I'm a lady of unnecessary detail, but I'll try to keep my ravings short here at the beginning. Here are a few notes to get you started:
This is my researched, careful, eager attempt at the idea of the Hetalia characters participating in their own history, and regular people knowing that these almost-immortal "national mascot" people exist. The idea has enthralled me since I discovered Hetalia in 2009. I'll be throwing in talking spirit animals and shipping just 'cause. I'm quite nervous making a literal half-n-half mix of reality and gay anime ships but…they say you should write what you want to read, and that's…what I want. Bam. Justified. Right?
If you're looking for kawaii desu pastel-colored funtiems fanfic, you have clicked the wrong link; I have no affection for any of that. I want a mix of history, darkness, mythology, drama, yaoi and longing for faraway, immortal soul mates and I don't see that combination anywhere so I'm going to write it myself. If you're not into any of the aforementioned adjectives, we can cha-cha real smooth right on over to the Exit door and see you out.
There will be little historical notes at the bottom so you know what's going on outside of China's perspective, :D
"I was the first one. I think. There's no way to prove it. I don't know how much time I really spend wandering around, figuring out that I was alive and could…do anything. But I think my first family is definitely much more like a, haha—a caveman sort of community than the others."
"Caveman? Really? I wasn't sure how simple or advanced people really were at that time, interesting!"
Well maybe 'caveman' is wrong…but, they were practically a tribal people. They thought thunder was an angry god roaring, and crops grew because spirits or little fairy creatures were living in them. But that was all normal thinking, aru. No one else on the earth at that time was much more advanced in their thinking! My own father would pray to this, this houseplant, and he said his own father's spirit was in it."
"Your father? And who was he?"
"His name was Guo Mao. An assistant to the village head, at least at ceremonies. Mostly he made vases and pots for storage. Everyone knew him by his beard."
"I see! And what was it like to live with him and those villagers? What were these 'tribal' folk like?"
"They thought I was a miniature god or something. It's humorous, looking back on it now, aru. I was like an…like an eight-year-old boy! A little boy who got very fancy clothes and they thanked me profusely for every day of nice weather. I woke up with offerings by my pillow most of the time."
"And what about your first mother, then?"
I will talk about her later, aru. She's not…she's not there at the very beginning of things. I haven't begun at all. It's recording, right?"
"Uh, yes. Since…yeah, four minutes, nine seconds ago."
"Good. I know where to begin, if you're ready."
"We'll begin when you're ready, not me."
"I am. Let me begin."
He was old, but not older than humans. People had walked on this land before he had. He could feel them as he walked on the grass, in his body and all around him. They spread licks of fiery warmth everywhere, and his body that had once been a cool shell now was a haven of heat.
One of those people that he felt inside him was a king with a son. They were just as much a piece and product of the earth as he was, and they were the focus of many of his dreams. In his earliest days, he dreamed all the time, though there was no telling what was dream from what was truth. Who were the people he saw in his mind? Who were those thousands who talked and were silent, ate and drank and labored? He didn't know and could only watch them live and craft their arts. They shaped stone with their hands a thousand times over. Masters of shape. Balancing art and function.
The king and son he remembered very well—that king had conquered rivers, pulsing, killing rivers whose water flow beat on his own young body and streamed his own hair out behind him. There was a breeze now that carried it still. Over the din of people in, around, everywhere, he felt the wind and water, and warmth. Earth under his feet.
Zhong, said a voice. Chu…go…Kina, Chine—China, Zhong—Kitay—
These were him. He knew.
Like his people, he had a mouth with a glowing gift inside it for communication and sound, and its lips trembled with a sudden force, a smooth, powerful desire for noise. He so desired to mimic those noises, those Kitay and Kina and all others things that sounded just like him, but they didn't come. His mouth and his throat would not cooperate, did not know how to cooperate with him to make the sounds. Talking was a long way off from his abilities just yet, though he tried very hard.
While he tried, the feeling of those unknown people inside him never left. They grew and died and prodded him with their bones in the ground. Warmth spread in a steady, continuous stream, always. The feeling of it was pleasant. Safe.
And once he realized this, he curled up into the warmth to hold it closer, to be all the more surrounded and safe. Curled up and hidden away he remained for some time. Or perhaps no time. He had no scale by which to judge time. For that reason, there was no telling when exactly it was that he finally stood up and began to walk.
It was those people-sounds that made him get up in the first place. They were not his sounds, not the Zhong or China, but an endless host of unfamiliar ones: shenling, xier, gou, taiwei wan huai, aiiii—and he liked them. They made music while he walked on the hard ground, on the grass and rocks, and moving water. The water was especially nice when he felt it sluicing past him. But the force of it trickled and slowed till naught was left and his feet were dry once more . He walked forward, out of the river again. On his feet. Those words all felt provided to him; he did not know what any of these were.
He was China, Zhong, somehow, surely. It was the only thing he knew without being told. The water and the grass and the feet didn't have any meaning yet, but Zhong did. It felt good to know. He walked and dreamed more, and enjoyed the sun.
The walking started to become clumsy, and for the first time, his feet hurt. The lovely warmth of his beginning was mostly faded and when the loss of it became too much to bear, he decided it was time to head back to it. So he looked around to find it. What he saw around him was strange sprays of color—called "se"—flying above him. Inside his heart—or near it, or coming toward it?—were the many people's hearts. China had no comprehension of why they were all crowded in there, or where his warm place was, or why his feet hurt. His own heart at last covered all the other people's hearts, only so it could pound, and pound, and pound. But for his own heartbeat, there was no noise around him.
His first memory amounted to that: a safe, warm nest, mysteriously gone, and himself, mysteriously here, with the sun and its own warmth depleting by the second. His brain was like a newborn, uncomprehending to most things around him but sensation nameless emotions. Right now, he only knew fear of the dark. The sun was setting fast.
The next thing he remembered was the first father coming down the hill towards him. The grey, patchy legs of his trousers were white near the ends, like the stocking pattern on a horse's legs. And how did he know what "horse's legs" was?
This clothing pattern is what he stared at when the man approached him and put his hands on China's small shoulders. His first touch. He later remembered the feeling of skin upon his skin was very, very strange, and undesirable. He did not want to be touched.
Yet unexposed to real language, or spoken language, at least, he remained completely deaf to the frantic strings of words spilling over his ears. Only when one of the stranger's rugged hands took a hard grasp of his chin did China react; his left hand thrust upward and awkwardly slapped the stranger's own hand, but to no avail; his hand was weak and almost completely uncoordinated. He saw his own hand and fingers for the first time.
And while he stared, the man grabbed them, pulled hard on his arm and began to yell. "Why are you out here?! Where's the buluo? Speak! Have they all been killed?"
Buluo was not a word he knew. The child continued staring at his hand, tight in the man's unyielding fist.
"How long have you been walking, child? Say something! Answer me, else—you—" He squeezed the small hand in his fist at last the child ripped himself out of his mindless state and looked at man, wide-eyed, and afraid again. The man's mouth parted and grew wide with a great awe or fear. The black stubble on his chin moved along with it, and it was those funny hairs he stared at while the man gawped.
In later times, Zhong would assume—for he couldn't remember it being said to him—that the man had seen something in his eyes. Some color, something moving, something so strange he could not speak or move.
The grassy fields around them were all but turning blue with the almost-complete darkness before the man was able to bring his voice back again: "You…can you…understand me? Do you know my words?"
He did, and had no mastered means of communication to confirm it. So China stared, hard, fierce, and hoped the man could know. As luck had it, he must have.
"And can you speak? At, at all?"
China breathed in and out hard, and tried again, as he once had in the old days before he'd even started to walk. But just like his first days, no sound came out. At the least, the attempt he made was obvious. The bearded man smiled and gasped. "I can't believe it. Wo shi fengguang ma? Fengguang!" The rest of his words registered as humorous babbling to the quiet Zhong. The man's grip on his hand become soft, very suddenly, and now he held the child's own hand with two of his. It struck him that the man had two hands. He hadn't noticed this before. Yes, men had two hands.
"Would you come with me?" he said, and this time, the phrase was a familiar one. He'd heard it several hundred times while he slept in his warm, favored place, listening to all those people and dreaming about that king.
He tried words once more time. One breath in, and: "Zhe…liii."
It tickled his throat, and startled the man so badly he jumped up and away. While he was gone, China hummed and maneuvered his heavy, heavy tongue all around his mouth, feeling it. His mouth had never known real sound before, and he found it tingled. His first of many words, zheli, "here," definitely tingled, and itched.
It itched a lot. And it hurt. The pain was not just in his mouth and teeth but crawling backwards up into his head. Like the voice-pain, from the people or his old dreams. He raised his hands and slapped them onto the sides of his head to hold them in, to keep their terrible noise quiet. The banging and clanging of their stone tools and shrieks dulled the strange man in front of him to absolutely nothing.
China, and Zhong and Kitay—which were him, he was sure—backed away and curled his hands tighter, pulling at the dark hair on his head. He whimpered, could not longer see, pushed his sleeves over his teary eyes. There was no room in his head or his eyes. No room for all of them, even, and so they pushed on the inside of his skull. Talking, smiling, screaming, planning, and so much fire and water and metal and moving earth that the weight of it all would kill him.
He breathed in and out, slowly, in jagged heaves through which the man's voice did not penetrate. 'It's too—much,' he thought. His own thought not even a drop in the sea of everything, everything in his head and chest and legs. There would never be enough room inside him for all this.
He felt the bearded man shaking him and gripping at his little sleeves. He spoke louder now, and this time China had to open his eyes and look at him. The stranger was now on his knees, and with both hands extended. "I beg you…we must go away," the man said, and there was a pause for China to remember the meaning of that word, away. "You are so tired, shenling, heed me, I beg you—"
"Heed me," he said back to the man. The feel of those words on his tongue was pleasant, and it made his head hurt less. He blinked those thousands of people away, shoved against their voices, and the next thing he knew, the man was on his knees before him, speaking quickly and fearfully now. There was dirt under his feet instead of grass.
'I couldn't, couldn't see,' China thought to himself. He could hear people talking very close to him now. Perhaps they weren't inside his head at all. 'Why does it…keep hurting? What's happening to me?'
"Hurt," he choked out to the man on the ground. There was someone else crouching next to him now, a smaller person with long hair tied up by a white string. It was long and thick and carried a milk-white stone on its end. He liked it. He stepped closer to see it more clearly, but stopped when the small person wearing it began to made unpleasant gasping sounds. It reminded him strongly of his own troubles with pushing words out of his mouth. Perhaps she needed help. Drawing on the man's earlier words, China asked her, "Can you speak?" and she jerked upward, showing him a thin, tanned face.
"Yes! Yes, but of course! What is it you would have of m-me, little god? I offer you a plate of good food and a warm fire. I offer you all our village has to give!" Both the person and the first man held up their clasped-together hands towards him, and people around them muttered and shook. China looked around and gasped, too. There was a crowd of people, a crowd of square houses of packed, dense dirt, and a large fire lined by white rocks. When had all of those things appeared, he wondered? And why?
"Sh-should you be upset, we have sacrifices to give for your pleasure! Only give the command, it shall be done with haste!" The man at her side cried.
Despite the harshness of the man's commanding voice, his eyes remained on the smaller, female speaker. The white thing in her hair caught his attention yet again. "What is little god? And a warm… fffire?" He asked to the top of her head.
Now the man bowed as well. "Forgive my wife! She knows not to whom she is babbling…" The man babbled then, too, searching for words to explain his thoughts. China sympathized with such trouble.
"She…I…am I mistaken in what you are, my lord? You speak as though you do not know yourself. Forgive me. I am only an ignorant old man." And he bowed again.
China was breathing and thinking easier than before when he was walking in the hills, and the words flowed smoother. "I don't know. I was…dreaming. And then I was, I was walking. You took me away. Don't you know? Aru?"
"…I…I cannot say. I only know that I see stars and the heavens when I look at your eyes."
The man, whose name was Guo Mao, he suddenly knew, gulped. Watching his neck constrict with strain reminded China that his feet were also strained and hurt, and he was growing exhausted. He had walked a long, long time before Guo Mao had found him. Voices were beginning to rumble inside him again. It would surely hurt, again, and make him feel shaky and drained. Again. "I don't know. I am very tired. Very tired."
"Come to our home and rest. I beg you for the honor." The wife asked, and she bowed even lower.
"I beg you…for the honnnnor." China said slowly. "Where is house and a warm fire?" Guo Mao and another man each spoke up and made long, low bows to him that seemed to warrant replies or attention, so he complied and went towards Guo Mao's bowed head. He pointed his arm towards one of the earth huts across the empty dirt space, so China began to go that way. The fire with the white stones around it was in the way, so he crossed through. He almost laughed in that moment, realizing he knew all along what "a warm fire" was; how silly for it to have escaped him! He also knew what feet and grass were, now that he thought about them..
"The flames! He stands!" came a shriek from behind him, and China was shocked into jumping up, and nearly falling. One of the people who had stood in the crowd was pointing, and a half-dozen others shuffled back and made noises that China had never heard in any of his long walks or dreams. Guo Mao joined them.
Heart pounding, China stood stock-still and waited for the unearthly wails to end. Patience had been his only chance when the loud voices in his mind became too great, and it was his only chance now. He waited and waited, and in moments Guo Mao's wife advanced towards him and fell hard onto her knees for a second time.
"Stop that noise," he told her, desperately. Tears were coming to his eyes. "It hurts! Make them all stop!" She didn't seem to hear. "Guo Mao! Please! S-stop it now!" Guo Mao was already coming over, looking weak.
"He knows your name. He knows." The wife whispered through her hands. Her head remained bowed. "Shenling from the stars, unburned by fire!"
Unburned was another word China didn't understand. He looked to Guo Mao for an answer, but the man only gave him a mixed expression of pursed lips and wide eyes, and he did not know what emotions any of it meant. Instead, he grasped his wife by the neck and pushed her down closer to the ground. "Hush your incessant blathering! All of you! Cease! Your shrieks offend the ears of a shenling!" The villagers did cease, and one woman slapped her hand over the mouth of a child, ending the last of the clamor.
With a sigh, Guo Mao got on his knees as well. "I am deeply sorry for the offense of my wife. It was my mistake to think she had the fortitude to speak to you. Shall I send the woman away?"
The wife remained low on the ground, unresponsive to Guo Mao's hand on her. Once again, China could see the white ornament in her hair and it caught his eye. He stared, and wondered where it had come from. He deliberated the idea of her leaving, and being without the sight of the lovely stone. "No." He decided. "Leave her. I like the white….the white in her hair."
Immediately Guo Mao dug the string and its dangling stone from its place around the Wife's hair, and tore it away. Her protest was a mere yelp, which did not last more than a second or so. The string and the white stone on it was held in front of his face. "If it please you, the ornament is yours, huoshenling!"
A frown pinched China's mouth. All these words, and it seemed he would know only half of them! "What does that mean? Why you say that? What is a 'unburned'?"
He looked up and met the boy's eyes over the hair decoration in his palm. "Unburned is to not feel pain or destruction from fire. Did you not see? You walked through our central fire and there are no burns on you."
"…Oh." This, too, meant nothing to him. With the curious wailing gone, and his mind-voices quiet, there was nothing to focus on, so he kept his attention on the white ornament.
"Shenling…if you cannot yet ascend to your heavenly home…I again offer my home to you. All my treasures and possessions are yours, o god. All those my people have. I pray for your blessing upon us."
The people behind him echoed the sentiment, and held up items from their person that China did not acknowledge or comprehend. He wanted to look only at Guo Mao. "Thank y-you, Guo Mao. You are good." He breathed in, to make his words steadier. "I am…very tired now. I want to rest here. It was a long walk."
"There is a bed for guests. A fine bed where surely you will have a good and long sleep! It shall be yours, if you will follow me to it." There was little need for the gesture; the boy was already close behind him.
He slept for sixteen days in the bed of esteemed guests, with new prayers, burnt dolls and offerings made by his pillow each day. In sixteen days, he regained strength drained from him on his long walk. In sixteen weeks, it was time to harvest the village's crop of millet, and the yield was plentiful. In sixteen months, he had his own room built onto the side of Guo Mao and his wife's home, and was praised and beloved by the villagefolk and hidden away when strangers passed by the field border.
He called Guo Mao Father, but Guo Mao called him Zhong and not son. He did not call his father's wife Mother. Today, the woman was at the river, bleeding red and brown dyes for the pottery projects, and Father bid him to go with her and carry the extra baskets of dye that she was too weak to carry herself.
It was a terribly mundane task, watching the women hustle about with plants and stems, but it allowed for quiet listening to the alternating muttering and screeching in his head. He heard the villagers, sometimes he heard Father and his wife, and sometimes he heard rivers and wind. It came and went with little control on his part, and was easiest to focus on without the villagefolk who were so practiced with longwinded thanks for things he hadn't done. But today, there was nothing to listen to.
The wife—her personal name was Na— sat at the riverside with three other women, busily pulling stems and busily conversing. Zhong sat on a reed blanket on a slight rise above them, which the women had lined with hydrangea and lotus flowers before bidding him to rest on it. And in the heat of this summer day, he felt he had rested on it a long time. Especially after a lot of resting yesterday in the form of sitting quietly and listening to Jizi's extended family verbalize their very extended worries about the shapes they had seen in the clouds and water ripples the previous day.
'Do the wispy clouds mean rain or wind? I forget. I forget what I told them, too.' He thought. 'Maybe I should have told them after all that I was listening to a battle somewhere else. And Jizi's son smells like a sweaty cow.'
Zhong himself probably smelled like a sweaty animal, too, under this hot sun. The women were dipping their small feet into the stream as they worked, but he had no shade, no water and no other respite. He could go into the river if he wanted. The wife and her companions wouldn't dare stop him. But he wanted to go somewhere that was both cool and deaf to their giggling and murmurs about fitting husbands.
He hadn't…gotten up and left the working women in a while. The last time he had, it was Xie's daughter who noticed he was gone and thought he'd flown away to heaven. Perhaps today it would be the Wife who would shriek and faint upon noticing his absence. That sounded like an excellent idea! She did have a very funny shriek.
"I'll meet up with you women again at sundown. Maybe." Zhong whispered. He pushed against the blanket and stepped over its feeble wall of flowers. His feet were bare and very practiced at making little noise on grass. "Hnehehe! Enjoy your work!" Three steps, four, and he was gone over the hill without a breath of wind for them to notice.
Once over one more hill—an extra measure of distance to put between he and the hens—he took off at a dirt-kicking run, sprinting across grass and short stretches of sand or ferns. He ran till he felt the first bead of sweat trickle under his brow and down towards his eye, and then slowed. He was a good enough distance away now, upriver, and he could swim and play without disturbance.
The red shoulder-sash and tunic were off immediately and thrown onto a rock, though he decided to keep his trousers today. The river at this point was much wider than he remembered, two trees across at least, which meant a fantastically big field of riverbed to explore and float around in. It didn't take but ten extra seconds to back his heels up, stallion-like, and then tear forward and leap into the water. Most unfortunate fish in the area probably fled when the heavy splash sounded in the riverbed, and was suddenly Zhong's to use.
"Bbbrrbrsshhs!" went his underwater screech (necessary for pretending to be a serpent) which surely sent away any remaining fish. After that, all his noises were half-worded laughter. Father, the wife, the clinging villagefolk and their charms and offerings with offensive smells were absent.
He reached down to pick up a rock or dirt clod from the river bed, and scraped only more water. He reached again, bashing his head through the water and below the surface for extra length of his grasp, and still had nothing. 'How deep is it here?' He wondered, and made to find out. He dove under, and reached, paddled deeper, reached. 'Wow! So far down! How much more is there?' The final time he reached out, his hand stopped before it had touched anything.
'Go back to shore, and stay there for a while.' He commanded of himself, and kicked and tore at the water, higher and higher up to the glowing surface. Once he broke through and tasted air again, he swam for the shore. The water had left his hair covering his eyes but he didn't care to move it. He didn't feel it, and hardly saw it. His senses now had degenerated mostly to hearing, and he heard something in the water. Not a voice, but a noise without words. Zhong had discovered through a great many occasions of listening to the people inside him that men who did not use words were more terrible than men who did.
'Maybe someone is coming downriver. A madman. Or a traveling warrior.' He thought. He grabbed at his tunic from the rock and stepped back an additional three steps, keeping his eyes upriver. 'The women. They won't know. I can go back and tell them we must leave.'
A very smart course of action, which Father would agree with and praise. He would have made just such a decision. Yet he didn't move his feet, or put on his tunic. He didn't move his hair out of his eyes or leave the sandy shore at all. 'Maybe it's a man with spirit powers. Maybe he is holding me down and will come here and kill me.'
Zhong waited. He breathed. Listened for men or the clattering of tools or life or death. Inside and out of him, there was nothing but the puttering river and a kingfisher flapping over the water surface. He was able to convince himself to sit down and wait for this strange thing to come, but nothing more.
Nothing more, he had thought, until the water surface immediately diagonal to him shimmered and lifted up, and his heart skipped two beats. The sensation was foreign and painful and he clapped a hand onto his chest to fight it. It beat again with mad energy as the hill of water split open and flowed back into its riverbed, revealing the spine of a creature underneath. Its rise didn't seem to end; it lifted higher and higher till one end at last was lifted out of the water: a reptile's long head, crowned with mighty twin horns and handsome tufts of fur, or perhaps spines, extending back from the skull.
The crowned head turned half-around, the horns now spearing the south to look to the north shore on which a half-soaked boy sat staring at it. He was able to notice the creature's eyes were golden-colored, and the pupils vertical like those of a snake's. The scales were golden all over, the neck thicker than a grown man. The mouth opened and revealed sharp fish's teeth, split down the middle by a heavy, bloodred tongue.
Zhong found that he was standing up to notice all of these features of the beast. The beast was adjusting its long body in the river so that its head faced forward to look at him instead of sideways. The head bobbed forward and the golden neck followed and came closer and closer in view, till individual scales and promontories and ridges signifying muscle and bone beneath them all became visible, and its head did not bend quite so much to look at him. The horns were hardly horns but rather antlers, and solid black. Zhong's feet were placed on a slightly higher bank above the sand shore where he had stood previously, and he would never remember walking up to it to be closer to the beast.
His hands were fighting a great battle to both rise and fall in the air in front of him when the open mouth in front of him exhaled warm air. Though the jaw moved only minimally, he heard as clear as a prayer: "I have met you before, haven't I?" The voice was female. It was heavy and smooth, a thick layer of silk to his ear.
It soothed him enough to respond. "I…haven't met you. I've never met you." He paused, just long enough and with a deep enough calming breath to inhale a bite of reason as well. "Are you a dream? Am I asleep with Na at the river?"
"No. You are awake. You are a familiar face. Do you know me?"
He did not. But he had walked up to meet her, close enough for her to reach over and clutch him in her teeth. "I don't know you."
She stared, with one long blink, one wave of a fan of obsidian-stone lashes. "I have seen you on a long walk across the land. You were dreaming then, I'd guess. You did not notice me. But I know no mere man could walk for so long. You are a spirit, aren't you? But from where?"
The slow, smoky calm lifted from them, providing the boy with an opportunity to swallow, breathe, and feel fear settle on his spine instead. "I-I don't know. I don't know! My father insists that I am. The people in my village, th-they say that I make the weather and I grant their wishes! I don't know if they're right. I do what Father says and that's all." He noticed a change in the creature's face, a downturn of its lips. An expression of thought, he knew now. "Do you know? Even if I'm having a dream, can't you tell me anything!?"
"You are not one of the men. I know this as easily as I know day from night." The beast said. "But I am sure you do, too."
A slight smile appeared on his face. "I know. I don't mind it." The creature exhaled warm air from its nostrils over him, and a thin ribbon of smoke escaped as well. Her entire body had a strong warmth to it, he sensed. "I am named Zhong. Son-by-adoption of Guo Mao."
The dragon curled her head inward, till her chin nearly tapped the front of her neck, and then parted her yellow jaws again. "I am of a name: Ja Jin. Well met. I am glad to meet you."
He felt the warmth of Ja Jin's body inside him now, as the voices of the unknown people were. "I am…glad to meet you, too."
So this is what Hetalia would have been like if I had written the damn thing. At least, for China's tale. He was found by a group of people living in a time so old and unaware of scientific reality that they worshiped him as a god. Yeah.
I do want to make a "historical AU?" story like this for several characters, including at least England, Russia and America, maybe France. The reason I sat on this idea for three goddamn years is because researching the history and what history is going on in other nations at the same time is really fucking daunting. Still, I have eagerly checked out and bought several books to help with this project and build up my own knowledge, and it's really important and exciting to me! I almost didn't want to post China's first because he's my absolute favorite, and his above all must be perfect!
Though I do want to portray the historical events as accurately as possible, the main focus is about the Hetalia "nation-tans" and their personalities, relationships and trials as individuals. What's more, history's gonna be kinda different since people know the Hetalia dudes exist and are kinda-sorta magical. Each one has an affiliation or even ability relating to a traditional "element." Obviously, China has an affinity for fire. Can you guess what anyone else's might be? I am very serious, give a guess!
Also, the reason I was throwin' around various languages' pronounciation of China earlier on is because China can "sense" that all of those will be his name one day. Still not entirely sure how much the nation-tans know/can sense, I'm still feeling that out. Anyway, the word "China" does not exist yet, but "Zhong" will very soon, and that's why he chose it for his name, it feels "closer" to him. FOR NOW!
HISTORICAL NOTES/SOURCES, YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ THESE, THANKS FOR VISITING BYYYYYE
IMPORTANT: CHINA WAS REALLY GOOD AT RECORDKEEPING THROUGHOUT THEIR HISTORY BUT THEY WERE KNOWN TO REWRITE THINGS/CUT THINGS OUT/LOTS OF HISTORY IS CONFUSED AND CONTRADICTORY OH MY FUCKING GOD
1) The year is roughly 1900 B.C. and we're in China's first recognized dynasty, Xia, founded by "Yu the Great," who tamed the floods of the terrible Yellow River by starting a big irrigation project to combat it! Our APH China began to form/be "born" after Yu founded this dynasty, because it was the first time the country was unified. Some would say the Yellow Emperor, who came before Yu, made the country "unified" but he's even more of a legendary figure; Yu has a better chance of…having actually existed. He exists in this fanfic, k :/
2) Before Xia was founded, there was a Neolithic culture around the Yellow River called the Yangshao who were known for their millet cultivation and red and brown pottery. Guo Mao's village is by the Yellow River and they've still got this culture goin' on. As for Guo Mao himself, by Chinese naming conventions, his name, and Ja Jin's as well, should probs be one word but I grew used to them this way, and I'm not sure how much modern-day pinyin rules should apply to imaginary peasants and dragons from 1900 B.C., so...?
3) These people believed spirits inhabited the trees and the rivers n' such and thus are probably really impressionable so I find it totally within the realm of reason that in APH China's youth, his people would have believed he was a god or at least a spirit. Thus, they called him shenling ( 神灵), a spirit or god-like thing. I had a Chinese speaker verify this for me but would always love second opinions! I learned some of the language in high school but my skills have deteriorated disgustingly and I hate that because I loved the class and material so very much!
4) Yes, dragons existed and China can walk through fire. This is my fanfic and I love dragons and supernatural touches, and I declare these things to be truth. On that note, England's fic will most def contain unicorns.
HERE ARE MY SOURCES, BITCHES.
First. A Brief History of Chinese Civilization. Conrad Schirokauer.
Second. China, A History. John Keay.
Third: China, land of dragons. Adeline Yen Mah.
Fourth: My Chinese Civ class ;)
It is 3:30 in the morning and I do not have nearly enough energy or zest to handle this nightlife youth culture so I am going to bed. Good night, citizens.