Tuyuhun: A Tale of Mulan

The Shepherd Woman

till wish to find him? ”

”Yes, I do? ”

”Why? Still because you wish to prove yourself to your superiors? ”

Gripping his reins tightly, Chuo stared at the old Rouran woman before looking over at the sheep, then to the sky. There was another reason, was there not? Yes… Yes, there was. Looking the old Rouran woman in the eye, Chuo answered: ”To show him that the sickly boy born before his time that Heba said should be left on the Steppe to die still lives. ”

”And you think you can defeat him? ” inquired the old woman.

”My objective is to rescue my captains daughter. ” Stated Chuo. ”If I can defeat him, then I can defeat him. If I cannot defeat him, then I cannot. Whatever the case may be, saving her is more important. ”

”And yet you still wish to show him that you live. ” Commented the old woman.

”Do you know where he is? ” inquired Chuo.

The old woman stared at the Young Tuyuhun for a moment before returning to tending to her sheep. Sighing, Chuo continued on at a slower pace, before he heard her say: ”There is a camp to the northeast of her where raiders go. You may find Heba there, but I advise you to go there without your armour and shield. Take your sword, take your bow, but your armour and shield leave behind. ”

”Wherefore? ” asked Chuo, turning his steed so he might look at the old woman.

”Clad in the armour of Tuoba Wei, you will be thought of as an enemy. We Rouran and Xianbei do not look that different, but with your armour and your shield you will identify yourself. Leave them hidden and only then enter the camp. ”

Nodding in thanks, Chuo began to ride northeast. The old womans advice was advice worth taking. It was better to enter the enemy camp with them thinking he was one of them rather than making it known he was their enemy, but would Heba recognize him as the son of General Tuyuhun? Alas, he knew not. He may not have known what Heba looked like, but the possibility that Heba would be able to recognize him based on the resemblance to his paterfamilias was a risk… A risk worth taking.

With any hope, Chuo would successfully rescue Captain Nas daughter and prove himself to his superiors in the host. If he didn , then he would die and who knew what fate would befall Captain Nas daughter. Was his desire to ultimately prove himself equal to his siblings worth risking death? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn , but Chuo could not help but feel that Captain Nas daughter still deserved to be rescued.

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