Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 55 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 55

written by kakashi
edited by Panda & LigayaCroft

“Shao Waaaan!”

Jerking awake, Shao Wan lifted her head from the pillow, brushed aside a lock of hair and blinked. A dream hovered briefly at the edges of her awareness: Sunbleached plains... brown animals grazing lazily, a conversation... But it dissipated like smoke the next time she blinked and all that remained of it was a feeling of having been somewhere else moments before.

She was in her room, in her lavish bed. It was warm, it was comfortable… and very bright. The sun was streaming in through the windows and her stomach growled loudly upon realizing the morning was already old and there had not been any nourishment.

“Can I come in or are you two doing things I’d rather not see?“

She turned her head to the side. The bed next to her was empty and looking very neat. Had Mo Yuan even slept in it? But she remembered his warm body at her back, his strong arms holding her to his chest when they had finally retired to bed.

“Donghua,” she yawned, “what is it?”

He sauntered in, long hair swinging at his back, sword in hand, took a good look at her in that large bed all alone and clicked his tongue.

“You angered him already?”

“What?” Shao Wan maneuvered her legs out of bed and sat up. No, she hadn't. Or had she? “I did not,” she said sullenly. Looking at her thin dressing gown and then the emptiness of her chambers, she frowned. “Why aren’t my maids here?”

“I have no idea,” Donghua shrugged, “but the less I get to see of them the better, they have no manners whatsoever. Would you believe they are still trying to get into my room at night? It’s not like I haven’t made clear that...”

“And how am I to get dressed?” she interrupted him. She wasn’t in the least interested in his amorous adventures nor in the lack of it. Donghua knew he was a very good looking man and though he cared little for the effect this had on the female sex in general, his vanity needn't be stoked at all.

“It’s not like you haven’t dressed yourself when you were younger. Or when you sat on his mountain, making up your mind whether you hated or loved him.”

“Pah!”, she scoffed. “Did you dress yourself when you were Heavenly Emperor? No? I thought so. No Demon Queen dresses herself, it’s unheard of.”

Yet, her feet found her slippers and slid into their furry softness all by themselves. She stretched and rolled her shoulders. She had slept really well.

“You missed your morning meeting with Shuo,” Donghua remarked drily, “he wasn’t pleased. But then he heard you had a visitor yesterday and stopped complaining immediately. I think he’s a bit afraid of your...” Donghua tilted his head contemplatively as he thought about what to call Mo Yuan.

“Husband?” Shao Wan helped him.

Donghua lifted his eyebrows in satisfied amusement and Shao Wan immediately felt played. “My dearest MeiMei, they’re not husbands until you’ve tied them to you with a red ribbon and the God of Marriage has put your names into his book.”

Shao Wan lifted her wrist and presented it to him. “It’s not red, but he has definitely tied himself to me.”

Donghua squinted. “Well, then you shouldn’t have any issue finding that husband of yours. I bet you he is exercising somewhere. That man just doesn’t know how to be idle.”

Shao Wan hauled herself up and waddled over to her clothes stand, pulling a face at the prospect of putting on more than one layer. Well, maybe she wouldn’t. One light robe on top of the undergarments would do, it was warm anyway. She could also wear her hair open once in a while, she needed nobody to braid it for her. Pulling a green robe towards herself, she asked: “And what will you do in the meantime?”

“Be idle of course,” Donghua replied with a small sigh, “because I fear your husband has planned out his next adventure already. And… he told me he needs me to come with him. There goes my retirement.”

Shao Wan smiled at him. It had always been like this. Donghua might pretend to be detached and aloof, but in truth, both him and Zhe Yan had always worried about Mo Yuan and his occassional reckless streak. She approved of this alliance. A lot.


One was lucky to have them.

“Ah, by the way, I came to tell you you have visitors,” Donghua said on his way out.


“Hurry up a little,” he smirked. “And if I’m to venture a guess, your maids are most likely enjoying a sweaty, shirtless view somewhere. Tell me if you want them executed!”

Chuckling, he disappeared.


In a mood tottering on the brink of becoming foul should an opportunity arise for it, Shao Wan waddled to her throne room after attempting to put on a sufficient amount of clothes for her visitors. The first person she met in the corridors was a sour-faced Shǒu with his bodyguards.

“Good day, Sir,” she said sweetly, “I was busy this morning, so sorry to miss our meeting.”

Where the hell was Donghua? Did he not know that Demons could never be trusted? If Shǒu decided now was a good time to have her assassinated… those bodyguards were as large as mountains and she was about as ungainly as a mountain.

“I got word that the current Overlord is on her way here,” Shǒu grumbled, “how will this affect our understanding?”

“Our understanding?” Shao Wan coughed delicately. “I was not aware we had reached such a point in our negotiations.”

“Well….,” Shǒu said slowly.

“I don’t recall what you asked for,” Shao Wan sighed, “my brain these days…”

Shǒu’s eyes dropped to her large belly. He frowned.

“Demon Ancestor,” he began haltingly, “there are Demons who doubt…”

“Yes?” she asked and smiled.

“In your condition… how will you…”

“This condition as you call it,” Shao Wan said, “won’t last for much longer. Also, you might have noticed I have capable allies willing to be my Champions should the need for a duel arise.”

“Celestials!” Shǒu pressed out with disdain.

“Pah,” Shao Wan replied, “one might be, but the other? He was never quite sure what tribe he wanted to belong to. He knows Demons as well as his own face. In addition, I would hope that all the Demons will realize that peaceful relations with the Celestial Tribe is what we need right now. Are you not a businessman yourself? I can tell you from my own experience in the Heavens… they are swimming in riches and do not know what to do with them. They are extremely bored.”

“I do hear what you are saying,” Shǒu nodded. Mentioning riches never failed to put a light on in his eyes.

“Yi Mei Niang has impeccable timing sometimes,” Shao Wan smiled. “I am certain we will be able to work out an agreeable division of tasks between her and you. And now...”

Her head perked up. A flock of maids had appeared in the hallway.

“... where is my breakfast?” she bellowed, wondering whether shirts had been put back on or whether a certain Celestial was on his way back to her. “Bring it to the throne room immediately! And those visitors can wait until I have eaten.”

She managed to eat soup and some plain rice, but once again, the smell of the food made her nauseous and with an angry pout, she pushed the plates away and told the maids to clear the table.

“Here,” a deep voice said from the shadows, “are those the ones you like?”

Mo Yuan stepped forward, in his hands six large, steaming, deliciously smelling baozi.

“Mo Yuan!” Shao Wan smiled, feeling a rush of happiness upon seeing him.

“I don’t want you to rely on others,” he added as he put them in front of her one by one carefully. “Come to me if you need anything.”

“Yes,” she said, grabbing the largest of the dumplings and sinking her teeth into it greedily. Noticing his eyes on her she looked up.

“What is it?” she asked with a full mouth.

“You like them?”

“Mhm,” she said munching. He continued staring. “Have you never seen a woman eat?” she asked with a frown.

That line triggered a memory in her, a memory from so long ago… a beast festival in the Ghost Realm, feelings that had always been confusing, the knowledge of people disapproving... their first kiss.

“Yes,” he whispered, “I have seen you eat before.”

“And you…,” she swallowed down the giddiness she still felt every time his eyes started focusing on her lips like this, the giddiness she felt for remembering all parts of their lives again, “you’re not hungry?”

“Completely famished,” he said and moved closer.

“W...what do you want to eat?” she managed to say. He wouldn’t… her heart started beating very fast. This was her throne room! There were people everywhere!

“What is on the menu?” he asked and lifted his thumb to clean away the juice from the corner of her mouth.

“We have visitors,” she informed him with a shaking voice.

“Yes, I know,” Mo Yuan answered and bent forward to kiss her anyway. His hands came to rest on her belly, their warmth spreading to her very core. When he broke the kiss, he added. “They’re right on time. You should call them in. After you’re done eating, of course.”

“Dammit, Mo Yuan,” she breathed.

“What is it, Shao Wan?”

“What are you even doing here?”

“Making sure you are alright,” he said, sounding smug and satisfied. “Because I am entirely done with having to fear for your life and my children’s life.”

On cue, the little ones started stirring within her, first the one, then the other, making her draw in a sharp breath, grabbing his hands and pressing them against her rounded middle.

She had thought she knew all expressions on his face by now, but she had been mistaken. The expression of a father-to-be feeling his children kick for the first time… it was one of the most beautiful things she had ever seen.


Yu Dian had often dreamt about meeting the Demon Ancestor in the flesh, ever since he was little. He had know it to be a mere fantasy at first. Then, upon hearing she had returned to the Realms to take revenge, he had begun to hope. He had gone to the cave at Jingmei mountain to worship their Queen, making the wish to serve her with his life grow in him. But then, upon hearing she had died again at the hands of the very same High God, he had despaired anew.

He had not recognized her when she had been in a wrong body. He had ridden with her through the Demon Realm, he had spoken to her daily… but he had not recognized her.

Only one person had been able to do that.

That person stood behind her, a shadowy, straight figure whose mere silent presence was awe-inspiring and frightening, his Celestial powers palpable and grating against Yu Dian’s taut nerves.

This person - he had been the one to get her her body back, risking his own life repeatedly.

This person - he was the father of the children growing in her belly. To hear about it was one thing. To see it…

It was a miracle, the Demons were saying. Of all the known species, Phoenixes were the ones hardest to kill. And because the Universe demanded balance of power and weakness, Phoenixes were not known to procreate. But that itself was a thing of legends - there were so very few of them left in the second creation, who could say with certainty what was true?

Now that he was here, in the Obsidian Palace, and she was here, like he had always imagined, his knees were shaking so much, he could barely stand up. But standing up in her presence was not right anyway, so he threw himself on his knees, touched his forehead to the floor and let his feelings sweep over him.

“You are Yu Zong’s son,” was the first thing the Demon Queen said to him.

Drawing a sharp breath, Yu Dian looked up. How did she…?

“I did not realize when we met,” she continued, focusing her almond shaped eyes on him, “you do not look like him at all.”

Yu Dian did not know what to answer her.

“He was one of my first advisors,” Shao Wan continued, “you may not know this. In the very beginning of my reign. There was no Green Tribe back when I was Overlord.”

“Yes, my Queen,” Yu Dian whispered, “only after your death did the Demon clans split into different kingdoms.”

“So how…,” she looked very thoughtful, “how is it possible he escaped the Tower and fathered a child… children?”

Yu Dian did not understand her question. Tower? “Forgive me my ignorance, Demon Ancestor,” he said, “I do not know of such a thing.”

“Did you know your father?” she asked.

Yu Dian nodded. “Yes, my Queen, I did. But he was… he was very sick.”

“When did he die?” Shao Wan continued her puzzling interrogation.

“When I was 25,000 years old,” Yu Dian answered truthfully. “We… we kept this from everyone. I was… not ready…”

She nodded. “And who was your mother?”

“My… mother?” Yu Dian swallowed.

“Horse Tribe by any chance?”

“I…,” he was beginning to sweat. “Demon Ancestor, I did not know my mother. I was told she died giving birth to me and my sister. My other sisters… they have different mothers.”

“I understand,” Shao Wan said gently. “Have you ever met Qing Quan? He was Qing Jiang’s half-brother. The Demon Tower Engineer.”

“I have not, Ancestor,” Yu Dian said. The Tower Engineer was a legend almost as big as Shao Wan in the Demon Tribe. There were many who said that only his early death had prevented the Demons from winning the First Demon War and taking over the Heavens.

“Hmm, I think you have,” she said, confusing him even more. But her attention moved on to the woman next to him.

“We have met before, have we not,” she addressed Jie Jing, who was similarly prostrate but seemed overall calm.

“Yes, Demon Ancestor,” the Celestial woman said, “at the White Rock Sea Festival. I am here to pay back a debt to High God Mo Yuan.”

“How are you faring?” Shao Wan asked. “We do not have many Celestial guests in the Demon Realm, especially not those below high immortal status.”

“I have a headache, Demon Ancestor,” Jie Jing said, “but I have always wanted to visit your Realm and I am overjoyed to be here. In fact…”

“No,” Mo Yuan said firmly, “you cannot stay.”

Jie Jing put her head back down, but Yu Dian had clearly seen the look of defiance there.

“Yu Dian,” Mo Yuan continued, who probably had seen it too, “you are responsible for her until I can take her up to the Heavens to her family.”

“Yes, High God,” Yu Dian said, though that prospect filled him with something close to dread. He went weak in the knees around her, a physical reaction he had very little control over, and only thanks to Tian Gu’s stern presence had he been able to keep up a semblance of authority during their travels here.

“Shifu, I am so glad to see you in good health,” Tian Gu said, “you and the Demon Ancestor,” she added quickly.

“Thank you, Eighteenth,” Mo Yuan said. “I am in your debt for helping me.”

“I am so sorry you are troubled because of my tribe,” she said sadly.

“That grandmother of yours,” Shao Wan spoke up, “she is a real pain. She keeps haunting my dreams too, constantly nagging me and talking about gloom and doom! Like I have anything to do with her issue with the Celestials.”

“I am very sorry,” Tian Gu repeated.

“What does she mean when she talks about the destruction of your tribe? You are clearly not destroyed, but quite annoyingly alive.”

“I do not know,” Tian Gu said, sounding slightly panicked. “But…”

“Speak freely,” Mo Yuan said, “nobody is going to hurt you.”

“... our elders get their power from our ancestors,” Tian Gu said, “and I have heard the ancestors tend to be very angry about a great injustice they claim was done to them. But I do not know more, I do not have their powers and no access to their knowledge.”

“Your father really angered a lot of people,” Shao Wan said to Mo Yuan, making Yu Dian cringe and press himself closer to the floor. She was too daring, talking about Fuxi like this.

But all that Mo Yuan said was “hmm”, and it sounded pensive, not vexed.

“I will have some food and refreshments served for you in the upstairs guest room,” Shao Wan said, “be my honored guests as long as you wish.”

They were dismissed after that. Feeling a great deal of apprehension, not at all matching his earlier excitement to meet the Demon Ancestor, Yu Dian trotted up the stairs to the guest quarters.


“I should wait for Yi Mei Niang to get here,” Shao Wan sighed as she walked hand in hand with Mo Yuan in the garden he had made for her.

The garden.

Her servants had told her the Purple Queen had supplied soil and seedlings and just like the miracle nature was, the plants had grown all by themselves in her and Mo Yuan’s absence. Phoenix Flowers were blooming and gently swaying in the light breeze. A little creek bubbled forth from the ground, running down the stones and disappearing again into a hole.

“I do not want to wait,” Mo Yuan said, shaking his wrist with the blue bracelet, “if it is really him…”

“You cannot touch him,” she said sternly.

“I know that,” the answer came, “I think I do have enough self-control.”

“He will have conditions…”

“The thing he will want is his freedom. It’s the one thing I cannot give him.”

Shao Wan sighed again. “I see that.”

She had told Mo Yuan of that time in the Demon Tower. The first time she had seen a Crazed One with her own eyes. A Demon becoming less than a Demon, an Abomination who threatened the very fabric of this creation.

She had believed she had killed them both. The Tower Engineer and her old advisor, no longer a person, but a monster. A battle at the brink of sanity that was the thing of nightmares. Apparently, she had been mistaken on both accounts.

They were now suspecting that not two, but only one person had emerged from that abyss. It was possible, nay likely that Qing Quan had mastered what he had tried to achieve all his life. To save his soul should he ever die. To possess a body with no outside help. To live on… through the ages, a passenger, a parasite.

An Abomination himself.

But there were other things she had not told Mo Yuan.

“Do you want to sit down?” she asked him.

He threw her a look. “No,” he said, “you can tell me while I stand up.”

“When I knew I was going to die…”

Pain flitted across his face. The silly man was still feeling guilty about killing her even though she had fully orchestrated it herself.

“When I knew I was going to die…,” she began again, “when I knew I was pregnant, I only could think of one place to turn to. I had heard of the Soulswappers. They grew strong in my absence, but they have perfected the art of hiding. It was only because Fong Hung... ,” thinking of her mount drove sudden tears into her eyes, “...Fong Hung followed Cheng Yin to the caves when he met up with them. Remember when he came see us in the mortal realm?”

Mo Yuan nodded. “It was after you cooked a horrible meal for me.”

“Yes,” she smiled sadly.

“Before they killed Zi Lan.”

She took his hand and pressed it, but there was no solace she could give that would take this pain away from him.

“You sought out the Soulswappers,” Mo Yuan said, “because I was not there to help you.”

“Ha,” Shao Wan said, “you are a very capable god, but this… this you cannot do. Transfer essence without fungal grass. And I hope you never, ever try.”

He stayed silent.

“Promise me!” she demanded.

He refused to do it and it made her angry and afraid, but she had to trust him to be reasonable, now and in the future. Reasonable and not do things like dreamwalk when he did not really know how to, or use magic that demanded a very high price.

“Do go on,” he told her somewhat coldly.

“I am going to chain you up and keep you in my dungeons,” she told him angrily, “I will not allow you to do any more dangerous things!”

“You can try,” he said.

“You are insufferable,” she said helplessly, but had to laugh.

“You dreamt about chaining me up all the time,” he added and her laughter stopped.

“I told you I…”

“It is alright,” he said and pressed her hand, “I do not begrudge you your dreams, I told you before. Only from time to time.”

“Mo Yuan!”

“Please continue,” he said, “I cannot even be angry with you for doing such a reckless thing.”

He stepped closer to put his hands on her belly.

“Yes,” she sighed. “So I sought out the Soulswappers, leaving a willing Fong Hung with them as a sacrifice. The Soulswapping ritual… it is done in their caves, with the help of Demon Tower devices and the Stone of Rebirth. I had an object full of dragon-phoenix blood with me at the time… the Rainbow Flask you gave me in the mortal realm, which I had filled at the Red Bamboo Grove before you put up the wards.”

“Where Fong Hung later hid your body,” Mo Yuan nodded.

Shao Wan nodded her agreement. Then, she took a deep breath. “Mo Yuan, they tricked me. They did not only swap the souls of my children into the flask, draining me of energy almost completely. I am sure… they kept part of my soul. Knowing… knowing I would have to come back to them to retrieve it if I do not want to die a raging lunatic.”

She had expected Mo Yuan to express displeasure or surprise. But no. He just stood there, looked at her… and nodded.

“Yes. But they are not the only people who have a piece of your soul. I have some of them too.”

Chapter 56