Being a princess isn’t all it’s glamorized to be. Then again, I’m not actually considered a “princess;” the Sun family has yet to take control of China once and for all. Not that I don’t believe it will happen, but for now, I’m just the younger sister of a powerful lord. Anyways, I am digressing.
Being in such a highly recognized position is a cause for many tasks that I would find very unpleasant. Yes, I am allowed to perform other tasks that a woman would not be allowed to, such as fighting, being more independent, and so on. However, that does no victory in eluding to the fact that I am still a woman, ever so destined to abide to the laws that is set before us by what seems to be by Y chromosomes. Not that I’m sexist or anything; just presuming.
What are these unbearable tasks, you ask? Acting like an obedient woman.
In further context, that simply means being dolled up to be presentable in front of men, serving them to their heart’s content, (And indeed, “serving” connotes many different concepts) all spear-headed by none other than my emphatic mother.
Now, while woman are forced to be as such, I have been omitted from the majority of the tasks. For example, after the thirty-fourth time of trying to get me into a more “suitable” garment, make-up, accessories and all, my mother ceased her attempts in that area. I reasoned it was because she didn’t want her room to become a scene of wreckage by my chakrams anymore. Which is very understandable.
However, that does not mean I was excused from the other tasks she has set up for me. In truth, it’s only one service, but it does not suit with me very well.
Yes, the “serving” part.
Due to the common sense of the whole Sun family, mother included, I was allowed to elude any “servings” that were of sexual implication. At least until I wed, (or become a concubine, whichever unwillingly comes first) but that’s not until later. Anyways, living up to becoming an acceptable woman, I had to literally serve guests sustenance at, say, a celebration.
While I could be partying in a sense, I was left to become a makeshift servant. How becoming of a princess such as I am. Then again, I’m still not a princess. Yet.
Back to the subject on hand. I have to admit that however serious the Wu generals are, they are just as party hardy. Any sensible person would be astonished at the “other side” of such a powerful force, and indeed, I was too. But, going with the flow, I let it go. Besides, many of our campaigns did go successfully, and thus there was a reason to celebrate, correct?
Well, like I have mentioned early, I serve nutrition to our ever so loyal Wu generals when a celebration commences. I also dance and prance like an idiot, but that’s only on occasion. The Lady Qiaos spare me of such ridicule of being hooted by men by performing instead.
Moving on, sustenance includes various assortments of fruits that our land is blessed with, as well as dumplings and rice. Meat also is a vital comestible for a celebration. Depending on the season, other foods are also served.
That does not bother me, for everybody needs something to eat. The problem I have, though, is serving the people drinks.
Drinks? Yes, there is a variety of those. However, when you are at a banquet – a Wu banquet – “drink” immediately meant “wine.”
There’s nothing like alcohol to get the party going, unfortunately.
As you can probably note, I’m not really fond of the alcohol. Actually, I’ve never touched the stuff, as with any other woman (do so and prepare to get decapitated). It’s truly amazing how this beverage makes even the strongest of men intoxicated by a few cups, or even a sip of it.
To think I’m the one who also serves this drink makes me disgusted. Yes, it makes men loosen up and the party more lively, but also devoids their common sense for an extended period of time. What happens if our enemies decide to attack us while half our men are pixilated? I bet they won’t be able to swing their weapons, much less tell who is the enemy.
I reached the conclusion that that was the reason why my father and/or my brothers always insisted on having a banquet on, of all things, a boat. Yes, I have to admit that we are very used to being out on the water, but the idea still seems farfetched somehow.
Anyways, back to drinking, and back to how our strong generals fall victim to such a beverage. Now, some people are seemingly immune to the wine, for example, Taishi Ci. I swear, the man can chug down so many goblets to fill the Yangtze River, and any signs of intoxication are virtually invisible to the naked eye. And trust me, my training has led me to see like a hawk.
Then there are some who don’t even finish a goblet of wine and immediately can not withstand the substance within the drink, leading them to a state of drunkenness. Lu Xun fits perfectly within this category, thus, he prefers to not drink much alcohol during a banquet. Especially after the incident with him, Zhou Tai, and one of his weapons. (Let’s just say the scar adorning Zhou Tai’s complexion is not the only one he has now…)
Lastly, there are the few that drink a lot, obviously get plastered, and go off on some rampant tirade that both excites a party and, for lack of better terminology, ruins it. Not that that doesn’t faze me much, but the clean up duty is far less pleasant than what one would see on the battlefield. Minus the majority of blood, dead carcasses, and so on.
During the time I have been involved with warfare, I have only heard of two generals that can fall into this category. One is the mighty Zhang Fei, who is rumored to really be loaded more often than others. However, I really don’t think the man would go around crashing a banquet, even if he is drunk, thus ruling him out. The other general, though, is one I know would fall into said category, because, well, I have seen him do exactly that: get drunk, go on a tirade, and one time, ruin the celebration.
Really, I have nothing against Gan Ning. He may be brash, but he is quite intelligent. Nice guy to be around with too, and the way he handles his Sea Master is but of complete skill and awe. A great kisser too.
I still don’t understand my feelings for him. I suppose when I kissed him that one time, we fell in love with one another. He is a nice guy. Yet, when he gets intoxicated…
Oh, the memories. Please note the lack of a pleasant tone in that statement.
Gan Ning can really take down a lot of the alcohol that is being served (ironically, by me), but even he has boundaries. I had safely assumed that the names of said border lines would be, in order from not taking a sip to about five kegs: “Sober,” “Thirst Quenching,” “Giddy,” “Getting Dizzy,” “I Need to Relieve Myself,” “Hiccup,” “Huang Gai Can Make Stuff that go BOOM!” and lastly, “I Like Goats.”
At a banquet, Gan Ning usually is at the “Getting Dizzy” borderline, and surprisingly acts very sober when still has had a lot to drink. There was only one instance where he surpassed this boundary to the more dangerous “Huang Gai Can Make Stuff that go BOOM!” and “I Like Goats” (yes, he has uttered those words when he was in an incredibly insobriety state), which has led to the aforementioned incident of ruining the party.
I can remember it like yesterday, mainly because it has quite scarred me for life.
The reason for the banquet that was held during this incident is best left unsaid. So, leaving the reason a indeed a mystery, I was attending to my “womanly” duties of keeping the men content by refilling their plates and goblets with food and wine, respectively, as well as minding my own business. Okay, not really minding my own business perse, but it’s so hard not to listen when their voices are so loud. Eh, but that’s for another time.
By the time I reached our lovable ex-pirate, he had already downed quite a few cups of the rosy wine. Actually, it was more like four kegs, but anyways, he was conversing with Lü Meng about a subject I also would like to leave unknown. Normally, I would have diverted myself away to a more suitable area of the ship, but I was pressed to uphold my duties, which was to make him happy. And the man wanted more wine.
So, I gave him more wine. You probably know what happened after he drank his umpteenth fill.
That’s right, he kept on talking. Explanation? Well, like I’ve said before, Gan Ning is pretty good at keeping within safe boundaries. For now.
After also filling Lü Meng’s goblet, I proceeded to then fulfill my other womanly duties of performance, giving me a break from being a makeshift servant to make the men…aroused. Hey, 60% of the men there were already too intoxicated to see straight, so not a problem. Still, I never understood why my brother or Commander Zhou Yu let their wives dance so provocatively, but enough of that.
Before I was set to dance, a bit of a ruckus was heard. Normally, it can be ignored, since either an object dropped to the floor, or Zhou Yu saw another Zhuge Liang hallucination, but the cause was not the most frequented. Glad that my performance was cut short, I quickly scanned for the core of the disruption.
Lo and behold, it was none other than Gan Ning.
Now, the next piece of information will be forever locked away in my mind, unfortunately, but imagine a Gan Ning that started to act out of his composed character. Never have I heard such an immense string of curses to everything imaginable, but all of us knew that if it did happen, it would have come out of his mouth. Either Gan Ning or Lu Xun, we all predicted.
After his wonderful presentation, he proceeded to then show how “graceful” he was able to be as he struck some dramatic poses. Not only were they “graceful,” but quite…unbecoming. Yes, that’s the term.
As I said, I was spared of my performance that night, but Gan Ning seemed quite eager to be my replacement.
Because I’m not the greatest storyteller in all of China, let’s just set this situation as an equation. One Gan Ning, plus four or five kegs of exquisite, but just as alcoholic wine, and then add a light hearted atmosphere, and one gets a man making a fool out of himself. Badly.
Oh, but I’m not done! Take the left side of the above equation, and multiply it with its answer, and what would it be?
One very trashed boat. And because the equation is so special, one also gets one very ruined party.
So does it have good side? Well, this little incident did produce a lot of very happy people, as noted in their hysterical laughing once the shock absorbed through. Still, there was the downside of it all. One being in Gan Ning, who developed a serious hangover and threatened to hurt anybody who ever mentioned the incident to his face ever again afterwards.
The other was being in yours truly, who was assigned not only clean up duty for that night, but also given the title to make sure it never happened again. Though I am quite relieved to reduce the amount of alcohol I am to serve to the men, that does not omit the fact I still have to make them content.
So I still must serve them the damn beverage. Really, what is wrong with have water instead? Yes, it contains who knows what, but at least strong men won’t loose their common sense with this drink. Their life, yes, but not their common sense.
Ah, quite the lose-lose situation, isn’t it?
Here I am, the sister of one of the greatest Lords ever to grace China, a so called “princess,” and a pretty darn good warrior. Reduced to making men weak by the ungodly substance that is, and ever will be, wine.
It’s not so bad if I could do this to, say, Cao Cao or Lu Bu, but to my own colleagues is preposterous. Funny, how no one will realize such a startling truth.
And poor Gan Ning, who is my one and only victim to my subconscious, unwilling bidding. The sad part is that he still insists on breaking the “Huang Gai Can Make Stuff that go BOOM!” boundary.
Being a “princess” truly isn’t glamorous, but destiny and fate are so closely intertwined, and to stop it is to upset such the balance the divine has set before us. That’s life though, and I am bound to follow it through.
This is the musings of a makeshift waitress, once again following her “destiny” to serve nourishment to the men of Wu. Oh look, I think Gan Ning has reached a new boundary: The “Sun Quan’s Sword is Pointy!” boundary. Now I must meet my “fate” as I attempt to quelm him down before another massacre occurs.
Whoever is listening, please take note that however strong and confident I may seem while I am in the battlefield, it does not necessarily apply to everywhere. And if there is anyway to cure a hangover, I would appreciate the directions very much.
Once again, this is Sun Shang Xiang, member of the prestigous Sun family, loyal warrior of Wu… and now a target of regurgitation.
Copyright © 2004 Gravity