Wu Zhung pulled herself out of her reverie and back onto her feet. She was so absorbed in her trip into the past that she never realised that she had slumped down to the ground between the dewy flowers. She had lain there for quite some time. Her hair was all tousled now, the hem of her dress slightly stained a darker crimson with mud, but she didnt care. She had to get a grip on her emotions. They were running wild!
What was it that her heart yearned for?
What did she want?
Wu Zhung wondered. She was the Emperor's favourite concubine. She had servants at her beck and call. The best of the silk and the rarest of gems in her treasury. The world's finest Ivory was used in making her comb and even her feet knew only the brightest and prettiest Silk coated Lotus Shoes. She bathed in the most heavenly aromas and rested her head on very soft and plush Futon.
These luxuries were not known to her when she was just another peassant's daughter.
Then, she had never dreamed of half the things in her posession now.
Then, she had never known such delicacies that now arrived at her table in tempting quantities.
"Then why the tears Wu ?" she asked herself.
"What is that you want, woman?" She demanded her heart to answer.
And it spoke again.
It whispered between the innumerable petals in the peonies.
It sprang at her like a weaver bird from between the bushes.
The answer stood before her crystal clear like the morning.
"What Women Want is Love!"
The tender caress of love not the wild embrace of lust.
" The finest of fabrics will not bring a smile to my face but a loving compliment from him would.
A little attention, a caring word, the concern in his voice to know how I fare. That is what my heart longs for.
What do I care for a hundred sumptuous dishes when there is not he, my companion to dine with me?"
Strains of music from within travelled to her ears but Wu remained, unmoved.
It was a lilting, romantic tune. One that she would have begun dancing to if she was still the kid from Kunming. Alas! She wasn't Wu anymore.
Wu was loved. Indeed her parents were poor but they loved her with all their feeble hearts.
Wu was adored as the prettiest girl on the Kunming farmlands.
But Wu Zhung was posessed.
As the most seductive and luscious, full lipped beauty. Wu Zhung was not just another Imperial consort in the Emperor's harem but a respected Fei, a concubine.
" And so I will remain?"
She wasn't a silly little nubile teenager any more. She was a woman of twenty three with beauty in abundance. She felt a fire rise in the pit of her belly. The thought had made yet another tear drop settle on her thick eyelashes.
She was aware that she was falling out of love for the Emperor.The Emperor had indeed bestowed on her the very best but less enamoured by him now, Wu Zhung's heart was devoid of feeelings for him when he touched her. Had he noticed that too?
Concubines were not required to do much. They were just some spoilt, young women flitting about the palace, looking beautiful, bouncing with oomph and entertaining their beloved Emperor! Wu Zhung knew she didnt want to be only that any more.
Wu Zhung had more than that on her mind!
This woman knew what she wanted.
Or rather who she wanted....
Love life’s longing
Hearts aflutter, minds restless,
Souls mated in strife;
Strife in mated souls
Restless minds, aflutter hearts
Longing life’s love!