Eastern Wu: Realm of the Sun Clan sample (Act I) -- T. P. M. Thorne


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Yuan Yao looked at Lady Yuan, who smiled and said, “I think that we can trust him, Brother.”
“…Yes,” Yuan Yao said as he sheathed his sword. “I think so too. Regardless, Mister Sun, we’re now at your mercy: where would you have us be…?”
“Jiangdong,” Bofu replied. “In fact, I want to take as many as we can support.”
“…Very well,” Yuan Yao said. “Unfortunately, our cousin, Yuan Yin, stole away with our father’s coffin. Something tells me that you might have let us give him a proper funeral, which is something that Liu Xun appeared hesitant to do.”
“I wouldn’t have been crying for him, but yeah, I’d have given you that,” Bofu replied. “Who knows…? Perhaps we’ll find him. Now, though, we should hurry and evacuate this place.”
“If there is anything that I can do to help, just ask,” Yuan Yao said. “The people… have suffered enough.”

While Bofu and Gongjin completed their near-bloodless seizure of Huancheng and the surrounding Wan County, the oblivious Liu Xun was awaiting word of a second raid on Haihun’s supplies to provide resources for his newest expedition.
“…What’s taking so long…?” Liu Xun complained. “Those fool peasants haven’t tried to hide the grain from me, have they…?”
“I only wish it were that,” Liu Yè sighed. “My thought is that-”
I need none of your pessimism, Mister Liu Yè!” Liu Xun barked. “General Zhang Xun!
Zhang Xun saluted unenthusiastically and said, “What is your command, Lord Liu?”
“Send a small detachment to find out what’s delaying the Haihun operation,” Liu Xun ordered. “This is intolerable! I-!”

All eyes turned to a dishevelled, hysterical messenger, who continued by saying, “The Haihun force has been routed by an army led by a ‘Huang Gai’ and a ‘Cheng Pu’! The road to the river is blocked by an army led by a ‘Sun Ben’ and a ‘Sun Fu’! The road to the east is blocked by a ‘Zu Lang’! The-!
No more!” Liu Xun cried. “No more, no…! …No…! Sun Ce, you larcenous wretch, you… you tricked me…!”
Liu Yè sighed and muttered, “You tricked yourself, you fool.”
“…How can I feed my men without grain from Haihun…?” Liu Xun whimpered. “How can I keep the loyalty of my new army, trapped as we are across the river, when we are surrounded on all sides by Sun Ce’s leering pirate friends…? And Huancheng… no… he… he cannot have… he cannot have led me here so that he could…!”
“…I’d say that it’s likely,” Liu Yè replied.
“Ziyang, you’re my wits and sense where I lack them within my own skull,” Liu Xun said as he stared at Liu Yè. “Ziyang, I-!”
“So now I am ‘Ziyang’…?” Liu Yè snickered as he glared at Liu Xun with contempt. “Now that we are in this near-inescapable fix, I am ‘Ziyang’, the man entrusted with saving us.”
“I was wrong to rebuke you, I see that now,” Liu Xun said. “I beseech you, Ziyang, to use those great wits of yours to give us a way out of Jiangdong!”

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