Fanfiction3: A-Li's Three Lives, Three Worlds - Chapter 82 (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花)

Chapter 82

written by LigayaCroft
edited by Kakashi

Youchao’s mood hadn’t improved in the thousands of years since he had last met Nüwa. Compounding his bad mood was the frustration that twelve thousand years since His Beloved’s mortal form’s death in Huicūn and he was still blind to where her subsequent mortal incarnations had been all this time in between!

Fate had clearly decreed he no longer deserved the honor of being her Observer. As much as he found this development to be troublesome, it was a price to pay for the decision he had made at that time in Huicūn. But did he regret it?


It was a human trait to regret, because humans could no longer turn back time, and with gods writing their stories, nor could they change their futures.

But he was a Creator. More than that, he could envision and build anything! A magickal artifact that could bring her back would be nothing but child’s play for somebody like him.

The first time Youchao had this realization, he broke down in tears laughing and then cursing at his softened heart for having carried on hundreds of thousands of years just watching her from the sidelines, just as Nüwa had asked him to. Where had his intelligence gone through all this time when he could have worked on a device to bring his Beloved back, on his own terms rather than waiting for Fuxi’s curse to lift and release her?

It was not an easy task to bring back the scattered spirit of a god, even more so the spirit of a Primordial that had been cursed by another Primordial. So the past 12’000 years Youchao had been busy building his best creation yet.

Youchao also decided that if he couldn’t find His Beloved now, then neither could the Crown Prince. Li’s title had come in handy, for it obliged him to serve at the pleasure of Tianjun who could be influenced by his Employer who in turn was influenced by him. So between skirmishes and numerous peacekeeping trips, it had amused him to have kept Li so preoccupied all these years.

“Master, the guqin is here.“

Youchao’s skin tingled.

So the white-haired child had delivered yet again.

“Send them in.”

He had had apprehensions about Bai Gun Gun when they started out, for who could trust somebody who grew up with the Royal Family like him? But Bai Gun Gun kept on impressing him— from procuring items for his project, to creating tactical formations for the battles the rebels had with Celestial troops, to training his Pet, and now at completing an almost impossible assignment.

Youchao had tasked Bai Gun Gun to steal a precious artifact from Kunlun whose doors had always remained closed until now... when almost the entire Celestial realm was gathered to welcome the God of War’s return. It was a daunting undertaking but Bai Gun Gun did not flinch when he had been given the command. Still, Youchao knew that extra help was needed so he sent his Pet with the youngster, accompanied by other men.

This was Kunlun after all. He didn’t expect any of them to return alive.

And yet...

He flinched at the sight of Bai Gun Gun when the boy walked in with Pet.

“What have you done to your hair?”

Bai Gun Gun now wore his hair up to his shoulders only. Youchao couldn’t help but resent the child a bit because even with his sheared head of hair, Dong Hua’s son was still a character of beauty to behold. Coupled with the deep gash across Bai Gun Gun’s face that would surely heal into a scar if he didn’t get it fixed, the shorter hairstyle made the boy look more dangerous.

“Clearly, you wanted me to make a statement by sending me out there at this particular time,” was Bai Gun Gun’s curt reply. “So I made one.”

Youchao grimaced with distaste as he took in Bai Gun Gun’s bloodied clothes. Pet’s too. Not wanting to be in the presence of these two any longer while they were bloodied all over, he took his seat and asked, “Where’s the guqin?”

Bai Gun Gun waved his hand and the zither appeared on the low table in front of Youchao.

And here it was. The very thing that he had not seen for hundreds of thousands of years. The last thing she had held before she was cast into her eternal damnation.

Turning his attention back to the two bloodied warriors in front of him, he was about to give them a dismissive wave when he noticed something missing.

“Where is your weapon?” He asked Pet, who jumped behind Bai Gun Gun, cowering. “Where is the Moon Cutter?”

“If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it,” came his Employer’s voice from the entrance.

Youchao resisted the urge to roll his eyes as the High God walked in, led by eighteen attendants. His Employer stopped in front of Bai Gun Gun, looking him up and down. Feigning his obeisance, Youchao promptly stood up, vacated his seat and stood below the platform.

“The Demon Princess dissolved the blade with her Fire.”

Youchao hissed. This was unexpected. Just like how he had built his other creations, his metals were infused with his blood magick that made them impervious to damage from any of the Second Creation. Yet it seemed the Demon Princess inherited her Mother’s Fire.

“Then he tried to eat her,” His Employer casually added. “Good thing Bai Gun Gun here finished the fight in time by dealing the fatal blow and mortally injuring the Crown Prince with his very own blade.” The High God laughed and winked at Youchao. “I told you he will be very useful! Who knew he could actually make the Crown Prince’s sword obey him and stab its own master?”

He could feel his eyes widen at Bai Gun Gun’s dedication. To have so publicly injured the Crown Prince…no wonder the child cut his hair.

“Is he dead? Dying?” He asked Bai Gun Gun, feeling his heart race inside his chest.

His Employer clapped his hands together, still laughing. “Let’s hope not. The Crown Prince alive, not dead, serves its purpose in turning people to our side.”

Youchao exhaled, taking along with it the surging annoyance he had for his Employer.

“I’ll send over some medicines to check on the Crown Prince’s status later,” his Employer concluded, with a sly smile on his face.

“Master not angry?”

Youchao looked again at this big hulk of a man who still hid behind Gun Gun. How fearsome Pet was to anyone who saw the warrior, and yet how fearful Pet was of him.

It pleased him.

“No. But you need to learn your lesson. I will punish you later. It will be good for your cultivation.”

Pet whimpered.

Youchao’s eyes narrowed at Bai Gun Gun who still kept staring at His Employer with a stoic expression.

“Should I introduce you to one another?” he asked, itching to go back to the guqin.

His Employer snorted. “You are no longer the High Prince of Taichen Palace, Bai Gun Gun, and I no longer need to pay my respects to you. Because out here, you bow to… me.“

Bai Gun Gun’s chest shook for a moment but it only ended up producing a small smile on his face.

“Please forgive my manners, Shenjun, but you have known me enough since childhood that I do not take well to having so many masters. And at the moment, I already have one,” Bai Gun Gun said, tipping his head toward Youchao.

While the defiance pleased Youchao, in front of this world, he was merely Zhu Ge, and his real identity was Bai Gun Gun’s burden to keep.

“Master, if you do not need anything more from me, I should go freshen up.”

Youchao opened his mouth to say something else but snapped it back shut again. He dismissed Bai Gun Gun with a wave.


Bai Gun Gun turned and left without a backward glance. Pet followed after him. A knot tried to form in his belly as he watched the two exit but he disregarded it.

“Every inch a Prince,” his Employer remarked as he walked out behind the screen to look at Gun Gun and Pet’s disappearing forms. “And even with that injury on his face and the short hair, he is still so handsome. I can’t bring myself to hate him.”

“He cut his hair to absolve his parents in the eyes of the Celestials, Shenjun.”

“An act of mercy but unnecessary. Nobody in the Celestial Kingdom will have the guts to go after Dong Hua Dijun.” His Employer looked over Youchao’s shoulder and gasped. “Is that… Fuxi’s Zither?”

“It is not Fuxi’s Zither,” he corrected and approached the instrument. His fingers reverently touched the strings. “Like many things, Fuxi stole this from somebody else.”

And just like that, with the feel of the drawn strings under his fingers, he was transported back to the halcyon days in Kunlun when this instrument played the most beautiful melodies.

Played by her.

To help counterbalance her true nature, from a young age, his Beloved was made to take on activities like calligraphy, painting, farming, healing, and music.

As the first guqin in Creation, its history was tied to his as he himself was a child when he initially fashioned it for her. Even though through the years he had made many changes to fit it to her evolving specifications, its soundboard, which had been carved from the trunk of the First Creation’s oldest parasol tree, had remained the same. The rich, evocative sound that came from the instrument whenever she played it in Kunlun had been envied by other gods. Alas, he had refused to create another guqin, thus they had to settle for imitating the instrument— which had all been inferior to hers.

She had loved the guqin most of all. So much so that she eventually turned it into one of her weapons.

Thus, it was the peak of Fuxi’s cruelty to give this zither to her son who could no longer remember her, and named it as his own.

Fuxi’s Zither— an insult to call one of the most formidable weapons that had ever existed as his whereas it was Her Zither— the very weapon that had brought the Berserker and the First Creation to dust.

Tears misted Youchao’s eyes. His nose itched so he let out the breath he didn’t know he was holding through his nose.

With the guqin under his fingers, he could still feel the minute traces of her soul.

“When you asked Bai Gun Gun to deliver it to you,” his Employer added, interrupting his thoughts. ”I assumed you were asking for the impossible. Zhe Yan High God was said to have destroyed the zither when he detached himself from Celestial affairs. Tell me, Zhu Ge, now that you have Fuxi’s Zither, do we go to War soon?”

His attention went back to the guqin. He had deliberately delayed by 12’000 years so that he could complete his magickal artifact to bring his Beloved back. He wanted her to be there and see his proof of the rottenness of this Creation, his preparations to dissolve this failure, and for her to deliver the final blow herself.

“No. We still have several steps left to make.”

The brows on his Employer’s face moved closer to the middle.

“Like you said, we have already waited 12’000 years. A couple more wouldn’t hurt.” He smiled, more from the knowledge that the man could throw a fit but wouldn’t have the guts to hurt him. “The devices for the 36 Heavens will be ready soon. Then we will act. May I take my leave now so I can continue working on them?”

His Employer’s face looked pinched but the man waved to let him go.

Youchao gave a slight bow and left the hall, bringing the guqin with him.

Once he got to his room, he set the instrument down by the window, right beside his newest artifact into which he had poured hundreds of thousand years’ cultivation.

His new soul gathering furnace.

Much unlike its predecessor that he had created during the age of primal chaos and that had been entrusted by Fuxi to the Su Jin tribe, this new lamp was infinitely more powerful. He had specifically designed it to pull His Beloved’s spirit from its current prison and return her back to her goddess form.

With a spell, he pulled the traces of her nascent soul from the guqin and pushed it to the furnace. White smoke came out of the exhaust and his room smelled like lilies, just as he remembered her scent to be like.

Without taking his eyes off his furnace, Youchao sat down and poured himself a cup of tea.

How long would it take? He had no idea. But he could get his vigil started now.

He had already waited for her for hundreds of thousands of years.

A couple more wouldn’t hurt.

Chapter 83

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