Imperial Heroes - The Finishing Battle Ch.14
In the Imperial Palace of Kingdom Wu, Sun Quan was striding to a quiet room, where the door was left open. Pushing the door, he saw his childhood best friend Xiao Qiao sitting next to the bed. She had a melancholic gaze at her sister Da Qiao, who was lying on the bed recovering from her injury.
“Xiao Qiao, go take some rest.”
Sun Quan’s gentle reminder was rejected by Xiao Qiao’s stubborn headshake.
“No. I need to be with Da Qiao.”
“Sigh. You haven’t slept for three days. If you insist, you’ll wreck your body,” said Sun Quan, and he continued, “Da Qiao would blame herself if you over exhaust yourself because of her. You wouldn’t want this either, would you?”
Xiao Qiao eventually let go of Da Qiao’s hand and stood up. “Alright,” she said.
Sun Quan was left alone in the room as Xiao Qiao left. Staring at the pale Da Qiao, he couldn’t help but begin blaming himself.
“It’s all my fault. I thought the victory must be ours when we allied with Lü Bu and Liu Bei. Turns out it almost killed Da Qiao…” Sun Quan murmured out of guilt.
Although Sun Quan had managed to make an ally of Lü Bu and Liu Bei, his plan had been figured out by Cao Cao, who infiltrated Lü Bu’s base secretly. Fortunately, Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei’s strategist, revealed the conspiracy and notified Sun Quan in time, allowing him to rescue Lü Bu from the threat.
During the rescuing mission, Cao Cao’s henchman Xiahou Dun had fought fiercely, summoning a demon possession to resist. After a tough, life-threatening battle, Da Qiao had eventually taken Xiahou Dun’s life, but also wounded herself critically. Although her condition was stabilized by the doctors, she had been in a coma for ten days already.
“If brother Ce were here, the situation would have been so much better…” the dejected Sun Quan thought.
Bam! The door was barged open by the gasping Zhou Yu, who was too short-winded to talk.
“Zhou Yu, what happened?” Sun Quan was perplexed by Zhou Yu’s unusual behavior.
“Huff...C-Cao Cao is approaching with his army…”
“What? That’s impossible! The last battle was only two week ago. Why would he…”
Shocked by the news, Sun Quan began to ponder, pacing back and forth. He continued to deduce, “plus we are not his best target option since we’re the strongest among the alliance with Nanman next to us. I don’t think Cao Cao would make such a foolish decision…”
Zhou Yu, who had calmed his breath, spoke out his thought, “unless he’s taking revenge.”
“Revenge?” Sun Quan was confused.
“Da Qiao killed his guard Xiahou Dun. I guess she’s the reason why Cao Cao is attacking us——”
“Impossible! That cold-blooded man would never do such a thing. All his men mean nothing but tools to that monster!”
Deep down, Sun Quan didn’t buy his denial either.
“Admitting that guy would take revenge for his soldier is like disapproving our reason in bringing him down…” Sun Quan refused to acknowledge this fact.
“It’s not the time to ask why he is doing it. We must deploy our defense as soon as possible,” said Zhou Yu.
“You’re right. I’ll protect the kingdom at all cost, for this is the home my father and brother died protecting!” Sun Quan clenched his fists as if he had never been so determined before.
Sun Quan and Zhou Yu responded quickly to deploy the army to the city wall. Sun Quan’s presence had encouraged the morale of the soldiers. With their advantage in defense, the battle was stuck in a tie although the Cao’s force had already positioned at a tactically-advantaged location.
“Sun Quan, the allied force has reached the border. They’re expected to arrive within half a day,” Zhou Yu reported the good news after reading a message from a pigeon post.
“Half a day…”
Even with the good news, Sun Quan was somehow anxious while he was observing Cao’s force.
“They still remain high-spirited in spite of the massive casualties...No. To be precise, I feel like they have no fear of death…”
Sun Quan’s intuition was proven correct later on as Sima Yi led a suicide squad to blast a breach out of the city wall.
“T-The wall was breached!”
“Are we gonna lose?”
“I...I don’t wanna die…”
The breach on the city wall shattered the soldiers’ hope.
“Darn it! They’re losing their fighting spirit!”
Refusing to lose, Sun Quan went to the city gate regardless of Zhou Yu’s objection.
“WAKE UP EVERYONE OF YOU!” Sun Quan continued to yell, “even though the gate is collapsed, Cao’s army is still miles away from us. We haven’t lost! We just have to pull the gate back up and seal it back before they arrive!”
“But...this is impossible. There’s no way that we can lift up such a heavy gate,” a soldier said frustratedly.
“Is that so?” Sun Quan mocked, “so you’d rather sit back and let the enemies kill your families.”
None of the soldiers responded, but their gazes went from deadly to hopeful again.
“You either die as a war hero or live to see your families killed by the enemies. It’s your call!” Sun Quan challenged the soldiers loudly.
The soldiers answered his question in action, working together to lift up the broken gate. Although it took a few attempts, they managed to bring the gate back to the breach under Sun Quan’s lead.
“We’re so close! Everyone keep up!”
“We can’t let Cao’s army take over our home——Mmm!”
While the soldiers were encouraging each other, a halberd thrown from afar pierced through a soldier’s skull, shutting him up permanently. In the meantime, a shadow swiftly entered the city before the gate was completely sealed.
As the soldiers were stunned by the sudden death, they were about to drop the gate——
“Everyone focus! Don’t let your friend die for nothing!”
Not only did Sun Quan encourage the remaining soldiers, but he filled up the dead soldier’s position to rebalance the gate. Bracing themselves again, they successfully put the broken gate back to seal the city.
However, screams started before the cheers did. When Sun Quan turned around, he saw a blood-soaked man slaughtering the soldiers in his way.
It didn’t take Sun Quan too long to figure out who that man was. Meanwhile, that man returned a gaze as if he had sensed Sun Quan’s stare.
“Hmm, found you.” The mumbling Cao Cao grinned——with red eyes and pure bloodlust that resembled a mad beast.
All the present soldiers were terrified to quiver, for they didn’t see a human but only a monstrous creature.
“Father, brother, looks like we’ll be reuniting very soon.” Sun Quan braced himself for the foreseeable ending, for he recognized their difference in terms of strength.
“I WILL SLAUGHTER YOU ALL!” Cao Cao shouted in a maniac way, charging towards Sun Quan——