Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 13 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 13

written by kakashi
edited by Panda & LigayaCroft

“H...hellooo? Anybody there?” Shao Wan’s voice echoed feebly in the gloomy large hall of Yinguang Palace. There! Something moved in the shadows again! She pivoted her head from side to side in mounting panic, but she could never quite see what it was.

“Stay away! I...I am armed,” she squeaked and grabbed a large candle holder. It was very heavy and she could barely lift it off the ground.

Whatever lurked in the shadows sat still for the moment.

She had only been in here for a few hours but it was sufficient to tell her it was going to be a very long week. And not only because they left her with no food or drink.

“It is so unfair,” she wailed and kicked the a pillar, promptly hurting her toe, “it’s not like I committed an egregious crime! All I did was save unborn lives, how can that lead to this kind of punishment? Fine! I used forbidden magic, yes, but did I not-” at save the realms the throat-throttle curse hit her again. The piercing pain brought instant tears to her eyes and she let them flow, because it helped to lessen her frustration. There isn’t even anybody here to hear me, you stupid curse!

She sniffled and dried her face with the tulle of her sleeve. No, she wouldn’t despair. This was nothing. Let something move creepily in the shadows! She had spent a gazillion miserable lives trying to get to the immortal realms and now that she was here again, things could only get better. She could deal with ghosts or demons. There weren’t many that harmed immortals… or were there?

Shao Wan started walking forward, eyes half-shut so she wouldn’t have to see the movement in the dark. There was no hip high dust. In fact, things looked fairly clean. That was surprising, considering that the palace had been abandoned for over two hundred sixty thousands years, or ever since Mo Yuan had left the Heavens to live on Mount Kunlun. Since the Heavens were on an infinite plane, there was no need to repopulate old palaces even with new immortals ascending every year. And since there were only very few Celestial children born to immortals, and even fewer of royal status, there hardly ever arose an occasion to reuse an old palace.

The place felt cold and unwelcoming. Nothing of Mo Yuan was left here, not a shred of his essence remained. Where would his bedroom have been, Shao Wan wondered? At the heart of this vast structure? As far as she knew, his mother had died right after giving birth to him. Had Mo Yuan been raised by a maid? Was she still alive? Or had he been raised by different maids, like people in the Demon Realm claimed was the Celestial way, in order to bring up their children without emotional attachment and weakness?

She walked for a bit, through long halls, bright courtyards, and even longer corridors. No wonder Mo Yuan had never expressed a wish to come back here. Trying to imagine him living the life of a royal family member rather than protecting the lands from the height of Mount Kulun felt wrong. The thought of him gliding around up here with nothing to do felt wrong. The thought of legions of maids serving him felt very wrong.

Was he not exactly who he was because he had given up the riches of the Heavens and lived an ascetic’s life on a Holy Mountain? And yet, this place here… it had made him what he was too. Everything one touched, everybody one talked to, everywhere one had been… it played a part in the kind of person one became.

She stepped out into the tenth or so courtyard deep in thought… and froze. Something was looking at her.

It was a small black turtle.

Shao Wan blinked in surprise. The turtle blinked back.

Suddenly, the courtyard came alive.

They came from the shadows, slowly filling up the space in front of her. Turtles. Hundreds. Thousands. And they all turned to look at her.


Memories flooded Mo Yuan. Memories he had erased, they had erased, in what they had thought was a smart move to dodge the ire of the Universe. How foolish. How futile. He screamed, though only in silence. He could not deal with anybody right now.

I loved her. I loved her so much. I should never have let myself be swayed from loving her. By nobody, not even Him, the Father of this Creation. Why did I not fight more? Not then, not now. Maybe I didn’t deserve her love.

Human, Golden Dragon said urgently, let me out.

They had met again despite their attempts to prevent it, despite his Father’s warning. They had fallen in love again. Of course they had, because she was his opposite, his other half - he was only whole with her by his side. Twice, she had had to die because he had not seen.

Human, listen. Let me out. I will behave myself.

No, I am far too angry. Remember what happened that time. I feel like ripping apart everything.

Fine, but let us go to the Heavens and get the Soul Gathering Lamp. Fenghuang isn’t gone, her human form told me we’d meet again! Part of her is in that flask on Mount Kunlun, I felt it!

… she is there? How is that… No. It cannot be.

Mo Yuan cloud jumped without thinking twice, his long, unbound hair whipping behind him.


Shao Wan’s back hit a pillar with a soft thud. There was no more space for retreat, it was the end. Death by turtle, how pathetic. What a shameful way to die, people would laugh at her horribly mutilated body. Would it be painful when they started to rip her apart with their little toothless mouths? They did look very hungry.

With a soft woosh, the biggest turtle in the front transformed. Shao Wan gasped in surprise at the small, thin man, with black shaggy hair and round, shining eyes, dressed in what clearly were stolen, ill-fitting Celestial clothes.

“Who are you,” he demanded to know with a gravelly voice, though it sounded more curious than threatening.

“Who... who are you!” she squealed in reply, glad that her voice was back already.

“We live here. You do not look like you’ve come to chase us away, so we decided to talk to you.”

“We? So these are all….”

All the turtles in front of her transformed. Men, women, children… a large courtyard full of turtle-humans. Shao Wan felt great relief flood her, but was that justified? Some of these turtle-humans looked very wild. Overwhelmed, she sat down rather abruptly.

“We are sorry we frightened you,” said the Turtle Leader. “Some Celestials have become too interested in this palace lately. We thought you were one of them at first.”

“You live here in secret?” Shao Wan asked.

The Turtle Leader nodded. “It is becoming more difficult though,” he sighed, “we are so many.”

“Where… where did you come from?” she asked curiously.

“Our ancestors came from eggs in the centermost courtyard.”

That sounded familiar. Suddenly, she felt something like kinship towards these egg-crawlers. “Eggs? And where did the eggs come from?”

“That we do not know,” said the Turtle Leader with a shrug, “but we honor the Great Black Turtle of the North as our forefather.”

“I have been put here for punishment,” she explained. “I bit a Prince in the ankle. But actually, I do not want to be here at all. I need to get to Mount Kunlun as soon as I can!”

“They locked all the Gates,” an agitated female turtle-human said. “Nobody can leave!”

“It’s why we thought they were coming to round us up,” another explained.

“Yes,” Shao Wan sighed, “it’s because of me. They think I’m some sort of spy! Donghua will wish he’d never lived once I get my hands on him… And they found poison again? That must be Cheng Yin’s poison…”

“It doesn’t affect us,” the Turtle Leader explained. “When the poison seeped through the divine creation and killed many, we hid inside our shells and came out unharmed.”

“Do you know where it came from again?” Shao Wan asked curiously.

The Leader nodded. “They have not yet found the traitor. He knows how to hide really well.”

“He is in the Heavens?” that was rather unexpected.

“Yes. He sometimes hides in here as well.”

“You have seen him?!”

The Turtle Leader and several other individuals in the vicinity nodded.

If she could deliver the Celestial Traitor to Donghua… they would make her a General and she could leave this horribly pink place!

“Can you describe him? So that I can find and stop him? Or… even better. Draw him?”

“We can try,” said the Turtle Leader, though he sounded a bit doubtful. “If you can get the gates opened again… and maybe…”

“ would no longer have to hide,” Shao Wan said excitedly. “I would give you full credit for your help! You’d be heroes!”

“Oh, let’s catch him!” several of the turtle humans said excitedly, “we have a right to live here, Da-Ge! We want to see the Festival of Flowers!

“And we want to walk in the Moonlight Garden on the 32nd sky with the night pearls hanging on the trees!”

“I want to catch a Rainbow bird and keep it as a pet!”

The Turtle Leader nodded throughout all the exclamations. “Yes. Yes, my children! Did we not see a strange formation of clouds yesterday? And did we not think it could mean that change is coming our way? Indeed so! It seem it is finally time to step out of the shadows and into the light. Thank you, Lady Immortal. You must have been sent here by the Black Turtle of the North to help us.”


The flask shimmered softly in his hand. But he felt… nothing. Except the familiar, piercing headache. The great energies of the cave flowed around him like a gentle breeze, so soothing after the abrasive energy of the Demon Realm, but they would not serve him like they should.

Human! Get her out of there!

Please be still, he ordered his true form, you give me a headache that makes my head explode. I can’t… see. I have lost my ability to soul search...

Mo Yuan was full of doubt. His dragon form pushed and pushed, but no… if Shao Wan were in that bottle, he would have felt her before. The Demons with their Soul Gathering Mirror would have sensed her in there.

And yet…

He did sense something amiss with the flask, like a very strong magic had been put there to hide something important. However hard he tried though, he could not penetrate the spell. The longer he tried, the more certain he became that whatever it was, it drew from Kunlun’s energy.

It’s something alive. I should get Donghua and Zhe Yan. Maybe they can help.

No, he corrected himself. Zhe Yan had told him he would be travelling - again. Like many times before, finding him would not be easy. Donghua on the other hand… he would still be in the Heavens, administering the records of the newly ascended immortals. ‘Wear green skirt, come to Heaven's gates; give thanks to Heaven and Earth, pay homage to Dongjun’, the saying was. The Heavens… he loathed to go up there, but it looked like he would have to.

“Shifu?” a tense voice said from the entrance. “Why are you back?”

Mo Yuan suddenly remembered that he wasn’t alone on this mountain. He also became aware of what he currently looked like. Quickly, he ordered his hair in a tight bun and smoothed out his robes. Chang Shan cautiously poked his head in. “Shifu, you are back? That is…”

“I thought I had forgotten something, but now I’m not so sure,” Mo Yuan explained curtly and lifted up the flask. “Chang Shan, can you tell me what you see?”

“It’s a drinking flask. It is very pretty.”

“Not the outside. Inside.”

Chang Shan concentrated. “There’s nothing… it’s… it’s like there is something but it’s hidden really well.”

Mo Yuan nodded. “Guard it well,” he told his 2nd Disciple, “I will leave it here. It must be something precious to Shao Wan.”

Human! Take it! Take it!

No! He said with authority. There is not a second place in all the realms that is higher in cultivation than this cave. I will not risk harming it by taking it away from here. She wanted it here. It stays here.

Golden Dragon pondered his words and decided to be convinced by his reasoning.

“Are they… not treating you well, Shifu?” Chang Shan cautiously asked. “Is Tian Gu filial enough?”

Mo Yuan had no desire at all to converse with anybody as if this was a normal kind of day, but he didn’t want to offend kind Chang Shan either.

“She has a lot to learn,” he said, a conversation from teacher to teacher, “and I have neglected my duties for too long. She would be delighted to see you, I am sure. And now, if you excuse me...”

His next stop was the Thirty Six Heavens.


Shao Wan followed the Turtle Leader deeper into the palace. They wanted to offer her something to eat and drink to seal the pact between them, they had said, and she, who felt very hungry and thirsty, had readily agreed.

The Turtle Clan was quite curious to hear more about her story, but she honestly told them that she couldn’t talk freely because somebody wanted to keep her from talking about her secrets. That in itself was enough to stab her throat and keep her mute for a substantial amount of time. A little turtle girl stepped up to her and gave her sweetened tea and stroked her hair with compassion.

It was enough to make her tears flow again.

“The Black Turtle will be with you,” the Turtle Leader said and patted her shoulder, “do not lose hope.”

When she could speak again, she asked where the bedroom of the Prince was in this palace and a little turtle procession solemnly took her there.

Had she really expected to find anything here? It was just as cold and as empty of his presence as the rest of the palace.

“There was one thing we found here,” the Turtle Leader said, “many, many hundred of years ago, when we gained enough cultivation to sense magic. It was… what was it again, wife?”

A turtle lady scurried over. “A jade ornament. It was about this long…,” she indicated it with her two hands, “with a hook. It had… what was on it, son?” she asked a younger turtle human who stood behind her.

“Dragons, Mama,” he promptly answered. “Dragon, playing with an egg.”

Shao Wan frowned. Had she not once owned a belt hook like that? She didn’t recall it well, but it seemed like she had actually cherished it quite a bit.

“We lost it though,” the turtle leader said apologetically, “it is possible one of the children took it outside…”

They spent some time discussing the Celestial Traitor afterwards and when Shao Wan regained her voice, she asked them a lot of questions about where and when they had seen him and what else they knew. The most talented among them drew a picture of the man, but he looked like any kind of Celestial.

“I will take this with me and will ask around with your permission,” she said. “Maybe someone will recognize him.”

They were just eating some rather tasty rice dish when the Heavens shook.

“Dragon,” Turtle Leader said in alarm.

Oh, but Shao Wan knew. It was Golden Dragon. He had come for her.


When Mo Yuan found the Great Gates to the Thirty Six Heavens barred, he felt so annoyed, he transformed right outside on the vast white marble platform and roared.

How dared they.

He started pacing up and down, repeatedly brushing his tail against the closed doors so that they shook violently. It was a very effective way to get to talk to someone who had the right to make decisions without having to spend time talking to lowly guards.

“It’s High God Mo Yuan,” he heard Ye Hua’s alarmed voice from within, “open the gates!”

“But we have explicit order from Donghua Dijun to not open ‘whatever may transpire’.”

“Those were his words indeed!” a second guard echoed.

“Donghua has left, has he not. But I am here and I am your Crown Prince. Open this instance or spend your lives in Tiryagyoni!”

With an ugly creak, the great gates swung open. Mo Yuan glared at the humans in front of him and moved forward. The guards looked like they might faint on the spot.

“Da-Ge,” Ye Hua said, his face quite white, “what’s the matter? Please, can you not…”

No, he couldn’t. He now knew whose fault it was that he had lost the love of his life twice and he no longer wanted to be gentle or wise. And his true form liked to terrify people right now. He also liked the way the Celestial powers tickled his belly up here. He liked the clouds too.

Head held high, he went straight to the Lotus Pond to drink. But as soon as he had taken one sip, he spit the water out again, spraying it all over the marble footpath. It was horribly bitter.

“It’s poison,” Ye Hua explained worriedly. “We managed to removed most of the afflicted flowers, but the water still isn’t entirely pure. Da-Ge… let’s go to my palace to talk?”

Ye Hua looked pleadingly at Mo Yuan. Somewhere behind him, someone came running. It was the Uncle with the Fan, whose nosy nature compelled him to witness anything of potential interest in person.

It was this Uncle’s fault he had met people of the Horse Tribe. He was at fault Mo Yuan had even had the opportunity to get himself cursed.

Angrily, Mo Yuan moved towards him.

“Stop. Da-Ge, stop,” Ye Hua barred his way, hands outstretched. “What happened, Da-Ge? Please, talk.”

Our Father, he manipulated me! Mo Yuan yelled, but only because he knew that nobody would understand him in his true form did he allow himself this thought. I don’t care that the Universe does not want this union. I want my Fenghuang. Bring her back to me!

“He is very angry,” an out-of-breath Lian Song remarked drily. “What did the Demons do to him?”

Mo Yuan bared his teeth at him and hissed. “Please, Third Uncle,” Ye Hua urged him, “there is just one thing that could enrage High God Mo Yuan like this. I think it’s better if you consider going back to your palace?”

“Ah,” Lian Song said and a somewhat sad expression spread on his face. “Yes, I understand. I am… sorry,” he added and bowed to Mo Yuan, deeper than what his status required.

Golden Dragon huffed and turned away. But his anger dissipated, leaving him feeling sad and tired. As soon as Lian Song was no longer in sight, Mo Yuan transformed.

“I need the Soul Gathering Lamp,” he told his brother through gritted teeth. “Will you lend it to me?”

“Da-Ge… come, let’s drink some tea,” Ye Hua said. “Would you like to see your nephews? I will call for them.”

“No, Ye Hua. Thank you, but I have no time. I need the Soul Gathering Lamp and then I will leave again.”

“What has… a cup of tea at least?” Ye Hua gently took his arm and guided him towards his palace. “I think you deformed the gates a little,” his brother said and tried out a smile.

Mo Yuan suddenly felt sorry for bringing trouble to him. His face looked worried and a bit drawn.

“Are you not eating well?” he asked his younger brother.

“Ah…,” Ye Hua’s free hand went up to his face, as if he wanted to check whether his cheeks felt hollow, “I am very busy. With the return of the poison… a possible spy… it’s not been quiet at all.”

“A spy?”

“Ah… nothing to concern you, brother. Just some strange woman. How are you settling in in the Demon Realm? Is it… bearable?”

“I found something there, something very unexpected. And now, I need the Soul Gathering Lamp to search for Shao Wan’s soul.”

Ye Hua stopped. “But she is…”

“I wasn’t gone though everybody thought I was. You were not gone even though I myself though you were. She came back once already. Why should I believe that she won’t come back this time?”

Ye Hua took a moment to think it over and then nodded. “But you know, Da-Ge… the Soul Gathering Lamp won’t always work. I almost despaired when my Qian Qian…” he pressed his lips together. It looked like he wanted to say something more and then he added: “It did not bring her back even though she was alive.”

Mo Yuan did not want to hear such things. He did not want to trust the Demons and their Mirror against better judgment. He didn’t want to trust Zhe Yan who had been there to assure she was dead - Zhe Yan, the best physician alive. He did not believe that it mattered that her ash had been scattered to the winds. He could collect it. He would collect it.

“I know all this. I still want the Lamp.”

“So you found evidence that she is alive?” Ye Hua asked cautiously.

“No. I found evidence that I have been the biggest fool.”

Ye Hua stopped. “I had the Lamp moved to the Dragon Shrine, Da-Ge. Let me send someone to get the keys.”

But when they got to the Shrine and opened the chest where the Lamp should be, it was not there. And just like that, it dawned on Mo Yuan where the scales in Shao Wan’s armor had come from and why they had affected him so much.

“Open the shrine itself,” he told Ye Hua.

“But Da-Ge, that is…”

Mo Yuan took the keys from his hand and performed the necessary spells as he opened the shrine. It contained the most powerful scales of the Dragon family. Or rather, it should… for it, too, was empty.

Somebody had stolen them. And everything else that had been in here. A priceless treasure. And very dangerous if in the wrong hands.

Chapter 14