Some tales are told as legends to reminiscence the brave, the young and fearless…
Other tales are told in honor of the great, the wise, and the victorious…and to warn off the future generations the devious, the traps, lies, and mistakes…
This is a tale, like many other tales, speaks of loyalty, patriotism, brotherhood, friendship, fate, destiny, love! Yet, in its every attempt, it seeks to venture further and beyond to the endless boundary of the human heart to explore another world beneath the facades...
For years, the Tang Dynasty remained prosperous and rich with fertile lands that stretched far and wide within its seemingly limitless boundaries. Under the reign of its brilliant rulers, the empire thrived to what seemed like the Golden Age of its time. Pride and patriotism stood proudly in the hearts of its brave warriors as they return home gloriously after each and every battle. Tang quickly gained dominion over all the surrounding countries. Its great power surpasses all of the neighboring countries in military, culture, and economy. And when people hear tales about the brave warriors that had defeated the menacingly large and vast armies from the east to the west, they were said to be from the Tang. When people inquire about the greatest poets of all time, such as the infamous Li Bai and Du Fu, they were said to be from the Tang. But until the last few years of the unrivalled dynasty, Tang was like a withering flower, slowly losing its power, and paling in comparison to its fellow countries.
Due to the mysterious death of the Tang Emperor, a new ruler must be chosen to ascend the throne, but none of the two most qualifying princes was willing to claim it – the ultimate position that bows below no one, but stands above all. Yet both were willing to offer their lives, hearts, and souls only to obtain a position in the shattered heart of a young maiden, a girl merely acquainted with love, but was brutally hurt by it. A princess, cursed and tied to her fate as protector and guardian of the very people who wishes nothing more than to annihilate her.
“I weep before the grave that rest my heart,
For the memories that sustained,
And the future that was lost,
For the remnants of a dream,
For the bittersweet fate,
But until the day my last hope fades
My tears will not be in vain.”
The morning dews rested silently on the bright green leaves like glimmering beads of white jewels, waiting for the lazy sun to rise from its deep slumber. A thin layer of mist gently embraced the forest as loneliness hung thick in the air. The melancholic melody of a distance flute weaved its way through the bamboo forest, increasing the sad atmosphere. The sound came from a small cottage at the foot of a mountain. In front of the cottage were beautiful cherry blossom trees, its fragrance filled the air with an unforgettable sweetness. Nearby, a little stream was tinkling down an unknown path, carrying fallen petals of the cherry blossoms along with its journey. One would mistaken they were lost in another realm had they been fortunate enough to view this heavenly scenery.
The sound of the flute subsided slowly, and finally ended with a lingering note. Inside the cottage, the flute player laid down his jade flute and sighed deeply. He was a man barely nearing thirty, yet his hair were of silver white, every strand was like a silver thread that would glistened under the poorest amount of light. Despite so, his strong features gave away his young age. He had eyes that could see through souls, and the depth of all emotions, with long dark lashes to contrast his silvery hair. His lips were thin and had a slightly pinkish hue against his pale skin. His nose was tall and straight, giving him the majestic air of a prince. He picked up a cup of tea and sipped in the content. The heat emitted from the cup warmed his cold hand, and he begun to feel the content surging through his body. He closed his eyes and listened to the stillness that surrounded him, allowing tranquility to calm his heart. When suddenly from afar, the sounds of hoof beats could be heard as it grew nearer by the second. Soon it stopped upon reaching the cottage, and the rider immediately demounted the horse to greet the prince.
“Yang Ming humbly greets Your Highness,” said the voice from outside the cottage.
“Yang Ming, why did you disobey my order? Have I not told you to not find me?” replied the prince solemnly.
“Yang Ming begs for your forgiveness but the kingdom is in danger. You must return to claim the throne. The kingdom cannot fall under the hands of the third prince. He will cause unrest amongst the citizens. Already he has imprisoned all of the loyal officials that opposed to his rise in power. He vowed to conquer all of China, and regain its reputation amongst the neighboring countries. To receive enough funding for the military he has threatened the Prime Minister to raise taxes to the most ridiculous price. Young boys as young as fifteen years of age are forced to join the military; if anyone dares to disobey they will immediately be executed in the name of the new emperor. Not only so, robberies are now as rampant as rats, and these robbers were rumored to be under the command of the third prince. Your Highness, you must save them, and stop this nonsense before tragedies continue to occur,” Yang Ming pleaded with all his might.
The prince sighed and responded, his voice tired with sadness, “That is no longer my affairs. I’m not befitting as king. I do not belong in chaos, in rivalries and vengeance. I am simply too tired. I belong in this peaceful place, where the hatred of mankind cannot reach. Furthermore, I do not want be another burden for Shuang Er. Do you not understand Yang Ming?”
Silence invaded momentarily as Yang Ming replied in a heartbroken tone, “No…my prince...I do not understand. How can you be so selfish? Savoring yourself in this bliss when your people are suffering and crying for your help? Shuang Er Gong Zhu would be immensely disappointed if she were to hear these words with her very ears. I really do not understand. You were not like this. The prince that I had served for ten long years cared dearly for his people. The simple mention of his name would make any one bow down to their feet. He was their savior, and now their only hope. How should I believe that he is so selfish?”
“But I am,” the prince said flatly, “Now go back.”
“I cannot go back until my purpose is fulfilled,” replied Yang Ming, his words as straightforward as those of the prince.
“Then you have come in vain,” said the prince sharply, he paused, hesitated, and responded, “there are some things you do not understand. When the time comes, they will be revealed to you. Now go back.”
The sound of a sword being withdrawn from its sheath could be heard, and Yang Ming uttered the only thing that came to his mind, “If I could wait, I would wait as long as Your Highness wishes, but time no longer permits me to do so for I cannot bear to hear the sorrowful pleads of the citizens. I beg you to return and help them. If my life could put more value to my words, I hope that Your Highness will listen to my plead.” With that, he knelt down and took one final bow.
From the inside, the door of the cottage flew open just as Yang Ming slashed his throat with the sword. His forlorn eyes remained affix on the prince, and even from a distance, one could see the bitter tears that welled in them. His body collapsed before the prince, and suddenly everything seemed deadly still.
The prince stared at the body before him. Just a moment ago, that body was a healthy man alive and talking. And just a moment ago, he was listening to that man’s heartbroken words telling him how selfish he was, but now all that’s left is a lifeless body, cold and incredibly still.
The earth felt unusually cold underneath his feet as the prince walked towards the dead body. He knelt down and placed a hand above Yang Ming’s shoulder. Blood was quickly spreading from underneath Yang Ming’s head, staining the prince’s white garb.
“Yang Ming…why did you do that?” said the prince, his words were like broken whispers, and barely audible.
A tear formed in the prince’s eye, and fell as he stood up. “Don’t worry, I won’t let you die so uselessly.” He raised his right hand, and with the force of his internal energy, slammed it onto his chest. Blood spurted from his mouth as his feet gave in. His body now light as a feather as he began to fall. The world of a million colors spun around him, and the many beautiful cherry blossoms passed as blurs in his eyes. As he landed, those eyes looked upward to the far blue sky as soft pink petals took turn drifting down, blurring his vision, and slowly buried him in a blanket of a thousand petals.
I’m actually a very old member here and have written a few stories of which I had deleted due to the lost of interest and inspiration. However, I will try my best to finish this story at all cost. I want to be able to complete writing something I started, and not just leave everything at the middle, unfinished. I hope you guys can help me in reaching that goal . A simple comment goes a long way =P. Just let me know you’re reading and I’ll be one happy girl. lolz
The inspiration for this story, ironically, sprouted while I was planning to write its sequel. Originally, I wanted to write the sequel first, then write this one as a short story but a few ideas popped up and I couldn’t help but pin it down first before I write the sequel. Although I’m not 100% sure if I will write a sequel. That just depends on how this story goes, and whether I have the time for it. I’m also trying to write another modern story as of the moment. Yep, there’s much to do, and I’m not sure if I could cram it all in with my homework.
As far as the story goes, the title was supposed to be ‘The Legend of Princess Shuang Er’, but I find the title too common despite that it perfectly suits the story. However, ‘Tale of a Lost Kingdom’ has its own meaning of which will be revealed later in the story. But as of now, do not take ‘lost’ in the literal sense, think of it metaphorically. Also, aside from the fact that the Tang dynasty was indeed prosperous until its downfall, the rest of this story is very much historically inaccurate.
And as a last note, thank you for your interest in my story. =) I hope that you will enjoy it.
The Cast: (more will be added as the story progresses)
Li Shuang Er – Ly Song Nhi
Tang Huai Shan – Duong Hoai Son
Tang Tai Lun - Duong Thai Luan
Tang Shao Yu – Duong Thieu Yu (Yu as in wandering)
Yang Ming – Dương Minh
Guo Xiao Liu – Quach Tieu Luu
Li Zheng De – Ly Chanh Duc
Lu Ming Chan - Luc Minh Thuyen
Jiang Zi Rong - Giang Tử Nhung
Lin Zi Yan - Lam Tử Yen
Xiao Lun Er – Tieu Luan Nhi
Xue Er – Tuyet Nhi