Mount Song does not follow the original time line.
Seventy thousand years after the Ghost War…….
Mo Yuan recognized his brother Zhe Yan, the moment his eyes opened.
Zhe Yan was standing while leaning over in order to look directly into Mo Yuan’s gaze. “You’re back,” Zhe Yan said with a smile and added, “Mo Yuan, you’re finally back after 70,000 years. We’ve been waiting for you.”
The first thing Mo Yuan noticed after his awakening was his weakness. His body was depleted and in need of cultivation. Mo Yuan’s muscles had atrophied from lack of use, so he was without physical strength and energy. His senses were overwhelmed while his mind remained dull and clouded. Mo Yuan barely found his voice to ask where he was and his confusion only intensified when Mo Yuan was told he was in Qing Qiu, not the Sea of Innocence.
Zhe Yan slowly explained the circumstances of his body being in Qing Qiu. Mo Yuan’s seventeenth disciple, Si Yin had hidden him here. Si Yin had fed Mo Yuan blood from her heart for 70,000 years to preserve his body. Mo Yuan was unable to fully comprehend his current situation yet still understood Si Yin’s sacrifice and dedication. She’d endured years of self-inflicted pain to keep his body alive while Mo Yuan struggled to regather his soul so he could return. Mo Yuan wondered why Si Yin would foolishly do such a futile act, but it was then Mo Yuan recalled the request he’d made prior to his soul shattering. Mo Yuan had asked her to wait. Mo Yuan’s selfish desire to return to his little Seventeen had caused her years of self-inflicted injury and pain. How would he ever be able to repay his karmic debt to Seventeen? Mo Yuan was overcome by his own remorse when he sensed another spiritual aura nearby. He looked up expecting to see Seventeen.
Zhe Yan looked nervously at the front of the Fox Den entrance and then looked at Mo Yuan before he said, “I can’t even imagine how overwhelmed you must feel Mo Yuan, but prepare yourself to meet someone who we all thought was you. Mo Yuan, you wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for his elite cultivation which was used to make your elixir.”
Ye Hua quietly stepped forward and faced Mo Yuan. Ye Hua was dressed in all black as Mo Yuan was in white, their attire was the polar opposite but they were identical in every other way. They both looked at each other silently. Their identical eyes gazed at one another searching within. Mo Yuan felt as if he was staring at his reflection in a mirror from the past.
After thousands of years of watching over the golden lotus, his twin’s birth had occurred during his sleep.
“What is your age?” Mo Yuan asked in his whisper of a voice.
“I’m 50,000 years old, High God Mo Yuan,” Ye Hua replied in the same soft voice.
“What is your name?” Mo Yuan asked.
“I am Ye Hua, the Crown Prince of the Celestial Clan,” Ye Hua answered without emotion.
Mo Yuan softly sighed and said, “Ye Hua come and help your older brother up so I can tell you everything.”
While Mo Yuan explained the circumstances of Ye Hua’s delayed birth, Zhe Yan’s expressions were ones of shock and surprise. Ye Hua, on the other hand, was unfazed and his cool exterior remained unchanged. Ye Hua was just like Mo Yuan in the sense, that their faces never revealed their inner thoughts or true feelings. Mo Yuan and Ye Hua were indeed twins both in appearance and behavior.
Mo Yuan took a deep breath when he was finished talking, the strain of his exhaustion evident. He was extremely fatigued but it suddenly dawned on Mo Yuan that there was someone missing — the most important person and that individual was Seventeen.
“Where is Seventeen?” Mo Yuan asked looking towards Zhe Yan.
Zhe Yan quickly glanced towards Ye Hua before answering Mo Yuan nervously, “Mo Yuan, one thing at a time. You’ve just woken up. We have plenty of time to discuss other matters.” Zhe Yan stood up and straightened the front of his pale peach robe. Zhe Yan looked at Ye Hua and added politely, “Mo Yuan needs rest so perhaps you could finish your conversation another time.”
It was obvious to everyone present that Zhe Yan wanted Ye Hua to leave. Ye Hua raised his arms, bowed politely and left as silently as he’d entered.
Zhe Yan waited until he was sure Ye Hua was gone and said to Mo Yuan, “Mo Yuan, Xiao Wu is missing. She’s been gone for a couple of weeks. Xiao Wu, who hasn’t stepped foot out of Qing Qiu for 70,000 years, has suddenly vanished without a trace. We’ve been searching for her but what complicates matters is that she is engaged to marry Ye Hua.” Zhe Yan’s eyes suddenly filled with worry and concern as he added, “There were some strong disturbances from the Eastern Imperial Bell so I think there is a strong possibility that Xiao Wu resealed Qing Cang herself.”
Mo Yuan was stunned and quickly asked, “Is she still alive?”
“Yes, I saw her star last night so she’s alive but who knows where she could be,” Zhe Yan said, as he watched Mo Yuan’s expression change into one of strong regret.
“I shouldn’t have taught Seventeen the spell. I never thought she’d have to use it. After saving my life with her heart’s blood for 70,000 years, I’ve personally sent Seventeen into doom,” Mo Yuan said in a tone heavy with concern and remorse.
Zhe Yan put his hand on Mo Yuan’s shoulder, patted it reassuringly and said, “We will find her. Mo Yuan, don’t worry. We will find her and bring her home.”
Before Ye Hua first came into her life, she’d lived a life of solitude for many years. She lived in a small thatched hut by the bridge where she’d awoken that day, years ago.
That day when she’d awoken, she didn’t remember her name or her past. She couldn’t recall if she had a family. She didn’t have any recollection prior to waking up on the unknown bridge on the foot of a foreign mountain. Stunned, she sat in the same place she’d awoken until her body’s basic need forced her to stand. Thirst demanded resolve. Her dehydration was much stronger than her fear. After quenching her thirst, she took a good look at her surroundings and decided she had two choices: she could sit idly waiting for death to come or she could endure and survive.
She chose to live.
The first year was the most challenging. In the beginning, many nights she went to bed while the pain of hunger protested loudly enough to keep her from sleep. Through hardship and perseverance, she grew more efficient and self-reliant with every passing day. Through trial and error, she learned to catch and roast small animals to fulfill her hunger. She trained herself to pick up branches of wood for her fire and noticed which fruits and roots were edible. She slowly mastered the skills to live and exist by herself.
Her solitude was the most difficult to endure. Nights were incredibly long. She wondered what she’d done wrong to be left to such an isolated existence and deserted into this silent exile.
To fill her loneliness, she brought back and nursed injured animals she found during her daily search for food. She once found a dying little black snake and put it on her bed to keep it warm. Strangely, sleeping with the snake made her feel as if someone was holding her throughout the night.
She eventually discovered a town past her forest and met people to trade her fruit for other items she needed. Rice was always in need. One day a kind, the elderly woman gave her a red quilt to use for the upcoming winter. While carrying her crimson quilt home, she instantly thought of her snake which had recently started moving and eating again.
When she found Ye Hua on the steps of her hut, he was bleeding profusely from his severe injury. She brought him into her home and treated his wounds. Tears came to her eyes because she wanted this young man to live. This was the first person who had ever come into her home. She nervously applied the poultice of herbs and left him momentarily. In that brief time, his wounds had miraculously healed. She was stunned and moved closer to examine where the slashes had been when she felt his piercing gaze. She raised her eyes and saw an expression she didn’t understand.
Ye Hua named her SuSu and his recovery was quick. Too quick. SuSu became afraid that he would leave her. When Ye Hua asked SuSu how she wanted to be compensated for saving his life, her reply was for him to devote himself to her entirely. Ye Hua agreed much quicker than she’d anticipated.
SuSu wasn’t in love with Ye Hua when she married him. She merely wanted someone by her side, to fill the void of her loneliness. SuSu sensed Ye Hua’s desire for her, so SuSu asked Ye Hua to marry her. SuSu felt reassurance that the commitment of marriage would keep Ye Hua beside her. She would give Ye Hua her body in exchange for his company. After years spent in solitude, the simple pleasure of hearing another’s voice was more valuable than riches of silver and gold.
After being with Ye Hua, SuSu became accustomed to the warmth of sleeping in his arms. She grew to love his touch. Ye Hua made love to her often during the days and nights. Ye Hua’s caress tasted like hunger. His kisses conveyed his urgency. Ye Hua’s body made SuSu wonder how she’d ever lived without him. She slowly fell in love with Ye Hua and the new sensations he’d introduced to her.
SuSu’s love for Ye Hua wasn’t just physical. SuSu loved Ye Hua’s kind and gentle heart. He insisted on doing all the cooking. Ye Hua smiled easily and didn’t hesitate to show his emotions. Once when she’d almost burned their hut down cooking, Ye Hua magically subdued the inferno after covering SuSu’s eyes. She worried he was the Golden Scarlet Lion that fought her snake that turned into a dragon before it flew away. SuSu suggested they run away together. Ye Hua was surprised she’d stay with him if he was the monster. When SuSu told him she would never leave him and follow him to death, Ye Hua was so touched by SuSu’s loyalty that his eyes filled with tears.
Ye Hua’s burning love for her made SuSu glad they were alone and away from others. Ye Hua showed his affection openly and kissed her often throughout the day. SuSu couldn’t imagine living without Ye Hua. SuSu wondered how she’d survived as long as she did before he came into her life. SuSu felt complete with Ye Hua by her side.
Their beautiful newlywed bliss abruptly ended after half a year. One day while in the forest, Ye Hua suddenly vanished without a single word. His arrow and bow the only remnants left in the place where he stood just moments ago.
Susu awaited his return all night long. SuSu went back to the exact spot daily, hugging the only traces of Ye Hua that he’d left behind. She prayed for his return. After half a year of fear and worry, Ye Hua finally returned. He came back to her and held SuSu tightly. Ye Hua’s responses to her questions were vague and it left her more confused. She asked if his sudden departure was life threatening. Ye Hua simply replied no. SuSu had nothing else to say. Her desire swallowed up her pride.
Ye Hua made love to her all throughout the night. SuSu reveled in the return of his touch. She needed to feel Ye Hua as much as he needed to feel SuSu. They fell asleep in each other’s arms before dawn. When she awoke, Ye Hua was already awake. He told SuSu that he needed to leave her again. Ye Hua told SuSu this time he would be gone longer. Ye Hua told her he’d be gone for one year to a year and a half. Ye Hua didn’t give her any explanation nor did he offer any excuses. Before leaving, Ye Hua gifted SuSu with a beautiful copper mirror with a pale teal tassel on the end. Ye Hua told SuSu if she spoke into the mirror, that he would be able to hear her. Ye Hua promised to respond if he could. Ye Hua told her to close her eyes. SuSu felt his forehead against hers before he vanished like morning mist.
SuSu felt her solitude much more after being with Ye Hua. She knew Ye Hua’s presence changed her life but she failed to recognize how his existence had changed her. The void of Ye Hua made her loneliness unbearable. SuSu wondered if Ye Hua had another family and she was his mistress. She questioned if she was something that needed to remain hidden from others. Ye Hua’s lack of explanation left SuSu drowning in her own doubts and fears.
After weeks of severe depression, SuSu decided she would remain strong and wait for Ye Hua. SuSu would wait to hear his explanation. She would endure as she did before his arrival. SuSu wanted to believe in Ye Hua and his intentions. She would continue to trust Ye Hua just a little longer.
SuSu kept herself busy. SuSu tried to forget that Ye Hua had gone away. She went to the teahouse in town to listen to the storytellers. One day to SuSu’s shock, a Daoist priest selling talismans accused her of stealing the fan in her basket. The fan SuSu had found it on the bridge when she first awoke years ago to her silent life. The Daoist priest took it from SuSu and claimed the fan to be an artifact belonging to his family. He openly accused SuSu of stealing the fan from him while his back was turned. SuSu cowered fearfully as the people around them started to raise their voices. The Daoist priest proudly held the fan and claimed it to be his when a strong hand suddenly grabbed the end of the fan. The Daoist priest released and stepped back in fear. Whoever was holding the fan was intimidating enough to silence everyone.
SuSu looked up to see Ye Hua had returned sooner than he’d told her. Ye Hua had returned with a handsome new beard.
SuSu threw herself into Ye Hua’s arms only to feel Ye Hua’s body stiffen. Ye Hua gently pulled her off his body and studied her face deeply. SuSu didn’t understand. Had she been correct? Was Ye Hua here with his wife and pretending not to know her? Everything had been as she’d suspected.
Mo Yuan looked at the mortal woman who’d thrown herself at him. She possessed Seventeen’s fan and that was his main concern.
Mo Yuan asked softly, “Does this fan belong to you?”
The mortal woman blinked her eyes rapidly in confusion and called him “Ye Hua” once again.
“My name is Mo Yuan. I’m not Ye Hua,” Mo Yuan gently corrected.
The mortal woman stepped back and looked at Mo Yuan deeply before quietly asking, “You are not Ye Hua?”
Mo Yuan shook his head lightly before answering, “No. How do you know Ye Hua?”
The mortal woman looked dazed and cautiously answered in a soft voice, “He is my husband.”
Mo Yuan thought of the coincidence of her thinking he was Ye Hua. Mo Yuan also heard the mortal refer to Ye Hua as her husband. Mo Yuan considered the strong probability of this mortal being Ye Hua’s hidden lover. Their relationship went against Celestial laws and Heavenly Lord would never approve. She was a mortal woman that Ye Hua had privately decided to claim.
Mo Yuan didn’t care to interfere in his twin’s love life. He merely wanted to know about Seventeen’s Jade Purity Fan.
“Is this fan yours?” Mo Yuan asked again.
The mortal dropped her eyes and replied, “I found it.”
“Where did you find it?” Mo Yuan asked quickly. If Seventeen was close, he would find her himself.
“On the bridge by my house,” The mortal woman answered.
Mo Yuan asked in his softest tone, “Can you show me?”
Mo Yuan was surprised to see her lead the way. The mortal woman remained silent but looked back at Mo Yuan a couple times. Her gaze searching and confused.
Finally, she led Mo Yuan to a thatched hut at the foot of Mount Junji. She pointed to a bridge and softly said, “I found it here.” The mortal pointed to where she’d found it on the bridge.
How could this be? Mo Yuan knew Si Yin wouldn’t leave the Jade Purity Fan purposely. Seventeen had been to the mortal realm. If this woman was involved with Ye Hua, Mo Yuan wanted to ask Ye Hua about his mortal wife’s possession of Seventeen’s belonging. Ye Hua would have recognized the Jade Purity Fan.
“Is your husband Ye Hua here?” Mo Yuan asked softly looking back at the thatched hut behind them.
The mortal woman glanced back at the hut and looked back at Mo Yuan. She was still confused by the similar appearance of Mo Yuan with her absent husband.
“No, he’s not here,” the mortal replied softly.
“When will he be back?” Mo Yuan asked.
“I don’t know,” the mortal replied with sadness in her eyes.
Mo Yuan took a step forward and studied the mortal’s face. Her facial features were similar to his Seventeen but this woman was a mortal. She couldn’t be Si Yin.
Mo Yuan asked softly, “What is your name?”
The mortal looked Mo Yuan in the eyes, met his gaze and softly replied,
“My name is SuSu.
to be continued…………………