Tuyuhun: A Tale of Mulan

Captain Na\'s Daughter and Heba\'s Medal

As Chuo approached the camp where Heba might have been, he could see some Rouran guards nearby. High helmets aside there was no difference between their armour and that of the Tuoba Wei. With his rounded leather helmet, Chuo would indeed stand out and it didn matter if the helmet was leather or iron, a rounded helmet was a rounded helmet and he would stand out… On the other hand, if Heba had defected, then perhaps he could pretend to defect.

Riding up to the camp, Chuo found himself stopped by a guard clad in leather armour. Immediately the guard uttered: ”What do you think you
e doing, boy? You think just because the Tuoba Wei host won take a scrawny brat like you that you can join the Rouran Khaganate as a raider? If they don want you, then we don want you! Now get ye gone! ”

”But, sir, please! I have nowhere else to go! ”

”You can go to the Western Qin Khanate or the Murong Tuyuhun Khanate, now get ye gone before I run you through! ”

”Now, now, my good guard. ” Uttered a muscular man, resembling a barrel and standing at a height of five feet and six inches. His hair was dark blond in color, his skin not unlike that of one of the Han and his eyes a dark blue. He was clad in iron armour and from the rounded iron helmet, Chuo could tell the man came from the Tuoba Wei Khanate and there was no doubt he was General Heba. Alas, despite a somewhat intimidating appearance, Hebas voice was not at all what Chuo would have expected, being high-pitched and slimy. Both beard and mustache were upon his face, but they were so unimpressive that Chuo could hardly see them and they even managed to make him look somewhat less intimidating. ”Let the boy in. No doubt he will want to join us and fight under me: General Heba Wei, once Scourge of the Rourans and soon Scourge of the Tuoba Wei and once the Tuoba Wei Khanate is dust, first monarch of the Heba Wei Khanate! ” The Heba Wei Khanate? That sounded as if Heba had decided to name a khanate after himself. ”Now, boy, what is your name? ”

What was his name? Chuo could not have given his own name, he had to think of an alias. But what? Quickly, he answered: ”Molu Hong. ”

”That is a stupid appellation. ” Commented Heba. Chuo could not help but think that an appellation such as Mushu or Muli would have made a worse alias. ”Still, it is nice to have you here, Molu Hong, so nice to have a fellow Xianbei, after all, we may be on the side of the Rourans, but wriggling worms are still wriggling worms. ”

From the corner of his eye, Chuo could see the guard glare at Heba. He did not blame the man. How Wuti Khan or anyone at Ting could tolerate Heba Chuo could only guess.

”I do not think it wise to call those we fight alongside that, sir. ” Stated Chuo.

Immediately the guard looked uttered: ”The boy is wise, General Heba. Perhaps you should listen to him. ”

”Bah! ” scoffed Heba. ”He is young and he will learn better! ” Looking at Chuo, the Traitor General then said: ”Come in, boy, and tell me what was happening in the Tuoba Wei Khanate when I left. ”

Chuo had every intention to do that, speaking both the truth and leaving out information that could have given Heba some sort of intelligence on his countrys host. But what would he say? He could say that he had heard that General Tuyuhun had lost his elder son, that was true for General Tuyuhun was Chuos father and he knew very well that he had lost his brother. The only question was how would Heba react to hearing of his old comrade, but Chuo wanted to know what Heba would say of him, the younger son that Heba said should have been left on the Steppe to die.

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