Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 54c (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 54c

written by kakashi
edited by Panda & LigayaCroft

Stupid Demon. Stupid, stupid Demon!

Tian Gu paid little attention to where she was walking to. She was simply too angry. Angry and disappointed. Mainly angry. So angry.

Silly as she was, she had talked herself into believing they were friends. And yet, first chance he got, Yu Dian had left her alone to… she pulled a disgusted face, trying not to let images of him doing… that kind of thing form in her head. She may have felt sorry for him up in the Heavens, but that sentiment was long gone. First, nobody forced him to join her and Si Ming. They had sufficiently warned him about the power suppression but he had walked in willingly, even when it had become clear it was going to be a thousand times worse with the Crown Prince’s magic shields up. Second, he had started drooling upon laying eyes on those poor maids who were too frightened to protest being leered at that way. Like his brains had been left behind in the Fox Realm!

“Demons have a long history of seducing Celestial women,” Lian Song’s wonderful wife had told her on their way to see the turtles, “and after seeing Lian Song’s friend, I begin to understand why.”

So what if it was true what the Third Celestial Prince had said and Celestial women had difficulties resisting Demons, especially when they looked like Yu Dian? What had happened to self-restraint and propriety? Had everybody suddenly gone mad with spring feelings?

“I hear they are extremely capable lovers,” Cheng Yu had smiled and winked, which made Tian Gu blush deeply. The Third Prince loved to put his nose into other people’s private business, she knew, and apparently, her love life was no secret even up in the Heavens.

She had learned some things about Demon men indeed, though she still thought of herself as vastly inexperienced. Unlike Celestials, Demons had access to a raw sort of power, an animalistic, forceful, dangerous, but very tempting power that came from the liquid fire that was buried deep underneath the ground. In the very beginning of their creation, Demons had been just demons - lustful, greedy, murderous. But with cultivation had come self-awareness, had come the ability to control this nature and turn it into the foundation of a brave warrior race.

But sometimes, they simply didn’t want to control it. Their unbridled sexual energies, simmering just underneath the surface, were a case in point. No wonder Celestials were drawn to Demons: Celestial powers were all about purity and control. That didn’t work so well in the bedroom.

Her own tribe had become Celestial by choice many, many years ago, Tian Gu had only heard about it through stories told by the elders. But she had often wondered why their magic was so different from Celestial magic. Her Shifu’s for example; He drew his strength from the skies, from the Universe. It was all about balance. He never forced anything, he emptied himself to let the powers flow through him, only wielding them in ways the powers invited him to.

Her magic on the other hand… it hurt. It always hurt so much, it always resisted, as if this very Creation opposed it. Being among Demons of late had taught her that her magic was much more like their magic. They told her their magic “bit them” if they were not careful.

Such were Tian Gu’s thoughts as she walked through town, but even though she did not pay much attention to the direction, her feet took her straight to the inn Yu Dian had sent her to. Sent her to! As if she had to do his bidding! But the inn, too, was situated conveniently along the main street as if this town knew exactly what visitors needed to be happy.

Once inside, she got two separate rooms for them - yes, she made sure they were on opposite sides of the building - and then ordered some food and wine after dumping her bundle on her narrow bed. Her mood certainly didn’t improve as she sat at one of the tables in the guest room, trying to fathom what to do next. How long did men stay in brothels anyway?

“Is the food not to your liking, customer?” the innkeeper came over to inquire.

“What? No, no, it’s fine,” she answered quickly, not wanting to unduly insult anybody, though she hadn’t even tasted it. “I’m waiting for my friend to join me.”

“Have you come for the market tomorrow? You look like you’re from far away.”

The owner looked friendly enough, he had a round, open face, a broad mouth and reddened cheeks. With a piece of cloth, he kept polishing the empty tables, even though they looked more than clean to her.

“No,” Tian Gu said with a shake of her head, trying to sound friendly as well, “we are looking for a person. A woman.” Recalling Si Ming’s words, she repeated after him: “A delicate beauty, with white, almost translucent skin, a small face with high cheekbones, a straight nose, small mouth and willful chin.”

“Oh,” the innkeeper said and quickly turned his head in the direction of the kitchen. Assured there was nobody near to overhear him, he dropped his voice and whispered into her ear. “Then you should go to the crystal palace. There is such a woman there. She is famous in this town.”

“The… what?”

There was no palace in this town, just a duke’s mansion further up on the hill.

“The parlor house!” the man explained, turning quite red. “Is there a reward? Consider sharing some with me?”

“Oh. Ohhhh!”

That was why Yu Dian had gone in! He had seen the jar glow and had not wanted to tell her, to surprise her! Or… a strange feeling came over Tian Gu. What if … what if he wanted to capture the Celestial woman all by himself and take all the credit in front of her Shifu?

“I’ll be right back!” she cried and jumped up, to rush back to that establishment as quickly as she could, tears of anger almost blinding her. A friend? Yu Dian was no friend. She had just wanted to believe it so, so much.


Having a knife at one’s throat was seldom a pleasant experience, but Jie Jing’s hand was shaking violently and Yu Dian wasn’t dead yet. All things considered, the situation could be worse.

“You should have cut my throat deeper if you meant to kill me,” he told her, “you must be aware of the fact that I am much stronger than you.”

Yet, he kept his hands away from her, only shifting his weight ever so slightly to lessen the biting pressure of the blade against his skin.

“Jie Jing,” he said her real name slowly and it rolled off his tongue most pleasantly, “I know who you are.”

“Why are they sending a Demon?” she pressed out, sounding close to tears. “Why are you working for the Celestials? I do not understand!”

Why indeed. Lian Song had warned him, hadn’t he. The God of War may be collecting his debt in order to pay back his own, but he never does anything without a larger plan.

It was eerie, this ability to read people, to know their souls. More, to know which souls would speak to each other, would be foolish enough to consider their encounter was arranged by fate. Not fate at all, Yu Dian thought, feeling bitterness, just puppets in the hands of a Celestial High God.

“Jie Jing,” he called her again, glad to find he had his usual, silky voice back, because her name should sound like it belonged into a song even when spoken, “if you put down the knife, we can talk about this.”

“Talk,” she challenged him, “but the knife stays where it is.”

Her left hand had grabbed the fabric of his robe at his shoulder when she had attacked, her knees were on his right thigh and the pressure of the blade against his throat did not cease. Her determined face was very close, her rapid breathing sending bursts of warm air to his own.

“The God of War sent me,” Yu Dian said truthfully, “I owe him a life debt.”

“The God of War!” Jie Jing echoed in surprise, her voice softening considerably when she continued. “I owe him a debt too. What is it he wants, Demon Lord?”

She owed Mo Yuan a debt? Yu Dian had been certain she would express hate for the man who was to blame for her disgrace. But maybe she simply did not know his true character, still being so young and probably being very naive?

“High God Mo Yuan promised your father to bring you back in exchange for a very valuable object,” he thus added.

That’s the kind of man he is, this High God, treating people’s lives like objects when it serves his purpose, he thought bitterly.

Jie Jing’s face scrunched up. “Oh no,” she said, sounding close to tears. “Oh no.”

Indeed more the kind of reaction Yu Dian had expected. Did she understand now he was not here because he had volunteered for it? Carefully, he shifted again. He could have thrown her off with one swift move, but it did not seem necessary.

“Did he need it to help the Lady Shao Wan, that object?” Jie Jing asked in a small voice.

That question gave Yu Dian pause. “I do not know,” he answered gruffly. He indeed did not, but the God of War had done a lot of brave things for the Demon Ancestors recently, including letting himself be captured by a Cult who wanted to kill him. However much he wanted it to be a lie, it had become hard to convince himself High God Mo Yuan had no true affection for the Demon Ancestor.

To his great surprise, Jie Jing put down the knife with a sigh and removed her hand from his shoulder, looking defeated. “I have to comply,” she said very softly. “If it’s him calling for me, I will come with you without resistance. Who…,” she swallowed, then turned her large, shimmering eyes on him again. “Do you know... who… is there… a groom?”

“No,” Yu Dian answered with a frown, “I do not know about a groom.”

“Very well,” Jie Jing sighed, “I lived a dream and now it is over.”

A dream?

“You are a courtesan,” Yu Dian said fiercely, “how is that a dream?”

Jie Jing brought some distances between them, putting the knife back underneath the carpet where she had pulled it from.

“Choices,” she told him with narrowed eyes when she looked back up, brushing back her long hair so it would not fall into her eyes, “I came to the mortal world and did everything I could to stay and to have the ability to make my own choices. But a Demon Prince like you would not understand.”

No, indeed, he could not understand.

“Maybe I like being a courtesan,” she challenged him, moving closer again. “Maybe eternal marriage and life in a harem is the exact opposite of what I have ever wanted. Maybe I wanted to lie with as many men as I possibly can.”

His breath was suddenly a little short.

“Maybe I enjoy the power I have over men,” she continued, “maybe I like that however mighty they are, they come back again and again, even from far away, to moan my name, not the names of their wives. Maybe I like how weak they become when they want me. Just like you.”

She had to know what effect such frivolous words would have on him. Yes, she certainly did, he saw it in her eyes that had taken on an almost dangerous expression. From the hunted to the hunter, it was a smooth transition. His heart hammering in his chest anew, he watched her with fascination as she crawled towards him, on top of him, pressing against his shoulders so he would lie down.

And he did, without any resistance.

Jie Jing straddled him, slightly rocking back and forth on top of his growing excitement. She drew a shuddering breath just as he did.

“See,” she whispered and lightly touched his tattoo, “see? And the more conflicted they are, the better.”

Jie Jing bent down to trace her lips along his face, his brow, his temple, his cheek. He breathed in deeply. The scent of her skin… he did never want to forget it.

“Then tell me, my Lord and Master, does the God of War know you are an initiated member of Jiàopài Huàn Zong?” she whispered into his ear before nibbling on his earlobe.

It dawned on him then that maybe, Lian Song had gotten a few things wrong. It was possible this woman was no victim. It could easily have been her seducing the Yellow Demon Lord, not the other way round. The God of War had probably not annulled the marriage because he believed her to be spoilt goods - no, she might owe him a debt because he had let her go, had helped her escape a fate she did not want.

Yu Dian whispered: “Is there anything he does not know?”

“Then he has other plans for you?”

“Undoubtedly. It’s also not unlikely he’ll kill me eventually.”

His hands came up to slide into the baggy robe she was wearing, onto her soft skin. She shuddered in anticipation as he traced them down her hips to grasp her buttocks.

“Tell me about it. The initiation. The rites. I have… begged them, again and again, but they always told me I am too weak to be a part of them.”

Her tongue started lapping at his throat, where she had cut him. The burning sensation intensified.

“Consider yourself lucky,” he replied drily, “you throw up for days and almost die and in the end, you gain nothing.”

How often had he cursed the Cult for taking his twin sister from him? Two hearts, one soul… they were that no longer. But how could they have possibly escaped it? He had still been a boy after the shell of their father had inevitably succumbed to the Demon madness. Taking over the reign was so risky - anyone coming for a challenge would have won within seconds against him. So they made up a lie and begged the Cult for protection. They had given it, but they had asked for payment, as they always did.

“That cannot be true!” she said, lifting her head. “They have so much power!”

“Some,” he agreed. “Some have it. But only the ones born with it, don’t fool yourself.”

Did she not know what the Cult wanted? Resurrect Nüwa, destroy the thirty six Heavens and all of Fuxi’s faulty creation, have her create a new world… Growing so much stronger after the Demon Ancestor’s death in the fire during the first Demon War, giving people hope - when all they stood for was destruction.

“How can you do their bidding,” he chided her, “if you think you need to pay back a debt to the God of War?”

“Because that debt is my very last tie to the Celestial Tribe,” she sighed. “I will pay it back - and then, I will owe no more allegiance.”

Yu Dian laughed. “You are a horrible woman,” he said admiringly. “Don’t you have parents?”

“No,” she answered fiercely and put her soft, wet mouth to work on his chest.

“You won’t get away even if you do this,” he ground out, though he wasn’t quite sure he would be able to act quickly enough should she try and trick him.

“I told you I will follow you willingly,” she replied, “but I cannot pass a body like yours by. Let it be the last I enjoy before they ensnare me and put me behind walls. I have lain with thousands of men… but the Demons, they will stand out. My first and my last that I chose freely.”

She leaned forward to kiss him then and that featherlight kiss made Yu Dian’s head reel and body go slack, as if her lips suddenly possessed a magic to take away a man’s will and reason.

“Yu Diaaaaaaan!” he heard from far away, like the voice of a ghost, strangely muffled.

“Is that your name?” Jie Jing whispered, “it is very beautiful.”

“Yu Diaaaaaaaaan!”

A draft of cold air made him shiver briefly, but he just pulled the woman on top of him closer, seeking her lips again. Whoever was calling him could wait. Wait for a long time...

“What are you doing! Get away from her!”

Somebody started pulling his hair viciously, making him yell in pain.

“Step away from her! You lecherous Demon! Stop!”

Tian Gu?

Jie Jing scrambled off him, quickly pulling his robe around herself tightly as she moved behind the bed for protection.

“Ouch!” Yu Dian shouted, turned to his knees, grabbing Tian Gu’s hands, removing it from his hair, “what has come over you, woman? Who let you in anyway?”

“I told them I’m your wife!” Tian Gu pressed out and Yu Dian noticed tears in her eyes.

“Calm down,” he said, holding on to both her hands, “Tian Gu, what happened? Are you in danger?”

“What happened?” she shouted at him, “this happened! You went to this place to capture her and you told me nothing!”

“No, that’s not…”

“She is your wife?” Jie Jing asked in a small voice.

“My wife?” Yu Dian laughed bitterly. “She could have been but she prefers somebody else. She is a pampered Princess of the Horse Tribe. And she has a choice.”

“Oh,” Jie Jing just said and turned her large eyes on Tian Gu with much admiration.

“Has he hurt you?” Tian Gu addressed her, frowning as she looked at her rather disheveled state. “Be assured, this man has no wife. Or else she would have ripped his head off a long time ago!”

“He hasn’t hurt me,” Jie Jing said with a shake of her head.

“I hate you,” Tian Gu told him with emphasis and tried to pull her hands out of Yu Dian’s grip.

“Tian Gu,” Yu Dian said, feeling an urge to hug her but thinking that would not be such a good move, “you believed I was going to betray you? I would never do that. Never! It was…”


“... it was a coincidence,” he assured her, “I did not know she would be here.”

Tian Gu threw Jie Jing another look.

“She is wearing your clothes.”

Yu Dian sighed. “Yes.”

“I will pretend this did not happen,” Tian Gu said sternly, but she stopped trying to pull her hands away from him.

“Good,” Yu Dian said, though he could not make a similar promise. His blood was singing. The memory of Jie Jing’s kiss… he had never felt anything like it before.

“I ran here so quickly, I forgot to bring the shackles!” Tian Gu whispered. “What are we going to do?”

“She promised to follow me willingly,” Yu Dian said just as quietly, “do not worry.”

“Why?” Tian Gu looked over to Jie Jing again who was still hovering behind the bed. “Didn’t Si Ming say she would certainly put up a lot of resistance?”

Yu Dian snorted. “One look at me was all it took.”

“That cannot be true!” Tian Gu exclaimed, but she did let her eyes travel over him in a scrutinizing way, looking pensive.

Yu Dian had to smile. “You are the only one who is immune to me,” he whispered, “don’t try too hard to understand it.”

But for a very brief moment, there was something in Tian Gu’s eyes that he had longed to see there from the moment they had met. He blinked and it was gone, but it left him with a lump in his throat and a small ache in the pit of his stomach.

“Clothes,” he said, clearing his throat, “Jie Jing, do you have other clothes? Put them on.”

“Are we leaving already?” the Celestial asked.

“We are!” Tian Gu exclaimed and sprang to her feet. “Heavens, here we come!”

“Hold on,” Yu Dian said, “we’re not going back there.”

“What?” Tian Gu gaped at him angrily, “I knew something was fishy here.”

“We’re going to the Demon Realm,” Yu Dian said. “The Obsidian Palace.”

“What? No! Those are not our instructions!”

“Yes, they are. Our instructions were to ‘bring back a Celestial fugitive’. And who gave the instructions? Your Shifu. And where do you think your Shifu will go the moment he has taken care of his business?”

“Hm,” Tian Gu wrinkled up her face, but there was a small nod from her.

“Yes, that’s right,” Yu Dian said, getting up to his full height, rolling his shoulders. “True love lasts for ever and ever, without break or decay. When the hills are all flat, the rivers are all dry. When it thunders in winter, when it snows in summer, when heaven and earth mingle, not even then will he part from her.”

“Is this…”

“You should read more of my poems,” he told Tian Gu, “shall we?”

He felt very clever in that moment. But deep down he knew… finding Jie Jing was not the end. It was a beginning.

Chapter 55