Sun Rises

March 13, 2008
By Andrew Davis, Louisville, KY

Darkness descended on the village of XiaTong, the heat on this night was stifling. Most of the fighting men and citizens had retired to their chambers, where they would try to fan themselves to sleep. Two of the ten sentries responsible for keeping watch halted in front of the barracks and stared longingly at it.
“Its not right, Ji. Why do we have to be out here anyway, the only living things that come in at night are wolves?”
Ji, a tall armored man, turned to his companion, “Come off it Ren, you know as well as I do that if we abandon our post then we could be killed.”
“Yeah, I guess your right. Lets just get to our post and get it over with!”
They walked towards the eastern gate, talking the entire way. In the forest two miles to the north, four shadows moved closer to the village.

Kaemon Awa was once a general in the Imperial army of Wu. But during a mission into the heart of Shu territory, his men were ambushed and cut down by arrow and sword. While fighting the Shu general, Zhou Yun, he was slashed across the face leaving a bloody streak over his right eye. He fought his way out and escaped back to his hometown. On arriving, his leading officer released him from duty and banished him from the land because of his failure. After six years of banishment he has returned for revenge. After leaving, three of his most faithful friends followed him into exile. These now sat outside the city of XiaTong awaiting their leaders order. Kaemon turned to face his companions, “It is time.”
Together they silently moved towards the front gate.

Shinosh had just joined the city guard yesterday and was not as experienced as the others. He was leaning in a relaxed position against the gate arch when the knife struck him in the neck. He fell without a sound, and four shadows entered the village. Kaemon and his followers halted in the shadows of the town center.
“Sun Ce, take the street to the right. Eliminate all patrols you come in contact with. When you are finished meet us in the alley next to the captain’s quarters.”
Sun Ce turned and darted into the darkness. Kaemon then faced a tall handsome man bearing a longsword, “Zhou Yu, go across the rooftops and take out all of the archers.”
He swiveled to look at the third man; this man was covered in black armor that had red spikes sticking out of the shoulder plates.
“Zhou Tai, you will accompany me. Now move out and may fortune follow you.”
Kaemon and Tai made their way silently towards the captains building, trying not to be seen, within minutes they arrived at the house. They ducked into a side street, just barely missing a patrol. Kaemon grabbed a grappling hook and rope from his belt and signaled Tai to do the same. Both of them took aim and released the hooks, which soared up and into the sky and attached to a stone, ornamental dragon. Tai gave a testing tug, nodded to Kaemon and then began to climb up his rope. Upon reaching the roof, they started looking through the sky windows, trying to determine which to drop through. Kaemon peered through a large opening and froze, there sitting at a desk right under him was the man they had come to kill, Sun Jian. Anger burned through Kaemon, for Sun Jian was the man who had banished him, he was so blinded by anger that he didn’t see the two bodyguards standing further back in the shadows. Without thinking, Kaemon dropped through the opening and landed on the opposite side of the desk from Jian, sword in hand. Startled, Jian leapt to his feet and pulled his sword from its sheath.
“I have returned and you will pay for what you did to me, Jian!” shouted Kaemon.
Jian gaped at the man before him, “Kaemon?! Is that you? I thought you dead.”
“Oh I am alive alright but you won’t be in a minute. Also I am no longer Kaemon Awa, that part of my life is over, I am now the Moon Knight and I have come to kill you!” He raised his sword to strike.
But while they had been conversing, Jian’s guards had circled behind Moon Knight and now charged out swords drawn.
“Sir, behind you!!”
Tai leapt through the hole and landed in front of the soldiers. He drew his katana and slashed at the first man, gashing open the man’s arm. He spun on his heels and sliced the head from the second man’s shoulders. The wounded man turned and rushed out the door, calling out in alarm.
“Sir, finish it and let us be gone.”
“As you wish, Tai.”
As Moon Knight said this, he stabbed at Jian’s chest. The man tried to block the blow, but he was to slow and the blade slid into his upper chest, the tip protruding from his back. Moon Knight yanked his sword from Jian’s chest and turned to Tai.
“Now lets get out of here.”
They ran out the front door and stopped abruptly, for there before them were around 150 armed men, blocking their way.
“Tai, we must break through. CHARGE!!!”
He threw a handful of crescent shaped disks, cutting down six samurai. He charged in with Tai at his side, both of them striking down any in their way, until they were so far in that they were completely surrounded. When it looked like they were about to be cut down, Sun Ce and Zhou Yu smashed into the flank of the samurai. In the confusion, Yu and Ce fought their way to their friend’s sides.
“Looks like we made it just in time, eh Ce.” Yu shouted over the din of battle.
Ce shouted in reply, “Stop talking and fight, AHHH!”
He cried out as an arrow buried itself in his right shoulder, he stepped to the side and stabbed a tall warrior through the stomach.
“Everyone, fight in the same direction. We have to fight our way out of this circle.”
They attacked with renewed vigor and were soon out of the circle of soldiers. They started to run for the eastern gate when Ce stumbled, an arrow sticking from his lower back.
“Go, I will cover your retreat, GO!”
Ce turned to face the oncoming samurai. He slashed out with his two short swords, felling the four lead runners. He held his ground for another minute when a third arrow struck him in the center of his chest. Crying out, he fell to the ground never to rise again. As they neared the gate, fifty spear wielding soldiers appeared in front of them. The three of them charged straight towards the first rank, spinning out of the way of the spears at the last second. Yu fell, as they smashed into the second rank, with a spear in his side. Before he died, Yu struck a piece of flint against some dry grass. The grass burst into fire and Yu dropped it into a pouch at his side, which was full of powder. An explosion rocked the street, throwing Moon Knight and Tai to the ground. They rose shakily and faced the oncoming samurai. Tai staggered as a javelin slammed into his left knee, then the enemy was upon them. Before they could be cut down, a booming voice sounded through the night.
A large man wielding a massive metal mace stepped into the circle.
“My name is Huang Gai and you will pay for what you have done tonight with your lives.”
“Try us.” Replied Tai
Huang Gai smiled then rushed straight for Tai and brought down his huge mace. Tai jerked his sword up to block the mace, but it went right through the sword and smashed into Tai’s shoulder, shattering every bone. He crumpled to the ground and did not get up. Moon Knight cried out in rage and grief then launched himself at Huang Gai. The mace came around in a horizontal swipe, Moon Knight ducked under it and slashed Huang Gai’s side open, he then threw two knives, which buried themselves into the chest of the big man. Huang Gai stepped back and then fell onto his face. Moon Knight felt the bite of steel strike his chest; he dropped to his knees and looked up to the sky.
“I have completed what I had come to do and now I can finally rest.”
The last thing he saw was the sunrise, and then he was engulfed in darkness.

This will certify that the above work is completely original- Andrew James Davis

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