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SHE

Was born to be a queen.

Or at least, that was what her mother had said.

She wasn't born a princess; her father was a government official and her mother, the daughter of the Prime Minister. But there was only one and sure path into becoming a queen.

That was by marrying the Son of the Heavens himself.

Her whole life, she trained to be royalty; to be the epitome of perfection.

Her hair was brushed till it shone like silk; her skin bathed in milk every day to make it fair and plump. She was a delicate beauty that made men fall to their knees and cause a war. She was pampered, cared for, made sure she never broke a sweat or lifted a heavy object in her entire life.

Her clothes were made of expensive cloth, and her seamstress was the best in the country.

She did everything to be worthy of that title. She bound her feet and suffered in silence so that she could be beautiful.

She mastered literature, language, calligraphy, politics, among many others, and learned to play countless instruments. Even when she grew tired, and her fingers had red marks because of the strings, she didn't mind. These sacrifices we small and necessary.

So that she could be worthy of the Emperor.

Her dream came true when she was chosen to be one of his concubines. She stood in a row with a bunch of other pretty girls, all dressed to their best and nervously waiting for a single man.

She had caught his eye.

He approached her, the sound of his footsteps nearing her direction making her heart pound hard on her chest. Slowly, her eyes moved upward to take a peek. Her heart skipped a beat.

He was the most beautiful man she ever laid eyes upon. As if he really came down from the heavens. And this gorgeous man was looking at her. He had a soft look in his eyes and a gentle smile on his face. Like she was a treasure. Her cheeks grew hot, and slightly tinted pink.

They were married soon after. Even then, this strong, rough man was careful with her body, and treated her like she was delicate porcelain. He was not what the countless rumors had said about him, a cold-hearted beast who didn't have a reason or rhyme and only sought for blood. His actions that night had disproved that. It made her heart shake a little bit more.

Life in the palace was different. It was a harsh environment, as she was not the only one competing for his favor. Though she could not be an Empress due to the Emperor having married earlier on, she could still be of a higher status. She learned to scheme and maintain her place, while she slowly rose to the top.

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