- "We're spending months – years! – on trying to recruit and help these poor citizens. I served the Brotherhood proudly – you cannot take that away from me – and I did the duty that was expected from me. I. Saved. Lives. Hundreds of them; and I would've saved far more!"
- ―Rong Hsu to Wei Yan Wong, 59 BCE
c. 88 BCE, Shanghai
January, 59 BCE
Within the Brotherhood, Rong served as a recruiter and trainer of Assassins. She served under the pseudonym of The Spider, signing the letters she wrote to the emperor with these letters.
Rong is an ancestor of Beatrice Streisand.
Early life Edit
Born and raised by fishers in the city of Shanghai, Rong was destined to become a fisher herself. She, along with her four older brothers, traveled out on the sea to collect fish. She did for the most of her childhood, being married at the age of 15. Their marriage gave fruits, and at the age of 17, she gave birth to a boy, Li Hsu.
The Na-brothers Edit
When her husband was hunting in 68 BCE, Rong left for the forests herself. Finding his body in pieces, Rong brought his corpse back to the city. Burning it and dropping the ashes in the sea, Rong soon learned of her husband's murder: Kang Na, a banished member of the imperial court. She also learned that Kang operated with his brother, Kem. The Na-brothers hunted down common men and took their money to live a lavish life. Seeking the help from diverse people in the city of Shanghai, Rong soon got it from a man named Zhu Chen.
After searching the area around Shanghai, Rong and Zhu found a camp near a building in stone – a sign of wealth, because normal people chopped down trees for their housebuilding. While Zhu gave her a weapon to defend herself, the pair of them soon saw the brothers leaving the camp with a group of bandits. Wanting to attack them, Rong began to run towards her husband's killer. Quick in stopping her, Zhu got her back to the ground, stating: "No, I have other plans. We are going to kill the brothers and their guards, by setting up a trap."
Entering the camp unnoticed, Zhu and Rong found some oil and put it by a campfire. After hitting two bandits unconscience, the two of them changed attire and started patrolling. Seeing for possibilities to create havoc when the criminal brothers returned to the camp, Rong began talking with a bandit that joked about he had killed a merchant – whom they used as slave – that had brought them poisoned food. Being dumped in the river, the food was likely either eaten or poisoned the water – along with it's inhabitance. Thanking the bandit, Rong left the bandit and slipped pass the sights of the other guards. Obtaining dead fish from the poisoned river, Rong smuggled the fish into the fortress, preparing it for dinner. Zhu had in the meantime made a trap of the braziers, slightly unlocked the animal cages, and placed more oil all around the camp – creating a "fire of the gods" when initiated.
The same night, the bandits began eating the poisoned fish. Many of them felt bad, and some threw up. Blaming on a newly captured fisher, one of the brothers killed him. Upon arrival, they had brought some prostitutes along with them. One of the brothers took a girl to the building, the other brought two to the rivers. The remaining bandits was either throwing up, sleeping, patrolling or sleeping with a prostitute. Entering the camp, Zhu began purging it for enemies. Meanwhile, Rong went for the river.
At the riverbank, Rong could hear childish laughter. The clothes of the people lay on the riverbank, and one of the Na-brothers was splashing water along with them. After a while, Rong found her opportunity. The man was going to begin his ride of a journey when Rong showed her presence. The man turned around, feeling angry and embarrassed. Yelling at her to get away, Rong pulled out her sword and ran up to the brother. When she approached him, she sliced his belly. Screaming of fear, the women ran up from the river, got their clothes back on and fled the camp.
Meeting her companion back at the camp, he told her that he had eliminated the bandits that had been having their way with the prostitutes – sparing the remaining for the following show. He pulled out a knife and threw it at the oil. It took fire just as the knife destroyed the jar. Spreading fast, the camp were soon set ablaze. The bandits tried to put it out, but was instead caught in the fire themselves – the prostitutes also. At last exiting the stone-house, the last brother demanded the bandits to extinguishing it. Being given a dagger from Zhu Chen, Rong slipped to the brother by using the bushes. Sneaking up behind him, Rong Hsu sliced his throat.
Liberating Qingdao Edit
Being contacted a few months later by Zhu Chen. He told her that he had heard of a group of ships whom patrolled the parts of the sea that sent silk from the northern to southern part of China. Their leader, Du Bin, did not hesitate on attacking ships, taking the crew for slaves, and either kill or sell them. The Emperor's right hand man had tasked Zhu Chen himself to bring down this maniac.
Not wishing to leave her son, Li Hsu, without someone to look after him, Zhu Chen promised her that one of his friends, Qiang Zhang, would look after him. Not trusting him to begin with, Zhu was told to bring down Du Bin himself – he was given the task after all. Zhu Chen refused to leave without her however. He therefore decided to reveal whom he, Qiang and Du Bin were. "I am an Assassin, so with Qiang. Du Bin was one of us, now a turncoat. My task is therefore to get rid of the criminal in public, but by order of my superiors, I'm going to kill a carrier of our secrets. Du is merely a pawn in a great scheme; it's up to me to find out who they are." Rong Hsu asked why he therefore wanted her to the task, it seemed he had full control. "Because, I see great potential in you, Rong. Qiang would not approve for it, but if you help me killing Du Bin, I may give you a good word for the Council." Rong asked why she would ever help him, to which he replied that Du Bin would send Shanghai's economy rolling down a hill. "Then I move." "Where? Where would you go?" After not responding for a time, Rong nodded: "Alright, then. Bring me to Du Bin."
Two months later, the new year was on them, and Rong Hsu had been trained in simple martial arts and stealth. Locating the fleet of Du Bin, Rong and Zhu paid a fisher for his boat – promising they would give it back to him as soon as they had finish their business. Days prior, they had learned from the local citizens of Qingdao that Du Bin's lieutenants – Gao Piu and Vi Kaxu – had a strict supervision with the people. The first one recruited people to Du Bin's gang, in order to make the group of ships grow; the latter oversaw the cargo Du Bin captured and sold it either on the black market or to the people, using exorbitant prices.
Knowing that the two lieutenants would flee as soon as they heard of Du Bin's death, they found it wise to attack them first. While Rong would go for Gao Piu, Zhu would attack Vi Kaxu.
The Rider Edit
Taking the boat to the island of Dagong out in the Yellow Sea. Rong landed on the island, being taken by surprise by Gao's soldiers. One of them, an enormous brute, swung his sword towards Rong – forcing her to defend herself, but then flying through the air. She landed on her back, jumping back up quickly. Facing her attackers, she danced with her blade – slicing their chests, legs or throats. At last facing the brute, Rong swung the sword in crosses a few times before initiating the duel. Fighting him, Rong was wounded hard; the man laughed at her. "What is a woman doing here? You should be home, delighting your husband." Getting back on her feet, Rong answered simply that her husband was dead and did not want to give her life to any other man than the one she had come to love. The brute laughed at her: "Love is a sickening disease: human kind thinks finding it will make them happy. That was never our, humans, purpose: we were created to be tools, nothing more. Culture, music, theatre; diversions from what we were meant to be." Whilst talking, the brute had began encircle around her. "The Great Qiang Huang needs no love. She would have been proud, seeing what I'm trying to achieve for her." Dueling him again, Rong Hsu managed to impale him with her sword. Leaving the corpse of the strange man, Rong began on her way to the camp.
Finding it hard to believe, Rong felt her eyes betrayed her. A man on a horseback held a sword in his one hand, holding a speech. From passage to passage, men marched or dulled each other. The military camp was so structured, so magnificent. How come everything could be so proficient? Rong infiltrated the camp, with her eyes on the target: the man on the horseback. She used the bushes and haystacks to slip pass the guards. Everyone seemed to be so busy with improving their military skills, that they did not recognized her at all. How strange. At last coming up on the speaker, Rong heard a little bit on what he had to say. After listening, she came to the conclusion that he was just as mad as his bodyguard, Qiang Huang. The man held the sword, wielding it around. Making her sword ready to dip in more blood, Rong jumped out from the bushes. Seemingly under command – or maybe hypnosis, even – the soldiers only watched while Rong's sword ran through the chest of the rider.
- Gao: Who are you? I have met many Assassins through my time in the Order. I can't tell I recognize your face. What's your name? Tell me. TELL ME! I MUST KNOW!
- Rong: My name's Rong Hsu. What good will you have of my name now? Your life has come to an end.
- Gao: As a military tactician, I must know everything.
- Rong: How come you are a military leader? You are too old.
- Gao: Very well, former military tactician. I served the Emperor himself; I led the cavalry, they called me The Rider. The court found me as the best man of their army. But then, suddenly, I became of no use. I don't know why; I served the Emperor for several years. Being betrayed like that … I can't understand. Why?
- Rong: Maybe the court saw how mad you have become?
- Gao: Mind your tongue, little one! Don't forget who have managed to do most with their lives. I served the Emperor himself, what about you? You're following a group of men who seek to kill me, my brothers and sisters within the Order. Escape while you can; now that the Sword's power is out of control, the Ones Who Came Before will let their rage be released on Earth. I was the only one who could control it, understanding their strongest beliefs and decode their thoughts. Good luck trying to carry my burden.
Gao succumbed to his wounds
- Rong: Another madman have been sent to the eternity. Your sword will be hidden: no one should wield such a power.
The Sicilian Edit
- Rong comes from Chinese 容 (róng) meaning "appearance, form".
- Hsu is a variant transcription of Xu, meaning "slowly, calmly".
- Rong Hsu's name can therefore be translated to "Appear slowly"