Author's Notes: Hello, everybody!  I just recently got into Dynasty Warriors and now, I am officially hooked.  That game is a huge stress reliever, that I can tell you honestly.  This story is going to be mostly based upon Zhou Yu and Xiao Qiao's relationship (with some Sun Ce and Da Qiao).  Of all of the Fanfiction that I've read in this section of Fanfiction.net, none of them ever explains how they got together.  Yes, I know... Dynasty Warriors 4's Wu Tales with Sun Ce and Zhou Yu rescuing them and whatever, but so what?  Are we to assume that they fell in love with one another when Zhou Yu rides the Red Hare (yes, in my game, Zhou Yu was riding the Red Hare) up to our favorite heroine and says, "Don't worry, you will never leave my side ever again"?  Wait, yes, we CAN assume that, but I never quite understood this entire love thing from the little tidbits they threw out to us during the game.

Disclaimer:  I do not own the Dynasty Warriors characters.

NOTE: During the first few chapters of the story, there will be parts that seem disconnected with what was happening before.  Those are flashbacks and they will be separated from the actual course of the story by horizontal rules.  I apologize if they are a bit confusing.

Onwards to the story.

Chapter One - The Rescue

            I smoothed my gown of red cloth carefully, fashioned from the most expensive silk and decorated with enough tiny pearls to feed a poor village for a month or two.  A pair of hands belonging to a fussing maid pulled my auburn hair backwards away from my face, combing it while chanting some silly superstition at the same time.  Skillfully, she twisted it up, inserting pins and jeweled clips alike into my hair, which has been brushed until it shines half an hour ago.

            I didn't really pay her much regard, my eyes upon the clasped hands on my lap.  For the tenth time in the last two minutes, my mind questioned my decision.  Was this right?  What would my parents say?  They will be delighted, I'm sure.  The closest person to me is... she told me many, many times.  She was actually the one that urged me to go through with this in the first place.  She wouldn't lie to me, I know it.  She always knows what is correct and what isn't.  It is stupid to even think about this, isn't it?

            If I am sure about it all, then why am I wishing that I could just take everything back?

            My hands tightened around the red handkerchief I was holding.

            ... What am I doing here?

            "There you go!"  The woman behind me smiled, stepping backwards as a declaration of satisfaction.  "Pretty as a picture!"

            My gaze flickered up, coffee-colored eyes meeting in the mirror in front of me.  The reflection of a young lady, erased of her immaturity and youth, stared back at me.  Unable to respond, I turned around slightly when I was stopped by a gasp from the maid.

            "No, milady!  I nearly forgot!"  She exclaimed ruefully.  She hurried over to the mountain of boxes and chests in my room and grabbed a small one.  Returning to my side, she opened it to reveal a necklace of different colored gems, which glittered with a radiance of its own.  Still not instigating a response from me, she took it cautiously from its case and placed it on my neck.

            She hummed while she fastened the clasp.  "The Lord sent it here this morning.  It was so thoughtful of him, isn't it?  He wants the best of everything for you.  Such charisma is hard to find these days.  You have no idea how lucky you are, milady..."

            My mind tuned her out.  Am I really lucky?  Is what I have what women everywhere dreams about?  Why is that so difficult to imagine?

            "Ying Fa?"  I said all of the sudden, interrupting the maid's chatter.  "May I please be alone for a moment?"

            "Of course, of course!"  She curtsied and exited quickly, closing the doors behind her.  The room was thrown into silence.

            I turned to the mirror again, studying my facade.  A hand reached upwards and grasped the hefty crimson crystal pendant on my necklace, the rough edges of the stone digging into my palm.

            I was taken aback at the slight sting that ran through my senses.  Still certain that I was dreaming, I gripped the necklace with all of my strength, feeling the jewel make light cuts on my skin.  I opened my hand and watched, hypnotized by the gradual flow of blood that came out of my wounds.

            I ignored the discomfort and shut my eyes.  So this is all real...


            Slowly, the sun vanished from the sky and night began to spin its enchanting spell across the land.  The chirping of the birds and the rustling sounds of the occasional animal in the forest died away, replaced by absolute silence.  One by one, stars appeared in the dark blue heavens, like pinpoints on velvet cloth, carefully plotted and woven by a delicate hand.  At the beginning, I would count as they spread, but soon, there will be far too many for me to continue.  A breeze filtered through the trees, blowing my hair away from my face, and escaped as swiftly as it came.  For as far as the eye could see, a gorgeous land awaited with lush fields, fair weather, and tranquility that has been stolen from China since the wars began... a peaceful and beautiful sanctuary at a first glance.

            I hate this place.

            I closed my eyes and for the millionth time, I'm sure, I prayed that when I opened them again, I will be back in my father's house and that my sister and I have listened to warnings and not gone outside.  If only I actually paid heed to the more sensible side of myself, I would not be suffering the results of trampling my own conscience underneath the foot of the careless and rebellious streak I possess.  In the long run, it was I who got my sister and I into this mess.  It was my fault that Dong Zhuo found us and then stole us away to keep as God knows what.  Since it was, what am I supposed to do about it?

            Suddenly, the sounds of laughing arrived to my ears and I cringed.  Dong Zhuo's soldiers.  They seemed to be multiplying by the hours.  That sound of mirth disgusted me.  Whatever made them this happy must be one, perverted, and two, sickening.  Ever since the day that I was so fed up being a hostage and attempted to flee, more and more reinforcements have been arriving to make sure that it never happens again.  It was a move made by sheer stupidity...

            ... Just like the one that got us captured in the first place.

            At the moment, I hated myself more than I ever did in all sixteen years of my life.  Why must I always act before I think?

            "It's not your fault," Da would assure me whenever she found me in a brooding mood.  "You didn't know that it was going to happen."  I just smiled in a half-convincing way, but inside, I knew that it was my blame to shoulder.  My sister was always the type to avoid thinking that people truly meant their bad deeds and to her, I was no different.  But I knew better, even though I am often seen as the naive and juvenile one.  I knew that if I haven't been so blinded to advice, this would never have occurred.

            What will become of us?

            My mind ran through a couple of possibilities, each looking worse than the last.  Are we to be sold into the whore house to be expensive escorts?  I felt dread crept over me, eating away the corners of my resolve and soul.  Or married into his family to be his concubines?  Join the ranks of... Diao Chan?  That last option didn't lift my spirits up one bit at all.

            I walked out of the room that my sister and I shared and strolled into the yard in front of it, knowing that she stood up and followed me.

            "Xiao?"  She said, worry plain in her voice.  "Are you alright?"

            I stopped and turned about.  "I'm fine, sister.  I'm just going to walk around for a while."  She doesn't look like she believed me so I held up my fans as if to punctuate my point.  "I can take care of myself.  Don't worry!"  I threw her a smile.  "Besides, I won't be gone for long.  I just want to get a breath of air."  Finally, she nodded and I moved to the large double doors, pushing them open.

            I stepped outside and stride until I was out of the vicinity of the doors.  Naturally, Dong Zhuo placed us as far as possible from the gate ahead, which leads to freedom.  His property isn't exactly small, completed with a circular lake and roads surrounded by trees.  And it isn't as if I know my way around either.  After all, when we were first brought here, we were locked in a windowless carriage, frightened out of our wits to actually do much in the first place.

            Again, laughter floated to me, causing my insides to twist uncomfortably.  What were they going to do to us?  What if we could never see the outside world again and the only people that we come in contact with are Dong Zhuo, his servants, and his female companions?  At that, I felt a sinking sensation.  I don't want to think about that.  I don't want to surrender my faith.  I don't want to give up the hope that the Gods will pity us and enable a miracle to happen.

            Then, hope, no matter how silly or ridiculous, is always... comforting.

            But the odds seemed to be against us.  How long has it been since we were first brought here?  Days stretched into weeks and weeks stretched into months.  Time will still continue to run pass and nothing has changed.  We are still prisoners, like birds trapped in a cage.

            Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something soaring through the air.  A bird.  No, it would be wrong to compare ourselves to animals such as those.  After all, they have wings.

            Where are ours?

            At that moment, even though my spirit fought hard to not give in, I found myself drowning in absolute despair.  As if sensing my torment, the skies opened up and rain poured heavily upon me.  As much as I wished to hold my tears in, to remain strong and defiant to my fate, a single one streaked down my cheek and mingled in with the ones from the heavens... the beginning of many more to come.

            I don't know how long I've stood out there, slipping deeper and deeper into my thoughts, but the next thing I knew was that the rain has stopped to a light drizzle and there was no longer laughter; stillness reigned in the air.  It was a tense silence, electrified with fear and anticipation.  I frowned and was about to go back inside when a group of soldiers noticed me.

            "There she is!"  The captain cried, pointing at me.  "Don't let her get away!"

            "What?"  I was confused.  "What is going on?  Hey!  Let go of me!"  A soldier gripped my arm roughly and out of instinct, I tried to twist out of his hold.  "Let go, let go, let go!"  When all attempts failed, I turned to my fan and in a quick move, dealt a smack with it in the face of the offending officer.  Stunned, he let go of my limb like it was a snake that just writhed threateningly.  He staggered, grabbing his nose with his hands.  I took several steps back.

            "What is the matter with you?"  The captain demanded impatiently.  "Get her!"

            "She brokessh my noseths sir!"  The soldier managed to sputter out, blood seeping through his fingers.

            The captain gave a sign of frustration.  "Must I do everything?"  He muttered.  "You four!"  He gestured at his escorts.  "Split up and surround her!  Dong Zhuo will have our heads if she escapes!"

            "What are you talking about?!"  I exclaimed, inching backwards as they advanced on me.  "I was not trying to escape!"  However, they just ignored me, too concerned with the aftermath of failure than to listen to my inquiries.  One lunged at me, which I side-tracked hastily and crashed into soldier, who grabbed me by the waist.  I struggled and then answered by bringing the heel of my foot into his shin.  Released, I flicked open my double fans and lashed out at the man heading my way, the sharp edges of my fans ripping the skin of his torso open.  That was when I slashed my weapons across his face, creating deep gashes on his visage.

            Taking in the group's surprise at my response, I attacked another soldier, throwing out my fans in a circular motion that cut into his neck from behind.  He fell to the floor and I caught my fans as they cycled back to me.  One down, five more to go.

            I took down another soldier when I was assaulted from behind.  Shocked, I tripped forward and hit the ground.  I could feel the birth of a heavy bruise on my back, realizing that the captain had whacked me hard with the side of his pike.  I winced.

            "You little bitch!"  He growled, wearing the new cuts and wounds that I delivered him all over his arms and chest.  His face twisted with anger and he suddenly grabbed me by my wrists, dragging me to my feet forcefully.  I whimpered, my back telling me unmistakably that this new position does not agree with it.

            "I will teach you a lesson, you whore!"  He raised his hand and pulled it backwards.  I closed my eyes and braced myself for the slap... which never came.

            There was a masculine scream of agony followed by the abrupt dropping of my hands.  It wasn't until the sounds of several bodies hitting the grass that I finally opened my eyes hesitantly.

            My savior gave me a concerned look.  "Are you alright?"

            Long brown hair framed his face, falling below his shoulders.  He was outfitted in red and even in the dim light, I could make out the intricate designs and symbols on his robes.

            A Wu general.

            "I-I'm fine."  I finally managed to reply, my voice wavering.  Is he here to rescue me or take me to another place where I will be held captive again?

            "My name is Zhou Yu," he introduced himself and bowed at me politely, his eyes never straying away from mine.  He took my hand in his.  "Don't worry.  You will never leave my side ever again."




            And I believed him.  Now that I look back on it, I want to laugh at the sheer idiocy that consumed me when I fell for his words... and for him at the same time.  "You will never leave my side ever again."  Such nauseating lies, spewed by a man whose tongue is paid to be cunning and stylishly deceptive.  Am I nothing more than an object in this game?

            There was a knock on my door.  "Milady?"  It was the maid.  "It's time."

            I stood up, wiping away the blood from my hands.  Taking the red headpiece from my bed, I took a deep breath.  "I'm ready," I said, more to myself than to the women waiting outside my room.

            With that, I enveloped my vision in darkness.

End of chapter one

FAQ

Q:  What happened between Xiao Qiao and Zhou Yu?  Why is she acting as if he is an asshole?

A:  Well, I started this story smack in the middle of what I have so far of their relationship.  The story will begin this way and later chapters will go into their past.  I do not mean short little interludes here and there but you will feel as if I never mentioned the present.  It will become clearer when you get there.

Q:  What is Xiao Qiao doing in this chapter?  Is she suicidal?
A:  She's getting married to Zhou Yu.  Those who have background knowledge of Chinese traditions in marriage will understand the things that I said.  The ending line is that she covered her head with the headpiece.  No, she isn't suicidal; she just did the thing with the necklace because she wanted to make sure that she isn't dreaming.

Q:  Why is Xiao Qiao so out of character?

A:  Because of what happened between Zhou Yu and her.  I know that she is supposed to be very cheerful, but you cannot expect her to be exactly that when so many things have occurred.

Q:  No, I mean in the beginning.
A:  She was kidnapped by Dong Zhuo.  If you were to become his sex slave, I think that you will feel the same also.  Besides, I'm writing from her point of view so of course it will seem a bit… depressed.

Q:  Are you going to be switching points of views during the Fanfiction?
A:  Quite possibly, but "I" will only be used for Xiao Qiao.

Q:  How old are the characters?
A:  Even though Xiao Qiao and Da Qiao look amazingly young in the game, I believe their actual ages is sixteen for Xiao Qiao and seventeen for Da Qiao.  I took a wild guess and I made Zhou Yu twenty-one because I will not have a relationship between a sixteen (or younger) year old and a nearly thirty year old man.  It's straight out of a Jerry Springer show.  Yes, I do know that people get married very young in China back then, but it will be very difficult to write.  Besides, he doesn't look that old in the game either.  Sun Ce will be the same age as Zhou Yu.  Sun Quan will be nineteen and Sun Shang Xiang will be eighteen.

Q:  Will this end up being a Zhou Yu and Xiao Qiao story?  What are the other pairings?

A:  Yes, it will and other pairings include Sun Ce and Da Qiao.  I'm not into twisting around what the game already gave us.

Q:  This story sucks!  I crap out better Fanfiction than this!

A:  First of all, that isn't a question.  And secondly, good for you!  When you stumble upon a way to upload excrement onto the Internet, tell me and I will review you.

I love feedback so please, please, please review.  It will give me inspiration to write more.