戰士━ The warrior’s body worked, each individual limb moved fluidly as if each motion was linked. Everything was pre-planned; every thrust forward, the bending of his knees forcing the warrior into a deep lunge, as well as each heavy swing of his axes. Despite the lack of an opponent’s presence, Zhang Liao hammered each and every swing through the air and pushed his body until it screamed for him to yield. Even then, he worked through the elements to strengthen his mind and spirits both. He could not, would not be caught unawares, not when there was so much at stake He had to continually train his body and prepare for the hardships ahead. The warrior’s path was unending, and it never did cease—even in death.
A single eye looked up at the helm on his comrade. Zhang Liao was a man of few words. What he did say was simple and to the point. It was a trait that Xiahou Dun wished more of his fellows had. Much of his life would be easier if his men weren’t prone to mindless chatter and just said what they wanted out front.
From what Xiahou Dun could guess from the Warrior’s previous statement as well as his gesture, there was an issue with his helm. Perhaps it was too big or even not big enough?
”Debating a change of pace in armor?”
“Indeed,” he confirmed with a slight nod, and with such
an inquiry along the lines of his own thoughts, Zhang Liao
lifted his head to spy Cao Cao’s right hand before him,
jaw clenching in what seemed to be an internal struggle
as his gaze shifted away.
“For safety, perhaps, and notoriety’s sake.”
”… What exactly are you talking about, Master Zhang Liao?”
Zhang Liao gave a modest bow of recognition and respect,
before silently gesturing to his armoured helm. A suggestion
that needed no words other than those that had already been
spoken. For it to cover a larger part of his own face, he
considered. If not to protect him, then perhaps to silence the
terrifying rumours that surrounded him—or make them worse.
“A consideration, Master Xiahou Dun.”
“Perhaps if it obscured more than it currently does…”
Chen Fang grinned, clasping one hand over the other as she returned the gesture. Upon raising herself up, the red tassel of her hat swung to and fro, and not once did that grin falter.
"Does it, my lord? I can only wonder what that means. Oh, is it good? Is it bad? What kind of reputation has the son of Chen Gong earned?”
Puzzled by her correction, Zhang Liao lifted his head and moved out of the humble bow, dark eyes narrowed in both suspicion and confusion. Pursed lips parted as he took in a breath—just enough to respond swiftly and respectfully to the strategist’s descendant.
“Pardon my assumption,” the warrior began, pausing only for a beat before continuing again, “however my lord’s strategist has spoken a great deal about his daughter. Never once has he mentioned a son.” Another moment of hesitation, and then he began again.
“The reputation she has earned is a pleasant one.”
"Learn what, and from who if I’m always protected?”
"I’m just passing by, Zhang Liao. I do not want any trouble. Not today."
“Then do as you were bid to.”