Fanfiction: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan - Chapter 39.5 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 39.5

written by MiniOrchid
consulting by Juls
editing by kakashi

It took Chang Shan nearly two weeks to find the opportunity to teach the Yellow Demon Princess the recipe for Kunlun’s Peach Candies. The inventor of the unique delicacies was 12th disciple - who was very creative in his culinary skills but only willing to cook when it struck his fancy. Thus, it fell to Second to actually make the candies, an activity he greatly enjoyed, and it had also fallen to him to teach their female guest.

The Yellow Princess had dropped by daily to inquire about Second Disciple’s availability, but he had been uncommonly busy. But even if he had had to send her away again, he had always looked forward to her brief visits. He found her a delightful woman, whose presence had changed the serene atmosphere at Kunlun instantly upon her arrival. It was fascinating to him that the lively Princess had taken a liking to serious Senior Die Feng - who clearly enjoyed her presence as well, even though he tried to hide it. Not very expertly, truth be told, to everybody’s amusement.

Although Chang Shan had kept his mouth shut about what he had witnessed out of respect for his Senior, he couldn’t stop the rumors among their Juniors who were ecstatic about the occasional grins and blushes from their steadfast and serious Die Feng. They couldn’t get enough of the change in their Senior, who had previously been known to have little interest in the opposite sex. The Juniors had even started to call the Yellow Demon Princess “Sao Zi”, senior sister-in-law, of course only if their senior was not present, which always made her laugh.

The situation was rather different with the Ghost Princess, who was Zi Lan’s love interest. She was a quiet, melancholic woman, always very friendly, but never quite happy, which was understandable given her current situation, and what she had gone through. Zi Lan had protected her and her child during his time in the mortal realm with his life, true to the spirit of Kunlun. Since Chang Shan had been the only one present when Zi Lan had sacrificed half of his cultivation to save her niece hundred of years before, he was not surprised that 16th had chosen to bring them back here: she was in danger from assassins of unknown origin and Kunlun was a very safe place. He could tell their relationship was strained though - most likely because of Zi Lan, who had recently started keeping his feelings to himself, taking after Shifu in a surprising turn of events.

The old Shifu, to be precise. Now, Shifu had taken a bride so unlike himself, it continued to baffle many of the disciples. The Goddess had scared 2nd on a number of occasions, in fact, she seemed to greatly enjoy scaring him and all the others. Chang Shan had been able to satisfy her strange appetite with fish dishes so far, but he was afraid for the cranes’ lives. Whenever she strolled towards their enclosure, he dropped everything he was doing and ran after her, to prevent a potential massacre. Why Shifu had chosen such an unlikely bride, Chang Shan would never know, but there was no denying she had an invigorating effect on him. He had never seen Shifu so lively. The disciples had been worried about their Shifu’s health ever since his return from the Nothingness, but after Shimu’s arrival his cultivation seemed to have improved in leaps and bounds. That alone was reason enough to honor her for a lifetime.

Despite the upheaval, Chang Shan found the animated ambience of the past few weeks hugely preferable to the tension they experienced when Fong Hung first arrived at Kunlun. Even without communicating verbally, the disciples knew this was just the calm before the storm. Another war was on the horizon and it may be on par or worse than the Ghost War. This knowledge brought uneasiness to all the disciples. They may be trained to be generals, but going to war was not something they desired. Pretending the world was all sunshine and laughter as long as they could, it was no wonder the disciples found accommodating the needs of their unusual guests a good distraction.

And speaking of unusual guests, the Yellow Demon Princess was currently stirring the candy concoction they had prepared since this morning.

“How long do we stir this?” she asked.

“Another half incense perhaps, we have to make sure the candy is soft enough for molding,” Chang Shan instructed as he began to tidy up the kitchen.

“Excellent! I am happy to learn the recipe for this marvelous creation. I want to thank you again for making time for me.” She gave him a bow of gratitude.

“Princess, please don’t thank me, I should apologize for taking so long after your arrival.”

“With the additional presence of so many guests, it is understandable. I am sorry to impose on your hospitality,” she told him.

Chang Shan shook his head. “No, it is not you or the other guests here; Kunlun can handle guests just fine. It’s because of my string of bad luck these days.”

“Bad luck?” she arched her head.

2nd sighed as he rubbed his face. “Lately, I’ve been having a stream of bad luck when it comes to my duties. If it’s not the laundry, it’s the food preparation.”

“You’ve been having a hard time with your duties?” she asked.

“No, I still perform all my chores and duties at Kunlun with the usual excellence, but for some strange reason, I seem to have episodes of memory loss. Last week, I could have sworn I had taken the laundry out for airing, but by the time I got back, the laundry was gone! I later found it all soaked in the pool nearby.”

“Maybe it was just the wind? After all, we’re on top of a very high mountain, there is always a breeze,” tried the Princess.

“True, but there was also the time I prepared the meal for Shifu. I seasoned it precisely the way he has grown accustomed to for years. But Shifu spit out the tofu soup immediately. When I tasted it, it was overly salted.”

“Could you have accidentally added the extra salt? I am clumsy myself, it happens on occasion,” she told him sympathetically.

“No, I couldn’t have. I am the opposite of clumsy,” he shook his head.

“What other incidents?” she asked.

He sighed as he continued. “The other day I almost finished up sweeping the Cauldron room, but I had to help a junior with a task in between. By the time I got back, the floor was a mess again.”

“How long has it been happening to you?” she asked.

That was a good question, now that the Princess had brought it up. He thought about it for a few seconds. “Since I got back to Kunlun after our search for Shimu.”

“Let me read your palm.” The Demon Princes stopped stirring the pot and approached him.

“My palm?” he asked, confused.

“I’ve studied palmistry in the mortal realm. I can see if you are having bad luck.” She grabbed his right hand.

“Princess, please, I don’t think it’s appropriate.” Or accurate, he wanted to add. Mortals’ palmistry was a sham at best. Their skill levels could not be compared to those of Celestial immortals with thousands of years to practice and study.

“It’s just palm reading,” she scowled at him, trying to pry his fingers open.

Someone cleared his throat. Both turned: Die Feng stood in the kitchen doorway, his expression dark.

“Senior...I…” 2nd tried to pull his hand away from the Princess, but her grip was too tight. Beneath her soft exterior, she was strong. How 2nd had managed to get himself caught in such a predicament he did not know, but his unlucky streak was clearly not yet over.

“Die Feng! What are you doing here?” The Princess asked as she finally managed to open 2nd’s hand for scrutiny.

Senior’s brows furrowed. “Princess, I heard you have been looking for me?”

She looked at senior with a confused look. “Looking for you? No, not today that I recall, ” she returned to palm reading, now tracing her finger along the palm lines, paying no heed to the man at the door.

“Senior, the princess wanted to read my fortune, because I’ve been having unfortunate luck of late!” 2nd hurried to explain, but it didn’t look like his words were getting through. Senior’s expression had not changed since his arrival and his eyes were focused on the Princess’ fingers on his palm. 2nd turned to the princess. “Princess?”

“I’m not done yet,” she answered promptly, still closely analyzing his lines.

“How long will it take?” he asked anxiously .

“I’m new at this, it may take a while,” she told him with a grin. “In fact, we should probably sit down.”

She pulled him down to sit on one of the chairs in the room and scooted closer to him on hers. 2nd knew his head would not remain on his shoulders if she was planning to take “a while” in such close proximity. He had to get out of this compromising situation before Senior Die Feng took action. As if on cue, Senior left the doorway and came over to stand directly in front of them.

Sweat started to form on Chang Shan’s forehead, he didn’t know how long he could last under these circumstances. “Princess, the candy!” he told her, with desperation.

“Huh?” she looked up at him.

“The Kunlun candies in the pot, they’re ready for molding! They will go bad!” That finally caught her attention. She immediately let go of his hand and went to stir the liquid in the pot.

“You’re right! It’s done,” she smiled happily, “we can use the mold now.”

2nd grabbed the bamboo mold frame on the table, but Senior Die Feng snatched it away from his hand without a word.

“I’ll assist you,” Senior told her. One look was all that was needed for 2nd to step back. 2nd felt the need to give them further instructions, but he knew better than to interfere with blossoming love, especially when one of the love birds was so clearly jealous. It was quite a sight to behold.

Chang Shan bowed to the Princess. “Princess, I realized I have other duties to attend to, please excuse me. Senior Die Feng can assist you.”

Still stirring the pot gleefully, without acknowledging Die Feng who stood directly behind her, the Princess beamed at Chang Shan. “Thank you for making time for me today. Please return to your duties.”

“It was my pleasure,” 2nd turned to leave with a huge sigh of relief, wishing his unlucky star would just go away already.

“Wait!” she called after him, “I saw no sign of bad luck on your palm.”

“Oh?” Good news, thought 2nd, even if probably not true.

“It’s actually a love sign,” the Princess told him cheerfully.

Chang Shan had to frown at her deduction. “Love sign?” That was ridiculous.

“Yes, it’s a love sign. Your heart line is between your forefinger and middle finger and the line branches up into three, which indicates she is closer than you might think.”

“But that can’t be,” 2nd shook his head. The only females at Kunlun were Shimu and the two princesses, and they were obviously taken.

“Who knows?” she shrugged as she returned to stirring the liquid candy. “One never knows what fate has in store for us.” She gave him a wink.

He left immediately afterwards. Love sign? The Yellow Princess must be messing with him. How likely was it for Kunlun to have another female arrive so soon?

Chang Shan had no love interests, and he had never left Kunlun for long, even during Shifu’s 70,000 years of absence. He had no family to turn to. Thanks to the extended energy near Kunlun, he had managed to turn into human form 4,000 years after he had hatched. Shifu had picked him up as a small boy at the bottom of Kunlun Mountain. Not much later, Shifu had entrusted Kunlun’s upkeep to him. Back then, Senior Die Feng had still been a young prince, unaccustomed to chores, so 2nd had taken it upon himself to provide a comfortable home for them. For his savior, no, his adoptive father, his Shifu for thousands of millennia, it was his honor to dutifully watch over Kunlun Mountain.

Chang Shan had always prided himself as the anchor of Kunlun. From elixir making to cooking, laundry to tea preparation, he had excelled in all the tasks handed to him, and he alone trained disciples to succeed in his stead. But it had been more than a week now with everything going wrong. He had even suspected Shimu was playing pranks on him, but that seemed too evil even for her.

With a heavy sigh he arrived at his room. Maybe he should get some rest to clear his head, so that there is no further memory lapse. However, his bad luck was here to stay.

When 2nd entered his room, he found smoke blanketing his quarters. Coughing from the thick smog, he could barely breathe. A fire? He quickly used his magic to clear the room. What had happened? As he scanned the surrounding area, he soon found that the source of the fire was from his bed. The sheets were all burnt, due to a candle holder that had fallen on them. Had the wind knocked it over?

2nd had to groan at the misfortune that continued to plague him. He had planned to get some rest, but now he would have to first clean the mess before him. He began to gather the burnt beddings when he heard something in the room.

“Who’s there?”

There was no answer. His eyes searched the room again and he noticed a small gray object moving in the corner near the sitting table. Chang Shan cautiously approached it, and to his great surprise it was the swan he had saved on the way back from Kunlun after his search for Shimu. He clearly recognized her because of the red stripe of feathers on one side of her. She had been attacked by a hawk at the time, but 2nd had intervened and carefully patched up her wing before leaving her safely hidden behind the shrubs.

“How did you get here?” he asked the poor creature who was covered with soot from the fire, dirtying her beautiful white feathers.

He picked the bird up into his arms and the swan did not struggle, but just looked at him. She probably remembered him. Birds had good memories, as he knew well.

“You must have flown quite far to arrive on top of Kunlun Mountain,” he told her softly. The situation was a bit baffling. “How did you find my room?”


Chang Shan gave her a serious look. “So you’re the culprit who knocked down the candle stand. You could have become a roasted swan if I hadn’t come back in time,” he chastised.

The swan quickly hid her head under her wing, as though she was aware of her wrong doing. 2nd found himself laughing at her response to his teasing.

Tenderly, he traced the soft feathers of the swan’s neck with his fingers. “How unlucky for you to meet an unfortunate person like me,” he said softly. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell if you won’t.”

Her head came slowly out from under her wing. She seemed to understand his words. Kunlun energy must be benefitting her. He gazed at her, finding her lovely despite her disheveled state. How faithful could she be to have found him? Faithfulness was the trait of birds immortal. Once they found their love, they would never stop or let go, even for eternity. Without thinking, Chang Shan placed a kiss on the Swan’s head. He wasn’t sure why, but the swan pulled back hastily - and immediately fainted in his arms. She must be exhausted and hurt from the smoke, he concluded. He vowed to keep an eye on her while she recovered there at Kunlun and carried the unconscious creature outside so he could wash the smoke off her beautiful feathers.

Chapter 40a