A/N: Qianlong's statement is hardly false. It is rumored as a child that he had indeed scared a courtier, who touched him in fright. Thus the poor woman was disgraced and later committed suicide. This is known for one of Qianlong's ministers later in life, "Heshen" was rumored to look like this courtier. I have chosen to replace Heshen (who was born in 1750) with my own fictional Lok. We shall see wether or not Lok recieves what he wishes, however.

Beijing, The Chinese Empire

The Forbidden City,

June 25th, Year XV of the Qianlong Emperor

Lok was greatly enjoying his new position. It seemed as if the gods had finally found him deserving to weild some sort of influence in the daily life of the emperor, and the empire as well. It was quite strange, all in all. Days before, he had been a lowly mandarin. He would recieve daily edicts from the various ministries, stating what needed done, what needed sent out or brought in. There were various papers to fill out as well. For last twenty years, such a cycle had been repeated; nothing ever changed, and nothing ever varied. Chinese life was almost always same. You were born, you were given a task, and then you died. All people, from the Emperor to the Peasants worked the same way. Yet the said tasks that were given could always change. This is what happened to Lok. For now the edicts he recieved daily from were Qianlong himself. His duties were much more vast, much more important. Lok worked at a steady pace, doing each and every job assigned to him not just correctly, but quickly as well. His family took great pride in this promotion. Indeed, Lok had sent a letter back home to his family right after recieving his promotion (aside from of course, his grandfather who had died years before).

Lok now sat in the gardens of the palace. He had finished his work, and thus had some free time to sit and lounge. Such free time was very rare, especially for someone with such important duties. Yet Lok was able to find such time to sit almost every day. Unlike the corrupt officials and mandarins, Lok worked hard for China, he cared not of his own status or wealth, but that of a nation. It was a rare trait that few could find in modern officials to the Qing dynasty. And thus, Lok sat, papyrus in hand, weaving fine symbols upon it. He had to thank not just his ancestors, but the gods as well. Obviously it was they who shined down upon Lok, and in order to honor them, he had chosen to compose a poem.

"Shining Seas and Thrashing Waves,

The glories of China smile at thee!

One must always be thankful and just,

For it is you who grant us what we need,

I praise one, twice, and thrice!

I bow low to thee, I kowtow in glory,

For one must always do so.

To honor you, is to honor everything;

To honor anything is else,

Is nothing short of folly.

I open my arms wide and far,

To take in all you have to offer,

The Sea is the bounty,

The Sky is the limit,

The Land is our mother,

Nature our father.

I will forever wait,

Just once more,

In order to recieve your blessing.

Please, do not take long,

For mortals can only sleep."

"Are you sure you were meant for politics?" Said a voice, full of wisdom and cunning.

Lok could only look away from his paper in bewilderment. There stood a man, at fourty years. He was no mandarin. His robes were of supreme color, waving in the gentle summer winds. It wasn't. No, it certainly could not be. The emperor! Lok took no time. Furiously, he threw himself to the ground, bowing low at the feet of the emperor. He bowed many times, a glorious kowtow to the man who made life in China possible. Only when Qianlong uttered for his to rise, did Lok obey. Still, he kept his head low. He would not breech protocol, no matter what. Yet the emperor looked down, inspecting Lok. The poor boy shivered, unknowing what would happen; would Qianlong send him to death? Or something worse? Lok had a feeling it was over. He could not let it end here. He had a job to fulfill, to revive the old naval traditions, to extend Chinese influence. In his head, over and over, Lok repeated old Bhuddist Sutras, looking for some sort of guidance, any at all.

"Look up young one. Let me see your face."

Trembling, Lok complied. He looked up at his sovereign, but refrained from staring at him. He wished to remain at the palace. Certainly he would not be banished or executed for writing poetry? He had done his work; he had done his job. Was he not entitled to some sort of free time? Yet Lok did not move. The Emperor looked at him for awhile, thinking heavily. The Emperor, the glorious Qianlong then rose. He turned from Lok; and the young boy could only be relieved. It was quite an anxious site to be around the Emperor, but Lok would not move.

"You are a very beautiful person. You remind me of a young courtier I scared in my youth. She touched me--a breech of protocol. She was disgraced, and her rank lowered. They say she committed suicide some time later. I have never forgiven myself for letting such an innocent die. Perhaps you have been brought into my court so that I may redeem myself. But for now, I must go. Keep up the work--Lok, is it not? You have great things destined for you. Do not allow corruption to taint you as so many have allowed it. If you remain pure, you will reach even greater heights."

Lok could only smile and thank the gods. Yet Qianlong was gone soon after. Yet...his advice had meant something. Perhaps Lok was destined for great things?