SPIN THE DAWN x DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE
When her father is murdered, Ying’s quest for justice drives her to uncover his past within the prestigious Engineers Guild. She enters the guild’s apprenticeship trial in disguise, with the help of an ambitious prince. But the secrets they hide can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and revenge could mean going against everything her father stood for.
Inspired by Harjol, the ordinary girl who became one of the most extraordinary concubines of the Qing dynasty.
Perched at the edge of a cliff, a tiny figure watched as a dark cloud floated towards her, accompanied by the thunderous whirr of rotating engine blades.
The High Commander’s airships were far noisier than they should be. A low-level problem that could easily be fixed with mufflers fashioned out of bison leather. Her father hypothesised that the guild masters had let this flaw slip through on purpose, because noise was apparently an effective show of intimidation.
A furrow appeared on Aihui Ying’s smooth forehead.
“Why stop there? Might as well make lightning bolts shoot out of the keel,” she muttered.
The airships passed overhead. Two smaller ones in front and two behind, guarding the behemoth in between. Each of them was a black monstrosity emblazoned with the silver emblem of the cobra, bamboo-battened sails extending from both sides of the hull and flapping majestically against the cold winds.
In her childhood, Ying had once disturbed a sleeping lizard lounging on its rock to find out if it was dead. It awoke in a fury, brightly coloured frills flaring from its neck in a spectacular display. That was where the Engineers Guild must have gotten their inspiration from, she reckoned, when they added those sails to the airships. Again, for aesthetics more than functionality.