It was a time of war. China, at that time, had its people against each other in a struggle for power. From these battles rose the future first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Shi Huang Di, that led his army to numerous victories over those that tried to stand in his way. But for someone who commanded thousands of battle-born men, he seemed to lack the company of women. That was why in every battle he won, he did not only take slaves but also concubines. However, he was very meticulous on choosing his women. He did not base his standards on beauty and brains alone, but also fertility. He wanted to make sure he had children—lots of them. Those who did not meet these criteria, however, ended up as servants.
Albeit a peasant, Lao Xiaoyun, a native of the kingdom of Chen, being a servant didn’t suit her well. She was basically the envy of every concubine Huang Di had, and she made them feel it to the bone.Fed up with the hardships brought by the war, she left her kingdom in a search for fame, power, and wealth. That was why she ended up in Huang Di’s harem, enjoying a kind of life light years away from her peasant beginnings.
A certain god, on the other hand, was present in Huang Di’s palace in his endless exploits of infidelity. It was a noblewoman this time, and both of them were madly in love with each other. However, one night, Zeus became really drunk and barged in right through Xiaoyun’s quarters. Mistaking her for his noblewoman lover, he raped her. Even for a god, it was apparent that his memories of what happened that night were blurred.
Xiaoyun, who was already emotionally shaken by her rape, found herself plummeting in utter humiliation when Huang Di found out about the incident. The noblewoman, who witnessed it, told the emperor that Xiaoyun “seduced and stole his lover” (aka Zeus), thus committing the act of adultery. Her accusation was further backed up by the jealous concubines, who told the emperor false stories of Xiaoyun seeing other men. Doubtful of the women’s reports, Huang Di decided to hold his judgment until he proved them himself.
The next day, Xiaoyun had the case of morning sickness. Fearing that she would be thrown out of the palace once Huang Di found out about it, she decided to take measures. She seduced Huang Di into having sex with him then acting sick a few days later. She even blackmailed the royal doctor into announcing that she was pregnant to Huang Di’s “son”, just to secure her place in the palace. The emperor seemed to have forgotten his suspicions against Xiaoyun, now that his favorite woman was going to bear his “son”. The concubines, however, warned her that the truth would be revealed sooner or later.
Several months passed and Xiaoyun finally gave birth to a boy. Huang Di gave the name Tian to the newly born baby, which meant “heaven”. But heaven wasn’t the feeling Xiaoyun had for Tian. If it weren’t for him, she wouldn’t be fearing the day that her husband found out about her dirty little secret.
In the following years, Tian was educated by the consuls to become cultured and prince-like. Since he was the “son” of the favorite concubine, Huang Di highly favored him. As such, he was heavily spoiled and pampered. Anyone suspicious who dared to even go near him was either imprisoned or even executed. It was no wonder that Tian always did everything he could to impress his father. His mother Xiaoyun, on the other hand, only saw Tian as a stigma of her past and an instrument to get more attention from her husband. Having no regard for what she really felt about him, Tian just tried to impress her as well. In fact, that was what he only did, impressing everyone else just to keep the spotlight to himself.
For a child of the Big Three, Tian’s scent was more noticeable at a younger age. That was why when he celebrated his tenth birthday, Zeus finally came to his senses and realized what happened to him and Xiaoyun several years ago. To make ends for that embarrassing display of his rude behavior he sent a lightning nymph, Jinghua, to watch over Tian. However, given the latter’s strong demigod scent, monsters started to follow him around.
On a trip with his father to anunfinished section of the Great Wall of China, two Scythian dracanae attacked their carriage. In the first few seconds of the attack, Huang Di was easily knocked out while Tian scurried to get out of the carriage. He ran a bit too close to the construction site, where a fairly large stone fell upon his head. If it weren’t for Jinghua coming at the nick of time, the Scythian dracanae would’ve devoured him. After the attack, she retreated to the forest with the unconscious Tian as she nursed him back to health.
For nine days, Tian had gone missing and Huang Di’s efforts to find him were all in vain. During one of those days, Zeus visited Xiaoyun to apologize and to tell her the truth about their son. She didn’t believe a word of what the god had said to her, and their argument went on and on. Finally, Zeus had no choice but to depart, silently entrusting Tian’s safety to Jinghua. Unfortunately, Huang Di heard the whole length of their conversation. The confrontation between husband and concubine lasted shortly, which ended up in Xiaoyun confessing the truth. The royal doctor also sold her out because the emperor threatened him with death.
On Tian’s return to the palace with Jinghua, whom he has grown fond of, he was right on time for Xiaoyun’s execution. A small vial of poison was placed on a table in front of her, which she was forced to drink. As soon as she died, he rushed to his father, crying in sorrow and disbelief. But the guards refused to let him go near Huang Di. Upon knowing that it was Jinghua who saved the demigod, the emperor decided to let her stay to take care of Tian. However, they were forbidden to leave the palace, much less roam around without someone accompanying them.
To keep Tian busy and distracted from his grief, Jinghua secretly trained him at night. He was given a Celestial bronze miaodao to fight with so that he would be ready once another monster attacks him. Soon enough, at the age of twelve, a fire-breathing horse caught him alone in the palace gardens. But since he had prior experience in fighting, he was able to defeat it pretty easily by stabbing it on the eye.
Ever since the late Xiaoyun’s scandal came out, the nobility living inside the palace hasn’t treated Tian the same way anymore. The young man, who never knew the meaning of being ignored, was desperate to be noticed. When he realized that the people around him no longer cared or recognized what he was doing, save for Jinghua,he gradually became sick of the idea of being a royalty. Consequently, he started sneaking out of the palace to go to the city. It was his first time in such a setting, where everyone never knew who he was or where he came from. It was also his first time getting a taste of the harsher reality of the world, in which he had great difficulty to adjust on. He took on the name “Mako” when he was out in the city.
That was when Tian met her. She was the talented tailor everyone talked about, who made cloth that was as beautiful as her. Her profile seemed familiar to him, as if the young womanwas one of Emperor Shi Huang Di’s concubines. He wasn’t quite sure, but after he bought a piece of cloth from her, she had made a lasting impression on him. However, their first meeting seemed to be the last because Tian had less chances of sneaking out of the palace as security tightened.
A few years had passed and Tian was already sixteen years old. He kept training under Jinghua as his monsters attacks became more frequent and dangerous ever since his scent was first detected. But at the same time, seeing the beautiful tailor also became a more frequent thought for him. Despite the risks of being caught, he snuck out of the palace again, something he hasn’t done for quite a few months already.
Putting on a midnight blue cloak he bought from the tailor, he didn’t realize that it carried the young woman’s scent, who was also a demigod like him. As he got out of a secret passage, four hellhounds ambushed him. Although he was able to kill two of them, the other two smelled the other demigod scent that was on his cloak and suddenly ran off. When he realized that they were after the girl, he chased after them into the woods. Deep in the thicket, he found the girl, who was totally frightened by the presence of the two hellhounds.
A fight quickly followed. Although Tian was able to kill one of the monsters, he failed to notice the other one that came close to the girl. In spite of his injuries, he was able to finish off the last one who had already clawed once on its helpless victim. Once the fight was over, Tian passed out due to exhaustion. The girl, whose name was Rouxi, took care of him.
The incident greatly drew the two closer to each other. Before they knew it, they fell in love with one another. It turned out that Rouxi really was one of Huang Di’s concubines, who escaped the wrath of her husband a few years back and had been living in the city ever since. She also discovered that the boy Mako was truly a member of the royal family, but of course Tian hated being called as such.
The happiness they felt with each other’s company was cut short when their relationship was found out by the emperor. Before she was arrested, Rouxi told Tian to flee the capital before Huang Di found him, but he refused to leave her. On the day of Rouxi’s execution, a familiar scene flashed before Tian’s eyes: his mother Xiaoyun drinking the poison as his father watched intently. He tried to intervene, but Jinghua bitterly forbid him for it was a waste of the girl’s sacrifice to not sell him out.
Upon the death of Rouxi, he and Jinghua secretly packed their belongings. But before they could even leave the city, they were found by Huang Di and his soldiers. Jinghua tried to hold them off so that Tian could escape, but she was ultimately killed right in front of him. Tian had no other choice but to surrender himself to the emperor, whom he once called “father”. He was thrown to prison for a few months. He anticipated that he would die just as how his mother and girlfriend did, but he didn’t know that he would suffer a fate much more terrible than a vial of poison. Shi Huang Di, vicious and mad as he was, sentenced Tian to be buried alive in his own mausoleum so that he would serve him forever in the afterlife. Huang Di thought the same when he ordered the creation of the Terracotta Army. As Tian slowly succumbed in the dark tomb, Zeus appeared before him, granting him a seemingly eternal sleep.
In the year 1974, a group of farmers discovered the Terracotta Army while they were digging wells. Around the same time, a group of satyrs also found Tian’s tomb, where they discovered the boy, still young as he was as if he just slept the day before. Under Zeus’ orders, they brought him to Mt. Olympus, where he was awakened as one of his father’s immortal servants.
About forty years later, news came to Zeus that Rouxi, who was actually asleep as well, has awakened and has been brought to Camp Half-Blood. When he told Tian about this, he immediately left Olympus for Camp to be reunited with her—thousands of years later.