Fanfiction 2: Moyuan and Bai Qian - The Cheat Sheet! (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

“Cheat Sheet” to Bai Qian & Moyuan FF

by Lalaloop

First thing first:
The story officially ends at chapter 16 - Broken Zither

In this universe:
Cloud-jumping is range limited.
Air travel depends on swords more.
Mind-reading is not a reflex.
BQ did not officially propose to YH.

What Means What

Chapter 3

But it wasn’t long before the smile quickly vanished from her face. Bai Qian realizes she’s not responding to this situation in the way she should. She feels no jealousy but instead looks at the scene (YH and the doll) like an interested outsider.

“The windows that are vulnerable to the art of mind penetration - fully opened and possibly bound to be questioned soon if not shut.” Zheyan is telling Moyuan that he’s doing a lousy job at hiding his feelings and that his eyes are too expressive.

And no, MY has never read BQ’s mind. Donghua and the Man of the Moon are the only efficient mind-readers in here. The others can, but they don't do it as effortlessly.

Chapter 4

“I…” Bai Qian glanced up at the empty seat at the front. “I lost something there last time, I need to to find it.” BQ means this literally, she feels whatever it is between her and YH is lost, she wants to look for it again.

Chapter 5

Zheyan’s last remark struck Bai Qian like lightning and part of her wished she could deny the truth in it. (The remark being “the weakness of his brilliance lies in his insistence that his love was one-sided without seriously considering the other possibility.”). Here BQ admits to herself that MY’s love is NOT one-sided.

“Yehua…” she breathed. The sound of his name stung her with a violent pain. Not because BQ misses YH, but because she knows she will have to hurt Yehua. (So yes, Baby Lotus has pretty much lost the race here.)

Chapter 6 (P1)

“How do you do it, Shifu?” she felt as though a robe was tightening around her chest, “I think I’ve failed.” BQ wishes she could be in control of her emotions like MY is. MY is aware of this (without having to read her mind), and it’s one of the reasons why he decides to give her the speech later on.

It’s only about your heart; it isn’t important enough for you to care! But --” her voice quavered, -- “I'm foolish enough to volunteer for the job […]” MY sees this as an indirect confession. *rolls eyes* (That’s why he seems pretty confident about his slow pace later on :P)

For an instant, Bai Qian thought she had seen the corner of his lips curve into a fleeting smile. Because from what Bai Qian has said and her gesture earlier on, MY knows there is hope.

Chapter 6 (P4)

Moyuan’s main intentions when he makes this condescending and pompous speech are:
  1. To tell BQ she is not wrong to blame him for the whole thing. MY is honest here, of course. But facing with his arrogant manner, BQ initially overlooks his sincerity and reduces his willingness to share her burden to a mere display of “nobleness”.
  2. MY tells BQ the same thing he tells Yehua during their confrontation: emotional is not a bad thing. He ultimately wants them to know that their ability to feel pain and react to it is actually what makes them better than him. Because both of them have made it clear during their interactions with him that they envy the serenity he displays.
  3. To let BQ know where his weakness lies.
“Why... do you have so little regard... for your own heart?” To MY, this is yet another confession on BQ’s part.

“[...] I certainly will not make any assumption from your statement […]” The statement being “I'm foolish enough to volunteer for the job” (the job of caring for his heart). But then, of course, Moyuan goes on to do exactly that: assuming.

“Sometimes it doesn't matter much if our own heart bleeds, does it?” Yes, MY is saying he doesn’t mind if his heart is bleeding for BQ. But by saying it this way, he assumes that BQ has made her decision. No, he does not do this on purpose, but he almost couldn’t help it.

[...] she felt as though the enormous rock on her shoulders had been lifted and her threads of thoughts had been untangled [...]. Because BQ expected there would be a time when she’d have to explain to MY her irrational behaviour. So despite her dislike towards his speech, BQ is secretly glad that he understands and that she doesn't have to explain anything.

So… does the conversation go as MY planned?
Yes. MY says what he needs to say in the most effective way (in his opinion) to get his points across. He knows BQ well enough to safely assume she’d see through the arrogant nature of his speech and focus on his message.

Then where does the problem lie?
MY doesn't plan for his speech to heighten BQ’s frustration towards him afterwards despite her understanding and give her the impression that he doesn’t really her to be there. After all, MY does love BQ and her harsh judgement of him afterward is not that easy to swallow.

Chapter 7 (P3)

“Checkmate.” Donghua knows Yehua has no chance now.

Chapter 7 (P4)

Unfortunate, she thought bitterly, how unfortunate. BQ admits to herself that she actually doesn’t hate MY’s “nobleness” and irritating calmness at all. “How unfortunate” that she happens to secretly like all of those qualities.

“White really suits you.” MY is referring to his white handkerchief that Bai Qian is wearing around her wrist at the time. Let us be glad that BQ has no idea what MY is talking about.

Chapter 7 (P5)

Donghua too had retreated back into his seat and seemed to be absorbed in the chessboard set laid out on the table, the corner of his lips slightly lifting. Because DH knows there’s nothing to worry about.

“Then you are my disciple,” Moyuan whispered back. And then, he sighed. MY knows what Bai Qian means but the long wait for her to say it wasn’t fun so he can’t help sighing :)

Chapter 7 (P6)

Kunlun Hall: she had felt her hand being disengaged from the front of his robes and guided to his sash = Wine Cellar: Realizing that she was indeed staring at him like an idiot, and that her other hand had also found its way onto Moyuan’s waist somehow.
Bai Qian did this unconsciously, it is what gave away her feelings at the time. And MY remembers it. *rolls eyes again*. So here, HE kind of does it unconsciously.

“Has Moyuan been such a pathetic teacher that you have never learnt to resist a little lightning?” Qingcang is not wrong.

Chapter 8

“Shifu…” she unknowingly murmured. BQ is thinking about the lightning trial that MY took for her since she just experienced it firsthand. Props to Qingcang for being the first to make BQ appreciate MY a little more.

Why are they all so weak?
YH is weak here because the newly found powers (resulted from the slaying of the 4 beasts) are making him unstable.
MY is also weak because he’s feeling the effect of YH’s instability and he's still recovering.
BQ has been weakened from her previous encounter with Qingcang.

Chapter 9

There was a sort of warm feeling around his shoulders and a faint flowery smell that was lingering. This is because BQ is still holding YH. And since YH is not really dead, some of his senses are still working.
Whatever YH sees in his heavenly dream is only in his imagination. Father Immortal may not even look like that :D And there’s nothing being said here that YH doesn’t know already.

Chapter 12

By attacking Moyuan, the Fox Emperor means to convey 2 things:
  1. I know your secret.
  2. But I approve.
(One wonders what this family would do to him if they DIS-approved.)

Chapter 13

“There is nothing in the world he is unable to let go of.” The short version of: There is nothing an enlightened being like Moyuan is unable to let go of. But everything leaves a scar. So don’t be too quick to misjudge him. And it is your choice whether or not to give him another scar.
It's not an advice, it's a comment.

Bai Qian

Why does she never make a fuss about her love trial?
To quote Lady Lexu: “It was a trial for your ascension.” (Drama, ep. 56)
BQ is completely detached from her trial, (which results in part of her powers being lost), this allows her to view the trial as an outsider and think clearly before risking reversing her progress by doing something irrational. (Not good news for Yehua, but that’s how it is.) Downside: no connection with A-li.
Yehua never takes personally how he is tortured and teased by the little boys during his mortal trial, Donghua never goes back to take revenge on the guys who ambush him and Fengjiu during their trial. There’s no reason for Bai Qian to care about Sujin UNLESS she was still in love with Yehua and felt hurt by his betrayal, which she isn’t anymore. Her main concern at the time is how to break the truth to YH.

How do Bai Qian’s eyes heal without the showdown-with-Sujin scene?
The same way Yehua’s arm heals after his trial.

Why is Bai Qian angry at MY when she first discovers his secret?
Everything Moyuan says in his speech about why BQ is angry is right despite him being a pompous know-it-all about it. In summary:
  1. Her own words (what she promised YH) echoed in her head every time she stood in front of Moyuan (Chapter 6, P3). The moment Zheyan tells BQ the truth, BQ knows she will have to hurt YH. She can't be happy when she looks at MY at this point.
  2. BQ doesn’t like how MY has been treating himself.
  3. “I absolutely hate to be maneuvered.” (Chapter 2) To BQ, how MY has concealed the info, has thought he’s doing what’s best for her, which results in her almost marrying the wrong person, is an act of maneuvering.
  4. BQ blames herself more than anyone, and when she can’t take the pressure anymore, she looks for the next suitable candidate to throw the outburst at. She chooses MY because she kind of knows no matter what she does at this point, it probably wouldn’t change his feelings for her (yep, BQ is a bully to MY).
  5. Pretty much like how YH envies MY’s ability to control emotions, BQ also can’t stand how MY is always so calm and collected when she is in an emotional crisis. While YH can work out the source of his frustration with MY immediately, it usually takes BQ longer to understand hers. Hence: YH only breaks a teacup, BQ breaks a whole tea tray before she could calm down :DD
Do those reasons make her action ‘right’? 
In addition, BQ makes up her mind very quickly but she never makes clear declarations. She (unintentionally) leaves MY to do the detective work and assumes that he always knows. “I should say I positively will not be marrying Yehua” (Chapter 6, P1) is not a declaration. At the time it sounds more like “look what you've made me do”, and MY has every reason to interpret it as so

Why does Bai Qian blow up when Moyuan asks her about her trial?
  1. It’s an intrusion of privacy.
  2. BQ’s already irritated about how MY made a point to hide the thunderbolt scars from her. If Moyuan had kept quiet, she would have let the incident slide. But his asking about her trial evokes in her the intense dislike towards how little MY cares for himself.
But once again, these reasons cannot justify her actions toward MY because like Zheyan says: MY hasn't done anything wrong. And what BQ always forgets is that those qualities of MY that she claims to hate are actually what make her like him.

High God Moyuan

Why is Moyuan often described as ‘expressionless’ and ‘detached’?
Because Moyuan is always channeled through the eyes of other characters, most of whom are less experienced, less subtle, and less sophisticated than he is. What we see is what they see, and what they see + their conclusion aren’t necessarily right all the time. Unless the story is written in mind-reader Donghua’s PoV, the general description would usually be “expressionless”.

Why does Moyuan never “take action” to move the ship along? 
Because he is not free to act on his feelings. BQ might have indirectly confessed her love but he knows she is ridden with guilt. Any word from him, even loving words, would only put more pressure on BQ and distract her from thinking clearly and figuring out what she really wants. “Action”, as MY sees it, is unnecessary and even unwise.
There are instances where a little persistence would have helped, but MY is too prideful to want to be refused twice.

Has Moyuan ever been held back by guilt?
“Seventeenth, unless you’re absolutely sure… unless you are sure, don’t complicate your life.” (Chapter 6, P4) Guilt plays a part but the major issue has always been whether or not Bai Qian is sure. MY wants BQ to be definitely sure she doesn't pick him out of a sense of obligation, which wouldn't be fair for any of them. Yes, BQ has said that she would not be marrying YH, but that could have been mainly because she feels that tending to MY is her duty. To MY, this would be an insult.
MY’s the God of War, he wants a fair battle.

[...] everything is a battle. And he hates losing [...] (Chapter 12, P2). BQ is right. To MY, receiving any form of sympathy/pity from BQ is losing. To have BQ stay with him just because she feels obliged to repay what he's done for her is losing. Once MY turns on his battle mode, he doesn't like losing. “Ruthless and unyielding”? Totally.

So what's his problem? 
He takes this mindset to an extreme level. It affects him negatively and that is what bothers BQ.

Is Bai Qian right to assume that Moyuan sends her to the 9 Heavens, to Yehua, because he is already too sure of her feelings to worry she might waver? 
Bai Qian’s judgement is harsh, but she is not entirely wrong - MY is cautious but he assumes a lot of things. BUT, MY’s main concern at the time is still Yehua’s health and he needs to know ASAP if YH is in danger.

Why does Moyuan choose not to seek revenge for BQ or react fiercely or verbally reprimand YH upon hearing about BQ’s trial? 
(The answer to this question can be found in the many analysis in the comment section but I will include it here anyway.)

Short version: An immortal’s ascension trial is that particular immortal’s own concern. No suffering, no ascension. MY has neither the reason nor the right to comment on or engage in this business without BQ’s permission .

Long version: These are the reasons that render MY’s silence:
  1. MY does not discover BQ’s trial on his own, YH tells him about it. This makes all the difference and harder for MY to react as if it was the former scenario.
  2. MY is sitting opposite of someone who has sacrificed his own cultivation to revive him, sacrificed himself to the bell, and has lost the love of his life. 
  3. From YH’s tone, MY knows exactly what YH expects/wants: a reprimand. And that small spiteful side of MY is determined not to give YH what he wants. MY’s consideration toward both YH and BQ is still the main factor that governs his reaction in the end, but his silence is not entirely as YH interprets.
  4. BQ has decided to keep her trial secret for YH and MY’s sake; and unlike YH or Lijing, MY considers BQ’s opinion before acting on her behalf. 
For MY to react fiercely is to imply that he is unfamiliar with the concept of trial, that he takes personal offense (while BQ doesn’t) and regards BQ’s experience to be more than a trial, which would invalidate his advice to YH later in the chapter. And being a prideful man MY is, even if he did take offense, he would not give YH the satisfaction by displaying emotion.

Does YH need retribution?
The loss of BQ is already YH’s ultimate punishment. MY knows this.
BQ is free from the memory, YH is not.

YH needs to be called out for his wrongdoings? 
Upon YH’s confession, MY knows YH fears his relationship could be ruined by the truth. By purposely remaining silence, MY is already frightening YH to no ends. To use MY as a tool to dissect YH’s faults (a verbal reprimand) in this case would serve no purpose.

Given BQ’s clear stand on the matter and independent nature, a plan of revenge would have to be operated behind BQ’s back and I would not want to be MY when BQ found out about it :D

So what does Moyuan mean when he says to Yehua ‘It was a trial’?
1) You have to forget and move on.
2) BQ is mine :D

Does Yehua get the second meaning? 
Not right away. Like BQ, YH glorifies Moyuan without knowing it. To him, MY’s words at the time only serve as a bit of wisdom from his much older brother to help him move on with his life.

Does Moyuan’s rationality mean he is completely unfeeling to BQ’s suffering? 
No. MY’s state of emotion lies in his choice/action, not his reaction to a certain situation. MY knows exactly what would happen if he asks BQ about her trial. MY knows BQ’s eyes would recover sooner or later, what is the use in asking? but still he chooses to ask. Not exactly a smart move, but he couldn't help it.

The Fox Empress

Did Moyuan manipulate Bai Qian and used her nature against her during the first war like the Fox Empress claims? 
It’s possible.

Does the Fox Empress know what would happen when she plans for BQ to meet Lord Puhua? 
Yes. She knew the knowledge would eventually lead to a row between MY and BQ and she wants it to happen fast. She also wants to see if BQ’s attachment to MY is serious. Because if it is, this little trifle should not create doubt between them. (She could have, of course, chosen a nicer way. But like Zheyan says: she has very little patience for MY’s self-sacrificing and self -righteous attitude.)
She believes Moyuan’s stubbornness will only bring harm to them both in the long run.
The Fox Empress doesn’t care if MY comes to the gathering or not. Her test is mainly thrown at BQ.

Technically, the Fox Empress doesn't do anything wrong. She only puts the source of information on the way of BQ’s curiosity. BQ has been worried that she herself might suffer the consequences of ‘cheating’ during a lightning trial. The Fox Empress knows for a fact BQ would come to Lord Puhua and asks questions.
In other words, the Fox Empress might have accused MY of manipulation but she herself also uses BQ’s nature against her to get done what she wants to do. Fortunately, it is also to serve BQ’s interest.