On Wei’s study table, a magical journal stands out. Three Chinese words are in the center of the cover: 雷慧凰. If the viewer dares to open, a story plays out with the voice of a heavily accented Chinese woman. While she narrates in the first perspective, the viewer would see life in ancient China.
Hi there. Welcome to my journal! If you stumbled upon this, it might mean I trust you enough to share my story, or a tragedy has happened, but that does not matter. Now that you’re here, why don’t you stay? This journal was a gift from Mnemosyne — to make sure I never forget my culture, my people, and my story.
During the Sui dynasty, Buddhism was the most prevalent religion at the time. It was how China then was to be unified through propaganda. The palace questioned those who didn’t convert. Thus, these were turbulent times for demigods who could not renounce their heritage. They were like wild flames that did not want to be under the control of the established government.
In fear of persecution, our gifted group of forefathers fled for refuge and prayed to Olympus. What they sought, they found and established the Lui clan. Together, the village fought monsters, trained, forged, and innovated - much to have been a target for more gods and goddesses. New half-bloods, strays, and legacies, the clan grew in formidable size. Unfortunately, those who found us and refused our loyalty to the gods must suffer consequences. Soon, with consideration to the number of godly spawns, Olympus granted us a shield against monsters - much like the one in the current Camp Half-Blood.
Efficient and deadly with weapons forged with the gods’ knowledge, these were once the hidden secrets within the forest and mountains of Sichuan, China. With full pride, do I dare call my people fierce and noble? The story passed on from generation to generation, but it never reached mine.
The picture of my parents’ meeting was magical, as my father narrated. My mother was laconic and introverted - like an oxpecker that guarded against above. Meanwhile, my father, a son of Circe, was an extroverted man with much charm. He was bold, talkative, handsome, and chaotic - like a water buffalo always running towards a goal. Their symbiotic relationship started over a bag of gold.
After their mental connection, my mother revealed herself to be the goddess Hecate. However, she intended to stay, much to my father’s joy. As the clan’s first lady, she was introduced to the family as a daughter of Hecate and was gladly welcomed. Any deity who visited kept her identity as a secret, as she was then considered a minor goddess.
My childhood was like paradise. Though the people hailed and rejoiced for my birth, the villagers didn’t treat me like heiresses, but as a family member. They did not give me any special treatment more than they gave the others, and I was freely allowed to communicate with the few children of my age. When I returned home, my mother would be strict on my spell training, and my father always had the time to tuck me in bed. I trained to be the next supreme leader in all aspects - assassin, healer, and trainer. For eleven years, my life was close to perfection.
My first monster attack came at the age of 11; the first time I stepped out of the border to see something more. A hellhound picked up my scent, and it came to charge me. Luckily, the god of death Thanatos, who enjoyed his company with one of our village’s women, stopped the dog. Thus, one could say, I never had a formal fight for a monster back in my childhood.
Sadly, despite our village living in peace and harmony, human nature craved more, more, and more. Some members planned a rebellion against the gods, asking for more than what we have received. In their eyes, we should be equal. Hubris and greed caused our downfall. The angered Olympians taught a lesson for all the future Asian half-blood children. They summoned my father in a meeting, and he allowed himself to become a sacrifice, leading all with him to death. However, my mother pleaded for my life, and Zeus, who in favor of the innocent lives in our village, allowed it. Olympus lifted the shroud and made the village known to the public.
The next night, the warriors, high ranked assassins of our village reported a siege of the emperor’s army was charging towards us. The army was not a peaceful one, with war horses and men with full armor. It outnumbered our people by at least five times. Many people died that night, but before I heard all the blood-curdling screams, I vanished. My father kissed me one last goodnight, and my mother opened a portal to the future - one of her new spells made with my father. For the last time, my mother crossed two hairpins onto my hair. I did not want to leave, but I had no choice. When she heard the battering ram slamming through our gates, mother pushed me towards the portal. However, some complications happened - such as my eyes glowing red, and my life becoming immortal. I was 17 when I would never see my people, my family, my great village again.
Two hundred years later, Zeus would also strike down the imperial palace for having the audacity to ruin the Greek lineage. The Liu descendants of Apollo and Mnemosyne then wrote the “Tui Bei Tu 推背圖”, or 60-paged book of curses. Each page was to be fulfilled by a demigod of a different heritage. The book reminded the great country about its transgressions against the half-bloods of the Lui clan. Some were reincarnated without knowledge of their past - Cody Knight from the Japanese War (page 39) and Haze Ryong from the Tiananmen Square Massacre (page 54), while others lived through the pain of failing their country Xavier Yan in the Opium War (page 36). Yet, there are also those who left for the Elysian Fields. Nonetheless, they were all hailed as heroes of Olympus. And I, whose life inspired theirs, could see all 60 pasts with my red eyes.
Fast-forwarding to modern-day, I woke up in a bed. Two distinct male voices were conversing. I opened my eyes to find a satyr and a son of Mnemosyne named Fred and Griffin Hui. They were also the reincarnations Li Chunfeng and Yuan Tiangang, the co-author of the Tui Bei Tu. According to them, I was found in Central Park unconscious, and Fred sensed something special in me. Thus, the two men took me home. It was hard at first to communicate, but luckily, Griffin Hui could translate. They soon became my family, giving me an American name based on a billboard ad. Yes, it was a pop star named Kesha.
America was engaging in a way, and Griffin made it bearable. Griffin was able to translate everything I said in my exact words. He even taught me how to speak in three more languages. Griffin also gave me these new blue colored contact lenses to make me less noticed in public. He went with me to beauty parlors and malls without concern that people stared at him for it. We practiced our powers under Fred every day. We ate lunch together at school, even when people glared at me. He always patted my head and made me feel special. After a year of being kept and taught in Griffin’s ways, I was ready to see the world.
I attended the modern-day school and seemingly passed. It was quite tricky when you only had one year to absorb everything. The people from my class distanced me for some reason of being ancient, they say. They also feared my aura of “deadliness.” The girls sneered at me when I always stuck close to Griffin. I tried to do my best, but it was so painful. The only subjects I managed to get A’s were history, sports, art, culture, and math. After a while, I have gotten the “hang” of things. Griffin taught me more and more and more. He told me that I was improving; this somehow made me glad inside.
A year later, I had not confessed my feelings, and Griffin had a girlfriend. He rarely spent any time with me, and depression crept into my mind. Fred noticed it, and he told me it was high time I should go to Camp Half-Blood. I, without any question, packed my stuff and rode a taxi with him to a far off place. We reached a foot of a hill, and he told me to cross the border. I was then escorted by Cody Knight, the reincarnation of an Olympian hero, to the Hecate cabin.
History textbooks never divulge information to the future generations to retain the simple-minded peace, but these memories forever live on within me. Even if I never get to rule my people, I am glad to have once been a part of them. I am pleased to continue their legacy.