Two weeks later…….
Eyes closed, Mo Yuan felt refreshing coolness against his forehead. When he awoke, Seventeen was sitting beside him, with a worried expression wiping his forehead with a cold damp cloth. Seventeen’s eyes flew wide open when Mo Yuan met her gaze and yelled excitedly, “Zhe Yan hurry! Shifu is waking up. Hurry!”
Mo Yuan tried to sit up when he heard Zhe Yan’s worried voice warn, “Mo Yuan, stay as you are. Don’t try to sit up yet. Do you know where you are now? Do you remember what happened?”
Mo Yuan answered weakly, “I had a sudden excruciating pain as if my body was being torn in two. I’m still on Kunlun Mountain. I know where I am, but Zhe Yan what happened? Where did the divine energy come from? Was that what I think it was? It felt like Heavenly Father’s life force.”
Mo Yuan closed his eyes again and added, “I saw him during my slumber. Heavenly Father said it was time. How long have I been unconscious?”
Zhe Yan signaled for Seventeen to move aside and sat carefully beside Mo Yuan. He whispered, “Mo Yuan, you’ve been unconscious for almost two weeks. You’re correct, the divine energy that engulfed Kunlun Mountain was Heavenly Father’s.
The day after you passed out Heavenly Lord’s eldest son First Prince Yang Cuo and his wife Consort Le Xu came to Kunlun Mountain. Consort Le Xu touched the dried lotus and instantly became pregnant. After only three days of pregnancy, she gave birth to a son after seven days straight of intense labor.
Mo Yuan, your twin, the Golden Lotus was born four days ago in Celestial Heaven. He was born to Consort Le Xu, the wife of First Prince Yang Cuo. His name is Ye Hua, and he’s the new Crown Prince of Celestial Heaven.”
Mo Yuan heard Zhe Yan’s words but struggled to comprehend them. It was unfathomable. Had Mo Yuan just been told, his unborn twin brother after hundreds of thousands of years of waiting, was born into the Celestial Clan? Mo Yuan slowly brought himself to a sitting position feeling the stiffness of laying too long.
Had the unexplainable tearing pain been his twin separating from Mo Yuan. Mo Yuan and Ye Hua identical twins created within the same single egg, that split into two, so was that the painful sensation the result of their last separation and division into two different living and breathing bodies?
Either way, Mo Yuan was curious and excited to finally see his long awaited twin, Ye Hua, Crown Prince of Celestial Heaven. Mo Yuan’s wait was over.
Mo Yuan lifted the covers from his body and threw them to the side. He turned and placed his feet evenly and steadily on the floor.
He heard Zhe Yan’s warning tone as he said, “Mo Yuan it’s too soon for you to get out of bed.”
Zhe Yan stood, sighed deeply and handed an elixir to Mo Yuan. Zhe Yan lifted his hand and motioned Mo Yuan to drink it all. “I’ve left more bottles of the revitalizing elixir with Si Yin. You’ve had to wait this long so you can wait for a few days longer. Ye Hua isn’t going anywhere. He’s only days old, and you know exactly where to find him. What’s the rush?”
Mo Yuan ignored Zhe Yan’s advice and said to Si Yin, “Seventeen, I need to get dressed, but you must prepare to go with me the Nine Heavens. I’ll be ready within the hour so stay close. I don’t have all my energy back so don’t make me look for you.”
Seventeen nodded she understood, bowed and left Mo Yuan alone with Zhe Yan. Mo Yuan turned to Zhe Yan and said, “Zhe Yan, stop your foolishness and tell Bai Zhi, it’s time to start looking for a proper husband for Seventeen. It’s time for her to start living as a woman.”
Zhe Yan began to say something but Mo Yuan briskly cut him off, “Zhe Yan, I’m sorry for all my past indiscretions, but it’s time to stop your nonsense. I plan to accept tea poured by Seventeen on her wedding, not be the groom serving Bai Zhi. Zhe Yan, Seventeen is Bai Zhi’s youngest child. Seventeen is the daughter of our friend Bai Zhi. I’m old enough to be her father. Now stop your tomfoolery. I must get dressed so you should leave.”
Zhe Yan looked at Mo Yuan with sympathy, shook his head, tisked his tongue and replied, “Mo Yuan, you’re making one of the biggest mistakes you’ll come to regret one day. Age means nothing when love is involved. Mo Yuan, you love Xiao Wu. You’ve been love with Xiao Wu since you set your eyes on her. Mo Yuan, you don’t see it, but I do, and you’ve just slammed the door shut to a lifetime of endless happiness with your stubborn denial and unnecessary abstinence.” Before leaving Mo Yuan alone to dress.
Though expected, Mo Yuan was still surprised to see Heavenly Lord had already separated Ye Hua from his mother. Heavenly Lord was a true believer that gentleness, kindness, and tenderness were flaws that created more harm than good. Heavenly Lord declared Ye Hua as Crown Prince the day Ye Hua was born. This announcement came as a great surprise considering, Heavenly Lord was grooming his second son Second Prince Sang Ji, to become the next Heavenly Lord for hundred thousands of years.
Heavenly Lord swayed by the grand display of auspicious signs after Ye Hua’s birth.
Mo Yuan heard the sound of his twin crying. Ye Hua’s new-born cries sounded like that of a baby lamb weeping. Seventeen’s sensitive Fox ears perked up immediately when she heard the infant’s cries. She went to Ye Hua first and picked him up in her arms and held Ye Hua in a loving embrace. Ye Hua was born with a full head of black hair, and he was tiny. It is hard to imagine; Mo Yuan had also once been such small infant. Ye Hua’s soft full baby cheek’s rosy and pink. Ye Hua’s gaze was too alert of such a small newborn baby. Ye Hua saw Seventeen’s face and held his vision’s direction on Seventeen and nothing else.
Mo Yuan thought about what a devoted mother Seventeen would be one day.
Ye Hua’s alert eyes saw Seventeen, stopped crying instantly and began to smile. Ye Hua made cooing baby sounds when Seventeen held Ye Hua and pressed her forehead to his. Ye Hua reached out his fat, plump, dimpled, hand and reached for Seventeen which made her giggle with delight. The servants came running terrified by the lack of sound. Ye Hua had cried for days, and his sudden silence caused alarm.
The servants explained, “The little Crown Prince has cried since his separation from his mother, Consort Le Xu. He refused to take a bottle or a wet-nurse. The Medicine King has just been summoned.”
Seventeen slowly walked around the chamber, softly humming and gently rocking Ye Hua in her arms. She lifted him to her and kissed Ye Hua’s face as she’d done to the Golden Lotus for thousands of years. Seventeen reached for the full, slightly warmed, body-temperature bottle, off the tray one of the servants was carrying and placed the nipple by Ye Hua’s lips. Ye Hua latched on and took it immediately and began to suckle while intently staring into Seventeen’s eyes. After finishing the bottle, Ye Hua began to coo while staring keenly and smiling directly at Seventeen sweetly; before Ye Hua finally fell asleep in her arms.
Could Ye Hua have recognized Seventeen from his days in the lotus pond? Ye Hua peacefully slept in Seventeen’s arms for hours and stopped crying for the first time since his birth.
Upon Mo Yuan and Seventeen’s return to Kunlun Mountain, Mo Yuan went back into seclusion and whatever plans; Mo Yuan made for Seventeen’s future and departure; halted due to the imminent threat of war.
Qing Cang, the current Ghost Lord of the Ghost Realm, kidnapped both disciplines Si Yin and Ling Yu, while they were heading to Qingqiu to celebrate, the birth of the newest member of the Fox Clan.
Qing Cang held them captive against their wishes for days and all this while Mo Yuan was still in seclusion.
Qing Cang’s plan was straightforward and efficient. He sent announcements to all eight immortal realms and four seas. Qing Cing declared he’d decided to take Mo Yuan’s ninth disciple Ling Yu as his newest bride. His plans to wed Ling Yu were an explicit insult and display of his disrespect towards the Celestial Clan, Kunlun Mountain, and mostly directed at Mo Yuan. Mo Yuan was forced to end his retreat abruptly and walked into a well-planned ambush before he successfully rescued his ninth and Seventeenth disciples.
Seventeen who was unaware it was time for her heavenly trial, locked inside his seclusion cave by, Mo Yuan. This while Mo Yuan took the lightning bolts in her stead, intended and necessary for Si Yin’s ascension to High Immortal. Mo Yuan immediately went into seclusion to heal from the injuries he’d obtained, from both the ambush in the Ghost Realm and three holy lightning rods for Si Yin’s ascension.
Mo Yuan smiled when he heard his little Seventeen crying bitterly at the entrance of Mo Yuan’s seclusion cave. She apologized for being such an unfilial disciple. Seventeen told Mo Yuan that she would cook herself into a stew for him if he didn’t get better. The act of offering one’s flesh the greatest sign of filial devotion.
Mo Yuan decided to get better on his own. The thought of Fox meat didn’t appeal to him.
After weeks in seclusion, Mo Yuan sub-consciously found himself first seeking out Seventeen as soon as he stepped out of his cave. The school was too peaceful, and Seventeen’s silence meant Si Yin was doing something she shouldn’t be doing. If Si Yin was quiet, it was a hint and precursor to unruly behavior that would surely follow. During his search for Seventeen, Mo Yuan ran into several of his other disciples. They held items in their hands needed for a bath. They explained to Mo Yuan that Si Yin was bathing down below and they intended on joining Seventeen. One teased and said they were going to make Si Yin scrub all their backs before breaking out into laughter.
Mo Yuan became instantly alarmed, and cloud jumped first hoping she wasn’t there, but as expected, Seventeen was there. She was in one of the naturally heated pools, filled by the overflow from the natural hot springs nearby. Seventeen was unconcealed and in her real female image.
Seventeen was hanging on the edge with both hands and kicking the water behind her with smooth, gentle lifting strokes of her legs. Her hair slicked back wet appeared shiny and glossy. Seventeen’s expression one of pleasure, peace, and relaxation.
Again, Mo Yuan awestruck by her astonishing beauty, stood unable to move until he heard the chatter of the other disciples in the distance. They were coming in Si Yin’s direction as Mo Yuan anticipated and feared. Before Mo Yuan even knew what he was doing, he’d lifted a naked Seventeen from the heated pool and swiftly pulled her into a hidden cave behind one the many waterfalls.
Seventeen was speechless and stunned, as Mo Yuan who was unable to control himself, stared openly at her nudity. Seventeen stood with her back pressed against one side of the textural, cold, damp rocky wall while Mo Yuan held his back pressed firmly against the wet stone wall on the opposite side. Seventeen’s first shock faded as a small smile curled up the sides to her full lips. Si Yin was barely covering her full delectable breasts and enticing womanly mound with her little hands while staring at a red-faced, blushing Mo Yuan with a glimmer in her eyes.
Mo Yuan finally snapped out of the bewitching spell of seeing Seventeen nude, turned his back and faced the wall to give her privacy. Mo Yuan took off his top robe, threw it towards Si Yin without turning back. Mo Yuan heard a dull thud when the heavy garment landed on the ground. Mo Yuan felt the unexpected rush of fast-moving blood, circulate throughout his body as the scorching heat radiating from his skin. The emotions he’d been masking threatened to surface as he continued and focused on repressing his male urges. Calmly, he reminded himself that Seventeen was no different from his child. Si Yin was his daughter. Mo Yuan repeated his silent private mantra of restraining until he’d composed himself.
Mo Yuan said, “Seventeen, cover yourself with my robe instantly. Do you hear the other disciples’ voices out there? Your secret identity was almost revealed today most shockingly. How can you behave so carelessly? Have you no fear?”
The running water made it difficult to hear Mo Yuan’s soft tone, but the echo of his voice could be heard only by her.
Seventeen asked, “Shifu, why are you not at all surprised by my true appearance? Did you know I was a girl? How long have you known?”
Mo Yuan asked, “Seventeen, have you covered yourself?”
Si Yin replied she had so Mo Yuan finally turned back to face her. Seventeen was wearing Mo Yuan’s large robe around her petite body but hadn’t tied it closed, so it revealed her most of her ample breasts and Seventeen’s smooth, silky legs were fully exposed. Mo Yuan felt a prickling heat on the surface of his skin similar to a heat rash spread. He suddenly felt overwhelmed by the heat, humidity, and damp surrounding of the hidden cavern. Mo Yuan wasn’t able to concentrate and couldn’t remember what he’d been about to say to Seventeen.
Mo Yuan’s hidden suppressed desires were slowly reaching the critical temperature of 212°F (100°C) boiling point below his cold, restrictive and restraining surface. Mo Yuan diverted his eyes but saw Si Yin slowly walking towards him from his peripheral vision. Mo Yuan breathing quickened and became unsteady, jagged. Mo Yuan slightly flinched when he felt Seventeen’s tender hand reach and softly caress his cheek as she asked,
“Shifu, I know you’ve known about me being a woman since the beginning. I’m sorry to have worried you today considering you’ve just come from seclusion. Why didn’t you just cloud jump back to Kunlun with me? Why did you bring me in here to this secret place?”
Mo Yuan’s facial expression was emotionless as he replied in a scolding tone, “Well, I couldn’t have shown up in Kunlun Mountain with a naked woman in my arms. Could I? What if someone saw me appearing with you undressed in your room? How would I explain myself? If I took you back into my room in your current state and a disciple happen to be in there then what should I have said? Seventeen, you are a woman without clothing. By the way where are your clothes? You should hide immediately with Zhe Yan’s spell. Si Yin, you’ve put me in a very precarious and dangerous position. Have you considered how uncomfortable and awkward I feel right now?”
Seventeen’s eyes reflected her hurt as she softly replied, “Forgive me Shifu for being inconsiderate again. It seems all I do is cause you nothing but trouble but Shifu; I need to ask you……don’t you feel anything towards me other than fatherly love? Is that your honesty? Is that why you took the holy thunderbolts in my place?”
Mo Yuan’s voice still stern and unfazed replied “Seventeen conceal your female appearance immediately. I’m not going to ask you again. I don’t want this to become a reoccurring thing. Once is plenty. I’m embarrassed and abashed by your reckless behavior.”
“Shifu, you still haven’t answered my question. Am I nothing but a daughter to you? Don’t you feel anything else when you see me like this?” Seventeen softly asked as she deliberately dropped Mo Yuan’s robe to the ground exposing her nudity fully to Mo Yuan. Seventeen was touching Mo Yuan’s face again as Seventeen’s dark; inquisitive eyes were searching for an answer in Mo Yuan’s gaze which remained unchanged while the dormant male beast in him savagely threatened to surface and take control.
Mo Yuan deliberately lifted Seventeen’s hand by her wrist, pulled it off his face, dropped it and he replied firmly in the same fatherly tone, “Si Yin, get dressed and find your way back to Kunlun on your own.”
Mo Yuan watched Si Yin wince from his stern refusal. Seventeen’s hurt visible and obvious. Her big, chestnut-colored eyes darkened and filled with unshed tears, but Seventeen continued to smile softly. Si Yin slowly handed Mo Yuan back his robe.
Seventeen’s voice was cracking, and her voice suddenly sounded distant as she said, “Shifu, it wouldn’t look right if you appear outside your chamber without your robe. I’ll wait for everyone to leave, and retrieve my clothing. I’ll return to Kunlun Mountain afterward, and I won’t bother you again, ever. I fully understand you and your feelings for me now. Forgive me for my unacceptable behavior.”
Mo Yuan’s heart felt as if it had snapped in two pieces when he saw Seventeen sit on the cold damp ground, pull and hug her legs close to her chest. Seventeen turned her face away from Mo Yuan, but she was crying silently when Mo Yuan cloud jumped and left Seventeen alone in the secret cave.
Mo Yuan returned to Kunlun Mountain and couldn’t forget the hurt expression on Seventeen’s face. The noticeable sadness in her tone when she heard his refusal. The image of Si Yin hugging herself and silently crying from Mo Yuan’s harsh rejection.
Mo Yuan wanted Seventeen. Mo Yuan’s body ached to hold Seventeen’s nude body against his. Thinking about the smoothness of her soft skin against his was maddening. Mo Yuan ran away because Mo Yuan knew without a shadow of a doubt he would have taken her, back in the secluded cave, unable to hold back his true feelings any longer. He was only mere seconds from confessing the truth that he hid even from himself to Seventeen.
Mo Yuan recalled how gorgeous she looked nude before him. Seventeen’s soft but searching gaze, the gentle touch of her hand and Seventeen’s beautiful body that begged and pleaded to be taken by him. Seventeen was obviously offering herself to Mo Yuan because she wanted him. What man in their right mind would refuse Seventeen? Someone insane like Mo Yuan. Mo Yuan, a complete idiot full of remorse and regretting his actions and his lack of movement. Why hadn’t he just followed his heart and body instead of repressing and restricting himself?
Mo Yuan realized he was an utter fool. He was a complete simpleton. Unworthy to be the ‘Master of Anything.’
While the Mo Yuan’s troubled mind, heart, and body were engaged and waging a silent internal battle another war was brewing; The Ghost War was about to become an issue in reality and not the words of intimidation and threats.
to be continued…………..