A Note from the Editor

Once, many years ago now, I walked in on Ely writing.

It was a pleasant night, as I recall. Near the start of our journey together, in Leisfelt. We were in the inn, we had just finished making preparations for the opening of the Ezov‘s Leisfelt branch. We slept in different rooms, at her insistence. Said she didn’t want to risk disturbing my sleep. We had followed the same arrangement throughout our journey, booking two adjacent rooms, much to my chagrin. Anyway, I walked in on her to see her seated by the table, writing something on the parchment she had told me to get her at the last minute, before we left. I asked her what she was writing. Her response?

“Just some memoirs. I figure that after you get super famous and well-known all throughout the country, there might be people willing to shell out decent money for a first-hand account of our beginnings and journey. So I’m writing it beforehand, while everything is fresh, so that it’ll be ready to ship when the day comes.”

At the time, I could only laugh at the silliness of it all. Who would be interested enough to shell out money to read about a lowly singer such as myself? If I were some great, dragon-slaying hero, maybe, but I was just a lowly bargirl-turned-singer. I could not imagine a day when anyone would want to read about my life.

The fact that you’ve picked up this book is, of course, proof that I was wrong. I was very wrong. Ely was right, as she so often is. Over the years, I’ve been plagued by requests from various people to publish something similar to this book. I had initially thought to keep it to myself, as a memento of my departed friend, but that would have been contrary to her intentions in writing these memoirs. As such, I made the decision to publish this book, but instead of publishing it as a free work like many had asked, I decided to charge a price for it – much like Ely herself would have done.

And that is the story of how this first volume about the tale of my life came to be. This part of my life, at least, is best told by Ely, given how much she influenced it. For various reasons, the volumes that follow will not be those penned by her – my decision to leave out a majority of her work is motivated by personal reasons as well as practical concerns. Personal reasons in that I do wish to keep some of her work to myself, and am loathe to share her with the world at large. Please forgive me for my selfishness.

The other, more practical concern is simply that it would not make for a good story – Ely is not the optimal choice of narrator for the next part of my story. For that, another pen must take center stage.

With that, this volume draws to a close. I would like to dedicate this volume – nay, this entire work – to Elysium Ling, my close friend, the woman who changed my life and opened the doors of fate for me. It pained me to see you leave, but wherever you are, I hope you’re keeping in good health – I know we’ll meet again, someday.

As to you, dear reader, I thank you for picking up this book, and for taking the time to learn about my life. I can’t guarantee it’ll be an entertaining story, but I can at least affirm that it is my story. I welcome you to come walk with me through these pages, to retake the path I once trod – a path covered in vines. My life, like that of so many others’, was a path of vines – filled with thorns, but also filled with beauty.

O beautiful vine,

encroach then upon me.

Your thorns, though they pierce,

so sweetly they hurt.


Editor’s Note: As a final note, the first three chapters of this Volume were added after the rest of the volume was completed, after Ely had regained her memories – She wrote them in for the purpose of providing a bit of context as to her origins. Also because she wanted to, as she put it, “brag about pointing a sword at an emperor”.