Blood covered his entire body, most were not his own, as he laid back on his throne. He knew what happened but could not stop wondering, “Who am I, why am I here?”
A golden hue encased him, as he thought of the day’s battle, it laid waste to yet another huge portion of the enemy’s army. Many of his own were lost, but it was a price they were willing to pay.
Most called him ‘Lord’, while others who seemed like family called him by name. It did not feel right, it was not him.
Energies began to intertwined from the golden hue into his flesh, as the wounds healed and regenerated. This energy, it seemed strange, yet familiar to him.
He was frustrate in the meantime, as whenever it seemed like he finally recalled something, it slipped away just as he was able to grasp it.
“How is Xia Er?” Daquan asked Maling, his concern reflected in Wanmei’s eyes.
“He should be alright, he sustained a wound during his last match,” Maling answered, while facing the couple.
Xiaoxia’s parents and Maling have been receiving updates and recordings on his progression in the Freshmen competition, his parents felt faint each time they viewed the battles and the close calls in many of them.
Today it was a different matter, no matter how busy his parents and Maling were, they needed to make this trip to MeisterSchloss and then on to the Academy of the Six Elements.
It is bright and early on the Hu Yuan 1st colony, and Maling had arrived just moments earlier to inform them of the need to travel at once. Xiaoxia has been injured and is now in a medical facility, but it was not the main reason why they needed to leave immediately.
Details were not forthcoming and Amelia had sent instructions for them to be there urgently.
“I am sorry, there is nothing more I can say, her Royal Grace Amelia did not give much details. But rest assured he should be fine,” Maling guaranteed them.
He then turned around to instruct his staff, who were to help with the day to day running of Black Iron Anvil Town during Daquan and Wanmei’s absence. Then he turned and passed a sealed document to one of the lieutenants.
It was orders to his second-in-charge to follow up on many matters pertaining to Scarlet Condor Province, it was not a good time to leave at this moment. However the summons from Amelia made it very clear that it was not something trivial.
Amelia was still brooding over the earlier event hours ago, what Buhui done with Huiling and others were extreme and inhumane. This angered her more than his treasonous acts which was included in the report Shi Lang passed to her.
After her outburst, she immediately made contact with the Imperial palace and obtained what she needed. She then planned to request Maling to aide her in settling this problem, while in the meantime, she wanted Xiaoxia’s parents to visit him after he sustained the injury.
The planned was somewhat changed and delayed, when Jay appeared and told her Gu Di’s plan. She only just managed to contact Maling before being brought here.
Amelia was not the only one whose plans were derailed because of this. Instructor Wei and Menon had their hands full with the origins of the bracelet. They were almost making some headway, when Jay appeared after his visit to Amelia, and gave them the news.
“I need you all to understand, that matters are not as simple as they seem,” Gu Di was telling them.
Amelia, Menon, Instructor Wei and Jay were standing near each other, while sitting unobtrusively in one corner was Yulia. Menon and Amelia insisted that she needs to be included.
They were all brought to an unknown cavern by Gu Di, whose actual name and purpose was still not made known to them. The curiosity of how they arrived there quickly ended, when he reiterated his intentions to take Xiaoxia away.
“You still have not told us who you are, besides my brother calling you senior,” Instructor Wei retorted.
“That won’t be necessary, you can call him Gee” Jay said while he turned to looked at them, “You all have my word that he can be trusted, and what he is asking for is justified.”
“No, I do not see why we must! How can we trust someone who doesn’t even want us to know who he is?” Yulia interjected.
“I think that’s beside the point, the child’s parents are not even here, we cannot decide for them,” Menon reminded them.
“The child’s parents must not know, or it will only put them in harm’s way,” Gu Di warned.
“They are his parents, and they have every right to know,” Amelia spoke up this time, she was already agitated by the earlier events involving Buhui.
“It is exactly because they are his parents, that they should never know,” Jay retorted, his voice raised in defense for Gu Di’s remark.
“Even if his parents are here and they agreed, I as his Mentor will not. You are also forgetting that he still needs to be educated!” Instructor Wei voiced out loudly.
“Yan Mei! Why are you siding the…” Jay was trying to say when Yulia interrupted him,
“I do not see how we should trust you, if you cannot trust us. There is no point in believing someone, who takes his own actions without prior notice to those concerned. ”
Yulia’s stance was brought about by what happened at the medical facility when Gu Di place his Ki aura over Xiaoxia’s heart. She demanded an explanation, and never received a reply.
“I apologized for that, time is of the essence, and the more time we waste, the more the others will solidify their decisions and it will be all for naught,” Gu Di sincerely told to Yulia, and included more information for everyone’s benefit.
“Since only by knowing who and what I represent will you listen, I will like to give a fair warning that there are consequences. Therefore before I divulge any further details, are you prepared for this?” Gu Di cautioned them and asked.
The rest knew exactly what he meant, they were no strangers to the intrigue and espionage this world contained. Without looking at the others, each nodded in agreement.
“Good, then I trust that you know to keep this even till your death,” Gu Di emphasized its importance.
After looking at each and every one of them in the eyes, Gu Di then turned with his back facing them, and sighed before saying, “We are Wuming, or better known as “The Lost Alliance.”
The reality hit them all at once, and they could only widen their eyes in surprise.
(Author’s note: “The Lost alliance” reference to Chapter 28)
Daquan, Wanmei and Maling appeared at the spatial hub a few hours passed midnight in MeisterSchloss. They were neither tired nor sleepy, as it is still morning on the 1st colony. It had taken them over 4 hours, from the time Maling informed them till they arrived.
While the actual trip via the portal was instant, Daquan and Wanmei needed to prepare their belongings as well as things for Xiaoxia.
They made conversation, while waiting in an antechamber. Compared to Maling who looked a little green around the edges, both Xiaoxia’s parents were like little kids in a toy factory.
Having visited Xiaoxia before, it was not their first trip to the continent city, but they still remain amazed by the size and scope of it.
“Welcome to my humble abode,” a familiar voice called to them, after they waited for about an hour.
“Lord Menon!” Daquan greeted him with a wide smile, while Wanmei and Maling did likewise.
“I pray you are all comfortable and did not wait too long,” Menon spoke, as three ladies entered the room behind him.
“Yes we are, and it was not a long wait” Maling replied.
Thereafter, Daquan, Wanmei and Maling greeted the new arrivals and eventually broke up into smaller groups as they mingled.
“So you are Xia Er’s Mentor, we have never met, but it is wonderful to finally meet you,” Wanmei was speaking to Instructor Wei.
“It’s nice to meet you too Madam,” Instructor Wei smiled, there is something about mothers that made her warm up to them.
They began speaking more on Xiaoxia, as the night wore on.
About an hour later, Amelia announced, “Gentlemen, If you will excuse us, the ladies and I will be discussing things amongst ourselves in private.”
After she spoke, the ladies excused themselves and entered the adjoining room, while the men headed out into the hallway towards the opposite room.
“Maling, wait a while, I need to discuss something with you first,” Amelia called out to Maling, before he left with Menon.
“Your Royal Grace, as to what do I owe this pleasure?” Maling smirked towards her as he replied and approached. The antechamber was now empty and they were alone.
“No time for games, there are two things I want arranged immediately. Menon will give you more details on one of it. In the meantime for the other matter, the details are inside here,” Amelia’s look was serious enough for Maling to immediately change his demeanor.
“The Imperial Sigil!” Maling exclaimed in utter surprise, as Amelia passed him a prism.
The Imperial Sigil, is the mark of authority used only by the Emperor himself, no other form of seal and authority supersedes this. It is rarely seen and used only when the Emperor himself presides and mandates on an issue. It is vastly superior to the Imperial Seal, which is used for court appointments or foreign diplomacy.
(Author’s note: Court appointment, meaning promotion of royalties or others. It does not mean arranging for a meeting or scheduling an appointment.)
“Yes it is this important,” Amelia replied, there was a hint of secrecy in her voice.
“This is the only time, I have ever asked my great-grandfather to preside on an issue with such urgency,” she continued and informed Maling.
“I understand,” Maling nodded, as he took the prism.
“I shall then take my leave and join the ladies. There is no one I trust more than you to handle this, I have already done as much as I can,” Amelia impressed upon him how much this meant to her.
When she left, Maling activated the prism and browsed through the details. It contained a few recordings as well as a plethora pictures, one in particular seemed vaguely familiar, however he was too distracted by the scope of it all to pay it much heed.
Unfortunately, the person in the picture, was someone Xiaoxia had been trying to look for all these years, it was Xiuxiu.
“Good Morning!” a voice called out.
“Mmmmm” Xiaoxia responded sleepily.
He was shifting around on this bed, somehow it felt different, but he could care less. In his dreams, he was somewhere unlike anything he have seen. It started strangely, with the devastation of war, but gradually changed as the dream progressed.
He flew across unknown landscapes that bore a sense of familiarity. How it seemed familiar to him was beyond his understanding, as there were many differences in this world compared to his, like how this world only had a single sun and moon, or how it seemed to be revolving around it’s sun.
(Author’s note: Read chapter 2 for the details his actual world)
There was also no distinct timeline in the dream, he could sometimes be in someplace with a lush landscapes full of life, and yet at another moment he will appear somewhere totally devoid of life.
He saw many faces, and even his parents, or people who looked like them. They were somehow different and not the parents he know.
“Thud!” in his restlessness, he fell out of bed.
“Huh?!” Xiaoxia was a little confused, it was not the nice carpeted flooring of his dorm. Right under him now, was cold hard-packed earth.
Sitting up sleepily, he rubbed his eyes to rid them of the bleariness, “Fred, what time is it?”
“Fred? Who is that? Hmm, If I am not wrong it’s around the 13th hour,” someone replied.
Now even more confused, Xiaoxia turned his head towards the voice, the sleepiness gone from his eyes.
Sitting on a wooden chair, was a man who he did not know. The man was looking straight at him with a look of amusement.
“Who a…” Xiaoxia was about to ask when the stranger interrupted.
“Who am I? I will let you know once Jay returns from the town,” he replied, seeming to read Xiaoxia’s mind.
A short while later, Jay returned carrying some things, as he set them on the table.
“Shizhi! Good morning!” Jay smiled from ear to ear when he saw Xiaoxia.
He was not wearing his cloak and Xiaoxia have forgotten how much taller and bigger he was without it.
“Jay! Where am I? And who is this?” Xiaoxia asked, looking around curiously.
“Please allow me to do that,” the stranger said and approached him.
He moved his hands towards Xiaoxia, who instinctively flinched and took a step back.
“Do not worry, I won’t hurt you,” the stranger said.
Xiaoxia looked towards Jay who gave a thumbs up. Trusting Jay’s judgment, he did not flinch or retreat this time as the stranger place his hand.
What happened next was beyond Xiaoxia’s capabilities to understand, it was as if a connection was made between the stranger and him. He instantly knew who the stranger was, as well as his past. Without a single word uttered, they communicated.
A certain part of history that this stranger known as Gu Di knew, was imparted to him. It showed many details of the group he is in and what they represented. Even more intriguing was the recent events which happened.
He saw how he was asleep for three days and what had transpired between his parents and the others. It was as if he was looking at them, when they reluctantly agreed to place him under Gu Di’s care.
The reasons for these were made clear to him, it was not something mere words could describe. He felt the emotions passed on to him, as he understood the need for him to leave the Academy.
Upon reaching the end this as Gu Di originally intended, something gave way and a flood of other memories and information poured into his mind. It is right at this point that Gu Di grimaced slightly as he immediately removed his hand.
“Zhen Xia, you really surprised me,” Gu Di grinned, as he looked at Xiaoxia. He did not expect information to be drained out of him forcibly.
“Do you know who I am?” Gu Di asked to confirmed if what he did had worked.
“Yes, you are the 48th Ancestor of Wuming, Gu Di Wang, currently in your 23rd millennium,” Xiaoxia replied, having gained new memories and knowledge from the connection.
(Author’s note: Wang means King)
“Why did I bring you here?” he asked Xiaoxia.
“To train me in the real ways, to gain experience and see the world,” Xiaoxia replied, there were other reasons made known to him as well, but these were the ones that stuck out the most.