I met the demon on a summer's day -
Her name was Lily Anne was what she said.
She was standing there alone, waiting for the fall.
Only sorcerers of death remains,
Only shadowed ones as some would say
And the night that sings to me of Lily Anne the grey.
Back then the world was still in order, or so it seemed to her. Now all seems desolate.
Back then, mother and father were alive and looking after her. Now they are dead.
And maybe most importantly for her, back then, her brother was there and to her he was like a hero of old, protecting her of all evil (in the shape of the old lady whose plums she had stolen). Now... she has to take care of herself.
Outside, she hears the distant clashes of metal on metal and the high pitched shrieks of fellow apprentices and shakes her head in disapproval. Those silly girls think of nothing but fighting all day long. Even though it is their time off in the afternoon, they still run around brandishing training wheels and daggers. With a sigh, she grabs the writing brush and starts out on another pergament. It is both good practice for what she learns in matters of calligraphy and a way to stay clear of those hens outside.
“I am writing these lines to monitor myself. I am trying to live his dream now, for I know not what has become of him and it is a dream that doesn't deserve to die. What an irony it is though, that as I start this little diary, I do so as apprentice of Sacred Flower with a brand new name. The sisters said I should leave my old life behind me entirely and shedding my old name was part of the ritual.
What they do not know is that in choosing a new one, I have bound myself even stronger to who I am and to my brother's name. I have chosen to be called Arashi Shinji, Faithful Second of the Storm. As children, we called my brother Arashi, Stormy, because of his temper. As the little sister trying to follow in his footsteps, it seemed fit to me.
The last time I saw him, he had come to my bedside late one night, kissed my forehead and took his farewell. I know he needed to leave if he was to survive. Telling to the face of a Soul Lord of Heavenly Demon that one's greatest hero is Wu Tang's master Lingyun is not a wise idea, even more so if the Soul Lord is a customer in the tavern of neutral Hefei and the one saying it is a young man working as an aid in the tavern, with next to no kung fu skills. I do hope with all my heart he has made it to safety and maybe he is living out his dream, though no word has ever reached me.”
The girl leans back with a sigh and grabs her aching shoulder muscles. She is not yet used to writing, but her clumsy characters do show some improvement. Keeping the pergament sheets clean and inkblot-free at the same time is almost as tiring as maintaining the difficult meditation posture she has recently learned, or the daily drill at the kung fu grounds. Resolute, she dips the brush in ink again and adds one more paragraph before calling it a day.
“I know I must find my own place in the Land. I know also that to conquer one such, it is paramount to join a clan, yet I was reluctant to do so and postponed it as much as I could. However, things that must come to pass will come to pass, regardless of our will. Forces beyond our understanding guide our steps towards the paths we must walk. The reason for which I am writing this, is the strange events that have made me seek out the sanctuary of the Sacred Flower.”