The tea merchant’s daughter was as luminous as the full winter moon over Jade Dragon mountain, and one day, Lin Bao would marry her. This he decided when he saw her kneeling before the tranquil pool beneath the tea merchant’s shop. She was feeding a handful of sticky rice to the koi. She looked up, her dark eyes wide, her pink mouth abloom like an orchid.
“Oh,” he said. It was all he could think to say. He turned around and ran up the cobblestone street. His bare feet pounded fast as his heart as he hurried back to the two-room where he lived with his parents and brothers.
If he didn’t marry her, life wasn’t worth living. He smoothed his hair as he walked inside. There were so many things to do. To court, to woo, to win. And first of all, to learn her name.