crutch // defleo-nobis
In times of great deliberation, Cao Cao often turned to his advisers, as that was their purpose within his employ. But in such a strange situation where he could neither discuss nor cope with the situation as he would have traditionally, he could only turn towards one whose trust superseded his current success and paranoia.
With heavy footsteps did he wander the halls he knew so well, head low, mind anywhere but where it should have been. In time, he found himself before a set of heavy doors in which a particularly bitter woman remained behind. She was one of his greatest mistakes, that he knew and regretted. Cao Cao had wronged her far too many times—far more than he would like to admit. Indeed, her misery was not something he was proud of.
Still, she found her way back to him despite his mistakes, and each and every time Mengde found himself more surprised than the last. She was still around despite everything, and that meant more than she would ever likely know.
The fact of the matter was that he couldn’t do this without her—not in his own mind, at least. He couldn’t stomach possibly drawing his first wife’s ire. Her words echoed within his mind frequently, and now more than ever he found himself terrified of proving her theory correct. The last thing he desired was to make his daughter unhappy, let alone add her to collection of pretty things, as lady Ding called certain ambitions. He only wished for her happiness, but that was something he was uncertain how to deliver as things currently stood.
Alas, with a gentle movement of the door to notify lady Ding of his presence, Cao Cao stepped beyond the threshold and allowed the door to close with a heavy thump behind him. If Ding had yet to hear of the situation surrounding the conversation he had with Guo Jia as the rest of Wei had, then she was about to hear of it.
"If I may be so bold as to request your attention, my lady, I would ask for it now."