Ancient China, 222BC, about a year before Qin Shi Huang took over all of China. A secret that was never recorded in the history books...
"Your majesty, are you sure believing superstition will work? During a warring period, many of these are simply lies-"
"Are you suggesting that I am wrong?"
Perhaps the use of magic would work now.
The king (as he still was as of now) walked through a narrow passage and entered the dungeon. His advisors and scholars walked behind him in a straight line. His court had protested about his methods, but the king figured that this would be the quickest way to wipe out the remaining country.
Everyone quickly shuffled after the king, who was walking briskly towards a certain cell in the dark dungeon. The dark and stuffy air made it hard to concentrate, while the sight of criminals made your feet itch to just run far away.
The dungeon guards each bowed respectfully as the king walked by.
"No, of course not. However, you must understand superstition can be wrong at times!" the scholar said, walking as quickly as he could to catch up with the king.
The king ignored him with a sigh, turning around to a cell in the corner. Dealing with these people each and every day, all trying to order him around was quite a bother.
Exhausting processes and things that had to be taken care of were always rushed and done without any thought. The king really didn't like these advisors.
"This will be useful. I am sure of it," the king said firmly, taking a key from his armor and opening the cell. The cell's door creaked open, letting through some lights. An old woman was sitting on a bench. She had wispy white hair with wrinkles on her face. The dungeon she was in was filled with rusting metals, no windows or light could be seen from inside.
"Your Majesty," she croaked, bowing down slowly.
"Rise," he commanded.
The woman stood up and stared at the king. Her unblinking black eyes made people want to look away, but the king held his ground, staring back at her.
"What is it that you wish?" she asked.
The king took a deep breath. Usually, the only kind of superstition he believed in had to do with youth and life. However, this woman had claimed to have a different kind of magic.
So the king took his chances and made a gamble. Many things could go wrong with believing her words, or even letting her work her magic.
"Help me quickly wipe out the opposing country," the king requested solemnly.
The old woman frowned and blinked slowly.
"Ah. I see. Are you aware of the process it takes to do these things? And the people I need in order for this to succeed?" she asked sharply.
The king opened his mouth to yell at her. How dare she speak to him that way! But he closed his mouth, and nodded respectfully instead. If she didn't escape from this prison yet, she must've had a reason, or she wasn't powerful enough. Therefore, the king knew he still had control over her.
He knew, that for the sake of power, he would have to listen to her. For now.
"I will help you find everything to your liking. What do you need?" he asked bitterly.
"I need twelve people."
"Just twelve people? I can find you a whole army if you need it!" the king protested.
The woman smiled sadly.
"Ah. That is where you do not understand my king. Sometimes, the strongest things can come from something small, not large."