Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 48 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 48

written by kakashi
edited by LigayaCroft & Panda

~ 101 years ago ~

“He did it. He really did it. He listened to me and got himself cursed! Why is he so… stupid...”

“Ance-tor, please don’t cry,” Fong Hung begged. He had never before seen her this shaken and he wanted her sobbing and quivering to stop. It hurt his heart and his head and all the rest of him to the bone.

“Fong Hung, I did something unforgivable… I feel… he will never again...”

Her tears intensified. She sat on a slab of stone in the cave he had hidden in for the last weeks, looking frail and vulnerable, rocking back and forth with her arms tightly wound around herself.

“... of all things, his hair… his beautiful hair… the Yellow Wolf made me do it… but I did… not hesitate.”

“Ance-tor,” Fong Hung said more forcefully, “hair grows back. They say it’s even stronger the second time, do not lose courage!”

That was maybe the worst, seeing her wavering, seeing all that strength she had always possessed eroded by guilt, seeing fear eat away her courage.

Yet, it was clear what needed to be done: the Yellow Monster had to be stopped and destroyed at all costs.

Fong Hung had not even tried to dissuade her when she had told him of her plans the first time, though he wanted to scream and shout at her to get herself to safety. But Fong Hung had always known, his Lady was made for great things and those made for great things had to walk on paths others could not follow.

“Ance-tor, we have no time!” He had to keep his own fears hidden from her or else, she would take them as an excuse to retreat. It had taken him the patience of many days to persuade her of his willingness, showing her his special powers he had acquired from all that Celestial pampering, the elixirs, and power bubbles, how he could make himself invisible, how he could break powerful wards, everything to prove to his Lady he was up to the part he was to play in her big plan.

She looked at him, sniffed back her tears, wiped her eyes and nodded. “Yes, you are right, we must go immediately. The meeting place is far away and I have to be back in time for the final battle.”

And yet, despite her words that called for haste, she did not get up. Her hands went to her stomach instead and the softest look appeared on her face. “I would have loved to see you…,” tears started streaming down her face again, “see you grow up,” she sobbed.

“Ance-tor!” Fong Hung said, trying to sound brave and a little stern even though his heart was overflowing with emotions, “You will come back, I know it. You will be happy family! No need to be sad!”

Sometimes, one needed to lie to be able to even continue breathing. He was so afraid he felt like he was going to faint. So much could go wrong. So much! Do not think of it, Fong Hung! he ordered himself. Believe in her, you must believe it!

After swallowing a few times to get rid of the lump in his throat, he went over to her and took her hand.

“And you know who will be waiting?” he beamed at her, “Me! I will be waiting for you to come and save me from the evil Soulswappers. Every day, until you come.”


~ Present Day ~

“This… this is for you,” Yín Shuǐ stammered. It was the first time she spoke to him. Her voice was much deeper than he had imagined, yet clear and melodious, reminding him of the soothing murmur of that little creek near the cave he and the Demon Ancestor had grown up in.

“Thank you,” Fong Hung said, his tongue almost tripping over the words in the thrill of the moment, “you are very kind.”

He took the little cake from her outstretched hand, enchanted by the red blotches on her cheeks and by how she was trying to hide her embarrassment by turning her face away from him.

She wanted to bolt as soon as he had taken her offering but he caught her sleeve. “Stay,” he said, “please.”

Her eyes met his briefly before they were downcast again. She bit her lip and took a few deep breaths. “We are not allowed.”

Fong Hung shrugged in an attempt to appear nonchalant when his heart was actually beating fast in his throat. “I never heard of a rule that forbids sitting next to each other.”

Her eyes moved to his and stayed. They were of a light brown color, he noticed with wonderment, almost amber, with green sprinkles. People from the Horse Tribe had the most interesting eyes, some blue, some green, some yellow, many in different shades of brown. He was staring and she turned red again, all over. Quickly, he sat down to lessen her embarrassment and looked at what she had brought him. A very pretty cake from a feast… he had served many of these special treats to Cult Members over the years, but never had he had the privilege to try one. He was touched and curious.

Savoring the moment, he brought the flower-shaped cake to his mouth and took a bite.

The sweetness that spread on his taste buds overpowered his senses like a fist to the face. Gasping for air, he closed his eyes against the instant dizziness, desperately trying not to throw up.

“Servant, what is happening?” he heard Yín Shuǐ ask in alarm.

“It’s alright,” he lied, hearing his own voice only from the distance through the blood that was pounding in his ears, “I am not used to this kind of sweetness.”

In her concern, she was hovering over him. She was so close, he could smell a trace of spice coming from her mouth, from the poisonous Ling tea all Cult members had to drink regularly. Breathing in deeply, he caught her true scent behind it. Grass in the summer heat. A deep water pond just freed from the ice of winter.

Daringly, Fong Hung reached out his hand, took hers in his and pulled her next to him. He held on tightly until the dizziness had passed and he could open his eyes without fear of toppling over.

“I am so very sorry,” she said. The tears in her eyes made his heart contract painfully.

“Please don’t be,” he said, “I… liked it.”

She sniffed and pouted a little. “You must not lie for my sake,” she said, “Servant, I should have known Wei cake isn’t good for you. It was a very stupid mistake.”

“My name is Fong Hung,” he told her on impulse.

Her eyelids fluttered for a brief moment and she took a deep breath. “I know this,” she whispered, “they say you used to serve the Demon Ancestor in your first life, is that true?”

Fong Hung nodded.

“When is she coming back to the Demon Realm?” Yín Shuǐ asked hastily. “Will we have to wait for much longer?”

Like a lightning bolt had entered his head, Fong Hung stiffened. Was he stupid? He did not know this girl. But apparently, she knew a lot about him. Trusting anyone from the Cult was like putting your head into a hungry tiger’s mouth. Of course they’d know his taste. Of course they’d send someone this lovely to entice him, someone he had been watching for years from a distance, always worrying when he didn’t see her among the others, always glad when he did.

With considerable regret, Fong Hung shrugged. “She is no longer my Master,” he said coolly, “I serve Jiàopài Huàn Zong now.”

Yín Shuǐ looked at him with a frown. She was sitting very close, so close, he could see faint little dots on the fair skin of her face.

“Yes, of course,” she said stiffly but kept looking at his face like she expected to see the truth there.

There was no way back from the silence they fell into after her words. So they sat there in the cave and looked at each other like there was nothing else to look at. Her lashes were very fine, from far away, it looked like she had none. Up this close though, they were like the tail feathers of the rare silk bird. Her curved brows spoke of a person more daring than what she let herself be. Her mesmerizing eyes showed him no duplicity, but he knew, he could not allow himself the luxury of trusting anybody here.

Her hand was still in his, warm and surprisingly soft for somebody who had to train with weapons every day and as they sat there in silence, both their grips got tighter, as if they were afraid the other’s hand would slip away.

“Fong Hung!” somebody’s sharp voice rang out in one of the corridors not far from them.

Yín Shuǐ winced and jumped up, disengaging her hand from his like it was burning hot. “Be well, Fong Hung,” she pressed out and ran away, fusing effortlessly with the shadows.

“Fong Hung!”

Still a little stunned, Fong Hung scrambled to his feet. It was Yu Fen, the second in command, sounding angry. He better hurry.

Running as fast as he could through the narrow corridors, he went over the things he might have done wrong in his head. But… he was always so careful, there was nothing. For a long time, he had feared they had noticed his absence during the bleeding of the God of War despite his extreme carefulness and would execute him on the spot, but no such thing had happened. His Lady’s false, decaying body they had found, but none of them had believed she was gone for good. Yu Fen’s triumphant smile when she had beheld that corpse still haunted Fong Hung’s dreams. Had their plans not gone completely awry with the appearance of the female Demon guards? Had they not wanted to trap the Demon Ancestor’s soul in the body of Ling Dao’s child? Had they not wanted to call back Mother Immortal from the Nothingness, but had not had enough power to go through with it?

“I am here, Second Chief, I am here!” he gasped out of breath after turning another corner and finding her standing there, hands on her hips. He fell on his knees, touching his forehead to the ground. “At your command!”

Towering above him, Yu Fen remained silent for a while and then asked: “You have served us for how long now?”

“It has been over one hundred years, Second Chief,” Fong Hung answered, feeling very discomforted by her question. “I should have known you needed me and n…”

“You seem reliable and loyal,” she cut him off.

Yes, Fong Hung thought viciously, but not to you.

“Yes, Second Chief, I have always served you to the best of my abilities.”

“We have watched you closely. Ling Dao thinks it’s time…”


No. A cold feeling spread in his body.

The day he had so feared had come.

“You will be served Ling tea for the first time tonight. If you survive the transformation, you will be sent on your first mission in a few weeks.”

“I am deeply honored,” Fong Hung lied while he began praying fervently. Ancestor, please save me! You promised you would be back! Ancestor!

But was she even alive? No word from her, no sign, no rumors, nothing. Fong Hung wanted to cry, but she would not approve of this weakness. He had assured her he could do this. He had to persevere.

“Our target is the Crown Prince,” Yu Fen informed him with a satisfied smile, “and you will be perfect for the task.”


“Is that the Sea Cloud bracelet?” Donghua asked bending forward curiously to get a better look.

Mo Yuan nodded.

“Did you kill Lord Xinhu to get it?”

Mo Yuan shook his head.

“I see,” Donghua said, leaning back. “Interesting.”

“Is it something deadly?” Shao Wan asked, bracing herself for the worst, because it seemed that generally, his doom was the most likely consequence of all of Mo Yuan’s actions.

“That depends on what was promised to obtain it,” Donghua said chuckling.

“Only to find the daughter and get her married,” Mo Yuan said, sounding rather defensive.

“Only!” Donghua snickered, “Oh, have many volunteers stepped forward yet? I am sure that thoroughly disgraced Celestial women are a hot commodity in some corners of the Realms.”

Shao Wan frowned and looked at all three men, but it was just like during school. Whatever secret knowledge they shared, they did not bother with letting her in on it.

“Shao Wan,” Donghua addressed her sweetly, “have you ever considered being the head of a harem?”

What was that about now? “I find men rather tedious most of the time,” she replied pertly, “I had considered it when I was Demon Overlord, but once I am back in that position…,” she looked at Mo Yuan’s pale face, feeling her heart swell, “ will be enough.”

“Oh,” Donghua coughed, “that must have been the most beautiful love confession ever coming out of your once-Demon mouth. Let’s drink to that, old friends!”

He lifted his cup in Mo Yuan’s direction, but noticed it was empty.

“Son!” he said, “we need more wine.”

“Yes, Father,” his little look-alike replied and disappeared in the direction of the kitchen, just to come weaseling out again a few instances later, balancing a tray with a still-sealed bottle of Zhe Yan’s peach wine and more tasty looking snacks on it.

“He gets no more wine!” Zhe Yan interjected and got up quickly to snatch Mo Yuan’s cup from him. “Where is that Horse disciple of yours? We need to fetch her. She knows more than me about her tribe’s poisons.”

“With the Demon Overlord,” Mo Yuan replied, looking at his now empty hand with such a tired expression, Shao Wan’s heart contracted. “I think.”

“We can send the Tree Spirit Migu to get her,” Donghua offered, “if what you think is true.”

“Here is what we need to do in this exact order,” Zhe Yan informed them all, a bit calmer than before. “Give Mo Yuan Xiaowu’s blood. I am not sure how much will be enough, but we will find out. Get the poison out of him and Shao Wan. Find a remedy for Shao Wan’s predicament with the help of whoever Mo Yuan has imprisoned with the Sea Cloud bracelet. The End. I will go on a very long holiday afterwards, that much I can guarantee you.”

“There is one more thing,” Mo Yuan said.

“I hope not,” Zhe Yan snapped at him.

Did Zhe Yan really need to talk to Mo Yuan like he was a child? Shao Wan frowned at the Old Phoenix. “It’s not his fault,” she said, “stop being so angry at him.”

That was a mistake. The dying embers of Zhe Yan's rage lit up again instantly as he turned to her. “Not his fault?” he pressed out, “then is it yours? Yes, now that you mention it, I see it. You are the one who has turned this once level-headed, cautious and thoroughly intelligent man into a rash fool who is going to get himself killed if this continues for much longer.”

“Zhe Yan,” Mo Yuan said dangerously and got up, “you do not talk to her like this.”

“Friends, friends!” Donghua interjected, “sit down and take a few deep breaths. Nobody is dying this time.”

Zhe Yan’s words hit home, even though she saw that he regretted them already. It was no news to her that Mo Yuan was a man who would walk through the fires of hell to protect what he cared about. That it was her he did all this for - it filled her with both immense happiness and the darkest dread.

“I am sorry I am always this much trouble,” her mouth blurted out just as her eyes filled with annoying, hot tears once again, “I told you to let me go.”

“Now you’ve made her cry, you bully,” Donghua said angrily to Zhe Yan and leaned forward to offer her a handkerchief. But his son was quicker.

“Here, Ancestor,” he said, appearing next to her with a steaming cup in his hands, “I made you a special tea that is very good for you and your babies. And here, you can keep this.” He pressed a piece of cloth into her hands. “I got it from Yánwáng when my mother and I stayed in Dìyù. He told me it dries up more than tears - it takes away your sadness. It really helps,” he added quickly, misreading her astonished look as doubt, “I have not been sad since.”

Bai Gun Gun’s gesture was enough to make the men go quiet. They just sat there, looking gloomy and constipated, drinking tea or wine and occasionally nibbling on snacks. Mo Yuan looked at her with eyes full of pain. Donghua looked at his son as if he had a lot to say but did not know how to. And Zhe Yan looked at the table as if he wished himself far away.

Shao Wan dried her tears with Gun Gun’s gift and waited for the special tea to cool down a little before she began sipping it. It was the most stupid thing to fight among friends, didn’t they know? But she had no energy to scold them.

Time trickled by.

The candles had burnt about halfway when they heard steps from the entrance of the cave, announcing whom they had been waiting for.

“I am back!” Fengjiu shouted as soon as she came rushing in, but something in her voice did not bode well.

All four of them stood up and watched how Bai Qian entered behind her a bit slower, a stormy expression on her face.

“Xiaowu,” Zhe Yan said, sounding relieved, “thank you for coming. You are much needed!”

They only saw the third person when he came forward into the light. Mo Yuan drew in a sharp breath.

“I do not want to keep any secrets from my husband,” Bai Qian said, stubbornly lifting her chin. “Especially not secrets of this kind.”

The somber-faced Crown Prince stepped forward cautiously, his hands held in front of him palms forward and fingers spread, as if he had to convince the gathered crowd he meant not harm. He looked straight at Mo Yuan and nobody else when he spoke.

“I have come to help,” he said, “if I can. We are family after all.”

Chapter 49