The Letters from his father, Lei Kung
They started coming in when he was a mere boy. He was 7-years-old when the first came into Zaofu towards his mother, Jia Li.
The letters start off long, full of poetry and his experiences. His departure from the metallic city is due to him finding enlightenment it seems, but his uncle Zhu Li disagrees, calling him a coward and a traitor to the metal clan. Jia Li never heads his words.
The years pass, and Lei has yet to return home. By the time Hong Li is 12, the letters have become more clipped, and more like a speech. But shorter. And Jia Li by this time has become closed off. She doesn’t even speak to her son like she used to when he was young. Every letter since then has a small symbol encased on the papers within each envelope or scroll.
The last letter sent to their home is when the boy turns 16. The letter is as long as the first, but nowhere near as loving. It speaks of a new age coming, a turn for the better and for the end of tyranny. The red symbol haunts his head, for it is the same that makes his mother’s eyes widen in shock.
And perhaps it is the same symbol that causes her to leave Zhaofu unexpectedly the next morning without a trace. It is the same symbol that causes his uncle to become so cold and malice towards Hong Li.
It is the same symbol that scares and infuriates him as he hears of the Red Lotus. It is the same symbol that brainwashed one, and perhaps both, of his parents.