Aurora tied the last of her things to the horses. She was bringing two with her, one to hold the majority of their stuff and the other to ride on. Most of what she was bringing was to ensure the baby's safety and health. In fact all of it was, as the biggest reason she wanted to make sure she herself was healthy and safe was fear of something happening to her daughter if she were to catch something or disappear. Many a time she had thought about staying at the palace and raising her beautiful child on her own, even for a few weeks or months, but she realised, on top of her fear of not being capable enough, she would eventually have to leave her on her own and she just could not bear the thought.
Getting on her horse with the baby strapped to her chest as securely as possible, Aurora set off down the dusty path. She was feeling a mix of emotions about this trip. Worry about her daughter, heartache about Philip not being there, dread about who the angel's father might really be, excitement about getting to see Mulan again. She had missed Mulan terribly. Sometimes she would just be doing everyday things like bathing or reading a book and something would trigger a memory the two of them shared. She would smile in reminiscence of all the good times they had together and then she would remember that Mulan was no longer there to have more good times with; she was off having good times with the Merry Men and probably didn't even think of her all that often, if how quickly she left was anything to go by.
Aurora brought one hand up to wipe her eyes - it wouldn't do to have blurry eyes as it could cause an accident. She hadn't realised it would hurt this much when Mulan left. Although, then again, before she had left Aurora hadn't even thought of the possibility of her leaving.
Looking to her right Aurora could see what looked like smoke a little way off from the road. Turning to head towards it all she could think about was the possibility that she had found them this soon. She thought that it was maybe a bit strange that they were this close to the palace and Mulan hadn't come to visit them. But excitement and anticipation filled her before she could think any further into that.
Coming into a small clearing Aurora could spot only one tent and a fairly big fire. Sitting in front of the fire facing away from Aurora was a figure dressed in a cape with patterns on the leather on their shoulders.
"Mulan!" Aurora shouted getting off the horse as quickly yet gently as she could so as not to harm the precious bundle in her arms. Aurora swiftly tied her horses to a tree and moved to go and greet the figure she had identified as Mulan.
"Mulan?" asked a rather deep voice, one she had not come to associate with her friend.
"You mean long dark hair, dark brown eyes, supposedly all about honour, Mulan?" asked the deep voice again. After getting a closer look Aurora could see that this most definitely was not Mulan. It wasn't even a woman. In front of her was a now standing man with his hair in a tight bun, and clothed in armour similar to Mulan's with a few differences, like the patterns on his armour were a subtle gold.
"What do you mean supposedly?" Aurora asked, regretting it almost immediately as she had wanted to ask many other, better questions. Opening her mouth to do so she was cut off by his answer before she could get a word out.
"Oh, I just have trouble piecing together the Mulan I knew as a child and the Mulan I met in war," said the man.
"You knew Mulan as a child? You fought with Mulan in war? Is that why you have similar armour? Were you friends? Is that why you're here? No, wait, who are you?" Aurora rattled off questions, her arms instinctively wrapping protectively around her daughter in case he was a danger to them.
"Whoa, wait, slow down. It's fine I'm not going to hurt you," he said, noticing her movements. "Mulan and I were childhood friends but I had to move away due to my father's job. I met her again later when she joined the war to protect her father. My armour is of the ranking above hers, and as for why I'm here, we'll get to that later. Let me introduce myself," he smiled, holding out his hand for her to shake. "I'm Shang."
I left it on a cliffhanger :). Thanks for all the reviews and follows and favourites! I don't actually know where I'm going with this, probably because I'm more of a live in the moment kind of person, but it's definitely sleeping warrior and might have some swan queen later on. I watched all the sleeping warrior scenes again and Mulan the movie. Do vd Graaf you found my weakness, I'm kind of really bad at slow paced stories but I'll try my best to slow it down a bit anyway. Also I'm gonna need a name for the baby at some point and I haven't come up with one yet so suggestions would be nice :).