Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Time to Move On
I wrote this to kiarrith's enthusiastic seconding of kelkyag's sixth prompt "Lady Wen Cho". It happens in the Fujing Period of Tang-ji history.

Lady Wen Cho, persona grata of the Solar Court although not a member of its reincarnating central core, poet, philosopher with unpopular ideas, and occasional Imperial investigator was entertaining in the parlour of her private rooms in the Imperial Palace. In deference to the rank of her guest she was wearing her three tiered robes and the jade pendant that was the sign of the rank that the Solar Emperor had bestowed on her. She poured tea for the Red Marshal, named Rau Kun in his current incarnation. “I miss being married, you know,” she said as an opening to their conversation.

“And he misses you,” replied the Khem quietly. “He cries himself to sleep at night sometimes, still, sobbing your name. I’ve had to explain to his mother who you are.”

“And going to see him would only make things worse,” she said, handing him the tea. “He’s only a baby, not even three yet, and it’s my husband I miss.”

“His mother appreciates your restraint,” answered Rau Kun, carefully sipping his tea, “and the words to that song he likes. New incarnations can be difficult in that period before the brain forms enough to really settle into the new personality – I’m sure that within six months he’ll be very robustly Tao Ku and Justice Minister Lord Wen Chu will be what he should be, a memory.”

Lord Wen Chu’s widow sighed. “I know he should be only a memory but-“

“You miss him, and that is only right,” Rau Kun told her gently. “But you also miss being married. Obviously, you should marry again.”

“Obviously?” She raised her eyebrows as she poured her own tea.

“I have exercised my mind on the possible candidates, because you don’t need a husband to think for you, or to support you, or to give you entry to the highest circles, because you have all that yourself.” He gestured widely, “So what you need is either someone interesting or someone who needs you.”

She murmured, “Thank you, I think.”

“I have a widowed friend, well twice widowed, who has a good income and an important position, who needs someone to take care of him, argue with him a little, and stop him doing stupid things like standing under a waterfall for three hours trying to string a bow.” Rau Kun drank some more tea.

Lady Wen Cho followed suit and then asked, “Do I know this gentleman?”

“I think so, and he certainly speaks well of you. Vehemently on occasion,” admitted Rau Kun, “but well.”

“So, who is he?” She sipped her tea again.

“His personal name is Gao Jian,” Rau Kun replied carefully.

Lady Wen Cho froze in surprise. “You want me to marry the Solar Emperor? I’m not-, he doesn’t-. We argue,” she finally spluttered.

“He needs someone to take care of him and to make sure that he takes care of himself. You would do that supremely well. Besides,” added Rau Kun, “He likes arguing with you. Haven’t you noticed?”

  • 1
It is a truth universally acknowledged that even Emperors need a wife who can keep them in line. :)

That bit about the bow sounds suspiciously specific.

It's a specific thing that worries his friends.

Ooooh Lady Wen!! I'm intrigued and would like more :-D

We shall see! You can join the slave drivers and prompt!

<giggles> So did they get married?

And now I am wondering again, how many times across how many lives has the solar emperor already been married, and how does being married to someone else who also reincarnates work ...? Or will that be a sometimes across many lifetimes?

(And Master Que's comment on the multiple times he might have gotten married had he figured out things like not always wanting to talk over breakfast ...)

ETA: why is she Lady Cho Wen here, and Lady Wen Cho in some of Nai's books?

Edited at 2016-03-27 08:07 pm (UTC)

The name is because I have stuffed up. I will go back, check and then correct here. *bows apologetically*

Edited at 2016-03-27 08:55 pm (UTC)

And =the name is now fixed and her late husband's name adjusted accordingly.

Clarification greatly appreciated! So she is Cho and her husband was Chu? That must be a little confusing, though possibly the pronunciations are more distinct than they are in my head.

Why is literally bad? Or have I mangled attaching titles to names? Family name before personal name still fuddles me sometimes.

*grovels and prostrates self*

Because I stuffed up again and thought I'd used the name as written in the prompt without checking - but the prompt was RIGHT.

I will just go hide in this corner and sort through some stuff so I can write the next prompt... (I have coffee, There could be chocolate.)

No groveling! Please?

<ponders the problem of shipping chocolate internationally> It keeps, at least!

I have chocolate. I have so much chocolate....

It still keeps! (Well, maybe not truffles.) No such thing as too much chocolate. :)

Lady Wen Cho sounds like someone deserving of a storyline of her own. (Notice how I dispose of your free time?) I wish I could afford to support you entirely so you could write more!

In a properly ordered world she would have had a number of professionally written biographies by now. Also, her poetry would have been collected into one book centuries ago.

I'm glad you iked it. :)

Along with everything else, I particularly like "persona grata".

I came across that phrase in Peter Ustinov's autobiography - one of the things they knew about one of his grandmothers(?)/great-grandmothers(?) was that she'd been persona grata at the court of Haile Selassie. It was about the only thing they knew about her. :)


Edited at 2016-03-28 05:43 pm (UTC)

That's a doozy of a matchmaking session. Yay Nai (way, way) backstory!

She wasn't Nai, she's a completely different and non-reincarnating person. :)

Rau Kun just happens to know two people in similar circumstances, one of whom _should_ start acting his physical age, who might do better together than apart.

Nope, not Nai, but one of the significant people surrounding that 800-year-old murder that Nai is puzzling over. Still counts as backstory, I think?

<wanders back to ponder this again>

I am very curious about the Cornflower Empress prophecies, and how the Solar Emperor decided Nai was likely her. And whether her addressing him by a title she'd learned from reading Lady Wen Cho's writings was part of that. And ...

<vast curiosity> <halfhearted attempt at patience>

Edited at 2016-04-11 11:23 pm (UTC)

I don't know what the prophecies say, exactly, and they're not entirely public. I believe I will be coy and not comment in reply to the second half of that sentence, or the second sentence, at this time. :)

I have discovered that if there is a Chinese word for 'cornflower' it is quite obscure - apparently it is a European plant....

<looks up cornflowers again> I keep mixing them up with flax. Similar "default" flower color, but very different construction.

Okay, fine, we don't actually *know* that that was the Solar Emperor handing Nai the beads. But it was at least a member of the solar court. Probably. <bounces>

I don't expect answers to all my questions -- certainly not at the time, though I hope that some of them get answered in the story eventually -- but that doesn't stop them from bubbling out. :)

  • 1