1 Finally free

After snowing for half a month, today finally a grey but snowless sky could be seen. An Xiulan looked up towards the sky and saw a hint of the warm sun hidden beneath the sky as if playing hide and seek with the earthlings. This year, for the first time, it had snowed for half a month straight. 

"An Xiulan!" She heard the sound of her sister calling for her. She had never heard her siblings ever wanting to talk to her. She was the neglected and bullied daughter of Duke An Mingli of the great Dragon empire. 

As she looked behind to find her sister, she felt someone pushing her body into the frozen lake. It was her favourite spot in the entire Duke household because she had heard her father's wives grumbling in jealousy how Duke still maintained the lake built on the request of her late mother Zhu Qinyan. 

She felt the piercing shards of ice-penetrating into her body, which was nothing but skin and bones. The freezing temperature of the lake numbed her body. She couldn't feel anything, neither pain nor pleasure. 

She was finally free. Her step-siblings wouldn't have to formulate more schemes to get rid of her or bully her. 

An Xiulan was dead, but why were her legs paining so much all of a sudden? Dead couldn't feel anything? 

And what was the warm thing placed on her legs? 

She remembered how her older sister pushed her into the freezing lake. The ice of the lake had broken with her weight and she had died in the cold. She remembered every last moment, every last breath she had taken there on the cold deathbed. 

"Lanlan, wake up," An Xiulan heard the soft cries of a woman. "Don't scare mom. Lanlan, please wake up. Mom promises that she will never leave you alone."

When An Xiulan heard the woman's cry, she wondered 'Who is this woman? And why was she calling herself mom?'

Then a thought entered her mind. Could it be that she had died and this was her afterlife? Tears started trickling down her eyes. 'Mom, Lanlan missed you too. I finally met you. Father never cared for me. Why didn't you die with me? Why did you leave me alone there?'

An Lanlan was Duke An Mingli's eldest daughter. Although she was the legitimate daughter of the An family, her status in the family was even lower than a slave. Even a slight servant could bully her to their heart's desire. 

Her mother Zhu Qinyan was the daughter of the previous emperor but after her evil uncle took the throne after killing his father, he never showed any care or interest for his sister. Qinyan was thrown into the family of wolves and one unfortunate night when she couldn't bear to live anymore, she hung herself to death. 

"Lanlan please wake up, "The woman cried again. 

An Xiulan couldn't bear to hear her cries anymore. She wanted to raise her hand and wipe the woman's tears but she felt thousands of glass shreds pricking her body. Glass shreds made up of ice. 

Thousands of images flooded her vision making her shriek in pain. She was tortured by her own family. She was forbidden to leave her broken and dark courtyard. She had seen her sister and brothers getting married and having babies while she was locked in the old courtyard to her nightmares. 

Every day she would smile and pray to God that perhaps one day she would leave that horrid house and have a family of her own but that day never came. 

She eventually died,  falling in the frozen lake. 

And now she was meeting her mother in the afterlife. 

'Mom, wait for me. I want to meet you.'

'I want to see you once.'

....

Author Note: Hello, my dear readers, your darling author is back with another awesome book! It is a entry for WPC. Kindly vote to support to my book and help it win.

PS: You might be wondering why such a cliche plot? But the question is it even a cliche plot?

PSS: Judge the story after reading at least 10 chapters

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