Chapter 3 – The Old Man

Ling Wang wakes up in her bed with a set and look around and on herself with quick movements but cannot find any of the injuries she had from the fight, she just had with the soldiers but before she can think more about it, her mother enters her room with a smile on her face “You are up, cherry” and before Ling Wang can reply she continues “Look who is home” and in comes her father also smiling “You were so sleepy that you did not meet me at the hill we had agreed on” he continued like he knew what her mother was going to say. Ling Wang ran over to give her father a big hug and felt warmer inside, she wanted to tell him about her dream about the attack and the soldiers and the rest of her dream but she did not want to scary them with that so she decided to wait. It got warmer and warmer inside the room and Ling Wang could not find out where the heat was coming from but decided that it much had been all the energy she used to be with her father now was back. They walked out in the morning sun but there was no birds singing in the sky which confused her even more. She ran in the front to tell people about that her father was now home but she could not find any people either so she got even more and more confused and then she turned around and turned into stone as her house and the rest of the town was in fire but her parents just walked against her like nothing was happening. “Mom, dad?” she managed to speak before they were at her side quicker than the wind with a sword in their hands which they held against her “You was going to deliver the message to the emperor” her mother started with an evil dry voice. “You should have been a boy” her father continued with the same evil dry voice as the mother. Ling Wang tried to run away but her feet had turned into rocks and the evil voice continued “You are a failure”, “We don’t love you”, “We never cared about you”, “You was never our daughter” Ling Wang started to cry because of all the hard things they said against her but in the middle of it an gentle voice started to appear “Wake up”, “Wake up“ it repeated over and over which made her former parents started to cut in her and she could feel the pain grow bigger and bigger. Suddenly a big hand appeared in the sky and pushed her parents away before taking her up from the ground and in the next second Ling Wang looked into a face of an old man. Confused and scared from the dream she started screaming and crying loud before the old man held a gentle hand over her mouth. “You are safe here, it was just a nightmare” he spoke like the gentle voice in the dream. She looked at him with her death eyes and even that they didn’t look directly at him he knew she was calm again so when she nodded too, he just as gentle removed his hand. “I am sorry to me you like this” he started while moving behind the fireplace so she could get warmth into her beaten body. He was about to continue but was interrupted by Ling Wang “Where I am? Who are you? Where are my horse?” Her mouth turn sour in all the questions as she didn’t knew up or down in anything. All she knew was the pain inside her chest from the lose of her parents and the accident with the horse not long ago. The accident stood clear in her mind like a painting and her mouth worked again “what happened to the soldiers?… hmph…” the gentle hand was back and a gentle voice replied “I will answer all your questions, one at a time… but before I will answer anything I want to know your name so I know who I am talking to, are you up to that?” Ling Wang nodded and in the second she felt the hand leave her mouth she replied “I am Ling Wang, only daughter of general Xiao Wang and Lan Wang former concubine of the emperor” she stopped as she worried that the hand would return even it was gentle but nothing happened so she continued “I regret to inform that both of them are expected death together with the entire town” she wanted to say more but she could her that her company had started crying so she stopped and felt the heat warm her up. The old man looked at her trying to figure out if it was true he had just heard so he gathered his tears and asked “is that really why you are here?” Tear drops could be hear falling when he ended the question and Ling Wang just looked after him with even more death eyes than before. “l am sorry but yes.” She answered with a voice leaving no doubt and her eyes started dripping again too before she continue “Now I have introduced myself, who may I ask you are?” And the old man replied “Jiahao Wang, your father’s grandmaster, I have know your father since I meet her in a forest much like this after the first war between the emperor and his brother so I supposed I should know about you too but been too focused on personal matters that I have been away for too long and was on the way to visit your parents” Ling Wang could hear there was more sadness in the voice than before so she knew something bad had happened to him and she was sure he wasn’t lying to her but still she was not sure if it was right time to ask questions other than those about the place and what had happened while she had been blacked out. “Where am I?” She started trying to make the mind focus on present instead of the horrible past. She could hear Jiahao Wang get himself together before he answered “in the forest not far from where you was attacked by those soldiers, which I saved you from and if I may ask, why were they after you?” Ling Wang had wanted to know what had happened to them but his question had surprised her as he didn’t feel like the person who would just rush in and save a girl he didn’t know who was. She was about to answer his answer but he continued “In case your mind wants to know what happened to your attackers, then they are all dead as they attack me after I tried to come between them and you so your story has to be good” Ling Wang turned confused while on the same time horrified as why would he know more than the story she had just told him but she decided it was best to do what he asked so she started slowly. “I woke up this morning like any other day before getting dressed and running out to train with a sword I found in my father closet around the time he left.” She held a break as tears ran a bit while her chest hurted because of the injuries and then continue “I trained to make my parents proud of me as I felt like I was a burden to them and” “Your parents never watched you as a burden as they loved you more than life itself or rather they did last time I knew was them around your birth, now continue and I am sorry to break your story” Ling Wang did not know what to say except continuing as he told her to. “Well, I was disrupted by a servant who wanted me back him because my mother had fallen but I believed that it was a way of getting me home as it started raining and wanted to stay on the hill and train while waiting for my father. Suddenly arrows started to fall around me and I froze which made the servant take me and run me home but on the way he was hit and I was in the mess of the town full of scared people screaming and in panic. Luckily another servant found me and got me home where my mother had packed a horse and I was put on it while she stayed behind. I tried to return to her but they closed the gate and the soldiers you killed started following me and then I ended up meeting you” tears ran fast as she stopped her story and she felt the old man hold around her to make her feel better. “I know it was hard to tell me the entire story, but don’t you feel better now than before you did” Ling Wang was too sad to answer but nodded anyway to accept his idea. The we’re close for a long time or it rather felt like it before suddenly Ling Wangs belly rubbled “You most be hungry after no breakfast or time to eat doing the escape and now it is almost midnight” Ling Wang nodded again and soon she could smell bread which she eat gentle but still quite fast. It was bit dry but she didn’t mind at all as it was food. “Thanks” she managed to say between the bites and Jiahao Wang just laughed for the first time since they meet and the mood between them became better. While she eat she could hear him prepare the horse and wondered why they would go before it hit her, he would help her go to the emperor’s palace of course.
Ling Wang took the last bite of the bread and was about to say something but her ears caught the birds flying away fast and wild together with lots of broken branches and suddenly Jiahao Wang yelled “I know you cannot see, but try if you can get on the horse anyway while I keep them at bay” Ling Wang could feel the fear from the events with her servant grow inside her together with her mother sending her away so instead of froze so almost turned to stone and could not move a muscle, she could not even make herself breath or chewing the mouthful she still had in her mouth. Soon a high scream was hear and she knew that Jiahao Wang had attacked and hopefully killed the first one as the voice did not sound like his voice. Suddenly someone hit her in the back and she landed in the cold muddy ground with a splash and her face got under the small amount of water and still she was not able to move so her mind started to fill with thoughts “You are dying now, this is the end” she could hear her mother say “You are weak and worth nothing” her father’s voice continued but suddenly the old man voice was in her head “You are not worthless and your parents loved you more than life itself” she could feel her arm move in the mud beside her and soon the other arm followed as a power inside her started to grow and before she knew it they arms had raised her for the muddy ground and she was ready to go to the horse but just as she was about to move, she felt a sword touching her neck and a dry evil voice commanded “You stay here, little girl” Ling Wang could feel the power turning into a rage and without any warning or control she turned around and faced the man with the sword who was so surprised that he did not managed to move and in the next second it was too late as she had grabbed the sword by the blade with her hand and even small drops of blood started to fall down from her fingers she could not feel the pain and in one move she had forced the sword from the soldier and now he was the one laying the muddy ground without any breaths as the ground slowly turned more and more red.
There were no time to think only do as soon two new soldiers were right in front of her and even she could not see them, she could feel their present so she just raised the sword from the soldier from before and felt the blood run down her arms fueling her rage even more and in the next second she was already next to the two soldiers who just stood like stones and before they were able to move Ling Wang had already made them lose their breath and made them kneel in front of her. They tried to speak but before they could say anything they were already down in the muddy ground in two parts with blood running anywhere. Jiahao Wang who had been having his own battles looked at the killings that Ling Wang had done with both fear and surprised look but before he could yell anything to Ling Wang he felt a sharp sword against his throat “Be quiet, old man… do not say a word before I command you to” in the meantime had Ling Wang slashed another solider down and there were no end in sight of her rage and she took aim at the next soldier who was already screaming of fear of what she would do to to him but just as the sword hit him, Jiahao Wang yelled “Ling Wang, please stop” but it was too late as Long wang just finished her cut and leaved the man died in his own blood before walking against the old man and his capture. “Stop and put down your sword or I will kill the old man” Ling Wang stopped and slowly dropped her sword like she were commanded but the rage inside her made she not able to speak. “Good girl” the capture replied. Jiahao Wang feared the worst and wondered what would happen next as he could see that Ling Wang was not the peaceful girl he had meet not long ago and even her fighting style was very much like her father, he did not have a rage like hers but he didn’t experience an heartbreaking event like Ling Wang had. He wanted to warn his capture that she was out of control at the moment but before he managed to get a chance to open his mouth his face got covered in blood and for a second he worried that it was his own blood but as no pain was felt and instead was a release of his shoulders, he knew what happened and he turned around while the body of his former capture fell to the ground like a doll. Ling Wang was standing not far from him with the rain started to clean her of blood. He took his eyes of her for a second as he looked around and so far he could see they were all alone now. Suddenly Ling Wang started screaming of pain and Jiahao Wang moved his eyes back on her but only managed to see fall to the ground and her screams disappeared. He ran over to her in an instant to make sure she were alright and started to check her before a weak hand grabbed his bread and an almost silence voice spoke “Where am I? Is it you Jiahao…” the voice disappeared together with grip before Jiahao Wang had the chance to answer and he started to search quicker for any injuries which was hard when the branch had hit her too no so long ago. He couldn’t find any and was relieved when her breath returned and was normal. He made sure they were alone before he took her in hands and carried her back to blanket and fire which had almost died out doing the heat of the fight because of the heavy rain which continued to fall over them. He looked around again to be sure that they were alone and then he started to get his horse ready again as it had lost a few of the things that he previously had prepared.
In the meantime in a tent not far from there is three people seating around a table with a big map on it. The three people looks at each other and at the map before the oldest of the three, Li Chen, starts “We need to make plans for the invasion of the entire country so we can rule everything which our father was destine to rule before his brother took it all from him and later us” He stopped and took a small knife from his belt and hammered into the map where Beijing was placed. “Yeah our father was a weakling for first losing it all to his brother and later losing our mother years ago, then lose to the same man today” the only female, Ning Chen, replied making sure that her two brothers knew that she had not turned weak after they had killed their father. The last brother, Gang Chen, looked at the map and replied “I hope the 12 soldiers we sent the girl have done their job of killing her, so we can be sure that Beijing does not get the news about the attack before we get there tomorrow” They nodded in agreement before Li Chen pointed at the south of the map near the sea. “Gang Chen, you take your army and use it to fight all the way south you can so the emperor cannot get help from there” Gang Chen nodded in agreement before Li Chen continued “Ning Chen, you will take your army and force it to the west and make sure that the emperor cannot get help from there” Ning Chen nodded too and Li Chen continued again “I am going to take the main army which our father was going to control to the emperor palace and capture it… of course I will wait to you are back here to kill the emperor and whatever pathetic heir he has.” Their faces turned all in to big smiles, Ning Chen smiled bigger and answered “It felt good to finally to destroy the town which betrayed us so many years ago and I really enjoyed getting my sword covered in the blood of people” She took up her sword which was still bloody form earlier and licked some of the blood. “Cannot wait for the blood of more people, my brothers” The brothers looked at her and each other before laughing loud. They decided to go to bed for the night as now they have done the first part of the plan and there was no survivors so why rush the plan more than needed. Gang Chen and Ning Chen left the tent leaving Li Chen the only leader in the tent and he walked over to a beaten woman “Now don’t you worry, we will kill your daughter long before she will have a chance to see your look” Ning Wang looked up but before she could reply back Li Chen slapped her face and started to lose her chains from the tent pole and force her over to the bed where he removed the little clothes she had left and started to force her, making her scream of pain but no one care and came to her rescue. Just as the fun part for Li Chen was about to happen Ning Wang managed to scream “You will pay for this” before being slapped again but she continued “Be happy that you have never seen my daughter so she cannot hunt you in your dreams” and as the last word left her mouth she bite him hard the shoulder making him drop the chain and she kicked him and started running out of the tent but before she reached the opening the chain got tight once more and in the next she were laying on the ground and all turned dark. Li Chen looked at her for a second before yelling “Guards” and two soldiers ran into the tent quick “Lock her back up, I am going to sleep now and I won’t be disturbed by anything other than good news about that her daughter is dead” the soldiers nodded as one and started to do as he had commanded while he could go to bed in almost at peace as he wondered why she would say that he should be happy that he had not met her as the only woman he knew who could use a sword was his own sister Ning Chen and if she had been training with a sword then why were she not out in the forest with her father and the rest of the training men. He shook his head to clear his mind as no matter what she would be dead soon as the 12 men would kill her faster than a blink of an eye and with that the thought in mind he feel asleep expecting a good night sleep after all the events from killing his father to destroy the town which failed to help them so many years ago.
Not soon after he was asleep his mind started to create will dreams and he was soon on a green hill full of red flowers and as he walked around them birds where singing and the sun shine. All was good but suddenly he froze as he started to hear low voices and it sounded like it were screams but no matter where he looked he could not see a single soul around him and he walked around as the screams got higher and higher before he by mistake looked down and watched the the red flowers turned into blood for every step he took and the path he had walked had turned into blood. He was about to scream but as he was about to open his mouth something shining started to appear in the horizon and he decided to get it out without making a noise as it the blood in his path made him worry if the shinning object were friend or foe. But he had to find out quickly or the screams from the flowers would drive him made. He looked down and started to try him as few flowers as possible while still walking against the object. Suddenly he felt something hitting him like a push and before he could plant his legs down he landed on the ground with a bum. He wanted to scream but the blood from the flowers filled his mouth and as he started to get it out again the object appeared right in front of him and it was a golden dragon and suddenly the screams where all gone and he enjoyed the peace even it only lasted for seconds as then a thunderous voice broke the silence. “You will never get the power without great loses” and before he could reply the dragon it flew through him and soon he was in a dark room away from the hill and flowers who screams he could still hear in his head. He raised himself up but two sets of arms tried to held him down to the ground and when he finally got forces himself up he looked into the eyes of two people he knew very well, his sister and brother, and as he got his eyes out of theirs he watched the were naked, one with cut marks all over the body and the other a almost cut head. He tried to scream but nothing came out of his mouth and as he tried again the hands from his siblings covered his mouth while whispering something low and he did his best to hear what they were saying and suddenly it turned into screams “don’t lose us, don’t kill us, don’t lose us” they repeated over and over until the noise got unbearable and he closed his eyes and as he open his eyes again he were back in the tent and the rain had gotten stronger again and lightnings had started to light up the sky. It ran cold down his back as he heard a laugher as he was not sure if he were back from the dream “you have seen him” a tired voice broke the laughter and he knew it was just Ning Wang who was playing with him so he stood out of bed “be quiet” he almost yelled but she continued her laughter from before but as she watched what he had planned she was about to scream but too late. Her head was the first that hit the ground and soon the body followed covering the area in blood as she were dead. He walked back to his bed to continue his sleep as he knew it had just been a dream and they did not mean anything and his eyes started get heavy again but his mind were nowhere relaxed and ready to sleep now.
He closed his eyes hard and started to focus on the rain drops instead of the nightmare which had awaken him not long ago and soon he was already fast asleep but this time there were no dreams or nightmares in his sleep only an annoying voice calling “General, general” before his ears and mind finally understood it was in the real world the sound was coming from and he opened his eyes again and he so tired of being awaken again with such short distance. He staring with eyes sending lightnings at the man who had been yelling for him seconds ago and now was standing in front of him covered in blood. “I hope that blood is from the girl I ordered you and 11 others to kill” The soldier looked down in the ground and did not answer as a cat had taken his tongue. “Why are you waking me up if you don’t have anything to say” Li Chen continued while slowly walking closer to his sword on the bed. A very low voice replied “I am sorry to have awaken you, my lord but I bring bad news” Li Chen took the last step against the bed and took the sword before turning against the soldier and swung his sword fast making the soldier start screaming of pain as his left arm started to slide down and land on the ground “I told you that I would only be awaken if you had good news, stop screaming and tell me the news or I cut you again” He yelled to break thought the screams. The soldier tried to focus but the pain was too much so it was not very understandable “We… ambush… crazy girl… old man… death…” Li Chen looked at the man and smiled “Try again and this time more words please” The soldier became more calm as a medic entered the room and started to cover the hole “We attacked and ambushed her and some older man who was with her but something happen and she turned into a crazy person and started killing us for fun even when we took the old man hostage” he said and Li Chen smiled again “See, that was not hard, was it?” The soldier started to shake his head but before he could reply properly he fell to the ground while holding himself on the chest with his only arm. Li Chen had stabbed him and he was laughing loud now “I told you guys to handle it and if you cannot beat a small girl and old man you are a disgrace to my army so die now” and then he cut the head of town as he was tired of the scream. The medic who had been seating next the soldier was speechless but did not do anything else than leave the body and the tent. Li Chen look at the body while thinking about who the old man could be when it hit him that in his father battle against the young man years ago, he had also been fighting an old man and that old man was the main reason that they had lost but luckily they had still managed to escape. He thought hard but could not remember the name of the old man but wondered if the dream was together with events and that the dragon was him. He decide he would not take the chance on having the old man on the lose so he walked out to his guards. “I want more guards at my siblings and I tents plus I want someone to clean up my tent as it is a mess in there” the soldiers just nodded as they knew what had happened inside the tent not long ago. Li Chen was about to walk inside the tent again to sleep some more when the sun started to raise up in the east and he knew that he had been getting more sleep than expected and he turned his focus on his guards again and yelled “Bring me my siblings now and clean up the mess now then you can find extra guards later” and then he walked into the tent and cleaned the sword while talking to himself “That old man have made my hand kill twice and ruined my plans to attack the emperor’s palace with all my might and power. I hope we get there before him so we can hurt them down afterwards without any place for them to go”