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Story Legion (軍團)

The Beginning, Part 1
  • GeorgeTownRaja

    Senior Member
    The Beginning, Part 1

    The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the sound of vehicles is making a ruckus in this one particular Chinese city, Xi'an. I stepped out of the bus whilst arriving there as I came from the United States. This is my first trip abroad. I am a student from a prestigious, but expensive high school in Indianapolis. We are one of the lucky ones to go on such a trip like this. I sure hope that the foods are great here. Probably.

    Lots of people got out of the bus after me. I wasn't the first one who got out of the bus. It was quite painful. I'm glad that I got away from this situation.

    The buildings I saw consists of traditional Chinese architecture combined with modern ones. It blends well with the old and the new. I find it very unique. The humidity in Xi'an is perfectly warm.

    Unfortunately, I do not have an excellent grasp of the Chinese language as with the signs I saw all over the area. There may be a few of my colleagues who might understand it, but I doubt it. Besides, I don't care about it. I'm not here to study a foreign language for my benefit. I'm here to learn about Chinese history in general. No, it is not related to American history as with the case of the American Civil War, and African Americans who were living in slavery in the past, which I am. There's nothing wrong with learning something foreign, right?

    The backpack I wear on the back of my shoulder fatigue me with the amount of things inside. I could barely stand up straight from it. This is the heaviest that I had ever carried. I sighed as I was sweating from the humidity that the city has to offer. Why do I have to carry this much, anyway?

    I looked at the watch to check the time. The time is wrong. Why? The answer is fairly simple. I am no longer living in the United States and China's time zone is unlike any other. Yeah, this is not good for me. I guess I have to try to make the watch to match with the current time that I am in, but different.

    I waited for the tour guide to show up. The teacher is not with us because the tour guide will be the one to monitor our behavior, which is a weird thing to do. I don't find it unsettling, of course. Just to expect with something obvious, there will not be an American tour guide, but a Chinese one who can speak fluent English.

    The tour guide finally shows up in the form of a Chinese woman. Her skin is snow-like and her body size is thin. Her appearance consists of soft brown eyes and her short, straight, black hair is pulled into a bun. Her clothing consists of ordinary business attire. She has an attractive appearance, but I'm not romantically attracted to her. Uh, okay, maybe not. Don't take me the wrong way, please. Otherwise, I'm not old enough to go on a date with an adult as I am a sophomore. That would be messed up.

    The Chinese tour guide smiles towards us to try to come off as welcoming as she could provide. In other words, hospitality is what she was going for. I appreciate her for it. She proudly speaks up to introduce herself to us and by giving us a bow to show respect. An act of courtesy in Chinese etiquette and culture.

    "Hi! Welcome to Xi'an! My name is Shui Mao and I will be your tour guide from now on. Of course, you can just call me Ms. Mao, if you like. Please remain in the group as leaving your group can lead to a thorough investigation and issue, so please take it seriously. If I call your name, please raise your hand and say 'here'."

    Shui? I like that name. However, I find it rather difficult to pronounce it.

    She called every student's name to see if they are in the right group and not somewhere else. This is to avoid a student from getting lost and it is very important to stay with their group at all times. While doing this, she jotted down their names with a clipboard. I waited for mine to be called.

    When she did call my name, I waited to get her attention from me to show my presence. She smiles while doing it.

    "Uh, Georgeson? Fitz Georgeson? Are you here?"

    Yep, that's my name! The one and only, Fitz Georgeson. My name may not be fabulous, but it works, right?

    "Uh, I'm over here!" I raised my hand to get Shui's attention.

    "Great!" Shui wrote something on a clipboard to take note of my appearance.

    For now, I just have to wait until Shui has decided to begin with the tour. I sat on the sidewalk to enjoy viewing the streets of Xi'an. Today is going to be a wonderful and boring day. Who knows?
    Last edited:
    The Beginning, Part 2
  • GeorgeTownRaja

    Senior Member
    The Beginning, Part 2

    Sometime later, Shui called our group to begin touring around Xi'an, viewing famous buildings from the past. I stood up to grab my attention, facing away from the buildings that I was seeing. The students were surrounding Shui to hear what she had to say. I'm having trouble seeing her because of the number of people there, but I can still hear her voice, which is good. I tried to push through the crowd, but it was no use, let alone to be accidentally rude. All I can do is just listen.

    "Okay! Is everyone ready for the tour?"

    "Yes!" The students said in unison except for me.

    I'm certainly looking forward to going on a fun tour of this city. Ironically speaking, I'm not that interested in going on a tour to visit some famous buildings, which is quite boring for me. Yet, I have to go anyway. Hopefully, it won't be for long.

    "Okay, let's go!"

    We followed Shui in a straight line as if we were in a military or something. Of course, we're not.

    "Oh! Just to let you know that we are going to visit only three famous landmarks." Shui mentioned.

    Three famous landmarks? Sounds perfectly fine to me. All I have to do is just follow along, and I should be fine. After all, it wouldn't kill me, right? Learning the history of a building that I do not know about can be quite boring. Maybe I shouldn't apply to go on this trip in the first place.

    First, we went to the Wolong Temple as our first destination. From the look of it, it looks old from the outside, but grand from the inside, with Buddhist monks exiting from there. It looks cool, but I'm a little impressed. Shui explains further about it.

    "This is the Wolong Temple, a temple that dates back to 200 BC when Buddhism became widespread throughout Asia after the death of the Buddha. Every day, Buddhist monks would come here to pray. This temple is known to be vibrant and busy. Any questions?"

    Shui is offering us to ask questions. Well, I don't have anything to ask her, so I'll let the others do it for themselves. Besides, I'm more of a quiet type of person, and I prefer not to say anything for that matter. I'm kinda shy...

    It appears that no one is asking any questions. How odd. Oh well...

    "Again, any questions? Anyone? Nobody?"

    Yep, nobody is asking questions. The expression on Shui's face is not good. I feel bad for her, though. She is probably trying her best to lift the joy of going on a tour in a foreign country. It is not going well.

    "Uh, okay then. Moving on..."

    I do want to ask her a question, but I have no intention of doing so. Why you may ask? Because I'm not interested in learning about the history that I have no idea about. Since I didn't want Shui to feel bad, I will ask her a question. A simple but blunt one at that.

    "Um, I have a question!" I raised my hand to get her attention.

    "Oh? I'm listening."

    "Are we allowed to enter the temple as us tourists?"

    "I'm afraid not, Mr. Georgeson. As you can see, the temple is only limited to the aforementioned Buddhist monks and it is considered taboo for tourists to enter. I apologize."

    "I see. I'm certainly not angry at all."

    "Alright then! Moving on!"

    The question I asked was blunt and concise. I wouldn't expect Shui to happily hear it from me. If I were to remain silent, then she would've given up on being a tour guide for nothing. It was an excuse to ask her a question to keep her happy, which I am also trying to do. Either way, I do not want this to turn into a bad day for her. We're moving on to the next landmark.

    Second, we've arrived at the Xi'an City Wall, the world's largest city wall, much comparable to the Great Wall of China, but that is a different story. The wall is one of the largest that I had ever seen. It is unique in its way. Not bad, but I'm still not interested in these kinds of things, especially history-related.

    "This is the Xi'an City Wall, one of the world's largest city wall. It was built in the past, and have made improvements during the Tang dynasty and Ming dynasty eras. It is highly recommended to visit it during the night for the best experience, but it is optional. That's pretty much it. Any questions?"

    Again, no one is asking questions like last time. How are they not deciding to ask questions at a time like this? Should I ask her again? Maybe not.

    "Um, anyone? It can be anything. There's nothing wrong with asking questions."

    I guess I have no choice but to ask her a question again. Besides, I'm the only one who is asking questions but the others. To be frank, it is annoying, but something has to be done. Like what Shui stated, the question can be anything, even it probably has nothing to do with the Xi'an City Wall. I insist.

    "I have one!" I raised my hand.

    "Of course, Mr. Georgeson! What is it?" Shui smiled at me.

    "How old is it?"

    "I'm afraid it is hard to say, but I'm guessing it is around thousands of years old, considering it was built roughly around the time of the Tang dynasty and Ming dynasty. I may be wrong, so I apologize."

    "Sure, no problem."

    My question has been answered, and I probably won't be asking any more questions from then on. Someone has to do it. And finally with the last, and third one...