報復 Bàofù III: Homecoming: Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms Fanfiction Ch 20

Thank you…..

For countless hours, while securely bound in the White Goddess’s abandoned residence, Bai Qian continued to endure Xuan Nu’s endless madness and brutality. At the hands of her once childhood playmate, she experienced the most unbearable pains, injuries and agonies that far exceeded torture but she never made a sound. It was her choice to stay mute regardless of the pain inflicted, and there were valid reasons.

First and foremost, Bai Qian accepted the punishment, as her well deserved karmic retribution for maltreating and harming others. She was remorseful, apologetic of her past actions, behaviors since she had treated both her Shifu, and Ye Hua terribly in her twisted quest for revenge. Also, as a fellow mother, she strangely understood Xuan Nu’s desperate plight. She couldn’t let go and wanted to save her child. Her method was insane, but what wouldn’t the Fox have done had she been in Xuan Nu’s shoes?

The answer was– everything! There wouldn’t have been boundaries because Bai Qian would have done everything, and anything for the sake of her child’s life. Had she not willingly traded her life for her son, A-Li’s, safety? She had and would do it again. And it was shameful, but she would have saved him even if it meant sacrificing the unborn baby inside her. Therefore, in the maternal sense, she sympathized with the grief stricken mother. But her understanding and pity only went so far, because the survival of her offspring wasn’t Xuan Nu’s only driving motivation.

The jealousy prompted the Demon Queen wasn’t that selfless, and resurrecting her stillborn wasn’t the only reason behind her ruthless tyranny. She was vicious in her twisted obsession to make the High Goddess fall on bent knees, and kowtow before her. She wanted to break her. She craved to hear her wail out in agony, and tried every manner of wickedness possible with great enthusiasm.

She took pride of her commitment in breaking the Fox and genuinely relished, loved inflicting pain on her. Cheerfully with a broad smile, Xuan Nu delivered on every section of the Fox Queen’s nude body, wounds and injuries with whips, switches, poles, chains, electrical shocks, drownings and even scorched her fair skin with fire.

After the bodily harm, she tortured Bai Qian emotionally by saying that all the men would sexually violate her at once. But when both physical, and mental torment failed to frighten the High Goddess into submission, the Demon Queen attacked Bai Qian’s woman’s vanity. In her quest to subdue her will, Xuan Nu shaved off all her long and beautiful hair to the scalp. She took the dull razor and roughly buzzed every strand but still, Bai Qian uttered not a single word in protest.

Alternatively, she waited until the end, and praised the Demon Queen for the bold new summer hairdo causing her to fly into a fit of uncontrollable rage. And that wrath triggered the worst human cruelty to continued for what felt like an eternity. She was conscious of her trigger. Bai Qian was well aware that the anger, and frustration of defeat made Xuan Nu resort to more brutal forms of suffering. But her stillness was her last, and only weaponry against her torturer who didn’t understand her resistance.

Xuan Nu believed it was Bai Qian’s dignity, automatically assumed it was Gugu’s high and mighty pride, even narcissism that kept her from crying out throughout her hellish ordeal. The Demon Queen never guessed the reasoning behind her silence was much more humanistic, and rational. Bai Qian never said a word because she felt deserving of the punishment, and she was also speechless, in absolute shock, even confusion, because she had never imaged such darkness could exist in an individual with a beating heart.

The monstrous acts of inhumanity, and evil that one was able to inflict on another living being was mind boggling. The evil didn’t come close to describing Xuan Nu’s physical means of extreme brutality, and torment. Yet, Bai Qian still persevered. However, even a High Goddess has her physical limits. Finally, on the fifth day of captivity, her weak failing heart struggled to maintain it’s slowed, irregular and ragged beat.

Bai Qian felt the pulling pressure of her dying heart as it lagged, and the standstill pauses between beats were lengthening. The end was near. She without hope of rescue came to an acceptance of her unfortunate demise, silently recited her last rites seeking refuge in the Dharma for her innocent unborn child. She prayed for a swift reincarnation, while fading in and out of consciousness from both severe blood loss, and her countless injuries.

Her ravaged body was mere moments from halting all functions, and her tired mind was only partially cognizant. With her periods of unconsciousness continuously prolonging a bit longer than the previous times, it was then a brilliantly lit pathway illuminated by sunbeams revealed itself to her.

She saw the light and somehow she knew where the end of the tunnel would lead. She ached to run into the bright corridor. A fathomless sense of liberation and release washed over her. The hurried feeling of deliverance overcame her because Bai Qian was well prepared, and ready to go. But as she eagerly moved one foot into the soothing radiance, a sad cry stopped her from going any further.

The grieved woman’s voice sounded like her mother and it urged, “Xiao Wu, no, not that way. Don’t go into the tunnel. Turn back.” The distressed tone of voice broke her heart. Bai Qian’s heart ached to know her death would probably destroy her family, but replied to the earnest plea with full honesty. She said, “Mother, I’m in agony. I’m cold, exhausted and have lost the will to persevere. I want to go into the light.”

Bai Qian meant every words she said. She wanted to end the suffering and misery. However, even in her state of utter disorientation, barely hanging onto breaths, she recognized her grieving mother reaching out to her in desperation. Telepathically she was calling out to her daughter through the mysterious and unseen link. Mentally summoning her through the unbreakable connection between mother and child, which meant her mother somehow understood that she was dying.

“Don’t forgive your unfilial daughter. I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry for breaking your heart.” Bai Qian said and kowtowed toward her mother’s voice, before turning away to resume her desired route in the direction where the light had been. But it was swiftly disappearing. She wanted to weep when the brightly illuminated shaft vanished before her very eyes, as a sudden jolt of powerful electrical surge-like charge from a bolt of lightning restarted her seized, and dead heart.

Bai Qian was deceased.

Momentarily she had departed, but was forcibly driven back into her restrained body with demon magic. Bai Qian’s eyelashes uncontrollably fluttered, as she involuntarily returned from death to a state of consciousness. And the first object her eyes focused on was Xuan Xu’s perfectly cosmeticized face floating mere inches from hers. The Demon Queen sighed with relief. “My, my, Gugu, that was a close call. I honestly thought we have lost you that time!”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk.” With her painted face hovering directly over Bai Qian’s, the Demon Queen disapprovingly wagged her dagger-like blood red colored nail in the High Goddess’s face. Then gently scolded as one would do to a disobedient child. “Little Mother, why are you so anxious to leave your party when you’re the special guest?”

Now with a troubled expression of fake commiseration, Xuan Nu hummed almost tenderly, “I know you’re tired. I’m exhausted for you too. I understand your earnest desire to sleep and rest for eternity. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I’m sorry to say, it’s too soon. Let me share something with you but first, you need a little something to perk you up and bring you back to your senses.”

With her thumb and index fingers, Xuan Nu pried Bai Qian’s lips apart, emptied an entire bottle of a dark and sour liquid into her mouth to awaken her. The elixir was like an acidic corrosive. The bitterness of the thick potion burned all the way down her parched throat, and bruised esophagus. Repeatedly she gagged from the foul taste while becoming completely lucid. After five days of muteness, she finally spoke since it could be her last conversation and final words.

She murmured, “Xuan Nu, this meaningful time with you has taught me more than I learned in my entire life. It’s a bit late to implement all the newfound wisdom into my life, considering how little time I have left but I’ve obtained enlightenment finally. So in many ways, I should thank you.”

Xuan Nu’s heavily kohl drawn eyes narrowed into tiny slits, as she scrutinized Bai Qian’s awake expression, then smirked with conceit and spoke in her high pitch voice, “So brave and courageous! Little Mother, you are unremarkable to the end! I respect your guts, determination and willful pride. You can call me shallow but I sincerely aspired to hear you beg for mercy. What a shame! I was looking forward to hearing you grovel like a dog.”

The thought of cowering like a dog for her freedom made her smile, and Bai Qian deeply breathed but the stifled wheezing sigh, or hiccuped air drawing puff wasn’t significant enough. It failed to fill her empty lungs with much needed oxygen. The simple act of breathing drained her energy, and nearly consumed everything of her, but a single dry chuckle came to her lips before she replied, “Why should I beg for mercy, Xuan Nu? Will that make your heart waver and sway? I think not.”

Xuan Nu backed away from her, began to stroll around the stone table where spikes, and chains had been around all four of the High Goddess’s outstretched limbs for days. Xuan Nu’s shrill voice now hushed as she purred, “True enough, Little Mother. True enough and I was about to call it a loss. Accept my failure to break you but then your young lover’s other wife, SuJin, suggested something vile and wicked.”

“Now, I know I’m crazy but that bitch is demented!” Xuan Nu while sauntering, pointed to the side of her head, and dramatically twirled her finger clockwise by her temple to demonstrate Su Jin’s state of mind. “Get this, Little Mother, Ye Hua’s second wife… Wait, that’s not quite accurate since you and he never officially tied the knot, so I guess she is his only ‘real’ wife and he had an affair with you.”

“Don’t get yourself in a tizzy, Gugu. I’m not judging you nor do I care about such boring matters but she despises you, maybe even more than I do! Su Jin wants to hear you squeal like a piglet, and is going to peel off your face before you die. That horny Celestial virgin wants to wear your beautiful face, and bed that virile young Black Dragon.” Xuan Nu uttered, then used her magic to summon a cup of hot tea and sipped at it casually.

“What do I care about my face at this point? She can take both my breasts too while she’s at it. Do your worst. I’m sorry to disappoint either of you but I won’t complain or weep.” Bai Qian’s faint voice was barely a whisper but she taunted in her usual style, “The only way the both of you can ever get laid is by looking like me. Imitation is the best form of flattery so I’ll take it as a compliment.”

“Do my worst, you say? Little Mother, You know I can’t resist a good challenge.” Said she with the teacup in her hand, Xuan Nu calmly placing the hot cup between Bai Qian’s breasts. Directly on her sternum, she set the heated mug while gingerly brushing away bits of invisible hair from her face. “My Shaman thinks we should remove your heart right before your last breath. We’ll whack that beautiful organ right out from your chest, while you’re still alive and wrap it around the ruby stone to keep the blood warm, during my son’s blood transfusion. Isn’t it brilliant?”

“It’s rather revolutionary,” she declared, raised both palms in the air, applauded herself and went on, “but then I asked myself, Xuan Nu, why not use other parts of Bai Qian’s body? Then I’m hit with a stroke of genius.”

“Listen carefully now because this is about the little fetus inside you. Which I must say is remarkably stable and faring better than you… Now listen to this, Gugu, I’m going to transfer it into my body before you die and see if I can keep it alive. Do you know why? I’m going to harvest its little adorable body parts for my precious baby. My son wasn’t born alive so my Shaman said we must prepare for the unforeseen. I owe everything and all to you.”

Xuan Nu raised her cup in the air as if to make a toast toward her but instead, threw the hot contents in her face. The she-devil’s red lips curved when she hatefully challenged, “Little Mother, did you hear what I propose to do? I’m going to allow your darling baby to grow and take its first breath, so that I can dismember your child…unless you beg. Beg for your unborn child and I might let the precious thing stay in your womb. Beg for my mercy! Or does your regal pride stop you, Bai Qian?”

Throughout Bai Qian’s hellish imprisonment and torture, she’d endured endless terror, misery, trauma, pain and despair from Xuan Nu’s physical and mental torment, but not once had she tasted such fear, trepidation and panic.

The intense feeling of dread went straight to her stomach causing her to dry heave repeatedly from profound anxiety, and Bai Qian now understood the true meaning of terror. It was a knee jerk reaction when she put up her usual bravado, but her voice quivered when she spoke. “Do you understand whom you’re dealing with, Xuan Nu? Ye Hua is not your average immortal. He will notice and feel his immortal life force growing in the Demon Realm. He will kill you.”

The statement was bold and fearless but there wasn’t any conviction in Bai Qian’s low, thin voice. Her colorless, dry lips violently trembled with genuine despair when she spoke. After everything that she’d endured, this was the first and only moment the Demon Queen had her petrified with a threat. Bai Qian cursed herself for being stupid, feeble, strength less, vulnerable and unable to protect her unborn child. The sheer desperation of the situation caused an immediate charge of fierceness, and anger to course through her weakened body, but the sudden burst of emotion also further depleted more of her quickly fading strength.

Xuan Nu stopped pacing, casually leaned against the stone table, glanced at her nails, appeared bored and mumbled aloofly, “That young enraged Black Dragon is going to try to kill me regardless. If it’s not him then your other boyfriend, High God Mo Yuan, will come after me I’m sure. They are going to flip out and lose their twin minds, especially after they see what’s left of your beautiful body in a pile of just scraps, and pieces. Anyways, I’ve come too far to stop now. Little Mother, you know the saying, Go big or go home and I figured the fetus…”

“Please…please I’m begging you, Xuan Nu…” The words of sheer desperation flew from her lips as Bai Qian begged in earnest, as she never had in her entire life. “Do it now! Do anything and everything to me now and I’ll scream my head off for you! Dice me up into thousands of pieces and use every single part of my body but don’t hurt… From one mother to another, I’m begging you.”

She was dehydrated and her mouth was dry but she continued to plead in desperation, “Unchain me, I’ll kneel and kiss your feet a million times, grovel on the ground like a dog but please…don’t hurt my baby anymore than she’d already suffered.” Bai Qian’s frightened voice shuddered with her quivered breathing. Tears ran down and streaked the sides of her dirty face, but she continued to plea almost incoherently due to her severe sobbing. “It’s too cruel. The poor innocent being was so unlucky to have me as its mother… I’m begging you to have mercy on my ba…

“Was that the majestic, famed High Goddess Bai Qian, the great Gugu, pleading and begging for her life? I never thought this would happen and the heavens seem to be shining down on me, because here I am at the precise moment to witness such an astonishing scene.” Another well-known female voice – Su Jin – abruptly interrupted Bai Qian’s earnest pleas.

“Little Mother is not begging for her life but for the fetus growing in her womb. I seem to have discovered her Achilles tendon. Your husband has successfully planted his seed inside her…again.” Xuan Nu purposely instigated Su Jin, and then snickered giddily to see the woman’s furious expression.

Su Jin’s face exploded with color leaving her cheeks looking splotchy, as if she were suffering from an allergic reaction but she doubted adamantly, “The dirty whore has been with her Shifu too at the same time she’s been seducing my Ye Hua with Fox magic. The spawn is probably Mo Yuan’s offspring.”

“My most experienced, and trusted Shaman said a little black dragon grows inside this little mother’s womb. It’s very early still and only a few months old, but that Crown Prince of yours is a potent young man.” Xuan Nu gleefully chirped before suddenly growling with obvious annoyance, when Bai Qian started to vomit again. Xuan Nu barked, “Not again! How many times is she going to throw up!? Spray Little Mother down and clean her up, then everyone scram because I don’t want any interruptions! Peeling off one’s face is precise and delicate work. One little slip, then Consort Su Jin will have to bed Crown Prince Ye Hua without a nose.”

The Demon Queen commanded in her loud booming voice, then sauntered to the far corner of the room to where all the weapons, and tools were kept. Slowly she picked up a blade then another knife, and thoughtfully examined the swords by running her index finger across the edge to check it’s sharpness.

While Xuan Nu selected her instrument of choice, they sprayed her down with cold water, as Bai Qian continued to vomit bloody bile from her many internal injuries. But the cold water cleared her mind and time was of the essence. Ye Hua’s side consort was going to cut off her face, and she didn’t care about losing her appearance but nobody was going to harm her baby.

The only saving grace would be a quick and sudden death for her and the baby. If she could die before Xuan Nu had time to react, before she could inflict any harm on the defenseless one in her womb… Just as Xuan Nu stepping away from Bai Qian gave her a tiny window of time to provoke Su Jin.

Bai Qian controlled her trembling lips and whispered with an arrogant smirk, “Su Jin, I’ve beaten you again. Did you hear that I’m pregnant with Ye Hua’s second baby? I think I conceived her that day when you saw us outside on your birthday. I saw you lurking and hiding behind the bush watching us the entire time.”

Bai Qian’s plan was working. Instantly peeved was Su Jin and her tightly pinched face reddened more, as her nostrils flared with anger so Bai Qian pressed on, “When Ye Hua gets here, he’s going to kill you first. You dumb bitch, did you even consider that he is trailing you as we speak?” She said this without any knowledge if he was coming and it was a ruse. She snickered and went for Su Jin’s most sensitive button. “You know, you have nobody to blame but yourself. You could have had a blissful marriage with him but ruined it by marrying Heavenly Lord.”

A sudden explosion of fury caused Su Jin’s eyes bulged out, and spittle flew wildly in Bai Qian’s face when Ye Hua’s side consort screamed with ferocity, “I did it for Ye Hua! Everything I did was for him! He knows the truth! He cherishes me and knows that I’ve loved only him!”

All Su Jin needed was another small push and Bai Qian went for the kill, the final blow. For dramatic effects, she momentarily pressed her lips together as if to stifle and muffle her laughter, further ridiculed in her most condescending tone of speech, “Ye Hua hates and will never forgive you, because he sincerely believed that you fornicated with his old grandfather. However, you were never good enough for him. You’re not even a real princess of royal blood. You’re nothing but damaged goods and he loathed you. It was his idea to make love to me in your virginal bed…”

A choked gurgle abruptly cut Bai Qian off as Su Jin lunged for her throat. She wrapped her stiffened clawed hands tightly around her most detested love rival’s neck like a vice. Then with all the animosity, resentment, jealousy and hatred from 300 plus years of pent up wrath, she choked the remaining life out of the only woman her Ye Hua ever loved, while shrieking hysterically. “Shut up! You don’t know anything! Ye Hua knows I never did anything with Heavenly Lord. I married him to support Ye Hua! It was all for him! He knows I’m chaste, pure and saving myself for only him! I’m not a filthy old whore like you!”

It didn’t take much strength or effort on Su Jin’s part, since Bai Qian was already standing before Death’s threshold, and she was getting the immediate death that she had prayed for. She sensed the last remnants of her immortal life force slipping away, and with her last dying breath to her nemesis, Su Jin, the High Goddess mouthed the words, “Thank you.” Peacefully shut her eyes and turned toward the light.

To be continued…..

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