Chapter 05 – Inner technique scroll

“Je Je Je ~”

From the crowd one could hear a strange laugh containing tinges of disdain. The human wall split apart, making way for a young teenager carrying a fan. His whole demeanor spoke only of one thing: Young master.

“Lousy grade 3 talent?” Contrary to the vibes he gave off; he was dead ugly, even a horse’s ass be a better face. “Je Je Je ~”And his laugh was as disgusting.  A servant carrying his bags behind him loudly yelled, “Young master Xiu Fan has arrived.”

“Xiu Fan. 16.”

The teenager walked with his chest high, eyeing those around him, seemingly taking a stroll of leisure until he arrived to the pillar.  The orb shone and Elder Mo, indifferently as usual, said,“Grade 5, Qualified!

Awe spread among the participants. A grade 5 talent? What sort of existence was that? That was  a whole layer above what Cheng Seung achieved. A monstrous genius had arrived, and he would take the academy by storm!

Slowly but surely, the crowd diminished and the number left had dwindled down to one – Wei Mei Rong – who stood alone before the pillar. The bottom line for qualifying was having above second grade talent. Thus, all third grades and above succeeded in completing the first test.

“Mei. 15 years”

Walking down to the pillar, and under everyone’s gazes, she placed her hand onto the rough, solid texture. If she rubbed her palm against it, it would surely get bruised or even starting to bleed. Seconds after, a lukewarm, foreign energy brushed against it and entered smoothly. The whole experience felt as if someone touched her form bottom to toe, inspecting every fibre of her body without even asking questions first.

“Grade…” Elder Mo begins, “…Hm?”

In the sphere that should be gleaming with light, there was nothing to be seen. It was absolutely empty. Elder Mo scratched the back of his head, uncertain about what to do. He had been the elder in-charge the last ten years, but this had never happened before.

Looking at the girl, she seemed to be a nice lass, should he give her the favor of doubt? He shrugged his shoulders and thought, “If she is unfit to be warrior, the following tests will be too tough for her either way.”

“…Qualified?” Elder Mo finished his sentence.

This announcement caused many to furrow their brows. These kids weren’t stupid so they understood that something was wrong. Cheng Seung, the young man wearing animal furs, took tone toward the elder. “Excuse me, Elder Mo. For what reason did that girl pass?

“Eh.” Elder Mo’s expression turned miffed, “Hmph, you dare to question my judgment? If I say she qualified, she qualified!”

Cheng Seung’s face turned green. An elder of the star seeking academy was a powerhouse. The prerequisite for elders was at least third grade. Even Wei Mei Rong’s father, who was known for being extremely strong, was only so powerful. How would he, who wasn’t even a one star warrior, be willing to anger, insult or even make one such existence lose face? That’d be courting death, and he wasn’t willing in the least.

Behind the poker face, Elder Mo let out a cold breath of relief. Luckily, he could use his status to instantly silence the other party. But, there was this strange feeling tugging his mind about Mei. Something was odd about her, but he didn’t know what.

Wei Mei Rong herself had no idea what happened. Instead of looking at that orb she had immersed herself in the lukewarm, nice replacing feeling. Seeing everyone glaring at her, she wondered what she had done to deserve it.

Turning around to everyone who passed the first test Elder Mo said, “It’s time for the next test, follow me.” While walking Elder Mo explained the next part of the exam, “This next part is very simple actually. I presume everyone knows about inner techniques?”

Seeing that some shook their heads he continued, “A brief summary will do, guess…”

“Warriors are different from normal fighters. The reason for that is inner techniques. Together with the energy from the astral path stored within the vessel, it mainly works as guidance to let the energy temper the body, making it stronger, faster and more durable. Other than that, it has a few other usages, coincidently one that we will use today.

“Today, you will all be given a special inner technique. Depending on the times you can circulate it around your body channels, you can either pass or fail. The higher purity of your energy, the more times you can circulate it. Every time you circulate it, some of the foul mortal air – impurities – will take hatch in your channels, making it harder to to circulate it the next time. Only after sleeping, eating or cleansing one’s body can it be removed. I myself will judge how many times you can circulate it before failing” He explained.

Stopping in a training yard, Elder Mo pointed his finger at Wei Mei Rong, “You, come forward please.”

Wei Mei Rong had no choice but to comply and hurried over.

Glancing at the young lady in front of him, Elder Mo gave her a scroll, “This is a very easy technique and should be learned in mere moments. When everyone understands and can use it, we will begin. Once you are done, pass it onward to the next person.

As she returned to the crowd, she was met with mocking. Chen Seung and his newly gained lackeys were looking at her with scornful eyes. The woman next to him curled her lips.

Despite being a girl, Wei Mei Rong had grown up with a big brother and a third grade warrior as a father. To have someone look at her like that awoke irritation, “What do you want?”

“Ugly bitch.” The woman sneezed at her, “… jump of your high horse! Once inside the school you’ll find out how small you are” Saying this, the woman turned around and ignored her.

At first, Wei Mei Rong stared blankly, what the heck did the woman say to her? But seconds later, she felt anger rise from within, quickly suppressing it. It was not the right time or place to throw a tantrum. Most likely, that girl had gotten her astral path a long time ago, while Wei Mei Rong had just embarked on the road to become a warrior.

She decided to ignore these people and instead try to learn this technique as fast as possible. Slowly opening the scroll, her mouth formed a round O. The scroll depicted an an image, showing the human body and all its meridians, body channels as Elder Mo called them. Further down, there was a wall of text:

“To practice this inner technique one needs a clear mind unrelated to one’s surroundings. The first step is to achieve the most basic astral path; therefore gaining the smallest amount of energy. The second step is to be able to revolve one’s energy to the finger tips; revealing a sufficient control. The third step is to…”

 

Chapter 04 – Test of talent

At the southwest district, in the city of  clouds, there was a huge commotion. Young men and women, all aspiring to become strong and fear-instilling warriors, were gathering for the test to join one of the biggest, wealthiest and reputed warrior schools in the Xin country. Not only would it reward those that successfully entered with free, monthly resources, but it would also give them access to the ancient and massive collection of inner energy techniques, and battle scrolls that detailed profound patterns of movings one’s body for special results.

Even though it was common knowledge regarding that the school’s doors were open at all times, it was all a facade to draw the aspiring warriors to the city. In reality, the school would only conduct opening exams with a sufficient amount of them. Despite holding the exams every second month, there were thousands of younglings here today. It signified both the greatness of the school, and the extreme population of the Xin country. To simplify the process, the exam was divided into four parts. Talent, purity, will power and combat ability.

While the many contestants were slowly accumulating to what was needed, Wei Mei Rong stood in the crowd by herself. Five days had gone by in the blink of an eye from when she rented the room inside the inn. With the meager money that lay hidden in her dress after getting kidnapped, the only things she could afford was the food from the inn as well as a new outfit. To not stand out too much, she bought a leather armor consisting of: Torso, leggings, and boots. She had also cut her hair, to make more inconspicuous if the Tian clan were to be there, now looking like a tomboy.

However, it was impossible avoid her effeminate, delicate features only seen on women. Somehow, the bright, blue dot on her forehead made her look very mysterious and cold at the same time. Together with the short hair, leather armor and white skin it made her look very strange, almost like that of someone not from around the town. But it didn’t do her much, it would only work better concealing her identity. Father would surely drag her home if he found out she was here. Only after making a name for herself could she tell him without having worries about being married off to someone.

The kidnapping from earlier had made her more aware of the world. Under no circumstances would she let someone get so close to her as that young man did. Never would she allow herself to look so vulnerable. Surprisingly, her face had no wounds from the battle, nor the rest of her body. All of the injuries were healed after killing Tian Shen. Most likely, it was the work of the astral path and its energy, maybe even the little girl – the self-proclaimed first moon.

Under these five days, she had arduously tried to better her control of the white blue energy. In the beginning, she was only able to summon the flame. But after hours she understood the principle behind it. The trick was to control it like her own body. After all, it was a part of her body, as much as her handed was. Unfortunately, energy by itself was not dangerous or used as a means to harm. Only by using inner techniques coupled with instruction from battle scrolls could it be utilized as such. For the very essence of energy wasn’t harmful, it was the opposite. Energy’s life.

“Ladies and gentlemen. Proud and talentful warriors. Thank you all for coming here today, and thank you for wanting to join our very own Star seeking academy. My name is Elder Mo and I am in charge of this exam.” A middle-aged man with brown, curly hair and a scar all the way from his left chin up to just below his left eye. When Wei Mei Rong took watched the man, she felt the powerful aura being excluded. Sadly, even with her new-gained power of the first moon, she was unable to see through him.

In today’s test, we will go through four things; Talent, purity, will power and combat ability. We will first start with talent. All those that wants to take the test, please follow old me inside the school grounds.” Elder Mo explained the gate behind him.

All of the contestants for joining the school followed him inside. Among many others, Wei Mei Rong kept as low of a profile that she could. Some stared at her for quite a while, but after having their mouth agape for too long, they remembered why they were here.

Walking inside the gate, they came to a stop minutes after. A field of grass with three pillars of a strange material. Elder Mo cleared his throat and spoke, “This is the first test where we shall decide your talent. These pillars come from a far-away kingdom that specializes in technology. The invention is able to measure one’s affinity to space – how well the energy from the astral gate can flow. Please set yourselves up in three lines.”

After everyone were divided into three lines the elder said, “Good. Now, please step forward and the name you wish to be known as in the academy, It’ll also serve as your warrior name in the future. Also, state your age.Then, place your handed on the pillar. From that the pillar will infuse its energy inside to gauge your astral path. It’s a bit troublesome to explain, so you’ll just have to trust me. When the inspection is completed, the top of the pillar, the orb, will emit light in relation to talent. First three step forward now please.”

The first line, a burly, strong-looking young man stepped forward. He was clad in beast furs and obviously came from a far-away land. “Cheng Seung, 17 years old.” He said and went forward to the pillar, placing his hand upon. The orb above slowly began to shine, and a rather faint light was visible.

“Grade 3 talent, good! You have qualified for the next round!” Elder Mo’s voice echoed in the field.”

Then the next one, this from line two. It was a women. Contrary to Cheng Seung, she was rather plain, most likely a commoner. Her voice was shaky when introducing herself, “Ling Meng, 16 years old.” Hurriedly moving forward, she also pressed her hand onto the pillar.

“Grade 2 talent, not qualified!”

The plain woman’s face instantly became dejected, slowly walking away from the field and out from the school grounds while Cheng Seung walked to place himself a few meters away form the elder himself, according to the the mans instructions of course.

“Next!”

Chapter 03 – Escaping the Tian clan’s mansion

Seeing Tian Shen turning into a sculpture of ice caused Wei Mei Rong to feel extreme relief. But at the same time, she had a feeling of dread. What was that power, the white light that emblazoned all in ice? While these thoughts ran through Mei Wei Rong’s head, she caught a glimpse of her own reflection from the ice on the floor.

It no longer had the serene and peaceful image like earlier; Her hair was disheveled with some parts dyed crimson from blood. And in the middle of her forehead; the small, blue nearly translucent dot was emitting a faint, glimmering shine. Upon discovery, a pleasant coolness enveloped her body, making her feel very relaxed.

Somehow, she could sense every pore of her body breathing in and out, it was truly strange, never before had she felt like this. And at this time, the flickering light in her vessel returned. This time, it was much smaller than before. Focusing her mind trying to move the it to her finger, a white, light blue flame emerged.

“Wait.” Her pupils expanded, “Is this energy, can it be true?”

From what her brother, Wei Min, explained before he left for the academy, she knew that when one created an astral path, one would feel as if though the whole body was opened, purified from the foul mortal air. At that time, she hadn’t understood what he meant. But now, she knew. Her astral path finally revealed itself. She could at long last enroll in the Star seeking academy, the one that her brother studied inside.

However, most important things come first; she had to escape from where they had taken her, quickly at that. If they discovered her having killed Tian Shen, they would be more cautious and send in a few warrior to capture her. It wouldn’t be strange – all five great clans had more than hundreds of grade 1 warriors, and tens of grade 2s. Hopefully, they wouldn’t deploy a grade 2 warrior merely for her. After all, she was only an ordinary woman without any talent for martial arts, or so they thought.

Looking for the door and quickly finding it, she slowly pulled the handle and stretched her head out. Luckily, the corridor was empty. Exiting the room, she made her way down the hall very carefully and tried to make as little to no noise possible. Just as she was about to turn at the corner, she heard two voices, and as fast as she could, slipped behind one of the pillars standing to the side.

Two men came walking by, dressed in the average garment for outer disciplines of the Tian clan. Wei Mei Rong understood their perception ability should be quite low, therefore decided not to worry too much about being found out. After all, only the weakest in clans would patrol the clan’s mansion. When they passed, similar to a small mouse, she sneaked out of the building through an open window. Once outside, she quickly made her way through the thorns and bushes, climbing over the wall and into the city.

It was still night, so the time passed from being kidnapped to now should be relatively minuscule in comparison to what it could have been. Strolling through the city without purpose, she finally remembered where this was, and rejoiced within herself. This was the city district where the star seeking academy lay, the school she planned to enter!

Mei Wei Rong knew that it was impossible for the school to be open and conducting enrollment exams at this time, so she scrolled the nearby buildings with her gaze for somewhere to sleep. She found an inn, entered and gave the innkeeper 1 tael of silver, renting a room for the night.

The room was not very expensive – only the lowest quality room available. One of the reason why she rented it was to not garner attention. Since a young, fifteen year old girl taking the most precious option at the inn would not end good. Either it was being robbed, raped or kidnapped or possibly all three. This world was tough, especially for women.

With a low thud, she jumped into the small, but soft bed and closed her eyes. It had been one hell of a day. First, gaining recognition with a moon, the first moon nonetheless. Secondly, dancing and slightly getting interested in a man, only to be betrayed and kidnapped. Well, at least she bit off his manhood, preventing him from having future kids. And thirdly, creating her astral path. Now she could barely wait until dawn, when she would take the enrollment test for the star seeking academy.

“Sir.” Mei Wei Rong’s two personal guards tried to get their young missus third uncle’s attention. The taller guard, named Chuan Mo, an outsider who had climbed the ranks from outer disciple to personal guard, spoke with a shaky voice, “Sir, we can’t find the young miss anywhere…”

“Eh?” Wei Lang, drinking merrily with the four clan heads of the great five, used his hands to wave it off, “Haha, don’t worry. Chuan Mo, right? I’ve heard about your accomplishments, you truly serve the clan good. Come, drink with us.

“Hehe.” Chuan Mo laughed, a bit embarrassed, instantly forgetting for what reason he had come, and got seated beside Wei Lang who gave him the whole jar of alcohol. “A reward for your service to the clan, hick!” Wei Lang yelled loudly, clearly affected by the alcohol.

“But sir…” The other guard scratched his head, “What about the young miss. If she disappeared under out watch… when the clan head comes back he will punish us–”

“Shut up.” Chuan Mo said to his fellow guard, “Can’t you see that sir and I are drinking?” The man angrily retorted Rei Xu, gesturing for him to leave them alone.

Rei Xu took a few steps back, stuttering, “W-what? Chuan Mo, you…?”

What was his friend doing? He was always dutiful and very friendly to him How come that just a couple of words from the clan head’s fourth brother completely changed his entire personality?

Drops of sweat ran down from Rei Xu, he nervously swallowed and cleared his throat. Getting answers from his friend was a matter to take on later. What truly scared him was what the young missus father would say when he returned. He had to find the young miss.

 

His life depended on it!

 

Chapter 02 – The castle covered in ice

Outside the Wei clan’s palace, inside the garden filled with flowers, bushes and even water fountains, several young men could be seen around a beautiful, young girl. The girl constantly tried to move about, but was held into place by two men as one of them, Tian Shen, put his hot, hard manhood into the girl’s mouth. He thrusted it inside and arced his back from pleasure, “Ahhhh!”

But very quickly, his yells of pleasure turned into horrible screams from pain. Wei Mei Rong felt it in her mouth, it even reached down her throat. Without hesitation she used all her power to chomp down with her teeth, spitting it out on the ground, nearly choking from the blood overflowing inside her mouth.

“You bitch!” Tian Shen screamed, his eyes were filled with bloodlust and he held his stumped limb in his hands, “Y-you… I’m going to kill you”

Wei Mei rong felt his boot hit her face, and as if she had been hit by lump of metal, she flew backwards and crashed into the ground. Her nose was crushed and her face bruised to the limit, she tried to crawl away, but felt the same foot stomp down on her back and she let out a scream from pain.

Tian Shen got her up on her feet and punched her in the stomach, but was then held back by the others from punching her more than once. He screamed furiously, “Let me go, I’m going to kill this bitch!”

But instead of letting Tian Shen go, one of the younger men slapped his face and he fell down to the ground too, “Keep your mouth shut, Remember where we are, we are inside the Wei clan, if they find out about what we are doing, they will execute us.Forget about our clan protecting us, they will even willingly hand us over!”

Wei Mei Rong heard nothing of this, she had already passed out. Instead of the garden, she found herself in a white world immersed in snow, specks and flings flying about, whirling, around a big, snowy castle of ice that stood tall. A feeling that if she entered that castle, everything would change, arose in her mind. But yet, she also got the feeling that she wouldn’t regret it. So with heavy steps through the snow-filled landscape, in her green dress, she walked toward it.

The gates to the castle were wide open, and the razor-sharp wind blew past it, strangely not entering. She brushed the snow off from her clothes and entered. Inside, she saw the same white bead that she saw in space, lying on a cushion in the middle of the room where she entered.

Suddenly, she heard the same voice that she heard in space, “Little girl, seems like you finally entered my domain. Are you in dire straits?” In front of her, a naked small, tiny girl, of maybe eleven years, appeared. The girl tilted her head and looked at Wei Mei Rong.

Wei Mei Rong gasped in wonder, “Where is this, who are you?” She asked and inspected the girl. White, combed hair freely falling down to the waist, crystal blue eyes eyes that seemed to pierce the sky and a perfect doll-like face that even made hers own fade in comparison, “How did I get here?

The girl smiled sweetly, “I am the first moon, born before the creation of the world. My husband was the first sun, and our children were the first nebula, black hole, white hole, vortex and star. Together we made up the whole galaxy, the space realm. But sadly, everything changed one day.

“After producing many children, and our children producing many children in turn, something dark and evil entered the galaxy, the big explosion that lead to countless of planets being birthed. I tried to stop it but couldn’t. Seeing that all of my children and grandchildren would die from the explosion, I took the small bead that was about to explode and put it inside of my body. The excess energy made up for all the planets and created you humans.”

“The explosion caused me to fracture, my body being destroyed. But something had caused me to merge with this bead, and I found myself in the outer perimeter of the galaxy where I could reach nothing. I couldn’t contact my people and I couldn’t move, only existing within this bead. It wasn’t until I felt an existence similar to mine enter the galaxy. Even though you were somehow far, far away, the bead resonated with you and called for you. And then we, the bead and I, formed a link with you, so that we could leave the galaxy and enter your body – sea of conscious – where we are now.

Wei Mei Rong felt her head hurting from all this information. The first moon? The explosion that led to planets being born, what planets? Her world, there were others? She decided to ask the girl, “Planets? what are you talking about? Why do you need me? And what do you want?”

The girl chuckled, “don’t worry, little Mei. you will know soon enough, I will grant you the power both understand, and to rule yourself. Right now you are unconscious, but in quite the bad situation. Wake up, and wield my power!

Wei Mei Rong remembered, they had wanted to rape her and she had bit off Tian Shen’s manhood. After discovering this, she felt herself disappear form this world and she woke up. She was inside a carriage, bound by ropes. Next to her sat the men and watched her.

Tian Shen sat in front of her, in the other seat, clutching to his rod, staring at her with eyes radiating killing intent, “You bitch, just wait. I’m going to torture you for days, weeks, months and even years!”

She could only be silent because her mouth was sealed. The carriage bumped. where were they moving? Under minutes, she felt the thirst for blood from the man in front of her, and also the sexual desire of these other men in the carriage. But after a while, it stopped. The men sealed her eyes, carried her out of the carriage. Minutes later, the cloth that hid her eyes was removed and she found herself in room made from solid iron walls.

In front of her stood Tian Shen, towering above her, with a stainless steel knife that glimmered in the faint light from the candles in the room. He said to her, “You just wait, I’m going to make you regret what you did!

Just as Tian Shen was about to cut her face, ruining her beautiful cheek, she felt a voice inside of her, it was the girl from the frozen castle, “Quickly, use my power! It is within you!” It was as if time had stopped. She saw Tian Shen’s hand holding the knife extremely slowly descending toward her face.

Under this dangerous situation, Wei Mei Rong displayed her impressive comprehension. In the deepest part of her body, the vessel that every human had, she felt something flicker, like a light. Slowly but surely, it expanded in size and travelled from there, two centimeters below the navel to her arm, then to her bruised hand.

A white, dazzling light surged upward from her sleeves, Tian Shen felt his arm going numb. He looked down and saw that it was frozen in ice, and that the ice continued upward. “You bitch!” He screamed as the it wandered further, and eventually turned him into an sculpture of ice. The floor was covered in frost, the roof too and the candle lights were out. Everything had transformed into a world of bitter, desolate ice.

Chapter 01 – Banquet at the Wei clan

It was evening, the blue sky had turned black and now instead of the sun, stars illuminated the lands. Wei Mei Rong put her cascade of jade onto her hair, put on a green, silk dress. Women these days were powdered in make-up, but not her. Even her father couldn’t persuade her with the matter. The only jewelry she wore was the jade cascade that her mother once used, it was very beautiful and had a phoenix depicted onto it.

Today was the yearly gathering of the five great clans; Wei, Tian, Wang, Xu, and Ling. The Wei, their clan, was the host for today’s party that would take place in their banquet hall. Wei Meirong was one of the main stars today, as she had yet to been married of – Usually girls would be given in hand before thirteen years of age. And today, all the young master of the four other great clans would be here. The higher ups of the clan had high hopes for her to interest one of them.

Of course, Wei Mei Rong herself had not a single of these motives. It was only because of her father’s order before he left, that if she wasn’t there when he was gone, he would decide a marriage himself. She got mad at him and told him to leave, which he did. Afterward, she felt quite bad and wanted to apologize, but he already left the clan grounds.

She took one glance at herself in the mirror before exiting her sleeping dwelling and being escorted to the banquet hall by her two personal guards, the ones that followed her back earlier when her father ordered them to do it.

After coming inside, all eyes were directly staring at her. After all, she was the daughter of the Wei clan leader, the most powerful person of the five greats. He was a third star nebula warrior with immense powers, and to get his daughter in marriage as the same as having a trumf card, being able to acquire help from him by using his daughter as a reason.

She, followed by her guards, made her way to the rear end of the table, the front from her view, and got seated beside her fourth uncle, whose was extremely joyous. He spoke with a happy voice while he looked at everyone, “Hello my dear friends, I’m glad that you all could make it even though the circumstances at the moment are quite dire. As you know, Wei song, our clan head, isn’t present and therefore am I here.

“After eating ourselves full from this delicious food, we got a few topics to discuss, we old people, while the youths, brimming with vitality, can expand their energy on the dance floor. Thank you all for coming here today.”

“Clap, clap, clap.” An applause following his speech and the party was in motion. Steaming, hot food was brought in by servants and placed onto the table. Glasses were filled with a sweet, fizzy drink for the underaged while the adults were served the Wei clan’s very own-made wine.

“Wei Mei Rong, what are you sitting there and sulking for? Why aren’t you getting yourself acquainted with the other young men and women of the other clan?” Her third uncle, Wei Lang, and her father’s fourth brother, asked her while holding and prospecting a glass of wine. The man was quite similar to her father; Grey hair tied up in a ponytail, a relatively short, knotted beard, together with some slightly effeminate features.

“Third uncle, I’m not feeling very well.” Wei Mei Rong asked her uncle hoping to leave the party as soon as possible. After all, she had a goal to accomplish and had to do it before her father came back. If she did it, her chances of sneaking out of the Wei clan’s grounds would be higher, “May I go back to my courtyard?”

“Nonsense!” Wei Lang laughed, “Your father has told me that you have to be here. You are the main star here, Wei Mei Rong! Go and enjoy yourself now, the guards will stay here with me so they won’t disturb you.” He gave her a wink and gestured for her to leave the table.

“Sick pervert…” She thought while she left the table and went to the dance floor some meters away.

The dance floor was rather crowded, and Mei Wei rong wasn’t very experienced of these sorts of things. Of course was she taught how to dance, as well as other skills suited for delicate, beautiful women that should win over the hearts of men, but she had never once danced with someone.

“Ahh, beautiful, may I have a dance?” A well dressed young man came forward and extended his slender hand, wanting her to take his.

She looked at him, and felt he was familiar. “Have we met before?” Her tone was neither warm nor cold.

The young man smiled, “Haha, Mei, don’t you remember big bro Shen. The days building sand castles we spent together?”

“Tian Shen!” She happily exclaimed, giving him a hug.

He was an old childhood friend that was as like a brother to her. But under the pressure of their two clans, they couldn’t spend more time together. After all, he was groomed to a young master, and she to a young miss.

She immediately nodded and took his hand. In response, he grabbed her waist. To admit, she had once had a slight crush on him, before she decided to become a warrior. But that was in the past. After clearing her head from unneeded thoughts, she put her own hand on his shoulder, it was firm and strong, she could feel his muscles beneath.

Together, they danced for hours without stop. Somehow, it felt like time had disappeared, and only the rhythm was left there. Under the constant moving and holding each other, the feelings she once suppressed resurfaced.

When they were done, and had left the floor, Tian Shen asked her, “How about going out to the garden? It’s been a while since we did that. Remember the times we watched the stars at night, Imagining ourselves to become great warriors?

She smiled, remembering those days where she had nothing to worry about, and answered him, “Yes, why not.”

He lead her out from the hall toward the garden. Once in the garden he turned around to her, “I’m very happy you came with me…” His mouth turned into a smile, “But you shouldn’t have trusted me so easily.”

She frowned, “What are you talking about?” But he went closer to her and whispered in her ear, “You are so easily fooled, my beautiful.”

“Come out.” Tian Shen yelled, and out from the bushes, and from behind trees came five other young men in similar wearing as him. All of them had lewd smiles adorned to their faces and looked at her like she was a prey, one of them said to Tian Shen, “Great job, man. I couldn’t have done it better myself.”

They laughed, and Tian Shen shrugged his shoulders, “I’m honestly surprised though, the icy-queen of the Wei Clan was so easily seduced and lured. And here I thought that I had try, looks like I was wrong.

She backed away, fell onto her bum and looked at Tian Shen with fear in her eyes, “Tian Shen, what…” Wei Mei Rong tried to rise to her feet and run away, but was held in place by one of the young men in an instant.

She knew what they wanted, her father had told her about it. They were about to rape her, take her virginity, and remove her purity. Tears slowly rolled down from her cheeks as she understood her situation, “We’re friends, are we not?

“Haha, stupid bitch!” Tian Shen burst out into laughter, “C’mon, I only wanted to f*uck you! I made a bet with the others here to see if I could get you out to the garden. And if I did, we would all taketurns.”

He removed  the hold to the loose belt and let his pants fall down to his feet, “Darling, open wide!”

Chapter 00 – Prologue

“Guards, take the young miss back to her yard!” An indifferent voice rang out inside the small palace hall. The middle aged man’s eyes showing no room for argumentation as he flicked his fingers and commanded for the two guards behind him to escort away the girl in front of him.

Looking at the girl, she could not seem to be more than fifteen. She had a serious expression, but her beautiful features caused it to bear less weight than it should do,  “Father, why can’t I study in the school big bro studies at?”

Throughout the palace hall there were many men with fine clothes and different weapons hanging down from their waists or being strapped to their backs. Among these men, one particular man coldly snorted, “Wei Song, teach your daughter that women are not men, and therefore can never be treated as such.

All of them seemed to be waiting for the young girl’s father, for him to wrap up his conversation with his daughter. Despite this comment, the young girl whose expression never wavered, once again looked up at her father waiting for him to make a decision.

“Wei Meirong, stop this!” But instead of what Wei Meirong wanted to hear, her father’s voice rose in volume. At this, everyone inside the room nodded their heads in approval. This was how it’s meant to be, women shouldn’t engage in men’s business.

After hearing what her father had to say, she lowered her head, clearly angry at him.

Why could she not cultivate like her brother? Why did she not have the qualifications to enroll in the academy that her body enrolled inside, even though they were in the same age? Because she was born a woman?

The two guards escorted her through the numerous of passages inside the palace to her courtyard. It was very pleasing to the eye; with a water fountain in the middle where birds drank water from and a small building where she slept during the night. Only after seeing that the young miss safely arrived to her own courtyard did the guards leave. Their actions went according to their instructions from the Wei clan’s head, the young missus father.

Wei Meirong went forward to the water fountain, wearing a heavy expression as she sat down and looked at the birds. She wanted to be like them, free from all shackles. Birds could fly into the sky and travel wherever the wanted to, whereas she was stuck here. She wanted to become an esteemed moon warrior.

In this world there were many types of warriors; Sun warrior, Moon warrior, Nebula warrior, black hole warrior etc. They all corresponded to what existed in space. The first step to be taken in order to become a warrior was to gain recognition of something in the formless void with floating things above the sky. Only thereafter could one claim the title of a warrior.

One would create an astral path that worked as guidance for energy from the space – from the star, black hole, sun, moon etc – and store it inside one’s vessel which was situated two centimeters below the navel. With the energy stored, one could refine the body and shed one’s skin. In other words, remove the mortal shackles and become a true warrior.

There were different grades corresponding to power, but since it was too far-fetched for her without even having gained recognition, she decided not to think about the matter.

The birds chirped relentlessly and filled her heart with endless longing. “Fine, if father is unwilling to let me study at the academy, I shall take the matter into my own hands!”

First she would gain recognition, then after she would sneak outside of the clan’s palace and try her luck at the entrance exam that was open all year round.

She took a last glance of the birds, walked a bit farther away and sat down in a meditative pose on the grass that was still wet from the morning dew. If one looked at her, they would feel like they floated in cloud nine. She was mesmerizing. When she sat on the ground, serene and peaceful, she had the ability to move kingdoms and even make them wage against each other.

Long, black hair tied up in a green cascade in jade. Peerless, white, silky smooth skin coupled with her exquisite, extremely symmetrical face. The width between her two eyes was just perfect and she had two red, round dimples on her cheeks that contrasted to her shockingly celestial skin.

When she grew up she would undoubtedly going to entrance many men. As of now she was like a pure, untainted white lily. But when she became older, shapes would surely arise and her maiden body would be replaced. By then, she would be like the most dazzling red rose in the green, lush field of flowers.

Wei Meirong’s breath slowed down and she placed her hands in her lap. The white, thin garment made her look even more fairy-like. After this, she closed her eyes and tried to connect with the space. Even though it was daytime and one couldn’t see it, it were still there, just hidden from prying eyes. After a while, she felt the presence of the space and could actually see it inside her mind.

Good!

Now she just had to let her spirit temporarily leave her body and fly up into space where she could find a moon willing to be hers. That was the crux of gaining the recognition; Everything in the space was alive, just like animals, and could therefore choose if they wanted to accept or not. A common saying was: “You don’t choose it, it chooses you.” She once asked her father about it and he told her that one can only understand until after.

Seconds later, she felt her mind getting extremely heavy. But she gritted her teeth and endured it. This was her future and she knew that this was the only way. If she failed, it would all be for naught and she would be married away.

“Finally!”

She felt the very essence of her being slowly being lifted, as if there was some invisible power behind the curtains controlling her. But all of a sudden, searing pain spread across her body. It felt like thousands of needles stabbing into her flesh. She almost lost control. Fortunately, with a bit of force exertion, she regained it and released a breath of relief.

That was close! If she had lost hold, her spirit would surely return to her body. Since everyone only had one chance to connect with the ancient things in space, it would have been the end for her future as a warrior. It was one of many reasons that the number of warriors among humans were scarce.

“Boom!”

Everything turned white. Moments after, she opened her eyes. As far as the eye could see, there were things slowly floating around. This was space, the most mysterious realm in existence. She discovered that she could will her body to fly here.

Differently sized stars of weird shapes, small suns, big moons, violet colored nebulas, orange vortexes, and even black holes . They all gave of ancient, powerful auras. But Wei Meirong felt that nothing of this suited her. She had not the slightest idea why, but she always trusted her gut and therefore chose not to connect to anything until she found something that suited her.

Suddenly, she felt a tingling feeling in her head. It was like a small, tiny vibration. She moved a bit to the left, and it increased. It was only by a really really minor amount, but it increased. Something called for her, wanted her to come to it. So without wasting time, she willed her body to move to the left, very quickly advancing to what gave off the tingling feeling.

As time passed and the tingling feeling grew stronger, the living organisms in space became less and less. Most likely, she was moving toward the outer perimeter of the space. Of course, she had no idea of what was the outer perimeter or not, she could only guess.

But finally, she saw something. White, snow-tipped fragments circled around like a ball. It seemed to be a destroyed moon, but she had no idea what could destroy moons. “Help me…” A weak, melodious voice sounded out inside her mind, “If you do… I’ll make your dream to be free come true…”

“Make my dream to become free true…?” Wei Meirong was only fifteen and upon discovering that something could somehow read her mind, she became frightened to the point of wanting to immediately flee. Luckily, she stopped herself because there was no ill-intention coming from the words spoken to her.

“Please…” The voice once more rang out in her mind, echoed for a few seconds and then dispersed like a drifting, fleeting memory. Wei Meirong though for a second. She made up her mind and went closer to the fragments in front of her.

Coming closer to the fragments, she found out that they were all bound together and constantly kept from moving. In the middle, there was a small, round and pure white bead, merely with the girth of ten centimeters. It was like a speck of snow in the cold winter, very hard to see. She grabbed it with her hand and felt the a cold sensation. It had an extremely low temperature. For some reason though, it didn’t hurt.

“Do you wish to… become free?” The voice asked her. Wei Meirong answered cautiously, in a low tone, “Yes… I do”

Suddenly, out of nowhere, the bead in her hand started to vibrate and floated up from her hand, “I will make you free, will you accept me?” Wei Meirong nodded slowly, uncertain about the following actions.

A brilliant, dazzling white light cracked the bead open and entered from her forehead, gradually placing itself within the sea of conscious of her body. “Finally, I am not alone…” The voice said and everything went black. She lost consciousness.

At the Wei clan’s palace hall, where the big shots of the clan were gathered to discuss the future and its problems, a wide, long banquet table was filled to the brim with delicacies; murky three-legged frog, liver from bronze oxen and even the heart of a black tortoise could be found there. The light from the ceiling shone strong and made the hall very bright.

“The imperial clan has sent out an edict that states that we are to deliver ten thousand taels of gold, the time limit is a month.”

“But we don’t even possess half of that amount, are they crazy over there? Do they really want to suck us completely dry?”

“We must resist, this cannot go on! We have roots far deeper than the imperial clan. Even the current emperor wouldn’t lightly dare to go against us!”

A heated discussion among the various men inside the palace hall was undergoing. “Quiet!” A cold, loud voice bellowed in the air, causing everyone to instantly shut their mouths. Locating the voice, everyone saw that it was Wei Song that had spoken.

Wei Song sat at the rear end of the table with a glass of white wine, brewed inside the temple of tutkham in the eastern continent, in his hand. Its price was no small sum and was only available for him to drink. Even though he drank such fine wine, his expression was dark, gloomy as he thought about their current situation.

The imperial clan – the clan directly connected to the current emperor of the Xin country, where the Wei clan was situated. Despite already having unimaginable resources from taxes, and the support from the emperor, they still forced the other clans in the country to pay money to them. According to them, it was so that they could protect the country better. It was bullshit, all they wanted was to procure more training resources for their members, allowing them to rapidly rise in power and therefore being able to more efficiently suppress the other clans and sects.

Of course, the Wei clan had none of these motives. Maybe there were some powers of the faction that wanted to revolt, but that was non-existent since only he made the call whether or not to rise up and revolt. And the fact that the clan had declined from their power after their ancestor died clearly showed that they weren’t able to defeat the imperial clan or the current emperor’s army by themselves.

However, he had another matter in his hands that bothered him to the extent of him wanting to slam his head into the wall. His daughter, Wei Meirong. According to the clan’s tradition, every women in the clan were to either engage into marriage within the clan or to make bridges with other clans by marrying into them. But Wei Meirong would never accept to be married, she was too proud and to unwilling! She only wanted to become a warrior. Wei Song shook his head, it would had been so much easier if she had been born a boy.

After thinking things through clearly about the first issue, he cleared his throat and gained the attention of the crowd seated by the banquet table before roaring, “Don’t ever mention a single word about revolting again!”

He then spoke with a calmer voice, “I checked our treasury a few days ago, we don’t even have half of the amount hey want. Since we got no other choice, I will go together with second and third brother to the dark forest. In the meantime, don’t even dare to think about uttering the word revolt, or I will personally find those who did after I get back.”

Wei Song turned to the man closest to him, “Fourth brother, I will leave the clan in your hands until I’m back, take care of it.”

Wei Lang nodded, shifting his gaze to the others in the room, “If anyone dares to say what big brother said you to not, I will take that matter into my own hands!” He showed some murderous intent and only calmed down after Wei Song gave him a slight smile of appreciation.

Wei Song left shortly after and returned to his courtyard where he began to pack his stuff for the strip. He sighed, now he only had to deal with Wei Meirong. He hoped that nothing bad would befell her under the time he was away.

Wei Meirong woke up from the birds chirping and singing as they splashed water on each other in the fountain. The sun caused the water to glimmer and sparkle. She got up from the grass where she laid and stretched her body. To her surprise she seemed very nimble and it didn’t seem as she just woke up. She got to the fountain and watched her reflection.

A shriek sounded throughout the courtyard and Wei Meirong fell onto her bum her hands feeling her face. “What the f*ck is this?!” She exclaimed and couldn’t help herself from using foul language.

On her forehead there was a small white, blue dot. It was close to translucent but she could still see it in the reflection, and its appearance scared Wei Meirong deeply. What was this dot, staining her beautiful face?”

But after calming down, events from the other night began to flood into her mind. It was the bead, it was the damned bead!

She remembered that the bead in the space realm and split open and the mucus, mist or whatever inside had entered from her forehead. Maybe this was why the spot had come there. After all, the dot was of a similar color as the bead. She heaved a sigh of relief, maybe her beautiful face that was adorned by so many pretty things wasn’t destroyed as she though.

But barely seconds after she had calmed down, she shrieked again. This time, for a completely different reason. She finally remembered that she had gained the recognition of something in space. However, she frowned her face by the thought. After all, she didn’t know with what she contracted with.

But now she knew that she could finally become a warrior. If she was lucky, maybe she could even become one of those famed moon warriors. She believed that women suited best for the moon’s power. Damn, she trembled from excitement, she could finally begin her path to shed her skin to break free from the mortal shackles!