“Ye Hua is what!? That’s impossible!” Mo Yuan said, stunned by Seventeen’s statement.
Mo Yuan couldn’t believe his ears. Seventeen’s expression was solemn. She wasn’t jesting or teasing him.
“Seventeen, how do you know this about Ye Hua?” Mo Yuan asked dumbfounded.
Seventeen was still pouting from Mo Yuan losing his temper at her. “Because I just do,” she mumbled under her breath still looking at the ground.
Seventeen got off Mo Yuan’s lap, started to dress and pulled away from Mo Yuan when he reached for her. He tried to hold her, but Seventeen wouldn’t have it. She pushed Mo Yuan away and straightened her dress and hair. Seventeen started to walk away when Mo Yuan grabbed her from behind, but she pulled his arms off of her and pushed him away. She stopped at the entrance of Zhe Yan’s hut, turned around, and glared at Mo Yuan angrily before saying,
“You thought I was giving Ye Hua my body at the same time that I’ve been intimate with you?”
Seventeen shook her head at Mo Yuan highly offended and angry. Her cheeks were a dark shade of pink. Seventeen put her hands on her waist and said,
“Shifu, it was you who said you were going to marry a ‘mature woman’ who knew how to please a man. You said you would never marry a child like me and to find someone more suitable like Ye Hua.” Seventeen let out a single mocking laugh and rolled her eyes in disgust before saying, “I can’t believe you thought me so without morals or virtues to think that I would have multiple lovers at the same time…..twin brothers at that!
Seventeen was enraged and yelled, “Shifu, you are the only man who has ever seen and touched my naked body, but after tonight, this may very well be the last time for you!”
Seventeen yelled before angrily cloud jumping away.
After Seventeen’s angry departure, Mo Yuan who did not enjoy drinking grabbed a bottle of Zhe Yan’s wine. He finished the whole bottle in one long gulp. He dressed and slowly walked out of the hut to be greeted by Zhe Yan. Zhe Yan was smiling and peeking towards his hut slyly.
“Is Xiao Wu still in there? Zhe Yan whispered happily.
“No, she’s gone,” Mo Yuan replied softly.
Zhe Yan slapped Mo Yuan’s back firmly and said, “I knew there was a reason we called you Tu Zi when we were in school because you were as fast as a hare when it came to winning and bedding the one you’d chosen. I thought that side of you was gone but once a Tu Zi always a Tu Zi,” Zhe Yan said, still patting Mo Yuan’s back proudly.
“I’ve angered her,” Mo Yuan said defeated.
“Huh! What do you mean?” Zhe Yan asked surprised.
“I asked her about Ye Hua. I lost my temper and yelled at her. She said something so ridiculous I couldn’t help myself…..She told me she’s marrying Ye Hua to protect him because….,” Mo Yuan stopped talking.
Zhe Yan was staring at Mo Yuan losing his patience.
Mo Yuan continued, “Seventeen said Ye Hua likes men and that he is homosexual.”
“What!? Ye Hua is what!? ” Zhe Yan couldn’t comprehend what Mo Yuan was saying. He almost fell when Mo Yuan had finished speaking.
Zhe Yan paced back and forth in front of Mo Yuan. This revelation was not even a possibility. Ye Hua was the epitome of manliness and women fell over at the mere sight of him. Also, if this fact was true why would Xiao Wu marry Ye Hua knowing about his sexual preference?
Nine-tailed foxes were sexual creatures by nature, and this didn’t add up or make any sense whatsoever. Zhe Yan continued to pace but then suddenly stopped and looked at Mo Yuan who was flushed and looked dazed himself.
“How angry was Xiao Wu when she left?” Zhe Yan asked Mo Yuan.
Mo Yuan took a deep breath and replied, “Very. She said this might be the last time I would see her.” Mo Yuan motioned to his body up and down to indicate what she was referring to when she said he would never see her again. Mo Yuan looked up at Zhe Yan for some reassurance, but Zhe Yan was unable to give Mo Yuan any.
Zhe Yan began to preach, “Well Mo Yuan, you may have taken two steps forward, but I’m afraid you’ve fallen ten steps back. Once you’ve angered a nine-tailed fox, their temper is just as high as their loyalty. Xiao Wu will not be very forgiving. You didn’t say or question her in regards to her fidelity did you?” Zhe Yan shook his head in a ‘no’ hoping Mo Yuan would do the same.
Mo Yuan just looked at him and sighed sadly before closing his eyes.
Zhe Yan let out a noise of disappointment, threw his hands in the air and gave Mo Yuan the bad news, “Well Tu Zi…. You better dig yourself a burrow to nest in because you are not going anywhere for a while. I’ll meet with Xiao Wu and see if I can do any damage control but I can’t promise anything. You know Xiao Wu as well as I do. Mo Yuan. Mo Yuan. Mo Yuan. You have a difficult road ahead of you.”
Zhe Yan pushed his pink robe back on both sides elaborately before walking into his hut and leaving Mo Yuan standing alone amongst his peach trees.
Ye Hua went to Qing Qiu the following day to see Qian Qian looking depressed when she came out to greet him. Ye Hua gently touched her cheek until Qian Qian looked up at him. He could see the sadness in her eyes.
“Qian Qian, what’s wrong?” Ye Hua asked concerned.
Qian Qian looked down at her shoes and kicked at the ground with one of her feet. She stuck out her bottom lip and pouted. Her facial expression only made Qian Qian look more adorable.
“I’m angry with Shifu,” she mumbled.
A part of Ye Hua wanted to know what had happened between them but the other half of him didn’t want to know any details either. He asked hesitantly, “What happened? Did it happen recently? Is there anything I can do? What can I do to lift your spirits?”
Ye Hua touched her cheek again before taking her hand in his.
“No, don’t tell me. Let’s go to the mortal realm and listen to stories at your favorite tea house,” Ye Hua said, smiling when Qian Qian looked up at him. He could see she was tempted. He shook her hand in his to encourage her to follow him.
Qian Qian looked at Ye Hua and said, “I thought you weren’t supposed to go there because Heavenly Grandfather didn’t approve of you going into the mortal realm?”
Ye Hua hit his chest firmly to show he was a man and replied, “I can do whatever I want. I’m the Crown Prince and future Heavenly Lord. I can do as I please.”
Ye Hua comment made Qian Qian giggle, so Ye Hua laughed with her, pulled her hand again and added, “Come on let’s go listen to stories unless you’re afraid of Heavenly Grandfather,” Ye Hua challenged.
Qian Qian’s eyes lit up from his challenge. “I’m not afraid of anyone,” she replied arrogantly.
Qian Qian held Ye Hua’s hand tighter as they cloud jumped into the mortal realm.
Ye Hua watched Qian Qian listen to the mortal tales. She made a circle with her thumb and index finger and tapped it rhythmically on the surface of the table while her other hand reached for sunflower seeds. Qian Qian did enjoy listening to stories. She was engrossed. Qian Qian giggled when the stories became humorous, and tears welled up in her eyes with the stories of star-crossed lovers. Ye Hua quietly watched her beautiful expressions and studied her face.
Qian Qian must have sensed Ye Hua’s gaze and suddenly threw a sunflower seed at him. Ye Hua caught it in his mouth which made Qian Qian burst out into a fit of laughter. Ye Hua noted how much more beautiful Qian Qian looked when she laughed. Ye Hua loved to make her laugh.
Qian Qian threw another seed, and he caught it as he had the first. She did it again which Ye Hua captured in the same manner. Qian Qian had childlike traits that made her even more irresistible. Ye Hua felt his heart grow fuller every time he heard Qian Qian’s laughter.
Ye Hua decided at that moment that he would dedicate his existence to making Qian Qian laugh.
She suddenly turned to Ye Hua. “I predict that the hero will not get the girl. He’s too flippant. He doesn’t know how to move her heart,” Qian Qian stated as she listened to the story that was currently being told.
Ye Hua found humor in Qian Qian calling someone else flippant when she was the most fickle person Ye Hua had ever met.
Ye Hua shook his head and disagreed.
“No. The hero will win the heroine’s heart. You’re wrong. She will come around,” Ye Hua stated as he sipped his tea.
Qian Qian shook her head at Ye Hua and asked, “You want to make a bet on who’s correct?” Qian Qian’s competitive side had surfaced.
Ye Hua thought and quickly agreed to the bet and asked about the wager for the winner.
Qian Qian thought about it. “Whoever loses will have to grant the other’s wish,” Qian Qian said, confident that she would win.
They continued to listen to the story, and Qian Qian won the bet. She was overjoyed. Ye Hua admitted defeat and asked what she wanted from him. Qian Qian looked around and saw a sweet old grandmother sipping her tea a couple of tables from theirs.
“You have to go over to that grandmother and tell her that you’ve fallen in love with her and hope to meet her in your next life. You must kiss her and come back,” Qian Qian said as she giggled at Ye Hua.
Ye Hua turned around and spotted the grandmother. He took a deep breath and slowly got up. Qian Qian watched as Ye Hua approached the grandmother, got down on one knee, and whispered something that made the grandmother’s face light up. He then took her hand and kissed it like a gentleman. Ye Hua was starting to get up when the grandmother’s husband hit Ye Hua over the head with his walking stick. Ye Hua jumped up, apologized profusely, and returned to their table. The grandmother’s eyes followed Ye Hua until her husband yelled at her to stop staring.
Qian Qian was in tears from her laughter. Ye Hua came back rubbing his head and red-faced. He sat down and gave her a fake angry face before he started to chuckle. Qian Qian put her head on the table to hide her laughter. Ye Hua waited for her to get back up but then realized Qian Qian was crying. Ye Hua went to her and sat by her side.
“I don’t understand how Shifu could say those things to me,” she cried. “I’ve done all I can to prove my love for him, but he still doubts me and my intentions,” Qian Qian added.
Ye Hua cringed when he heard what she said and realized Qian Qian had given Mo Yuan her body. He took a couple of breaths to keep his anger at bay. Before patting her gently on the back. He heard his uncle’s voice in the back of his head:
“Be her friend. Listen to her, and one day she will look up at you and realize she’s in love with you. I guarantee.”
Ye Hua waited until she was finished crying and said, “The monster will defeat the hero in this one. The hero will die.”
Qian Qian looked up, wiped her tears on the back of her hand and softly replied, “The hero never dies. The monster will cease to exist. Everybody knows that Ye Hua.”
This time Ye Hua was right. The terrible monster indeed killed the hero. Ye Hua looked at Qian Qian while rubbing his chin as if thinking of what his prize for winning should be.
Qian Qian admitted to her loss and asked Ye Hua what wish he wanted. His request was simple. A single kiss as he put his cheek towards Qian Qian. She chuckled at Ye Hua’s silliness. Qian Qian leaned in to kiss Ye Hua on his cheek when Ye Hua quickly turned his face, so their lips met instead.
To be continued……