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Born under a full moon, Konghai named his daughter, the product of a forbidden love, Mingyue (bright moon). He had to name her because her mother did not survive the ordeal. He remembered when Yulan was pretty as a spring flower, like her namesake, the orchid, not as she was now: withered and lifeless. Li Yulan was the only daughter of a rich merchant in the town Konghai's temple was situated. Konghai was raised by the monks in the temple from a young age when his family could no longer afford to keep him. Though he trained with the other monks, he was particularly gifted in the art of horticulture and have been put in charge of the temple's gardens, from which vegetables were grown to supplement the monk's diet and income. Aside from vegetables, Konghai also cultivated a small patch of land to grow beautiful flowers. It was this flower patch that caught the eye of the merchant's daughter. After seeing his well grown orchids, a very delicate breed to sustain, she had her father hire Konghai to be their estate gardener. The young monk and the pretty merchant's daughter developed an unlikely friendship which progressed to much more. As the flowers in their garden grew, so did their affections for each other. Knowledge of her betrothal to another rich merchant's son under orchastration of her father spurred the lovers to finally run away together with nothing more than her secretly saved allowance and his skills. Their travels were marred only by the constant hiding from her father's men sent to bring them back. Eventually, they found out she was with child and settled down on the outskirts of a small town far away from where they had started.


Konghai sometimes wondered if he had done the right thing to run away with Yulan, which led to her early death. But one look at his daughter drove away all doubt. Mingyue was a dutiful and obedient daughter, heeding most if not all of the lessons he taught her. Though they lived off of the land with limited contact with people in town, Konghai taught her all he knew about fighting as a monk. Not only did it help protect her, but from time to time, especially during holidays, Konghai would take her to town to perform their art for tips. The extra income allowed Konghai to buy his daughter small toys and trinkets he saw her covet. The remainder he put away for when he became too old to earn such a living.


One night, a traveling priestess who had missed the town, requested lodging for the night. Mingyue was excited over the guest and did her best to accommodate. Over bread and vegetable stew, she eagerly asked the young priestess, Kyoko, about her travels and the world beyond. Konghai had to remind her not to keep their guest up too late to satisfy her own curiosity. Looking at his eighteen year old fledgling, he knew it was time for her first flight. Konghai emptied his savings, 9 platnum, 4 gold, and 3 silver coins, into a pouch for Mingyue to take along on her first adventure. While she chattered with the priestess at the table, he packed her a backpack with a bedroll, his old siangham, a dagger, her winter blanket, a sturdy 10ft hemp rope, soap, a waterskin, an empty sack, a belt pouch, and a package of preserved vegetables with some bread. Before they went to bed, Konghai asked the priestess to take Mingyue on her travels. After all, what better traveling companion for a first flight than a priestess healer. Mingyue, at hearing the news, was estatic and hardly able to close her eyes all night.


The next morning, Konghai felt a mix of pride and apprehension as he watched his five foot tall daughter, dressed in her finest clothes, take her first steps into the outside world. Small floral patterns against a bright pink cloth was what she had chosen for a gift on her eighteenth birthday. It was enough to make both a fitted top and the calf length loose pants that were both fashionable and sensible. After all, working in the fields tended to make anything beneath ones calves mud-covered. With some lilac silk, Mingyue had trimmed her pants and made a small matching wrap to make the outfit more feminine and formal so that when the occasion arose, she would have something nice to wear. As was her habit, she had on all the trinkets he ever bought her, as well as the only tangible items she had left of her mother's, a pair of gold earrings. The rest of her jewelry were made of other, less precious, materials: a thick bronze anklet on her right ankle, three thin silver bracelets on her left wrist, and a simple bronze arm bracelet clasped to her upper left arm. Mingyue had swept half of her dark brown hair up while letting the other half to flow freely past her shoulders. She held the upper half of her hair together with several throwing darts that were more than just decorative if she needed them to be. To complete her look, Mingyue selected several of the flowers in bloom from the garden and placed them in her hair. She had always been fond of flowers and would often chide Konghai for not naming her after one. Konghai never told her the reason he did not give her a flowery name like the one her mother had but chose to name her after the moon. Flowers were fragile and could wither and die, but the moon always hung in the sky.

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