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Raising a Rebel Chapter 5 is live-Author's Thoughts


W_L

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Chapter 5

I wanted to show off a skilled military operation that wins an entire battle without costing any lives. Some people will say, is that even possible? 

Technically, it required a lot of precision, timing, and extremely good luck, which are all attributes that Hua Cheng possesses in excess. Hua Cheng was asked by Xie Lian to keep the army of Huan family alive, but simply to remove their threat. Putting them all to sleep through the use of grounded herbs and powders being sprinkled from the summit of the mountain would achieve all those aims, plus gain fame for the Xie Xuan as a capable general and bounty giver. Another interesting fact about ancient Chinese troops of the day, there was a lot of looting and spoils that happened after defeating an enemy, it's how soldiers can make their income beyond the small base pay they get from their lord. A victorious general would attract more followers and soldiers, primarily due to how much booty they can gain from the opposing side. In this circumstance, where 5,000 men robbed 100,000 men of everything including their clothing, you will start seeing a lot of soldiers wanting to join in.

Wang Tsai is an original LGBT character, he's probably best described as a bottom-training :P  Some gay and bi guys are just attracted to strong men, but neither Hua Cheng nor Xie Lian will ever cheat on each other, they're so loyal and faithful to each other that in their own novel, married straight couples worship them to keep their marriages intact :o (Yay, gay marriage is revered for its stability!). I wanted to write that little scene between him and Hua Cheng just so folks don't get the wrong idea, the sleep-inducing powder is not meant to be used as a date rape drug. 

Now as for the two myths I introduced in this chapter:

Yes, the Hmong people are a real ethnic minority in China and Southeast Asia. They are traditionally thought of as an offshoot of the Chinese Yellow river people, who were forced out in prehistory. The myth surrounding those events became part of the legend of the Yellow Emperor and the Battle of Zhoulu, which according to the myth resulted in the banishment of the Jiuli, the ancestors of the Hmong and Miao people. Also after the conquest and consolidation of the Yellow River and Yangtze rivers, the Yellow Emperor did in legend start the Huaxia nation, which is nowadays used in modern China as a form of sino-nationalist philosophy. 

As for the story of the origin of the snake, it's a legend I heard as a child. I re-adapted it and made the context far more understandable to various audiences on what happened. It's an ugly affair showcasing how cruel the gods were even among their peers if you disobey their commands. It further highlights why someone like Xie Lian would leave the Heavenly Court and just be a roaming knight with his husband rather than having to obey such commands. An interesting issue with ancient Chinese mythology is that "legalism" as applied to absolute law is usually what caused a lot of Taoist gods and mortals to fall from grace. Furthermore, Chinese Buddhism applies a legalist practice in separation between natural and unnatural, essentially it's an early form of discrimination in fiction (anecdotally this may be considered a social commentary on ancient racism toward non-Asian people, since the White snake's human form has white skin). Basically, old-school Chinese Buddhism did not like the idea of natural (an Asian boy) falling in love with someone unnatural (A white snake girl) in the Legend of White Snake, something that western readers I bet haven't heard about or knew behind the "free love" and "spiritual" side that modern Buddhism showcases nowadays.

The white snake will be part of the first story arc. I'll see how well this works out

Edited by W_L

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