Be My Empress

Upstairs Wan Cuifen is worried after she enters the room. The tall black haired man with the purple eyes looks like he is about to explode and Kang Longwei has an amused look on his handsome face.

      Wang Li Jie says in a calm tone. “Your timing is very good I was about to send my my servant for you. Have a seat.” 

    The man’s aura is very oppressive she feels she can’t breathe. “No sorry, I can’t linger I have to supervise the kitchen our entertainment is about to begin.” 

     “Sit down.”

     H e waves his sleeve and his internal force pushes her  down onto a chair. She is beginning to sweat. Wang Li Jie pours her a cup of Dragonflower wine. “You look thirsty, here have some wine.”

     “I don’t drink.”

     “You do now.” He has He Peng lifts it to her mouth forcing her to drink. She coughs choking on the bitter wine.

     “Why are you doing this your servant requested the wine I merely supplied it.”

     “Why would you tell her two jugs knowing the potency.”

     “Many travelers come to this village to indulge.”

     “Didn’t my servant tell you it was simply to be served to accompany our meal. Does that sound like we were here to ‘indulge’?

     “ NO! NO! She never said that! It is not for me to question my guests!”

     “I think you should have a little more wine. He Peng..”

     She tries to clench her teeth so he can’t pour the wine down her throat, he easily opens her mouth. Wan Cuifen starts to feel the effects of the wine, one more glass and she will lose total control.

     Kang Longwei might feel sorry for her if she truly wasn’t guilty but he can see in her eyes she intentionally set them up. If he hadn’t known about the mind bending effects..he doesn’t want to think of what he and Wang Li Jie might have done to Xiaolian.

     “Honestly, I had no idea!’ Wan Cuifen’s head is spinning. Her eyes are glazing over and she has a wild look in the depths of them. She  pulls her hair out of her hairpin then uses it to scratch her face.

      Wang Li Jie sneers,“Honestly? I think one more glass and your ‘honest’ intentions will be known” He motions to He Peng, he once again  pours it down her throat.

     Wan Cuifen’s cheeks are being gouged by her nails now, blood is dripping down her face, her appearance is horrifying. She is unable to move from the chair to escape, her fear driving her mad right now. These two men will torture me to death I know it, all because of that little slut. I saw the way they both looked at the little whore. Her jealousy is growing. Why am I stuck in this village working at this Inn for my miserly Uncle. If this man hadn’t held me back giving me only one hundred taels I could be gone from here. I am  pretty… all the men think so, why didn’t this arrogant man fancy me!

     She suddenly screams out, “Yes I knew it was for that slut I saw you with! Why should I warn you? What would be in it for me? I wanted to see a show!” She cackles like a witch as she throws her head back, Haha..hehehhe.. “You two would have destroyed her, ravaging until she could no longer draw a breath, then gone mad and killed each other!” Wan Cuifen’s mind is beginning to snap. Everything around her is becoming blurry,”Kill me now! I’m sick of living in this village, I have to play with that sick Mayor for crumbs. The things he makes me do to him, he pays me a measly thirty taels.”

      A plan is hatching in Wang Li Jie’s mind.  The Mayor? Isn’t that who Huang Howan was seen with accepting money from on the street earlier?  The perverted Mayor might acquire a wife, if I discover Huang Howan had evil intentions towards Xiaolian.

     Wang Li Jie looks at Kang Longwei, “This is only after three cups…” He doesn’t want to imagine what might have happened between them if they had drank the Dragonflower wine.. This woman, should I kill her now or let her suffer more.

     Kang Longwei looks at the deranged woman, she is ranting and destroying her face. Her inner demons are eating her alive. Her mind won’t be able to survive the torment she is feeling right now, consumed by her inner evil. “Kill her now or I will.”

     Wang Li Jie waves his hand and all that is left of Wan Cuifen is a pile of ashes on the floor. The only mercy he showed her was not dispersing her soul.

     He waves his hand once more and the ashes disappear. “Thank you Kang Longwei for preventing me from drinking the Dragonflower wine.”

     “ No apology for throwing me into the wall? Haha ..Well you owe me a drink, go change so we can join Zhang Xiaolian downstairs.” He is surprised the arrogant Immortal Emperor would  say thank you. It is best to get along with him, we have a common enemy in Wang Chao Han. 

     “…”

     Kang Longwei sits on the couch with his long legs crossed looking ot the window while waiting for Wang Li Jie to return. He is thinking about the red haired girl. She brought her demise upon herself, the wine she had wanted Xiaolian to drink she was forced to drink herself, her mind broke from the evil she held within her heart. Kang Longwei contemplates human nature, I saw many unscrupulous cultivators when I was the Black Abyss Beast it made me hate people, that girl deserved to die.

     Downstairs Xiaolian is excited to see the show, she has finished eating. “I wonder when it will start? So have you seen her before at the palace?

     Lan An wonders if she should tell Xiaolian about how Zhao Jiao threw herself at Wang Li Jie the last time she performed at the palace. She decides there is no need, why upset the Miss, Wang Li Jie rejected Zhao Jiao’s amorous advances.

  “She did play at a banquet last Spring but I only heard her from outside. I think the performance should start soon I see the restaurant is completely full now”, Lan An is also looking forward to hearing Zhao Jiao play the zither, she wanted to see the earlier show with He Peng.

     Xiaolian continues to sip her wine her cheeks are getting flushed, Lan An is wondering if she should say something. As she is deciding a beautiful woman in a sparkling red dress arrives on stage, her hair elaborately done in a floating cloud hair style with a headress made of gold and deep red rubies. Her lips are painted red and her oval face is delicately decorated with sparkling jewels by the corner of her eyes.. Xiaolian and Lan An look at each other, “She is so beautiful!”, they both exclaim at once and start laughing.

     Zhao Jiao sits at the zither and the room becomes quiet. She smiles at the audience and begins plucking the strings. The sound floats around the room, people are mesmerized by the song. The sound of the zither depicting the running water of a mountain stream, the magnificent high mountains, listening you could picture the sound of the wind whipping through the forests surrounding it.

     Xiaolian closes her eyes and can picture the mountains that surround the Butterfly Wing Residence. the sound of hooves as Wang li Jie and his men approach. She begins to hum a song from when she was a child, that her mother had taught her. Lan An is listening and her mind is calming down, a moment ago she was so worried about Xiaolian drinking too much. The people surrounding their table take their eyes off the stage looking towards the young girl humming with the music. Suddenly Xiaolian recalls the words of the song and begins to softly sing.

     The attention  gradually moves away from the stage to Xiaolian’s table. From the stage Zhao Jiao can hear the girl’s lilting voice rising as she plays. She also is being swept away by the girl’s voice she feels peaceful, when she is on stage normally she feels a little nervous. Who is that girl? She can’t see very well into the audience because of the lighting of the Night Pearls on the stage.

     Xiaolian is lost in her own world singing thinking of her mother and father. She has no idea everyone in the restaurant is listening to her sing. Zhao Jiao is now merely her accompanist.

     Kang Longwei hears the melodious voice, he walks to the railing on the third floor, that voice is too beautiful, I haven’t felt this calm since I was a young boy. He peers down into the crowd to see where the soothing voice is coming from, he sees two young girls sitting at the table. Xiaolian is the girl singing? He leaps over the railing and arrives at their table. The crowd seems in a trance. Lan An is snapped out of her reverie when she is startled by Kang Longwe’s appearance. Xiaolian has her eyes closed and is deep in her own world, continuing to sing.

     A  strange euphoric feeling comes over Kang Longwei of inexplicable peace, he stares Xiaolian’s perfect features, her pink lips as they form the words. He wants to kiss her at this moment.

     Wang Li Jie is walking towards the room to meet Kang Longwei and hears the song echoing up the flights of stairs. That is Xiaolian! He immediately rushes to the railing and flies down. He scoops her up in his arms then whisks her out the door of the Inn. The crowd is stunned by his sudden action, he was a blur as he carried the beautiful young girl away.

     Zhao Jiao stops playing the zither and the crowd is hushed. They all seemed to have been in a trance. What just happened? They remember the beginning of the zither playing, but..

     Xiaolian is startled suddenly awakening from her dreamlike state. “Wang Li Jie what are you doing?”  They are at the outskirts of town when he sets her down by the frozen lake, he waves his hand to encircle her with warmth.

     “Xiaolian you can’t just sing in a public place.” Her voice has the ability to put people in a calming trance when she is happy, but it can create havoc also.. She hasn’t learned to focus and use it properly yet, he only restored partial bits of her memory.

      She is getting tired of him telling her what to do.“Wang Li Jie!”  Feeling a little feisty from the wine, she points her little index finger at him and stomps her tiny foot, “Stop telling me what to do!”

     Right now with her cheeks red and her angry little face she looks too cute. He hugs her to him, “I’m asking you then… will you become my Empress?”

     Xiaolian lifts her head, his purple eyes are full of love, she stutters,“Wha..What did you just say?”

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