the ambitious warlord

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
a very short story i made quickly as a potential opening to more in the future perhaps.
this is my property and the story stays that way.

a story in a fantasy world of my own creation where a warlord tries to take over an empire.

Submitted: July 15, 2017

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Submitted: July 15, 2017

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The ambitious warlord

A .j Wolfram

 

 

It is a cold day like the last month and the one before that too I guess. It has been cold for so long that I don’t really remember. I guess it is the result of age that I don’t remember. This is the longest winter we have ever had. Strange times indeed. I hate it. It looks like the heavens itself is crying for that old goat. Then the heavens are more foolish then I thought. Better for me I guess. Just when I was preparing to remove that old goat, then he decided to die out of himself. People blame me, including that boy. Too bad my power was not enough or I could have prevented that boy from becoming emperor. According to rumors he looks just like his great grandfather the founder of their dynasty. It was not according to plan, however I am patient.  I will be victor in the end. And above all I am currently still Grand Commander of our armies and Lord Minister as well so I hold all power in the capital. Outside is a different matter.

We are entering the 101th year of the Lo dynasty. A hundred years ago Tang Man the tiger, king of Lo rose up. He was a warlord who crushed all others and united the great Dragon Empire. For thirty glorious years he ruled over our land until his death. His son Tang Tao then ruled for another ten. A great man like his father until he was killed by a rebel.  Then came that old goat, Tang Zang. He became emperor at the age of ten and was always a cruel and cowardly weakling. Warlords, generals and ministers fought for power to be regent. Even those bloody eunuchs! I will remove them when I become emperor. The power struggles weakened the Imperial government and the governors no longer respected the power of the Lo and became independent warlords. And the old goat never cared and was always sitting and cowering behind his throne while eunuchs and ministers fought for power.

Then I came. Tang Zang had been emperor for sixty years and the chaos was worsening. I was a warlord from a distant region. My name is Dong Xi. I served as an general to a great warlord, Xia Dan. He defeated his rivals and build a great kingdom. He was going for the Dragon Throne itself. His father build the kingdom and he expanded it. I served Lord Dan for thirty years. The best time of my life. Then he got killed by his rival in battle. I took over and avenged my lords death by killing the rival lord. I cut of his head and before that pulled of his nails one by one. My new lord was Xia Huo. Xia Dan’s son. He was twenty much like our current emperor now is only more foolish. He was a alcoholic and an idiot. While he was drinking and humiliating me, I was leading our armies and holding our kingdom together. Then he dared take my position away out of fear for me! I had the armies loyalty so I rebelled. That same night Xia Huo was burning alive outside while I sat on the throne accepting the loyalty of the generals. For two years I ruled and I was greater then the Emperor himself! My rivals feared me and became a coalition to end me. I could not win so I took my army and left. I came to “save” the Imperial Court.

It took ages to reach the capital of the great Lo Dynasty, Maling. But then we arrived. I claimed to have come out of loyalty to my beloved emperor. I was accepted although my army was not allowed inside with me. Then I walked through the huge golden doors and I entered the palace. The Golden Palace is larger then the entire city around it! And inside I met him. Tang Zang, 3rd emperor of the Lo dynasty. A long white beard he had and he was very thin. His golden robes and crown looked to big for him. During the meeting eunuchs where whispering into his ear every second while he sat there looking like he did not even know what was going on. I learned later that his mind was failing recently and the eunuchs, ministers and generals where fighting to control this old goat. The factions tried to keep me from court so they gave me a castle and lands nearby and send me to lead the Lo Armies. I crushed our neighbors and two years after my arrival I became Grand Commander. I then was able to stay at court more often. Not that it is a pretty sight mind you. The emperor is sitting there not understanding what is going on while the factions are quarreling about every little thing. No wonder that Lo is crumbling. It took me another three years to gain more power. I gathered the generals to my side and then finally started a coup to “save” the Imperial Court. All those who opposed me gathered there. Their soldiers where nothing. We stormed through the city and slaughtered all opposition. The city was burning and almost every eunuch was killed. I became Lord Minister as a result and the eunuchs had lost a lot of power and the ministers could no longer oppose my rise to power.I did not hold absolute power however. My allies had to be pleased so ministers, eunuchs and rival generals still hold power. However now I hold the greatest position at court.

During my life I had been always a general and I did not care much for family. However when I still served Xia Dan, I met a servant girl at Xia Dan’s palace. So beautiful and sweet. Her black hair was like the night sky and her skin is like snow. She is like an angel. I married her. Even today she looks like she barely aged at all. I have three sons and a daughter with her. My family came with me to the city of Maling. My sons each hold positions now as Grand Generals and my daughter is married to the greatest nobleman still serving the Lo. It brought their loyalty to my side and gave me even more power. After my coup I left the wars to my sons mostly as I used my time ruling the empire which was hard with all those fools bothering me. After five more years I had enough. I was planning to assassinate The Emperor and put an easier heir on the throne then the Crown Prince. How older he became the greater a rival he became. And now before I could complete my plan, the old goat had died. I was sitting at my desk in my office looking over documents of state when a messenger came running in with fear. He told me the message which dreaded me. “the Emperor has died”.  After a reign of seventy years at the age of 80 Tang Zang died. Everyone blamed me including that boy the Crown Prince. But I found something. The Prince killed his own father to become emperor so he could remove me from power and hold power for the Lo! Just yesterday he was officially crowned. Tang Xing 4rd Emperor of the Lo Dynasty.

I get called suddenly to the throne room. The emperor wants to talk with me.  When I enter I see him on the throne. The boy is young but he is handsome and strong. His eyes too are strange. He looks right through me. I have never seen the boy laugh. He is nothing like that old goat.  Twenty years old but already he has that aura of a real emperor. With his cold and stern voice he ordered me to go on a campaign with the army to conquer the city of La to the north. Ordered me! The boy is clever. By sending me away I can not strengthen my power at court while he will have time to prepare to remove me. The Lo Emperor Tang Xing then left the throne room with eunuchs and ministers following him. How fast those eunuchs have restored their numbers after my coup!

I left my daughters husband in the capital to lead my faction as I go to war together with my sons Dong Mei, Dong Fa and Dong Lang. Together with our army we marched through the lands still under Lo control and came at the fields of Xian before the city of La. La was ruled be an old Warlord who used to serve Tang Man himself! General Li Wang. Last of the six Tigers. The first was Tang Man and the other five his generals. Li Wang has Elven blood it is whispered. It must be true. Li Wang is 150 years old! No way that man can still be alive and not have Elven blood. Once Elves dominated our continent and the world but now they are almost extinct. When the Lo Empire fell in chaos, Li Wang proclaimed the Lo “Unfit to rule”. Now he is an independent warlord. Even I do not know how to win if it is really him. Late at night a messenger came to my camp, informing me that Li Wang was wanting to meet me at dawn at the field. And at dawn I saw him. An man on a horse with then soldiers with him came. The man on the horse look like he was very old yet their was still a strength within him. He was sitting on his horse with more power then I have ever seen. The last of the Tigers. Li Wang. During the meeting he talked with a voice that sounded like a man of his forties. And he is 150 years old? It is not possible yet here he is. I also saw what kind of man this was. Li Wang could unite the lands if he desired however he is general and not an emperor or king or warlord. He still hopes to meet the right person to serve so he can fulfill his old lords legacy by uniting the land again. We talked for hours and we both came to like each other. And better for me, it seemed that Li Wang felt Lo must be destroyed because of how they have fallen. That was when I requested his service in my cause and to fulfill my ambition. “To become Emperor”. Li Wang was amused and he said that he will join me if I can pull it off. For now to please the boy, Li Wang swore loyalty in name to the Lo Emperor again. So the campaign ended in my favor and without any official battle. We came back to the capital of Maling as heroes. Or that was how I portrayed it. Now I used the opportunity to get my army inside the capital in order to maintain “order”.  The next period was a difficult period. Me and my allies where struggling against the boy and his allies. Tang Xing allied with my rivals, the source of the corruption and decline. All to face off against me. Then a year had officially passed after our new emperor was crowned. I felt my own body getting older. I forget things and I am not as strong as I used to be. I am sixty five now. Then came the message to me. “the Emperor is plotting to have Dong Xi and his sons beheaded for treason”. I had an opportunity. My allies where waiting for me. Together with my allies and army I marched. I had called upon Li Wang to join me. With him at my side it looked like my faction was chosen by the heavens itself. The boy’s allies quickly fell or scattered. There was little resistance.  All those eunuchs ,rival ministers and generals had fallen with their soldiers scattered. We entered the throne room where the boy was standing before his throne.  I called upon him to surrender. He looked into my eyes with that same cold aura I felt earlier and he refused. He claimed to desire a fight to the end. A general next to him begged him to surrender and the Emperor then beheaded the general with his own sword while saying with that cold voice “Those that oppose me or disobey me will die” Then a soldier of the fallen general stabbed the emperor from behind out of a desire for revenge. The boy died without fear. He fell dead on the ground. Tang Xing Emperor of Lo was dead! Me and my allies restored order and I became ruler officially as regent. I crowned a cousin named Tang Dong as the 5th Emperor. A middle aged man who is a scholar and who understands he is just a puppet. Li Wang now serves as my grand commander with my sons and son in law holding the high ranking court positions. The eunuchs and foolish ministers and generals are gone! And I rule however I need to strengthen my position further. A half year later I forced Tang Dong to abdicate. Tang Dong happily returned to his mansion in the country side to read and study.  I put another distant relative on the throne. Tang Yong. The 6th Emperor is five years old. This act gave me power greater then that of the emperor.  Next is left for me to plan for the emperor to abdicate in my favor. Then I will build a new dynasty and empire that shall unite the Dragon Empire again. It will be the start of a new golden age which will continue for a thousand years.  My age has began.


© Copyright 2017 A . J Wolfram. All rights reserved.

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