The Fox King felt SuSu’s body go limp in his arms. The mark on the center of SuSu’s forehead lit up explosively before it disappeared. Bai Qian had returned, and her aura glowed brightly from her ascension to High Goddess. With the death of her mortal self, Bai Qian passed her heavenly trial. Shaking, the Fox King held Bai Qian in his arms and rocked her back and forth while she remained silent and emotionless.
Bai Qian said nothing after her return to immortality. She was non-vocal to the point that the Fox King worried Bai Qian was suffering from residual side effects of her mortal death. Zhe Yan calmed the Fox King and told him Bai Qian’s emotional state was extremely fragile. She would be better after the return of her sight.
Zhe Yan healed Bai Qian’s sight, but she was unable to tolerate severe brightness and glare. The Fox King found the rarest and thinnest material capable of buffering even the most dazzling light. It would appear to Bai Qian’s eyes only when it was needed. After Bai Qian regained her vision, she began taking quiet walks by herself and barely spoke. Bai Qian’s once bright and shining eyes were now two lackluster black stones without life or fire. Her joyful and carefree self-was no longer a part of her. Bai Qian was existing but not living, and her presence failed to exude the vitality of life.
Bai Qian had returned a former shell of herself.
Bai Qian never cried or spoke of her time in Celestial Heaven and spent most of her time in solitude. Regardless of her return to her immortal self, Bai Qian continued to have the same nightmare she had as a mortal. One night when she awoke to find Mo Yuan holding her, Bai Qian looked at his face deeply, cloud jumped out of his arms and opened the Jade Purity Fan ready to attack. Bai Qian was unaware that her Shifu and Ye Hua were identical twins. After that night, Bai Qian kept a distance from her Shifu as well. She pretended to be sleeping whenever Mo Yuan came to her room.
It pained Mo Yuan to see his Seventeen fear him after the thousands of years they’d spent together. He understood that her recent memories were much stronger and fresher than the ones from their past. Mo Yuan wouldn’t force Seventeen to face anything she wasn’t ready to resolve and stopped going to her.
On her last night on Kunlun mountain before her departure, Seventeen came to Mo Yuan’s room and knelt before him but refused to look into his eyes.
“Shifu, this disciple would like to know if you and the Crown Prince Ye Hua are truly twins?
Mo Yuan had been expecting her question and answered, “Yes, Ye Hua and I are identical twins. Does that make you feel differently towards me?”
Seventeen said without a trace of emotion, “One of you took my eyes while the other saved me when I never asked to be saved. Why did you save me, Shifu?”
Mo Yuan’s heart broke. Seventeen was angry with his intervention into her planned death. She hadn’t wanted to be stopped from jumping from Zhuxian Terrace.
“I stopped you because I love you and I didn’t want to live without you,” Mo Yuan replied.
Seventeen lifted her dull eyes for the first time and looked at Mo Yuan before she began to undress silently.
Mo Yuan was confused by Seventeen’s actions and asked her, “Seventeen, what are you doing?”
Seventeen continued removing her clothes in front of Mo Yuan and replied, “This is my answer to your words of love.”
Mo Yuan stood, stopped Seventeen from undressing any further and said as tears came to his eyes, “Seventeen, I never asked for your body. I love you. I want your heart.”
Seventeen turned her cold gaze towards Mo Yuan and said as she dressed, “You should have taken my body when you had the chance.” She sighed softly and continued, “My body I will give to you freely, but I can’t give you what you want because you’re asking for something I no longer possess.”
Bai Qian dressed, stood and bowed to Mo Yuan. She turned her back to walk away but glanced back at Mo Yuan one last time before leaving his room and Kunlun Mountain.
Mo Yuan sadly realized that SuSu’s mortal body had died in the Fox King’s arms, but SuSu’s fragmented heart continued to beat inside his Seventeen. Mo Yuan thought he saw fear in Seventeen’s eyes when she looked back at him, but he was wrong. Her gaze was one of hatred and animosity.
Bai Qian never spoke of her time away from Qing Qiu. She barely spoke and refused to sleep. Bai Qian knew if she slept, she would dream and her dreams were always the same. Bai Qian drank non-stop and stayed in her drunken haze for weeks. When the Fox Queen, who was worried about the deteriorating health of her only daughter Bai Qian, reminded her of the importance of care after child birth, Bai Qian went into hysterics. She angrily smashed everything she laid her hands on and screamed non-stop until her father used a spell to make her sleep.
While Bai Qian slept, her parents heard her crying for her son, A-Li. They heard her begging Ye Hua not to take her eyes and whimpering at the loss of her sight.
Uncontrollably, the Fox King and Queen sobbed, when they heard their daughter cry out from her nightmares. They now understood her resistance to sleep. While in slumber Bai Qian was still living in her mortal past regardless of her return to immortality. Bai Qian’s parents felt helpless and didn’t know how to help their daughter.
They were devastated by Bai Qian’s ordeal during her heavenly trial.
The Fox Queen went to Bai Qian and begged her to take Zhe Yan’s forgetting potion, but she refused. Bai Qian said she never wanted to forget. Bai Qian explained that she’d forced herself to remember every detail and every tear during her time in Celestial Heaven. Bai Qian only said she had a debt she needed to settle.
The Fox King understood his daughter better than anyone else because he also felt the need to settle a debt with Heavenly Lord. The Fox King didn’t understand how Heavenly Lord could be so barbaric. How could Ye Hua the Crown Prince perform such an inhumane act? The Fox King was outraged, and he couldn’t be calmed.
The Fox King told Zhe Yan of his intentions to cancel the engagement between Ye Hua and Bai Qian. He would never allow a Celestial anywhere near Bai Qian. The Fox King stated he would rather declare war on the Celestials than give his daughter to them. His rage was uncontrollable, and the Fox King would remain angry until he’d broken all ties with the Celestials.
The Fox King and High God Bai Zhen went to Celestial Heaven unannounced in full armor for combat. The Fox King planned to kill anyone who stood in his way. He declined Heavenly Lord’s hospitality and refused to sit down. He would say everything he wanted to say standing. The Fox King told Heavenly Lord the engagement between Ye Hua and Bai Qian was ill-matched. He canceled the marriage agreement between Bai Qian and Ye Hua without hesitation.
Since it was Prince Sang Ji and Heavenly Lord who caused the error against Qing Qiu, the Fox King demanded compensation. Heavenly Lord was confused and didn’t understand the Fox King’s sudden change in heart. He had Ye Hua summoned to the main hall.
Ye Hua, who was still mourning SuSu, looked pale, sick and weak as he knelt before Heavenly Lord. Heavenly Lord pointed to Ye Hua and asked the Fox King why he felt Ye Hua and Bai Qian were suddenly ill-suited for one another.
High God, Bai Zhi, the Fox King slowly walked around Ye Hua, looked up, snorted and replied, “Ye Hua is unworthy of my daughter Bai Qian. My daughter is the Queen of Qing Qiu and a renowned beauty. Our realms have more wealth and power than the Celestials, so it would be disadvantageous for her to marry someone beneath our clan.” The Fox King paused and added, “It is also my understanding that Ye Hua recently killed his mortal wife just days after she gave birth to his son. I will not allow my daughter to marry a murderer.”
The Fox King turned his back to leave when he heard Heavenly Lord stammer his reply, “Ye Hua’s wife died in the mortal realm. He had nothing to do with her death. It is true, my son Sang Ji created this situation but you leaving in this manner may cause a break in our alliance of peace.”
High God, Bai Zhi, the Fox King walked back to Heavenly Lord who had stepped off his chair and was now walking towards the Fox King while hiding his fear. The Fox King’s power and the wealth of his realms were things he didn’t want to lose his connection to.
The Fox King in odd humor replied, “Hmm peace? Did you just say peace? Did Ye Hua not take the eyes from his pregnant mortal wife which led to her death? Have you no shame?”
High God Bai Zhi, the Fox King shook his head at Heavenly Lord’s audacity and stepped fearlessly close to Heavenly Lord.
“I’d rather form an alliance with the Ghost Realm than having anything to do with the Celestials. If you want to declare war on Qing Qiu, then do so, but know there will be many more dead Celestials than nine-tailed foxes and you will be the first Celestial to taste my steel.”
The Fox King turned his back, spit on the ground in disgust and walked away from the beasts who had destroyed his only beloved daughter Bai Qian.
Ye Hua was frozen. He was relieved the engagement was canceled but the words the Fox King said penetrated his heart like a well-sharpened knife. He was breathless and shook as he continued to kneel. Everything the Fox King said had been the truth. He was a murderer and undeserving of being with another. Ye Hua didn’t want to be with anyone else since he had decided to atone for his crime by remaining alone for eternity. Ye Hua began to lift himself to stand when he suddenly fell to the ground.
Ye Hua fell to the ground and stayed unconscious for sixty years. The Medicine King assured everyone that Ye Hua wasn’t in any physical danger but had lost his will to live. During his time of mourning, Ye Hua had failed to sleep or eat which weakened his physical state, but it was his mental state that kept him from regaining consciousness. Ye Hua didn’t want to live.
He’d lost his desire to exist after the loss of SuSu. She had meant more to Ye Hua than he had revealed. Ye Hua purposely hid his love to protect her, and as a result of his actions, SuSu herself came to believe Ye Hua no longer loved her. While Ye Hua’s love for SuSu was at its greatest after the birth of their son, she had thought the opposite to be true and left him.
During Ye Hua’s sixty year sleep, he repeatedly dreamt of SuSu and their home in Mount Junji. He dreamt he was beside her and their son was running in the forest chasing butterflies. Ye Hua saw SuSu smiling and heard her laughter while she watched their son A-Li. Ye Hua couldn’t believe it. Their past time in Celestial Heaven had been a terrible nightmare, and this was the present. Ye Hua was so relieved that he was crying. SuSu was pregnant again and waving towards Ye Hua to come to her. He closed his eyes and ran into her arms only to feel her dissipate.
When Ye Hua opened his eyes after 60 years, he realized he’d been dreaming, and the dream he thought to be a nightmare had been the truth.
Bai Qian didn’t step foot out of Qing Qiu for sixty years. During this time she stayed drunk and in a constant drunken haze. When her Shifu Mo Yuan came to see her, she cloud jumped the second she heard his voice and didn’t return for days. Bai Qian wasn’t ready to see the face of her torturer even though he wasn’t Ye Hua. Mo Yuan was a chilling reminder of Ye Hua, and that was enough for her to keep her distance from him. She knew of Mo Yuan’s feelings for her, but Bai Qian fazed. Love was a trap and ploy to weaken her enough to destroy her again. Bai Qian would never fall in love again. She would rather die since love was the equivalent.
Bai Qian pitied Mo Yuan for believing in and desiring something that didn’t exist. One day she would face Mo Yuan, but not today.
Bai Qian also heard of Ye Hua’s illness from Bai Feng Jiu. Bai Feng Jiu was foolishly in love with Donghua Dijun and still went to Celestial Heaven whenever she could sneak away. Bai Feng Jiu kept Bai Qian informed on all the gossip and events happening in Celestial Heaven. Bai Feng Jiu was also on friendly terms with Star Lord Si Ming who was quite a gossip and knew everything.
Bai Feng Jiu was unaware Bai Qian was the mortal SuSu, so Bai Feng Jiu openly told Bai Qian everything. She told Bai Qian about Ye Hua’s awakening and his upcoming wedding to Su Jin. Bai Feng Jiu hated Su Jin for an incident that had occurred years prior and complained about her often.
Bai Qian thought about Ye Hua marrying Su Jin after everything that had occurred. Bitterness filled her mouth. After sixty years, the time had come for Bai Qian to begin her plan and send SuSu away in peace. Bai Qian, Queen of Qing Qiu, would finally commence with her silent objective. She would proceed with her strategy for vengeance and slowly destroy her once husband who was now her most hated nemesis, Ye Hua the Crown Prince of Celestial Heaven.
to be continued……………