Chapter 1 – The Mystic Runes and the Mystic Stances
Green Moon Castle: Shrine of the South Star
Spring said its farewell with a session of refreshing rain as Green Moon City welcomed yet another summer.
The temperature was slightly too warm, making the students from all classes in the South Star sleepier than usual, with the exception of junior class three where everyone’s eyes were as wide open as possible; they were staring into the center of the classroom where a fifteen or sixteen year old girl dressed in white was making a speech.
“The path of combat is full of obstacles. To rid yourself of your student status, you will need to climb through the star ranks and once you reach ten stars you can then graduate to become a warrior. After the warrior rank, one has to achieve the ‘Three Steps of Prime’: forming prime, condensing prime, and god’s prime. It’s anything but simple to achieve any of these three primes. The most talented men who broke through and transcended their primal energy to go beyond god’s prime are the ‘Supremes’ whose duty it is to protect mankind. There have only been thirty-six Supremes throughout the history of mankind but that’s not the end of our study of mystic powers. Only when one understands the ways of magic from the universe and can create one’s own ‘legendary mystic stance’, does one truly earn the status of a Sage. However, I am sure we all know how only three people in the history of mankind has reached the level of Sage!”
“We can now master tens of thousands of mystic stances, mystic runes, and ‘bone artifacts’. I dare say we really are blessed by the gods… Enough of that, let’s talk about mystic runes!”
The white dressed teenager was standing on the podium gazing upon the engaged students with her crystal clear eyes as she was giving the lesson. Her voice, ethereal and elegant like a flowing spring, clear and melodious.
Her name was Lin Zi Yan1, student of the ‘class of the gifted’ in South Star Academy. She was only fifteen years old, but about to become a warrior, some called what she achieved at her age sinister.. Zi Yan learned her craft directly from from the vice principal of South Star and it was a privilege for junior class three to have her as a substitute teacher.
“Metaphorically speaking if the mystic stances are letters and words, then mystic runes would be strokes. It’s impossible to write without strokes so in order to learn mystic stances one must understand the runes.”
“The ‘Triple Tidal Palm’ is a low spirit level mystic stance consisting thirty-six basic runes, today I am here to teach you the first three of the thirty-six!”
Zi Yan paced back and forth appreciating the students gratefulness on their faces from the detailed lecture and demonstration. Her purple hair which was glowing had a braid by her ear and she had golden crystal bead decorations in her hair making it appear almost like a shimmering waterfall. She was wearing a classic white long dress that sculpted her upper body like a work of art, her arm, which was sticking out of her sleeves, was as pale as white jade and on her wrist was a plain silver bracelet. Her elegance was almost indescribable, simplistic but yet special, like a fairy lotus on a snow capped summit far away from any impurity of the world.
Understudy of the vice principal, ten star Student, and an aspiring Warrior.. stunning appearances and a mysterious background; all of theses characteristics of Zi Yan caused her to be the focus of admiration for the class..
Mystic runes are a very complex and cumbersome system but Zi Yan wrote them perfectly with ease. She turned around to keep eye contact with the students as she finished the runes, which allowed students to get a glimpse of her neck and collarbone.. Complemented by the shine of the silk dress, like moonlight, it would charm anyone who put their eyes on her.
The junior three class students were around twelve and thirteen years old; they looked as childish as ever, sitting there respectfully, staring at miss Zi Yan with adoration and admiration. “Miss Zi Yan is so beautiful!”, ”I have to become a warrior to fight by miss Zi Yan’s side against the demons!” Was how many of the boys’ thoughts read. To fight by her side was and would become some of the boys’ life goals and impossible dreams.
At the rearmost classroom sat a slightly skinny boy spaced out and not really noticed by the rest of the class. He had very proportional and defined chiseled facial features. Not that handsome, but there is a witty killer look in his eyes that made up for how generic he looked.
The boy, Ye Wei had very low self-awareness and self esteem, did not stand out in class or in family gatherings. The images of disappointed faces of his relatives when they learned Ye Wei’s Sentiant was red caused only a small facial spasm, this memory every now and then come to haunt him.
“Mystic runes.. I have no hope of becoming a warrior in this life, why should I even bother learning mystic runes? I have no mastery over my primal energy.. Also I don’t really think I can sketch a worthy rune..”
Ye Wei started thinking about the result he had gotten during the last entry test into South Star he took, and he squeezed out a self-deprecating smile from the corner of his mouth. His veins were bulging from holding his fist tight in a rush of frustration.
The sentient sorting system categorised the quality of new students, from red to violet and there were seven levels named after colours of the rainbow. Red being the lowest. The tutors at South Star didn’t really expect Ye Wei to be more than a ten star student, and being a warrior was definitely out of the picture.
“Bullied and teased at school and on top of that, nobody in my family is interested in me!” Ye Wei kept self-reflecting. ”I would love to be a genius like Miss Zi Yan or a Warrior like my cousin Ye Zhong, the pride of our family. I wish to be admired as well…. why is reality so cruel!!”
Ye Wei carried too much remorse from his underachievements, it built up so much that he even tried the dangerous ‘booming’ multiple times, but failed to improve his Sentient.
Several years of penance which ultimately got himself nowhere. This pain was not something ordinary people could endure. Although Ye Wei never gave up and was constantly trying, it was all for naught.
Ye Wei sighed, he could feel a dry taste of bitterness lingering. Instead staring at the old book made of heavy cardboard paper with loose bindings on his table, he drew tornadoes on his desk, unconsciously, without paying attention to the class anymore. The whole book looked dirty and covered with chalk marks.
On the cover of this ancient book was a towering mountain, and the mountain had some kind of carving on it. However, the damage on the book blurred the carving to an unreadable state, but still, the carvings radiated a faint feeling of righteousness.
This rugged ancient book was salvaged from a pile of trash in the Ye family basement. Legend had it that Ye was a very influential family name, and had a deep rooted mystic history with it being a supreme family but the glory was all but submerged under the dust of history and the rise and fall of dynasties…… The present day Ye family was only a second rate, washed up family in the western border town of Green Moon City of the Zhou Dynasty.
Ye Wei carried on procrastinating and started stroking the cover of the ancient book; the kind of roughness his fingertips felt was somehow foreign, both the texture and sensation.
What he wasn’t aware of was the fact that a wave of energy was currently entering his body. Starting from the point of contact, like a stone thrown into a body of water, the energy spread and caused ripples on his skin. It surged and headed straight to his brain.
He yawned, a spell of sleepiness hit him hard causing him to close his eyes and in the next instant he was lying on the book deeply asleep.
This was one of those very long dreams. Ye Wei visualized a grand towering mountain that was green with lush pines and cypresses. If you really looked close enough, you could see millions of figures and lines all over the mountain; they seemed to resemble runic carvings which were moving in a wavelike motion, almost making it seem like the mountain was alive.. All of a sudden the mountain shattered into pieces of flame spitting rocks and before Ye Wei could do anything, one of rocks flew towards him. The mysterious lines on the rock came alive and left the rock to attach themselves onto Ye’s head; they immediately started drilling and boring, evolving and transforming into information on different kinds of mystic runes, giving Ye a monumental headache.
The mountain on the rugged ancient book cover disappeared silently….
Soon after, the book itself turned into fine dust, returning to nature with the summer breeze.