The tall man pulled his horse to a brake a few distance away from the kid.
He jumped down and walked to the little one who didn’t look fazed by the fact that he’d almost been toppled over by a horse.
“What’s your name?”
“What’s YOUR name?” The boy who looked around 6 -7 years old shot back, pulling his lips into a grin that looked strangely familiar to the man wearing the bamboo hat.
The man untied his heart and knelt in front of the boy. “My name is one that can’t be heard by many.”
To his surprise, the boy laughed. “A name is just a name. What can’t be heard by many? Perhaps your parents named you with a silly name.”
He squinted his eyes at the man whose heart lurched as the boy’s face looked too familiar. Too familiar to his.
“What is your name please?”
Lou Zigui laughed in his heart. When was the last time he had to tell someone “please”? “My surname is Lou” he conceded. “What’s yours?”
“My surname is Ning.”
Lou Zigui’s heart spasmed painfully. Are you okay where you are? Our child..are you two together? Is it a boy or a girl?
“Young Master!” A man wearing a tutor’s uniform called and ran to them. He bowed to Lou Zigui “Thanks for finding our young master.”
He turned to face Ning Mingjie. “Young Master you can’t keep running off like that. Everyone in Duke of Yue’s estate is up and about searching for you and Lady Xiaoyao has left the clinic to search for you too…”
“What did you say?” Lou Zigui stood and pulled the man by his collar. “Duke of where? Lady who? Xiaoyao.. Ning Xiaoyao is here?”
“Mister Lou, you know my mother?”
At the boy’s question, Lou Zigui lost all energy in his legs and fell to the ground.
Just then, Fang Tang and the rest arrived and pulled out their swords to point at the tutor. “Confess! What have you done to the emperor?”
The people around the streets fell to their knees on hearing what they said.
“Take me,” Lou Zigui jerked up. “Take me to Xiaoyao immediately!”
Fang Tang and the rest cooled when they heard his words. Who didn’t know that the emperor had refused to open his harem till date?
“Why are you looking for my mother?” Mingjie asked again and the soldiers lowered their head to look at him.
He was a spitting image of Xiaoyao with traces of Lou Zigui between his brows, his sharp eyes and cocking grin.
“Your Highness” Fang tang whispered lowly and tears started to fall from his eyes. That year, if only they hadn’t hesitated, would the Prince not have grown in the palace and be raised properly as Crown Prince?
“Calm down Xiaoyao.. we will find him soon. You know how he is, he’s just like you and loves to run around.” First Young Master patted the red eyed Xiaoyao.
A servant rushed in flustered. “Trouble trouble! The emperor is here with his guards and the young master.”
Ning Xiaoyao’s head shot up and before First Young Master could say a word, she dashed out to the gates.
“Mother!” Mingjie ran to embrace her. Xiaoyao kissed him all over, “Ming-er, don’t do this again. Please don’t scare mother again.”
She wiped her tears and pushed him behind her. Folding her arms, she stared at Fang Tang and the rest who hung their heads so low it looked ready to roll off.
Lou Zigui was taken aback by her bow and didn’t know what to say again.
Xiaoyao, do you know how much I’ve missed you? Do you know how much I hated myself all these years? Do you know how many times I’ve tried to kill myself so I could join you? Xiaoyao, will you ever forgive me?
These were words he wanted to say but couldn’t. Instead, he knelt to the floor and offered a full bow to her. Lou Zigui opened his mouth to talk but all that came out were choked sobs. He crawled to her and embraced her legs.
“Guards!” First Young Master who muttered a “pretentious” called.
“Big bro.” Xiaoyao stopped him and bent to pull Lou Zigui up but he refused to get up.
“If you don’t let go of my legs and stand up then how will we talk and how will I introduce you to your son?”
Still sobbing, Lou Zigui got up and wrapped his arms around her. “Never…never again” he whispered in her ears.
Ning Xiaoyao closed her eyes and slowly embraced him too.
She had never hated him. Maybe she did dislike him a little when Mingjie was growing up and cried for his father but coming from another world, she knew it was human nature to be selfish.
That year, the emperor brought the empress back to the capital and never took another woman after her.
This fan fic is written by Elizabeth! That’s all the fan fic submissions I’ve received! Thank you to all the participants. <3