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Friday, August 31, 2012

"Romance of the Three Kingdoms" (by Luo Guanzhong, Translated by C. H. Brewitt-Taylor)

SGS Characters and Cards in this chapter:


Chapter 19

As was stated before, Gao Shun and Zhang Liao together went to smite Guan Yu, while Lu Bu attacked Zhang Fei. Both brothers went out to give battle, while Liu Bei force was held in reserve. But then Lu Bu suddenly attacked both Guan Yu and Zhang Fei from the rear, and the brothers were forced to flee. Liu Bei with a few score of horsemen rushed back to Xiaopei. As he approached the gate with Lu Bu pressing him close, he shouted to the soldiers on the wall to lower the drawbridge. Lu Bu was so close behind that the archers on the wall feared to shoot lest they should wound their lord, and so Lu Bu got into the gate. The gate guards could not force him back so they scattered in all directions. Lu Bu led his force into the city.

Liu Bei saw the position was too desperate for him to reach his residence, and he must abandon all his family. So he hastened through the city and left by the west gate out at which he and his scanty following fled for very life.

When Lu Bu reached the residence, he was met by Mi Zhu who said, "The hero does not destroy a person's family. Your rival for the empire is Cao Cao, and my master, always mindful of the good turn you did him at the Archery Feast, would not be ungrateful. But he could not help going to Cao Cao, and I think you will pity him."

Lu Bu replied, "We two are old friends. How could I bear to harm his wives and children?"

Whereupon he sent the family to Xuzhou with Mi Zhu to take care of them. Next Lu Bu led his army into Huashan Mountains to Yanzhou, leaving Gao Shun and Zhang Liao to guard Xiaopei.

During these troubles Sun Qian had also fled out of the city. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, each with a handful of soldiers, had got away to the hills. As Liu Bei with his few horsemen was making the best of their way from the scene of his defeat, he heard someone coming up behind him. When he got closer the person proved to be Sun Qian.

"Alas! I know not the fate of my brothers, whether they be alive or dead, and my wife and children are lost to me! What can I do?" said Liu Bei.

Sun Qian replied, "I see nothing better than getting away to Cao Cao, whence we may be able to plan our future moves."

Liu Bei had no better plan to propose, and the two men directed their way to Xuchang, choosing by-roads rather than highways. When their small supplies ran out, they entered a village to beg. But when the people of any place heard that Liu Bei of Yuzhou was the man who needed help, they vied with each other in offering all that was required.

One day they sought shelter at a house whence a youth came out and made a low obeisance. They asked his name and he gave it as Liu An, of a well known family of hunters. Hearing who the visitor was, the hunter wished to lay before him a dish of game, but though he sought for a long time, nothing could be found for the table. So Liu An came home, killed his wife and prepared a portion for his guest.

While eating Liu Bei asked, "What flesh is it?"

Liu An told him: "Wolf."

Liu Bei knew no better and ate his fill. Next day at daylight, just as Liu Bei was leaving, he went to the stables in the rear to get his horse and passing through the kitchen; he saw the dead body of a woman lying on the table. The flesh of one arm had been cut away. Quite startled he asked what this meant, and then he knew what he had eaten the night before. He was deeply sorry at this proof of his host's regard and the tears rained down as he mounted his steed at the gate.

"I wish I could go with you," said Liu An, "but as my mother still lives, I cannot go so far from home."

Liu Bei thanked him and went his way. The party took the road by Liangcheng, and as they were going out, they saw not far off a thick cloud of dust. When the troop came nearer, they found the troops were of Cao Cao's army, and with them they traveled to the main camp where they found Cao Cao himself. Cao Cao shed tears at the sad story of Liu Bei's distress, the loss of the city, his brothers and wives and children. When Liu Bei told him of the hunter who had sacrificed his wife to feed them, Cao Cao sent the hunter a present of a hundred ounces of silver as a reward.

The march then was continued to Jibei, where Xiahou Yuan welcomed them. They heard that his brother Xiahou Dun was still ill from the wound he had received in the eye. Cao Cao went to the sick man's bedside to see him and had him removed to Xuchang for skilled treatment.

Presently scouts, sent out particularly for tidings of Lu Bu, returned, saying, "Lu Bu has allied himself with the bandits in the east, and they are attacking Yanzhou."

At this Cao Cao dispatched Cao Ren with three thousand soldiers to take Xiaopei, while he, in conjunction with Liu Bei, moved against Lu Bu.

They went east. As they reached the Mangdang Hills near Xiao Pass, they met the a band of thirty thousand Taishan Mountains brigands barring their road. The chieftains of the bandits were Sun Guan, Wu Dun, Yin Li, and Chang Xi who rode out with their spears set. However, Xu Chu plunged into the battle and easily beat them back and chased them right up to the pass.

The scouts told Lu Bu, who was then in Xuzhou, whither he had gone to start an expedition to save Xiaopei. He left the protection of Xuzhou to Chen Gui and set out with Chen Deng.

As Chen Deng was starting, Chen Gui said to him, "Remember the words of Cao Cao, that the business of the east is in our hands. Now is our moment, for Lu Bu is about to suffer defeat."

"Father, I can look after the outside. But when Lu Bu returns beaten, you must arrange with Mi Zhu to keep him out of the city. I shall find a means of escape," said Chen Deng.

"His family is here, and he has many friends. How about them?"

"I also have a scheme to settle them."

Then Chen Deng went to see Lu Bu, to whom he said, "Xuzhou is surrounded, and this city will be fiercely attacked. We ought to provide for possible retreat, and I advise storing grain and money in Xiapi. We could retreat there if the day went adversely. Why not see about this in good time?"

"Your words are indeed wise. I will also send my wives and little ones thither," said Lu Bu.

The family left under escort of Wei Xu and Song Xian, and with them was sent much grain and treasures and coins.

And then the soldiers marched to the relief of the pass. About half way there Chen Deng said, "Let me go first to reconnoiter so that you, my lord, may advance with confidence."

Thus Chen Deng parted company with his chief and preceded him to the pass where he was received by Chen Gong.

Chen Deng said, "The General greatly wonders why you do not advance. He is going to inquire into it."

"The enemy is in great force, and we cannot be too careful," said Chen Gong. "We are holding the pass, and you should persuade our master to take steps to guard Xiaopei."

Chen Deng said, "Your words are true."

That evening he went up to the heights from which he could see Cao Cao's army, which was quite close to the pass. Then he wrote three notes, tied them to arrows, and shot them into Cao Cao's camp.

Next day he left and hastened back to Lu Bu and said, "Those bandits are about to give up the pass to the enemy, but I have left Chen Gong to hold it. You had better make an attack tonight and hold him."

"Had it not been for you, the pass would have been lost," said Lu Bu.

Then he sent Chen Deng back to arrange a fire signal with Chen Gong for simultaneous action.

So Chen Deng returned to Chen Gong to whom he said, "Cao Cao's troops have found a secret way through the pass, and I fear Xuzhou is already lost. You ought to go back at once."

At this the pass was abandoned, and Chen Gong began to retreat. Then Chen Deng gave the prearranged signal.

Lu Bu saw the fire and advanced in the darkness to the relief of the pass. Presently he met Chen Gong's army; and as neither recognized the other in the darkness, a fierce battle ensued. Nor was the trick discovered till daylight came.

While these things were going on, Cao Cao had noted the signal and advanced as fast as possible. The bandits, who alone remained to hold the pass, were easily driven out and scattered in all directions.

When daylight came and the trick was discovered, Lu Bu and Chen Gong set off together for Xuzhou. But when they arrived and summoned the gate, instead of opening the doors, the guards on the wall saluted them with a thick flight of arrows.

At the same time Mi Zhu appeared on the defense tower and shouted, "You stole our master's city, and now we are going to give it back to him. You will not enter here again!"

"Where is Chen Gui?" cried Lu Bu, angrily.

"We have slain him!" was the reply.

"Where is Chen Deng?" said Lu Bu turning to Chen Gong.

"Do you still hold to your delusion, General, that you ask where this specious rogue is?"

Lu Bu bade them search through all the ranks, but Chen Deng was not to be found. Then they decided to go to Xiaopei. But ere they had got half way there, suddenly appeared the troops under the command of Gao Shun and Zhang Liao.

They said, "Chen Deng came to us saying you, General, was surrounded and wanted help, so we came at once."

"Another trick of that false rogue!" said Lu Bu. "Surely he shall die for this."

They went with all speed to Xiaopei, only to see as they drew near, the ensigns of the enemy displayed all along the walls, for the city had been taken by Cao Ren.

While Lu Bu stood at the foot of the rampart reviling the traitor, Chen Deng himself appeared on the wall and pointing to Lu Bu cried, "Did you think that I, a minister of the dynasty, would serve a rebel like you?"

Lu Bu in his wrath was about to make a desperate attack, but suddenly a great noise was heard, and an army came up behind him. It was led by no other than Zhang Fei. Gao Shun went to engage him, but he had no chance of success. Lu Bu then joined in the fray. Then another army appeared, and the leader this time was Cao Cao himself, and his army rushed to the attack. Seeing that he had no hope of victory, Lu Bu went away toward the east, with Cao Cao in pursuit. Lu Bu's army marched till they were worn out.

Then appeared a new force under Guan Yu. Holding his sword ready to strike, Guan Yu called out, "Do not flee, O Lu Bu! Guan Yu is waiting for you."

Lu Bu joined battle. He was flurried and scarcely knew what was happening. And soon Zhang Fei came up once more. By desperate efforts Lu Bu and his troops cut an alley through the press and got free. After this they started for Xiapi as fast as they could travel, and Hou Cheng helped to keep the pursuers at bay and welcomed them into the city.

So the two brothers, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, were together again after their separation. Both shed tears of joy as they told each other what they had seen and suffered.

"I was on the Haizhou Road when I heard of you," said Guan Yu. "I lost no time in starting."

"And I had been camped in the Mangdang Hills for a long time. It is happiness to be together again."

So they talked. Then they marched off together to find their elder brother, and made their salutations with tears. In Liu Bei's heart, sadness and joy intermingled. Next they were presented to Cao Cao, and with him they went into the captured Xuzhou City.

Mi Zhu soon came with the welcome news of the safety of the family. And Chen Gui and Chen Deng came to present their salutations. A grand banquet was prepared for the officers at which Cao Cao presided as host, and Chen Gui and Liu Bei occupied the seats of honor to his right and left. At the close of the banquet, Cao Cao paid the two Chens the highest compliments on their success and rewarded them with the revenues of ten counties beside giving the son the title of General Who Quells the Waves.

Cao Cao was very pleased with his success and at once began to scheme for the taking of Xiapi, the sole place now left to Lu Bu, where he had taken refuge.

Cheng Yu said the course was inadvisable.

"If Lu Bu be pressed too hard, he may get clear by a desperate effort and throw himself into the arms of our especial enemy, Yuan Shu. These two as allies would be difficult to overcome. Rather send a capable man to guard the South of River Huai, one able to secure you against Lu Bu on one hand and to hold Yuan Shu on the other. Moreover the bandits are in Huashan Mountains and still our enemies. They must be watched."

Cao Cao replied, "I can keep the whole of Huashan Mountains, and I will request Liu Bei to take the south."

"Could I dare withstand your command?" said Liu Bei.

So forthwith Liu Bei, leaving Mi Zhu and Jian Yong at Xuzhou, went south, taking in his train Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Sun Qian. And Cao Cao led his army to Xiapi.

Lu Bu felt very secure in his refuge. He had good store of grain, and he had the protection of River Si, so he sat quiet, satisfied that he could maintain his defense. So he allowed Cao Cao's army to approach without molestation.

"You ought to attack Cao Cao's army as they come up, before they have time to make camps and defenses. They will only have a fatigued army to oppose to your fresh troops, and you will certainly defeat them."

So said Chen Gong, but Lu Bu replied, "I have suffered too many defeats lately to take any risk. Wait till they actually attack, and you will see them floating away on the waters."

So Lu Bu neglected the confidant's advice and waited till the enemy had settled into their camp. This done, the attackers advanced against the city. From the foot of the wall, Cao Cao called to Lu Bu to listen while he spoke. Lu Bu ascended to the wall where he stood.

Cao Cao addressed him, saying, "When I heard that your family and that of Yuan Shu were likely to be united by marriage, I sent an army against you. Yuan Shu was guilty of treason, while you had to your credit on the destruction of Dong Zhuo. For what reason have you sacrificed all your merits to throw in your lot with a rebel? It will be over late to regret when this city shall have fallen. But if you surrender and help me to support the ruling house, you shall not lose your rank."

Lu Bu replied, "If the Prime Minister will retire, we may be able to discuss the matter."

But Chen Gong, standing near his master, began to rail at Cao Cao for a rebel and shot an arrow that struck his plumed helmet.

"My oath, but I will slay you at least!" cried Cao Cao, pointing his finger at Chen Gong.

Then the attack on the walls began.

"They have come from far and cannot maintain this for long," said Chen Gong. "General, go out with your horse and foot and take up a position outside, leaving me to maintain the defense with the remainder of our troops. If he engages you, I will come out and strike at his rear ranks; if he attacks the city, you can come to our aid. In ten days their stores will fail, and we can beat them off. This will place them between the ox-horns."

"The advice seems good," said Lu Bu.

Lu Bu went back to his palace and prepared his weapons. As it was the depth of winter, he made his army take plenty of wadded clothing to keep them warm. Lady Yan, his wife, heard of it and came to ask whither he was going. He told her of Chen Gong's plan.

She said, "My lord, you are leaving an undamaged city, abandoning your wife and little ones, and going with a paltry force. Should any untoward event happen, will your handmaid and her lord ever meet again?"

Lu Bu hesitated and for three days made no move.

Then Chen Gong came to see him again and said, "The enemy are all round the city; and unless you go out soon, you will be quite hemmed in."

"I am thinking it would be better to maintain a stubborn defense," said Lu Bu.

"Our enemies are short of food and have sent for supplies to Xuchang. These will soon arrive, and you should go out with some veterans and intercept the convoy. That loss would be a heavy blow."

Lu Bu agreed and went in to tell his wife the new plan.

She wept saying, "If you go, do you think Chen Gong and others equal to the defense of the city? Should anything go wrong, you would be very sorry. You abandoned me at Changan, and it was only through the fortunate kindness of Pang Shu that I was hidden from our enemies and rejoined you. Who would have thought you would leave me again? But go, go your way as far as you wish, and do not mind your wife."

And she wept bitterly.

Lu Bu very sadly went to take leave of Diao Chan who said, "You are my lord and my life. You must not be careless and ride out alone."

"You need not fear. With my mighty trident halberd and Red Hare, who dare come near me?"

He went out. But when he met Chen Gong, he said, "That story about supplies for Cao Cao is all false, one of his many ruses. I am not going to stir."

Chen Gong sighed. He felt all was lost.

"We shall die, and no one shall know our burial place," said he.

Thereupon Lu Bu remained in his own quarters with his ladies, drinking freely to dissipate his sorrows.

Two of his advisers, Xu Si and Wang Kai, went in and proposed, "Yuan Shu in the South of River Huai is very powerful. Why not write to him to renew the marriage alliance? Yuan Shu can hardly refuse to rescue the affianced bride of his son."

So Lu Bu wrote and bade these two take the letter.

Xu Si said, "You ought to send a strong escort with us to force a way through."

So Lu Bu told off one thousand troops and two of his generals, Zhang Liao and He Meng, to conduct his messenger beyond the pass. They started that same night at the second watch, Zhang Liao leading and He Meng bringing up the rear. They got out of the city, crept past Liu Bei's camp, and got beyond the danger zone. Then half the escort went on, and Zhang Liao led the remainder back toward the city. At the pass he found Guan Yu waiting. However, at that moment Gao Shun came to his help, and they all returned and reentered the gates.

The two messengers presently reached Shouchun, saw Yuan Shu, and presented the letter.

"How is this?" said Yuan Shu. "Formerly he slew my messenger and repudiated the marriage. Now he sends to ask for it."

"It is all due to the vile plans of that monster Cao Cao. If pray you, Illustrious Sir, consider it carefully," replied Xu Si.

"But if your master was not hemmed in by his enemy and in imminent danger, he would never have thought of renewing this proposal of marriage."

The messengers said, "You may decide not to help him, but the teeth are cold when the lips are gone. It will not make for your happiness and comfort."

Said Yuan Shu, "Lu Bu is unreliable. Tell him that I will send soldiers after the girl has arrived here."

This was final, and the two messengers took leave and headed back to Xiapi.

When the party reached Liu Bei's camp, Xu Si decided, "We must wait the night falls, and Wang Kai and I will try to get through in the darkness. The escort of He Meng remaining behind to protect our rear."

They tried that very night, and the two messengers crept across without discovery. But the escort found themselves faced by Zhang Fei. He Meng tried to fight but was captured in the very first bout, and the five hundred troops of his half company were either killed or they fled.

The prisoner was taken to Liu Bei, who forwarded him to the main camp. There he told the story of the marriage and the scheme to save the city. Cao Cao was angry and ordered the execution of He Meng at the main gate.

Then Cao Cao sent orders to each camp to exercise the greatest diligence with threats of rigorous punishment of the officers of any corps that permitted any communication between the besieged and the outer world.

Every soldier felt mightily afraid.

Liu Bei returned to camp and cautioned his brothers, saying, "We are in the most important place with regard to the South of River Huai, and you must be very careful not to allow any breach of this command."

Zhang Fei was inclined to grumble, saying, "We have just captured one of the enemy's leaders, and there is no word of praise or reward for us: Nothing but new orders and threats. What do you make of that?"

"You are wrong to complain," said Liu Bei. "These are orders of the Commander-in-Chief, and what would happen were there no orders? Do not disobey them, brother."

They promised obedience and withdrew. In the meantime Xu Si and Wang Kai had got back to Lu Bu and told him what Yuan Shu had said, that if the girl came the soldiers should go.

"But how can she be sent?" said Lu Bu.

Xu Si said, "That is the difficulty. He Meng's capture means that Cao Cao knows the whole plan of getting help from the South of River Huai. I do not see how anyone but you yourself could hope to get through the close siege."

"Suppose we tried, today?" said Lu Bu.

"This is an ill-omened day. You must not try today. Tomorrow is a very lucky day, especially in the evening, for any military action."

Then Lu Bu ordered Zhang Liao and Gao Shun, "Get ready three thousand troops for the venture, and prepare a light carriage. I will lead the first seventy miles, thence you can escort the bride-elect the remainder of the way to her new home."

Next evening toward the second watch, Lu Bu wrapped up his daughter in soft wadded garments, bound her about with a mailed coat, and took her on his back. Then with his mighty trident halberd in hand, he mounted Red Hare and rode at the head of the cavalcade out of the city gate. Zhang Liao and Gao Shun followed.

In this order they approached Liu Bei's camp. The drums at once beat the alarm, and Guan Yu and Zhang Fei barred the way.

"Stop!" they shouted.

Lu Bu had no desire to fight; all he wished was to get through, so he made for a side road. Liu Bei came in pursuit and the two parties engaged. Brave as he might be, Lu Bu was almost helpless now that he was hampered by a girl on his shoulders, whom he was desperately anxious to preserve from hurt. Beside other parties came up all shouting and attacking, and he had no alternative but to give up his project and return into the city of Xiapi. He reached his palace very sad at heart. The besiegers returned to camp well pleased that no one had got beyond their lines.

Lu Bu found consolation in the wine cup. The siege had gone on for two months, and still the city stood. Then they heard that Zhang Yang, Governor of Henei, had been inclined to come to the help of Lu Bu. But one of his subordinates, Yang Chou, had assassinated him and was bringing his head as an offering to Cao Cao, when Yang Chou had also been slain by Kui Gu, one of the Governor's adherents. Kui Gu had then led the force to Daicheng.

In the camp of the besiegers, there now arose much murmuring. Cao Cao sent Shi Huan to intercept and kill Kui Gu.

Then he called a counsel, saying, "Though Zhang Yang, who meant to hurt us, is happily no more, yet we are threatened on the north by Yuan Shao, and on the west Liu Biao and Zhang Xiu are a menace. Here we meet with no success against the city of Xiapi. We are for leaving Lu Bu to his fate and returning home. What do you think?"

Among them Xun You fought against the idea, saying, "You must not act like this. Lu Bu has lost much, and his spirit is broken. The spirit of the leader expresses that of his army; and when the leader fails, his soldiers do not fight. Chen Gong is clever, but nothing is done. Lu Bu broken, Chen Gong without decision, it only needs a sharp attack, and we shall succeed."

"I have a plan to propose," said Guo Jia, "a plan to overcome the city at once. It is better than two hundred thousand troops."

"I suppose you mean drowning the city by River Si and River Yi," said Xun Yu.

"That is it," said Guo Jia, smiling.

Cao Cao accepted the suggestion with joy and set his troops to cut the banks of River Yi and River Si, and moved his army to the high ground whence they watched the drowning out of Xiapi. Only the east gate remained clear of water.

The besieged soldiers hastened to their leader.

Lu Bu said, "Why should I fear? My good horse can go as well through the water as over the land."

And he again returned to the wine cup for consolation, drinking deeply with his wife and concubine.

The continual drinking bouts told at last, and Lu Bu began to look dissipated. Seeing himself in a mirror one day, he was startled at the change and said to himself, "I am injuring myself with wine. No more from this day forward!"

He then issued an order that no one should drink wine under penalty of death.

Now one of his generals, Hou Cheng, lost fifteen horses, stolen by one of his subordinates, Hou Cao, who intended to resell them to Liu Bei. Hou Cheng found out where the horses were, went out after them, and recovered them after killing Hou Cao. And Hou Cheng's colleagues congratulated him on his success. To celebrate the occasion, Hou Cheng brewed a few barrels of wine to be drunk at the feast.

But thinking his chief might find him in fault, Hou Cheng sent the bottles of wine to Lu Bu's palace with a petition explaining, "By your virtue of warlike renown, I have recovered my horses; and as my comrades come with their congratulations, I brew some bottles of wine, first to offer Your Lordship and second to ask your permission to have a little wine at the feast."

Lu Bu took it very angrily, saying, "When I have forbidden all wine, you brew some and begin to give feasts: You are simply defying me!"

Whereupon he ordered the officer to instant execution. However, Song Xian, Wei Xu, and other officers came in and interceded, and after a time Lu Bu softened.

"You ought to lose your head for this disobedience. But for the sake of your colleagues, the punishment shall be reduced to a hundred strokes."

They tried to beg him off this, but only succeeded in reducing the number of blows to one half.

When the sentence had been carried out and Hou Cheng was permitted to return home, his colleagues came sadly to console him.

"Had it not been for you, I should have been put to death," said Hou Cheng.

Song Xian replied, "All Lu Bu cares for is his family. There is no pity for anyone else. We are no more than the weeds by the roadside."

Wei Xu said, "The city is besieged; the water is drowning us out. There will not be much more of this, for we may die any day."

"He is a beast, with neither a sense of humanity nor of right. Let us leave him," said Song Xian.

"He is not worth fighting for. The best we could do would be to seize him and hand him over to Cao Cao," said Wei Xu.

"I was punished because I got my horses back again, yet all he trusts in is his own Red Hare. If you two will betray the gate and seize Lu Bu, I will steal the horse and go out to Cao Cao's camp."

They settled how to carry out the plot, and that very night Hou Cheng sneaked into the stables and got Red Hare away. He hastened to the east gate which was opened to let him through. The guard made a pretense of pursuing him but only a pretense.

Hou Cheng reached the besiegers' camp, presented the horse and told Cao Cao what had been arranged. They would show a white flag and open the gates to his army. Hearing this Cao Cao had a few notifications written out, which were attached to arrows and shot over the walls. This is one of them:

"Regent Marshal Cao Cao has received a command from the Emperor to destroy Lu Bu. Those who interfere with the operations of his grand army, whatever their rank, shall be put to death in the gate on the day that the city shall be captured. Should anyone capture Lu Bu or bring his head, he shall be well rewarded. Let all take note of this."

Next day at daylight a tremendous hubbub was heard without the city and Lu Bu, halberd in hand, hasted to the wall to see what it meant. As he went from gate to gate inspecting the defenses and guards, he censured Wei Xu for letting Hou Cheng escape and get away with his horse. Lu Bu threatened to punish Wei Xu. But just then the besiegers began a fierce attack as the white flag had just appeared, and Lu Bu had to turn all his energies to defense. The assault lasted till noon, when the attacking force drew off for a time.

Lu Bu was taking a rest in the tower and fell asleep in his chair. Song Xian sent away Lu Bu's attendants. When they had gone, he stole Lu Bu's weapon, the trident halberd in which he trusted. Then Song Xian and Wei Xu fell upon Lu Bu together and before he was well awake had bound him with cords, trussing him so that he could not move. Lu Bu shouted for his guards, but they were driven off by the two traitor generals and could not come near. Then a white flag was shown, and the besiegers again approached the city.

The traitors shouted out, "Lu Bu has been captured alive!"

But Xiahou Yuan could hardly believe it till they threw down the famous halberd. The gates were flung open, and the enemy entered the city. Gao Shun and Zhang Liao, who were at the opposite gate, were surrounded and cut off by the water and helpless. They were captured. Chen Gong made a dash to the south gate but was also taken by Xu Huang. Presently Cao Cao entered and at once gave orders to turn the streams back into their usual courses. He put out proclamations to sooth the people.

Cao Cao and Liu Bei, with Guan Yu and Zhang Fei behind, seated themselves side by side in the White Gate Tower. The captives were brought before them. Lu Bu looked a pitiable object. Although a very tall man, he was tied up in a veritable ball.

"The bonds are very tight," cried he, "I beseech you to loosen them!"

"Binding a tiger must bind tight, of course," replied Cao Cao.

Seeing Hou Cheng, Song Xian, and Wei Xu standing there looking pleased at their success, Lu Bu said, "I treated you all well enough: How could you turn against me?"

Said Song Xian, "You listened to the words of your women, but rejected the advice of your generals. Was not that mean?"

Lu Bu was silent. Then Gao Shun was brought forward.

"What have you to say?" asked Cao Cao.

Gao Shun sulkily held his tongue. He was ordered out to execution.

Next Chen Gong was led in.

"I hope you have been well since we last saw each other, Chen Gong?" said Cao Cao.

"Your ways were crooked, and so I left you," said Chen Gong.

"You say I was crooked; and what of your serving Lu Bu?"

"Though he was a fool, he did not resemble you in deceit and wickedness."

"You say you are able enough and clever, but what about your position today?"

Turning toward Lu Bu, Chen Gong said, "This man would not follow my advice. Had he done so, he would not now be a captive."

"What think you ought to be done about this day's work?" said Cao Cao.

"There is death for me today, and that is the end!" said Chen Gong undauntedly.

"Very well for you; but what of your mother and wife and children?"

"It is said that one who rules with due regard to filial piety does not harm a person's family; one who would show benevolence does not cut off the sacrifices at a person's tomb. My mother and wife and children are in your hands. But since I am your prisoner, I pray you slay me quickly and not to try to harrow my feelings."

Cao Cao's heart still leaned toward mercy, but Chen Gong turned and walked away, repulsing the attendants who would stop him. Cao Cao rose from his place and walked with Chen Gong, the tears falling from his eyes. Chen Gong never looked at him.

Turning to his guards Cao Cao said, "Let his mother and family be taken to Xuchang and looked after immediately. Any postponement will be punished!"

The condemned man heard him but uttered no word. He stretched out his neck for the blow. Tears sprang to the eyes of all present. His remains were honorably coffined and buried in Xuchang.

A poem pitying Chen Gong's fate says:

Neither hope of life nor fear of death moved him.
How brave was he, a hero indeed!
But his lord heeded not his words,
Wherefore in vain possessed he great talents.
Nevertheless, in that he stood by his master.
To parting with wife and mother,
He merits our pity and profound respect.
Who would resemble Chen Gong
That day he died at the White Gate Tower?

While Cao Cao sadly escorted Chen Gong on the way to death, Lu Bu appealed to Liu Bei, "Noble Sir, you sit there an honored guest while poor I lie bound at your feet. Will you not utter one word to alleviate my lot?"

Liu Bei nodded.

As Cao Cao returned to his place, Lu Bu called out, "Your only trouble, Illustrious Sir, is myself, and I am on your side now. You take the lead, I will help you, and together the world is at our feet."

"What do you think?" said Cao Cao turning to Liu Bei.

"You are willing to forget the episodes of Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo?"

"Truly the lout is not to be trusted!" said Lu Bu, looking at Liu Bei.

"Strangle and expose!" ordered Cao Cao.

As he was led away, Lu Bu turned once more to Liu Bei, "You long-eared lout, you forget now the service I rendered you that day at my camp gate, when my arrow hit the mark!"

Just then someone shouted, "Lu Bu, O fool! Death is but death, and why are you scared at it?"

Everyone turned to look: The guards were hustling Zhang Liao to the place of judgment. Cao Cao ordered Lu Bu's execution.

A poet has written upon the death of Lu Bu:

The flood spreads wide, the city drowns,
Its lord is captive. Nought avails
His courser's speed or halberd's thrust.
The tiger erstwhile fierce, now whines
For mercy. Cao Cao had meted him
Full well, a falcon flown at will
And hungry kept. Poor fool! He let
Chen Gong's advice be overborne
By harem tattle; vainly now
He rails against the Long-Ears' faith.

And another poem says:

Round is the hungry tiger, eater of men, for whom is no pity,
Since the blood of his victims is fresh and not yet dry.
Liu Bei spoke no word in favor of Lu Bu,
To whom even a father's life was not sacred.

It was recorded earlier that the executioners were hustling Zhang Liao forward.

Pointing to him from above, Cao Cao said, "He has a familiar face."

"You were not likely to forget me: You saw me before in Puyang," said Zhang Liao.

"O, so you remember me, eh?"

"Yes. More is the pity."

"Pity for what?"

"That the fire that day was not fierce enough to burn you up, rebel that you are!"

Cao Cao began to get angry.

"How dare you insult me?" cried he and lifted his sword to kill the bold speaker.

The undaunted Zhang Liao never changed color, but stretched out his neck for the blow. Then a man behind Cao Cao caught his arm, and in front of him another dropped on his knees, saying, "O Prime Minister, I pray thee stay thy hand!"

Lu Bu whining was not spared,
Railing Zhang Liao far better fared.

Who was it that saved Zhang Liao? The next chapter will show.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gān Fū Rén (Lady Gan) 甘夫人

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:26 PM No comments
Translated Description:
“The Empress of Shining Accomplishments 昭烈皇后 (zhāo liè huáng hòu)”

Who is she:
It's funny that YOKA decided to include her in the game. This is one person that barely had ANY airtime at all. Maybe its because she is Liu Bei 刘备's wife, therefore they should throw her in there. But honestly, that's as silly as Scharzenegger's wife to play a supporting role in Terminator 6.

Ok, so what DO we know about her? Well... she's Liu Bei's wife... and I have already said that. She is... a female... and... err... there's some stuff about her being escorted by so-and-so while Liu Bei was being defeated.

Oh nevermind!! Let's just get on to the juicy bit!

Character ability 1: "Prudence 淑慎 (shū shèn) "
Whenever you regain 1 unit of health, you can let another player of your Kingdom to draw 1 card.

(Note: I use "Kingdom" here instead of allegiance. This is because if you are an "Ambitionist 野心家", you are your own kingdom, even though you have other players with the same allegiance as you.)

Character ability 2: "Divine Wisdom 神智 (shén zhì) "
At the beginning of your turn, you can discard all your on-hand cards. If by doing so, the number of your discarded cards is not smaller than X, you regain 1 unit of health (X equals to your current health).

Synergistic Partners:
Liu Bei 刘备 (Husband)

Difference from Normal SanGuoSha:
She is a brand new character specially created for Kingdom Wars. The initial criticism we had was what a retarded ability she has to give up all her cards. Well, not quite as retarded. She is definitely a support role and can be pretty hard-to-kill. Come on, she only needs to discard ONE card at the start of her turn if she only has 1 unit of health. Then she starts her turn with 2 units of life AND can ask someone else to draw a card. She's much more fun than Zhou Tai 周泰!

Ability's Relation to Story:
“Prudence” came from Zhuge Liang 诸葛亮’s speech about her. This ability was similar to the beneficial part of Fa Zheng’s “Reciprocation” before change. It is likely referring to the fact that Lady Gan was saved frequently, and she would repay her allies by letting them to draw a card.

“Divine Wisdom” came from a folktale about Lady Gan. It was said that the skin of Lady Gan was pale and clear as jade. When Liu Bei acquired a jade figure, he put it in the room of Lady Gan and compared it to Lady Gan’s skin. However, Lady Gan advised Liu Bei to concentrate in his aspiration, instead of indulging in playthings. As a result, she was praised by the ministers of Shu Kingdom as “The Lady of Divine Wisdom 神智妇人”.

SGS Kingdom Wars Blog!

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:46 PM 2 comments
As you can see, some minor cosmetic changes were made to the blog. Hopefully it looks more attractive to you, as well as more user friendly.

The SanGuoSha Kingdom Wars blog is officially underway!

Use the dock on the right to find the links to the other blogs, including the KW blog.

As always, there is a shortage of contributors! Please please do contact me at if you think you would like to make a contribution to the blog!

Other changes include coloured links on the header to the new SGS forum for Q&A, as well as direct link to the 25% discount section on!

Have fun and enjoy!!

Screen capture of SGS Kingdom Wars Blog page

"Romance of the Three Kingdoms" (by Luo Guanzhong, Translated by C. H. Brewitt-Taylor)

SGS Characters and Cards in this chapter:


Chapter 18

Jia Xu, as he had guessed the enemy's intention, had also devised a countermove. So he went to his chief and said, "I saw Cao Cao very carefully reconnoitering round about the city. He certainly noticed that the southeast corner of the wall had been lately restored with mud bricks of a different kind, and that the fencing barrier is badly out of repair. He will try to effect an entrance there. Wherefore he is making a feint attack at the opposite point. He is piling up straw and making ostentatious preparations whereby to cajole us into withdrawing from the real point of attack to defend the northwest. His troops will scale the walls in the darkness and try to enter at the southeast."

"Supposing your surmise correct, what do you advise?" asked Zhang Xiu.

"The countermove is plain. You issue an order for our best and bravest soldiers to fill their bellies, to take only the lightest outfit and conceal themselves in the houses near the southeast corner. Then disguise the townspeople as soldiers and send them to pretend to defend the northwest. Tonight we will let the enemy climb up the walls and enter the city and, once they are fairly within, give the signal and the concealed soldiers will rush out upon them. We may even capture Cao Cao himself."

The stratagem was decided upon.

Soon the scouts told Cao Cao: "The defenders of the city have moved to the northwest where noisy preparations for defense are going on. The opposite corner is left undefended."

"They have fallen into my trap!" said Cao Cao gleefully.

He ordered his troops to prepare shovels and hooks and all the gear needed for scaling walls, and all day they kept up the attack on the northwest angle.

But at the second watch they dispatched the veterans to the opposite corner, where they climbed the wall, broke up the fencing barrier, and got into the city apparently without disturbing any of the guards. There was no sign of life anywhere as they entered. But just as they were leaving the wall, suddenly a bomb exploded and they found themselves in an ambush. They turned to retire, but Zhang Xiu immediately fell on the rear and began a slaughter. Cao Cao's troops were totally defeated and fled out of the gate into the country. Zhang Xiu kept up the pursuit till daybreak, when he retired into the city again.

Cao Cao then rallied his army and mustered his soldiers. He had lost fifty thousand and much baggage, while two of his generals, Lu Qian and Yu Jin were wounded.

Cao Cao being thus worsted, Jia Xu advised Zhang Xiu to write off to Liu Biao to cut off Cao Cao's retreat so that he might be utterly destroyed.

Liu Biao was preparing an army for this purpose, when a scout came to say that Sun Ce had encamped in the river at Hukou.

Kuai Liang said, "This move of Sun Ce in the river is part of Cao Cao's strategy, and there will be never-ending regret if Cao Cao is allowed to escape. An immediate expedition is necessary."

Wherefore Liu Biao moved out with his army to Anzhong to block Cao Cao, leaving Huang Zu to hold Jingzhou's points of vantage. Zhang Xiu, having been informed of the movement of Liu Biao, went with Jia Xu to smite Cao Cao on the rear.

In the meantime Cao Cao's army, marching very leisurely, had arrived at Xiangyang.

Walking one day beside River Yu, he suddenly uttered a great cry, and when his officers asked the reason thereof, he replied, "I remembered that here, only a year ago, I lost my great general: Dian Wei. Is that not a reason to grieve?"

Thereupon Cao Cao gave orders to halt, while he should make a great sacrifice and mourn for his lost leader. At the ceremony he himself burned incense and wailed and prostrated himself. The army was much affected by his devotion. After the sacrifices to the lost hero, he sacrificed to the names of his nephew Cao Amin and his eldest son Cao Ang, both of whom had died at the same time. He also sacrificed to his lost soldiers and even to his Dawan steed which had been killed by an arrow.

Next day Xun Yu wrote to tell Cao Cao that Liu Biao had gone to help Zhang Xiu and was camped at Anzhong, thereby cutting his road of retreat.

Cao Cao replied to the letter, saying, "I have been marching only a short distance each day and of course knew of the pursuit. But my plans are laid and, as I am near Anzhong, my enemy will be broken. You need not have any fears."

Then Cao Cao hastened his march till he came near where Liu Biao had taken position. Zhang Xiu still shortened the distance. Cao Cao ordered his men during the night to open a secret way through a pass, where he laid an ambush.

With the first light of dawn Liu Biao and Zhang Xiu met. As Cao Cao's force looked small, they thought he had retired so they boldly advanced into the pass to smite him. Then the ambush was opened, and both the attackers' forces were cut up. The fighting ended; Cao Cao's soldiers went outside the pass and encamped.

The two leaders on the other side restored order among their beaten troops and then held a conference.

"How could we have foreseen such a wicked ruse?" said Liu Biao.

"Let us try again," said Zhang Xiu.

Wherefore they joined forces at Anzhong.

But Xun Yu discovered through his spies that Yuan Shao was preparing an attack on Capital Xuchang, so he at once wrote to Cao Cao who, much disturbed by this news, set out homeward right away. When Zhang Xiu heard this through his scouts, he wished to follow the retreating army.

Jia Xu opposed it and said, "It will lead to a defeat."

However, Liu Biao said, "It is wrong to lose such a chance."

And so finally pursuit was decided upon. They had not marched more than four miles before they came upon Cao Cao's rearguard, who fought with great vigor and bravery so that the pursuers were beaten off and went home discomfited.

Zhang Xiu said to Jia Xu, "This defeat comes from my not following your advice."

"Now set your army in order and pursue," said Jia Xu.

"But we have just suffered defeat!" cried both leaders. "Do you now counsel pursuit?"

"Yes, and the result will be a great victory if you go now. I will venture my head on that," said Jia Xu.

Zhang Xiu had confidence, but Liu Biao was afraid and would not accompany him. So one army only started in pursuit.

However, this was enough. Cao Cao's rear-guard was thoroughly routed and abandoned their wagons and their baggage in their hasty flight. Zhang Xiu pursued, but suddenly a troop came out from the shelter of some hills and checked him. Fearful to try further, he hastened back to Anzhong.

The other general, Liu Biao, asked the adviser to explain his apparent inconsistency, saying, "When our veteran and brave soldiers were going to pursue those who retreated, you said our men would lose the day; and when defeated men pursued the victors, you foretold victory. You were right in both cases, but we wish you would enlighten us."

"It is easy to explain. You, Generals, although skilled leaders, are not a match for our enemy. Though Cao Cao had lost a battle, he had able generals to keep the rear and guard against pursuit. Our soldiers are good, but not a match for them. That is how I knew. For as much as Cao Cao's hurried retreat was due to trouble in the capital, and he had beaten off our attack, I knew he would retire at his utmost speed and not take his usual precautions. I ventured to take advantage of his laxity."

Liu Biao and Zhang Xiu could not but affirm his complete understanding of the conditions. On the advice of Jia Xu then Liu Biao returned to Jingzhou, while Zhang Xiu took up his position at Xiangyang so that each strengthened the other as the lips protect the teeth from cold.

When Cao Cao, during his retreat, heard that his army was being pursued, he hastily turned back to support the rearguard. Then he saw the pursuing army draw off.

The soldiers of the beaten rearguard said, "Had it not been for the troops that came out of the hills, we should all have been lost."

"What troops?" asked Cao Cao in surprise.

The leader of the troops then advanced, slung his spear and, dismounting, made a low obeisance. He was Li Tong, Imperial Commander, from Jiangxia.

Cao Cao asked him why he had come.

Li Tong replied, "I was in command at Runan when I heard of the struggle going on, so I came to lend you any help I could."

To show his gratitude, Cao Cao conferred upon Li Tong the title Lord Who Renders High Services, and confirmed him in his command as the defense of Runan against Liu Biao and Zhang Xiu. Then Li Tong expressed his thanks and took his leave.

On his return to the capital, Cao Cao presented a memorial on the good services rendered by Sun Ce, and the Emperor made him Lord of Wu with the title General Who Destroys Rebels. The messenger bearing the decree bore also the order to repress Liu Biao.

Cao Cao went to his palace and there received the ceremonial calls of congratulation. These finished, Xun Yu asked, saying, "You, Sir, marched very leisurely to Anzhong: How came it that you felt certain of victory?"

Cao Cao replied, "My soldiers, who retire and find their retreat cut off, fight vigorously and desperately. I retired slowly to entice the enemy into following whereby I could do as I wished with them. Basing my movements on these considerations I felt secure."

Xun Yu bowed his head in admiration.

When Guo Jia entered, Cao Cao said, "Why so late, Sir?"

The visitor drew a letter from his sleeve, saying to his master, "Yuan Shao sends this expressing he desires to send an army to attack Gongsun Zan and wishes you to lend provisions and troops."

"I heard Yuan Shao was going to attack Xuchang. I suppose my return has made him change his intention," said Cao Cao.

Then he opened the letter and read it. It was couched in very arrogant terms.

"Yuan Shao is so exceedingly rude that I will attack him," said Cao Cao. "Only I think I am not quite strong enough. What should be done?"

Guo Jia said, "My lord, you know well who lost, and why, in the conflict between Liu Bang, the Supreme Ancestor, and Xiang Yu, his rival. The former won only by superior wisdom. Xiang Yu was the stronger, but in the end he was overcome. Your rival has ten weak points whereas you have ten strong ones, and, though his army is large, it is not terrible."

Then Guo Jia continued, "Yuan Shao is overmuch devoted to ceremony and deportment; while you are sympathetic and natural; this is an excellence in conduct. He is antagonistic and drives; you are conciliatory and lead; so you have the advantage of popular approval. For many years the government has been lax, and he makes it more so; you strive vigorously after efficiency; this is the excellence of able administration. He is outwardly liberal but grudging at heart, and too given to nepotism; you appear exacting, but you understand and use people after their ability; this is the advantage of correct appreciation. He is a visionary but lacking in decision; you are a man of prompt decision and direct action; this is an advantage in policy. He loves to gather about him people of renown; you treat people as you find them regardless of their reputation; this is where you excel in moral virtue. He is compassionate to those at hand, but careless about those out of sight; your care is all-embracing; this is where you excel in humanity. He lends a ready ear to calumny and is misled; you may be flooded with evil counsel, but you preserve independence; this is where you excel in perspicacity. His sense of right and wrong is confused; your appreciation is accurate and clear; this is where you excel in administrative capacity. He loves the make-believe force, but is ignorant of military essentials; you would overcome with far inferior numbers as you possess military genius; this is where you excel in war. With your ten superiorities, you will have no difficulty in overcoming Yuan Shao."

"How can I be worth as much as you say?" said Cao Cao, smiling.

"What Guo Jia has said about the ten points in your favor agrees exactly with what I think," said Xun Yu. "Yuan Shao's army is not formidable in spite of its size."

"The real and dangerous enemy is Lu Bu," said Guo Jia. "When Yuan Shao has gone north to destroy Gongsun Zan, we ought to sweep away Lu Bu and so clear away our danger from that side; for if this is not done, our attack on Yuan Shao will be the signal for an attempt on the capital. That would be most serious."

Cao Cao saw things in the same light as his advisers and began to discuss plans for an attack on Lu Bu. Xun Yu was of opinion that they should first secure the fidelity and aid of Liu Bei. So letters were written, and they waited his assurance before moving a soldier. Then, in order to reassure Yuan Shao, his emissary was treated with great kindness, and a memorial presented to the Emperor asking extra honors for him. Yuan Shao was made Imperial Protector of the four northern regions---Jizhou, Qingzhou, Youzhou, and Bingzhou. With all this a private letter was written by Cao Cao urging upon him to attack Gongsun Zan and promising assistance. So Yuan Shao's army started.

In the meantime the two Chen Deng and Chen Gui were playing their game. At every feast and gathering in Xuzhou, they uttered the most fulsome praises of Lu Bu. Chen Gong was greatly displeased and took an opportunity to talk about them to his master.

"They flatter you to your face, but what is in their hearts? You ought to be most carefully on your guard."

"Hold your tongue!" was the angry reply. "You are simply slandering them without the slightest excuse. You want to harm good people."

"No ears for loyal words," said Chen Gong, as he went away sad at heart, "and we shall suffer."

He thought seriously of abandoning Lu Bu, but that would be too painful a wrench. Beside he feared people would laugh at him.

So the days passed sorrowfully for him. One day, with a few horsemen, he rode out to the country near Xiaopei to hunt. On the high road he saw a messenger galloping along in hot haste and began to wonder what it might mean. He left the hunt, rode across country, and intercepted the rider.

"Where are you from? Who sent you?" asked Chen Gong.

The messenger made no reply for he knew to what party his captors belonged. But they searched him and found a letter, the secret reply to Cao Cao's letter from Liu Bei. The messenger and the letter were both taken straight to Lu Bu.

Lu Bu questioned the man, who said, "The Prime Minister sent me to bear a letter to Imperial Protector Liu Bei. I was now taking back the reply. I know nothing more, and I am ignorant of the contents of the letters."

So Lu Bu tore it open and read:

"I have received your commands concerning the destruction of Lu Bu, and dare I for a moment venture to disregard them? But my force is weak and I must act with extreme circumspection. If you move your main body, then I will hasten forward, and in the meantime my army shall be got ready and weapons prepared. I await your command."

Lu Bu was really alarmed.

"The wretches!" cried he. "To dare to act thus!"

The unhappy messenger was put to death and countermoves planned. Chen Gong and Zang Ba went to enlist the help of the Taishan Mountains bandits---Sun Guan, Wu Dun, Yin Li, and Chang Xi---so that they would take Yanzhou in the East of Huashan Mountains. Gao Shun and Zhang Liao went to attack Liu Bei in Xiaopei. Song Xian and Wei Xu went west to attack Runan and Yingchuan. And Lu Bu took command of a large body of troops ready to afford help wherever needed.

The departure of the army under Gao Shun against Xiaopei was reported to Liu Bei, who assembled his officers at a council.

Sun Qian advised sending a message to the capital to inform Cao Cao of their danger. In response to the chief's call, Jian Yong, a fellow townsman of Liu Bei, offered to take the message. Up to that moment Jian Yong had served as a secretary. So a letter was written, and Jian Yong set out at once on his journey.

Then preparations were made for defense: Liu Bei commanding at the south gate; Sun Qian at the north gate; Guan Yu at the west gate; and Zhang Fei at the east gate. Mi Zhu and his brother Mi Fang commanded the family guard in the center.

The two Mis were put in command of the house guard because they were Liu Bei's brothers-in-law; Liu Bei had taken a sister of Mi Zhu as a second wife. Hence they were suitable men to guard the family.

In due course Gao Shun came to the south gate. Liu Bei ascended the tower and said, "I have no quarrel with your master, why do you come here with an army?"

"You have plotted with Cao Cao to injure my master as we know now: Why should I not bind you?"

So saying Gao Shun gave the signal to attack. But Liu Bei did not go out to repulse Gao Shun; he only kept the gate fast closed.

Soon after, Zhang Liao led an attack on the west gate, then kept by Guan Yu, who addressed Zhang Liao from the wall.

"You are too good a man to waste yourself on rebels," said Guan Yu.

Zhang Liao hung his head and made no reply. Guan Yu knew that Zhang Liao had a sound heart and high principles and said no more, as he was unwilling to wound Zhang Liao. Nor did he go out to attack.

Zhang Liao then drew off and proceeded to the east gate, and Zhang Fei went out to give battle. Soon it was told Guan Yu, who came over quickly. He saw Zhang Fei going out, but Zhang Liao was already withdrawing. Zhang Fei wished to pursue, but his brother held him back.

"He is afraid and so has gone away. It would be best to pursue," said Zhang Fei.

"No," said Guan Yu. "As a warrior he is not inferior to either of us, but I have spoken a few straight words, and he has sunk deep. He is repentant and that is why he will not meet us."

So Zhang Fei understood, and the gates were shut and orders given for careful defense. When Jian Yong, Liu Bei's messenger, reached the capital, he saw Cao Cao and told him what had happened. The advisers were called to discuss a plan.

Cao Cao said, "I wish to attack Lu Bu. I fear not Yuan Shao, but Liu Biao and Zhang Xiu may attack me in the rear."

Xun You, the nephew of Xun Yu, replied, "Both these latter have been too recently defeated to do anything so rash. But Lu Bu is a bold fighting man, and if he joined forces with Yuan Shu and they set themselves to conquer River Huai and River Si, the problem would he difficult."

Then spoke Guo Jia, "Let us take advantage of the moment before they have fully made up their mind. Smite before they are fully prepared."

And Cao Cao did so. An army of fifty thousand were sent in advance with four commanders---Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, Lu Qian, and Li Dian. Cao Cao commanded the Center Army, which marched by divisions, and Jian Yong brought up the rear.

Soon the scouts informed Gao Shun. He sent flying messengers to Lu Bu, who detached two hundred horse with Hou Cheng, Cao Xing, and He Meng to assist him. Gao Shun posted this reinforcement and his army about ten miles from Xiaopei to meet Cao Cao's army. Lu Bu and the main army also followed close.

When Liu Bei saw the enemy retiring from the city, he knew Cao Cao's army was close at hand. So, making arrangements for guarding the city within, he and his two brothers marched their troops out of the city and made a camp, that they might be ready to assist.

Now the division of Cao Cao's army under Xiahou Dun, having marched out in advance, first came into touch with Gao Shun. Xiahou Dun at once rode out with spear set and offered a challenge. It was accepted and the two leaders fought half a hundred bouts. Then Gao Shun began to weaken and had to turn back. He rode round to the rear of his array. Xiahou Dun was not the man to quail, so he followed right into the enemy's country. Then Cao Xing, one of Lu Bu's generals, secretly strung his bow, fitted an arrow and, when Xiahou Dun had come quite near, shot at him. The arrow hit Xiahou Dun full in the left eye. He shrieked, and putting up his head, pulled out the arrow and with it the eye.

"Essence of my father, blood of my mother, I cannot throw this away!" cried Xiahou Dun, and he put the eye into his mouth and swallowed it.

Then resuming his firm grip of his spear, Xiahou Dun went after this new enemy. There was no escape for Cao Xing. He was overtaken and fell with a fatal spear wound full in the face. Both sides were stricken dumb with amazement.

Having thus slain the man who had wounded him, Xiahou Dun rode back toward his own side. Gao Shun went in pursuit and, waving on his army, attacked so vigorously that he won the day. Xiahou Yuan defended for his elder brother as they fled. Lu Qian and Li Dian led various divisions back to Jibei and made a camp.

Gao Shun, having scored this victory, returned to attack Liu Bei; and as Lu Bu opportunely arrived with Zhang Liao, these three arranged their forces so that each attacked one of the brothers.

Dauntless was Xiahou Dun, that warrior bold,
His courage had been proved of old;
But smitten sore one hapless day,
He might not in the battle stay.

The fate of Liu Bei will be told in the next chapter.

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