It had been a full hour since she arrived and the sun was slowly rising.
She walked out of her Uncles house and strolled back to her house across the army base on the northern side. Her hands were folded behind her back. She walked with her head facing straight ahead as she observed the animals and bugs.
She was dressed in all black and had a cloth wrapped around her face that only exposed her eyes. A gong was beaten in the distance to wake everyone up.
Soon voices could be heard and this was her cue to hasten her steps. She began jogging at a steady pace. When she arrived outside her window her mask was down because she did not want to alert the soldiers on her way back home.
She jumped through her window and started undressing. She was soon naked and a servant came into her room and with a bowl of lukewarm water.
Yue Mian wiped her body off with a white cloth that was brought in and brushed her teeth. When she was done, the servant returned with her breakfast.
In her spacious room, she ate her breakfast in silence. Her mind was elsewhere, but she did not forget to feed herself.
She and her uncle agreed that they would meet every day, from one-thirty am in the morning until four-fifteen am. This time may seem odd to practise martial arts but this was the best time for her to train without getting noticed.
Training started tonight and she needed rest but first, after breakfast, she has to see the physician.
Yue Mian and her mother travelled by horse to the physicians home. When they arrived there they had to wait because there were other patients.
They did not wait long.
The physician kept sighing as he removed the medicinal cloth from her face and wiped her face clean. After writing down his notes he spoke to them.
“Lady Yue Mian and Lady Ni Xing, I am sorry to say this, but Lady Yue Mian will be scarred for life, the ceramic plate was lodged too deep into her facial skin and has damaged the tissues, this is irreversible,” he said with a pained expression.
Yue Mian was a child loved by most people and she was known as the Emperor’s goddaughter. Her being scarred was truly unfortunate for the Emperor.
Ni Xing nibbled on her bottom lip while the physician spoke. Tears welled up in her water line. She blinked back her tears and squeezed the material of her dress that she had gripped onto before.
Yue Mian had a crescent scar on her face that began an eighth of an inch above her left eyebrow all the way down to under her cheekbone into her left cheek that was still slightly fresh and needed to dry out more.
From the beginning of the physician’s sentence to the last word, her body had a strange yet familiar sensation going through it. She sat there looking at him while every now and then her eyes would move to her mother.
She understood what this all meant but still - it hurt slightly in her heart that she would have a scar on her face for the rest of her life.
Ni Xing couldn’t hold her tears back any longer and they dripped down her pink cheeks, she felt sorry for her daughter - this was the second time she felt like this, being helpless.
Yue Mian raised her left hand and traced the medicinal band that was stuck to her face. The physician had placed a new one on her face and the left side of her face was stinging. She zoned out while looking down at her right hand, continuing to trace over the band.
After a while, she felt a hand touch her shoulder. Looking up at the person who was standing beside her she smiled. It was her mother.
“YuMi, we can return home now,” she said. Smiling at her mother, she nodded her head and stood up, bowing to the physician and saying thank you.
The two of them walked out of the physician’s medical house and got onto their horses, riding off to the army base. When they arrived at the army base they separated at the entrance, Yue Mian went over to the back where the mountains were within the forest near the army base and Ni Xing went straight for her father’s tent.
She told him about Yue Mian and he sighed almost wanting to cry. He clenched his right fist and clasped it in his left hand squeezing tightly. He felt so helpless, he felt as if this was all his doing.
All his actions, he regretted them and now he needed to tell the emperor about Yue Mian’s condition.
Yue Mian, on the other hand, arrived at the foot of the mountain. She stood by the river with her horse and stroked its main. After feeding her horse, she walked over to the river and undressed.
She jumped into the river and walked upstream towards the mountain. Reaching the middle of the mountain, she walked out of the river and climbed up the rocky boulders. Reaching the seventh out of ten boulders, she slid down the seventh boulder and landed on all fours in a dark cave.
She stood up from her crouched position and began walking toward the smell of fresh, but sandy water. As dark as the cave was, she still walked without a mishap to her steps.
She walked further and further into the cave and there within the cave, a dim light shone brightly in the middle of the cave.
Walking closer and closer, the light became bright and the smell of sandy yet fresh water was strong. The smell irritated her nostrils slightly making her sniff a few times, she reached the middle of the cave and was met with a beautiful view.
A pond was in the middle of the cave. The light shining onto it from the hole in the mountain shone brightly and danced on the water revealing a calm and scenic view.
The cave had a few beautiful flowers growing inside it along with vines all around the edges of the pond. The pond was not big, but it wasn’t small either.
She climbed into the pond. While standing the depth reached her inner thighs and the pond reached her chest while seated down inside it.
Running her hands over the surface of the water a gentle smile played on her lips. She twirled in a circle on her knees and dropped down into the water covering her entire body.
Opening her eyes she looked up at the light shining into the cave and laid there till the air in her body couldn’t support her any longer.
Slowly raising her body with the tip of her fingers, exposing her head. She took a deep breath in and stayed like this submerged in the water with the surface of her face exposed.
Her thoughts went back to when they were in the physicians medical home.
She remembered him sighing seven times and her mother’s silent sobbing. The throbbing pain from her cheek after she woke up from the fall made her cry and although everyone thought she was okay, she wasn’t okay at all - Yue Mian was angry.
Everything was running through her mind and her blood boiled, all her memories and the talk she had with her mother at the shop before her fall.
Before she never cared about her father, but now, she Ye Yue Mian, wanted to know all about him.
[Maybe I can do the same as mama and run away?] she thought.
Her eyes opened. A wicked smile formed on her lips, displaying her bright white teeth and her eyes widened and made her expression look wretched.
She broke out into frantic laughter that stopped seconds after she started. She sat up in the water and her face still had that wretched expression as she bit down on her molars.
She said out loud, “Good, this is good. I Ye Yue Mian have been met with such misfortune all my life while those that are my sibling live a life of luxury, adored by all and envy by the commoners. I’ve heard it. I’ve heard it all and to think we have the same father? Heh! I am disgusted by you - I must pay my royal family a visit.”
She dropped down into the water and stretched her arms out, stretching her body gracefully and brought her arms back to her sides.
He left hand traced around the almost closed wound and asked herself inside her heart, [Will they recognise me?], a smirk played on her lips as she answered her own question, [Probably not.]