Dragon’s Soul Chapter 36: Loyalty

The soldiers of the Golden Lotus gave off a majestic aura as they marched in unison down the street behind Zhang. In front of them was a man also wearing golden armor and a scarf with a golden lotus sewn on to it however he was not wearing a helmet so his face was totally visible. This man was the branch manager of the Golden Lotus.

Within the city he was the most respected man even more then the city lord. This was due to the influence of the Golden Lotus and disliked the city lord was by his people.

As the soldiers of the Golden Lotus got closer and closer many of the soldiers of Red Mist city broke into cheers.

“We are saved!” Some of them yelled.

Seeing this Lu Xun yelled orders to his men.

“Everyone quickly reform our formations and rescue the commander! We can’t let him get sandwiched between those two groups of soldiers!”

This battle could end in total failure but Lu Xun’s first priority was still Zhang’s safety he had been tasked with protecting Zhang by Jian Wei and if he were to fail then huge consequences would befall him. This is of course because Zhang is the successor chosen to become the next lord of Aurora.

However, something unexpected happened the man who had stopped Zhang from capturing Jin Chang at the auction house drew his sword out of his sheath.

“We are surrendering!” He yelled as he placed his sword against the neck of Jin Sho.

“What is the meaning of this! Sun Ce!” Jin Sho yelled in a confused voice.

“We are surrendering is what this means.” Sun Ce replied calmly.

“How dare you plot against me with the enemy! You bastard! You traitor!” Jin Sho yelled out in rage.

“Traitor? I can’t betray something that I was never loyal to, to begin with. My loyalty is to my brothers in arms.” Sun Ce said as he pushed his sword against Jin Sho’s neck even more. A light trail of blood could be seen oozing out where the sword touched.

“Traitor!!” One soldier yelled out as he tried to jab Sun Ce with his spear.

“Idiot…” Sun Ce said as he kicked the incoming spear and swept his foot against the man’s head knocking him out.

“We are surrendering everyone lay down your weapons now!” Sun Ce yelled.

While Sun Ce was busy with the siolder with the spear Jin Sho used this chance to flee. Although he wanted to charge over to where the soldiers of the Golden Lotus were Zhang was in the way. His only option left was to flee.

Sun Ce had replaced Xi Ning’s position but thanks to his joyful personality he won over most of the men under his command unlike Xi Ning. This meant that a vast majority of the soldiers would listen to Sun Ce instead of Jin Sho.

Jin Sho fled heading for his lord’s mansion. As a precaution he had his family pack up all of their riches onto carts and get ready to flee the city at a moment’s notice. He whipped his horse trying to make it run faster.

Soon the city lord’s mansion was in sight.

“You bastards just you watch I’ll be back and next time I’ll have an even larger army and crush all of you traitors.” Jin Sho cursed in his mind as his horse sped toward the mansion.

Once he arrived in the front of the mansion he hopped off his horse however his foot got caught and he stumbled down and landed into a puddle covering his whole body in mud.

“Dammint!” Jin Sho cursed as he walked through the main gates of his mansion.

Once he entered in front of him were tens of carts filled to the brim with things. Clothes, furniture, and many things were stacked up onto carts.

“Who ordered for all of this?” Jin Sho asked one of the servants loading things onto the carts.

“It was the young master my lord.” The servant replied.

“Hmph where is that fool?” Jin Sho asked.

“The young master is in his room with the mistresses.” The servant replied while pointing toward Jin Chang’s room.

Jin Sho angrily walked toward Jin Sho’s room and kicked the door open. Jin Chang was laying in bed kissing a beautiful woman while another one was holding a tray of fruit. Once the door opened and he saw JIn Sho he quickly stopped and got up.

“Father you stopped the enemy?” Jin Chang asked with a smile on his face

“You idiot what are you doing at a time like this!? And why did you order the servant to pack unless things!” Jin Sho yelled as he kicked Jin Chang.

“Quickly give me that interspatial ring I gave to you before leaving and get on the carriages! We are leaving the city.” Jin sho said as he gestured at JIn Chang.

“We are leaving? How come?” Jin Chang asked his father.

“Stop asking questions and just do as I say! Quickly before they arrive here.” Jin Sho said to his son.

“Why are you in such a hurry my lord.” A voice rang out.

As Jin Sho turned around he could see Xi Ning standing before him with hundreds of other men. Xi Ning had sneaked through the middle ring and had made his way to the lord’s mansion and simply waited for Jin Sho.

“You! What are you doing here!” Jin Sho yelled surprised to see Xi Ning.

“I’m here to meet my old lord of course and offer your heard to my new one!” Xi Ning said as he pulled out his sword.

“Someone stop him!” Jin Sho yelled.

“Hmph no one will help you now they are all dead. All those dogs of yours are gone and there’s no one for you to hide behind anymore!” Xi Ning said as he walked closer and closer to Jin Sho.

However, before he could cut down Jin Sho a familiar voice rang out from behind him.

“Stop!” the voice said.

Rows upon rows of soldiers filed into the courtyard of the lord’s mansion and in front of them was Zhang riding his trusty steed.

“Wha-what happen to the Golden Lotus! How are you here!?” Jin Sho asked in a panicked tone.

“We are right here.” A voice rang out. Zhang’s rows of soldiers split into two like a parting sea and in between them rows of soldiers in golden armor marched in with a middle aged man leading them.

“What’s the meaning of this!! You are supposed to protect the city if war was to break out! That was our agreement!!” Jin Sho screamed.

“And indeed we are protecting the city. We’ve helped evacuate a majority of its inhabitants ensuring no innocent lives were lost.” The branch manager said with a grin on his face.

“Traitors! Traitors!!! All of you!” JIn Sho yelled.

“Don’t kill them I have plans for them.” Zhang said coldly from on top of his horse.

“Hmph my life and death you think you can decide that?” Jin Sho as he waved his hand and made a mountain of gold appear. Since he was inside a room the gold gushed outside blocking Jin Sho out of everyone’s view.

“Surround the mansion! I don’t want even a single fly to be able to get out of here!” Zhang yelled.

“Commander we captured some of the members of the Jin clan what do you want us to do with them?” A soldier walked up behind Zhang and said.

“Detain them.” Zhang ordered.

His soldiers fanned out surrounding the entire lord’s mansion and began to search through it. Zhang had taken the mountain of gold into his interspatial ring with the promise of giving every one of his soldiers an equal share once the battle was over. The soldiers of Aurora were highly disciplined so they had no objections however the ex-bandits began to complain. But they could not do anything due to the presence of the Golden Lotus army beside Zhang and the cavalry soldiers.

“So I take it you will honor our agreement lad.” The branch manager said as he moved his horse closer to Zhang.

“Yes senior for the next ten years the auction house will be exempt from taxes and on top of that after some reforms the city will offer twenty percent of its yearly revenue to the Golden Lotus as a tribute for the next five years.” Zhang said while cupping his hands.

“Good, I’ll be going back now if in the future you need to make any more deals feel free to visit me.” The branch manager said as he led the golden core to leave.

Zhang’s soldiers combed the entire lord’s mansion however they could not find a trace of Jin Sho and Jin Chang. It was as if the two of them had turned into thin air. The soldiers continued to search madly once Zhang announced whoever found them would be given a hefty award.

“Expand the search radius!” Xi Ning yelled out to his men.

“Follow me men!” Lu Xun said as he rode out toward the city gates.  As a precaution they would close the city gates to make sure there was no escape route for the fugitives.

In the city lord’s main hall Zhang sat alongside Yuying and Ai. The trio was currently eating some food that they had the mansion’s chef prepare. After giving orders to his men and the surrendered soldiers Zhang and the two beauties decided they deserved a much needed lunch.

When they approached the chief cook of the mansion the man was so scared that he pissed himself. He had thought that he was going to be killed however ironically the trio simply asked him to make them some food. Once the chief had made them food Zhang order for food to be made and given to his soldiers.

“Congratulations brother on today’s victory.” Yuying said while toasting Zhang with a cup of wine.

“It’s not a victory until we capture those two. Where could they possibly be…” Zhang mumbled as he gulped his cup of wine.

Suddenly a soldier ran into the room bent down on one knee. “My commander! A man outside said they he knows where those two fugitives are.”

“Bring him in.” Zhang said with a wave.

Moments later a man dressed in rags walked in. Zhang recognized this man as Sima Yi.

“Sima Yi greets the new lord of the city.”

“No need for formalities get up and tell me where those two are.” Zhang said.

“I don’t know.” Sima Yi replied.

“Don’t know? They what brings you here.” Zhang said.

“I don’t know where they are but I know where they will be.” Sima Yi replied.

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Elsewhere deep under the city two figures were currently running. These two figures turned out to be Jin Sho and Jin Chang. They had fled to the clan’s underground tunnel system that had been built as an escape route from the lord’s mansion.

“Father how much further.” Jin Chang asked as he breathed heavily.

“We are almost there. Once we reach that place we can leave the city.” His father replied.

“Why didn’t you use the heirloom?” Jin Chang asked.

“The heirloom can only be used when our lives are on the line. So what if we lose the city I have all of the riches that our clan took from the city within this ring. With the amount of money in here we can bring back an army large and reclaim the city.” He said as he pointed to a ring on his hand.

The two ran for a while later and ended up in front of an ancient looking bronze door. Jin Sho pulled out an emblem that is connected to a necklace that hung around his neck. With a yank the chain of the necklace broke apart.

He then took the emblem and placed it into a hole in the bronze door and began turning. Slowly creaking mechanisms could be heard going off and shortly after the door slowly opened. The door opened up into the outside world.

“Quickly get on that boat!”

The father and son climbed onto a small row boat and began rowing away. The door had led them under a pier in the harbor of the city and they would use the boat to escape. The city actually had a few different escape routes however Jin Sho had selected the sea route.

This was because Zhang had cavalry soldiers. If he left by land he the soldiers under Zhang’s command might be able to catch up to him because on two legs he could not out run horsemen on four legs.

 

“Faster. They shouldn’t have realized where we are yet so we have to leave before the sea gates are shut.” Jin Sho said to his son.

However, the second he said that in the distance the two massive sea gates slowly began closing. Inch by inch they came together.

“Fuck! Row faster!” He yelled.

But sadly it was all futile because the two massive sea gates closed before he even made it half way to them.

“Men draw your bows!” A voice rang out.

On land rows of archers could be seen with their arrows ready. Commanding them was Sun Ce.

“You traitor!!!!” JIn Chang screamed.

“Hmph a wise man follows a wise leader! A fool stubbornly fights for an idiot. And my loyalty is toward my brothers in arms not you! My loyalty is toward the city and its people!” Sun Ce yelled.

Soon many small boats left the shore and began heading toward where the father and son were. They had no way out after the sea gates closed and were sitting ducks on top of water.

“Lord Zhang said he wishes for you to surrender and he might consider keeping your corpses complete.” Sun Ce said.

“Father use it! Or we both die here!” Jin Chang yelled.

“Fine…..” Jin Sho murmured as a black whip appeared in his hand. It had thorns all over it which looked like anyone hit by them would be shredded.

“Face my “Black Thorn whip”. He yelled as he whipped into the water. The whip extended and grew on one end as it lashed out. He was able to reach shore and even hit some of the archers.

This black whip called the “Black Thorn” originating from a demonic plant called the “Queen of the Night”  had the ability to extend and grow larger according to the user’s power and control over it. Once it hit someone and drew blood then that blood would be absorbed by the whip and made it stronger. It could be called a living weapon of sorts.

“Fire!” Sun Ce yelled.

Thousands of arrows shot into the air toward the father and son however they were whipped away by the Black Thorn. Jin Sho rampaged with the Black Thorn whipping at the archers from afar.

“Move back and reform the line!” Sun Ce yelled

“Pour the oil into the water!” A voice rang out from on top of the walls.

Zhang had listened to Sima Yi and had his troops instead of searching the lord’s mansion encircle the harbor and move on to the sea walls. Sima Yi had promised if they did not find Jin Sho at the harbor he would personally slit his throat and make up for his mistake.

Seeing that Sima Yi was willing to bet his life Zhang gave him an opportunity. Once they arrived Jin Sho was indeed at the harbor. But they did not expect him to have such a powerful treasure. But that was when Sima Yi made another suggestion.

He said for Zhang to have his soldiers go find as much lamp oil. Soon hundreds of barrels of lamp oil were brought to the top of the walls. Being trading port the harbor of Red Mist city had many things and lamp oil was one of them.

Then Sima Yi ordered for all of the lamp oil to be dumped into the harbor. Hundreds of barrels full of lamp oil was then dumped into the closed off harbor coating the top layer of the water.

“My lord would you like to do the honors?” SIma Yi asked Zhang as he held up a bow and arrow.

“Hmph if we can’t capture them alive then I guess this will have to do.” Zhang said as he took the bow and arrow from Sima Yi and light the arrow on fire and shot it into the air.

Jin Sho was too focused on the archers to see what was happening behind him. And soon a large part of the harbor was lit on fire.

“Fa-father! The water it’s on fire!” Jin Chang yelled frantically.

Turning back a sea of flames could be seen.

“Quickly to the shore!” JIn Sho bellowed. However, before he could even move his boat the soldiers on the shore also began dumping lamp oil into the waters of the harbor.

“Goodbye!” Xi Ning yelled as he dropped a torch into the water.

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