|Faces in the sand
Author: Anarya of Lorien PM
He was man of great might.And I,a mere maid in servitude.It was never to be!Yet it happened and now those days remain in my heart,evergreen–like his face.A mere illusion…a pleasant dream from which I woke into a world of pain.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Hotohori - Chapters: 15 - Words: 44,042 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 10-18-06 - Published: 07-07-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3031094
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A.N.: This is an alternate universe fiction. I have merely shifted Hotohori's age by three years. So…he was twenty two when he died as opposed to the original nineteen. I still feel he married quite too early. Magadha was indeed a real place in ancient India where the people were really advanced in everything they did and they did have a good connection with the Orient, since there was a lot of migration between the Buddhist/Hindu Magadha and China. The great king, Ashoka who spread Buddhism all over India, was a king of this country. Lively accounts of Pātaliputra (the famous capital city of the kingdom of Magadha) and Magadha are available in the Indica of Megasthenes (c. 300 BC) and in the travel diaries of the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims Fa-hsien and Hsüan-tsang (4th–5th and 7th centuries AD).
Disclaimer: I don't own Fushigi Yuugi. And Magadha belongs to the rich heritage of India.
The gentle breeze that wafted through the open door seemed to soothe the heat of the day a little. It had been almost two years since I had seen anyone from that country…where I had been…where I had met him. And yet, now…after all these years, I had a visitor. My uncle, the master of servants in the royal household of Magadha let the stranger in. It was evident from the way she carried herself that she was royalty.
My uncle bowed down a little as he showed her in. It had been a year, since I had left the royal household. It had been a long time.
The woman turned to my uncle.
"Can I not talk with her?" my uncle nodded. "Alone?" he turned to look at me and then with a final shrug, turned around and walked away, shutting the door behind him. There was another man with her, an elderly one – a minister perhaps. He had always told me how he was wearied of the numerous advices he got from his band of ministers. Was he one of them? There was silence for a while as the lady sat down on a chair before me, gazing around her. My room was not that rich, considering the fact that I had been a hand maiden once and now, I had lost even that post.
"I am Houki. I am the fourth empress of Khonan." I looked at her abruptly. Wasn't he the fourth emperor of Khonan? She continued on…
"I am also the wife of the Suzaku Seishi Hotohori who was also the emperor Saihitei." I smiled sadly. So… it was true.
"You must be Adithi." I merely nodded my head. She seemed to intimidate me with her mere presence. The various jewels that covered her body seemed to shout her status to all around her. She had to be a noble. Then again…he was an emperor…
"My husband seemed to have been in your acquaintance." I smiled a little. If the relationship we had shared had been a mere acquaintance, then this lady was indeed modest.
"I know it is too much of me to ask…but I need to know…I need to know if…" she looked down as her eyes failed her. She turned to the man next to her. An elderly one whose clothes seemed to specify his post as some great minister in his kingdom…the same red phoenix soared high in his tunic. He nodded his head and turned around to leave us… the two of us alone in the room where I resided.
It had been a little under two years since I had last seen him. I smiled as I looked at the woman in front of me. I had been in her position once…
She looked up at me, her questioning gaze boring into me…I was a little apprehensive about telling this woman.
"Well? Did you…" I was about to speak out when he ran inside…his face an exact copy of his father. The same brown hair and the same golden orbs that had captivated me once. The woman in front of me gasped as she saw my son, who ran up to me, calling me,
"Amma!" I smiled as I took him into my lap. He was almost two years old… the acquaintance we had, had indeed ended up with my son…our son.
"Is he…is he…his son?" her voice was shaking terribly, as though she would start crying any time. I understood the predicament she was in…he had told me once about the fierce battles that were waged behind the closed doors of the harem by the queens who sought the crown for their own sons. He had been crowned with the blood of many of his brothers, he had said. And now the same fear plagued this woman. Had she traveled so far from Khonan just for this?
"Is he your…his son?"
I slowly nodded my head…a meek nod. But I was sure she noticed. She gasped as she covered her mouth with her delicate hands.
I was about to speak out when she did something I had never in all my life expected her to do.
She sprang up from her chair and hugged me…as tightly as she could. The tears that she seemed to shed on my shoulder were warm.
She broke away from me as she continued to look at me with pity and regret in her eyes. Had she some ominous news to deliver? Was something wrong with him? Was he in danger?
"So we were both duped!" what did she mean? I clutched her arms tightly as I looked at her with a questioning gaze. What did she mean?
She sniffed a little as she wiped her tears away…
"He…he is gone…" I felt the room fall silent all of a sudden. She wiped the falling rivulets as she continued in broken voice…
"He fell in battle…he has left us both." I stared at her not really seeing anything…my mind reeling…he had died? Was that what she said? Had he really died? Was he no more? I felt the room spin around me as slowly everything dissolved into darkness...
I would follow him…to the deepest part of oblivion.
I instinctively looked around for his face…he had definitely not died! This was all a lie! But he was no where around. I turned to my right to find her sitting there patiently, her face was very anxious. She had my son on her lap and from the looks of it; she was soothing the crying child. The moment my son looked at my rising form, he squirmed from her grasp.
"Amma!" she turned to look at me…her purple eyes sad and anxious. I held my hands out, my heart breaking into a million pieces…my tears running down my cheeks unrestrained as I hugged my son…our son. I looked up at the woman.
"It is not true…is it?" she lowered her head as she nodded her head. I turned to my left to find my uncle stand there, dipping rectangular pieces of cloth into a basin of what looked like cold water. I felt my world spin again and I released my son and lay down again. This was all a dream. Mayhap…I shall wake up and find it was all a dream. I closed my eyes as I felt my tears slide down my cheeks to fall into my hair. I felt someone clasp my hand tightly. I gingerly opened my eyes to find a fair hand hold mine tightly. The many rings it bore shone in the torch light.
"I am sorry, Adithi." I felt my tears run faster if possible. I moaned a little, the grief getting to me. He had not left me! This woman was probably lying! I opened my eyes suddenly as this thought struck me.
"You lie!" she looked at me surprised…then her eyes softened as she smiled a little…a sad smile.
"How I wish I did!" she lowered her eyes as tears escaped her hold. I felt my own vision blur as more tears rushed down… this was not happening. Then as though something prompted me deep inside, I place a hand on her shoulder…she turned to look at me, her eyes now red with silent tears. I smiled as I slowly pressed her shoulder gently, a small gesture – the only thing I could offer her now…a sympathetic shoulder, for I knew what she went through…I was going through the same thing! She hugged me tightly as she cried unrestrained as my very own tears subsided to silent mourning now… a thing more potent that open laments!
The night wore on. We felt ourselves too weak to cry out anymore. The grief would never leave us. We would be burdened by it for an eternity…
"Lady Adithi…" I looked at the woman who had her head on my shoulder. I did not say anything. I merely smiled a little as I stroked the soft head of my son who was sleeping on my lap. He had not erred in choosing her…she seemed to be perfect for him. More perfect that I would have been.
"May I not ask you something?" I sighed. I knew what she was to ask. It still puzzled me how she came to know of me and Aryan – our son.
"And I have the same query for you, your maj-" she looked at me, her purple eyes glimmering a little.
"Please call me Houki." I smiled as I nodded my head.
"How did you come to know of me?" she lowered her head as the same sad smile flashed.
"He seemed to have never forgotten you. He wanted me to meet you." I felt tears return as she clasped my hand tightly in hers.
"Two days after…he died, I found a stash of letters in a box…well hidden…he seemed to have written a lot of letters to you."
I frowned a little. I had received no such correspondence.
"He never dispatched them." I smiled as I nodded my head.
"He seemed to feel guilty on having to leave you when you were…" she looked down at my son. I understood. So, he did understand. I was glad. There was silence for a while. Then,
"Will you tell me how you met him? How all of this happened?" her voice seemed a little hoarse. I lowered my eyes. I remembered it well. I would hardly forget it ever! The meeting that had changed my life forever!
The tale shall grow…
Thus ends the prologue… So, please let me know how it is. Any sort of constructive criticism is always welcome.
- Anarya of Lorien.