Zhe Yan demurely and innocently fluttered his dark eyelashes at Bai Qian. His artificial angelic expression was unquestionable without a doubt, highly suspicious. She wasn’t the young fox kit that fell for every one of his childish pranks. She was a 70,000 years old white Nine-tailed Fox Princess and the succeeding Queen of Qingqiu.
“What’s the catch, Zhe Yan?” Asked Bai Qian with a cautious tone. She didn’t trust him. His pranks and capers never went as planned.
Zhe Yan coaxed, “Xiao Wu. You act as if I’ve deceived you repeatedly. I’m asking for such a simple thing. All you have to do is cast an enchantment spell and leave. What could be easier than that?”
Bai Qian’s eyes still narrowed on Zhe Yan’s face and questioned, “You’ll let me drink all the wine I want in exchange for one spell? What if the person falls in love with me? I’m not interested in a lover.”
Zhe Yan snorted amused and responded, “If he chased you that would make my life complete and meaningful! No, Xiao Wu. I can guarantee nothing will happen. It will just mess with his head for a few days. My friend has been celibate for hundreds of thousands of years. He’s highly cultivated and too controlled. Extremely rigid and set in his hard ways. He’s a bore like Donghua Dijun. I merely want to spice up his mundane life a little.”
She smirked untrustingly at him. He was a strange old Phoenix. Considering his age, he was quite immature. High God Zhe Yan the Medicine God was close intimate friends with her father, High God Bai Zhi the Fox King. Both were schoolmates from hundreds of thousands of years ago. However, casting a spell on someone dull like Donghua Dijun was enticing to even Bai Qian.
“Isn’t that mean? He’s purposely abstained from bodily pleasure and you want to mess with his head? Hm? Do you promise I’ll be able to drink freely without you complaining at me?” Bai Qian asked and stuck out her pinky which Zhe Yan swiftly grabbed with his.
Zhe Yan’s eyes sparkled with excitement as he advised, “Xiao Wu, it must be a massive spell. Not your average basic magic but an incredibly strong one. Regular spells won’t affect him.”
Bai Qian yawned and appeared bored as she asked, “Am I going to him or is he coming to me? Can I leave after casting one spell? Where’s the catch? Why do I feel like this is going to blow up in my face?”
Zhe Yan’s broad smile widened. His eyes gleamed in anticipation. He whispered excitedly, “No, you only need to come to Ten Miles of Peach Orchard. I’ll make the arrangements to get him here. All you do is cast, throw and go. So easy, Xiao Wu!”
With his hand firmly planted on his hips, Zhe Yan coolly added, “I’m offering you a deal you shouldn’t hesitate to accept. All the wine you could ever wish for in trade for a couple of minutes out of your day. Xiao Wu, you should be thanking me for such an exchange.”
Bai Qian stretched out on the peach branch underneath her resting body. She entirely raised her arms above head and yawned most lazily.
Closing her eyes, she nonchalantly mumbled, “Zhe Yan, I only need the time, date and I’ll cast a doozy of a spell.”
Zhe Yan eyes’ sparkled and a devious smile came to his lips. The thought of his stoic, abstinent brother, Mo Yuan being dazed by a Nine-tailed Fox enchantment spell made Zhe Yan giddy with anticipation. There was a high probability Mo Yuan wouldn’t be affected but it was a chance Zhe Yan was willing to take.
If only Mo Yuan freaked out, it would be epic. Snickering in euphoric anticipation, all there was to do was look forward to the day and getting him to come to Ten Miles of Peach Orchard. Then from a distance, Zhe Yan hoped to watch the most entertaining event, he’d seen in hundreds of thousands of years.
Pulling her legs tightly into her chest with arms crossed on her bent knees, Bai Qian quietly sat under a peach tree and hoped whoever this man was that he would be on time. Zhe Yan instructed her to be on time because this immortal was remarkably punctual and prompt.
Suddenly she felt the presence of another who wasn’t Zhe Yan. Bai Qian saw a shadow of a figure walking. Target sighted, she called a spell, casually threw it and stood to leave when a swift, powerful, blur tackled her body. It startled her to death. He came so quickly that all she could do was close her eyes tightly and braced herself for impact. Instead, she felt a mighty hand support the back of her head.
Protectively he held her and whispered somewhat playfully, “It’s dangerous to cast enchantment spells on strangers. They might not be a gentleman like me and you might get much more than you anticipated, young lady.”
How thoroughly embarrassed and humiliated she felt as crimson rose up her cheeks. Bai Qian’s flopped attempt was an ultimate failure. Without looking at his face, she swiftly vanished in a cloud vapor but heard a soft, amused chuckle from the anonymous man in Ten Miles of Peach Orchard.
Zhe Yan found Mo Yuan peacefully sitting under a large peach tree. In lotus position and quiet, reflective meditation. Zhe Yan couldn’t hide his disappointment, which reflected all over his sour face. Mo Yuan’s eyes closed with an expression of serenity, instead of one dazed intoxication from an enchantment spell. Zhe Yan’s predictions were correct; Mo Yuan was unaffected. He was too controlled and self-trained.
Mo Yuan sensed Zhe Yan’s appearance and gradually opened his eyes. Mo Yuan’s even expression remained unchanged but a subtle hint of an annoyance appeared on his face.
He sighed in exasperation and Mo Yuan remarked, “Zhe Yan, you know I hate wasting time and it’s rude not be present after making a stink about me having to be on time. I’ve been here waiting for quite a while.”
Zhe Yan straightened up his robe and replied, “I honestly aspired to be here but Zhen Zhen was extremely friendly today. You know how I feel about him. I can’t refuse him anything.”
Zhe Yan carefully scrutinized his expression and asked hopefully, “So, Mo Yuan, do you feel anything different than usual? Dizzy? Any erotic thoughts of women?”
It dawned on him, the mysterious goddess who’d tried to enchant him was another one of Zhe Yan’s ridiculous ploys. Mo Yuan barely held back the urge to roll his eyes at his brother.
Zhe Yan’s single twisted obsession in his immortal life, was his crusade to watch Mo Yuan surrender his life of celibacy and revert to life with carnal pleasure. Zhe Yan’s futile attempts were numerous, constant and with every failed effort, his pranks grew more absurd.
A couple examples of Zhe Yan’s endeavors were; he brought a vast gathering of enticing half-dressed female entertainers to Kunlun Mountain. To an all male school, he sent Mo Yuan beautiful courtesans and multiple servants. He even tried to drug him with potent aphrodisiacs, and he always had to be on his toes because Zhe Yan’s persistence was remarkable.
He failed to understand Mo Yuan’s vowed abstinence wasn’t for world peace, but he’d still to meet a woman that moved his heart. He had yet to fall in love in his hundreds of thousands of years of immortal life.
After a while, carnal pleasure with a woman Mo Yuan didn’t care for became boring, and meaningless hence his actual reason for abstinence. Throughout his life, women who wanted him were plentiful and never-ending. In his youth, he’d enjoyed a woman’s touch but soon grew disinterested after he’d bedded the female of his choice.
Again, he’d dodged another one of Zhe Yan’s traps. Privately, Mo Yuan was impressed with his tenacity. He tried to make a quick escape but Zhe Yan immediately caught his arm and held on for dear life.
Zhe Yan said, “Not so fast, Tuzi! You know Qingqiu is just right around the corner. Bai Zhi would be overjoyed to see you.”
“No, I’m going to return to Kunlun Mountain. I’m not in the mood for socializing.” Mo Yuan responded in his soft voice.
Zhe Yan put all his weight on Mo Yuan’s arm, clung to him and whined, “I’m going to tell Bai Zhi you were here and refused to go with me to Qingqiu! He’ll be furious with you!”
One of Zhe Yan’s favorite methods of persuasion was guilt which he used most brazenly and flagrantly. Mo Yuan exhaled sharply through his mouth, sighed and resigned himself when Zhe Yan cheerfully pulled him by his arm, sang a little, perverted rhyme that failed to make sense and turned them towards Qingqiu.
Bai Zhi was one of Mo Yuan’s oldest friends. He, Bai Zhi, Zhe Yan and Donghua Dijun were all schoolmates. They’d known each other for hundreds of thousands of years. Bai Zhi, the Fox King, was the only one who married and had a family out of the foursome. He had a large family. Four sons and one daughter. Mo Yuan last saw Bai Zhi’s children when they were young and his youngest daughter, Bai Qian was a newborn.
Mo Yuan wasn’t a friendly communicative person like Zhe Yan. He preferred his quiet, tranquil life on Kunlun Mountain. Showing up unannounced at other’s homes without prior invitation wasn’t Mo Yuan’s characteristic. He was a bit stiff, inflexible and preferred to follow a strict planned routine.
But whatever hesitation he had vanished when he saw Bai Zhi’s exuberant excitement. He was utterly delighted and almost came running when he saw them at the entrance of the Fox Den.
Bai Zhi raised his arms and waved them wildly with joy, “Mo Yuan! Is it my birthday? What a wonderful surprise!”
“I was in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms…” Bai Zhi briskly cut Mo Yuan off and declared, “So, Zhe Yan dragged you here! Well, it doesn’t matter how you got here as long as you’re here! Sit down. I’ll have some tea served or should we just start with wine?”
The Fox Emperor’s eyes sparkled with happiness and called out to his daughter to bring tea for the guests.
It always surprised Mo Yuan a little when he looked around the cozy Fox Den. It was understated and unpretentious like Bai Zhi. Others with his immense wealth would proudly display their prosperity with massive palaces, and luxurious homes but it was just like him to be humble. For an Emperor who possessed the most powerful and wealthiest kingdom of all the eternal areas, he was remarkably down to earth and modest.
“Mo Yuan, do you remember my daughter, Qian Qian? She’s the babe who urinated on your shoes!” Bai Zhi’s boisterous laugh filled the air.
Mo Yuan looked up to see a beautiful young woman with big chestnut-colored demure eyes. Her full lips reminded him of a tulip in bloom. In her long, silky, sleek, black hair, a simple silver ornament. Her gown, a vibrant shade of blue like that of a cornflower. Bai Zhi’s daughter was stunning.
Instant recognition dawned on him. Bai Qian was the mischievous goddess who attempted to enchant him earlier in the day. Now everything made sense as to how she became involved with Zhe Yan’s plan.
Bai Qian smiled and laughed falsely. Her voice sounded song-like when she spoke without looking at Mo Yuan, “I love when you tell that story, Father.”
Finally raising her gaze, she looked Mo Yuan in the eyes and spoke, “You must be the mysterious Master of Kunlun Mountain my father speaks of so often. I’m sorry that I urinated on your shoes. I’m house trained now so that won’t happen again.”
Mo Yuan tried in vain not to stare at her openly but a little smile came to his lips. He couldn’t believe the small ball of white fur had grown into such a lovely woman. She gazed at him blankly without expression, blinked and politely excused herself before stepping outside.
In silence, Mo Yuan sat and listened to what they always did whenever they got together. Bai Zhi and Zhe Yan fought. Their now drunken conversation was about when they fought over the Fox Empress’s affections. Hundreds of thousands of years but somethings remained very much the same and unchanged. They reverted to their school days whenever they were drunk.
It was the same conversation he’d heard over a million times. Using the excuse to get a breath of fresh air, Mo Yuan stood, excused himself and walked outside the Fox Den. Bai Qian who sat on the top step outside the den, looked up at him and smiled.
She said, “I was watching the stars. Did you get tired of their arguing also, High God Mo Yuan? That’s all they ever do when they get together. I’ve heard about their love battle a million times.”
Mo Yuan sat beside her and spoke softly, “They’ve always been like that. They would give each other the clothes off their backs but they usually bicker like sisters fighting over a dress, and I’ve heard about their love competition five million times at least! You’re lucky you didn’t have to witness it when it happened.”
“My father’s stubborn and Zhe Yan’s immature. They’re like oil and water. I think it might have been amusing to watch them fight over my mother in their youth!”
Bai Qian casually continued, “Just to give you an example of Zhe Yan’s childish behavior, would you believe he has nothing better to do than to have me cast a love spell on his friend? Someone who’s been abstinent for hundreds of thousands of years?”
Mo Yuan smiled and inquired, “An enchantment spell?”
Nodding her head ‘yes’ Bai Qian giggled lightly. She gazed at Mo Yuan and offhandedly stated, “I was supposed to be one of your disciples but Zhe Yan told me you refused to take a girl pupil.”
So casually she placed her hand intimately on Mo Yuan’s knee that made him flinched.
Bai Qian seemed not to notice and declared, “It might have been for the best. I was an unruly child. I would have made you look as old as my father. My father always told me I aged him and now I believe him. You seem very youthful for your age, High God Mo Yuan.”
“That’s a good thing, right?” Mo Yuan asked curiously.
Bai Qian’s dark eyes danced as she softly giggled. Her full lips turned up into a beautiful smile and her cute dimples appeared on her rosy cheeks. Playfully she slapped the inside of Mo Yuan’s knee by his inner thigh, which caused his eyes to widen with surprise. He was stunned by her friendly, comfortable and affectionate personality. Plus, the spot where her hand stroked tingled and felt distinctly heated from her touch.
Bai Qian snickered and confessed, “I didn’t expect you to have a sense of humor. I thought you’d be very solemn and dull and you don’t look as I expected. For some silly reason, I thought you would appear more fatherly with a long white beard but you’re quite, hmm, how should I put it…? Attractive. Yes, you’re very handsome.”
“I’m friends with your father and Zhe Yan. If I didn’t have a sense of humor, we wouldn’t still be friends. Thank you, Bai Qian. I haven’t been told I was handsome for hundreds of thousands of years. “Mo Yuan answered blushing ever so slightly.
She smirked and teased, “You would have heard it often had you taken me as a disciple.”
“You would have been my seventeenth disciple had you come to Kunlun Mountain. I feel silly not accepting you after meeting you, Bai Qian.” Divulged Mo Yuan.
Bai Qian sighed and replied, “Everything happens as it should. I must not have been fated to be your student. It’s all in the past now.”
Suddenly Bai Qian stood and clapped her hands together as if to indicate their conversation was through. She glanced back into the Fox den and announced, “I need to check on Father and make sure he didn’t drink too much. He always gets carried away when he drinks with Zhe Yan. High God Mo Yuan, it was a pleasure talking to you.”
“Mo Yuan.” He said.
Bai Qian looked bewildered and asked, “Excuse me?”
“Please call me Mo Yuan, instead of High God Mo Yuan.” He requested in his whisper-like voice.
His gaze was warm and gentle as he looked into Bai Qian’s inquisitive eyes. She smiled radiantly and looked even more beautiful to Mo Yuan’s eyes.
Beaming with a bright smile, Bai Qian charmingly replied, “I’ll try my best, High God… Mo Yuan.” She gathered her arms, bowed and walked back to her father.
Watching her walk away a strange thought came to his mind; Mo Yuan reflected what was this feeling? Bai Qian made his heart race, his stomach felt nervous and jumpy in her presence. Could he have fallen in love with her at first glance? Or was it merely her youthful exuberance which was somewhat contagious?
Either way, Mo Yuan felt something bubbling excitedly internally. An unknown new sensation he’d never experienced before and within him the first spark of profound curiosity kindled.
To be continued…..