The Emperor's Dream - Chapter Six

The next day, Wanyi set out for Jinhua’s manor.

**Chapter One**

**Welcome to chapter six of The Emperor’s Dream, an epic fantasy novella from the wider world of The Mhong Chronicles. I’ll be publishing chapters each week, but remember, these are some of the very first drafts, which means you’re in on this at the very beginning. Thank you for being here, friend. I hope you enjoy it.**

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79 Days Until the Vote

The next day, Wanyi set out for Jinhua’s manor. He left Lishan at his own estate. Upon seeing the pup for the first time, Nensin’s motherly instincts had taken over, and she had taken to thoroughly spoiling Lishan. When he left, she was standing over Lishan as she ate, as if watching one of her own children to make sure she finished her vegetables.

After stopping at the aviary to bond with Ban and widening the flow of Lan Khuanghi so that he could borrow both Ban’s wings and his eyesight, Wanyi took to the sky and made his way to the Eagle district, on the western side of Shanshia. Ban would once again patrol the skies above the city, so that he could both hunt and report anything he saw.

As Wanyi flew, he saw them. Standing on street corners or set up in markets, Tohk Hetanzou and even a few Hukan handed out handbills to passersby, informing them of the proposal and the coming vote among the Council of chiefs. They stood on crates, shouting to the gathered crowds. From as high as he was, and with the wind rushing past his ears, Wanyi couldn’t hear them. But he could imagine the garbage they spewed about the virtues of a united nation. About how the Recreator would give them all purpose. Behind each of the criers were more boxes, likely full of more handbills for distribution.

They came en masse, Wanyi thought, but why do they want Hukan so badly? What do they gain that they don’t already have? Hukan laborers already built the Tohk Empire’s roads and cities at fair wages. He couldn’t imagine that the colder southern grasslands were more desirable than the fertile lands around the northern forests and the Shi River. That left only the wilds of the Dawnwood and the largely uninhabited Dawnfangs.

Is it really just to progress this dream of Ramreunya’s? What did Tukharen and the rest promise him? What did he promise them?

I have been thinking about this foreign ruler, Ban’s voice interrupted his thoughts.

Wanyi wove around a wind mhonglun, its tiny, Sentient-shaped body formed of wisps of vapor, before continuing on. Oh did you, now? And what are your thoughts?

Friend Wanyi, Ban said gravely, I do not think this is a good Sentient. He should not invade your nest. You should ward him off with beak and talon.

Wanyi couldn’t help but be amused, though he felt a bit guilty for it. He knew Ban was sincere, but the words seemed humorous coming from a hawk.

I agree with you, Ban. This man cannot have Hukan. Which is why I’m on my way to Jinhua to discuss our plans for keeping him out of our nest as we speak. He sensed Ban’s approval through the bond.

A pit of unease grew in Wanyi’s stomach as he neared Jinhua’s estate. Rather than waving him on and letting him fly over the stone wall like they normally did, the skyguards signaled for him to land and approach on foot. Did they not recognize him? They should have at least recognized his chief’s spear.