Mei Chan was the seventeenth imperial princess of the Xing Empire and with that came the responsibility of the preservation of her entire clan.
Out of all the fifty clans of Xing, the Chan clan was the weakest, to the point that it was more part of Xing's past then its present. It had been hundreds of years since the Chan clan sat on the throne, and the likelihood of them taking it back was so small that the other clans never saw them as a threat. It was not always like that, at one point in Xing history the Chan clan had been one of the most powerful clans even holding the throne for generations, until bad luck struck the clan of them only giving birth to daughters. Each of the Emperor's fifty wives prayed for the birth of a healthy son, for the prestige of their clan and for the chance of their son to become the next Emperor of Xing. There had never been a female ruler, Empress was a term used for the head wife and nothing else. Yanyu Chan had wept bitterly when she had given birth to a daughter, for she had hoped that the bad luck was not upon her.
Despite the complications that Mei's gender presented, her mother wanted Mei to be the first princess to change the definition of Empress to being the ruler of Xing, or to raise the clan's standing in court with a advantageous marriage. From an early age, Mei felt the weight of the expectations that both her mother and her clan had for her.
Her teachers subjected Mei to endless lessons in a variety of fields in order to prepare her for the power struggle for the throne; she was taught the healing methods of Rentanjutsu, how to perfect her ability to sense the energy flow of the Earth and people, calligraphy, martial arts, and even flower arranging. There was little time for Mei to play with the other children of the clan resulting in her best friend being a panda, or even to enjoy simple frivolous pleasures that others took for granted. For example, one time she foolishly asked her History teacher on a blistering summers day if she could go swimming in the nearby pond, Mei was sentenced to copying out an entire text on the History of Xing under the unforgiving sun.
Mei however never let it get her down, her greatest ambition was to help the clan but she also harbored a secret desire.
Late at night when everyone else was asleep, Mei would use superior skills in martial arts to sneak out of bed, and silently make her way through the shadows of the house to the library. Mei never grew fond of books, the ones her family had were brittle, dusty, and had a musty smell to them. The difficult passages inside them made it harder for Mei to take any joy from the activity, but along with the texts on History, Science and Philosophy there were also tales of romance and adventure. The worn pages from these books due to her constant reading had words that created a world far removed from her own.
Mei's favorite story, the one that she could recite word for word, was the tragic and romantic tale of Lady White Cat. Before the Gods in heaven created the country of Xing, there was a God and Goddess who broke the rules of Heaven and fell in love. The Emperor of Heaven angered by their disobedience banished them from Heaven and had their souls reincarnated on Earth. In those vulnerable forms, they would know labor, weakness, hunger, loss, pain and to eventually for death to take them. However, the Goddess did not return as a human but instead as a white cat, while her lover became the son of a poor scholar known as Li. Fate served the two lovers well for one day Li saved the white cat from drowning in the river, resulting in her falling in love and gathering the courage to visit the local mystic so she could become a human girl. The story had several volumes to it filled with tragic destinies, a curse that separated the two lovers, conflicts with the Gods, magic that both helped and hindered their journey, and of course true love.
Mei believed that Lady White Cat was true tale of love, because even though their forms were different it never lessened their love for the other.
The men she encountered in these books were strong enough to easily lift a women in their arms, sensitive enough to recite poetic descriptions of their love's beauty, and they were determined enough to defend their love from any obstacles that crossed their path. She longed to live in a world where passionate love conquered the wicked, of valiant displays of physically supremacy, grand journeys to exotic places, and that perfect moment of her first kiss underneath the silver moonlight. Then the sun would rise behind the mountains and with the early morning, dew her dreams of love would vanish with the first golden rays but inside, she believed that one day she would find her prince.
Even though she was, still a child Mei with little choice left her childhood behind and embarked on a journey for the search of immortality. One of her mother's confidants had heard that Ling Yao of the Yao clan had left to find the Philosophers stone in Amestris, so that he would gain favor with the dying emperor. Mei followed suit for the same reason, with only her faithful panda Xiao-Mei and a few provisions Mei crossed the hazardous desert, where many had tried to conquer but only a selected few had survived.
She vowed to stop thinking about romance; after all, she had an important mission to complete.
When she arrived in Amestris barely able to maintain consciousness and feeling as though her stomach was starting to eat her insides in its search for nourishment, the idea of finding true love seemed like an unlikely possibility. The kind people of the mining town of Youswell informed her of the Fullmetal Alchemist, the alchemical genius with golden hair and eyes, a man known throughout Amestris for being an alchemist for the people. Mei imagined him to be tall, handsome, dashing; with a charming disposition instead what she found was a short, foul tempered, silly boy.
His brother however was a different story.
She found it funny that her first assumption of Alphonse Elric was a demonic armor that had sinisterly captured her beloved Xiao-Mei; she even declared to Mr. Scar that she would never forgive him for his evil deeds. Mei had grown up with the idea that she had to take care of herself, and that she could expect to receive help from anyone, for to trust anyone was to leave herself open to danger. That was why she stunned when Alphonse Elric had thrown himself into danger in order to save her from the large Homunculus that was only a second away from eating her. He had proven his capacity for kindness by taking care of her beloved Xiao-Mei, which Mei knew from the faint scar on her ring finger, was not an easy task to accomplish. It was almost as if he had stepped out from the pages of a romantic tale.
There was a curse upon him as well; a curse that Mei knew not even love could lift.
He may not have fit her image of the romantic hero perfectly, but Mei decided that he was the closest to it.