Chapter 38.75

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written by kakashi

Where was everyone? Shao Wan hated nothing more than to be left all to herself on this dreary mountain. The cranes were pretty entertaining, but not for long stretches of time. She had taught them a little dance. Stand on your left leg... hold. Change! Stand on your right leg .... hold. Both feet on the ground. Turn around, turn around, turn around. Peck the ground, gently peck your neighbor to the right (the "gently" had been the most difficult part to teach these birds). Peck the ground. Gently peck your neighbor to the left. Bow. Mo Yuan's face had been priceless when she first showed him. This level of tricks was their limit however - trying to teach them to jump over each other had been a failure.

Fong Hung wasn't overly entertaining either these days. Still growing at a steady pace, he liked to spend as much time as possible in the lotus pond, trying to catch the large, blue dragonflies that flitted among the flowers. Since she had moved into Mo Yuan's room, he was no longer allowed to stay with her. Mo Yuan had seriously gotten it into his head that Fong Hung was behaving strangely. She didn't think so - it was only natural that her mount would look out for her. It was good he was a bit suspicious of the God of War, who could theoretically gravely harm her in her present state. Personally, she didn't mind the current arrangement too much, she was gaining strength and cultivation every day. However, her exile on the holy mountain was only bearable as long as Mo Yuan spent enough time with her - preferably in bed. Now that all his disciples were back and he was expected to fulfill his duties as Master of Kunlun Mountain and as the God of War, he was far too busy elsewhere. Even the promised control lessons - he had not had time to start them so far.

In her desperation, she had tried to take up reading. Kunlun had a large library, but alas! Not a single play. It was full of military classics and philosophical texts that bored her senseless. Why could these philosophers not just say plainly what they wanted to express? Why write in ambiguous riddles? Everybody knew that Mo Yuan's father and his Queen had created the eight realms and the five upper and three lower clans because they were bored. So why had one scholar written: "It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang; the named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind"? Mo Yuan's father had not at all been nameless. And his mother had definitely NOT birthed thousands of creatures, but just the one brat.

Or there was that other one about the "Mysterious Female":

The Valley Spirit never dies
It is named the Mysterious Female.
And the doorway of the Mysterious Female
Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang.
It is there within us all the while;
Draw upon it as you will; it never runs dry.

What valley? What spirit? What doorway?? Had anyone ever met the mysterious female? She could have asked Mo Yuan, who had taught and studied these texts for millennia, to explain it to her. Could have, but would never. She did sneak into some of his lessons though, quietly. Of course, he always spotted her right away, throwing her a warning look, but she pretended to be busy searching for something, or just to be idly passing by. She had learned that the Valley Spirit, according to Mo Yuan, was about "having without possessing". She was pretty sure he just made that up. He also said things like the only motion in Tao was returning and the only useful quality was weakness. At that, she had laughed - loudly. What complete nonsense was he spouting?

Still, she continued to sneak into his lessons for lack of better entertainment and often joined his boys at their low tables when they copied texts. She helped herself to ink, brush and scrolls — and started to write a play, like she had promised Mo Yuan. It was far more difficult than she had imagined, but after a few days, she thought she had made good progress. Now, she was eager to read it to someone.

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