Delusions of the Heart
My name is Yuan Jiankong, a seafarer who escaped from the war-torn Central Plains. My father is a Jin Dan martial saint, and a well-known pirate leader in the Eastern Ocean. His hand can shatter granite, his leg can kick through the beams of a grand hall. Many who valued money over life met their end under his blade, or were thrown to the sharks. I am his son, yet I do not possess his monstrous physical prowess; I am not fond of killing or gold. I prefer to lean on my mother's chest, inhaling the scent of her skin and hair whilst she tells stories of gods and demons. My mother is a beauty, rumored to be the daughter of a retired governor. My father slaughtered her entire family and took her, barely seventeen, as his wife. Ten months later, I was born. My father adored her, not only for her unwavering loyalty, but also for giving him a successor. His subordinates respected her, for not only was she beautiful, but she was also well-versed in poetry, rites, and music – a true luxury in this chaotic world. Thus, amongst the pirates, she was akin to a goddess. She introduced me to the classics, taught me the difference between a gentleman and a villain, between the Chinese and barbarians, between humans and beasts. I also learned about societal hierarchies: the monarch is the guide for his subjects, the father for his son, the husband for his wife. These are teachings from the great sages of civilized times. My mother told me: the sky will never change, these principles will never alter; the words of sages are eternal. "So, my father took my mother by force, and she obediently became his wife; my father wishes for me to be a pirate, so I should dutifully practice my killing skills?" I think, the sages may be more formidable than my father, but I need not take every word of theirs to heart; especially if it doesn't apply.