Xu Tao grew up in Tai'an, China. He and his family sold souvenirs to sightseers from a booth in town. When his father refused to bribe the local police, they lost their booth and their home. Xu had to join a street gang simply to survive but was not cut out for the job and was arrested. Once released, the gang was sent after him to make an example of him.
On the run, Xu fell into a tree where he heard a voice asking for help. It was the Celestial Bow of Yi, a Chinese hero, who had came to the Earth and eventually died of old age over four thousand years ago. Xu took the bow and defended himself from his attackers. The bow gave Yu the instincts of a great archer and the bow had amazing powers.
He was compelled to fire an arrow toward the Moon and once there met with Xiang-O, the Moon Maiden. She was the wife of Yi. She took him to the home of the gods, where they bestowed him with the title of Celestial Archer in order to inspire his countrymen and prepare the world for their return.
Instead of doing what he was supposed to, he ended up joing the Great Ten and fighting for the government, forgetting his purpose and vow to the gods.