Chapter 8 — The Wedding of a Century
Her boredom astounded her, really. There wasn’t a single trace of excitement in her heart for this marriage — after all she was doing this to save her skin and the life of the child inside of her. Song Gwakkot’s eyes narrowed in distaste as if voicing her thoughts: she really didn’t want this, but what was there to do? She was already all dolled up, looking like a traditional wedding doll with her dress vibrant and swaying in the gentle breeze of the courtyard. Ma Kitsune didn’t seem to be that much of an asshole, but how much could she actually trust that man? So far, he had dragged her into this hellscape, molested her with his canine breath saliva all across her neck, and the bastard also cared more about his own life than hers. From the memories of the previous host, she could infer that he truly did love her somehow, but of course, the current Song Gwakkot wasn’t the real Song Gwakkot, so whatever feelings that fox prince felt for her were false. But then again, the main lead was not a golden thigh that she could leech off of either… both men were horrible options for survival honestly, and Song Gwakkot was not into the whole “Oh save me, my beloved-boyfriend-husband-lover-soulmate that obviously loves me and will kill anyone for me, even his mother, sister, friends, and so forth. Oh please, my dear love, take me into your embrace and control my every damn action” spiel — anyone who was into that had to be some maniac, oh wait, that’s the female lead! Quote her in chinese, these bastards were too Mensao! If only this damn prince was good enough to the first incarnation of the host, because then she would never have had been summoned here by the weirdo, and that Tai Li Bai… Oh, he got on her nerves! This story was just a big ol’ mess, and Song Gwakkot was not in a good mood.
Ma Kitsune was a powerful cultivator, and he reached a level to where he could summon a soul from another world similar to the original Song Gwakkot, or more likely an alternative her. He could control her, end her life at any point with all the power he had in those fingertips. Danger surrounded that man, and it scared her.
But Tai Li Bai? He was obsessive, yet another powerful man, but this time someone of commonwealth and of military interest. She didn’t know what to think of him since she had yet to meet the real Tai Li Bai. But still, she was wary, the creed that the novel followed was that she, Song GWakkot was the villain, and even if these men adored her, loved her, obsessed over her, there would be a misunderstanding, whether it be on her part or theirs. Things like this always happened to her in her past life, not crazy super powers and men drooling over her and what not, but her own plans of peace going awry.
She had about eight months before her predetermined death, and while yes, Ma Kitsune had reincarnated and promised to love her, Song Gwakkot had her best interests at heart. She knew the personality of these men in the novels by heart, and she knew that if one thing went wrong, then the hot-headed Ma Kitsune would have her head. She had to find her own life, or seduce Ma Kitsune to the point where he would die without her. And so, Song Gwakkot began to scheme on what was supposed to be the happiest day in every little girl’s life, her wedding day.
She could live a common life in this world, she knew how to survive and was intelligent and determined enough to live out in the wild if need be. She knew, that once things started going south, she had to make her move and live away from the plot. Song Yeonkkoch’s story began now, and wouldn’t end until the month after her birth. While she never got to finish the story in the past, Song Gwakkot was confident with the transferred memories of the past host and the revealed future by Ma Kitsune that she could avoid fate, only if she gave it her all, since almost all web-novels that showed a similar situation to hers ended with the protagonist either changing the plot drastically, or sticking to the major plot points while achieving a different ending. But to be realistic here, Song Gwakkot knew that she couldn’t use the advice left in webnovels in her situation, while they may be similar, Song Gwakkot knew that these people around her were real, rather than being sucked into a book, she was transported into a world where the events of Golden Regret were true. If there was some type of powerful deity watching her and pulling the strings of the world around her, then she had to be careful, but Song Gwakot knew she had to be realistic, rational, and decisive. This time, she had to live her life safely, even if her heart called for her to think of others before herself — so she think of her child first. She needed to survive for him.
Her vexed expression made her look like a cool beauty, lips dignified with a settled pout and her eyes were stern and clear with a look of determination in them. Her bangs hung around her face, veiling her soft forehead and framing her subtle features and soft cheeks, giving her a much more mature aura than before. Still, no one would ever guess that the sixteen year old beauty in front of them was two months pregnant.
This world is fucking crazy, and I admit it: I have a horrible fucking taste in romance novels.
Her maid escorted her out of the residence, her brother standing in place of their father to send her off. There were no tearful goodbyes, as while Song Chen and Song Gwakkot were close, her years of estrangement to her entire family left a distance between them. Even if this might possibly be the last day that Song Chen got to see his sister, he gave her no embrace nor formal farewell, only giving her a sad smile as he watched her walk out of the household gates and into the streets of Ma country. It was quite depressing, really. The past Song Gwakkot was too damaged to face her problems, and with no one to fully support her, besides possibly Tang Li Bai, she fell back onto her anxieties and drowned in her own damn problems. The past Song Gwakkot was very troubled, and needed help… but this world was not able to help her, not even in the slightest.
People who we identify as evil are but people whose lives have been twisted, their hearts broken or lost. Good and Evil are but two sides of the same damn coin, they aren’t ideologies, but points of view… Song Gwakkot, you sure are pitiful.
In her past life, Song Gwakkot had believed in the modern definition of crime: those who expressed themselves violently or criminally were ill — it was called the medical model of crime, the philosophy that crime is a sickness and disease, not a sin or something punishable. Song Gwakkot believed that evil could be cured, and seeing the memories of this girl, only confirmed her beliefs and frustrations with the world.
How much would she recovered if anyone bothered to talk to her? If that damn useless father of hers bothered to send her out or console her? Why did her adopted sister hurt her so much? Why is this damn world so shitty…?
Song Gwakkot clenched her fists tightly, so vicious were her emotions that she did not even notice that her nails dug deeply enough into her hands that she began to bleed. Her eyes narrowed and her brows furrowed as her teeth began to grind against each other. Her eyes showed a venomous glare as she looked out across the courtyard. The empty yard in front of her only reminded her that as much as Song Gwakkot was portrayed as a horrible villain, nobody seemed to truly care for her. All of her servants ran amuck in the halls but were as quiet as mice, their shadows didn’t dare to expose themselves to her, and that stupid brother of hers never visited to talk to her after the entire incident. No one in this damn world bothered to understand Song Gwakkot, and she hated it.
No wonder this girl became so villainous, don’t worry Song Gwakkot, I’ll make sure that this body lives on without a painful death, and that your child grows up well and strong.
She promised this to herself, that no matter what, she would survive in this corny, novel world. Brushing her hands along the silk dress that adorned her skin, Song Gwakkot scoffed. Seamlessly, her face that was once full of anger faded into a calm spring. After all, there was no point in getting vexed over this shitty fate. Immediately, she let her eyes drop away from the scenic background of the Cherry Blossom courtyard and departed from Song Gwakkotx’s home. From the journey from her room to the marital sedan, she was silent; from the travels from her estate to the royal palace she was still; from the whispers of the officials of the court to the head steward of the current Emperor yelling out the royal decree, Song Gwakkot’s face was like stone. She took in a breath as finally the steward’s voice entered her ears.
“All rise for the bride! Daughter of the Song Clan, Song Gwakkot! May his majesty be blessed for ten thousand years with the introduction of his bride! For the Ma kingdom, may you find peace and legacy through this woman, the future Empress!”
Slowly, the curtains to her sedan were drawn apart and Song Gwakkot saw the crowds that bowed before her. A nearby imperial servant bent down to the lowered sedan to help her out. Song Gwakkot took the maid’s hand and rose to the occasion, her long red dress trailed behind her as her pallid face faced the world ahead of her: there stood the imperial family — the Emperor, Ma Aku, the Empress, Kuro Kimiko, and of course her future husband, Ma Kitsune — her new family. Finally, she could see what this place looked like… In the novel’s future, Tai Li Bai would storm this place and slaughter the entire dynasty, creating the next generation of his rule, the Tai Dynasty. Song Gwakkot swore that she could taste blood coming up her throat as she thought of the plot of the novel.
What trash, how did I fall in love with this plot in the first place!? Fuck my shitty taste in literature.
She swore to herself that she would never let that future come true, and this marriage here would start a new plotline.
Rising to her full height, her graceful figure walked across the red carpet towards her new life.
“Behold! The first mistress of the Song clan! Bow before his majesty, your sovereign and husband, accept this royal decree!”
Bowing down to each of the imperial family members before kneeling before her husband, Song Gwakkot laid a heavy gaze upon Ma Kitsune. His face was still as despicable as she saw before, his long dark hair framed his sharp face and framed his phoenix eyes. He held a grin on his face that showed his wickedness, the hunger in his eyes emphasizing how much he desired her entire being. Song Gwakkot did not find this action to be appealing in the slightest.
Oh, how I wish I could punch this bastard in the face right now…
His face looked down at her gently, but Song Gwakkot saw no gentleness in his eyes, instead she saw a brazing flame waiting to eat her alive. This wolf watched her eagerly, and Song Gwakkot could only feel sweat slip down her spine as she gritted her teeth hidden by her ruby red lips. Her warm eyes only let out a cold gaze as she accepted his hand which he lowered to her — it was meant to signify the equality between their ranks — now, she would be like him, a fiery phoenix of the heavens.
“We bless this union!” the officials yelled with respect deeply embedded in their hearts.
“We bless this daughter!” the Emperor and Empress spoke with vigor, their matching auras of power focusing onto the figure of Song Gwakkot.
“I accept this wife!” Ma Kitsune grinned.
The wedding ceremony took hours, and most of it passed by Song Gwakkot like the winter frost. She froze her heart to not show her distaste, but her face was like plastic, molded to every situation and person, she was utterly fake. Sometimes her glass mask cracked, showing her true feelings about the matter, but she had acted before in her past life, so it wasn’t that difficult for Song Gwakkot to smile pinchedly for hours on end.
I always did hate public speaking, and now I have to talk to a bunch of stuck up, rich assholes…
When women blessed their union, Song Gwakkot gave a simple smile and secretly pinched her cheeks to mimic a blush. When men congratulated the couple — keeping in mind the distance that should be kept between men and women — she would nod diligently, pretending to listen to every point of their chatter that they made. Honestly, Song Gwakkot was bored, and the child in her was hungry, literally. So once the useless side-bar conversations were over, the large parties departed to their respective dining tables, while Song Gwakkot took her place next to Ma Kitsune. Oh, and that love-struck fool was looking at her with this wickedly warm gaze… a soft smile on his lips as he reached for her hand under the table. And for a mere second, she almost, keyword almost, believed that his gaze was actually for her, that he actually loved her. And then, she remembered that people in this time period still consummated their marriage immediately after the wedding, and instantly she felt bitter inside.
What a wicked man he was, Ma Kitsune; even if she wasn’t his true love, he was excited to get in bed together with Song Gwakkot’s body… She felt hatred towards this dastardly man and tears threatened to well up in her eyes as her body tensed. She’d have to live this life safely, to survive with the child in her stomach, but Song Gwakkot knew that she would never find love in this world, and even if she did it would be a coerced thing, falling in love with Ma Kitsune wouldn’t be her choice… The food in her mouth instantly tasted like dirt at this revelation. After all, it was easier to be naive in this body, where her hormones were that of a teenager, not her more adult self.
Remember, even if you have sex with him, it does not mean anything… he doesn’t love you. Well, he could possibly love you, but you know, he’s a goddamn fuck boi, a literal FOX.
It also didn’t help her point when Ma Kitsune literally just got up from their conversation and began to talk to some of his ‘cousins’. She was left alone at a table full of people she didn’t know, girls from all families glared at her with green envy, and Song Gwakkot felt naturally uncomfortable. Her eyes twitched in agitation and she gripped the ends of her sleeves tightly in her hands, grasping at the fabric, squeezing it in vain to try to alleviate her frustrations with the world.
Absorbed into her own thoughts, Song Gwakkot’s smooth mask that she had been facilitating began to unravel, her brows creased and a look of disgust overwhelmed her features. Onlookers could only look at the new bride and wonder if she accidently ate some vinegar at the sight of her husband talking with another woman already. Her aggrieved face shocked the imperial family, and for a moment, the emperor’s eyes were filled with spite. How dare this girl, this unfilial child, get in the way of her husband? It was the duty of the emperor and all future emperors to carry on a dynasty, and as such required a long legacy, meaning more sons, and to get more sons, one needs more fertile women. The emperor clicked his tongue, despite the fact that he only ever had his single wife, the empress, who would kill him if she could hear his thoughts. The empress on the other hand was impressed.
It took gall for any woman to stand her ground against her husband, and while her husband and son were fans of the confucian philosophy of women’s roles in society, Empress Kuro had other ideations. She believed that mothers had to be strong for their children, lead a household, and be able to support a husband; however, if a husband could not support a wife, then they should divorce, as a marriage is an equal union between two lovers. This was mainly the reason why Emperor Ma had no other wives besides the Empress herself. God forbid he even took a concubine, Empress Kuro would probably rob the man of their children and flee to her mother country, the Kingdom of Geom-Eun. The relatives of the immediate royal family mostly kept their mouths shut in fear of poking the bear called Empress Kuro who had arranged this marriage in the first place. And looking at the girl who sat at the red table with a painted smile that seemed so beautiful, they could all see why — Song Gwakkot looked exactly like her mother, Song Hana, except for her black eyes.
Empress Kuro could only watch with melancholy in her soul as she watched her young daughter-in-law glare at some passing relatives. She really did remind her of Song Hana; vividly emotional to the point where her emotions were like paint across her body, and still beautiful, as well as being a look-alike to her dear deceased friend.
The Empress leaned over to whisper into the Emperor’s ear, “The young girl looks exactly like Song Hana, this woman is very happy, Your Majesty. If I did not know how to keep my tongue, I would say that our children’s union is the wedding of the century.”
The Emperor turned to face his wife and offered a kind and gentle smile, if his wife was fine with the sour girl, then he supposed that he would have to be fine with her as well, the previous spite for the girl completely vanishing form his mind.