The scent of blossoms wafted through Peach Blossom Island as Xiaolongnu casually made her way towards the Manor, a basket of Plums tucked under each arm. Today was the birthday of the Island Master, Guan Xiaping, and to celebrate it, the denizens of Peach Blossom Island were holding a feast in his honor. Two servants appeared from the Manor to accept the baskets, relieving Xiaolong of the plums, and giving her freedom until the sun was at its zenith.
The girl hummed a nursery tune under her breath and skipped through the Manor until she arrived at a pair of wooden doors. With a slight push, the doors opened up to a room that smelled of incense and herbs. Hunched over a table was an old woman, busy grinding away at medicinal herbs. At first it did not seem like the old woman noticed Xialong, but as soon as the girl took one step into the room, the old woman’s stern voice sounded.
“What are you doing in here, Long’er?” She asked in perfect Ionian. Xiaolong sighed and sat on a bed, normally reserved for the sick or wounded, and swung her legs. There was a small thump as the old woman laid down her tools, and then she turned towards Xiaolongnu, her lips spread in a smile. “What did you get your father this year?” The girl smiled in response, placed her hands behind her back, and shook her head.
“Not telling, Granny,” she replied in the same language as the old woman. Granny tried her hardest to look disappointed, but the lively look in her eyes betrayed her. The two laughed and began to chat, mostly about nothing, sometimes about something, but largely about how things were going on Peach Blossom Island. Not once did either of the two mention anything outside of Peach Blossom Island. Granny had long ago put her past behind her, and Xiaolongnu knew that it was taboo to speak about the outside world. Not that she ever wanted to go there, from what she had gathered from the servants and Granny, the outside world was a harsh and cruel place. There was no love like there was on Peach Blossom Island, people killed each other, and families hated one another. That was a world that Xiaolong would rather not see. The two continued to talk like this for hours on end, until there was a loud shout from the courtyard.
“Long’er! When, wrapped in flame, your home's a blackened shell-”
“It’s growing late to dig a well,” Xiaolongnu finished. This was the proverb that her Master used to call her to training. The girl got up and hugged Granny, saying her goodbyes, before running out, readying herself for another day of life on the Peach Blossom Island.