Welcome to the Hotseat of Truth a device in which your protagonist is trapped and the only way to escape is to answer six searching questions completely honestly or the Hotseat will consume them to ashes!
Ling Sa is a Taoist priest, living alone in a remote temple in Ancient China. He’s also been dead for hundreds of years. So why is Sam dreaming about him night after night? Is it because there’s something familiar about the hotel she’s staying at in Beijing? In Promise of the Opal by Lyra Shanti, we take a journey through time with Sam as she discovers the truth about her identity and the forbidden love she once promised never to forget.
Question 1: What is the most important principle you adhere to in life?
Ling Sa: Truth, or the pursuit of it, is the most valuable treasure there is. Without truth, both inner and outer, we are but lost souls in the ocean of despair.
Question 2: Have you ever concealed a truth from a loved one? If so, what truth?
Ling Sa: Unfortunately, some truths are nearly impossible to share with those who do not want the burden of knowledge. For example, I was born different from others: my hair is white as snow, my eyes are uniquely green, and I have… gifts of the mind, which frighten many who do not understand. As a child, I was thrown out of my own village, forced to live in exile at the White Dragon temple. Luckily, I found a master to teach me in the ways of balance, which has helped me to keep my abilities a secret to the stray villagers who come to the temple to pray. But is keeping a secret the same as telling a lie? I am unsure.
Question 3: What decision do you most regret?
Ling Sa: I have many regrets. But my biggest regret is hurting the people I love, even if I didn’t intend to do so.
Question 4: If you could change one thing about your story would it be?
Ling Sa: I would hold onto the opal ring and never let it go. It is my responsibility to contain its power.
Question 5: Who do you most need to apologise to for your actions?
Ling Sa: All those who were innocent when I… No, I cannot talk about that just yet. I suppose I should apologise to Li Gan, who simply wanted healing. Instead, I gave him my long suppressed desire. It was perhaps too much for him to bear.
Question 6: How does it feel to know your love story reverberates through the ages?
Ling Sa: I am quite surprised, to be honest. I thought I would remain a ghost – a forgotten priest whose philosophies never quite made it into the history books. I never suspected that my life, or my relationship with Gan, would be remembered at all, let alone reverberate with anyone. I can only hope that our story is a lesson about what it means to unconditionally love someone with all your heart.