Hello, and welcome to the first installment of A Provincial Life, a fic series based on the hijinks of the Chinese Provinces and other Nations. This chapter briefly introduces some of them. Note that this fic happens to have an official Tumblr, at aph-a-provincial-life. Go ask some questions and the Provinces will be delighted to answer.

This chapter is inspired by The Mapmakers' Colors by ProcrastinatingPalindrome.

For anyone wondering, I deliberately timed this to be posted on National Day, 1 October. Just because I am pro-protest doesn't mean that I don't give a damn about the Mainland. (And thus, this is a birthday present to China. I'm very proud that they made it this far.)

Guangdong was the first to pick up a brush. The dark, muted green paint was slathered over her southern (southeastern?) spot, yet carelessly penetrated the borders of her neighbours.

Shooting her a bristling glance, Hunan carefully traced the mountains and river separating him from his fellow Provinces in a fiery crimson, then proceeded to fling a dollop of paint in the direction of the capitalists of the south and east.

Jiangxi didn't quite mind his ex-roommate's antics. He merely styled the green into the leaves of a mandarin orange, and began to draw intricate dark-blue patterns in the area marked as the sea, beyond his borders.

Beijing was no ordinary, tasteless commoner. He meticulously mixed his tones and ensnared his small portion of northern land in a deep red, bright enough to display his allegiance, yet dark enough to be a colour of professionalism.

It's also the colour of blood, the blood spilled to keep your government, your Bosses in power, a voice whispered at the back of his mind, and suddenly he was in his streets, gunshots ringing in his ears - he shoved the memory back to his subconscious. Such thought and memories were forbidden, traitorous, and northerners like himself are supposed to be loyal.

Tianjin looked over at his brother, concerned, quirking an eyebrow. "I'm okay," his brother reassured him, but he wasn't so sure. After all, running a country whileS'ifuis off taking care of international relations or playing with Sichuan's pandas is no easy task. He ran his brush over where their borders met, and a trail of greyish blue, like thetianin his name (though it looked like the sunny skies above his head before industrialization, as the lighting shifted), followed.

Hebei wouldn't have been there if it weren't for his Municipality brothers. He had never had much to say about matters, but it would be nice if the other Provinces had paid more attention to him, or didn't call him a traitor to their Han blood at first contact, right? His southern sister glanced at him, waiting for him coolly to paint in the blank space above her yellowish brown (like the soil and the river both of them had been named for). He chose a rusty red, much like his tarnished reputation.

When he looked up once again, mahogany eyes (just like those of a man who had bound the two together by the strange way Nation genetics worked) were staring into his own iron-grey. Violet was what laid to his northeast, like her Flying Leopards and the eyes of a certain foreigner who had left his lasting influence on his neighbour.

The northeastern-most Province had considered an icy silvery-white, like his aggressive winters and the snow and ice he had loved so dearly. But in the end, it was a dusky purple that coloured half of the Great Chicken's head, in tribute to the neighbour who brought him tourism and trade, and the rust from a Golden Age past.

Gold was the colour of wealth and thus was naturally fought over and coveted. Eventually, the heated debate fell into the hands of the Capitalists of the Nation. Hong Kong let Shanghai take home the gold for once, for after all, gold was soft and malleable, and silver was the night, technology, and the sleek strength (titanium, for instance) that the non-silvery metal beside copper (oh so soft and malleable too) could never possess. As the southern archipelago was dotted with metallic spots, the City of a Million Dollars ensured that the border between him and his darling ga tse was crisp and clear.

Sichuan had much space to express herself, but she was undeniably drawn to the green of bamboo plants, left aside in a corner, and not the red which much of the nation appeared to be vying for. She did, though, leave the line that cut her little Municipality sister from her clear-cut and well-defined, and wasn't at all surprised that Chongqing had opted for a vermillion shade like molten potassium iodide, shining like their tempers and (in)famously spicy palates.

Hainan had it easy. An oceanic blue for an island south of the sea, eternally poetic and relaxing, but also incredibly deadly for the poor souls lost to the endless, briny horizon.

The isles of Taiwan across the strait from Fujian (a rich tea-brown) were left blank, just as the seat at the meeting table labeled "台灣" remained perpetually empty during every meeting. The main components of the Great Chicken's wing were too left untouched, for Tibet was far too west to be contacted, and Xinjiang… well, few dare to get too close to the Uyghur 'terrorist' territory, or so their people and Bosses claim that he is.

Guizhou was, too, left untouched by paint - not because he wasn't there for the meeting, but due to the general collective fear that drunken painting was not exactly the best idea at the moment.

As the Chinese Subdivisions finally took their leave at the end of the meeting, for the inevitable Intranational Cook-Off (with Sichuan trying to play peacemaker between Mittchigan and Ohio, Fujian attempting to cut away at the bonds tying him to the ingredients cart, and Shanxi and Shaanxi getting into yet another fight), another sixty or so figures slipped into the room to complete the map with their colours.

Yes, China's Provinces are canon. They were just conveniently cut out of the anime adaptation, so of course, no one knows they exist.

Date of Writing: 24/8, 30/9 (2019)

Date of Editing and Typing: 1/10/2019

Date of Publication: 1/10/2019