“Ah~ Why does my head hurt?” wondered Qin Rucheng as a throbbing pain beat against her skull. Trying to open her heavy eyes she became light-headed.
Raising her hand she touched her head finding that it was covered with a cloth, “Rucheng, Rucheng! Have you come to?” Hearing the pleasant voice call for her that sounded familiar she tried raising her head but her body just didn’t want to move. Rubbing her eyes she opened them slowly.
With half-lidded eyes she looked around the room. Not too far from her, she saw a handsome middle-aged woman sitting and sewing. The middle-aged woman looked at Rucheng with concern in her eyes.
Rucheng, “Mamma?” she asked not sure.
“How are you feeling… You’ve been unconscious for a few days now,” asked Mrs Qin.
Mrs Qin got up and helped her daughter sit up. Opening her eyes fully she looked up at her mother in disbelief… “Mamma, how can you be alive?” Pausing Mrs Qin looked at her daughter for a moment then slapped her on her already throbbing head.
“Silly child!! How can you curse me to my face, do you want me to return you to where you came from?”
Confused by her question Rucheng asked, “Where did I come from?” Looking at her Mrs Qin felt a headache invade her mind. Shaking her head she handed her daughter a cup of water and went back to her seat continuing her sewing.
Rucheng looked at her mother with an aching heart, the more she thought about it the more she couldn’t believe it, ‘mamma is supposed to be dead, why is she here… am I dreaming?’
‘Come to think of it, why is she sewing when she hated it in the past. Her accent also sounds… odd…’ Looking around once again, she saw that the bed she was laying on was made out of hay with a quilt on it to make it comfortable.
Looking at the walls she saw that it was roughly made of clay and stone. Turning to look at her mother she noticed that her mother was wearing worn-out robes that looked the same as those of the poor in the historical drama’s that played on the television.
Her eyes widened. Looking down at her hands she saw that she too had on a robe. Feeling over her body she felt that her whole body was covered in long robes and long black hair resting on her shoulders.
Looking over Mrs Qin asked, “Why are you moving so much, you’ll disturb the dust and insects.”
Freezing she hugged her body, looking at her mother frightened, “Dust and insects… mamma, what year is it?”
Mrs Qin, “Year one hundred and twelve.”
Mrs Qin, “Irwol”
Mrs Qin, “Hwa-yoil”
‘This just sounds like nonsense’… “Mamma, who is the current emperor?”
Mrs Qin, “Emperor Feng.”
Mrs Qin, “Done asking?”
Mrs Qin, “Why do you ask these questions?”
Rucheng, “I just felt like asking nonsense.”
Mrs Qin, “If you have the time to ask me all of this then get out of bed and return to work, those nobles are losing their knowledge by the day and you staying here won’t help put food on the table if you continue to sit idly.”
Rucheng nodded her head but cursed inwardly, ‘Since when was she so demanding?’
Glancing at her mother who was sewing again. Tilting her head, she gazed at her mother’s delicate face for a while, ‘I don’t know what’s happening but I’m happy and grateful that you are alive and well.’
She felt something drip down her cheeks; touching it she realised that she was crying. Sniffing, she got up and walked over to her mother. Kneeling down she startled Mrs Qin.
Mrs Qin, “What is it?” she asked while putting the robes down next to her on the table.
Taking her mother’s hands in hers, she looked into those brown eyes filled with life saying while crying, “Mamma… I-I am so sorry that I couldn’t be there for you in the past. I’m sorry for neglecting you and not giving you a proper burial… I promise to be filial please please please don’t leave me again.”
Looking into her daughters glossy eyes, Mrs Qin didn’t know what to say. The words coming out of her daughter’s mouth sounded so foreign to her – unsettling her emotionally making her shake within her clothes.
About to ask Rucheng a question when suddenly she broke out into a fit - crying mournfully.
From just listening to her daughters cry, Mrs Qin’s heart ached. What could her daughter have possibly experienced to cry with such sorrow in her heart? Unable to continue any longer, Mrs Qin broke out in tears and cried too – the hurt in her cry made it truly unbearable to hear as a mother. Combing Rucheng’s hair with her hands Mrs Qin sighed in her heart.
Rucheng finally calmed down after being consoled by her mother. Mrs Qin warmed up some goats milk and gave it to her. Steaming her white inner robes and blue outer robe, Mrs Qin asked her, “Have you calmed down yet Rucheng?”
Rucheng, “Yes mamma.”
Mrs Qin, “Can you tell me what all of this is about… it pains me to see you like this.”
Rucheng, “I-I don’t really know, all I remember is waking up here and seeing you… mamma, you died seven years ago and I never treated you right, blaming you as the reason why my father left us.”
Shivering from the words coming out of her daughter’s mouth she looked at Rucheng deeply in her troubled eyes. Walking over she cupping her daughters face in her hands wiping away her tears, “Rucheng, what happened between your father and I has nothing to do with you. He left because he no longer loved me and wanted an exciting life that I did not want to have… I’ve told you this before and I will tell you again, your father was a fun person who had no plans for a family and I liked him because of that – I told him that we could adopt and he agreed but after I told him that I was pregnant with you he said that if I am going to keep you, he will ask for a divorce.
As his wife I couldn’t believe that he was so heartless towards his own blood and wife, I had to divorce him so that he wouldn’t hurt us; as for me being dead… Oh, baby, your mamma is as healthy as you, I won’t be dying anytime soon... I still need to marry you off to someone worthy of you and raise my grandbabies.”
Hearing the last part of what her mother said, Rucheng frowned, “I don’t want children!”