Chapter 2: Please Wait...
As the funeral proceeded, Huang Lee Jian kept himself silent. As soon as it wass over, he waited until all the neighbors had left. It was quiet night when everyone has finally went home. Now only two of them remain, he and the boy. Huang Lee Jian sat in a chair as the last guest went home. The boy took a cup tea and served it to him. And then suddenly the boy kneeled before him.
Lu San: Master Huang Lee Jian, I heard from the neighbors that you intend to take me as your servant, is that true? Please, Master, take me as your servant, and I'll serve you loyally, I'll go wherever you go, and do whatever you ask me to do.
A little bit shocked by the way that boy acted, Huang Lee Jian kept himself calm.
Huang Lee Jian: And why do you want me too take you as my servant? I know now you live alone here without anyone to watch over you, or take care of you, but surely you have grown enough. Your parents had left you some farmland and the rice fields here. I do not agree with your neighbor who said that you need someone to help you out.
Lu San: Master, it is not my wish to be a farmer, I wish for a more greater thing. My father once was a loyal servant to the Han before things went like this. As the corrupt usurp the power, the loyalists must flee for their lives. It is my wish to take the path that was taken by my father before he became a farmer. It is my wish to return honor to the name of my family. Please, Master, allow me to serve you and learn from you.
Huang Lee Jian: So what do you want from me? You can serve any ruler in this land, there are plenty of them.
Lu San: Yes, Master, but I believe I do not have the skills or abilities for that. I'm not worth much. I believe by serving you I could learn things, which could do something for this land. I could be a worthy person. Please, Master, I know no one else.
Huang Lee Jian listened, he had thought about this matter for a long time. He was fond of this boy since the first time they met. Now this boys wish is as much as he wishes.
Huang Lee Jian: Lad...What is your name?
Lu San: My family's name was Lu, my given name was San. My father was a far relation of the great general Lu Zhi. He was only a mere archer, but as soon as he found that the corrupt took the government, and how he could do nothing about it, he decided to leave Luo Yang. As a deserter he kept a false name and backstory. But it always was his wish that I could be a man who was greater than himself, and could give something to this land. I learned a few skills in the martial arts as my father taught all he knew. I was quite good at archery. My father also encouraged me to learn from books and literature, as much as he could provide. But alas we were poor, and I was not talented or smart. 15 years old I am, but still a mere farmer.
Huang Lee Jian, tapping the table, took the last sip from his tea, and then turned his head toward Lu San who at that time still kneeled before him.
Huang lee Jian: Hear me now, pack your belongings, we are leaving this village now. I'll adopt you as my son. Your name will be Huang Lu San, we shall keep your name in order to remember your ancestors.
Lu San, now Huang Lu San, looked at Huang Lee Jian with a dumb expression on his face. It is very hard for him to believe what he just heard. He tried to utter a word, but couldn't. Huang Lee Jian was moving toward the door and with a serious expression he looked at the boy and said:
Huang Lee Jian: What are you waiting for? I am leaving this village now, with, or without you.
As he started walking, his pace was slow but certain. Like having been shaken from a dream, Huang Lu San jumped, and hastily ran to his room to grab some of his clothes. Then, as both father and son walked forward, there was not much spoken between them, but somehow they understood each other.
Chen Chao: Well, I hope that you wouldn't use my form for your quest, because if you did, I think I would have to charge you. But, joking aside, lets head to the palace.
With that, Chen Chao turned and started for the palace, Tao Li following behind him.
Chen Chao: I will do the best I can to get us straight to Lord Hui Zhong, but there will be no bypassing the security. You will be searched, and there is nothing I can do to change that. We do have women there, in case Lord Hui Zhong does have women visitors, as we couldn't expect them to feel comfortable being searched by a man. If they would like to be searched by a man, then all they have to do is ask, but it is better to err on the side of caution rather than assume and be wrong. Things have been different ever since that one lady made it all the way into the Audience with Lord Hui Zhong before the dagger was discovered, and it was discovered only because she brought it out into the open. Lord Hui Zhong is a good man, but he knows there is a line between kindness and foolishness, and a thin one at that.
In no time at all, the two arrived at the palace gate. Chen Chao had himself submitted to a weapons check first, just to assure Tao Li that there were no exceptions, and that there was nothing to be afraid of. Chen Chao had no weapons on him, so his check was over in no time at all, and he waited for Tao Li to be checked. Once they were finished, Chen Chao led Tao Li to Hui Zhong's study, as he thought it would be likely that he would be there at this time of day. Chen Chao knocked on the door when they arrived.
Chen Chao: Good Afternoon, Lord Hui ZhongAre you free at the time, for I have brought you a visitor. Lord Hui Zhong, I present to you Tao Li of Cheng Yang. She has come to speak with you.
Chen Chao stepped off to the side, allowing Hui Zhong and Tao Li to continue the conversation while he watched.
Growing impatient from waiting in his quarters for such a long duration, Kagayaki exits them in search of something entertaining. From the city walls, he sees two men leave, but they seem boring, so a frustrated Kagayaki returns to his room. On the way, he notices Chen Chao standing in front of a doorway. Voices are protruding from the room, but they are too quiet to comprehend what is being said. Kagayaki decides to watch from afar anyways, ready to quickly rush to his quarters if the need arises.
After many moments, nobody has seemed to notice Kagayaki, already bored of Chen Chao, so he returned to his quarters. He thought it would be best to stay out of trouble...for now.
On his routine visit from Pu Yang, Liu Dun is walking through the gardens of Ping Yuan, taking in the sweet aromas and the breathtaking views. He sees a man, one he recalls seeing before.
Liu Dun: Pardon me, I am Liu Dun. I do not believe we have met.
He turns to YinWei.
Liu Dun: I believe you are YinWei. He bows and turns his face to the others. I have not seen you in these parts before.
YinWei turns to look at the newcomer.
YinWei: Ahh... lord Liu Dun. Long have I heard your name. Sadly, I've not heard your brilliant views of strategies yet. Perhaps you would like to show us your genius? Or perhaps you would like to tell me a few strategies in private?
Liu Dun: This is a matter to be discussed in a more, private place. We do not know who could be spying on us. This is not the time for such discussion. Let us talk of more enjoyable things.
From behind his quarters' door, Kagayaki listens tight, but after he discovers he will hear nothing of importance, he returns to his bed and stares out of the window. Still waiting for an audience with Hui Zhong, Kagayaki grows more and more impatient.
Hmm, if he doesn't show up soon, I should leave for a while to go on a hunt with another officer...or wander around town. I'm sure there will be something interesting. That will also enable me to get to know other officers better, or at least increase my reputation.
Kagayaki releases a sigh and shakes his head.
This better be worth it, other kingdoms must be fighting battles, and waging wars, while I am just lying here. When I finally meet him, maybe I'll suggest that I go and crush some bandits or something...Yes, that is what I will do.
Will Kagayaki ever meet Hui Zhong? Find out.
Chapter 3: Tiger's Bane Part 1