Introduction: Sao Wei Keshelong returned from battle against the Akanto. He laid down his darklight and took a shower. When he put on royal robes he looked outside. The battlefield was ravaged and bloody from the long day of battle. He then turned and dropped into his bed. He got up and picked up a pencil. It was time he wrote to his last living friends, Lou Ke Ma, Yue, and Gong Yuenyi. This was his letter:
I hope you are well. My brother is dead and now I am the emperor. Do you have any suggestions? Also, when are you coming to Ankarang? I have collected some moonstones for you, Yue, if you are reading this letter. Grandmaster’s will has been found. He has also left you some moonstones and gold. Hiran Temple will soon be rebuilt and monks will live in it again. Again, how are you?
With good wishing,
Sao Wei Keshelong
This was the reply:
Our temple brother Lou Ke Ma is dead, I am sorry to say. The rest of us are well but Yue is sick. We will perhaps reach Ankarang in ten days. Do not write back, we are being followed by Akanto ninjas.
10 DAYS LATER, Sao Wei Keshelong was talking with one of his advisors when Gong Yuenyi entered the throne room.
“Welcome. How is Yue? The last time you wrote you said she was sick.”
“All well except for coughing and an occasional sneeze.”
“So, how was your journey?”
“Fine, how are you doing against the Akanto?”
“Well. We have driven them out of Yongxi province and are now trying to force them out of Askima while reinforcing the border defenses so they will not invade again.”
“I believe you’ve heard of the new favoritism the citizens are giving you?”
“I understand as little as you do why.”
“They seem to believe that you are going to be the fabled Great High Emperor of Chen.”
“Perhaps I am.”
“Then I must ask you one thing. The Great High Emperor of Chen has a son, and you don’t even have a wife, not to mention a son.”
“You don’t remember the prophecy? It goes:
There will be a man, a monk, who will run away from his heritage and will only be hailed in his later years. It is he who shall drive all enemies of Askima out of the land and his country, whichever it is, shall rise greater than all the rest, and will restore peace to Askima. He shall be called Sao, and royal, but not from the royal house. And he will have a son, who shall wield the greatest weapon of all time, a gift I bestow upon him. But anyone else who touches this gift shall be tortured to death. The son will rise to rule the world, even when Askima has disappeared to where it came from, and in it’s place of time. He will be born on the 31 of September, the monk, and the son will be born on the 18 of July. The magic the son wields is so powerful, it will crush even the darkest of the Dark Lords ever known on Askima. The…son’s...name...shall…be...Zhao.
See? You don’t have a son.”
“That is not exactly true.”
“I have a son, an adopted orphan, and his last name is Zhao, Jonathan Zhao.”
“Interesting, very interesting.”
Gong Yuenyi walked away with a thought in his head. Was his friend destined to be the person the prophecy oulined? The one that would defeat the Akanto? And his son, would he turn out to become the one to destroy the Dark Lord, whoever he is? Was the prophecy turning out to be true? And who would this Dark Lord be? Was he already alive, studying the Dark Arts? If so, how long would it be until he showed his true colors? Would he be murdered?
For many years Gong Yuenyi pondered these things until he saw a messenger from the capital running toward him. This was the letter:
Elder Gong Yuenyi,
Please return to the palace. The prophecy has unraveled. My father is dead, the Akanto are gone, and the Dark Lord, Sarklamen Aki has arisen from the depths of the Underworld.
Hoping you will understand,
Jonathan Zhao, Son of the Great High Emperor of Chen
Gong Yuenyi’s eyes filled with tears as he reread the message. He then mounted his horse and with Yue riding after him, he set off for Ankarang.