Chapter 4: Unearthed Memories
YinWei entered the tavern, neatly dressed and his head hat straightly worn. He walked steadily to a free seat. Clearing his throat, he speaks in a clear and bright tone.
YinWei: Bring me some wine... immediately.
Calmy walking down a dirt road, Kagayaki spots a tavern... the "Swallow's Nest Tavern". He doesn't drink, but decides to take a peek in anyways. The place is bustling, with nearly a hundred within.
Whoa, that's a lot of people...maybe I should leave...
He quickly glances around the room, spotting a few that he recognizes, but not well enough to sit by them. Just as he is about to leave, he spots YinWei at an empty table. Being the officer that introduced him to Ping Yuan, Kagayaki feels obliged to pay him back, so he shuffles over to give him company.
Kagayaki: Why, if it isn't YinWei! How are the Heavens treating you, my friend?
YinWei looked up at Kagayaki and jumped out of his seat.
YinWei: Why, it's you, Kagayaki! How nice it is to meet you here!
YinWei shouted at the bartender.
YinWei: Two jars of wine!
He winked at Kagayaki.
YinWei: Don't worry, my treat.
YinWei then motioned Kagayaki to a seat.
YinWei: Please please my friend, don't stand on ceremony.
After seeing that Kagayaki was comfortable, YinWei laughed and said.
YinWei: I'm fine these days. In fact. I seem to feel that the sun shines brighter and brighter these days. How about you?
It was obvious that this man was in a very good mood.
Kagayaki: I, too, feel greater each day, for each day, I await what challenges it awaits. Unfortunately, there has not been much to do, but entering the service of my lord has been a great experience.
Kagayaki looks around the bar once more, to make sure it is safe to relax, he notices a third empty stool, and wonders if another will take it. He then stretches for a bit, then resumes speaking.
Kagayaki: Now, that I think of it, I do not know much about you. I haven't had time to relax in a while, and this is as good of a time as any to converse.
Kagayaki recieves his drink, and thanks the waiter. Not being a heavy drinker, he looks into the cup as if it would consume him. He takes a little sip, to make sure it doesnt kill him, and then pours it back, drinking about 1/3 of the contents.
YinWei: Well, I'm ready at any time to converse.
Taking a sip of wine and putting on a more serious expression, YinWei continued.
YinWei:Lord Kagayaki, I wish to know you better. I've already taken you as my friend, and perhaps you would like to tell me more about yourself? Or do you have any questions for myself?
Tanshi Matasi walks into the familiar tavern once more. The smells and sounds though familiar, feel new and pleasant. He takes a seat at a table.
Tanshi Matasi: I need something to eat, I haven't eaten in days...
He looks around but sees no familiar faces.
Tanshi Matasi: I wonder what has become of Xiong Nu and its ruler Shou Xun Di....
Kagayaki: I like helping people, whether it be our lord, or the lowliest peasant, I see no difference. However, what doesn't make much sense, is that I have a strange urge to go and fight. It is as if something inside is pulling me towards the battlefield...It feels...strange...
Kagayaki shakes his head. His green eyes shift around the room, first at the door, then at YinWei, then to his drink. He quickly chugs the rest of his drink, then changes the subject, regretting what he has just said.
Kagayaki: We-well...what about yourself, YinWei? What are amongst your hobbies?
Sun Bo Rong was daydreaming when he noticed an officer walk through the tavern door.
Should I accompany him?
He thinks and decides to. Sun Bo Rong rises, after sitting for so long, his bones give a load crack. He walks over to the man and starts a conversation.
Sun Bo Rong: So I noticed you were sitting by yourself. Now, no one wants to sit alone in a tavern, it is a time you should enjoy.
Sun bo Rong orders more wine as he finishes the bit that he has left he then looks up at the man.
Sun Bo Rong: Do you come here often? Well I do, my name's Sun Bo Rong Xia Pi, what can I call you?
Mai Mao Tai sees a man shift chairs from an empty table to another. Mai Mao Tai thinks, for a while, but no one shows up. So Mai Mao Tai walks over to the man and speaks.
Mai Mao Tai: Hello, sir, how are you today? Are these seats taken? May I give you some company? My name is Mai Mao Tai.
Tanshi Matasi notices the commotion between these few men. He sees the loud one as old.
Tanshi Matasi: Seems many start a career too late. You cannot learn your way as a warrior when your old...
Mai Mao Tai: Sir I'm not to old to learn the way of the warrior am I? I am but 16. I happen to be on a quest to avenge my father. If you teach me the proper way of the warrior, I can become much greater, and avenge him much easier. I am Mai Mao Tai, may I ask who you are?
Tanshi Matasi starts to laugh.
Tanshi Matasi: Twas' not talking about you, but that other fellow. I'll give you some advice. There is no honor or dishonor on the battlefield. There is only the winners and the losers, the dead and the living. Don't try to be a hero, try to be a survivor. Find what means most to you and protect it. Nothing can stop a man with a purpose. Those who lose are those whom have lost their way. Remember this...
Mai Mao Tai takes his advice and sits back down at the table talking to Sun Bo Rong.
Mai Mao Tai: Sorry, I guess I've had too much wine. I meant no disrespect.
Sun Bo Rong is startled by what the man said about him being old he then calms into a laugh.
Sun Bo Rong: Honor, that is what i live for. What you say about the dead and the living, only cowards care about that! I fight for my lady and for her glory, I do not see why you should try to live if you live as a coward, my lady's trust is all I care about....tch.
He then calms and turns to Mai Mao Tai.
Sun Bo Rong: I did not get your name, but you wish to be a warrior you must learn to fight what you believe in.
Mai Mao Tai: I am Mai Mao Tai. I also believe in in the unification of this land to bring peace. War has gone on for too long, so I serve mercenaries because the kingdoms are all talk, no action. Mercenaries are always active so I will get a more likely chance to avenge my father and help unify this land under peace.
Kagayaki turns his attention to the three men arguing about battles and kingdoms. He catches their names: Mai Mao Tai, Sun Bo Rong and Tanshi Matasi.
Vengeance? Peace? Honour? Cowardice? These....
Kagayaki gets a mental image of a cloaked man, covered in blood, surrounded by flames. The man's back only shows, and speaks in a disturbing tone.
Man: As long as there is peace, there will be those longing for war.
The man turns and reveals his front, shadows concealing his face.
Man: Oh? A survivor? Such a coward...leave your honor behind. Reclaim it when you are stronger.
Kagayaki brings his hand to head and grimaces in pain. He quickly thanks YinWei and runs out of tavern.
Mai Mao Tai sees a man quickly run from the tavern.
I wonder what happened? Maybe he over heard us?! Maybe he knows something about my father?!?
Mai Mao Tai stands, bows to Sun Bo Rong and Tanshi Matasi, and chases after the man.
What does Kagayaki's memory mean? Who is Mai Mao Tai? Will you Continue?
Chapter 5: Brawl in Bei Hai