My Daughter's Crown

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Courageous Yue Mian

When Yue Mian fell asleep, Ni Xing explained to her father what happened, her two elder brothers Ni Rue and Ni Ming and Feng general couldn’t believe their ears. The Ni Xing they knew had a baby with the next empire’s Crown Prince? General Ye’s heart ached for his granddaughter and his daughter.

He blamed himself for what happened to his daughter, if only he hadn’t done what he did in the past, things would not have turned out like this for Ni Xing, if only he hadn’t driven his daughter away, she wouldn’t have experienced all of this, but it wasn’t all for nothing. He had his little granddaughter now.

He sighed after thinking about this and smiled bitterly, everything happened for a reason and he had a chance to make up for his past mistakes with his little granddaughter.

The days went by fast and little Yue Mian grew quickly, she was such an adorable baby and everyone loved her, the army base was filled with her giggles and joyful yells; she was doted on by her grandparents, uncles and her mother, even the soldiers couldn’t resist her giggles and smiles.

Her grandfather would always be there when she woke up and when she closed her eyes to sleep, when it was her nap time, he was there too to make her sadness go away.

He became the one she depended on the most, he was there to fill the fatherless void that the Emperor of the Jīlěian Empire created. He was not doing this out of pity, but because he loved his little granddaughter.

Ni Xing, on the other hand, decided to start working and opened a refreshment shop, selling a variety of juices in the Xiěyè Empires capital city.

Her shop was really popular and she was also asked to arrange drinks for special occasions for the nobles who always had something to celebrate, scholar graduation parties and also served drinks at the Xiěyè Empires Imperial Palace, whenever there was a celebration.

A year had passed and it was time to test the strength of the soldiers in training and also recruit new young boys and girls to join the army, even though there weren’t any wars in the future, this was just a tradition that was being carried on by each generation.

A month after the new year, the army held a sparring exam to promote the army and recruit new soldiers.

The Xiěyè Empire was known for its huge army that had over eight hundred million soldiers previously recruited and trained over the last ten years. The Xiěyè Empire is also the force that is responsible for training all soldiers from the Jīlěi Empire and Naiad Empire since the alliance came into motion eighty years ago.

So why should they stop? It’s what they were best at.

The Xiěyè Empire’s Emperor was attending the sparring exam and so was his Crown Prince along with his family members.

Hence their attendance was a motivational boost to everyone attending the exam; showing off is a must at this event.

On the day of the event, the Emperor and his family were welcomed along with many guests from across the three Empires. The exam started when the sun shone at its brightest and there was some entertainment in between.

The Emperor sat high on a platform overlooking the event with his Empress on his right and Crown Prince on his left, sitting gracefully and watching the royals, nobles and commoners interact with a gentle smile on his face.

A sword area was set up, a hand-to-hand combat area was set up, a spear area and an archers area was set up. Registration for the exam was handled a week earlier and everything began when the sun shone the brightest. General Ye walked onto the sword fighting area holding his granddaughter in his arms.

Everyone quieted down looking at him. News had spread that the strict and disciplined General Ye lost his demeanour because of his granddaughter and seeing him in front of them today holding her, well you could say that a terrifying General holding a baby was quite the scene and made him seem less scary than the rumours from the past.

He announced to the crowd in front of him with a loud and domineering voice, but yet gentle at the same time, “Today is the beginning of a new journey for our Xiěyè Empire, new soldiers will be recruited and the alliance will become stronger, each year is different, some will excel while others can try again next year, remember DO.NOT.GIVE.UP!!! Being a member of the Xiěyè army is an honour that can only be repaid with your hard work and courage.”

The crowd cheered after his speech and the young males and females were hyped up, it was an honour to be apart of the Xiěyè army and to show off their skills in front of the Emperor and Crown Prince was exciting too.

General Ye made his way to the seats and sat down near the royal family with his granddaughter in his arms and signalled for the sparring exam to begin. Cheers rang throughout the arena the entire time; now and then Yue Mian would catch a fright from the shouts and start crying, but with her grandfather by her side, she would start laughing again and cheer along with the crowd with tears in her eyes.

During the day, Emperor An would occasionally tease General Ye for being so gentle with his granddaughter, “General Ye, may I hold your granddaughter please?” asked Emperor An. General Ye hesitated for a moment because he did not want to part with her, but he gave in and handed her to the Emperor.

Yue Mian’s eyes widened as she looked at Emperor An, she looked back at her grandfather and tears started forming in her eyes making them glossy, “Laaa la laaa laaa laaaaa,” she started talking, questioning her grandfather’s decision of handing her over to a stranger.

Emperor An and his Empress laughed, Crown Prince An Cheng walked up to his father, he stood beside him looking at Yue Mian and asked, “Father what did she say?”

Hearing Crown Prince An Cheng’s voice she looked over at him with her big glossy eyes, she wondered who he was, but couldn’t ask him.

Emperor An looked at the two of them who were staring at each other and smiled, “An Cheng, do you think she’s beautiful?” Crown Prince An Cheng looked up at his father then looked back at Yue Mian and nodded with an “mn.” “Father? What is her name?” He asked.

“This beautiful girls name is Ye Yue Mian, she is aunty Ni Xing’s baby girl,” answered Emperor An. Emperor An smiled as he saw how his son found Yue Mian interesting, he looked over at General Ye whose attention was on the exam being held. He thought for a moment while observing his son and Yue Mian, hesitating for a moment, but then called General Ye to get his attention.

“General Ye,” called Emperor An. Looking over slightly dazed, General Ye looked in the direction his name was called from and answered, “Yes, your majesty?“.

Emperor An grinned, “What do you think of your granddaughter being my daughter-in-law?” he suggested. Hearing this, General Ye’s eyes widened, flashes of the past popped up in his mind, trembling slightly with discomfort, he clasped his hands in front of him while bowing at a ninety-degree angle and said, “This honour? Your majesty, Emperor An, my family does not deserve this.”

Crown Prince An Cheng’s face frowned after hearing his reply, with an annoyed expression he turned to General Ye and crouched beside him looking up at him who was bowing at a ninety-degree angle looking down at the ground, “Don’t you want me to marry your granddaughter?” he asked.

This sudden question caught not only General Ye by surprise, but also the Emperor and the royal family, this wasn’t something a five-year-old should ask about, was it?

General Ye bowed clasping his fists at Crown Prince An Cheng and said, “Previously I made the mistake of forcing marriage on to my daughter and she ran away from home which betrayed the in-laws family, I don’t wish for this to happen for the second time, not because for my sake and pride, but because I want my granddaughter to live happily and not hate me or you your highness, I hope you understand.”

Crown Prince An Cheng looked at General Ye and asked with a questioning gaze, “Why would she hate being married to me? What did I do wrong?”

Emperor An chuckled at his sons’ question, but he too wanted to know the answer to that question.

Feeling a little flustered General Ye answered, “Its not you who is the cause your highness, it is the fact that you are the Crown Prince of this Empire and future Emperor, if my granddaughter becomes the Empress one day that would be a great honour, but as much as that is an honour it is also a taboo for those women who do not care for such titles, they will be rebellious or will kill themselves, my granddaughter is her mothers child.”

The Crown Prince looked at General Ye confused, “Of cause, your granddaughter is your daughters’ child, but what are you implying by saying this General?”

General Ye sighed and said, “What I mean your highness is that there is a high chance my granddaughter will take after her mother and run away, this is what I do not wish for, if I could go back in time to the day I force marriage on my daughter, I would take my own life.”

Crown Prince An Cheng was confused, he pouted and looked over at Yue Mian who was pulling on Emperor An’s beard. He looked back at General Ye and said, “Let’s ask her if she wants to marry me.”

General Ye scrunched his nose and looked at Crown Prince An Cheng as he got up and walked over to his father. He looked at Yue Mian and asked after she looked back at him, “Do you want to marry me and be the Crown Princess and Empress in the future?”

Crown Prince An Cheng spoke in a gentle voice when he asked this question because he was slightly nervous, a five-year-old did not have much courage, to begin with even though he had a title before his name he was trembling, he knew his marriage was no joke.

Yue Mian looked at the Crown Prince with wide eyes, her eye became extremely glossy and she started crying, General Ye’s eyes widened, he couldn’t believe that his granddaughter rejected the proposal from the Crown Prince just like that. Her crying startled the Crown Prince, he became embarrassed and soon Crown Prince An Cheng started sniffing, tears started falling from his eyes and he began to cry.

The Empress quickly got up and hugged her son who was crying and comforted him.

Emperor An got up and handed Yue Mian back to General Ye and looked at her who was still crying and smiled bitterly. General Ye had a pained expression on his face as he looked at Emperor An. The Emperor saw this and shrugged it off, he couldn’t kill a baby and have her family executed just because of this now, could he?

The Crown Prince was quiet after crying for a while but swore in his heart that he’d make her regret today and would marry her in the future even if she did not want too.

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