Anton – that would be Anton Blackstar, the "legendary" wizard – wanted to write the introduction to this memoir. Personally, I thought he should write the whole story for an outsider's perspective, but he stubbornly refused and eventually I caved and decided to write the damn thing myself. I'm sure he's smirking at me from nearby. Sometimes, wizards can be annoying.
For a long time, Anton has asked me to write a chronicle of my beginnings, telling the story of how I became a jiang shi, a Chinese vampire. I see no point in it personally, but when my friend wants something done, he won't shut up until it's completed. I'm not sure who will read this, and Anton already knows my story, but whoever does, I hope you enjoy it.
So, what motivated Anton to harass me to write this memoir and for me finally to agree? Ironically, I guess it was boredom. Last year, we destroyed Yaldabaoth, the evil incarnation of the Christian God, stopping him from bringing down the barriers between worlds and destroying the pantheon realms, which would have brought about chaos and destruction in the universe. Busy year. I nearly died about four times in that grand battle, but Anton saved me with his magical abilities. (Despite his stubbornness and sarcasm, Anton Blackstar is the only man I would call my friend and he would never leave me to die, even while a war for creation rages around us.)
We were forced to leave our earthly sanctuary (Danforth, Maine) after that, a place we had called home for a year. Usually, Anton doesn't stay in one spot for long, as wizards travel the earth and never have a permanent residence. I enjoyed my time there, but all good things come to an end and now we're on the road again, looking for a new home.
Dear me, I am getting off-track. I suppose I should give a brief overview of what's to come. Authors still do that, don't they? I haven't read many modern books, so I'm a bit out of touch with these things. The last book I read was Macbeth. Wait, that's not really a book, is it? Uh oh, still off-track…
Anyway, it has been a long time since I have recalled my life before I was a qi-draining, or as you would know it, life-sucking creature of the night. I remember my life before then, but the memories almost seem like they belong to someone else. How different I was. In hindsight, although I didn't believe it at the time, becoming a vampire was the best thing that could have happened to me.
I was born in 1621, in the Yunnan providence. My early life was nothing special, so I won't go into that. All you need to know is that I was born into a small farming community. Most of my early life was spent working the paddy fields and farming rice. It was a boring life, but I couldn't do anything else since my father wanted me to be a farmer like him and support the family. In those days, youngsters could show no disrespect or defy their parents, so I simply did what I was told to.
Unfortunately, when I was nineteen years old, my father died one night. I'm not sure how, even to this day, but I found him dead in the grass in the early hours of the morning. So, after that it was just my mother and me. I promised to support my mother and continued to maintain the paddy fields, as my father had wanted.
I lived in a rural village, in close proximity to a small number of other villagers. My story truly began in 1645, just as the Qing Dynasty was beginning and the world was beginning to change. I didn't know it yet, but my world would be changed as well. My tiny perception of the world was shattered and my old faiths were cleanly swept away.
I will write the rest of the story in a narration as events actually happened. I am pretty sure I can do that, despite the fact I myself haven't written very often. (Can't really find time to write when you're off snapping people's necks and getting beaten up by gods.)
Still, I will try my best. I don't know who will read this, (except for Anton, although, like I said, I already gave him a pretty in-depth story of how I came to be what I am, but he's got a lot on his mind, so maybe he forgot by this point), but whoever does, I hope you enjoy it. And if you somehow know me or know of me, then perhaps you'll learn more about me than before. Perhaps.
Anyway then, here it is.
My name is Jiayi Chen and this is my story.