MidReal Story

Kingdom's Resilience: Festival of Lights

Scenario: Revised Novel Outline: "Exploring the Kingdom of Women" Setting:Historical and Geographical Context: Set at the enchanting locales of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lugu Lake, amidst the legacy of the ancient Naxi Kingdom. Cultural Crossroads: The setting is a melting pot where Eastern and Western cultures converge, influenced by both matrilineal and patrilineal civilizations, providing a rich backdrop for the narrative. Main Characters: Lin Xuan - A historian of Chinese descent from the modern United States, driven by a quest to understand human societal developments and the secrets of matrilineal societies. Maya - Heiress to the Kingdom of Women, battling societal and political changes threatening her heritage. The Mosuo Elders - Keepers of ancient wisdom, with profound insights into the ecological and societal constructs of their time. Lin Xuan fascinated by an ancient scroll depicting the Naxi Kingdom, is mysteriously transported to the past through a time portal activated by the scroll. He arrives during a tumultuous period in the Kingdom of Women, right as he walks across the Tea Horse Road and drinks from the mystical waters of Lugu Lake Rising Action: Integrating into the kingdom, Lin Xuan learns about their intricate connection to nature and humanity, witnessing firsthand the spiritual and physical landscapes that define the region. Maya, facing challenges to her rule from factions within her court desiring a shift towards patriarchal rule, allies with Lin Xuan to preserve her heritage. Climax: Discovering a plot to usurp the throne involving ancient and forbidden magic tied to the white sand murals and Gemu Peak, Lin Xuan and Maya must navigate a series of dangerous, supernatural trials. These trials are designed to test their wisdom, courage, and understanding of both ancient and modern societal values. The Festival of Lights Summary:The Festival of Lights, a significant and symbolic event in the Kingdom of Women, is approaching. Lin Xuan and Maya plan to use this festival not only as a celebration but also as a display of the kingdom’s renewed strength and unity under Maya's leadership. Preparations for the festival proceed alongside heightened security measures due to the looming threat of invasion. As the kingdom comes together to celebrate, the festival is disrupted by an unexpected attack, testing the effectiveness of the new defense strategies and the resolve of the kingdom's people. Festival Preparations: Cultural Significance: Begin with a description of the Festival of Lights, emphasizing its historical importance and the symbolism of light overcoming darkness, which mirrors the current state of the kingdom. Inclusive Planning: Show Maya and Lin Xuan involving various factions and cultures within the kingdom in the festival preparations, highlighting their efforts to foster unity and celebrate diversity. Strategic Displays: Military Parade: Include a detailed account of a military parade as part of the festival, where the kingdom’s soldiers showcase their new training and equipment, serving as both a morale booster and a subtle show of force to potential adversaries. Lin Xuan’s Innovations: Detail some of Lin Xuan’s contributions being showcased during the festival, such as advanced signaling devices or new defensive structures, integrating his modern knowledge with traditional practices. Celebration Begins: Vivid Descriptions: Use vivid imagery to paint the scene of the festival's commencement at dusk, with lanterns lighting up, music filling the air, and people dressed in colorful, traditional attire. Community Spirit: Portray the high spirits of the festival, with performances, games, and storytelling that bring together the young and old, reinforcing the social fabric of the kingdom. Surprise Attack: Initial Chaos: Describe the sudden chaos as the festival is disrupted by an unexpected attack from a neighboring enemy, catching the revelers off guard. Response to the Attack: Show Lin Xuan and Maya quickly taking charge, using the communication and defense strategies they had implemented. Highlight the effectiveness of the local militia and regular citizens who have been trained to handle such crises. Turning the Tide: Heroic Acts: Include moments of bravery and quick thinking by various characters introduced earlier in the narrative, showcasing their growth and heroism. Reclaiming Peace: Describe how the attackers are repelled by the combined efforts of the kingdom's military and the newly trained citizens, illustrating the strength and resilience of the kingdom. Reflection and Renewal: Aftermath of the Battle: After the attackers are driven off, depict the kingdom coming together to salvage and conclude the festival, turning the event into a reaffirmation of their resilience and victory. Maya’s Address: Conclude with Maya giving an inspiring speech about unity and resilience, reinforcing her role as a capable and visionary leader. Chapter Ending: Reflecting on Success and Losses: Close with a reflective moment between Maya and Lin Xuan as they assess the damage and the losses, pondering the cost of their victory. Foreshadowing Future Challenges: End with a sense of foreboding as scouts report that the attack might have been a diversion, hinting at a larger conflict looming on the horizon, setting up the narrative for more intense challenges.
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Revised Novel Outline: "Exploring the Kingdom of Women" Setting:Historical and Geographical Context: Set at the enchanting locales of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lugu Lake, amidst the legacy of the ancient Naxi Kingdom. Cultural Crossroads: The setting is a melting pot where Eastern and Western cultures converge, influenced by both matrilineal and patrilineal civilizations, providing a rich backdrop for the narrative. Main Characters: Lin Xuan - A historian of Chinese descent from the modern United States, driven by a quest to understand human societal developments and the secrets of matrilineal societies. Maya - Heiress to the Kingdom of Women, battling societal and political changes threatening her heritage. The Mosuo Elders - Keepers of ancient wisdom, with profound insights into the ecological and societal constructs of their time. Lin Xuan fascinated by an ancient scroll depicting the Naxi Kingdom, is mysteriously transported to the past through a time portal activated by the scroll. He arrives during a tumultuous period in the Kingdom of Women, right as he walks across the Tea Horse Road and drinks from the mystical waters of Lugu Lake Rising Action: Integrating into the kingdom, Lin Xuan learns about their intricate connection to nature and humanity, witnessing firsthand the spiritual and physical landscapes that define the region. Maya, facing challenges to her rule from factions within her court desiring a shift towards patriarchal rule, allies with Lin Xuan to preserve her heritage. Climax: Discovering a plot to usurp the throne involving ancient and forbidden magic tied to the white sand murals and Gemu Peak, Lin Xuan and Maya must navigate a series of dangerous, supernatural trials. These trials are designed to test their wisdom, courage, and understanding of both ancient and modern societal values. The Festival of Lights Summary:The Festival of Lights, a significant and symbolic event in the Kingdom of Women, is approaching. Lin Xuan and Maya plan to use this festival not only as a celebration but also as a display of the kingdom’s renewed strength and unity under Maya's leadership. Preparations for the festival proceed alongside heightened security measures due to the looming threat of invasion. As the kingdom comes together to celebrate, the festival is disrupted by an unexpected attack, testing the effectiveness of the new defense strategies and the resolve of the kingdom's people. Festival Preparations: Cultural Significance: Begin with a description of the Festival of Lights, emphasizing its historical importance and the symbolism of light overcoming darkness, which mirrors the current state of the kingdom. Inclusive Planning: Show Maya and Lin Xuan involving various factions and cultures within the kingdom in the festival preparations, highlighting their efforts to foster unity and celebrate diversity. Strategic Displays: Military Parade: Include a detailed account of a military parade as part of the festival, where the kingdom’s soldiers showcase their new training and equipment, serving as both a morale booster and a subtle show of force to potential adversaries. Lin Xuan’s Innovations: Detail some of Lin Xuan’s contributions being showcased during the festival, such as advanced signaling devices or new defensive structures, integrating his modern knowledge with traditional practices. Celebration Begins: Vivid Descriptions: Use vivid imagery to paint the scene of the festival's commencement at dusk, with lanterns lighting up, music filling the air, and people dressed in colorful, traditional attire. Community Spirit: Portray the high spirits of the festival, with performances, games, and storytelling that bring together the young and old, reinforcing the social fabric of the kingdom. Surprise Attack: Initial Chaos: Describe the sudden chaos as the festival is disrupted by an unexpected attack from a neighboring enemy, catching the revelers off guard. Response to the Attack: Show Lin Xuan and Maya quickly taking charge, using the communication and defense strategies they had implemented. Highlight the effectiveness of the local militia and regular citizens who have been trained to handle such crises. Turning the Tide: Heroic Acts: Include moments of bravery and quick thinking by various characters introduced earlier in the narrative, showcasing their growth and heroism. Reclaiming Peace: Describe how the attackers are repelled by the combined efforts of the kingdom's military and the newly trained citizens, illustrating the strength and resilience of the kingdom. Reflection and Renewal: Aftermath of the Battle: After the attackers are driven off, depict the kingdom coming together to salvage and conclude the festival, turning the event into a reaffirmation of their resilience and victory. Maya’s Address: Conclude with Maya giving an inspiring speech about unity and resilience, reinforcing her role as a capable and visionary leader. Chapter Ending: Reflecting on Success and Losses: Close with a reflective moment between Maya and Lin Xuan as they assess the damage and the losses, pondering the cost of their victory. Foreshadowing Future Challenges: End with a sense of foreboding as scouts report that the attack might have been a diversion, hinting at a larger conflict looming on the horizon, setting up the narrative for more intense challenges.
“Yunnan is a province in southern China, known for its diverse natural landscapes, and home to several ethnic minorities.
My name is Lin Xuan.
I am a historian of Chinese descent from the United States, specializing in the study of matrilineal societies.
There are only a few such societies in existence today, and I am on a journey to unravel their secrets.
One of the more prominent of these societies is the Mosuo kingdom, located in Yunnan province.
It is said that the Mosuo people live close to nature, and their kingdom is ruled by a queen who inherits her title from her mother.
I have long been fascinated by matrilineal societies, since my childhood, and it is this fascination that led me to become a historian and study human societal development.
I have finally come to Yunnan, where I hope to uncover the truth about the Mosuo kingdom and its people.
The journey has been long and arduous, but as I emerge from the bamboo forest, I am greeted by an enchanting sight – the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
At an elevation of over 5,500 meters, it is known as one of the highest mountains in Yunnan province.
With its snow-covered peaks and lush forests, it is no surprise that this majestic mountain is considered sacred by the local Naxi people.
Against this backdrop, Lugu Lake looks even more enchanting.
The beautiful blue waters of the lake sparkle and shine under the bright sun, surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests.
To the Naxi people who call this place home, Lugu Lake is considered a “place of wonder”.
It is also the homeland of the Mosuo people, an ethnic minority group with a population of around 40,000.
The Mosuo have long been famous for their matriarchal society, which has attracted the attention of historians and scholars like myself.
As we make our way towards the village of Lige on the eastern shore of Lugu Lake, I can’t help but be amazed at the natural beauty that surrounds us.
The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lugu Lake are just two of the many natural wonders that Yunnan has to offer.
The region is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, thanks to its unique climate and topography.
As we drive along the winding mountain roads, I catch glimpses of the lush forests below us.
The trees are so tall and thick that they seem to form a dense green canopy over the landscape.
The Naxi people have always had a close relationship with nature, which is reflected in their traditional customs and rituals.
As we arrive in Lige village, I am greeted by the sight of traditional wooden houses with sloping roofs.
The houses are clustered together on the mountainside, forming a tight-knit village community.
The Naxi people here live simple lives, growing their own crops and tending to livestock.
They also produce handicrafts such as embroidery and woodcarvings, which are sold to tourists who visit Lugu Lake.
The Naxi people have a rich cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years.
They are known for their unique Dongba culture, which includes a pictographic writing system, religious rituals, music, and dance.
As a historian, I am eager to learn more about this ancient culture and how it has evolved over time.
However, I soon realize that the Dongba culture is just one small part of the Naxi people’s rich history.
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As we continue our journey through Yunnan, I am amazed by the abundance of cultural and natural wonders that I encounter along the way.
From the ancient towns of Dali and Lijiang to the mysterious Shangri-La, there is no shortage of things to see and explore in this beautiful region of China.
“Lin, this is the ancient town of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage site,” my translator said as we strolled through the cobbled streets.
“The town was built over 800 years ago and has retained much of its original architecture and layout.”
I marveled at the traditional wooden houses and tiled roofs that lined the streets, wondering what life was like for the Naxi people who lived here so many years ago.
As we walked, I couldn’t help but notice the network of waterways that crisscrossed the town, bringing water from the mountains down into the valley below.
I had read that the Naxi people were skilled engineers and had designed the town’s water system according to Feng Shui principles, using it not only for practical purposes but also for aesthetic effect.
It was fascinating to see how they had managed to strike a harmonious balance between human activity and nature.
Our walk eventually brought us to the heart of the old town, where we caught sight of the magnificent Mu family mansion.
The mansion was built in the early Qing dynasty and was once considered one of the best-preserved examples of a traditional Naxi home.
It was also a testament to the Naxi people’s social structure and strong sense of family honor.
I felt a shiver run down my spine as I gazed up at the imposing walls of the mansion.
It was hard to believe that such a grand structure had been built by hand so many centuries ago.
As I explored Lijiang further, I discovered that it was not only rich in history but also home to a vibrant cultural scene.
One evening, I found myself in a small square watching a group of local women perform a traditional Naxi dance.
The women wore brightly colored dresses and headscarves, and they moved with a grace and elegance that took my breath away.
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As I watched, I felt a deep sense of respect for the matriarchal society that these women belonged to.
They were strong, proud, and fiercely independent, and I admired them for their courage in standing up to a world that was constantly changing around them.
After a few days exploring Lijiang, I decided it was time to move on.
“Where are we going today?”
I asked my translator as I packed my bags.
“We’re headed to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain,” he said with a smile.
“You’re going to love it there.”
The journey to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain took us through some of Yunnan’s most spectacular landscapes.
We drove along winding mountain roads and through lush green valleys, passing by terraced rice fields, quaint villages, and rushing rivers.
Along the way, I couldn’t help but marvel at the richness and diversity of this region.
It was a true melting pot of cultures, where people from different backgrounds lived side by side in harmony.
Eventually, we arrived at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, one of Yunnan’s most famous peaks.
The mountain was known for its stunning natural beauty, with its snow-capped summit, deep gorges, and crystal-clear lakes drawing visitors from all over the world.
But what made Jade Dragon Snow Mountain truly unique was its cultural significance.
The mountain was considered sacred by the Naxi people, who had been living in its shadow for centuries.
And over time, they had developed a deep spiritual connection with it.
As I prepared to climb up to its summit, I was excited to learn more about this ancient culture and their fascinating customs.
After a short break, my translator and I set off on our hike.
The trail was steep and narrow, winding its way through dense forests of pine trees.
Every now and then, we caught sight of some of the local wildlife, including monkeys, deer, and even a few elusive snow leopards.
But as we continued along our journey, I realized that the real challenge was not just physical but also spiritual.
I was pushing myself to my limits, testing my strength, my endurance, and my willpower.
And in doing so, I was learning more about myself than I ever thought possible.
As we neared the summit of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, I noticed that some of the pine trees along the trail were beginning to thin out.
In their place stood a tall, slender conifer that looked like a cross between a pine tree and a palm tree.
I pointed at one of the trees and asked my translator about it.
He told me that it was called a Lijiang conifer and that it was an endangered species that only grew on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
The tree was considered a symbol of resilience and harmony with nature and had become an important part of Naxi culture.
The sun was setting by the time we finally reached the summit.
The air was thin up here, and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as I gazed out over the breathtaking views of Yunnan below.
I felt a strange sense of exhilaration as I stood there.
It was as if I had been transported to another world, one that was far removed from my own.
I realized then that this journey was more than just a physical adventure; it was a spiritual one as well.
I turned to see that a local shaman had joined us at some point during our ascent.
She wore a traditional Naxi dress and carried a staff adorned with feathers and bells.
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She raised her hands to the sky and began to chant in a language that I did not understand.
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I closed my eyes and let the sound of her voice wash over me, filling me with a sense of peace and tranquility that I had never experienced before.
I have always been driven by my curiosity.
For as long as I can remember, I have had an insatiable desire to learn more about the world around me, to explore its hidden corners and unravel its deepest mysteries.
But there was something else, something deeper, that drove me to embark on this journey.
A longing, so powerful and intense, that it could not be ignored.
I wanted to know what it was like to be part of something greater than myself.
To stand at the edge of the world and look out over its vast expanse and know that I belonged to it.
This is what brought me here, to the Naxi Kingdom, on this perilous journey to uncover its secrets.
As I searched for answers, I found myself drawn deeper and deeper into the heart of the kingdom, until I stood at the very threshold of its most sacred mysteries, on the shores of Lugu Lake itself.
It was here that I made my most astonishing discovery: a hidden chamber beneath the lake, filled with ancient carvings and the faint scent of incense.
It was in this chamber that I found the scroll.
As I unrolled it and gazed upon its delicate, yellowed pages, I felt a strange sense of euphoria wash over me.
The scroll depicted the Naxi Kingdom in all its ancient grandeur, from its towering mountains and lush valleys to its shimmering lakes and rushing rivers.
But what struck me most about the scroll were the White Sand Murals.
The murals were said to be the most beautiful works of art in the entire kingdom, and I could see why.
Each one was a masterpiece of intricate detail and vibrant color, depicting scenes of everyday life in the kingdom with such realism and grace that they seemed to come to life before my very eyes.
I knew then that I had to see the murals for myself, to experience their beauty firsthand.
But as I continued to unroll the scroll, I realized with dismay that the murals were nowhere to be found.
I searched through the rest of the pages, but there was no sign of them.
I was about to give up hope when I heard a strange rustling sound behind me.
I turned around and saw that the chamber had begun to fill with a blinding white light.
I shielded my eyes and tried to look away, but it was no use.
The light grew brighter and brighter until it enveloped me completely.
Then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, it vanished.
When I opened my eyes again, I found myself standing at the peak of the Naxi Kingdom.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I gazed out at the breathtaking beauty of the landscape below.
In the distance, I could see Lugu Lake and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, their snow-capped peaks shimmering in the sunlight.
Around me, the White Sand Murals stretched out in all directions, their colors so vivid and lifelike that they seemed almost real.
I knew then that this was what I had been searching for all along: a place where I could truly belong.
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I had come to Lugu Lake in search of answers, and what I had found was so much more than I could have ever imagined.
As I stood there, gazing upon the beauty of the Naxi Kingdom, something strange happened.
The colors of the White Sand Murals began to fade, their vivid hues transforming into shades of gray and white.
Then, one by one, the images disappeared, leaving nothing behind but blank white sand.
Confused, I looked around, searching for an explanation.
Then I noticed that the entire landscape had changed.
Lugu Lake and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain were gone, replaced by a barren wasteland.
I stared in shock at the empty expanse before me, wondering what had happened to the kingdom I had come to know and love.
It was as if the entire world had suddenly been erased from existence.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
a voice behind me said.
I turned around and saw an old man standing there, staring out at the horizon with a wistful smile on his face.
He was holding a wooden ladle in his hand, and he gestured for me to come closer.
“Have a drink,” he said.
I took the ladle from him and raised it to my lips.
The liquid inside was warm and fragrant, with a slightly sweet taste that reminded me of honey.
I drank deeply, savoring the flavor as it filled my mouth and slid down my throat.
Then, just as suddenly as before, the world vanished.
I closed my eyes and let out a deep breath.
When I opened them again, I found myself standing in a small clearing at the top of Gemu Peak.
The old man was standing in front of me, staring up at a massive tree that towered above us.
Its leaves were green and gold, and its fruit shone with a bright, golden light.
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“The Tree of Life,” the old man said.
I looked up at the tree in wonder.
Its branches were covered with strange markings that seemed to dance and shimmer in the light.
I reached out to touch one of the leaves, and as soon as my fingers brushed against it, the tree sprang to life.
The golden light grew brighter and brighter until it enveloped me completely.
The old man watched in silence, a knowing smile on his face.
When the light finally faded, he turned to me and said, “Take a leaf.”
I plucked one from a nearby branch and held it up for him to see.
The leaf was small and green, with a row of tiny red spots along its edge.
As I stared at it, I felt a strange sensation wash over me, as if I were being drawn into some kind of trance.
The old man’s voice broke through my reverie, and I looked up to see him smiling down at me.
“What is this leaf?”
I asked him.
“It is your destiny,” he said cryptically, then vanished into thin air before I could ask him any more questions.
Left alone in the clearing, I sat down on a nearby rock and studied the leaf in my hand.
It looked like an ordinary leaf, but I knew that there was more to it than met the eye.
This leaf was a part of something ancient and mysterious, something that had been hidden away for centuries.
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I closed my eyes and concentrated, trying to summon the power of the leaf.
Suddenly, the world around me began to change.
I opened my eyes and found myself standing in the middle of a lush forest.
A cool breeze ruffled my hair, and the scent of pine filled the air.
I looked down at the leaf in my hand, and my heart skipped a beat.
It was no longer green, but a bright yellow color, with tiny red letters printed on its surface.
I held it closer to my face, trying to make out what it said.
As soon as I read the words, the leaf vanished, dissolving into fine yellow powder that lingered in the air like smoke.
I reached out to touch it, but it was already fading away, leaving no trace of its presence behind.
I stood rooted to the spot, my mind reeling.
I had so many questions, but no one to answer them.
Who was the old man?
What was the meaning of the words on the leaf?
And most importantly, how had he transported me here with nothing more than a drink of water?
I looked down at my watch and saw that it was nearly 4 PM.
It would be dark soon, and I knew that I needed to return to Lugu Lake before night fell.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing something important.
Something that could change everything I thought I knew about the world and my place in it.
I made up my mind.
I would find out the truth, no matter what it took.
And with that thought in mind, I set off through the forest once more.
The sun hung low in the sky as I reached the edge of the forest and emerged into an open meadow.
Lugu Lake lay before me in all its beauty, the water shimmering in the fading light.
The ancient trees stood tall and still along its banks, their branches heavy with leaves and fruit.
I scanned the shoreline for any sign of the old man, but he was nowhere to be seen.
A sudden flash of movement caught my eye, and I turned to see a dark figure stepping out from behind one of the trees.
“Are you looking for me?”
the figure asked in a familiar voice.
I recognized him immediately as the old man I had met earlier.
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“I have been waiting for you,” he said.
“I have something to show you.
But first, you must follow me.” He turned and started walking back into the forest.
I hesitated for only a moment before stepping after him.
We walked in silence for several minutes before reaching a small clearing deep in the heart of the forest.
The old man stopped and raised his hands to the sky.
The air around us seemed to shimmer and waver, then parted like a curtain to reveal a glowing portal.
The old man stepped through first, then motioned for me to follow.
Without hesitation, I stepped through the portal and felt the world shift and change around me.
The next thing I knew, I was standing in the middle of a modern city.
Skyscrapers towered overhead, and the streets were filled with people going about their daily business.
Cars honked and sirens blared in the distance, but the old man seemed unfazed by the noise and confusion.
He led me down a narrow alley between two buildings, then raised his hands to the sky once more.
The air shimmered and wavered once more as the portal opened before us.
We stepped through the portal together and found ourselves standing on a narrow path near the top of Gemu Peak.
The sun was setting on the horizon, casting a golden glow over the surrounding mountains.
The air was cool and crisp at this high altitude, but the old man showed no sign of discomfort.
He turned to look at me and smiled.
“I have brought you here so that you may complete your journey,” he said.
“Look around you.
Do you see anything that catches your eye?”
He raised his hands to the sky once more as he spoke, and the air shimmered around us.
The setting sun cast an eerie light over the mountains as the world seemed to twist and warp before my eyes.
Then I saw it.
A small pool of water shimmering in the fading light at the foot of the mountain.
And rising from the water like a ghostly apparition was a beautiful young woman.
Her hair cascaded around her shoulders like a waterfall, and her skin glowed with an otherworldly light.
She raised her hands to the sky and began to dance as the air around her shimmered and wavered.
“Go to her,” the old man said, his voice barely more than a whisper in my ear.
“Find her and you will find your destiny.”
He raised his hands to the sky once more and the world seemed to shift and change around me.
I felt myself being pulled through time and space as the world twisted and warped before my eyes.
My mind reeled with the sensation of falling through an endless void before I finally came to a stop on my knees at the edge of a deep black chasm.
“Find her,” a voice whispered in my ear.
I looked down into the chasm and saw a faint light glowing far below.
It was flickering and fading fast, but I knew that I had no choice but to go after it if I wanted to find her.
Without hesitation, I leaped into the darkness and began to fall.
For what seemed like an eternity I fell through an endless void of blackness before finally landing on solid ground with a loud thud.
My eyes snapped open and I saw that I was standing at the edge of a deep ravine.
A narrow path wound its way down the side of the ravine, and I knew that I had no choice but to follow it if I wanted to find her.
I stepped onto the path and began to make my way down into the depths of the ravine.
The air shimmered and wavered around me as I descended deeper and deeper into the darkness.
The path wound its way around a series of sharp switchbacks before finally coming to an end in a small clearing at the foot of a towering tree.
The old man was standing at the base of the tree with his arms raised to the sky, and I knew that this was where my journey would come to an end.
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The air shimmered and wavered around us as he spoke these words, and I knew that I had no choice but to obey.
The world seemed to twist and warp around me once more as I opened my eyes and found myself standing at the edge of a dense forest.
The sun was setting on the horizon, casting a golden light over the trees.
I reached into my bag and pulled out the leaf that I had taken from the tree before looking at it again.
My fingers traced over its surface as I thought about everything that had happened over the past few days since I arrived in Lijiang.
It was hard to believe that so much could change in such a short amount of time, and yet here I was with a leaf from an ancient tree that held all of the knowledge and vitality of an entire civilization within its delicate veins.
“What are you doing here?”
a voice called out from behind me, making me jump in surprise before turning around to see who it was.
But when I turned around, there was no one there.
I paused for a moment, trying to figure out where the voice had come from before realizing that it had come from inside my own head, almost as if it were speaking directly to me through my thoughts.
“What do you want with me?”
the voice asked again.
“I don’t know,” I said, feeling a little foolish for talking to myself, or whatever it was that was speaking to me inside my head.
“I just… I have this leaf, and I have these artifacts,” I said, holding up the ancient scroll that was now covered in my unique symbol.
“And… I don’t know what to do with them.”
The voice fell silent for a moment before speaking again.
“Give me the scroll,” it said.
I hesitated for a moment before nodding.
I rolled up the scroll and placed it back inside my bag before slinging it over my shoulder.
I waited for something to happen, but when nothing did, I turned around and began walking back the way that I had come.
But before I could take more than a few steps, a powerful force took hold of me and yanked me forward, sending me tumbling through the air before landing on solid ground with a loud thud.
I opened my eyes and found myself standing at the edge of a long stone bridge.
A river flowed lazily beneath the bridge, while birds circled high above in the sky.
I turned around, half-expecting to see the dense forest that I had just left behind, but instead I saw a small town in the distance, its red rooftops glowing in the light of the setting sun.
The air shimmered and wavered around me as I looked around at the sights and sounds of this new world.
Bicycles whizzed past me on the road while children played in the fields nearby.
The sound of crickets filled the air as the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the landscape.
I stood there on the bridge for a long time before finally making my way across to the other side.
The town that I had seen in the distance came into view as I walked along the narrow path that wound its way through the fields.
The air shimmered and wavered around me once more before everything suddenly changed.
The small town that I had seen in the distance was gone, replaced by a vast kingdom that stretched as far as the eye could see.
Massive stone walls surrounded the kingdom, while tall towers rose up into the sky at regular intervals.
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I stood there in shock for a moment before realizing that I was standing on a cliff high above the kingdom.
The kingdom was situated on a large plateau that lay halfway down the mountain, surrounded on all sides by thick forests and snow-capped mountains.
A large river snaked its way through the kingdom, while fields of golden wheat stretched out in every direction.
I stood there in awe for a long time before finally making my way down the narrow path that led to the kingdom.
Lin Xuan’s journey to this ancient land brought him to a moment of profound change.
In the grand hall of Queen Gemo’s palace, Maya stood at a crossroads.
The young queen was dressed in traditional Naxi attire – a black apron with red trim over a white blouse and a long black skirt – and her long black hair was braided into two pigtails that hung down over her shoulders.
Maya was standing in front of her throne, staring down at it as if it were some sort of sacred relic.
She knew that this moment would determine the fate of her kingdom.
As the daughter of the late Queen Gemo, Maya was the rightful heiress to the throne.
But now that her mother was gone, she was left with nothing but difficult choices and an uncertain future.
Maya’s people were divided on what direction the kingdom should take.
Some believed that change was inevitable and that they should do everything in their power to embrace it.
They advocated for modernization and integration with their neighbors, believing that it would be better to open up to the world rather than remain isolated.
Others clung fiercely to their matrilineal traditions, fearing that any attempts at change would only serve to destroy their way of life.
They wanted to maintain a strict separation from their neighbors, ensuring that no outsiders would ever be allowed to set foot in their kingdom.
Maya could understand both sides of the argument.
As someone who had grown up in this kingdom, she knew how important it was to preserve their unique heritage.
But she also knew that change was inevitable, and that if they refused to adapt, they would be left behind.
She sighed and shook her head, feeling torn between her own desires and her responsibilities as queen.
She knew that whatever decision she made, there would be consequences.
“How did it come to this?”
she wondered aloud.
She turned and walked over to one of her attendants, who handed her a small glass of wine.
Maya took a sip and savored the taste before turning back to face her throne.
It was almost time.
As Maya’s attendants got ready to announce her arrival, Lin Xuan watched from his vantage point high above the grand hall of Queen Gemo’s palace, his heart pounding in his chest.
He looked down at his wrist and saw that the strange symbol that had appeared on it earlier was still there, glowing brightly as if it were trying to tell him something.
He had no idea what it meant, but he couldn’t help but feel that it was somehow connected to this young queen and her people as they stood at this critical juncture in their history.
Maya took another sip of wine before setting the glass down on a nearby table and walking over to her throne.
She took a deep breath and tried to steady her nerves as she prepared to address her people for what might be the last time.
“Your Majesty,” one of her attendants called out, motioning for her to take her seat on the throne.
Maya nodded and slowly made her way over to it, casting one last glance around the grand hall before sitting down.
In his previous life, Lin Xuan had grown up in a society where patriarchy was deeply ingrained.
He had been raised to believe that men were superior to women, and that they were entitled to certain privileges simply because of their gender.
It was only after he had grown older and more mature that he had come to realize just how wrong those beliefs were, and how damaging they could be to both men and women alike.
But even though he had long since rejected those patriarchal values, he couldn’t help but feel a twinge of skepticism when he first learned about the Kingdom of Women.
A matrilineal society where women held all the power?
It sounded too good to be true.
And yet, as he wandered through the streets of Lijiang and observed Maya and A’mei and all of the other women going about their daily lives, he couldn’t deny that there was something truly special about this place.
He had never seen anything like it before.
And it made him wonder, if a society like this could exist here in ancient China, then why couldn’t it exist elsewhere?
Lin Xuan was lost in thought as he made his way back to his inn.
He was so preoccupied with his own musings that he didn’t notice the young woman who had been following him for the past few minutes, until she gently tapped him on the shoulder.
Lin Xuan jumped in surprise and spun around to see who it was.
And there, standing before him, was A’mei, the woman who had been so kind to him earlier.
She smiled at him and held out a small bag of food.
“Here,” she said.
“I made some extra for dinner tonight, and I thought you might be hungry.”
Lin Xuan was touched by her thoughtfulness and he gladly accepted the bag of food.
He opened it up and looked inside, expecting to see a simple meal of rice and vegetables like the one she had given him earlier.
But instead, he found a selection of delicious looking dishes that were fit for a king.
He couldn’t believe that she had gone to so much trouble just for him.
“You didn’t have to do this,” he said, feeling guilty for having doubted her kindness earlier.
A’mei just shrugged and smiled again.
“It’s no trouble at all,” she said.
“I’m part of an all-female public service team that provides support for people in need.”
She gestured to the bag of food that Lin Xuan was holding in his hand.
“Some of the other women and I are responsible for cooking and delivering meals to those who are unable to do so themselves, whether due to illness or disability or any other reason.”
Lin Xuan’s eyes widened at this revelation.
An all-female public service team?
It sounded too good to be true.
But A’mei’s kind and gentle smile told him that it wasn’t a joke, and that this was just one of many ways that the women in this society worked together to support one another on a daily basis.
It was such a stark contrast to the way that women were often portrayed back home, where they were seen as nothing more than delicate and fragile creatures who needed to be protected and sheltered from the harsh realities of the world.
Lin Xuan knew that not all women were like that – far from it – but still, it was hard to shake off those ingrained beliefs that he had been raised with for most of his life.
As Lin Xuan watched A’mei walk away, he couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy as he thought about the lives that these women led.
They got to wake up every day and go out into the world and make a real difference, helping people in need and providing for their families in ways that were often taken for granted back home.
They weren’t just expected to serve as dutiful wives and mothers, content to stay within the confines of their own homes and never venture out into the world on their own.
It wasn’t as if there was anything wrong with that, of course – Lin Xuan had been raised in a society where women were encouraged to follow their dreams, pursue their passions, and strive for success just like men were – but still, there was something about the daily lives of the women here that just fascinated him in a way that he couldn’t quite explain.
He watched as A’mei made her way over to a group of other women who were also part of the public service team, and he couldn’t help but notice that they all seemed to be working very hard, even though it was still early in the day.
They were each carrying large bags filled with food and supplies, and they appeared to be on their way to deliver them to the people in need.
The women had formed their own little community within the larger community of the kingdom, where they lived together in a shared house that had been provided for them by the government, and they took turns cooking, cleaning, and looking after one another’s children while they were out working during the day.
It was clear that they were all very close and that they looked out for one another like family, just as they had been taught to do from a young age.
As Lin Xuan continued to watch them work, he couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt as he thought about his own life back home.
He had grown up in a very privileged family and never wanted for anything his entire life.
He had been given the best education money could buy, and he had worked very hard to earn his place at one of the top universities in the country.
But despite all of his success and accomplishments, he knew that he probably wouldn’t be able to last more than a few days working at a job like this.
He was simply too used to being waited on hand and foot by other people, whether it was his parents or his friends or his teachers or his colleagues.
And he was ashamed to admit that he had never really considered how much work went into preparing his meals or doing his laundry or cleaning up after him – work that was almost always done by women.
Why did he assume that they were somehow better suited to these types of jobs than men were?
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He turned around to see that Maya was watching him with a warm smile on her face, as if she knew exactly what he was thinking.
“Is something wrong?”
she asked in a gentle voice.
Lin Xuan blinked a few times before he responded.
“No, nothing’s wrong,” he said.
“I was just thinking about all of the things I’ve learned since I came here to the kingdom.”
“I have been very impressed by how quickly you have been able to adapt,” Maya said.
“And I know that it hasn’t been easy for you at times.
You have had many questions and concerns about the way that we do things here, and sometimes I haven’t been able to provide you with satisfactory answers right away.
But I think that you are beginning to see that there really isn’t anything so strange or unique about many of our customs after all.
It’s just that you have never experienced them before, so you haven’t been able to understand them.”
Lin Xuan had to admit that she was right.
When he had first arrived at the kingdom, he had been more than a little skeptical about the idea of a matrilineal society.
But after spending some time learning about its history and culture, he realized that it wasn’t so different from the world that he knew back home.
In fact, in many ways it seemed to be even more advanced and enlightened than the society in which he had grown up.
He wondered if that was what made it so difficult for him to wrap his head around the idea that there could be a society where women were treated as equals to men in every way.
It wasn’t that he couldn’t imagine women being capable of doing anything that men could do – he had been raised by a strong and independent single mother who had worked two jobs to support him and his little sister while she put herself through school – but he had been taught from a very early age that the gender roles of men and women were clearly defined and that there were certain things that each sex was better suited to doing than the other.
And as a result, he had grown up with very specific expectations about how men and women should behave in certain situations.
But now he wondered if maybe he had been wrong all this time.
Or at least if he had been missing out on a lot of the beauty and richness of the culture that he had been trying to learn more about.
In fact, the more that he listened to Maya talk about the kingdom and the way that women and men worked together to support one another and ensure their happiness and well-being in all aspects of their lives, the more that he found himself thinking that perhaps they were on to something.
“Maya, I’m sorry,” he said, turning to look at her with a look of shame on his face.
“I realize now that I shouldn’t have said those things to you before, and I hope that you can forgive me for being so judgmental and close-minded.”
Maya smiled and placed a hand on his shoulder in a gesture of understanding and support.
“I already have,” she said.
“And I hope that you can forgive me, too, for not being able to provide you with more satisfactory answers to your questions earlier on.
It’s just that I have spent my whole life living in this kingdom, and it has never occurred to me to question the traditions and customs of the society in which we live.
It was only when I met you and saw it through your eyes for the very first time that I began to realize how much I had taken for granted, and how much I still have to learn in order to truly appreciate and understand the beauty of our culture.”
Lin Xuan reached out to take her hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze.
“There’s nothing to forgive,” he said, feeling a lump form in his throat as he thought about how much he had come to care for her over the course of their journey back to the kingdom.
“I’m just grateful for everything you’ve done to help me get here, and for all the time you’ve spent talking to me about the kingdom and what life is like here.
And I want you to know that I’m committed to learning as much as I can about our people and their way of life while I’m here, so that I can better understand the significance of what I’m about to do, and so that I can experience firsthand what it’s like to live among the members of my own family.”
Maya squeezed his hand back, her eyes filling with tears at the thought of him leaving her side.
But she knew that he was right and that she couldn’t expect him to stay with her forever, especially now that he had finally fulfilled his mission and found his way back home.
So she did her best to compose herself long enough to be able to say the words that she knew she would need to say eventually.
“There are a few more things that I think you should know before we get back to the kingdom,” she said.
“For instance, did you know that inheritance and leadership here are matrilineal, but there are still laws in place that require both maternal and paternal lines to be taken into consideration when it comes time to divide up property or appoint new officials?”
Lin Xuan shook his head in response.
“No, I had no idea,” he said.
“But please go on.
I would like to know more about how everything works.”
“Well, for one thing, when it comes time for someone to take over their family business or assume a position of leadership within their clan, they have to be approved by a council of elders made up of representatives from all the different households in the village before they can actually take on their new role,” Maya explained.
“And in order for someone to be considered a legitimate candidate for an official position or leadership role within the community, they have to be able to demonstrate that they have received a certain level of education in their field of expertise and have been able to complete a series of tests and assignments designed to evaluate their aptitude for the job.”
Lin Xuan nodded his head in response.
“That makes sense,” he said.
“I’m glad that I was able to help you understand,” Maya said.
Lin Xuan smiled and squeezed her hand again.
“Thank you for taking the time to explain it all to me,” he said.
“You’re welcome,” she replied.
“And now that we’re back on the same page, I think it’s time for us to catch up with the others and make our way back home, don’t you?”
Lin Xuan nodded in agreement, and the two of them set off in search of their friends.
He knew that he was lucky to have been given the opportunity to meet with members of the council and discuss his research with them in the first place, but he couldn’t help feeling grateful that they had been willing to tell him so much about their society and how everything worked there.
It was such a rare and valuable insight into the inner workings of the kingdom that he knew he would be able to learn a lot from it and incorporate it into his research moving forward.
Maya sat in her chambers, looking over a stack of papers that had been brought to her by her most trusted advisors.
She had just finished reviewing the latest reports from the front lines and had a pretty good idea of what her next move needed to be in order for her side to end up emerging victorious in their ongoing conflict with General Mu and his supporters.
She knew that they were planning some kind of large scale attack soon, and she wanted to make sure that she was as prepared as possible for whatever might come their way.
She also wanted to make sure that she took care of some other business while she still had the chance.
She reached out and poured herself a cup of tea from the pot that was sitting in front of her, taking a few sips from it before setting it down and calling out for one of her trusted aides to come into the room.
The servant scurried over quickly and bowed low before her, waiting patiently for her instructions.
“Go ahead and send word for the Mosuo Elders,” she said.
“I would like to meet with them as soon as possible.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” the servant replied.
Maya waited until the servant had left the room before picking up her teacup and taking a few more sips from it while she thought about what she was going to say to the elders once they arrived.
She knew that they were probably already aware of what was happening with General Mu and his supporters, but she also knew that they would appreciate being kept in the loop about everything that was going on.
Not to mention, she needed to figure out what her next move was going to be when it came to making sure that their way of life was able to continue on without being threatened by their enemies.
A few moments later, there was a soft knock at the door, and one of her advisors stepped into the room, followed closely by the Mosuo Elders themselves.
After they had all exchanged greetings, Maya looked at them and said, “I would like to know what you think I should do next.”
“You already know what we’re going to say, don’t you?”
the eldest of the three elders said with a small smile.
Maya nodded in response.
“I did have a feeling,” she said.
“Do you have any advice for me on how best to proceed?”
“We still think it would be a good idea for you to consider forming an alliance with one of the other factions within your court or even one of your neighboring kingdoms before everything is said and done,” one of the other elders said.
“It would help to ensure that your kingdom’s way of life will be able to continue on without you having to worry about it being threatened by your enemies.”
Maya nodded in response, knowing that they were right.
She had been thinking a lot about this ever since they had brought it up before, and she knew that it was probably about time for her to start looking into it more seriously and figuring out which faction or kingdom would be the best fit for them.
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The problem was, forming an alliance with any of them was going to be a lot harder than it sounded, especially since General Mu’s faction was gaining more and more power with each passing day, and there was no telling how much longer it was going to be before they were able to challenge her and make their opinions known to everyone.
After listening to what Maya’s advisors and the Mosuo Elders had to say, Maya decided to go back to her chambers to think things over a little more before making a final decision on what she was going to do next.
She knew that forming an alliance with one of the other factions or kingdoms was going to be a good idea, but she also knew that it was going to be a lot harder than it sounded, especially since General Mu’s faction was gaining more power with each passing day and there was no telling how much longer it was going to be before they were able to challenge her and make their opinions known to everyone.
As expected, General Mu’s faction was able to gain even more momentum after he returned back to his hometown, and it wasn’t long before they started doing everything in their power to make sure that everyone within their court knew that they wanted things to change and that Maya wasn’t fit to take over as their queen whenever her mother passed away, which was something that was supposed to happen any day now if what they believed was true was correct.
In order to make sure that everyone in their court knew what they wanted, General Mu decided to offer a marriage proposal to one of the most powerful families within their kingdom, even though he didn’t actually care about being married or starting a family with anyone like he claimed he did.
He just wanted everyone to see that he was able to do something like this and get away with it, especially when it came to doing something like this without asking for Maya’s permission first, which was something that he knew was going to upset her when she found out about it.
General Mu didn’t care about upsetting Maya, though, as he knew that he and his faction were going to be able to get away with this and make sure that everything worked out in their favor in the end, no matter what anyone else within their court might have thought about what they were doing at this time.
Maya knew that General Mu and his faction were going to be able to get away with what they were doing, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t going to do everything in her power to make sure that they paid for what they were doing.
She had been expecting them to try something like this at some point, but she had been hoping that it wouldn’t be for a little while longer, especially since she had been trying to figure out what her next move was going to be and how best for her kingdom’s way of life was going to be able to continue on after she was no longer in charge.
Even though she knew that forming an alliance with one of her other factions or a neighboring kingdom was going to be a good idea, she had been putting it off since she didn’t want people thinking that she was desperate or willing to do anything in order to keep her position and make sure that everything remained the same.
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She didn’t want anyone thinking that she was going to do whatever it took in order to make sure that their customs were going to remain the same and make sure that no one was going to try and change them for any reason.
If General Mu hadn’t offered a marriage proposal, then she would have gone ahead and offered one herself since she knew that she needed every bit of help that she could get at this time.
She knew that forming an alliance with another powerful family would have helped her since it would have shown everyone else within their court that she was willing to do whatever it took in order to make sure that nobody was going to change their customs or try and take away their rights.
Even though they lived in a world where most people thought that men were supposed to be in charge and women were supposed to follow along behind them whether they wanted to or not, she wasn’t going to sit back and let someone take away everything that they held near and dear away from them no matter what it took in order to make sure that everything was going according to plan.
She had been looking for a way out of the mess that they were in, but so far nothing had come up that seemed like it was going to work out the way that she wanted it to even though she was going to keep looking until she found something that worked out.
She was still young and had plenty of time before anything needed to happen, but that didn’t mean that she wanted someone like General Mu or any of the other men who thought that they were going to be able to get away with this sort of thing without anyone saying anything about it were going to do so without having something done in return that they weren’t going to like at all.
If they thought that they were going to be able to get away with this sort of thing, then they were sadly mistaken as nobody was going to be able to take what they held near and dear away from them without a fight that they were not going to forget anytime soon.
Lin Xuan wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be doing at this time, but he didn’t think that it was really a good idea for him to be standing on the roof of the palace staring at a mysterious stone pagoda that seemed like it wasn’t going to go away until he did something about it.
Even though he wanted nothing more than this whole thing being a dream, he knew that it wasn’t and he should have been doing something about it by now even though he wasn’t really sure what he was supposed to be doing at this time or who he was supposed to be talking with or if he should have even been there at all.
He had been talking with Maya ever since he had gotten there, but that didn’t mean that he should have been there or that he should have been talking with her about what he wanted at this time.
Even though Maya hadn’t asked him who he was or why he had come all the way from America, he had still told her all about himself and what he wanted since it seemed like the right thing for him to do even though he wasn’t sure if he should have been doing this or not.
He had been in the middle of trying to figure out what he wanted when he had stumbled upon the scroll and had known at that moment that he needed so much more than he had ever thought possible even though he hadn’t known how he was going to get away from this place.
Even though he hadn’t been able to get away from this place, he had known right then and there that he wasn’t going anywhere until he had found out what he was supposed to do while he was in this place and how he was going to get back home since something told him that he wasn’t going home anytime soon no matter how much he wanted.
He thought about the scroll and how he had been drawn towards it even though he hadn’t known why at the time, but he had known that he needed something and that something had been inside of the scroll and he had needed so much more.
When he had touched the scroll, he had known then and there that it was meant for him and him alone, even though he hadn’t known why he thought so.
Something had told him at that moment in time that the scroll was what he needed and he hadn’t known what else he should have been thinking about at this time.
Even though he wasn’t sure what he had been thinking about, he thought about the scroll and how it hadn’t looked like it had been sitting outside in the elements for very long since the whole thing looked like it should have been rotting away by now if it had been sitting outside in the elements like it should have been.
But something told him at this time that he didn’t need to think about things like this at this time since they weren’t going to help him figure out why everything had happened when it did and how everything was supposed to go back to normal after everything had happened like it did when he should have been thinking about why now of all times and why this place of all places since he wasn’t really sure why things had gone the way they had gone up til now since they shouldn’t have happened like this if everything had worked out like they should have in just a few more minutes or hours.
He wondered if other people knew about the scroll or if they didn’t even know what could have happened if someone else had touched it instead of him like they should have.
He thought about the way the scroll had glowed when he had touched it and how nobody else had seen something like that happen before and how nobody else would see anything happening before their eyes even though they should have known what was happening when they saw what was happening at this time.
He wondered if everyone would know what would happen when they saw a little girl walking towards them with her hand outstretched as if she wanted something from them and wasn’t going to leave until she got what she wanted even though she didn’t know what she wanted at this time.
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He knew that a lot of people wouldn’t think about what was going on at this time and how things were going to happen if she didn’t get what she wanted from them and what was going to happen if she did get what she wanted from them when she needed it at this time.
She could have wanted anything from them at this time and she might not have stopped until she got what she wanted since she was just a little girl and didn’t know what was right and what was wrong at this time and could probably get away with things that other people might not be able to get away with at this time like she didn’t even know what was going on outside of her own little world.
Lin Xuan didn’t know what to do or say at this time and didn’t even know if she would ask him or not since he hadn’t even known what the scroll had said before it had disappeared like it hadn’t even been there at all like it should have been when someone else would come and take it away to another place like it shouldn’t have been here for someone else to see or touch it.
“Sir, I’m sorry, but you need to come with me right now,” the messenger told him as soon as he saw Lin Xuan standing outside the palace gates of the Kingdom of Women.
“Why?” Lin Xuan asked the messenger as soon as he heard the messenger say that he needed to come with him right now.
“I don’t know,” the messenger said to Lin Xuan as soon as he heard Lin Xuan say that he didn’t know why the messenger wanted him to come with him right now.
“I just got a message that I needed to come with you right now,” the messenger said to Lin Xuan as soon as he heard Lin Xuan ask him why.
“The princess is waiting for you,” the messenger said to Lin Xuan as soon as he heard Lin Xuan ask what was going on at this time.
The streets were crowded and people were running around in a hurry, but Lin Xuan knew the way by now and didn’t need to follow the messenger any longer since he knew where to go from here.
He was used to the crowds and the sights and sounds of the streets by now and didn’t need anyone else to show him where to go or what to do at this time.
He wondered how long it would take for him to get used to everything around here and if he would ever get used to everything around here or if something would happen to change everything around him before he got the chance to get used to everything around him.
He looked around him and saw a lot of the same things that he had seen before, but he also saw a couple of things that he hadn’t seen before as well.
He saw the two Mosuo Elders sitting there at the top of the stairs waiting for him with their hands folded in front of them and their eyes closed, but he also saw a lot of other things that he hadn’t seen before either like a lot of different things that he couldn’t even begin to imagine what they were supposed to be, but he also saw a lot of different things that he could only imagine what they were supposed to be as well like a lot of different things that looked like they were supposed to be some kind of magic or something else that he couldn’t even begin to imagine what they were supposed to be either.
He didn’t know what they were supposed to be either or how they worked, but he also didn’t know how they worked either or what they were supposed to do either since he had never seen anything like them before either so he didn’t know how they worked either or what they were supposed to do either.
He looked up at the two Mosuo Elders and said, “What are you guys looking at?”
“We are looking at you,” one of them said back to him.
“What are you looking for?”
“We are looking for you,” another one said back to him.
“Why are you looking at me?”
“You are the historian from California who has come here looking for answers,” one of them said back to him again.
“What are you looking for answers for?”
“We are looking for answers,” another one said back to him again.
“What are you looking for answers?”
“Answers,” another one said back to him again.
“Answers to my questions,” Lin Xuan said back to them again.
“What kind of questions do you have?”
“They are about everything,” Lin Xuan said back to them again.
“What is your question?”
“I want to know what everything is.”
“Why do you want to know that?”
“So I can understand everything.”
“Why do you want to understand everything?”
“So I can explain everything.”
“Why do you want to explain everything?”
“So I can understand everything.”
“Why do you want to understand everything?”
“So I can do anything.”
“Why do you want to do anything?”
“So I can ask anything.”
“Why do you want to ask anything?”
“So I can answer anything.”
“Why do you want to answer anything?”
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Lin Xuan looked at one of the Mosuo Elders and said, “Why do I want to do anything else?”
The Mosuo Elder looked off into the distance and said, “Why do I want to do anything else?”
“Why do I want to do anything else?”
“Why do I want to do anything else?”
“Why do I want to do anything else?”
“Why do I want to do anything else?”
“Why do I want to do anything else?”
“Why do I want to do anything else?”
“Why do I want to do anything else?”
The four Mosuo Elders sat there and stared at Lin Xuan.
Lin Xuan sat there and stared at them.
He felt like his brain was melting.
He didn’t know what he was doing there, and he thought that they were doing it on purpose.
He wanted to get out of there.
The Mosuo Elders told him that he had to go down Gemu Peak and find out who he was before he started asking questions about who everything was.
He asked them, “How am I going to find out who I am when I don’t even know what your names are?”
“How are we going to tell you who we are when we don’t even know your name either?”
One of them said back to him.
“That’s why we are going to have to go down there and find out for ourselves.”
Lin Xuan got up and started to walk away from the four Mosuo Elders.
The two behind him said, “Don’t forget to come back after you are done.”
Lin Xuan stopped and turned around to face them.
They were still sitting there on their stones, smiling at him.
He turned around and walked away.
He felt like they were laughing at him, but at the same time he knew that they were telling the truth.
They all knew that they were both right, because they were all right about everything, but they also knew that they were both wrong about everything too, because they were all wrong about everything too.
Lin Xuan went back down Gemu Peak and continued his journey around Lugu Lake, his thoughts heavy with everything that the four Mosuo Elders had told him.
He thought about what they had said about how everything that he knew was wrong and that he was wrong for not knowing it.
He thought about how they had told him that if he wanted to learn anything then he had to forget everything that he knew first.
He thought about how they had told him that if he wanted to teach anything then he had to learn it first.
They had told him that the first thing he needed to learn was who he was going to teach it to.
Maya watched as the soldiers marched towards the Kingdom of Women from across Lugu Lake.
She wrinkled her nose in disgust at the sight of them.
They were a ragtag group of men who looked as if they hadn’t bathed in weeks.
Their armor was dented and scratched and their swords were rusty.
They didn’t even look as if they had bothered to sharpen them before coming here.
They didn’t look as if they had even bothered to wash their clothes before coming here either.
It was as if they didn’t even care about the fact that they were going to be massacred by the women who lived in the kingdom on the other side of the lake in a few days’ time.
They were nothing but a bunch of dirty vagabonds who had no idea what they were getting themselves into by attacking her kingdom.
How dare a bunch of women stand in our way?”
One of the soldiers called out to the rest of his men, “Women don’t stand in the way of anyone.”
Another one called back to him, “We’ll see about that when we take over the kingdom.”
They gripped their swords tightly in their hands and glared across the water at the women who stood on the other side.
Maya smiled smugly as she watched the men from the other side of the lake.
They didn’t even know what they were getting themselves into by attacking her kingdom.
They didn’t even know who she was.
They didn’t even know that they were going to be slaughtered by her warriors in the next few days.
The soldiers on the other side of the lake stopped a few meters away from where the river that flowed into the lake from the mountains on either side met in the middle.
The commander of the group stood at the front of his men with his hands on his hips.
He looked across the water at the women who stood on the other side with a look of arrogance on his face.
“We are going to march across that river,” he said, pointing at it, “and then we are going to march up that mountain, and then we are going to take over that kingdom.”
The rest of the soldiers cheered.
They gripped their swords tightly in their hands and waited for their commander’s signal.
There was no way that they could be defeated by a bunch of women who lived in a matriarchal society.
There was no way that they could be defeated by a bunch of women who had never seen a battle before.
There was no way that they could be defeated by a bunch of women who had never even killed anyone before.
There was no way that they could be defeated by a bunch of women who had never been in a war before.
The women on the other side stood there with their arms crossed over their chests as they watched the soldiers march towards them from across the river.
They didn’t look as if they were going to do anything at all as they continued to stand there with their arms crossed over their chests.
The soldiers waited for them to do something, but they didn’t do anything at all.
The soldiers grew impatient as they waited for them to do something, but they still didn’t do anything at all.
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One soldier grew tired of waiting, so he loosened his belt and let his pants fall to his knees before moving them down to his ankles with his hands and kicking them off with his feet before stepping over the edge of the river and walking into it with his naked ass hanging out for everyone to see.
The women watched him walk into the river with their arms still crossed over their chests.
He laughed as he walked into the water with his sword held high above his head, completely oblivious to the fact that he was risking his life by walking into the water with his sword held high above his head and his naked ass hanging out for everyone to see.
He laughed as he reached the middle of the river and turned around to look back at his friends as if to say, “Look at me!
I’m not dead yet!”
The women finally did something when they saw him standing there with his naked ass hanging out for everyone to see.
They raised their bows and drew their arrows and fired them at him before he even knew what was happening.
He screamed as the arrows struck him one after another and fell backwards into the water with the rest of his friends laughing and jeering at him and calling him names as he sank beneath the surface and disappeared from view.
The soldiers stopped laughing when they saw what had happened to him, but there was nothing that they could do about it now because it was already too late.
The women raised their bows and drew their arrows and fired them at them before they knew what was happening just like they had done to their friend, who had been walking across the river with his naked ass hanging out for everyone to see, before they fell backwards into the water with arrows sticking out of them one after another and sank beneath the surface and disappeared from view just like he had done.
Maya smiled smugly as she watched the rest of them fall backwards into the water with arrows sticking out of them one after another just like she knew that they would when she saw them marching towards them with their swords held above their heads like idiots.
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They were all idiots, just like the last group of idiots who had tried to invade her kingdom and just like the next group of idiots who would try to invade her kingdom because she would make sure that every last one of them fell backwards into the water with an arrow sticking out of them one after another and sank beneath the surface and disappeared from view just like all the others before them had done.
She would make sure that every last one of them fell backwards into the water and disappeared from view just like the last group of idiots who had tried to invade her kingdom had done and just like the next group of idiots who would try to invade her kingdom would do because she was not afraid to defend her kingdom and she would not let them take it from her without a fight, no matter how long and hard they tried to take it from her or how many times she had to fight them off.
She could remember the last group of idiots who had tried to invade her kingdom like it was only yesterday because it had only been a few days since they had tried to take it from her for the first time, but it seemed like it had been a lifetime since then because she had already killed so many people since then, including the last group of idiots who had tried to invade her kingdom and just like the next group of idiots who would try to invade her kingdom.
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She would kill them all in the same fashion as the last group of idiots and all the others who had come before them when they attempted to do what no man had done in centuries and successfully conquered her kingdom because she would never let that happen again regardless of what it took to keep that from happening, including killing every last one of them if that's what it came down to save her kingdom and wouldn't even think twice about doing so.
“Lead them away from the village,” Maya ordered as she pointed at the group of soldiers who had been unfortunate enough to come across a kingdom filled with women warriors as they realized they were being surrounded by hundreds of women warriors who looked like they were ready to kill them if they tried to resist or run away from or even fight back against their attackers because they knew it was useless and would only end up getting themselves killed in the process if they did so.
The man in charge of the soldiers gave the order for his men to lead their attackers away from their village in hopes that it would save their lives in the process because the woman in charge of their attackers looked like she was ready to kill them all if they didn't lead them away and didn't want any of his men to die in the process if it could be avoided at all costs and led his men out into the open fields where there were no trees or bushes or anything else for them to hide behind or use as cover in hopes that it would make it easier for them to fight back against their attackers if given the order to do so.
“Now,” Maya shouted as she raised her sword into the air and then brought it down as she gave her warriors a sign to attack.
The women warriors surrounding them all raised their bows and arrows into the air and then fired all at once in a single motion as they all fell down dead in a bloodied heap on top of one another as they heard the man in charge of them beg for his life as he saw that there was no way they were going to be able to fight back against their attackers and knew that there was nothing he could do to stop them from killing every last one of them if they didn't do something to save themselves.
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“Take them to the mines,” Maya ordered as she walked over to where the man in charge of his soldiers was laying on the ground with an arrow sticking out of his chest and dying a slow and painful death as he knew that there was no way he was going to be able to survive this and looked up at his attacker with a look of hate and loathing in his eyes.
“Please,” he begged as he grabbed onto her leg and looked up at her with a look of despair in his eyes.
“Please don't kill me.”
“Don't worry,” she said as she kicked him off of her and walked over to where her warriors were waiting for her with her horse so that she could take him to where he belonged.
“I won't kill you.”
The man in charge of the soldiers watched as his attackers walked off into the distance as he realized that his life was over and that there was no way he was ever going to be able to survive this and lay there dying a slow and painful death as he knew that there was nothing he could do to stop himself from dying before long and looked down at his chest where an arrow was sticking out of his heart and wondered what was going to happen to him when he did die.
Maya walked over to where her horse was waiting for her with the man in charge of the soldiers over her shoulder and threw him down onto the ground before tying his hands together behind his back with a piece of rope so that he wouldn't be able to fight back against her as she walked him back to her village where she had come from.
“You know what to do with him,” she said as she walked up to her warriors waiting for her to come back with her prisoner and untied his hands so that he could work with them in peace.
“Treat him as you would any other laborer.”
“What about his men?”
her second in command asked as she walked over to where her warriors were waiting for her to deliver her orders and took a look at them before looking back at her with a look of confusion in her eyes.
“What should we do with them?”
“We need to expand our mines,” she said as she walked over to where her palace was waiting for her to come back and took a seat on her throne before looking out at where her village was waiting for her to come back and began issuing orders immediately.
“We need more silver and jade.”
“And who better to work for us than those who dared to invade our lands?”
she asked as she looked down at the man in front of her and saw that he was looking up at her with a look of confusion in his eyes and began talking to him as if he was a child who didn't know any better.
“We'll put them to work right away.”
“And make sure they don't get away.”
“Yes, my lady,” her second in command said as she walked over to where her warriors were waiting for her to deliver them their orders and began issuing orders immediately.
“And tell all those who work in the mines that I want them to work harder than ever before so that we may continue our great tradition for many generations to come.”
And then she turned around and walked off into the palace where she had come from so that she could celebrate their victory over their enemies with her warriors and tell them how proud she was of them for defending their lands as well as they had and told them that they could keep any weapons they had taken from their attackers as long as they used them wisely and didn't hurt any other people with them.
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