汉宫秋月之阿娇怨 (Chinese title)
By: Aisaki Sumi
Summary: He said loved her and would build her a golden house when he became the emperor. But ironically, the same golden house he built for her became her eternal prison. She asked him why. And he said, "because I love you." Set in 130 BC, China
With invisible tears of anguish
As Earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow, despite the falling snow.
Chaos and despair enveloped the grand hall as cries of young ladies-in-waiting rang like the deafening temple bells of the Palace through the air thickened with tension and saturated with endless whispers of a nameless fear.
The woman who appeared to be in her late twenties stood gracefully on the throne, her svelte figure placid and elegant as if the chaos had nothing to do with her.
Her face was the shape of an oval, showing no trace of any emotions. Her beautiful complexion was flawless as if each of her ethereal features were molded by divine hands of god themselves.
With eyes as beauteous as glassy emerald marbles, skin as white as porcelain, and suppressed lips as red as blood, she was truly God's most perfect creation. She was like a painting from the Imperial portrait gallery, divine, heavenly and untouchable.
She gazed down at the chaotic state of her palace and watched in silence as the servants, ladies in waiting were seized by incoming waves of soldiers. Even in such condition, she remained composed and graceful and stoic as if she was just a member of the audience watching a live drama performing on the stage.
"Empress Chen! Empress Chen! They're coming! They're coming!" The young maid-in-waiting fussed, her face twisted into a deformed shape, almost a bit too hideous for the eyes to see. Her frantic dark eyes trained on the unresponsive elegant woman before her, seeking out for the help that would never come.
"They're coming!" She repeated, lips quivering uncontrollably. She could hear the hysteria in her own shaky and hoarse voice. Ignoring the rules of the Imperial Palace, she desperately reached out for the empress's hands and clenched onto them as if she was holding onto her death life.
The rules didn't matter anymore. As a low status servant girl it was forbidden for her to hold a higher status royal family member's hand like that. But it didn't matter anymore. It didn't matter if she was going to get punished for gripping onto the Empress's hands. She just wanted to live. She just wanted to live.
More armed soldiers rushed into the chaotic grand hall and they stepped aside to open up the path for their general. A man in his late thirties with a hard stoic face held a golden sheet of silk in his hands and bowed to the empress in respect as he halted into a stop.
"Empress Chen Jiao, pardon me for the intrusion but I have a message for you from his Majesty." Her heart skipped a beat upon hearing those words even though she already saw it coming.
Her visage was still as white as the snow but she kept it straight and emotionless, yet her fists hidden underneath her long sleeves tightened even more; her nails cut through her palm.
She knew what was coming, but still, a small part of her heart wished it was just a prank he pulled on her, like he had done so many times when they were young.
Everything just seemed so unreal, like a nightmare that should end after she opened her eyes again, like a nightmare that should hold no real meanings. But this was reality and she understood that this was far from just being a nightmare.
Kneeling down as she was supposed to very respectfully, her ears rang. It sounded like someone was shrieking loudly in her ears, like something was buzzing deafeningly. She didn't remember the exact words of the emperor's message to her, but she vaguely caught the important lines.
"…By the Almighty God of Heaven, the gracious Emperor Wu of Han declares that Empress Chen Jiao indulged the practice of witchcraft, caused the loss of thousands of innocent lives, and ultra vired things that were not part of her jurisdiction. Thus, the emperor has decided to depose Empress Chen Jiao for her crimes and put her under house arrest at Long Gate palace where she will still enjoy the treatment of an empress."
The words produced endless echoes in her mind. She could not stand up. All the energy in her body seemed to have been drained out of her. The general eyed two soldiers to help her up but when their hands touched her arms, she brushed them away.
Recollecting herself for a moment, she regained her flawless composure and stood up shakily. "I can walk on my own." She declared coldly, revealing pride and defiance in her narrowed green eyes.
Slowly, she made her way through the grand hall that seemed so empty, abandoned and lifeless, leaving her robes fluttering behind and a deadly silence resonating in her awake.
Watching her take off, the general swerved around to face the soldiers. "Seize all the servants in his palace and take them to the execution ground where they will be beheaded."
"Yes sir!" The soldiers bowed to the general as a way of taking his order and scattered out to detain all the screaming and struggling servants.
Nodding in approval, the general left the soldiers behind to deal with the prisoners while he followed the deposed empress. After all, she was his responsibility and if anything happened to her… his life would be pretty much over as well.
Even though she was no longer the empress of China, he knew that she was still someone who should not be taken lightly. She was his wife for nearly fourteen years after all, and he knew, no matter what she did, the emperor would not execute her.
The rest of the guards and soldiers trailed after him, forming two long yet uniformed rows like two guardian dragons protecting the empress. The chilly late autumn breeze brushed against her cold skin, padding its fingers through her long auburn hair.
But she continued to hold her head up high as if defying the pervasive coldness, as if she was defying fate, Mother Nature and everything else in the world around her.
She looked like an exotic and divine goddess from the behind. And a part of the general wondered what had caused such seemingly fragile woman to be this headstrong and proud. As if nothing in this world could ever bring her down.
Everything changed but she stood still.
Two carefree children chased after one and another in the Imperial Garden, through the fields of blooming flowers that carried faint fragrance of summer. Their laughter of happiness echoed in the air and was transported miles away on the breezy wind.
"Catch me if you can Xiaolang!" The five-year-old girl slowed down slightly as she looked over her shoulder and challenged, waving a hand at the little boy behind her. Giggling a little, she made a face at him. "Ha you're so slow!"
"Am NOT!" The chestnut haired boy disagreed defensively. His face was as red as a tomato from running and there were sweat trickling down his face. "I'll catch you for sure, just you wait!" He said determinedly as he narrowed his large amber eyes.
"I'd like to see you try!" With that being said, little Sakura quickened her pace. But little did she know, Syaoran never slowed down when she unconsciously slowed down to throw him that remark. During the time she challenged him, he already closed the gap between them.
Accelerating even more, little Syaoran jumped up into the air and opened up his arms to catch little Sakura. His body slammed into hers, tipping over their balance which caused both of them to fall forward into the warm embrace of Mother Nature.
"Gotcha!" Syaoran tightened his arms around her and grinned smugly, his burning amber eyes sparkled mesmerizingly under the brilliance of the sun. She could see the dapples of chocolate brown pigments encircling his pupils and his thick dark fluttering eyelashes.
Emeralds bored into ambers. Everything around them seemed so unimportant suddenly as if the world was just down to the two of them. "Ying, when I become the emperor, I'll build a golden house just for you!" He vowed, his warm moisture-laden breathe tickling the sensitive skin of her cheeks.
Shades of red surfaced on her once pale cheeks but she looked away and pushed him aside. "I don't believe you, a house out of gold? Yah right!"
He grabbed her hand before she could dash away from him. "I will! I swear! I'll make sure it's made of pure gold too! And that's my promise to you."
Gazing up at the beautiful palace decorated with gold and quality gems before her, the corners of her lips lifted just slightly into a bitter and mocking smile. He really did keep his promise, after all. It was just the fulfillment isn't exactly what she had in mind.
The fallen leaves drifted through the thin air like small weightless masses. But to her, they seemed like snow flakes because in her world from that moment on, had only one season all year around. Winter. Where white was everything and everything was white.
Xiaolang… is this really the end for us?
a/n: Yes, shamefully I gave into the temptation of starting this fic. I know, I know, I should finish my other stories, but it's hard to deal with this stupid idea occupying my brain and write other stories at the same time (I had this idea in mind 1 month ago, but I tried not to think about it too much and work on my other stories and it didn't work). Blah. Anyway. This is a story about people breaking up and falling back in love again, so it's not your typical people meet and falling in love and live happily ever after story.
This story is set in the Han Dynasty, in 130 B.C. when Emperor Wu of Han was in power. Syaoran will be Emperor Wu of Han in this story, and I'll be using his Chinese name Xiaolang because the story takes place in China and it would not make since if people start calling him using his Japanese name. Sakura will be Empress Chen Jiao, and her name in Chinese is Ying. Just wanted to clear up the name confusion here.
In the actual history, Chen Jiao died 10 or 20 years after she was deposed, but no body knew when she died or how she died. Her story pretty much ended when she was deposed. She was left behind in the lonely Long Gate Palace, a beautiful palace built by Emperor Wu of Han to imprison her for the rest of her life. So everything about Chen Jiao (Sakura in this case), happened after 130 B.C., and they are all made up by me. But I will link her life with the actual history of that period, so this is still a historical romance fanfiction.
Let me know if I should continue this story or not through a lilo review. :D
P.S.: the story will have the past clashing with the present time, so with a lot of flashbacks. Try not to get too confused lolz.