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A Great Escape chapter 12“Before I was born, my parents were so excited about having an heir that they couldn’t wait to know if I was a boy or a girl,” Shen began, settling in as he started what was sure to be a long story. “They asked their court soothsayer to tell them what gender I would be. But when she looked into her bowl, she saw an entirely different version of the future, and had a vision of ‘white, and fire, and darkness.’ My parents were outraged and refused to believe it…but then I hatched prematurely, and they could see that I had white feathers. From then on, I was always a bad color, bad omen.
“The soothsayer was the one who really raised me. She became my nanny, practically my mother. She was the one who fed and bathed and took care of me; I lived in her quarters, and I loved her more than anyone. As I grew up there were a few other people who ended up being a part of my life, like Xun – he’s a wolf cub I befriended when I wa
A Great Escape chapter 11“And you didn’t tell her that you aren’t actually planning to marry her?!”
Xun rolled his eye, exasperated. Shen had just finished telling him about why he’d run off and about his brief encounter with Lanying. The wolf wondered why it was that his friend always had to entangle himself in something that was overly complicated to begin with and just make it more and more complex.
“Oh, as if you have all the answers,” muttered Shen, glowering. “Would you have honestly told her right then if you were in that situation?”
“Yes,” Xun responded immediately.
“Hmmph. Easy for you to say.” Shen flopped down on his bed, unwilling to admit that he was feeling flustered and slightly guilty about what he’d said…or rather, hadn’t said.
“I mean, it’s bad enough that you’re lying to the Xifengs about marrying their daughter,” Xun continued to rant. “Bu
A Great Escape chapter 10Shen didn’t see Lanying again for several days, but he was more than occupied. He spent the majority of his time busily preparing detailed designs of the new cannons that were to be made. His companions couldn’t count the number of times that they tried to get him to attend a meal, only for him to absently reply that he was busy as his wings moved in frenetic strokes over his drawing paper, creating elaborate plans with his ink and charcoal. After three days of this, Master Storming Ox finally announced, “Shen, I don’t want to rush you, but we need to get a move on.”
“Then start getting the factory ready,” answered Shen. “And we’re going to need metal…lots of it.”
So he had to set his work aside for a few more days while preparations were made. Xun kept making quips about how he would lead a pack of bandits to get more metal if they needed him to, just for old times’ sake. To be fair, it was actually pr
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