ARENJI: THE CHANCER

Arenji, the Chancer

“Mortal, whom do you seek?

I am Arenji. I am the wild magic that refuses to be constrained. I am free.

I am anger against tyranny; I bring life to those declared dead.

If you seek wisdom, hear me!

Before the world was broken I remade myself. A girl I was then, gifted but untaught, until T’ang Kuang-Chen taught me her path. Together we sat on high mountains and watched, and learned to let go of earthly forms. Taoism, she called it, but such archaic distinctions are long forgotten now.

There was a battle. One dynasty fought to overthrow another. It is always the way with humans, even among those who once were and now are… something else.

My father died protecting my mother. And then my mother also fell asleep. Does it shock you to hear me speak so, of parents? Sometimes I speak these words aloud – mother, father – to see if they still have any meaning. In the dark corner of my existence I still sense them in faint hints of tender memory.

Kuang-Chen said to let them go, but I refused. What is wisdom… what is power if you cannot save those whom you love? Mortal, here is the key: the fearful will make rules to bind you, but the universe glories in the passion of the free! I saved my mother. She breathed again!

I gave everything of myself to do it. I slaughtered a thousand warriors of the Song empire. I even fought my mentor though she broke our bond. Do you yet realise the sacrifice you must make if you seek my path? Truly, you must die to be reborn! I gave all my humanity to save one life. Though the worlds are shattered now, such sacrifice still repays a thousand-fold! Are you willing? Are you ready?

I cannot tell you how to ascend to immortality. Ah, your frustration is plain, I see it. Yet, I do not know how it happened even for me. I died and was not, and then I was again, but changed, and yet was still the same.

Do you think I speak in riddles? Very well, I will speak plain. Stay here if you will and learn from me. Or leave and seek your own path. It matters not. Only do not fall prey to those who speak of light and order and beauty as if these things are theirs alone to grant, if only you crush yourself into their service! Rather, give yourself completely to your passion, your fierce love, your mad dreams, and know that there is nothing more beautiful or glorious than becoming entirely free!

I am the wild magic. I hold the keys to fearless life. I am Arenji.”