They say being born a prince is lucky. Surrounded by the riches of the kingdom with a loving father and a kind ruler of the dynasty. Safe from an invasion and tucked away safely, the palace of the ages and the home of the dragons nestled in their nests in the peaceful Liu mountains, where the rocks protected the royal palace from harm. Waterfalls of spectacular splendor pool around the towers and the buildings, falling into the deeper depths of the gorge or spilling into lakes and ponds dotted throughout the mountains. Statues of the old gods, of protection and nature deities, stand watch in the silent rock forests. To those who have a reason to be at the palace, it was a place of beauty and serenity. To those who were there to thieve at the royal treasures or to commit murder, it is said that those who protect the royal family will stand by them till the end, ending all chances of these wrong-doers. And it isn't only the dragons and gods that protect them, but the clan of warriors that lived and survived in the mountains. They were a clan of people who long left society to find solitude within the mountains many centuries ago. Despite not being part of the royal family they were treated with utmost respect, as even the gods and the dragons looked after them. They were fierce warriors who learned the art of the sword and the bow, hunting their part of animals that lived in the Liu mountains, drank from the ponds and lakes and lived in harmony with the palace. Soon the two parties began to mingle, to earn money some of these people left their clan to serve as guards and servants, some rising to the ranks to become generals as well! They were the stuff of legends, with their skills and combat prowess. The clan was often invited into the banquets of the royal palace, to enjoy each other's company and merriment. All was well. When the second son of the royal Emperor was born, a party was thrown to celebrate his arrival. Seiji, he was named. A boy with pale skin and features as dark as the night sky. They were traits from his mother, who was a dark beauty, with long black hair and eyes so brown and warm they were said to be the kindest in the kingdom. Seiji had inherited her raven black hair as well, with her dark eyes. He was a welcome sight, even though there was another son in the kingdom, the first son. They both got along well, even with the tension of the throne looming over them. They both shared a mutual friend, a boy from the clan of the mountains. They loved each other dearly as close friends and were said to have never parted each other as children. How the mountain boy entered their lives was an interesting story. It all began at another party hosted by his father the Emperor, after a plentiful harvest that benefited the entire kingdom. The villages and the towns below the Liu mountains threw their own parties with rice wine and treats, fish from the nearby sea fresh and cooked, and meats from the mountains were plentiful. In the royal palace, a banquet was held in honour of the gods and the harvest, with thousands of meals being prepared by the chefs. Of course, the mountain clan was invited as well to join the festivities. Though Seiji was a prince, the two princes were far too young to help around in the kitchens or to decorate the palace with their mother, since they had no taste in that whatsoever. As a result, the both of them were sent outside to play, as long as they remained within the palace walls. While they both contemplated what to play together, they decided to go to the palace pond where the rowing boat was. It was a giant pond filled with lotus flowers, large green leaves acting as umbrellas in the huge body of water, with pretty pink flowers sitting like aromatic boats, swirling and dancing along with them as they lounged about in their royal silks, sharing stories and laughing together.