1 Peace Town

Ping'an stood in front of Siyuan with tears in her eyes. Soldiers were screaming in pains, people were crossing the lake on boats, some hunters rode on their swords, and some spirits flew across the lake.

Everyone kept shouting, "Fall back across the lake!"

Ping'an, "Siyuan, do you remembered that promised we made?"

Siyuan, "Yes. I do."

Ping'an's voice was shaken, "Will you ride with me for one last time?"

Siyuan smiled and looked down at Ping'an, "It will be my honor." Siyuan reached out his left hand and pulled Ping'an onto his back. He turned to his fellow soldiers. "If any of you don't want to return back to battle, I will not force it upon you."

The ten remained soldiers banged their spears against their shields hard. They shouted with encouragement.

Siyuan shouted, "Let's go save King Shammek!" He raised his spear high.

The ten centaur soldiers chanted, "Save King Shammek! Save King Shammek! Save King Shammek!"

Siyuan turned his head to Ping'an, "Hold on tight."

Ping'an, Siyuan, and the ten centaur soldiers charged back into the battle field. Chased from behind was Fang Yaoting and Lim Peizhi.

Fang Yaoting called out, "Ping'an!"

Ping'an turned left and it was Fang Yaoting. Then she turned to the right and Lim Peizhi smiling at her.

Lim Peizhi smiled, "Let's go save our friends."

Ping'an smiled at her friends, "Siyuan, head straight to the Northern Fortress Magic Circle."

Siyuan commanded, "Arrow head formation!"

The centaur soldiers falls behind one by one on both sides behind Siyuan. Siyuan led them into incoming demonic creatures.

Sixteen years earlier:

Ping'an and Xiong Grandma walked side by side to Sunset Street. At this hours in the morning, the street was crowded with people. Compared with the surrounding neighboring towns, Peace Town is considered a big town. When the sun begins to rise, everyone runs their own business as usual. The streets are full of people preparing vendors. Every morning, Sunset Street is always full of people. On this street, there is a very famous Inn called Sunrise Inn. The Inn is very popular for the beauty who lived there than the food. Sunrise Inn is always full. If someone comes during noon, there will not be any seat available. Sometimes, seat must be reserved in advance.

Xiong Grandma, "Is the line long today?" As she held onto Ping'an's left arm.

Ping'an, "Yes, as usual."

Xiong Grandma, "We should take the back door then."

The two slowly disappeared at the back door. The back of Sunrise Inn is not too big. Inside there is a small open area with a wooden table and two chairs. There are two rooms, a well, and a small washing area. A brick wall separates the back door area from the kitchen. Before entering the kitchen to the right is the open field of clothes lines and two water wells. Next to it is a large open kitchen. Through the kitchen, another brick wall separates the kitchen from the main dining hall. The main dining hall has twenty five tables. On the left is the main entrance of the Inn. The second floor to the Inn is where guest rooms are located. On the other side of the guest building is the main building where the owner and the workers live.

Ping'an helped Xiong Grandma onto a wooden chair. She peeled an orange and put it on Xiong Grandma's hands. She lowered the wooden bucket down into the water well. She pulled the wooden bucket full of water, and then poured the water in a small wood tub. She began to wash the bedsheets by hands.

Xiong Grandma, "Thank you dear. Ping'an, what are you doing this morning?"

Ping'an, "Washing bedsheets. Grandma, just sit there and enjoy the sun and the orange." Ping'an gave Xiong Grandma a smiled not that she can see it. "Yesterday, when I helped Aunty Mu carried baskets of orange from her home to her vendor stall, she gave me ten oranges. I already ate one. It's very sweet."

Xiong Grandma was blind in both eyes. Her eye was not completely blind. She can still see shadow like if one stood in front of her. If one don't speak, she will not recognize them. Ping'an was very fond of her grandma. She was raised by her grandma. Her grandma named her. Ever since she could remember, it was always just her grandma and her. Her father remarried after her mother's death. Xiong Grandma never told her anything about her mother. Her father on the other hand wanted to made it clear to her that he detested her. Ever since she was a child she was raised like a servant of the house, not like the lady of the house. Her father called her the child of a devil because of the two birth scars on both of her palms. Her father blamed her for her mother's death. Rumors has it that her father even tried drowning her when she was just a day old, but she was saved by her grandma. Worst than that, on the fifteenth day of each month, her hands will burns in pain and she can't work. To ease her pains, her grandma suggested she recited the Buda Manual teaching, eat only vegetable on that day, and help clean the local temple.

A loud voice came from behind startle Ping'an. Ping'an turned around and it was Boss Xiong. Boss Xiong is Ping'an's father. He is in his late forty. Boss Xiong has some grey hairs. His skin is a bit dark. He is a chubby man with a prominent belly.

Boss Xiong shouted, "Where are you all morning? Do you know that we are very busy this morning? Do you see all the people waiting in line?" He stood right behind Ping'an's back and hits her head twice with his right knuckle.

Xiong Grandma, "Ah Fong... I ask her to take me to the temple this morning."

Boss Xiong complained, "Ma... you know that we are busy today. Why can't you wait?" Boss Xiong stared straight at Ping'an. "Today is the tenth days of the month, in five days she can take you."

Xiong Grandma, "Ah Fong. I had a bad dream last night. That's why I decided to go this morning."

Came from behind Madam Xiong dropped down some more bedsheets. Next to her was the famous Lady Xiong, Ping'an's half sister.

Old Lu ran out from the kitchen. He was breathing heavily. Everyone in the Inn called him Old Lu instead of Mr. Lu. He was the famous chef of the Inn.

Old Lu, "We are low on firewood madam." Old Lu had a hard time speaking. "I need firewood soon."

Madam Xiong, "Ping'an, stop washing those. I will have someone else wash it. You go chop some firewood, make sure that it's dry one. I do not want wet firewood like last time." She gave Ping'an an evil looks.

Ping'an, "Right now?" She looked up at Madam Xiong.

Madam Xiong, "Yes right now!" She stared right at Ping'an. "Or you want to wait until sunset."

Ping'an, "I just chopped some last night?"

Boss Xiong shouted at Ping'an, "Are you deaf? Do you hear Old Lu? The firewood will run out soon." His face was so fierce. He grabbed Ping'an right ear and pulled her up. "Get up and go... Stop being so useless around here." He pushed her toward the wheelbarrow.

Ping'an stood up quickly due to the pain in her right ear and grabbed the wheelbarrow and disappeared toward the backdoor.

Xiong Grandma, "Ah Fong... Don't be too hard on her. No matter what, she is still a girl and your child. Why do you treat her like this?"

Boss Xiong said madly, "You know why? I do not need to say it anymore. She shouldn't be born in the first place." He walked away from Xiong Grandma. Boss Xiong shouted at the other workers. Madam Xiong and Lady Xiong followed him back into the main Inn.

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