Ye Hua’s expression was one of absolute devotion, pure love and utter worship. As if she were the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, walking out of sea-foam. He gazed at Bai Qian in total reverence.
How was she going to endure three weeks of his irrational lunacy?
Ye Hua asked out of genuine interest, and there wasn’t a hint of falsity on his face. He was dead serious. “How does it feel to be back home, Su…Qian Qian?”
She choked on the bite of food in her mouth and looked at him astonished. Ye Hua’s outer appearance was deceiving. Considering his level of madness; he seemed quite stable. But then Bai Qian reminded herself to never judge a book by its cover.
“It feels like a dream. Seeing you back in our house, eating beside me as we used to, it feels like our second honeymoon.” Ye Hua whispered in his soft voice.
Bai Qian carefully studied Ye Hua’s expression of boyish exuberance, openly displayed with his gleeful smile. He was ecstatic. She finally understood the meaning of ‘ignorance being a bliss.’
While Ye Hua exuded utter happiness, Bai Qian wondered quietly, if his delayed birth and being a lotus for too long, was the cause of his confused mental state. She considered it a waste of precious youth, as she slightly shook her head, and clicked her tongue repeatedly at him. Indeed a pity.
She reminded herself that one must always remain empathetic, kind and generous especially to those in suffering. If anyone was hurting; it was Ye Hua. His delusional illness was an invisible but fortunately reversible disease.
Bai Qian could understand how being trapped in a flower for hundreds of thousands of years, could make someone a little off center. An aftereffect of being in the Kunlun Mountain’s pond for a prolonged period, Ye Hua’s brain was waterlogged.
Naturally, that made perfect sense to her.
Judging by Ye Hua’s profound state of misconception; Bai Qian expected there would be much frustration in her near future. She concluded the next three weeks were going to be extremely challenging. Had she not already ascended to High Goddess, she would consider he to be a part of her heavenly trial.
A trial of endurance, patience and compassion.
Rather, she deemed it somewhat unfortunate there wasn’t a higher level of ascension. ‘Bai Qian, The Highest Goddess Ever,’ had a lovely ring to it. Her Shifu, Mo Yuan would be so proud of her.
Gently, Bai Qian placed her chopsticks down on top of the rice bowl. She raised and extended both arms overhead, to display her extreme sleepiness and yawned dramatically.
“Ye Hua, I’m exhausted. I didn’t sleep well last night, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to rest. We’ll continue our conversation tomorrow.” Bai Qian requested in a tired voice that reflected her fatigue.
Ye Hua was so eager to please her. Instantly, he popped up and eagerly led Bai Qian by the hand, to the small antique styled, bamboo framed bed. He sat and lightly patted the red wedding blanket with his palm, and a coy smile on his lips.
Was Ye Hua expecting them to sleep together? Privately, she fretted unsure what to do.
Sensing Bai Qian’s distrust and hesitation, Ye Hua clarified, “Just you. I’m fine with the floor.”
She hastily glanced down at the hard wooden floor where Ye Hua said he’d rest. Bai Qian knew he’d never slept on the floor before…ever. And she certainly didn’t want to sleep in ‘his and SuSu’s bed’ either.
Bai Qian forced an artificial smile on her face and replied politely, “No, the bed belongs to your wife, and I’m fine with the floor.”
“Qian Qian, that is your bed. You’ve slept on it for years. I insist you take the bed. I’m fine. In fact, being with you is enough for me. Honestly.” Ye Hua responded sincerely.
Bai Qian determined, yes, the next few weeks could very well be torturous and uncomfortable. Putting up with Ye Hua’s confusion might be much more than she’d bargained for, and infinitely more challenging than she’d anticipated.
In all honesty, she was tempted to leave. Bai Qian’s first thought was cloud jumping home. Instead, she calmly reminded herself to breathe and alone told herself to remember why she was with Ye Hua. She wanted to cancel their engagement. Immediately.
Also, she was a benevolent, magnanimous High Goddess, here to remedy her Shifu’s confused younger brother mistaken reasoning. But mostly, no, solely to avoid an unwanted marriage. Clarification was necessary and needed to end hers and Ye Hua’s engagement since he’d stubbornly refused to cancel their promise to marry.
A mutual cancellation would clear both clans of restitution, and debt especially if she’d mistakenly married Mo Yuan, while officially engaged to Ye Hua. If word got out of her inebriated blunder, she’d be the laughingstock in the immortal world.
Bai Qian acted indifferently, but in reality, she was quite sensitive to how others saw her. She preferred to be known as Gugu, the revered, highly respected High Goddess, then the alcoholic, promiscuous aunt everyone ridicules.
Bai Qian involuntary shuddered at the sudden fear that flashed in her head. What if she becomes pregnant from the night before? A worrisome thought she never considered until that very moment.
Three weeks of mistaken identity in exchange for an eternity of un-obligated freedom was well worth it. The sheer idea of living in Celestial Heaven forever, made her throw up in her mouth a little. The Celestials were such a snooty, uptight bunch of pretentious snobs with too many rules and regulations.
Without a particular reason, Bai Qian despised Heavenly Lord with a passion. A genuine hatred for a man she’d only met once. She’d prefer to jump off Zhuxian Terrace, rather than humble herself to Ye Hua’s grandfather, Heavenly Lord. The thought of kowtowing to him made her blood boil.
Putting up with Ye Hua for a couple of weeks was a small price to pay, in exchange for not having to deal with the Celestial Clan.
Patience, inhaling deliberately through her nose, Bai Qian considered her years at the Temple of the White Horse extremely useful. She repeated silently to herself, the mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum,’ invoking the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of 觀音 Guanyin, the embodiment of compassion.
Ye Hua’s soft-toned voice politely asserted, “Qian Qian, I’ll take the ground. Remember, I asked you to stay with me not the other way around. This place is our home.”
“Also, you’re much…well…90,000 years older than me, and might not be able to move tomorrow, if you sleep down there. It’s best if you roll off the bed and this way I’ll catch you. The hard stiff wood might hurt.” Ye Hua’s whimsical tone had a hint of subtle teasing.
Bai Qian wasn’t as enlightened as she perceived herself to be. Not even close. Ye Hua’s offhanded comment about her advanced age was highly offensive and annoying. One single snarky remark about her lengthy lifespan, made all her schooling from the monastery useless in a matter of seconds.
Also, the way Ye Hua pronounced ‘hard, stiff wood’, made Bai Qian question if he was referring to himself or the floor. Frankly, she was too weary to argue and even lazier, to set up a bedding area on the floor.
She took the bed without another word and suddenly didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty, making Ye Hua sleep on the ground. Since he’d brought up their age difference, he could sleep on the floor like the puppy he was.
But she did cringe in aversion at the sight of the red satiny marriage quilt. It felt bizarre. Morally incorrect and indecent to use two different marriage blankets, two nights in a row, with two different men even though she wasn’t sharing it with Ye Hua. The fact remained they were still sleeping in the same room.
No, Ye Hua could have it all to himself. He looked thoroughly thrilled when Bai Qian passed it to him, handling it cautiously as if it was a dirty diaper instead of a beautiful piece of bedding. He lovingly held it to his chest as if it were a precious treasure.
Instead, Bai Qian tucked herself into the bedding to create a pocket of insulation and privacy, similar to a makeshift sleeping bag. Forcefully, she shoved the material around and under her body until she felt mummified.
She closed her heavy eyelids, too tired to keep them open. Bai Qian yawned repeatedly and said in her sleepy voice, “Tomorrow, I need to go back home for a bit. My shif…”
Instantly furious, Ye Hua snapped, “My Shifu!? Why do you need to check in with Mo Yuan? Qian Qian, he’s not your husband, I am!”
“Ye Hua, you’re not my husband and I’m not SuSu. Once we exchange our stories, everything will become crystal clear, and you’ll come to the same conclusion.” Bai Qian returned, but his resolute, determined expression made her feel as if she were talking to a brick wall.
Ye Hua’s absolute, unwavering conviction was slightly amusing, considering Bai Qian didn’t know who her husband was. She sighed profoundly thinking about her challenging task at hand. How was she going to cure him of his misguided, irrational demand?
She yawned again wearily and continued groggy toned, “My shift in plans. Ever since my heavenly trial…my family has become more particular. Me vanishing without a trace for years, and returning sightless didn’t go over very well.”
Yawning, Bai Qian rolled on her right side, held the blanket with both hands up to her chin, curled up and was out like a light. Just like Ye Hua remembered.
The miraculous, wondrous sight of Bai Qian peacefully sleeping in their bed made him blissfully. Even intoxicated. Watching her beautiful resting face, Ye Hua, for the first time felt fortunate that he’d only had to endure 300 years without her.
Ye Hua and Bai Qian’s first night back in their little thatched hut, would be the last night he’d sleep comfortably. Thoroughly different from his utopian fantasy, he didn’t have the slightest clue, what was in store for him.
When she accepted his terms to cancel their wedding, they both agreed but had entirely different motivations and goals. He’d planned to seduce Bai Qian’s body and make her fall in love with him again, while she’d intended to change Ye Hua’s mind so he wouldn’t want to marry her. Completely contrary.
Ten Miles of Peach Tree Woods
It was right after sunrise when Bai Qian awoke, and Ye Hua was still fast asleep. Quietly, she cloud-jumped from the bed on Mount Junji back to Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. At the fast speed of light, the moment she appeared on his radar, Zhe Yan was beside her in a fraction of a second.
Quite odd, considering Zhe Yan was usually a late sleeper. It was surprising to see him awake so early, but then Bai Qian realized, he’d probably been waiting up for her, since the day before. It was obvious; he’d been anxiously awaiting her arrival.
The dazzling spark in Zhe Yan’s eager eyes and the little sly smirk said everything. He was dying to talk, and Bai Qian was dying to know what he knew.
“Xiao Wuuuuuuuu? I’ve been waiting for youuuuu.” Zhe Yan’s happy singsong voice sounded jaunty and cheery. His voice was as sweet as honey.
Without even taking a single breath, in swift succession, Zhe Yan interrogated excitedly, “Where have you been? What happened the other night? What did you and Mo Yuan do? What are you going to do now?”
Bai Qian displayed her best poker face and replied coolly and indifferently, “I went to the banquet. What about the other night?”
“Come with me Xiao Wu. I’m not sure if you had a chance to truly appreciate the grand scale of things fully…before you ran away like a bandit. I was soooooo impressed with your decorative skills.” Zhe Yan was ecstatic and giddy with delight.
He was relishing her every humiliating second. Bai Qian couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen Zhe Yan this exuberant. Openly giggling enthusiastically interested, and excited like an impatient child on Christmas morning. Almost frantic.
Joyfully with great exhilaration, Zhe Yan dragged Bai Qian back to the scene of her crime. The site of an evening of drunken debauchery with Mo Yuan.
The manner in which Bai Qian’s facade of neutrality broke, and crumbled from the disturbing picture was instantaneous. It was shocking but even more so the second time around.
When Bai Qian awoke next to her Shifu, in bed naked after a night of total inebriation, she took a quick stunned glance and ran away mortified in complete disbelief. But re-examining everything with sober eyes was utterly shocking. She was speechless.
Transfixed, Bai Qian unblinkingly stared at the wedding chamber themed room, in silent terror and unable to breathe. She hyperventilated and experienced a massive panic attack. Oh, the horror of it all!
Everything inside Zhe Yan’s hut was scarlet, crimson, vermilion, cardinal, ruby-red and matched the shade of Bai Qian’s mortified face perfectly. The walls, ceilings, floors and objects inside the festively decorated room shouted out one word ‘Marriage’.
Zhe Yan hadn’t touched a single item, and it was all outrageously still there, arranged just as she’d left it. The visible, apparent, visual evidence from the intoxicated night of living la vita loca was unbelievable.
Even in her extraordinarily dumbfounded and humiliated state, Bai Qian privately marveled at how she’d performed such detailed spells so wasted, that she’d passed out drunk.
Without a doubt, Bai Qian knew it was her magic that created the crimson wedding chamber. It was too elaborate, grandly extravagant and overly decorated. A man wouldn’t have been so imaginative especially not her Shifu. Not even Zhe Yan.
Bai Qian knew in her heart; she was the guilty offender. Yes, she’d raped her defenseless Shifu, Mo Yuan. The interior designing, wedding and seduction were all unquestionably her handy work.
Zhe Yan snickered, squinted his narrowed gaze at her slyly. He playfully threw his arm over Bai Qian’s shoulders. Waving his other towards his hut with a slow sweeping hand movement, he asked in an inquisitive tone, “Xiao Wu, what happened the other night?”
“With you and Mo Yuan, I mean? Xiao Wu, give me the juicy details.” Zhe Yan clarified in his surgery toned voice.
It was tiny but a small window of opportunity, to trick Zhe Yan into a trap appeared. Bai Qian devised to respond to him with the same rhetorical question and prayed he would spill the beans. He may not know everything but still, he knew more than she. A move of reverse psychology.
Bai Qian asked in a playfully taunting tone as if she were withholding something from him. “Zhe Yan, what did you think happened?” The ultimate bluff.
Zhe Yan turned to face her. He held Bai Qian’s shoulders with both hands, and closed the distance between their faces. Silently, his eagle eyes scrutinizing and examining, scanned her face for a long time. His gaze darted from her one eye to another rapidly.
After a lengthy examination, he nodded his head ‘yes’ and declared with absolute certainty, “You don’t remember anything!”
Falsely, Bai Qian chortled at his absurdity and responded lightheartedly. “Of course I remember, but some things shouldn’t be shared with others, Zhe Yan. Private things.”
Zhe Yan smiled, nodded his head ‘yes’ again to show he understood, and returned politely, “Xiao Wu, you’re right, I shouldn’t ask such intimate things. Yes, somethings between married couples should stay with just them.”
Bai Qian exposed her ruse and blurted astounded. “Oh no! We truly married each other!? Is Shifu my husband?! Is that what Shifu said!?”
“Ha! You don’t remember anything, do you? I just caught you redhanded Xiao Wu! You don’t have a clue what happened that night!” Zhe Yan declared.
Zhe Yan continued in his taunting tone while wagging his index finger at Bai Qian, “By the way Xiao Wuuuuuu, I saw how you bit Mo Yuan on the part of his body, that is ooooonly accessible with-out-clothes. You scandalous naughty little vixen! He could barely move after you had your way with him.”
“Xiao Wu, you’re just like your mother! I know from personal experience. What will you tell your parents?” Zhe Yan winked and his bellowing laughter boomed throughout the quiet peach orchard.
Bai Qian’s voice shriveled up into a tiny squeak. She whispered in thorough humiliation, “Zhe Yan, what did Shifu say? I can’t believe it, but I don’t have a single memory from that night. What did you put in the wine?”
Mortified by her unbelievably awkward situation, Bai Qian’s face reddened to the same shade of a Scarlet Ibis. She dropped her head towards her feet and stared blankly at the ground. How was she ever going to face her Shifu again?
Zhe Yan stated “I warned you not to touch the wine. It was a lethal aphrodisiac for Bai Yi, your second brother. He didn’t want anyone to find out about it, that’s why I told you not to drink it.”
Bai Qian abruptly dropped to the ground. She lowered her head to her bent knees, and banged her forehead repeatedly against them. Hard.
Looking up at Zhe Yan with a worried expression, Bai Qian said in a low, hushed voice that reflected her remorse, “I’m sure I did it all. I must have forced my celibate Shifu to marry me and then I jumped him. It was all my fault! I probably took advantaged of him while he was sleeping.”
Pounding her forehead against her knee bones, Bai Qian whimpered, “Maybe I used an enchantment spell, to make him do something he didn’t want to do? Does my Shifu hate me? Am I banned from Kunlun Mountain?”
“I forced my poor Shifu to break his honorable vows for world peace. What if a war occurs and the world comes to an end because of me and my lust? I’m going to hell or even worse; I’m going to end up a mortal again! This time forever for raping the Master of Kunlun Mountain.” Bai Qian sobbed pitifully.
Ridiculously, Bai Qian imaged her violated Shifu sadly sobbing, curled up and in a fetal position, after her licentious physical attack. There was some truth to her mind’s picture, and Mo Yuan was crying even howling but…not in a fetal position.
She plopped and threw herself flat on her back out of self-disgust. Mumbling and cursing herself into condemnation for her lewd unrefined behavior.
Zhe Yan barely held back his laughter, and watched Bai Qian’s entertaining mental breakdown most amused. She was so clueless about how Mo Yuan felt about her. Privately, he believed Mo Yuan probably seduced Bai Qian first. Zhe Yan knew him better than most, and there was a side of Mo Yuan others weren’t aware.
After a few moments, Bai Qian stopped crying and wiped her tears from her face. Thrusting her hand out towards Zhe Yan, she requested he help to pull her up with a pained expression on her face.
“Did you hurt yourself just now? Did you hurt your ankle when you fell? Did you bang your head too hard on your knees? Where does it hurt, Xiao Wu?” Asked Zhe Yan out of genuine concern.
Bai Qian looked up at Zhe Yan with a distressed look and responded weakly, “No, I didn’t hurt myself, but I’m sore from the other night.”
Instead of pulling Bai Qian up, Zhe Yan abruptly dropped and collapsed to the ground beside her. His body folded over in half while in a bout of uncontrollable hysteria. His arms tightly wrapped around his waist twitching and shaking, he appeared to be suffering from a seizure.
What was a seriously upsetting issue to Bai Qian and Mo Yuan, was the best thing he’d witnessed in hundreds of thousands of years.
An inebriated impromptu marriage and unplanned, unprotected sex while under the influence of a potent love potion, between Mo Yuan and Bai Qian were downright hysterical! The fact that neither could remember made it that much funnier. It was the buttercream icing on the cake. Delicious!
Wiping the tears from his eyes, Zhe Yan finally pulled himself together and asked, “Xiao Wu, what now? Are you going to Kunlun Mountain?”
“No! How can I go there?! Are you crazy? I have to return to the mortal realm. Ye Hua is waiting for me.” Bai Qian’s response flew out of her mouth at lightning speed.
“Zhe Yan, you were right. Ye Hua became extremely distressed after seeing me. He sincerely believes I’m his dead wife, SuSu.”
Bai Qian continued to clarify her unusual situation and explained, “Ye Hua has agreed to cancel our arrangement, only if I spend three weeks with him. Zhe Yan, don’t forget. You can’t utter a single word about anything. At least not until we cancel of our engagement and if Shifu asks, please just tell him what I’ve told you.”
“Oh! Alright then. No worries Xiao Wu. I can do that for you. I’ll merely tell your husband, Mo Yuan, that you’re with your fiancé, Ye Hua, his younger twin, for the next three weeks. He’ll love that!” Zhe Yan tossed out sarcastically.
But then an amazingly visible transformation occurred right before Bai Qian’s sight. Quite similar to watching a pupal turn into a butterfly but in super accelerated motion. Zhe Yan’s face.
Zhe Yan’s disbelieving and astonished facial expression of ‘Xiao Wu, have you lost your damn mind?’
Turned into one of deep reflection and contemplation. That appearance of deliberation then shifted into a look that read ‘This isn’t going to end well.’
Finally, a sly sneaky smile converted into an overly enthusiastic excited toothy grin from ear to ear. Zhe Yan’s final expression silently conveyed, ‘I’m a fire starter!’
Like a puff of smoke, Zhe Yan instantly disappeared. He didn’t even bother to stand. From Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms to Kunlun Mountain, he cloud-jumped, faded and vanished immediately from the position where he sat. Dying to tattletale to Mo Yuan about Bai Qian being with Ye Hua.
Zhe Yan loved theatrics, and this story was the peak of extreme drama at it’s finest.
To be continued…..