Fallen Dynasty

Fallen Dynasty

A Story by Jordan A. Wilson
"

A piece I wrote my senior year of high school for class. I was inspired by the video game Dynasty Warriors.

"

Fallen Dynasty

 

            In the year 208 AD, a new era of chaos plagued the lands of China. Several regional lords found themselves fighting for the power after the fall of the He Dynasty. Some fought to restore the He Dynasty to its former glory. Many would rise and fall during their quest for political power, strength, and glory.

            The He Dynasty saw its final days in the summer of 208 AD. The Imperial Court was on the brink of its demise. The manipulation of the Imperial Advisor, Sun Qian, also fueled the chaos.

            Sun Qian was born in the Cao Province in Southern China. He had taken interest in the literary and martial arts as young boy, later earning him the rank of Imperial Scribe. Sun Qian was highly praised by the first emperor of the He Dynasty, He Quan. He Quan had put a tremendous amount of trust into Sun Qian that he appointed him to the high ranking post of Imperial Advisor to his successor, He Jin, before his death. This would prove to be a catastrophic move for China as a whole.

            Sun Qian's father, Sun Liao, was an Imperial Officers of unwavering loyalty and cunning. Sun Liao grew up in the Cao Province voraciously studying the martial arts. Over the years his fearlessness and prowess became known throughout the land. He earned the name "Liao The Mighty" and became one the most decorated officers of his time. He refused to even ponder defeat as a possibility. Some say this perseverance was his best attribute. Others say it was his undoing. His persistence brought him triumph yet it made him stubborn and conceited. Liao flaunted self-proclaimed invincibility until his fateful end during the battle against the troops of the Zhang Province.

            The rivalry between Sun Qian's native Cao Province and the Zhang Province spawned long before the fall of the He Dynasty in the year 50 AD. War-torn China felt the repercussions of a disgruntled nation as the tyranny of chaos swept across the land like an epidemic. China lost its innocence during this cataclysmic period, eventually finding its ineluctable destiny. After the 50 year "Dark Dragon Siege", China was able to emerge from its time of turbulence. He Liang (ancestor of Emperor He Jin) and Sun Zhou (ancestor of Sun Qian and Sun Liao) were the driving forces in the reformation of China. Under the new He-Sun Alliance, the two generals were to oversee the well being of the country. To ensure security from invading countries or rebellious nobles within China, the Co-Emperors named areas in the north and south as support posts. He Liang was appointed the Zhang Province in the north and Sun Zhou the Cao in the south. Unfortunately, He Liang quickly became power hungry and banished Sun Zhou to Cao while he seized the Imperial Court. This injustice started the ominous feud between Cao and Zhang.

            It is possible to say that apple never fall far from the tree, especially if the tree was an uncivilized brute. Some would also say that entirely new blossoms may grow to produce a new being. However, the genetic code inevitably deposits the remnants of the tree into the offspring. That brute strength lingers in the offspring, waiting for the moment to emerge. Sun Qian retained a certain boredom with the way things were being handled; he wanted more. He kept this boredom harnessed inside until it transpired into envy and rage. Why should the Zhang scum remain on the throne? His skills had proved useful a number of times. It was he that deserved the divine right to rule China. Sun Qian had waited time and time again for a chance when he could seize control over the kingdom, but there remained one obstacle left to overcome; the young Emperor He Jin.

            Sun Qian knew that he needed to get rid of the young emperor. He knew the emperor was good at heart and that he loved China, but his reign was long overdue. With this in mind, Sun Qian made a plan that would give him all power and control over the land, no matter how irrational it was. This moment finally arrived during that summer. He first realized that help would be of the essence in order to carry out his plot. He then proceeded to make arrangements with one of the regional lords, Xiahou Ping of Sun Qian's native Cao Province. Xiahou Ping was of short, stocky stature with a grisly beard. He was known for operating the lands of Cao with an iron fist. Therefore, Sun Qian decided to strike a deal with him. Sun Qian then set out the next morning to a classified location in the Imperial City. Upon on his arrival he was immediately greeted with a sarcastic yet humble tone from Xiahou Ping. "Ah, Sun Qian of Cao. 'The Great Scholar', 'The Fearless Cub'."

            Sun Qian responded as a smug grin crept across his face. "Is my repertoire too much for you, General?"

            "No, no. I was just wondering what would bring you of all people to me." The smugness was quickly flushed out of Sun Qian's face. "I need your assistance with an…issue…concerning the Imperial Court."

            "You have my attention," replied Xiahou Ping rubbing his beard.

"Emperor He Jin has reigned over this fair land long enough. It's time for a change." Xiahou Ping was extremely skeptical after hearing this proposition. He knew the consequences of a sinister plot plan like this would be grave.

            "Why do you seek my help? Why should I get involved when we both know what the repercussions would be? Even though we are of the same region, this is far, far greater than the both of us." Xiahou Ping's reluctance was evident; however, Sun Qian wasn't ready to relinquish his ambitions just yet.

            "You are correct, my incompetent general. However, you don't have a choice as of now. Let us ponder the idea for a moment, shall we?" Sun Qian was beaming with arrogance and contempt. His stare was piercing through Xiahou Ping's heart as he spoke. "You now know of my intentions. I shall give you an ultimatum. Be killed by me or be killed for treason. After all it is my word against yours." This leverage and control he possessed was almost too much for him to handle at this point. He was in a surreal dream where his ambitions were gradually materializing. With Xiahou Ping on his side Sun Qian only needed to prepare and execute.

            After their secret rendezvous in the Imperial City, Xiahou Ping and Sun Qian went their separate ways to start the preparations. Xiahou Ping had sent one of his messengers to the Imperial City with a proposition for the young emperor. Just as planned, Xiahou Ping called for a meeting with the emperor. This meeting was to serve as a catalyst for future developments in which the Imperial Court wished to make a buffer zone not far from the Imperial City.

            "O wise, honorable Emperor," Sun Qian started. "Accepting General Ping's call for a meeting would prove beneficial to the empire. Meet with him and discuss the renovations for our buffer zone proposal. The cooperation of a well established region such as Cao would add another ally to the empire and boost you popularity amongst the people."

            "Yes. You are quite convincing, Sun Qian. This proposal would put the development of our buffer zone into work…I shall accept." The naïve emperor agreed to the deceitful transaction, not knowing the consequences of his actions.

            That night, Emperor He Jin left for the "meeting" accompanied by one of the Imperial Court's main divisions, led by master archer, Zhuge Tsao. Zhuge Tsao was a man of few words yet phenomenal military excellence. His Fox Bow was throughout the land for once slaying 500 enemy rebels in the Great Peasant Revolt of 195 AD. His arrows darted swiftly along the battlefield like a fox annihilating its prey. Sun Qian was also present inside the horse-drawn carriage. The night was still, so still you could hear a blade of grass move in the wind. Then out of the silence you could hear the repetitious clangor of White Imperial Stallion hooves, accompanied by the tedious drone of lackadaisical footsteps. In the midst of this delicate situation, Zhuge Tsao crept cautiously alongside the carriage. Inside the carriage, the young emperor was slightly nervous due to the timing of the "meeting". Sun Qian repeatedly tried to calm the emperor, reassuring him of his safety again and again. Sun Qian was feeling nervous for the first time as well. He knew of Zhuge Tsao's unshakeable prowess on the battlefield. He just prayed that Xiahou Ping and his troops were just as valiant.

            The carriage finally arrived to its destination just outside of the Imperial City. They came to an abrupt halt and waited. Sun Qian sat impatiently, knowing what was at stake. Zhuge Tsao suddenly growled, "I smell…fear," as he slowly approached Sun Qian's door. He slowly turned to Sun Qian. His obsidian shadow consumed Sun Qian like a tidal wave over the shore. Zhuge Tsao then curiously asked, "Do you fear…something…Master Sun Qian?" He was almost drooling at the mouth while waiting for the other to reply.

            "N-No. I shall confess that I am a bit anxious. This could be a substantial turning point for our emperor and China as well. Why do you ask?"

            "You seemed rather…nervous. I could tell by the look in your eyes. They are like a gateway to your soul…to your being. However, if you are content I shall go back to my post. Please excuse my intrusion, Master Sun Qian."

            Sun Qian's anticipation and fear were evident after the brief interrogation. As he began to perspire, each drip of sweat felt as if a meticulous clock was counting down to his own execution. His perspiration rose frequently upon his chilly face and seemed to linger down to his chin. If this attempt were to fail, he would be tried for high treason and probably be executed. He sat in the carriage next to the emperor as if he were under some sort of spell or trance. He was lifeless in a parallel universe where time stood still. Suddenly he heard the faint sound of footsteps from ahead. It was time. The moment of truth had come and it was time to execute.

            Sun Qian slowly looked out of one of the carriage windows. By the shine of the pale moonlight he could see approaching soldiers. He was outraged by this sight. After all, how conspicuous was a troop of soldiers coming directly at them? He immediately looked at Zhuge Tsao to see what his countering move would be. Just as he expected Zhuge Tsao called forth his first line of soldiers in "standby" position. Directly after this command, the opposing soldiers bombarded the Imperial Soldiers with an arsenal of attacks.

            Zhuge Tsao was an extraordinary officer who understood the tides of war. He immediately went to aid the emperor. Sun Qian knew he had surely been compromised. He had to act swiftly and intelligently. Zhuge Tsao opened the carriage door and found himself toe to toe with and unlikely foe. Sun Qian, an Imperial Scribe, knew his cunning would be the deciding factor. With his mighty blade in hand, he engaged his enemy. The trepidation of being compromised left Sun Qian with an ice cold stare on his face. He quickly sized up Zhuge Tsao's broad frame and towering height, and figured his opponent was cumbersome. On the contrary, Zhuge Tsao was swift and cunning. This would prove to be a well fought battle as each soldier drew their weapons and charged.

            "'The Honorable Sun Qian', huh? I will not let you let you be responsible for the demise of our land. Prepare for I, Zhuge Tsao, shall make you pay for your injustice!" Zhuge Tsao then opened up with a swift combination of blows to disengage his enemy.

As Zhuge Tsao swung his Komodo Blade, his revered Fox Bow rustled violently on his back. However, Sun Qian was the son of Sun Liao, a military mastermind. He cleverly blocked each blow with his rapier. Their shadows danced along the ground, as the dense crashing of their swords sent heavy iron streaks into the night. The repetitious display of night, wisdom, and bravery took the two far into the night. Zhuge Tsao fought for the sake of future generations, hoping to insure a long of peace for his descendents. Sun Qian fought to insure a place for himself and his descendants in the Imperial Court where they would only answer to the gods. Sun Qian's thoughts intensified over the course of the fight. He pondered the consequences if he lost and the spoils if he triumphed. The taste of ultimate success had eluded him for too long. This single fact pushed him to corner Zhuge Tsao and deliver one final attack. Exploiting Zhuge Tsao's fatigue, he agilely pounced to Tsao's weak side and finished him off. Zhuge Tsao slowly fell to his knees and then onto his stomach. That battle was over; the most challenging obstacle had been overcome. He now turned his attention to the terrified emperor, He Jin. As he raised his rapier he looked into the eyes of the emperor, who trembling with fear and confusion. Sun Qian gazed into the eyes of his master, his superior, and lowered his blade. He then quickly scampered into the abyss.

            It is amazing how much fear, confusion, and chaos that one man can cause. The lust for political power and his yearning to fulfill his own personal ambitions had opened a chapter of chaos that would curse the land for the next one hundred years. Was it worth the chaos just to control the land? Did it not occur that the chaos would outlast the emperors? Sun Qian was intelligent yet misguided and rife with condemning lust. The price for ultimate power is too great for any one man. Sun Qian lived for the emperor but loved himself more than China. Deception will only breed chaos and fear. No other knows this better than Sun Qian.

© 2012 Jordan A. Wilson


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Added on June 26, 2012
Last Updated on June 26, 2012

Author

Jordan A. Wilson
Jordan A. Wilson

Carrollton, KY



About
I'm a 22 year old Entrepreneurship Student of Northern Kentucky University from the small town of Carrollton, Ky. I play guitar and began writing poetry as a hobby four years ago. My main goals in wri.. more..

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