Most immortals, when brought back from their mortal trials, experienced the feeling of profound serenity. The warm, familiar sensation of being returned where they belonged but for Ye Hua, it was a shocking, horrifying jolt. He awoke in a total state of fright and looked terrified to be back.
Ye Hua’s mortal trial was over and he was home, but Celestial Heaven which no longer felt like heaven or home to him.
“Ye Hua, I sent you so you’d suffer and instead, you marry a mortal! You even go as far as to impregnate her!” Heavenly Lord spat while he sat in Ye Hua’s room.
Ye Hua immediately dropped on bent knees and begged, “Heavenly Grandfather, she’s waiting for me. She doesn’t know where I’ve gone.”
Heavenly Lord cold expression remained, “The woman knows you’re gone. I left her a note explaining she should go as well. Just forget her, and you’ll marry Bai Qian of Qingqiu when she comes out of seclusion. She will become your wife and Princess Consort.”
“A note? I refuse to marry Bai Qian because I already have a wife.” Ye Hua firmly stood his ground.
Heavenly Grandfather scoffed and replied, “The human? Once mortal trials are over, all ties are also severed. Your human marriage isn’t valid. You know the rules.”
Ye Hua kowtowed and begged, “Xiao Wu is carrying my child. I love her. Please, Heavenly Grandfather, allow me to bring her here. She’s my soulmate.”
“Soulmate!? Ye Hua, the mortal woman married a mortal man who no longer exists. Ming was a temporary alias and not who you truly are. I’m disgusted to see you beg on behalf of a mere meaningless mortal woman. You know how I feel about men losing their minds over women!” Heavenly Lord stared him down with his indifferent stone gaze.
He continued, “Ye Hua, I don’t trust you so I’ve sealed your magic and grounded you are for the next year! My guards have been stationed all over Xiwu Palace so you can’t leave.”
Immediately Ye Hua looked terrified when he whispered, “One year in Celestial Heaven will be 365 years in the mortal realm. Xiao Wu will be gone by then. I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye.”
“Yes! My point actually. The mortal will be gone and Ming the mortal’s bloodline should be nonexistent by then. Spend the next year to reflect on your unruly unacceptable behavior and when your year is over, perhaps Bai Qian will come out of seclusion.” Heavenly Lord stood, glared at Ye Hua with eyes full of contempt and disappointment. He shook his head at him disgusted.
Ye Hua challenged, “Have you ever seen Bai Qian of Qingqiu? Is she so important and stunning that I must abandon my wife who is carrying my child? What makes her so unique that I must marry someone I don’t love?”
“I’ve yet to see her but if she’s anything like her mother, I’m sure she’s stunning. However, even if she looked like a goblin, Ye Hua, you will marry her! This wedding isn’t about love but politics! Foolish boy!” Heavenly Lord spat and angrily walked out of his chamber.
At first, Ye Hua was desperate and tried to use his magic but his magic was sealed. He thought of Xiao Wu watching, waiting for him and felt as if he was dying. A day went by and he cried thinking about her, the love of his life having his baby without him.
One miserable day turned into two, then an agonizing week crawled by and Ye Hua thought about his child being seven years old. He wondered if Xiao Wu returned home and married another, or even worst what if she died during childbirth?
Tears ran down his face as Ye Hua considered Xiao Wu probably believed that he’d left her, and if so did she hate him? A week of distress passed and a month of suffering came to a bitter close.
After a month, he was allowed a visit from his Third Uncle. At his wit’s end, Ye Hua despairingly asked Uncle Lian Song to visit Mount Junji, even though he knew thirty mortal years had passed.
He openly wept to hear the hut no longer remained, and Uncle Lian Song said only the burnt outline of its foundation was all he found. Ye Hua prayed Xiao Wu wasn’t there when the fire occurred.
During his year in confinement, Ye Hua often awoke at night and prayed. He begged when he opened his eyes, he would be back with Xiao Wu but unfortunately, he always woke up in Xiwu palace alone.
In solitary confinement, he sobbed in silence when flashes of her flooded his mind. Xiao Wu’s beaming smile, her gentle touch, her melodic laughter haunted him always.
The bittersweet remembrances of how her silky skin felt against his, falling asleep to the sweet taste of her beautiful breasts in his mouth. The excruciatingly painful knowledge, he’d never be able to make love to her again made Ye Hua mad to the point of insanity.
The terrible year came to an end and slowly, Ye Hua tried to accept she was gone. After all, 365 mortal years had passed and Xiao Wu was long gone and buried in the cold ground without him.
And his child…his baby, Ye Hua never saw even a glimpse of his or her face. Inwardly he suffered in agony as he wondered if the baby looked more like Xiao Wu or himself? His eyes watered whenever he thought about a baby girl looking just like her. His princess.
In secrecy, Ye Hua even pressed Star Lord Si Ming to search for Xiao Wu and the baby’s fates. He was highly guarded with his knowledge of mortals but took pity on Ye Hua, because Ming the mortal was fated to live much longer. However, Heavenly Lord became aware of him taking a wife, and had Ye Hua’s mortal trial ended much sooner than it was supposed to be.
So, Si Ming looked into Xiao Wu and the baby’s future but the news wasn’t one Ye Hua expected. Si Ming couldn’t find anything about either. His only explanation was perhaps the baby was never born and died instead.
Star Lord Si Ming said when a mortal’s fate is too short, that there had been instances where there wasn’t any information about them. He stated he believed Xiao Wu and the baby quickly died after Ming’s death hence the lack of fates for them.
How utterly heartbreaking. Ye Hua wept for weeks as he questioned, if his sudden disappearance caused Xiao Wu and the baby’s deaths? She was so sick when he saw her last and perhaps his abrupt missing was more than she could endure.
When his sorrowful year of captivity came to an end and he was finally able to leave Nine Heavens. The first place he returned to was the location of his humble home that was his happiest place, and only discovered the outline as Uncle Lian Song said. Ye Hua magically recreated the little thatched hut that held his fondest memories of his love. His soulmate who was Princess Xiao Wu.
During Bai Qian’s first year of pregnancy, she stayed in seclusion and never left Qingqiu. Her pregnancy was a well guarded secret within the Fox Clan. In that time frame, she was tempted many times to abort the baby in her womb but always backed out at the last moment.
Unable to kill another breathing creature who’d frantically clung on to survive after she’d starved it for weeks. The profound stress of Bai Qian’s silent heartbreak led to profuse bleeding, but against all the odds the baby held on for its life. So, who was she to kill something so desperately fighting to exist?
She barely ate for months because anytime something he used to cook appeared on the table, the rage in her throat rose like bile and she couldn’t take a single bite. Instead, Bai Qian vomited for days.
In the second year of pregnancy, Bai Qian began to make minor appearances in public again. She wore flowing gowns to hid her growing baby bump. One night unable to sleep, she oddly found herself at the location of her ultimate downfall and most significant mistake in her eternal life.
She almost fainted when she saw the hut still standing after she’d torched it herself. Bai Qian didn’t care how it happened but she again burned it to the ground, and reminded herself the entire time she was NEVER in love. She merely used the nameless mortal for his seed to create HER child.
It was utterly baffling and Ye Hua looked around in shock. Who was the vile demon that kept burning down his sacred home? He’d purposely carefully recreated it piece by piece from his sweet memories.
During the second year after his mortal trial came to its bitter heartbreaking end, he’d rebuilt his hut over a dozen times. However, Ye Hua returned every month to discover it torched to the ground. He assumed it was purposeful and malicious, but questioned who would take the time to barbecue the home after every one of his careful rebuilding?
He religiously returned every month and recreated it. One day while he sadly sat reminiscing under the tree in the front yard, Ye Hua carved her name ‘PRINCESS XIAO WU’ in a heart on the trunk of the pine tree. The following month he was furious to find someone had deliberately taken the time, to cut out the words ‘GO TO HELL’ underneath his markings of love.
There were close calls. Ye Hua came close to discovering the arsonist, because once he’d arrived while the cottage was still ablaze. However, he sensed strong cultivation and energy from an older immortal High God. So, he believed it might be his grandfather who was purposely destroying it, and swiftly vanished before he was found.
He’d also discovered Bai Qian of Qingqiu wasn’t in seclusion but hiding her pregnancy. Ye Hua was entirely aghast when Heavenly Lord told him that he would be marrying her either before, or after the birth of her lovechild. Their wedding would occur as soon as she was ready.
Ye Hua firmly refused at the sheer audacity of his grandfather forcing him to marry a pregnant woman, after he’d been so tragically torn apart from Xiao Wu who was carrying his child. He told his grandfather that he refused to marry a woman with a child, and become a stepfather to a fatherless baby. He didn’t care that this child might grow up to be the next Fox Emperor of Qingqiu, and he expressed his strong opinions most freely.
His outright defiance caused Ye Hua to become grounded again but this time he didn’t care. There wasn’t anyone waiting for him accept a burnt down hut on Mount Junji.
It was an absolute battle of will but some bastard kept rebuilding the cursed place of her ruin. Every month Bai Qian returned it was back as if she’d never burned it to the ground. It was so perplexing; she strolled around the yard confused how the hut could still be there, after she’d personally toasted it over dozens of times.
One day something new caught her eyes. She saw ‘PRINCESS XIAO WU’ in a giant heart nicked into the trunk of the giant pine tree in the yard. She wondered when the hell did that demon mortal scoundrel have time to do such a thing? Putting his lie so boldly for others to see. His shameless insolence was limitless!
She questioned how did she not notice before and what a damn mockery it was her grandest mistake in life. She was tempted to burn the tree down but saw all the animals who used it as their home, so she carved ‘GO TO HELL’ underneath instead. She spat on the tree and kicked dirt at it in anger of her wasted year, and her precious virginity at this cursed disgusting place!
Still outraged from seeing the tree and rebuilt hut, Bai Qian grumpily stomped into the fox den. Her father was leisurely smoking his pipe and smiled when he saw his daughter.
Her father said, “Tomorrow you’re meeting Tuzi, no, I mean Mo Yuan.”
“High God Mo Yuan? As in the Master of Kunlun Mountain Mo Yuan? Why?” Bai Qian demanded.
The Fox Emperor smoked his pipe and angrily answered, “I’ve heard from my private sources in Nine Heavens that Ye Hua, that brat heard you were pregnant and refused to become a stepfather to perhaps, the future Fox Emperor for all he knows! That jackass of a child! He doesn’t know a gold egg laying goose when he sees one!”
Bai Qian firmly planted her hands on her expanding hips and curiously asked, “Father, have you ever met Ye Hua?”
The Fox Emperor scoffed and responded, “No! He’s Mo Yuan’s twin! So, I’m sure he looks like Mo Yuan! Why should I meet him? All marriage talks have been done with Heavenly Lord. This matter is more about our clans politically joining than a simple wedding. It’s more advantageous for the Celestials to marry us than the other way around! Ye Hua should be on his hands and knees begging to marry you!”
“I don’t know. From what I’ve heard, I like Ye Hua’s strong convictions. It’s commendable that he sticks up for himself and goes head to head against his grandfather.” Bai Qian snickered humored as she considered a 50,000 years old Crown Prince was appropriately behaving his age.
“Mo Yuan would like to meet you and perhaps you could charm him into marrying you. Daughter, I know you can be charming when you want to be.” The Fox Emperor smiled innocently.
Like a dying cow, she wailed and curtly replied, “My child doesn’t need a father. I can be both so stop trying to find a husband for me. I’m almost due and you want me to go on a blind date?”
“But the child needs a positive masculine role model. It’s so unfortunate that he or she will be fatherless. Plus, Mo Yuan is expecting you so it’s rude not to go, Qian Qian!” He countered.
She smirked and spoke, “He or she has four High God uncles. How much more of an influential male role model does he or she need? I’ll meet High God Mo Yuan out of respect…but don’t get your hopes up!”
“Wear your yellow dress! You look striking in bright colors! Tuzi has always preferred bright colors on women and you’ll earn some extra points.” The Fox Emperor suggested with a sincere smile on his face.
Bai Qian snort and replied, “I’ll wear black like I’m going to a funeral. Because making me – a pregnant woman who is almost due – meet High God Mo Yuan to grovel for a father for my bastard child is close to death!”
Yes, she’d go to Kunlun Mountain as instructed, but Bai Qian decided to make a fool out of herself in front of High God Mo Yuan.
To be continued…..