“Risless, you can’t baby him like that,” Elder Liu said. “You have to stop treating him only as a child. He is now a man.”
“Elder Liu, I can’t… I mustn’t. I can only see him as a child who needs to be cared for. I can’t! Do you know how much I love him? I love him so much and I can’t do anything about the curse or his life…”
Elder Liu looked Risless in the eye.
“You can,” Elder Liu said.
“What do you mean? Are you saying to do that? That’s forbidden! There’s no way he can be forced to do something like that! It’ll traumatize him. He will never recover and he will just be a shell of his former self!”
“Risless, you have to—”
“Address me as Sect Master!” Risless interrupted her. “You will not talk about this anymore. My son is a child by my side and that is all!”
Risless walked away as Elder Liu looked to her back. She sighed. This was the person she raised as a small girl, a person she loved as her own daughter. The only solution was that solution. There was no other way.
“Risless… a cultivator’s purpose is to defy the heavens… didn’t I teach that to you?”
Risless rushed somewhere to be alone by herself. She stared into the mirror after taking off her mask. Her face was too beautiful to be described, and she knew no one who had a comparable look except her predecessors who were now tiny figures deep underground.
“This beauty is useless,” she said. “My son… I can’t show him my face… I can’t even show him the face of the woman who gave birth to him… if I show him this face he would… no… he is a child!”
Risless could only put her mask back on and think about how she was going to present herself in front of him. Thinking about him made her heart beat faster than it should.
Just what feelings are these? Why do I have them when I think about him?
The next day came, and I finished eating my three meals. It wasn’t pleasant staying up all night, and when the adrenaline had calmed down; I found that my body crashed. The first time a traumatic experience happens is usually the worst, but I wasn’t hurt and I was still alive and well.
I’m stuck in this prison, though. There doesn’t seem to be a way around that. I have no recourse then but to figure out what they’re not willing to tell me. I feel there is something they’re hiding from me, and it’s probably the solution to this predicament.
What could be so horrible that they can’t tell me? At the very least, I want to know and I have to find an answer.
The door opened, and Mom was there.
“Come son, mommy will show you around the sect today,” she said. “Stay close to mommy and don’t touch anyone.”
I nod. There’s nothing to say because all the decisions are made for me. What could I actually do?
I get up and go to her, and she grabs my arm and intertwines it with hers. Pressed up against her, I felt something harden that shouldn’t have hardened. I take a deep breath to stop it, but mom’s body jolt’s.
“Son, are you okay? Is it hard in the morning?”
Wait, what? Did she feel that? How does she know? I’m sure I can hide it somehow under my clothes.
“No mom! It’s fine! It’s fine. Nothing is the matter!”
“Are you sure, son? Are you sure? If there is anything you want to tell mommy you can say it. Mommy will accept anything you tell her.”
She’s still talking to me like a toddler. I guess she would treat that issue as though I’m a toddler as well. If I can’t be taken seriously, then there is no point in talking about it. If she won’t see me as an adult, then there is nothing to say.
“I’m fine, mom,” I said.
“Okay son, let mommy take you on a tour then. Don’t let go of mommy’s arm no matter what, okay?”
She suddenly picked me up in a Princess carry again. This time I was pressed up against her breasts. I could feel just how large they are, but I kept shifting my thoughts away. It wasn’t good to get aroused when I’m in my mother’s arms. It’s no good… not good…
“Mommy is happy you’re lively,” she said with a hint of a smile.
I’m lively? I haven’t said anything… she knows… she’s a cultivator, right? How could she not know? Cultivators in those stories are always of people with extremely heightened senses. My mom is just sparing my pride right now and accepting. She’s probably a wonderful mom with an unfortunate circumstance.
We stop, and she lets me down in a courtyard area. There were beautiful women everywhere. When I think about the curse, this is actually torture.
“Son, this is the Blossoming Flowers Sect, where young girls come to train as cultivators. Our sect is one of the four major sects outside of the Martial Arts Alliance, we are one of the five powers in the world.”
Yes, one of the five powers. Great. I don’t care. I’m just upset there are so many pretty flowers, yet I can’t pick any of them. I’m the Sect Master’s son, so wouldn’t I have special privileges or at least be looked upon favorably? I mean with that they might give me a chance to show them who I am. No. I can’t, I need to figure how to lift this curse or if there is even a way.
When we were noticed, the girls all came up and bowed towards mom with their heads on the ground.
“Rise,” Mom said. “Continue as usual.”
The girl smiled and got back to their routine. I saw there and watch mesmerized at the artistic flare and movements they had. They went twirling in motions, floated in the air and their bodies glowed with light, most likely from some hidden or strange technique, and then a few moments later it was finished. They each began talking happily with each other before a few noticed us standing there.
“Sect Master!” A beautiful girl came up. “Is this your son?”
The girl reached towards me, but before she was within six feet her arms were no longer attached to her body. Then her head fell off. Her expression was one of shock. I didn’t even see what happened. My eyes couldn’t follow any movement.
The other girls nearby saw the splattered blood and immediately bowed once more. This time cowering.
“No one is to approach my son!” Mom screamed. “My son is off limits to all of you! Understood? Anyone who approaches him will be killed!”
Mom… no… really…
I felt my hand being pulled, and I was once again carried away. We were now in a small room where the tour was stopped momentarily. I was shaken up.
“Son… mommy is sorry son… mommy should have told them not to approach first… mommy is sorry you had to see someone die in front of you… son please don’t hate mommy…”
She was holding me in her embrace.
“Why did you have to kill her mom? Why did she have to die? Couldn’t you have just told her not to approach me?”
“No… she wanted to approach you! No one can approach you except me! No woman can have eyes for you except me! Do you understand, son? Do you know how much mommy wants you for herself? Do you?”
Mom seemed to have sudden crazy eyes. I flinch backwards and close them.
What’s with this woman? Why is she so crazy?
There were tears in my eyes.
Why was I so afraid?
I’m supposed to be a grown man… I’m not supposed to be this afraid…
The surrounding grip softened and trembled.
“Son.. no son… don’t be afraid of mommy.. mommy didn’t mean that… please son mommy made a mistake. Mommy was just so jealous, mommy thought you would want to be with her instead of mommy!”
What? What’s with this possessiveness? Isn’t a mother supposed to watch her son happily get married to someone he loves and have children?
“Mom… if I didn’t have the curse, would you still be jealous of me?”
Her eyes had some tears with them behind, and the tears rolled down the mask she wore.
“Son, don’t question mommy, you’re my child and mommy will always want what is best for you.”
There she goes again, talking down to me. I’m just not sure what to say. I’ll change the subject.
“Mom, are you really that beautiful under that mask?”
Her eyes perked up a little with the sudden question. She seemed as though she wanted to answer it.
“Son, mommy is very beautiful.” Her mouth curled into a smile. “Without this mask you might even want to eat mommy up, that’s why mommy has to wear it. Even if you are mommy’s child, you might not even be able to control yourself. Come, let mommy show you!”
She now suddenly carried me again and this time we went to a jail. A place where there were men who had committed crimes against the sect. Mom brought me to where those who were going to be put to death were in cells.
All the jailers bowed to mom when she walked by. It seemed she had full authority to do whatever she wanted with those lower than her and could direct the sect in whatever direction she wanted.
“Son, watch carefully what happens when mommy takes off her mask. Don’t come over here and don’t look at mommy’s face.”
She found a cell with a lone prisoner in there. It was a tough-looking man who seemed to have no emotion on his face at all, unmoved by everything around him. This was a man who would kill a beautiful woman in cold blood.
Mom’s mask was in her hand and I stood behind her several meters away. The man looked at her face and suddenly became like a ravenous beast. Foam came out of his mouth as he tried to reach through the bars to get to her. When the bars stopped him, he started banging his head on them.
First his head started bleeding, then his eyes were damaged. After that his face disfigured and he passed out bleeding on the floor. Mom put her mask back on and then severed his head nonchalantly.
“Son, if anyone sees mommy’s face, even accidentally they become just like that man. Only if someone truly loves mommy can they see mommy’s face. That is the Fate of Extreme Beauty. There has been no one who could look upon them face of anyone with that fate.”
I could only shudder at everything that happened.