Zhuge Liang’s father was an empire official known for integrity. After stealing the throne from Dong Zhuo, Cao Cao revealed an even bigger yet more evil ambition. As Cao’s regime had begun, Sir Zhuge decided to join hands with Huang Zhong to bring down Cao Cao.
Sir Zhuge and Huang Zhong communicated through secret mails, with the participation of Zhuge Liang. At first, Sir Zhuge refused to let his daughter get involved in their plan, but her intelligence was too brilliant to be wasted. As her opinions hit the nail on the head everytime, he eventually let Zhuge Liang in.
This afternoon, a pigeon post was delivered to the Zhuge’s house. Lady Zhuge took the mail from the pigeon and handed it to her husband.
Sir Zhuge: Why is there only a doodle on the letter? There’s not even a signature on it.
The letter only contained a simple doodle, portraying a man with cape travelling down an S-shaped river.
Lady Zhuge: Perhaps it’s just a joke from some old friends.
Zhuge Liang, noticed her mother’ s words, threw away the book she was reading immediately and took the letter.
Zhuge Liang: We gotta escape!
Despite the perplexion, her parents had a bad feeling when they saw the panic Zhuge Liang.
Zhuge Liang: The S-shaped river and a cape. The doodle is telling us to escape! The simple lines and the pigeon post implied that this letter was sent in rush!
Sir Zhuge: Cao Cao found our plan! Let’s head to our mansion in the woods!
The family attempted to push the door open, but it was locked. Very soon, smoke started slipping into the room, which smelt like burnt charcoal.
Sir Zhuge: Try the window!
Zhuge Liang: No! It’s a trap!
Mr. and Mrs. Zhuge were shot down by arrows once they approached the window. At this moment, Zhuge Liang was too late to save them.
Zhuge Liang: Dad! Mum! No! Hang in there! I’ll carry you two out of here!
Sir Zhuge: You...should be...smart enough...to know...Only you can make it…
Zhuge Liang: No! I’ll figure something out! Let’s get out together!
Zhuge Liang was nearly suffocated by the thick bloody smoke inside the room, but she never gave up on lifting up her mother.
Lady Zhuge: Run...Live for us...I have your dad with me…
Zhuge Liang: Mum!!!
Lady Zhuge stopped breathing and closed her eyes slowly. Suddenly, the door was kicked open, revealing a robust figure——Huang Zhong! He rushed into the house to rescue Zhuge Liang regardless of the fierce fire. Before they made it to the exit, a pillar suddenly collapsed onto them. In the nick of time, Huang Zhong threw Zhuge Liang out of the house in order to block the pillar by himself.
Zhuge Liang: Mr. Huang!
Huang Zhong: Go and survive!
While the fire was getting more violent, Zhuge Liang thought of her parents last words, “live for us.”
Her legs then instinctively ran away from the house. She couldn’t stop, let alone looking back.
Zhuge Liang ran restlessly until she arrived at a mansion deep in the woods. She collapsed onto the floor after shutting the door. This mansion was a hideout that Sir Zhuge had prepared, where there were only a few pieces of furniture and a room at the other side of the house.
Zhuge Liang: Why! Everyone told me to live but they’re all dead! I failed to save anyone!
Zhuge Liang: Not only I couldn’t save them, but Mr. Huang died for me! What is the purpose to live on?
Zhuge Liang: What can I do...to erase this pain...I can’t find my purpose of living…
Zhuge Liang could never get rid of the memory on that day, as if a part of her was left inside the burning house, being tormented for eternity. Crying herself to sleep, it was already morning by the time she woke up.
Zhuge Liang’s Another Self: Mmm? Where am I? Why am I here?
Zhuge Liang found it hard to remember the past no matter how she tried. All she remembered was her name, but that didn’t bother her. As she looked around curiously, her stomach growled.
Zhuge Liang’s Another Self: Aw, I’m hungry. Gotta find food.
She soon found a tree with plenty of fruit. When she was struggling to climb up, she fell off.
Zhuge Liang’s Another Self: Oh no!
This exclamation triggered her consciousness as if a magic spell. The idiotic gaze of Zhuge Liang immediately became lucid and sophisticated. As she sensed the danger, she kicked the tree trunk to position herself onto the bushes.
Zhuge Liang: “Did I...just create another self to deal with my pain? That’s not bad. Just let me be an ignorant girl…”
Zhuge Liang: Let she live my life.
Zhuge Liang set up a machine so that her alter ego could find food easily. When the alter ego fell asleep, the original Zhuge Liang sought her emotional comfort through writing books. The alter ego never dug deep into her past, and lived a cozy life in this unmanned mansion.
Zhuge Liang: “That dream was an long-lost memory...Is it some kind of revelation?”
Liu Bei: You must be exhausted to analyze Cao Cao’s intel. How about you take a break at the tavern down the hill?
Liu Bei: Guan Yu and I will lead a squad to meet that weapon dealer.
Zhuge Liang: No. This is a big deal. We must handle it cautiously.
Guan Yu: Speaking of which, it’s so weird that secret weapon dealer picked such a remote place.
Meanwhile, Zhuge Liang and the crew had arrived at a remote mountain to meet with the secret weapon dealer, for they needed a stable weapon supply to the army.
Zhuge Liang: Not at all. With the on-going intense war, Cao Cao had been repressing weapon business to avoid uprising.
Zhuge Liang: So many weapon dealers were either dead or in prison. Right now, selling weapons publicly is literally looking for death.
Guan Yu: Humph! I ain’t afraid of him. If they come here, I’m gonna beat the shit out of them with my Crescent Blade!
Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang exchanged a gaze and smiled as they saw Guan Yu wielding her blade proudly. The squad climbed the mountain stress-free. Very soon, they saw a group of armed men expecting them at the peak.
Zhuge Liang: Let’s join them.
Before Zhuge Liang took her steps, her heart suddenly sank, for she caught a weak but quick footsteps coming over . Zhuge Liang shout out to the dealer immediately——
Zhuge Liang: Ambush! Leave now!
The weapon dealer followed Liu Bei to escape as soon as he discovered the activity down the mountain. Yet they soon found a fiery fire blocking their escape path.
Guan Yu: It’s gonna burn us to charcoal if we take this way. Let me kill the incoming enemies with my Crescent Blade!
Liu Bei: No. It’s too risky for our squad to take on Cao’s army...We must break through here!
As the enemies were approaching, Guan Yu led a few soldiers to stall them off and buy time for Zhuge Liang. Meanwhile, Zhuge Liang the big brain was startled by the fire, which recalled her childhood nightmare.
Zhuge Liang: “No more escaping...Gotta come up with something…”
Much as Zhuge Liang forced herself to approach the fire, she eventually surrendered to fear, kneeling down all of a tremble.
Zhuge Liang: “I couldn’t save my parents...Mr. Huang Zhong died because of me…”
When Zhuge Liang was caught up in a panic attack, a burning tree fell down on her.
Liu Bei: Zhuge Liang! Run!
Zhuge Liang: “The reality is such a pain. Maybe it’s not bad to reunite with my parents underworld…”
Zhuge Liang, who was traumatized by her past, decided to close her eyes and take the hit. It didn’t go as she expected because someone blocked the falling tree with the bare body, and the man shouted at Zhuge Liang——
What was happening at this moment resembled a memory fragment in Zhuge Liang’s mind. The familiar face pulled her back to reality like a wake-up call.
Zhuge Liang: “Is he...Is he——
Zhuge Liang crawled her way back as soon as she heard the call, while the weapon dealer putting down the tree and securing himself.
Zhuge Liang: Are you...Mr. Huang Zhong?
Huang Zhong: It’s you? Daughter of Zhuge?
Zhuge Liang thought that Huang Zhong had died in the fire to save her. The moment she found him, the long-forgotten guilt erupted through tears. Bursting into tears, Zhuge Liang couldn’t help but sat on the ground crying.
Zhuge Liang: I thought I was the only one who made it that day…I had my parents and Mr. Huang died for me so that I could live…
Huang Zhong patted Zhuge Liang’s back to comfort her.
Huang Zhong: Don’t be. You were not supposed to be involved in that incident. Your father and I had already seen it coming when we had decided to bring down Cao Cao.
Zhuge Liang: If I could realize it sooner, maybe my parents wouldn’t have…
Huang Zhong: It all happened in a rush. I’ve done my best to save you. You did good enough already, and your father will always be proud of you.
Although Huang Zhong’s words were unable to wipe out Zhuge Liang’ s guilt, it reminded her of her parents’ trust in her. Putting the trauma behind, Zhuge Liang got herself together and observed the surroundings.
Zhuge Liang: “Dad and mum want me to live...They have faith in me...This time, no one will die on my watch!”
The fire was spreading; meanwhile, Guan Yu couldn’t hold any longer.
Zhuge Liang: Mr. Huang, do you have the explosive that we asked for?
Huang Zhong: Yes. A load of them in the truck.
Zhuge Liang: Great. That amount should be able to clear a way out for us.
Zhuge Liang raised her arm to feel the wind direction. Next, she buried the explosive into the ground around the fire. Once she lit up the fuse, she ran away for a cover.
BOOM! The sky was lit up alongside a deafening noise. When the aftershock ended, the fire became much weaker; the blocked path was cleared.
Guan Yu: For real? Putting out fire with explosion?
Zhuge Liang: Save your amazement for later. We’re still being pursued!
Everyone eventually made their way back to the base downhill, and Zhuge Liang relieved as everyone was safe.
Zhuge Liang: “I did it...I saved them...I didn’t run away this time…”
Huang Zhong: You did good. Your survival was also your parents’ last wish. Stop feeling guilty anymore.
As Zhuge Liang stared at the wiggling candle light, the memory of her parents death flashed across her mind again. She was still in agony as if a hand was squeezing her heart. At this moment, she wanted nothing more than calling her alter ego out——
Zhuge Liang: “No. No more hiding. I must finish my parents’ crusade.”