Warlord – Creative Writing
“Half a year before you were born, a great battle was fought and many brave men lost their lives. Your father led his army of seven thousand men into battle, they were fighting the evil Rovonaga. It was a lost cause right from the start, only three thousand of the seven were trained warriors, the rest ordinary men trying to save their homes. The odds were four to one as Rovonaga had a force twenty-eight thousand strong, including five thousand cavalry and five thousand archers, each extremely well trained in what they did. It was said every archer could pierce an apple at four hundred yards.
The other eighteen thousand were fully armoured samurai with swords so sharp they could cut a human torso clean in half. Our men fought bravely, but the outcome was inevitable, they lost and with it the land. Rovonaga gave no mercy, he murdered every last man until a river of blood flowed. Your father was killed last, they hung him from a tree at the top of a hill so everyone could see him. His body was left there and nobody ever took it down, it slowly decomposed over time and nothing is left, except the rope, which still hangs as a symbol to show what happens if you get in Rovonaga’s way.
That is how your father died son, he died an honourable man. A brave man, like your father, may die, but cowards do not live at all. ” Akechi remembered when his mother told him that story when he was six years old. That same night Rovonaga’s soldiers broke into their house, tied Akechi to a chair and made him watch as his mum was slowly tortured to death. He managed to break free and run from Yalu, a large province in Japan where he lived. When he was young he remembered his mother telling him what Yalu used to be like before Rovonaga took over. He pictured the image in his head now, a beautiful, free place.
Miles upon miles of fields, covered in crops. The warm sun beaming down giving colour and growth to all. The place was alive with animals of every kind, freely running here and there. Butterflies filled the air and birds the sky as rabbits roamed the ground. Farmers tended to their crops happily, at one with the creatures. She said the air smelt so fresh and every breath was like new life rushing into you. The highest hill was covered with trees, its top barely visible. Flowers flourished in-between each tree and she said it was like walking through paradise. No sounds, except those of animals, no smell, except that of freshness.
He remembered she once told him she climbed a tree on top of the hill. When she reached the top she was in the clouds, like being in heaven. She never climbed it again as she thought it was so holy it was only meant to be visited by God. Akechi desperately wanted to see this land, as it should be. Then he remembered what it was like before left. Chitu Village lay at the centre of Yalu, this was where Rovonaga lived. It was basically a huge palace for him and his generals. Not a nice place, an ugly place, too big and covered in statues of eerie creatures. Small men with horns and great, giant goblins on top of towers.
Surrounding his palace was where his soldiers lived, another ugly place, but luxury compared to outside of Chitu. In the six and a half years Rovonaga had been in Yalu, he had sucked the life out of everything. The people were treated like slaves, only kept alive to serve Rovonaga and his soldiers. They grew all the crops, harvested them yet at the end they saw none of them. They were lucky if they got a meal a day and many died of starvation and exhaustion. The hill where the trees once grew and the flowers flourished was now where a big, black iron gate stood, the only way in or out of Yalu.
Walls soared high all around the border, covered with spikes, just as much to keep people in as out. It was a huge prison and the people were prisoners in their own homes. All animals had fled, their habitats destroyed and no life lived inside of these walls. The land was suffocated and the air heavy. People breathed unwillingly, they only did because they knew they had to. Although the sun shone it appeared colourless and so did the land, everything black and white. The dead were not cared for and bodies lay here and there, some fresh others half decomposed.
People did not live, they were merely bodies, without souls or spirits, all doing the same routine everyday. Nobody smiled, nobody laughed and most people did not even talk. Guards watched and drove the people on, whipping, beating and killing. When he was six Akechi escaped. He found a small gap in-between the land and the bottom of the wall. He dug furiously, earth flying out behind him. He heard guards coming and so surged on. The gap was now just big enough for him to get through, he did and he had made it, he was free. He ran and ran that night, too scared to stop, tears blurring his vision.
Most of the way he cried for his mother, but she was never coming back. By sheer fortune he had run to the coast. There he saw a small trading vessel lying in the harbour. He sneaked upon board and hid himself inside a box. Inside he collapsed from exhaustion and slept for hours. He was in such a deep sleep he did not even know the boat had set sail. The boat took him to China and there he spent the next twenty years of his life. A family took him in and he was raised as if he were one of their own. He joined the Chinese army and with his father’s spirit and his intelligence he rose higher.
He became general of the whole of South-East China and many people looked up to him. He was a fine leader and a great strategist. He also became well known for his excellence with the blade. Like his father before him, Akechi was a true samurai warrior. Rovonaga became bored with hid palace life and one day he ordered his troops to got o Chinese ports and burn any ships they saw. He wanted a war, and a war he would get. The Chinese government reacted straight away and ordered Akechi to take his men over to Japan and crush Rovonaga. Akechi rallied his men and they boarded their ships.
Under his command Akechi had ten thousand samurai, six thousand archers and two thousand cavalry. A total force of eighteen thousand, but he was outnumbered by Rovonaga’s force. They landed in the same port Akechi had fled from twenty years ago. There the army camped and stayed for the night. The next day was spent unloading the ships and gathering provisions. That night they marched until they were just three miles from the walls of Yalu. Akechi’s plan was one which relied on the element of surprise. He planned to camp for that day and attack at dawn of the next.
Armour was strapped on, swords worn and bows carried. He gathered his troops together and told them this. “I know we are outnumbered in total force, but we will win. We will catch our enemy by surprise and overthrow them. We have more archers and this is a great advantage. Also I am sure you are all thinking that we cannot get past the Walls of Yalu. We will use ladders to get over, rams to smash the gate, any means possible. Have you thought the people of Yalu may help. When they see what is happening they will rise and rebel. Giving us time and maybe letting us in. Be brave all of you.
Someone once told me: a brave man may die, but cowards do not live at all. Which one are you, I know my men and all of you are the first. Come on lets march on to victory. ” Just as he planned Akechi attacked at dawn. He ordered his archers to fire, and his men to go and ram the gate. A storm of arrows went over the walls, many hitting targets. Ladders went up and men climbed over. Rovonaga quickly rallied his troops and sent them to meet this onslaught. The gate held and could not be breeched, men fell from the ladders and Rovonaga was winning, there was simply no way in.
The solid iron gate could only be opened from the inside. The people in Yalu did do what Akechi had hoped, they rebelled and fought the soldiers. This gave Akechi some time, in which he thought and planned. The gap in the wall where he had escaped, it was just around the corner. He had a plan, a trap. He sent his foot soldiers to go down the hill and stay there, he did the same with his cavalry and archers. He took about a thousand men and five hundred archers around to the gap. There he ordered his archers to give covery fire and keep the enemy’s heads down, and with his thousand men he ordered them to dig, but slowly.
As he had hoped Rovonaga had seen them do this and assumed it was the whole army. He could not get to them, but he could not afford to let them in. So he chose to go and meet them. The gate opened and first out was Rovonaga and his five thousand cavalry, they galloped around the side to meet the army at the gap. As did the eighteen thousand men that followed. His archers stayed on top of the wall firing down upon Akechi and his men. The men did not see the main bulk of the army at the bottom of the hill, and the trap was set.
The gates were left open and three thousand of Akechi’s archers and a thousand of his foot soldiers went inside. Here they killed any remaining soldiers and all of the archers. Then Akechi’s men did what Rovonaga’s archers were doing and fired upon the enemy below. Meanwhile the cavalry and the remaining two thousand five hundred archers and eight thousand foot soldiers went to meet Rovonaga’s force. They attacked the rear and the cavalry charged and chopped the men to pieces. The archers were very effective against Rovonaga’s cavalry and foot soldiers, and severely weakened both.
The samurai soldiers cam in to finish the fight off. Rovonaga surrendered and Akechi had won. His men were spared as was he. Rovonaga and his men were kept in prison for the rest of their lives and things slowly returned to normal. The walls were torn down as was the place and the great iron gate. Colour returned to Yalu and so did life. New trees were planted, animals returned and over the years things became increasingly better. Akechi retired from the Chinese army and became ruler of Yalu which China gave back to Japan. Life went on better than ever. Akechi was a great ruler and his people loved him, a true warlord.