General Ye's Daughter (2)
She sent a letter to the owner of the most famous brothel in the Jīlěi Empire; she met the owner years ago when they were younger, she was a merchants daughter and their fathers were good friends.
She arranged for Ni Xing and her daughter to stay for a month and asked them to stay longer but was turned down.
When the month passed, Ni Xing and her daughter travelled to the Xiěyè Empire by horse.
Along the way they encountered many obstacles; when reaching the border she had to produce a passport for her and her baby.
When asked why they were leaving, she told the officers she was returning home, she received news of her mother’s illness and was returning to help nurse her back to health.
The next question was, “Does your husband know of this?“, she faked a sad expression and tears formed in her eyes, she told them he died while travelling and it was just her and her baby.
A few more unimportant questions were asked and they were soon let go.
After leaving the border she could smell that familiar scent of blood mixed with sweat in the air.
She travelled for another day and arrived in front of the military base, late in the evening around eight pm.
The soldiers were busy packing away and cleaning up the training grounds when one of them noticed the approaching horse. He notified the others and they went to the gates to stop her, “Halt! This isn’t a place where just anyone can enter, please show your access token,” said one of the soldiers.
She took off the hood that was covering her head and reached into her pocket between her and her daughter. Ni Xing threw it at the soldier who spoke and said, “Take that to general Ye and tell him his daughter has returned.”
The soldier’s eyes widened and he ran off to report.
She sat on her horse and looked down at her daughter who she could barely see, but could make out her outline, her hands started moving; her daughter was wrapped in a cloth that was fastened to her body around her waist and around her neck in order not for her baby to accidentally fall, it was fastened in the perfect position so that when she had to, she could easily take out her breast and put it in her daughter’s mouth.
She kissed her daughter on the hand that was moving about and said, “We’re home my sweet child.”
Moments later heavy footsteps could be heard running towards them and a group of men came out from one of the tents in the distance. They stopped in front of the horse and the man in the front held up a fire lit torch in her direction and his handsome face started twitching, “Ni Xing, it’s you?”
“Yes father, I have returned home,” she answered. She got off the horse gently while holding her daughter firmly with one arm.
She walked up to her father and bowed her head and saluted him with clasped fists in front of her, “General Ye, your unfilial daughter Ni Xing, has returned.”
General Ye reached out his hands and grabbed her on her shoulders, he was about to hug her when the sudden shock wave from the heavy force that pressed on to her, shook her and woke her baby up.
The baby strapped to her chest let out a soft cry and wanted to see her mothers face, but she couldn’t because her head was covered. General Ye’s heart shook, “Ni Xing?” he said, he wanted to ask her what made that sound, but was cut off, “Father, can we talk inside, it’s too cold out here for my daughter.”
“Mn”, he hummed.
A path was made for them and her father took the lead, he led her to the furthest and biggest tent that was pitched up in the distant centre.
They entered and she was told she could take the seat near a dimly lit oil lamp.
She sat down and took the cloth that closed her baby’s head off and she was met with a panicked expression.
Previously when she called out to her mama after the shock she couldn’t see her but could hear her voice so she calmed down a bit and now that she finally saw her mama’s face, the tears started falling from her glossy eyes.
Ni Xing smiled and said, “There, there little one, mama’s here, don’t worry alright?” She took off her robe that was in the way and unwrapped the cloth, she gently took her baby out and held her up in front of her.
In the room it was her, her father, her two brothers Ni Rue and Ni Ming and one other general, General Feng; these four men couldn’t believe that Ni Xing was a mother, the naughty girl who went against her family and told them she would never have children was holding a baby in her arms.
Ni Xing put her nose against her daughter’s nose and rubbed their noses together, she moved her daughter towards her chest and took out her left breast and placed the nipple in her daughter’s mouth.
This action took the four men by surprise; General Ye went up to Ni Xing and sat down beside her and looked at the baby who was sucking on Ni Xing’s breast, his mouth trembled and his voice was hoarse, “Ni Xing, is she yours?” he asked her.
She did not look at him and answered with a giggle, “Yes, she is your grandchild.” General Ye’s heart sank and so did the other men, they really couldn’t believe it.
They got chairs and sat near her and watched her feed her daughter; when her daughter was done she put her breast away and placed her slanted on her shoulder and patted her back gently, the little one let out a burp a few seconds later.
Ni Xing put her daughter on her lap facing the men in the room and she started squealing, ”Knyaaa~“. Their hearts warmed after they heard her, she then proceeded to make more noises, “ma ma ma ma ma ma ma”.
She started kicking her legs and Ni Xing took the cloth away that was covering her daughter’s feet and immediately her daughter squealed louder and grabbed onto her little feet. The men in the room laughed and shook their heads, it wasn’t every day that a baby entered the military base and was so happy.
“Ni Xing, what is my granddaughter’s name?“, General Ye asked. She looked at her father and said, “Her father was going to name her, but he never got a chance to meet her and give her a name, father, would you do me the honour of naming my daughter?”
General Ye felt a bit conflicted, what did she mean by that? He looked at the baby in her arms and held out his hands.
Ni Xing passed her daughter to her father and he held her up in front of him, his granddaughter looked at him with her big and glossy hazel eyes - frightened.
She looked back at her mother and all she was met with was a smile, she wanted to cry, but suddenly heard her grandfather speak, she faced him while he spoke to her, “I can’t believe Ni Xing has a baby, has she look properly after you, little one? Grandfather will come up with a good name for you.”
He thought for a while then said, “How about we name you Yue Mian, you have eyes as big as the moon and you have your mothers round face. Ye Yue Mian.” Ni Xing raised her left brow, “How can you name my daughter moon face?”
He looked over at his daughter who was questioning his choice; before he could say something, his granddaughter started giggling. He looked at her then looked at his daughter and said, “You see there, my YuMi likes her name.”
His son’s and General Feng shook their heads, it was normal for these two to disagree.