Book 1, Chapter 1 – Early Morning at a Township
The town of Wushan. An ordinary little town located within the Kingdom of Fenlai, west of the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, the largest mountain range within the Yulan continent.
As the morning sun rose, in the town of Wushan, there remained a slight hint of the cold, pure pre-dawn air. However, virtually all of the citizens of this small town had already come out to begin working. Even the six or seven year old children had already gotten out of bed and were preparing to begin their traditional morning exercises.
On an empty area in the eastern region of Wushan town, the warmth of the rays of the morning sun passed through the surrounding trees, leaving behind scattered spots of light on the empty ground.
A large group of children could be seen there, approximately one or two hundred in number. These children were separated into three groups, each group divided into several lines. All the children stood there silently, their faces solemn. The northernmost group of children were approximately six years old. The group in the middle, approximately nine to twelve years old. The ones in the south, the thirteen to sixteen year olds.
In front of this large group of children, there were three sturdily-built middle-aged men. All three of them wore short-sleeved shirts and roughly cut trousers.
“If you want to be a powerful warrior, then you must work hard from youth.” The leader of the middle-aged men, head raised high, hands clasped behind his back, said to them coldly. He swept his cold, fierce gaze across the northernmost group of children. All of those six and seven year olds tightened their lips. Gazing at this man with their big, round eyes, none of them dared to make a sound.
The leader’s name was Hillman (Xi’er’man). He was the captain of the guard for the Baruch (Ba’lu’ke) clan, the noble clan which owned Wushan town.
“All of you are commoners. Unlike those noble families, you won’t have access to any secret manuals teaching you how to cultivate battle qi [dou qi]. If you want to become someone of worth, if you wish to be respected, then all of you must use the most ancient, most simple, and most basic ways of improving yourselves – through exercising your bodies, and building up your strength! Am I clear?!”
Hillman swept the group of children with his gaze.
“Understood.” The voices of the children replied brightly in unison.
“Good.” Satisfied, Hillman coldly nodded. The eyes of the six year old children displayed their confusion, while the eyes of the teenagers became very determined. They understood the meaning behind Hillman’s words.
Virtually every male in the Yulan continent would exercise very hard from a very young age. If anyone slacked off, in the future, they would be looked down upon by others! Money and power – these were the things that determined a man’s status! A man without power would be looked down upon even by women.