With Yuan Shao's forces surrounding Bei Ping, what can Zhao Yun possibly do to reverse the outcome of the siege? The dawn of Zhao Yun's destiny has just begin.(ZYxZJ)
Author Notes: Forget about Zhao Yun that you know as a pretty boy. I like it better he's a badass. Not a single fanfic portrays him that other than the valiant hero he was. Zhao Yun is much more than just a typical pretty boy.
Dynasty Warriors: Kingdom Under Fire
Chapter 2: The Yuan Family Deception
How do you subtract 30,000 from 500 troops? The main force Zhao Yun commands are using bows and arrows. Those play a big part in defenses against barbarian tribes during the warring states period. With 500 archers, strong and well trained they will subdue half a 30,000 of Yuan Tan's frontlines. This strategy is called Volley.
Gongsun Zan's forces are still the worst at archery, but Zhao Yun, himself, is going make those other kingdoms eat those words.
"Are all five hundred archers are posted in order?" Zhao Yun told.
"Yes, young commander," the soldier said.
Zhao Yun scan at the 500 troops all ranked in 10 times the lines of roman legions. All of them will be giving orders to defend the north side of Bei Ping. Just 500 and Zhao Yun will deal with any man of Yuan Tan reaching the top of the wall. He doubt Yuan Tan will show himself at one of the ladders coming up in a few hours. Maybe it'll be great to have a prisoner just in case, Yuan Shao will allow the people of Bei Ping to leave the city and give enough time for Liu Bei's reforcements to arrive.
"Tian Kai, how is Lord Gongsun Zan?" Zhao Yun asked.
"He is aware of your great deeds and will continue to depend on you without fail. He told me that you are given a promotion and you are acting Supreme general. Congratulations Lord Zhao Yun," Tian Kai statue to his new superior.
"You tell him I thank him for this honorable promotion. There's one thing I like you to do." And Zhao Yun told a secret order that will soon be reveal later.
In Yuan Tan's tent...
"Young lord, our troops finish building the ladders and they await your command," Xu You said.
"Good, wait outside Xu You," Yuan Tan said.
Yuan Tan finish dressing his finest garment and leaves the tent in the wake of his coming victory.
"My lord...." Xu You paused. Looking at Yuan Tan, he stands proudly as the light shining the dark siege of Bei Ping. What can this possibly mean?
"Arise my vassals as your upcoming Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty," Yuan Tan surprised all his troops.
There isn't a single stud out there cheering. It's not like they disapprove, but victory in controlling the north lands is still going on right now at Bei Ping. One of the subornates coughed.
"Lord Yuan Tan, the troops..." Xu Yun tried to wake his young master up from daydreaming.
"Oh, that's right! You will be giving an honorable banquet once this siege is over. Now, go out there and put those ladders up top of the walls of weaklings. It'll be I that will capture the so-called 'Little Dragon'. It's strange, you know, Gongsun Zan has a one hit wonder and he still sucks. But, in the end, Royalty beats Heroism. We Yuan family are the true Kings of China!" Yuan Tan said.
The soldiers can't wait for action, instead listening to another Yuan lecture and jack. They march for the northern walls. Yuan Tan still standing proud has no doubt over the outcome. He'll be the elected heir. Fuck Shang and Xi.
Back in Zhao Yun's side...
"Report! Yuan Tan's army has approach the gates!" Scout shouted.
"NOW!" Zhao Yun ordered.
The archers shoot out arrows of 500s storming its way at a set of Yuan Tan's troops. Surprisingly the accuracy is much better than before. Almost beyond superior and it struggle off half of 30,000. Only a few ladder task forces made it, but will need more man power to set the ladder up.
"Well done, stock and reload," Zhao Yun commanded.
Now it's time for the repel part. Zhao Yun race his way on top of the walls there he sees one ladder task force made it up. Due to the archery defense, the morale of Yuan Tan's troops show off sluggish result. This shall be an easy set of opponents.
Arrows continue to shoot down at the remaining troops on the opposing force, while Zhao Yun thrust and swing the task force troops back to the north field. One soldier sneak his way behind Zhao Yun, but the dragon can sense the presence of one without hesitation, striking quietly with the back of his spear at the stomach of the poor vessal, then did a crescent swing lifting the soldier to the air like a rising uppercut. A soldier that fears death will sure likely be the first casualty of war.
Yuan Tan's camp...
"Somebody stop those archers! Where did Gongzun Zan's forces post their archers at!" Yuan Tan ordered.
"My Lord, a wounded soldier reported that the archers are below the North walls. There are 500 hundred of them. Not to be imprudent, but surely Zhao Yun had commanded the troops into making our 30,000 forces like training dummies," Xu You said.
"Zhao Yun....I will get his head..." Yuan Tan scolded.
Yuan Shang's force later joined the fray. Now battered due to the fireworks explosion; he has 29,890 troops left. Didn't bother to attack the East side because the same catapult units throwing flaming wine barrels will slow the entire force.
"I see you too are having trouble with this Zhao Yun. I knew you killed my messenger before I even knew he returned from scouting you bastard!" Yuan Shang argued.
"Not now, Shang. Can't you see my task forces are still pushing their way on top of the enemy while I still have troops left enough to break through 500 archers," Yuan Tan said.
"You're wasting father's troops. We are to make them surrender, not slaughter them..." Yuan Shang said.
"To hell with surrendering, that man out there doesn't know when to quit! I shall go out there and ask an honorable duel. You will know why I'm the oldest Yuan brother here" Yuan Tan said.
"Uh, you lack fighting prowness...." Shang said.
"I didn't ask for your opinion about my fighting!" Yuan Tan said. He's getting livid because of everything Zhao Yun. It's all about Zhao Yun. Soon it will be the end of Zhao Yun as he thought.
"My lord, allow me to send a secret assassin that will gain you advantage of the duel," Xu You requested.
"Yes, bring him to that hidden tree over there. I doubt Zhao Yun is smart enough to detect my schemes," Yuan Tan said.
"Oh no...please not this damn trickery again," Yuan Shang groaned.
Like the wise man says, the modern warfare today is tactical warfare. You can't always win the battle with might alone. Will Yuan Tan capitalize?
Back in Zhao Yun's side...
Yuan Tan has call off the siege and Zhao Yun ceased the volley given his archer troops a reward of a decent rest. Now what are they up to next? Zhao Yun checks the North field where Yuan Shang's forces combine with the remaining ones from Yuan Tan. There has to be a reason going on at their camp. Could it be they're showing signs of fatigue?
"ZHAO YUN, I CHALLENGE YOU TO A DUEL!" Yuan Tan cried.
"You can't be serious...." Zhao Yun grinned.
Zhao Yun ordered the gate guards to open the gates and he rode to the enemy lines in meet his challenger.
"You're talking to me?" Zhao Yun pointed his spear at the Yuan stooges. Amusing, but serious on the contrary. He checks the remains of Yuan Tan forces. Good, 15,000 less of them. Zhao Yun's troops have trained well now that their morale finally rises.
"Yes, you who disrespected my father!" Yuan Tan said. "You're lucky to be alive and joined Gongsun Zan. If you ever think about turning back to my father's side, don't expect it to be lightened. You will be executed!"
"I never thought about coming back to Yuan Nuts," Zhao Yun rolleyed.
"Arrgh!" Yuan Tan charges at his opponent while Yuan Shang tries to shout at calming Tan down.
"You sure call yourself a warrior?" Zhao Yun mocked. He strikes his spear at Yuan Tan and parries every strike Tan aggressively counters. Zhao Yun's horse is pushing back from Tan's aggression. He's pretending to lost momentum. Yuan Tan's soldiers cheer on him while Gongsun Zan's soldiers crowd the top of the wall tell Zhao Yun to fight back.
"Now," Xu You whispered the assassin.
An arrow dart it's way at Zhao Yun. It's aiming right at Yun's left eye. However, Zhao Yun knew the moment he adjust Tan's combat skills. There was a plot before the fight had started. The sound of the arrow grows hideous and Zhao Yun quickly move the blade of his spear next to his left face. The arrow hit the edge of the spear as Yun knocks it away. Now he charge up his remaining defense energy for a one hit fatal blow.
"hieeyaaa!" Zhao Yun summoned his special skill. The move's blow forcefully threw Tan off his horse and his spear got scattered in a half. Zhao Yun wins this duel. Yuan Shao's entire troops combine came dead silent. That's not all; the blow also overheard the entire area, from Gongsun Zan's court to Yuan Shao's camp.
"Now what the hell is that all about!" Yuan Shao shouted. One of his guards told the whole story. His two sons are in the North side calling out Zhao Yun on a duel. His guard also reported half of Yuan Tan's troops were lost to 500 archers. All of them were killed into becoming train dummies of Zhao Yun's troops. This has enraged Yuan Shao. His oldest son already wore off the morale of his own troops. Yuan Shao quickly heads for the north side of the siege.
"You two, watch the south field when I come back!" Yuan Shao ordered.
Back to the dueling site...
Zhao Yun pick up the arrow that was evidence to Yuan Tan's scheme. He then walks up to the two brothers.
"Here is an honorable reward for your cowardice," Zhao Yun taunted.
Yuan Shang shook his head. He can't believe this was his older brother's idea of an honorable duel. Zhao Yun is more than just a warrior of true might. He's a genius at detecting traps and schemes.
"You brats have a long way to go before you all live up to your father's expectations," Zhao Yun said.
Zhao Yun leaves quietly back inside Bei Ping leaving the Yuan brothers in distress. How are they going to explain their loses to their father?
"Well Tan, that was more than I expected from you fighting in duels. I can back you up here and tell dad about how well you fought valiantly. Not mentioning you used a plot to cheat your way through"
Finally their father arrived. It didn't look like he's here to praise his oldest son doing something different for once.
"Yuan Tan, why did you attack the North wall? I told you we're suppose to make the surrender!" Yuan Shao said.
"But, Father no matter how long it takes for them to surrender, they got Zhao Yun at their corner..." Yuan Tan said. "Why didn't you just break through Bei Ping, like you did at Hu Lao Gate!"
"Because this isn't Hu Lao Gate. We're fighting the weakest force," Yuan Shao said.
"Ugh...." Yuan Tan sighed.
At the imperial court...
"Zhao Yun, what is all the ruse going on outside?" Gongsun zan questioned.
"Yuan Tan asked for a duel and I accepted. You need not to worry about the bastard and his 30,000. Because I, Zhao Yun, has scattered the Northern siege," Zhao Yun said.
Zhao Yun triumphs. Yuan Shao's forces are suffering internal conflicts across their camps.
"My brother did what?" Yuan Xi asked.
"Well, that charismatic idiot challenged Zhao Yun into a duel and loss," Zhen Ji replied.
"My younger brother and older brother are both charismatic idiots if they don't stop fighting over the heirloom. I have no intention of this meaningless rivalry," Yuan Xi said.
"It's up to us now..." Ju shou said.
"What...what do you mean US!" Yuan Xi said. "We already seen three things this Zhao Yun guy can be a force to reckon with and now you want me to gain the same mistake?" Yuan Xi protested.
"I'm not saying it's up to us in stopping Zhao Yun. It's up to us in order to make Gongsun Zan surrender. Once he does, then Zhao Yun has nothing, but disarm himself in front of his soon to be defeated lord," Ju shou said.
"Then, I shall disguise myself and hide into the city," Zhen Ji said.
"Ok, Zhen Ji. I'm counting on you. Don't let your beautiful presence go detected. This is a stealth operation," Yuan Xi said.
"Don't end up getting headless. We already lost enough female troops on spy operations," Ju shou warned.
"Death is nothing, but a common feeling when once I put myself on the line, my lord's fortune is also on the line," Zhen Ji said. "If I don't make it...." She stares at the stars viewed on the night sky.
It's been a continuing siege hours after hours. Zhao Yun is sleepless when it comes to siege raids. He keeps a eye on the North while Tian Kian, Gongsun Xu, Gongsun Fan, Shen Ping, and a few other generals watch the main field south. Archers and catapult units watch the east. Unfortunately, nobody watches the west, because...there aren't any enemy troops on that field except abandoned tents. Zhen Ji appears at the west wall quietly wait an hour for a scout coming out of the west gate to send messages or search for reinforcements. On her mark, she hurries up inside the town before the west gate closes. Not even a single guard can withstand her shard stealth skills.
To her amaze, Gongsun Zan's force has beefed up since the first day of the siege. Yuan Shao won't believe it, but they definitely are a lot stronger under the training progress with Zhao Yun. If only they were on that shape at the battle of Ji. The building that leads to the imperial court is a couple of blocks close. She walks up to the front door of the imperial hall where two guards are watching.
"Sorry my lady, but Lord Gongsun Zan is having an important council. You should come back in 5 hours." The guard on the right said.
"I'm..a spy." Zhen Ji said coldly. "I currently have information that will please my most honorable lord."
The two guards become stunned of this questionable news, since when did their lord appointed a spy. The solution cannot be avoided so they allow her to enter the court.
"Hm, they are truly desperate. No wonder this put too much hopes for reinforcements," Zhen Ji thought.
Inside the palace...
"Are you sure this is all the information on the enemy?" Gongsun Zan questioned.
"Yes my lord, nothing else. Half the force will retreat to Ji while the remaining ones stay until you surrender. I'm not sure the enemy will bring more troops when they get here," Zhen Ji reported.
"I doubt Yuan Shao would bring more numbers to his forces. Since he knows our forces are weak in numbers. My lord, please wait a few more hours till Lord Liu Bei arrives with reinforcements," Zhao Yun said.
"Are they really going to come? With Cao Cao's forces patrolling Xu province, how will they reach here?" Zhen Ji questioned.
"There's a secret port at Yue Ling east from here. You didn't expect I asked Liu Bei to come through the west. Not long ago, they control the eastern ports since Lu Bu drove them out of Xia Pi by stealing it," Zhao Yun said.
Zhen Ji is shock to see the true about where Liu Bei forces are at the East of the Chinese bay. Not even Yuan Shao or his ego maniac sons knew about this information. Zhen must stay covered and not let Zhao Yun notice her real reason coming here. To be honest, she kinda like being on the other side of the siege. It feels like she finally gets to see the kind of man she hope to have.
"You must be exhausted from your mission. Will you like to have a drink?" Zhao Yun asked.
"Sure, unless there are still enough wine barrels not being put on catapults," Zhen Ji said.
"We have lots of them. Bei Ping is not just a city, but it's also a farmers land. We grew a lot of provisions years before Yuan Shao's invasion," Zhao Yun said.
"Hmm, maybe that's the reason why...our army is still defending Bei Ping," Zhen Ji said.
"Or why Yuan Sucks wants Bei Ping so badly that my Lord Gongsun Zan don't fit to be a ruler of the north...." Zhao Yun sighed. "Yuan Shao, we go way back when I was a little boy who wants to experience the battle. He told me many things before he let his own pride control his ambitions. I didn't join his army to fight for just him. I fight for what I believe in. I fight for the people."
"The people are the last thing Lord Yuan Shao cares about. Why do cruel rulers don't see the people as the most important part in reviving the land?" Zhen Ji said.
"Because they self proclaimed themselves chosen ones of the heavens. The heavens bless the people and the people will continue to support the heavens. We are people. Rulers too. I wish that ass understands this before it's too late." Zhao Yun said.
Zhen Ji nodded. Sometimes she felt guilty on this way. Married to a Yuan., being forced to bow a Yuan like they're gods, but they are just people. Why do governments have to act and be like a god? She was taken for just the luxuries and crap. It felt like hell over there. Now being around with Zhao Yun feels comfortable. Like the heavens truly see light in her path. Oh how will she tell the true to the young general?
"You seem depress about something. Will you like to tell me about it?" Zhao Yun asked.
"Oh, nonaonono! It's nothing just some random thoughts. Better start acting like an officer than a cowardly woman," Zhen Ji said.
Speaking of women, the young maiden appears and serves drinks to the two officers, then left them alone to continue chitchatting.
In Yuan Xi camp...
"Father, it's good to see you here," Yuan Xi welcomed.
"Xi, you haven't order your troops on anything yet. I will like to talk to you about your upcoming plans," Yuan Shao said.
"Booohooooo!" Xi cried.
"What wrong with him, Ju Shou?" Yuan Shao questioned.
"My Lord, we await our lady to make it in one piece from getting behead," Ju Shou replied.
"What do you mean by...oooh," Yuan Shao looks at his son and pats him on the head. Yuan Shang is still his favorite, but Xi is always the angel in the middle of the conflict.
"Xi, forget about the life of a common officer. She took the oath in battle. Think about yourself, you been ignoring your brothers presence, even the rest of my generals. Someday, you'll win the crowd by most surprising. Win the crowd; win the entire force's loyalty. I'm counting on you, Xi," Yuan Shao said. He left the tent on his way back to counsel his generals. Ju Shou looks at Xi one more time and then leaves.
It's up to Xi, because it's her life or his. That's the price of war. Nothing is fair.
The lounge at the imperial hall...
"Hahaha and Lord Gongsun Zan was like, "Hail o' a-hole!" at that incompetent general of Dong Zhuo! Damn, you should really see how it feels when he acts tough and bold." Zhao Yun laughed.
"Sorry to interrupt, young general. There's something we want to show you outside the south gate," the guard reported.
Zhao Yun looks at Zhen Ji who is abit drunk, but has a lot of fun talking with him. "I'll be right back. If there's anything else you like, just ask the maiden." Zhao Yun left and Zhen Ji sighed.
"Should I tell him the truth or let it come to me face to face when I see Xi outside the gate?" Zhen Ji wondered.
Outside the southern walls....
"Ah, Zhao Yun. You finally come out from the whorehouse. I hope you enjoyed some time before I get started with the Zhao Yun Capturing tournament round 2!" Yuan Shao said.
All his soldiers shout to participate the next Zhao Yun chase. Yan Liang, Wen Chou, and the other generals besides...
"Uh commander, is it necessary to start the 2nd round when he's not ready to go out yet?" Zhang He questioned.
"Shh, not now, He. Ahem...Zhao Yun, I decided to leave the outcome of the battle to this tournament. If one of my generals captures you, then you know Gongsun Zan must surrender. Without you around, your lord can't continue the defense and...if he didn't order the white flag while you are capture," Yuan Shao stopped right there. Zhang He knew what this horrible strategy is. It isn't beautiful to his imagination either.
"I will burn this forsaken town leaving him and the entire people of Bei Ping in roast chicken!" Yuan Shao warned.
"How...dishearten...such a strategy that exist, " Zhang He said.
"He, you are not the one commanding it. Yuan Shao is," Guo Tu said.
"Now, if my men fail to capture you, then we will order the retreat and never come back to invade your land. I'm afraid Lord Cao Cao might soon come to attack Ye when I'm not there." Yuan Shao said.
Zhen Ji appears next to Zhao Yun and sees what she believe will be her fate. Zhao Yun turns at her then turn back to look at the arrogant face of his former lord.
"I'll accept your challenge," Zhao Yun answered.
"Good my boy, you finally understand where this battle turning. Now I better prepare for my imperial seat when the tournament starts and..." Yuan Shao stops when Zhao Yun interrupts.
"Yuan Shao, if I win. Then your spy, Lady Zhen Ji, must serve with me. Give my regards to Lord Yuan Xi about that." Zhao Yun said with a devilish grin. "Zhen Ji, remember I told you about this hours ago? Now it's your chance to take away the rest of Yuan Shao's troops morale."
Zhen Ji looks at Yuan Xi who finally arrives. The moment of true is about to be revealed. Yuan Shao turns to his middle son and gives the bow to him. The choice is his son's.
"Your life as part of the Yuan descendants or her life as a commoner?" Yuan Shao asked.
Yuan Xi struggle to hold the bow tight and aims at Zhen Ji's beautiful appearance. It's already 6 in the morning and the siege still continues. All three of the Yuan brothers plots have been blown out of the water, thanks to Zhao Yun.
"My lady..." Zhao Yun whispered. But, Zhen Ji nodded not to interfere.
"Shoot the bow, you so-called my husband. Tell the truth damn it!" Zhen Ji thought to herself looking at Yuan Xi's struggling eyes.
"Oh, Yuan Xi. I forgot to tell you this exposed secret. Yuan Shang didn't want me to tell you it, but he had sex with Ji by getting her drunk. You know why you don't like the devious wrench from being a tool to our political schemes," Yuan Shao revealed. "Oh yes and Tan too. Both of your brothers are so jealous of you getting this treasured girl in our family. I still promote her, Officer Who Seduce Puppets."
"WHAAAT!" All of them except Zhang He, "Wow, commander, I didn't know that is also part of a strategy. Well erotic too..." Zhang He awed.
"You bastard...." Zhen Ji snared. She takes out one of the archer's bow and shoots at Yuan Shao. The arrow missed, but scratch a piece of his face.
"Ooooh, a lot better than most of Gongsun Zan's twerps!" Yuan Shao laughed; His entire forces laugh along with him.
Poor Yuan Xi, he stares at his two brothers whom had enough of their cunning rivalry. It's over with him and it's time to leave this insolence crowd. Tears shard his face while rode the trip back to Ye. Some 1000 troops who sympathize the falling heir went with him.
"Yuan Xi, wait!" Yuan Shao called. "Don't take this the wrong way, but thanks a lot Yuan Xi. I really care about you my son. You are the most honest and loyalty. You're fighting for me." Yuan Shao said. "Don't worry about Shang and Tan. They haven't finished their run yet. You are still a wild card. Don't lose it! Understand?
Yuan Xi nodded and left the scene.
Zhen Ji has become one of Gongsun Zan's officers. Zhao Yun accepts the grand challenge as the fate of his troubled Lord is at hand. Liu Bei's reinforcements are still at large.
At the courtyard...
"My lord, I am yours as you command. Please, if theres anything you want me to put an end to that self centered bastard then I'll do my best" Zhen Ji statue Zhao Yun.
"Ok ok, don't rush it now. Let me ask you something? Why were you sent as a spy? You could have gotten yourself executed. If you were a messenger or something else like a poison snake sneaking to our lord's resting place..." Zhao Yun questioned.
"Because it's my duty as an officer. Death is only the enemy an officer must deal with. We put our lives on the line of duty and our lord. But, now I can see Lord Yuan Shao's true colors. He doesn't care about how hard I work as long as I'm around with Xi. Oh, Xi...please forgive me." Zhen Ji replied.
"Just as I thought. I used to hang out with Xi a long time ago. He always the nicer of the bunch something his father lost when I left in service with Gongsun Zan. He let me go see the palace while I'm suppose to be at the boot camp," Zhao Yun said. "But, then again, why is Yuan Sucks still using him as another tool to score his big ego?"