Imperial Heroes - The Finishing Battle Ch.1
The civil uprising ignited by Liu Bei transformed into a notable anti-Cao rebellion force. Whenever they received a report of Cao Cao’s oppression, Liu Bei would lead the force to rescue.
“A village reported that all pharmacies and food vendors in this town were informed to be nationalized by the empire. Merchants are losing their livelihood,” reported by Zhuge Liang, handing the information copy to Liu Bei.
“Father...What will your choice be this time?” This familiar town induced nostalgia of Liu Bei, who had left his hometown for years.
Liu Bei and his army settled in the village and investigated Cao Cao’s next move. Turned out that Cao Cao would be sending soldiers to take over the largest food vendor in the town tomorrow, which made Liu Bei worried about his father. Despite Liu Bei’s disapproval of his father submission to the authority, at least he didn’t want to see his father get hurt.
“This area is heavily guarded even though the capital is far away from here. We can’t let our guard down,” said Liu Bei, discussing tactics with Guan Yu and Zhuge Liang with a map provided by the villagers.
“Zhuge and I will be sneaking into the factory tomorrow. Guan Yu, you stand by outside with the soldiers and take action whenever I signal. If the merchant accepts the offer from the empire, our efforts will be unnecessary anyway.”
Next day in the early morning, Liu Bei guided his army to stand by somewhere near the Liu’s factory. When Guan Yu had settled, Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang infiltrated into the factory through a warehouse in the disguise of workers.
“I didn’t realize your thefting potential until today,” Zhuge Liang mumbled as she was suspicious about Liu Bei’s smooth infiltration, but then something flashed across her mind.
“Liu’s Food Factory...Is this…”
“Your speculation is right,” Liu Bei responded with a sigh. Meanwhile, the memory of his father turning the manager in was triggered again.
“My father bowing to Cao Cao’s iron fist is the reason why I left home.”
All of a sudden, the factory gate was bashed open by an official and a troop. Commanding everyone to kneel down, the leading official announced an order from Cao Cao.
“Liu’s Food Factory has been paying taxes on time. Loyalty shall be rewarded. Thus a box of gold will be given to the Liu’s, while the ownership of Liu’s Food Factory will be transferred to the empire. After that, 100 kilogram of rice will be granted to the Liu’s monthly.”
“What...My family business has been passed down for generations. Sir, please don’t take away our heritage…” Liu Bei’s father, kneeling before the empire official, begged desperately.
“So what? It’s your honour to have your business taken over by the empire! Go home and tell your ancestors about this glory!”
Kicking Liu Bei’s father away, the official said the last thing before he left, “Inspectors will come over for the handover later this afternoon. You can go home now!”
“No! Wait!” Liu Bei’s father grabbed the official nervously, but he was held down by soldiers immediately.
“You can’t! This is the effort of Liu’s generations...And...and 100 kilogram of rice is far from enough to support our lives...I refuse to give up on my factory!”
“Refuse?” The official turned around to Liu Bei’s father with a cold gaze, signalling the soldiers to tackle him. Moving forward, the official trampled his torso.
“This is a compliment from the empire. Refusing is not an option!”
“No! I can keep on delivering 60 percent of the harvest, but I can’t give up on my family business...Ah!” The strong opposition of Liu Bei’s father got himself a heavy kick on the waist by the official.
Witnessing everything, Liu Bei had Zhuge Liang signalled Guan Yu for the raid, while he ran out to take on the official alone. Despite his mastery in sword arts, he was still outnumbered by Cao Cao’s soldiers.
Very soon, clashes sounded outside the factory. Without expecting to clash with rebels, the official only brought a normal troop with him. It didn’t take Liu Bei’s force too long to crush the troop. As soon as Liu Bei saw Guan Yu and the rest at the gate, their triumph became spiritual adrenaline for him. The pumped up Liu Bei then took out a few Cao’s minions and subdued the fleeing official.
Liu Bei’s father didn’t see his son until he was lifted up by Zhuge Liang. At that moment, tears rolled down on his weary face and put him into speechless.
“Do...do you know assaulting a royal official is a felony? L-Let go of me!” Terrified by the rebels, the official yelled loudly as a bluff. Liu Bei then threw him to the ground, who crawled his way out to escape.
“Father,” said Liu Bei, assisting his father to sit down.
“You’ve grown up…” Looking at the prodigal son, Liu Bei’s father could only spill out a sentence in spite of the complicated sentiments within.
“You can’t compromise and give up your freedom forever, or you’ll end up losing everything…” The weary face of his father made Liu Bei unable to criticize him anymore.
The father gave Liu Bei a long hug and said, “you’re right. I’m the one who kept lying to myself...Son, you have my support!”
“This place isn’t safe anymore after we clashed with Cao’s men. Let’s send the workers and the supply before we make the next move.”
Liu Bi could see the determination through the sparkling gaze of his father, knowing that he finally understood his crusade.
Meanwhile, this town was crawling with Cao’s men, and they could expect the payback from Cao Cao already.
“The factory and our manor...are not safe for the time being.”
Liu Bei sent his father and the volunteered workers back to the village where the rebels had settled. As the scene of his father fighting for the factory played back in his mind, he was moved by his father’s courage.
“One day, the factory will return to the way it used to be,” Liu Bei promised his father.
“Sun Quan has arranged the meeting with Lü Bu to discuss the proposal of forming an alliance,” Zhuge Liang reported to Liu Bei as soon as she got the message from Sun Quan. “We must head back the next morning to prepare for it.”
Liu Bei nodded, and returned to a cabin with his father for the long-lost family reunion.