Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 9

The wagon full of fireworks had made its way quickly yet stealthily toward the palace. Anna was driving again. Merrida was reclining on top again, under a cloth. Aladdin, Rapunzel, and Mulan were inside. Everybody was tense. There were a couple of times where they had to hide the cart to avoid patrols. They were all tense as they traveled but they remained safe. There was another contingent sneaking their way with another load of fireworks to a ridge near the palace. They were the distraction force and Mulan’s contingent of foreigners was the main infiltration force. The soldiers on the ridge were under strict orders not to risk too much but Mulan could see that they were tired of hiding. It was time to fight. This plan had put hope back in everyone’s eyes.

Mulan and her group stayed under the cover of a half-destroyed lean-to until nightfall and then fireworks were suddenly raining down on the Imperial City. The monsters did not know what to do and there was a great noise of confusion. Anna got the horses moving again and the cart rushed at speed toward the gates. The monsters had not noticed their cart yet. Anna goaded the horses to go faster and everyone grabbed hold. Merrida and Anna looked at each other as they braced themselves. The horses ran at the gate and managed to burst through, kicking their powerful hooves forward and only hesitating for a moment. Everybody on that cart took a deep breath and waited to see if the fireworks would set off. They did not.

Anna looked ahead of them and saw a swirling purple smoke and then that smoke started to take the form of a massive dragon. Merrida started to aim her bow but Anna caught hold of it and shook her head. The dragon was too big for that. Merrida banged wildly on the top of the cart and scrambled to the front of the cart with Anna. They started to get ready to unhook the horses as they hurtled toward the dragon. Inside the cart, Mulan supervised the lighting of fuses for the fireworks. At the last minute, the horses ran free and the dragon lunged at the cart. The cart exploded in the dragon’s face, sending it screaming at the sky. The dragon’s face was burning and, for the moment, it seemed like it was enraged but blinded.

In an alleyway, Mulan’s team sat and caught their breath. At the last moment, they had tucked and rolled and run away in the confusion. They sat and smiled at each other, eyes wide with amazement. They were thankful that not only had their plan worked for the moment but they had also survived it. The courtyard of the Imperial City was now burning but it was a small price to pay. Everybody got back to their feet and took stock of themselves and made sure they all still had the proper amount of limbs. They were satisfied that they only ended up lightly singed and it looked like the monsters were still very interested in the fireworks coming from the ridge.

Mulan’s team started to creep through the shadows toward the palace. Aladdin in particular was really good at it from all of his experience as a thief in Agrabah. The normally bubbly Anna and Rapunzel were both deadly serious and everybody remained quiet as they made their way. They hoped to not use their weapons for as long as possible. If they were fighting, they were getting slowed down and if they were too far from their objective, they would never make it. Therefore, stealth was key and everybody understood that. They were a pretty intelligent bunch of seasoned adventurers. They had all been through a lot and this was just one more thing they had to do. Still, it felt like the biggest thing they had ever faced.

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