The strong metallic stench of blood was everywhere when Zhe Yan walked into the Fox Den. Thereby the dining table laid Xiao Wu in her fox form covered in sticky dried blood and underneath her; a female body, that he couldn’t recognize due to the severe damage to her face.
He gingerly turned Xiao Wu’s unconscious body over to see upon closer inspection, and saw enough to recognize it was Xuan Nu. The one who had gone missing was somehow now dead in the Fox Den, and she wasn’t going to die alone because Xiao Wu was also near death herself.
Zhe Yan quickly used a spell to turn her back into her human form, and saw the reason of her state. The hairpin in Xiao Wu’s shoulder missed her heart, but the lethal poison dipped spear did its damage, and the skin from her shoulder to her chest now blackened from the poisoning.
Without Xiao Wu’s elite cultivation, she couldn’t fight the poison. It was impossible to save her, but her eyes blinked before she came around and whispered, “Zhe Yan…bring me some paper and a brush. I don’t have much time.”
“You stupid girl! How many times have I told you not to face Xuan Nu alone! How many times have I told you she’s smarter and more cunning than you!” Zhe Yan yelled as Xiao Wu struggled to breathe.
He summoned the paper and brush as she’d requested and helped her up. It took everything within her to quickly write a few words, and dropped the scroll to the side.
She murmured, “Remove both Shifu and Ye Hua’s eyes from my sockets to return them, take all my immortal energy and transfer it to the Red Lotus, remove all my tails and give them to A-Li. Use your magic to clear any trace of Xuan Nu and me from the den.”
With shaking hands, Zhe Yan picked up the scroll and read her final words:
I, Queen Bai Qian of Qingqiu cut all ties with the Fox Clan. I deny Crown Prince A-Li as my legal son and Celestial Lord Ye Hua as my husband. Never were my feelings sincere. Everything was a part of my revenge for what I endured as the mortal SuSu.
“Xiao Wu, everyone will hate and resent you when they read this.” Zhe Yan lamented but he knew what she would say next.
She sighed weakly and spoke, “Bàofù for grievances… I deserved the most and did acts of unmentionable harm to the most innocent.” Bai Qian’s faint words were quickly losing their strength. “Zhe Yan, promise me that you’ll never tell a soul the truth of my death… Let them believe that I’ve run away and abandoned them instead. Between love and hate is a fine line. Rightly they should hate me and move on with their lives than mourn me and delay.”
She wheezed weakly since the poison now paralyzing her heart, and Zhe Yan nodded in agreement sadly, “I will. I promise and yes, Xiao Wu, I’m sorry to agree that you did the most harm, and you’ll never be reborn for all your sins.”
“I know, Zhe Yan…” Xiao Wu took her last breath. He silently sobbed as he removed Mo Yuan and Ye Hua’s eyes, and used his ancient Phoenix magic to make her body disappear. High Goddess Bai Qian, Queen of Qingqiu faded away as if she’d never lived at all.
She smiled proudly. But the sigh from Ye Hua was long and loud enough to break Bai Qian’s concentration, as he sat beside her steadily grinding her ink. He sighed again but much louder with purpose, until she glared side-eyed annoyed in his direction.
“Qian Qian, your story Bàofù has too many loopholes and is irrational. I’m sorry to say this, but it was too soon for the end.” Ye Hua muttered in his soft voice.
Bai Qian lightly placed down her brush next to the inkwell, and faced Ye Hua who looked content as usual. Their sitting position was typical when she wrote her novels, and he sat close beside her and ground her ink.
“SuJin is still alive and you killed yourself off like a coward. The only one who truly suffered Bàofù was your character, and you didn’t make amends with A-Li, my brother or me. Plus, the poor lotus must wait longer.” Ye Hua stated as he carefully reached over, and stroked her full round belly with furrowed brows. “I wish you hadn’t mentioned the baby dying in the first part of your novel. It’s unlucky.”
“I didn’t know I was pregnant when I wrote the first part of Bàofù. Who would have guessed I was actually pregnant with a black dragon.” Bai Qian quickly defended herself even though she too felt uneasy, but it had been a mere coincidence.
Ye Hua didn’t enjoy her novel writing. At first, he’d encouraged her to write something to express, and release some of the resentment she endured in Nine Heavens as SuSu, but little did he know how twisted her mind was yet his support never waned.
Tenderly touching her rosy glowing cheek, he gave his strong opinion on the matter as usual. “Your stories…” Bai Qian quickly corrected him, “It’s fan fiction, Ye Hua.”
“Alright, your fan fiction began with the plot of revenge as your character was strong and calculating, but then she became confused, fickle and foolish. Then she dies in the end without accomplishing a single thing.” Ye Hua casually sipped his tea, and then the look of jealousy instantly clouded his handsome features as he challenged, “And the intimacy scenes with my brother were disgusting! Do you have sexual fantasies about being with my brother?”
Bai Qian snickered at his silly question, and giggled openly as she took a big bite of honey cake. She’d never craved sweets with A-Li but this pregnancy was entirely different. She quickly grabbed another cake, shoved it into her mouth and continued to listen to Ye Hua’s rant.
“Also why did you have to use our real names?” He questioned causing her to snort and reply in her snarky voice, “Oh, I guess I could have come up with something more original as you did at Chang Sea, ‘Hua Ye, Yuan Mo and Qian Bai’.”
She reacted as usual and rolled her eyes before defending, “It’s fictional, Ye Hua. It’s meant to be over the top for amusement! Everyone knows it’s not real!”
Ye Hua frowned and expressed further his displeasure, “Nevertheless, the way you represented us is quite unflattering. We are immortal Gods but you portrayed yourself as a crazed, unbalanced, deceptive, conniving sex fiend. And you made my celibate brother a deviant.”
“And my character…” Ye Hua smiled subtly and added, “I liked the way you described me in part one when I was a sexual bully and rough, but why am I always crying in part two?”
“Because you do cry easily, Ye Hua. But I love that you’re sensitive.” Bai Qian patted his hand tenderly and added with a flirtatious smile, “You didn’t mind acting out the sex scenes with me if I recall.”
The mere mention of the sex scenes made Ye Hua’s eyes suddenly light up, causing Bai Qian to yell, “And don’t even think about asking me to act out the one outside again! My stomach is too big for you to lift me up like that!”
Bai Qian picked up her brush, and her dark eyes moved heavenward as she contemplated aloud. “I wonder if I should change the ending? Originally, I was planning on having A-Li kill SuJin. You see, it was he saving her all this time. He was going to stop six of her organs for the six eyes she took from me, but I don’t want my sweet baby to do such an act even if it’s just fiction.”
Nearby in the crib, A-Li cooed in slumber as if he knew they were speaking of him. She sighed in reflection and asked, “Now, what should I write about? I was going to write a Bàofù part three with me ending up with your brother.”
Ye Hua choked on his tea, coughed uncontrollably and his jaw tensed before he half shouted, “Don’t you even consider doing such a thing! I won’t let that happen until I fade into the realm of nothingness! Could you imagine if my brother knew of the filth you’ve been writing?! He may never come out of seclusion, EVER!”
“Qian Qian, my darling, why not write about how we met and fell in love on Mount Junji? It’s such a romantic story.” Ye Hua coaxed in his sweetest voice.
Bai Qian snorted, threw down the cake in her hand and replied in her most sarcastic voice, “Oh, how you tricked, lied, hid, ignored and took my eyes? Ye Hua, just because I married you doesn’t mean I’m not still angry!”
“I know and I’m sorry, that’s why I can’t complain when you write about filthy explicit sexual deeds with my brother, even though I want to set them on fire.” Ye Hua quickly changed his tone, lovingly wrapped his arms around her expanding waist, and whispered in her ear, “Qian Qian, how about the truth? Write what indeed happened when you jumped from Zhuxian Terrace. Write about how we got to this point.”
Bai Qian leaned back into his loving embrace, and her voice sounded as if she were speaking to herself, “Write about the truth and how we got to this point? The truth is usually quite boring. There isn’t much angst or drama in reality, Ye Hua.”
“There wasn’t anything boring about what you did after you woke up!” Ye Hua chuckled in her ear, lightly sucked on her earlobe and pressed further, “And I recall enormous suffering and theatrics. You could write a novel alone about how you almost killed me with sexual frustration.”
“Write the truth about us? Hmmm… I guess I could but what should I title it?” Bai Qian asked.
Ye Hua smiled, looked around the chamber of the Hall of Beautiful Youth and whispered affectionately, “Qian Qian, title it Homecoming, since it’s about how you came home.”
To be continued with Bàofù Part III: Homecoming…..