Fanfiction3: A-Li's Three Lives, Three Worlds - Chapter 88 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 88

written by LigayaCroft
edited by Kakashi

Having received news from Qing Qiu that for the first time in thousands of years, Zhe Yan showed signs of consciousness, Li stopped by for a visit before he set out with Wei Xiaolian for Yongchang.

There was great excitement in his Fourth Uncle’s mansion. Even the peach trees in the front yard that had been planted by Zhe Yan so long ago appeared to be in fuller bloom, filling the air with its tart sweet smell, and no doubt further lifted the mood of everyone who saw them.

Li walked into Zhe Yan’s bedchamber to find his Fourth Uncle, Grandfather and Grandmother keeping watch while Mei Lin gave Zhe Yan a pill, followed by a decocted drink.

“He is still unconscious?” he asked after doing his greetings to his elders.

“He is again, but his fingers moved a while ago, as well as his brows.” His Grandmother, Bai Hongyu, clarified. She took Zhe Yan’s limp right hand from where it lay on the bed to place it on top of her lap.

Considering Zhe Yan had been as still as death for twelve thousand years, little movements were a good sign.

“It is well and good if Zhe Yan wakes up soon. There are only a few of us Old Ones about, and with Dong Hua practically cut off from Celestial ties, it makes Tianjun’s reign look rather weak.“

Li saw how Mei Lin momentarily froze at the mention of Dong Hua Dijun, doubtless she was reminded of Gun Gun.


All heads turned toward Zhe Yan.

Bai Zhen, Li’s Fourth Uncle, jumped up from his seat. “Did he just speak?”

“I am not sure,” Bai Hongyu replied. Biting her lower lip, she leaned closer to Zhe Yan’s face. “YanYan, it’s Yu’er. Did you say something just now?”

All waited with bated breath for a response.

Zhe Yan’s brows wrinkled, transforming his face from its usual deathly stillness. Then to their shock, tears started to form then flow from the sides of his eyes.

“Māma. Where are you, Māma? I need you.”

Bai Hongyu turned toward her husband.

“Since when does Zhe Yan have a mother?”

Li’s Grandfather, Bai Zhi shrugged. “He has been sick for a long time. He is just delirious.”

Suddenly, Zhe Yan’s eyes flew open, and fixed on Bai Hongyu with desperation. His white-knuckled hands held on to hers, which made Bai Hongyu yelp.

“Māma! Māma, Jiějie told me to wait here while she talked to Second Uncle. But she hasn’t come back and I have been waiting for several days—“

“Help me!” Bai Hongyu hissed at Bai Zhi and together they were able to free her hands from Zhe Yan’s grasp.

Fourth Uncle jumped in, holding on to Zhe Yan’s shoulders to gently shake him.

“Zhe Yan! Zhe Yan, wake up.” Bai Zhen rested his forehead on Zhe Yan’s, their noses touching. While his grip on Zhe Yan’s shoulder remained strong, his voice grew softer. “It is I, Zhenzhen. Wake up, please!”

But Zhe Yan had already lost consciousness again. His head fell back and swayed along with Bai Zhen’s shaking.

Mei Lin wrapped her hands around Bai Zhen’s wrist, and brought Li’s Fourth Uncle back with a gentle shake of her head. Then using her arm to support the back of Zhe Yan’s head and nape, she brought her patient to lie down on the pillow once again.

When it became apparent that Zhe Yan was no longer going to wake, Bai Hongyu stood up with a forceful swish of her robes, and turned her head toward Bai Zhi.

“A mother, an older sister and an uncle. Husband, since when did Zhe Yan have a family and how come we didn’t know about it?”

Bai Zhi stroked his beard. “He came from a fireball and had no family, which was why Füxi adopted him. Zhenzhen, surely he must have told you something?”

“In all our years together…” Bai Zhen’s voice trailed off and unable to continue, he merely shook his head.

Bai Hongyu hit her husband’s arm. “Of course Zhe Yan won’t hide anything from our Zhenzhen.” Wrapping her arms around her son’s shoulders, she said, “There, there, maybe Zhe Yan was just having a lucid dream.”

“Yes, it’s not likely that he would also have a wife that we don’t know about.”

Flames could have shot out of Bai Hongyu’s glare toward Bai Zhi at the careless comment. Bai Zhi took a hard swallow and instead pivoted toward Li and Mei Lin.

“It’ll be better if nobody knows about this for now.”

Both Li and Mei Lin nodded. Once the patient was well-settled and while Bai Zhen and Bai Hongyu made arrangements on who would be looking after Zhe Yan at specific times, Li and Mei Lin both removed themselves from Zhe Yan’s bedchamber.

As they walked, Mei Lin suddenly held on to Li’s wrist. Tipping her head forward, she whispered, “Could it be that even after tens of thousands of years together, Zhe Yan was still able to keep a secret from Bai Zhen?”

Once again, Mei Lin had to tie this back to her own process of understanding Gun Gun’s betrayal.. Li opened his mouth to speak but closed it again when Mei Lin turned her head to the side.

Then there was the other issue of the seal over the door to his bedroom in Lijiang, which was currently being breached.

“Zūzu, I need to go.”

She looked like she wasn’t even listening. With no more time to spare, Li left.


Li got back to his room just as the doors flew open and Wei Qiang walked in followed by Wang Jiantong and several disciples. The Dog Beating Stick glowed red from its usual brown-black color, but it was nothing to the redness on Wei Qiang’s face. A sheen of sweat flowed from the top of the old man’s head, possibly from the overexertion of breaking his seal, which Li hadn’t made easy.

“Shifu,” Li greeted with a bow. Noticing that it was already morning outside with the sun hitting his window at an angle that told him it would be noon soon, he dropped to his knees. “I have overslept. Please punish me.”

Wei Qiang didn’t respond. Li looked up just in time to see the old man let out a deliberately quiet exhale.

Turning to his disciples, Wei Qiang waved for them to leave. The four men with him turned to go and closed the door behind them, leaving Li alone with Wei Qiang.

“Stand up,” Wei Qiang commanded, which Li followed. “I want to talk to you about Wei Xiaolian.”

Wei Qiang sat down and motioned for Li to do the same. His fingers tapped an increasing silent rhythm on his staff which only stopped when Li finally took his seat.

“My granddaughter, who is the light of my life, has no cultivation base that allows her to ascend past the realm of martial arts to the realm of sorcery. Everyone in the sect knows this, and I am sure it has not failed to catch your attention, too.” Wei Qiang looked back at the door then to Li, and continued with his story. “In this regard, even she knows she will never be better than you. Yet she is not entirely defenseless as nobody can wield a bow and arrow and double dagger as good as she.”

“She is indeed gifted with weapon arts, Shifu.” Li nodded as he poured and placed a cup of water in front of Wei Qiang. “You have taught her well.”

Wei Qiang stared at the cup for a few breaths, before returning his attention to Li.

”She is unruly because she grew up with none of her parents around. They died when she was just a few years old in order to keep her safe.”

“What do you mean, Shifu?”

“The truth is, a tiger sleeps inside my granddaughter.” Wei Qiang formed a circle using his left forefinger and thumb, and held it up for Li to see. “Wei Xiaolian was born with a complete golden core.”

Li felt his eyebrows lift. Except for her martial arts, Wei Xiaolian was an unremarkable mortal.

“Her parents gave up their lives to seal and disguise her cultivation. She doesn’t understand this, nor does she know anything about it.” Wei Qiang looked up at the ceiling, his eyes following the beam above from end to end as if the answer could be found there. “Her parents’ sacrifice have given us several quiet years, but these past few years, it seems some of the protection has faded. I cannot guarantee her safety after I pass on so every now and then I would let her explore without me. She has always been able to come back, but her companions have not been as fortunate.”


“It took us a couple of years to understand but monsters have hunted her for a chance at being immortal. The Dog Beating Staff helps to keep them at bay, but alone…” Wei Qiang shook his head. “I was betrayed by somebody who used to be close to me so now there is one unorthodox sect who has gotten wind of how special she is, and its leader also wants that core.”

“The Tang Sect,” Li ended, remembering the question Wei Qiang had posed when they first met.

So this was this life’s tribulation for this incarnation? To live without a roof over her head for most of her life, and be on the run until the Tang sect caught up with her to have her core brutally taken out of her?

Could he stand by and watch that happen? Should he?

“Anyway, it seems she has made up her mind to protect you. By tracing back her steps, it looks like she left us yesterday. We only found out about it when Cook tried to wake her up today.”

Li stood up, all his senses suddenly fired up as if somebody had doused him with ice cold water.

“Shifu, with all due respect, you should have started with that information.”

“I was giving you context.” Wei Qiang shrugged. His eyebrows rose and he offered Li a questioning gaze. “Do you think you can catch up with her even with almost a full day in between?”

Had the situation been different, Li would have been more deliberate with his response. But the trauma of not being by her side when her other two incarnations had died had overtaken his here and now, so that he was already bowing to the old man as he made his vow.

“I will.”

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