[Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:18 pm

Jian Yong is surprised at the question, "Wild-haired Yellow Scarves with poor arms and no armor. About a dozen were killed, but sadly none were taken alive."

"But never mind that, now. Colonel Liu is ready for you so follow me."

Xianhe opens the door and ushers them into the dining room Liu Bei is using as his office. He follows them inside, closes the door and then goes to sit beside the Colonel.

Liu Bei waits a moment then looks at each of them in turn, "There are those who say I should have all of you executed," he says flatly not needing to mention that its Zhang Fei who said so. "But I will hear your report first since Major Dang did give you orders."

Then he shakes his head, "I expect this of you, Wenchang, and in a way I commend you for placing yourself in physical and political peril for your sworn brother. But Dewang and Baozi, I am disappointed in you both."
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Last edited by Scarik on Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:27 pm

Baozi turns a shade paler at Jian Yong's words and doesn't dare to say anything. He - they - should have been here.

When they are led in to see Liu Bei, the Colonel is calm and scrupulously polite as always. In a way that makes it more painful. They have let him down. And the consequences of their recklessness cannot easily be undone. Shamefaced, "I am sorry," is all Baozi can bring himself to say. He has the least excuse of any of them.
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Last edited by CarrieVS on Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:46 pm

Dewang hesitates and looks at Wenchang, who seems momentarily tongue-tied, then looks at Baozi. One glance is all he needs.

"I persuaded Baozi to join us, Colonel Liu. I should be blamed, but not him."
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Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:00 am

Baozi opens his mouth to protest that he accompanied the others freely, that he bears his fair share of responsibility, but he cannot get the words out. He casts an apologetic glance at Dewang, hoping that his friend will forgive him this cowardice.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Ladki96 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:20 pm

Wenchang steps forward.

"We tracked Liang Ju to a hill in the northeast river valley, though he took pains to evade us. He had secured better equipment for some of his company and had the higher position. It would have been a waste of men to fight him. Baozi prudently advised a retreat. Last we saw, the Gentlemen were fighting the Mountain Vixens.

"Sir, the entire event started and ended with me. Both of these men may have acted freely, but they wouldn't have /needed/ to follow me anywhere in the first place had I not been swept up in anger on my brother's behalf, enough to feel like doing something. My obsession with revenge blinded me. I am the one most to blame, and thus will accept any punishment you see fit."
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:25 pm

Liu Bei considers the testimonies and calls over Jian Yong to hear his opinion.

Xianhe is glad to offer his insight," It seems to me that this is all Chief Secretary Lu's fault. He promoted Major Dang to garrison commander who then ordered Captain Wei to patrol north whereupon there was some altercation between Captain Wei and Captain Liang. The law is very clear that the mere appearance of desertion should be punished and failure to apprehend a renegade must likewise be harshly dealt with."

He nods and continues, "Yes, and I'm sure the scholars will agree that all involved should be executed. Shall I carry your order to the governor to see Lu Bu answer for his incompetence?"

Were there any but Liu Bei sitting in judgement Jian Yong might find his own head on the block right now, but instead Liu Bei laughs, "So Xianhe, are you telling me that this whole affair is ludicrous? Very well."

He then addresses his three officers, "Since you are all too reckless when left alone I am assigning you all to the baggage train. Du Zhiteng will be provisioner, Mao Xu will be chief clerk, and Wei Yan will command the guards. You are dismissed to your duties and I suggest you act with haste. There will be an inspection tomorrow morning."
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:14 pm

This is much better than Dewang expected. He shoots Jian Yong a grateful look.

After they are allowed to leave, there is a lot to do. The remaining stores must be salvaged, and determining exactly what has been destroyed is a difficult task. He has his suspicions about the "rebels" who attacked, but can find nothing in the wreckage to confirm them.

His teachers and the children are somewhat shaken by the attack, but the school has been running as usual in his absence. Dewang half-smiles. With the baggage train, he will have more time for them.

Kun doesn't pry, he has an odd feeling Jingyi doesn't need to, Jun does and he's rather sharp with him, He seems to accept whatever the sorcerer says and does at face value. Much to Dewang's surprise, it's Lin who gets the full story out of him, with a few innocently-phrased and well-timed questions.

"You nearly got killed twice over, then," says Lin matter-of-factly. Jun shakes his head, Jingyi frowns at him, and Kun puts his face in his hands. He's eyes are very round.

"Well, I didn't," says Dewang. "And I won't." They're right, of course, but Junyou must be stopped. Perhaps not now, though. He can't afford a risk like that again.

"Be on your guard," he warns them.
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Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

Hosea 3:1
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:46 pm

Baozi sets to his new duties diligently.

It is a lenient punishment, in the circumstances. But knowing it is deserved does not make such a reduction in status less humiliating, and knowing that he has done wrong and has lost his employer's trust is just as painful. But punishments are not meant to be pleasant, and it is after all somewhat fitting that their duties now include restoring order to and protecting what was damaged while they were absent. Perhaps in time he can redeem himself.

There is much to do to set everything in order by tomorrow, and Baozi works particularly hard because, somewhat later in the afternoon, he excuses himself without an explanation. By now the children should have finished their lessons.

In fact the school is only just ending for the day, and the teachers and children are still gathered together in the space they have been using for lessons. Baozi keeps his distance until he sees Li Yu; he doesn't much want to talk to anyone else. He spots the little boy in a group of children just being dismissed by Ren Lin. That is good, Yu enjoys his lessons particularly.

Baozi approaches the group, waiting until Ren has finished speaking. He is behind the children, so the teacher notices him first, and greets him politely. Baozi forces a nod and a smile, and then the children start to drift away, and Yu turns round and sees him.

He seems uncertain whether to break into a smile or not, and hangs back until Baozi tells him to come along. But when he takes the child's hand, Yu clings to it tightly. Baozi smiles genuinely for the first time since they returned to the camp. He had supposed that the boy would be missing him, but had not realised until now how much he had also missed Yu. He has not much time to spare today, but enough for the important things.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Ladki96 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:30 am

While Dewang looks after salvaging the provisions, and Baozi methodically notes the details down, Wenchang and his men help the camp workers with the business of actual cleaning of the stores - sweeping out rubble, counting the remaining bushels of rice, lifting loads, etc. It is simple labour, but it is enough to distract him from turning the events over and over in his mind, for which he is grateful.

When the others leave in the evening, Wenchang nods goodbye and stretches. The soldiers clean themselves and get into uniform. He sets the rotation order. Sometime later in the night, Boxiao comes up to him.

"Mr. Jian was right. It is bad, sir. But he will live."

Wenchang closes his eyes for a moment and nods, dismissing him. He straightens his shoulders and takes watch again. But he can't seem to straighten his mind, and images and thoughts of his brother, the rebel attack, Liang Ju, the valley, and the Bull seem to all mix together and attack his mind in full force now that he has nought to do but patrol and look out for trouble. Finally, they subside until at last, he sees the sun climbing up steadily.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:35 pm

Meanwhile in the Yellow River Valley...

The Vixens outnumber the Gentlemen and are about to envelope his position. The rocks will only pause them a few minutes: the Vixens are just as good at scaling obstructions as the gentlemen.

"Dwilo mullida!" Liang Ju calls out in his mother's language to sound the withdrawal.

They rush away down the incline to the east, carrying their wounded and dying until they reach the next strongpoint. This one is more open as it lies along the riverbank, but also much more exposed. He could be threatened by cavalry here if they could weather his crossbows.

Liang Ju has no doubt that Wei Yan could do so but he knows Niu Mu will not risk a frontal attack deeper in unknown territory now that her allies have abandoned her.

FInally he gets a chance to rest and and have Senlin's arrow removed from his shoulder. He's already ill from the poison she smeared on the arrowhead but he knows her too well and knows she used the unripe berries of the red lantern flower. He always has that antidote at hand and by sunset the headache and the chills have passed and he can inspect his losses.

Four dead and twenty wounded, he finds.

"Let us ready the dead for burial at dawn. Tonight we will light lanterns for them."

And so they do and the lanterns can be seen for many li in either direction down the river and even further for those few that rise above the forest canopy before being scattered by the wind.

At dawn, after a hard, night's march, Liang Yin returns with her raiding party.

"We burned the provision stores as you commanded, brother," she says unwrapping the yellow scarf around her head and then tying back her hair with a green ribbon that Liang Ju hands to her.

Looking more civilized she tells of how they easily infiltrated the town and slew a dozen guards then dressed several dressed as rebels. She even had them cart away one man as if he was wounded toward the west.

"Once away from Hangu I crossed the road and came straight here when we saw the lanterns. I did not see Senlin, is she still alive?"

Senlin and Kongshi are sworn sisters so the latter is genuinely concerned but Liang Ju spits.

"She is, the witch shot me with a poisoned arrow."

They speak no more of it.

After the funerals they head east to Bei Ye from which Liang Ju has already begun to establish a confederation of brigands under his banner.

The leader of the local thugs is a rat of a man named Pei Yuanshao (Laoshu*). Liang Ju only suffers him because he is a childhood friend of Zhou Cang.

"I've got good news, Junyou," the man says as if they were equals. In his mood Junyou nearly strikes him but when sees what the rat means he loses his anger and rushes to her.

"Xiao Yi**, how are you alive? They said Dang Fu killed you and then Wei Yan and Du Zhiteng came for me as well."

"Du Zhiteng used his magic to fool everyone and had me spirited away to some whore he knew in Ye. I left as soon as his apprentice was gone and came north. Other than the smell of the Wood Rats I am well, my love."

Liang Ju is suspicious of the reason but has no doubt that what she says is true.

"We go east to find your brother."

*Rat, the zodiac sign, not the more common word for a rodent
** Little Yi, a term of affection for someone named Yi
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:54 am

The three chastened officials work hard with their assistants and when Liu Bei arrives the next morning he is pleased with the results.

Jian Yong goes over Baozi's report and then goes to speak with the Colonel.

"The damage is less than it seemed. The warehouses are ruined but most of the grain survived." The diplomat easily comes to the same conclusion that Baozi had when he saw the true extent of the damage.

"This was clearly a diversion for the assassination attempt," he says then ponders aloud, "But who could have such knowledge and ability to carry out such a skilled plot?"

His statement hangs in the air before Liu Bei gives them the order they had been waiting for.

"Pack these supplies, we march immediately. You three will remain with the baggage train and will report to me when we reach Ye."

He then leaves and leads the army out the east gate and down toward the Wei Plains.

The contingent of 5,000 soldiers moves a a brisk pace for the first two days, slowing slightly for the third and fourth and then pushing beyond the normal rhythm and force march for two more days to reach the major city of Ye. The troops are tired and the baggage train is totally exhausted since they often have to march 2-3 more hours each day due to the slow speed of their oxen.

The Colonel sends orders that the army will hold for two days then move east again to the main encampment at the crossroad town of Handan.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:09 am

As soon as his immediate duties are done, Dewang reports to Liu Bei as ordered.

Over the last few days, he has become completely convinced that Junyou was somehow behind the attack. However, there is not a shred of proof.
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Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

Hosea 3:1
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:28 am

"Governor Ding has ordered me to bring additional supplies in preparation for a siege. Many tons of provisions are being gathered from Ye and more arrive daily from the ports to the south," Liu Bei says.

"You three will remain in the rearguard though our entire force will be acting as a baggage train. It will take five days of hard travel to reach the front, I suggest you rest."

The Colonel then dismisses them for two days.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:20 am

Baozi had almost dared to hope, privately, that Liu Bei might have intended this demotion as a lesson or perhaps a test for the three truants, and that if they set to their new duties diligently and without complaint, he might relent. Now he feels very foolish: they have proved themselves not to be relied upon for anything more, and in fact have been treated very leniently. Clerk is a perfectly respectable position, and a necessary one: at one time, all Baozi had expected or wanted to be. Why should he now think he is above this job?

He does indeed rest that evening: it has been an exhausting several days of travel. But the following day he has no desire to spend his free time sitting around with nothing to occupy his mind.

For a while, anyone looking for the chief clerk of the baggage train wouldn't have found him, though had they searched near where the supplies of food were being gathered and stored, they might instead have spotted a golden-brown tabby cat.

On this occasion the diversion is useful as well as pleasant: wherever food is stored in such great quantities, a great many rats and mice are sure to soon gather. The little cat is sleepy from a full belly by the time Baozi makes the transformation back. When he was very young the thought of that had used to disgust him, but he's long grown accustomed to allowing the cat-spirit to take control and holding his true self separate. When he crunches the bones with a cat's jaws, tastes the hot blood with a cat's tongue, and swallows the flesh into a cat's stomach, the true Baozi is far enough removed to simply appreciate the animal's pleasure as it savours its kill.

Somewhat later, Baozi finds a space somewhat out of the way, and fetches his sword from amongst his belongings. He has not worn it since his disgrace - it would hardly be appropriate now - but he has no intention of letting his skill waste away for lack of use, and he has not found time to practice for a while. He has only been at his solitary drill a few minutes when he notices that he is being watched.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Ladki96 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:34 am

"Very good, but we both know you can do better than that," Wenchang comments, sliding his own jian out of its sheath and shifting into an opening position. He inclines his head, "Strike me."
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Last edited by Ladki96 on Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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