The Unforgettable Tale Of Jilin

Back in the ancient country of Andea there once existed a city called Jilin, but that was once upon a time. Now that city is replaced with what is called Yushu. How did it come to that name? Well its a long story. In the city of Yushu, a famous story is past down to each generation telling of a king and queen who risked everything they had to save their country. A heart touching story that has been honored for decades. Everyone reads it and knows about it. Women read it while giving birth, teachers preach it to their students, and parents read to their kids about it. The Unforgettable Tale Of Jilin.

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1. Memories

Chapter 1

 

In the city of Jilin, everything is prosperous since the king reigned. People had enough to eat and children were freely playing on the town's sidewalk. The palace was peaceful and there were more treaties with different countries than war. The country of Tianjin is at peace with Jilin and the two emperors were best friends.

 

    “Carmen, let’s go play jump rope!” Alex tugged her shirt and she nodded with her little heart pounding hard in her. The heat was getting to her after playing so many games.

 

“Cinderella dressed in yellow, went upstairs to kiss a fella. Made a mistake and kissed a snake, how many doctors did it take?” The boys and girls sang while Carmen jumped up and around.

 

“1,2,3,4,5…” Carmen hopped out of the game and breathed heavily. “I’m going home...bye guys!” She waved to her friends and walked down the busy town.

 

On one side apples were laid out in a box with ladies picking the best one. Vegetables were freshly picked and on sale, many women gathered around bidding each other to get the best ones yet. Raw meat were also hung inside the cart with the butcher calling out the prices. There were also lunch served outside. The smell of hot noodles made Carmen’s stomach grumble. As she walked, she examined every little detail around her, restaurants opened their doors to welcome people in, but poor people like her can’t afford to eat inside because of money issues. But she knew that food served inside restaurants uses better quality ingredients that the outsides. The smell of hot meat buns sneaked its way under her nose and she followed the smell to a small shack. The tall mister was looking down at her with a smirk on his face.

 

“Little girl, you hungry?” He asked and she nodded, her pigtails bounced up and down as she did.

 

“Three Pseudos each.” He raised his palms, but she could only stare at the buns while it lasted and walk away. Oh how the bun looks so soft and white, its plump texture was so puffy making it look so thick. The sweet smell of it made her mouth watery and throat run dry. She closed her eyes to give her imagination the fullest indulgence. Blame her family for being so poor and her so ugly. Not even one workplace accepts her because of the small red heart blotted on the far left of her cheek, as her father would call it a touch of the angels. She was labeled as ugly and a dishonor to the family by the neighbors. A curse even. That’s why half of her face is always covered with a mask of some sort.

 

Carmen couldn’t stop the hungry craving and bit down on her red lip. It wouldn’t hurt to take just one right? It’s not called stealing when she trades in her golden bracelet? Well its not real gold, but it has the color so it still counts. 6 years old Carmen crept up to the shack again and left her bracelet on the counter in place for a hot bun.

 

Slap! The tall man smacked her tiny fingers and she immediately pulled her hand back with the bun gripped in her hand.


 

“Prince Seth, please don’t go too far. The queen will be worried.” Jaspen furrowed his eyebrows as he kept watch of his prince. Seth was just 8 years old, but he loves inspecting the city. He loves seeing the people happy and kind to each other while he’s in disguise. He enjoyed the peace.

 

“I wonder if my country will be as peaceful years later when either my brother or I reign.”

 

“Don’t worry prince, you will be a great king. With a little more training, you will bring peace to our country.” Jaspen smiled at his remark. He wasn’t kissing up or anything, he just thought that his prince had the strength to do it.

 

Seth was walking down the city when he spotted a group gathering in a circle around an event.

 

“What is going on in there?” Seth jumped up and down to see, but he knew he was too short so he pushed through the crowd, leaving Jaspen behind.

 

“Pr-Seth, where are you?!” Jaspen yelled out but he was already lost in the flock of big people hovering over him. This is the reason why he wants to grow up fast. To be taller than them to find his prince.

 

Inside the crowd, everyone was watching the bun man punishing a little girl for stealing the food.

 

“I’m so hungry, please let me go this time.” Carmen wailed because the man was gripping her hand too tight, hurting her.

 

“You can’t punish a girl, are you a man?” a little boy stood out, rotating his wrists. “You’re making my hands itch.C’mon she just stole one of your buns because she’s hungry.” Eridan yawned and stretched out his tiny arms in the air.

 

“Who are you?” The man asked and the crowds attention diverted towards the little guy. Seth looked over to see who the hero was, and noticed that it was the prince of Tianjin.

 

“I am prince of Tianjin, Eridan.” He said confidently. Everyone oooed and ahhed but the man just snickered.

 

“Then I must be God.”  

 

“You don’t believe me? You Snickernut!” Eridan put his fist to his sides and everyone laughed.

 

“I believe him. He’s the almighty prince alright. My friend.” Seth walked over to Eridan and punched his arm playfully. “Now let her go or else…” Seth looked around to find something useful.

 

Eridan leaned over Seth’s shoulder and whispered in his friends ear, “or else what?”

 

“Look at the baking powder to your right.”

 

“Mister, I already traded the bun with my bracelet. Please don’t send me to the Gyver's. My father will be really upset if I go to jail." Carmen went on her knees and bowed her head, dropping the bun to the ground.

 

"You got these little rascals here to help and now you’re shedding alligator tears? Women are deceitful!" The man laughed and Seth shook his head.

 

"I'll throw the powder and you run with her. I'll follow behind. Deal?" Seth whispered while observing the situation carefully and Eridan nodded.

 

"I'll run with her through the back alley and around the road to reach the hill facing the city. Meet you there."

 

Seth stepped up and towards the man, "lets go one against one. If you win then you can take me to the Gyver instead. But if you lose then you have to let her go."

 

"Fine." The man let go of Carmen and pulled up his sleeves. Right then, Seth threw the bag of powder from the counter at the man's face and Eridan grabbed Carmen's hand heading towards the exit.

 

"Rascals!" The man cried. While the crowd watched the two little boys escape with the girl.

 

"Run faster will you?" Eridan pulled Carmen's hand but she couldn't run as fast as him.

 

" I can't!" She yanked her arm away and stood in the middle of the alley with a pouty face, " i'm too hungry to run." She whined and he sighed sitting down in front of her; his back facing her.

 

"Get on." Eridan demanded.

 

"What?"

 

"I'm going to carry you, thats what, princess." He rolled his eyes and she giddily got on his back as he winded around town and up the hill. On the way, he got them both some crackers to eat. Once they arrived on the hill of grass, they saw Seth practicing his sword skills from afar. Carmen’s eyes widened at the boys swift moves but yet aggressive at the same time. It was like he and the sword was one whole.

 

Eridan smirked and kicked up a stick with his foot, catching it in his hands. He let Carmen hold his crackers while he jumped in to practice with Seth. Just like that and the boys were competing against each other. Although the fight wasn’t any intense as it could get, Carmen enjoyed watching the show and munching on crackers. Once she was finished with her stack, she nibbled on one of Eridan’s.

 

“One last one…” She took another bite of the crackers and keep saying “one last one…” until only the last cracker remain.

 

“Uh-oh.” She whispers to herself and waved the cracker in the air. “Last cracker, whoever catches me can eat it!” She yells out and headed down the hill. Her dark brown hair slipping down gradually from her pigtails.

 

The two guys, heart beating fast, and cheeks red, looked at each other and smiled.

 

“It’s going to be my cracker.” Eridan snickered and headed straight behind the girl.

 

“Not in your wildest dreams.” Seth didn’t want to follow the same path, so he took the shortcut around and ended up cutting in front of Carmen.

 

“Hand over the cracker little lady.” He pulled his palms out to retrieve the cracker, but before he knew it, she spoke with her mouth full of flakes flying.

 

“Shorry. It’s already going to my tummy.” She giggled as Seth raced after her, ticking the little girl to the ground.

 

2 minutes later when Eridan arrived, he found Seth and Carmen laughing on the grass, holding their stomachs.

 

“Did you eat all of the cracker?” Eridan pouted, looking at Seth and he shrugged pointing at Carmen who shook her head.

 

“He’s lying.” She couldn’t help but burst out giggling when she glanced at Seth’s face and Eridan’s confused expression.

 

Awhile later, when the sun starts to set, the three little kids sat at the top of the hill staring at the orange circle, gradually moving its way down. Carmen sat in the middle of the two guys with Seth on the left and Eridan on the right.

 

“So whats your name?” Eridan asked and behind the black colombina mask she smiles sweetly.

 

“Carmen. Stands for caramel and lots of sweet chocolates.”

 

“My name is Eridan.” He winked at her and she laughed.

 

“Yeah I heard.”

 

“The name is Seth.” He rested his head on his arms and breathed heavily. “By the way, why do you wear a mask? It’s really hot.”

 

“Yeah, why is that? Are you sick?” Eridan questioned but Carmen just kept quiet.

 

“It’s not because I have any serious illnesses. It’s because of an ugly mark on my face.” She looked over at Seth and then at Eridan. “I don’t even dare to look at myself, because It’s so ugly.” She looked down at the grass and started to pick it. Just then she felt Seth’s hand reach towards her face and grabbed the string of the mask.

 

She slapped her hand right on top of his and looked him in the eyes, shaking her head. “Please...I don’t want to scare you.” She murmured, and he just let his hand slide down without saying a word.

 

From that day on, the three kids met up at the hill once a week to play and practice sword skills. They taught Carmen how to use many different weapons and make her stronger so she wouldn't be bullied by the people. They never asked about her mask and she never asked about their identities; neither did they. They were trusting friends in all. The kids usually bring good food up to the hill to share with each other. Those days were the best days they shared. It was so beautiful that it could be a dream.

 

One evening, soldiers ran to each house pronouncing that a war broke out between Jilin and Tianjin. The kingdom is in need of soldiers; whichever guy joins will get free gold for their family each year. Little girls can be trained to become nurses but their family would get less money than the boys who train to become soldiers. She saw the sign on the wall and looked back at her sick father lying in bed. What she could do to gain money and support the family was through this way. This is what she could only do to help her dad for all that he’s done for her. She went to go cut her hair with a scissor and put on men's clothes quickly. Before she left, she went to sit by her father's bed. She held his hand and prayed for his good health.

 

“Wait for me daddy.” She bent down to kiss him on the forehead, “I will come back to take care of you.”

 

She stood up and slowly slipped her fingers away from his, walking out the door to line up with the soldiers, but her heart was still at home. ‘I’m going to be gone for awhile. But if I don’t come back, please take care.’ She blinked away the tears and marched with the boys.

 

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