Fanfiction3: A-Li's Three Lives, Three Worlds - Chapter 84 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 84

written by LigayaCroft

edited by Kakashi

Li returned to Kunlun, his Shifu’s question still weighing heavily on his mind. His head ached with the gravity of his situation, of the choice he had to make, and what to tell his own Father soon.

He took out the blue and black gecko that he had picked up from Hùndùn from his sleeve. The animal blinked at him with two wide eyes before snuggling in his palm.

Li felt relieved that like the other living things that he had brought back with him from Hùndùn, this one made it intact as well. Tucking the animal back inside his sleeve pocket, Li walked out of the cave.

He had barely taken a few steps when his Father and Uncle suddenly appeared before him.

Even after a long time of not seeing the twins together, beholding his Father and Uncle shoulder to shoulder never failed to make Li feel like he was that young kid again— back when he felt startled each time he saw his Father’s twin without his Father, and confused whenever he saw them together.

Lian Song had once said that aside from their identical faces and stature, the only other thing the twins had in common between them were overly dramatic love stories that would put human playwrights to shame. Thankfully, the two looked different in the way they dressed, like today. With his preference for dark fabric, Li’s father wore a black traveling robe with dragon needlework in silver thread and had his hair half down. Meanwhile Li’s Uncle wore an ash blue house robe and had his hair up in a tight topknot.

“Your Father arrived here as soon as he could, but was not fast enough to catch you before you disappeared,” Mo Yuan explained as he conjured low tables for each of them to sit behind. “You were gone for over a week. How are your injuries?”

“I am well,” Li replied and turned to his Father. “Fùqīn, I apologize for having made you wait. Had I known—“ his voice trailed off when his Father raised his hand.

“You couldn’t have known.”

Li closed his mouth, his gaze flitting from his Father to his Uncle and back again.

“I could hardly believe it when your Father told me where you had disappeared off to—“ Mo Yuan cleared his throat. “Is it true that you just came back from Hùndùn?”

Although he looked so much like his Father, there was something about the God of War’s aura which, even as a youngster, intimidated Li and prevented him from lying. The God of War kept mostly to Kunlun affairs every time they visited, so Li had grown up rather closer to his Aunt Shao Wan.

He looked up and around the golden shield that his Uncle had set up over what was now his interrogation ground.

“Yes, Bófù.”


Li took his seat behind the table situated right across from his Uncle’s.

“The first time I went there, my Shifu—“ The thought of Nüwa made him stop and look at the identical faces of her sons who had both grown up without her. It then hit Li how privileged he was to have experienced her care and tutelage whereas his Father and Uncle had not. “She saved me by pulling me through a tear in the Veil, although I didn’t see her at the time. Now, I just think about it and I am there on the other side.“

“This Shifu of yours is—?”


Mo Yuan flinched at the mention of her name. His lips pinched tight as he looked past Li. The light and shadows as they filtered through the canopy overhead made his face look downcast.

“I have met Nüwa sometime during the 300 years that I was…gone.” Ye Hua recounted, filling in for the sudden silence that had blanketed their discussion. “She helped retrieve and repair my soul so I could go back to my body. Did she tell you about that, A-Li?”

Li remembered exactly when Nüwa had mentioned it. “She said you came back earlier than she would have wanted you to, because you were so eager to get back to Mǔqīn and me.”

“It feels strange to hear you both call Mother Immortal by her name,” Mo Yuan murmured and gave them a small smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “I can barely remember her. Yet even my wife has dreamt about her one time. I have been through Hùndùn once and haven’t seen her.”

“Da-gē, you have suffered without her.”

Mo Yuan’s right hand on the table kept flexing open and closed, until with a shake of his head, he returned his attention back onto Li.

“The past 12’000 years must have been hard on you too, A-Li.”

Li put his hands together and gave a slight bow. “It was my honor to have served Tianjun, God of War.”

Mo Yuan turned his head toward his brother. Ye Hua nodded and with his right arm down on the low table, leaned forward toward Li.

“About 17’000 years ago,” Ye Hua began. “We stumbled across an evidence which raised the suspicion that we have an Ancient One walking the realms. Then about 12’000 years ago, you took on the battle at Fusang Island. Post-analysis by the Celestial Research Bureau showed that the magick that had enveloped the island matched with the evidence that we had from 17’000 years ago. Further, the staff left by the red-haired warrior whom you recently encountered here in Kunlun also showed traces of the same imbued magick.” Ye Hua paused, and the silence felt thick. Twin pairs of eyes stared at and waited on Li, until Ye Hua continued. “But you already know all about this, don’t you, A-Li?”

Li couldn’t help but wonder if she had seen her sons waiting for his return. Was this why Nüwa had been in a chatty mood?

“I wouldn’t dare know this and not tell you at the very least, Fùqīn,” He assured. “These things have all been explained to me just recently.”

“Tell us what you know,” Mo Yuan asked, and this time, he too, leaned slightly forward.

What do I do?

Although Huo Zheng’s existence had been brought up during Mei Lin’s trial, her mortal life in Huicūn had not appeared in any of the Destiny Ledgers. Neither did their marriage appear in Yue Lao’s roster. Li could turn his back on her and no one— except Lian Song, Gun Gun and Mei Lin— would be wiser.

Nobody in any of the Created worlds remembered the goddess named Suiren anyway.

Yet, how could he forget when, as Xue Jiaolong, she had asked him, Would you save me if I asked you to?

Or when he had brazenly told Nüwa that he would give up immortality for her… despite the fact that to Nüwa’s point, she would end up forgetting him?

With a deep breath, Li began his narration, just as Nüwa had told him in what seemed just a short while ago. But, he left out the parts that had Suiren in it, promising himself to undo his decision if he had enough proof that she was truly a danger to this creation.

Youchao was the bigger problem at the moment after all.


If Li had felt the necessity of covering his movements from immortal eyes before, knowing what he knew now from Nüwa made taking extra precautions more necessary. After talking to his Father and Uncle, he set out to the mortal world where Mei Lin was, and carried with him a jade bracelet given by his Uncle for her.

As a disguised traveling physician, Mei Lin moved between towns and cities, and offered her services to the sick and poor. Today, he found Mei Lin in a traveller’s inn in Lijiang, the day before she was supposed to move on to her next city in this mortal world.

“This is a beautiful bracelet.” Mei Lin remarked as she put the bangle on and Li couldn’t agree more. The white jade complemented her skin tone. Bright red veins of color which ran around half of the jewelry provided the perfect accent to the white mineral. “This red looks like blood when washed out by water. What do you think this is?”

Li shrugged. “I have no idea. But your Father told me the bracelet will call help to you when you are in big trouble. With a Primordial God on the loose and seemingly aligned with the dissidents, we can never be safe enough. Especially you, since you travel a lot.”

Mei Lin’s mouth formed an “o”.

“A talisman! How thoughtful!”

Li cracked a sunflower seed from the small plate between him and Mei Lin. Seeing Mei Lin with that smile on her face made him feel a bit happier too.

“I am glad to see that you are well, Li-Ge.” Mei Lin beamed and cracked a sunflower cracker between her teeth, too. “Although it cannot be fully attributed to my healing skills, I still did my best to keep you alive after all.”

This time Li picked up a roasted pumpkin seed and cracked it between his teeth to get the flesh out.

“I am once again in your debt, Zūzu. But why did you leave?” He asked

Mei Lin bit her lower lip and stared out of the window.

“I have had my fill with all the negative talk that is going on about Gun Gun.”

“Listen, Zūzu. Gun Gun—“

“I don’t care whether he has joined the other side. I care that he didn’t tell us why at all.” Her left fist landed on its side on top of the rough wood table.. The jade bracelet on her wrist dangled, which made the red mineral inside seem to dance. “Anyway, I’ll go to the next city and maybe go back to Qing Qiu to check on Zhe Yan after that.”

They sat together in silence for the next few breaths to watch as mortals outside the restaurant’s window scurried about. It reminded Li of the last time he was with Gun Gun. Once again, he regretted that he had not paid more attention back then.

“There is so much tea being traded here,” he remarked as his eyes followed the laborers and ox-carts pass by with sacks of packed dried tea leaves. “And the merchants come from all over? You’d think there’s a trade fair of sorts.”

“Yes,” Mei Lin’s gaze turned soft and wistful. Li’s head lowered to study his cousin. Had she and Gun Gun come together at the Nanking trade fair that he and Huo Zheng had missed? But just as quickly, Mei Lin started vigorously shaking her head and rolling her shoulders. To Li, she said, “My caravan leaves at dawn. Do you want to come along? For some reason, monsters abound in these parts. It’s fun to have them for practice.”

Li leaned back. “I’ll take a look around. Don’t wait for me.”

“Ah. Going back to Celestial business.” She remarked with a frown and a high shrug. “Anyway, there’s much to see here. Go to the market in that part of the city,” she pointed with her fingers. “Maybe you can sample some of the tea that passes through here.”

“Maybe I will do that.”

“By the way,” Mei Lin began, and this time, she was the one who leaned forward. “How are you able to conceal your spiritual energy? You have a strange technique. I can see that your dantian are all enriched, and all your meridians are open. But how come you only exude a vital breath that is just below an ordinary immortal’s?”

Trust a true phoenix to see through his veiled qi. Li chose between the pumpkin, sunflower and watermelon seed platters and picked a watermelon seed. Then he flicked it toward the red dot between Mei Lin’s brows.

“You are not so bad yourself. You are practically a mortal. Did you learn that from Shennong’s texts too?”

Mei Lin’s cheeks flushed. “It took a while for me to master but I’ve perfected it during the last several thousands of years. Still, you found me. How did you do that? And wait, you haven’t answered my question yet. How are you able to veil your qi?”

Li ran his eyes around the restaurant first before casting an illusion spell on top of the shield they already had on to protect their conversation. To outside eyes, even to immortals, they looked like two travelers out on an innocent tea break. Then, he lifted both of his sleeves, showing her the thin black bands that wrapped the circumference of his arms.

“You’re just like a Demon warrior with these markings!” Mei Lin gasped. “But what’s this?” She closed her eyes and when she opened them again, they were blazing with phoenix fire. Her warm hands wrapped around his wrists. “These are like dams for your qi? And even with my eyes, I couldn’t detect it until you showed me. Li-Ge, just how powerful are you?”

Li looked back to his last face-off with Youchao at Fusang Island. He had never felt as much like an ant standing under a boot than he had during that time.

“Still not strong enough to defeat a Primordial, Zūzu.”

Mei Lin let go and her eyes returned to a normal human’s. This time though she looked at him with a wrinkled brow.

“I think it’s time you told me. Who have you been training with all these years?”

Li picked up another pumpkin seed and rubbed it between his thumb and forefinger. With that look on her, he knew there was no way he was getting up from this chair without being able to provide his Cousin with a satisfactory, and truthful, answer.


Mei Lin’s eyes grew round.

“Mother Immortal! How? Where?”

Li raised his finger to his lips.

Mei Lin moved her bench closer to the table.

“How are you sure it is really her?”

To this, the answer was easy, and Li couldn’t help but smile.

“You won’t believe it but you look just like her, Mei Lin.”

* * *

Chapter 85