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Ice Fantasy - Part 1 Chapter 1: My name is Kasuo

Many years later, I stood on a slab of outcropping stone by the shore, facing the vast ocean,
facing my kingdom, facing the people who served me, facing the hustle and bustle of the mortal
world, facing the snow bird high up in the sky in flight.
And tears streamed down my face.
--------------------------My name is Kasuo. I grew up in the Snow Fog Forest, brought up by an elderly sorceress, so old
that no one could remember her age. She let me call her Granny, whereas she called me crown
prince, the eldest son of the emperor of the Snow Kingdom. My younger brother also grew up
with me, and his name was Ying Kong Shi. The both of us were the only two remaining
illusionists in the Snow Kingdom.
According to the codes of illusion, my name meant “city of blackness”, and my brother’s name
translated to “mirage”. We were born of different mothers but we shared the same father, the
Snow Kingdom’s elderly Emperor. My father was the greatest ruler in the history of the Snow
Kingdom. Two hundred years ago in a holy war against the Fire Tribe, he led an all out war
against the enemy, fighting with all that our kingdom had. However we did not emerge
victorious, and in that particular war, our royal family suffered irreplaceable losses. Three of my
older brothers and two of my older sisters were lost to this decade-long war, thus leaving behind
me and Ying Kong Shi, the only two surviving illusionists in the family. In that battle, countless
other illusionists, astrologers and swordsmen lost their lives too.
The war had left deep, never-to-be-touched-again scars in the souls and memories of all our
kingdom’s people. In my memory, the skies were filled with the shrill whistling of sharp icicles
as they propelled through the air, and the ground was plagued with burning flames. The heavens
were as white as a vast expanse of untainted snow while the entire earth was scorching red,
consumed by fire. At that time, I was in the palace, seated by the warm fireplace on an luxurious
rug made from the fur of a thousand-year-old snow fox, when I saw my father’s solemn
expression and my mother’s furrowed brows. Every time someone from the battlefield came
back to report the death count, I would see my father’s burly body tremble slightly, and tears
would silently stream down my mother’s face. The view of the red flames outside the palace
window was the most vivid scene in my childhood memory. The background noise that
accompanied this scene was the desperate cries of my older brothers and sisters. Sounds of their
cries repeatedly played in my nightmares, again and again, never subsiding even over time. I
would struggle to wake up, but I could remember hazy visions of Granny’s aged face, and her
rough yet warm palm gently caressing my face. With a smile, she had told me, “My crown prince,
they will wait for you at the forefront, and you will eventually meet.” I asked her, “Does this
mean I will die, too?” She laughed and replied, “Kasuo, you are the next king, how could you
die.”

Whenever I brought it up to him. In the end he merely shook his head. dripping onto the blackened ground. lifting up strands of iridescent hair and pale cloth. see whole the sky ablaze with the fiery arrows. you have to live on strongly. you will know everything. She was cute little girl. my memories of the holy war are already blurred. my father’s close and trusted bodyguard. but he did not reply.” Ice Fantasy – Part 1 Chapter 2: The first time I murdered a man . will we be killed?” I looked down at his small.” He gave me a smile. “Ge. My brother and I had disembarked from the carriage. the Fire Tribe had already conquered the lower parts of the Ice Kingdom. wind from all directions blowing my robes. you must continue to live on strongly. I saw Ji Quan. this is only justice. and said. the next king. I remembered standing on a high vantage point that overlooked the Ice Kingdom.That year. gradually pooling together and spreading out. many years later right now. This is why. he would always smile lightheartedly. my beloved crown prince. see countless of our sorcerers melt in the fire. I could see that white blood was pouring out continuously from the gaping wound in his chest.” I remember that the last sorcerer who was defeated was Ke Tuo. the entrance to the mortal world lies ahead. his face cold and expressionless. Shi. She died on a cliff. I remembered. I was still too young. I was 99 years old. and while traveling in the unicorn drawn carriage. Whenever I asked Granny about it. her entire face would break out in a smile and she would say to me. His gaze became unfocused and his last breath was spent calling my name. and there was a red trident that was pierced right through her chest. I could see the blazing red hair and eyes of their people. as if they were in a beautiful dance. “Win. in the final round of battle. when you become king. Amongst the bodies. my beloved crown prince. Shi asked me. he would lean over and tenderly kiss my brow. drop by drop. and I did not even possess the requirements for being a sorcerer. and become the next king. who was born with strong spiritual power. slowly yet steadily. unable to get up any more. as sweet as a young child. Ying Kong Shi and I were exiled to the mortal world for 30 years. and you will be treated like a king. I kept seeing the corpses of the Fire tribe’s elves and sorcerers lying on both sides of the road. “No. I remembered. crystal clear pupils. The 40 sorcerers who escorted Shi and I out of the Ice Kingdom were all killed during the journey. and I could almost hear her telling me with her white. young face. Ge. and tell me. and Ke Tuo was lying on the ground. I asked my father if we would be killed by them. suddenly feeling a sense of unprecedented fear. as the carriage passed the cliff. You will surely live on. her eyes were still open. Kasuo. “Kasuo. ge will protect you. you need not be saddened. Even the unicorn that had been pulling us was also fallen on the ground.” After which.” My younger brother has practically no memories of that battle. Ke Tuo stroked my face and pointed to the horizon in front of us and told me. but I cannot protect you any longer. The breeze blew against her silver hair and white robes gently. At that time. passed on. and you will be treated like an outcast. a girl I has grown up with in the Snow Fog Forest. but she too. “Kasuo. Kasuo…” I hugged Ying Kong Shi as we stood amidst the snow covered ground. Cupping my face in his hands. while descending snowflakes slowly fell on his young and handsome face. Lose. After the holy war. “Kasuo. pinning her to the black rock. his belief as hard and as concrete as the frozen ice on the mystical Ice Mountain. my beloved crown prince. “My beloved crown prince.

a man had taken all of my ice sculptures. Shi’s hair. “Why the fuck would I be scared of a mongrel like you!?” [Note: mongrel = crossbred dog] And just like that. “Shi. This was the man with the longest hair. but he did so without paying me. I tilted my head up. In the 30 years that I had been exiled to the mortal world. presenting it to him. and said. and the whole forest appeared to be constantly bathed in the warm rays of the setting sun. nor was there any distinction of four seasons. Shi gave me a smile as he turned towards me. it never snowed. Since young. On the other hand. Shi was naturally a highly talented child. Ying Kong Shi. I hardly learnt any skills of illusion. In the Snow Kingdom. there was not a single snowflake on my body. evading the Fire Tribe’s attempts to chase us down and kill us. he took the bowl out of my hands and downed its contents in a single gulp.” I merely transformed the structure of the wine that flowed into his body into that of a trident which . with a hint of restrained sadness. you’re actually so afraid of death. I asked him. the man with the greatest illusionist powers in the entire Ice Kingdom. It always seemed to be spring or summer. the length of hair was directly proportionate to the measure of one’s skill as an illusionist. “You are wrong. and this is winter’s first snow. and the Snow Kingdom had just experienced its first snowfall. and during this time period. his shoulders and his young and handsome face. his smile bright and innocent. He said. Angered. do you really hate the snowflakes falling on your body that much?” Still holding my gaze. I’m not a mix-blooded dog. and I turned around. this was also the one and only man who would not use his powers to shield himself from falling snowflakes. “Ge . my blood is the purest there is. snow would fall upon the kingdom every single day. it’s snowing. he let out a laugh. Shi stood in front of him. I was only able to transform water into various ice sculptures of small animals to make a living. why didn’t you use your illusionist powers to shield yourself from the falling snow?” I lifted my hand and conjured up a shield above his head to shelter him from the snow. whereas mine just barely touched my ankles. His hair had already reached the ground. this was my one and only younger brother. did you plan to poison me?” To prove that the wine was not spiked. And yet. and hooked his ring finger to dissipate it gently. As he was about to draw his final breath with widened eyes. but that man had pushed Shi to the ground. Shi most likely had stronger powers than I did. the person my heart feels for the most in this lifetime of mine.” Snowflakes drifted down. I grabbed a bowl of wine and walked towards him. covering the expanse of ground. he died. Once. I told him. Winters in the Snow Kingdom lasted for ten years. we were continuously on the move.” Exploding with rage. “Ge. In this forest. blocking the man’s path. That man snickered at me menacingly. finding Ying Kong Shi standing under a cherry blossom tree. In addition. I took a sip. He then turned and left. Facing his retreating back. He then asked me. “Turns out. and smirked at him. his lips pursed as he stared at the man wordlessly. looking at the snow filled sky. Therefore. but instead he raised his left arm.Winter had arrived. but his solitary figure seemed so lonesome. The petals of all the cherry blossoms had already fallen off. leaving behind sharp twigs that pierced the pale blue sky. Shi hadn’t done anything to him. and thought of the Snow Fog Forest. I felt a pang of sorrow in my heart. the shrill caw of a bird flying overhead broke the tranquil silence. “Little bastard. Suddenly. Shi looked at me.

was the day I fell for You. In the royal family. However. one that was full of malice. so at that time when Shi was still not of age and I hugged him in the snow. All the mortals present had fled in different directions. Stepping down.” As the gates to our kingdom opened. as white cherry blossoms drifted down upon her snowy hair. I could hear their shouts of my name too. welcoming us back. we are home. which was purely silver-white. you will be the next king. I could still remember. “My king.” When I was 139 years old. That day. please be my princess. and was tall and handsome adult just like my elder brothers had been. Li Luo was not a pureblood. clasping her hands. my mother. The newly built kingdom walls were even more majestic than before. Snowflakes the size of tulip petals fell heavily around Li Luo as she appeared. . standing tall on a unicorn. the snow on the ground had suddenly whirled upwards. it wasn’t white. that smile disappeared in a flash. No one knew that we were the remaining two princes of the Snow Kingdom. unlike mine. decade-long and ceaseless. the snow seemed like willows. as I did not feel that anything ominous would happen. “I love you. it began to snow heavily. “My king. how about you? When did you start loving me?” Li Luo knelt in front of me. Shi looked at me. It was also the time I first discovered that the blood of mortals was different from ours. Willows came to be my favorite thing in the mortal world because their flowers were like the countless winter snowfalls in the Snow Kingdom. because if I die. When I left home I had still been a child. as I could not understand why he had such a sinister smile upon his face. when Li Luo appeared. Seven days later. Just as that man died. are we home already? We won’t be killed by those red people anymore?” I kissed Shi’s crystal clear eyes and replied. and all of the sorcerers and astrologers stand at the top of the walls smiling at me. the Snow Kingdom’s youngest and greatest sorceress.” That was my last winter day in the mortal world. I suddenly wept. I have come to bring You home. and then lifted up her head to meet my gaze. “I fell in love after knowing you for seven days. everyone had thought that I was his father. Shi hugged my neck and asked me. I had suppressed my fear when I turned to look at Shi at that time. I had already become of age. and I could see my father the Emperor. “Shi. no one will be able to kill you. but I held Shi and stood still. when Shi.pierced through his chest. that day when I came down from the unicorn and knelt before You. Li Luo and I neared the south of the Snow Kingdom. their pollen catching onto her long eyelashes.” After that she gave me a smile. I could hear cries of the people filling the air. along with Shi’s. I will protect you with my life. I took hold of Li Luo’s hand and told her. Shi. “Ge. I met Li Luo. the size of goose feathers. but a fiery chili-red. one’s coming of age was at 130 years old.” Many years later. we won’t be killed by anyone else again. but now. I asked Li Luo. fell around us as I held Shi close to me. That was the first time in my life that I had killed a man. Large snowflakes. Li Luo’s hair was tinged a faint blue. right?” “Yes. I was the Snow Kingdom’s next king. she made her way towards me and knelt down. “Ge. and asked. eclipsing the sun.

Even if I find her.hence she could only become the most skilled sorceress at best. turned away. Li Luo had actually been buried in the depths of the Ice Sea. he let out a laugh. When it was over. and left. Shi asked me. Shi had been standing by the side with his arms folded. I remember. he was seated high atop his black throne of ice. I can give up everything for that person. the heaviest the kingdom had experienced to date. what can I do? I will eventually become the Ice Kingdom’s king. Gone was the strong emperor of my memories who fought against enemies that attacked from all directions.” “Ge. As for my father.” After he said that. Standing below. Mother. and there was no way she could become an illusionist. and Xing Jiu told me. I asked my father. Maybe. When I was 200 years old.” Upon finishing my sentence. and Li Luo. Shi. suddenly. In that moment. I had used all of my illusionist powers to defeat him. In that snowfall. My father forbade anyone who did not have completely pure blood from marrying me and becoming a princess of the Snow Kingdom. have you ever thought of going to search for her?” “Search? Perhaps. I wept. Eventually. some told me that she had been stripped of all her sorceress powers and sent to the mystical snow mountain. “Father Emperor. I realized that he had already aged a great deal. my mother revealed the entire truth to me in tears. and snow soon covered the heads and shoulders of Shi and I. Some people told me that Li Luo departed to the mortal world. “Ge. do you desire to be king this much? Could you not leave with her?” “How do you expect me to abandon Father Emperor. But this did not matter to me one bit. if I love someone. my people. she is still alive. and you. Shi turned and started to walk away. she is already dead. That night. leaving me behind as I stood in the vast expanse of snow alone. As I stood in front of him while he laid on the ground. she was buried in the depths of the Ice . when I hurtled into my father’s imperial chamber. I dreamt of Li Luo. overwhelmed with sadness. he did not utter a single word. Eventually. I did not use any magic to shield myself from the falling snowflakes.” “There is no need to. will never be able to become my queen. For the first time in my life. the entire palace fell silent. Like Xing Jiu had said. the Snow Kingdom was hit by a snowfall of unprecedented scale. My princess could only be a mermaid from the deep sea palace. please let me take Li Luo as my wedded wife. A month after that incident. Li Luo had suddenly vanished. coldly watching everything.” “Only “perhaps”.” “Ge.

but none of them were illusionists. clasped his hands and said. and he left my quarters without saying a word. When Shi became of age. The only illusionist present was one who had already grown up. and I could remember that he and Shi stared at each other for an extremely long period of time.” She walked over and raised her hands to touch my face. some of them were sorcerers. I will protect you with my life. bluish glow. matching grins spread across their faces. and she called me. malicious grins. he did not tell anyone the result of that reading. Kasuo. Kasuo. Smiling. Those towering ancient trees that reached up to the sky had blocked most of the sun. the vast expanse littered with wild flowers. Kasuo… She descended from the unicorn. tall and handsome. Ever since then. In the sky was a huge. and as they broke off. I stood in front of Granny. her footsteps light and graceful. and knelt before me. one who had brought a painting back to the forest. my king. but amidst them were strands of fiery red hair.” “Granny. I will do all that I can to keep you safe. I have come to bring You home… Xing Jiu was the Ice Kingdom’s youngest astrologer. Later on. I am Kasuo.” With that.Sea. By the stream were several beautiful white deer and children. He was also the only astrologer who managed to read Shi’s future and not perish. she said. you have grown up to look just like your father the emperor. he walked towards me and knelt down in front of me. and beside the rock were fiery red lotus flowers in bloom. and she was smiling as she called out my name. She said that she was waiting for me. I made my way into the Snow Fog Forest. The painting was of a coast. In the middle of the forest was a flowing stream. which I had not visited for a very long time. Clutching onto this painting. he had the same silvery white hair as I did. “My king. Out of the blue. he turned around and gave Shi a final glance before leaving. A black rock stood on the shore. white bird encircling the area. Xing Jiu was the seventh. clasping her hands. my young king. filling Shi’s snow –white robes.some of them were astrologers. causing them to billow out around him. but rays of sunlight still managed to filter through the gaps between the branches and leaves. “Granny. These kids were pure-bloods . a gust of wind suddenly blew. It was only a long time after that incident happened that he asked one of the maids to bring a painting to me. His eyes suddenly clouded over as if there was a heavy snowstorm within. she said to me. facing her wrinkle-filled face. yet he was the greatest. “Kasuo. Shi saw this painting in my chamber. After Xing Jiu completed his duty. her entire body emitting a silver-white and faint. Strange. can you tell me the meaning of this painting?” . Raising her head. Father called seven astrologers to read Shi’s fortune. and the first six vomited fresh blood and died suddenly midway. The grassy fields were boundless. piercing right into my white pupils. and said.

The laughter of those children drifted towards my ears. That coast is called Offshore. as its birdcall melts snow and ice. those type of red lotuses flourish in the lands of the Fire Country.” “Granny.” “Granny. it only appears when winter ends and spring begins. for I am old. Shi and I have already passed the final. highlighting her wrinkles one by one. that it had been a long time since I had heard Shi's laughter. perhaps Xing Jiu can enlighten you.” A warm smile gradually spread across Granny’s wizened face. my young king.” “Is that so? Kasuo. a very old king told me. as clear as the ringing of wind chimes. . there is no snow here as well. broken and unrelenting love. never withering.“Yes. but I am unable to do so. anyone from the Snow Kingdom who commits a taboo would be bound to this rock for eternity. not a single one remained. I only know that once.” “Granny. I realized with a sudden. that slab of black rock. I do not know. how about that bird?” “That is a snow bird. and they seem like a hopeless.” “Then why have I not seen this bird in the Snow Fog Forest?” “Kasuo. how about those red lotus flowers? What do they represent?” “Kasuo. highest level of tests to becoming illusionists. because there is no winter in the Snow Fog Forest. like beautiful ripples across still water. is called the Stone of Imprisonment. my young king. none. how are your results? How many cherry blossoms were left?” “Granny.

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