Mystery in the Mist- Preview

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Lights, The End of Darkness

“Charrrrrrrge!!!!” Hundreds or maybe thousands of soldiers yelled out. The sound wave made by this army might be enough to break The Great Wall alone. Two eye-catching flags waved in the air, dancing with the flow of winds. The sky blue coloured flag with a yellow frame is the Mongolians. While the red flag with a black cross in the center is the rebels. For some reason the two have teamed up, this alliance would be tough to deal with for Emperor Wu.

Today was supposed to be all happiness and joy, but panic and stress were instead what’s rumbling inside everyone’s mind. All innocents are escorted out of the small city for now, as the soldiers know there is going to be an attack coming soon.

The border wall only guarded a few soldiers. Seeing an invasion occurring, none of them even tried to send out a message. But those enemies don’t care about any, they are confident that their planned surprise attack would definitely leave a huge scar in the hearts of the Great Tang. Archers ready to fire off, cavaliers and soldiers charged towards the tall wall. Soldiers at the front carried rope ladders to climb up the walls, entering the city this way. Some directly attacked the entrance, where a huge wooden door sealed the city.

The enemy commander smiled as the border army did nothing to react. The danger is getting closer and closer with each step their frontline soldiers took. The death of General Sha seemed to have affected the defense of the border; the sadness of their general murdered could be the reason they were caught off guard. At least, this is what the enemies thought.

Lines of archers popped out behind the brick walls, they have ducked behind it all along. The archers pulled the bowstring back, their arrowhead flamed with a raging fire, after a countdown all arrows were sent right into the enemy’s backline. The enemy frontline isn’t excluded either. A loud bang followed by the wooden door falling hard onto the ground, dust being bounced into the air. Hundreds of soldiers charged at the enemy frontline as they squashed over the fallen doorway. The two sides are fields of the horses, as cavaliers attacked from the enemy’s sidebones.

The commander could no longer squeeze out a smile, he is at a complete loss. They are too deep to retrieve, and their winning hopes were smashed into pieces. He hopped onto his horse, pulling his spear out, a sign for his people to fight.

Bloodspaletter along with painful howls marked the end of the three side clash. The alliance of the Mongolians and the rebels were completely destroyed, ruthlessly pulled apart by the courageous border guards. Most enemies are dead, while the remaining are captured alive.

A gunny sack put on to the enemy commander’s head, as he got carried into a room. He is not put into a jail cell, instead, inside the room, somebody was waiting for him. The sack got removed as he now sees the man’s face. His hands and feet tied tightly together with hemp ropes. “Who are you?” He squeezed out a few words, his voice low and weak. The wounds from the fight are still aching.

“I’m the new commander here,” The man said. “Call me General Yi.”

“You are the replacement for General Sha?”

“Indeed so,” General Yi walked near the enemy commander, checking the tightness of the ropes. “But it won’t matter to you, as you will be executed soon.”

The commander stayed silent for a moment, he was not surprised to hear the news. With his failure, he accepted the fact that he will be dead soon. It might be his fate all along.

“How did you know we are invading today?”

“With General Sha dead, you evil people would probably take advantage,” General Yi told the commander. “You know Di Renjie from Chang’an?”

The enemy commander nodded.

“He sensed the alliance of the Mongolians and you rebels would strike today, that’s why we ambushed your folks.”

“Di Renjie,” The commander grudged. “I should’ve sent more people to assassinate him, I thought killing his little assistants would be enough.”

“Well, he is the famous detective Dee.”

“Please enter.” The guard opened the door, inviting both Dee and Xun inside.

The two strolled to the end of the hallway. In a separate room away from other jail cells is where Yuchi is locked up at. “Approximately a quarter of the city was infected by the green mist,” Xun told Dee.

“They are poisoned?” Dee asked.

“All did show poisonous effects,” Xun said. “But they all seemed to be still alive.”

“Well, let’s see if we can convince Yuchi to give out the cure.”

Dee grabbed a chair and sat directly opposite Yuchi. Xun did not enter with Dee, waiting outside. They are separated by iron bars, with Yuchi laying on the floor of the cell. A half-eaten bread is leftover in a wooden bowl placed in front of him. Yuchi probably did notice Dee and Xun’s arrival, but he did not move any bit.

“Yuchi,” Dee called him but left unresponded. “Hey, let us have a talk.”

Finally, a response is granted, Yuchi yawned and seated up from his sleeping position. He stretched his arms before unwillingly moving closer to the iron bars. His hair is in a weird style, messily poking out from all directions. Even strips of hays stuck onto it. His clothing and face with ashy dust stains on them. Despite only being locked up for about an hour, Yuchi looks like a homeless man, a complete change appearance-wise.

“I know it’s probably ridiculous to ask,” Dee started. “But many innocents are poisoned and I beg to have the cure.”

“That indeed is a ridiculous question.”

“I know you don’t want to harm the innocents,” Dee said. “I know deep inside you are kind-hearted.”

“Am I?” Yuchi questioned Dee’s claim, proceeding to return to his napping position.

Dee stopped him from leaving by continuing the conversation. “Your guy’s purpose is to kill the emperor, and get the holy flower back right?”

“Your claim is accurate, but there is no way I will give out the cure.” Yuchi shrugged. His body language suggests that he doesn’t want to cooperate any bit. He looked at Dee in a way of absolute contempt. “I have one question for you Dee. How you know I am one of the Yu’s?”

“I simply figured it all out in the last two days.”

“You send Shun to restrict my actions.”

“That’s exactly the plan,” Dee told Yuchi. “I told him that you are the spy, our enemy. And that you will try to assassinate the emperor when the moment is right. So Shun kept a close eye on you, and the rest is history.”

“When did you start suspecting me?”

“From a long time ago.”

“But I did save your life one time in Zundian.”

“That is exactly what held me back from truly suspecting you until more odd actions were made by you.”

“So, how did you know?”

“I went into your room in Dali, and found some evidence.”

“I mean, what made you investigate me?”

“I’ll tell you.” Dee got onto his feet and ambled around the room. His two hands joined behind his back. “I clearly remembered you mentioned that the first group of assassins spoke a foreign language. But at the time you were hiding in the carriage, so how did you obtain this piece of information?”

Yuchi laughed out loud. Small details were captured perfectly by Dee’s incredible senses. Dee continued on, “Those assassins were your people, so of course, you know what language they speak in.”

“Is this the only reason?”

“Don’t be so impatient, there are many more,” Dee revealed. “Before, I didn’t have an idea of what the Yu’s wanted. Whether they only wanted the emperor dethroned. Until you lead me to find the relic, the holy flower. I overlooked the fact that the relic was such an important item for the Yu’s.”

“I helped the situation by finding the relic, didn’t I?”

“Dying is the word you said when you touched the flower,” Dee explained. “It appeared to me that you are quite familiar with the flower. Additionally, you took about five seconds to figure out how to use it as a cure. The only explanation for this is that you are a YuXian that’s seen this flower before.”

“Alright then.”

“Not to mention that you have been contacting General Sha, and can have access in and out of the Royal Palace to also set up the other murder,” Dee said. “You obviously couldn’t do all of these by yourself, there are probably more spies around the credited officials.”

“Maybe so, us YuXian always work flawlessly together.” Yuchi gave an unhelpful response. Right now, their goal is to try to convince Yuchi to give out the recipe for the cure. Then, an entire search of the palace for more undercovered spies will be the next action.

“You were eager to protect the emperor. In other words, stay near her. This is the final nail in the coffin for you. It’s also an odd coincidence that you are pretty decent with medications.”

“I admit those mistakes. But you ignored my contributions to both cases, as well as my brave action to save you.”

“It might appear that you are helping us greatly, but the truth is you are using me.”

“Use you?” Yuchi let out a laugh.

“You guys did not know where the relic was located right?” Dee said. “You have been given me hints all along the way so that I could help you find the relic. And also, with my support, you can easily get close to the emperor.”

“Then why would I send out those assassins to kill you?” Yuchi tried to test Dee with another question.

“To gain my trust,” Dee answered. “You saved my life, and then I put my guards down.”

“Of course, the genius himself, Detective Dee, would figure out everything on his own,” Yuchi said in a taunting tone, as he furiously slapped the ground. The sound echoed in the small room, bouncing from one corner to another.

“So……”

“So, you want the cure?” Yuchi asked an obvious question, as he rudely interrupted Dee’s sentence. “I do know the recipe for it, but in no way will I ever give it out. It’s funny how everyone’s life depends on me.”

Dee can clearly see the fire in Yuchi’s eyes, the fire of hate, vengeance. The raging fire lit up all around Yuchi’s body, for a moment Dee was startled with unpleasant feelings. Dee gulped and continued on. There is nothing to be terrified about, Yuchi is perfectly jailed inside this cell.

“You have been taken over by your hatred,” Dee told Yuchi. Hate can completely alter a person’s actions and behaviors. A bright young man in reality is a crazed demon.

“I was forced on this route.”

“Nobody forced you,” Dee scolded. “It’s your own choice.”

“The three of them forced me.” Yuchi rubbed his teeth together like he was going to bite off someone’s head.

“And you are referring to?”

“Useless as he is, Doctor Li,” Yuchi listed. “The fake General Sha, and at last, the arrogant emperor herself.

“Once a friend told me, a poison always comes with a cure, just like a question always comes with an answer.” Dee tunes his voice back to a calm volume.

“The poison is them, I’m the cure,” Yuchi spitted out his philosophy. “I am doing justice, I see no wrong in my actions.”

“YuXian’s are supposed to be the cure. The doctors that will save thousands of lives.” Dee raised his volume high, scolding directly at Yuchi. “Think about your ancestors, what the Yu’s believed in. They would be ashamed of your actions today.”

“I am saving thousands of lives by eliminating these hypocrites.” Yuchi threw the words right back at Dee’s face. If it wasn’t for the segregation by iron bars the two would’ve dueled to the death. The atmosphere is really intense, neither side backing down.

“Do you think doctor Wan would like your actions?” Dee replanted his butt down on the seat. “You are harming people to solve an existing problem. In reality, you are creating more problems. Your selfish acts are poisonous to society and in no way a life-saving cure.”

“And what do you know about Elder Wan?” Yuchi questioned. “Are you his offspring or something?”

“I have met Doctor Wan numerous times,” Dee said. “I know he is a kind, loving old man. I respect him to the fullest. But even a regular person understands the duties of a doctor, which is to use all powers to save lives.”

Yuchi for once stayed silent, no words were thrown back. It appears he may have received Dee’s message, at least this what Dee had hoped. Dee didn’t stall for long, not giving chances for Yuchi to interrupt him.

“The medicines, herbs you Yu’s collect every day are used to help lives.” Dee slowly calmed his voice. “These materials are sacred, used to defeat sickness and poisonous. But you have allied with your worst enemies, turning your back on your people. Do you think Doctor Wan would accept such a betrayal?”

The question is as sharp as a sword, stabbed in Yuchi’s heart and throat. An unexplainable pain clogged up in his body, despite nothing touching him. For the moment Yuchi could not make up a single argument to prove his points. Dee’s eyes acted like lasers, searching for an answer in him. Yuchi stared down at stone cracks on the ground, avoiding the terrifying gaze.

Dee smiled as he saw the fire slowly extinguishing in Yuchi’s eyes. This might just be the turning point of everything. A long-lasting pep talk has made Yuchi realize his mistakes, his misunderstanding. Dee organized his two collars and his official hat. He got his feet, back straight, proceeded towards the door. A few final words were told before Dee exited the jail cell. “I’ll give you some time to think, Yuchi.” All alone in the room, he sat, still staring at the broken cracks.

Dee figured half an hour would be a reasonable time for Yuchi. As soon as the clock clicked he made his return. This time Xun and Shun are also together with him. Yuchi did not maintain his position, he lay down on the stacks of hays wandering into the blank ceiling.

Yuchi appeared to not have noticed their arrival, or he did not care any bit. “Have you made a decision?” Dee asked.

The reply Dee got was only a deep sigh of worries. Undecided perhaps is what the sigh meant. “I have read your diary, we understand your hardships. But……”

Suddenly, the door cracked open. Emperor Wu made a surprise arrival. Just like usual everyone bowed down instantly, but Yuchi acted indifferently. “Get on your knees,” The emperor’s guard barked at Yuchi, pointing his finger in Yuchi’s face.

To everyone’s surprise, the emperor signaled the guard to back off, she seemed perfectly fine with Yuchi’s unorthodox behaviors. She slowly wandered near the iron bars, with others still kneeled behind her. She showed her palms out of the lengthy sleeve, this is a trend for clothes worn by officials. She leveled her hand against her waist, elevating it up.

“All can get up,” Master Yao ordered as everybody did the ordinary.

“I am not here to punish you, so don’t be afraid,” The emperor said. “I’m here to admit a mistake I made years ago.”

Five years ago. The Yu’s were living their usual life, in a completely unknown village outside of Chang’an city. They were a secret group of people, unwilling to let other people distract their daily life. They embraced the god of all planets, they believed in the power of nature. Basically, all of the Yu’s are born as medical geniuses, some would become doctors leaving their village and going to other cities. Most would remain in the village, extending their legacy.

All Yu’s have one thing in common, and that is the passion for medicine. From morning to late noon, collecting the materials is what the majority does. Some would even adventure out into the world, not coming back for years. The fragrance of the brewed planets flowed with air, the smell shrouded the whole village.

Their made medicines are exported out to pharmacies, from city to city. The quality of their products is unmatched anywhere else in the world. They had a very good relationship, the ultimate trust by the emperor herself. Before, everything went rapidly downhill.

Doctor Wan, a certified YuXian that was seen as maybe the most genius Doctor ever, even in the eyes of his fellow Yu’s. He dedicated his whole life to the field of medicine. Recruited by the previous emperor, the old doctor has worked in the Royal Palace for decades. A beloved, respected legend in many people’s eyes.

At the time Emperor Wu had only ruled for a couple of years, however, a strange disease would ruin her dreams of expanding the dynasty. Doctor Wan was put on the line in saving her life, but as genuine as he is, Doctor Wan could not completely cure her. A weekly treatment lasted for years, as days went by, the symptoms of the disease lessened, and the emperor’s body was getting better and better.

It was a normal treatment day before the emperor started to feel substantial pain. After doctor Wan treated her, she started coughing blood. Pressure suppressed her chest, unable to breathe properly the emperor slept unconscious. Doctor Wan was arrested for attempting to murdering the emperor. Despite his cry for innocence, the evidence was too strong.

The emperor slept silently, eyes closed, her skin getting colorless and her heartbeats were diminishing. At any time the bad news could break everyone’s heart. All doctors around Chang’an were gathered around the emperor, desperately trying to find a solution. One fairly young doctor by the name of Li Qingsheng was the savior. One bowl of hot soup magically woke up the emperor, and the alarm was turned off. Everyone was relieved, they almost witnessed a successful assassination.

The Dragon Guardians made their way to the YuXian village. According to tradition all Yu’s must be arrested, and most would be executed along with the suspect Doctor Wan. Breaking tradition, the emperor was kind enough to just exiled them out. This largely contributed to their contribution to the dynasty. The village got raided, precious items got taken away from the Yu’s. All of the Yu’s drove off to the north, this was their punishment.

The Yu’s aren’t widely known peoples, they are hidden from the public. Few books that had recordings of them were burnt into dust. At that moment, YuXian was completely wiped away in history, as they’ve never ever existed. This breathtaking event only lasted for a span of two days. Only some core officials knew about this incident.

In YuXian’s newfound village, a newly elected leader steps onto the crown. A young man just past his twenties. Xituo, a courageous young man, wise and mature. Everyone thought he could lead the Yu’s back to where they were. However, Xituo had a plan, and that is to prove doctor Wan’s innocence. Nobody in the village was against his decision, as they all know doctor Wan would not ever do such things.

Xituo contacted the emperor, appealing to let doctor Wan free. But the response was a cold rejection. He had to take things into his own hands. A group of about ten young men sneakily entered Chang’an city, in an attempt to find the truth. But at the end of the day, doctor Wan was executed. The Yu’s did not give up, a month of searching was granted with clear evidence of doctor Wan’s innocence. Once again, Xituo appealed the case, this time with loads of evidence. But the response was more of the same. They were kicked out of Chang’an.

A fire lit in Xituo’s once clear eyes, a seed of revenge and hatred was planted in his heart. He recruited more young men from his village, a big plan plotted in his mind. The elderly in the village were against Xituo’s will, despite many bashing voices Xituo was committed. And so are a bunch of young adults.

Doctor Wan was innocent, he was wronged. Xituo found the real planners of this event to be Doctor Li Qingsheng, and the beloved General Sha. On the treatment day, General Sha used his free pass to easily enter Doctor Wan’s little hunt. The life-saving medicine was exchanged for a deadly poison. On the other hand, Doctor Li slipped the premade cure in his pockets. Just like this, Doctor Wan and the whole palace of people fell for their tricks. Doctor Li was promoted to the highest level, while General Sha got tons of money for helping. The real demons were rewarded, while the victims fell into the void.

With his bright mind and fluid body movements, Xituo would ultimately land himself a job in Dali. His fellows found other jobs, these spies hid across the city.

“Official Dee has told me everything.” The emperor continued on. “I have mistakenly blamed everything on Doctor Wan, and that is my mistake.”

Yuchi lifelessly froze in place, staring at the brick wall. It’s unclear what is storming in his mind.

“We are sincerely sorry, Master Yuchi. There is some misunderstanding in our parts, and may us kindly ask for forgiveness.”

Master Yao bowed in the direction of Yuchi.

“It is a late apology, but I hope you can be generous enough to accept,” Emperor Wu said.

“The apology isn’t for me, it’s for elder,” Yuchi spoke. Some emotion mixed in his shaky voice. His voice felt powerless, barely reaching in Dee’s ears.

“We will for sure rewrite, restore Doctor Wan’s legacy,” The emperor claimed. “To compensate, we will give back your village and your precious items. We accept YuXian as a part of the dynasty.”

“But we still need one thing,” Master Yao added. “We hope that you can be kind and give us the recipe for the cure.”

“You promise to do so?”

“Yes, I think we have reached an agreement.” Master Yao shook hands with Yuchi. “May we please now leave this disgusting place.”

Yuchi and the rest of his people, about ten, were then sent away. Soon many cures would be delivered to patients. With the help of Dali, most people would wake from their unconsciousness. Lost families rejoining together, hugging in the bright sunshine, tears of happiness dripped down everyone’s relieved face. Over to the north, the invasion was easily resolved. This would certainly be the end of this crazy month. Everyone could finally breathe in the fresh air, returning back to their normal life. Although the ending of the terrible event is hard work from everyone, Dee was credited for most of it. He was promoted to even a higher rank. Because of his unquestionable outstanding ability, he was named the only search officer in Chang’an. With a permanent search warrant of all cases near the area.

The evil genius Yuchi, along with the ten others was put into the jail dungeon. Working as doctors in the somber place. They are by no means imprisoned, they are allowed to move around freely, but they are ordered to serve for their remaining life in this dungeon. The emperor promised to not harm them, they were even receiving salaries from their work. As expected, the emperor fulfilled her promises. The Yu’s were invited back to their original village, and the two sides happily resolved their issues. Laughter reappeared on the busy city street, the ending seemed happy for everyone. Even for Yuchi, or should we call him Xituo.

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