Peach Fairy Arc #20
“You’re not upright…”
The words that were meant to follow were replaced by the meeting of their lips and teeth.
As the boat generated ripples in the middle of the lake, Su Tang was dazed in Qian Zhu’s embrace. The sight of the shore became blurry, and not even the ethereal sound of the pipa could be heard by Su Tang anymore. The only thing Su Tang remembered was the cool wind of the night coupled with the fragrance of the flowers, which was imprinted on his heart.
The fragrance seemed reminiscent of the flowers back at Yu Qing Palace.
Su Tang suddenly missed that place—no, rather, he missed the times he’d spent there with Qian Zhu. They’d hold hands and lie down amongst the flowers scattered on the floor, and what started as just basking in intimacy soon turned into embracing and kissing…
The thought couldn’t help but make Su Tang’s face turn crimson. The two of them really were always shameless, regardless or if they were in the celestial world or the human realm. It was as if they couldn’t get enough of each other.
The stars in the night sky shone brilliantly; when the moon rose at sunset, they’d hang in the sky, day after day, year after year. Even when the seas dried up, and even when all living things ceased to exist, the moon and stars would continue to shine, their relationship like something that would never change.
Spring came and autumn left; summer passed and winter arrived. The rain hit the skeletons of those flowers in front of the courtyard, and water accumulated. Then the flowers fell, followed by the leaves. The land was covered in a layer of snow, and it wasn’t long before the firecrackers on New Year’s Eve exploded. Red confetti adorned that layer of snow while winter plum blossoms filled the air with their crisp blooming fragrance. The once raging winds turned gentle and the thickly piled snow started to melt. The sun was shining, flower buds began to spring up like daisies on the trees, and the swallows returned—it was summer again, the start of all seasons.
In a blink of an eye, ten years had passed. Nothing much seemed to have changed, yet some change could still be felt. Su Tang took a bite out of an apple and felt that it tasted sweet, so he passed it to Qian Zhu for him to have a taste as well. He cast his sight to the side, only to see a crane holding an edict in its beak, which it then dropped at the feet of the couple. It didn’t take much for Su Tang to deduce what the contents of the edict were; it had to be from the Heavenly Emperor, who wanted to hold a flat peach feast1Flat peaches, also known as saturn peaches or doughnut peaches, are basically another species of peaches. Click here to learn more about them. // It has come to my attention that they actually EAT the peaches during this ‘festival’, not admire them; I apologise for the confusion!. He must’ve invited all the immortals to come back to drink together.
“Do you want to go back?” Su Tang asked.
“En.” Qian Zhu nodded and let the white crane fly away. Upon hearing his response, Su Tang got up from Qian Zhu’s body and looked back at the house. “We have to move house again ah.”
“You can’t bear to?” Qian Zhu asked softly, getting up and hugging Su Tang from behind.
“A little, but it’s alright.” Su Tang sighed before continuing, “There are too many good foods to eat here. Once we go back, I won’t be able to eat them anymore.”
Qian Zhu found his answer charmingly straightforward and pinched Su Tang’s little face, “You greedy little kitten. Wherever you go, you think of eating. I’ve fed you for over ten years, so why haven’t you grown any meat yet?”
“I focus on my height!” Su Tang turned back. After using his hand to measure, he said, “I was only this tall last time, and you were this tall too. Now you’re only a little taller than me.”
“A little taller?” Qian Zhu found this hilarious.
“En… Besides, you’re not that much taller.” Though Su Tang’s heart was a little guilty, he didn’t want to admit that his current stature was truly too short, thus he decided to pull Qian Zhu down to his height. He’d never admit it, but whenever Qian Zhu stood in front of him, he’d feel envious of Qian Zhu’s height.
Ten years had passed, and Su Tang naturally wasn’t a little dumpling anymore and had already grown into a handsome youth. However, his chubby little face hadn’t changed at all, nor had his shy yet spoiled temper. Sometimes, when Qian Zhu made him feel anxious, he’d still shrink back into a round, glutinous rice ball.
“You’re still as delicate as before.” Qian Zhu said to him directly.
“Wu…” Su Tang took Qian Zhu’s hands away, his big eyes staring at him. It was reminiscent of when he was angry before. Qian Zhu stared for a while and realised that it looked a little different this time.
“How come you’re not pouting?” Qian Zhu questioned.
“How is that your business?” Although Su Tang was full of momentum, it was obvious his intensity was only feigned. He retreated a few steps back, his mouth covered.
This overreaction wasn’t unwarranted; the previous time he and Qian Zhu had fooled around, he’d pouted and refused to talk to the other. He’d wanted to have a cold war, but in the end, Qian Zhu had rushed forward and sealed his little mouth with his lips.
Then… their cold war had become a wild war—no, from then on, Su Tang didn’t dare do it again.
Against this rogue that was raised for ten years, how on earth could the silly and sweet Su Tang stand a chance?
The pair stood there for a while, chatting and joking with each other before they began their slow return back to the house. They then packed up their belongings and left.
Su Tang had snuck out with Qian Zhu. This time, when he returned home, he didn’t dare show his face, lest he be forced to return to the peach forest where he’d then be washed and placed onto a plate after a few days. Thus, he turned into a little peach and huddled in Qian Zhu’s embrace where no one could see him.
However, he could still see other people.
Su Tang curiously glanced around. He noticed that the immortal realm hadn’t changed much despite the ten years. Especially Yu Qing Palace—not even one extra stalk of grass had grown. It was just that no one stayed there and it was colder than before.
When he spoke about Yu Qing Palace, he couldn’t not talk about Qian Zhu, who had a face as cold as an iceberg when he was outside. People would shiver once they saw him, but he was so good-looking and youthful that no one could look away.
As a result, everyone was left enchanted, doomed to only secretly admire his allure from afar.
“Wah, your ability to deter people is stronger than ten years ago.” Su Tang laughed until his stomach ached as he rolled around in Qian Zhu’s arms.
“Don’t make a fuss.” Qian Zhu held Su Tang down and pulled him out. “Keep on fussing and I’ll take you out to eat.”
“Then I’ll turn into a human. You won’t be able to take a bite after that.” Su Tang cheerfully said with confidence.
“That might not necessarily be the case.” Qian Zhu quietly replied.
“What do you mean not…” Su Tang didn’t even get to finish his question before he was interrupted. Qian Zhu used a hand to pinch him, prompting Su Tang to play dead.
They weren’t young anymore; for the things they should do and the things they shouldn’t do, they’d done most of it regardless. They were only a couple of steps away from experiencing the great harmony of life2Papapa, basically ヾ(≧▽≦*)o—they had tried it before, but Su Tang kept yelling in pain so they’d stopped.
Qian Zhu always gave in to Su Tang, following Su Tang’s words for everything. If Su Tang said he didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t. He never left any time for Su Tang to overthink, after all, their life together was extremely long. They had all the time in the world to explore anything and everything they wanted.
Although Su Tang had verbally agreed to it, his heart was still tormented by doubt. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to do it, he was just afraid of pain. Sometimes, when he fell asleep hugging Qian Zhu, he’d have that kind of dream. And when he woke up, he’d find Qian Zhu almost domineeringly pressed against him, their lower bodies both wet.
Except doing it in dreams was completely different. It obviously felt good then, but he’d feel immense pain the moment he was opened just a little. Su Tang pulled his hair, feeling very distressed. His heart filled with worry, he flipped his body and hugged the blanket to start sleeping.
On the fifth day, all the immortals had rushed to the Heavenly Palace. Like the feathers of a chicken plucked out one by one, not a single immortal was left behind. Su Tang was left squatting at home and staring out a window.
He was a little upset, and standing failed to put him at ease. Neither did lying down. His heart had long since flown from him. Half a shichen passed this way until he finally gave in to his urge to grab a stool to reach for the peach blossom wine Qian Zhu had hidden away.
Su Tang’s alcohol tolerance was bad. While others could drink a thousand cups without passing out, all he needed was a single drop. Sometimes, even the smell of a strong wine was enough to send him into a drunken stupor. As a result, Qian Zhu never let him drink wine. This only made Su Tang want to try it even more. Besides, even if he did get drunk, he’d just fall asleep, and by the time he woke up, Qian Zhu would’ve returned.
So with these thoughts in mind, Su Tang went to drink a small glass. He didn’t feel anything from a single cup, so he drank another, then his third, then his fourth…
At the flat peach feast, melodious music played as youthful girls glided to and fro in a graceful dance. Everyone was drinking and having a good time, the atmosphere nothing short of exuberant.
“Ai, where’s that mystical wine scent coming from?” An immortal addicted to drinking wine put down his jade bottle and sniffed the air twice. His drunken demeanour was amusing to most who watched.
The Heavenly Emperor noticed his babbling and laughingly asked, “Where is it coming from? How come I don’t smell it?”
“Bring me up to smell it, smell it.” The immortal got to his shaky feet and mumbled to himself before unceremoniously falling to the ground. He hobbled around the venue, sniffing, but shook his head in dismissal and said it ‘wasn’t right’.
Everyone grew curious and stopped what they were doing to look at him. He shuffled around for a while, before stopping with his arms flailing about and saying, “I found it!”
The audience nearly made sounds of fear as that immortal stood before Qian Zhu. That immortal was probably one who spent more time in the human realm than in the immortal world, hence his behaviour around Qian Zhu. Furthermore, he was drunk and unable to clearly see who he was standing in front of.
Qian Zhu was fiddling with a jade bottle, his thoughts unclear. When the immortal asked him, he was taken aback, but he hadn’t smelled any special wines so he shook his head and said he didn’t know.
“So you were over here.” That person shook his head. “It’s like wine made from peach blossoms and like wine made from spirit peach blossoms. I’ve had a countless number of wines and my sense of smell has never betrayed me.”
Qian Zhu noticed his intoxication and passed his words off as drunken nonsense. He wanted to send him off with a few niceties but was swiftly interrupted by a little hiccup. The fruit plate on the table shifted and a little flat peach’s head popped up.
The little flat peach looked at Qian Zhu and foolishly asked, “Do you want to eat me?”
After he said that, he rubbed his tummy and let out a burp.
- 1Flat peaches, also known as saturn peaches or doughnut peaches, are basically another species of peaches. Click here to learn more about them. // It has come to my attention that they actually EAT the peaches during this ‘festival’, not admire them; I apologise for the confusion!
- 2Papapa, basically ヾ(≧▽≦*)o