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|The Battle of Chu Shi|
Book 3: Earth
January 4, 2017
The Water Tribes have come to claim a city from the eastern Earth Kingdom.
Chapter 8: The Battle of Chu Shi
Book 3: Earth
Chapter 8: The Battle of Chu Shi
A bright and breezy morning in the city of Omashu, birds chirping in the trees and the bustling city had folks walking around and talking to their peers. Gaozu sat on a slab of earth as his royal healer was treating his bruises with a sack of ice. He stood up still in slight pain thinking of the duel he had with General Senlin. He signals for his advisor Naoren to come forth. Standing tall Naoren, lent Gaozu his ear, "Yes your Majesty?"
"Call upon the strongest and resilient person we have to offer from our grand city," Gaozu commanded.
"What for, my liege?" Naoren asked concerned.
"I have an important task for this person." Gaozu smirked as he thought about Senlin in his mind.
Soldiers were training in the grounds of the military sect of Omashu with their current standing commander when Senlin, Palartok and Kimaru show up. The commander turned around to face the three men who were present. Looking up and down at them he inquired, "What's the manner of this? Don't you citizens know you're not allowed here?"
Senlin assaulted the military superior hitting them in the face with his right elbow knocking him out. Senlin took his hair clip and pin, the hair accessory was designed with western Earth Kingdom designs and the insignia carved on it represented the Omashu province as well as the rank of 'commander'. Scrounging up his hair and clipping his hair with the hair clip he slid the pin inside the clip to hold his hair and the clip together. Palartok and Kimaru stood on opposite sides of Senlin in their stances. The soldiers in theirs.
"You have a lot of nerve attacking our commander, stranger!" one soldier shouted.
"Listen up, ladies! Your king has appointed the crown of commander to ME now, you will follow my every order and if you fall out of line, you will swiftly be dealt with!" Senlin yelled at his new army.
Senlin then snapped his fingers, Kimaru whipped out some water and hurled it at the soldier who spoke against Senlin. The water wrapped around one of his wrists and then it tightened, Kimaru tugged on the water whip pulling the disobedient soldier to him. Grabbing the soldier by his uniform he slammed him against the wall. Tearing off his patch signifying his rank and snatching his helmet from his head. Senlin standing in a commanding pose with both arms behind his back, glancing back at the soldier.
"You are hereby banished and defected immediately from my army, you have served your province well, soldier. Dis-" he ordered.
"You can't do this! Guys! Help me here!" he shouted at his comrades.
"Dismissed!" Senlin repeated.
The other soldiers looked the other way, they all felt if they even looked at their former comrade or tried to speak it would be enough to lose their jobs as infantry. The Water Tribes had gathered around in small crowd around their commanding chiefs who had a map made from leather straightened out on a board of wood held at the corners by daggers. Chief Cupun stood in front of the map as well as Chief Unirak, Unirak went to his left to gather together the warpaint he had made from materials found around the woods they were in. In a small wooden bowl there sat black warpaint, going to be used to mark the foreheads of all the waterbenders and warriors who were about to go to battle this very day. Chief Cupun had charcoal resting in his hand ready to announce the war plans with the northern and southern armies.
Everyone sat in silence as he began to speak, "We all come forth on this day to lay siege to the town of Chu Shi. Chu Shi is a town of not only built for commerce but it's also a center of military. Able bodied men are sent here to train or to smooth out their skills on the battlefield. Chu Shi spits out at least hundred troops a month ready to be sent out on the front lines. Back during the our short time of peace it had sleeper agents awaiting the next war," Cupun began.
"We are here to take Chu Shi from the clutches of the province of Ba Sing Se and claim it for the Water Tribe. If we pull this off we will cut any trading routes leading to Ba Sing Se and the eastern capital city will have one less city that trains new soldiers. Hold any prisoners if deemed of importance, remember kill or be killed. We cannot afford to lose any of our own!" Unirak added.
"Platoon A will be on the front lines that will be the first string of troops to charge in, this battalion will only have waterbenders. Your mission is to the flood the streets of this city and encase any defending forces with ice. You are to block entrances for any ins and outs of the city. Platoon B will be a mix of waterbenders and warriors who will join you within the city to help you fight off any defenses. Platoon C will be stay behind from a distance and be contain our archers, we will send a maximum of three battle healers with each platoon while the rest of the healers remain with the archers or here at our camp," Cupun continued.
"Unirak and I will stay with Platoon B overseeing our forces and fighting alongside them, protect your healers. Platoon C will send a volley of arrows at the signal of Anuun, Anuun will stay with the archers overseeing the battlefield and if needed he will blow the warhorn for retreat if he sees the casualties are many. We hope that it isn't necessary but we need something of sort. Platoon A will go head on as Platoon B flanks from the right side. Any questions?" Cupun asserted.
The crowd of 200 men stood quiet as they looked at their commanding chiefs, Cupun slightly nodded, walking off to the side Unirak walked to the center as a spiritual shaman joined by his side. The shaman looked up to the skies raising both arms in the air palms facing outwards as he called upon the blessing of the spirits of the ocean and moon. The small battalion of men knelt before the shaman closing their eyes beginning their own personal prayers as they joined in the group prayer along with the rest of the camp.
"I call upon the spirit of Tui to come forth and bless our troops into battle to protect them from harm. May your waterbending strike true and greaten your strength, may your swords, axes and clubs protect your life in midst of battle," the shaman beamed.
"I call upon the spirit of La to come forth and bless our spirits, to inspire us and to guide our fallen to the Spirit World safely. Tui and La we beg you to surround us with your presence as we take the city of Chu Shi in the name of the Ocean, the Moon and the Tribe," the shaman bleated.
"Come forth, brethren, and receive the mark of the Ocean and Moon spirits, as your received blessing. Then meet your commanding chief and get ready to march to Chu Shi," Unirak spoke, dipping two fingers into the wooden bowl of black war paint. A line of soldiers stood in front of Unirak as he marked each of their foreheads with tribal marks.
Men stood outside of the camp in lines of five the battalion was getting ready to march to Chu Shi and fight the eastern province forces at Chu Shi. Two men mounted their polar bear dogs, with drums decorating the saddle pulling their drumsticks from their pockets.
"War drummers remember to inspire your fellow men and incite fear among the enemy!" Unirak reminded.
The two war drummers nodded at the southern chief agreeing to mention of their role. Unirak turned to Unaraq and the gang. "Unaraq, son..." he paused.
"You are to remain here at camp, with the Avatar and your friends. We can take this fight and take Chu Shi from Ba Sing Se. I know you have just arrived you and your friends need rest," Unirak said.
"Alright Dad, thanks. I wish you luck in the coming battle. Return safely," Unaraq replied. Unirak placed his left hand on his son's shoulder. "I will, son." Unaraq grasped his father, and they both hugged tightly.
Unirak and Cupun walked back to their battalion of men and began marching the two war drummers at their sides rode at the same pace the men were marching at. They were off.
Meanwhile, in the city of Chu Shi, officers of the battalion of soldiers there trained the recruits as many soldiers and veterans stood ground around the training grounds standing watch making rounds around the grounds and around the city itself. The city guard is actually the military itself. Many new recruits were in different groups training in different things, some were running, others were doing push ups and sit ups, training in the various melee fighting styles whilst the benders practiced their earthbending. From a distance the commanding officer at Chu Shi stood with his officers watching the recruits.
A courier arrives with a sash on his right arm indicating that he was a royal messenger straight from Ba Sing Se. Kneeling down and raising both arms with the scroll resting on his palms, the lieutenant colonel grabbed the scroll from the courier. The courier dismissed himself as the lieutenant colonel opened the scroll.
"Lieutenant Colonel Yansu, this scroll reaches out to you where you are stationed in the city of Yumen. I speak on behalf of Earth King Qiang Zhen. He sends his gratitude as you bring forth a new generation well trained troops for this war. With the graduation of the current of company of recruits you coming in the next few days you are to leave a platoon in Chu Shi and report to your superiors Ren and Tsuyo-sa who are currently awaiting orders from the King himself in Yumen.
You are to march your battalion to Yumen, the King wants to gather a large army to reclaim the towns and villages on our shores taken by the Northern Water Tribe.
Guwen, Royal Advisor to his Majesty 42nd Earth King Qiang Zhen"
Yansu looks over to his lieutenant in command underneath him, "Zihao, you are to remain here in Chu Shi with your company of men. General Ren and General Tsuyo-sa have ordered that I and my men return to Yumen," Yansu mentions.
"Lieutenant Colonel Yansu, are you sure we should leave Chu Shi defenseless?" Zihao asked concerned.
"Lieutenant Zihao, you have a total of 80 men at your disposal nothing can go wrong, reports have said there is no presence of the Water Tribes in this region of the province. You'll be fine. I may send back some men here to you," Yansu reassured.
"Thank you, Yansu. I guess you're right the scouts have done their job and have alerted us at the right times," Zihao relieved.
The Water Tribes are just over the hills as their war drummers beat on their drums, the waterbenders and warriors marching in formation uniformed in variety of blue colors, weapons made of whale bone, helmets made from the hides and skulls of their slain trophies. Truly a terrifying sight to see. Zihao and Yansu continued speaking on the matters of Yansu and his battalion transferring to the city of Yumen. Just when Zihao could hear the dull sound of the drums from the distance.
"Do you hear that?" Zihao called.
Yansu listening in closely as possible as he can, "....no?" Yansu looked puzzled.
"I hear drumming in the distance," Zihao said.
"Do you happen to have any recruits or troops with musical talent, Zihao?" Yansu asked.
"No...I've heard of this before... it's..it's.." he paused to think.
"Alert the troops! Wardrums! We're going to be attacked!" Zihao shouted.
All of the sudden that's when screaming was heard outside, the sounds of crashing waves were heard hitting against the stone walls of the city. The waterbenders rode up and over the walls of the city of Chu Shi on their waves of water freezing it behind them as soldiers slid behind the waters with their clubs, swords, axes and polearms.
One waterbender had melted the ice again and bent water torrents to his left and right hitting soldiers and recruits alike against objects knocking some out. Earthbending troops stood ground and began to lift rocks from the earth to kick and punch at the invaders. "Don't just stand there! Do something!" Yansu shouted at the recruits.
Some with poor stances tried their best to fend off the Water Tribe invaders, but the well trained warriors were too much for the recruits. A war horn was blown from the distance, Yansu jumped down from his and rose a wall of earth, cracking the wall he began to punch and kick the wall bits at the warriors and waterbenders. A polearm warrior began to spin around and deflect the wall bits that were coming at him, before being struck with a boulder. He flew across the street a few yards where he once stood.
Zihao ran to aid Yansu as he whistled for troops to come aid them, Zihao looked up with fear as a rain of arrows suddenly filled the sky covering himself and Yansu in a dome of earth blocks any projectiles from them. Zihao breaking sweat awaited until the arrows had all dropped and found their marks or the ground under them. Yansu snuck into the earth and began to dig around. Unirak had noticed an earth dome on the courtyard, several waterbenders had surrounded their southern chief protecting him as he fought off eastern soldiers in all directions. An eastern non bender wielding a halberd charged at Unirak, he had not seen him coming but a waterbender nearby shot water from his water skin, and froze the warrior's head, the heavy weight had him lose balance. He lost footing and crashed to the floor. A southern warrior came and slammed his mace shattering the ice around the eastern warrior's head, causing internal bleeding and having him see stars, before he knew it everything went dark for good. Another smash to the skull killed the man.
Zihao dropped the earth dome, and was struck by an arrow shot by an archer who joined the fight inside the city. Yansu poked his head every few seconds to see if the coast was clear or at least to catch his enemies by surprise. He jumped out of the earth and shot shards of earth and pinned two northern soldiers to walls. Another southerner came to aid of those pinned to the walls with duals blade he rushed Yansu. Yansu reacted quickly and bent cuffs at the man's wrists, tightening the grip the swordsman dropped his weapons. Yansu kicked him at both knees to have him kneeling before punching him in the throat. Releasing the cuffs, he was struck with wave of water frozen and imprisoned. Another northerner arrived to the scene, with the back handle of his club he hit Yansu upside the head knocking him out.
Zihao struck by an arrow in his lower abdomen, blood starting to lightly pour out, grabbing the long end of the air where the bobtail was sticking out, he snaps the arrow and starts to scream as he pulls out the arrowhead, before behind struck in the left shoulder with another arrow. Another piercing his upper chest, his armor protecting his organs. He shouts with a final roaring shout and last bit of strength he had he stood up and shot a tremor that created a tower striking the archer in the face killing him. He slumped to the ground reaching out to the sky, as his vision faded. Cupun stood over the dying Zihao, turning slightly away as he rose his axe and ended Zihao's misery. Cupun smashed skulls around him, before being struck with a sword on his side, the immense pain had him dropped to the floor.
The warhorn blew one last time as a volley of arrows soared through the skies striking every last troop alive, leaving stragglers behind. Two recruits ran off away from the city, before two waterbenders rode on water waves and froze walls around them, and taking them as prisoners of war. Cupun dropped as well, before being covered by bandages and taken away from the battle of Unirak and a waterbender.
The city of Chu Shi was falling, bodies of soldiers, and recruits littered the floor struck with their own weapons, suffocated with water, with arrows and equally littered with corpses of Water Tribe soldiers. The city once known for its trading routes and military training grounds was no more. A northerner stood on its highest building and jammed the flag of the united Water Tribes on its roof, signifying that the city was claimed by the Water Tribes.
Night fell when they had arrived back at camp, as healers rushed to bring Cupun into the healing hut, hours later he awoke to a healer who was hovering water above his lower abdomen were the wound had been made. Healing Cupun of his battle wounds and bruises, the wound finally sealed shut and the blood stopped running. His vision still a blur he looked to see Unirak standing over him and a few his men too. Unaraq walked in with Rong Yan and rushed to Cupun's side.
"What happened to Chief Cupun, Dad?" asked Unaraq with concern.
"He was injured in battle, luckily he did not leave us!" Unirak responded.
Cupun grabs hold onto the furs on the cot he laid on, wincing in pain and letting out a groan.
"He fought valiantly against the eastern troops in Chu Shi, we took the city in the name of our tribe," Unirak praised.
"However we lost several good men along the way, I hope they're at peace in the Spirit World with their deceased loved ones," Unirak clucked.
He looked to his left and called to a soldier, "Make a list of all the men we have lost today from both tribes and sent our regards to their families via warhawk. They need to know of what became of their family members this day. So that they may honor their fallen."
The soldier nodded to the orders and walked out of the tent. "Let us get some rest, I'm sure Cupun will be fine in the hands of our healers here," Unirak said.
"Son, I need your help tomorrow morning if you can help us here in the camp I've got an important job for you," Unirak requested.
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