Over the past tens of thousands of years, while the adults were too preoccupied trying to forget the past and living as if it never occurred. A-Li was the one who went against the grain. He did the very opposite of others because he was on an entirely different path alone.
The moment 報復 Bàofù became his new objective, he had new enemies to defeat. He also had the unique abilities to fight against them all and conquer. A-Li had everything he would need to prevail.
When he was young, A-Li merely believed his new magic was due to his mother’s tail alone but he was wrong. He quickly came to understand his great magic was because, he had the blood of both Dragon and Nine-Tailed Fox and he was Heavenly Father’s grandson. That potent mixture of blood ran, pumped and coursed through his veins. With his mother’s tail, he became the only Ten Tailed Fox with Celestial royal blood in the world and he was unbeatable.
A-Li knew from early on there wasn’t another who could defeat him. Not magically. Not his father, uncle Mo Yuan, mother or any of his Fox relatives could win against him. But somehow even as a child, he was intelligent and wise enough to hide his infinite abilities.
Nobody had a clue or knew his real level of genius intellect or his immense magical talents but him. It was an entertaining secret until he saw her memories, and finally understood why he was born this way with these benefits. He realized why he possessed these gifts. It was for a particular reason and that reason was none other than war.
Battle he was going into and his targeted enemy was Almighty Destiny. A-Li’s chosen nemesis was the fickle hand of fate, because he refused to play the game of life with the shitty hand fate dealt him. No. He rejected to accept his crappy destiny. So at the young age of 600 years old he already had a planned strategy, and a drafted order set into motion to bring his broken family back together again.
Because life was too unfair! He deemed life exceedingly unethical. In his mind, only the weak did nothing and silently accepted what they were doled out and given, but he was far from being a powerless weakling. Therefore he plotted, designed and executed everything one small move at a time to change destiny.
His reasoning was such by altering fate, he would reclaim his mother, his unborn baby sibling, fulfill his father’s long wished dream and help them live blissfully without past animosity.
A-Li would bring his ill fated parents together, to give them a chance at real happiness without other’s trying to separate and tear them apart. He would make certain his mother could love the man she loved but never admitted to him or herself until it was too late. He would make sure Chang’s delayed birth happened and let his father rest by putting down what he never desired but didn’t have a choice since birth.
The Throne. A-Li would take the title for him and become the next Heavenly Lord of Nine Heavens. Not only so his father could relax but because he coveted the commanding position. Crown Prince A-Li was the polar opposite of his father, and aspired to be the next Ruler before he was 1,000 years old. Early on he recognized that he held both his parent’s strength but lacked their weaknesses. He learned from watching their mistakes and came up with a flawless plot.
A-Li’s perfectly planned multilayered maneuvers needed patience, perseverance, time and luckily for him, he had 40,000 years to bring all his dreams to fruition. His many goals and aim, he would achieve all of them one at a time and steal back everything taken from him. But he also grasped the fundamental rule in life. He had to give to get and his first offering was the most painful. However, it was the starting point of his grand scheme already in play, so he bit the bullet and continued even though he was afraid of losing his mother.
His first self-sacrifice was the most difficult. It was the day he fed Zhe Yan’s potion to his mother to make her forget everything, and everyone including himself. A-Li knew she wouldn’t remember being his mother and that brought him such sorrow, but that was the price he was willing to pay to make her intense grief, guilt and remorse vanish forever.
A-Li was young but he was old enough to understand her difficult circumstances and painful experiences, were too extreme for her to overcome with her fragile heart and damaged mind. Dis-remembering all was the best option for her. It was primarily for her emotional comfort and stability.
However, it also evened out the playing field for his father, and that fact would one day serve its intended purpose in A-Li’s final design of reuniting his family. Because in his eyes, his father was always at a disadvantage due to their tragic history, when he removed her eyes during her heavenly trial. His father couldn’t forgive himself, so his position and stance were perpetually weaker than his uncle, Mo Yuan. But without any of mother’s past or memories, they were on equal footing for the first time.
Therefore, after 40,000 years, A-Li felt it was time for his parents to see each other and that day was her birthday. He arranged their ‘accidental’ meeting but never did he consider uncle Mo Yuan would act so swiftly. Not only did he catch her attention first but left a lasting memorable positive impression on her, because of his father’s delay.
Even with all his careful planning, the adults had a means of sabotaging and messing everything up in a blink of an eye. However, fortunately for A-Li, he also planned for such occurrences and quickly dealt with damage control. Now he was there in the mortal world to comfort his mother who was pouting.
His mother was sulking alone, silently drinking heavily with a sad, somber expression on her lovely face and A-Li knew the reason behind her depression. She failed to obtain uncle Mo Yuan’s heart as she’d hoped and he turned her away cold. He never gave her a chance to get anywhere near him and A-Li understood the rationale behind his cold, rude and hard behavior. His uncle behaved in this manner because A-Li made it happen.
The day was right after his uncle went to Qingqiu and delivered wine personally, but before his father spoke to her in the tea house. A-Li knowingly anticipated and predicted all the scenarios that could happen, went to Kunlun Mountain immediately to set up a counter strike.
A-Li was always many steps ahead of her and everyone else continuously. He’d guarded over his mother long enough to realized starved was she for any male attention, and he was right.
One lousy wink and smile from his old uncle made her fall for him, so A-Li dragged his handsome father to the tea house to hit on her. His father was a striking man and coveted by all the goddesses, so he expected his father to sweep his mother off her feet. However, to his shock, instead of flirting with her, his father readily agreed to assist her in winning uncle Mo Yuan’s affection like a spineless jellyfish.
It was somewhat humorous but A-Li had already reached out to his uncle, Mo Yuan, in secrecy. To plead, implore him to turn his mother away when she came to him. How did A-Li know what was going to happen? He just did. He knew everything before it happened and he knew precisely how to play everybody. With uncle Mo Yuan, he went for the direct strike to his compassionate heart. His uncle’s Achilles tendon was the golden lotus.
He begged his uncle to reject his mother’s affections for his and his sibling, Chang’s, sake. If A-Li had to have guessed by his uncle’s sad appearance, he was almost sure his uncle was going to decline his appeal. Because he precisely recognized the profound inner conflict, distress, struggles, desires in uncle Mo Yuan’s troubled and apprehensive gaze.
A-Li wasn’t requesting a minor favor but asking him to turn his back on the woman he loved, and still desired sincerely.
Uncle Mo Yuan in return asked for a few days to meditate on A-Li’s request, and said he would look for a sign of fate. However, he didn’t have the luxury of time and it was he who controlled destiny not the other way around. Therefore he created a sign of fate by turning Chang, the golden lotus, crimson before leaving Kunlun Mountain.
A-Li decided to give his uncle the chance to come to his conclusion, but he was ready to make his uncle change his mind if all else failed.
His uncle came out of seclusion the next morning, saw Chang’s sudden color change and formed his hypothesis from there. That theory became the foundation which made him encourage A-Li’s father to restart with his mother, and uncle Mo Yuan dropped out of the competition for her love abruptly.
Oh, sweet success. It should have been an easy win, but fate had a way of cheating too and sent his mother to Kunlun Mountain unexpectedly. She declared aloud that she liked his uncle in front of his father! Fate was a real bitch and always threw a curve ball!
But luckily for A-Li, his uncle was a man of his words. He would always remember his uncle’s selfless deed. One could only guess that it must have been difficult for him to keep her at bay, and send his beloved elsewhere repeatedly. After turning her away each time she came to him, in the end, uncle Mo Yuan went into seclusion to hide from his mother and his feelings for her.
Uncle Mo Yuan disappeared. His mother drank while his father worried about her from a distance. A-Li wondered how the world would continue if he weren’t present and keep everything in check. He donned his most aloof character and approached her finally.
“QQ, why does it appear as if your rose-like life is all thorns? What could make the great Gugu so blue?” A-Li asked with his hands on her shoulder and moved his face beside hers on the right side.
She didn’t even glance at him, instead, sighed and grumbled, “Drink quietly or go. I’m not in the mood for chitchat today.”
A-Li shrugged his broad shoulders, thrust out his bottom lip, sat beside her and filled her glass. His mother sighed, cleared her throat and covertly wiped the tears from the corner of her eyes.
There was silence and she said nothing. Then his mother suddenly slammed her drink with vigor, refilled her glass, threw down the liquid contents in the same fast manner. She looked at the jar in her hand in consideration, and drank all the contents straight from the bottle within a couple of huge gulps, then banged the empty container on the tabletop.
She demanded bitterly, “What is SO wrong with me?! I know I’m old but I’m somewhat attractive!!”
“I don’t understand why he smiled, winked and flirted with me first! I didn’t go to his home and flirt with him!”
Defeated, his mother dropped her head back, let out a long deep sigh and continued, “I don’t understand why…how…why is your uncle hot and cold?! Fire and ice?! I wish I never met him, then I wouldn’t feel like such a fool. Waiter, more wine! Bring two, no, three bottles!”
She barked and clapped her hands most demanding so the waiter came running in a hurry. A-Li downed one bottle in the same time his mother went through two, and her cheeks flushed like two rosy circles on her ivory skin. Her glazed over dark eyes appeared heavy and droopy but his mother giggled uncontrollably. She laughed but tears ran down her face freely and she didn’t bother to wipe them away this time.
It was heartbreaking to witness his powerful, sovereign, High Goddess mother, crying and feeling like a failure because he sabotaged her plans.
Only then, did he realize when they wiped clean her memories, her character, pride and confidence which were a result of all her experiences also vanished. He felt guilty in his heart but A-Li couldn’t stop now after coming so far and plotting everything for years.
He needed to make her think the opposite. His mother required a bit of his magic and it was time to trick, cheat but mostly control fate again. If there’s a will, there’s a way and that way was a potent enchantment spell.
A-Li stood up and gently clutched both her shoulders with his large hands. His tall, thin body bent over so his sizeable golden locket swung steadily and evenly like a pendulum. The eye catching jewelry instantly grabbed his mother’s sight and he began to hypnotize her.
A-Li stared her intently in the eyes and commanded sternly, “QQ, look deeply into my eyes and listen to my voice because I’m only going to say this once. You are stunning, desirable and confident.”
His hypnosis continued as A-Li enchanted her deeper into his spell, “Forget all about my old uncle, Mo Yuan, and think about Ye Hua instead. Think of him all the time even when you’re sleeping. Dream of him. Fall madly in love with my father, seduced him and then you could get the fine honor of being my mother.”
Immersed in his trace was his mother but suddenly recoiled and shook her head. A-Li abruptly stood, lunged back before she could reach out and smack him. He smirked, winked and strolled away waving his hand goodbye without bothering to face her.
Enchanted by A-Li’s Fox Magic. His mother swayed her dizzy, spinning head. She was already totally annoyed, but his behavior seemed to have pissed her off more and that feeling only seemed to intensify, when she clumsily knocked over her wine bottle brought over by the waiter.
“Shit! Is this entire day going to be like this for me where NOTHING works out?! When will this miserable failure of a day come to an end?!” A-Li heard her shout out when he was downstairs.
“Hey, are you there?” She asked and her voice softened the instant she heard him lightly clear his throat.
“Qian Qian, are you drunk again? It’s been two weeks. Are you eating these days?” Ye Hua asked in his soft voice full of concern.
She’d stayed loaded ever since her last visit to Kunlun Mountain. Ye Hua didn’t think Mo Yuan had it in him to reject her advances as he did, and he was impressed with his older twin’s resolve.
She whispered, “Ah, there you are. Yes, wasted again, that’s me but are you as busy as usual? Are you overwhelmed with boring official matters as normal? I’m extremely intoxicated tonight so be nice and bear with me. Has it been two weeks straight? Yes, I guess that only validates that I’m an alcoholic. Hahaha…”
Qian Qian paused to laugh softly at herself and continued, “I can’t believe I’m telling you this but I’m still a virgin. I know. I know. I know that I’m super old, ancient but I’ve never been with a man so that’s why these dreams are so unusual. I’ve had them two weeks in a row and you’re in all of them.”
“Let’s see… I can’t remember everything as in all the details but this is what I can recall.”
“Here’s one. It’s in the woods like a dense forest. I can hear the birds, animals and creatures all around me. It was daytime and I’m hiding behind a giant tree when you just appeared out of nowhere. You didn’t speak a word to me but kissed me hard, then you pushed me up against the tree with force. You lifted my dress up, tore my undergarment and roughly entered me. I don’t know how to describe this best because I’ve never felt or experienced it but I felt you penetrating me. It hurt and it was painful…hard but I liked it…no, I think I loved it. Hehehe…”
“I must be a pervert. Even my sleep thoughts are obscene and wicked. Anyway, back to my dream. Where was I? Oh yeah, I didn’t want the pain ever to end but you stopped and forced me to my knees. Then you kind of, hmm…shoved yourself into my mouth and finished. Well, I guess you finished as in climaxed in my mouth. I gagged but still swallowed… Here’s the bizarre part that I can’t understand but I can somewhat remember how you tasted. It was slightly sweet and salty. I don’t know…it’s impossible to explain. Moving on…”
“Nevertheless, throughout all this, you never uttered a word and were, hmm, kind of…mean to me. You dressed, left me on my knees and walked away silently. I’ve had this dream and another one where you have me in handcuffs. Oh, and one in an old open hut like the ones in the mortal realm, but those dreams are sweeter and somewhat romantic like the scenes I read in my love stories.”
Qian Qian paused and he could hear her drinking more wine before she added, “I’ve dreamt of you for almost two weeks straight. What do you think this means, Ye Hua?”
He was unable to reply because Ye Hua was speechless by Qian Qian’s description of her dreams. They weren’t dreams but her lost memories, and now she was speaking to him through the copper earrings in the middle of the night. She conversed with him every night after she was drunk.
“Do you think I’m insane? Maybe being a virgin for too long causes madness? Why, why would I have sexual dreams about you every single night and not your brother? Oopsy, we decided NOT to mention your jackass brother in our talks! Although, Ye Hua, dreaming about you…it makes me feel dirty like a deviant because of our enormous age gap.” Qian Qian declared.
She sighed at his stillness, laughed at herself and apologized, “Ye Hua, you’re speechless. I’m sorry. I guess it’s pretty perverted for a woman to speak of such lewd things. I’m so sorry to bother you with nonsense and pillow talk, Ye Hua. Thank you for listening to me as usual and good night. ”
Then there was instant silence and he thought Qian Qian removed her magical copper earrings, but he was wrong. He heard her softly sobbing in bed and the sound of her crying made his heart ache. The old Ye Hua from the past would have gone darting to her, but the present more mature Ye Hua was afraid to go anywhere near her.
Breathless Ye Hua weakly dropped his throbbing, pounding head in his open palms and shut his watering eyes. He bit down on his bottom lip because he was crying in silence and tried to slow his painfully racing heart. He struggled, entirely overcome by the various emotions such as love, desire, longing, remorse, anger, confusion…and fear. All these sensations were chaotically stirring and churning inside him.
70,000 years of memories cleaned but her boldness was as always. She still could make Ye Hua sweat, shake and tremble with words alone. He considered could it be possible, that Qian Qian was going to start remembering her past and everything? And if so, would she come back for 報復 Bàofù and turn everyone’s lives upside down? Most importantly, if she recovered her lost memories, would she cherish or try to destroy Chang? If she decided to kill his baby, how far would Ye Hua go to stop her from doing so?
It was time for him to visit Qingqiu and perhaps bring his precious crimson lotus home.
To be continued…