By Ishin 20 Comments
While the exact origin of the legendary martial arts clan has remained a heavily guarded secret by its current Grandmaster with the assistance of several other fabled martial arts clans, it is believed to have been founded by legendary martial artist, Meili Yuansu. Born many thousands of years ago, Meili was born to a family of respected martial artists in an undisclosed Chinese village. While openly acknowledged for her divine beauty, Meili's most prominent feature were her monstrous chi reserves and innate martial arts prowess. With the latent ambition of surpassing the boundaries of martial arts at the time, Meili chose an unorthodox approach towards extending her combat prowess. While still physically conditioning her body for the rigors of intense combat, she placed greater emphasis on the development of one's inner chi. Upon her departure from the village, Meili commenced an extended period of deep meditation which resulted in the exponential growth of her already colossal chi reserves. Achieving a state of tranquility, Meili harmonized with the world around her, eventually establishing a powerful chi-based link to the planet itself which granted her the now forgotten ability to manipulate all four of the world's traditional elements of air, earth, water, and fire. It was upon the discovery of her exotic abilities that she devoted an incomparable amount of time into developing elemental martial arts. Combining numerous philosophies and techniques from various martial arts, she developed four self-taught elemental martial arts, one for each element. These four elemental martial arts are Huo Yuansu (The Element of Fire), Shui Yuansu (Water Element), Tu Yuansu (The Element of Earth), and Feng Yuansu (The Element of Wind). Interestingly enough, it is claimed by some that Meili herself had developed an incomplete fighting style that involved the manipulation of all four fundamental elements of nature. Very little is known about this hypothesized martial art that Yuansu scholars claim was called "Jingsui (Quintessence)". It was during this period that the Shui Yuansu sub-branch, Hongse Yuansu was created by unknown Shui Yuansu practitioners.
Her ridiculously high chi reserves dramatically elongated her lifespan in addition to exponentially slowing down her aging. This development enabled her to continue improving and refining her self-taught martial arts which naturally led to the mastering of the elemental martial arts. Choosing to live her life in seclusion from most people, she found solace in nature where she continued to improve and refine. It was this choice that led to the creation of the Yuansu Clan, for during the time that she was gathering food for the winter, Meili encountered a group of abandoned young children who had lost themselves in Ancient China's dense forests. Readily adopting the children as her own, she taught them her elemental martial arts for the sole purpose of self-defense. However, due to not possessing abnormally high chi reserves like their mother, the children were only capable of learning one of the legendary martial arts each, with the element most similar to their core personality aspects being the only they could master. As the children aged into adults, they brought abandoned children into their family and along with their mother, Meili, they instructed these children in the exotic elemental arts. This practice inevitably led to the creation of a large martial arts clan that taught their secrets only to those they deemed worthy and righteous. The Yuansu Clan was born. Establishing their monastery deep in undisclosed Chinese forests, the Yuansu Clan lived in seclusion, away from the greed and lust of the common man. At the age of 950, Meili passed away. In order to honor her memory, her children built a colossal stone statue in her likeness. Prior to her unexpected death, Meili Yuansu had created the Tu Yuansu sub-branch "Yuansu Fennu (Element of Fury)" that boasted relentless combat-based ferocity and overwhelming offensive maneuvers. She also served as the stepping stone for the further development of 'complete chi' which in itself is the perfect combining of one's inner chi with the environment's external chi through countless years of intensive meditation. Meili's death caused shockwaves across the world of martial arts and in particular, the Yuansu Clan itself.
The Yuansu Clan Assassination
Years after the death of legendary Meili Yuansu, the clan experienced a period of despair and grief. The loss of Meili, their very first grand-master and the single most enlightened individual in the fabled clan's history, radiated devastatingly across the entire clan. Under the leadership of two new grand-masters, both under the Water Branch (Shui Yuansu), the Yuansu Clan's teachings became increasingly unguarded and more open to outsiders seeking power and in exchange for tutelage, they promised gradual political influence across Ancient China to the selected Shui Yuansu grand-masters. As the amount of outsiders being accepted into the clan continued to elevate exponentially, a degree of concern began to manifest within a small number of Elders, a Tu Yuansu master known as Lian Yuansu, and Impero himself who had been training in the clan for years prior to Meili's inevitable death. While certain Elders showcased xenophobic tendencies, Impero and Lian's intentions were purely out of concern for the secrecy of the clan's teachings and to a greater degree, the potential threat that widespread knowledge and practice of the clan's metaphysical martial arts posed should they be abused by megalomaniacs for selfish political and social purposes. Initially voicing their concerns to the then living Shui Yuansu grand-masters as well as the majority of the Elders, their suggestions of further seclusion were instantly dismissed by their superiors. Intending to forsake their concern, they were soon compelled by separate incidents to proceed with a drastic course of action. The Elders themselves claimed to have had a vision of Meili Yuansu herself, pleading that they do whatever is possible for maintaining the secrecy of the clan's knowledge as well as the prevention of global disaster should the spreading of Yuansu knowledge become rampant. Impero and Lian themselves were convinced to proceed with their concerns at the sight of a student openly admitting to his desire to use his eventual Tu Yuansu mastery to ruthlessly conquer most of Eastern Asia.
Sharing Meili Yuansu's unorthodox ethical views involving doing morally questionable activities and actions for the greater good, regardless of whether or not one's personal reputation is tarnished in the process, Impero and Lian secretly met with the clan's elders as well some of its premier members who shared their concern. Meticulously plotting the saddening demise of their beloved clan for months, they met in secret while being careful not to divert suspicion onto them by portraying their meetings as meditation gatherings. Sharing Meili's philosophy that one must at times sacrifice their own ethical beliefs for the good of mankind, none of these selected clansmen displayed hesitation as they proceeded with the perfection of their assassination plan. Meeting for the final time for what would be thousands of years, Impero and his fellow clansmen selected the following night for the cautiously planned assassination of the Yuansu Clan. Through the elusive utilization of poison in meals and beverages, unapparent odorless poisonous gases, and unparalleled assassination skill, Impero and his allies successfully carried out the destined assassination of every single other Yuansu Clan member. Prior to that fateful night, the Impero that currently lives was not familiar with existence. Upon carrying out the assassination, he personally took it upon himself to forsake his own moral beliefs for the good of mankind, believing that his ethical obligations to humanity are far greater than what the world perceives as evil or unjust. Destroying most of the texts that contained knowledge of the ancient martial arts, Impero and the surviving clansmen went their separate paths, opting not to remain in the monastery which they left intact to honor Meili's memory. They spent the remainder of their time apart from each other, never meeting again until a common ambition drove them to meet with each other years later. After the eventual rebirth of the clan two thousands of years prior to the modern era, knowledge of the assassination was shared in order to teach clansmen of their history.
Roughly two thousand years prior to the modern era, enigmatic Impero met with the other surviving members of the Yuansu Clan under unknown circumstances. It was at this time that Impero had begun wearing his now iconic mask. With the objective of bringing forth the rebirth of the clan under their guidance, they returned to the abandoned Yuansu monastery. However, before their goal could be achieved, five of the six members passed away due to old age. The youngest however, remained, she was a beautiful Chinese woman named Lian Yuansu. To this day, she is the only woman other than Lara Kelly with which he shared true love. Still driven to revive their clan under new guidance so that their secrets remain unknown as intended by Meili herself, the two resurrected the practice of adopting lost children and teaching them the ways of the Yuansu Clan. Both Lian and Impero functioned as the clan's grand-masters. It was throughout this period that Lian created the most complex and difficult of sub-branches for Tu Yuansu, Yuansu de Naixin. She discovered the basis of this self-taught fighting style during a session of meditation in which she involuntarily detected underground vibrations during a state of spiritual enlightenment. Due to her combat-oriented mind and undeniable perception, she saw the potential in this and eventually developed an entire Tu Yuansu sub-branch dedicated to the exploitation of Tu Yuansu practitioners to seismically sense vibrations in the ground. For this she openly became a celebrated figure among her clansmen. However, a few hundred years into their leadership of the Yuansu Clan, Lian mysteriously disappeared prior to informing Impero that an apparition resembling Meili had visited her.
Unconvinced that Lian had died as suggested by many, to this day, Impero believes her to be alive somewhere, his assumptions are correct as Lian still lives in an undisclosed otherworldly location. Left to lead the clan on his own, Impero brought forth an era of great prosperity for the clan, establishing an effective hierarchy for the clan involving several elders, masters and Impero himself. Restoring most of the lost information that had been destroyed during the assassination of the clan members many years ago, Impero managed to portray the clan as 'dead' for many years in order to ward off any potential megalomaniacs. Only the ancient martial arts clans closest to the center of the world of combat were told of the existence of the Yuansu Clan's existence, while the rest believed them to be the topic of fabled legends. Recently however, Impero has brought about the somewhat public reemergence of the Yuansu Clan in the world of martial arts. His daughter Rubina is one of the clan's most prominent members, having broken numerous records and attained a level of great expertise prior to reaching adulthood. Her abnormally high chi reserves have led to many calling her the 'Second Coming of Meili'. Her inevitable creation of two incomplete yet highly effective Huo Yuansu sub-branches, Ziyou Yuansu (Element of Freedom), and Wudao Yuansu (Dancing Element) respectively, led to further acclaim by her clansmen and Impero himself. Being under the current leadership of cunning Impero, the Yuansu Clan upholds its traditions of not sharing their exotic teachings to outsiders with very few exceptions as the normality is for their teachings to be available only to those born into the clan.
The Grandmaster is the premier leader of the Yuansu Clan and is tasked with the protection of the clan as well as maintaining its traditions and prosperity. Prior to finalized decisions, suggestions have to be approved by the Grandmaster. However, the Grandmaster is not an individual of absolute authority, quite the contrary actually. All decisions by the Grandmaster have to be revised and agreed upon by the Elders otherwise, the decisions are not finalized. The Grandmaster is also officially recognized as the clan's most powerful and skillful member. The Grandmaster is also tasked with representing the clan in any official gathering involving other martial arts clans. The position of Grandmaster is one that is awarded upon democratic voting by clan members. Should the clan members feel that the Grandmaster is abusing his/her power, they may be removed from their position. The Grandmaster has the power to exile any ordinary clan member, and the position is usually given to a highly respected member of the clan. The position is not one centered around authority, it is also an indication that the elected clan member's skill has transcended beyond mastery. There can be more than one Grandmaster. Currently, there is only one Grandmaster (Impero). The Grandmaster while a peerless master of his/her respective Yuansu Branch, is expected to have immense knowledge about all of the other branches and sub-branches.
This is a group consisting of several theocratic leaders in the Yuansu Clan. Only the very elite Yuansu masters are chosen to be Elders. They are tasked with bringing forth issues within the clan to the Grandmaster and solving them with his/her assistance. Their secondary objective is maintaining the cultural heritage of the clan and officially awarding lower clan members the rank of master. Their other duties include reviewing the Grandmaster's performance each year, and determining whether or not he/she is fit to remain as Grandmaster. Currently, all of the Elders are coincidentally Feng Yuansu masters. The Elders are selected by a unanimous of all the existing Yuansu branches. The Elders also decide on whether or not to teach their clan's ways to an outsider seeking tutelage.
The Yuansu Branches
In total, there are four Yuansu branches. One element for each branch. They are the Fire Branch (Huo Yuansu), Water Branch (Shui Yuansu), Earth Branch (Tu Yuansu), and Air Branch (Feng Yuansu) respectively. While they greatly differ in styles and traditions, they each place great emphasis on chi control. Practitioners of these exotic martial arts are required to have massive chi reserves and thus are required to go through a period of heavy and prolonged meditation in order to establish an innate connection with one's inner chi as well as the chi in the environment. Upon achieving the necessary level of chi-control, Yuansu practitioners are told to establish connections with the elements most alike to their core personality aspects. The Elders are tasked with going through the process of placing people in their respective branches. While not necessarily part of the clan's hierarchy, one representative from each branch is selected by the Elders to lead their respective branches and bring forth problems etc. they are facing to either the Elders or in some cases, even the Grandmaster. These representatives are usually the most skilled and wisest of their branches. These are the following branches of Yuansu:
(Translation "The Element of Fire"): Huo Yuansu is one of the most advanced chi-based fighting styles in existence, available only to few who have ascended beyond the rank of a master and are recognized as grandmasters (in general martial arts). Yuansu utilizes chi to establish a mystical connection between one of the four traditional elements to the martial art's practitioner. The element chosen is always the one most similar to the user's most prominent quality. Fire is the element of power and ambition, tempered by the will to accomplish tasks. Huo Yuansu is a fire-based martial art that is characterized by an intensive attacking style and incredible fast-paced series of overwhelming explosive attacks. The style optimizes a powerful and continuous offense. Characterized by overwhelming opponents with intense barrages of fire before the finishing move of the combo is delivered, Huo Yuansu is the clan's most relentless and aggressive fighting style. However, unlike past Yuansu practitioners who harnessed the element of fire, Impero does not employ yellow or orange fire in combat. He has advanced so significantly in the art that he instead uses blue fire and more rarely, white fire which he describes as being more intense and potent than the other colors. While an explosive style of combat by nature, Impero differs from other Huo Yuansu practitioners as he uses a more precise method of his fire-based Yuansu martial art, preferring to battle using only two fingers rather than a closed fist or an open palm. All fire-based Yuansu masters are capable of generating lightning but so far Impero is the only one who can redirect lightning bolt directed towards him with a series of hand motions. Huo Yuansu places importance on the development of all types of chi: inner chi, external chi, and 'complete chi'. There are several incomplete sub-branches of Huo Yuansu that have been developed by Impero's daughter, Rubina:
- Ziyou Yuansu (Element of Freedom): While Impero's Yuansu style focuses more on technicality, finesse and at times explosive power, Rubina is different. She has managed to develop two unique Yuansu branches of her own which she has yet to perfect. The Yuansu Prodigy's first and main branch focuses heavily on liberal movement and stresses overbearing, internal force. It puts great emphasis on animalistic ferocity and has no fixed stance. The lack of a stance coupled with it's extremely liberal nature renders it extremely difficult to read and copy due to it's ridiculous unpredictability. This unorthodox style requires an impressive amount of agility, equilibrium, and speed to perform as it's usefulness lies most prominently in the fighting style's quasi-acrobatic nature. An emphasis on the use of parkour is also made by Rubina herself, exercising maximum freedom and unrestrained movement. When used properly by a sufficiently skilled fighter, this style is exceptionally effective to such an extent that even Impero (a Yuansu grand-master) himself cannot predict or read this particular Yuansu style.
- Wudao Yuansu (Dancing Element): Starkly different from Ziyou Yuansu, Rubina has developed an as of yet, incomplete Yuansu fighting style that she has named 'Wudao Yuansu'. Placing more emphasis on fluidity and versatility, this particular style utilizes a unique dance-like form that flaunts grace and elegance. Wudao Yuansu focuses on the flow of Rubina's chi-energy inside her body which with the correct movements enable her to swiftly transition from defense to offense. With this fighting style, Rubina employs versatile defensive techniques that can instantly alter into attacks and effective counters. These maneuvers are unorthodox for Yuansu practitioners as Rubina's style focuses more on control, specifically the flames she generates as opposed to relying on immense destructive force and relentless attacks.
(Translation "Water Element"): The Shui Yuansu is mostly fluid and graceful, acting in concert with the environment. Other less prominent Shui Yuansu fighting styles, however, are more rigid and straight. Shui Yuansu practitioners deal with the flow of energy; they allow their defense become their offense, turning their opponents' own forces against them. Shui Yuansu's core strength lies in its great versatility. Rather than supporting a separate set of offensive methods, it employs defensive techniques that can be transformed into attacks and counters - defense into offense. Instead of simply deflecting an attack, Shui Yuansu practitioners' defensive maneuvers focus on control, achieved through turning an opponent's own strength against them, rather than directly harming the opponent. Rubina herself has taken great inspiration from the Shui Yuansu fighting style for the development of her Wudao Yuansu martial art. Shi Yuansu practitioners also place great emphasis on the development of external chi which is usually accomplished by meditating near bodies of water so that a chi-based connection with water may be established as soon as possible, and places an almost nonexistent amount of importance on inner chi. As a result, Shi Yuansu is useless when far from any sources of water. Shui Yuansu practitioners tend to be very calm and loving individuals which an altruistic concern for others. Due to the existence of its sub-branch Hongse Yuansu, Shui Yuansu is viewed as the most dangerous and powerful Yuansu Branch. It is also very versatile however, as the hydrokinetic ability to manipulate water and bodily fluids presents numerous medical-related abilities that can aid in healing. The following is the sub-branch of Shui Yunasu:
- Hongse Yuansu (Red Element): The very elite Shui Yuansu masters are capable of hydrokinetically taking hold of the various fluids contained within a living organism's body and then manipulate them to control the movement of their intended target. They use this skill to powerfully manipulate an opponent's blood as well. The forms and styles used by these elite Shui Yunasu practitioners are very similar to how a puppeteer controls a marionette, in particular the hand shape and movements. Hongse Yuansu seems to require a more rigid and abrupt form of movement. The control and manipulation of fluids within a person's body can have many different effects; for instance, Hongse Yuansu could be used to crush a victim's internal organs. In a similar manner, it could be used to pressurize, boil, or cool the water inside the body of an opponent, killing them in the process. Lastly, the technique could even be used to completely extract water from one's body, imitating the technique used with plants. Interestingly enough, Hongse Yuansu could be beneficial in healing, as it could be utilized to maintain gashes and wounds, as well as prevent loss of blood. More so, it could be used to alleviate blood clots and internal wounds, and can prove to be beneficial in life-or-death situations. Also, it could help in cardiac arrest, as it can be utilized in helping the heart beat if it were to stop by moving blood into and out of the heart. Hongse Yunasu practitioners are capable of levitating their victims in the air in a similar way that Shui Yuansu practitioners can lift water. Additionally, this dark sub-branch can be used to knock its victims unconscious. Impero took inspiration from this deadly martial art to develop his gauntlets. His gauntlet's ability is stronger than Hongse Yuansu due to its power-source. Due to the deadliness of Hongse Yuansu, it is often referred to as the most powerful and lethal fighting style of all the Yuansu branches. This sub-branch's creator is unknown.
(Translation "The Element of Earth"): This chi-based martial art grants its users the geokinetic ability to manipulate earth and rock. Earth is the element of substance and nature. The core principle of Tu Yuansu is patiently waiting for the precise moment to counterstrike. This fighting style places an equal amount of emphasis on both defense and offense. This is also one of the most diverse of the Yuansus fighting styles, ranging from the most commonly used Tu Yuansu styles which involve waiting to strike with underlying force, the other rigid and merciless styles, as well as more fluid ones. Generally placing heavy focus on strength, Tu Yuansu practitioners are relatively muscular. Certain rarer styles require the user to be mobile when required and not traditionally rooted to the ground. Tu Yuansu masters are capable of seismically detecting vibrations in the ground to perceive objects, people, and other aspects of their environment, essentially acting as sonar, but through the earth itself. Tu Yuansu practitioners are usually bold and confrontational, often without fear. They hold Lian Yuansu in high regard as one of the greatest historic figures in their respective branch as well as the creator of its most useful sub-branch. While Tu Yuansu practitioners are not as spiritual as Feng Yuansu practitioners, they do place emphasis on chi development, however, in a much more external manner than an internal one. Due to the very nature of Tu Yuansu, they are incapable of using this martial arts style when not in close proximity to earth or rock. The development of one's physical attributes is also important due to the level of endurance needed for effective use of this fighting style. Tu Yuansu places greater importance on the development of external chi which is the ambient chi in one's environment, while placing minimal important on inner chi due to a connection to earth and nature being required to succeed. The following are sub-branches of Tu Yuansu:
- Yuansu de Naixin (Element of Patience): While the basic elements of Tu Yuansu involve a degree of patience and sharp perception due to waiting for the correct moment to strike, no matter how minuscule the moment may be, Yuansu de Naixin further elevates these basic principles. Yuansu de Naixin places great emphasis on rooting one's stance as a strong chi-based connection to the earth is required. One's feet must firmly establish themselves with the earth, and while mobility is to an extent encouraged, the greatest aspect of Yuansu de Naixin lies in perception and patience. This fighting style is available only to very few elite Tu Yuansu masters. This fighting style involves using the characteristic Tu Yuansu ability to seismically sense vibrations in the ground. Every grounded movement and step generates subtle vibrations in the ground which can be sensed by a Yuansu de Naixin practitioner. Upon sensing a vibration which indicates that defense has been forsaken for offense by a fighter, Yuansu de Naixin practitioners counter with an attack that boasts underlying force and exploits the opponent's temporary lack of defense. The movements of Yuansu de Naxin are distinct from Tu Yuansu as it is not rigid and militaristic. Its movements are precise, technical, and raw, placing importance on both technique and simplicity as counter-striking requires as much time as possible. As a result, this is a very difficult fighting style to use effectively, let alone master. This also indicates that Yuansu de Naixin is completely useless when one's feet are not in contact with the ground due to its reliance on the sensing of ground vibrations. Yuansu de Naixin is said to have been created by Lian Yuansu herself.
- Yuansu Fennu (Element of Fury): This is one of the most aggressive and intense fighting styles in the entire clan. Putting undeniable importance in the development of one's physical attributes due to the excessive physicality of the style, an equal balance between speed, stamina, agility and strength is required. The style is purely offensive and greatly lacks in defense which is only supported by fast dodging. Yuansu Fennu is characterized by tiger-like ferocity and animalistic aggression. Designed to overwhelm opponents with intense barrages of rock and earth supported by relentless speed and raw power, this fighting style lacks grace and finesse, while makes speed, technique and power very prominent aspects. Mobility is very important and Yuansu Fennu practitioners do not require direct contact with the earth for effective use of this style as it consists of artistic areal dodging and speedy countering and dodging. However, like Tu Yuansu, close proximity to the earth is still required. This sub-branch was created by Meili Yuansu herself.
(Translation "The Element of Wind"): Granting its users the aerokinetic ability to manipulate and control currents of air, the key to Feng Yuansu is relentless flexibility and finding and following the path of least resistance. This martial art is notable for being almost purely defensive, as well as the most dynamic of the four elements. Feng Yuansu practitioners can overwhelm many opponents at once with large and powerful attacks that could prove fatal. Feng Yuansu concentrates on speed and evasion, forgoing a strong offense for defense. Though apparently lacking fatal finishing moves, it is the most dynamic of the Yuansu martial arts. As the element of tranquility and dynamism, Feng Yuansu practitioners manipulate air unencumbered by the ground or any other environmental factors and use their own momentum as a weapon, evading attacks with astounding agility to tire their opponents out or building up massive inertia for explosive gusts of wind to make their counterattacks finishing moves. When resorting to physical confrontation, these martial artists are able to harness the immense and intangible power of wind. Feng Yuansu practitioners tend to be rather peaceful individuals who opt to reason with others instead of resorting to violence. However, when provoked, they react with overwhelming power. Feng Yuansu practitioners put great emphasis on the spirituality of harmonizing with one's environment in order to achieve a stronger connection with one's chi, this often indicates that they meditate more frequently than other clan members. Feng Yuansu has no sub-branches. The Feng Yuansu practitioners put more emphasis on the development of one's external chi rather than developing their own inner chi, which usually implies that Feng Yuansu practitioners need a powerful connection to nature in order to become effective Feng Yuansu warriors. Due to a lack of sub-branches, Feng Yuansu is viewed as one of the weaker Yuansu branches, however, this is not the case a the explosive power of air can be used for a plethora of purposes. Interestingly enough, the possibility for sub-branches is very possible due to the potential that Feng Yuansu presents. Impero himself has suggested that Feng Yuansu could be utilized for lethal actions such as the merciless suffocation of opponents. Impero himself has theorized that a sub-branch of Feng Yuansu could be created by developing an air-based fighting style that either involves speedy striking that internally shoots air pressure into an opponents body for internal damaging purposes or using air to further augment one's combat-speed in order to overwhelm opponents with frightening speed and reflexes. The lack of a sub-branch in Feng Yuansu is possibly due to the non-violent nature of Feng Yuansu practitioners and their defensive mentality as opposed to an offensive approach to the elemental martial art. Feng Yuansu places equal importance on all types of chi, external, internal and obviously, complete chi (See Below).
(Translated "Quintessence"): This is a hypothesized fighting style said to have been incompletely developed by Meili Yuansu. To date there have been no Jingsui practitioners and there is no conclusive evidence of Meili's creation of such a martial art. Impero himself claims it to be impossible to develop in the modern age as no living individual possesses the abnormally high chi reserves required to be able to employ the use such a fighting style in battle. Jingsui is said to focus on the simultaneous manipulation of all four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) through the use of proper combat-oriented movements for the proper direction of attacks. As a result of its nature, Jingsui requires for the user to be a flawless master of 'complete chi'. While there is very little information on this fighting style as it is potentially a simple thought-provoking hypothesis, Yuansu Elders and scholars suggest that if it had existed, Jingsui would have borrowed elements from all of the Yuansu Branches and perhaps even sub-branches which would inherently render it the single most difficult Yuansu martial art to master. A monstrous amount of chi would be required for the successful simultaneous manipulation of all four elements with a master's precision. Scholars agree that if this fighting style did truly exist, then Meili herself passed away prior to the completion of its development and eventual mastering. This is universally accepted by the Yuansu Clan as the topic of mere legends and fables and perhaps even wishful thinking on the part of clan-based theorists. While Impero does acknowledge that it is possible for Meili to have at one point developed this martial art as to date, she was the only individual with high enough chi reserves to do so, he has argued that given her age at the time of death, it would not have been possible for her to master all four Yuansu Branches, create and master the Yuansu Fennu sub-branch and still master Jingsui as it would take many thousands of years to do so. In addition, the masked enigma having known Meili for years prior to her death, has never heard her mention nor display Jingsui so he suggests that it has never and will possibly never exist.
Chi is very important in the Yuansu Clan as it is the basis for all of its branches and fighting styles, without it, the various martial arts would be impossible to practice. While there have been disputes in the clan between calling it "chi" or "chakra", it is the most fundamental aspect of all the Yuansu martial arts. A connection with one's inner chi is required in order to become a Yuansu martial artist, however, there are different forms of chi-links for the various fighting styles. Typically, one is told to first meditate in an attempt to affiliate with their spiritual side and recognize their inner chi, and while a powerful connection to one's inner chi is not necessarily required for all Yuansu Branches, it is nonetheless encouraged. The connection to one's inner chi will instantly result in the chi-based connection to the user's destined element, be it fire, water, earth, or air. It is possible that with large enough chi reserves, one can potentially establish a chi-based connection with all four elements. However, such an individual has not been seen since Meili Yuansu herself. And while Impero's chi reserves are unquestionably colossal, they pale greatly in comparison to Meili's chi reserves. Meili herself was said to possses chi reserves greater than that of all the current clansmen combined. Interestingly enough though, many have stated that Impero's daughter, Rubina was born with an abnormally high amount of chi that is innately greater than even Impero's which suggests that the possibility of establishing a chi-based connection to all four elements is still an existent possibility. While chi is universally accepted as the most important aspect of the Yuansu Clan, it is used differently by the different branches. These are the three different types of chi:
- Inner Chi: This is the chi that resides in one's body and spirit. It is the easiest of chi's to establish a connection with as it is within the user's immediate reach. Every single living thing possesses a degree of inner chi which renders it possible for anyone to embrace their inner chi. Huo Yuansu which deals with the element of fire puts great importance in the development of inner chi as it is uniquely the only Yuansu fighting style that enables the user to generate their own flames rather than simply rely on the manipulation of surrounding fire. Feng Yuansu also places much importance in inner chi, however, not as heavily as Huo Yuansu as it does not necessarily require the user to generate their own air. Tu Yuansu and Shui Yuansu place minimal to no importance in the development of inner chi.
- External Chi: This is chi that does not inherently belong to anyone and is not innately connected to them. This makes it the most difficult type of chi to establish a connection with (when not including Complete Chi). External chi is the chi that is found in one's ambient environment and is thus referred to as 'nature's chi'. It requires immense concentration and control to establish a connection with. Tu Yuansu and Shui Yuansu place almost total importance on the development of external chi as the fighting styles require the manipulation and control of earth and water respectively in their immediate environment. Feng Yuansu also places a lot of importance in the control of external chi as it focuses on the manipulation of air currents rather than the creation of air.
- Complete Chi: By far the most difficult of all the chi types to control and master, this is necessary to become a master of both Huo Yuansu and Feng Yuansu as well. This type of chi is identified as mastery and control of both inner and external chi and is required to be a Grandmaster as well as an Elder (regardless of one's branch). While Huo Yuansu does not put much importance on external chi due to a practitioner's ability to generate their own flames, the manipulation and control of fire in one's immediate environment is a useful skill and thus mastery of both external and inner chi is a requirement for the becoming of a Grandmaster of both the clan and the user's respective Yuansu martial art. The same is applied to Feng Yuansu. It places equal importance on both external and inner chi which allows the practitioner to generate air as well as manipulate surrounding air currents. For other Yuansu martial arts, this is not necessary, however the development and mastery of one's inner chi for Tu Yuansu and Shui Yuansu martial artists does have its benefits. It causes an enhancement of one's physical attributes.
Meditation is the key to unlocking one's inner and external chi or chakra. Thus, it is a fundamental practice in the legendary clan. It is only through meditation that one will be able to fully embrace their latent chi and spirituality. Typically the meditation usually takes up to a full year to establish a proper and effective connection to one's inner and external chi. A peace of mind and body is required to fully perfect this connection. Meditation enables Yuansu practitioners to become well acquainted with their core personality aspects which further aids them in establishing a connection with their respective element:
- Fire is the element of power, willpower and ambition.
- Water is the element of calmness, change and life.
- Earth is the element of strength, heart, and courage.
- Air is the element of tranquility, dynamism, and mobility.
Further meditation and concentration between one's inner and external chi is the step towards the development of complete chi and the eventual mastering of chi as a whole (Complete Chi). Thus, meditation is a requirement especially for Feng Yuansu practitioners and Huo Yuansu practitioners who have the desire to become grandmasters of their branches' fighting styles. The development and mastering of one's complete chi takes many years of dedication and concentration. Typically, due to their emphasis and focus on spirituality, most masters of complete chi have historically been Feng Yuansu practitioners as opposed to those belonging to any other Yuansu branch.
Important Figures in Yuansu History
The founder of the legendary martial arts clan, Meili is widely revered as the clan's single most important individual to have ever been a member. Considered the most powerful and skillful member in the clan's history, she was a peerless master of all four martial arts, Huo Yuansu, Shui Yuansu, Tu Yuansu, and Feng Yuansu. The very first grand-master in the clan's history, she is celebrated as the clan's greatest member. She is held in such high regard by the clan that she is to an extent, an absolute figure to them. It is known that prior to her death, she had an amicable relationship with Impero and held great trust in him as they shared very similar ethical and moral values. She was said to have wanted to train him herself in order to truly allow his potential to flourish, however, she passed away before Impero was skilled enough to be trained by a master. Statues of her have been constructed in her honor in the monastery. Prior to her disappearance, Lian Yuansu claimed to have been visited by an apparition of Meili herself which implies that she had a hand in Lian's unexplained disappearance. The circumstances of this visit have never been explained. There have since been no spectral appearances by Meili herself. However, Impero claims that he could potentially communicate with her after proper preparations are made. She was renowned for her peerless skill and divine beauty. While very little is known about her, Impero claims that she had a very motherly and calm personality. She is responsible for the creation of the Yuansu Fennu sub-branch and the first master of 'complete chi'. She was an incredibly powerful and skilled individual who is hypothesized by some to have created a unique fighting style based on the simultaneous manipulation of all four elements. Yuansu scholars through the employment of inconsistent sources, concluded that the hypothesized fighting style may have been called Jingsui. She was known to be a woman of moral ambiguity but possessed a loving and caring attitude towards her clansmen who she viewed as her children and siblings. While never outlawing its practice within the clan, Meili discouraged the use of a sub-branch as dark as Hongse Yuansu. She boasted immense wisdom and had achieved total spiritual enlightenment. She was a woman of humility and a natural leader. She was said to have thought of Lian Yuansu as a sister.
One of the six clan members who shared Impero's concerns regarding their open teachings, she assisted in the past assassination of most of the past clan members. After she, Impero and the other five Yuansu clan members succeeded in the assassination of their fellow clansmen, she parted ways with them and lived a nomadic adventurous life. A grand-master of Tu Yuansu, she and Impero became the reborn Yuansu Clan's leaders a thousand years ago. It was during her time as the clan's grandmaster that she began a romantic relationship with Impero. The two had grown quite close to one another and loved each other very deeply, almost unconditionally. She was set to bore him a child but suffered a miscarriage. While they had planned to spend the rest of their lives together, Lian mysteriously disappeared after speaking of a visit from an apparition of Meili Yuansu. While many have suggested that she is now dead, Impero believes otherwise. She is the only woman other than Lara Kelly who Impero has truly loved. However, due to having spent countless years away from each other, Impero no longer has these feelings for her and has moved on, finding love with Lara. She was known as a very powerful and skillful Tu Yuansu grandmaster. Impero has revealed that she was a bold, confrontational yet wise woman who knows no fear. While believed to be dead by many, she is actually still alive, however, her current whereabouts are unknown. Whether or not she will return to the clan remains to be seen. She is also revered as the creator and first master of Yuansu de Naixin, and one of the very few Tu Yuansu grandmasters to perfect what is known as 'complete chi'. Lian was distinct from most grand-masters due to her boldness, and willingness to speak her mind. She was a woman of intense focus who possessed an unmistakable ambition of elevating her already impressive combat prowess. The circumstances of her mysterious disappearance are currently not known. However, she is said to still be alive somewhere hidden from even Impero's detection for unknown reasons.
Impero's daughter, Rubina is one of the most gifted Yuansu practitioners of all time. At the age of seventeen, she is the youngest to ever achieve the rank of of 'expert' in the clan's history. The feat in itself is remarkable due to the immense difficulty in the progression of chi-based martial arts. Born with abnormally high chi reserves, even by Impero's standards, she is often referred to as the 'Second Coming of Meili'. She is differentiated from her fellow clansmen for her ability to project blue flames which was previously a technique believed to be possessed only by Impero. She is undefeated in Huo Yuansu fighting matches, the youngest to have an undefeated streak of 20-0. Nicknamed the Yuansu Prodigy, Rubina is known for her creativity and innovation, having already developed two incomplete yet highly effective Huo Yuansu-based sub-branches of her own. Referred to as a 'martial arts genius', the kind that is seen once in countless years, there are very high expectations for her. A select few of the Elders believe her to be Meili reborn as Impero's daughter. Even Impero himself has stated that after twice as many years in the clan, he was not even half as skilled as she was. Eerily enough, while a hair away from being a master, Rubina is already capable of generating lightning with even more precision than a Huo Yuansu master. Due to her social skills, charisma and undeniable Yuansu prowess, she is expected to one day replace Impero as the clan's grandmaster.