catleyia: Thanks. Like I said, it's my first romance fic... ever. I usually steer clear of anything mushy, but this idea was just begging to be released, so I gave up.

sandra: Thanks.

Adel Weiss: Oh really? What are you? I'm Chinese.

Kitsuneko: Well, this is a humor fic.

SilverGryphin: Yeah, I was afraid that you wouldn't be able to read my handwriting. I tried to use what you suggested too. You're right, it is a little awkward.

EVERYBODY: Ok, I thought that you might want to know a few important things. One: I didn't do any research for this story, so don't expect it to be historically accurate. Two: On the other hand, it's not all historically incorrect either, seeing as how I started this after writing a seven page essay on two Chinese dynasties and that the unit we're studying in History is ancient China. In addition to that, I'm Chinese, so it'd be pretty stupid if I didn't know anything about mynative culture. However, I have mixed up all the time periods and stuff, so the clothing, traditions, and basically everyday life is mushed together. You'll even get a few peeks into modern day China, such as taking a nap after lunch. Also, at the request of SilverGryphin and suggestion of the midnight's magic, the pictures that I drew of Pine and Crane have been scanned into my computer, so if you want to see what I imagined them to look like, just ask. Lastly, the review responses will be up for a little while, but I'm going to eventually take them down so then people who only read and don't review won't have to skip them every single time they read the story. Ok, end of rant. Go read.

The Dragon's Phoenix
Chapter 1
Daily Life
By Nodjmet

Hua Ying giggled without restraint at her mistress sitting across from her.

"Stop it," Crane grumbled as she glared daggers at the go board. "Hua Ying, it's not funny."

"Of course it's funny!" the noble lady continued to giggle.

"That's easy for you to say," Crane retorted as she claimed another section of the board. "You aren't married yet."

"No," Hua Ying agreed, "but at least I don't have to worry about being married off to an eight-year-old child."

"We were seven and the same age. Don't make it sound dirty."

"Too late. Oh, and I eat this piece."

Crane smirked. "Wrong move." She set her black piece down triumphantly. "Game over. I have the most territory."

Hua Ying gawked at the board incredulously before staring at the empress. "Gods, Crane," she breathed, "you make a better strategist than your husband."

Crane smirked proudly. "I know."


"So…."

"So what?" Pine snapped at his chief advisor.

Zu Wei ignored the Moody emperor's outburst. "What do you think of my idea?" he continued.

"Stupidest idea in the history of stupid ideas," Pine grumbled. "Besides, it wasn't your idea."

"True," he nodded, "but neither your father or grandfather needed concubines. They were quite content with their wives."

"Their sixteen wives," Pine glared.

"Well, didn't you vow to take no more than one wife?"

"That was before I met little miss 'I'm-going-to-act-all-cute-and-innocent-before-punching-your-face-in-then-make-all-your-court-officials-like-me'."

Zu Wei blinked at the long title. "Well, Lady Crane is a rather docile and soft spoken woman. It's hard not to like her." He grinned at the steaming ruler. "If she wasn't taken, I would have asked for her hand in marriage."

Pine huffed and raised an eyebrow. "Well, you can have her, but don't you already have three wives?"

"They won't mind. What's so bad about Lady Crane?"

Pine stared at Zu Wei as if he were the most ignorant man alive. "One. She's the most annoying little monster ever to exist. Two. She's practically a man! I mean, she always speaks her mind and she gave me a bruise on my should the night we were married, and finally!" He paused for breath. "She's the ugliest and worst excuse of a woman I've ever met!"

"My, you really don't like the lady, do you?"

A tick started in Pine's right eyebrow. "Wow, what gave you that impression?" he asked, sarcasm dripping from his voice.

"All the more reason to get a few concubines!" Zu Wei laughed, patting Pine on the back.

"I don't want any concubines!"


Qi Min drummed his fingers on the wooden table near his win cup as he waited for his client to arrive. The man had just walked up to him in the restaurant while he was with a couple of his friends and told him to come back in six days. Qi Min gulped all the contents in the small white porcelain cup and poured himself some more from the matching vessel that resembled a teapot, except more vertically slender.

"Did I keep you waiting?" the same man questioned as he slipped into the seat across from Qi Min.

"Not long," he answered, lowering the wine holder and lifting the cup.

The man twitched his eyebrow ever so slightly and stiffly said, "I would rather enjoy this meeting more if you were sober. After all, this job is going to take a lot of money out of me."

Qi Min automatically lowered the cup. "Let's hear it then."

The man beckoned him closer and whispered the instructions in his ear. Qi Min's eyes widened at every word and once his client was finished, sank back into his eat and shook his head.

"I can't do that! That's against the royal family! What if I'm caught?"

"Then you better not be caught."

"You're crazy! Are you trying to take the throne or something?"

"All I'm interested in is whether you'll do the job or not. Waiter! I'd like some tea!"

Qi Min stared at the man as the ignorant waiter called out cheerfully, "The tea's here!" and set a tray in front of them.

Hesitantly, he wondered, "What will happen if I say no?"

Silence descended upon the two as the other man sipped his tea calmly. "You have an older unwed sister and little brother. Are they well?"

Cold sweat broke out on Qi Min's brow. Unwilling to fall into any bluff traps, he cautiously challenged the man's knowledge. "Where are they and what are they doing?"

"Currently? I'd say your sister is home playing the Chinese piano and your brother is doing some manual labor for your neighbor across the street. That is what they normally do after the afternoon nap, correct?" Inwardly, he smiled at his victory.

Qi Min gulped. Well… this is hard.


"Aiyaa!"

Pine smirked at the outraged cry as he slipped off his heavy yellow robe. It's about time.

The door was flung open and Crane stormed passed the outer room and directly into the inner bedroom, shoving aside the draping yellow curtains that separated the two. "Ben Dan!" she growled, her thigh length hair undone and falling around her. "What did you do to my bed?" she demanded.

"Why, I thought you knew." He danced with glee inside, seeing her face grow angrier by the second.

"That was the empress!" a servant shouted.

Quickly, Crane rushed into Pine's arms just as the door opened. "Emperor? Do- oh!" the courtier cut his sentence short, seeing that the empress was safe. White and shaking, but safe. "The empress is safe!" he called to the panicking court officials and servants outside.

"Fu Ren," Pine murmured, tenderly stroking Crane's head, "calm down. What exactly happened?"

Crane whimpered and clung onto Pine's under robes tighter. "Two of the bed's legs gave way," she whispered, burying her face in his chest. "That's when I screamed. At first I thought maybe they had rotted away, but when I looked at them, it seemed like they had been chopped almost in half." At this she began to sob. "O-only a s-small part had been l-left so it wouldn't give w-way until I l-lay o-on it."

"It seems that somebody wanted to harm my wife," Pine said coldly. "I want soldiers to search for any outsider that may still be in the palace. Go."

"Yes, your majesty."

Once the footsteps had retreated, Crane and Pine wrenched themselves away from each other in disgust. "Don't ever call me Fu Ren again," Crane threatened.

"Like I had a choice, little boy."

"What did you call me?"

"Xiao Nan Hai."

"Ben Dan!"

"Yao Jing!"

"Da Ben Zhu!"

"Ke wu de-"

"Emperor!"

In an instant, the two were in each other's arms again; Pine with a soothing expression, Crane appearing troubled but with a tinge of comfort. "Yes, Xue Cheng?"

The head guard bowed down respectfully. "No outsiders were found, your majesty. Would you like us to search the city?"

"That won't be necessary," Crane spoke before Pine could respond. "It's late, and the people will be troubled if soldiers burst into their homes. Just relocate me to another bedroom."

"Are you sure this is wise?" Pine asked, concern lacing his voice. "What if another attempt at your well-being is made?"

"His majesty is right." Advisors filed into the room, each bowing respectfully.

"Perhaps my room could have more guards."

"That wouldn't guarantee your safety."

"Zu Wei's right. The bed's leg had already been hacked away before you even entered your quarters."

"We could always check the room."

One of the advisors suddenly smiled and proposed, "I believe that the safest solution would be for Lady Crane to spend the night with the emperor."

NO! Both mentally screamed as they stared at each other, knowing both were absolutely revolted at the very thought. Just standing the way they were now made them both want to retch.

The other advisors nodded. "Yes, it's perfect," they all agreed.

"After all, being with the man she loves for the entire night is bound to comfort Lady Crane," an older advisor nodded.

"And I'm sure his highness wouldn't mind at all." Only Pine knew that Zu Wei was mocking him.

"Then it's settled," Pine concluded. After all, what could he do? He and Crane were supposedly so madly in love that he wouldn't take another wife. "The empress shall be spending the night with me."

The others all nodded and bid farewell to the royal couple. "No worries," Zu Wei mocked yet again as he exited, leaving the two alone.

Now what?


Xiao Nan Hai: Little Boy
Ben Dan: Idiot. Kind of like 'Baka' to those who can speak Japanese.
Yao Jing: Monster. Kind of like 'Youkai'.
Da Ben Zhu: Big Stupid Pig. I tend to use this a lot.
Ke wu de-: Damned-. Kind of like 'Kuso'. Hehe. I don't know if I spelled that right.

IMPORTANT! Don't ever, ever try to pronounce these unless you know what you're doing. There are different tones in most Chinese languages (I speak Mandarin) and unlike Spanish and Japanese, it's harder to pronounce the words even when using English letters. Ex: X is pronounced Sh except more towards the front of the mouth.

Anyway, if there are any words or phrases that I forgot to explain or translate, just ask me in a review. Most of the names were just taken from friends and relatives. I think my parents think I'm the wierdest kid they could possibly have. Actually, my sister's been claiming that she's the great great great great great great great great great great great great grandson of Houdini, so maybe I'm not so bad...