Once upon a time, when Rams were without horns and fox without tails. A mythical bird appeared to Artem Borya. He is the leader of an early Russian criminal group. He and his family had fled from their homes after his brother attempted to murder him. They travelled the deep seas for scorching days and harrowing nights in searching for a new home. A magical bird appeared to them at sunrise. He recognized this bird as Hǎi nǔ shēn, Goddess of the tide and the seas. She is the protagonist of his childhood story novel, The legend of Hǎi nǔ shēn, the Blue Phoenix. He often saw creatures in the book come alive. He was a firm believer in those mythical characters and worshipped Hǎi nǔ shēn. According to legend, only he could see this bird. Others could only see the glow. This blue firebird brought Artem to his knees with his arms opened to the sunrise. The fire surrounding her made it hard to see her features with ease. Her beak was long and curved, and her wings shimmered with bursts of red fireflies at her feather tips. Her eyes were an enormous pair of Amber fiery balls that threatened to burn you to crisp the longer you look into them. His people watched as his forehead touched the floor. “Bow your heads in adoration. Pray to Hǎi nǔ shēn. Beg her to lead us to the home she has prepared for us. Worship her.” She hovered and circled above them three times before flying towards the east. “Follow our goddess, and she will lead us home.” The boats lined up in a triangular form behind his commanding boat. They followed her movement as she led them through the stormy sea with her praises unending on their lips until sunset when dry land appeared on the horizon. This vast land divided by a river, connected by bridges, and held together as one by the surrounding ocean. They bowed to her in songs of praises as she flew far beyond the horizon. Peace was prevalent until two ships carrying hundreds of strangers docked at their bay. This arrival marked a pivotal change in Borya ancestry. They were members of a bloody criminal organization. The Chinese government banished them because of their illegal activities, and they found their way to Borya posing as farmers. “Your Majesty, the heightened tension between China and Russia has cost us our jobs and made it hard to survive. We beg you to give us portions of lands to farm. Please, save us from this poverty.” Said their leader, Cheng Ping Li. The Emperor gave them vast lands until they owned most of the territory. They boosted the economy thanks to their underworld activities, and Emperor Boris Borya was grateful to them. Gratitude was fast becoming old for Cheng Li. He wanted to become the Emperor of Borya by hook or by crook. Violent fights broke out to support Cheng Li and his aspiration for the throne. They resolved that the forty-three-year-old Cheng Li was to marry the eighteen-year-old Alyona Borya to continue the Boryan blood in the royal family. They crowned Cheng Li as the first non-indigenous Emperor in Borya. “Presenting the brave heart of Borya, the beacon of hope and the wealth of Borya Emperor, Cheng Li, Lord under heavens.” “All hail the king. Long Live the King. May the goddess Hai nu shēn above heavens bless Borya.” Cheng Li’s golden palatial estate became the new palace, and they changed the blue Phoenix throne to the Golden Dragon throne. Cheng Li’s estate became the new palace, and they changed the blue Phoenix throne to the Golden Dragon throne. The Empress consort Alyona Borya Li welcomed her first son, Angúo Li, within the first year of the marriage, making him the first Biracial crown prince of Borya. A change the entire world welcomed. With the help of the royal title, Emperor Chen Ping Li made sure that the criminal organization became an unbreakable empire. Most Boryans are fluent in English, but the native language is Bor, a mix of Mandarin and Russian characters. The minority in Borya is the people of Dogonyaro, a highly populous city occupied by African immigrants. The city is divided into two halves by the tall, dark mountain known as the staff stick of Borya. The temple of Hai nu shen is to the left and on the right is a herbal medicine owned by the Hassan family. The Hassan family was the first African family to settle in Borya. A long time ago, the great Emperor Cheng Li fell ill whilst on a visit to the sultan of Sokoto in Nigeria during his rule. Doctors had tried and failed, and he was at the brink of death when Zareeh Hassan was a nomadic Fulani herbalist from the northern Nigerian caliphate, came to his aid. The Emperor employed Hassan as his physician in appreciation. Hassan and his family migrated to Borya, where Emperor Cheng Li built a house/factory for Mr Hassan at the top of the dark Wheatleaf mountain shaded by tall trees and mist. That way, he could serve both the rich and the poor of Borya. He planted the medicinal Neem tree at the peak of the mountain to solidify the grounds in Borya. Years went by, and the city previously known as Jialong was named after the tallest tree at the peak of the mountain called Dogonyaro, meaning “Tall child” in Hausa. The Hassan family roots expanded all over the city, and Africans or people of African descent who migrated to Borya found a home in Dogonyaro and environs, solidifying Hassan roots in Borya and their power over the minority of the Kingdom. After Emperor Déwei took over the throne, the criminal organization had gone through legal restructuring. It became a reputable international multi-billion-dollar business empire called Li group of companies. But behind the new leaf are their dirty ways of running the business with criminal activities like land grabbing, espionage, insider trading, and underworld loan sharking. The voice of the minority was growing beyond measure, thanks to the famous Hassan family. Mysterious snakes attacked the mountain on a dreary night, and only one Hassan blood survived the bites of the deadly snakes. A five-year-old Nafy Hassan, the daughter of the current herbalist Shaker. She was saved by the Blue Phoenix, Hai knew shen, according to legend. She became an ardent worshiper after that. She lived alone on the mountain, believed to be haunted by the ghosts of her family. Blessed like her ancestors with the gift of healing the sick with herbs, she would sell medicines at the temple every evening and return to her empty home on the mountain when the sun goes down. On one of such days, she met a Japanese Boryan named Akimitsu Haruki. He was the first man who expressed his interest in her despite the conspiracy theories about her, and she fell in love with him. They got married and lived happily in her father’s old factory over the mountain whilst selling medicines together in a stall in front of the temple. The Boryan people are known for their distinct Asian and European physical features, often with light eyes and hair, which is a stark contrast to the dark-coloured people of Dogonyaro. A new crusade of hate against the darker people was led by the crown prince, Prince Huang Jie Li. He may resemble his father, but he was nothing like the meek ruler. Nicknamed the Mad Dragon by Boryans because of his predatory nature, he lived true to his name. The greed in his blood was the dominant trait he possessed, and he displayed it whenever he grabbed things belonging to others. Anything the mad dragon wants, he devours. He had set his eyes on a new Prey. She is the daughter of the minister of Justice who often visited the palace because she was in love with Perkins Falcon, an Irish Boryan who is Huang Jie Li’s lackey. Despite his egregious efforts to bed Calista irrespective of his friend’s feelings, he could not succeed her attention, so he proposed marriage to her father through the Emperor. Against her wishes, they were wedded in a grand ceremony. He revelled in his conquest, but it was just the beginning. His hunger to hunt and kill was insatiable. Prince Huang Jie Li’s soul was as dark as that of his ancestor, Emperor Cheng Li, and he might be as ruthless as his mother, the dragon queen. He threatened when the Mad Dragon threatened to destroy the temple and chase Hai nu shen’s worshipers from Borya. Nafy had no choice but to fight for the people who came to this land because of her ancestors. She was their leader and a beacon of hope. She was vocal with her protests, and the resistance was rising again. She was ruling half of the Borya Kingdom, and the Golden temple was her palace. The Mad Dragon’s bulldozers were wedged from falling the temple gates by Nafy’s followers, and the result was bloodshed at the temple by the Forth Lord’s men. In deep pain at losing her soldiers who were bravely defending Hai nu shen’s temple, she used their blood to curse the crown prince. “You will bring upon an end to the rule of the Li descendants over this kingdom. You shall not hear the cry of a legitimate heir for the rest of your life. You will be the last Li to rule Borya. The blood of the slain shall be your curse. The Li empire will fall, and Borya will begin anew.” The curse was a proclamation that unfazed the Forth Lord and his followers. But another year had passed by, and yet, no good news from the Forth Lord’s chamber and murmurs were travelling through this torn kingdom. Emperor Déwei was getting older and weaker by the day, and Forth Lord Huang Jie Li was getting powerful by the day, thanks to his mother. His overwhelming criminal mind and bold activities had become a thing of concern to his father, who once admired those traits and praised them as the making of a true king. The Mad Dragon was growing beyond powers and his Majesty feared the extinction of the little soul Borya had left because of the heartlessness of Huang Jie Li, who was impatiently thirsting for more power. He could not wait for his father to fall off and die. He was unapologetic about his only ambition, which was dominion over Borya, and he never failed to convey that message to the Emperor. It was apparent that the old religion, and the soul of Borya, was in danger, and the Emperor knew he couldn’t stop Huang Jie Li even if he wanted to because he wouldn’t be here when that day comes. So, he turned to Hai nu shen and prayed for a grandson with a heart of Borya in him and less of the Cheng Li traits that ran deep in their blood for generations, causing the rot in morality among the royal family, and the Boryan people. He prayed for a grandson that would repair the damage after the inevitable rule of his son Huang Jie Li, and he wanted that Prince to be born whilst he was still alive so he could train him by himself. He longed to correct the mistake he made with Huang Jie Li. He wanted to instil in him a heart for Borya and the love of Hai nu shen. But it seemed Hai nu shen had already turned her back on him as no news came from the Forth Lord’s chamber in their third year of marriage. They tried every treatment available. But these efforts proved futile, and the emperor was getting impatient. He was desperate, Boryans were desperate, but no one was more desperate than the beautiful Calista whose bareness threatened the fate of the kingdom. Emperor Déwei raised his voice in prayers to the deity above the earth for Calista’s fruit of the womb. He mandated all of Borya to join him in prayer for an heir, and the people prayed ardently and offered sacrifices at Hai nu shen’s feet. But he was not the only one praying. Empress consort Zhang Li conjured all her powers and begged the spirits beyond the graves for a legitimate heir to numb the wagging tongues who called her son impotent. She prayed for a child to defy the belief that Hai nu shen is powerful enough to render her son sterile. A messenger from the Forth Lord’s chamber brought news on the Emperor’s thirty-first days of prayer and fasting at the temple. A fruit had taken root in Calista’s womb on the last day of spring. “Praise to Hai nu shen. For she has saved her people.” Emperor Dewei was the happiest Lord under the heavens. He ordered that prayers and sacrifices be raised to the Goddess above heavens that the seed she planted in Calista’s barren land grows bountifully for a successful harvest. But more so, he prayed the child is born with a specific soul. He asked for the reincarnation of the soul of the great founding father, Emperor Artem Borya. “Our great ancestor. You found this land for everyone to dwell in. The land that was given to you by Hai nu shen is in troubled waters. Please… It is time for you to come back and heal your land.” This prayer rattled Empress Consort Zhang Li, whose priorities differ from her husbands’ so she offered prayers to the spirits laying in the Boryan tombs. “I pray for the reincarnation of the soul of the most powerful king to rule Borya. Your Majesty, Emperor Chen Ping Li. I call on your powerful soul to take residence in the mortal body forming in Calista’s womb. You must come back and defend this land that you took from weak kings and made powerfully. You have rested for too long. It is time for your dry bone to rise again.” That night, the seas roared as the ocean waves battled like yin and yang. As thunder and lightning clashed, the gates between the living and the dead lifted, and dry bones battled for a chance to be reborn. Spirits of darkness and light battled for a place to live in the body growing in the princess consort’s womb. As the spirits ran wild, possessing all babies growing in their mother’s womb that night, the soul of the Goddess Hai nu shen possessed the egg being fertilized in Nafy Hassan’s womb as her husband made love to her. For nine months, different prayer activities graced the high temple as Boryans earnestly prayed for the successful delivery of the future of Borya amidst the Forth Lord’s intense threats of getting rid of the old religion once he gains the power. Hai nu shen worshipers prayed that the soul growing inside Nafy would be born a warrior like her. A brave heart who would fight tooth and nail for his or her people against any Li descendant. The Emperor fasted and prayed on the temple until they heard the cry of the newborn child on the first day of spring, ushering in a new generation of Borya.