After SuSu’s startling revelation, she didn’t withdrawal her love from Mo Yuan instantly. He was SuSu’s first and only love as he was for Seventeen. SuSu and Seventeen were the same person, but there was a difference in their ability to cut people from their lives.
Seventeen was born into wealth, power, and fame. She was the only High Goddess in the world and a Queen. She never questioned her worth and considered herself to be the crown jewel in a treasure chest among semiprecious stones. She felt herself more than worthy to be the wife of High God Mo Yuan. Seventeen in an instant could cut anyone out of her life, even Mo Yuan. If she felt or sensed the slightest doubt or sign of being used or wronged. Seventeen would separate all and any bonds without hesitation or a second thought. For her, retraction of her affections was a form of punishment to the affected person.
SuSu however, was born to nothing with empty hands. She didn’t even have a name before Ye Hua. Her life was blank, void, and lacking. SuSu was carrying the baby of a beautiful, powerful, Immortal God of whom she felt utterly unworthy. Almost shamefully, she believed herself to be the ugly pupa in a world of beautiful butterflies. SuSu never had to cut ties because she didn’t have any connections to sever. She couldn’t stop her feelings for Mo Yuan in an instant, even though she felt used. For SuSu, parting from another felt like self-penalty that would leave her alone, again.
SuSu’s separation from Mo Yuan was gradual since this was her first time. Her deliberate disconnection from him works in progress because she still wanted and loved him.
At first, it was unnoticeable as SuSu continued to play the role of Mo Yuan’s wife. She shared his bed. SuSu allowed Mo Yuan to take her as often as he wanted, even though she knew he was making love to Seventeen, not SuSu. She hid her feelings and acted as she did before she learned she would have to vanish for Seventeen to return.
One evening after making love, Mo Yuan rested his head on SuSu’s chest and tenderly caressed her large stomach. She was down to her last two weeks before her due date.
SuSu asked, “Mo Yuan, must I return to immortality? Can’t I stay as I am now? Why can’t I remain mortal?”
Mo Yuan smiled and said, “SuSu, you must return to your original place. You were born into immortality. An accident caused you to become a mortal. You’re coming home.”
“So…SuSu was the result of an accident? Was SuSu a mistake? Will Seventeen remember me after I’m gone? Where will SuSu go when Seventeen returns?” Asked SuSu.
Mo Yuan stroked her belly in loving circles and replied, “I don’t know if you’ll have your mortal memories. SuSu will go back to where she came from. SuSu will also return home.”
“What will happen if I leave and go back into the mortal realm after the baby is born? Will anyone be able to find me if there isn’t any immortal life-force in my body?” Asked SuSu.
Mo Yuan held SuSu’s face with both hands and asked with a little smile, “Do you have a hidden mortal lover I don’t know about? Do I need to worry about you running away with a mortal man now?”
Mo Yuan covered SuSu’s entire face with little tender kisses.
SuSu thought about Mo Yuan’s response. Her lifespan had been only three years, before that she didn’t exist. So she would return to nothingness. SuSu would fade away and disappear inside Seventeen as Ye Hua told her. Her heart ached from Mo Yuan’s casual, nonchalant response and tone of voice. He wasn’t sad about SuSu leaving because Seventeen would return to him. Seventeen was the only one in Mo Yuan’s heart from the start.
Mo Yuan leaned in and kissed SuSu with more passion. He touched and fondled her breasts. SuSu felt Mo Yuan’s stiff readiness against her leg. He moved down and sucked her breasts before entering her. While he was inside her, Mo Yuan repeated how much he loved her. SuSu knew his words of love were to Seventeen, not her.
Yes. SuSu was an alternate backup, a substitute for Mo Yuan while he waited for his little Seventeen to return. She could never forget him but he could and would forget her. Heartbroken, silent tears ran down the sides of SuSu’s face. That was the night she finally tore and severed her feelings for Mo Yuan.
Mo Yuan couldn’t understand the sudden change in SuSu. One day, she was a bright, brilliant sunflower turning towards the sun in summer but overnight, she quietly withered like a pale white peony in the dead of winter. Suddenly, SuSu closed in on herself and retracted like an evening primrose during high noon on a sunny day.
Most days, she didn’t leave the bed. SuSu, who’d relished and loved being touched by Mo Yuan, now instantly jerked away. She avoided his hands as if they were flames that burned and scorched her skin. SuSu flat-out refused and denied Mo Yuan bodily pleasure. She’d enjoyed frequent intimacy with him for many weeks but now shut him down. Cold! She became a living, breathing ice cube. Now, Mo Yuan couldn’t lay a single hand or finger on SuSu, and through body language, she made it clear he was not to touch her.
Mo Yuan was confused. He was at a loss about how to appease or brighten SuSu’s depressed moods. Mo Yuan couldn’t figure out what had occurred for her sudden and unwarranted changes.
She also became blind, mute and deaf. SuSu stopped talking entirely. She was unresponsive to everyone including the disciples. SuSu no longer made eye contact with anyone. She stared off into space all day while tears silently ran down her face. Mo Yuan heard SuSu cried often, but she hid her tears from him. He saw the back of SuSu more than he did her face.
Overnight, SuSu raised an unbreachable protective barrier around herself. She placed herself entirely out of Mo Yuan’s reach.
It might have been Mo Yuan’s imagination, but SuSu recoiled as if in pain when he told her that he loved her. She left their room when he entered for the night. SuSu stopped sleeping with Mo Yuan completely and avoided him. Alternatively, she slept all day while he taught, and aimlessly wandered around Kunlun Mountain at night, in silence and solitude while he rested.
Her sad gaze lost and distant in a foreign place. An area SuSu rejected entrance to Mo Yuan.
Mo Yuan’s biggest concern was her lack of appetite. SuSu’s once insatiable cravings vanished, and she stopped eating entirely, so she became weak and frail. She looked pale and tired. She was agitated, restless, exhausted and wearied all at once. Mo Yuan watched her in silence unsure what to do or say.
Mo Yuan tried to lure SuSu with her favored foods. He brought her the juicy ripe fruits she’d once devoured and craved, but she touched nothing. Mo Yuan peeled them for her, but SuSu refused to accept anything from him. Not even a single bite. The fruit remained untouched and in the same place he’d left them.
At times, when Mo Yuan expressed his concerns and worries, SuSu’s replies were always identical in the same monotone voice.
She said, “I’m tired. I’m going to sleep. Don’t you have work to do? You should go and take care of your matters. I want to be alone.”
Mo Yuan heard SuSu immediately started crying when she’d believed him to be gone.
Helplessly, Mo Yuan watched his wife’s pregnancy glow vanish. Her rosy full cheeks grew gaunt, and her radiant complexion grayed and dulled. The advancement of her pregnancy was sucking the life from SuSu like a parasite to its host. She fell ill and slept for several days nonstop in a mysterious coma.
Mo Yuan’s heart broke, and he felt helpless.
Zhe Yan said to Mo Yuan that was likely to be hormonally related since SuSu was due in less than a week. He told Mo Yuan it was typical for the last weeks to be the most difficult. Zhe Yan also explained it was common for a woman close to her due date to become highly sensitive and easily irritable. He told Mo Yuan that it was normal for pregnant women to cry often.
Due to her self-starvation, SuSu lacked nutrients. Out of concern, Zhe Yan brought her particular revitalizing medicines he’d created for SuSu, but she wouldn’t drink them. She declined and refused anything to pass her lips. She defiantly fought Zhe Yan and turned away from him. SuSu refused to open her mouth. Without any another option, Zhe Yan used a spell to put her to sleep and force-fed the medication while she slept.
SuSu was slowly killing herself. Her irregular heartbeats were inconsistent and weak from self-deprivation. If SuSu’s delivery was strenuous and lengthy. There was a high probability she would die shortly after the birth of her child.
There wouldn’t be a need to turn SuSu into an immortal, and Seventeen would then return to immortality. Seventeen, the immortal, reborn in the wake of SuSu, the mortal’s death.
SuSu asked Zhe Yan in a weak whispered voice, “Zhe Yan, will the baby be like me? A mortal or will it be immortal and live forever?”
“Xiao Wu, your current mortal body is temporary. The child will live forever just as you when you return to immortality. You must take care of your body. You might have complications during childbirth if you continue this way.” Zhe Yan lectured.
Zhe Yan didn’t know this, but that was when SuSu decided she would leave her newborn child behind. She planned to disappear with Ye Hua. SuSu didn’t want to vanish and fade from everyone’s memories, especially Mo Yuan’s, whom she had fallen madly in love with, during her short time on Kunlun Mountain.
SuSu made her irrational decision in this perspective. Seventeen lived and enjoyed over 100,000 years of life while SuSu, only experienced three short years. The bitter injustice of Seventeen living and being loved by Mo Yuan for 70,000 years while SuSu, only sampled his love for mere months, felt like a fatal stab to her already broken heart. She convinced herself that his displays of love towards her were false and intended for Seventeen. Mo Yuan used SuSu while waiting for his little Seventeen.
SuSu felt used, jilted and bitter. She hated and resented Seventeen!
SuSu refused to resign herself to allow Seventeen to return, and enjoy the exquisite joy of being Mo Yuan’s adored wife. Experiencing blissful bodily pleasure with the man who deflowered her. Loving and raising the child, SuSu grew in her body for three years. She was pregnant the entire duration of her short existence. In SuSu’s mind, she questioned why should Seventeen gain everything, when she would lose all?
It was a combination of SuSu’s inability to grasp the concept of immortality, and her raging pregnancy hormones, but she was jealous and bitter of herself. Her immortal self. SuSu saw Seventeen as a separate entity. Seventeen was her nemesis that would steal everything from her when she returned. Due to her lack of understanding, SuSu decided to remain, so Seventeen couldn’t come back. Since it was either SuSu or Seventeen, she decided it would be SuSu.
Even if it were for only 60-70 years, it was better than relinquishing everything without a fight. Seventeen would be forced to remain dormant and wait for another 60-70 years for Mo Yuan’s love. SuSu deemed this to be just and fair. If she couldn’t have Mo Yuan’s love, either would Seventeen.
It was SuSu, who woke up alone in a strange place. It was she who starved, slept in loneliness, fear and froze during winter in a poorly built shack. SuSu suffered morning sickness for almost two years. It was she who cried from her solitary isolation. It was she who was a temporary substitute for Mo Yuan to use, and deceive while waiting for his beloved Seventeen. Seventeen never suffered for a moment and would be the recipient to all the fruits of SuSu’s three years of difficulty and labor.
After not speaking to Mo Yuan for weeks, when she said something to him, it was to request Ye Hua. SuSu wanted to see him.
Mo Yuan walked Ye Hua into his sleeping chamber. SuSu was resting and staring blankly at the ceiling in a daze. She saw Ye Hua and weakly reached out her small hand for him to come to her.
SuSu held Ye Hua’s hand when he sat beside her bed. She said, “Ye Hua, tell Mo Yuan to leave. I don’t want him here.”
Mo Yuan heard SuSu and couldn’t hide his hurt. Her behaviors were unbearable, but he recalled Zhe Yan’s explanation, and before Ye Hua could say anything to him, Mo Yuan begrudgingly left the room leaving SuSu and Ye Hua alone.
SuSu looked terrible. Her thick, luxurious hair was dull, flat and lackluster. Her full glowing skin was pale and ashen. Her cheeks looked sharp and defined from weight loss. SuSu’s stomach appeared even bigger due to her shrinking body which was thin and tiny. Much smaller. SuSu looked the way she did when Ye Hua first met her when she was sick every day.
SuSu’s voice came in a soft whisper when she said, “Ye Hua, I’ll go with you but after the baby is born. The baby is Mo Yuan’s child, and I don’t want any reminders of him or the baby. You told me about the water to forget, I want it. Otherwise, I won’t be able to look at you either. Every time I see you, I’ll think of Mo Yuan. After the baby is born, come the following night and we’ll leave then.”
Ye Hua’s emotions mixed. His selfish side overjoyed, but he realized the gravity and effect of his confession. His disclosure of SuSu’s reality and future caused something inside her to die that day. He’d killed her love for Mo Yuan. Ye Hua was also responsible for SuSu’s self-starvation, and her loss of faith, trust, and hope.
“SuSu, are you sure? Are you sure you want to do this? I shouldn’t have said those things to you that day. Forget it all SuSu.” Ye Hua said softly.
SuSu’s sighed so deeply it caused her chest to rise and fall. She closed her eyes and said, “No, you’re the only one who was honest with me. I’m so stupid. How can a mere mortal compete with a High Goddess Queen for the God of War? I don’t want to fade and vanish. At least not yet. I’ll go with you.”
SuSu turned her back to Ye Hua and whispered, “The night after the baby is born come and take me away. If you don’t come, I’ll leave by myself, and nobody will be able to find me.”
Heavyhearted, Ye Hua stood and walked out of SuSu’s room. He was on the clearing of Kunlun Mountain, and about to leave when he heard High God Mo Yuan’s voice.
Mo Yuan asked, “Ye Hua, what’s happening? Why did SuSu call for you? Why won’t she eat? Did I do something wrong?”
Ye Hua struggled to meet eyes with his brother out of guilt and remorse. Mo Yuan’s gaze expressed his sincere concern and worry. Ye Hua lied and replied softly, “SuSu’s tired from pregnancy. She’s due any day now. I think she’s frightened.”
“Why did she call for you? SuSu hasn’t eaten for almost two weeks. She’s making herself sick. Can’t you get her to eat something? You used to cook for her, was there anything she loved in particular? I don’t understand. SuSu was all right, and suddenly after that day you came, she hasn’t been herself. She won’t let me touch her. Is there anything you’re not telling me?” Asked Mo Yuan.
Ye Hua lightly cleared his throat. Never did he consider, SuSu would break to the point where she’d stop eating. Ye Hua didn’t know the extent of her love for High God Mo Yuan, suddenly, Ye Hua felt like an evil villain and a thief.
“SuSu called me because she’s just used to me being around more. She loved to eat everything, and I don’t know why she’s not eating.”
Mo Yuan squinted his eyes slightly in confusion, and slowly walked in the direction of the room he shared with SuSu.
SuSu stared at the ceiling until she saw Mo Yuan. She closed her eyes and turned her back to him. He sat beside SuSu and caressed the back of her hair when she said, “Don’t touch me.”
Mo Yuan whispered, “My love, you must eat some…”
SuSu abruptly cut Mo Yuan off and said curtly, “Don’t call me your love! I’m not Seventeen! What do you care if I eat or not? Get out!”
Mo Yuan said, “SuSu, you are Seventeen. You and Seventeen are the same person. Who else would be my love other than you? If you don’t eat, you’ll die, SuSu.”
SuSu laughed mockingly and replied, “I’m not Seventeen. I’m SuSu! What do you care if I live or die? Isn’t it better if I die, more convenient so your beloved Seventeen can come back! My purpose is almost complete as the surrogate, an incubator for your and Seventeen’s child. This baby is mine, not Seventeen’s. I carried it for three years, but I meant nothing to you. Get out and stop pretending to care about my well-being!”
Mo Yuan dropped his face in his hands. He was flabbergasted. Zhe Yan was right. Pregnancy was making Seventeen unreasonable. He didn’t know what else to say, so Mo Yuan reached out and stroked SuSu’s back when she yelled, “Don’t touch me! Don’t treat me like I’m your Seventeen! I’m not! I hate you!”
Mo Yuan was at a loss. The situation was ridiculous,
Mo Yuan attempted to explain, “SuSu, being jealous of Seventeen is like feeling envious about your reflection in the mirror. You are Seventeen. Seventeen is you. You’re making yourself sick by refusing to eat. What if you don’t have the strength for labor? My love…”
SuSu yelled, “Call me ‘my love’ one more time, and I’ll scratch your eyes out and jump off a cliff!
Mo Yuan shook his head dumbfounded. There wasn’t anymore he could say. SuSu was jealous of herself and threatened him with the same act as Seventeen did. She warned to scratch out his eyes just as Seventeen often did. Mortal or immortal, Seventeen’s temper and stubbornness were unchanged and the same.
Unknown to everyone, SuSu decided to leave Kunlun Mountain that night. While taking her usual evening walks, she looked below and saw the moonlit pathway. Impulsively, SuSu determined to depart that very moment. Why should she leave her baby behind? SuSu didn’t want Mo Yuan or Ye Hua. They were both the same in her eyes. She didn’t believe Ye Hua’s love to be genuine either. He saw her as his Qian Qian. Everyone saw someone else when they looked at her, and nobody recognized SuSu for SuSu. She was headed towards the clearing when her legs weakened and buckled. The pressure of her stomach lightened as a large splash of water drenched her dress and ran down her legs.
SuSu grabbed her painful, tightening stomach with both hands. She had her first contraction, and SuSu went into labor.
To be continued…..