A House Wife
Her smile slowly faded after he left the room, she sat on the bed and looked down at her hands. She pinched the inside of her right hand, a face twitched slightly, but it wasn’t visible for the others in the room to notice.
Her head was down for a while and the adults noticed this. “YuMi?” Emperor An called out. A slight trembled passed through her heart, but did not stay. She looked up in his direction but instead of looking directly at him, she looked at the space between his eyes and answered, “Your majesty?”
Emperor An smiled and asked, “Do you know what happened to you? We found you unconscious on the floor in your mother’s store, do you know what was the cause of it?”
A smiled formed on her face, still looking at Emperor An she said, “Your majesty does not need to worry about this servant, I do not deserve such treatment.” General Ye’s eyes widened. Ni Xing gaped at her daughter’s statement. Ye Ning frowned and Emperor An’s body froze for a split second.
He looked at Yue Mian closely and said in a deep and domineering voice, “Nonsense! You are my goddaughter, it’s my duty as your godfather.” The smiled on Yue Mian’s face grew wider; she moved her eyes slightly to the left and looked Emperor An directly in the eyes and said, “Then so be it.”
Her gaze shifted over to her mother and she said, “Mama, I am doing fine, can we leave now?” Ni Xing felt strange, she could not say it was okay for them to leave, this was the palace, the Emperors home.
She looked over at her father whose eyes were set on Yue Mian, shifting her eyes she looked at Emperor An and asked in a toned down voice that was barely audible but could still be heard by those in the room, “Your Majesty, it’s been a long day, disturbing you any longer is the same as treason.”
Emperor An looked at Ni Xing who was bowed and sighed, he looked back at Yue Mian who was no longer looking at him and sighed, he brushed the palm of his right hand over his face and looked over at General Ye who looking at him with a pleading gaze.
He waved his left hand and bid his farewell after taking one last glance at Yue Mian and Ni Xing. The four of them walked out the palace gate and got onto their horses and returned to their home. The ride back home was strange for the three adults, Yue Mian started humming along the way and smiling at them.
The sudden change was-unexpectant in a way for them; when they arrived at home, General Ye told Yue Mian that he needed to speak with her after dinner, she agreed and told him she needed to speak to him as well.
During dinner, Yue Mian ate her food very energetically and with a smile on her face; Ye Ning smiled and wondered what had gotten into this grandchild of hers. Yue Mian, on the other hand, did not mind being stared at, she was not in their positions and ultimately did not care, she wanted to get this over with so that she could speak with her grandfather.
After twenty minutes passed she was done. She sat back in the chair and smiled, “Mama, grandmama, thank you for the food, it was really delicious.” Ye Ning chuckled and said, “Child, what has gotten into you today?”
Yue Mian raised a brow and smiled mischievously, “Grandmama, should I not enjoy the delicious dishes that you and mama prepared?” Ye Ning put the last potato in her bowl into her mouth and chewed on it with a smile.
Yue Mian giggled to herself on the side and watched her grandmother pull faces at her while eating; Ni Xing perplexed. Why did something seem off about her daughter since she woke up? Why could she not figure out what it was!
After ten minutes passed Yue Mian and her grandfather went out back to where the horses were and fed them hay and apples while speaking.
General Ye observed the smiling Yue Mian, he did not want to say what he was about to, but he had no choice, her behaviour recently was becoming out of hand and she was embarrassing him. “YuMi, what you did back at the palace was wrong, no matter how angry the royal family makes one, you should know that disobeying the Emperor is the same as suicide, tomorrow I want you to return to the Imperial Palace with me and apologise to Emperor An, Emperor Shaan and the Crown Prince and princesses.”
Yue Mian who was patting the horses and feeding them, stopped after she heard her grandfather say the last line. She turned to face him, with an emotionless face she said, “I am never returning to the palace, nor will I apologize to the royal siblings. I Yue Mian was not at fault!”
General Ye frowned, he took a deep breath in and said in a deep and loud voice, “Ye Yue Mian!! How can you be so disrespectful? Did I not teach you manners?” General Ye was about to explode and continue but was cut off by Yue Mian, “Grandfather, I no longer want to be the Emperor’s Goddaughter, nor do I want to continue training. I want to become a good housewife in the future and marry a good soldier like General Wang.”
General Ye was baffled, the words he was about to spit out was swallowed back in and he just stared at Yue Mian. Unable to say what he wanted, he stared at her in silence; she stopped speaking and looked back at her grandfather.
“Ahem,” she cleared her throat to bring her grandfather back to reality after she saw that he was just staring at her. General Ye looked at his granddaughter and said with a weary smile, “YuMi, can you repeat what you just said?”
Her expressionless face was no more expressionless, she smiled and fiddled with her fingers in front of her, inside her sleeves and said, “Grandfather, I no longer want to learn martial arts, I want to be a woman that my future husband can be proud of and not ashamed of.”
General Ye’s heart trembled, “Y-yuMi, do you mean this?” She nodded her head excitedly. She walked up to her grandfather and took his hand in hers and said, “Grandfather, I have been troubling you and I no longer want to, is it alright if I stop training and be serious about my housewife duties?”
General Ye stared at his granddaughter for a good amount of time. He kneeled down in front of her and combed her beautiful long black hair with his right hand, he looked at her left cheek that was covered with a medicine cloth. Caressing her cheek slightly he smiled at her.
His smile was odd and Yue Mian was slightly curious about it, but she never showed it in her eyes or on her face. “YuMi, is it because of grandfather that you decided to stop?” he asked with a croaked voice. She looked at him and shook her head, “Mama told me who my father is, I don’t want to be a disappointment to you all, this is the reason why I changed my mind.” She answered with tears welling up in her water line.
General Ye wiped away the tears that formed with his two thumbs from her eyes and got up and gave her a kiss on her nose. He patted her head and told her that she didn’t have to worry about anything. General Ye decided to not force anything on her anymore and let her be, she decided her future and he was grateful that she was still happy.
He left her outside with the horses. She continued to feed the horses, but she no longer had a smile on her face. As she brushed her horses main, she had a strange gaze in her eyes that made it seem like she was dead but still alive.
A week later.
Early in the morning before the sun rose, the birds started chirping. Yue Mian’s eyes opened, she got out of bed and got dressed, she jumped out of her bedroom window and ran across the army base to where here uncle Ni Rou resided.
Ni Rou was just about done with getting dressed when he heard a knock on his door. He opened it and was surprised to see his niece. Yue Mian greeted her uncle with a smile and was let into the house.
*Thirty minutes passed*
Seated at a table with an oil lamp burning, lighting up the room, the two of them sat across one another. Ni Rou had his hands folded in front of him and he stared at Yue Mian with a puzzled expression, he could not believe what she just asked him.
Ni Rou invited her in and they began to converse. He knew that Yue Mian wouldn’t unnecessarily visit him, but he was happy since he barely saw her. As they were speaking Yue Mian kept avoiding the main question she wanted to ask her uncle.
When there was no longer anything to speak about, she mustered up her courage and came out, “Uncle, will you train me?” Ni Rou raised a brow, “YuMi, did you not say you want to stop training?”
“Uncle, I did but I only said that to grandfather because I don’t want him to be my master anymore, I want to explore the different aspects of combat and grandfather only wants to train me in sword fighting, whereas I want to learn how to shoot an arrow from a bow, fight with a spear and physical combat, but I also want to learn left-hand combat, like you,” she said, while nervously nibbling on her bottom lip.
Ni Rou watched as she kept fiddling with her fingers and would occasionally sneak a glance at him, for Yue Mian to break away from her grandfather and run all the way to him and ask this from him. He found it odd, but still - something told him to help her.
“YuMi, this will be very difficult, if General Ye finds out that you lied to him and are going behind his back, do you not think his feelings will be hurt? And the consequences that you will face when he finds out that you have been sneaking out of the house to practice?” he said while glaring at her.
She took a deep breath in and sat up straight on the chair, she looked at her uncle directly in the eye and scoffed, “I have my own plans, I came here to ask for your help, you choose, its either you help me or you don’t, you can also report my actions to General Ye if you want, frankly, I don’t care. Grandfather lost my respect when he kept saying I should apologise to the Royal siblings for something I did not do - I saved him face by lying to him... So will you help me or should I ask someone else?”
She looked at her uncle with a grin and her head cocked to the left while folding her arms. Ni Rou had his hands folded in front of him and he stared at Yue Mian with a baffled expression, [What just happened?] she was acting all nervous before but suddenly her speech changed and the way she presented herself. He looked at her deeply wondering, if the person in front of him was really the ten-year-old daughter of his sister.
The two of them went back and forth about this, Ni Rou did not want to be her instructor, but after seeing that Yue Mian wasn’t going to back down, he decided to give in to her demands, and this way he could keep an eye on her just in case something went wrong.