Prologue

The eternal moment they had shared, he realized, had ended in the blink of an eye. The passionate love that once bonded them together now tasted only of betrayal. A thousand sails unfurled and became exhausted to the wind; the waning moon was as if a hook in the sky; in this life, I, still, am protecting you.

As they patrolled the Northern territories, a thousand miles away the South became usurped. Together the soldiers marched along the beautiful Southern rivers, alike in their struggles of life and death, knowing that their lives would be met with both disaster and joy. At that time, those two brothers, born of the same mother, should have never loved the same person. When their camaraderie, hidden under their bloody paths, turned into conspiracies; when yesterday’s affection turned into mutual antagonism; when the blooming water lily on a snowy mountain turned into a bewitching red poppy; when, layer by layer, he pushed away the heavy mists of history…

At that time he could see the fates that would befall all others, though his own was unclear. Although he could redeem all the world, his own destiny was irreversible.

The country was as if a painting, the chaotic world an eternal song. He silently walked past his birth nation, the secular world, the dynastic clans, love, his family, the past, rebirth. By the time he decided to finally look back, he found the world in chaos, glory and atrocity mixed together.

In his one thousand, six-hundred and forty years of memory, as he treaded past a thousand years of time, a constant promise echoed in his ears:

“I will wait at at the banks of the Fei River for your return.”


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