Tuyuhun: A Tale of Mulan

Setting the Scene

ttered the Messenger, his hoarse voice causing the General to open his blue eyes. ”Our Khan Tuoba Buri has summoned you to join him on the campaign against the Rouran raiders. I see that you are wounded and would wonder if your eldest child will take your place. ”

”My eldest child… My firstborn son… Is dead… ” Stated General Tuyuhun, attempting to keep a stoic expression. ”Killed by the Tufa clan across the river in the same attack that threw me from my horse… My daughters are even now seeking to avenge him… All I have left here to send the Khan is this boy… my youngest son Chuo and I will not risk losing him. If my daughters do not return, he will be all that I have left. Besides Chuo there are five other able-bodied young people in this village who can serve the Khan in his campaign. You may take four of them, but none of them shall be my son! ”

Clearing his throat, Chuo caused all in the house to look to him. A reflection of his father just as his late brother had been, the lean boy looked to his patriarch and said: ”Father, a member of our clan has been serving in the campaigns of the Tuoba clan since the time that Liwei Khan ruled Dai. It is our honour-bound duty to serve Buri Khan in his campaign. With you injured, my brother dead and my sisters seeking to avenge him, mother and I are all that remain. As has been your custom, the two of you have always gone to war together and would always remain here if one was unable to go, thus it falls to me to represent the Tuyuhun clan. I know I am not the equal of my siblings, but I am all that remains and with or without your blessing, I will go. ”

General Tuyuhun did not give a verbal response. All he could do was close his eyes and lay his head back, thinking that this would be the last time he would ever see his youngest child.

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