"The river to the east of Mt. Gu reflected that twinkling light of the silver moon above."
After who knows how long, his surroundings were silent and still when Zhou Yu suddenly awoke.
The petal of a peach blossom landed on his handsome face as Zhou Yu opened his eyes. His surroundings were abnormally silent, and he dimly had a strange sense of an impending crisis. He immediately reached a hand out and grabbed the hilt of the bronze sword at his side.
“Bofu?” Zhou Yu asked quietly.
Sun Ce had already disappeared off to who knows where, and the moss-covered stone that he had been lying on earlier was completely empty. Zhou Yu sat up and found that Sun Ce’s martial robe was draped over him, and it still had that scent of a young person’s body. He quietly rose, and the moonlight shone down on his face.
Where was Sun Ce? Zhou Yu’s heart froze at first, before he began to ponder over the possibilities. He shouldn’t have been kidnapped by the enemy, otherwise there’d be some commotion, and he himself wouldn’t have been able to stay asleep.
He studied the nearby footprints and found that the tracks in the mud led out of the peach blossom grove, so he followed those footprints. The moon set behind the western mountains, casting an ethereal glow over the silent mountain range at night, and the river to the east of Mt. Gu reflected that twinkling light of the silver moon above.
Zhou Yu walked to the side of the river, before he was suddenly dragged behind a tree by someone.
“Shh--” Sun Ce hid behind a tree in his outfit, a set of robes whiter than snow.
Zhou Yu immediately understood. “What did you find?”
“In the middle of the night, I heard someone striking a woodblock,” Sun Ce said. “Three long, one short, like an exchange of codewords. When I found my way here, I saw a black-sailed ship carrying away a group of sword-wielding people. I was just wondering if I should go back to wake you up.”
Zhou Yu’s heart thumped, and he asked, “Was it a white-bottomed ferry with black sails, with a hollow bamboo tube fixed at its prow?”
“Yes!” Sun Ce said, surprised. “The boatman wore a bamboo hat that covered his face, so I couldn’t see it clearly. You recognize him?”
Zhou Yu waved his hand as a suspicion rose in his mind. He remembered the boatman that had ferried him over, and he immediately began to feel a vague sense of danger. In the middle of the night, why would he come out to ferry customers? There was something afoot, and perhaps the boatman had been bought.
This part of the river was one that Zhou Yu couldn’t be more familiar with. This was an isolated waterway, and there was only one road to and from it.
Sun Ce spread his arms. Zhou Yu wondered what he was up to. Sun Ce’s gaze then fell onto the robe in his hand, and Zhou Yu could only obey by helping him don the robe. Sun Ce tied the sash around his waist as he said quietly, “Do you know how to swim? Let’s follow them and take a look?”
Zhou Yu nodded and gestured for him to wait on the bank, before he hung his own robe on a tree, bending over to pick a reed, dangling it from his mouth. Sun Ce hadn’t yet come back to himself when Zhou Yu leapt with a splash into the water.
“Oi!” Sun Ce was startled. “Why’re you leaving as soon as I said it?”
With another splash, Sun Ce also entered the water. Overhead, the silver moonlight shone down on Zhou Yu’s white robes, and he was like a silver fish swimming in the waters, sometimes slinking along into the depths, other times keeping his body as straight as a brush, darting like an arrow towards the surface of the lake. Sun Ce followed after him, clumsily splashing through the water; his movements were very large, and Zhou Yu had no words at all. He could only turn back to get him, wrapping one arm around his waist as he led him towards the other bank.
From time to time, the two of them would poke their reeds out of the water and suck in a breath. The late-spring river water was bone-chillingly cold, but Zhou Yu’s speed in the water was extremely fast. In less than the time it took for a stick of incense to burn, he brought Sun Ce into the depths of the waterway, and the two of them stuck their heads out of the water.
“Hu… hu…” Sun Ce said. “Your swimming skills are still this good, as I expected…”
Zhou Yu replied in a small voice, “Don’t speak.”
The two of them followed the waterway as they walked into a hidden grotto, and Sun Ce said, surprised, “I remember I’ve come here before.”
Zhou Yu replied, “Twelve years ago, the two of us came here together.”
With this reminder, Sun Ce also remembered that back then, they had even played here many times. But now, someone else seemed to have come to this grotto, because the ground in the area was covered with a flurry of footprints, and there were even the ashes of a campfire. Sun Ce, with his staff in hand, and Zhou Yu, with his sword drawn, slowly walked into the depths of the grotto.
From afar came quiet sounds of people; the grotto actually had another exit, and after passing through a narrow forest of stalactites, a dim glow appeared in front of their eyes. It was a valley filled with peach blossoms, through which a narrow road wound through the side peak of Mt. Gu. Zhou Yu was inwardly shocked - perhaps they had found a lair of the Yellow Turban Army.
At this moment, it was almost daybreak, and in the dim light of the early morning, they could vaguely make out a rising fog. At the side of a pond, Zhou Yu cupped some of the clear pond water and washed his face, while Sun Ce stood to one side, gazing at the distant peaks.
“This should be their stockade village,” Sun Ce said. “Your guess was right, that ferryman was probably an inside agent from the Yellow Turban Army, whose primary job is to rob people.”
Zhou Yu finished washing his face and he shook his hands dry before rising. “Bofu, I’ll stay here and investigate, you go and report back to Lord Sun..”
Without waiting for Zhou Yu to finish, Sun Ce smiled bitterly. “I’d also like to, but my dad is currently in Jiangdu... distant water can’t put out a close fire.”
Zhou Yu: “...”
“Didn’t you say that your dad sent you here to investigate?” Zhou Yu asked.
Sun Ce had no way to respond to that, and he could only say, “Let’s go, let’s figure out what’s going on first.”
Zhou Yu really had no way to win against him. Sun Ce pulled Zhou Yu to his feet and started to walk, and on the road, he turned his head back. “Actually, my dad doesn’t know that I left the army on my own to come to Shu County.”
Zhou Yu couldn’t believe his ears. “What!”
Sun Ce said pleadingly, “Don’t be so loud… shh.. I… Actually, I was thinking of you, so I made a special trip over to see you.”
Zhou Yu almost fainted; originally, he thought that Sun Jian’s army was already close by, but now he learned that Sun Ce had come here all alone!
That was to say, there were no allied troops around, so they had no way to escape their current situation. The sun had already risen, and the two youths, their clothes still damp, walked on the mountain path. Zhou Yu said, “My family’s servant has already gone off with a message…”
“Shh.” Sun Ce immediately grabbed him, and the two of them darted to one side of a fork in the road. In that instant, multiple blade-carrying martial artists with yellow scarves wrapped around their heads, walked slowly up the road.
“Where exactly did those two brats go…”
“Shit, I can’t believe we aren’t able to find them…”
Their voices grew distant. Zhou Yu and Sun Ce exchanged a glance, no longer pursuing the argument of who would go back as they followed behind those martial artists. Sun Ce circled around in a large loop as he said quietly, “Come.”
Sun Ce climbed up the slope of the side peak, one hand dragging Zhou Yu along behind. He was agile, and he clambered up the cliff, only to see, in the valley surrounded by mountain peaks, multiple small houses surrounded by sentry posts around the outside. There were people moving about, and it looked like a military encampment of about a hundred people.
When Zhou Yu saw how the camp was arranged, he knew that things were bad.
“Why does it look like the layout of an official army?” Sun Ce also grew suspicious, and he scooted up to press his mouth close to Zhou Yu’s ear. “They’re rigorously trained, and the way they set down their camp is very organized; there’s even a post to tie horses up on, and it looks like the habits of official troops.”
“Let’s get a little closer.” Zhou Yu was extremely nervous. Why would there be troops here pretending to be Yellow Turban rebels? It seemed like the situation at hand had far exceeded what he had predicted, but Sun Ce said, “You wait here, I’ll go down to take a look.”
Naturally, Zhou Yu couldn’t let him go seek out danger on his own, so he tailed him. It was midday, and sneaking into the enemy camp like this would be extremely dangerous, but since it concerned his father’s life, Zhou Yu couldn’t let it drag out any longer.
At the same time, Sun Ce knocked out one of the guards outside of the gates silently with his staff, while Zhou Yu climbed into a tree, observing the houses inside from up above. He saw someone come out from inside, wearing the uniform of an imperial officer. His face was bright red; clearly, he had drunk some strong wine, and now he tottered about as drunk as a skunk, his steps staggering.
Zhou Yu instantly jolted harshly, gesturing for Sun Ce to retreat, but Sun Ce ignored the danger at hand, swiftly darting behind another small house as he peeked inside.
“Who’s there!” someone was startled awake, and he roared angrily.
Sun Ce immediately withdrew, but the other’s vigilance was too high, and immediately someone came charging out from inside. Sun Ce roared, “They’re right inside! Don’t come out!”
Those words of Sun Ce’s were naturally roared for Zhou Yu to hear, and the meaning behind those words was for Sun Ce to sacrifice himself, slowing this group of troops down, so that Zhou Yu could go back and report. Zhou Yu wiped the sweat from his palm as he saw Sun Ce pull out his long staff, bowling over the soldiers that rushed at him. Arrows flew towards him, and Sun Ce used his staff to block them firmly. They struck his staff with a clang as the commander of the troops came rushing out to kill, his eyes blazing like bells as his rage peaked. He shouted loudly, “You’re seeking death!”
That voice caused Zhou Yu’s eardrums to ring, but Sun Ce didn’t even flinch as he sent a powerful blow towards that man!
The other was wielding a long spear and the two of them crossed weapons. Sun Ce only made three attacks before he was swept to the floor by one blow of the spear; that martial general’s style was not ordinary, and it belonged to a class that Zhou Yu had rarely seen in his life. Just as Sun Ce fell, he was surrounded by the soldiers and pressed firmly against the ground.
“How many more companions do you have?” that general smiled coldly. “Come out right now!”
Sun Ce also grinned back, equally coldly. “Impressive, I admit defeat.”
The general pulled out his sword and pressed it against Sun Ce’s neck, calling, “I’ll count to three. If you don’t come out, then I’ll teach him what it feels like when his head hits the ground.”
“Go back and report, quick!” Sun Ce shouted angrily.
“Don’t strike!” Zhou Yu’s voice sounded.
Zhou Yu leapt down from the tree, tossing out the Chijun sword in his hand, cupping his hands as he said, “General Hua, what brings you personally to such a desolate place in the middle of the mountains, where there isn’t even a trail of smoke?”
That military general’s expression was dark, and he didn’t speak. Sun Ce immediately came back to his senses as he looked that military general up and down, and a dumbfounded look appeared in his gaze. He furrowed his brows and said disbelievingly, “Hua Xiong!”
That military general was indeed the brave warrior Hua Xiong, whose name resounded across Yangzhou and Jingzhou. What was unexpected was that this young man actually recognized him at first sight, and he looked Zhou Yu up and down, but he couldn’t tell who this person was. Back then, when Zhou Yu was with his father in the capital, he had once seen Hua Xiong, and in these ensuing years, Zhou Yu had grown up and changed in appearance, but Hua Xiong hadn’t changed much, which was why Zhou Yu could recognize him, but Hua Xiong couldn’t recognize him in return.
“Who are you?” Hua Xiong asked suspiciously.
Zhou Yu had a thought flash through his mind, and as he bowed deeply, he responded, “General Hua, I am...”
“General!” that ferryman came out from one of the buildings as he took off his bamboo hat. He said, “These two brats are exactly the people we’re looking for, capture them, quickly!”
“Grab them!” Hua Xiong shouted.
“General Hua, please listen to me!” Zhou Yu’s expression shifted.
The soldiers on the left and right came forward, grabbing Zhou Yu and Sun Ce, dragging them into a secret chamber. Zhou Yu kept shouting, “General! Do not be deceived by these villains! There is a hidden force at play in this matter…”
Hua Xiong’s expression twitched, but Zhou Yu and Sun Ce had already been dragged into the room.
In the damp house without any view of the sky, Zhou Yu and Sun Ce tripped and landed in the dirt. Just as Zhou Yu rose, his collar was grabbed by Sun Ce, who gritted his teeth and said, “You’re usually so smart, why were you so confused this time!”
Zhou Yu was reaching the end of his rope. “Don’t you know, that bastard’s someone who will kill a person without batting an eye! Just now, he was just about to make his move, and whatever he’s said, he never changes his mind about!”
Sun Ce stilled, and Zhou Yu continued in a low voice, “When I was in Luoyang, Father and I went to welcome Dong Zhuo, and this fellow was at the banquet. He had drunk too much, and he immediately beheaded one of the serving girls, you know!”
This was the first time that Sun Ce had heard of such an insane figure, and for a bit he had nothing else to say. He let out a sigh, but Zhou Yu continued, “I didn’t expect it to be him. Now, we’re in deep trouble.”
Sun Ce scooted over to the window of the small dark room, peeking outside. “I saw that that drunk man’s steps were uneven, and originally I was planning to knock him out swiftly and easily, but I didn’t think that his martial arts would be that powerful. There’s quite a few people being held in the next room, I imagine they’ve all been caught by this bunch.”
Zhou Yu paced worriedly inside the room. “Why did he pretend to be the Yellow Turban Army? What did he come here to capture people for?”
Sun Ce didn’t speak and only quietly watched Zhou Yu. When their gazes met, Zhou Yu saw that Sun Ce’s eyes had a strange emotion in them, and he immediately thought of the matter that weighed most heavily on him.
“I heard that He Jin is currently chasing down and killing his political opponents to remove any dissidents,” Sun Ce said matter-of-factly. “One month ago, Li Jue came to visit under the orders of He Jin and Dong Zhuo, to pull my father into their plot. They wanted to get rid of the system of the three counsellors of state, and when my dad heard the news, he already sent someone to report it to your dad as well. I was afraid that something would happen to you over in Shu County, so I came over to check on you.”
In that split second, Zhou Yu felt touched from the bottom of his heart, but Sun Ce furrowed his brow and continued, “I hadn’t expected to still be one step too slow. For this group of people to actually disguise themselves as members of the Yellow Turban Rebellion means that Dong Zhuo’s probably also involved in this… Ah, I was still too careless.”
Zhou Yu said, “Did you see my dad?”
Sun Ce was silent for a moment, before he shook his head. “He wasn’t in the next room, so I’m afraid that he might have been taken back to Luoyang. Let’s think first about how we’re going to escape this place. Just now, those words of yours were mumbled at a great time, so now Hua Xiong’s going to grow suspicious and call us out to be interrogated. When that time comes, we need to make him let down his guard, before finding a way to escape.”
Zhou Yu smiled bitterly. “Perhaps it won’t be easy to escape.”
Sun Ce said, “Him capturing me is of no use. With my dad here, Dong Zhuo wants to drag in my Sun family, so how could he dare to do anything to us?”
That’s only for you… Zhou Yu thought to himself. To his own Zhou family, Hua Xiong was not going to show any mercy, and his only way out was to first send Sun Ce out.
“In a bit, whatever I say, just follow along,” Sun Ce warned. “This bastard’s had so much wine that he’s drunk, so he shouldn’t be that smart.”
“Yes, yes,” Zhou Yu said. “You’re the smartest.”
Sun Ce began to smile, before turning his body and looking out of the window. For an unknown reason, even though it was a dangerous moment, Zhou Yu felt very safe. Sun Ce’s smile seemed to be able to calm whoever saw it.
Before they had finished speaking, the door to the little black room once again opened, and a group of people rushed in. They pressed Sun Ce down, bringing over ropes to tie him up, but Zhou Yu said angrily, “Stop! We’ll walk on our own!”
Sun Ce used his gaze to indicate that Zhou Yu stay calm, and in another moment Zhou Yu was also tied up. The two of them both had their hands tied behind their backs as they were brought to Hua Xiong’s house, where they were forced to kneel.
“Tell me your names,” Hua Xiong said icily as he lifted up a jug of wine.
“Zhou Yu, courtesy name Gongjin,” Sun Ce said darkly. “General Hua, why do you detain my father? What is your purpose?”
Zhou Yu startled fiercely, but when he turned his head to look at Sun Ce, with a single gaze and a slight raise of his eyebrows, Sun Ce indicated for him to remember what he had just said. Zhou Yu could only stay silent at that, and he held his tongue and lowered his head.
Hua Xiong chugged a large mouthful of wine, choking on it until his face turned bright red. He placed the jug down heavily and turned to Zhou Yu. In a harsh, enraged voice, he said, “And you? Speak!”
“He’s Sun Ce,” Sun Ce responded.
Zhou Yu knelt in front of Hua Xiong as a thought flashed through his mind. Although he didn’t know what Sun Ce meant by doing this, he understood where his words had come from: the two of them had to temporarily exchange identities in front of Hua Xiong.
What use was this! As Zhou Yu thought this, he answered, “My father is the Changsha prefect, Sun Jian.
Hua Xiong’s expression changed, and he looked Zhou Yu up and down. A moment later, he said, “Release him from his bonds!”
Zhou Yu’s bonds were loosened, and he began to stretch out his wrists. Hua Xiong smiled coldly. “Go back and tell your father that he should stop poking his nose into the business here. There won’t be a second chance. If I catch you barging in again, don’t blame me for not having mercy on you!”
Yes… Zhou Yu thought it through. Hua Xiong wasn’t afraid of his own Zhou family, but he was afraid of Sun Ce’s father. The Changsha prefect Sun Jian commanded a large number of troops, and he took his orders from the prestigious Yuan Shu, whose family had held official positions for generations. For them to fall out in front of Dong Zhuo would not help his reputation. Sun Ce, therefore, was doing this to protect him.
“I heard that this region was being attacked by the Yellow Turban Army,” Zhou Yu said. “My father sent this subject forth to investigate the matter of the Zhou family…”
Hua Xiong let out a cold hum as he responded, “Little thief, they’re not nearly enough to be a problem. There are Yellow Turban bandits here, correct, but they’ve all been incorporated into this general’s troops.”
“Where’s my father?” Sun Ce asked suddenly.
Hua Xiong responded, “I haven’t seen him, why?”
Zhou Yu said to Sun Ce, “Gongjin, don’t be rude to General Hua.”
Sun Ce chuckled coldly. “I’m just afraid that the two of you worked together to bring me here under false pretenses, and you all want to completely annihilate my Zhou family!”
These words immediately reminded Zhou Yu, and in a short instant, countless ideas flashed through Zhou Yu’s head, just as Hua Xiong roared towards Sun Ce, “What do you think you are! Drag him out and beat him!”
Zhou Yu’s facial expression changed as he prepared to ask for mercy, but Sun Ce was dragged away by Hua Xiong’s subordinates who had just come in. Zhou Yu hurried to say, “General Hua! Zhou… Gongjin is my friend, on behalf of my father, please show him some mercy!”
Hua Xiong paid him no mind, continuing to drink his own wine. From outside came a pained cry from Sun Ce, but when Zhou Yu moved to run out, two guards blocked his way.
He took a deep breath, turning towards Hua Xiong, before bowing so low his hands almost touched the ground. In that instant, he had already understood the meaning in Sun Ce’s words.
“One month ago, my father and General Li Jue met once,” Zhou Yu said. “He had a message that he wanted me to pass on to the capital.”
“Just now, you spoke of villains.” Hua Xiong looked Zhou Yu up and down, asking, “What did you mean by that?”
Outside, the whip fell, and a pained cry came from Sun Ce. Zhou Yu’s heart immediately leapt up into his mouth. As soon as he heard the sounds of Sun Ce being beaten, Zhou Yu immediately lost his grip on his emotions, and it was as if his mind fell into disarray.
An uninhibited smile curled up the edges of Hua Xiong’s mouth. Zhou Yu racked his brains, hating that he hadn’t thought things through well just now. As Sun Ce’s pained cries issued forth one after another, Zhou Yu realized that he was definitely pretending; with how Sun Ce was, even if he was being beaten by sticks or lashed by whips, he would never let out a single grunt. This kind of shouting, therefore, was exaggerated.
“It was… it was…” Zhou Yu thought for a moment, before forcing his heart to calm. “Please bear with this subject as he asks a question, Zhou Yi of Luoyang, is he still in this general’s hands at this point?”
“I said, he’s not in my hands!” Hua Xiong raged. “You also want a beating? Guards…”
“General!” Under the pressure of his emotions, Zhou Yu came up with a brilliant idea. “This is a ploy to borrow your hand to kill someone, may the general please see the truth of the matter!”
Hua Xiong’s expression changed, and Zhou Yu continued. “He Jin’s thoughts and plans are twisted and strange; if he wanted to kill Zhou Yi, why would he not personally send someone to do so? Why would he pretend that it was General Hua and Lord Dong? Not to mention, as the commander-in-chief, his power is absolute in the capital, it’s very normal for him to eliminate his opponents as he wishes. Today, all he needs to do is remove the old officials, and Luoyang will be the territory of the He family! Clearly, he’s taking this opportunity to purposefully send General Hua, you, here, to get rid of Zhou Yi, before getting rid of his descendants as well, completely eliminating the Zhou family of Shu County. If this subject’s predictions aren’t wrong, then has He Jin left a spy by the general’s side?”
Hua Xiong’s expression flickered; clearly, he was remembering that ferryman.
In a short span of time, Zhou Yu had organized current events into a clear pattern; in the Luoyang of today, the emperor’s power was in danger, and the brother of the favored concubine held most of the political power in his hands. To remove his political opponents, he secretly colluded with the Jinzhou prefect Dong Zhuo, both of them using each other while being suspicious of each other. Since Hua Xiong was under Dong Zhuo’s command, he could not be unaware of these internal matters.
Zhou Yu then said, “If this subject may speak freely, if General Hua were to eliminate Zhou Yi, then when he returns to Luoyang, I’m afraid that the blame for this matter would fall upon the general’s head. At that time, He Jin could come up with any excuse…”
Hua Xiong shifted between shock and suspicion as he looked consideringly at Zhou Yu. “Were these words spoken by your father, or are you speaking them?”
“Uh…” Sun Ce’s slowly weakening cries came to Zhou Yu’s ears, and he knew that that was not good. He hurried to say, “My father only mentioned the matter, before sending me to Shu County to await. After all, one is because we are technically old friends with the Zhou family, and two… perhaps He Jin’s ploy of borrowing someone else’s blade to commit a murder would be successful…”
Hua Xiong said, “According to you then, what should we do?”
Zhou Yu said hurriedly, “Send Zhou Yi back to the capital, and hand him over to Grand General He Jin to deal with; that way, you’ll no longer need to shoulder that evil burden.”
Hua Xiong didn’t say any more. Zhou Yu continued, “Sun… Zhou Gongjin is also pretty pitiful, he was merely showing his filial piety when he butted heads with the general. Please, if the general may grant him another chance; Sun Ce is thanking the general for his gracious act of kindness.”
And saying this, Zhou Yu lifted up the hem of the robe to kowtow to him. Originally, Hua Xiong didn’t have any deep grudge or feud with the Zhou family, and it was all because He Jin was sending him forth to kill the government officials that he had gone on such a long journey. There was no wine or meat and he was covered in mud from his fall, and in this instant, he changed his mind and decided not to argue with a junior anymore. In a gruff voice, he said, “Let it be.”
After he spoke, the sound of the whip outside ceased. Sun Ce slumped in the mud, and Zhou Yu hurried up forward, looking over Sun Ce. The skin of his back had split under that flogging, and wounds marred the surface; the back of his robe was covered with blood as he lay there unmoving. Zhou Yu thought to himself, damn, but just as his heart burned with anxiety, he saw Sun Ce’s eyes open just a slit, before he winked at him.
Zhou Yu: “...”
Hua Xiong said, “Where are your father’s troops stationed now?”
Zhou Yu turned. “My father’s troops are stationed at Jiangdu, and this subject has delivered the message. Before, this subject did not know that it was General Hua who had come, and in the coming days, if the general passes through Changsha, then please do not hesitate to come to this subject’s home for a cup of wine, so that Zhou… Sun-mou can show the general the proper hospitality as a host.”
Hua Xiong still stared fixedly at Zhou Yu. Zhou Yu helped Sun Ce up from the ground, before continuing, “This subject earnestly requests that the general allow this subject to take young lord Zhou away…”
But Hua Xiong said, “Wait! You say that you are Sun Jian’s eldest son, but do you have any proof? Is there a token?”
Zhou Yu’s face didn’t change, nor did his heart speed up. He remembered something, and he said, “Just now, the bronze sword that General Hua took is a sword that my father has kept hidden, the ancient Chijun of the country of Chu that was found in Changsha.”
Hua Xiong lifted his head, indicating that his subordinates bring over Zhou Yu’s sword, along with Sun Ce’s Coiling Dragon Staff. Ever since he was young, Zhou Yu had never parted with his sword; he greatly loved this ancient weapon. That sword had been crafted by the famous master Ou Yezi of the Warring States period, and the body of the sword was carved with ancient decorative patterns.
The weapon that Sun Ce used was a qimei iron staff made from a meteor, and the staff had dragons coiled around it.
Hua Xiong only had to take one look to know that this sword was not ordinary; it was a godly weapon, and he no longer doubted Zhou Yu’s identity. Seeing that Hua Xiong’s gaze held a hint of greed in it, though Zhou Yu hated to part with such a famous sword, if Hua Xiong opened his mouth and asked for it, he would only be able to give it up. Zhou Yu figured it was better to go with the flow, and he smiled. “If the general likes it, there is no harm in keeping the sword.”
“Hey --” Hua Xiong said. “Who do you take me for? How can I ask for a junior’s things?”
Zhou Yu smiled. “No offense taken. General, your reputation is known across the land…”
Hua Xiong waved his hand, knowing that he couldn’t take Zhou Yu’s things, and his subordinates returned the sword and the staff. Hua Xiong glanced over at Sun Ce being supported by Zhou Yu, before looking at Zhou Yu, with a question in his eyes: how are you planning on dealing with this bastard?
Zhou Yu understood, and he said to Sun Ce, “Your father isn’t here, and on behalf of my father, General Hua has already agreed to send troops out to search. Quickly now, thank General Hua.”
Sun Ce hurried to nod, all his bluster gone, and Hua Xiong waved one large hand and he responded, “Now, go back and wait for my report.”
moon: and that’s part 2! this is only to get gayer (despite the “no cp” tag), so hang in there
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This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.