~ kittykittyhunter ~

My father had little time for games when I was a boy. Horses, crudely carved, became my favourite toys. I would repeatedly charge my steeds into battle, imagining the thunderous roar of their hooves, swallowing the columns of dream-dust that rose from the dry ground.

I showed admirable foresight by investing myself in war. I became acquainted with a variety of weapons, learning quickly that my place was as the conqueror of the battlefield. Our lives are painted with bloodshed, one conflict swiftly following another.

Ambition. That is the word my father's critics choose to employ – they deride his ambition, his desire to unite the Three Kingdoms. But I am more knowledgeable than they. I know full well the force that motivates the Hero of Chaos, Cao Cao.

I am tempered by the same greed.

I shall defeat the sentimental cowards who govern Shu. I shall vanquish the powerless fools who manage Wu. The Three Kingdoms will collapse into one, ruled by me. Then Zhen Ji, my beautiful flower, shall enjoy the finest luxuries: the most elegant silks, the most exotic perfumes. Our children will have the greatest of playgrounds.

Meanwhile, my father shall be free to retire and enjoy what remains of his health. For that to happen, I must begin the rest of my preparations at once. Dian Wei and Xu Zhu are fiercely loyal; under no circumstance will they be swayed from my father's side. No plans may be built on Zhang Liao: he may vanish without notice. I must monitor Xiahou Dun to assess his interests. Sima Yi and Zhang He – they, I am certain, are as willing as I to usher in Wei's finest era. Soon, they will be committed to my cause.

I have heard my destiny beckon.