Liu Bei bade Guan Yu check him. Next day Lu Bu came

Liu Bei bade Guan Yu check him. Next day Lu Bu came to take leave of his host.

“You, O Lord, kindly received me, but I fear your brothers and I cannot aGREe. So I will seek some other asylum.”

“General, if you go, the blame is mine. My rude brother has offended and must eventually apologize. In the meantime what think you of a temporary sojourn at the town where I was encamped for some time, Xiaopei? The place is small and mean, but it is near, and I will see to it that you are supplied with all you need.”

  Lu Bu thanked him and accepted this offer. He led his troops there and took up residence. After he had gone, Liu Bei buried his annoyance, and Zhang Fei did not again refer to the matter.

  That Cao Cao had subdued the east of the Huashang Mountains has been stated before. He memorialized the Throne and was rewarded with the title of General Who Exhibits Firm Virtue and Lord of Feiting. At this time the rebellious Li Jue was commanding the court, and he had made himself Regent Marshal, and his colleague Guo Si styled himself Grand Commander. Their conduct was abominable but no one dared to criticize them.

  Imperial Guardian Yang Biao and Minister Zhu Jun privately talked with Emperor Xian and said, “Cao Cao has two hundred thousand troops and many capable advisers and leaders. It would be well for the empire if he would lend his support to the imperial family and help to rid the government of this evil party.”

  His Majesty wept, “I am weary of the insults and contempt of these wretches and should be very glad to have them removed.”

  “I have thought of a plan to estrange Li Jue and Guo Si and so make them destroy each other. Then Cao Cao could come and cleanse the court,” said Yang Biao.

  “How will you manage it?” asked the Emperor.

  “Guo Si’s wife, Lady Qiong, is very jealous, and we can take advantage of her weakness to bring about a quarrel.”

  So Yang Biao received instruction to act, with a secret edict to support him. Yang Biao’s wife, Lady Kai, made an excuse to visit Lady Qiong at her palace and, in the course of conversation, said “There is talk of secret liaison between the General, your husband, and the wife of Minister Li Jue. It is a GREat secret, but if Minister Li Jue knew it, he might try to harm your husband. I think you ought to have very little to do with that family.”

Lady Qiong was surprised but said, “I have wondered why he has been sleeping away from home lately, but I did not think there was anything shameful connected with it. I should never have known if you had not spoken. I must put a stop to it.”

By and by, when Lady Kai took her leave,

Lady Qiong thanked her warmly for the information she had given.

Some days passed, and Guo Si was going over to

the dwelling of Li Jue to a dinner.

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Said Lu Bu, “After Wang Yun and I plotted to slay Dong Zhuo

Said Lu Bu, “After Wang Yun and I plotted to slay Dong Zhuo and my misfortune in the Li Jue and Guo Si’s sedition, I drifted about from one place to another, and none of the nobles east of the Huashang Mountains seemed willing to receive me. When Cao Cao with wicked ambition invaded this region and you, Sir, came to its rescue, I aided you by attacking Yanzhou and thus diverting a portion of his force. I did not think then that I should be the victim of a vile plot and lose my leaders and my soldiers. But now if you will, I offer myself to you that we may together accomplish GREat designs.”

Liu Bei replied, “When the late Tao Qian died, there was no one to administer Xuzhou, and so I assumed that task for a time. Now since you are here, General, it is most suitable that I step down in your favor.”

  Whereupon Liu Bei handed the insignia and the seal of authority to Lu Bu. Lu Bu was on the point of accepting them, when he saw Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, who stood behind the Imperial Protector, glaring at him with angry eyes.

  So Lu Bu put on a smile and said, “I may be something of a fighting man, but I could not rule a GREat region like this.”

  Liu Bei repeated his offer. But Chen Gong said, “the strong guest does not oppress his host. You need not fear, Lord Liu Bei.”

  then Liu Bei desisted. Banquets were held and dwelling places prepared for the guest and his retinue.

  As soon as convenient, Lu Bu returned the feast. Liu Bei went with his two brothers. Half through the banquet Lu Bu requested Liu Bei to retire to one of the inner private rooms, whither Guan Yu and Zhang Fei followed him. There Lu Bu bade his wife and daughter bow as to their benefactor. Here also Liu Bei showed excessive modesty.

  Lu Bu said, “Good younger brother, you need not be so very modest.”

  Zhang Fei heard what Lu Bu said, and his eyes glared, crying, “What sort of a man are you that dares call our brother ‘younger brother’? He is one of the ruling family——a jade leaf on a golden branch. Come out, and I will fight you three hundred bouts for the insult.”

Liu Bei hastily checked the impulsive one, and Guan Yu persuaded him to go away. Then Liu Bei apologized, saying, “My poor brother talks wildly after he has been drinking. I hope you will not blame him.”

Lu Bu nodded, but said nothing. Soon after the guests departed.

But as the host escorted Liu Bei to his carriage,

he saw Zhang Fei galloping up armed as for a fray.

“Lu Bu, you and I will fight that duel of three hundred bouts!

” shouted Zhang Fei.

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Seeing he could not persuade Liu Bei, Tao Qian then said

Seeing he could not persuade Liu Bei, Tao Qian then said, “As you are set in determination, perhaps you will consent to encamp at Xiaopei. It is only a little town, but thence you can keep watch and ward over the region.”

they all with one voice prayed Liu Bei to consent, so he gave in. The feast of victory being now ended, the time came to say farewell. When Zhao Yun took his leave, Liu Bei held his hands alternately while dashing away the falling tears. Kong Rong and Tien Kai went home to their own places.

When Liu Bei and his brothers took up their abode in Xiaopei, they first repaired the defenses, and then they put out proclamations in order to calm the inhabitants.

  In the meantime Cao Cao had marched toward his own region.

  Cao Ren met and told him, “Lu Bu is very powerful, and he has Chen Gong as adviser. Yanzhou is as good as lost, with the exception of three counties which have been vigorously and desperately defended by Xun Yu and Cheng Yu.”

  Cao Cao said, “I own that Lu Bu is a bold fighter but nothing more; he has no craft. So we need not fear him seriously.”

  then he gave orders to make a strong camp till they could think out some victorious plan.

  Lu Bu, knowing of Cao Cao’s return, called two of his subordinate generals, Xue Lan and Li Fang, to him and assigned to them the task of holding the city of Yanzhou, saying, “I have long waited for opportunity to employ your skill. Now I give you ten thousand soldiers, and you are to hold the city while I go forth to attack Cao Cao.”

they accepted.

But Chen Gong, the strategist, came in hastily, saying,

“General, you are going away; whither?”

“I am going to camp my troops at Puyang,

that vantage point.”

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Kong Rong pressed rewards upon Taishi Ci,

Kong Rong pressed rewards upon Taishi Ci, but he would accept nothing and departed. When his mother saw him, she was pleased at his success saying she rejoiced that he had been able to prove his gratitude, and after this he departed for Yangzhou.

Liu Bei went away to his friend Gongsun Zan and laid before Gongsun Zan his design to help Xuzhou.

“Cao Cao and you are not enemies. Why do you spend yourself for the sake of another?” said Gongsun Zan.

  “I have promised,” Liu Bei replied, “and dare not break faith.”

  “I will lend you two thousand horse and foot,” said Gongsun Zan.

  “Also I wish to have the services of Zhao Yun,” said Liu Bei.

  Gongsun Zan aGREed to this also. they marched away, Liu Bei’s own troops being in the front, and Zhao Yun, with the borrowed troops, being in rear.

  In due course Mi Zhu returned saying that Kong Rong had also obtained the services of Liu Bei. The other messenger, Chen Deng, came back and reported that Tien Kai would also bring help. Then was Tao Qian’s heart set at ease.

But both the leaders, though they had promised aid, GREatly dreaded their antagonist and camped among the hills at a great distance,

fearful of coming too close to Cao Cao’s quarters.

Cao Cao knew of their coming and

divided his army into parts to meet them,

so postponing the attack on the city itself.

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Presently said Taishi Ci, “Give me a thousand soldiers

Presently said Taishi Ci, “Give me a thousand soldiers, and I will go out and drive off these fellows.”

“You are a bold warrior, but they are very numerous. It is a serious matter to go out among them,” said Kong Rong.

“My mother sent me because of your goodness to her. How shall I be able to look her in the face if I do not raise the siege? I would prefer to conquer or perish.”

  “I have heard Liu Bei is one of the heroes in the world. If we could get his help, there would be no doubt of the result. But there is no one to send.”

  “I will go as soon as I have received your letter.”

  So Kong Rong wrote letters and gave them to his helper.

  Taishi Ci put on his armor, mounted his steed, attached his bow and quiver to his girdle, took his spear in his hand, tied his packed haversack firmly to his saddle bow, and rode out at the city gate. He went quite alone.

  Along the moat a large party of the besiegers were gathered, and they came to intercept the solitary rider. But Taishi Ci dashed in among them and cut down several and so finally fought his way through.

Guan Hai, hearing that a rider had left the city, guessed what his errand would be and followed Taishi Ci with a party of horsemen. Guan Hai spread them out so that the messenger rider was entirely surrounded. Then Taishi Ci laid aside his spear, took his bow,

adjusted his arrows one by one and

shot all round him. And as a rider fell

from his steed with every twang of Taishi Ci’s bowstring,

the pursuers dared not close in.

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they all aGREed. The storm continued into the

they all aGREed. The storm continued into the night and as Cao Song sat waiting anxiously for signs of clearing, he suddenly heard a hubbub at the west end of the temple. His brother, Cao De, drawing his sword, went out to see what it was about, and Cao De was at once cut down. Cao Song seized one of the concubines by the hand, rushed with her through the passage toward the back of the temple so that they might escape. But the lady was stout and could not get through the narrow doors, so the two hid in one of the small outhouses at the side. However, they were seen and slain.

the unhappy Governor Ying Shao fled for his life to Yuan Shao. The murderers fled into the South of River Huai with their plunder after having set fire to the old temple.

  [hip, hip, hip] Cao Cao, whom the ages praise, Slew his hosts on his former flight;Nemesis never turns aside, Murdered too his family died. [yip, yip, yip]

  Some of the escort escaped and took the evil tidings to Cao Cao. When he heard it he fell to the earth with a GREat cry. They raised him.

  With set teeth he muttered, “Tao Qian’s people have slain my father: No longer can the same sky cover us. I will sweep Xuzhou off the face of the earth. Only thus can I satisfy my vengeance.”

  Cao Cao left one small army of thirty thousand under Xun Yu and Cheng Yu to guard the east headquarters and the three counties of Juancheng, Fanxia, and Dongjun. Then he set forth with all the remainder to destroy Xuzhou and avenge his father. Xiahou Dun, Yu Jin, and Dian Wei were Van Leaders with Cao Cao’s orders to slaughter all the inhabitants of each captured city.

Now the Governor of Jiujiang, Bian Rang, was a close friend of Tao Qian. Hearing Xuzhou was threatened, Bian Rang set out with five thousand troops to his friend’s aid. Angered by this move, Cao Cao sent Xiahou Dun to stop and kill Bian Rang while still on the march.

 [e] Chen Gong is the magistrate who spared

Cao Cao after Cao Cao failed to assassinate Dong Zhuo.

Chen Gong and Cao Cao then traveled as fugitives to Qiao,

but they parted haft way. (chapter 4)

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When Li Jue and Guo Si heard that both the boastful

When Li Jue and Guo Si heard that both the boastful generals had fallen under the hand of one young man, they knew that Jia Xu had given good advice and was gifted with clear prescience. So they valued his plans the more highly and decided to act on the defensive. They refused all challenges to combat.

Surely enough after a couple of months the supplies of the Xiliang force were all exhausted and the leaders began to consider retreat.

Just at this juncture a household servant of Ma Yu’s family betrayed his master and told of the conspiracy of the three court officials to assist the attackers. The two chiefs Li Jue and Guo Si in revenge seized the three conspirators——Ma Yu, Chong Shao, and Liu Fan——, with every member of their households, and beheaded them in the market place. The heads of the three were exposed at the front gate of the capital.

  Being short of food and hearing of the destruction of their three adherents in the city, the only course for Ma Teng and Han Sui was to retreat. At once Zhang Ji went in pursuit of Ma Teng, and Fan Chou followed Han Sui. The retreating army under Ma Teng was beaten, and only by Ma Chao’s desperate efforts were the pursuers driven off.

  Fan Chou pursued the other army. When he had come close, Han Sui rode boldly up and addressed him, saying, “You and I, Sir, are fellow villagers. Why then behave so unfriendly?”

  Fan Chou replied, “I must obey the commands of my chief.”

  “I am here for the service of the state. Why do you press me so hard?” said Han Sui.

  At this Fan Chou turned his horse, called in his troops, and left Han Sui in peace. Unwittingly a nephew of Li Jue had been a witness of this scene; and when he saw the enemy allowed to go free, he returned and told his uncle. Angry that his enemy had escaped, Li Jue would have sent an army to wreak vengeance on his general.

But his adviser Jia Xu again came in, saying,

“the people are yet unsettled,

it was dangerous to provoke another war. Instead,

invite Fan Chou to a banquet and,

while the feast was in proGREss,

executing him for dereliction of duty.”

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Wang Yun spoke to Cai Yong angrily,Dong Zhuo has

Wang Yun spoke to Cai Yong angrily,

“Dong Zhuo has been put to death as a rebel,

and all the land rejoices. You, a Han minister,

instead of rejoicing, weep for him. Why?”

Cai Yong confessed his fault, saying, “I am without talent, yet know what is right. I am not the man who turns my back on the dynasty and toward Dong Zhuo. Yet once I experienced his kindness, and I could not help mourning for him.

I know my fault is grave, but I pray you regard the reasons. If you will leave my head and only cut off my feet, you may use me to continue the History of Han, whereby I may have the good fortune to be allowed to expiate my fault.”

  All were sorry for Cai Yong, for he was a man of GREat talents, and they begged that he might be spared.

  the Imperial Guardian, Ma Midi, secretly interceded for him, saying, “Cai Yong is famous as a scholar, and he can write glorious history, and it is inadvisable to put to death a man renowned for rectitude without consideration.”

  But in vain, for the High Minister was now strong and obdurate.

  [e] Emperor Wu, aka Liu Che, (reigned BC 141-87) whose reign was longest among the Han emperors. Emperor Wu was perhaps the most influential

Han emperor who concerned not only about expanding territory but also about developing trade with other countries (the Silk Road, for example)。

Emperor paid special attention to longevity, and his court often had elaborate rituals. ……

[e] Sima Qian (BC 145-85) astronomer, calendar expert, and the first GREat Chinese historian, noted for his authorship of the “Historical Records” or Shi Ji, which is considered to be the most important history of China down to the end of the 2nd century. ……

Wang Yun said, “Centuries ago, Emperor Wu* spared Sima Qian* and employed him on the annals, with the result that many slanderous stories have been handed down to us. This is a trying period of GREat perplexity,

and we dare not let a specious fellow

like this wield his pen in criticism of those

about the court of a youthful

prince and abuse us as he will.”

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“I will kill the wretch, I swear it! In no other way can

“I will kill the wretch, I swear it! In no other way can I wash away my shame.”

“No, no! Do not say such a thing,” said Wang Yun, putting his hand over the other’s mouth. “You will bring trouble on poor me and my family.”

“When one is born GREat, one cannot be patient for long under another person’s domination,” said Lu Bu.

“It needs someone GREater than the Prime Minister to limit the scope of such talents as yours.”

  Lu Bu said, “I would not mind killing the old wretch were it not for the relation in which we stand. I fear to provoke the hostile criticism of posterity.”

  Wang Yun shook his head, saying, “Your name is Lu Bu; his is Dong Zhuo. Where was the paternal feeling when he threw the halberd at you?”

  “I had been misled if you had not said that,” said Lu Bu hotly.

  Wang Yun saw the effect of his words and continued, “It would be a loyal deed to restore the House of Han, and history would hand down your name to posterity perpetually fragrant. If you lend your aid to Dong Zhuo, you will be a traitor and your name will be tainted through all ages.”

  Lu Bu rose from his place and bowed to Wang Yun.

  “I have decided,” said he. “You need not fear, Sir.”

  “But yet you may fail and bring upon yourself misfortune,” said Wang Yun.

  Lu Bu drew his dagger, pricking his arm, and swearing by the blood that flowed.

Wang Yun fell on his knees and thanked him.

“then the Han sacrifices will not be cut off, and you will be their savior. But this must remain a secret,

and I will tell you how the plot shall be worked out.”

  Lu Bu took leave with GREat emotion.

  Wang Yun took into his confidence two colleagues,

Minister Shisun Rui and Imperial Commander Huang Wan.

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Just introduce a woman, Conspiracies succeed

Just introduce a woman, Conspiracies succeed;Of soldiers, or their weapons,

There really is no need. They fought their bloody battles, And doughty deeds were done;But in a garden summer house The victory was won.

the order was given to journey to Meiwo, and the whole body of officers assembled to add luster to the start. Diao Chan, from her carriage, saw Lu Bu among the crowd. She at once dropped her eyes and assumed an appearance of deepest melancholy. After the cavalcade started and when her carriage had almost disappeared in the distance, the disappointed lover reined in his steed on a mount whence he could watch the dust that rose around it. Unutterable sadness filled his heart.

  Suddenly a voice said, “Why do you not accompany the Prime Minister, General, instead of standing here and sighing?”

  It was Wang Yun.

  “I have been confined to the house by illness these few days,” continued he, “so I have not seen you. But I had to struggle out today to see the Prime Minister set off. This meeting is most fortunate. But why were you sighing?”

  “Just on account of that daughter of yours,” said Lu Bu.

  Feigning GREat astonishment, Wang Yun said, “So long a time and yet not given to you!”

  “the old ruffian has fallen in love with her himself.”

  “Surely this cannot be true.”

  Lu Bu related the whole story while Wang Yun listened, silent, but stamping on the ground as with irritation and perplexity.

  After a long time Wang Yun said, “I did not think he was such a beast.”

  Taking Lu Bu by the hand, Wang Yun said, “Come to my house, and we will talk it over.”

So they went away together to the house and retired to a secret room. After some refreshments, Lu Bu told the whole story of the episode in Phoenix Pavilion just as it happened.

Wang Yun said, “He seems to have corrupted my little girl and has stolen your wife. He will be an object of shame and ridicule to the whole world. And those who do not laugh at him will laugh at you and me. Alas! I am old and powerless and can do nothing.

More pitied than blamed! But you, General,

you are a warrior, the GREatest hero in the world.

Yet you have been put to this shame and exposed to this contempt.”

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