperation and lust rise in his stomach and start to course through his body, “every inch of you. I want you to me mine. I need you to be mine.”

“What you posses, you lose interest in,” she laughed, “have you forgotten how many times I have seen you hunt? You are a good hunter, Bai Gun Gun, maybe too skilled for your own good. But I am not one of your trophies, Bai Gun Gun, I refuse to be.”

“It’s not like this,” he growled, the anger winning over the other emotions, “with you, it is different.”

“You will never change,” she said viciously, “now let me go!”

“No,” he growled, pressing down on her arms harder, “I want you to apologize.”

“For saying the truth?” angry tears welled up in her eyes, “you are despicable like this.”

Suddenly frightened by the force of his anger and the thought of violence in his head, he let go of her, scrambling backwards. “I wish I had never met you, Mei Lin,” he said, feeling tears enter his eyes as well, “you torture me. You have put a knife in my heart and you twist it. Where have you learned to be so vicious?”

She had gotten to her knees as well, measuring him with her eyes, her dark hair tumbling down her back in leisurely waves. “Maybe I’m just guarding my heart,” she said quietly. “I don’t want it to be broken.”

“I will never…” his voice faltered. Oh Mei Lin. Mei Lin, I think I love you.

“... do not promise something you cannot keep,” she finished his sentence, but she came forward on her knees, putting up her hand towards his face. “How this could become so dear to me in such a short time, I do not understand. But you are trouble. You are trouble, this will not end well. I think I want to go home.”

“Stay with me,” he pressed out, reaching for her hand.

"Bai Gun Gun,” she repeated resolutely, “you don't own me and you never will."

Almost like an afterthought she reached for a strand of his hair and tugged it painfully, like she often had as a child. Only, he no longer was a child. And neither was she. He reached forward to pull her toward him, pressing his lips to hers again, forcing her mouth open, kissing her with a primal hunger he could no longer contain. She pulled at his hair more strongly, hurting him, but he wouldn’t let go. He forced her up, pressing her small body against his, halfway carrying, halfway dragging her over to the bed. She was kissing him back now, not gently and she was using her sharp nails to scratch his back and chest where she could reach it.

It hurt, but he wanted more. Not letting her catch a breath, using his mouth to convey his need, he threw off his tunic and kicked off his pants and shoes. Finding the belt of her dress he pulled, disentangling second robe and underwear, going for the warmth of her flesh, moving his hands upwards to her soft breasts, pinching the nipples hard.

“Ouch,” she moaned, biting his shoulder in reply, moving her hands down to his huge and throbbing shaft, engulfing it with a hard grip, moving her hands up and down until he groaned, then reaching lower to cup his testicles. “I want to suck them,” she whispered, “but maybe I will bite. I could not eat enough earlier because of you.”

They had never made love in bright daylight before, Gun Gun realized, he had never seen the sun on her naked skin, how it danced in her lust-filled eyes, the enticing color of her nipples, he had never seen the wetness of her womanly parts seep out like this. And he had never felt her eyes on his body, eyes that spoke of things her mouth would not.

Utterly defenseless, he lay down on his back and let her play with his most sensitive part, foolish in his trust, and yet justified, because she only hurt him until he said “enough”, torturing him until he begged her to let him find his release, but only mounting him when she wanted, taking him deeper inside of her than he had ever been. She rode him at her own speed, slow at first, then faster, throwing back her head and moaning loudly when she neared her orgasm. He reached up his hand to muffle his name that she shouted when she came, finding his own release at the same time. It shook his body, his core, his everything.

When they lay there afterwards, catching their breaths, he knew. Not to make her his… but to be hers, body and soul. It was what he wanted.

Chapter 54