Fanfic: Mo Yuan and Shao Wan 2.0 - Chapter 27 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 27

written by kakashi
edited by Panda & LigayaCroft

“It doesn’t look half-bad,” Zhe Yan remarked after studying Mo Yuan’s head with the air of an expert. “But how do we know it doesn’t mean ‘This Man is the Biggest Idiot That Ever Lived’?”

“No, Celestial High God,” Yue said, sounding quite offended, “it’s the pattern of a champion, it is sacred!”

“The High God was jesting,” Yu Dian hastily explained to the guard in a low voice, “he is trying to lighten the mood.”

Despite his attempt to appear calm and in command of things, the Demon Lord’s unsteady gaze gave him away as being highly agitated. His eyes flitted across the arena until they came to rest on Tian Gu, who was clearly much better than earlier. She was attempting to get close to Yue’s Dai to pat it, which had the shy animal squeaking and scurrying to hide underneath the guard’s arms. Those might be well equipped for many things, but definitely not for harboring owl monster babies.

The sun had set, it was getting dark and a thousand torches had been lit all throughout the stadium that was still abuzz with the excitement of thousands of immortals. Shao Wan was facing Yu Dian’s sister in the middle of the arena for what she had called “final arrangements”. It made Mo Yuan extremely anxious to see her so exposed, but all he could do for the moment was get ready for the fight.

After which an entirely new phase in his already very long life would begin. If...

He felt like he couldn’t wait another day to meet his children, but he also knew that getting ahead of himself was ill advised, that he had to concentrate on winning this fight and then on protecting his new family. No, he did not expect that the Forces that had been against his and Shao Wan’s union for so long had just changed their minds.

Thus, rather than doing what he really wanted to - hide away Shao Wan’s body and the treasure inside to make sure they were safe - Mo Yuan went over to Lian Song, who was observing the scenes around him with lazy, half-lidded eyes, almost absent-mindedly ruffling the second sleeping Dai’s white feathers.

“Third Prince,” Mo Yuan said and took care to swallow his pride entirely and bow properly, which got him the Celestial’s undivided attention, “I need to apologize for my previous behavior. I realize I should have included you in my council the last time. I hope you can forgive me, because I need your help.”

“” Lian Song repeated, sounding surprised as he sat up straight. “Who would dare turn down a request by the God of War… but wait, is this a ‘my last wish before I die’ thing? Because that I refuse to…”

“I do not intend to die,” Mo Yuan interrupted him. It seemed the Third Prince did not know about his babies. Should he tell him? He wanted to tell everybody, shout it out to every single person present here, but of course, that was ill advised too.

“Good! Then I am eager to help and have you indebted to me,” Lian Song smiled. He jumped up and eagerly looked in the direction of Donghua and Zhe Yan who came to join them at a wave of Mo Yua’s hand.

Once they were gathered around Mo Yuan informed them without further ado: “The only way I can beat that thing in the cage is in my true form.”

Zhe Yan shook his head vehemently. “No. You are greatly weakened and…”

“I can control it,” Mo Yuan said firmly.

“If your brother the Crown Prince appears… I doubt we will be able to reason with him.”

“I am fully aware that he cannot know,” Mo Yuan said, “that is why I need the Third Prince’s help. Please,” he said with a nod in the Prince’s direction, “I would have you cloud jump to Mount Jiānruì at the border between the Ghost and the Demon Realms and transform as soon as you reach that destination. I will transform a very short time after.”

“Ah, clever,” Donghua said. “The Heavens will notice Celestial Prince Lian Song’s but might overlook your transformation.”

“Might,” Zhe Yan said with a deep frown. “It is extremely risky.”

“You and Donghua will create a diversion too, to make it more likely they will overlook it.”

“A diversion?”

“Shao Wan has done it before, many millennia ago so that we could fly together. She created a Celestial lightning storm, I transformed underneath it and nobody noticed.”

“Why does it sound like a very bad idea?” Zhe Yan asked Donghua.

The silver-haired God shrugged. “That’s always been the general nature of his ideas.”

“What about… that other power of yours?” Zhe Yan asked Mo Yuan.

“I have little command over it,” Mo Yuan shook his head, “it is completely unreliable.”

Zhe Yan sighed.

“And in the time it takes me to cloud-jump to Mount Jiānruì…?” Lian Song asked.

“I will fight the Abomination with my sword.”

“So I guess I better hurry,” Lian Song said quietly. His face showed nothing of its usual languidness, only concern. It was the weakest part of his plan indeed, Mo Yuan thought, if it took too long for Lian Song to reach his destination… if he was too weakened once he should transform…

“I must implore you not tell my brother of what is happening,” Mo Yuan asked of Lian Song. “I know you and him are close, but in this situation…”

“No need to say anything more,” Lian Song said, “I fully understand. If he should inquire about my presence on that mountain and your whereabouts, I will tell him some half-truths.”

Mo Yuan nodded. “I am much obliged,” he said. “I would further ask you to send word to Yinguang Palace that help is needed.”

“Yinguang Palace?” Lian Song echoed in surprise, “what… ohhhhh. I understand, High God Mo Yuan. But will they...”

Mo Yuan quietly said: “If in dire need of an army, those willing to fight with no training are still better than nobody at all.”

Lian Song bowed to everyone and quietly moved into the shadows. He would cloud jump where nobody would see him - no need to alert anyone.

“Tian Gu!” Mo Yuan called.

His eighteenth disciple hurried over, the little Dai and Yue looking after her like they were sorry to see her go. “Yes, Shifu,” she said. “Please don’t scold me, I did not know what she was planning, she is quite the trou…”

Mo Yuan lifted his hand to cut her off. “I have no time and not much of a wish to scold you. Rather, I have a task for you. How weakened are you?”

Tian Gu looked at her hands. Some ugly greyness lingered, but she shrugged. “Well enough. High God Zhe Yan performed some healing on me, it helped a lot. What do you think, Shifu, will I be able to study the healing arts under him after my education under you is complete? I think I have a knack for it! But I don’t know what I’m doing at all. I lack...what do you call it? A good theoretical basis.”

Mo Yuan lifted his eyebrows. “Have you not just begun your education under my tutelage?”

“Oh,” Tian Gu said, “it hasn’t been long, that is true. But I just don’t think I’m very good at taoism. Healing though!”

“Do a bit more taoism before you come look for me,” Zhe Yan laughed, “and by that I mean at least 10’000 years. It’s the necessary foundation, my dear. But if my Zhen Zhen has no objections, I don’t mind getting myself an eager pupil. He has no interest in the healing arts and I do have a lot of things to shae.”

“Really?” Tian Gu beamed. “High God Zhe Yan, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Oh…,” she turned to Mo Yuan, “no offense, Shifu, I remain forever in your debt for...”

“You are still my disciple now,” Mo Yuan said sternly, “even if you seemingly cannot wait to find yourself a new Teacher. Now listen carefully...”


The first time Golden Dragon had been able to fly, he had felt so tremendously happy, he had shouted his joy at the sun and later, when it had hidden itself shyly behind the mountains, at the moon and the stars, listening to the echo of his voice reverberating from the fabric of creation.

He had not wanted to turn back into his human form, but the human had forced his will on him. The human was small at that time, just as Golden Dragon was small, but the will of the human was like iron shackles, unyielding and much stronger than Golden Dragon’s will.

“Let me out,” he had often begged the human afterwards, “I want to fly, please.”

“I am not allowed to,” the boy had answered sullenly, “it is against Celestial Law. We can transform only when we have to.”

“But you absolutely have to! I need to fly!” Golden Dragon had urged, “don’t you want to fly?”

“Leave me alone,” the boy had said, “I need to study.”

Of course, Golden Dragon knew that he was not an independent entity. He existed only thanks to and with the boy. His thoughts were his thoughts. And yet, he often tried his will against what he considered “his other will”. He tried to force the boy to transform and let him see the sun, the moon and the stars again.

With every try, the human’s will clamped down harder. It hurt Golden Dragon. But he wasn’t easily cowed so he fought on, never giving up. He tried to surprise him. He tried when the boy was asleep or when he was eating, when he was talking or when he was fighting. But he never won.

Much later, the human, who had grown ever stronger, began to tease him by almost letting him out, a mean little trick he developed to gain more strength when he most needed it, but in the very last moment before transformation, he would force Golden Dragon back into the prison of his body.

Sometimes though, Golden Dragon was able to win. Because the Iron Will ceased to exist a fraction of a moment before transformation. Sometimes, Golden Dragon managed to take over then.

Those wins meant everything to him. The human was scolded for it by their Father, the mightiest of all the Dragons, who considered it a sign of weakness and called it “dangerous” and “unaligned” and a set of other grave, heavy words. Golden Dragon hated to be scolded by him and he was much afraid of him, so he was always glad it was the human form who got punished, not him.

But then he realized something else. When the human “lost control” as it was called, he let him be afterwards. Instead of forcing the iron shackles of his will on him as quickly as he could have, he let Golden Dragon fly for a long time.

Golden Dragon came to appreciate it as a kindness. A kindness to both of them. Thinking about his human form as an opponent was bad, because it only caused both of them headaches. He understood that the human lived by many rules set for him by others, that following these rules was important for the human’s standing in the world. It wasn’t like the human liked to follow them, but he considered it filial and his duty, concepts Golden Dragon understood too, but did not like much.

When the human transformed, he was free.

Only, that freedom was dangerous to him, because if he tasted too much of it, the effort it took him to return to his world of strict rules was very high.

After losing his Fenghuang and being buried by an earth spell for one hundred years, Golden Dragon had not had much energy. It had returned only when the human had realized that they had loved Fenghuang for so much longer than they remembered and had gone up to the Heavens to voice his displeasure, letting Golden Dragon do the talking. And the best of it had been when he had decided she wasn’t gone at all, she would come back.

He had been right, of course. She was back now, though in a different shell, carrying within her the most wondrous thing: Babies! Dragon-phoenix babies, half his, half hers.

Golden Dragon’s joy knew no bounds. When can I meet them, when can I meet them, when can I meet them? he sang in his heart. But there was fear in that joy. Yes, the human was concerned, so very worried that Golden Dragon decided to be quiet too. Later, he got seriously alarmed when he felt a familiar mood take over the human’s mind, a mood Golden Dragon had come to associate with utmost danger.

Do not do it, he warned the human, though he knew it was futile - he had made up his mind and he would go through with it, even though the risk of perishing was very high.

He went up against an Abnormality whose warped power was like a creeping sickness.

They freed it of its chains and it shambled forward, honing in on the most powerful entity in its vicinity: Golden Dragon’s human. The Abomination was drawn to power, it needed it to sustain its madness. It howled in greed as it sprang forward, towards the source it meant to drink empty.

They had leaked his human (and by extension himself) of power for a whole day already. Even summoning his Father’s sword did not come as easy to him as it should have. But once he held it in his hand, the familiar humming song of the blade gave him renewed strength and courage. On one side of the blade were carved the sun, the moon, and the stars; on the other side mountains, rivers, and trees. On the handle, there was the smiling face of a woman.

Golden Dragon had known from the very first time he had seen the sword that that woman was his mother. It was her who sang to him through the blade, urging him to be strong and victorious. He had never known her, but in this moment, it seemed like he knew her nonetheless.


“I cannot do anything that will bring harm to my sister,” Yu Dian gravely said. Tian Gu thought he looked pale and unwell and she felt a pang of sympathy for him. He and his sister, they must be close. She had always marvelled at the existence of twins and what it must feel like to have someone share your mother’s womb with you. He was probably eager to talk to her and yet, he had not even been able to greet her so far.

“But you can stand guard for us, can’t you?” Tian Gu asked him. When he did not answer, she wondered with a sinking feeling whether trusting Yu Dian with information about this mission had been a mistake. If he was close to his sister, did that not mean he had known about her plans all along? But thinking of him as an enemy made her very sad. She did not want to believe he was capable of being evil.

“You know what happens to traitors in the Demon Clan?” Yu Dian said with a shudder. Like an echo, Yue shuddered too. But he looked determined to help her. He had been the Demon Ancestor’s guard, he had told her, and apparently, Demon Guards were very tenacious and fiercely loyal.

“Can’t be worse than what happens to them in the Horse Clan,” Tian Gu shrugged. “Alright, you don’t need to do anything, Demon Lord, just forget I asked. But please, do not tell anyone we’re about to break into Shǒu’s house.”

Yu Dian nodded reluctantly.

That was right before they freed the thing in the cage.

At its release from the special bonds, its horribly grating energy flooded the space around them with a sickening woosh and Tian Gu cried out as the wave hit her, like the thousands of spectators around them. “Shifu,” she whimpered, but Yue had grabbed her arm and was dragging her away forcefully, ensuring she wouldn’t turn around and do what her Shifu had told her not to do under any circumstances: Rush down to the arena to help him.

“Please, Princess, stop struggling,” Yue said, his hand like an iron chain around her arm, “we must hurry. You can rest assured, they won’t let harm come to Nüwa’s son.”

Nüwa worshippers… that’s what Yue had called the Green Lady and her entourage. But why would they bring such a horrible creature here and challenge her Shifu to fight it if they did not want to harm him?

Tian Gu gasped, as realization came to her. The Demon Ancestor Shao Wan.

“They knew she would have to reveal herself in this situation,” she murmured, feeling her stomach churn. There had been rumors, persistent rumors in the Demon Realm that their First Queen had returned from the dead and was hiding amongst them, watching and learning about whom she could still trust.

They had flushed her out by declaring Mo Yuan Shǒu’s champion.

Maybe it wasn’t him who was in the most danger. Maybe it was her.


Mo Yuan quickly came to the realization that he couldn’t get near enough the Abomination to do any serious harm, rather, he had to stay as far away as possible, because the Thing attempted to suck power out of him, thirsty like the desert for the rain, reaching for him with invisible hands that left fiery pain in their wake.

If he pretended it was just a game, a mere spectacle for the many people watching, he could maintain the illusion that he was not quasi walking on a thin rope over an abyss from which he would never return should he fall. Behind the Abomination waited absolute death, a void of the darkest dimension unlike the Nothingness that he had already experienced. It was terrifying to behold, threatening to immobilize anyone who looked into it with bone-chilling, heart-stopping fear.

In contrast to when he had sacrificed his Soul to save the Realms during the Ghost War, the thought of dying filled Mo Yuan with dread. Normally, fear was a bad companion on any battlefield, but today, he felt it was what could save him. For any step too close could be his last. Mo Yuan closed his eyes so that he did no longer have to see the Abomination. It did not matter if he saw or not. It was a matter of using his dwindling energies most efficiently while dancing around his enemy in this race against time. He had to last longer, just a little bit longer.

Can you trust me?

He had placed his trust in all of them, each and every one of his companions. Scolded so many times by his associates for acting alone, he had now adapted his strategy for the first time in his long life and let all of them play a part. He had placed his life in their hands and they knew what was at stake.

They did not let him down.

His Eighteenth disciple was in place when the world shook with Dragon power from the Third Prince’s powerful transformation. With the Dragon Mirror from Shǒu’s house, she broke Ying Ming’s Celestial lightning box, deflecting its energy straight back into the source. It exploded with a boom that shook the crater. On cue, Donghua and Zhe Yan directed their combined energy into the power and shot it upwards, into the skies, where it sparkled and exploded like fireworks.

Mo Yuan transformed.

He almost failed to call upon his true form. In a state right between human and beast, he saw the known world disintegrate before his eyes until only sheer energy was left, threatening to forever blind him. Like a dark blotch in the fabric of creation, the Abomination was a maelstrom of corruption which hurt the world. It had to be removed.

Don’t fail me! Mo Yuan shouted in desperation. Be victorious. Be free.

Drawing on the last reserves he had, Golden Dragon managed to take form and stabilize his existence. With a deafening roar, he took flight.

The Abomination’s ceaseless attacks briefly faltered. The raw power of the Dragon excited it greatly though and it started to try and jump up to where Golden Dragon looked down. All around the arena, strong magical shields had been placed to prevent any harm from coming to the spectators. They shuddered and crumbled as the malicious energy sought a way through.

Come here, Golden Dragon taunted the hideous Monster, to prevent it from killing too many immortals, can you jump on clouds? This one seems big enough to carry your monstrosity.

The Monster jumped.

You are clumsy, Golden Dragon laughed at it from further up, and so slow! Come, I’m here! Up here!

The Abnormality roared its displeasure as it followed him higher into the sky. And higher. And higher.

You are hurting the world, Golden Dragon sneered at it, I must kill you.

But the Monster came very close and threw some invisible net over him. Golden Dragon roared in pain as he felt his energy being sucked out of him. He thrashed and gnawed at the Monster’s hold on him, drawing lightning from the sky to aid him, calling the wind and the icy rain to hit the Abomination from all sides.

I want to see my babies! he shouted, No, I will not let you have me!

The Abomination could not hold on longer, he had to let go. With a huge effort, Golden Dragon shot forward and rammed the Monster with his snout. It flew through the air like a stone that fell from the skies and before it could find its bearing again, Golden Dragon ripped its head off with his claws. But that did not end it. The dark power seeped from its decapitated body, poisoning the air around it. Golden Dragon took it in his claws and shot downwards to where Fenghuang had said the earth seeped powers.

Golden Dragon found the place easily, for it was truly hard to miss. He dropped the Abomination into the maelstrom of red hot lava and when it wanted to crawl out, he sat on top of him until he was no longer moving, even though the fire around him hurt him greatly.

Done, he thought with satisfaction, when the evil power underneath him became weaker and weaker and finally went out with a last flicker of malicious energy.

Done. But Golden Dragon had no strength left. He tried to crawl out from the fire pit, but he could not even muster the strength to put his claws into the steep rock for leverage.

I have to see my babies, Golden Dragon wailed. But the fire burnt him and dragged him down. Why was he so heavy?

There was a whisper in the air, something touched him. Earth power. He hissed at it, remembering all too well how it had imprisoned him before with its crushing weight.

But this time, it did not imprison him. It lifted him up, at the same time immobilizing him completely, yet out and away from the fire and into the cold, dark night.

“Be welcome, Nüwa’s son,” a human voice said.

Golden Dragon tried to lift his head, but not even that was possible anymore. Someone stepped in front of him. It was a tall, brown haired woman, with eerie and quite familiar blue eyes.

Chapter 28