The story of Zhang Huizhong and Li Chunfeng is set in the Kingdom of Weiguang. The kingdom’s capital is Weian. There are several provinces within the empire. However, this story focuses mainly on Anhu county located in the east.
Author’s note: Weiguang means “subtle light,” while Weian means “subtle darkness.” See what we did there?
A mid-sized, coastal county of six villages that boasts effective self-defense from the neighboring Bamboo Forest Gang and marauding pirates, the Sea Serpent Gang, along the coast. Currently, the province is at peace with the Sea Serpent gang after the signing of a fair trade treaty from the days of former governor Geng Hai. The capital is Dong Ying located on the shores of the famed Han Lake (Lotus Blossom Lake).
It is overseen by Governor Yu Renshu and his five officials:
1. Official Zhang Chanming, head of treasury, taxation and agriculture
2. Official Shen Xiaobo, head of civil matters in Dong Ying
3. Official Mao Jiaolong, head of defense
4. Official Song Zhi, head of village affairs
5. Official Shu Xiangliang, head of merchant affairs and trading
Users are individuals born with powers based on the elements. As Li Chunfeng says, “[A User is one] who’s both cursed and blessed at the same time. Depends on how you look at it. Cursed with the power to bring calamity, or blessed with the power to protect.”
There are five elements in Chinese culture: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.
Yan Jun and the First Demonic Portal Opening
“Yan Jun was born with a mark on his forehead that granted him Buddha-like powers, such as curing the sick and purifying spirits. When he was only fourteen years old, the demonic portal was opened by a man who called himself the Black Emperor. Out poured demons and evil spirits who destroyed and killed many in their rampage. Martial artist sects and monasteries joined forces to protect the populace. Yet even with our good Emperor’s armies, we were not able to withstand the might of the demonic power, until Yan Jun and his followers appeared. Yan had found these followers from various parts of the world. They had abilities similar to the Users but they did not necessarily utilize the power of the elements. Together they were able to perform the ritual to close the portal. This gave the imperial armies the chance to overwhelm the Black Emperor’s hideout and capture many of his followers and his family, but the Black Emperor escaped their clutches.
For months, Yan and his followers searched until they captured him while trying to escape by sea to another land. The Black Emperor was charged before the imperial court among various witnesses from the martial artist sects and monasteries. His spiritual power was sealed by Venerable Daishin, and he was sentenced to prison for life. He was strictly guarded and no visitors were allowed. Four years into his sentence his body mysteriously disappeared one night. The guards, who were on duty, swore that they did not allow any to pass but the Emperor was displeased and they were executed. Since the incident, no evil befell them but the Emperor felt uneasy and asked that the monasteries serve as guardians of spiritual centers to ensure no evil befell the kingdom. Yan founded the Eagle Peak Monastery… and since then his knowledge has been passed down to us through the generations. Under the monasteries’ strict guidance, most sightings of evil spirits and demons were quelled and peace reigned until now.” – Venerable Dongguan, present head (zhuchi) of Eagle Peak Monastery