Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 8 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 8

written by Panda
consulting by LigayaCroft
editing by kakashi

The day had just broken, the sunrise casting a purple hue in the sky when Mo Yuan and Eighteenth prepared to set forth from Kunlun. Although he had told Chang San not to bother with a send off for him, the latter had not heeded his words and bowed deeply before him.

“Rise, Chang Shan,” Mo Yuan repeated for the third time.

“Shifu, I will keep Kunlun exactly how you left it, awaiting your return,” his second disciple said earnestly.

With a small smile, Mo Yuan shook his head. “No. You have kept the place running for the last hundred years. You know all of Kunlun’s secrets. I grant you free rein to implement whatever changes you have in mind.”

“But Shifu-”

“Chang Shan, I do not know when I will be back. I plan my studies in the Demon realm to be extensive and they may lead me to other places afterwards. I also know well what you are capable of, and I place Kunlun in your hands with absolutely no reservations.”

Overwhelmed, Chang Shan fell into a deep prostration. “Shifu.”

Once again, Mo Yuan motioned him to stand up and together, they finally walked toward where his companion and their horses were. When Chang Shan saw his Master’s meager belongings, he turned questioning eyes to him but then quickly turned them away after receiving no response and hastened to go meet Tian Gu. Both of them looked over the horses and murmured to each other.

Mo Yuan stood a small distance away, an eye on them but his mind on Kunlun... his home, the place that had made him who he was. Here, his parents had gotten married, from here, he had watched over the Realms at his father’s command. Yet, ever since his conversation with Ye Hua, he had found himself with a new direction to focus on and that had energized him in unforeseen ways. He had planned to go to the Demon realm alone but Tian Gu had sternly reminded him that he had a duty to teach her. It was the truth and although he had agreed grudgingly, he would probably be glad to have her company during the journey and also a trusted face in the Demon realm if he needed it.

He had packed very sparingly and had only taken 3 robes. His treasures, prized possessions and books, he had all left behind - treasures he didn’t need and books… he could write more. He massaged his temple as he vividly remembered how his head had almost split open when he had passed the place he kept the rainbow flask. Golden Dragon had slammed him with such force crying out loudly “I know, I know! Take it, ta-” that it had dropped him to his knees, like a Heavenly thunderbolt. It had taken so much effort to shut his true form down that he had been left wrung out and thoroughly exhausted on the floor. But no, he had not taken it. He couldn’t look at anything that reminded him of her, not yet. Maybe never. It would be hard enough, to be where she had been.

“Shifu,” Eighteenth soft voice broke into his reverie, “it is time.”

The Peach Grove was some distance from where they were, but Mo Yuan could detect a lingering fragrance in the morning mist, a soft, familiar scent that flowed around him. As he lifted himself on his horse, the smell intensified and then suddenly disappeared.

It seemed fitting.

A final wave to Chang Shan, and then they set forth on their journey. A strong sense of longing hit him as they reached Kunlun gates but he shrugged it off and resisted the urge to give a backward glance.

For all he knew, this was farewell.


The Demon Overlord sighed, exasperated, as she sorted through the various notices that littered her table. So many requests from all over the realms, some serious consuming, some simply tedious. She was starting to recognize the petitioners by their writing, and those she deemed irrelevant, she crumpled and tossed aside unread.

She rapped her tumbler sharply on the stool and instantly an attendant stepped forward and refilled it.

“Is the new Brown King still harassing you?” Yu Dian (羽点), one of her more trusted council members yawned from the cushions to the side and popped some fruit into his mouth. “Maybe we should challenge him, next time he sends his impertinent requests, to show him a show of force.”

“Hmmmm.” Sometimes the Purple Queen wondered whether she should dissolve her council as they either hardly helped with decisions or worse, gave her an even bigger headache with their unworkable solutions. They mainly liked to drink her liquor and talk all day. The man who had just proffered the solution, a fine specimen of a Demon, was possibly one of the few exceptions. The only drawback was, he tried to avoid work as much as possible. Not that I blame him, she thought tiredly.

Reaching out to the unread pile that lay to her right, she threw them towards the other man. “Why don’t you read the whole thing, maybe you will be able to provide fresh insight into the issues. And feel free to challenge him in person. Have you seen him? He has arms as thick as tree trunks.”

Ignoring the dark look he gave her her, Yi Mei Nang smiled for the first time that day. Now that the petitions were off her desk, she decided to move to another room soon, one she fondly called her “pleasure room.” She had obstinately refused to move from her palace into the Obsidian Palace, the Demon Realms seat of power - she was too attached to this place. It was exceptional indeed, even Si Ming had pronounced the scents from her garden next to none other when he had toured them and she had excitedly explained to him about the source of water to the gardens and the soil.

He had also been very appreciative of her silken sheets but that was another matter.

She had never been a woman who desired power. All her life she had been content running her various businesses to the best of her abilities, flying below the radar in this realm where power was considered equal to fighting prowess, something she simply did not have nor wanted to possess. That she was now the Overlord was a giant joke from fate. Well, joke’s on her too, seeing that I am so bad at the job.

Swift incoming strides interrupted her thoughts and knowing the time, she was not surprised when Yue was announced. “It’s almost time for the training inspection, Demon Overlord,” he announced, “We are ready for you.”

Yi Mei Niang gave a small smile of satisfaction, not only because Yue was another very fine specimen of a man - Yue of the Nice Butt, is what she called him in her head. This had been another of the better decisions she had taken after the war. When she had rescued him from his ill-advised sojourn near the Celestial camp, she had made him promise to stay near her during the war and protect her. He had gone far and above what she told him to do and now bore a scar across his back for his troubles. She had rewarded him by placing him in command of the palace guards and border security. He had been very reluctant to accept initially, likely because he doubted his abilities - and she suspected losing the Ancestor had a lot to do with it as well. In the century that passed however, he had taken fully to his task and excelled at it. He might still nurse a broken heart, but she did not really care. All that mattered to her was his performance and that was impeccable.

“Yes, Yue, just let me finish my drink.”

Taking the few remaining sips, she turned back to Yue, eager to leave and examine her new recruits. That was still a great source of income. She could not wait to determine the ones that would make the cut and whose services would be most sought after.

“Your Highness,” a maid scurried in, “the God of War requests an audience.”

The bastard had not even sent a message ahead, but had just trusted the Demons would hear of his appointment as “Demon Ambassador” as well as his arrival. Which they had, of course. But so arrogant. “Show him in,” she ordered grudgingly and hated that she hastily checked over herself to make sure she was properly attired. She then arranged herself in her most regal pose, put on a haughty face and waited for her guest to be let in.

When the God of War walked into the room, Yi Mei Niang instantly saw that the was back to his old, regular, hateful self - in contrast to the even more hateful abnormal self during the Demon War. The idiot had won the war, but at what price… now, he was back to living his life like he had not killed one of the greatest women who had ever lived and he even still had that spooky horse disciple with him.

“God of War,” she greeted him. Having him near made her instantly nervous. Like she expected him to use her again without warning.

“Demon Overlord,” he replied. She noted that he gave a small frown of recognition towards Yue and a passing, alert glance towards Yu Dian, who showed obvious interest in one of the biggest legends of the Celestial Tribe - but she deliberately ignored the eyeballing and bade them sit, without bothering with introductions for the moment.

“Bring refreshments for our surprise guests,” she called out and waited in silence while they were served.

“Apologies for it being a surprise,” Mo Yuan stated. “I thought you knew.”

“No need for apologies, God of War,” she replied curtly. “When did you ever think it necessary to inform me before acting? Certainly not when you used me as bait or commanded me to be Demon Overlord.”

Mo Yuan looked straight at her. His eyes were very captivating and even though she hated him with passion, looking at him always came with a slight dizziness, a feeling of powerlessness in front of someone far too cunning and ruthless.

“Can we speak, in private, Overlord?”

“I will have Yue leave us, but Yu Dian stays,” she gave a brief nod in the direction of the enraptured demon. “He, the leader of the Green Demon Tribe, is one of the most trusted members in my council.”

The two men acknowledged each other with slight dips of their heads. She directed Yue to get accommodation for the Horse girl whom she was glad to be rid off. The aura of the little witch gave her goosebumps. To think she had once thought about bedding the girl! She shuddered. Then she turned her full attention to the God of War.

“Ambassador, is it?” she sat back and coolly surveyed him. “So you have come to spy on me? To see if I am doing a good job? I can save you the hassle, I am not. I will gladly relinquish this post to someone else. You, for example. Take it.”

Getting more heated, she continued. “Take this job and its responsibilities away. It is a pure nightmare: there is no respite in rebuilding efforts ever since the war. But that doesn’t mean there is also a dearth of thoroughly stupid things. Pangu help me, if I have to hear one more petition about Clans wanting to be recognized for their superior women stealing skills, I will burn this place down!” Her words pouring out now in a rapid staccato, “and then we have the imbeciles who keep making trouble in the Realms. Like that was not enough, there are now disappearances and rumblings about a cult. A cult! Who needs a cult for! Pangu save me from muscle bound idiotic men, because I bet we will have men at the root of all this strife.”

“Overlord,” Yu Dian cautioned, and with a sulk, she fell back in silence on her cushion, her chest heaving with pent up anger and frustration.

“Demon Overlord,” the God of War’s calm words fell into the quiet room. “I have come to help you with your issues. It is in all our interest to solve them as quietly and peacefully as possible.”

She held his gaze for a heartbeat before exhaling deeply. She liked holding her grudges and getting even but somehow in this instance, it seemed wrong. Rather than have the Celestial forces intervene on Demon territory when things got too heated, let this High God try and use his strategic mind on making peace, not war.

“I don’t dare refuse you anyway, God of War.” After repositioning her tunic, she took a long sip. “How will this work? Will you go and arrest everyone?”

“I would not want to impose-”

“Pah,” she cut in with a sniff. “You imposed your will when you made me the Overlord here against my will, so don’t even pretend to be considerate. Just do your thing and solve my problems!”

“Purple Queen,” he called on her earnestly. “You were crowned because you were the best person for the position in all the realms. You are the ruler here. I will sit quietly and observe your customs unless you explicitly call for my help.”

Ah, he knew how to flatter, too?

“Good,” she replied briskly. “I therefore explicitly proclaim that I need your help. But I remember I promised you during the war to offer you my finest brew. We can talk state matters tomorrow before you take your leave for the Obsidian Palace.”

Her guest gave a small start of surprise. “Obsidian Palace?”

Deciding she was not fully over her grudge, she smiled as guilelessly as she could at the suddenly pale-looking god. “You couldn’t possibly stay here, and the Obsidian Palace is the only place appropriate for a High God of your stature. It is also currently empty. It is perfect.”

“Purple Queen, I ....”

“But God of War, this is the Demon Realm. I do understand you do not yet understand our customs, but you could not possibly stay in a place not fully fortified. It is of great importance to prevent a diplomatic incident between our two tribes. You know there will always be foolhardy demons that will want to try their luck against you even though we are at peace.”


“So glad you agree.” Happy she had won this round, she clapped her hands at her attendants, “Let us dine.”


Tian Gu had never spent time in the Demon realm before and was extremely fascinated with the Overlord’s palace. It was lush, bursting in textures and fabrics unlike anything she had previously seen, but the most exceptional feature was its abundance of greenery. Flowers - they were everywhere, a little overwhelming, their colours and fragrance permeating the air, such a contrast to the palace she had grown up in.

She had prowled for a while in her room waiting for Shifu to send word what to do next. When it had not come, she had fallen into a deep fathomless sleep - she was prone to this, especially when she was anxious, a strange and not exactly useful habit. Still, she had woken up refreshed and had sated her hunger with delicacies from a tray that must have been left by a conscientious maid. On the table next to her lay an open book of short poems which she had indulged in before. But now, it was time to move! Jumping up, she eagerly ventured out to explore her surroundings.

The palace was deceptively big and felt like a maze until with a short inner shout of satisfaction, she finally burst out onto the upper level of a small courtyard.

Fresh air, she inhaled deeply. Focusing more on her surroundings, she shielded her eyes from the sun with her hands and looked down where a group of women guards trained. This had to be the Overlord’s personal guard, she thought happily. Fascinated, she watched as they moved like a unit, lithe and powerful and executed several moves that had her eyes shining in delight.

When they were done, she allowed her mind to wander back to Shifu and the Purple Queen. How well her Shifu carried and expressed himself… she always felt such awe for him especially when she saw him interact with people. And that Demon man that had been there - Yu Dian. The name tasted strangely sweet on her lips.

Who was he? Tian Gu wondered. She had rarely been so… confused by a man. His calm, dreamy aura was as fascinating as was the dark shadow of hair on his face. But the most fascinating and also scandalous thing was that he had left his hair unbound! Unbound! She rubbed her palms together and put them on her cheeks, hoping it would help cool the sudden flush she felt on there. Truly, she didn’t know what was wrong with her.

“May I be of assistance?” A low voice inquired. It was husky - almost a whisper - and underscored by a faint rumble that reminded her of her horses galloping in the fields. That gave her a sharp pang of homesickness. She lifted her eyes and met the gaze of the oddly familiar Demon who had taken her to her quarters.

“Not especially. I was just walking the grounds.”

He continued, his eyes still locked with hers, “I can help you with that if you like?”

“Thank you, but it’s really not necessary.” She looked around to see if there was anyone else near them. “I just came for some fresh air. I will go back to my rooms on my own when I feel the need to.”

He regarded her for a moment, then dipped his head politely. Tian Gu turned her back to him, assuming he would leave.

“Do you really not remember-?”

“Yue!” another man walked towards them and as he came into view, her mouth went dry. It was him! By the Great Horse, he was even more handsome than what she had just remembered. She saw now that his hair was longer than she had initially thought, flowing long and thick with strands brushing against his shoulders. It was of the deepest black, just like his eyes. Her stomach tightened and she felt an excited flutter as she met his smile and curious gaze.

“Horse Princess, I am Yu Dian. I am very happy to make the acquaintance of she who bested this demon here.”

“Who?” Tain Gu managed to stammer while trying to get her rapid heartbeat under control. His voice! It was like gentle water on a summer day.

“Who?” Yu Dian repeated and then, slapping the other man on the shoulder, burst into laughter. “You do not remember him? You took him hostage during the great war and almost killed him. Everybody teases him about it almost daily.”

Oh, so that was why he looked vaguely familiar. She turned her her gaze back to the first man and a rush of memories came flooding in. Of course! He was the one she had caught prowling the clearing! Funny, he looked much different now. Much more tidy.

“I thought you were pretending not to remember me.” Yue said softly, his gaze rather intent.

Affronted, she squared her shoulders and gave him as disdainful a look as she could manage. “I am always honest. I have no reasons to play games with you. I could not remember earlier because it was wartime and I encountered many demons. Sorry you did not stand out but I guess I will remember you now.” More upset than she realized, she turned away from him in dismissal.

“Is that the Tirades of Solitude,” Yu Dian asked drawing her attention back to him. “It has been some years since I last held a copy. May I?”

Surprised, Tian Gu handed him the book she had brought with her from her room.

Yu Dian’s gaze narrowed. His fingers tenderly rubbed the cover of the book, eliciting another stomach churning reaction from her, and then he opened it and read an obviously familiar poem to him, the edge of his mouth curving into a smile. “Ah, reading this brings back memories. I was so young and a little foolish when I wrote this.”

Tian Gu expelled the breath she was not aware she had been holding. “You wrote this? I must admit I am usually not finding myself liking poetry much, but this…”

“Ah, if I may say so, I believe I have gotten much better. Plus, I do no longer write about such mournful topics,” he said with a fake mournful look on his face before he burst into laughter. Tian Gu found herself laughing with him.

“Tell you what, Horse Princess, I look forward to writing something that you will like as we get to know more about each other. I promise to write a poem that you love.”

Looking askance at him, her knees buckled when he gave her a devastatingly wicked smile. “Ah, you do not know? I will be living with you at the Obsidian Palace while you are there. We do not want two Celestials getting lost in Demon customs. I will be your advisor.”

Chapter 9