Only after Mo Yuan’s refusal of Seventeen’s love did he realize Seventeen was either black or white. She without shades of gray until that day behind the waterfall. In an instant, Seventeen took back all her love and affection; she’d had showered Mo Yuan with for the earlier 20,000 years. There’s wasn’t any going back. Seventeen determined to change her heart and did successfully. The only thing stronger than her stubborn streak was the intensity of her heartbreak.
Mo Yuan broke Seventeen’s heart.
Seventeen abandoned her hopes of gaining Mo Yuan’s love and matured into the of an ideal model of a Kunlun disciple. Seventeen behaved like a man and identically to her fellow brothers. Mo Yuan longed for Seventeen’s presence the more she kept her distance from him. Her answers were brief and polite, but nothing more. Si Yin’s eyes no longer followed Mo Yuan’s every movement instead Mo Yuan’s eyes were full of Seventeen, and he saw nothing else.
Seventeen’s gaze didn’t show any desire for Mo Yuan as it had in the past, rather it was Mo Yuan’s gaze that was full of passion and hunger for Seventeen. Seventeen had taken Mo Yuan’s words of rejection and refusal and ingrained them deeply into her heart while Mo Yuan’s heart continued to overflow from his unspoken yearning and love for Seventeen.
Their wishes, desires, and positions, swapped and ultimately reversed.
Many nights, Mo Yuan wondered, wasn’t it he who wanted to become only Seventeen’s paternal counselor, but why did her lack of female attention break his heart so? Why did his world suddenly feel so empty and cold? The warmth of her sun-like affections vanished, and cold, dampening, rain cloud took its place. Mo Yuan regretted his foolish rejection of Seventeen’s love daily, every hour, every minute, and every second.
Only after Seventeen withdrew her offerings of affection from Mo Yuan, did he realized his grand mistake. Zhe Yan was right when he warned Mo Yuan. Mo Yuan’s mistake in declining Seventeen was the biggest error Mo Yuan made in his life.
In this position of an unbalanced love, Mo Yuan coexisted with Seventeen for another three hundred years in Kunlun Mountain.
Seventeen’s father Bai Zhi, the Fox God, came to Mo Yuan for advice. Mo Yuan purposely delayed and advised against marriage for Seventeen when Bai Zhi brought up the subject of his daughter’s future.
Mo Yuan said, “Seventeen still has much to learn and would only benefit from staying at Kunlun longer.”
Mo Yuan explained Seventeen would be a better Queen for Qingqiu if she remained at Kunlun Mountain as long as Bai Zhi would allow.
Bai Zhi trusted Mo Yuan’s opinion emphatically and never questioned Mo Yuan’s intentions. Mo Yuan sometimes, no almost always, felt guilty for misleading his long time friend, and school mate since Mo Yuan’s reason for keeping Seventeen beside him was purely selfish. Mo Yuan wasn’t ready to let Seventeen go. Mo Yuan hadn’t lost hope yet. Mo Yuan harbored a secret, burning love for Seventeen that couldn’t be smothered and only blazed with more intensity with the passing of time.
Mo Yuan accepted the lonely pain of one-sided love to be his karma and retribution for not fully appreciating and recognizing Seventeen’s affections sooner.
During this time, Seventeen gained another female companion. Xuan Nu a sister of one of Seventeen’s sister-in-law’s sister. Xuan Nu was a sister of a sister seeking refuge from an unwanted marriage. Xuan Nu didn’t want to marry a Bear Spirit and hid from her mother at Kunlun Mountain.
Si Yin also obtained an admirer. The Second Prince of The Ghost Realm. Qing Cang’s second son, Ji Ling. Ji Ling youthful romanticism led him to leave everything behind to gain Seventeen’s love. Li Jing set up a temporary residency at the base of Kunlun Mountain and waited for Si Yin to come to him.
Mo Yuan silently watched as Seventeen fell in love with Li Jing. Mo Yuan caught her writing down reasons and things she wanted to say to convince her parents of her desired marriage to Li Jing. Seventeen kept and cherished the love letters, hand-made wooden animal figures, and poems written by Li Jing in her treasure box in her room. Seventeen treated Mo Yuan as if he as her father. She no longer craved or desired Mo Yuan as a man.
Li Jing’s love for Si Yin was genuine, but as the child, he was, Li Jing was easily swayed. Seventeen lost her female companion and new love on the same day when after being seduced and persuaded by Xuan Nu, Li Jing took Xuan Nu back to the Ghost realm and married her. Si Yin cried bitterly for days and stayed in a drunken haze. All the disciples thought Seventeen was upset about Xuan Nu leaving since Seventeen appeared as a man in their eyes, this made sense to them. Since only Mo Yuan knew of Seventeen’s true gender, he was the sole person able to console as Seventeen as a woman. A female whose heart was broken by a man and not the other way around?
Mo Yuan was in seclusion when he sensed a subtle disturbance; Mo Yuan was so in tuned to Seventeen, he felt her heartbreak even while in seclusion. Mo Yuan came out of his retreat earlier than expected to comfort his heartbroken disciple. He found her in the wine cellar staring out the window. Seventeen’s little body in the same position as when Mo Yuan left her in the secret cave. She hugged her knees close to her chest and cried silently. Seventeen heard Mo Yuan, turned her body, wiped the tears from her eyes and forced a smile on her face.
Seventeen asked, “Shifu, when did you come out of seclusion? I thought you’d be in there for a couple more months.”
Mo Yuan sat next to Si Yin on the sitting platform and replied, “I was worried all my wine was gone. I didn’t expect to see any left on the shelves, so I’m proud of your self-restraint. My little Seventeen seems to have grown up as a result of her heartbreak.”
Mo Yuan reached to touch Seventeen’s shoulder, but she pulled away to avoid his touch. Mo Yuan instead put his hand on his lap.
“Seventeen, in life one experiences many loves and this was your first. That’s why it hurts so much. Trust me; you won’t even remember that silly boy’s name in a few years. He had the sense to recognize you, but he was shortsighted. You’ll meet someone better.” Mo Yuan said tenderly in his soft voice.
Mo Yuan heard Seventeen sigh deeply as she sadly replied, “I must not have luck in love. It appears any man I love either reject me or leaves me behind. I must be unworthy of a man’s love. Maybe, I just marry a bear spirit or stay the unmarried Queen of Qingqiu. It seems I’m not fated or deserving of romantic love.”
Mo Yuan’s heart ached more than heart-broken Seventeen when he heard Seventeen say she was unlucky in love. Si Yin now questioned her worthiness for love. Mo Yuan couldn’t think of anything to say, so Mo Yuan sat silently beside her and waited for Seventeen to say something else.
Seventeen wiped the tears running down her face and asked, “Shifu, tell me about The Bell of the East Emperor. I heard about it when I was in the Ghost Realm.”
Mo Yuan took a deep breath and told Seventeen all about the creation of The Bell Of The East Emperor and why it was now in the Ghost Lord’s possession. The Bell was once a sign of peace; Qing Cang’s threat to use it to win a war against the Celestials was a well known and always looming menace. Mo Yuan being the creator and the only one who could control, The Bell of the East Emperor, once it was activated had the power to destroy heaven, earth, and all living thing. Mo Yuan mentioned there was a particular spell to seal and reseal the bell since it was a required every 70,000 years. Their conversation grew disheartening, so Mo Yuan thought of a way to cheer Seventeen up and asked,
“Seventeen, how about a trip to Celestial Heaven? You haven’t seen Ye Hua in years. I’m sure he’s grown a lot. Aren’t you curious how much that tiny baby has grown in 300 years?” Mo Yuan could see Seventeen’s spirits lifting, so he added, “I was invited to attend an assembly hosted by Lord of Numerous Treasures.” said Mo Yuan.
Seventeen responded, “Shifu, you never attend or accept those invitations. You dislike all the chatter and complain you’ve heard the same complaints and stories for hundreds of thousands of years.”
Mo Yuan gave her a little smile and replied, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen Donghui Dijin. I can visit with him briefly while I’m there. Donghui Dijin might know more about Qing Cang, and Star Lord Si Ming seems to know about everything. Well, Seventeen, will you be my date for the day?”
Seventeen smirked at Mo Yuan and said, “I usually don’t date older men like you, Shifu, but I’ll accompany you as long as it’s not a date.”
“Do you want to go or not? I can take Zi Yan or Ling Yu.” Mo Yuan teased back.
Seventeen giggled as she replied, “Yes, Shifu, I’ll go with you. I’m curious to see Ye Hua and see how big he is now. He’s 300 years old now.”
Mo Yuan smiled. Si Yin when happy was the shiny and sparkling Seventeen, he was in love with and had been in love with for over 20,000 years.
While Mo Yuan was attending the assembly, Si Yin walked around the Nine Heavens. She’d been given direction how to get to Crown Prince, Ye Hua’s place of residence, but she got lost and walked in the same circle for almost two hours. She was considering cloud jumping back to the entrance and starting over again when she felt a little pull at her white robe. Si Yin looked down to see a small boy child dressed in gorgeous shades of blue. He was a handsome little one with beautiful eyes and full baby cheeks.
Si Yin knelt down and asked, “Do you know how to get to Crown Prince Ye Hua’s residence?
The little one’s somber facial expression was one of someone much older and unfitting on his small head. His voice was soft when he asked, “Why are you looking for Crown Prince Ye Hua?”
The small boy then asked with a blank facial expression, “I’m Crown Prince, Ye Hua. Kunlun disciple, why are you dressed like a boy when you’re a girl?”
Si Yin’s eyes flew wide open as she looked around to make sure there wasn’t anyone else around. She asked, “Crown Prince, Ye Hua, how do you know I’m a girl? How did you know I was a Kunlun Disciple?”
Ye Hua answered Si Yin with the same blank expression, “I can see it. You are one of my brother, High God, Mo Yuan’s students. You’re a fox, and you have nine white tails. I only have one tail. I’m a black dragon.” Ye Hua stated before adding, “Your concealment spell isn’t very effective. If I saw through your magic, I know High God, Mo Yuan knows you’re a girl. Why does he keep you at Kunlun Mountain? Do you do all the cooking and cleaning? You look prettier as a girl. Why do you dress like a man?”
Si Yin still kneeling so she was Ye Hua’s eye level. She replied, “Crown Prince, Ye Hua, this is our little secret. Hush, you mustn’t say anything to anyone else.” Si Yin looked around and asked, “Were you playing out here with your friends?”
Ye Hua replied, “I’m not allowed to play. I have to study most of the time. I don’t have any friends except my cousin, Su Jin who talks too much, so I don’t like her. I don’t normally talk to people. Kunlun Disciple, who is a girl. Are you married yet?”
Si Yin lightly giggled. Ye Hua was adorable with his serious face more fitting on an adult and his little soft voice. His voice tickled her ears. Si Yin replied, “No, I’m not married yet why do you ask, Crown Prince?”
Ye Hua took a step towards Si Yin, so their faces were just inches apart. Ye Hua whispered, “Kunlun girl disciple, don’t get married until I’m grown up. Promise me you’ll wait until I’m old enough to get married. I’m going to marry you, and you’ll become my Princess Consort. Can I touch one of your fluffy tails?”
Si Yin replied straight-faced, “Crown Prince Ye Hua; you can’t feel any of my tails until we’re married. I’m not that kind of girl.”
Ye Hua shifted his eyes upwards and stared off into the distance as Ye Hua put his index finger on his bottom lip. Ye Hua looked as if he was thinking about something important as he met Si Yin gaze and stated without any expression,
“Kunlun girl disciple, this is a Royal Order. You must wait at least 50,000 years for me to grow up so we can get married. We’ll be able to do the all the things I saw in the book Cheng Yu gave me. I’m going to touch all nine of your white, fluffy, tails on our wedding night.”
Si Yin held back her laughter as she stared at Ye Hua silently. Ye Hua’s expression intensified, “If you don’t accept the Royal Order, I’ll tell everyone that you’re not a boy, but a girl fox with nine white tails.” Ye Hua threatened.
Si Yin put her arms together, bowed and replied back seriously hiding her smile, “Yes Crown Prince, Ye Hua, I will comply with your Royal Order. What other choice do I have?”
Ye Hua smiled for the first time and said, “Don’t let anyone else touch your any of tails or I’ll transform into my dragon form and eat them.”
Si Yin struggling to hold back her laughter replied back seriously, “Crown Prince, Ye Hua, my tails are yours. All nine of them so don’t go around eating anyone.”
Ye Hua whispered, “Kunlan girl disciple what is your real name? I need to know so I can find you again.”
Si Yin leaned in and whispered softly in Ye Hua’s ear, “I’m Bai Qian from Qingqiu. It must be our little secret. You mustn’t tell anyone.”
Ye Hua silently nodded that he understood.
Si Yin stood and straightened her robe when she saw her Shifu, Mo Yuan walking towards them. Ye Hua immediately rounded his arms together, bowed and said, “Crown Prince, Ye Hua, of Celestial Heaven greets High God, Mo Yuan, Master of Kunlun Mountain, God Of War, and honorable older brother.”
“Ye Hua, call me your older brother or High God Mo Yuan. That’s a long title to say, and it’s also a long one to listen to. I see you’ve met Si Yin, my Seventeenth disciple. I thought you would be wandering lost, Seventeen.” Mo Yuan teased softly.
“Seventeen was lost, High God, Mo Yuan, but I found her.” Ye Hua got very close to Mo Yuan and signaled for Mo Yuan to lower himself to Ye Hua. Mo Yuan bent over and met Ye Hua’s gaze when Ye Hua said, “High God, Mo Yuan, we both know Seventeen is a girl, but as the Master Of Kunlun, please make sure to keep an eye on Seventeen.”
Mo Yuan let out a tiny chuckle at his younger twin and asked, “Why Ye Hua?”
Ye Hua glanced shyly at Si Yin and then met Mo Yuan’s gaze and boldly stated, “Because she’s going to be my Princess Consort. I must return to my studies.” Ye Hua rounded his arms, bowed to Mo Yuan again and then to Si Yin.
Mo Yuan watched his little twin walk away. Ye Hua had grown considerably since the last time Mo Yuan saw him last. Mo Yuan looked at Si Yin and asked, “What was Ye Hua talking about?”
Seventeen giggled and said, “Crown Prince, Ye Hua is young, but Ye Hua is your twin, Shifu. He instantly saw right through Zhe Yan’s concealment spell. Ye Hua made me promise to marry him when he grows up. Ye Hua asked if he could touch my tails. Could you imagine something so mischievous coming out of a little boy’s mouth? What a rascal.”
Mo Yuan sighed deeply and replied, “Yes, Ye Hua and I are twins. I would have wanted to do the same thing when I was his age. It’s your fault for kissing your golden lotus so often Seventeen; now he’s trying to marry you and touch your tails.”
Mo Yuan and Seventeen saw a crowd of Celestials walking towards them. Heavenly Lord’s expression was one of panic. He rushed up to Mo Yuan and said, “Mo Yuan, Qing Cang has just declared war against The Celestials! We are at war, and he’s planning of activating The Bell of the East Emperor. Mo Yuan, you must stop him before he kills us all.”
Ghost Lord, Qing Cang was done with warning threats of intimidation and he’d finally declared war on the Celestials.
to be continued……………