Perhaps it was always there under the surface, lurking. The unexplored side of him, something latent within Mo Yuan, he had yet to discover in himself. Otherwise, how would it be so simple, too easy, entirely natural and nearly second nature like breathing to mislead those around him?
Mo Yuan deceived everyday.
He lied when Bai Qian cried for Ye Hua. The moment she set her sights on Mo Yuan without acknowledging her official fiancé first, if ever. Shamelessly she requested the man she wasn’t supposed to love. She wanted the very man she swore meant nothing to her, yet here she was carrying his children. But then she wasn’t the unresponsive, callous and calculating woman who had left for Nine Heavens months earlier. No, she had changed or reverted back to her old self. She returned from her near death experience with newfound life. Her innocent, hopeful, all revealing, trusting gaze was identical to the one she had, when she was his seventeenth disciple before the Ghost War, his death and SuSu.
Bai Qian was his gentle and loving Shì Qī again. The very one who had cried at his cave while offering to stew herself for him. To keep her for himself, to make her belong only to him and stay her almighty Warrior God, what wouldn’t he do? He would eagerly, willingly fabricate a million times but then, were they deceptions if Mo Yuan himself was starting to believe the falsehoods he spoke?
They were the indisputable actualities if he – High God Mo Yuan, the God of War – said so.
She questioned, “Shifu, does Ye Hua know that I’m awake? Doesn’t he wish to see me?” Mo Yuan manufactured the truth which was now a reality to him, and responded with a tender smile, “Yes, Shì Qī, I told Ye Hua but he’s too busy for you.” The Master of Kunlun Mountain said this when Ye Hua knew nothing of her awakening. But instead of becoming resentful of his absence and lack of attention, she worried of his mental state and if he was still angry with her.
There wasn’t a boundary to his lying, when she asked if Ye Hua knew she was pregnant with his children. With a display of profound concern, Mo Yuan answered without the slightest hesitation of his certainty, “No, I haven’t told Ye Hua because your pregnancy isn’t stable. It would break his heart to know that you suffered a miscarriage. I clearly detected Dragon magic when I rescued you, and knew you used their magic which was necessary. Still, it endangered their lives immensely.”
Bai Qian wept grievous tears while hugging herself like a child, overcome with remorse. She believed herself to be responsible for the uncertain dangerous condition of her unborn children, and cried herself until near exhaustion in Mo Yuan’s arms. Little did she know, her children were flourishing and thriving in her womb. Her and Ye Hua’s children. No, soon they would be Mo Yuan’s issues after Ye Hua’s sentencing.
For many weeks while she remained in bed, Ye Hua’s trial had continued. Added witnesses and their testimonies impacted his unfavorable case, which merely grew worse for him after Sujin’s uncles’ depositions. The esteemed war generals swore they were present when he decided on SuSu’s inhumanly savage punishment, and personally requested to remove her eyes without being prompted by his grandfather, Heavenly Lord.
Following their damning affidavits, Ye Hua’s swiftly crumbling defense took another major blow when several of the Celestial Swans, the female servants under oath swore, he had made suggestive sexual advances towards them, while in the presence of Bai Qian before her abduction. This course and boorish behavior from him was an indisputable humiliation toward Qing Qiu’s Queen, and some even went as far as to allege he sexually assaulted her repeatedly. Many in his palace swore they overheard she loudly screaming, and crying during many of his attacks.
As it stood, exile was definite after stripping Ye Hua of his title and status, but his life was at stake. His severe sentence would be significantly harsher than Heavenly Lord’s punishment to set an example for others, and there were several demanding his death as restitution for the humiliations endured by High Goddess Bai Qian. Mortification and disgraces experienced during both, while she was the mortal SuSu and the few months she spent with Ye Hua, as his future Crown Princess Consort.
All this while Bai Qian knew nothing of the ongoing trials. She knew nothing of Ye Hua’s sufferings and believed that he didn’t want to see her.
Ye Hua wearily dropped his head in his open palms and heaved over exhausted. The nightmarish trial was over and all that was left was his sentencing. His concerns weren’t for himself. However, worries for A-Li’s future were pressing and foremost. His young son would ascend the throne of Heavenly Lord at his current age of 300 years with Ye Hua’s father, Prince Yang Cuo, serving as regent until A-Li came of age.
Succumbed and drowning in his endless sea of worries, Ye Hua failed to hear the faint footsteps entering his chamber. “I don’t want to be here but Xiao Wu has been asking for you.” He swiftly raised his gaze to see High God Bai Zhen standing in his room. Her brother’s tensed and twisted facial expression was one of blatant irritation. Ye Hua tripped over himself as he sprung to his feet rushing. Fumbling were his shaky footsteps like his trembling voice, “Qian Qian…is awake? When?! How is she?”
“She’s recovering…slowly but has asked for you since she opened her eyes. Xiao Wu knows nothing of your trial and you mustn’t say a word. Her weak heart is delicate and she wouldn’t be able to endure it.”
“Ye Hua, your sentencing is tomorrow and as her brother, this will be the only time I will help you. I’m going to teach you the Fox spell to look like me and I’ll stay here in your place. She’s waiting for you in Ten Miles at Zhe Yan’s hut.” High God Bai Zhen’s closing words of caution were, “If you bring Xiao Wu any harm or make her cry, there won’t be a need for your sentencing because I’ll kill you myself.”
To be continued…