The purple tinted gravel seemed to moan in sympathy beneath Yue’s leather boots with every step she made up the river. Her heart, thumping in a slow, heavy rhythm seemed to match the mournful sway of the tree branches in the mountain breeze. In the branches overhead, the white cranes gracefully bobbed to this rhythmic funeral dance and the rabbits gazed with empathy as she passed their hidden burrows. Yue’s ghost-like form moves in empty silence through the forest like a mist, as she contemplates the sorrow that has ripped her soul from her encasing body.
Yue remembered the last thing her parents told her,
“Yue, we named you after the moon and like the moon, you are destined for greatness. You will bring considerable honor to our family. So be a good girl now.”
Left in a perplexed state, Yue sent her life-drained bodies to be taken away by the water spirits of the North. Hopefully, they will be at peace in their next life. The sun laid down below the hills of the west in great relief from having the burden of warming the entire universe. Yue could only imagine taking on that responsibility, but if it meant her parents would be warm in their new existence, she would hang in the sky with a skin scorching glow for all eternity. No one could stop her, not even the “evil one” himself.
Suddenly, a gust of crisp breeze rushed past Yue and whispered, “Hoo, hoo…” A silver owl with beautiful, shimmering, ice-like feathers, swooped down from behind the moonlit clouds.
“Small child, why are you wandering alone in the wilderness?” cooed the owl majestically.
“My parents were murdered by the evil Bear, King Cheng, so I am orphaned now and have nowhere to go,” Yue replied holding back tears.
“Yue, do not be sad. I am going to give you an opportunity to restore honor to your family name. Your parents can be avenged.”
“How is that possible? How do you know my name?” Yue asked warily.
“Every Wind Owl knows your name Yue. I carried you myself to your parents from the moon when you were a newborn. The Moon himself has now instructed me to teach you the ways of the Wind and skills you never thought possible. Come with me Yue, and together we will ring justice upon Cheng.”
So Yue followed Owl into the forest, until she came upon her cozy den. Yue immediately poured a ceremonial tea made from bamboo stalks and nectarine leaves for Owl. Then they sipped the sweet liquid together in silence.
“It’s time to start your training, but first I want you to meet a small friend.” Owl announced.
Yue looked around and noticed a fiery fox cub with a sleek auburn pelt nestled amongst some leaves. He then strutted over valiantly with his tail held high.
Owl informed Yue, “his name is Kitsune or Kit for short.”
“I can tell we will be the best of friends Kit. Together we will become intangible to Cheng’s claws as we defeat him.”
Kit barked in agreement then left the room, followed by his bushy, white-tipped tail. He soon returned with something on his back that was amazing. An elegant, magical, white bow that dazzled like stars as it was placed in front of Yue. She dared to touch its gold ornate trimming when suddenly a supernatural, electrifying sense zapped through her veins. Yue could faintly hear the humming of old Chinese proverbs when Yue plucked the drawstring made from a dragon’s whisker.
“Yue, I am granting you this gift from the Moon. It was handcrafted by the Wind Owls of Old and has always been meant for you. It is a great honor to be bestowed such a bow. You should be proud,” explained Owl.
Yue gasped in amazement then replied, “do not worry Owl, under your mentoring and with this bow, I will not let you or my parents down.”
Weeks passed and soon Yue was able to pounce to the top of the tallest tree in the forest and strike an ant far below with her jade tipped arrow. Yue learned to become one with the earth and read the wind’s waves. The breeze whistled with her arrows as they found their target of a koi fish in a rice pattie miles away. Unleashing her mind to absorb the paradox of the universe around me, helped to free my body and soul. Kit became quicker and more nimble from lapping up the sweet nectar of the magic lotus flower, giving him indescribable spiritual vision. He is such a clever fox.
A few days later Owl summoned, “Yue! It’s time for your final test.”
Kit and Yue crouched near Owl and listened for her instructions.
“Yue, to prove that you are ready to defeat Cheng, you must first send an arrow around the world and let Kit catch it before it reaches the ground where you are standing. Only a true archer can accomplish this. You must have faith in Kitsune to finish the task. Can you do this my apprentice?
Yue thought about it for a second then nodded in compliance. Yue will do whatever she can to meet Cheng face to face. She was ready. Yue placed her arrow into her bow and strung back the dragon whisker till it began to sing out loud the ancient Chinese proverbs her mother lulled her to sleep with every night. Yue inhaled a deep breath, slowly taking in swirls of the silver wind as she was taught. It filled her lungs and unveiled her eyes to the arrow’s path around the world. Letting go with a quick zing, she sent the arrow out fo sight. It travelled across China and flew over every continent before it came soaring above them. Kit sprang into action and the speed of light and nabbed the whizzing arrow in mid-air. The task was successful. Yue and Kit were about to embark on their true mission.
They finally came upon Cheng’s cave. He was sleeping with a sluggish, grotesque snore. Yue was about to show no mercy. Perched on top of a distant boulder, she strung back a razor-sharp arrow. Yue wanted to take back everything Cheng had taken from her. With sever intensity, the arrow slipped through the guidance of Yue’s fingers at an exhilarating speed. Snap! It pierced straight through Cheng’s boulder like head. His mighty pulse diminished to nothing and the deed was done. Never again will King Cheng underestimate any family of China.