Fanfiction: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan - Chapter 42 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 42

written by kakashi

“I’m so bored I might grow twigs out of my head soon.”

Mo Yuan had been waiting for Shao Wan to make such a declaration. In fact, he was surprised she had been able to hold back for so long: She really had made progress with her self-control. She was fidgeting around on his bed, attempting to sew some clothes for her toad, quite clearly not making a lot of progress. The animal, who had grown to the size of a large tree cat, eyed him viciously from her lap.

He knew Fong Hung had completely reverted back to animal state, but he could have sworn the beast displayed open hostility towards him. That was on top of the other strange behavior he exhibited: He would turn up in the weirdest locations at Kunlun, croaking and hopping excitedly into people’s faces, giving his disciples and the Princesses a fright. Mo Yuan had managed to keep the toad away from the meditation cave and the bedroom most of the time, but today, Shao Wan had declared she needed the animal around to do a proper fitting. She had put a few different pieces of fabric in front of his face and waited for Fong Hung to blink twice in case he liked it.

The toad had just stared like it always did, but Shao Wan had declared he had shown a strong interest in a dark red fabric with black cubic inserts. She had cut holes into it for its legs and was now attempting to finish the raw edges with a type of stitch the realms had not seen before.

“Do you want me to help you with that?” Mo Yuan asked.

“The God of War knows how to sew too?” she exclaimed, “what can’t you do? You are truly annoying.”

With a shrug, Mo Yuan went back to reading a strategic treatise written by a young, very talented mortal nobleman. He should make plans to go to the mortal realm tonight and talk to him about cultivation. This was one of those rare cases of a mortal who would be able to ascend with proper guidance. He really wanted to teach him. But would he have the time? There was never enough of it these days. That sensation was entirely new to him - never before had he felt the passage of time so acutely. It was almost frightening.

“Hold still,” Shao Wan told Fong Hung and attempted to put the little coat on him again. It was much too tight. It made his hind legs stick out at weird angles.

“Don’t torture him,” Mo Yuan said.

Fong Hung made a disapproving sound that sounded almost human.

“Did you hear that?” Shao Wan shouted and clapped her hands ecstatically.

“I did. Would you please mind, I’m trying to read someth-”

Shao Wan threw a teacup at him. He caught it in mid-air and flashed her a disapproving look. “Like a child,” he scolded.

“Ha! Would a child have done what I did to you this morning? I hope not.”

Mo Yuan felt heat in his cheeks. Her foul mouth and quick wit - and everything else about her was a never ending challenge. He liked to be challenged. He had grown too complacent and self-important through millennia of being worshiped by lesser deities.

Shao Wan was currently enlarging the holes in the fabric to give more mobility to Fong Hung. It ripped with an ugly sound. The result seemed to please her though - she nodded approvingly, patting the toad on the head.

“Should I go ask 11th to help you with the sewing? He is an expert in embroidery.”

“Ye Heavens!” Shao Wan exclaimed, “you have assembled quite an arsenal of girlish boys on this mountain. They cook and sew and clean all day. The perfect brides! You should be able to get quite the dowry for them.”

Ignoring her taunt, he continued to read. From the corner of his eye, he saw that she cut out a new, much smaller piece of fabric. For a hat, maybe? Fong Hung already looked ridiculous. No wonder the toad was in a bad mood.

“By the way, did you know your boys read all kinds of sexually explicit books? I caught one of them the other day and confiscated the outrageous material immediately. For further study. I think I’m beginning to grow fond of your children. They are especially adorable when they turn red! And they turn red every single time they see me.”

Mo Yuan felt like turning red himself again. He was quite certain that his own behavior was thoroughly scandalizing his disciples, but he simply could not keep his hands off the Demon Goddess. He often caught himself staring at her during their meals or even touching her in front of everyone. At least he had enough self-control to not kiss her in public. In addition, she enjoyed discomforting his disciples far too much. Poor 13th, the shiest amongst his students and therefore a prime target, almost didn’t dare leave his room anymore. Mo Yuan only intervened when they came running to him with complaints, which wasn’t often - all in all, they had to learn how to deal with difficult seniors themselves.

“Do you read these kind of books too? Men’s fantasies sure are interesting.”

Mo Yuan scowled but didn't look up.

“Don’t tell me you’ve never read one, I won’t believe it!”

“When I was quite young I once-”

“Only once?”

“The night they sent maids to-” greatly embarrassed, he broke off in mid-sentence and pressed his lips together.

She looked at him questioningly, but as always when she realized he was truly discomforted by a topic, she stopped teasing him.

“Those women sure were lucky,” she said, turning back to her handywork, “I bet you were very cute as a boy.”

Before lying with you, I never knew how glorious it could be, Mo Yuan thought. For the time being, he had managed to get her interested in him again. When she had declared she would no longer share a bed with him, he had felt cold dread freeze his insides. Later, alone in his meditation cave, he had missed her with a bodily agony that reminded him of his time in the Nothingness. Luckily, the intensity of his need, coupled with the necessity to find new methods to teach her control had led to a genius idea on his part: to combine breathing and meditation with lovemaking. It had worked much better than he had dared hope, even if he was the one struggling with control every time. The effect was quite marvellous - it was an instant improvement of cultivation for both of them. But the effect was also frightening - it seemed impossible, but it made him crave her even more. Every moment he spent apart from her became a moment spent thinking about when he would see her again.

He watched her screw up her face in deep concentration as she attempted to form a hat out of the piece of fabric she had cut out. The sunlight that came through the window put a crown of light on her head. It shone like silver on her midnight black hair that fell in dark, thick waves down her back. He felt an urge to capture moments like this one - to paint her in a thousand facets. Maybe there was still time for this, he thought. Maybe she would stay a bit longer. Maybe he had a chance to tell her he would like her to stay longer.

“Do you think I should write erotica for your children?” she asked him. “I could do much better than what they read. The women in there always giggle and blush and are so very reluctant. Quite disgusting.”

Heavens. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Shao Wan.”

“You should be more concerned about that part of their education too!”

“Shao Wan, we Celestials do not talk about bedroom matters openly like this.”

She snickered. “I know, I know, stop squirming. If I write any, I will publish it under another name. What about … Wao Shan?”

“By the heavens! Do you want me to lose face?”

“Then do something to entertain me! Do you have any mortal plays here?”

”Most certainly not! There might be some in Seventeenth’s old room though. She loved to read them.”

Her expression immediately darkened and he was instantly reminded of the strange effect the mention of Bai Qian had on Shao Wan. But what was it that galled her so about the future Heavenly Empress? He had to clear this up between them.

“Shao Wan, Si Yin was-”

“No matter,” the Demon Queen said and threw down her needle work, “will you fight with me?”

“I should rather read th-”

“You prefer reading gibberish over fighting with me? I refuse to believe that.”

He put down the scroll and looked at this beautiful, deadly warrior in front of him. She had not asked him again, but the truth was, it was time he unsealed her powers. He was stalling and he was hoping she was still here because she was stalling too.

“Could you use a whip against me?”

She stared - then, a broad smile spread over her face. “I can teach you how to use a whip?”

He nodded. “I want to practice using one and I want to get better at fighting someone with a whip.” That someone being the despicable Cheng Yin.

She looked very excited. “When do we start?”

“Now if you want.”

She clapped her hands. “Will you undress?”

“You are scandalous.”

“I meant just a little - to make you really feel the effects of a whip. The less you wear the better! It’s how we Demons train.”


Following her suggestion, Mo Yuan put on a white tunic made for weapons practice and they went to the armory together afterwards. On the way there, she dropped off Fong Hung at the lotus pond. Mo Yuan had made her take the coat off the animal, saying it would restrict his movements in the water. He was right, of course - the result of her first attempt at sewing was just ludicrous. Yet, she was quite baffled that she had even tried: Boredom sure let to the most amazing behavior on her part. One could almost think she was enjoying herself. 

Shao Wan told Mo Yuan they needed two short and two long whips as well as a set of daggers for their practice and he led her to the section with weapons from other Clans. She was pleased with the assortment: Kunlun had well-made whips and she took great care to select the best ones, feeling all the while how her excitement grew. Teaching the Princesses was one thing - but teaching the God of War was much more thrilling. When she declared she was done with her selection, he grabbed her by the waist and transported her to a nearby flat mountain top with ample space for practice.

“Should I … unseal your powers?” he asked her.

She sucked in air sharply. Was she ready? She searched his face for the answer and saw that he looked unusually anxious. He must be afraid she’d blow up his precious mountains. She had grown rather fond of the scenery herself, so she'd rather not destroy it.

“Skills are best acquired with no immortal powers for back-up,” she quickly said, “it is what I have been teaching the Princesses. Seal yours.”

He did, after a short nod. He looked invincible as a High God, but as a man with no immortal powers, he looked quite vulnerable. He would get hurt. But of course, that was no matter to him and it should be none to her.

With the wind softly sighing around them, Shao Wan explained the basics of attack and defense to Mo Yuan, making sure to point out the main differences between the short and the long whip. He had some knowledge of this weapon, yet listened attentively and asked her an occasional question about fighting styles. She showed him variations of the sidearm and the overhand flick and had him practice in front of her. Of course, the bastard was an exceptionally fast learner. As his teacher, she took great pride in it today.

“No forward cracks,” she told him sternly, “the setup is too long and you’d always signal your intentions to your opponent. If you want to make sure your opponent cannot get near you too easily, the whip must be continually moving in ever changing vertical and diagonal planes. Switch from one pattern to another and be unpredictable. If you use varying angles and timing, you can create an intimidating defensive screen even without relying on magic.”

Next, she showed him how to do the rope dart with a reversed whip, how to flip a loop of the thong over an opponent’s head, pulling him into a chokehold, or how to hook it around an incoming leg to pull the enemy off balance.

“Every Demon who uses the whip will also use a knife,” she continued her lecture, “if you try to move in, they will retreat, aiming blows at both sides of your head and torso. When they hit you with enough force, you will likely be distracted by the pain, even if only briefly. The opponent might then reverse the whip and use the handle for a disabling blow, followed up by a knife in your throat.”

She showed him the movements and he copied her. After about ten repetitions, he got all the motions right. Time for the real fun to begin: him with no weapon against her with the whip.


“Are you pulling your punches?” Shao Wan asked, outraged.

“What do you mean?”

Mo Yuan knew exactly what she meant. He had ducked under the whip, rolled over his shoulder, came up right in front of her - and had stopped his attack after lightly touching her torso, to signal he would have gotten in a hit.

“You could have knocked me off my feet right now. There is no point in fighting you if you don’t fight for real! I’ll ask one of your boys to train with me. That Number One person, he looks capable.”

“I won’t allow it!”

“Pah. If you’re afraid I’ll mar your boys, hit me!”

He knew better than to tell her that he couldn’t bear the thought of hitting her. Every little wound or bruise on her was like a cut on his own body. He wanted to hold her in his arms and shield her from the woes of the world, not hurt her. She on the other hand had no such qualms - his torso was a bloody mess from where her whip had gotten him. She had indeed made him feel the 'real effects of a whip' - and it was a very valuable lesson. That ruthlessness endeared her even more to him, fool that he was.

“Come here, Xiao Wan.” He drew her close and tucked two wisps of hair behind her ears. He wanted to kiss her.

She quickly pushed him away and raised her whip. “No tricks. And I am older than you.”

“Should I call you JieJie then?”

“If you want to lose your tongue, Celestial!”

He laughed.

They continued training together until after the sun set. He was already completely exhausted, but he wished it would never stop. He wished to be truly happy with her, like this - just the two of them, doing what both of them enjoyed. 

Later, when the moon rose, his powers returned.

“Enough,” he said to the Demon Goddess and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. His whole body burned like fire and he had been getting too damn slow, which meant getting hit more frequently.

“You fight well,” she acknowledged with a nod and lowered her weapons, “you even got inside my defenses a few times. If I had my powers and my own whip though...”

“You will get your powers back soon, Shao Wan and I promise to fight you then. I will also make sure you get your whip back.”

She smiled. “I can get it myself, but I thank you for your noble intentions. Just get ready for that fight. I won't spare you.”

He stepped in front of her and put his hands around her waist to take her back to the school. Suddenly, he felt dizzy and he had to tighten his hands to support himself for a moment. It must be the aftereffects of his exhaustion. They had fought almost all day.

“My apologies,” he said.

“Heal yourself,” she snapped, quickly putting her hands around his waist to steady him.

“Later,” he said and cloud jumped her back to Kunlun, holding her very tight.

After they had stowed away the weapons in the armory, she took his arm and dragged him to their room.

“Heal yourself,” she demanded again, pulling on his bloody tunic. “None of that scar business, you hear me?”

He tried to take his top off, but his arms hurt so much he had difficulties moving them. He thought it was amusing, he had not felt this bodily exhausted for millennia, but she apparently saw no humor in this situation.

“You stupid fool,” she hissed, her face dark with fury. “Don’t you know when to stop?”

“It is no matter, Shao Wan,” he explained, “I just never fought without my immortal powers for this long. It is a good experience to know one’s limits, especially for a High God.”

She helped him undress and gasped when she saw what her whip had done to his skin.

“You stupid fool,” she repeated, her voice much softer this time.

His state seemed to truly upset her, so he quickly healed himself, closing all the wounds. Almost all. He left one on his back, making sure she did not notice. It would be a scar to always remember this day.

Chapter 42.5