Guang Jin, Mistress of Veils
Vanity, they say, is a most grievous sin. In the actions of Guang Jin, the sin is elevated to an art form. She is unashamedly self-absorbed, jealous, and calculating. She cares nothing for anyone other than herself or those whose favour she intends to secure, and is not subtle about gaining that favour. Loyalty is an alien concept to Guang Jin and all of her alliances last only long enough for her to obtain whatever she desires.
This kind of naked ambition and selfish attitude reminded Primus Ru Wen of a youthful Xiu Bao, though even he would not dare to state that openly. As the Lady Xiu Bao is unquestionably a threat to his position, it seemed wise to labour her with an apprentice to distract her from any machinations that went against his plans. Thus an edict was issued from the summer palace that put them together, though he was under no illusions as to the level of hatred and mistrust the women would no doubt feel for each other.
Guang Jin looks at her mistress through the lens of youthful arrogance, believing her to be too old and indirect to achieve great victories for Qing. Xiu Bao finds her charge to be ignorant and clumsy, without any shred of class or subtlety. Bao’s legendary paranoia is stoked by the possibility of assassination from Guang Jin, and this has made her even more mercurial and vicious. The other ‘Wizards’ of Qing look on, wondering who shall prevail in this battle and dispose of their enemy. Will it be youthful exuberance or will it be experienced subterfuge? Either way, it will be one less rival for them as they kneel and report before Lord Qing.
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