Seung Mina was born into a strict family of martial arts teachers.
She had grown up surrounded by weapons, and had an excellent knowledge of
martial arts. In fact, her horsesword technique surpassed even that of her
father, Seung Han Myong. However, because of her
cute looks, she had been teased by the neighborhood boys. Her father had
taught her discipline, but she nonetheless often beat the boys who teased
her. Her father wanted her to stay at his dojo at Chii mountain in Korea,
but the strong-willed Mina had other ideas.
Korea was in serious trouble. Invasion by outside forces had been
avoided only because the neighboring countries were experiencing internal
problems. However, Japan ended their civil war and prepared for foreign
conquest. In preparing for a possible invasion, the patriotic people of
Korea began to fortify their coasts. The famous Navy admiral Lee Sun Shin
led the newly formed Coastal Defense Force. Mina too was caught up in the
patriotic fervor, and tried to join the defense force, but was barred from
serving because of her gender. Hwang, a student from her father's dojo and
a member of the defense force, told her father of an important mission he
was undertaking. He was to find the legendary Patriot Sword, Soul Edge, and
bring it to Korea. Seeing this as a way to help her country, Mina decided
to leave home and travel to the west to find Soul Edge. She had barely left
home when her father caught her, but she had made up her mind and he had no
choice but to let her go.
Her journey did not last long. Hwang, hearing the news that Korea
had indeed been invaded, abandoned his quest and returned home. He met up
with Mina along the way and took her back home. When she returned, her
father was releived to see her, but ordered her to begin a rigorous training
session as punishment. Meanwhile, Han Myong had asked Hwang to become his
son, and even though Hwang had respectfully declined, Han Myong was already
thinking of a marriage between Mina and Hwang. Mina had no desire to marry
Hwang, however, because his volunteer duties kept him away from Chili-san
most of the time. Her recent adventure had given her an increased sense of
freedom, and she felt ill at ease about such a marriage.
The marriage proposals did not stop there. The prodigal son of the
wealthy Kim family, who was also a pupil of the Seung school, proposed to
her one day. This was the last straw, and Mina ran away from home again.
The problem was that Mina had nowhere to go. She could not enter the Coastal
Defense Force because she had been rejected, and Admiral Shin and her father
were good friends so he would surely send her back. She decided that she
would search for Soul Edge yet again. The Force would surely accept her if
she found the Patriot Sword. Her father and Hwang would also be forced to
recognize her independance. She set out on her quest immediately.
After a few months, Mina finally reached western soil. She heard of
a female fighter named Ivy who was searching for Soul
Edge too, so she tracked down the fighter. Mina was slightly uneased that
Ivy referred to the Patriot Sword as the "demonic blade." Ivy sensed her
unease and began to taunt Mina. Angered, Mina raised her Zanbato high and
challenged Ivy to a duel. Although she wasn't overpowered, Ivy's strange
fighting style confused Mina and she was quickly defeated. Ivy turned and
left Mina standing in the street. Once the crowd broke up, Mina began to
reflect on her journey. If her skills had been useless against Ivy, had
her training been neglected? Her skill with the Zanbato had been her source
of confidence on her quest, and her defeat left her in denial.
Mina turned when she heard the voice of a man jeering at her from
behind. The man who addressed her looked to be Chinese, in his thirties or
forties, and very drunk. He held a rod in his hands that drew Mina's
attention. He continued to taunt Mina, and she lashed out with her Zanbato
again. The man simply caught Mina's rod and advised her to learn about her
opponents before attacking. Although angry, Mina saw that the man was
skilled and asked him if he could teach her to fight. To her surprise, he
agreed, and she began training under him.
The months passed and Mina continued to train. The man, who she
came to know was named Kong, taught her everything he knew and also shared
his experience with her. Mina knew that to win Soul Edge she would need to
be in top shape, and this was her motivation and she continued to push
herself. Kong cared nothing for Mina's tecnique, he taught her simply
because of her strong convictions. Day by day her skill grew thanks to
Kong. He was still drunk much of the time and his appearance was terrible,
but his fighting style and mastery of the rod were unparalleled.
A full year had passed since Mina had met Kong. One day, Kong went
out to buy some alcohol and never returned. A saddened Mina found a note
from Kong that said that he felt he was worthy to teach her the way of the
rod. There was nothing more he could teach her and advised her to go forth
and complete her quest.
So Mina set out on her journey again. She could not know that Kong
had travelled to Korea and joined the Coastal Defense Force. There he met
with Hwang and had unwittedly told him of Mina's quest. Thus, Hwang came
looking for her. Before Hwang found her, however, Mina learned some valuable
information: The Patriot Sword was in fact a source of evil that swallowed
souls and corrupted all who possessed it. With this knowledge, both she and
Hwang knew that such a weapon could never be used to defend Korea. Mina
returned home with Hwang, her future uncertain. At home, the Kim boy
proposed again, even offering a gift of one-hundred cattle if Mina would say
yes. Thus, Mina prepared to run away from home again....