San Francisco by Night
A young herbalist prodigy, gambler, martial artist with dreams of becoming a fangshi like form ancient China.
Xiaoshi Wei didn’t not have an easy childhood. While his father Jinshan Lin was a man of both wealthy and power as the son of Chisun Lin (head of the Bronze Mirror Tong), his mother was not Jinshan’s wife. Xifeng Wei was instead a recent immigrant from northern China who had opened a practice as a traditional medicine doctor and martial arts instructor. Jinshan and Xifeng met at a bar during a very rough time between Jinshan and his wife Tingjia. Pleased to meet someone who did not know who he was, Jinshan had a one night stand with Xifeng. It was not until she discovered she was pregnant and tried to find Jinshan again that she found he was the married son of [Tong} leader. She decided to approach him privately to tell him she was pregnant and was certain it was his. As the father she felt he at least had the right to know. To her surprise and later difficulty, Jinshan publicly acknowledged the child was his. Jinshan’s father was at first furious and then relented when his son stood up to him on it. Tingjia and her family remained furious over the scandal and Jinshan’s handling of the matter…more so when he insisted on being there for Xiaoshi’s birth. Since Jinshan’s father had offered restitution for his son’s offense, Tingjia had to content herself with banning Xiaoshi from ever entering his father’s house while she was alive and for using her social influence to make life unpleasant at times for Xifeng and Xiaoshi. As for Jinshan’s first son and heir Bohai, who was three years old at the time of his father’s affair, he loves his little brother even if they have little in common.
Xiaoshi grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown living with his mother above her practice in a nicer alley. He began studying martial arts with his mother at the age of six and learning the basics of traditional Chinese medicine soon after. Things were not always easy for Xiaoshi and his mother. Xifeng had taken on quite a bit of debt when she opened her shop and school so sometimes money was a little tight. While Xifeng refused to accept anything for herself from Jinshan, she never refused anything that was for Xiaoshi’s benefit. Tingjia did not help using her social influence in petty ways to sometimes make things unpleasant for them through her friends and their families. Jinshan weathered the resulting fights with his wife to attend important events in his son’s life, such as birthdays and graduations.
When Xiaoshi was ten years old a group of men tried to kidnap him while he was on the edge of Chinatown. Two of them had grabbed him and were trying to get him into a van, suddenly a pair of teenage girls in gothic Lolita clothing attacked the men. As one attacked the men, the other pulled Xiaoshi from the grip on one of his would be kidnappers. As Xiaoshi watched, in a blur of movement the identical girls brutally beat the men and smashed up their van. Xiaoshi stood in awe as the girls finished with the kidnappers, smiled at him and then strolled off into the shadows deeper in the alley. He was found standing in the middle of the alley surrounded by unconscious men and a demolished van when people came to see what the noise in the alley was. Xiaoshi has never been able to recall their features no matter how hard he tried, all he remembers is creepy but beautiuful goth lolitas who saved him.
Where Xiaoshi’s father couldn’t’’t always have time for him because of work or his wife. Bohai always had time for his little brother. He often acted as go between from their father. Bohai let his little brother hang out with him and his friends and regularly sparred with him as they both learned martial arts (Xiaoshi from his mother and Bohai from his uncle).
From an early age Xiaoshi showed a genius level intelligence, quickly learning the theoretics if not applications of martial arts and the principles behind medicine if not the actual practice itself. He briefly attended the Nam Kue School in Chinatown before going on to graduate from Lowell High School at the age of fourteen. After some convincing by Xiaoshi, Jinshan and Bohai, Xifeng agreed to let Xiaoshi attend Dongguk University in Los Angeles. One of the requirements from his mother was that a bodyguard/chaperone go with him. Jinshan chose a member of one of the tong’s gangs who was eager to earn his way off the street. Twenty four year old Tengfei Zhang was more than happy to prove his worth to the tong by living in Los Angeles as Xiaoshi’s live-in bodyguard while Xiaoshi attended class. Later he even got the opportunity to travel when after two years at the Los Angeles campus, Xiaoshi went to the home university in Gyeongju, South Korea for two years. He flew back to San Francisco during breaks and for his birthdays. While at Dongguk University, Xiaoshi dated Ji-soo Kim, a girl two years older than himself who was just beginning her studies Oriental Medicine. She also shared his interest in martial arts (studying Taekkyeon and Shippalgi herself) and historical martial arts epics (introducing him to saeguk, the historic Korean dramas). They met through the university’s martial arts club. Xiaoshi and Ji-soo dated the entire time he was in Korea but broke up amicably when he returned to America. Ji-soo is planning to open her own practice in her hometown in Korea.
Xiaoshi recently finished his Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and returned from his studies in Seoul. Since then he has been helping his mother in her practice and teaching.