Chapter 53

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written by kakashi


"I can show you," Mo Yuan said, "the basics are simple even if the details are not."

He took her by the hand and led her to a part of Kunlun Mountain she had never been to before. It sat deep within the West Corner, hidden away behind a door reachable only through a small narrow path flanked by stone walls. Behind a heavy wooden door, stone steps led down, deeper into the mountain. It was cool down here, dark and quiet, there was no sound of wind or water.

Shao Wan always felt slightly apprehensive when she entered the Mountain's belly like this. It was said in the Demon Realm that Kunlun Mountain would shake a trespassing Demon off, so averse was their energy to the pureness of the Divine. But Mo Yuan held her hand firmly and led her to one of the bigger caves, not giving the Mountain a chance to decide whether it wanted to tolerate a Demon walking around in its innards or not.

"Demons like sweet wines, do they not?" Mo Yuan asked.

"Strong wines," she said with a nod.

"I will show you how to make a basic peach wine then," he smiled.

Shao Wan clapped her hands excitedly. "Will we be able to drink it tomorrow?"

Mo Yuan rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Is everything quick, quick, quick with you? A good wine takes time. This kind of wine takes at least ten days and then it isn't even good."

Ten days? That was...too long.

"Can't we use magic?"

Mo Yuan shook his head again. "Did you not pay attention at school even once?"

"Of course I paid attention!" she bristled. She must have missed this particular lesson though.

Mo Yuan looked at her with slightly raised eyebrows. Being a teacher came so naturally to him, he even smelled like one sometimes. Dusty with a slight whiff of ink.

"So tell me already," she snapped.

He sighed. "We can draw from the forces around us and the forces we call our own. We can move matter, we can sometimes change matter, but we cannot create matter. Not even my father created matter, he made these realms by using matter that was already here."

Shao Wan frowned. It rang a bell. And she remembered a fight she had had with Zhe Yan about the true nature of Pangu. Since Pangu was said to have come to awareness in a big black egg, she had always claimed their very first ancestor had been a Demonic Phoenix, just like herself, making her the most supreme of all beings. Zhe Yan had laughed at her and had called her a knucklehead.

"That is why we cannot conjure food that has not already been prepared," the Celestial knowitall explained further.

"What about healing?" she demanded to know, sure he wouldn't know a convincing answer.

"Some of us have the ability to rearrange energy flows in immortal bodies. In the process, nothing new is created."

"But certainly, you can turn water into wine?"

"Did I not just explain-"

So wine was essentially something new? She would accept this, if he insisted so. But she did not want to believe it needed to take ten days. If energy flows could be rearranged in bodies, energy flows could be accelerated in wine.

"If one were to hasten the process," she asked, "how would one do that?"

"Ye Heavens," the Master of Kunlun Mountains exclaimed. "Will you ever learn to be patient?"

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