༺ VIII ༻

443 46 83

꧁༺࿅ིཽ• –– •❈• –– •࿅ིཽ༻꧂

     Liwei left me to my thoughts without so much as an explanation as to where he was going. I looked around the room I was in, feeling as though I was intruding on someone else's space. It was clear that the room hadn't been prepared for me since no one was expecting my arrival. There was an inescapable stuffiness that spread throughout the room, like no one had entered the room in days. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw scrolls littered atop an antique desk. The calligraphy ink was smeared and illegible, making it difficult to read them as a whole. However, based on what little I could read, they looked to be verses of a poem. 

I rubbed the side of my arm, feeling a significant amount of discomfort. Unable to look at it any longer, I turned my attention to the silk tapestries that draped the walls. At closer inspection of the fabric, there were images of dragons flying over Wuzhen's canals and mountains. There were large trees with strong trunks and ripe fruit hanging from their delicate branches. I smiled and couldn't help but wonder if the art on the tapestry was what Wuzhen looked like before the war. I reached out and touched it, reveling in the smooth sensation as it slipped through my grasp.

I walked stiffly and somewhat unsteadily towards the bed with my cane in hand. It was a wooden canopy bed that had carvings etched along its frame and painted gold. I traced the chinese characters with my index finger. A lot of the words or phrases represented hope, luck, good health, and fortune. Similar to the tapestries, there were dragons drawn all around in between the words. The fabric that was draped over the wood was dark blue but had a rougher texture to it. It was meant to conceal the person sleeping in bed to give them some privacy.

The bed itself had dark blue silk coverings to match the canopy. It was so much more different than my bed in Shangzihua. With my parents, we only had one covering to keep us warm at night and we would sleep in makeshift beds on the floor. I certainly never imagined that I'd be laying on silk sheets.

I gently flopped onto the bed and let out a huge exasperated sigh. I stared up at the ceiling and wondered if I truly deserved all of this when my parents were suffering from food shortages in the outskirts. Even though I hadn't been gone long, but it was long enough for me to remember the absence in my heart. I turned over and laid on my side. The guilt was eating away at me and I felt the only way for me to truly be happy in my new home would be to improve living conditions for my parents. I'll need to speak with Liwei and the Emperor about it. It can't go on like this forever. I thought.

All of a sudden, I heard a slight creak followed by quiet footsteps. I sat up in bed immediately and locked eyes with an older lady. Her grey hair hung tightly in a bun and unlike other individuals, she had forest green eyes. She had to be the first person I ever saw with such vibrantly colored eyes. When I noticed I was staring, I sputtered out apologies.

She shook her head to reassure me that I did not offend her and smiled softly. "You must be Mingxia. I'm so happy to meet you. I'm Yu Shuren, mate to Xiaosheng."

I nodded and scrambled to get up, but she stopped me, "Allow me." She rushed over to my side at inhuman speed and effortlessly helped me up.

"Thank you," I said, smiling in gratitude.

"Liwei asked me to assist you with preparing for dinner this evening. Your bath has been drawn and should be at a reasonable temperature for you," she explained as we walked into an adjoining room.

A Celestial Requiem (Book 1, The Secrets of Tarot series) ✔Where stories live. Discover now