written by Miniorchid
edited by kakashi and Chimera
Die Feng could only remember a handful of times there had been such excitement at Kunlun. After Si Yin left, it'd been more than 70,000 years since the disciples had to organise a search party. The most memorable occasion was Si Yin's kidnapping, when the White Goddess took it upon herself to seek Shifu's attention by torturing his favourite disciple. And then, who could forget the time when Si Yin stole Shifu's body after getting them all drunk, sending them into a frenzy that lasted for millennia?
Since a search party was a rare event at Kunlun Mountain nowadays, Die Feng felt fortunate to be able to utilize his experience as Military Commander of the West Sea to direct his juniors to safely bring back Shifu's wife. They divided into five teams and searched the four corners of Kunlun Mountain, including the surrounding area. Die Feng, 2nd and 13th remained near Kunlun, awaiting reports from the others while searching in the closest vicinity of the mountain.
The High Demon Goddess was certainly a unique deity. She had no qualms about taking her clothes off before them, in fact, she had cunningly used their inexperience to trick them. From his recent encounters with the Yellow Demon Princess, Die Feng should have known that Demons were thick skinned and their sense of propriety differed substantially from Celestials'. Since he was a quick learner, though probably not quick enough in this case, he instructed his juniors to expect the unexpected and be ready for anything.
Truth be told, Die Feng thought he understood Shimu. Though she intimidated them, she was weak and volatile right now. Fong Hung's transformation had taken a heavy toll on her. Everyone coped with loss differently; during the years Shifu and Si Yin had been lost to them, so soon after 9th, and his brother had been sick, Die Feng had thrown himself into work. Sitting idle, alone with his thoughts, had been torture.
The High Goddess seemed to grieve by lashing out. Her sadness tinged fury was almost palpable around her and only a few of the disciples had dared to enter her room. She mainly expressed her anger by cursing at Shifu, throwing a rich assortment of epithets at him - among other things - that had left them flustered. For his part, Shifu braved the abuse with customary calm, being neither provoked nor unsettled. Die Feng admired his poise.
To hear gossip about Shifu's scandal deeply troubled him. As a member of the host family, Die Feng felt partly responsible for the fiasco with the Yellow Demon Lord and the niece of the Lord of Numinous Treasures. But regardless of the events of the festival, Shifu still commanded the respect and admiration of countless women. Why Shifu had chosen his longtime enemy, a Demon at that, as his bride among all the eligible women was a mystery Die Feng still puzzled over, particularly since the High Demon Goddess didn't seem pleased with the idea of marrying Shifu at all. In fact, when they had addressed her as Shimu, she'd almost skinned them alive.
What he did know was that the God of War was a man of honor. Shifu would never keep a woman captive against her will - the Goddess must be mistaken about his intentions. There was undoubtedly more going on, something the disciples couldn't understand. Shifu always had a bigger strategy behind his actions, though he hardly ever talked about what it was. And of course, he must know just as well as anybody that a unity between a Demon and a Celestial was improper. There were many stories of the calamities ensuing from such dalliances. But maybe two ancient Deities like Shifu and Shimu were exempt from such things?
By now, his group had reached a clearing near the south of Kunlun Mountain. While surveying the area, Die Feng realized it was time to check in with the other disciples on their progress. He turned to his juniors to ask for the magic mirror. But before he could utter the words, a yellow figure flashed before his eyes and slammed into 2nd junior.
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