Part 1: The Heavenly Tranquility
Upon hearing rumors in the forest that humans are preparing a mission to a lunar colony, two-hundred-year-old foxes Hua and De decide to use their magical power to masquerade as a human man and woman to get on the mission. But the mission on the Heavenly Tranquility, headed by China and manned with an international crew, quickly goes awry when the imposters disrupt the flight, throwing them into an inhabited, magical planet in the Vulpecula constellation. The crew must then cope with the strange new cultures they come in contact with, while Hua and De must deal with temptation and romance!
Here is an excerpt:
In a special chamber of the Palace of the Fire Dragon, Hua lounged among satiny pillows. She had chosen a beautiful silk pajama-type shirt and pants in scarlet, her long black hair twisted up on her head carelessly. Comfortable in the clothes but not so comfortable with the prospect of being surprised by the owner of both the clothes and the room returning to catch her as pretender at any moment, she wished Dorran and Alex would hurry back so they could find somewhere safe to hide.
At least she had had enough time for a decent bath, some of Lady Shalice’s royal perfume, and closets full of clothes for her ladies-in-waiting. Some of those women had passed them in the hall when they first entered the chambers, but they had hidden from the women in time. Luckily, the entourage had stayed away most of the day, though Hua feared it would only be a matter of time before they returned. She wondered if their escape had been discovered yet, and if so, would Shalice think to look for them right in her own bedroom? Not likely, Hua concluded.
She had tried to bathe and dress Mariko, but the poor woman never came back to life, nor did the soap or perfume reduce the smell of snake that she seemed to be doused in. It was probably not so plain to the men, and Hua reminded herself to ask them about it when they returned. Then she realized that such a question might cause some comment from Alex. He had seen her shift into her fox form and back. Such questions could be sticky, especially without De around to come up with some clever answer like he always did. Cursing his headache indeed! It would be unbearable for him if the others ever found out they had gone off course because of his silly magic. Anyway, Mariko was neat and clean in a long, royal blue dress that would have looked smashing on her if she ever snapped out of it. There was only so much Hua could do for her.
Someone knocked on the door. Hua nearly jumped out of her skin, and she knocked lightly in response.
“It’s me, Hua,” she heard Dorran whisper on the other side. “We’re back.”
Hua unbolted the door and let them in. Dorran kissed her quickly, and he and Alex dropped the stolen yellow uniforms on a chair nearby, shutting the door behind them. Only glancing at Mariko and Hua, the men went into the bathing room to quickly wash off the grime from the dungeons. Hua tried not to follow them, but she was too nervous to stay in the main lounge of the concubine’s quarters.
“Hurry, please,” she said to them. Alex looked a little annoyed at her presence in the room. Dorran smiled. She gestured toward the door in exasperation. “Shalice will surely be coming back soon.”
“Will you go out with Mariko and wait?” Dorran asked good-naturedly.
Hua went back out to sit with Mariko, but Mariko had walked over to a keyhole-shaped window overlooking the city. Hua had already looked out at the city from every window in the apartment, and she had a pretty good idea of the street just outside the palace, though she had no idea how they were going to get down to the lower levels just yet. Hopefully, Dorran and Alex had that figured out.