Special thanks to Alliriyan for Betareading; it was an honor to work with you.

Fanfiction presented by The Ancestors' Temple
-

Period 0 – Mushu

The dragon had taken hold of the reins, maneuvring the horse through the mess of slaughter and blood. There might still be a chance to get out of this alive.
As small and frail as it might be.

The soldier snatched him up, threateningly holding the lizard-sized dragon in front of his face. He could not agree with his guardian, and even though he wanted to fight and accept his fate, he wanted to at least die in honor and not sneak away like the coward his guardian was. For now though, if only just for a moment, the ongoing war had become secondary.
Cutting like swords, heated arguments were exchanged between allies.
The reptile growled in response. It had hoped to sway the horse anyway, not the rider, for he didn't know what did him good.

And in the next instance the dragon found himself flung into the battlefield.

The little critter skidded over the dirty ground until he hit a corpse. Pushing himself away from the lifeless shell, his eyes immediately locked back upon his guarded one. That one had, due to their argument, lost his attention of the battle for only a second too long.

By the time the warning reached the soldier, his head had already hit the floor; and the horse startled in horror.
-

The Night of the Forlorn Souls

He was young; a young dragon on his way to become big and famous. Big, yes that was the word. Big as these great mighty dragons that posed in the gardens of wealthy families, big as the guardians who protected the Emperor himself.
Maybe; it was a dream he had, maybe one day he would be just as big or at least as famous as these elite warriors.
The little dragon had finished his education and had just now been assigned with a family. His very own family, and from now on, Mushu would be the guardian of the Fa-family. He had been so excited over the past weeks that they seemed to have passed in no time – the family ancestors soon had a hard time with keeping the energetic little thing occupied; so once the time should come to send him out, there would be no second thoughts wasted.

That day arrived sooner than Mushu would have hoped for. The ancestors put high hopes into the young and inexperienced, yet encouraging and engaged little dragon. Besides, that way they would be granted some rest again.
A small number of the members felt sorry for the dragon being sent out into the battlefield already on his first mission, for it was not an easy task. However they had the hope that his experiences there would possibly calm the little creature down and make him a little more… endurable.

Full of hope and with an open mind for the future, the guardian was sent out with his first protégé.
Fa Deng.

Fa Deng had always been a good soldier and had so far attended many wars and battles. The ancestors considered an experienced soldier the best company for a whippersnapper guardian to learn with.
Since the spirits usually made decisions wisely and impartially, no one would ever have expected a bond of such bad harmony to grow between the two souls like this.