Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 45 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 45

written by kakashi
edited by Panda & LigayaCroft

“Gun Gun!” Fengjiu’s voice rang out from the entrance of the Fox Den, “Gun Gun, come and prepare the table, lunch is ready soon!”

“Yes, mother, I’m coming!” Dijun’s son called back, and he dropped the knife and the four-legged beast he had been carving out of a piece of wood and hurried up the uneven stone stairs like lives depended on it.

Shao Wan looked after him. “Is it normal for children to be this good?” she asked her friend Donghua, who was leaning back against a stone in the sun with his eyes closed, not far from where she sat in the shade.

“I do not know, I just have this one,” he yawned extensively, “and I can’t even say I had a lot to do with his upbringing. It’s all Fengjiu’s doing.”

Shao Wan nodded. “This little Fox of yours is remarkable,” she observed. “To have domesticated someone like you.”

“Well,” Donghua Dijun said and opened his eyes to look at her, “I feel it was a natural progression. I had a lot of excitement in my youth. Now that I’m this old, all I want is a clean home, good food and wine, and a family who loves me.”

Shao Wan mulled over these words.


She did believe that they were old, she had enough evidence that it was true. Only… she did not feel old. To her and her faulty memories, they had all been at school together only yesterday. Now that she heard him talk like this, she had to wonder whether feeling old was… good? Wanting only a clean home, good food and wine, and a family who loved her… it had a nice ring to it, these words. But who was qualified to want, to get such a thing?

“Are you trying to remember things again?” Donghua asked and flicked some grass off his robes, “don’t - you’ll only get another headache and Fengjiu will scold me for it. Mo Yuan, the only one who hasn’t quite understood that old age means sitting around doing nothing, is off and about finding a remedy for your problem. Stop worrying.”

“I am not worried,” she said, but even as the words left her mouth, she knew it wasn’t the truth. “It’s not true, I am worried,” she corrected herself gravely.

Since they had got to spend quite a bit of time in the mortal realm before setting out to this place, Shao Wan’s belly had had time to grow a little. She often caught herself moving her hand over the mound there, feeling awed and cowed at the miracle inside.

Things were alright at the moment, but before Mo Yuan had gotten strong enough to cloud jump, she had felt utterly miserable for a while, with any smell of food making her nauseous, tears spilling out of her eyes at the oddest times and Mo Yuan hovering and worried in their various hide-outs, even though he had been only regaining his strength slowly. All due to her.

Shao Wan felt sorry and angry and depressed all at the same time. In her distress, she had tried to push him away, but the stubborn man had not budged, had held her when she cried, had massaged her feet and hands, made her different kinds of food until he identified the dishes she could stomach, and had whispered sweet nonsense to her, just to soothe her.

“When will he come back?” Shao Wan asked Donghua, though she knew exactly what Mo Yuan had said. It was just… she missed him so much. And tonight, she had dreamed again about killing him. She feared those dreams. What if they were forebodings? Was this in her future, when madness would consume her, when she couldn’t distinguish friend from foe anymore?

“As soon as he can,” Donghua answered patiently. She however thought she detected a hint of worry in his voice too today. It was a given that he knew more about Mo Yuan’s plans than he admitted, she had seen them put their heads together and converse in secret - and if the Rock was worried, she was very much afraid.

Everything that made Celestials seem gentle was a lie. There was no crueler place than the Heavens. She had blurted out “don’t go,” when Mo Yuan had said his goodbyes to go up there, embarrassing herself thoroughly in front of everyone.

“I told you I will be back soon, Shao Wan. You are safe here,” he had said, his hand gently tracing the contours of her face.

It was like him saying “I’m alright“ when he was bleeding heavily.

“Let’s go up to the Den to have lunch,” Donghua suggested, “it will make you forget your worries and maybe you can stop pining for an hour or two while digesting.”

“What if he…”

“Don’t,” Donghua said and stretched his long limbs, “I’ve never met anyone more determined. He’ll solve this problem in time, I am sure.”

... won’t come back because of me, she had wanted to say, but she swallowed her words and her fears and followed Donghua up the stairs to the Fox Den.


Fengjiu was a petite kind of woman - but only a fool would mistake her for a weak one. There was strength of character in her bearing and challenge in her eyes and Shao Wan felt a tiny bit afraid of her, even if she was just holding a spoon in her hand. That fear was unjustified, however, because Donghua’s wife was nothing but extremely helpful and kind to her.

Going to Qing Qiu as soon as he was able to cloud jump had been Mo Yuan’s genius idea. Shao Wan had not objected - going to the Demon Realm in her current state was out of the question and Donghua was someone she trusted with her life. She had only been worried that due to her very low cultivation, she would feel unpleasant power suppression in the Fox realm, but such a thing had not happened.

And so, she was in this lovely, peaceful place, to “eat, sleep, idle around”, as Donghua had said.

Sometimes, it all felt like a dream to her. “You are awake,” Mo Yuan had sometimes had to assure her, “here, take my hand, press it,” even after they had left the dreamcave. It was like her mind could not hold on to anything these days, like not even new memories could find a home in her head.

“Demon Ancestor, would you like some more soup?” Gun Gun asked her politely.

Shao Wan blinked. She had been elsewhere with her thoughts.

“It is very good for you,” Fengjiu said with a smile, “do eat a second bowl, Ancestor. I put in some gan cao and hai piao xiao for your stomach.”

Shao Wan looked down. She hadn’t even noticed she had emptied her bowl already. “Yes, thank you,” she said and handed it to Gun Gun. The boy hurried over to the stove and filled it up carefully with a wooden ladle. Then, he walked back, carefully watching what he carried so as to not spill anything.

“Ancestor, look, I made sure to put in extra meat,” he said proudly, “for the babies.”

The gesture and his beaming little face were too much. Tears shot into Shao Wan eyes. “Th… thank you,” she sniffed, hot tears trickling down her nose, “you are so kind to me.”

“I didn’t do anything!” Gun Gun said, looking at his mother in alarm.

“It’s alright, son,” Fengjiu said quietly, “it isn’t your doing. The Ancestor has gone through a lot. But she will feel better soon.”

She knew this was a lie, just sweet talk. Shao Wan might have lost parts of her memories, but she did remember what happened to Demons who misused their powers. She had visited the Lost Demon Tower once – and she would never forget what was inside.

Crazed Ones.

Demon Immortals who lost their sanity and self control when their cultivation became imbalanced - either by practicing dark arts they were too weak to handle, due to lack of understanding of cultivation energy, or when they chose to break a taboo to gain cultivation.

What else than the Madness of her kind could it be, that black, frightening hole in her head?

The first time she had voiced her fears to Mo Yuan, he had scowled and called her silly... but the scowl had soon changed into something else, something that mirrored her own unease. He was the fool for believing he could find a remedy. Every Demon knew there was none.

Now, even the Tower was gone, Mo Yuan had informed her. Collapsed during the war. Where would she go when the Madness took over? It might be most merciful to kill her.

Her tears didn’t want to stop until she got a violent hiccup and spilled some of the soup all over her robes. She was glad that the tree servant Mi Gu chose this moment to storm into the Fox Den to announce a visitor, which made everybody turn their pitying eyes away from her. Her heart picked up speed, but it was not whom she hoped to see the most.

“What is this?“ Zhe Yan said, appearing at the cave entrance, “Mei Mei, is that you looking like a distressed woman who needs to be saved by a valiant hero!”

“Mo Yuan is currently attempting to be that hero,“ Donghua Dijun said and stood up to greet his friend.

“Can he not just sit still for once,“ Zhe Yan sighed. “I almost preferred him moping in his cave. Far less stressful.”

“Have you been to the Heavens recently?“ Donghua asked.

Zhe Yan shook his head. “I had some rather urgent business elsewhere. Do you think I should go?”

“Yes, I think you should go.”

“I’m coming with you!” Shao Wan interjected and stood up.

“I’m not going right now,” Zhe Yan frowned, “I just got here. And you are definitely not coming.”

“I want to help Mo Yuan!” she insisted. Now she had the confirmation! If Donghua wanted Zhe Yan to visit the Heavens, it could only mean Mo Yuan was in need of his most trusted physician.

“Yes, you can help him by not causing any more trouble,” Zhe Yan said sternly, “don’t you know what ruckus you caused? The Royal Family doesn’t take the use of magic against them lightly.”

“I…” Shao Wan sat down again, clamping her mouth shut. It pained her, this knowledge that she had caused Mo Yuan trouble, a lot of trouble and that he was trying to solve the problems she had created.

“You look fairly well, Mei Mei,” Zhe Yan said, looking her over with his doctor-eyes, “even if a bit too thin. Do they not feed you enough, the Foxes?”

“Old Phoenix!” Fengjiu complained, “do you mean to insult me?”

“No, little fox,” Zhe Yan said, “I wouldn’t dare. It’s just my tongue, it always does whatever it wants without considering the danger it puts me in. You know I greatly cherish your excellent cooking.”

“How’s my fourth Uncle?” Fengjiu smiled, mollified.

Zhe Yan sighed. “Too busy. I suggested we go on a nice trip to try out some new food, but he declined. Apparently, the Sea Kingdoms are seeing an upsurge in border attacks from the Ghost Realm and he thinks he’s needed up North?”

“Ghosts?” Donghua shook his head, “not likely. Yan Zhi should have things under control.”

“Are you thinking Demons?” Zhe Yan asked. Donghua nodded.

“What?” Shao Wan asked.

“Your people are just waiting to blow up the Realms again,” Zhe Yan said gravely, “Mo Yuan put a very weak and controllable woman on the Overlord throne - but even before you came back, there were many fractions plotting to overthrow her.”

“I need to go to the Demon Realm!” Shao Wan said and shot up again.

“Mei Mei, you will sit down!” Zhe Yan snapped. “And while we’re at it, you will let me examine you thoroughly.”

“You’re not exactly Overlord material right now,” Donghua observed. “They may be waiting for you, but it’s not the you in your current… form.”

He pointed at her rounded belly. Fengjiu chastized her husband thoroughly for thinking pregnant women could not do whatever they wanted, but Shao Wan didn’t listen. She felt helpless. Never before in her life had she been so weak, so unable to take decisive action. Never before did she have to consider others before making a decision and on top of that, people that she cared about so much.

The conversation around her moved on, words washed over her in gentle waves. At one stage, Donghua’s son set a plate of cookies down and waited patiently for her to acknowledge them. Only when she had taken one, put it in her mouth and managed to smile at him did he collect the plate to give cookies to the others too.

Shao Wan had to try really hard not to start crying again.


“Hmmm, hm, hm, hmmm,” Zhe Yan said.

Shao Wan wasn’t sure whether this signified something horrible or whether it was just a new type of habit of his, now that he was old.

“Yes?” she asked in a small voice.

“Two healthy babies,” Zhe Yan declared with a smile, “so you spent almost a year in the mortal realm? They are quite big already.”

She nodded. Yes, it had been that long.

“As for you…” there was a pause.

“Am I dying?” she blurted out.

“No!” Zhe Yan was taken aback, “why would you think that?”

“I don’t feel right.”

“I’m not surprised,” Zhe Yan said. “First of all, my dear Mei Mei… you do not have any Demon powers anymore.”

Zhe Yan sometimes made jokes that were really not funny at all, like this one. She chose to ignore it.

“Second,” he continued, “your inner meridians are all blocked. I think your body has not gotten used to being… used again. Maybe it’ll wake up with time… if not, I’ll have to think of a way to jolt it awake. You have been taking elixirs?”

She moved her head from side to side. Not exactly.

“Who made them? You can tell me, I won’t be angry for not being consulted.”

“Mo Yuan needs to come back,” she said tearfully.

“Is he holding on to the elixir for you?” Zhe Yan asked. “You need to keep taking them, the babies are using up a lot of your power. Without the additional cultivation from the elixirs, you will soon feel very drained and tired and might not even be able to get out of bed.”

Shao Wan shook her head. “Blood.”

“That most certainly is an excellent ingredient,” Zhe Yan nodded. “I very often use it myself, but it takes a while to get the mixture right. I usually…”

“No, Phoenix,” Shao Wan corrected him, “Mo Yuan has been feeding me his blood.”

Zhe Yan’s eyebrows shot up.

“He says he saw it in my dreams, this remedy.”

Zhe Yan’s eyebrows went even higher.

“Did you also see the Crown Princess in your dreams?” he then asked.

“Yes, I have!” Shao Wan said surprised, “how do you know?”

Zhe Yan made a mysterious face and wanted to hear all the details about the dreamwalking. Of course, Shao Wan didn’t tell him all the details, but thinking about them just made her miss Mo Yuan even more.

“Reckless fool,” Zhe Yan muttered from time to time, or “what an idiot,” but it seemed to Shao Wan, that he was more impressed than angry. When she ended, he closed his eyes and reflected on what he had heard.

“Do you know what kept his body intact when his soul was scattered?” was the first question, confusing and frightening her, because that wasn't something she remembered.

“It was blood,” Zhen Yan explained, “the blood of one of his disciples. Seventeenth, Bai Qian, the current Crown Princess. Fox Heartblood has many magical properties… and of course, the blood of a dragon does too. I have never heard of anything similar before, but I would bet that there is now a bond between all three of you.”

He had other questions, some of which she could answer, others that were just more gibberish to her ears. Like: “Did he ever mention that he was feeling like before? I mean… when he was under the 100 year curse.”

Seeing her puzzled face, Zhe Yan sighed. “Never mind, Mei Mei, you will remember this soon. Mo Yuan went to a very arcane tribe and did some very forbidden ritual that involved hammering poison underneath his skin. Last time I spoke with him, there was still some residual poison left. Ironically, that would actually explain why he was able to dreamwalk in the first place...”

“I do not want him to do these things,” Shao Wan pressed out. “It sounds horrible and I am very worried.”

“Ah,” Zhe Yan said quietly and put a hand on her shoulder, “it is who he is. And you, my dear little sister: you are exactly the same. I always knew you two were made for each other. Finally, finally you have realized too.”

Before her mind had been able to finish mulling over these words and what they signified, she felt a very strong aura. His aura. She jumped up and ran outside.

There he stood, talking to Donghua.

She made a little whimpering sound and he turned his face in her direction and smiled.

He couldn’t fool her, she saw he was hurt, but her worries were swept away by how safe she felt in his arms that embraced her, by how he stroked her back as she pressed her face against his neck and by his voice and the words “I missed you.”

Mo Yuan held her for a long time until she disengaged herself to look at him. She had questions.

“Shao Wan,” he said, “I brought you something.”

He opened his hand and revealed a beautiful jade belt hook. There were nine dragons on it, playing with what seemed to be an egg. Had she not seen it before? Yes!

Curious, she reached out her own hand to take it.

Chapter 46