LOOG Chapter – 36

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Chapter 36: Perhaps The Time Has Come….

Lady Yan slowly looked up. As she did, her crimson hair parted to reveal her face, a face… that was most certainly not the face of Lady Yan. In fact, her face wasn’t even human. Her eyes were larger and wider, her nose flat and almost feline. She had odd markings on her face, and sharp teeth which seemed capable of ripping flesh off of bones. Most bizarre of all was that she had three short, blunt horns sticking out of her forehead, one in the middle and two off to either side.

Her body was still voluptuous, but upon closer examination, she was taller and larger than she had been before. She seemed more powerful, somehow more muscular, but at the same time, enticing. Beautiful.

Her expression was a complex one, seemingly filled with pain, regret, sorrow, and guilt.

As soon as her face was revealed, gasps filled the room, along with exclamations of shock and even muttered curses.

“A demon!”

“What kind of monster is that?”

“What happened to Lady Yan?”

“What is that thing?”

A wave of shock ran through Sunan, and he subconsciously retracted the hand he had been reaching out toward her, and even took a step back. At the moment, he was literally struck speechless. He felt like his mind had been struck by lightning, as if the world had been turned upside down. He thought about Lady Yan, about the curve of her lips when she smiled, about how he felt when she put her hand on his arm. And then he looked at the… thing sprawled on the ground in front of him, and wondered if he was dreaming. Or… living in a nightmare.

“She’s not a demon. I’ve seen her before!” The words came from Tie Gangwen, who reached out to point a trembling finger at “Lady Yan.”

Some in the crowd couldn’t tear their gazes away from the figure lying prone on the ground, but quite a few turned to look at Tie Gangwen.

“I saw her once when Iron Awl Hu went to a meeting outside of the city. She’s… she’s the Love General. She’s an Ogre!!!”

If the gasps of shock which rang out earlier were loud, then the response to Tie Gangwen’s words this time were like thunder.

Some people staggered backward, and a few even fell down. Swords were drawn and spears were leveled. Without even thinking about it, Sunan’s right hand twisted into the claw of a dragon, and Sun Mai extend the two fingers of his right hand.

“Sect Leader Sunan, please,” said the Love General. “Things weren’t supposed to happen like this. I mean you no harm….”

Sunan backed up another step, and Sun Mai rose to his feet. After the initial round of gasps, the room went quiet, but that lasted for only a moment.

“She’s an Ogre?” someone said.

“The Love General? She’s one of the Demon Emperor’s top advisers?”

“She’s one of the Demon Emperor’s people?”

Sun Mai stepped forward to stand at Sunan’s side. “Sunan,” he said. “If what Tie Gangwen says is true….”

Sunan had recovered from his initial shock. At first, disbelief gripped his heart, but then, anger sparked to life. Looking down at the Love General, he said, “Is it?”

She looked down, almost as if she didn’t dare to gaze him in the eyes. Taking a deep breath, she replied in a very soft voice, “Yes. It’s true.”

Sunan clenched his jaw and shook his head slowly. The anger in his heart began to grow hotter, burning away the disbelief, spreading out into his head, into his gut, into his hands and legs.

“You lied to me?” he asked, his voice quavering.

The Love General bowed her head, causing her hair to fall down and cover her eyes and mouth. It couldn’t cover the three horns, though. “Sect Leader Sunan, I… I didn’t lie… I mean, I didn’t intend to lie….”

“Don’t listen to her any more, Sunan,” Sun Mai said. “She’s been manipulating us this entire time. You can’t trust a single word she says.”

“Sect Leader,” Tie Gangwan said, “the Chief Minister is right. She’s one of the Demon Emperor’s top leaders. She must have been sent here to kill the two of you.”

Sun Mai took a step forward and lifted his hand. “Say the word, Sunan, and I’ll kill her on the spot. Do you know how many deaths she’s responsible for? She helps the Demon Emperor plan his massacres! She should be executed!”

In response to his words, more weapons were drawn in the room, and some of the soldiers even stepped closer to the Love General, pointing spears and swords at her, grim expressions on their faces.

Sunan’s heart and mind were trembling. He thought back to everything that “Lady Yan” had told him about the Demon Emperor, and wondered if any of it were true. The sad story about him being in a coma: was it completely fabricated? What if it were true? It didn’t make sense that she had been sent to kill them. She’d had plenty of opportunities to do so, whether by means of poison, or even a knife in the back. Neither did it seem as if she were attempting to get him to surrender to the Demon Emperor.

Nothing made sense. Why had she come? Why had she spent so much time with him, talking about seemingly innocuous and pointless inanities? Why had they laughed so much together?

He shook his head to try to clear it.

“No,” he said. “We’re not murderers. She’s committed no crimes in this city. I’m not going to kill someone in cold blood just for being on the wrong side. Arrange a horse and escort her outside the city.”

The Love General looked up, and her expression was desperate. “Sect Leader, please, give me a moment in private to talk. I need to explain–”

“No,” he interrupted. “No explanations. I won’t have any more of your lies.”

“Please, I was telling the truth about–”

“NO!” he barked, looking away from her. “Men, take her away.”

“Sunan, I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I truly have come to lo–”

“Enough with your lies! Consider yourself formally exiled from Daolu. If you ever show your face in this city again, you’ll be executed on sight! Now leave!”

The Love Demon bowed her head again as soldiers hurried forward and dragged her to her feet. Because her long, crimson hair covered her face, no one could see the tears glistening on her cheeks.

**

About an hour west of Daolu, on the south bank of the Chezou River, Bao’s people had set up camp and were currently eating a noon meal. They had taken a circuitous route to get to this point, having traveled some distance east along the Chezou River before finding a suitable place to cross.

Mao Yun approached with a bowl of prawn soup and handed it to Bao.

“Why are the prawns blue?” she asked.

“Not sure,” he replied, sitting down next to her. “The farmer we bought them from said that blue prawns only showed up in the area recently. The flavor is amazing, though. Try it.”

Bao pulled one of the strangely-colored prawns out of the soup and cracked it open.

“You’re right,” she said. “You know, I ate a lot of seafood growing up in Yu Zhing. These might be the most tender prawns I’ve ever had in my life.”

“And they go perfect with this!” Mao Yun said, handing her a small bottle. “Local yellow wine.”

Grinning, she took the bottle, raised it up to clink against Mao Yun’s and then drank with him.

Over the course of the next few minutes, the two of them devoured the prawns and finished the wine.

“By this point, the people in Daolu must know we’re coming,” Mao Yun said.

“You mean the government?” Bao replied. “Or the Golden Dragon Sect? Either way, we should be prepared for someone to ask us some questions.”

“What are you going to say? Our last run-in with the Golden Dragon Sect didn’t go very well. Even if Sheriff and the City Magistrate are fine with us entering, Sect Leader Sunan might not be too happy about it.”

“I know,” Bao said. Her hand came to rest on the wooden box that she always kept by her side. “But I’m sure he can be convinced.”

**

Sunan stood at the edge of the pond in the courtyard of the mansion, looking down at the fish swimming lazily to and fro.

Sun Mai sat off to the side, toying with a fan.

Sunan had finally recounted to Sun Mai what the Love General had told him about the Demon Emperor, as well as certain other things she had said. After much discussion, neither of them were able to make heads nor tails of it all.

“I still can’t believe I was fooled so easily,” Sunan said.

Sun Mai sighed. “According to Kong Zhi, you can cheat an honest man, but can not make a fool out of him.”

“I certainly feel like a fool.”

“You’re no fool, Sunan. Sometimes the difference between what is real and what is not real can be very difficult to see clearly. If we could see the truth of all things at a single glance, it would mean that we are perfect up here.” He tapped his temple. “That is the true Perfect Realm, you know.” Suddenly he cocked his head to the side. “Wait a second, that was amazing! That belongs in my great scripture!” He began patting his robes. “How come I never have writing utensils when I need them! Hold on, I’ll be right back.” Leaving his fan behind, he hurried off to find a brush and paper.

Sunan shook his head. I don’t even know what he’s talking about half the time.

He watched the fish for a bit longer until Tie Gangwen approached.

“Sect Leader,” he said, clasping his hands in front of him respectfully.

“Yes?”

“A bit of news. A large group approached Daolu from the west, only a few hours ago. The Sheriff sent a party out to meet them, then escorted them into the city.”

“A large group? How large?”

“Apparently a hundred or more.”

“Refugees?”

“It seems so. Normally I wouldn’t bother you with such a thing. A hundred people is a relatively large group, but not unheard of in times like these. The thing is, the group was led by… someone you know.”

Sunan looked away from the fish. “Someone I know?”

“Yes, that group… it was the Pure Phoenix Sect, led by Chieftess Bao.”

Sunan’s expression darkened. “What is she doing here?”

“I’m not sure, Sect Leader.”

Sunan looked back down at the fish swimming in the pond. “Send a message inviting her to the Heavenly Meat Palace for a welcoming feast. Tell her to only bring a few men, and that we’ll do the same. But make sure we have plenty of men in the restaurant ahead of time. Armed. And in the meantime, summon Smiling Luo. I have some questions for him about matters relating to magic.”

**

Some distance south of Daolu, the Love General was riding along on horseback when she noticed a cloud of dust off in the distance. Eyes narrowing, she was just about to ride off the road to conceal herself, when her sharp eyes caught sight of who it was that was riding toward her.

It was a large group on horseback, and even if they had been farther away, she would have recognized their armor. They were Bone Splitters, and leading them was the Bone General himself.

What are you doing up here? she thought. Maybe it has something to do with that big group that entered the city as I was leaving.

Instead of moving off to the side, she waited in the very middle of the road. It didn’t take long for the Bone General and his men to arrive. They didn’t appear to be in very good shape. They were clearly travel-weary, and some of the men were injured. The Love General was surprised to see such a small group.

“Don’t you usually bring more men with you to border regions like this?” she asked.

The Bone General reined his horse to stop next to her. “We ran into some trouble. A pesky Tree Demon that needed to be taken care of. What are you doing here?”

“I could ask the same of you,” she replied. “I was on a mission. It ended in failure, unfortunately.”

“I see. I’m chasing a fugitive. Someone very dangerous. A girl.”

“She just entered the city, I believe. I wouldn’t go after her if I were you. Not with this few men. This city has become a problem. There are too many powerful people inside, and they have no love for the King of the Pure Ones.”

The Bone General’s expression turned even grimmer than before. “Perhaps the time has come to crush this place.”

The Love General looked over her shoulder at the city, and somehow, she felt as if she could see Sunan on the city walls, looking south. Her heart twinged. “Perhaps.”

Get behind the scenes info from this chapter, as well as material you can use in your game sessions, at the Bedrock Blog! This installment is entitled HISTORY OF THE BOLD KING AND SMILING LUO’S POWDER. Please note that although there are no spoilers within the Bedrock Blog Legends of Ogre Gate posts, they are written from the perspective of the “modern day” Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate timeline, which is about a thousand years after the events which take place in the story. The story here on wuxiaworld is ancient legend in that “modern world” of WHOG.

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4 thoughts on “LOOG Chapter – 36” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. “Without even thinking about it, Sunan’s right hand twisted into the claw of a dragon, and Sunan extend the two fingers of his right hand.”

    I believe the second mentioning of Sunan here should be referring to Sun Mai with his Scholarly Blade and that “extend” should be in the past tense; if so then it should say

    “Without even thinking about it, Sunan’s right hand twisted into the claw of a dragon and Sun Mai extended the two fingers of his right hand.”

    Time to see how the second meeting will progress; I’ve also heard that the chapters have increased to three a week so I’m hyped. Lately I’ve just been following this an AWE so thanks for your efforts.

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