1 The Beginning of the Fate. Part one.

“Longwei! Longwei! Are you here? Answer me! I know you are here! Wake up!”

The loud, unpleasant voice which could break any stone into two halves sounded throughout the dark cage.

The loud voice was the only thing which could be heard with the whistling of the wind.

The winter wind which was the constant guest of this place.

Bringing nothing but coldness and screams, this wind had a name which was given by local people. They called it “The Storyteller”.

And indeed, this wind was always bringing with itself the screams of those who were in the battlefield. Of those who were dying.

Maybe that is why people called this “The Storyteller”.

Shivering out of cold, half - awake but half dreaming, covered in snow and thin layer of ice, almost deluded, he was lying on a thin piece of fur.

The fading fire was burning next to his face. It was so cold that there was no use of this fire.

The quick and loud steps, like a giant was walking over the ground, echoed throughout the cave.

And then the big hand covered in fur sleeve reached out and pulled off the blanket from his head.

“Longwei get up! I know you are not sleeping. Get up. The head of the First clan is awaiting you. Get up now!”

But there was no answer.

Lying motionlessly, only the slight shivering was the sign that this someone was alive.

“Get up or you’ll have problems and don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you.”

Saying this he put his hand on the lying man’s back and pressed it with all his might. Hearing a cracking of the bones he said, “It is painful but you are still stubborn. Alright then, I’ll be stubborn too.”

The massive hand pressed the lying man stronger but he made no sound.

“Will you get up or not? Well, it seems that I must use some brutal force.”

The man who was lying face down finally uttered a word. His voice was weak and hoarse.

“Master leave me alone. I don’t feel good.”

“Stop pretending. I know your cunningness. So, stop it.”

“Master have a mercy. I am weak. My head is burning.”

“Don’t say nonsense. I know you are fine. Someone like you never gets ill. Get up now.”

“What if I won’t? What will you do then?”

Saying this he covered his head with his hands and was trying hard to hold his laughter.

“You’re teasing me. You!”

“No! Don’t touch me! No! Ye - Ying!”

Breaking into laughter the man who was pretending ill suddenly jumped up from his so - called bed and ran towards the entrance. The fire finally went out, making the cold cave even darker than it was.

But outside the cave, it was freezing.

Standing barefoot, only in his nightwear, a young man with a frightened face said, “Why are you always like this? How many times I should tell you that I don’t want to go there? Why can’t you understand that I am even incapable of holding the sword properly?”

Indeed, these two hands which were blue out of cold were delicate and almost fragile.

“And this, do you see? This wound is due to the fact that I couldn’t defend myself.”

Pointing at the wound on his right cheek, the young man whose face was very extraordinary among the others, frowned.

And why was he extraordinary? Well, for example, his eyes were big enough to call him an owl and bright enough to call him the sun, his black eyebrows which made a perfect two lines, were expressive enough to call him crybaby, and the red lips on his pale skin gave him the appearance of a very beautiful creature.

But the only thing which made his look a bit brutal was his straight nose with a tiny scar on it. But it was so invisible that only the owner of this nose could notice it.

The man with a loud voice approached him. His face was covered with black scarf.

But even his face was hidden, his black eyes were scary enough to make everyone shudder.

Standing face to face, the giant man said, “Don’t call me Ye - Ying.”

“How else should I call you? It is your name so I call you like this.”

“Just do not call me like this!” Ye - Ying shouted and the ice which was on the tree branch fell down.

Standing among the tall trees and thick layers of snow, Longwei looked up at the sky. His eyelashes were covered with frost. Looking up he pointed to the pale sky.

“Look. Today the sunrays can be seen through these heavy clouds. This day can be lucky then.”

Ye - Ying raised his head up, the scarf fell down to his neck, revealing his rude, almost scary face with a deep scar. Breathing loudly as if it was hard for him to inhale, he said, “Lucky or not, but we should go. He is waiting for you.”

“What does he need from me? Why can’t he just leave me alone?”

Taking him by the elbow Ye - Ying said, “We should go now.”

Noticing that his expression was getting angrier, Longwei nodded his head, because he understood that there was no use to act stubbornly in front of this giant, scary man.

Ye - Ying, the warrior and the right hand of the Head of the First clan was the best among others. And Longwei knew that disobedience next to this man was just a wasting of time.

Walking behind of him, Longwei said, “I forgot to take my coat.”

“Leave it.”

“Ye - Ying there is no use to talking to you. Why are you always like this?”

Without answering Ye - Ying cast an angry glance at him.

“Alright. Let’s keep going.”

Because of the deep snowdrifts it was hard to walk. Especially for Longwei who was barefoot. But in spite of the cold his feet got used to walk like this. The cold was in everyone’s blood in this world.

In the world where the Sun was very rare occurrence, where only the constant blizzard was living. The blizzard which was turning everything into an ice on its way.

So, the inhabitants of this world always were busy by making their blood run, thus prevent them from refrigeration.

“If you want to live here, you must move.” This was the motto of the Frosty Mountain Peaks, the place which was the only house for thousands of people.

Here, on tops of the mountains, men lived with hope that one day the Sun will shine and the war will finally have an end. This was the only dream which was walking among these trees because no one even dared to dream about anything else. In such wilderness people lived, survived, dreamed and fought.

For many centuries, this world had millions of men. They were just like other men but the several things differed them from others and this was the ability to turn the cold into the warmth, to turn the life into the battle and dream about impossible future.

Shivering, Longwei, a 24 years old man who was supposed to be the next warrior who will be fight in the Battlefield, differed from everyone not by the way he looks but also by his thoughts and too dreamy nature.

Being born here, on Frosty Mountain Peaks, raised by his father who had died long ago, Longwei was the only dreamer who had enough courage to disobey and follow his own path.

In the cold cave which was hidden between mountains, he was leading the life of the lonely wolf.

He was lonely, but his loneliness was chosen by himself. The Nature was the only one who accompanied him in his life.

The tall trees covered in snow, the mountain, and the pale sky. This was his world. And even the lack of beautiful scenery and warm weather, did not stop him from admiring the nature around him.

Ye - Ying who was walking in front, closing him with his massive body, turned back. His cold, emotionless eyes looked at Longwei with disgust.

“You should comb your hair. You look like a mountain beast.”

“What? The mountain beast? Really?” he asked and began to comb his shoulder length hair with his long fingers.

Without saying anything Ye - Ying walked ahead.

“Wait! Master!”

When they left the forest behind and now was walking by the frozen waterfall Longwei said, “One day this waterfall will be singing. One day the water in here will be warm and at night it will be cool but still pleasant to the skin.”

“You really think so?”

“Well yes. The Sun will shine above and everything will be green. Just wait and see.”

“Stop talking and let’s go.”

Approaching the giant man Longwei looked at his face. “Master can you tell me why the Head of the First clan wants to see me again?”

“I don’t know.”

“You must know. You are his right hand. Come on, tell me.”

“No.”

Longwei frowned and said, “You have become like this mountain. Cold.”

“We are all have become like this mountain.”

Without saying anything further, Longwei was silent until they have reached the house with only a door in front wall.

When they were approaching it, Longwei noticed a few soldiers who were standing outside. Seeing him, they made curious faces but remained silent.

With fur coats, their faces were hidden behind the thick scarf, their eyes were almost red out of frost.

Moving from side to side, they were keeping their bodies warm but one could notice that they were suffering from this unbelievable cold.

Walking past them, Longwei noticed one of the soldiers’ gaze on himself. He wanted to say something but Ye - Ying took his hand and led him towards the door.

The house, inside, was a bit warmer but the blizzard was even here.

Ye - Ying shook off the snow from his coat.

“He is awaiting you,” he repeated again.

Longwei’s eyes were wandering, because this was only the third time when he was in this house.

Looking around he said, “Everything is the same. Last time when I was here, these candelabras were in the same place. It is like no one lives here. And this stair, look, it still has the strange spot in the form of the bird. And this smell of the hot tea. The smell of frozen tree branches!”

Ye - Ying without talking, with his tensed expression looked down at him.

When the stairs finally were left behind, Longwei’s attention was caught by the black little wolf pup.

Lying in front of the door, a little pup seeing two strangers, quickly stood up and went up to Longwei.

Longwei, with his eternal kindness towards animals, with a happy smile on his face picked up the pup.

Looking at the little wolf and stroking his black fur, he said, “What a surprise! What are you doing here all alone? Are you lost or you live here?”

Happily playing with the wolf pup Longwei did not even notice that the door was open and Ye - Ying was already standing next to the two tall men.

“I am happy to see you Longwei.” The voice was heard from afar.

Noticing their gazes on himself, Longwei let the wolf pup go.

The spacious hall with one long table in the middle and many swords hanging on the walls had a scent of the herbal tea.

Several candles were burning on the table.

Feeling a slight warmth on his skin Longwei stepped inside. The door behind of him closed with a noise.

Quickly stepping towards the candle, he extended his hands and sighed with relief.

Without paying attention to soldiers who were guarding the one who was standing in front of the long table, he continued to behave like there was no one.

And only then when the head the First clan, an elderly man with long white beard and long white hair said his name, Longwei looked at him.

Xing - Fu, the head of the First clan was one of the best warriors among other two clans. In his great past, he was well known for his marital abilities and his wisdom. There was no one stronger than him.

And even now, in his age, he was still the greatest. His always serious face was making an impression of an angry and dangerous man, but in fact, he had a kind heart.

Knowing Longwei since his childhood, Xing - Fu was the best friend of his father. In the past, they were fighting in the Battlefield together, and there wasn’t stronger friendship in the whole world like the one they had.

Xing - Fu was always with them. But when Longwei’s father died, things have changed. He lost all the connection with Longwei.

And he too, never talked to him anymore.

Now seeing his father’s best friend made his heart ache, but without showing it he smiled and bowed his head in sign of respect.

Xing - Fu lighted up a few more candles and now his face could be seen.

This was the face of the one who had seen cruelty in his life. The face which was distorted by cruel fate of the warrior. The deep scar just above his brow was still fresh, the dark eyes were shining but they weren’t showing any liveliness. And this cold, frozen weak smile in the corner of his mouth which can not be changed even under the pressure. This was the best warrior, Xing - Fu, the man whose name was known in every corner of this world.

“Longwei, I haven’t seen you for ages. Where have you been? Where did you find him?”

Ye - Ying answered, “I found him between two mountains, in the forest. He was hiding in the cave.”

Longwei protested, “I wasn’t hiding. I live there. It is my house.”

Xing - Fu slowly approached him, his long black coat was noiselessly following him behind.

He extended his hand, the cold palm without two fingers slightly touched Longwei’s face. As if frightened by this touch Xing - Fu walked away.

“You look like your father. When he was the same age like you, he looked the same way you do. Especially your eyes. The eyes of the dreamer.”

Longwei said nothing.

Xing - Fu turned towards him, his quiet voice was very pleasant to the ears after Ye - Ying’s hoarse voice.

“I guess you are cold. Where are your shoes and coat? Ye - Ying, you woke him up and did not give him time to wear his clothes?”

“He didn’t want to go. He was refusing to go. If I gave him time to wear his clothes, I think he would run away again.”

“You are right. You are absolutely right. This young man can run faster than the wolf. You, yes you, go bring my shoes and my fur coat.”

The soldier without saying anything hid behind the columns.

Pointing to the chair Xing - Fu said, “Please have a sit.”

The cold leather chair made Longwei shiver even more. Noticing this Xing - Fu poured down the hot tea from the iron kettle.

“Here, drink this and you’ll feel warmth.”

Longwei with one gulp emptied the cup and gave it back to Xing - Fu.

“So, what do you want from me this time?”

After taking a few sips, Xing - Fu said, “This tea, you know how is it made?”

“Yes. People use the branches of the green tree. I haven’t seen this kind of trees but I bet they are very beautiful. I heard that in spite of not having the green leaves, branches of this trees and the trunk are all green colored. It is like these trees live by their own laws. They don’t need the summer to paint themselves green. They have the summer inside.”

“You talk like your father. He was also talking like that. Talking about all kind of things. About his dreams and poetic delusions. I even feel like I am talking to him right now.”

Longwei continued, “But I don’t like the fact that this tea is tasteless.”

“But it is very good for health. As you said, it has summer inside, so when you drink it, you too, have the warmth of the summer inside.”

Looking at Xing - Fu and at the man who was sitting in the far corner without being visible, he said, “So what do you have to tell me?”

Xing - Fu sighed and put the cup aside. His expression became serious.

“Longwei, the reason why I wanted to see you is very simple. And I think you already know the reason.”

“You want me to join your army and became a soldier?”

“Yes. But it is not the only reason.” Moving his chair closer to Longwei, he looked at him with some gentleness. “Longwei, you are 24, soon you’ll turn 25. And I think you know what you should do when you are 25.”

Longwei stood up and said aloud, “No! I won’t do that! And I won’t join the army either. All this time I was living by myself, so let me live like this for the rest of my life. I promise that I won’t harm anyone and disturb anyone.”

Xing - Fu smiled and leaning back to his chair he asked, “So you are disobeying me?”

“Yes.”

“What should I do with you then?”

The next moment the soldier came back. He was holding the pair of shoes and a long fur coat.

Xing - Fu commandingly said, “Wear this and let’s go with me.” And added to his command, “I want to show you something.”

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