Shen Yuan barely remembered the birth of his little sister during his past life. He was only three years old back then and he did not have the mind of an adult, unlike now. His earliest memory of his sister was just seeing his mother holding the baby in her arms. His eldest brother however witnessed the birth (well, not the birth itself but he was there when their mother’s water broke and he saw the mess left in the labour room), and he only described it as ‘bloody’.
His brother would be right about that. When Shen Yuan ran into the room joining the other panicked Peak Lords he nearly fainted. Shen Qingqiu was lying on the floor, Liu Qingge had rushed to cradle him, Qiu Haitang stood at the side not knowing what to do while Mu Qingfang knelt in front of him. His mother’s legs were parted and the bottom of his robes were completely soaked. There was no time to get his medical equipment so Mu Qingfang would just have to make an incision using a short blade.
“Shixiong, please bear it for a while,” said Mu Qingfang. “Everyone except Liu Shidi, please leave the room.”
“Just do it!” Shen Qingqiu yelled. He was in immense pain and he couldn’t care less anymore. The baby was demanding to get out.
Mu Qingfang sterilized the blade with his spiritual energy and when more blood began seeping out, Shen Yuan nearly blacked out.
Only for a few seconds, though. Luo Binghe held him from the back to stop him from falling down. “A Yuan, let’s wait outside, okay?”
Shen Yuan nodded his head. Truthfully a part of him wanted to stay inside, but he knew it wouldn’t be a good idea. He let Luo Binghe carry him outside.
Soon, disciples from Qian Cao Peak that had been summoned finally arrived with their kits. Around the same time, they all heard the cries of a baby.
Shen Yuan could finally exhale with relief. He was worried it might take too long, but his little sibling popped out without much difficulty. He had heard stories of women who suffered contractions for an entire day before they were finally able to give birth but luckily for Shen Qingqiu the baby came out just fine. It was a bit earlier than the predicted due date, but Mu Qingfang was pleased to report that the baby girl was born perfect and of healthy weight.
Shen Qingqiu was transferred to a spare room in Qiong Ding Peak for now. With his current cultivation, by the following day he would be fit enough to return to Qing Jing Peak, and would be healed completely within three to four days. Yue Qingyuan let Shen Yuan into the room, while the rest of the Peak Lords and their surprise guests waited outside to give the entire family some time to have a look at the new baby first.
Shen Qingqiu still looked pale - he had lost a huge amount of blood - but his complexion did not look bad, he only looked tired. He was already sitting up, and Liu Qingge held the baby in his arms. He smiled, and showed the baby to Shen Yuan. “A Yuan, look, your little sister.”
Shen Yuan blinked, staring at the still pink newborn. He had seen photos of himself and his siblings when they were just born, yet it still felt surreal. “She’s so tiny and wrinkly.”
Shen Qingqiu chuckled. “You were like this when you were born too.”
He was sure he was not this pink and wrinkly. “What’s her name?” He knew Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge had likely already chosen a name for the baby.
“Liu Song. A Song, look, it’s your big brother, your Yuan Gege.”
So they chose to use Liu Qingge's surname this time. He was a little surprised for a second, then he remembered that even in his previous world there were also siblings with different surnames. The Liu family had been very welcoming to Shen Qingqiu, why would they not have one child inheriting the Liu surname? In fact, according to tradition here Shen Yuan should have been named Liu Yuan, since in this world children usually took the surname of the alpha parent. Moreover, he was their firstborn son. The Bai Zhan Peak Lord however likely did not care that much about traditions and was just happy about having a child, hence even after their marriage Shen Yuan remained a Shen.
“A Yuan, do you want to try and hold her?” Liu Qingge suddenly asked.
“Oh? Oh, okay,” Shen Yuan smiled and accepted the baby into his arms. Goodness, she is light , he thought. It felt like he was holding a bundled up Bingpup.
“A Song looks like she takes more after you than me,” Shen Qingqiu commented, looking at his husband.
Really? Shen Yuan could not tell. She looked the same as his Shen meimei, in fact she looked pretty much like every newborn he had seen. Just a blob of pink, wrinkly little humans.
Shen Yuan returned the baby to his mother’s arms and soon other Peak Lords also began coming in to have a look at the baby. They all cooed over the newborn baby girl. Liu Mingyan who had been there with Qi Qingqi was already penning a letter to her parents to inform them about the birth of the new baby. Luo Binghe was already fussing around, trying to head to the kitchen to prepare soup for his Shizun but also trying to keep Tianlang Jun from poking his head to have a look.
Shen Yuan noticed Mobei Jun whispering something to Shang Qinghua that caused the An Ding Peak Lord to blush. The two then disappeared (probably to make their own babies, Shen Yuan thought and rolled his eyes), unnoticed by the other Peak Lords who were too busy arguing about who should get the right to hold the new bundle of joy. Mu Qingfang advised them to not pass the newborn baby around too much and in the end, Liu Qingge and Shen Qingqiu simply shooed all of them away.
What good timing for the baby to be born! Shang Qinghua was worried when a fight was about to erupt between Mobei Jun, Luo Binghe, and Tianlang Jun. The older heavenly demon had made a careless remark about how disappointed he was in Mobei Jun’s taste and Mobei Jun who lost his temper had gone to attack Tianlang Jun. Luo Binghe apparently was quite insulted as well and joined the fray, though Shang Qinghua had no idea whether he was upset at his own father or at Mobei Jun.
Shang Qinghua and Mobei Jun returned to the northern palace. They spent a few more days enjoying their honeymoon, until a servant unexpectedly informed them that Mobei Jun’s father was dying.
The power of the Mobei Clan was passed down through generations, in which after each leader died the heir would absorb the power from the martial body to complete the inheritance. It would take some time to do that and Mobei Jun must not be disturbed. Shang Qinghua pushed away all schedules and accompanied his spouse to his father’s chamber.
An unexpected guest appeared and Shang Qinghua nearly cursed inside. How could he forget that Mobei Jun had an uncle? Moreover, this uncle had a grievance against Mobei Jun and his father, as his partner was stolen from him by his father! In the novel, Linguang Jun would try to interrupt the inheritance ceremony but according to the original plot Luo Binghe would be there to rip his limbs off before he could do it.
Now instead of the protagonist with the golden finger Mobei Jun only had him. Shang Qinghua could only pray that Linguang Jun would forget his ambition to fulfill his revenge and ambition. However, judging from the way Linguang Jun was looking at him and Mobei Jun, it did not look too right. Linguang Jun scrunched his nose as if trying to catch a whiff of Shang Qinghua, only to raise an eyebrow when he noticed the omega was enveloped in Mobei Jun’s scent.
“Well, I’ve only heard the news, but it seems to be true. How can you not invite your own uncle to your wedding?” He sneered.
Mobei Jun did not answer. Linguang Jun shrugged.
“Hurry up and enter, nephew. Otherwise the martial body will dissipate before you can absorb it,” he said and gestured to Mobei Jun to enter the room.
Shang Qinghua wanted to follow but Linguang Jun suddenly stopped him. “Outsiders shouldn’t join.”
Mobei Jun glared at his uncle. “My mate will come with me.”
“Alright, alright, up to you…” Linguang Jun said, once more sneering at them as he watched the two of them enter the room. He waited until Mobei Jun already started the process before he raised his arm and flexed his fingers. “Just don’t regret… when I have to kill you too!”
Mobei Jun was already standing in the circle for the inheritance ceremony and was unable to move even as his eyes widened upon seeing the ball of demonic energy thrown to him. Shang Qinghua shrieked and immediately summoned his sword, deflecting the attack. The impact was enough to make him skid a few steps backward, Linguang Jun’s power really wasn’t something to look down at.
“Oh? This little omega of yours isn’t too bad. Still not my match!” Linguang Jun seethed and sent another wave of attack towards them. Shang Qinghua tried deflecting the attack once more but his own spiritual energy wasn’t enough. He casted a fire spell and created a circle of inferno surrounding himself and Mobei Jun to block Linguang Jun away from them. Fire was the ice demon tribe’s weakness, so even if he could only cast mid-level spells it should be enough to repel Linguang Jun for a while.
“You’re more cunning than I thought. However, do you think this thing can keep me away forever?”
Of course not! Shang Qinghua cried inside. He was hoping the fire would burn long enough for the inheritance process to be completed. However, the flames were slowly weakening and Linguang Jun lunged towards him, choking his neck.
“How would you like to die? Decapitation? A hole through your heart?” He cackled.
“Nn...no…” He croaked.
“Or how about I slowly freeze your insides, ah?” Linguang Jun smirked and began pouring his demonic energy into Shang Qinghua.
His entire body was feeling cold. He was freezing. It reminded him of the winter when his electricity was cut down after not forgetting to pay his bills and not even blankets could help. He writhed and struggled, kicking desperately to be released from Linguang Jun.
The ice demon only had a complicated expression. His jaw dropped. “How… why….why aren’t you dying?”
Before he could finish his sentence, a fist landed against the side of his face and Linguang Jun was thrown a good ten metres away, crashing into the wall.
Shang Qinghua gasped for air as Mobei Jun quickly pulled him into his embrace. He gently laid Shang Qinghua onto the floor once more, before pouncing at his uncle and beating him up to pulp. To gain that strength, he must have finished absorbing all the power…
Shang Qinghua wearily glanced to the side and was shocked to discover that Mobei Jun had yet to complete the inheritance. The strength he gained was only a momentary impulse, out of rage from seeing his mate in danger. He gawked. “King...my King! Husband! The inheritance!”
Mobei Jun rushed towards him and cradled him. “We’ll get you a healer.”
“No, the inheritance! Complete it!”
“I’ll be fine! It’s going to dissipate if you don’t hurry!” Shang Qinghua panicked. It already looked like it was about to disappear. How could Mobei Jun abandon it in a heartbeat?
Reluctantly Mobei Jun returned to the circle and Shang Qinghua forced himself to sit up and keep watch. Something was wrong with him, Linguang Jun’s demonic power was probably still lingering inside him. His belly was freezing cold and he felt sick. He tried to dispel it but the power remained inside him and trying to circulate his own spiritual energy weirdly only made his body feel even colder.
The inheritance was finally over. Mobei Jun slumped down, looking exhausted. He crept towards Shang Qinghua and once again slipped his arms underneath his back and thighs to carry him. "Will get… a healer…"
"My King, my husband... I can... walk…" Shang Qinghua said but was surprised by how feeble his voice sounded himself.
Footsteps approached them.
Shang Qinghua weakly reached into his sleeve looking for the remaining highest grade fire talisman he had. If the asshole uncle ever tried to do something again…
"A showcase of true love! I have truly seen the light now! I shouldn't have judged too quickly."
Shang Qinghua blinked. His vision was beginning to blur. He could only see Mobei Jun shielding him with his arms. "Stay away….or…."
A familiar laugh echoed in the room. "Calm down, Little Mobei... oh, I suppose you're the new official leader now. Congratulations. I was here to watch the ceremony but who knew I'd see something more interesting."
"Your Excellency, how about we bring Peak Lord Shang to a healer first?"
"Oh, you're right. Well, you owe us one now, Mobei and Peak Lord Shang."
Shang Qinghua blacked out.
When he woke up he was in his and Mobei Jun's room in their own newly built palace. Mobei Jun had already recovered thanks to his amplified power now. He was sitting by Shang Qinghua’s side and his face was lit up like a Christmas tree. A small smile formed on Shang Qinghua’s face. Mobei Jun looked so happy, the inheritance must have been a success. He reached out to hold Mobei Jun’s hand. “My King... husband. Is everything fine?”
Mobei Jun nodded and cupped his face. “Qinghua. Thank goodness. It was so close… if it wasn’t for the baby…”
Baby? Is he talking about Cang Qiong Mountain? That was several days ago. Shang Qinghua laughed. “It came at a great time, didn’t it? But why are you still talking about it? The inheritance went well, right? What happened to your uncle?”
Mobei Jun blinked. “Qinghua, did you already know about the baby?”
“Ah? Well, Shen Shixiong’s tummy looked like it was going to pop the bun out anytime so I wasn’t too surprised.”
“I’m not...talking about their baby.”
Shang Qinghua suddenly had a premonition. “Hold on… then which baby are you talking about?”
The door opened after several knocks and Mu Qingfang appeared, bringing his medicine box with him. He raised an eyebrow. “You’re awake, Shang Shixiong.”
Shang Qinghua gawked. “Mu Shidi? Why are you here?”
Mu Qingfang sighed and sat down by the bed. He opened the box then laid out several small jars. He mixed up the contents in a small cup and handed it to Shang Qinghua. “Tianlang Jun brought me here.”
“Tianlang… Jun?” Shang Qinghua vaguely remembered hearing voices that sounded like the heavenly demon speaking, but he thought he was just hallucinating after blacking out.
“None of us know any human healer other than Peak Lord Mu,” Mobei Jun answered. “Your body was acting strange and I wasn’t sure what to do.”
Mu Qingfang nodded. He was a little taken aback when Tianlang Jun suddenly appeared in his peak, moreover not long after Shen Qingqiu had just given birth. He was just about to leave to check on Shen Qingqiu and Liu Song, when Tianlang Jun pretty much kidnapped him to the demon realm to treat Shang Qinghua, who had been struck by a powerful northern demon. An injured martial brother took more priority than a normal check up, so Mu Qingfang only sighed helplessly even though he was not a fan of Tianlang Jun’s oddity.
“Well, pregnancy does make your body change and none of you have experience, I understand why… err, your husband is a little clueless,” Mu Qingfang coughed.
“Hold on!!!” Shang Qinghua shrieked, eyes wide and jaws dropped. “Preg… pregananant… pregnant? Pregnancy? Me?!”
Mu Qingfang smiled. “Yes, Shang Shixiong. Congratulations, you're having a baby.”
Shang Qinghua touched his belly, unable to believe it. “Then, this…” He turned to Mobei Jun.
Mobei Jun nodded. “He tried using his demonic qi to kill you, but the baby growing inside saved you. The baby absorbed the demonic qi so you did not freeze.”
No wonder his tummy felt cold. No wonder he couldn’t dispel the energy out. He had a baby inside, a demon ice baby, and the baby had actually saved his life! “But why didn’t I feel anything? I didn’t have any symptoms, like morning sickness or whatever?”
“You’re still very early into the pregnancy. Some people don’t experience the symptoms until later on, in fact for some people they are very mild,” Mu Qingfang explained.
“So… I really do have a baby?” Shang Qinghua gawked. “Oh my… my King, my husband - we have a baby!” He cried and threw himself at Mobei Jun.
Mu Qingfang smiled and left the couple to celebrate the good news in the privacy of their room. He placed a pack of supplements and herbal tea on the table, along with a note to Shang Qinghua, welcoming him to drop by Qian Cao Peak whenever he needed help.
“Alright, can you return me home now? I need to go and see Shen Shixiong,” Mu Qingfang said to Tianlang Jun and Gongyi Xiao, who were waiting outside. “Still, Shang Shixiong really is lucky. To think that the two of you are here just in time.”
Tianlang Jun laughed and pointed at Gongyi Xiao. “Thank Xiao Xiao here.”
“Xiao Xiao…” Gongyi Xiao was not used to hearing that kind of nickname.
After offending Mobei Jun and Shang Qinghua last time, Gongyi Xiao suggested that before they set off for their long trip, they should go and apologize to Peak Lord Shang first. He was also curious about the demon realm, so Tianlang Jun brought him over after Zhuzhi Lang had shipped the Old Palace Master from the water prison to the dungeon in his southern palace.
When they arrived at the northern palace, they heard the news that Mobei Senior had just passed away and Mobei Junior was replacing him. Tianlang Jun thought they might as well intrude and watch the inheritance ceremony. Who knew a family drama would occur there. He was surprised to see Shang Qinghua defending his spouse with all his might despite being no match for Linguang Jun.
All in all, it was a happy ending that completely satisfied Tianlang Jun. Linguang Jun likely wouldn’t stop here but now that Mobei Jun had inherited the Mobei Clan’s power, his uncle shouldn’t be a match for him anymore. “Well, we can’t leave my nephew to watch over the old man for too long anymore, he’ll get bored. Let’s go and bring back Peak Lord Mu, then I’ll show you around my place next, Xiao Xiao.”
Shen Yuan yawned and stretched his body. The sun had already risen. He sighed.
For the past week their home had been receiving guests non-stop. The Peak Lords kept finding excuses to see A Song, even the disciples were hovering around the bamboo house to the point where either Shen Qingqiu or Liu Qingge had to threaten them with severe punishment if they refused to go back to their lessons.
His grandparents also came to visit and had stayed at the guests’ quarter for a couple of days. They brought some gifts for the couple and the baby, then went straight away to check out and hold his baby sister. After a few days the baby finally no longer looked like a lump of pink meat (at least in Shen Yuan’s eyes) and indeed was starting to show features heavily resembling their father. She even had a beauty mark at the same spot as Liu Qingge.
Madam Liu had not stopped talking about how adorable Little Song was. She was already urging Liu Qingge to come and visit their family home again once A Song was a little older so she could show her off to their other relatives.
Shen Yuan washed up and headed to the dining hall with Bingpup straight away. His mother wasn’t preparing breakfast anymore since he was busy nursing the baby so he had to get breakfast for himself. The disciples had all gone to perform their chores, so he was the only one in the hall, eating congee while feeding some shredded meat for Bingpup. Liu Qingge must have forgotten to wake him up in time again, this was the third day in a row that he was eating breakfast alone. Shen Yuan should really learn to wake up on his own without an alarm clock now. He could not rely on his parents forever.
Airplane had gone back to his husband’s home so Shen Yuan had nobody else but Bingpup to play with. He went to the bamboo forest and began practicing his guqin instead with Bingpup nestled in his lap. These days he wasn’t allowed to play at the deck anymore, to not disturb his sleeping little sister or his tired mother. Shen Yuan snorted a little.
Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge now must be wondering why their new baby was so loud and cried so easily. Shen Yuan had been so easy to take care of since he was an adult in a child’s body. Now they had a real child, who would soon be spilling all kinds of shit, throwing up on important papers, drooling everywhere. Thank me later, you sticky couple .
“A Yuan, why are you here alone?”
Shen Yuan looked up and saw Luo Binghe carrying a bucket of water in hand and a dirty cloth in the other. “Bing Gege, you’re still being bullied at this age?”
Luo Binghe blinked. “Huh?”
Shen Yuan coughed. He hadn’t been alive yet at the time when Luo Binghe was being bullied by his martial brothers, he should not know that. “What are you doing with that cloth and bucket?”
“Ah… I’m cleaning up the empty room in the disciple quarter. They gave me a room for myself, but it’s too dusty,” said Luo Binghe.
“You’re not sleeping in your old room anymore?” Shen Yuan asked.
Luo Binghe shook his head. “I’m still going to serve Shizun, but I’m not staying there anymore. I’m an adult alpha now and even if Shizun treats me as part of his pack, I’m still not related to him. Staying under the same roof would not be appropriate. Liu Shishu is also an alpha, he won’t like that.”
“But…” Shen Yuan paused, thinking back. Well, Luo Binghe had a point. He was an adult alpha now and though Shen Yuan could not understand since he had not presented yet, fully grown alphas could not stand other alphas being too close to their omegas, unless they were blood-related.
“Well, I can’t stay there forever anyway. Soon An Ding Peak might renovate the whole bamboo house to give more space for both you and A Song,” Luo Binghe said.
Well, he wasn’t wrong. Shen Yuan imagined even with a second baby his parents likely wouldn’t stop being the sickeningly sweet and horny couple they were. His little sister too, would need her own space soon, the poor girl should be spared from walking into... ehem, the things he saw. Perhaps one day he would be the one moving to Luo Binghe’s old room, while his little sister would take over his room. Thinking about that somehow made Shen Yuan a little sad.
He loved his previous parents of course, but he was without a doubt closer to his current parents. The Shen couple were busy making money most of the time, he and his siblings were usually cared for by nannies and housekeepers, and were taught by teachers and tutors. Here, Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge took care of everything, only leaving him to their disciples when needed. He was breastfed for much longer, he was taught by his own mother, bathed and dressed by his father.
Having meals without them already felt lonely, even though he was used to eating alone in his previous life, after moving out from his family home. Shen Qingqiu’s eating schedule had changed to suit A Song’s waking and sleeping hours so Liu Qingge would tell him to eat with other disciples since he wanted to accompany his mate during mealtime. He understood they did not want him to also have irregular mealtimes since he was a growing child, but still... it had only been several days and he kind of missed family meals.
“Bing Gege is still going to be here, taking care of you and A Song,” Luo Binghe smiled and patted his head. “Is Shizun awake? What about A Song?”
Shen Yuan shrugged.
The smile disappeared from Luo Binghe’s face. He did notice Shen Yuan had been eating breakfast alone these days and that he had only been playing with Bingpup. “A Yuan, aren’t you happy to have a baby sister?”
“What?” Shen Yuan was a little surprised to hear that from Luo Binghe. “Of course I’m happy.”
“Why aren’t you spending more time with them?”
He just did not want to disturb Shen Qingqiu’s rest, what was so weird about that? His parents were the ones who told him to have his meals at the dining hall or play farther from home. “I don’t want to wake A Song or mama. A Song needs to sleep and mama needs rest.”
“Mm. A Yuan is very considerate. Still, you shouldn’t be playing alone here,” said Luo Binghe.
“We’re still in Qing Jing Peak, it’s safe. Everyone is busy, I don’t want to bother them,” Shen Yuan said. Shen Qingqiu had delegated more tasks to Ming Fan and the rest of his disciples so they were all occupied.
“... Still, haven’t you gone and seen Shizun today yet?” Luo Binghe said.
“We live in the same house, of course we will see each other. Bing Gege, why are you asking this?”
Luo Binghe looked a little hesitant before he finally said, “A Yuan, you look upset.”
Did he? Shen Yuan looked back at the small guqin. He had finally mastered a piece but Shen Qingqiu wasn’t here to listen. “I’m just bored.”
Luo Binghe placed the bucket down and sat on the ground facing him. “A Yuan, you should tell Shizun and Liu Shishu if you are upset.”
Shen Yuan shook his head. Why would he do that, he was already grown up. It was embarrassing, to still be asking for attention. “A Song is more important, she’s a baby and she’s so small.”
“But A Yuan is also important. No matter your age, you’re still Shizun’s precious child,” said Luo Binghe.
Why are you here preaching to me when you haven’t even reconciled with your own daddy? Shen Yuan thought. “Bing Gege, aren’t you going to find a girl - ehem, an omega, and have your own baby?”
Luo Binghe looked confused. “Huh? No, A Yuan, I don’t plan to do anything like that.”
Luo Binghe blushed a little. “I’m waiting for a fated encounter like Shizun.”
… What fated encounter? It seemed to Shen Yuan he was just born out of an accident! He was conceived and born before Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge were married, there was clearly an incident that the two of them were too embarrassed to disclose to a young child.
Luo Binghe went to do his chores and Shen Yuan decided perhaps he could pop over to Mo Shou Peak and ask Yu Qingxuan to help him train Bingpup. The Bingpup imbued with Mobei Jun’s power was too majestic, he was curious to see if the Mo Shou Peak Lord could do the same as well.
On his way, he encountered Shang Qinghua at the Rainbow Bridge and his eyes immediately lit up. “Airplane Bro, you’re back!”
Shang Qinghua too looked very excited to see him. “Cucumber Bro!”
He ran up to Shang Qinghua and grinned. “You’re finally here. Were you about to come and see me?”
“Of course bro, you’re the first person I’d tell this news to!” Shang Qinghua laughed.
The An Ding Peak Lord’s face was bright and his eyes were starry. “Bro, I’m having a baby!”
Shen Yuan’s smile remained stiff on his face. A baby.
Shang Qinghua too, was having a baby.