(Wallace Huo as Wei Yun) ( Liu Shi Shi as Yu Zhu)
“You’re staring out the window again”
Yu Zhu jumped and looked around, Lin Yu cradled her head in her hands looked at Yu Zhu, her eyes were golden slits. Whenever Lin Yu was at home, she preferred to have her true eyes and sometime went by her true form.
Yu Zhu turned away, “Was not.”
“Was too. You’ve been staring since that Wei Yun came yesterday. You’re a terrible liar.”
Yu Zhu blinked rapidly, “I was staring because it looked like rain”
Lin Yu’s snake tongue flicked out, she rolled her eyes as Yu Zhu busied herself with cooking watercress and tofu. Grandfather walked in, his face was pale as Lin Yu jumped up to help him to the table. Yu Zhu poured him a daffodil tea into a brown ceramic mug. He took a deep sip, his hand shaking. The magic had worn him out.
“Is he still outside?”
Grandfather looked at her sternly, “That is not of your concern. You care too much for someone you should forget” Yu Zhu opened her mouth to argue but Lin Yu threw her a warning look.
Lin Yu distracted Grandfather, “Did elder brother Tu Suo come home yet? Has he found Yu Zhu’s pendant?”
“No, he’s searching carefully. We’ll find it soon enough”
Lin Yu frowned, “I should go help him.”
Grandfather patted her hand, “You were seen with Yu Zhu, half the town knows that you’re with a human, it is too dangerous now.”
Yu Zhu felt a shiver, “If half the town knows, I can’t stay here anymore.”
Grandfather looked out the window, where Wei Yun stood, “We will cross that river when we get there.”
It was midday when Grandfather took his nap. Lin Yu silently motioned Yu Zhu, “He’s asleep. Go.”
Yu Zhu sneaked over the roof. Though Grandfather had put protection spells on the doors to make sure nothing gets in or out without him knowing, Lin Yu saw that he had forgot a side of the wall. Yu Zhu landed on the green grassy bank silently. A hand shot out and steadied her. She looked into Wei Yun’s face. Her face darkened and she yanked her arm out of his hold. He looked worried. Yu Zhu brought out her sword, “You have a lot to answer for” Wei Yun’s stormy eyes showed no signs of fear as she brought down her sword. He didn’t duck or parry her blow. Instead the sword bit into his shoulder, blood welled from the deep cut.
Yu Zhu yanked her sword away, stunned at his refusal to move. “You idiot.” She fumed as she ran to him, her hands on the cut trying to stop the bleeding. To her amazement, the cut was already healed, the blood on her hands disappeared.
Stupid, she cursed inwardly, he was a god, it would take an immortal’s sword to truly wound him. As she was about to take her hand away, he gently covered it with his, not believing that she could care about him. Yu Zhu looked up into his eyes, as he murmured, “I’m sorry.”
Yu Zhu didn’t know what to do now. She wanted to ask him so many questions, but they all felt like they were stuck in her chest. She gently moved out of his grasp and stomped downt to the small stream. He followed silently behind her.
Both of them said nothing, she didn’t know what to ask and he wasn’t quite sure how to began.
Yu Zhu remembered something and dug into her pocket, “I wanted to give this back to you.” She took out the faintly glowing acorn. Wei Yun shook his head, “Keep it. It helps me to know that you are safe.”
Yu Zhu remembered that she had the acorn on her when she lost her pendant, “Is that how you knew I was in danger?”
He nodded, she turned to look at him. He was a vision of majestic perfection, and yet he there he sat, his crisp grey clothes crumpled into the dirt. She wanted to laugh and ask if he had ever been so undignified before. Instead, she blurted out, “I talked to you for four years. Why did you never say anything back?” She blushed, she hadn’t come to fight but she needed to know.
“I…didn’t want to add to your pain. You were already so wary of people, you would only run away if you knew I was the oak.” He said haltingly as if he didn’t know if his words would anger her or not. Yu Zhu wanted to smile, it was so strange to see a God look so unsure. He was encouraged by the light in her eyes, “Originally I let you into the clearing to keep you safe for the spirits in the forest, it was safer by the tree than anywhere else. Though i command all the spirits, I can not see what they do all the time.”
“So why did you let me back all these years?” She asked. He told her as if he was remember something, “When I was very very young, a few good friends of mine use to talk to me incessantly, their talk was was so much sometimes that I had to stuff my ears with fabric. But it was so very long ago. You reminded me of them.”
Yu Zhu felt heat creep into her cheeks and looked away. For a moment, she tried to use her magic to raise a drop of water from the stream. The water wobbled but did not rise. Wei Yun hid a smile as he saw Yu Zhu frown, her eyes sharpened in concentration. A pale hand with slim fingers caught a hold of hers. Wei Yun held her hand, his eyes seemed to glow with contentment as Yu Zhu did not pull her hand from his. His cool fingers gently guided hers, “Water magic is by far the most advanced form of magic, even for demons. I am surprised that the old general has taught you this.”
She felt the gently fabric of his arm touch her thin purple robe, she tried to concentrate on the magic he was showing her.
The magic of a God compared to that of a human was like comparing the sun to a torch. He raised her hand, and thousands of droplets rose into the air stretching above the stream as far as the eye could see. Wei Yun closed hand over hers and the droplets froze into ice and started to circle above their heads. Yu Zhu looked at him as his fingers uncurled around hers. The ice droplets started dancing in the air, smashing into each other. Snow fell onto the ground above the two. Yu Zhu laughed in delight, Wei Yun silently shared in her joy.
She opened her mouth, there were so many questions she wanted to ask. But a bell run inside the cottage. Yu Zhu hastily got up, “You have to teach me how to do that tomorrow. Wait for me!” She waved happily and ran back to the cottage.
Wei Yun rose slowly, he looked at her disappearing back and remembered the girl who asked him to do the same eons ago, and whispered, “Always.”
Tu Suo walked down the path, he sighed, after promising grandfather he’d find the pendant, he returned empty handed. A black shape cawed at him from the sky and turned into a man in black robes. He landed in front of Tu Suo.
“Little rabbit demon, do you live in the cottage down the road?” the arrogant man demanded, his face full of contempt for Tu Suo. Hwang Wu looked at Tu Suo, who seemed to be the same age and height as he, though dressed in much plainer, peasant’s clothing. Tu Suo raised an eye brow. The young man tried to grab Tu Suo by the shirt front. Tu Suo easily parried the blow with his hand and instead flipped out of Huang Wu’s grasp.
“Learn some manners, Little Crow.” Tu Suo taunted. Huang Wu was enraged, it seemed that everyone who lived in that cottage went out of their way to kick him around. He unsheathed his claws.
“Huang Wu”, A voice called out, Wei Yun stood in the middle of the road.”Don’t be rude.”
Huang Wu’s eye brows shot up and for a moment stared dumbly at silvery man in front of him. Wei Yun ignored the gaping youth and went to Tu Suo. He inclined his head, “I am sorry for the disrespect this young prince has showed you. He does not know who you are.”
Wei Yun looked at the young Crow prince sternly, “Go home, Huang Wu. You have no business here.” Huang Wu glared at Wei Yun, but he did not dare disobey a god. He jumped into the air and vanished.
Tu Suo watched the powerful crow demon depart and remarked, “I didn’t think anyone would care about who I am, not that it’s anything important. ”
Wei Yun had a half smile on his face, “I would hardly call the last living descendant of the Jade Rabbit unimportant. You are a prince in your own right”
Tu Suo shrugged, “I am just a tiny seed of a once great family. Our dynasty fell thousands of years ago, my family tree has long disintegrated to ash. Now the Crows are the kings of the bird demons, the Tigers and Ox families have split the Jade Rabbit’s kingdom into two, they have hunted my family into extinction. I am all that is left.”
“Not everyone is happy with the rule of the Ox or Tiger demons. Your dynasty may be over, but there are plenty of powerful demons who would like to see the Jade Rabbit’s descendants rule again.” Wei Yun looked at Tu Suo carefully, “Isn’t that why you’ve hid yourself so well for the past ten thousand years? Isn’t that why you and the old general live on the edge of the forest I reside? I have something you want.”
Tu Suo said nothing, he wasn’t surprised that Wei Yun knew his intentions. After all, the last time the demon world broke into chaos, Wei Yun had been the center of it. Tu Suo was surprised that Wei Yun knew Tu Suo’s age. To the normal demon, Tu Suo seemed like a thousand years old little rabbit, but his true age and strength was far greater.
Wei Yu looked into the sky, the pale moon shone faintly in the day. It was a rare sight. He told Tu Suo, “I met your ancestress once, before she was banished with Lady Chang’e to the glacial palace of the moon.” Wei Yun said as he gestured Tu Suo to walk with him to the cottage. Wei Yu raised his hand, a sword, as white as the moon appeared in his grasp, “The Jade Rabbit forged the Tai Shan sword so I may fight against the greatest powers of this earth. It holds the strength of a hundred thousand warriors” He handed the sword to Tu Suo.
In Tu Suo’s hand, the Tai Shan sword sang like wind chimes and glowed with increasing intensity. Wei Yun smiled “You could do great things with this sword, if you wished. Perhaps even reclaim the kingdom your family lost, ten thousand years ago.”
“I thought I would have to pry this from your cold, dead, hands, once I became powerful enough to enter the forest” Tu Suo remarked, his dark eyes on the god as he mused, “My ancestress once asked you to protect her family, and yet you were the one who helped to destroy her kingdom.” Wei Yun smiled bitterly, “I made a deal with the gods, and your family paid the price.”
Tu Suo swung the sword to Wei Yun’s neck, “This is an immortal’s swords, it will kill gods and demons alike. Tell me why I shouldn’t kill you, God of Demons?”
Wei Yun had no fear, even as the blade pressed into his neck, ” The people who forced my hand in destroying your family’s kingdom, those are the same people who would hurt the people I care about, if they knew I had such people in my life. I plan to make the first move. We have common enemies” Tu Suo didn’t know if he could believe him, much less trust him, but Wei Yun was a powerful god, he was more useful alive than dead. Tu Suo lowered the sword, there was deep hatred in his heart, but he needed Wei Yun.
They came to the gate of the cottage, Tu Suo smiled crookedly, “This could very well throw this realm into turmoil, perhaps other realms as well.”
Wei Yun didn’t seem bothered by the thought, “I am merely returning a possession to it’s rightful owner.”
“And will you help that owner, if he choses to shake the earth? The gods won’t be happy if the demon realms fall into chaos again.”
“I will keep my promise to the Jade Rabbit.” Wei Yun’s eyes turned into ice, “The gods once used me to their ends and I lost everything. This time, should anyone choose to interfere in my affairs, they will bleed. ”