Crown Princess Consort Bai Qian…..
Why hadn’t he previously noticed how sparse, and scanty was the decor inside the Hall of Beautiful Youth? Why hadn’t he realized what an isolated, and dreary place it must have been for her all those lonely years?
Two long silent months had passed since he awoke from his coma, and it took time for the realities of their absence to genuinely sink in because more than anything… More than anything else in the world, he wanted to pretend everything was just a terrible dream. A horrifying nightmare from which he would eventually awake, but deny as he may this was now his empty existence. And Ye Hua was alone again even though he’d gained an older brother during this time.
And it wasn’t merely a sibling but his twin brother was the God of War. High God Mo Yuan miraculously resurrected after 70,000 years, and Ye Hua learned of his true origin, his real identity. He also became aware Bai Qian had been his older brother’s most treasured disciple, Si Yin.
On Kunlun Mountain, she’d somehow lived disguised as a man for 20,000 years under his tutelage, and she was the reason his brother was able to return at all. And he didn’t have the right to feel jealous or possessive. He didn’t have any claim on her but the sentiment was there, when Ye Hua heard she’d fed Mo Yuan blood from her heart for all those long years. She’d inflicted herself painfully 70,000 years long…for him.
70,000 years, 70,000 years, 70,000 years…
Ye Hua found himself doodling and writing out 70,000 years repeatedly, instead of reading the official documents before him. His recent general lack of concentration, untimely administration was the source of constant and numerous scoldings from his grandfather. But for the first time in his life, Heavenly Lord’s words were meaningless and didn’t faze him. Not in the slightest because Ye Hua just didn’t care.
Abruptly, the still silence in his room broken with a loud enthusiastic voice, “Ye Hua, do you want the good news or great news?!” His Third Uncle Lian Song bellowed out with unbridled emotion, as he ran in Ye Hua’s chamber.
Ye Hua glanced up indifferently to see another scroll in his uncle’s hand, and returned his disinterested gaze to the scribbling on his desk. Since Bai Qian’s departure, his uncle tried in vain to set him up with other women continually, and Ye Hua naturally assumed it was another request from another boring princess, or some goddess from wherever wanting to meet with him.
Lian Song plopped down. He sat directly across from Ye Hua, opened his fan and leisurely fanned himself as he attempted to speak calmly, even though his voice vibrated with excitement, “Ye Hua, in life, sometimes one must take risks, chances and go for the most impossible.”
Lian Song lightly cleared his throat and declared the unbelievable. “I sent the Fox Emperor a request for a wedding date and Ye Hua, you’re going to lose your mind but…they sent back a date…for you to marry Bai Qian!”
He couldn’t believe his ears. Lian Song suddenly had Ye Hua’s undivided attention, as he swiftly snatched the scroll from his uncle and it was there. Written, an auspicious date for their wedding, and it was officially marked with the royal seal from Qingqiu.
Ye Hua somewhat roughly rubbed his eyes, lightly slapped himself to make sure this wasn’t a dream. He stared at the scroll again, and reread it over a dozen times unable to fathom the situation. But there it was in writing a suitable auspicious date in less than two months.
“But Heavenly Lord decreed I was not allowed to contact Bai Qian or go to Qingqiu.” Ye Hua mumbled thoroughly dazed.
Lian Song smiled so his twin dimples showed and replied, “Yes, he did to you but he never said anything to me.”
“Anyway, Bai Qian requested to meet with you now, before making the formal announcement. She said you would know where. In a tea house in the mortal realm. She said…” But Lian Song was speaking to himself for quite a while, because Ye Hua was already gone.
The back of her petite frame, Ye Hua recognized immediately and ironically she was sitting at the very same table they’d once sat before, when they discussed their mortal wedding on Mount Junji.
Nervously, he repeatedly wiped his sweaty palms on his garment, took a few deep breaths to calm his nerves and moved onward towards her.
She heard his footsteps, glanced up but didn’t stand, instead politely said, “Crown Prince Ye Hua. Thank you for meeting with me on such short notice.”
His mouth suddenly went dry, parched and Ye Hua stammered clumsily as if he had a mouthful of rocks. “SuSu…no, Qian Qian, umm… Bai Qian.”
“You may call me Gugu or rather Bai Qian since it’s less conspicuous. Since you’re here, may I assume you’ve reviewed and agreed with the suggested date for our wedding?” Calmly she spoke as she smoothly filled their cups with fresh hot tea from the pot.
The day he awoke from his month long coma, Ye Hua saw her momentarily for a few brief moments, but today he carefully took in the sight of her, and his first impression of her had been incorrect. She didn’t look identical and perhaps, only slightly like SuSu when she made certain gestures. No, Bai Qian of Qingqiu was frankly more beautiful or glamorous with an undeniably powerful, and attractive sex appeal.
Ye Hua had a million things on the tip of his tongue he wanted to ask, but the only word that came out of his mouth was, “Why?”
How indifferent and expressionless was she. Bai Qian’s appearance didn’t show any emotions or reactions. Instead, she studied his face momentarily and replied, “Why what?”
“Why are you marrying me?” Ye Hua asked then gulped his tea tensely to quench his thirst, and continued in his soft voice, “I expected… I assumed you hated me from the slap…no, slaps across my face.”
“I didn’t slap you because I hate you, but because you promised to care for A-Li and almost made him an orphan. Therefore, I slapped you for your lack of accountability.” Bai Qian suddenly smiled somewhat humored. “My answer to your question is pure politics, Crown Prince Ye Hua. I’m marrying you because it’s my responsibility…my obligation to create security, peace, and prosperity within my realm. As the reigning Queen, I must consider the future of Qingqiu constantly.”
“Our two clans are from the Ancient Tribes, and forming a strong allied partnership will only benefit both our lands. I’m suggesting a peace treaty of unity to calm the current tense state. My father tends to hold grudges and isn’t pleased with your clan right now. If we marry then you and I can resolve the issue instantly.” Bai Qian answered diplomatically.
Ye Hua scrutinized her stunning features. ‘Heavens, she’s beautiful’ he thought to himself before questioning, “That’s the only reason?”
Bai Qian sipped her tea and replied coolly, “You’re wise beyond your years. I do have personal reasons also. One; being my reputation. You see, being engaged to two Celestial princes, but not marry either of them looks poorly on me and my character. They will gossip that I’m too difficult, since it’s always the woman who gets blamed in such matters. Second; I’m doing it for A-Li. Granted, it will never happen, but I never want him to feel insecure and think himself a fatherless bastard.”
Abruptly, she paused, clapped her hands toward the storyteller and appended in the same business-like manner, “You are his biological father and your lineage is worthy of A-Li. You are the twin brother of the man I respect most, and a direct descendant of Heavenly Father. Which means, A-Li’s future will be bright, boundless and he will have many options to rule wherever he desires. Whether it is in Nine Heavens, Qingqiu or even Kunlun Mountain.”
“I took your eyes when you were innocent and you’re still willing to marry me? Seriously?” Ye Hua couldn’t hold back and boldly brought up the most damaging aspect of their past.
Playfully, Bai Qian fluttered her long thick eyelashes and answered casually, “I have them back as you can see, and what happened during my heavenly trial was necessary – needed for my ascension. Everything in life happens as it should and it’s out of our control. We are but tiny fishes in the vast sea of destiny and if you don’t mind, we can cut through the chase and get to the real reason why I requested this meeting.”
“I want to make it perfectly clear that our marriage will be more of appearances for formalities. I will never serve your male rutting needs, urges or become a part of your future harem. Meaning, my name will never be on a tag for you to select. I heard you were gifted with Sujin, finally. Congratulations. I’d suggest making Consort Sujin your side consort immediately, and let her run the inner palace.”
“Furthermore, A-Li will be raised by me without the grueling restrictions you endured in your youth. Also, no member of the Celestial clan will have any power or authority over me or my people. I will not follow your regulations or rules. And even though my living quarters may be in your palace, the Hall of Beautiful Youth will be off limits to all Celestials without my prior approval.” Demurely, she smiled and gracefully crossed one hand over the other.
But the stern manner in which she spoke her words made Ye Hua’s head spin. This wasn’t a marriage but a business deal – a trade agreement. Truly politics. He queried could they live and coexist like this in a loveless marriage for eternity? Was this enough for him?
Ye Hua’s thoughts ran wild, as he watched her last three fingers tap rhythmically on the tabletop like SuSu used to do, and he asked out of real curiosity, “Bai Qian, you’re too young to live as a nun. Won’t you be cheating yourself by marrying me?”
How captivating she appeared when her full lips turned up into a seductive smile, while her venomous words shot lethally directly in his throbbing heart, “Crown Prince Ye Hua, your concern for my well being is…rather touching. So in return, I promise to use the utmost discretion with my lovers, and will make a blood oath never to conceive a child from my trysts. When and if the time comes and there is a need for us to increase our bloodline, we will copulate purely for procreation on an auspicious day pre-selected for us.”
He knew this was lunacy but who was more insane? Bai Qian proposing such an absurd arrangement or him for considering it? What she was suggesting was madness, but in many ways wasn’t this what he wanted?
Ye Hua wanted her home with him and he wanted A-Li by his side. Was sincere love between them again not even a possibility? Was that asking too much? Was being in a loveless marriage with the one he wanted, desired and needed most not better than never seeing her and his infant son at all?
Closing his eyes, Ye Hua inhaled profoundly and considered his options. Even if their marriage were fraudulent, at least she would be physically near and in his immediate sight. Wasn’t that better than not seeing her at all?
Privately, Ye Hua decided he had an eternity to make things right and being immortal; luckily, time was on his side. If she were close; wouldn’t he always have an opportunity with countless chances to win her heart back?
It was never even a question, he’d already made up his mind and had his answer even though his pounding heart was breaking, Ye Hua forced a smile. He put out his hand, shook hers and with their mutual handshake to confirm their allied commitment. Two months later, they became husband and wife.
High Goddess Bai Qian, Queen of Qingqiu officially became Crown Prince Ye Hua’s Crown Princess Consort Bai Qian.
To be continued…..