Zheng’s group had been on the road for three days without sleep. Zheng and Gandalf were physically fit enough to sustain the strain but Lan and Merry had no way of keeping up. The two of them fell asleep leaning against the other’s backs. They barely had any rests during this journey. Dawn of the fourth day came. A white city appeared through the morning sunlight.
“The capitol of Gondor, most magnificent city of men, Minas Tirith, City of Kings. It is the symbol of human regime. If the forces of Mordor breached the city, the end of men would be near.” Gandalf sighed. He patted Shadowfax and it ran toward the city.
Zheng followed right behind Gandalf. The guards on the wall were excited at the sight of a large silvery horse followed by a skeleton horse. The White Wizard had a high reputation in this world. Saruman’s fall from grace lowered his reputation but the majority of men still believed in him as the savior.
In contrast to the White Wizard, the guards were more familiar with and feared the skeleton horse. It was the mount of the Ringwraiths that couldn’t be replicated. Seeing the White Wizard being chased by the Ringwraith, a group of archers hurried up the city wall from their camps in a commotion.
The misunderstanding took an hour to dissolve. Zheng dismounted from the Nightmare and handed it to the troops from Gondor. They finally believed that the White Wizard kill a Ringwraith and seized the Nightmare as spoil. No one would believe anyone could kill a Ringwraith with human bodies.
“Feeling helpless?” Gandalf laughed. “The people of Gondor are stubborn as this. They will follow through the end on things they decided on, whether it be good or bad, as long as it is the path they want to walk.”
Zheng was rather inexperienced riding a war horse. The Gondor troops gave him the war horse after taking the Nightmare away. He wasn’t worried about not getting it back though. Normal human troops couldn’t stop him if he were to use brute force to get it back. Furthermore, Gandalf wouldn’t let this happen.
“Let’s go and see the steward!”
What followed was a narration of the plot. Anyway, the group went to see the steward but Denethor didn’t wish for the assistance of Rohan because he knew the heir of Gondor, Aragorn, was there. Gondor returning to the hands of the king was not what he wanted to see. It would leave him with no place in this kingdom. Thus, Denethor refused Gandalf’s advice to light the Beacons.
“Foolish! Truly foolish! Gondor is his but what would he get once Mordor razes it into ground? Nothing! Only death would await him. Why does he not return the kingdom to the king and leave himself a good reputation?” Gandalf marched out from the throne room. He walked to the courtyard. There he could see Mordor beyond the mountains. It was covered in red as if the air was burning.
Gandalf looked in downcast. “We have lost. The end of men is near. Sauron has returned. The One Ring has returned to him. And men are still fighting with themselves for that elusive authority. With such an army, and such regime, how can we defeat the Dark Lord? We lost.”
Zheng patted him on the shoulder. “Don’t give up. We made it through so many difficulties and battles already. We won’t lose to a worthless Steward. We have the riders of Rohan. We have the Ents on their way. We have a group of allies. The elves will aid us when Sauron comes back. Or they would have to run.”
Gandalf took a deep breath. “We will follow through our plan. Merry.”
Merry was gazing at the red sky. The sight was beautiful yet peculiar. As he turned his head around, he saw three pairs of eyes fixed on him. A bad feeling arose, as if he had boarded a pirate ship…
“Finally, the Beacons are lit.”
A young man with black hair sat on top a snowy mountain. He was breathing rhythmically. He looked down on the mountain below. The Beacons at the peak of the it were lit. The light was in view to people on the other mountain. And then a second mountain lit their Beacons. The lights came on one after another until they reached the mountains far, far away.
“Well then, is the battle at Minas Tirith going to commence now?” The young man smiled then he laughed aloud. He spoke as though talking to himself. “Zhao ZhuiKong, there’s nothing you can say to stop me now. Fuck you! Wait until I reach Jindan (Gold Core), I won’t fear you even if you unlocked the fourth stage. I will kill you and your clone and that demon…
Xiuzhen (Cultivation) is the strongest power!”
Switching away from the wild young man. When the light of the Beacons reached Edoras, Theoden was decisive at agreeing to send his army to Gondor. As a person in an authoritive position, he knew the two kingdoms were interdependent of each other. The riders of Rohan could not hold out against the forces of Mordor by themselves. Their only choice was to unite with the Gondor infantry and fight the Mordor army together.
“This is an unfortunate news but I must inform you.” Theoden listened to a scout and his expression became burdened. “I sent several scouts to Gondor prior to the battle at Helm’s Deep. One, to request aid, and two, to check if the Mordor forces have begun their attack. Our scouts returned with information of what they saw… The bad news is we will be facing against an army of a hundred thousand half-orcs, orcs, and trolls. This army is beyond anything we imagined, beyond the evil forces in the War of the Last Alliance. We have only five thousand riders. This is all we have…”
Inside the Golden Hall, Theoden mustered his riders without a moment of hesitation. And when the scout came back with the message, the numbers crushed their confidence at once. This wasn’t the real world. Not one war in the history of Middle Earth had such a large evil force gathered together.
“If that’s the case… we will seek new allies!”
A voice came in from outside the Golden Hall. The people in the room turned their attention and saw a cloaked figure walked in. He took off his hood, revealing his identity. The man was Elrond, Lord of Rivendell, and the wielder of one of the three Elven rings.
All people aside from the three members of team China bowed. Elrond said. “Sauron obtained the One Ring once again. His power has returned. He’s as powerful as before yet the alliance became weak. Men only have one heir to Isildur. The elven rings are losing their power, forcing us to leave Middle Earth. For men to survive, Aragorn, you must seek new forces.”
Aaragorn’s smiled was bitter. “There are none. The Ents have set out. The riders of Rohan are ready. The infantries of Gondor are out of my control. The elves are leaving as the powers of the three rings fade. We have no more allies.”
“No. There is an army that has been waiting for a thousand years!” Elrond revealed a sword under his cloak. The sword glowed in a silvery light without activating it with battle Qi. It looked like a silver mirror.
“Reforged from the shards of Narsil. A sword that can only be used by the heir of Isildur. Use it to prove your bloodline.” Elrond paused then said in a serious tone. “Seek those who dwell in the mountain. They have been waiting for this over a thousand years. This is the only army that can negate our difference in number and change the tide of battle!”
“The mountain?” Aragorn paused. His faced turned pale as he muttered. “Murderers! Traitors! You would call upon them to fight? They believe in nothing! They answer to no one.”
Elrond shouted. “They will answer to the King of Gondor! This is your army!”
Gimli asked Legolas, seeing that Aragorn was hesitating. “What’s the matter? Why does it seem like he fears the army?”
“Not fear but anger.” Legolas sighed. “That army pledged their loyalty to the king of Gondor, but they abandoned their oath when they were most needed. The blood of Isildur was nearly lost. Aragorn became the only heir to remain. They aren’t people of the living. They are deceased men cursed by Isildur. Only when they fulfill their oath will they be forgiven and rest in peace.”