Hey there. VaLente is back with the second installment of the newly-redone Chaos Reigns: Rise of a New Hero(or RNH, for short). Last time, we saw this saga's first major enemy make its debut in the now devastated Lou Sang Village.

However, those bandits found a severe roadblock in the form of a young boy who appears to exhibit some strange, yet malevolent and powerful latent ability. Who is this child, and what will his mark be in this world of chaos?

Find out now...

Warnings and disclaimers are explained in the first chapter.

Text Key:

"speech"

'thought'

"enraged or spiritually empowered speech"

*sound effect*

*loud sound effect*

(author comments)

-{[scene heading and info]}-

flashbacks & emphasized wording

narration


(Last time, on Chaos Reigns...)

"...THEN I'LL GIVE YOU ONE!" the boy bellowed, murderous intent flooding his voice as he charged at the unprepared rogues.

In the wake of the devastated Lou Sang Village, none would hear the agonized, terrified bandits' screams echo across the landscape…none but three individuals, who would never believe what was happening until they came upon the scene's aftermath...

...a discovery that would forever change their lives and quite possibly, the very course of history itself...

(And now...)


A lone village utterly annihilated...

Innocent people massacred by those with no reason nor remorse...

Such is the fate of those who live in times like these.

However...

Who is this young boy whose power allows him to attack and slaughter a roving band of rogues with ease and without mercy? Did he or the other two men survive their potentially deadly encounters?

Three special individuals shall learn the answers to these inquiries...and much, much more...


-{[Guang Zong; Han main camp]}-

The leader of the volunteer forces, Liu Bei, could only watch in silence and remembrance as he stared at the currently sleeping young boy whom he had found unconscious just outside a burning village not long ago.

His rational mind easily figured out what had happened; the child had obviously been forced to leave the village due to an assault by the Yellow Turbans. However, that didn't explain the state in which he had found the child...


-{[flashback; half an hour after the prologue's end]}-

The scene that he and his brothers had come upon could only be described as a complete massacre.

Blood was everywhere. Bodies were strewn about the barren field, all of them in horrifying states and some of them even lying atop rocks or hanging from tree branches! The first thought to come to Liu's mind was that some giant wild animal had assaulted the bandits.

However, that train of thought was decidedly cut off when he saw a part of this gruesome scene that truly tore at his heart and being...

A young child...a boy, it appeared, was sprawled out against the ground. His prone body was covered in blood from head to toe, and he showed no signs of life.

'Not even the children were spared...' Bei thought as he approached the boy's body, his brothers following behind him solemnly and in silence. 'You did not deserve such a fate, young one...' he continued mentally, kneeling down and gently touching the child's forehead.

This boy, cut down when he couldn't have been any older than nine or ten...Despite his peaceful nature, Liu Bei couldn't help but inwardly curse the Yellow Turbans and the chaos they had wrought.

'Young one...I swear, for you and all the other innocent people who have lost their lives to this destruction, the Yellow Turbans shall pay for their transgressions!' Bei inwardly vowed as he rose to a standing position and was about to leave, when...

"Uhh...Urgh..." the three brothers heard a groan emanate from the supposedly dead child. Turning to look at what seemed to be a miracle, they saw the young blood-saturated boy begin to move, albeit at a dangerously slow pace.

Rushing to his aid, Bei carefully aided in his ascent, only stopping when the boy had finally risen into a sitting position. Liu and his brothers remained quiet as the boy groaned a bit more before settling in his state, opening a single, tired cerulean-blue eye to peer at them.

Shocked beyond words at how this boy was still alive, the three could only watch as the boy smiled lightly, apparently deeming them to not be a threat. Even the normally boisterous Zhang Fei had no words to convey his incredulity at this mere boy surviving what was definitively a fatal encounter to this group of marauding bandits.

"H-Help finally...came...thank goodness..." the child spoke before falling unconscious once again, Bei caught his form and, fearing the worst, checked for breathing.

Fortunately, he was still going, if only barely. His breathing was faint, but audible. Liu Bei, incapable of being willing to simply leave the boy to die here, cradled his form and rose again, the boy now in his arms as he began walking towards his destination, his brothers wordlessly following behind as they easily made out his intention.


-{[flashback end]}-

A certain nine-year-old boy was utterly confused when he felt himself awake within what appeared to be unknown territory. He could tell that he was in a lying-down position, but he didn't open his eyes just yet, wanting to get a good feel for his surroundings first.

The first thing he noticed was that he was warm and that the light in whatever area he was in was quite dimmed. He also sensed the telltale presence of another human being near his form.

At first, the boy was apprehensive. Had he been captured? Forcing himself to calm down as best he could, he relaxed his body and rested for a bit longer; mentally weaving his way through his memories in order to try and figure out what had happened.

The burning village...

The deaths of his parents and sister...

His lone exodus from the town...

The bandit ambush!

That was as far as his remembrance went...But, what had occurred between said ambush and here? He cleared his mind further and delved deeper in order to discover his answers.

What he found was far beyond anything he had expected...


-{[flashback; mental recollection]}-

(play Tenkai's theme from Sengoku Basara 3)

Blood.

Blood, blood, blood!

'What in the world happened here?!' the boy thought as he beheld the scene played out before him. The bandits, or at least, their corpses, looked like they had gotten run through by a roving mob of wild animals!

He could just barely keep himself from puking as he saw the rogues' bodies strewn about in the field, some of them atop rocks, hanging from tree branches; hell, there was even a disembodied head five feet away from its beheaded body!

All of the bodies had varying degrees of gut-wrenching wounds displayed prominently on their fallen forms; necks slashed wide open, arms and legs nearly severed from the main body, nearly enough skin sheared from their chests to allow for the organs within to be seen.

Trying and failing to wrap his head around this massacre, the boy continually found himself asking who, or what, could possibly have done this?!

The inquiry burned into his mind, he suddenly felt a strange urge to turn around, despite a horrible feeling in his gut that told him he wouldn't like what he found. But, as does most any child, curiosity got the better of him, so he decided to look at what the feeling was directing him towards.

What he saw would haunt him for years to come.

A young 'person' (the term used extremely loosely in this instance) was standing over a very much defeated rogue, a sword pierced into the beaten man's stomach and nailing him to the unforgiving earth below his prone form.

The strange, yet at the same time terrifying, factor was that, besides the decidedly evil and malevolent crimson and slitted eyes, the apparent victor looked to be a carbon copy of...himself, right down to the silver locks of hair.

'I...I-Is that ME?!' the boy inwardly thought/yelled, incredulous at this revelation. Was this really what had happened? Was he truly the cause of this wanton slaughter?!

"No...N-N-No...!" he began to mumble, scared beyond all belief and nearly in hysterics over the situation's severity. "T-This c-can't be true...T-This isn't r-real..." he continued, fear and irrationality threatening to overtake his mind.

"M-Make it...make it st-stop...!" he cried, tears spilling from his eyes as the scene continued to play out before him like a never-ending nightmare. "MAKE IT STOP!" he screamed to the heavens, his tortured mind finally acquiescing as the scene shattered before his vision like a pane of glass.


-{[flashback end]}-

"AAHH!" the boy suddenly screamed, jerking to a sitting position within the area he had been brought to.

That vision...that nightmare...it was so vivid, and all too real...he felt physically ill just thinking about it.

His young and lithe frame was saturated with sweat; tears marred his face, and his breaths came out in short, gasping pants that were frequent to the point of hyper-ventilation.

He suddenly felt two arms grasp his shoulders, and his fear quickly skyrocketed to unprecedented heights as he began to shake almost violently, lashing out at whomever had performed the action with all the strength his adrenaline-charged body could muster, his sight practically red at the flurry of emotion rushing through his form at this point.

He felt the fist he had thrown be caught and held down almost effortlessly on his 'attacker's' part, so he settled for scrambling into a standing position in a hurry. He barely registered the other person's voice address him as he jerked the arm from the person's grip and backed away as far as he could, wanting to put as much distance as could be made between the two beings.

His back hit the wall, and he stopped moving as his body finally began to settle from its fear-induced high, his slightly-deepened breathing beginning to still and his sight starting to settle until he could see the other person clearly.

The human here with him was obviously male, but he had a particularly young face with no facial hair to be seen. His armor was mainly green with a regal golden design inscribed along the top half. His outfit was segmented at the jointed areas, particularly at the waist with a white sash and the neck with a white wrap-around that fused into a flowing cape behind his form. His gold shoulder pads appeared to have the face of an animal of sorts emblazoned upon them, and atop his arms rested emerald-green gauntlets that ended just before his fingers. His helmet appeared to hold together his slicked-back hairstyle, said hair having two bangs which flowed to just below his shoulders.

The man was obviously a fair bit surprised, rightfully so, considering the boy's outburst just a minute ago, but the shock only showed in his eyes, as the rest of his visage was that of a calm and peaceful serenity, one that helped the child to cool down from his physical tirade with a few more deep breaths and a light sigh as his body's adrenaline-charged state finally wore off.

(play "Hide Emotion" from Dynasty Warriors 7)

The person here didn't seem to be a threat, and he definitely didn't appear to be a bandit, so the boy relaxed his guard ever so slightly, in order to let the man know he wasn't perceived as a threat anymore. Said man apparently caught on to this, as he began to speak in a calm, non-combative tone.

"It is okay, young one; I mean you no harm. I'm glad to see that you have finally awakened." he began, a comforting smile on his face to show that he didn't want any trouble. The boy only nodded in affirmation, not quite trusting his voice just yet.

"Oh, you're bleeding!" the man suddenly exclaimed after a brief moment of silence, surprising the child.

"I am?" the boy spoke, the first instance of him speaking since this encounter began. Looking over at his right arm, he did notice a bit of red staining a set of white bandages that had apparently been wrapped there some time ago. The man nodded to the boy's question as he went to a side of the tent and moved towards the child with another roll of bandages in his hand, obviously intending to re-wrap the wound.

The boy stiffened a bit at the man's approach, still not quite up to fully trusting him just yet. The man visibly flinched at the boy's subconscious reaction, but understood the child's position and waited patiently. Seeing this, the boy's slightly reignited fears wavered as he relaxed, holding out his arm so that the man could do what he planned.

As he was re-wrapping the bleeding area, the man took a scant second to scan the boy's looks now that he wasn't half-dead. He noticed with a fair bit of surprise the child's exotic looks and slight muscle build. Cerulean-blue eyes and silver hair were quite uncommon, not to mention a child who couldn't be any older than nine or ten having almost no baby fat on his body whatsoever.

'Perhaps he is native to a foreign land...?' the man idly wondered as the bandaging was finished. "There we are. Are you feeling okay?" the man asked, a disarming smile upon his visage.

"Y-Yes, I'm fine, sir." the boy answered, wanting to be polite to the one whom had apparently rescued him from his situation. The man chuckled a bit before responding.

"Please, call me Liu Bei. May I inquire as to what your name is?" the newly introduced Liu Bei asked.

At first, the boy was skeptical in revealing his name, but as he sensed no hint of malice in the man's face or speech and seeing it as common courtesy as the man had given his name first, decided that there would be no harm done in doing so.

"My name is Ren Jiang, Lord Liu Bei." the boy answered. Bei nodded in confirmation and committed the name to memory...something told him that this boy was more than he seemed.

"Well, Ren Jiang, I am sorry to say, but your home was destroyed in the attack. I believe that there are only a couple of people who survived besides you." Bei relayed in a serious tone, an equal look upon his face.

Ren only nodded solemnly at this information, having experienced the devastation firsthand. Although tears threatened to fall from his eyes once again at the lingering thought, he steeled his will and kept them down.

"Do not worry. Those rogues shall pay for their atrocities in full. I can assure you of that." Bei said, seeing the boy almost visibly veil his emotions and wanting to reassure him.

"Thank you, Lord Liu Bei...If I may ask, do you know who those bandits were?" Ren asked, legitimately wanting to know if there was more to the attack than meets the eye.

Liu Bei was at first unsure of Ren's intention behind the inquiry, duly hoping that the boy wouldn't attempt a shot at revenge. 'Not that he would need to...' Bei thought, recalling the horrifying states of death the rogues were in. However, the people's man knew that the boy was naturally curious, and considering the place he had brought the child to, it would be beneficial for him to know.

"Those men were a part of the group known as the Yellow Turbans." Bei began, Ren taking note of the beginning to a potentially long story and sitting down in order to get comfortable.

"The Yellow Turban army consists of a large militia made up mostly of misguided people who are attempting to seize control of the land under the reign of their self-proclaimed Great Teacher, Zhang Jiao." Bei continued, Ren nodding as he recalled one of the bandits yelling something about the 'Great Teacher' during the raid.

"However, in recent times, the Yellow Turbans have absorbed a large quantity of common bandits and rogues recently, such as the ones who attacked your home village. But, these men pillage from the people, stealing their possessions and ravaging their homes, while this so-called 'Teacher' of theirs does nothing at all to stop them!" Bei began to yell, his voice rising as his rarely-seen anger began to breach the surface, however his tirade was soundly halted when he saw Ren wince a bit, most likely due to his repressed memories hitting him again.

"So, if these guys are such a major problem, is anyone planning on trying to stop them?" Ren asked, wanting to know if anything had been done to counter this apparently serious issue.

"Indeed. The Han Imperial Court has raised a call for volunteers across the land to join them in order to form a coalition against the Yellow Turbans. The army has been created, and we are now currently within its main base." Bei enumerated, Ren nodding again as his relatively advanced mind took in and absorbed the information.

As the info sunk in, two other individuals entered the tent where the man and boy were at. Ren quickly rose to a standing position, tensing when he noticed that they were armed and in full gear, but his apprehension eased slightly when he sensed that these new arrivals meant to harm to either himself or Liu Bei.

The first one, on the left, was tall; extremely so to the child, wearing a majestic-looking armor with a double-sided sash at the waist and dark brown pants and shoes underneath. The armor's color was predominantly green, and the underlying layer of cloth was long sleeved on left, but sleeveless on the right, that side having only an armband. What struck the boy most about this man's appearance in particular was the long, flowing beard trailing from the man's chin all the way to his mid-torso. His weapon was a long crescent-shaped blade with what appeared to be a golden dragon wrapped around it, a emerald and silver-edged blade protruding from the dragon's 'mouth'.

The second man, on the right, wasn't as tall as the first, but he definitely was a head or so above Liu Bei, despite the fact that the two looked to be about the same age, if this new individual wasn't younger even. This man was a bit burlier than the other, his armor a distinctly darker shade of green than Liu Bei or the other man, but there was a basic similarity in that the armor was segmented at the waist and joints. This man also had a headband rather than a helmet, allowing his somewhat scraggly hair to be seen. Despite it being unkempt, however, it surprisingly complimented his five 'o clock shadow rather well. This man's weapon was a doubled pike, a separate blade on each end; the blades themselves were silver with a shade of black and crimson melded into their winding and curved forms. Ren idly thought of a ready and primed cobra when he peered at them.

Liu Bei smiled at these new arrivals and rose into a standing position in order to greet them. "You've arrived; good. Ren Jiang, I would like you to meet my sworn brothers, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei." Bei introduced, indicating the person on the left then the right respectively.

The two brothers offered a curt nod to the boy, who responded with one of his own, each member of the three having their own thoughts on the matter.


-{[mental thoughts]}-

(Guan Yu)

'This boy's eyes seem...tired...and aged well beyond his years. I sense a great hidden potential hidden within him, but also something evil and malevolent...he shall be one to watch for in the future.'

(Zhang Fei)

'Just how in the world did this kid survive all that craziness back at the village? He doesn't look all that tough...but I can tell that there is something off about him. I just wonder if he can hold his own in a fight...?'

(Ren Jiang)

'These guys are pretty intimidating...' he first thought, repressing a bit of a shiver at their powerful presence. 'But, if Lord Liu Bei trusts them, then I can too. Maybe they can help me to get stronger.' he continued mentally. Ren could practically feel the strength radiating from these men, and seeing as most of his family was now permanently incapacitated, then perhaps these two could train him, with Liu Bei's blessing, of course.


-{[normal conversation]}-

Guan Yu, ending his inward contemplation, turned to address Liu Bei. "Brother, we have fallen behind the Imperial Army considerably. The advance force has already begun to march; we must head out and catch up." he said, relaying the current situation.

"What's the big hurry?" Fei asked in response, causing all eyes to turn to him. "It's not like they care anyways. We're just volunteer soldiers. They probably aren't even missing us." he remarked, his disdain for the 'oh-so-great' Han Imperial army clear as day.

"No, Guan Yu is right. Despite our personal feelings, we have a duty to the Han and its army. We'll move out right away." Bei answered, although he himself had his own misgivings on the matter.

Guan Yu nodded and left the tent, planning to gather the men for the march. "Aw, you're too serious, Brother!" Fei started, scoffing a bit in amusement. "Oh, well...at least I'll get to go out and have some fun!" he said before leaving as well, most likely following Guan.

Liu Bei chuckled a bit at Fei's demeanor before turning his attention to Ren, who currently held an impassive yet thoughtful visage. "I'm afraid that with matters the way they are, I do not have the time to find you another home, Ren Jiang. I ask that you please stay here and be safe." Bei implored, Ren relenting with a silent nod as the older man left the tent.

Ren laid back down on the makeshift bed that was made out for him, thinking on what Liu Bei had told him. 'The Yellow Turbans, huh?' he thought, merely looking upwards as sleep had yet to claim him just yet. 'Those guys...they wrecked my home and killed my family...' he continued, his inner ramblings beginning to take on a decidedly dark shift. 'Somehow...I'll make sure they pay for that.' he finalized, his innate anger taking hold as he drifted off to rest, a hidden resolve forming within his mind...


-{[3 hours later]}-

Ren Jiang awoke with a bit of a start, momentarily confused until the memories of the previous encounter returned to him. Seeing the light passing through the tent flap, he knew that the sun was still high in the sky. Rousing himself from his resting position, he slipped on his shoes and left the tent.

Liu Bei was telling the truth, at least...the whole of the main Imperial force appeared to be here; the ones who donned purple armor anyways. 'Lord Liu Bei and his brothers must've headed off to fight.' Ren thought, seeing no sign of the three being there. His contemplation was cut off when he was approached by one of the Han guards.

Ren tensed, but kept his face impassive while hiding the small glare he wanted to give the relatively older male. While it didn't seem the man was planning to hurt him, it also didn't look like he was going for anything particularly pleasant, either.

"You may have been brought here by the leader of our volunteer army, boy, but don't expect any kind of formality from us. Start any trouble, and we'll throw you out and let the Yellow Turbans finish what they started with that backwater village of yours." the guard said, smirking darkly at Ren's shocked and somewhat fearful expression.

Ren's visage dropped back to a normal impassiveness after the soldier returned to his position, although the boy's eyes narrowed when he saw that the man was sharing in a laugh with several others, most likely over his intimidation of a young child. 'Arrogant jerk...' Ren thought with an ever so slight hint of malice.

While Ren was 'innocent', he wasn't idiotic in the least. If the guard's actions were anything to go by, the boy knew that his presence was not exactly welcomed within the Imperial camp, regardless of his situation. He was fairly certain that the man would go through with the threat if the soldiers were pushed far enough.

'Sorry, Lord Liu Bei, but I can't stay here...' Ren thought. If his presence could potentially cause trouble, then he'd rather leave than cause anything bad to happen and force Liu Bei to deal with the repercussions.

With these thoughts in mind, Ren was going to turn back into the tent, when...

"Ren! You're alive!" a shockingly familiar voice suddenly called out to him. Whirling, his eyes widened in pleasant surprise and his mouth curled into a megawatt smile as he saw who it was.

"Uncle!" the boy yelled as he ran over to the older gentleman, giving the man a tight hug.

"Oof!" the man grunted out as his nephew's impact forced him to the ground in a sitting position.

Ren's uncle was a young individual, looking to be in his late teen years with a lean, lithe physique and a more tanned skin color as compared to Ren's somewhat pale tone. His outfit had changed greatly since his previous encounter with the bandits; he now wore a predominantly black outfit which consisted of a black sleeveless vest, dark crimson undershirt, dark fingerless gloves, red waistline sash, black pants and combat shoes. His hair was of a stark black color that matched his clothing, and it was styled into a ponytail, the rest of it framing his handsome face and just reaching his neck.

A major part of his appearance was that the glove on his right arm extended into an identically-colored gauntlet which had crimson-red insignia that resembled bolts of lightning; however, his most distinguishing factor was his eyes. Apparently having the heterochromia condition, his left eye was an amber brown, but his right one was surprisingly a darkened shade of purple.

Anyways, the man recovered quickly from Ren's tackle and held the now-crying boy with just as much force as he was using. "I can't believe it; you actually escaped that nightmare..." the man said, an anguished look upon his own face.

"U-Uncle Jin...*sniffs* Mom and Dad, they...they're...!" Ren tried to speak, but his voice cracked as his tears continued to fall.

"I know, kid...we're the only ones left..." Jin responded, his teeth gritting in anger at the memories of the ravaged village came to him.

"B-But, Uncle, didn't someone go hunting with you?" Ren asked, the stutter in his voice still apparent.

"Yeah...but we were ambushed on our way back, and we had dropped our weapons somewhere in our haste to find help. Those Han bastards completely disregarded us, left us to die back there...my partner sacrificed himself for me in the assault, and I barely managed to escape myself..." Jin enumerated as he passed into a short period of remembrance.


-{[flashback; just after 1st scene in last chapter]}-

(play "Isolation" from Dynasty Warriors 7)

'Damn it! What a time to not have any weaponry...' Jin thought as his friend fell to the dirt, definitively dead from the initial attack.

Jin quickly rose to a standing position, having been pushed to the ground by his now-deceased partner. The two attackers, seeing that their job was not yet finished, charged at the lone man, ready to end his life as well.

Unfortunately for them, Jin Zang was too resourceful to fall so easily...

The young adult rolled away from their sloppy attack and grabbed one of the man's weapons, a spear, and used his superior strength to force the weapon upwards, the spear's blunt side slamming the bandit in the face and dazing him for a moment. Jin jerked the spear from the man's slackened grip and slashed him with it across the chest, the blow's force knocking the rogue to the ground, unconscious.

Seeing his cohort down, the other rogue charged yet again, holding his sword above him for an overhead smash. Completely ready for the attack, Jin sidestepped it and nailed the man with a baseball swing, sending the bandit flying and crashing into the unforgiving earth with an audible *thud*.

Looking back towards the village, Jin saw smoke rising from its epicenter. Fearing the worst, he headed back as fast as his legs could carry him...

(end song)


-{[flashback end]}-

"After that, I started back towards the village, only to get ambushed by a bunch of those guys not long after. If those three men hadn't shown up..." Jin trailed off, leaving the implications hanging.

"I didn't know you were a fighter, Uncle. Who rescued you?" Ren asked, his rising emotion and tears finally dissipating.

"Well, with a little prodigy like you, I didn't wanna get left behind, kid, so I took up training a couple years back." Jin started, ruffling Ren's hair affectionately. "Anyway, the ones who helped me out were these three men who left a few hours ago. They were the leaders of the volunteer soldiers; the main one was named Liu Bei, I think." Jin answered, his nephew perking up at the mention of Liu.

"Lord Liu Bei and his brothers? I know them! They're the ones who saved me from those Yellow Turban guys!" Ren responded, wanting to find Liu Bei and thank him profusely once again.

"Really now...? I assume that 'Yellow Turban' refers to the bandits right?" Jin asked, chuckling a bit when Ren nodded. "Well then, I guess I'll have to thank them for that, too." the young man finalized, the two rising to a standing position.

"So, what do you wanna do now, Ren?" Jin asked.

"I...I want to leave here." Ren answered immediately and without doubt, surprising his uncle.

"What?! Why's that?" Jin inquired, incredulous at the nine-year-old wishing to leave the relative safety of the main camp.

"It's these Imperial soldiers...I'm getting a bad feeling from them. Plus, it's obvious that they're not really looking out for our safety." Ren answered.

Jin nodded grimly, remembering how he and his friend had been abandoned in the wake of the Yellow Turbans' assault. "True...although, we'll be seriously rising our necks if we go out there...I'd love to get some payback on those punks, too, but are you honestly sure you're up for this?" Jin asked, taking a moment to peer at Ren's bandaged right arm.

"Don't worry about me so much, Uncle. Both of us together can handle it, at least until we get some help, right?" Ren asked, smiling at the young man despite the serious situation this course of action presented before them.

"Yeah...you're right, kid. Me and you 'll be more than enough just for a little while, okay? And don't you tell me not to worry; I can't help it, seeing as you're all I've got left. We stick together out there, understand?" Jin said, smirking at Ren's nod.

"Good. Now then, let's go find some weapons for ourselves." Jin ordered, the two heading towards what was hopefully an armory.


-{[timeskip]}-

The two came out of the weapons depot armed and ready for battle.

Ren now carried a short sword sheathed in its encasing and strapped to the left side of his waist, along with a bow and an arrow-stocked quiver attached to his back. Jin shouldered a long spear that had a golden blunt end and a sky-blue trunk, the weapon firmly held in his grip by his right arm.

"You ready, kid?" Jin asked, prepared to set off. Ren only nodded solemnly, the weight of their undertaking starting to fully occur to him. "Hey, don't worry, okay? I'll be with ya every step of the way, Ren." Jin said with a comforting smile, seeing his nephew's anxiety.

"Alright, Uncle." Ren responded, a light smile on his own face at his uncle's reassuring words.

"Well then, let's go." Jin finalized as the two began to leave. The older man noticed that the Imperial army didn't even make an attempt to try and stop them from going. 'Most likely, they don't even care at all...And why the hell would they leave the gates to their own main camp wide open like this?!' Jin mentally questioned as the two passed the threshold, shaking his head at the Han's blatant audacity and hubris.

One of the less malicious Han soldiers quickly noticed their departure, swiftly informing the Grand Commander of the army. "Lord He Jin, it appears that the peasant refugees whom Master Liu Bei brought in are departing the camp. Shouldn't we go stop them?" the guard asked, He Jin scoffing at the notion.

"Hmph, if they want to go out there and get themselves killed, then let them. That'll be two less nuisances we'll have to deal with." He Jin answered. The guard, while shocked at the man's callousness, relented with a tentative nod.

If only Ren Jiang and Jin Zang knew what exactly they were getting themselves into...


Notes

And there you have it. I duly hope that you enjoyed this chapter.

Looking at my previous version of this story, I noticed that Jin Zang wasn't very involved within much of anything after this point in the storyline, and that after the Yellow Turban Rebellion officially began, I didn't even mention him again until the Dong Zhuo saga got underway. Well, not this time; Jin will be much more prevalent within Ren's fights, especially at this point as Ren is still a nine-year-old kid.

I'll say this now before I forget...my updates will be somewhat random. I don't really have a set pattern for typing out stories, as I generally just use whatever free time I have from school, homework, etc. I'll keep working on this story and get some serious time in on it before turning back to my Sengoku Basara story for a while...I might be revising that one, too.

Anyways, here are the ages for the major characters who have appeared in the story thus far, according to the Dynasty Warriors in-game encyclopedia, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, the Internet, and me.

Ren Jiang: 9
Jin Zang: 18
Liu Bei: 23
Guan Yu: 22
Zhang Fei: 16

There you have it. What adversities will Ren Jiang and Jin Zang face? Will the Yellow Turbans prove too much for them? Find out all this and more...next time, on Chaos Reigns!

This is VaLente Spada, signing off! See ya later!