Yun Che looked at the large lake in shock. Through the light mist he could see such a clear reflection. What he saw wasn’t himself though. It was a girl. The light from the necklace around both their necks was glowing a pale blue. The spirit guide who had led him through the cave was chuckling. Yun Che thought he could hear bells in the breeze of the cave.
“I told you it would surprise you.” She told him. Yun Che wanted to look away from the reflection, but he was spell bound. “What is it showing me?” The spirit glided forward until she was right next to him at the edge lake. Her reflection was the image of a man. “It’s you.” He reached out towards the water. Instead of ripples interrupting the scene his fingers touched flesh for a moment.
Jasmine yelling at him to take his hand away. “Don’t touch the water!” Yun Che hadn’t seen her this worked up in awhile. It made him feel more then concerned. “Why?” Jasmine sighed. “Because it can pull you into her world.” He looked back at the reflection. “This person exists. What world is she in?” Jasmine looked down at the reflection with disgust. Apparently, she didn’t like the image of a female Yun Che.
The Spirt Guide pointed down at the water. “You can tell the Princess to relax. The Yun Che of that reality will not pull him in.” Jasmine snorted. “Do not trust her, Yun Che. Ye Xian is known for being a liar.” Ye Xian only smiled at Yun Che. “We cannot lie. You know that.” He stood up and looked away from the lake. “Ye Xian, it’s time to explain what’s going on. I asked the lake to show me my next step.” She pointed back towards his reflection. “The lake can only show you the next step to your goal. It’s telling you to bring the other Yun Che to this world.”
Jasmine started freaking out again. “You can’t! It could collapse this world and the other one.” Ye Xian continued not to seem bothered by Jasmine. It was like everything she said was expected. “He has part of the Evil God inheritance. The other half is in that Yun Che. The Evil God can freely move as an individual between the Yin and Yang world.” Jasmine turned away from the spirit. She was clearly annoyed with her. “Neither one of them is whole. That still puts both worlds at risk.”
Yun Che seemed to not care about his master’s response. “Ye Xian. Explain what you mean.” The spirit bent down and smiled at the reflection. “ There are two realities that make up existence. One is the Yin world and the other is the Yang. Each world has the same existences, Gods and principles. Except in the case of the Evil God. He is the only existence to be a complete individual separate of having an existing doppelgänger. Being an inheritor of the Evil God will let you travel between the Yin and the Yang worlds.” Jasmine snorted. “At a risk.”
Yun looked down at the reflection again. The woman in the water was smiling at him. “What is the risk?” Ye Xian pointed first at the reflection and then at him. “There has never been two Evil God entities. Now that we have two, travel between the two realities could upset the balance between your Yin world and her Yang world. However, the water only shows a certain outcome. The Yun Che of the Yang world will end up in this one. No matter if you choose to be the one to pull her into the Yin world.” He felt like his head was going to explode. Even, Yun Che couldn’t of predicted this outcome.
“You’re saying that if I walk away that Yun Che will still be able to cross over.” Ye Xian nodded her head. “It is fate. The Evil God will always seek to be one entity.” He looked up at Jasmine. Her previous demeanor of stubborn denial had been replaced by weariness. “She may be right. The will of the Evil God has always been to defy the rules of the world. You may not have a choice.” Yun Che scoffed. “I alway’s have a choice.”
The water of the lake began to stir in front of them and ripples soundly overtook the calm water. Yun Che looked at Ye Xian in surprise. “The Yun Che of the Yang world has chosen to not wait for you to decided to pull her through in the Yin world. She has dove into the lake on her own.” He looked back at the water. “She did what!” Ye Xian smiled at him. “Watch the water.”
As the ripples grew larger and more frequent a young girl slowly emerged from the center. She opened her eyes and Yun Che was taken a back. He could see his soul in them. The girl smiled at him and swam to the edge of the lake. She stood up and stretched. Her figure being outlined in the wet clothes. “Damn that felt awful. Next time it will be your turn to come to the Yang world.” He just stared at her in shock.
She walked over to the spirit guide and shook her hand. “You must be this world’s Ye Xian.” The spirit ignored her hand and bowed. “Yun Che.” The girl laughed. “This may end up confusing if both of us are called Yun Che.” He watched her turn towards him. “I’ll call you Xiao Bai and you will call me Xiao Hei. Ok?” Yun Che simply nodded. He could not understand how such a delicate looking female seemed okay with standing before a man in wet clothes. How smooth her logic was in such a moment.
“Why did you come to this world?” He asked her. Xiao Hei walked over to him, each step a graceful glide. “The inheritances are not the same in each world.. Let’s share with each other.” He turned to Ye Xian who was chuckling into her sleeve. “It makes sense that the Evil God would not have his entire inheritance in both realities. He was such a playful man.” Jasmine was silent.
He turned back to his female self. “What have you inherited?” Xiao Hei smiled at him. “Earth, Wood, Water and Air.” His eyes raised in shock. They were really all different from his. “Fire, Ice, Thunder and Metal.” She sat down and smiled up at him. The casualness about her made him feel uncomfortable. “Good, let’s get this started then.”
Yun Che called for Jasmine. He needed her advice. Jasmine just mumbled to herself. “It’s not like you’ll stop if I tell you too.” He nodded and sat down. “How do we exchange the inheritance?” She turned to Ye Xian. “Well, how do we?” She smiled at them like their was a joke that she knew. but they didn’t. Both Yun Che’s felt like their skin was crawling. “The other me didn’t tell you?” Xiao Hei shook her head no. “You must exchange your Yin and Yang energy.”
The two Yun Che’s looked at each other in shock. The concept of exchanging energies with themselves was off putting. “Neither one of us have virgin Yin or Yang.” He finally said. Ye Xian nodded. “It does not matter between doppelgängers.” Xiao Hei stood up and started to pace around the room. Her counterpart, Xiao Bai, did exactly the same. However, Xiao Hei was the first to stop pacing and ask another question. “Can our final goal be reached without completing the Evil God inheritance?” Ye Xian shook her head no and pointed to the lake.
She turned to look at her male counterpart. “Xiao Bai?” He looked conflicted. “I am married.” She shrugged at him. “So am I.” Ye Xian decided to chime in. “It does not go against the celestial marriage laws for doppelgängers to exchange energies. However, it would not matter in either case for the Evil God. To him it would just be an exchange between a man and a woman.” He looked at her sighed. Normally, Yun Che would have no problem with a chance to sleep with a woman as beautiful as this, but with someone that was supposedly himself.
“Xiao Hei, is this really something you must achieve?” She looked at him surprised. “We are the same person. You should already know the answer to that. Our life has probably not differed much.” He held out his hand for her. A chill shooting through him when she placed her hand in his. “If I do this, I insist I treat you as I would any other woman.” She nodded at him. “And I shall treat you as I would any other man.” Ye Xian turned around and headed towards her room smiling. This was not something she needed to see.
The two Yun Che’s proceeded to exchange Evil God energies. Both Jasmine’s covering their eyes. Like this six days passed. When hey were done both sat down to cultivate. Four weeks passed until either Yun Che moved again. Xiao Bai the first to speak. “The Earth inheritance is interesting.” Xiao Hei flashed him a smile. “Same to your Fire Inheritance. Acquiring the Pheonix Bloodline and the Golden Crow Bloodline would of been much easier for me to overcome.” He laughed. Over the time they spent together he had finally become comfortable with his doppelgänger. “It was a life saver. Why does your Golden Crow feel different then mine?” Xiao Hei sighed. “ Your world’s Golden Crow and mine differ. It is the same with the Vermillion Bird.”
He looked at her confused. Based on the information provided to them by Ye Xian there should of been no difference between the two realities. “The Golden Crow spirit of your world left behind a stronger soul imprint. The Records of the Burning world you can longer would then be stronger.” He held up his hand. The Golden Crow’s flames seeping out. “Is there a way for us to exchange?” Xiao Hei looked down at her own hands. “My only guess would be to exchange blood.” Both of them pricked their fingers and dropped nine drops of blood into cup. They exchanged the cups and drank from it. Both of them feeling like their whole body was on fire. It took a week of them crawled up on the ground burning for the flames to settle. Burn marks left on both their hands and arms.
Ye Xian glided towards them with food. They had forgotten the last time they ate. “Take three days to recover. You must refill yourself with food and wait for your injuries to heal.” The two Yun Che’s relaxed and dug into the food. Ye Xian watching them eat.
Xiao Hei speaking up, “So. Where are we heading to next?” He looked up from his food. The reluctance to part with it was seen in his struggle to take his eyes off of the dumplings. “I need to see Cang Yue first.” She nodded at him. “I wonder if your Cang Yue is like mine.” Yun Che thought about his second wife. Her famous cherry lips, sparkling eyes, perfect crescent shaped eyebrows and her soft gaze enough to strike any man’s heart. The thought of her as a male didn’t fit. “I can’t imagine her as a male.” Xiao Hei put her bun back on the plate. She was just like her counterpart, reluctant to give up on food. “I can’t imagine him as a woman. Well… maybe I can seeing how I became Xiao Bai.”
She turned away from him to stretch. Yun Che could easily see how she would attract a male Cang Yue. She was as beautiful as Qingyue and Yuechan. However, unlike the two of them a part of her beauty came from a strong confidence that could be confused for a charming sense of arrogance. She could only stand in front of the crowd to lead a charge. There was also the danger one could see in her eyes. How easily Xiao Hei’s gaze went from soft and lovely to a hard steel. Yun Che thought she was similar to the world’s frailest but most enchanting poisonous flower. How many men must have been trapped by her looks? It was amusing to think that this was himself as a female.
“Don’t you want to stretch?” Xiao Hei asked him. He shook his head no. “I’m thinking about Cang Yue.” She laughed. “Only Cang Yue? Poor, Qingyue, Yuechan and Little Demon Empress. They must be lonely.” Yun Che had wanted to reserve a part of his belief that her world and his weren’t the exact mirrors of each other. It seemed he couldn’t insist on this much longer. “Are you involved with them as well?”
Xiao Hei shook her head in amusement. “You should of been there for my marriage to Cang Yue. His older sisters caused quite a commotion about it.” Yun Che nodded his head in understanding. “A girl having multiple husbands is somewhat…” He let his words trail off. Xiao Hei only shrugged at him. She was so assured in herself and her own beliefs. “That’s true on the Profound Continent. However, it wasn’t that unusual in the Illusory Demon Realm. Those of higher status simply held the highest amount of possessions. Male or female.” He looked at her disappointed. Yun Che had always assumed if he was a woman he would act in the parameters of a noble woman. Xiao Hei seemed to be confused somewhere in-between the parameters of a man’s responsibility and a woman’s.
In the end he settled with not expressing his disappointment. Somehow it felt like it would be two faced to bash her for acting in the same manor he himself does. “I suppose your Caiyi is as difficult as mine.” She laughed. “For an emperor his personality certainly needed work.” Yun Che stood up and walked towards the lake’s edge. Since they had exchanged energies and started cultivating they had not approached the water’s edge. “Tell me about the Yang world.” She walked over to the lake. When she saw only the two Jasmine’s reflections Xiao Hei frowned. “It must be similar enough to yours.”
He stared at the reflections along with her. The sight of the two Jasmine’s bothered him. “We can see.” They both sat down by the water. “I was born with crippled veins in the Xiao Clan. The clan and the city looked down on me as a waste of space. They all said a girl with crippled veins is not good for marriage prospects.” Yun Che sighed. He remembered those days so vividly. The memory of waking up in a poisoned body. All of the shame everyone wanted him to feel for existing. No one liked him because he was a crippled male and no one liked her because she was a crippled female. It seemed it hadn’t mattered either way. “How was your Grandmother, Little Uncle and Yuanba? Helpful?”
She nodded her head. “Of course. Yuanba seemed determined to see me as her elder sister. When I married her brother, Qingyue, she almost made the entire Xiao Clan wince all at the same time.” He cracked up laughing, remembering his own wedding. “Did your Qingyue become a Frozen Asgard Disciple?” Xiao Hei smiled at the water. “He did. In the Yin world they must all be women.” Yun Che nodded. He found it hard to imagine all of the Frozen Asgard beauties as males. A whole collection of beautiful and fairy like men didn’t seem to fit the picture he had in his head.
“Then the trials up to meeting Cang Yue must of been the same. How did you two end up married?” Xiao Hei smiled at the water again. Yun Che wondered if she could see the Yang world in it. The level of concentration she had on the calm water could only explained by this. “He was going through his own trials to be stronger. The struggle between his older sisters, the corrupt doctor and the nobles led him to want to be more then a frail prince protected by others. He seemed to find me admirable.” He frowned at the water. “That didn’t answer my question.” Xiao Hei turned to smile at him. It was a completely different smile then the one she gave to the lake. This one was a warning. “Would you want to hear who I murdered for Blue Wind instead. The list can’t be different from yours.”
Yun Che could tell he had upset her. “I don’t consider most of those I put down as murder.” Her smile disappeared. “Taking any life is murder. The point of this chance at life again was to learn the value of it.” He finally thought he could see a difference between the two of them. She still valued the act of taking a life.
“What about Yuechan? In my world she was pregnant.” Xiao Hei’s hand went to her stomach. “I was.” His face went red. “Was it a boy or a girl?” She turned to look back at the water. “I don’t know. Yuechan’s brother took the baby to clean off after I delivered it. He turned his back to grab a cloth and the baby was gone. What was left behind was a hair pin that had belonged to Yuechan.” Yun Che stood up in anger. “Who took my child!” Xiao Hei smiled sadly. “Yuechan of course. He must of wanted a safer place for the child.”
Yun Che sat back down. He knew that Yuechan would be the protective type, but to take the child and run. It was true that their life was difficult, but to remove the child. He couldn’t help but feel bad for Xiao Hei. As a mother the feeling must be unbearable. He understood why she valued life more then him. “The Little Demon Emperor, how did his conflict with Duke Ming go?”
The tension in the room disappeared. “My Little Demon Emperor was poisoned as a child. It left him with a frail body. Duke Ming believed he did not have the constitution to inherit the Golden Crow Bloodline. However, I passed the Dragon’s Body and the Great Way of the Buddha to help his body endure the inheritance.” He frowned. “And still only three years?” She nodded yes.
Ye Xian who had been watching from the background glided forward. “You two do not seem to be resting.” Both Yun Che’s looked at her annoyed. She lifted her arm and four jade warriors clawed their way out from the ground. “You may as well prepare yourselves for what’s coming.” Both of them brought out Hong’er. Neither of them wasting a moment in commanding her/him to become the scarlet heavy sword. “Xiao Bai, let’s use only our new gifts.” He nodded his head and they ran forward. “Phoenix Break.” Yelled Xiao Hei as she slashed her Hong’er down. Yun Che’s Hong’er followed right after. “Sky Wolf Slash.” The heavy sword moving completely differently with the Evil Gods Wind Inheritance.
A few moves later and the four Jade soldiers shattered a part. Ye Xian clapping. “Looks like the exchange of Evil God inheritances has altered your current abilities. It is a shame that you both posses the complete Evil God inheritance, but not skills to bring them out. It seems Yun Che of the Yang world received the better end of the exchange.” They ignored her and released the Hong’ers.
“Xiao Bai, let us hurry to Cang Yue.” Xiao Hei said before bowing to Ye Xian. He nodded and also bowed to the spirit guide. Ye Xian frowned. “I rarely get company. Can’t you two just rest until your wounds heal completely.” Xiao Hei pulled up her sleeve smiling. “They are already healed.” Yun Che smiled at her. “Thank you for the help Ye Xian. I promise to visit you soon.” The spirit guide smiled at the two of them and pulled them into a hug. “Take care of yourselves. We must keep the Evil God safe, little ones.” The two of them hugged her and then stepped back.
“Come, Xiao Hei. We must return to Blue Wind Imperial City.” She nodded her head. “I am eager to see the female Cang Yue.” The two of them turned around and walked through the pale green portal that had brought them into the cave. Once they were on the other side Yun Che brought them into his Primordial Profound Ark. The two of them heading towards Blue Wind Imperial City.
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