The House of Beautiful Lotus

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The house of Yi which is my clan is also known as The House of Beautiful Lotus. The high ladies of our house are known to be the most beautiful, delicate, intellectual, and noblest in the nation. We are bred to be perfect, and chosen to carry children of nobles from the highest houses. Our house has been providing concubines, consorts and wives to royals, lords, and generals for a very long time.

My name is He Lian, and I am the youngest of five siblings. My oldest sister, Ying Yue has already been promised to a prince from one of the major clans and currently being trained to be the perfect and obedient wife to the future key leader of the country. Ying Yue is also the most beautiful, and the pride of The House of Yi.

My oldest sister's life was pre-determined, Ying Yue had been betrothed to the oldest son of the Wang clan since she was born. They said to be a cursed clan, a kingdom located in the south, where the paranormal is at most active.

The clan is said to be warriors of gods, and their kingdom battle demons from the underworld more than threats of humans. I don't know the truth to this story, people tend to believe in all kinds of stories without knowing the facts. All I know was, the Wang clan are one of the most elite, strongest fighters and martial artists. That's probably why they gained the reputation as warriors of gods.

In the next couple of months, my sister will be married to the prince in that kingdom, his name is Wang Jian. I saw him a few times before when he came to visit, he's handsome, much to my sister and mother's delight. But most of all, he seemed to love my sister truly, madly, deeply which gave my mother and father peace of mind.

Ying Yue will become the princess of that kingdom, a dream come true to the house of Yi, having married off one of their daughters to a prince.

My middle sister, Lin Lian, was promised to a warlord. A governor- general with royal blood trickling down his veins from the north. Lin Lian will enter his small palace as high-ranking concubine since the warlord already has three wives and a dozen children. Some of his children older than my sister. Picking up another wife was out of the question, so instead of a wife like my parents would have preferred, they settled for a concubine with a high price and demands. My sister's future children will be taken in by the Yi clan and will likely have the same fate as the women in the House of Yi...sold to the noblest of men. They were to be a future investment for the house of Yi.

I'm terrified of what awaits Lin Lian. At fifteen, she is set to be a match to a man well over his forties and well known to be brute and violent in the battlefield. The warlord had a solid reputation, he is feared by his enemies and admired by those who serve under him.

I don't have to be an adult to know my sister is going to suffer an unhappy life. But since the warlord had already paid a high fortune to The house of Yi for Lin Lian, they are required to give up their daughter to his house.

The cost of my sister's unhappiness? A lot of money, future daughters in The house of Yi, a guaranteed position for my older brother Jungjie in the office of the Governor General. Seemed like a good trade, according to my father. An illustrious career and a chance to be a general in the imperial army for one of his sons.

While my sisters and I were groomed to be proper noble ladies, my brothers, on the other hand, were groomed to be scholars, and trained in all forms of combat at a very young age. They are mold to be leaders, high born scholars and generals someday, and the house of Yi makes no exception upon achieving this.

At twelve, my parents had been busy searching for the proper prospect of betrothal for me. There were many offers, sons of high born lords all over the country, but none had satisfied my mother.

My oldest brother Yuanji currently serves as an esquire for the highest ranking scholar inside the imperial palace. Lord Changi who came from another big noble house. He was raised the same way as my brothers - to be a lord of his house, and serve his loyalty to the imperial family. They said my brother Yuanji is well on his way on becoming a scholar himself under the guidance of Lord Changi.

It came to my parents' attention that Lord Changi had a son a few years my senior and this grabbed their interest. If I was to be married off to the lord Changi's son, it would guarantee a bright future for my brother. But lord Changi had something else that interested him, something bigger. Something as big as the palace itself.

It is known the youngest princess is still available and had not been promised to anyone else. The rest of the kingdoms from the four kingdoms had not made interest in her.

It is well known that the young princess is quite ill-mannered, rude, cruel and spoiled and she'd been overlooked by most of the princes. However, Lord Changi made his interest known, and turned down the house of Yi's proposition in favor of the princess.

Yuanji told plenty of stories about the young noble, Lord Changi's son. My older brother seemed to get along well with him. Fond stories about how great the young lord is with swords, weapons, and his martial arts skills. I made a joke about him marrying Lord Changi's son instead.

Yuanji only smiled and looked at me fondly, his hand played with the braids of my hair. "That's too bad, He Lian. He would have been a proper husband for you."

I scrunched my nose and scowled at him. The last thing I wanted to talk about at the time was a husband. "E-Ewww, I don't want a husband!"

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