Chapter 94b

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written by kakashi
edited by Panda

"In the year 262,000 after Father Immortal's death, on the twenty third day of the 2nd Demon War, the God of War, Supreme Commander of the Celestial forces, won a decisive battle against the Demon Armies. Using a new tactical formation and a feint involving the Xì Mǎ Yú cavalry, he launched a rear attack on the enemy center. By personally leading his fastest, most elite warriors into the thick of the enemy forces, he struck right at their heart, bringing greatest devastation to the Demon army from within. Yet, he had the Celestial armies retreat when High God Cheng Yin surprisingly brought in masses of new demon soldiers from out of nowhere and threatened to..."

"Here we go again," Yi Mei Niang said, looking over Si Ming's shoulder as he busily put words on a bamboo scroll, exhaling small puffs of breath in utter concentration.

Si Ming gasped and reflexively covered the writing with his arm before he recognized her. "Purple Queen! I told you before you have to make your presence known before entering a tent!"

"I did, Star Lord. I stood outside in the cold and huffed and puffed, but I think you were too engrossed in writing pompous war records to hear me."

"Ah," Si Ming frowned, "I did hear something but I thought it was a horse heaving up its dinner."

"Horses are in good favor these days indeed, even their poop is considered holy by those people," Yi Mei Niang snorted in disdain. It was rather doubtful she would ever take a liking to those creatures, so for the time being, she hated them with all the energy she had left. Them and that blasted Horse Tribe with their eerie magic - it made her skin crawl. There was nothing in the least Celestial-like about that tribe, they had just had enough foresight to join the right side when it mattered. Even for a Demon like her, their magic was too raw and untamed. She was actually glad most of them had left.

"I am grateful the Crown Prince did not manage to chase all of them away yesterday," the Star Lord said as if he had guessed her thoughts and carefully put his scroll into a chest he opened and then locked with a key he carried around his neck, "that maneuver the God of War did with them was absolutely spectacular. Did you see how the air shimmered around them? What beautiful magic!"

"Reckless. It was absolutely reckless," Yi Mei Niang observed. "He has a death wish, right?"

Si Ming furrowed his brow and dropped his beautiful voice to a whisper, which had quite an effect on her. "If you are referring to the God of War, I beg you to keep your voice down."

"He is even more frightening now than before," the Purple Queen whispered back, "so damn scary."

"Is it true then that he did not tell you about his plan to use you as a diversion when you were captured by the Demon Ancestor?"

"Yes!" the Purple Queen felt hot anger boil up in her again and she gnashed her teeth, "he only told me to wait for him, but he gambled with my life! He couldn't have told me, he said later instead of apologizing, since I would have given everything away instantly upon facing the Ancestor."

"Oh," Si Ming looked sorry.

"Not everyone enjoys pain as much as he does!"

"Without a doubt, without a doubt," the Star Lord murmured.

"Yesterday, before the craziness, he told me to enjoy camp life in his absence because he would most certainly not want to see me ride into battle with my complete lack of warrior skills, jeopardizing everyone!"

"Oh," Si Ming pulled a face. "He was never known for politeness."

"Politeness! For that, he would need manners, and he has none at all, the arrogant bastard. I could..."

"Psssssst," Si Ming cautioned her again. "Do not test your luck."

"He is at least 50 tents over," Yi Mei Niang said angrily and shouted as loudly as she could, "he cannot hear me!"

Si Ming had turned quite white. "He hears very well, Queen, I implore you. Please do not anger him..."

"Anger? I wish he could be angered in his current state," Purple hissed. "It would be so much better than this...this...."

"So you believe the rumors?" Si Ming wanted to know eagerly.

"Yes, have you not seen him?"

"He has always been very detached," Si Ming said slowly.

"Detached? He isn't detached. He has gotten rid of all emotions and he won't care if all of us die as long as it ensures his victory." She shuddered. A god with that much power but no morality to guide it was about the scariest thing she could imagine. If she weren't too afraid of the consequences, she'd have deserted already and run as far away as possible.

"Well, he needs me," Si Ming puffed up, "I am the Celestial record keeper. Only what I record will be remembered."

"Yes, he needs you until he calculates that sacrificing you tomorrow is beneficial for him ten days from now. Ever time he looks at me with his dead eyes, I feel like he is already planning my demise. I don't understand what happened! I have it on very good authority that he and the Demon Ancestor...," Si Ming's ears visibly moved forward at the mention of Shao Wan and his face took on an almost hungry expression, "...reunited a week ago. But then, all went to hell again."


"Oh yes. There were flashes of light!"

"Flashes of light!"

"I am guessing that their energies would kill any lesser lifeform were it caught somewhere near them when they do the thing."

"One could get jealous."

Yi Mei Niang smiled fondly at the Star Lord and his excitement. This grin of his was so contagious. "You are into men only?"

"Excuse me?" he squealed, turning deeply red.

"I asked around and I heard you like men. That one soldier, the one in the 7th division? It is a shame, because I have taken an interest in you."

"Oh," he just said and clamped his mouth shut, his eyes growing as round as the full moon.

"You are welcome in my tent anytime," she declared magnanimously, "even if it's just to drink some of my liquor and chat. I still have some left of the second batch, but I do hope he wins this war soon because I'm down to four bottles."

"I...I thank you, I feel honored," Si Ming stammered and bowed deeply, his face still on fire.

"No matter," the Purple Queen shrugged with slight regret. "Let's go!"

"Where to?" Si Ming asked with a puzzled frown.

"Ah, to the Command tent, of course. We're summoned to a war council by the God of War. Urgently."

"Could you not have said this sooner?" Si Ming squealed in terror and Yi Mei Niang laughed.

"Here is your chicken coat, Star Lord," she grinned and handed him his thick, funny looking fur coat. "It's very cold outside, you better dress warmly."

They made their way through the camp in companionable silence. All things considered, she had gotten to know a few Celestials she would like to see frequently once this horrible war was over. Maybe, she thought, maybe it was worth it after all. Maybe they were moving towards a better future indeed, one where Demons had a place again in Realm politics, as equals, not as a despised, subjugated tribe deemed to have no value.

The Command Tent was brightly lit from the inside and two big lanterns illuminated the path to the entrance, which was guarded by two of the God of War's handsome disciples in their armor tonight. They nodded as they passed, looking quite grim.

Si Ming opened the tent flap for her, holding it up politely. Bracing herself, she entered ahead of him with a deep breath.

Everybody was gathered around the big wooden table in the middle of the tent. As usual, maps of the terrain were spread on it, with markers for Celestial and Demon troops. Yi Mei Niang bowed and murmured her greetings to everyone. Now that the tide had turned, the Celestials did not mind having a few Demons among them - as long as they were not forced to interact too much. Besides, they had heard the Ghost Tribe would soon join them and they all knew, that meant victory was a real possibility. The God of War, wearing his battle armor, looked in her direction impassively, yet his unnerving eyes felt like daggers of ice in her head.

"You have wasted enough of people's time, you are no longer invited to my councils," he said in a flat and monotonous voice.

"It fault," the silly Star Lord stammered and moved in front of her protectively.

"It was?" the God of War echoed, "then you are no longer invited either."

"But...," Si Ming squealed and looked around, pleadingly. Everybody looked down, including the Crown Prince, though he took a deep breath as if to say something before he did. Realizing nobody was going to come to his help, Si Ming shut his mouth and bowed, looking sad and deject. Feeling quite sorry for him, Yi Mei Niang took him by the waist and led him towards two free seats in the second row. As she scanned the present faces, she noticed the absence of the Blue Demon King with a pang. He was severely injured. Some physician said he might not survive.

Renewed anger made her lift her head high, eyes ablaze. The God of War had lost interest in them though and was focusing his attention on the maps, but she wished him to feel her ire, to feel...anything. But alas, he did not. Tomorrow, he would use another division as diversion, without caring about who would live and who would die. As she stared at this image of godly perfection in front of her, hating him for his decision with all the passion she had inside of her, eerie blue eyes met hers across the table...Tian Gu, the Horse Princess, sitting demurely and very pale next to her Shifu, fixating her suspiciously. She talked little, but Yi Mei Niang knew she had been there, that night when everything had changed. And by the Gods, she would get her to talk, the little witch.


"Sh...Shifu!" Tian Gu stammered and fell to her knees to bow as required when she saw who stood outside her tent.

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