“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.
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.
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.
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!