Diao Chan this time.


She danced with the grace of falling autumn leaves. Golden and red, always falling, always dancing, always a sad sight to behold when you realized that winter was just after autumn. Diao Chan had those icy eyes, that gaze that shone like well-polished jades, those eyes that reminded Lu Bu and Dong Zhuo of the coming winter, and that Diao Chan, even though her beauty surpassed that of anything they'd ever seen, held the only kind of determination a woman could have.

Diao Chan was the kind of beauty you only saw in autumn, surrounded by the falling leaves and the cool, nice air, and the dying shreds of the sunset as they disappeared behind mountain tops. She wore the charming shades of pink, like an early sunrise, and she was like autumn leaves in the shining pale pink sunrise.

She was a beauty, albeit a manipulative one. However, neither Lu Bu nor Dong Zhuo knew of how dangerous she really was, like frost on growing crops. They did not know how intelligent she truly was, or of how she clung to her father's dying words like a poor man clung to a gold coin. They knew not of how dangerous this autumn-like beauty really was. They did not.

She danced with the grace of autumn leaves, curling in the air and covering the dying grass with their beauty. Her beauty covered up the dying, manipulative, sad woman inside. The roses she adorned covered up the truly strategic woman inside.

It would be her who came between Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu in the end.

It would be her who became Lu Bu's downfall.

She did not care for either of them. As long as they were needed for her father's plans, Diao Chan would keep them alive, serving as stones on a much larger game of Go. She would dance for them as long as they heeded her words, as long as they listened to her, and her alone. She would use them.

She suspected that Zhang Liao knew of her deceitful nature. The way he watched her when Lu Bu ran out to battle, and she remained behind, whip on hand in case of emergency, always suspicious, always careful, always scrutinizing. He must have thought the autumn-like beauty and idiot if she wouldn't notice. Zhang Liao said nothing though, and Diao Chan suspected that he thought her as much a beauty as her pawns did.

She danced like autumn leaves, always falling, always dancing, but only with a purpose.

And that purpose was for her father's plans.

She smelled of autumn and darkness, as Lu Bu would soon tell her, after she'd used him for the first time. She smelled of falling leaves. Of kindness. Lu Bu admired her gentle nature, admired the way he was pulled in by her kindness and pretty face.

He was a fool, she'd soon think, to be so entranced by autumn leaves.

She spoke with a quite tongue, as Dong Zhuo would soon tell her, after she'd used him for the first time. She spoke rarely, and when she did, it was quiet, and reminded the ugly man of a soothing stream, and Dong Zhuo admired the way she kept to herself.

She hates them both.

Her father had told her to live her life, the way she wanted to live it.

But Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu had enslaved her and trapped her and she could not leave of her own will. She hates them. She hates them so very much. They remind her of the slavers that often came by her home village, always mean and always hateful and always willing to see a good dance and listen to a sweet song she was forced to play for them.

She is like autumn leaves, Lu Bu and Dong Zhuo both think. Always dancing, always gently falling, always beautiful.

They are idiots.

Her fingers run gently across the pipa, and for once, she is all alone. And they aren't pawing after her, and she has time to think. The song sounds beautiful in the quiet, without the raucous sound of a drunk Dong Zhuo or a commenting Lu Bu. She likes it when it's like this. Diao Chan loves when she is alone and she can think.

She is like autumn leaves.

Silently falling.

Short sweet, spur-of-the-moment.

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