Liu Yi Fei as Chang’e.
Thanks for your patience. Let me know what you think!
Yu Zhu opened her eyes and found herself to be in a palace made of entirely white stone. She looked around and saw giant white pillars higher than the eyes could see. Cold swirls of cloud lingered on the floor in the immensely large hall, graceful as moving water and lighter than air. Light shone faintly in the high ceiling, giving the entire place a ethereal look.
“Where am I?” She wondered quietly as she look at the hall, it extended as far as the eye could see, the purity and elegance was otherworldly. Wu Kang and the Jade Rabbit had been beside her but they too were gone.
“This is the moon. My palace.” A voice as sweet and as cold as bells rang out. Yu Zhu turned around and felt her breath caught in her chest.
A woman of breathtaking beauty stood a few feet away, her midnight hair held loosely by a jade ring, an intense contrast to her slender face. It was a face that could conquer a nation and cause men to lose their minds with one look. This was the woman who the Emperor of Heaven had fallen in love with, and with her refusal to love him back, had banished her to the moon.
The woman bowed to Yu Zhu slightly, and Yu Zhu bowed in return. As surprised as she was, there was nothing but impassive politeness in Yu Zhu’s face.
“Lady Chang’e.” She greeted the woman politely. Chang’e smiled, “You’re quick.” Chang’e had seen every kind of reaction to her beauty, from dumbstruck to awestruck before kneeling at her feet in supplication. True, Yu Zhu had looked a little shocked when she first saw her, but it was only a quick flash before the cold aura of reason took over. This little girl would bow for no one.
Yu Zhu gave a slight smile, “When the Jade Rabbit showed up, I assumed that you were the one who asked to see me. She is your servant after all. But.” Yu Zhu looked at Chang’e “You and I have no relations whatsoever, I don’t understand why you would want to help me.”
Chang’e smile was a slight tilt of her lips, a smile that wasn’t completely a smile, “I made a promise.”
Her eyes closed and then her body rose into the air, Chang’e had worn white robes but now in the air they were turning into gold. When she opened her eyes, gold light replaced where her eyes should have been.
Yu Zhu wanted to clasp her hands to her ears, the voice rang in her bones with an earth shattering force. Instead she dug her nails into her flesh, “Who are you?”
The voice’s sigh was as violent as a hurricane and as soft as rustling leaves.
“I have many names, but I am known as Nu Wa.”
Yu Zhu stiffened, she looked at the glowing body of the moon goddess, “What does the Goddess of Creation want to do with a tiny creature like me?”
The Goddess said nothing for a long moment, instead a glowing silver ball flew from Nu Wa’s hands, it burned like the sun. Yu Zhu shielded her eyes with her hand. Suddenly something touched her hand, the little ball was in the palm of her hand. She though it would burn her into ash but it was cool to the touch. Yu Zhu had been all spirit since she entered the realm of the dead. But once she touched the silver glowing object, she felt solid as if air didn’t seem to go through her body like wind. Her feet touched the ground as she felt her heart pulse tentatively. Blood was rushing through her veins, flesh and bone was return to her from.
Strength that she’s never had before roared into her veins. She could feel might that could turn mountains into dust with a single tap of her feet. Power like torrential rain broke over her head, pounding her newly formed body into nothing and resurrecting it. She wanted to open her mouth to scream but no sound came out. Nothingness swallowed everything and everything devoured nothingness. The whole of the universe was before her eyes and she felt as if she could see the birth and death of all living things.
Around the glowing Yu Zhu, at the bottom of her feet grew a thousand petaled chrysanthemum, it grew so large that it it began to encase the girl. Petal by petal it cover her until she became encased in the sheer white flower bulb.
Yu Zhu gasped, texts glowed in blue in the inside of the chrysanthemum petals. The secret martial arts of various ancient sects in god, human, and demon realms were imprinted on each petal. Each line of word were gently lifting off the petals and flowing into her eyes. Yu Zhu felt flashes as her brain remember every movement of every martial arts book. The Dragon Destroying Fire arts of the Eastern sect and the Ice Dagger flow of the Glacial sect, all became imprinted in her memories. In an instant Yu Zhu felt as if her brain became a library, she closed her eyes as fighting styles entered into her memories. There was so much, so much that she was taking in. If it had been her old, human body, she would have died by now. Instead she concentrated using the strange power she had received from Nu Wa, coupled with the knowledge her brain was soaking in. She concentrated to make sure that she would burn from all this knowledge.
Nu Wa looked at the large chrysanthemum, the corner of her eyes crinkled slightly. Good, the girl was not only surviving, she was taking all the power in, she truly was Lei Zu’s progeny. Nu Wa waved her sleeves. In an instant, Yu Zhu and Nu Wa disappeared. Chang’e opened her eyes and stumbled a little. A hand caught her arm to steady her. The Jade Rabbit looked at the Goddess with worry in her eyes.
Chang ‘e smiled reassuringly as asked softly, “Any movements from heaven?”
The Jade Rabbit shook her head, “No one in heaven knows what happens here.”
Chang ‘e’s smile turned slightly bitter. The Empress of Heaven was deeply jealous of Chang’e and her beauty, so forced the Emperor to create a heavy barrier cutting her off from all the outside world. Without their permission, she couldn’t leave. But no one could know what happened in her palace either.
The Jade Rabbits eyes were full of questions. Chang’e smiled, “You want to know why I’m helping her.” The Jade Rabbit nodded, “Mei Yan may have been my friend. But you have never care for any worldly problems, yet you risk your soul breaking into a thousand pieces to allow Nu Wa into your body.”
Chang’e eyes seemed to be search for something far away, “If that child becomes a goddess, she would only start with very low, low levels of power. It takes ten thousand years to become a mid-level goddess, and from then hundreds of thousands of years and levels. If anyone can make that child strong and able to protect herself, then it would be the Creation Goddess.” There was a complicated look in Chang’e’s eyes, “I would do anything to help Yu Zhu, even if I become dust I would do it.”
The Jade Rabbit sighed, “If Yu Zhu is able to survive Nu Wa’s challenges, then perhaps she will be our only hope.” Chang’e smiled after a long moment as if giving strength to the other girl. “Come, let’s go to the forge. She will need a good weapon when she returns.”
When the chrysanthemum opened again, Yu Zhu once again found her self in a different place. In front of her was a land of pure white, cracked earth. In the distance were pure, white walls. A woman, whose long silky strands flew in the harsh winds. She was otherworldly, her body was still but everything about her seemed to be moving. Her red robes flowed like fire, mixing with her long black hair, as she glided towards Yu Zhu.
“Hello, child.” The woman smiled, Yu Zhu had thought she had seen the most beautiful woman in the world when she saw Chang ‘e but that wasn’t true. Chang ‘e’s elegance and grace seemed to elevate the woman to a pedestal that no one could touch. But Nu Wa was different, she was the world and life, she was a woman who held the world in the palm of her hands.
Yu Zhu nodded, Nu Wa’s voice no longer hurt. Yu Zhu closed her eyes and felt the power in her body calm down slightly, but she wasn’t sure she could speak, if the chrysanthemum hadn’t still encased half of her body, she would have fallen down by now. Nu Wa held out a hand, “Let me help you.” Yu Zhu hesitated for only a moment before putting her slender hand into Nu Wa’s.
Cold relief washed through her. Her frantic brain seemed to suddenly drown in flowing calming, her new, fiery body was instantly cooled down by the waves of immense power.
Yu Zhu took a deep breath as Nu Wa gently let go of her hand. Yu Zhu took back her own and looked down in shock. Her hand, before it had been a pretty hand of a 18 year old girl, but now it was even softer, more slender, and far more graceful than any a human could possess. It seemed to have been made from the finest white jade with a glow of delicate pink, softer and more delicate than a rose.
Yu Zhu’s shock didn’t escape Nu Wa.
“You aren’t mortal anymore. I’ve helped you turn to your true goddess form.” She explained simply with a slight sad smile, “You look very much like my friend, little one.” Nu Wa quietly wondered in her heart, will the world destroy itself for you as well?
“Where am I?” Yu Zhu found her voice. She frowned, her voice was more melodic, sweeter than her old voice. She looked down, she was wearing robes of a deep, sapphire blue, they flowed around her without the help of the wind.
“This is the border between the Realm of the Gods and the Realm of the Deities.” Nu Wa answered, she pointed north, “My people and I live there.”
Yu Zhu frowned, “What people? Since the beginning there has only been the God Realms, I’ve never heard of the realm of the Deities.”
Nu Wa’s cold voice rang, “Your Ancestress and Fu Xi, my brother died so to protect the realm of the deities. They made sure that I, and our people were protected from that bastard, the Emperor of Heaven.”
Yu Zhu looked at her with a slight frown, “I don’t understand.”
“How much do you know about the beginning of our world?” Nu Wa asked, she stood there, her visage was clear without a hint of emotion.
“Nu Wa gave the spark of life to the world, Pan Gu separated the heavens, the earth and created the realms. Lei Zu clothed it and gave it warmth and rain, Fu Xi gave it time to run so that plant could grow and people could be born. The Emperor of Heaven ruled all.” This was knowledge that any child had, Yu Zhu knew it as well.
Nu Wa nodded, “At the time, we had talked between ourselves and asked that he rule all the realms, we wouldn’t fall under his rule of course but he would guide all life. We thought he would be the wisest of rulers, but we misjudged the blackness of his heart. He had always wanted our powers. At a banquet, he gave us poisons that weakened us. At the time, Fu Xi and his wife had just given birth to a son. Fu Xi, knowing that the Emperor of Heaven would attack, threw his powers into his son and hide him somewhere that no one would think to look. The Emperor killed Fu Xi, only to find that a Creation God had no powers. Lei Zu knew I was weak from giving birth to my daughter, so she created a barrier to hide me and all of the warriors and gods who followed me, she gave me all her powers and asked me to keep it safe until I could exact revenge on those that tried hurt her people, she gave her child none of her powers but her celestial warriors took the child back to the stars. Lei Zu knew that the Emperor of Heaven was in love with her, and killed herself in front of him to distract him from finding out the true location of the hidden realm that I created for all of the deities loyal to me.”
Yu Zhu had never heard the story before, and frowned, “What happened to your daughter?”
Nu Wa’s eyes seemed to cloud for a flash but it was gone, “She’s gone. I wasn’t able to take her with me.”
Yu Zhu sighed, “After all these years, why haven’t you appeared? You are a creation goddess, you could destroy the world and avenge your friends. You could take used the power you gave me.”
Nu Wa’s smile was slightly bitter, “I made a promise to Lei Zu, and I have sealed away my powers as well. I would never be able to take her powers into my body. I don’t know how the Emperor of Heaven does it, but he has the ability to suck away the powers of a Creation God. He has tasted my blood, if he finds me, he wouldn’t have a problem locking into my powers.” Nu Wa’s eyes were slightly brighter, it was like looking into falling stars Yu Zhu realized as Nu Wa continued, “I have given away half my powers. I am not strong enough to break out of Lei Zu’s barrier. You saw my spirit in Chang’e’s body. I can not hold form in the outside world.”
“Why am I here?” Yu Zhu asked, she looked around away, thousands of miles of white, cracked earth. In the distance, dark, bloody dots seemed to be inching towards them.”
Nu Wa sighed, “I am getting weaker and weaker trying to hide this realm. Inside this barrier, thousands of souls, ghosts, demons have started to sink in, they will eat away at the barrier and alert the heavens of our presence. I do not know where they have come from, but if I am correct then they died under Pan Gu’s magic, they have sniffed out the powers of another Creation God. I can not let them break into the last safe place where my people are.”
She looked at Yu Zhu, “I took lost most of my powers in that battle. The only bit I have allows me to protect my people. The magic I bestowed upon you, was destined to be yours. And I ask you to do one thing.”
“You want me to clear these demons.” Yu Zhu realized. In the distance she could see hundreds of thousands of black, shapeless forms like black ants crawling towards her, giving her a sense of queasiness in her stomach. She sighed, “I would help you without a thought, but my brother needs me too. He doesn’t have long.”
Nu Wa nodded, “Time moves differently in this realm. A day in heaven a year on earth. But in this borderland, time has slowed to a near stop. If you help me destroy these monsters, I will tell you how to get back to the human realms with more than enough time to save your brother.”
Yu Zhu’s eyes lit, “You’re threatening me.” She said finally. Nu Wa said nothing. She turned to walk away, “You have all the knowledge you need, you have the power to clear these demons. I have faith.” With that she disappeared. Yu Zhu looked into the distance, white dust rose into the air as millions of black and red spirits flew with breakneck speed towards her.
Yu Zhu closed her eyes, there was a fire in her eyes when she opened them. She shifted her hands, in the air, a thousand ice darts formed in an instant, growing in size until they became mountainous barriers. With the wave of her hand, she threw them outwards, stopping the first wave of evil in it’s tracks.
In her head, a thousands magic spells flashed past. A hundred thousand different kinds of martial arts waited for her to try out, to master them, to use them against the enemy. She opened her palm, and a white sword appeared, born out of her magic. She tossed it into the air, one sword became ten thousand, ten thousand became a hundred thousands until the sky gleamed with more swords than drops of rain.
Yu Zhu was shaking from the effort. In the past even the simplest spells would cause her to faint, if Wei Yun saw her now, would he be surprised at her sudden improvement? Her concentration broken, the swords all suddenly shattered and disappeared. Around her the shadow beasts howled at her, laughing at the slight girl whose magic shattered at the first try.
But she didn’t react like they thought she would. She didn’t cry or stamp of her feet. Instead she raised her hand again. This time the light in her eyes was brighter, the spell on her lips more confident. One sword became a thousand, a thousand became a hundred thousands and then a million once again the sky was covered in swords.
With a sudden jerk of her hand the white swords flew into the air, it struck into the heart of every shadow beast it could find. Screams of horror and suddenly nothing filled the strange, barren land.
There were still millions of shadow monsters and beasts but in a blink of an eye, at least a million of their comrades were burned into smithereens, their black bodies turning into white ash before their eyes.
Yu Zhu took a deep breath and sat down, she had millions of enemies, it would be a long and hard battle.
The Moon Forge.
Wu Kang stood looking at the great roaring furnace with a calm expression. In his hands was the wooden box that carried the soul of his wife. He didn’t know why Chang’e asked him to meet her here, but he came anyway.
The Jade Rabbit and Chang’e walked in. Wu Kang bowed to them politely.
“She has gone?” Wu Kang asked. Chang ‘e nodded, “Nu Was has given her Lei Zu’s powers. To hid her from the Emperor until she can master those powers, Nu Wa took her to another place.”
Wu Kang sighed, “Then my work is done.” He was so tired, all he wanted to do was to see his wife, one last time.
Chang’ e held out something, Wu Kang smiled, “Thank you.” It was the last piece of Mei Yan’s soul. He held it carefully in his hands looking at it lovingly, before opening the box.
Behind them, an elegant figure walked into the room, “Wu Kang, you’ve succeeded.”
Guan Shi Yin, the Goddess of Mercy smiled at Wu Kang, “You’ve found Mei Yan.”
With the wave of her hand, the bamboo leaves of her hand flashed and dew flew to hit the box in Wu Kang’s Hand. The box holding the rest of Mei Yan’s soul opened. The scattered pieces slowly formed a bright circle, until a young woman stood there. She was pale and translucent, just a spirit herself. She opened her eyes and looked at the ghost who stood there looking at her with joy, triumph and sadness.
To him, she was as beautiful as the day he met her. Every feature had long been carved into his mind, but seeing her again, nothing could describe the welling emotions in his heart.
The smile on Mei Yan’s lips was equally radiant, “You waited.”
Two simple words was all she needed to say. Two words that held eternity in its very definition, they didn’t need to say anything else. Those two words were enough.
Wu Kang held out his hand, his body as translucent as hers. All he did was nod, his eyes never leaving her face. The hundreds of thousands of years were enough, he was right to wait. They didn’t need anything else but to exist in this moment.
“Wu Kang.” The goddess of mercy’s voice sighed, “My magic will only last an hour, her soul will shatter again without something to hold her together. ”
Wu Kang smiled and stepped in front of Mei Yan, his body a protective shield for her. This time, he would protect her at all costs.
“What must I do?”
“You have two choices.” The Goddess of Mercy spoke again, “Both of you can re-incarnate, Mei Yan will never be a Goddess in her fragile state, neither of your can ever achieve immortality because of your long existences. Both destined to find and lose each other forever in the cycle of humanity.”
Wu Kang felt Mei Yan grip his robes. She stepped out from behind him and slide her hand into his. No matter what, they would never let go of each other again.
“And the other option?” Mei Yan’s voice held a slight raspy, it was someone who hadn’t spoken in thousands of years.
Chang’e stepped forward, “Your souls have been alive for hundreds of thousands of years. Both of your have by now attracted powerful magic because of your very existence. If you allow your souls to be forged into a weapon by moon fire, it would be a weapon worthy of the highest level of god.”
Wu Kang blinked and suddenly understood, “For Yu Zhu?’
The goddess of mercy nodded, “She has a battle in front of her that will determine the very existence of all the realms. If you and Mei Yan agree, she would gain a weapon that could destroy even a creation god.”
“To create a weapon from two pure and powerful souls hasn’t happened very often.” Chang’e added, “The process is beyond any pain you’ve experienced and once forged, your souls would never be able to take any other form again. Countless have failed, and only one or two have succeeded. The fire will burn your souls and cast your essence into the metal. But you will be together, living in the weapon.”
Mei Yan looked at Wu Kang, he had waited for her for so long. She would follow his choice.
Wu Kang’s gaze was soft, he gently kissed Mei Yan’s forehead, “For our daughter. We owe her this much.”
Mei Yan smiled too, “I married the right man.”
She looked at Chang’e “We will stay.” The two souls looked at each other quietly, stood holding their hands as Chang ‘e told them what they must do. Then everyone left as they prepared themselves for the next part of their journey.
Wu Kang held Mei Yan tightly in his arms. They had so very little time in this form, neither wanted to waste it with words, holding each other like this was the sweetest feeling in the world.
“No matter what happens, I won’t make you wait for me any more.” Mei Yan’s voice was soft, as they watched the flames.
Wu Kang smiled and kissed his wife’s cheek, “I don’t mind.” They knew that once they went into the forge, the would face danger and pain unlike anything they knew. But if they could succeed, then they would help their daughter. And while this was not the forever they thought they could have with each other, it was a thousand times better than re-incarnating and waiting for one another.
When it came time, Wu Kang and Mei Yan shared a brief, sweet kiss. Hand in hand, the two souls walked into the roaring forge, in face of the flames there was nothing but calm, happy smiles and fulfillment in their eyes.