Universal Knowledge of the Dao

edited October 2019 in Original Stories
Hello everybody, 
I've been a fan of WW for years now, and also an aspiring writer.
My original language is French, and I've started a novel that is now 145 chapters long a while ago. This one I will not post here because of the language.
The following work is my second ongoing novel, UKD which is written in English by myself and edited, proof-read by a friend.
Hope you enjoy.
-D3trois-

Brief synopsis:
"No Father I don't want to be married of to an official of the Big City. I want to become the Chief Librarian, like Second Uncle !"

There is no choice left for Shin Sumi but to escape. Her plan is settled until she finds a strange book that forces her to join the famous Dark Sky Starry Sect.

"What is that book ? Why does it bite me all the time ?"

Will her path lead her to become the librarian she wanted ? Or will her craving for knowledge be satiated by something more... Magical ?"

Information:
Chapter length: ~3000words
Status: ongoing
Update rate: 1chp/week

/!/ Disclaimer /!/
I don't claim to know anything about Chinese language. The names I am using in my book are purely fictional and are not intended to have any meaning. They only sound good to my ear, even if they don't make any sense.

Comments

  • edited October 2019

    Chapter 1 - Little Sumi


    Shin Sumi's dad thought it was about time. He slowly pushed the creaking door open.


    "Little Sumi, I want to talk to you about something."


    "Father ?"


    Shin Sumi lifted her head from the book she was reading. When reading, she was often close to being lost in another world, hence why she hadn't even heard the door open.


    Her dad looked at her for a second. 


    She had long black hair, shining with the light of the fire next to her. Her locks were contouring her face seemingly carved out of the purest jade. 


    "Yes she is beautiful" thought her father, "every official from the big city would want to marry her off to their sons".


    "Little Sumi, you turned fourteen recently. You are a woman now. It is time you get married. Listen, you father has..."

    "Father please. We have had that conversation already. I don't want to be married off to someone I don't know from the big city !"

    "You know how important that could be for the family ! Right now I, your father, am just a mayor from this small East Seaside village. If we could get you into one of the family of the Lord's officials, our life would be even better ! You could have maids helping you daily, and I'm sure your husband would provide you with many books from the big city library !"

    "I don't want a husband, and I can always ask Second Uncle for the books. He is the Chief Librarian of the big city library. I want to become the next Chief Librarian, I don't want to get married into some officials' family."


    Shin Sumi's father looked at her with gentle but resolute eyes. 

    "Sumi, I have already decided. Tomorrow someone from Official Yane's house will come pick you up. You will live there for a time before all the arrangements for the wedding are made."


    Sumi's eyes started to redden as she got up. Her foot stomped the ground before she left the room, the tears in her blue eyes blurring her vision.


    She stormed through the main door of the residence before turning to the auxiliary building on the left of the courtyard.


    The Shin family mansion was the biggest in the village. But compared to the houses of the people from the big city that wanted her, it would have been considered crude.


    The golden carps from the pond stopped moving for a breath's worth of time as she ran past them.


    As soon as she entered the auxiliary building, her agitated heart started to calm to a slow and steady rhythm.


    "It is because of the smell of the incense that Doctor Wen lit for mother" she thought. 


    Shin Sumi put her head through the entrance to her mother's room, verifying that nobody was around. Doctor Wen didn't like people visiting because it disrupted Shin Sumi's mother's rest.


    Her mother was asleep. She had been bedridden for the last few months since she got sick. 


    With Shin Sumi's father being the mayor of East Seaside village, and her brother Shin Wuya having been taken as an apprentice scholar in the big city, nobody visited Shin Sumi's mother for very long periods of time. 


    Only Shin Sumi went to see her when she wasn't reading her books in her chamber. 


    When her mother was awake, Shin Sumi would talk to her and try to make her smile.

    Usually Shin Sumi would bring a book to her mother's bedside, and would read patiently if she was asleep. 


    This time she didn't bring anything with her, not even the pickled plums that her mother loved. 


    Sitting on her knees next to her mother, Shin Sumi closed her eyes for a few breath's of time. 


    She listened to her mother's rugged breathing, her sick lungs forcefully trying to circulate the incensed air to make her better.


    Shin Sumi considered waking her up, but as she was about to put her hand on her shoulder, she refrained herself.


    "No, she is going to take father's side" she muttered to herself. "I am sorry mother, your daughter has disappointed you."


    Without another word for her sleeping mother, Shin Sumi left like a shadow.


    She didn't return to her chamber. Her father was probably there waiting for her to return. 


    Instead she turned to the main gate of the mansion. 


    At this time of day, nobody was guarding the gate. After all East Seaside village was relatively small, and there was virtually no records of any kind of trouble that would require guards patrolling all day everyday.


    Shin Sumi didn't take another look at the Shin family mansion where she had lived all her life. She would not return until she could attain her goal of becoming a Chief Librarian.


    Shin Sumi knew the road to the big city fairly well. She would often accompany her father when he had to go report monthly matters and taxes to the Officials. 


    For her, it was always a good opportunity to go see her Second Uncle and the library. 


    She would usually take books she had previously read with her, to exchange them for new ones, but this time she left without anything. After all, all of her books were in her chambers.


    "I am sure Second Uncle will understand, and have them picked up later by someone from the library."


    Shin Sumi had planned to hide with her Second Uncle for some time and learn from him how to become a librarian. 


    "Second Uncle has always been nice to me, providing me with the best books. If I ask him not to, he will not say anything to father. And when I become a real librarian, nobody will be able to force me to marry against my will !"


    Her dream was something hard to achieve for a woman, but Shin Sumi was convinced she could do it with the uncle she idolized as her instructor.


    It was with resolute determination that she walked along the big city road for more than two hours.


    She would occasionally hide behind bushes from the passing horse carriages, just in case her father sent someone looking for her.


    She was getting tired and hungry, and the sky was turning dark, but she continued to walk. The comfort of her home and her reading chair next to the fireplace made her reconsider her decision a few times, but Shin Sumi would then clinch her fists and keep on walking.


    It was at that moment of the day when the red oblique sun lights would shine on the lands that Shin Sumi was almost surprised to see a lone man on a horse.


    She hadn't heard him at all and had just enough time to run behind a tree nearby before the man emerged from the cover of the woods.


    As she waited patiently, the man slowed down and proceeded to dismount his horse and attach it to a tree on the other side of the road. 


    "Oh no, don't tell me he is one of those messengers that would stop for the night anywhere ?"


    Shin Sumi was getting a bit scared. She was the daughter of a mayor, and had always lived in a relative comfort. Her travel experience was basically nonexistent, but she knew what could happen to a young woman like her in a remote place. 


    But now she was stuck. She couldn't really walk past her hiding place because the man would spot her. But she couldn't walk back either. 


    Shin Sumi considered waiting here for the man to fall asleep, but then she would have to walk the rest of the way to the big city without any light.


    Her only option was to make her way through the woods, and get back to the big city road further along, hoping that she would arrive before everything would turn completely dark.


    Slowly taking one step after another, she crept backward, putting more distance between her and the road.


    When she was finally out of the man’s sight, she turned around and continued her walk, now through the middle of the woods .


    The Silver Sea region was relatively small, and the woods were never really dense. Added to that, the beasts she had read about in her books almost never liked being close to the sea, which made the region reasonably tranquil and safe.


    The only things a girl like Shin Sumi could fear were travelers. Weary after long days of walking, men could turn into something worse than beasts, ready to pounce on a good looking young woman at first sight.


    Shin Sumi sauntered for a long time, occasionally turning to her right hand side.


    "This is strange. Normally I should have been back on the road by now " she thought. She was starting to get scared. 


    "Am I going to die here from hunger, lost in the woods ? I have not even reached the big city. Father, mother, uncle, Sumi is sorry, I really have disappointed all of you this time."


    She was about to give in to her situation and stop walking when the corner of her eye caught something strange. 


    It was something like a tiny wisp of light in the darkness of the woods. The small flame was a dark green color, but oddly enough, it shone brightly. 


    Shin Sumi had the weird thought that even during daytime the dark flame would shine brighter than anything else.


    Intrigued by the dancing flame, Shin Sumi followed it, seemingly in a trance. 


    The wisp was moving between the trees, further and further into the heart of the forest. But Shin Sumi was already lost and she wasn't even thinking about getting back to the road at the time. 


    She couldn't take her eyes away from the light for even a moment. It was as if she had lost the ability to blink.


    Remembering something from a book about the legends of the Immortal world, she began to speak out loud.


    "Sometimes when people whose karma isn't resolved die, their soul will roam the world until their vows are completed" Shin Sumi said from memory. "Could it be a lost soul ?"


    She had stopped believing in all the legends concerning the Immortals, Divine Beasts and otherworldly beings a long time ago. She knew that it was just fantasies. But the dancing flame before her was very real.


    She followed it until she arrived at a clearing. There, another dark green wisp came into existence, seemingly from nothing. And then another. And another.


    Soon Shin Sumi was surrounded by tens of luminous dancing flames, but strangely she didn't feel even an ounce of fear.


    As she advanced towards the middle of the clearing, the wisps spread around her to mark her path. She followed the path until she was standing before a very old tree stump.


    The stump was ancient and the tree had nearly completely rotted away, but Shin Sumi still sensed the smell of young sprouts after a rainy day. It wasn't unpleasant at all. 


    Under the light of the many wisps, Shin Sumi began to observe the stump a bit more closely.


    "Maybe these wisps really are souls. But why would they want to take me here ? What kind of tree is that ? It looks so old that even the stump is nearly rotten."


    She wasn't paying attention to her feet as she got closer and closer, looking at the stump, and suddenly lost her footing when she stepped on the side of a root.


    She fell face first onto the old greyish green stump, and the moment she made contact with it, everything around her disappeared.


    She couldn't see the wisps anymore, and the stump was nowhere to be seen.


    Instead the only thing she saw was a great void with some kind of golden tree in front of her. But as soon as the tree appeared, it started to wither.


    Shen Sumi watched as the tree withered at an incredible speed. Soon it was little more than a grey stump. But as the stump turned into ash, it revealed a white fruit hidden inside.


    The fruit was not completely white and seemed to have leaf like patterns on its surface. But the strangest thing of all was that it seemed to be pulsing like a beating heart.


    Shin Sumi was completely lost in her trance as the fruit started to spiral in her direction. She tried to move but she suddenly found herself unable to. 


    In this dark void she couldn't control herself at all, and she could only watch passively as the fruit slammed into her with great speed. 


    She closed her eyes right before the moment of impact, but she felt nothing. 



    ***

    When she regained consciousness, Shin Sumi found herself lying on the floor. She was on her belly, and her head was pressing into a hard surface.


    "Did I hit my head when I fell ? What a strange dream " she thought as she tried to open her eyes a few times. 


    Her head was hurting, she really must have hit her head on the stump. 


    As she finally opened her eyes, Shin Sumi noticed that it was now daylight.


    "Oh no, I am still lost in the forest ! Father will be looking for me, I need to find the way to the big city soon !"


    She was still a little bit stunned but she had not forgotten the reason why she left home. 


    Upon getting up, Shin Sumi looked all around her. Something strange was going on. The stump wasn't there anymore. In fact the whole clearing seemed to have vanished as she now found herself in the middle of a dense forest.


    "What happened to me ? I remember clearly following the wisp and seeing a grey tree stump, just like in that weird dream !"


    Looking at her feet and clothes covered in mud and still damp from the morning dew, she opened her eyes wide.


    "What is that ?"


    Shin Sumi spoke out loud, bending over to pick up the thing her head was laying on. 


    It was a book. A really old book. The cover was leathery and reminded her of the bark of a tree, with leaf like patterns all over. 


    Shin Sumi tried to open it, but the book was magically sealed. She couldn't do anything to it. 


    She was contemplating the book and pondering about what happened when suddenly the book started to tremble. 


    Inside her hands, the book started spinning on itself, faster and faster, turning into a dark green vortex.


    When it finally stopped turning and landed back into the hands of the flabbergasted Shin Sumi, it was no longer a book. It was more like a nut. Or a small shell.


    She had no idea what just happened and started thinking that maybe she hit her head harder than she thought when a swooshing noise came from over her head.


    In the blink of an eye, a young man landed right in front of her. 


    The shy and polite Shin Sumi would never have talked with a stranger usually, but she opened her mouth and spoke a few words.


    "Were you flying right now ?"


    The man who had landed looked at her and replied "Is it your first time seeing an Immortal ?"


    Unknowingly, Shin Sumi closed her hand around the nut she was still holding. 


    Without waiting for an answer, in one fell swoop, the young man picked Shin Sumi by the waist and lifted her from the ground.


    "Don't worry, my name is Fen Wudao, I'm a cultivator from the Dark Sky Starry Sect. I was flying back to my sect when I sensed a unusual Shinsoo. It turns out you have a lot of talent for cultivation. What is your name ?"


    "Immortal Fen, this one's humble name is Shin Sumi."


    "You can call me Senior Brother. Now try to rest for a bit and close your eyes, we have a long road in front of us and the wind will make you cry."


    Shin Sumi wanted to ask him to put her down, or bring her to the big city. She didn't want to be taken away to an Immortal Sect !


    She was about to reply when the small nut still inside her hand suddenly bit her. 


    "Ouch !"


    "Is there something wrong ? " Fen Wudao asked, looking at her with a puzzled expression.


    Once again she wanted to say something, but the nut bit her again. She felt it twisting and moving away from her hand. In an instant it had moved up her sleeve and into her garments. It finally stopped moving when it reached right in between her breasts.


    "No, Senior Brother Fen, it was nothing."


    For some reason, after the bites of what she thought was a nut, Shin Sumi didn't feel like going to the big city anymore. 


    Something told her to close her eyes, and she slowly drifted into sleep, while they were flying at high speed through the air, over the woods and far away from the big city and its library.

  • I'm also a fan of eastern Taoism and Tao, so can't wait to read your work~~
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