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This is the Prologue of. It serves to establish the storyline of the series.
An old warrior decides to tell a story to a rapt audience.
The old man placed his brush on the desk. He sighed morosely, unsure of himself suddenly. He glanced at the lit candle on the desk; the wax had almost melted completely, and soon it would be nothing but a puddle with a charred wick.
He gently touched the scroll in front of him. It contained his memoirs, something he had been reluctant to write. Reliving some of his memories had been almost unbearable, from the deaths of his mother and son to the imprisonment of his niece. He squinted, trying to make out the picture of his little soldier boy that was hanging against the wall. His eyes weren't quite what they used to be. . .
He pondered his reasons for writing it in the first place. What was he trying to accomplish? Well, for a start, he was a tad egotistical and eager to reveal his triumphs.
But what of his failures? There was nothing to boast of those. . . He only hoped that one day someone would read his autobiography and learn something. He wanted people to learn from past mistakes so that the future would be bright.
The only reason we learn history is so we do not make the mistakes of the past.
The elderly man stood up from his desk. His great-nephews were visiting, and he wanted to spend time with them before they were retrieved by their parents. They were almost like grandchildren to him.
Both young men were sitting on cushions in the main room of his small house. They were glassy-eyed, clearly bored while their great-uncle was finishing his memoirs, but they brightened when he appeared in the doorway and sat on the floor across from them.
"We were worried you had forgotten about us, Uncle," the elder of the boys said.
"How could I forget?" the old man responded cheerfully.
The younger boy looked rather awkward as he said, "Well, you are getting old. . ."
The elderly man was not offended, however; he knew his youngest great-nephew was a painfully truthful boy. In fact, he was particularly fond of the younger brother, as he had been named after his own son.
"While my memory does falter, young men, there are many things I still remember," he told his great-nephews. He then glanced out the window to see that the sky was beginning to darken. "Would you like to hear of something I do recall?" he asked the pair.
The elder nodded solemnly while the younger smiled excitedly.
"Tell us about the time you met the Sun Warriors!" the younger boy commanded.
The old man grinned. "That is a heroic story, young ones, but that is not what I had in mind. Besides, wouldn't you prefer to listen to a story you have never heard before?"
"More of Father's exploits during the War?" the older boy asked with a raised eyebrow. "I thought we'd heard them all."
The elderly fellow shook his head in response; he felt a pang in his heart as he recalled all the strife caused by the War. He didn't enjoy discussing it, even to the rapt audience his great-nephews occasionally provided.
"I was thinking a history," he said instead. "It's a story almost as old as the Avatar Spirit itself."
"Then how do you know it?"
"I am friends with the Knowledge Spirit," the old man said good-naturedly. The boys exchanged doubtful glances.
"What's it about?" one of them asked.
"It's about the beginning of the Order of the White Lotus."
The youngest in the room pretended to yawn while his brother simply looked astonished. "Why do we need to know this?" the elder boy asked.
"It is good to refer to the past when looking to the future," the old man said without hesitation.
The two boys looked confused at the proverb, but their father had warned them. . . They shrugged and the younger said, "Let's hear it."
The great-uncle smiled. "I was hoping you'd say that."
- , the author of this chapter, wrote it several weeks before beginning to conspire with her cowriter, .
- Take the old man's advice: Learn from the mistakes of people passed, especially if you're going into politics.