A Solitary Winter, a Chance Encounter with The Sleeping Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Dynasty Warriors series. Any characters but Yin Long belongs to Koei.
Greetings, fans of Dynasty Warriors fandom ^^
This fic here is a result of a plot bunny that had been staying in my mind for the last few months. I originally meant for it to be a oneshot, but I realized that the length of the story is simply too long for a single chapter...
The basic idea of the story here is the "Three visits to the thatched cottage" from Yin Long's point of view. Of course, I added some side-story to "spice up" the fic XDD whether it would be too spicy or not, it is up to you...
I will update this fic when I can, but there is no promise of a regular update.
As usual, I will gladly received your comments, critiques and review. Any flames or spam will be ignored. If you don't like it, just walk away~
This fic took place in the same universe as Eternal Reverie's
A Solitary Winter
Thick dark clouds blocked the sun and cast a shadow over the land as a merciless snowstorm came. Chilling winds carried snows and the occasional hail with them as they froze everything in their path. The harsh weather reduce visibility, made it almost impossible for one to see what's ahead, which only adds more problem to Yin Long's current situation.
Moments ago, the immortal were casually walked along the dirt path leading to the nearest settlement before he finds himself in the path of an oncoming snowstorm. He tried to ran towards the town, but it was too late. Yin Long became lost due to the whiteout, and he had spent the last few hours trying to find shelter.
Yin Long's luck has ran out, for the only thing around him was trees, and the cold temperature finally took it's toll on his body. Yin Long finds himself unable to concentrate as he stumbled through the trees. As his shivering got worse, Yin Long felt no sensation in his hands after he had tripped for the umpteenth times. Following the last fall, Yin Long struggled to lean against a tree for he no longer had the strength to walk. Since he is an immortal, neither the hypothermia nor the storm could end his life, and instead turn the experienced akin to that of a prolonged dying without an end. That is the very reason why Yin Long considered his immortality to be a curse, for in a situation where other people could find comfort in death, Yin Long will only suffer until he lost consciousness.
As if to mock him, the wind slowed down just enough to enable Yin Long to see the lights from a nearby settlement. Had he been in a better condition, Yin Long could find a shelter, but the cold had robbed the energy from his body.
Helpless, lost, and alone, Yin Long had never felt so vulnerable before. In each passing winter, Yin Long had always spent it in loneliness, except for the time when a certain trickster decided to accompany him, and the next winter is just as painful as the last one. Rotten luck follows him in every steps of the way, creating a chain of events that will eventually left him to sleep with no roof above his head. To walk through the cold day without a warm clothes to wear. To starved from the lack of warm food. To be alone, without anyone by his side.
Yin Long's clear, purple eyes welled up with tears which he tried to hold, but soon utterly failed as he cried like a lost child looking for his parents. How he wished that he could just sleep, and then woke up to see his father and brothers waiting for the breakfast made by his mother. How he desperately wish to return to those days. The days before Qin Shi Huang's ambition ruined his entire world. Before he drank the elixir of life. That is what he wished for the most, and he would do anything to have it granted.
Alas, destiny had a different plan, and when he open his eyes, he was soon forced to acknowledge the fate of an immortal that dwells within the mortal realms. They will be hunted down by those who seeks to claim their immortality. They would be shun by others out of fear. They will eventually outlived those around them, still unchanged as their friends and family grew old and pass away. Immortality seems to be the ultimate treasure for those who seeks it, but it is a nightmare for the ones who manages to obtain it. Those were the fate that Yin Long, still the same thirteen year old boy as he was when he drank the elixir, wished to avoid. But in the end, he bitterly accept the truth...
...a solitary winter is the fate of an immortal...
A Chance Encounter
After a while, the snowstorm has significantly subsides. However, the weather is still harsh enough that one could feel the freezing air creeping into their veins despite being inside the safety and comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. The passenger, Huang Chengyan and his daughter, Huang Yue Ying, were on their way back to their home after the former had picked the latter on his way there.
"Father, please forgive me for troubling you," Yue Ying said, "I'm too focused on testing my newest invention, and failed to notice the oncoming storm before it is too late."
"It's okay Yue Ying, I'm just glad that I happen to cross path with you," Huang Chengyan replied, "But couldn't you ask other people to test it ? Why do you have to do it yourself ?"
Huang Yue Ying, wife of the then-infamous Zhuge Liang, is gifted with an intellect that rivaled the renowned scholars at the time. She had studied everything she could, such as literature, strategy, and maybe some magic as well. A talented inventor, it is her incredibly life-like wooden puppets that impressed Zhuge Liang enough to marry her. She also had some other inventions, though most of them were still designs at best. Yue Ying had just done a field test on one of her newest inventions, which is a repeating crossbow. It was the product of both Yue Ying's and Zhuge Liang's knowledge, and the main goal was to have a crossbow that possessed higher firing rate than normal crossbow. However, as Yue Ying noted on her field test, it is still far from completion...
"The reason for that is because if I do it personally, I could see the flaw and quickly find a way to handle it, something that took more time if it was done via proxy," Yue Ying answered, "Beside, I don't want anyone to get hurt if there is a fatal flaw in the design."
A smile appear on Huang Chengyan's face. He is grateful to be gifted with a daughter such as Yue Ying, but what truly brings joy to his heart is the fact that Yue Ying use her talents wisely. This is why Zhuge Liang were interested when Chengyan told him about Yue Ying, enough for the sleeping dragon to ask Yue Ying's hand in marriage. There were more to that story, but it is for another time...
"Well, I can only hope that there is no need for any of these in the future," Chengyan stated as he took Yue Ying's crossbow, noting the carvings of dragon all over the weapon, "But with the situation around the land, that is unlikely..."
"I know... but someday, the time will come when my dear Zhuge Liang's intellect are needed to bring peace back to the land. When that time comes, I shall be by his side to support him until the very end."
Chengyan's saw the determination in his daughter's eyes, and it made him realized just how lucky Zhuge Liang is to have someone such as Yue Ying by his side.
Yue Ying looked outside, noticing that the snowstorm had somewhat died down. She still unable to see far enough, but there were enough visibility for her to spot a figure half-buried in the snow.
"Stop the carriage!" Yue Ying exclaimed.
The coachman complied, and at first Huang Chengyan were confused when his daughter ran out from the carried, but he soon realized why when he steps out as well. Despite almost completely covered with snow, both Yue Ying and Chengyan could see that there is someone leaning against a tree just ahead of them. Yue Ying were the first to reach the figure, and much to her shock, it is a boy around 12-13 years old. She check for a pulse, and much to her relief there was one. However, the boy unresponsive, and his body temperature is dangerously low.
"Get him inside the carriage!" Chengyan ordered the coachman as he discarded his winter coat and covered the boy with it.
The coachman helped the Huang in placing the boy inside the carriage, and due to the lack of space Chengyan voluntered to sit beside the coachman. "Yue Ying, take care of the boy."
"Will he be alright ?" Yue Ying asked.
"We will see," Chengyan replied before he closed the carriage's door.
The carriage then sped off in full speed towards the town. It was a bumpy ride, but Yue Ying managed to made sure that it won't affect the boy too much. As the carriage got closer to it's destination, none of them realized that they had just rescued the immortal Yin Long...
The Sleeping Dragon
Yin Long's POV
Before I fall unconscious, I was leaning half-frozen against a tree in the middle of a snowstorm. Which is the reason why I was surprised to find myself in a warm and comfortable room. Gone was the coldness in my vein and bones, replaced by the warmth from a layer of blanket. I opened my eyes and inspected my surroundings. I am currently lying on a bed within a small and simple room, with various scroll paintings hanging on the walls. My bags, one containing my personal effects while the smaller one for storing my spear Du She Juan, were placed beside my bed.
When I sat up, I noticed that I now worn a new set of clothes. Made sense, since the one I wore before must had been soaked up from the snow. I opened the window, hoping that it could give me a clue about my location, and was greeted by a cool winter breeze. Outside, there was a garden completely covered by snow from the ground and to the branches. Songs of various birds could be heard coming from all direction to further enhance the beauty of the garden. My lips formed a smile as I carved these images into my mind.
"To think that these snow could rob the warmth out of someone's body, yet they also able to give warmth to one's heart... nature is mysterious indeed."
Moments passed before I snapped out of my reverie, and gets out from the bed. Someone had saved my life, even though it is unnecessary since I could never die if I try, and I have an obligation to repay their kindness. I went out from the room to try and find my rescuer...
… and after I had wandered around for a while, it turn out to be a task that is easier said than done. As I searched around, I realized that this place is more of a cottage than a house, and the presence of more paintings and other arts showed that whoever lived here is a cultured individual. From the poems I found in some of the painting, I could see that they were also talented. Aside from this discovery however, I am still unable to find my host.
I entered yet another room that seemed to be the study, judging from all of the books and scrolls within the room. Various records of past events and literature were neatly arranged in the cabinets, and a writing table were placed near the window, beside a drawers that presumably contained writing tools. My curiosity got the better of me as I looked around before a certain book caught my attention. It is a record about the Qin dynasty, the period when I originated from. I picked it up and flipped through the pages while memories, both fond and painful ones, filled my mind. I fondly smiled as I stroke a page. "How nostalgic..."
"I am pleased to see that you are now well enough to walk."
Surprised, I nearly dropped the book when I heard someone by the door. I fumbled around with it before I could regain my composure. I looked by the door and saw a man, with a crane feather fan in his hand, who is somewhat amused by my antics. His very presence irradiates an aura of wisdom, and his calm and serene expression made it hard for one to read his emotion.
"Forgive me, I do not mean to startle you. I am Zhuge Liang, my wife and her father had rescued you from the snowstorm. If it is okay, may I know your name, young one ?" Zhuge Liang said.
I've heard of the name Zhuge Liang, the man who earned the epithet of "the Sleeping Dragon". He was given that title because some people thought Zhuge Liang's reputation is merely an exaggeration since he stayed in isolation and thus rarely have the chance to prove them wrong. Those who know him however considered him to be the epitome of knowledge, whose wisdom and intellect is second to none. Since I mostly heard about Zhuge Liang from the mouth of other people, I decided to see his worth with my own two eyes. And that's how, on my journey to his cottage at Wolonggang, I got stuck in a snowstorm. Since now is a good time to test Zhuge Liang's wisdom, I decided to see if he could saw through my disguise.
"I am deeply grateful for your kindness, xiansheng," I said as I bowed in respect before him, "I, the unrefined, are called Yin Long. I am a member of the Beggars' Sect, and I was fulfilling a request when I got caught in the snowstorm."
For a moment, it seems that I had managed to trick the dragon. I have fooled other people with this charade, though mostly because the people seems to prefer the help from a member of the Beggars' sect than a stranger's. Zhuge Liang's response however, completely caught me by surprise.
"I see, but shouldn't you be at Xia kou now ? The monthly meeting is currently being held there."
Zhuge Liang's chuckled soon proved that I had fallen to his trap. My surprise and hesitation in answering seems to convinced him that I am not who I claim to be.
"As I expected, you are not being truthful with me. Would you be kind enough to drop the facade and speak the truth ?" Zhuge Liang asked as he fan himself.
"I am impressed... clearly you are not as gullible as the others. But what tip you off ?"
Zhuge Liang calmly walked into the room, his emotion and expression almost impossible to read. "Your lie is good enough to fool other people because there are no hesitation in the delivery," Zhuge Liang stated, "However, you have overlook some fatal flaws in your statement."
"First of all, the location and time of the meeting are known only to the member of the Sect so an outsider like me shouldn't have any knowledge of it. If you really are a member of the Beggars' Sect, then you will neither hesitate nor surprised like you did before."
Zhuge Liang sat before the writing table, still casually fanning himself while I looked on. "Second of all, all members of the Beggars' Sect carried with them at least one pouch-like bag to signify his member ship and ranks, yet you possessed none," Zhuge Liang said, "And lastly, although not all of the Sect's members were beggars, I doubt any of them could afford the high-quality silk robe that you wore when you were brought here."
I chuckled, impressed by how Zhuge Liang saw through my lies and point out my mistakes as well. Truly, those who doubted him were deeply mistaken. "I should have known better than to test the dragon...," I said as I once again bowed at him, "Forgive me for my insolence. I am actually a drifter, one without a destination, and I have came here to see the wisdom of Zhuge Liang."
"Then, are you satisfied with what you see ?" Zhuge Liang asked.
"Xiansheng, you have surpassed my expectation. There are those who doubted your ability, but I can see now that they were wrong."
"You have fulfilled your goal, Yin Long, what will you do now ?"
What will I do ? Since I have all the time in the world, not that I wanted it though, whatever I do never matters. But Zhuge Liang's wife had saved my life, so I must repay it in any way possible. "Xiansheng, your wife saved my life, so I must repay her kindness. If you allow me to, I shall stay here for a while, not as a quest but as a servant. It is the least that I could do."
Zhuge Liang were silent for some moments after I said that. Whether he was surprised or deep in though, I have no idea...
"I can tell that nothing could change your mind," Zhuge Liang finally said after an awkward silence, "Very well then, you can stay here as long as you like and you are free to leave whenever you want. You don't have to tell me when you will depart, but remember to say goodbye to my wife, Yue Ying when you do."
I bowed at Zhuge Liang after he dismissed me, and then I met his aforementioned wife, Yue Ying, as soon as I stepped into the hallway. She were happy to see me, and told me that I had been unconscious for three days straight. Yue Ying then showed me to my room, and after I had done admiring her beautiful visage, something that Zhuge Liang said bothers me for reasons unknown.
His words confused me, for I have no clue of what he had meant by that. It is only later did I realized the meaning behind that statement.
And that's it for now~
If I got anything wrong, be it the information or the characterization, then please forgive me and point it out for me. I don't know much about Chinese culture at that time and I suck at using canon chara =_=
Xiansheng (先生, xiānshēng) : Mister/Mr. (I know that it might not be polite/formal enough, but I have no other choice. I lack any knowledge of Chinese culture and the terms "Prime Minister" is not yet available for use during this timeline since Shu is not formed yet =_=)
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and if you have the time, please take a look at my other stories XDD killed