20 All's Fair In Love And War

In a vast field filled flowers in every direction, a large hollow cherry blossom tree stood in place.

"Hmm…" A soothing gentle tune hummed in the distance.

Enchanting melancholic bells rang loudly in her ears. Slowly fluttering her dark long lashes open, Rin wakes to recognize a familiar face. A face she dreamt of every night.

Her mother.

"Mommy?" The child's soft voice cracked.

Looking up from the pile of flowers in her lap, the beautiful young woman looks at her child's pained expression.

"What is it little Rin?" Her beloved mother's soothing voice humbly asked. "Did you have a nightmare?"

Sleepily getting up with a dazed expression, the little girl bobs her small lovely head. Chuckling at her daughter's adorableness, Ai lovingly stroke her daughter's disheveled hair.

"Want to tell mommy what it was about?" Ai placed a long strand of hair behind the girl's ear.

Tightening her glossy lips into a straight line, Rin gently shakes her graceful head rapidly, before leaping eagerly into her nurturing mother's arms, causing the peony flowers beneath her to be crushed.

"Aiya, Rin you crush all the innocent flowers," Ai sighed contentedly with a helpless smile.

"I'm sorry mommy!" Rin murmured tenderly in her mother's bosom.

Giggling softly, the woman sighs before stroking her daughters delicate head.

"It's alright. I prefer chrysanthemums anyway."

Cautiously lifting her large milky emerald eyes towards her mother's lovely face, Rin curiously arches a puzzled brow.

"Does mommy not like peonies?"

"En, I like them. A peony can represent ravishing beauty, and only her bloom can attract all people to the capital city," A mournful distant smile appears on the graceful woman's face. "However, only a chrysanthemum represents strength, nobility, and elegance. One that refuses to be polluted by society."

The woman's eyes flash with a hint of loneliness and another unknown emotion that Rin couldn't detect.

Hearing her mother's words traced with a tinge of sadness, caused the little girl's brows to furrow.

Hopping off of her mother's lap, Rin grabs the peonies on her mother's lap with her small plump hands and hurls them away into the broad field of flowers - stomping on a few in the process.

"There now mommy doesn't need to see them!" Rin harrumphs while jabbing her fists onto her hips proudly.

Twinkling her eyes rapidly, Ai bursts out into fits of giggles, her slender snowy hand covering her rosy lips.

"En, thank you Rin," She wipes a tear from her almond-shaped eyes. "But you didn't need to do that. After all, they're just innocent flowers."

"Nu-Uh!" Rin shakes her head disapprovingly. "If they make mommy sad then Rin doesn't mind destroying even more! For now, on Rin hates peonies!"

Ai, once again starts giggling at her beloved daughter's brazen words.

Rin on the other hand stares at her laughing mother with a 'feeling wronged' look.

"Come here little Rin," Her mother smiled.

Crossing her small arms across the top of her flowing dress, Rin gives in hopping towards her mother.

"Do you know why mommy likes chrysanthemums?" Ai softly spoke while grasping her precious daughter's small hands.

Looking wonderingly into her charming mother's calm emerald eyes, Rin gently shakes her head.

A small loving smile forms on Ai's glossy rosy lips, her lovely eyes turning upwards.

"Because they remind me of my little Rin."

Gradually processing her words, Rin's round cheeks flush a rosy color - the visible tips of her fragile ears redding.

"Mommy you're not being fair!" She whines concealing her face into her mother's light blue hanfu.

"Hehe, all's fair in love and war Rin!" Ai laughed joyously while proudly patting her daughter's hair.

When it thunders in winter,

When it snows in summer

When heaven and earth mingle,

Not till then will I part from you.
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