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  1. 1. The Hardy Family Chronicles V<br />A Tale of Several Sims <br />The Prophecy Years – Part 1<br />
  2. 2. The Prophecy of the Scarlet Woman<br />2 .4 ... And there will come a girl, dark hearted and dressed in scarlet. She shall have suffered of the bones of the ancestors and the knowledge of her time will fail her recovery. ..<br />2.7... Her past evil deeds haunt her.... Karma... No hope...<br />2.9 ... Her salvation lies in the salvation of all Shang Simla. She must be versed in the knowledge of the ancients ... In order to find the blue keystone.<br />
  3. 3. Laura arrives in Shang Simla... In her pyjamas. It wouldn't take a prophecy to work out that something was wrong with her, even given her past evil, manipulative behaviour. <br />
  4. 4. Sing Pu greets her, and gets her to put some proper clothes on. Laura is given some reading to do on the prophecy, but is not shown the prophecy itself. <br />
  5. 5. She is then shown to a room, where she considers her fate cheerfully. The whole thing is crazy.. prophecies.. Running away from home to china... But it’s worth a try. Sometimes the world goes a little crazy. <br />
  6. 6. It seems all she has to do is find some gemstone, and her body will be healed. Perhaps she has to crush it up and ingest it? No matter. She’s already been given some local remedies that are clearing her head. Sing Pu assured her they would keep her alive long enough to find the gem. <br />
  7. 7. As well as Sing Pu, Laura meets Ah Tung, who is too teach her all the customs, myths and legends of Shang Simla. They don’t get on, as Laura being as intelligent as she is, absorbs and understands everything so quickly Ah Tung doesn’t believe her. Which Laura finds deeply insulting. <br />
  8. 8. She much prefers her martial arts tutor, Shen Su. He treats her as an equal, and is impressed not derisive when she makes progress. <br />
  9. 9. Laura’s health improves slowly, though she is never completely clear of the symptoms of her disease. <br />
  10. 10. After a year of training, Laura begins her search. She finds tombs all over Shang Simla through hearsay, rumour and legend.<br />
  11. 11. She works tirelessly at all the traps and hardships within the tombs, determined to find her prize. <br />
  12. 12. But time and time again, the treasure at the end of the adventure is not what she was looking for. It was disheartening, and she was glad to have Shen Su to talk her out of her melancholy. <br />
  13. 13. At the end of a tomb whose occupant was fond of fire traps, Laura finally catches a break. <br />
  14. 14. The gem wasn’t there, but instructions as how to find it were. <br />
  15. 15. In the tomb of a nameless ancient warrior, up in the mountains. <br />
  16. 16. Finally, Laura found the keystone. She could now report back to Sing Pu and be cured. <br />
  17. 17. A few days after being cured, Laura confided in her mentor that despite not dying anymore she still didn’t feel well. <br />
  18. 18. The prophecy of the Scarlet Woman<br />4.3... And lo, with the recovery of the blue keystone, the girl of scarlet shall forsake the last vestiges of her old self... Acceptance of the prophecy...<br />4.4... Try to live in the manner decreed unto her...<br />4.9... The recovery of her body complete, her essence must now be... And her soul reborn. <br />
  19. 19. Sing Pu suggested that though her body had been cured of the disease that was eating her brain, her heart and soul were still sick with all the evil things she’d done back home. Laura realised that she was feeling guilt. She ditched the ‘bad girl’ image she’d clung to for so long, determined to atone for what she’d done. <br />
  20. 20. She wondered how long it would be now until she felt ready to go home to her family and apologise for all she’d put them through. She couldn’t go yet, she didn’t feel ready. <br />
  21. 21. Little did she realise how much her family missed her. Jesse would stay up in her room most every night hoping she would come home. <br />
  22. 22. Sing Pu had been busy too. She had assigned a new martial arts instructor to Laura, Lin Mai. She was concerned that Laura might not be able to concentrate on self-improvement with the growing... distraction of Shen Su. <br />
  23. 23. The prophecy of the Scarlet Woman<br />6.5 A lonely tine<br />6.8... ...forbidden attraction....<br />6.9.... Thwarted but steadfast....<br />
  24. 24. Laura was not happy with the new arrangements. But there wasn’t much she could do. She needed to find inner peace, perhaps being alone and without friends was a good way to do that. <br />
  25. 25. So began some of the loneliest years of her life. She was the only teenager in the retreat, and was on a different schedule from everyone else. <br />
  26. 26. Though she wasn’t alone at night, mores the pity. There were at least two snorers in her dorm. <br />
  27. 27. Laura was further schooled in exploration and archaeology. She wasn’t sure why, Sing Pu was keeping very tight-lipped. But it was interesting, and helped her understand Shang Simlas history better. <br />
  28. 28. But it was the martial arts that Laura particularly excelled in, even without Shen Su. She spent the majority of her time working on her skills, clearing her mind of all other concerns. <br />
  29. 29. Though she did sometimes wonder about her parents back home. <br />
  30. 30. They were in a bad way, the doctors had got in touch when Laura stopped turning up for checkups and told them all about her illness. After she failed to show up for several months everyone assumed she was dead. <br />
  31. 31. The sadness was like an ache that Jesse and Hannah grew old with. Their advancing years meant that Hannah stopped touring as the Blue Diamond and Jesse quit working for the mafia. But they survived, for their other four children. Their love was enough to get them through the dark days.<br />
  32. 32. But it was still pretty difficult for them both to bear. Parents were not supposed to outlive their children. <br />