For obvious purposes, the realm Qingqiu was Mo Yuan’s first stop of many and his first destination to confess everything. He hoped perhaps if Bai Zhi became aware of his actual, purposeful plans and how and why he’d become so intimately involved in Bai Qian’s heavenly trial. Mo Yuan hoped to soften the surprising blow, that he was Bai Zhi’s new son-in-law and mortal Bai Qian’s husband.
Maybe, his friend would look favorably upon him, and be slightly more forgiving for marrying his only daughter without permission. Mo Yuan would divulge all about the beautiful impromptu wedding, but the matrimonial consummation most vaguely as obscurely and generally as possible.
His palms were clammy due to nerves at the Fox den entrance in Qingqiu, when Migu, the tree spirit, greeted him warmly and his tone was cheerful as he chirped, “High God Mo Yuan. What can I do for you today?”
“Migu, is Bai Zhi inside?” Mo Yuan asked politely. He’d always felt fondly towards Migu, who had been with the Fox Clan for longer than he could remember.
Migu tilted his head slightly to one side, scratched it with his index finger and replied with a genuine smile, “High God Mo Yuan, the Fox Emperor is not here.”
He pondered perhaps Bai Zhi’s wife was inside and asked, “How about the Fox Empress?”
The broad smile vanished as he somberly explained, “The Fox Empress has taken ill and gone into seclusion.”
“Do you know when Bai Zhi will return? Where may I find him?” Mo Yuan’s soft, smooth voice concealed his tension.
He flattened out his mouth into a line, shook his head ‘no’ and replied without delay, “I’m sorry but I don’t know anything. Is it urgent? Shall I tell him you were here when he returns?”
“Please do so and send a message to Kunlun Mountain so I can meet him directly.” Mo Yuan requested barely hiding his disappointment and went to the next address on his list.
Bai Zhi’s eldest son’s home was his next stop. Then his second son, third son, finally his fourth son and the reply answering was the same at all four residences.
They were also not in their homes and the servants knew nothing about their whereabouts. Curiously, all Bai Qian’s sisters-in-law and their children were visiting their maternal parents’ houses, so Mo Yuan wasn’t able to speak to anyone.
As he’d done previously with Migu, he left the same request. To contact him immediately and to please send word to Kunlun Mountain at all four Fox dwellings.
Mo Yuan hit a wall, dead end and felt as if he were chasing his tail then thoughtfully deliberated where to go next. Zhe Yan’s orchard was his next stop, since he usually always stayed in close communication with the Fox Clan. If anyone knew where Bai Zhi or Bai Zhen could be, it would be Zhe Yan.
However, upon arrival, Mo Yuan noticed the rain in Ten Miles and his heart instantly dropped into his stomach like a boulder. Nervously, he assumed the worse judging by the cloudy weather in the usually bright glowing place, and as he’d expected. His brother, Zhe Yan, was most disconcerted.
Endlessly like a pouting teenage girl, he whined and complained that he’d failed to see Bai Zhen for days. Ever since Bai Zhi began searching for his daughter, all his sons had joined his significant crusade.
Mo Yuan heard the gruesome details of Bai Qian’s heavenly trial stunned the Fox Clan tremendously. Especially with her being the youngest and only female in the family. Zhe Yan explained the Fox Empress collapsed in shock, and had taken to her bed after hearing the distressing news about her daughter.
The disturbing, tragic circumstances of his daughter’s mortal life almost gave Bai Zhi a stroke, and it took all his sons to restrain their outraged father, who recklessly used his old Fox magic in the den blind with fury.
It was a dire emergency and entirely demolished was the Fox Den inside, so they called Zhe Yan to sedate him rapidly. On the day Bai Zhi finally stormed into Tai Chen Palace, wordlessly grabbed and almost choked Si Ming out with one hand. When he commanded to know the whereabouts of his daughter, Zhe Yan had already sedated him massively, but his hot Fox lifeblood overpowered the calming medicine.
Bai Zhi and Si Ming’s secret argument was a mystery and momentarily considering calmly Mo Yuan asked, “Zhe Yan, do you know what happened between Bai Zhi and Si Ming? What started all this animosity?”
Zhe Yan shifted his big round eyes back and forth nervously, he sighed and answered, “I do, but I promised Zhen Zhen never to repeat it!”
“You know I would never tell anyone. If anyone has the heaviest lips and the best keeper of secrets, it’s me. Did Si Ming come on to Bai Zhi’s wife? That’s all I can think of that would make him so begrudged.” Mo Yuan uttered with furrowed brows, because in his mind the reason behind their feud had to be substantial, and he knew Zhe Yan’s mouth was itching to tell him so he pressed on.
“How did it begin? What was the source of their argument?”
Carefully Zhe Yan glanced around a couple of times to make sure nobody was around. He excitedly licked his lips and mischievously snickered before he spoke.
Zhe Yan whispered and couldn’t keep the cheesy grin off his smiling face, “You know all about Bai Zhi’s OCD? Obsessive compulsive disorder?”
Yes, he knew. Mo Yuan nodded his head ‘yes’ because he was well familiar with Bai Zhi’s condition from an incident in school. They were playing football when he scored an unbelievable goal and he ran around euphorically. He flew towards Donghua Dijun for recognition, but Donghua was allergic to the grass and incidentally sneezed directly in Bai Zhi’s face. This unintentional action stopped the game immediately.
It could have passed as nothing but Bai Zhi had his mouth wide open and Donghua, who was holding the football with both hands didn’t cover his mouth. Meaning, he sneezed right into Bai Zhi’s mouth, instantly he ran off the field and went into seclusion for five months.
Along with his germaphobia, Bai Zhi also had an infinite infatuation with the number five. Five children. Five homes. Five swords. Five territories in Qingqiu. Mo Yuan couldn’t help but smile at his friend’s humorous quirkiness, and noiselessly prayed it wasn’t genetic.
Most entertained was he as Zhe Yan revealed the secret details of Bai Zhi’s conflict with Si Ming and stated, “OCD. Bai Zhi has had it since youth and maybe even born like that. Their surname is ‘Bai’ purity or white, they are a particularly fussy bunch when it comes to self-hygiene and cleanliness. It’s expected, understandable and natural because it’s in their Fox genes. In their DNA.”
“Well, apparently Bai Zhi was in Nine Heavens for an assembly and ran into Si Ming in the bathroom. I can’t believe I’m telling you this. Zhen Zhen would kill me but I know you would NEVER EVER share secrets. Which I admire and despise about you, Mo Yuan, but you already know that.”
“Anyhoo, while in the loo, Si Ming put out his hand to shake with Bai Zhi and he couldn’t touch him. Why? Because Si Ming didn’t wash his hands after emptying his hose!” Zhe Yan’s smile grew broader with every passing second.
Now all his teeth showed and he openly laughed out loud as he continued with his narrative.
“Bai Zhi didn’t want to come out and say, ‘Hey, you’re a dirty bugger and didn’t wash your hands after relieving yourself!’ So he merely said he wasn’t a hand shaker to be polite. Rudeness. General lack of manners he also greatly frowned upon. It all would have been fine but he shook many hands that day, and Si Ming apparently saw this and felt greatly offended.”
Mo Yuan chuckled in utter disbelief and asked, “Just because of that one incident all this war between them?”
“No, there’s more! The issue was; Bai Zhi said Si Ming stalked him at every assembly, followed Bai Zhi to the bathroom and the very same thing happened every time. After they both finished their deed and Si Ming wanted to shake Bai Zhi’s hand, he openly recoiled in disgust.”
“After the fifth time, you know about his thing with the number five, well, Bai Zhi came out and explained it was because Si Ming didn’t wash his hands. He feeling offense asked Bai Zhi why he was watching him so closely? Somewhat implying that he was staring at his Star Lord sword.” Zhe Yan laughed aloud and slapped his knee jovially.
“Of course, after being questioned about his manliness, a verbal altercation ensued and then, Bai Zhi’s second son, Bai Yi, went on his heavenly trial and we are all aware of what happened to him. Si Ming took his anger for Bai Zhi out on his son.”
Zhe Yan crossed his arms over his chest and stated, “Si Ming can be a bit pissy and petty like a woman. I know, I’m not in the position to speak such things, I know I’m pissy and petty. I don’t try to deny it.” Zhe Yan casually waved his hand causing the rain to clear, and the sunlight flooded his orchard spontaneously.
Mo Yuan laughed at the sheer silliness of it all but he knew Bai Zhi’s foul temper and stubbornness. He also knew of Si Ming’s mean, narrow minded and slightly vengeful ways. Mo Yuan had known Si Ming all his life, and believed his lonely single lifestyle contributed to his sometimes senseless gossipy behavior.
In all the years, never had Mo Yuan seen Si Ming take a lover, wife or show any interest in anyone but himself and perhaps Donghua DiJun. It was possible that he was still a virgin and behind his back, many referred to Star Lord Si Ming as Donghua’s pet because he followed him like a puppy.
A deep defeated sigh came from him, as Mo Yuan sadly realized Zhe Yan also knew nothing about Bai Zhi’s whereabouts. Out of other resources, it was time to go to his last resort and find Ye Hua. Possibly, he and Lian Song could steal Bai Qian’s story for Mo Yuan to see so he could find her. It was time for him to go to Celestial Heavens.
To be continued…..