Bradums wrote:some really good stuff
There was a long, natural pause at the conclusion of Bei Baorong’s words, broken only by a snort of surprise by Jian Bian once he’d taken it all in. An ah-ha! smile crept across his face. He unfolded his fingers and stretched them across the surface in front of him to feel the texture.
It was cathartic in a way.
“Your honesty is refreshing,” He said to the warlord whole-heartedly. His gaze fell to the surface in front of him. It was obvious there was inner turmoil on the former bandit’s face. He was struggling to come to grips if he should reciprocate the sentiment. “Truly refreshing...”
A long, drawn out sign escaped him.
“Know that I meant you no offense when I raised your standard against Shen Feng, that much is true and I swear by it. But I had to get your attention somehow... and it seems to have worked. You see, Bei Baorong, I feel as if you and I are kindred spirits… yet at the same time we are very different.”
His right hand tapped the cup of wine and his eyes remained on the half-full contents.
“So I will tell you everything, because I believe in your heart you are an honorable man… which is more than I can say for myself. What I have done to get where I am, not all of it was honorable, but much of it was necessary. So here is the truth.. and at the end of it I hope that we can move forward as allies…”
Eyes raised to Bei Baorong.
“When I called the Winter Summit, as you know, I was not in the best position militaristically speaking. My army is large and I am capable, but the proclamation by Rah-Ky left us in a precarious situation. I am a powerful commander of men, yes, but I cannot take on all of Jing alone.”
“I am bound to Rah-Ky, you see. Before I met him, I was just a bandit. All I cared for was money, the next big score, and my own survival. The young warlord opened my eyes to something greater. Many may see him as an incapable child, but he is much.. much more. He showed me that I had something within to raise an army of my own and make a difference in this world. That I was more than a bandit trying to survive. He showed me a purpose…”
“And I also see that purpose within you. When I sit across from you, I get that familiarity I feel with Rah-Ky. Both of you… full of such greatness, both with a vision for a better world.”
He spread his hands, noticing he was babbling.
“So, I called the summit for two purposes: One, which everyone knew, was to expel the three powerful clans from Jing. But the second, I kept secret. I needed to see who was of like-mind, and who was not. Because, like it or not, this new world order cannot be achieved through kind words alone. There would be opposition, and they would need to be stopped.”
“And thus the summit served its purpose. I was able to gauge who stood where and could act accordingly. Shen Feng showed little courage during the summit. He spoke more of caution, fear of retribution from the three clans. In the end, he was against the coalition.”
“I understand your way, I truly do. But words cannot solve everything – bold action is what brings progress. When I used your banner I meant to send a message. Those who question this new Jing… one of our own making, it cannot be tolerated. We could be allies, you and I. Your words and my might, we could change this world. I want us to be allies, Bei Baorong. I want us to work together to achieve a peaceful Jing.”
“Shen Feng deserved to have those lands stripped from him simply because, he was too cowardly to defend it. Think, Bei Baorong. You said it yourself at the summit, we warlords trade our holdings like common coin. One warlord attacks another one, and the defender simply gives up and moves to another territory.”
“The people are suffering. They need stability. They need men who will stand to defend them, no matter what the odds. I can be that for them---I am that for them.”