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36 Again In The Fores



Fear is only as deep as the mind allows. It is that little darkroom inside people where negativity is developed into a monster they cannot handle or have control over. Because Grand Dowager Empress' palace maid had witnessed, heard and partially experienced the atrocities that the emperor committed against the palace maids, her fear towards the man had cultivated into something she could not stand up to. Therefore, she had found poisoning herself as a better option than having to face him.

Racing against time, Le-anne and the palace guard momentarily decided that he had to rush back to the palace with the young dying girl in order to bid for her life. Le-anne was then left with the responsibility of delivering the urgent letter to the Military Grounds Camp.

"Just keep going straight and you will see a posted flag." The palace guard had expeditiously directed her before carrying away their impending emergency.

Le-anne increased her walking stance considering that she would later have to walk back alone. The overwhelming sun was right above her, indicating that it was noon hour. For a person who was raised to not lift a leg as she was always carried by a sedan, Le-anne found the walking distance to be quite strenuous. Her back started complaining by shooting bolts of pain down her spine. It was like something that was trapped within her back wanted to be set free.

Nevertheless, all that didn't seem to matter now, not when she was caught up in the beauty of nature skirting around her.

The sky was a lovely pastel of blue with stuffed little white clouds hung all over, while in the background was a melody without rhythm that played music without sound.

It was a short while before a wave of bellow started emitting from ahead. They were two distinct repetitive words which she resonated with from deep within. These were the words she had moaned in the middle of the night to curse the pain that seized her heart.

From hushed caterwaul, they became more like a chant that was being hyped in boastial celebration, as she drew closer.

"Luo Meng… Luo Meng… Luo Meng."

Her breath hiccuped in her throat.

"Luo Meng!" Hoarse rowdy voices screamed all the loudest.

Her feet started to do the unacceptable. She deviated from her led path to the Military Grounds Camp and started heading west, surrendering to the name that was not hers like it was her it called for.

Branches slapped her face, thorns bruised against her garbed legs but like one who was a zombie, she determinedly walked straight towards what had once made her feel what could not be described.

She found herself walking into a clearing where there were a dozen men that passionately watched two rugged men growl against one another. In that frozen second between standoff and fighting Le-anne saw their eyes flick off to her then back to each other; no invitational smirk, no fear, no shaking. The two were separated by status, as one was perfectly uniformed in black leather and silk while the other was in mundane cotton uniform.

The cotton garbed man pulled back his sleeves, ready to challenge. Confident with himself, the man in black tradiantly raised his sword, accepting the challenge. The audience wildly cheered in excitement to this.

"Luo Meng! Luo Meng!" The crowd screamed crazy and the man in black nodded in appreciation to the roar of his name.

Before shouting his name, she had known which one of the two was him. His stance with the sword was one her swordmaster used when he held his sword in triumph after defeating her bullies, years ago.

Her heart pumping wildly, she charged forth but like the wall of distance that had always existed between them, multiple swords were briskly sheathed then entangled right before her to stop her procedure.

Stock-still quietude lingered as each eye turned to her, threatening that not another step should she take.

She did not understand why they were not going to let her through like the ground before her was some sort of holy ground. She was not going to wait and see her beloved shed blood before her eyes, not when she had just found him.

What was funny was that, they did not know her. She would fight tooth and nail to reach her beloved and they wouldn't be able to stop her so easily.

She crouched low, ready to rebel, but a deep gravelly voice; one that sounded familiar somewhere at the back of her mind spoke for her. "Let her through."

And immediately the wall she had miserably fought against for years broke so she could reconcile with her beloved.

"Luo Meng…" she muttered, lost for words. She bluttantly staggered for her man, yet not knowing how to feel.

A pair of black emotionless eyes stared back at her. She thought the blank stare would swell with emotion but a minute passed and still no recognition was highlighted on his visage. The moment of awkwardness was nothing like she had imagined it would be like but she was unwilling to back out. She had to confirm for herself that it was not him.

With her eyes closed, she brazenly took his face into her hands, and carreseed every angle of him.
Naughty suggestive hoots cackled from their audience, encouraging her.

Yet nothing.

There was no surge of warm, fuzzy, gooey exhilaration that she used to feel.

It was not her Luo Meng.

It did not feel like him, she realised. And her heart crunched in disappointment.

'Aiya, why do I still care?' she exasperatedly thought. He didn't have the alluring smile, he didn't remember her, he was closed off.

But what about the scar on his stomach? Relying on what it felt like when she would hold him years ago would be stupid and insufficient evidence.

But again she couldn't strip him naked to find that out, could she?