A Lotus' Touch

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Summary

Feng Mian had a loud awakening when her parents arranged her marriage with the cold-hearted Crown Prince of China. As a prominent general's daughter, she is thrusted into a life and role she never wanted not only as Crown Princess but as a royal wife too. Zhao Ju chased after blood like it was his driving force. With a long list of military expeditions and their achievements, he is unlike any Crown Prince in Chinese history. Marriage did not appeal to him as much as the roar of war did or the beckoning of his royal duties. Neither expected an electrifying connection, nor did they expect the instant desire of newly weds to inflict their minds like a tantalizing poison. Could these contrasting personalities learn to love one another or will China's fate be decided by their arrogance?

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
Beauty4evar
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
10
Rating:
4.9 15 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

The Red Wedding

Misery.

Feng Mian’s body poisoned her with such gruesome thoughts as the carriage pulled her away from her childhood home.

No longer would she see the blessed faces of her parents or the chuckling voices of her brothers. No longer would she spend hours in their garden, idly watching the leaves of pale pink cherry blossoms fall around her like the white blanket of glistening snow in northern China.

Instead she would be forced into the rusted cages of imperial life, where her lips would be sewn shut by her husband-to-be, and her body would fall victim to his ministrations. The Crown Prince, she thought with a heartless laugh. He would eat me alive.

As the only daughter to a famous general, Mian had no choice but to marry such a prominent figure in politics. Her father and the Emperor had arranged their marriage in hope of a powerful unity between the two, a rising Emperor and Empress that would one day takeover with the burden of China upon their shoulders.

The carriage jolted through the rocky roads, trembling like the inner turmoil that nestled against Mian’s skull like a nest for broken birds. She would lose her wings to freedom in a couple hours.

The Crown Prince was not a force to be reckoned with, nor was he the gentle fox of the Empire. If anything, her husband-to-be had a heart of stone and a drive for death, a mastermind of militaristic tactics and an excellent swordsman.

She had only heard rumors and legends revolving the young prince. Never had her eyes witnessed the legends that followed his every footstep, but Mian knew that his cold-hearted legacy froze even the most tender hearts.

Tears lined her eyes, dripping down her pale cheeks like the first drops of rain in spring. Her family would join the celebrations on a separate carriage, but Mian was commanded to arrive early. She was expected to perch on her cushioned seat like the perfect little doll they all expected her to be. If it was not for her parents’ tearful imploring, Mian would not have agreed.

She sniffled. Forget the prince, Mian told herself. Relax into royalty and all will be well.

As the twisted roads towards the imperial palace grew closer, a thin line of patience had been strung, a delicate shard threatening to cut it within a moment’s notice. Mian’s marriage would not be of love and purity.

She would marry a ruthless man who reveled in the blood of his enemies and the occasional adoration of his admirers.

Mian’s life would soon liquify into the soils of royalty, a seed of divine beauty raising to the crystal reflection of a legendary Empress. One day, she would sit on the throne beside him and she would help her people from the barbaric ways of her husband-to-be. That was her vow.

* * * *

Crown Prince Zhao Ju paced around from corner to corner.

He had dismissed the servants and maids earlier, but allowed his younger brother Prince Zhao Lei to stay with him. Worries about the upcoming battle grasped his attention like an addictive drug, and his need for bloodshed only grew with the thought of barbarians at his borders.

He would not rest till their blood splattered into fertilized soils and spilled across the protective walls of his empire. Ju had no time for pleasantries with in-laws and blemished smiles of merchants and nobles. He had a war to win, people to protect, and pride to prevail. A marriage ceremony halted all his plans.

“Relax,” said a voice from his bed. Lei had plopped a grape into his watering mouth, chewing shamelessly as his mischievous brown eyes gleamed with amusement. “War can wait a couple more hours. A marriage ceremony should be the only event in your mind, dear brother.”

Ju’s eyes narrowed at the younger prince. “A ceremony I initially refused to.”

Dressed in a glorious white robe tied by royal blue threads that matched the ones around his disheveled hair, Lei shrugged, clearly not bothered by his brother’s predicament. Unlike Ju, the younger prince was free to spread his tainted wings and soar from woman to woman and from imperial life to rakish bachelor life. He had no bounds to his empire, nor did he ever wish for it.

Ju could not say the same.

No matter how desperately he wished to break his engagement, the heartbroken visage of his mother had always stopped him. His unity with a top general’s daughter would provide his people with a dutiful and obedient soon-to-be Empress.

Their marriage would be void of love because Ju’s true commitment and loyalty fell at the hands of his empire, where he would conquer all enemies with brute force and eliminate corrupt officials.

Ju tightened his red robes, allowing the gold threads to dangle from the crown of his head to the long length of his midnight black hair. Gold embroidery decorated the enlarged sleeves, muscled arms and shoulders filling the empty space with ease, and Ju stood straighter.

He glanced at his reflection, at his strong jaw and silver eyes. It was unusual for a prince to have such light colored eyes, almost mystical, but it gave Ju greater power in royal courts.

His intimidating appearance demanded respect while his threatening gaze forced others into silence. Women would whisper lustful thoughts behind him, and men would pray for evil to befall the Crown Prince. Ju could not care less about jealous husbands and rivaling women. He had his war to attend to.

Lei stood up. “If you are finished with admiring yourself, I believe it is time to welcome our new princess,” he grinned.

Ju grumbled under his breath.

“Such cruel profanities falling from your lips, dear brother,” smiled Lei. “Please do refrain from scaring your bride.”

Ju thought it best to ignore the devil behind him, taking long strides towards the golden gates of his chambers. The dragon twirled around the delicate rush of gold and his eyes followed the intricate vines that traced the shape of a shimmering dragon, the mark of a prince. He pushed the doors open, basking in the warm glow of sunlight.

Oh, bride-to-be, life will not be easy for you here.

* * * *

As Mian walked through the palace gates, her eyes grew at the lush gardens that surrounded her and the celestial maids dressed in lavender silks and servant boys in cerulean robes that emulated a cloudless sky. Each seemed like a reflection of royalty in their own ways, and Mian immediately felt bashful of her appearance in bright red.

It was tradition for the bride and groom to wear red to their wedding ceremonies. The delicate yet vibrant color spoke louder than words but did not match Mian’s emotions. Red symbolizes happiness. Mian was not happy to be married to the Crown Prince.

She did not want to be an Empress one day. She did not want to warm her husband’s bed. She did not want to be replaced by concubines in an imperial harem. All roads lead to her dissatisfaction in her marriage. Regardless of what she truly felt, Mian hid under her veil, following a servant meticulously on the velvet-like carpet below her.

He advised her to sit under a curtain of gems and golden silk, red lanterns lighting the main hall as the luminosity glimmered to life and a dazzling room full of delectable treats and colorful threads. The booming noise of fireworks startled her, but Mian quickly recovered.

The ceremonies had begun, and the Crown Prince was nowhere to be seen.

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