Risless brought her son to her room, trying to think about all the things a mother would do for their child. There were some things that she felt were obvious, such as cooking and preparing food, maybe doing laundry. Then there were other things such as sleeping in bed with their child.
I would do anything for him. I just want him to be happy. I don’t want him to be sad, but I want him to see me as his mother who can tell me anything. Do I have to do everything with him I missed before?
She looked at the sleeping face of Dong Chen laying there in the bed near her. With the curse, he couldn’t touch anyone but her. If he wanted to marry, it was not considered impossible for him. Having children? He couldn’t be intimate because he couldn’t touch anyone but her.
It just hurts seeing him like this. Seeing him so devoid of happiness… but the forbidden solution… he wouldn’t accept that… the world wouldn’t accept that…
Dong Chen continued his breaths as he slept. Risless with him in her arms cradled him.
If only I wasn’t a cultivator, and I had married a man I loved instead. If only… I wish I could have a family and children… a normal family… this cultivator life… all these formalities and rules… mommy’s tired too, you know… mommy is just as tired of it as you are…
When I woke up, it was early morning before sunrise. I don’t know what bed I was sleeping in but at least I was out of the room. There were some arms around me and when I turned I saw mom staring at me with her eyes wide open.
Startled, I pushed back a bit but realized her grip is too strong. She was gentle despite holding me firmly; I guess that kind of motor control is expected from a cultivator at the top of the world.
“Did you sleep well, son?” She asked. “Mommy thought about what you said yesterday and mommy want’s to start over with you.”
“You can start by telling me what you know about the curse,” I said.
“No, mommy can’t tell you that,” she said. “Mommy is going to start over by being like a mother to you and protecting you from things that are dangerous and things you don’t need to know.”
“What do you mean by start over?” This has me concerned here.
“Mommy is going to start with you as a baby. Babies need to be bathed and fed.”
Mom had a strange smile on her face. I’m just wondering what possessed her to do all this… What is she doing? She’s supposed to be a Sect Master of one of the most powerful sects in the entire world and she’s acting this way towards me?
“Mom… you’re scaring me…”
“No need to be scared son, mommy is going to take care of you. First you need to eat right? Mommy has brought you some dinner, so you’ll sit and be fed by mommy.”
Like I’m going to sit and allow this, yet somehow my arms and body moved forcefully on its own. I couldn’t fight it. It felt like there was some otherworldly unconscious force making me obey.
“Mama…” I suddenly said in a childish voice.
I can’t even control myself. This is the work of a cultivator? Mom’s size grew as well as her clothing. Though my size stayed the same when compared to the room, she was now much taller than the average person but maintained her proportions.
I was carried like a baby cradled in her arms and she fed me dinner little by little.
“Open… ahh!” She said.
I followed, opening my mouth.
I couldn’t control myself at all. I was behaving like a child.
What the hell? Why can’t I control my body? This is wrong. This is so wrong! What is mom doing? What’s she doing to me?
I struggle hard against it, but I find it doesn’t work. My body keeps acting on its own.
“Yummy!” I said involuntarily, then clapped my hands.
No, I have to stop this. No, this isn’t right. I don’t know why I’m doing this. No.
Mom, then had me follow her. I moved with her and walked freely with her until we went outside.
“Stay here with Elder Liu while mommy takes care of the demon beast,” Mom tells me.
“Yes mommy,” I respond again involuntarily.
Elder Liu looks at me. She seems to realize what mom is doing to me but she keeps quiet about it. I stand in one place and no one approaches me and no one touches me while mom goes out to the mountain. With her hand, she pulls out the Giant Bear which roars at her.
The bear was large and brown, it would be more fair to call it a mountain instead of a bear. I would not have imagined the demon beasts in this world would be so massive like that.
Still facing the bear mom stood there in front of it unflinching as it roars and tries to attack her. In the next moment, she waves her hand, and the bear becomes a mist of blood.
Mom was… that… powerful…
Sect Master Du was more than happy to see the situation handled so easily. The Red Wood Sect then brought out many gifts to give to Risless as the guest of honor, as she had taken care of a monster that would have destroyed his sect.
“Thank you Sect Master Risless, it is our honor to continue to be a vassal of the Blossoming Flowers Sect.” Sect Master Du bowed deeply.
“Rise,” Risless said. “I understand that you wish for me to remain for a few days and it would be showing you face if I do however there are some urgent things that are needed from my son. Thus I will once again have to ask Elder Liu to take my place tonight as well.”
“I understand,” Sect Master Du said.
“Thank you for your graciousness concerning this matter,” Risless said. “I would like a private chamber with a bath tonight. I will be spending the night with my child as I had not spent much time with him as he grew up.”
Risless walked out and Elder Liu came to her, following her. She saw that Dong Chen followed Risless without uttering a sound and in perfect obedience now. Dong Chen smiled and paid attention to all the formalities.
“Do you understand what you are doing to him?” Elder Liu asked Risless when they were in private. “Do you know how horrible it is to be forced to act by someone else in ways one does not want to act?”
“I’m being a mother to him,” Risless stated in a matter-of-fact tone. “As his parent, I must take care of and control him? I love my son so I should teach him obedience, should I not?”
“This isn’t teaching him,” Elder Liu scolded. “This is taking away everything that makes him into a person of his own free will. You are not treating him as a human right now but as a complete puppet!”
“No, I’m treating him as a mother would treat her child. He is my son and he must listen to me and do as I say.”
Elder Liu could not believe what she was witnessing. As a Sect Master Risless was well versed and wise, but everyone she ordered would do as she says. That was the authority of a Sect Master.
To be a mother however was a different concept. Children are often trained by their parents to behave well. They respect their ancestors; they respect the rules and laws of society. Often they obey their parents due to trust, that is, they learn from a young age that their parents care for and look after them.
With Risless, she only saw Dong Chen on his birthdays. She did not see him when he was growing up. She didn’t know he was someone who had switched places with the original Dong Chen, but as she understood he was Dong Chen now.
“You’re not treating him like a mother, you’re treating him like a criminal in the Sect whom you are forcing to do whatever it is you want,” Elder Liu said. “Dong Chen gains nothing from this, all he gets is punishment from you.”
“Then he should learn how to behave,” Risless said. “Come my son, we are going to spend some time here and enjoy ourselves in this Red Wood Sect before returning home.”
“I’m telling you that this isn’t the way to teach him how to behave!” Elder Liu now scolded. “You will always have to keep him in this state and there won’t be a day you can go without controlling him. You’re only going to be ruining your relationship with your son further this way.”
Risless walked away. She could hear what Elder Liu said, but she simply did not want to do it that way. She had been frustrated with how her son disobeyed her despite her best intentions, yet it felt like there was a tense emotion controlling her. It took away her rationality, and she couldn’t understand the child that came out of her womb.