“Seventeen, you were the mortal SuSu that Ye Hua blinded and the woman who committed suicide by jumping from Zhuxian Terrace 10,000 years ago.” Mo Yuan whispered.
Bai Qian’s body folded over as if she’d absorbed an unseen attack. Mo Yuan heard her stop breathing. Bai Qian was too stunned and unable to catch her breath. She slightly stumbled forward before falling to the ground. Ye Hua reached for her, but she screamed at Ye Hua, “Don’t touch me! Don’t you dare lay a single finger on my body!” without looking at him.
Bai Qian crawled on her knees to Mo Yuan. She hung onto his robe and looked up at him shaking her head ‘no.’ Tears ran down her face as she asked again, “No Shifu. It’s not true. It can’t be right. Ye Hua’s dead wife isn’t me. I’m yours. I belong to you, Shifu. You’re the man I’ve chosen for my life. Once a nine-tailed fox decides on a mate, it’s permanent and unchangeable.”
Mo Yuan knelt to Seventeen and lightly held her face with both hands. Mo Yuan put his forehead against her’s and softly said, “I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to deceive you. We were only trying to protect you. We only wanted the best for you.”
Seventeen looked stunned, jerked away and yelled, “We? Who’s we? Everyone knew but me?” Now sobbing, “You didn’t protect me by not telling me; you left me emotionally defenseless and unable to protect myself. I’m not the girl who was your disciple. I’m the woman who wanted to marry you.”
“You’re the one I chose to be my partner for eternity. Shifu, you’re my other half.”
Mo Yuan was still holding her face when Ye Hua jealously pulled Seventeen’s delicate, petite, body up roughly and away from Mo Yuan. Mo Yuan’s anger rushed to the surface as he stood and stared Ye Hua down barely able to contain his wrath.
“Release her Ye Hua; she’s not your pet. Respect Seventeen and treat her properly. She is High Goddess, Bai Qian, the Queen of Qing Qiu.”
Mo Yuan turned his attention back to Seventeen, but she was looking down at the ground in despair still shaking her head ‘no’ in disbelief. Mo Yuan started to reach for her again, but she swiftly moved and backed away from him.
Mo Yuan could see Ye Hua looking pleased. Ye Hua spoke in his soft tone, “Qian Qian, you should rest. I think you and your Shifu have discussed everything that needed to be said.”
“Shut your mouth!” Bai Qian yelled at Ye Hua.
“Seventeen,” Mo Yuan attempted to talk to her again when she turned to both Ye Hua and Mo Yuan. Seventeen was crying uncontrollably, but her shaky voice was full of rage when she said,
“Shifu, I gave you all of me, but you couldn’t be honest with me and treat me as an equal. Ye Hua, you claim to want to give me all of you, but instead, you used the truth to twist, confuse and manipulate me.”
She shook her head in disbelief. “All this time I’ve been nothing but the rope in your game of tug of war against each other. I can’t stand the sight of you. I don’t want to see either of you! I hate you both! You’ve both tricked and deceived me.”
Seventeen turned her full fury on Ye Hua, “Was it enjoyable… Toying and taunting me? Your stupid attempts to force me to remember memories I can’t? You claim your love is the reason behind your inappropriate behavior towards me, so you must feel very pleased to know all the past events that I can’t recall?”
Seventeen slumped her shoulders, and all her strength seemed to have dissipated. She wasn’t crying, but the expression on her face reminded Mo Yuan of SuSu when he’d stopped her from leaping off Zhuxian Terrace. Seventeen took a couple of steps backward weakly while staring blankly at the ground.
She whispered, “Now I understand why I committed suicide and jumped from Zhuxian Terrace 10,000 years ago.”
Seventeen turned her back took a few steps forward; she was sobbing again. Dazed, she dragged her steps and stumbled to the ground. Mo Yuan and Ye Hua both rushed to her, but she warned in a lifeless tone, “If either of you touches me. We’ll find out how many years I’ll be dead for this time and hopefully, it will be for eternity.”
She sat there for a few more moments, quietly sobbing, slowly brought herself to her feet and returned towards the direction she had come.
Mo Yuan tone of voice was unchanged, but his gaze reflected his rage, “Why Ye Hua? It wasn’t your place to tell her the truth. Did you hear what she said? Seventeen stated that she was going to kill herself again. You couldn’t let her live without the horrors from her past?”
Mo Yuan paused, his memories pained him profoundly. He sighed deeply and said, “You didn’t see her after I took her from Zhuxian Terrace. Your mortal, wife, SuSu, smiled and thanked her father, the Fox King for death. She wanted to die more than anything else.”
Mo Yuan became more upset as he recalled Seventeen’s return to immortality but continued, “I know you’ve suffered Ye Hua, but you didn’t see her. She was dead. Seventeen, Bai Qian, proud Queen, of Qing Qiu, didn’t value anything… especially herself. She was so traumatized that she couldn’t stand to be touched or held. Not even her parents could lay a finger on her. Seventeen had fits of unending of hysteria. The Fox King had to subdue her with spells because that was the only way he could stop her screams. You’re a father too, could you imagine seeing A-Li like that?”
Mo Yuan sounded defeated, “Seventeen had the same terrible reoccurring nightmare for 300 years. She begged you not to take her eyes and cried for the loss her sight. She also called for A-Li, and in the beginning, she’d sit up and cradle an invisible child her while offering her breasts to nurse him. She’d wake up soaking wet, from the milk in her breasts, that she never had the opportunity to feed to her newborn son.”
Mo Yuan could see tears in Ye Hua’s eyes; Ye Hua was devastated. He was completely affected by Mo Yuan’s words, but Ye Hua argued back, “You should have brought her to me when she woke up, but you kept her for yourself. Did you just hear what she said?”
Ye Hua was openly crying and as he said, “Qian Qian, my wife, the mother of my child, just told you, Mo Yuan, that she’d chosen you as her mate for life. I must question the validity of that statement since we are identical twins. Qian Qian could be confused especially after enduring the effects of her leap from Zhuxian Terrace. Mo Yuan, would you let Qian Qian go if it meant she’d be happy with me?”
Mo Yuan took a threatening step towards Ye Hua and replied firmly, “I have and did last time for your and Seventeen’s sake. This time, however, I can’t and won’t step back. I’ll move towards Seventeen, and not away as I’ve done in the past. She’s chosen me as her mate in life. I’ve accepted her and decided she’ll be my eternal companion. This time Ye Hua, I will make you yield to me, and you’ll lose her to me.”
Mo Yuan looked towards the directions he’d seen Seventeen go and added, “I won’t make the mistakes you did, and she is no longer your wife, Ye Hua. Your mortal marriage became null and void when Seventeen’s heavenly trial ended. You didn’t officially wed her as your Princess Consort before her death. Seventeen is simply the mother of your child conceived during her heavenly trial. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Mo Yuan started to walk away but stopped, sighed deeply, turned around and warned, “Ye Hua if Seventeen hurts herself again while she’s with you, I will make sure you live an eternity so that you’ll never be free of the guilt of killing Seventeen three times.”
Qian Qian refused to see him. She stayed inside The Hall Of Beautiful Youth and didn’t step out even once. Ye Hua secretly watched her sleep some nights. Qian Qian had become so thin the fullness of her cheeks gone and her skin lost its glow. She allowed A-Li to visit her, but their time together was silent, awkward, and often uncomfortable. Ye Hua explained to A-Li that Qian Qian had lost her memories and to stay patient. A- Li told Ye Hua having her back was enough for him, but expressed concern about his mother’s obvious unhappiness.
Ye Hua had Zhuxian Terrace sealed. Qian Qian hadn’t done anything to hurt herself, but Ye Hua wouldn’t allow any errors to occur again. Ye Hua received daily reports from Nai Nai of Qian Qian’s state. Nai Nai informed Ye Hua, that Heavenly Empress didn’t speak, and barely ate. If Qian Qian wasn’t sleeping, she sat silently and stared off into the distance for hours.
Qian Qian struggled to come to terms with the new revelation of her true identity and seemed too overwhelmed and unable to accept the truth. Instead of acceptance or denial, she’d chosen to shut herself up emotionally.
Mo Yuan had also gone back into seclusion. Ye Hua knew this time Mo Yuan’s reason for gathering his cultivation was to challenge Ye Hua for Qian Qian. Ye Hua hadn’t seen Mo Yuan look as determined as he did the day he left Celestial Heaven. Mo Yuan was preparing himself for battle.
The Fox King came out of seclusion briefly and read the letter written by Qian Qian. He was un-fooled. The Fox King claimed he knew his daughter too well to believe such a blatant lie. When the Fox King discovered, his daughter had been told about her past identity and knew she was Ye Hua’s deceased mortal wife. His fury so extreme and unnerved, he summoned all his sons and his generals to discuss their plan of action.
High God Bai Zhi, the Fox King went back into seclusion and gave strict orders that nobody was to harm Ye Hua because he would do it himself when he came out of seclusion.
The Fox King promised this time he would wipe the Celestials off the face of the planet.
Bai Qian stayed in her chamber and never stepped out. She’d begun to dream and saw glimpses of her past life when she’d been with Ye Hua. Bai Qian’s images of Ye Hua making love to her and deflowering her had been memories from her past. Ye Hua was truthful, and the things he told her had all been real.
She was the woman who had given birth to A-Li as a mortal during her heavenly trial. She was also the woman who had killed herself after her miscarriage of Ye Hua’s child. Bai Qian didn’t remember these facts, but Nai Nai told her.
Nai Nai said Bai Qian had been madly in love with Ye Hua as the mortal SuSu and again when she returned after meeting Ye Hua at the Eastern Sea. Nai Nai blushed and turned red-faced as she told Bai Qian, she and Heavenly Lord Ye Hua slept together every night with the privacy shield up, always.
Ye Hua’s words had all been correct, but Bai Qian felt nothing for Ye Hua. Not a single emotion. Similar to a baby bird’s bond to its mother when it first opens its eyes, Bai Qian had bonded to Mo Yuan from the moment she returned from her death. His face was the first she’d seen. Bai Qian had determined Mo Yuan would be her eternal mate when he kissed her right after her waking.
Bai Qian was married to Ye Hua while her heart’s desire was Mo Yuan. She felt as if she was standing on a small shelf sticking out of an unscalable cliff edge and below her feet was a raging, churning, deep, dark, and stormy sea. Regardless of which direction she turned, the end was inevitable. A part of her would die, due of her choice, there would be a death at the end.
to be continued……..