[ Joining on the NEW TAGS train— mine are: #dwmlxiaoqiao, #dwmljiangwei, and #dwmlwangyuanji ]
The variation in days was minor; every morning, the sun rises, and by evening, it falls and the sky turned dark, with the stars idly floating about. Today, too, Su Ling rose early in the morning, dressed properly, and spent her day mingling with suitors and studying. She’d never been the type of girl to desire change at a constant pace, but unfortunately, a stagnant life seemed to present only the same things to think about. For a girl at her age, raised to closely with the idea of tradition in mind, most of what occupied Su Ling’s mind was marriage, and her naive ideals attached to it.
Even in her childhood, she’d had this dream that the man she would inevitably marry would be a man that she loved. Of course, she’d learned as she got older that this chances of this were slim, but she still hoped it would happen and so she’d always been particularly choosy about her suitors, which is why all of them left not even shy of acceptance.
It’s been some time since suitors began visiting her, and so, as of late, naturally it came to mind that perhaps it was time to stop holding onto things from childhood. It was not as if all of the men she’d met were villains; the occasional fellow was affectionate, and perhaps she’d be one of those women who fell in love with her husband after she married him. It was something that can occur and the era, as it was, taught Su Ling that having a husband was important. She wouldn’t remain beautiful forever, and she did not think of herself as as clever as Lady Yueying to attract a man on something other than her looks.
Her upcoming choices were food for thought. Petite fingers brushed against the railing of the bridge as she idly walked over it, musing where she stood in life and how to proceed. Perhaps it was time to stop troubling her father.
Without thinking much on it, she continued to walk. The manor was not too far from here, and it was normal for Su Ling to take this path. She often chose to aimlessly wander as she gathered her thoughts. She did not consider herself the kind of person who had a lot of business to handle, seeing as there were other women who had much more to handle, but as a woman who was raised as close to tradition as she was, her future husband was a very important decision to her. It shouldn’t be something she flips a coin over.
Her musings were interrupted by the sudden presence of Jiang Wei. She’d lost track of her surroundings (which was arguably a bad thing, and she reminded herself not to let it happen again), and didn’t even realize he’d been nearby until he spoke up.
“My lady, what brings you out here at this time of night? Won’t your father be worried?”
Su Ling turned to face him, stopping in her movements. The moon’s illumination served to make him look very knightly when she saw him, but perhaps she was just thinking a little too much about her husband and the person she thought she would love and hoped to meet. Su Ling smiled, and replied, “I often take this route when I have things that I want to ponder. My father is not worried. Rather, my lord, what brings you out here tonight? Another hard day of work?”
“I was on my way to retire, actually,” Jiang Wei answered. “It appears that I lost track of the time while I was doing calligraphy; if it weren’t for Lady Yueying, I probably would have fallen asleep. That would have been embarrassing.”
Jiang Wei felt that it would be best if he didn’t ask what she was pondering about. It could’ve been very personal things; besides, the two weren’t particularly close enough to confide with each other, anyway. Still, he did hope that she wasn’t pondering anything bad. He also hoped that things in her home were alright as well. “Ah, I see. I advise you not to stay out too long, my lady. Although we have the moon’s protection for tonight, I’m afraid it can only do so much.” he advised her. Just in case, Jiang Wei decided to stay with her until she decided to head back home, so he could escort her safely. He feared for her father’s worries should something terrible happen to the precious daughter of the Su family. Actually, he wondered if her father even knew she was out in the night.
But that wasn’t any of his business, anyway. It wasn’t his place, but Jiang Wei wanted to get her back home before her father learned that she wasn’t home, if that were the case. “If it isn’t any trouble at all, my lady, I’m in no rush - I would like to stay with you until you decide to head home - only if you wish it, of course.” However, he strongly recommended it. If the moon couldn’t protect her from danger, it would’ve been un-benevolent of him to leave her by herself.
Even if he and Su Ling weren’t close, he wouldn’t have forgiven himself.
Ah. Is that so.
I will take your word for it, Prime Minister.
There you are, my friend!
I am fairing well, thank you for asking - and you, Zhongquan?
Ah, I see, Prime Minister…
… would… you happen to know this “dance”?
Enough of that, Sima Zhao.