Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

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Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:57 pm

DaoLunOfShiji wrote:If Shu gets landmines and flamethrower tanks, it's only fair that Jin gets cannons. It's not their fault Wu never decided to advance to the Imperial Age, they're still stuck in the castle age.

Hahaha, more likely, they only prefer to sit like Tortoise hiding in its Shell, because of the natural barrier. Only think: "the Jin would never invade us because of the River". With this in mind, they'll never think anything else nor advance their technology, what a bunch of peace loving dudes. They forgot bunch of their general who know naval battle surrendered to Jin while they killing each other for the thrones. :lol:
Everyone has flaws. It's a matter of finding the ones you can live with.
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Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:16 am

第四回 王渾王浚大爭功

Chapter 4 - Wang Hun and Wang Jun Argue Over Achievements


In the last chapter, we recounted the events of Jin's campaign against Wu. By this time, the situation was indeed dire for Wu. Wang Jun's fleet had just inflicted a great defeat against a Wu army at Lesser Dangyang, and the survivors of this defeat had fled back to the Wu capital at Jianye to report the disaster. Sun Hao, shocked by this latest defeat, hastily assembled his civil and military officials to discuss how they might yet drive back their enemy.

The Prime Minister, Zhang Ti, said, "The situation has already gotten so bad that we are faced with a dire emergency. Unless I go in person, I fear that the people may not be willing to heed their orders, and it would be difficult to repulse the Jin armies."

Sun Hao said, "Sir, you are the chief minister of the state. If you are willing to lead this army to smash our foes, then I will turn over every soldier of the state to give strength and power to your efforts. Only be sure to carefully develop a plan. Let me hear of your success as soon as possible; that will restore my hope." And he mustered all of the elite capital guards, some two hundred thousand strong, to serve as Zhang Ti's army. He assigned the General of Agile Cavalry, Shen Ying, to be in charge of Zhang Ti's vanguard, and he appointed Zhang Xiang and Zhu Wan as his chief generals and Sun Zhen and Zhuge Jing as his Protector-Generals.

Zhang Ti's army advanced by ships, moving forward by the light of the stars. They encountered Wang Hun’s army at Zhuque Bridge, with the Jin general Zhou Jun leading the vanguard. Zhou Jun fought Shen Ying west of Jianye, where the Wu army was greatly defeated. Zhang Xiang dipped his banners and surrendered, while Zhu Wan and Sun Zhen, indignant and angered by this display, plunged headlong into battle to give it their all and were soon struck down by arrows.

Zhuge Jing knew that, with the soldiers defeated and the generals killed in battle, the Wu army could not possible maintain their position any longer. So he said to Zhang Ti, "It is all over, we have lost. A building about to topple over cannot be held in place by a single rope. Prime Minister, let us get away from this place, and make plans for some other day."

But Zhang Ti, refusing to heed this advice, continued to personally direct his troops to fight to the bitter end. Zhuge Jing was worried that Zhang Ti might come to harm, and he tried to pull him away, saying, "The rise and fall of states is part of the natural order of things. Sir, there is nothing that you alone can do to prevent this. Why insist upon dying here?"

"Zhongsi," replied Zhang Ti, for that was Zhuge Jing's style name, "do you know nothing of my heart? This is the very day I have been living for. When I was but a child, the late Prime Minister, Zhuge Ke, recognized my worth and recruited me. How often have I felt burdened with shame that I might not live up to his expectations. To think that I myself would someday reach that same pinnacle and likewise become Prime Minister should have been enough to satisfy me. Yet I have always worried that I would not be able to express the full measure of my loyalty or receive the approbation of wise and worthy people. Now here is my chance to lay down my life on behalf of the state. How could I do anything less?"

When Zhuge Jing saw that Zhang Ti would not be moved, he could do no more than release Zhang Ti's hand and dash off, with tears in his eyes. Zhang Ti kept up the fight until at last he too fell in battle. The Wu soldiers, all moved to grief by his loss, scattered and fled.


With the defeat of this last gasp, Wang Jun's triumph was now complete. He unfurled a great display of flags and banners and continued to sail downriver, full speed towards Jianye. His arms and armor filled the Yangzi, and the sound of his drums shook the heavens; his power and might were so total that the people of Wu were deathly afraid.

Sun Hao soon learned of the death of Zhang Ti. Recognizing that the state no longer had any troops left to defend it and was without any hope of outside reinforcements, Sun Hao could do no more than offer his submission. He wrote out his declaration of surrender and dispatched copies by several envoys to the vanguards of the Jin generals Wang Jun, Wang Hun, and Sima Zhou.

On the day Renyin (May 1st), the fifteenth day of that month, Wang Jun's ships sailed past the Three Mountains. Wang Hun, worried that Wang Jun might snatch Jianye out from under him and thus claim the chief achievement of the campaign, sent a messenger with a letter to intercept Wang Jun's route and order his fleet to halt, so that they could discuss the final conquest of Wu together. But Wang Jun hoisted his sails to continue his advance, and his response to Wang Hun was, "The wind is favorable and the current swift; I cannot slow down." That very day, Wang Jun beat the drums as he entered the Shitou fortress.

Seeing that his reign was now over, Sun Hao had himself bound up and tied to a coffin, and then presented himself at the gate of Wang Jun's camp to surrender. Only a single civil and a single military official, Xue Ying and Shen Ying, had remained behind long enough to accompany him on this journey. His other ministers, including Yao Xin, Guo Lian, Teng You, and Liu Xue, had all slipped away during the chaos and fled to Jianping commandary or to Jiaozhou and Guangzhou.

Wang Jun accepted Sun Hao's surrender. He then entered Jianye, where he issued a proclamation to reassure the people and forbade any plunder or harassment by his troops. He collected Wu's various records books, which showed that they possessed four great commandaries and forty-three lesser commandaries, 513,000 households, and 230,000 armored soldiers. And he was just about to dispatch his agents to return to Luoyang to bring news of his triumph, but had not yet sent them out.


The next day, Wang Hun led his own army across the Yangzi. Still assuming that Wang Jun had heeded his earlier command to halt, Wang Hun was planning to rendezvous with him. However, he soon received reports that Wang Jun had already received Sun Hao's surrender and had gone into Jianye to reassure the people there, and was not present at his army camp.

Furious, Wang Jun swore, "You old bandit, how dare you act so monstrous? You're just a subordinate general; I am the commander! Besides, the imperial edict placed you under my authority! Yet rather than halt and await my further orders, you dared to take matters into your own hands and accept the enemy's surrender ahead of me! I was the one who smashed all those Wu armies; I was the one who killed all of Wu's defending generals! It was thanks to me clearing the Yangzi of obstructions that you were even able to sail downriver in the first place, you thief! And now you dare to snatch the chief achievement out from under me, without the slightest trace of modesty or humility? Where is your respect?"

Wang Hun's subordinate generals were worried that, now that Wang Jun had seized the chief achievement for himself, they and Wang Hun would receive fewer rewards and honors than Wang Jun. So they further egged on their commander, saying, "All of us fought to the death to take Laixiang and defeat the enemy's garrison at Hengjiang. We were the ones who took the heads of Zhang Zun and Zhang Xian and broke the power of the Wu army. The fleet never would have been able to charge ahead without our efforts. Yet now, General Wang has claimed the enemy's surrender for himself and disrespected his commander. We were the ones who labored to sow and plow the field, yet General Wang's army were the ones who reaped the fruits of our efforts; we were the hunters who cleared the way, while they were no more than running dogs who chased down the hare."

Driven to further anger by these comments, Wang Hun said, "When Wang Jun's fleet was passing the Three Mountains yesterday, I as his commander ordered him to halt and discuss our next moves together. Yet he hoisted his sails and rushed ahead, spouting off some nonsense about 'the fierce wind making it hard to stop'. He has violated my direct orders and gone against the spirit of the Emperor's decree. All this, purely so that he could be first into the enemy capital to plunder their wealth and goods for himself! But just you wait. I will send a petition back to court to denounce Wang Jun for his corruption and make clear his crimes for all to see. I will tarnish that old bandit to slake my hatred."

But his subordinates only sought to rile him up even further. They said, "Sir, you are the commander; you wielded supreme authority over all the armies of this campaign, and the staff of command was in your hand. Yet Inspector Wang refused to respect your orders. We ought to attack him and take his head; that is the best way to punish him for his crime. Why rely only upon a petition, and thus give the villain a chance to talk his way out?"

Wang Hun agreed. So he set his flags and banners in order and readied his troops, planning to attack Wang Jun.


There were those in Wang Hun's camp who pitied Wang Jun's fate, feeling that though he had achieved much and committed no crime, a perverse disaster was soon to befall him. Some of them even sent word of their feelings to Wang Jun's camp to alert him to the danger. When Wang Jun learned of what Wang Hun was planning, he too stewed with anger. "I braved the slings and arrows of the enemy as much as he did, and I too overcame the Wu soldiers in battle after battle. All that I did, I did on behalf of the court; I have wronged neither my subordinates nor my superiors. Yet Wang Hun, jealous of me, now wishes to come and attack me. Then let him come! I will array my troops at once and prepare to face him. How could I sit by with folded hands and wait to be taken?"

When one of Wang Jun's Army Advisors, He Pan, heard that Wang Jun was intending to fight fire with fire, he rushed into Wang Jun's tent to remonstrate with him. "General," he said, "is it true that you are planning to cross blades with the soldiers of General Wang Hun?"

"Indeed I am," replied Wang Jun. "I have done nothing wrong, yet here he is coming to attack me. Do you expect me to meekly place my head beneath the axe?"

He Pan objected, "You cannot do this, General. If you insist upon fighting with General Wang, then you will be in direct violation of the imperial decree; you will throw away all your good work, and make yourself no better than someone like Zhong Hui. Besides, it is a fact that the Son of Heaven placed General Wang in overall command of this campaign, making all other generals his subordinate officers. You were no exception to that rule. Yet rather than wait for his arrival as he ordered, you went ahead and accepted the surrender of the lord of Wu, thus going against General Wang's wishes. Having already committed this original fault, General, how can you compound your error by violating the imperial decree and lashing out at his army with your anger?"

Wang Jun protested, "I have been absolutely loyal to the state. The day that our armies set out, I too received an imperial edict, commanding me to sail downriver at full speed to reach the enemy's capital at Jianye. And didn't everyone say that Wu could not easily be eradicated? Yet I always placed myself in the forefront of the fighting, thinking nothing of my own safety; I exposed myself to the enemy's fire, and I suffered several wounds from arrows. And in the end, I was able to seize and reduce the Shitou fortress and capture the false lord bound in ropes. I have vanquished this great enemy that has troubled us for a hundred years, and I have brought peace and harmony back to the Six Directions of the realm. My achievements are hardly insignificant! Yet all because of the jealousy of a superior, I find myself about to be cut down by an army. What would you have me do?"

"The solution is simple enough," said He Pan. "At this point, all that General Wang really desires is to get his hands on Sun Hao in order to seal his achievement! Besides, by now everyone, whether young or old, near or far, is quite aware that you were the first one to take Moling (Jianye) and capture the false lord of Wu, General. You hold the reality of this great achievement clear in the palms of your hands. Since no one can deprive you of that fact, why not just send Sun Hao to General Wang's camp and hand him over? That would ease the tension between the two of you, and prevent this mutual hostility from boiling over."

Wang Jun turned over this suggestion in his mind for a long time, then at last replied, "You make an excellent suggestion, Sir. I only fear that Wang Hun would never go along with it! Could I trouble you to go to him and explain things on my behalf?"

"Certainly you may," said He Pan. So Wang Jun sent He Pan to go as his envoy, and He Pan traveled to Wang Hun's camp to express his wishes.


Once He Pan had arrived at Wang Hun's camp and the introductions were complete, Wang Hun asked him, "What brings you here, Advisor He?"

"General," began He Pan, "I have heard that you wish to have your soldiers attack Inspector Wang. Is this true?"

"Of course," said Wang Hun. "Wang Jun is no more than an Inspector. When our sage sovereign issued his edict granting me overall command of this campaign, he made Wang Jun my subordinate as much as anyone else! It is only right that he should have waited to receive my orders. Yet he has committed five faults in his actions during this past day.

“When his fleet was passing the Three Mountains yesterday, I ordered him to halt and further discuss affairs with me, yet he left without paying any heed to my command; that was arrogance. He has seen fit to accept the surrender of the lord of Wu and confiscate for himself the contents of the enemy's arsenals and warehouses; that was presumption. When he entered Jianye to calm the people there, he sent out orders and issued commands based purely on his own authority; that was usurpation. He has reserved the enemy's records and accounts for himself in order to inflate his own achievements; that was deception. And he has taken the enemy's treasures and gathered up their weapons and equipment for his own purposes; that was greed. Since he has committed these five faults, how can I ignore them?

“Furthermore, he has thrown open the gates of the enemy capital and failed to arrange his troops to ensure that the area is properly defended. If the Wu army were to seize upon this opportunity and make a desperate rising, and we suffered from a future disaster, who do you suppose would be responsible for it?"

He Pan said, "General, it is as you say. But Inspector Wang is all too aware of these faults which you describe. And as for your summons to him at the Three Mountains, it really was the case that the fierce wind back then impeded him from turning his boats back to halt. Though he thus went ahead and smashed his powerful foe, his intention was to then await your own arrival!

“General, I know that you have received the grace of the state and are determined to share weal and woe together with it, and you are a righteous man and close to the royal family. It was for that reason that the Emperor entrusted you with such a weighty role as commander of this southern expedition. Yet Inspector Wang too has risked his life in battle through serving as the vanguard for this campaign, and his actions were on behalf of both the state and yourself. Though he captured the lord of Wu and his ministers, he was always intending to wait until you arrived as well. Nor has he sent anyone to resolve this dispute in his favor; surely that is because he wants to honor you, General, by allowing you to escort these prisoners to Luoyang yourself. He can have had no other intentions.

“Yet now, General, you mean to go so far as to attack Inspector Wang. That would be like the arm warring with the hand; they would cripple each other, and who could benefit from such a struggle? And if you wish to speak of the people of Wu 'seizing upon an opportunity', what would give them a better one than to see our two chief armies engaged in mutual destruction? Thus I cannot help feeling afraid for you, General!"

"Then what do you propose?" asked Wang Hun.

"I happen to know," said He Pan, "that Inspector Wang wishes to send Sun Hao to your camp, where he can kowtow before your camp gate and apologize for his faults. Yet Inspector Wang is afraid that even so, you will still charge him with a crime. Thus he has sent me on ahead to pay his respects to you, General. Might you be willing to forgive him?"

Wang Hun bowed his head in thought for a while, then at last replied, "Advisor He, I see that you are the teacher, and I your unworthy pupil. Could I do dare do anything less than what you instruct?"

He Pan thus returned and reported to Wang Jun, and Wang Jun sent agents to escort Sun Hao and his surrendered ministers to Wang Hun's camp. Wang Hun accepted them, and the threat of a clash of arms between the two Jin armies was over.


Yet although Wang Hun no longer planned to outright attack Wang Jun, he still nursed a grudge, feeling that Wang Jun had stolen the achievement that was rightfully his. So he fell back on his original plan to send a petition to the court denouncing Wang Jun. He accused Wang Jun of having helped himself to Sun Hao's treasures and of violating Wang Hun's prerogative by being the first to accept Sun Hao's surrender. Furthermore, according to Wang Hun's account, Wang Jun had been first to enter Jianye, where he had confiscated everything in the Wu arsenals and warehouses, set loose his troops to sack and pillage the city, taken Sun Hao's palace residents for his own use, and otherwise engaged in unspeakable corruption and theft. All in all, he accused Wang Jun of having violated military authority, ignoring a clear order, acting contrary to the imperial decree, and displaying a total lack of respect.

There was little time to truly look into these charges once Wang Hun's petition arrived at Luoyang. However, a compelling reason for the court officials to go along with the accusations was the presence in the capital of Wang Hun's son Wang Ji, who was married to the Princess of Changshan. He wielded considerable and aggressive personal influence, and his clan and their partisans were strong and numerous as well. So the officials, in order to gratify Wang Ji and side with him, all asked Emperor Wu to dispatch a cage cart to imprison Wang Jun and bring him back to the capital, while drafting up official charges of his guilt and sending them out. Emperor Wu, knowing that Wang Jun had committed no crimes, refused to have him arrested and brought back. However, he did issue an edict rebuking Wang Jun for having not respected Wang Hun's authority and for having plundered the storehouses of Jianye.


Wang Jun thus wrote a petition of his own, defending himself from these charges. He wrote:

"The Inspector of Yizhou, your servant Wang Jun,

"Having graciously received your special appointment as Dragon-Soaring General, I have endeavored to uphold the charge that you gave me. I first set out from Baqiu, subdued Xiakou, and followed the river to attack Wuchang. Upon arriving at Xiling, I received a handwritten edict increasing my soldiers and ordering me to defeat and pacify our foes in Wu. It was for that reason that I made straight for Jianye.

“I arrived at the Three Mountains on the fifteenth day of the month, where I saw Wang Hun's army from afar, on the north bank of the Yangzi, and Wang Hun sent me a letter asking me to halt to discuss affairs. But at that time, my fleet was pressed by the wind and pushed by the current, and it was too difficult for me to turn back and halt.

“By the middle of that day, I arrived at Moling, and that same evening I received Wang Hun's letter placing me under his command. He wished to order me to return and besiege Shitou and to wait for the main army to rendezvous with us; only then would he give us permission to attack. He also wanted to clarify the names of all the generals and officers in my army.

"The next day, as I was about to heed this new order by leading my troops back to besiege Shitou, I saw that Sun Hao had sent a letter to me proposing to surrender. Although I feared that the people of Wu, who after all are very crafty, were trying to buy time to gather more troops and hatch some new plot, nevertheless I canceled my plans and sent word into the city proclaiming the power and virtue of our court. Sun Hao then presented himself at my camp.

“The sovereign of Wu had thus surrendered to me. What further reason did I have to once again send forth soldiers and needlessly disturb the local people? Since the situation was already entirely settled, it was not the proper time to rush to carry out an order that no longer had any purpose. That is at least how I, foolish as I am, saw things in the moment. Yet my accusers claim that I was knowingly refusing to heed orders.

"A superior fellow will ensure that their actions will benefit the state; they will live and die by this principle. Thus to indulge in jealousy and sow suspicion is selfish behavior, unbecoming of a loyal subject, and it will not bring blessings to the wise sovereign of a state. You know that I am quite ignorant of affairs, and now I have run afoul of a powerful minister, thus I face untold calamity. Even so, I will bare my heart to all the realm.

"As for the charges of my conduct after entering Jianye, allow me to dispel these notions. According to the testimony of the locals, at the very moment when Sun Hao was contemplating bowing his head in surrender and his officials and generals had not yet completed their discussion, Sun Hao's attendants got word of his intentions and exploited the opportunity. They were the ones who set fire to his palace gates and flaunted their power unchallenged. As soon as I learned of what was going on, I quickly rushed to the scene to fight the fires and deal with these miscreants in person, and to halt any further plunder and calm the people; I had no other intentions. And out of all the generals, only Zhou Jun was the first to enter Sun Hao's palace and only Wang Jun was the first to climb into his boat. By the time I went to those places, there was not even a mat left to sit on. If there had been any treasures there, Zhou Jun and Wang Hun must have obtained them first. How could I have taken anything?

“This was the year that we pacified Wu, which should be cause for great celebration. Yet my body has become even more burdened by blame and strain. I can only hope that my wise sovereign will take pity on me."


Emperor Wu read this petition and knew that Wang Jun had been repressed. But since Emperor Wu had originally placed Wang Jun under Wang Hun's command, he decided to set aside both of their petitions.

Later, Wang Hun led Sun Hao and the surrendered Wu ministers into Luoyang, and the various Jin generals from the southern campaign all came to court to discharge their duties. Wang Jun too arrived at the capital. Wang Hun's partisans among the officials continued to accuse Wang Jun of having grossly disobeyed the imperial edict, and they asked that he be handed over to the Minister of Justice. But Emperor Wu could not bear to do this.

Even so, Wang Hun continued to claim that Wang Jun had achieved nothing on his own, and everything had come about purely because of the efforts of his army. Wang Jun too kept arguing on his own behalf. Since Wang Hun's and Wang Jun's dispute over the credit had not been resolved, Emperor Wu ordered the Colonel-Director, Liu Song, to review their achievements and render a judgment on the matter. Liu Song, going along with the wishes of Wang Hun and his partisans, gave Wang Hun the chief achievement for having pacified Wu and recommended that he be appointed as a Duke; he claimed that Wang Jun could only claim a lesser achievement, and his reward should simply be a promotion in office. After making inquired for himself, Emperor Wu felt that Liu Song had gone against the laws and decided without legal reasoning, and had him demoted and transferred to be Administrator of Jingzhao. Wang Hun sent up yet another petition disdainfully pressing his case, but Emperor Wu took no heed of it.

Emperor Wu issued an edict announcing the rewards for the campaign. He increased the fiefs of Jia Chong's and Wang Hun's noble domains by eight thousand households each, and promoted Wang Hun to be the Duke of a commandary. He appointed Wang Jun as General Who Upholds The State, and reckoning his achievements on the same level as those of Du Yu, Wang Rong, and the other leading generals of the campaign, he appointed all of them as Dukes of counties or towns. All the other generals and officers of the campaign were granted rewards as suited to their personal achievements.

Emperor Wu also dispatched officials to offer sacrifices to the spirit of the late Yang Hu. He granted Yang Hu a posthumous appointment and a posthumous name as well, and he appointed Yang Hu's widow as the Lady of Wansui Village and gave her a fief of five thousand households.


Wang Jun had himself made great achievements, but he was constrained by Wang Hun, his son, and Wang Hun's partisans. Whenever Wang Hun entered court, he was always going on about his achievements and service in conquering Wu in front of Emperor Wu. Sometimes, Wang Hun would be so resentful and incensed at not having claimed victory in his struggle with Wang Jun that he would depart without taking his leave. But Sima Yan was tolerant of him.

The Army-Protector of Yizhou, Fan Tong, was related to Wang Jun by marriage. He said to Wang Jun, "General, your achievement was indeed a beautiful one. I only regret that the one who occupies the highest spot now is not the one who did the most good. That day, your banners flew, but now you just have the triangle cloth over your personal home, and you do not speak about your merits during the conquest of Wu. If anyone praises you for it, you tell them, 'What achievements could an old fellow like me claim?' We are seeing another case of 'Lin Xiangru humbling himself before Lian Po'."

Wang Jun replied, "I have been seeking to prevent what happened when Deng Ai and Zhong Hui argued over their achievements. I feared misfortune for myself, and so I have not said anything. I do not think I shall ever be able to explain myself fully; that is the constraint I am under." And though he deeply thanked Fan Tong for his thoughts, he never again spoke of his achievements in Wu.

The people of that time were all indignant on Wang Jun's behalf, because his achievements were great and yet his rewards were slight. One of the Academicians, Qin Xiu, submitted a petition extolling Wang Jun's hard work and good deeds. So Emperor Wu transferred Wang Jun to be Grand General Who Guards The State.

Wang Hun often invited Wang Jun to feasts. But Wang Jun would invariably first prepare strict guards for himself, and only afterwards meet with Wang Hun. Such was the great animosity which these two men had for one another. And later, as Wang Jun continued to be worried about the great power and influence of Wang Hun and his clan and partisans and feared that he would eventually come to harm, he resigned his office and retired to live out his years at his old estate. Truly, no good deed goes unpunished.


Having finished deciding upon the rewards and honors for his own ministers, Emperor Wu then bestowed Sun Hao with the title Marquis of Guiming ("Marquis Who Submits To The Mandate"), and he appointed his son as a Bureau Gentleman. The old ministers of Wu who had surrendered to Jin were all examined for their past good works and granted offices in Jin according to their talents. Thus Sun Hao and his former subjects all danced and made obeisance to Emperor Wu, grateful for his generosity.

There was, however, one exception. We had earlier mentioned that Sun Hao's kinsman Sun Xiu had surrendered to Jin before the invasion and had been appointed by Jin as their General of Agile Cavalry. He was now standing to one side, taking in this pitiful display. Unable to master his feelings of anger and indignation at seeing the Sun clan brought to such a sorry state, he turned towards the south, his mind full of regrets and his eyes wet with tears. "Alas!" he lamented. "It was not so long ago that the General Who Punishes Rebels, Sun Bofu (Sun Ce), established the foundation for our state while he was a mere Colonel, and his good deeds have echoed for several generations. Yet though our last lord, lacking in virtue, was actually raised in the Southland, now he abandons it. 'O thou distant and azure Heaven! Why did you create such times?'"

Thus troubled, Sun Xiu returned to his home, with his concern still plain on his face. His son Sun Hui asked him the reason for his distress.

"You know the story of Lord Xinling, Prince Wuji of Wei," Sun Xiu told him. "In ancient times, when Lord Xinling was unable for a time to return to his native state of Wei, he received the mockery of Lord Xue. But in the end, he led the King of Wei's carriage in triumph back to Wei and smashed the army of Qin there. Thus even lords of domains of a thousand chariots all bowed to his virtue and reputation.

“As for me, I too was forced to exile myself to this land, burdening myself and checking my path forward. Still, I have never forgotten my homeland. But how could I have expected that Wu would meet its destruction in such a short span of time? My heart is cut like knives; there will be no triumphant return for me to save my home, and I cannot bear to see how far my clan has fallen. Why else would I mourn so deeply? But I tell you, this is not the end. Though it is too late for me to save Wu, I shall wait for some opportunity to present itself, and then seize my chance to make the Sima clan pay for what they have done."

And indeed, when in later years the Sima clan tore itself apart and the realm was rent to pieces, Sun Xiu would be present at the destruction.


One day, seeing as Wu and Shu had now been conquered and the whole realm was at peace, Emperor Wu decided to hold a feast. He ordered the feast to be held in the palace, where he could congratulate the generals responsible for the conquest of Wu and toast the generals and officers from the campaign.

Once the civil and military officials had assembled for the feast, someone offered Emperor Wu a cup of wine to drink towards his good health. Emperor Wu took the cup and, wiping away tears, said to everyone present, "All of this was thanks to the good work of the late Grand Tutor, Yang Hu, who strategized with me beforehand on how to conquer Wu and then joined with Du Yu and Zhang Hua to encourage me to carry out the campaign. Now we have been fortunate enough to make the conquest of Wu a reality, and everyone else responsible for that is present with us here at this feast. Alas, that Grand Tutor Yang is already no more, and we cannot see him here as well." And he sighed deeply, feeling pity that Yang Hu had not lived to see his dreams realized.

Then Emperor Wu said to Du Yu, "Back then, after our initial successes during the campaign against Wu, most of the generals and officers said that it was not the right time to push further ahead, and most of the chief ministers at court too felt that we could not make a rash advance, but ought to wait until winter and then discuss our next move. Only you and Zhang Hua were adamant that Wu could be conquered at once, and I absolutely agreed with you. And later, there were those who urged me to recall the armies again, fearing lest we should suffer some sudden defeat. Some went so far as to claim that even cutting Zhang Hua in half at the waist would not be enough for me to atone to the realm for my decisions. Even I began to waver. How fortunate that your petition reassuring me of victory happened to arrive just afterwards. Our success is thanks to all the good service that you, Zhang Hua, and Yang Hu have done for me. Now may us drink our fill today, and let no one hold back."

Jia Chong felt deeply ashamed and guilty, for it was he whom Emperor Wu had alluded to. He bowed to the ground and asked forgiveness for his crimes, saying, "I was foolish and blind, and my thinking was inadequate to the occasion. Who can compare with Your Majesty's divine martial prowess, your sage wisdom, or your penetrating foresight?"

But Emperor Wu, who still regarded Jia Chong as a senior minister of long service, reassured and comforted him, and there was no further question of his errors.


That same day, after the feast had ended, Emperor Wu asked around to see which worthy fellows of the Southland had not yet submitted to him. Everyone spoke to him of how excellent a man Zhuge Jing was; this was the same Zhuge Jing who had narrowly escaped from Zhang Ti's last stand. So Emperor Wu sent agents to look around in search of his current location.

Now Zhuge Jing had gone into hiding after that defeat, not wishing to associate himself with Jin. Some of his friends urged him to put such things aside and accept appointment in the Jin government. But he only waved them off, saying, "It is already bad enough that my state has fallen yet I was unable to give my life to preserve it, and that my sovereign was lacking in virtue yet I was unable to rectify his behavior in time. Yet you would have me drag out my ignoble existence by outright serving my conquerer and seek after honor for myself. Only a beast could do such a thing as that! How could I ever act that way?" And he shook out his sleeves and departed.

By now, Zhuge Jing was being sheltered at the estate of his sister. Zhuge Jing and this sister had the same parents, for their father had been Zhuge Dan. And she was the concubine of Jin's Prince of Langye, Sima Zhou. Emperor Wu eventually discovered that Zhuge Jing was hiding with his sister, so he sent his agents to her home to try to strongarm Zhuge Jing into coming to see him. But Zhuge Jing was obstinate and would not be moved. So Emperor Wu decided to personally visit the residence, hoping to find an opportunity to summon Zhuge Jing to see him there. But when Zhuge Jing realized that Emperor Wu had come, he fled into the lavatory to avoid seeing him.

Emperor Wu called the household servants of Sima Zhou's estate and asked them for Zhuge Jing's whereabouts, saying, "Where have you fellows hidden him?"

They replied, "Would we have dared to keep him from you? But as soon as he heard that Your Majesty's carriage had arrived, of his own volition he fled into the lavatory to hide from you."

Emperor Wu could not bear to drag Zhuge Jing unwillingly out of the lavatory. So he only stood beside and and called out to Zhuge Jing, saying, "Zhongsi, do you truly wish to avoid me this much?"

Faced with little choice, Zhuge Jing at last presented himself and performed obeisance to Emperor Wu. But as he bowed his head, he began to weep as he said, "My father was charged with a crime by His Late Majesty (Sima Zhao), and in order to avoid his fate, I fled to the Southland, where I became a minister of Wu and accepted their pay. Now that state too has been destroyed. I turned my back on Wei before, and now I have failed Wu as well. I felt the shame of having failed to avenge my family against yours; though I was like Wu Yun (Wu Zixu), maintaining myself in a foreign land by playing a flute, yet I failed to go as far as Yu Rang by swallowing charcoal. Now I faced the prospect of looking upon your sage countenance in person, and the thought was truly too much for me to bear. That was why I tried so hard to avoid you!"

Emperor Wu replied, "Neither Wu nor Wei exist any longer. The whole realm is now all part of one family. Please do not think of such things." And he personally offered to appoint Zhuge Jing as a Palace Attendant. But Zhuge Jing could not bear to accept. Once more making a show of obeisance, he firmly declined the offer and asked only for permission to go back to his hometown in peace. Emperor Wu, appreciating Zhuge Jing's absolute sense of loyalty, obliged him.

Thus, donning a shabby coat, Zhuge Jing returned to his hometown. For the rest of his life, he never traveled in the markets of Jin, nor when sitting on his mat would he ever face towards the Jin court. He thought of nothing further than enjoying his poverty and his simple pleasures. And within a few years, he passed away at his home. His son Zhuge Hui eventually served Jin as a Palace Attendant.


Even in later ages, there were still those who praised Zhuge Jing's actions, as this poem attests:

Rich in knowledge, insight grand
Many claim these in the land
But little can one demonstrate
These things, 'til faced with something great
Before the bathroom, there he stood
Tough as iron, firm as wood
He turned aside a generous offer
No honors he, no gold-stuffed coffer
For all he sought, his one desire
Was to go home, and there expire
And was not this humility
Far greater than nobility?

Yan Ling in his youth once too
Had been friends with the young Guangwu
Yet once Guangwu to his throne rose
And at last enjoyed repose
When offered he such riches and fame
To this old friend, none would he claim
There was no wealth for which he yearned
Nor rank nor title; all these he spurned
His sole wish was tranquility
To live his life at home in Qi
And was not this what Zhongsi sought?
So little, yet so dearly bought.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
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Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:35 am

Well, two hundred of thousands strong is a bit too exaggerate, even if they were real, not all of them were brought to the frontline.
Poor Zhuge Jing, he shouldve stayed with Zhang Ti if he wishes to die for the state, not dashes off from the frontline.

idk why, but it seems Sun Hao's tyrannical rule was a lot worse than Dong Zhuo is, even though Dong Zhuo was said to be a tyrant, bad as he is, no one mutinied against him during his rule (with exception of some dude who lust over a woman).
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Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:29 pm

I suspect the author and I have very different definitions of poverty. Wasn't entirely sure if I was meant to see Zhang Ti in a positive light as his words come across as rather ego driven, felt they went into more detail then RTK on Zhang Ti's death and was nice to see the Wang generals split being included.

I suspect we see the ministers who fled south again...

Li_Shengsun wrote:-Edit-
idk why, but it seems Sun Hao's tyrannical rule was a lot worse than Dong Zhuo is, even though Dong Zhuo was said to be a tyrant, bad as he is, no one mutinied against him during his rule (with exception of some dude who lust over a woman).

I'm assuming coalition doesn't count as a mutiny but there were other attempts to kill Dong Zhuo like Wang Fu and that plot Xun You was involved with

Hard to tell who was worse. Sources for both can be described as hostile and Sun Hao is badly hit by the last Emperor trope. Dong Zhuo, by the plunge into civil war, did more damage to his state then Sun Hao who inherited a disastrous situation and was unable to reverse the decline despite some miliatry success in the south
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Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Jordan » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:28 pm

Requesting a sticky/pin for this thread. Thank you for Taishi Ci 2.0 for translating and sharing this. It's awesome.
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Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:03 am

第五回 郴嶺吳將敗晉兵

Chapter 5 - The Wu Generals Defeat The Jin Army at the Chen Ranges


In the last two chapters, we had described Jin’s conquest of the rival state of Wu, which had taken place in Jin’s first year of Taikang (280). It had been in the first month of that year that Emperor Wu of Jin had sent forth his armies against Wu, and by the fourth month, he had brought the majority of Wu under his control and compelled the surrender of their sovereign, Sun Hao. He appointed Sun Hao as Jin’s Marquis Who Heeds The Mandate.

In the fifth month, Emperor Wu held a meeting in the main hall of his palace at Luoyang, and he had his guests take their seats in a side hall. Sun Hao, who had also been invited, took his seat as well. Emperor Wu turned to look at him and said, “I’m glad to finally have you here as my guest, sir. You see, I’ve had that seat prepared for you for a very long time.”

Sun Hao quipped, “It’s just as well, Your Majesty. When I was in the south, I too had such a seat prepared to receive you.”

Jia Chong also was present, and he wanted to see how good Sun Hao was at coming up with witty responses. So he asked him, “Sir, I heard that when you were in the Southland, sometimes you punished people by gouging out their eyes or peeling off their faces. What sort of criminals merited such extreme punishments?”

Sun Hao retorted, “Simply those who murdered their lord or else proved themselves wicked and disloyal!”

This silenced Jia Chong at once, and he felt deep shame, for he had been responsible for the death of one of the Emperors of Wei, Cao Mao, during his time as a Wei subject.

Emperor Wu was impressed by these displays of Sun Hao’s nimble mind and clever repartee. To him, Sun Hao did not at all seem to fit the caricature of a talentless fool who had led to the downfall of his state. Yet there was the truth of Wu’s rapid collapse in the wake of his own invasion. How to explain it?

He decided to pose this quandary to Sun Hao’s former subject Xue Ying, who had accompanied his master to Luoyang. “Sun Hao is clearly a clever and ingenious fellow,” he said, “and he had inherited the legacy of several generations of rulers before him. So why was it that Wu came to ruin during his reign?”

Xue Ying replied, “It was because my lord surrounded himself with petty people, and he was excessive and harsh in his punishments and accusations of guilt. The chief ministers of Wu and all its people were terrified; none were certain of their own safety, and all feared that they would be executed. Thus no one was able or willing to tell my lord of the true state of the realm. This was what led to Wu’s fall.”

Emperor Wu praised him for these remarks. He ordered a feast to be held in a side hall, and he granted Sun Hao a fine residence to live in.

Around this time, Du Yu and Zhang Hua sent word to the court, stating, “Although the lord of Wu has himself submitted to the mandate of our dynasty, there are still several provinces and commandaries in the Wu territory which have not yielded to us. You ought to order the generals to march through these unsettled areas, where they may impose peace and reassure the local people. Do not allow this threat to linger, like a tiger lying in wait, for future generations to deal with.”

Emperor Wu felt that this was wise, so he arranged for further expeditions. He organized one force of a hundred thousand soldiers to march to the Chen Ranges in southern Wu in order to pacify the region and compel the submission of the places south of those mountain ranges, such as Jiaozhou and Guangzhou, which had not yet surrendered to Jin. Commanding this army would be the Champion General, Luo Shang, the General of the Left, Liu Hong, the General of the Right, Shan Jian, the Vanguard Commander, Zhou Zhi, the Adjutant Generals, Yu Qin, Yu Zan, Pi Chu, and Ying Zhan, and the Protector Generals, Liu Zhun, Liu Qiao, and Tao Rong. Emperor Wu also dispatched a second army of another hundred thousand soldiers to quell the local Wu resistance in Xiangdong, Jianping, and other commandaries in that area. This army would be led by the Credential Bearer, Jia Mo, the acting General Who Pacifies The East, Xiahou Jun, the Adjutant General of the Left Army, Xie Xi, the Adjutant General of the Right Army, Huangfu Zhong, the General Who Routes The Enemy, Xin Ran, and the General Who Resists The Foe, Li Wei. Having received their orders to march, these two armies took their leave of the court and each set out to approach their designated targets.


Let us focus on the first of these Jin armies, which was marching towards the Chen Ranges in order to subdue Jiaozhou and Guangzhou. We should mention that Wu’s Inspector of Guangzhou was Lu Yan, the eldest son of Lu Kang. This Lu Yan was quite adept in the arts of war, and he had a mind as nimble as his grandfather Lu Xun.

When Lu Yan had first gotten word of Jin’s invasion of Wu by four different routes, he had called a great assembly of the local Administrators, generals, and officers in order to discuss with them how they might save the state from this dire threat. Among the Administrators was a man named Teng Xiu, styled Xianyou; he was a native of Xi’e county in Nanyang commandary, and was an exceptionally intelligent fellow. At the meeting, he proposed to the others, “We should immediately coordinate with the Administrator of Cangwu, Wang Yi, the Administrator of Shixing, Lü Feng, and other regional commanders. Let us all raise troops together and then march to the aid of the state.”

Lu Yan had heeded his advice, and he had immediately sent out orders to those two places to call up troops. In just a few days, Wang Yi and Lü Feng had arrived with their local forces. So too had the Administrators of the southern commandaries of Jiaozhou, Guan Gong and Bo Feng, who brought another fifty thousand veteran troops. These leaders had gathered together, and Lu Yan held a banquet to receive them. But they were still in the middle of discussing their next step when several new guests arrived and gave them a great shock.

We had earlier mentioned that when Sun Hao had decided to surrender the Wu capital at Jianye to Jin, some of his remaining ministers had chosen to flee south rather than submit. Among them were Yao Xin, Liu Xue, Guo Tong, and Teng Xiu. And these were the people who now arrived at Lu Yan’s headquarters. Their names were announced, and as they entered the room, Lu Yan could hardly miss their gloomy and downcast expressions. Introductions were quickly exchanged, then Lu Yan and the other locals pressed their guests for news of events in the north.

The fugitives told them, “The Jin armies advanced against us by four different routes, and since we were forced to disperse our soldiers and horses in order to guard against all of these thrusts, the capital at Jianye was left empty. That was when Wang Jun suddenly descended upon Jianye with a great fleet coming down the river. Our lord proposed surrender, and he even went so far as to write a letter of submission and to leave the city to report to the enemy camp. We felt that we were no longer strong enough on our own to resist the enemy. So we fled here, hoping to join with you gentlemen in order to rescue the state.”

As they listened to this sad tale, the locals began to cover their faces in their hands and to weep freely. But Teng Xiu spoke up, saying, “Tears will do us no good. Considering the situation now, it would be difficult for us to defend what remains of the Southland against the enemy. Nor would the population be quick to rally to our cause, for by now they must feel that it is too late to save them. Let us continue our earlier discussion and see what remains for us to do. I propose that, if we can hold this eastern corner of the realm against our foes and acclaim a member of the Sun clan to be our leader, we may yet prove our full loyalty to Wu.”

Lu Yan told those assembled, “Gentlemen, you must not go your separate ways. It is only a matter of time before the Jin army reaches this place; Guangzhou will be the first place to bear the brunt of their attack. But if we can hold this place against them and keep it secure, then I can assure you gentlemen that you will be as unshakeable here as Mount Tai.”

Then Yao Xin said, “All of us here come from loyal and righteous families of the state and are border vassals of the southeast. So long as we combine our strength and work together, we shall drive back the Jin army. Why should we fear that we might not make a name for ourselves?”

The leaders all declared, “We will not dare not to do our utmost to avenge this shame!” And they rolled up their mats and dispersed.

Still, by the next day, there were signs of wavering resolve. When the leaders each came to make their thanks to Lu Yan, two of his assistants said to him, “Our state of Wu has really already been destroyed, and the lord of Jin has issued his edict calling on us to stand down. Sir, what do you and the generals really mean to do here?”

But Lu Yan told them, “Our families have accepted the pay of Wu for generations. Although it is true that our sovereign indulged in cruelty and went too far in his behavior, still he had not committed any unspeakable acts that called for his destruction. Indeed, he was defending the state which his predecessors had guarded for generations, and he was offering prayers to the spirits of his ancestors. Yet, without any sort of justification, Jin raised their troops and wrested his state away from him. I feel deep shame in my heart just thinking about it. If it is fate that the state should be no more, then so be it. But how could I ever willingly accept the command of such a person to willingly submit?”

Wang Yi observed, “Inspector, no one can deny your loyalty or courage; your sincerity is as true as the sun in the sky. Yet it is the case that our lord has already surrendered our state to the enemy, who are now calling on us to submit and receive salaries and payment in their service. Should you expect the people here to be so quick to spurn these offers of wealth and honor and prefer to exhaust themselves to avenge the state?”

Lu Yan replied, “Jin has brought this great show of force to intimidate us, hoping by their pure might to make us submit. We have no choice but to fight them! Besides, if it is a contest of strength, we may easily prevail against them. I have no fear of their great hosts; the one thing I would fear to see would be the lord of Wu riding on a lone horse with an edict compelling us to surrender. Now gentlemen, all of you prepare your troops and take your places.”

Guo Tong was afraid that more of the leaders would begin to hesitate as well. So he exhorted them, saying, “All of us who have gathered here today are generals and ministers whose families have employed their talents in the service of East Wu for generations. We fled so far to this place together for precisely the cause of avenging the state. Anyone who flees from peril at this hour is no loyal subject.”


Lu Yan and the others were in the middle of this discussion when a swift messenger suddenly arrived from the road, bearing news of the enemy. The messenger reported that the Emperor of Jin had sent the commander Luo Shang to lead an army of men and horses, one hundred thousand strong, to subdue them. This army had set out from Changsha along the main road, and would arrive at the borders of Guangzhou in less than a day. They must make all their defenses quickly, and avoid allowing the common people to panic.

As he heard this report that the enemy had actually begun their attack, Lu Yan became roused with anger. At once he gathered all his officials together and began discussing what strategy they might use to defend Guangzhou and hold off the enemy.

One man stepped forward from among his subordinates and offered the following plan: “Since there is only this one road which the Jin army must take in order to approach our territory, all that would be necessary to halt them would be to send forth a bold general with ten thousand troops to hold the steep and narrow pass through the mountains at the Chen Ranges. Even if Luo Shang and the rest had a million soldiers or the Six Strategies of Chen Ping of old, they could not simply fly over those mountain ranges; they are obliged to go through that pass.

“While this vanguard is keeping them at bay, you may disperse your remaining soldiers among several other generals and send them out to occupy various routes behind the enemy in secret. Since the enemy has brought a hundred thousand soldiers with them, any delay before the mountain pass will quickly exhaust their provisions, and then they will be forced to retreat. At that time, you can send out the hidden detachments to ambush them, and victory would be certain.

“Once we have defeated their army, the enemy will surely lose heart. By then, we can discuss further plans for how we might revive the state again, as well as coordinate with the other loyalists at Jianping and elsewhere. If our struggle against Jin proves successful, we may yet be able to restore Wu again. And even if we are unable to retake the Southland from Jin, at the very least you could be like old Commandant Zhao Tuo, and rule the far south as your own kingdom.”

The man who had offered this advice was Lu Yan’s younger cousin, Lu Xuan. He had earlier been appointed as Commander of Dingchao, and was now serving as Colonel of Southern Man Tribes.

Lu Yan said to him, “Cousin, your advice is outstanding. Yet I fear we lack the bold fellow you propose. This role would call for someone both courageous and intelligent. Where shall we find such a man?”

He had hardly gotten the words out of his mouth when another man suddenly stepped forward. This man had a most remarkable appearance: he had a head like a leopard and a neck like a tiger, eyes like a wolf and brows like a lion. He towered nine chi tall, he had a sparse beard shot through with purple, the strength of his arms far surpassed others, and he had a free and easy manner about him. Who was he? He was called Zhou Chu, styled Ziyin; he was a native of Yixing county in Wu commandary, and was the son of the old Commander of Xiling, Zhou Fang. And when during the discussion of defending the pass at the Chen Ranges he heard Lu Yan lament the lack of a suitable leader, at once he stepped forward to recommend himself for the role.

“I am a minor officer of no real talent,” said he. “But I am willing to hold the pass against the Jin army, and I swear not to shirk my duty.”

Lu Yan was delighted to hear Zhou Chu volunteer himself. He replied, “Ziyin, if you go, my heart will be at ease.” And at once he appointed Zhou Chu as Vanguard Commander Who Smashes Jin. He selected the Champion General, Guan Gong, to lead the left wing of Zhou Chu’s army, and the General Who Smashes The Enemy, Bo Feng, to lead the right wing. He assigned them twenty thousand soldiers with which to occupy the pass at the Chen Ranges and check the advance of the Jin army. And the three commanders mounted their horses that very day and prepared to set out.

When it was time to leave, Lu Yan raised a toast to them before the crowd, declaring, “The pass at the Chen Ranges is the shield of Guangzhou and the far south. This is no light responsibility. Generals, the three of you must be sure to consider the situation carefully before you make any movement. Do not let the enemy spur you to rash actions.”

Zhou Chu replied, “We will stick to the plan.”

“Then,” said Lu Yan happily, “the people of the south and east may rest assured.”

At this point, Lu Xuan spoke up. “The generals are certainly dependable. Still, Ziyin has always been a fierce and brash man. If the enemy should provoke him, I fear he might rush to act and not think clearly. Thus I am not so assured of success as you. But if we could supply him with someone skilled at strategy and advice, who could help him to calculate and measure the success of any proposal, then we could toast all of them together and send them off, and be absolutely certain that they will prevail.”

“Who then would you propose for this role?” asked Lu Yan.

Lu Xuan replied, “There is the Marshal of the Central Army, Zhuge Shen. His plans and schemes are perceptive and penetrating, and his intellect and knowledge are grand and profound. Besides, he is the grandson of Zhuge Ziyu (Zhuge Jin), and he has inherited his grandfather’s nimble mind. Everyone considers him a worthy man. If you were to send him to advise Ziyin and the others on army affairs, there would be no mistakes.”

Lu Yan agreed with his thinking. He sent agents to fetch Zhuge Shen, explain the circumstances to him, and ask him to assist the vanguard. Zhuge Shen gladly agreed to help, and he set out for the Chen Ranges together with Zhou Chu and the others.


While Zhou Chu and the others are on their way to the Chen Ranges, we shall indulge in a story of Zhou Chu’s past. We have already observed how bold and strong he was, thus it would hardly be a surprise to learn that as a youth, Zhou Chu was quite the thug. He did not practice virtue or cultivate good conduct, but committed wickedness and proved himself a rascal. He did wrong to everyone in his village at one time or another, thus no one dared to oppose him. Everyone feared and dreaded him.

One day, as Zhou Chu was walking nowhere in particular, he saw the Thrice Venerable of his village passing through the gate, making a long mournful sigh. When Zhou Chu asked him what the matter was, the old man would not answer him. So Zhou Chu approached him and forced him to explain himself.

The Thrice Venerable told him, “I am sighing simply because of the three scourges of our village, who are spreading their poison among the people. But what does that matter to you?”

Zhou Chu asked him, “Won’t you tell me what these three scourges are? You’ll have to point them out, since I don’t know what they are.”

“The first scourge,” began the old man, “is the tiger with the white forehead that lives in the southern hills who is always devouring people. Once it comes out in the afternoon, no one can ever get past it on the road. And the second scourge is the wicked serpent that lives in the river under the long bridge, which is constantly churning up the river and making waves. It keeps flooding out the farm plots and washing away the houses, ruining the livelihood of the people. They are what cause me to make such painful sighs.”

“Just a moment,” said Zhou Chu. “You said there were three scourges, but you’ve only told me about two of them. What about the last one? Or are you keeping it a secret?”

The old man said, “There certainly is a third one. Only I dare not speak its name!”

“You’ve already told me about the other ones,” complained Zhou Chu. “Why can’t you talk about this one?”

“It’s not that I can’t talk about it,” said the Thrice Venerable. “But I am worried that if I do, you will be angry at me.”

“Old fellow, you are my honored elder and the teacher of the village. I swear to you that I will not get angry. Now won’t you instruct your poor student?”

At last the old man declared, “It is you! You are the third scourge! You do whatever you like and harm whomever you wish, and you care nothing for your behavior. And whenever someone refuses you, you are always using brute force to take what you want. Though the people dare not oppose you to your face, they all speak ill of you. So do not think it so strange that I consider you a scourge.”

Zhou Chu sighed and said to himself, “It’s a sad man who doesn’t know his own faults. I must be a real mess if the people think so poorly of me.”

And at once he made a full apology to the Thrice Venerable, then walked away, saying, "I'm going to get rid of those three scourges for you."

The next day, Zhou Chu went into the hills, where he tracked down the tiger with the white forehead and cut off its head. Then he dived into the river beneath the long bridge, where for three days and three nights he hunted the serpent, until at last he captured it and took its head, thus putting a stop to the flooding.

Having removed these first two scourges, Zhou Chu then sought to change himself, turning away from his faults and practicing good conduct. He was so successful in his reformation that his virtue soon became known far and wide, and his local province recommended him. The lord of Wu then appointed him as Attendant Officer With Separate Carriage of Guangzhou and as General of the Serrated Gate, and later he was transferred to be Colonel of Southern Man Tribes. Thus he had been present for Lu Yan's assembly.


By now, Zhou Chu, Zhuge Shen, and the rest had arrived at the pass at the Chen Ranges. They set up their camp there, and ordered their officers to lead detachments to build ramparts and barriers at the various defensive points nearby.

Within a few days, Luo Shang, Liu Hong, Shan Jian, and the other Jin commanders had arrived in the area with their grand army of a hundred thousand. Being quite unaware that any resistance lay in store, they were advancing in all their glory, a mighty host. But when they came close to the mountains, their scouts rode back to report that Wu soldiers had occupied the pass through the Chen Ranges and would not permit any further advance to go uncontested. They further reported that the Wu commander was named Zhou Chu, that he had ten thousand bold and unstoppable warriors at his command, and that they would have to wait below until the enemy came out to offer battle; only then would they be able to pass through. After hearing this report, Luo Shang ordered his generals and officers to set up camps and barricades on the plains.

The next day, Luo Shang personally led his troops out to get a better sense of the terrain. He went together with his subordinate generals to the foot of the pass, where they scouted out the various places nearby. Yet there was no promising road to press forward. The crags and cliffs of the mountains were so towering and imposing, so awesome and formidable, that it was the sort of place that people claim that one man could defend against ten thousand. Luo Shang said to his subordinates, "See how the enemy has such impressive natural defenses, and even the other little paths we might take are all blocked by their soldiers. Even if we had brought a million soldiers with us, we would be no better off. How will we get through the Chen Ranges in order to pacify Jiaozhou and Guangzhou?" And he began to sigh.

But just at that moment, there came a blast from a signal gun atop the pass which shattered the heavens and a roll of the drums that shook the earth. Then the gate opened and a host of soldiers poured forth, banners streaming forward. At their head was a great general, grasping a steel blade paler than snow and astride a fine horse swift as the wind. He had an aura like a bear or a tiger, strength like a pixiu, and a roar that made the very hills quiver and shake. He led the Wu troops to charge downhill, and behind him came Guan Gong and Bo Feng, all ready to kill.

Luo Shang and the others did not even have enough time to draw up their troops into a proper formation before Zhou Chu was upon them. He led his vanguard to smash through the enemy line, and as he swung his great blade to and fro, he cleaved through the heads of Jin soldiers and crushed them beneath his blows, killing countless numbers of them.

Then Jin's General Who Breaks And Charges, Yu Zan, forced his way through the melee to face the enemy, beating his horse and twirling his blade as he rode towards Zhou Chu. The two warriors, breaking off from the fighting for a time, clashed in a duel as they rode at each other again and again, fighting more than thirty bouts. At last there was a thundering sound when, taking advantage of an opening, Zhou Chu brought down his blade and knocked Yu Zan from his horse. The Jin soldiers all panicked when they witnessed the fall of their champion.

Though the Jin general Yu Qin tried to make a stand, Guan Gong and Bo Feng pressed their side's advantage and charged into the Jin army, making straight towards Luo Shang's command canopy. Luo Shang had been caught completely by surprise, and it was impossible for him to direct his troops at all. His vanguard dissolved into flight, and his soldiers lost all will to fight; they were driven back by the force of the Wu charge, and they abandoned their armor and cast aside their helmets in their rush to flee. This slaughter marked a great defeat for the Jin army, and the corpses and bones of their dead littered the ground. The survivors retreated more than twenty li before they were able to reorganize again. When Luo Shang took stock of his men and horses, he learned that Yu Zan had perished in the fighting, along with more than ten thousand of his soldiers and officers.


Luo Shang, nervous and angered by this sudden defeat, was planning to send word back to the court to ask for reinforcements in order to put down this opposition. But his Vanguard Commander, Zhou Zhi, advised him, "When our sovereign appointed you as commander of this army, it was so that you would be the one to campaign against the rebels in Jiaozhou and Guangzhou. Have you lost your nerve so quickly after just a single repulse that you are going to alarm and disturb the court and beg them for a strategy to save you from this peril? If you did that, wouldn't you just become the laughingstock of all the chief ministers? Instead, we ought to form up the soldiers tomorrow and try for a decisive battle here with the rebels. If we triumph, we can press our victory to force our way through the Chen Ranges, and your campaign here can still be successful. And if we should fail, then it will not be too late for you to send your petition asking for help afterwards."

Luo Shang was somewhat reassured by this advice, so he called a council of war to discuss how they might force a battle and take the pass. Shan Jian told him, "Tomorrow, we ought to prepare ambushes while enticing the Wu army out, in order to destroy them. Have General Ying Zhan take one thousand soldiers and prepare an ambush on the left side of the defile, while General Pi Chu takes another ten thousand to do the same on the right side. General Yu Qin should take another ten thousand to lay in hiding on the left side of the road, and General Tao Rong will prepare another ambush with yet another ten thousand on the right side. General Zhou Zhi can lead a further ten thousand forward as the vanguard, in order to draw the Wu soldiers out to fight. Commander, you and General Liu Hong can remain in the rear with another twenty thousand as a reserve, which we can use to attack the pass. Initially, when Zhou Chu rides out from the pass with his troops, our vanguard will clash with him and fight with all their strength. Then, once the fighting has turned fierce, they will pretend to pull back and flee; the enemy will not suspect deception, so they will surely give chase. Once they come out onto the road, we will fire a cannon as a signal for the ambushes to come out. We will have the Wu army surrounded on all sides, and Zhou Chu will fall into our hands."

The generals were all delighted with this plan, saying, "What an excellent strategy! Just tell us what we each should do; we will keep things secret."


Early the next day, the Jin army formed up and prepared for battle, and when morning came they marched into the defile. Zhou Zhi and Luo Shang personally approached the bottom of the pass, where they flaunted their strength and greatly taunted the Wu defenders. They fired off cannons that shook the hills and mountains, and they needled the Wu soldiers to come out and fight.

Faced with these taunts, Zhou Chu was eager to march out at once. But Zhuge Shen told him, "The enemy is calling and taunting us and itching for a fight because they have some plan in store for us and are hoping to make us fall into their trap. So long as we are here at this pass, we cannot be impetuous. Yet you, General, want to face them right away. You ought to show a little more caution, in order to avoid being ensnared. Do not rush to destruction. Better for you to wait until noon first, when the enemy soldiers and horses will have lost their initial enthusiasm and become tired. That will be the time to march out from the pass. And if we can claim another victory today, the enemy will no longer even dare to gaze up at the Chen Ranges."

Thus Zhou Chu held back and did not rush out to fight. When Zhou Zhi saw that the Wu army showed no inclination to offer battle, he ordered the grand cannons from Xiangyang to be set up and had them fired up at the pass. But the Wu defenders only laughed heartily and did not respond.

As noon approached, Zhou Zhi went so far as to order his officers to strip their torsos bare and scold the Wu soldiers. Zhou Chu could hardly endure this further provocation, and he went in to see Zhuge Shen and told him, "Those damned Jin soldiers have no respect! I'm going to go out of the pass right now and behead the Jin general! That will shut them up and stop their taunts!"

Zhuge Shen advised him, "If they taunt us, that is their own business. Why should we pay them any heed? Better to stick to the plan; your time to attack will be here soon. But General, I must warn you about what might happen out there. If the enemy stands their ground and fights long enough for you to take the head of their general, that will truly cause the enemy soldiers to lose their nerve; their retreat will be genuine, and you may press your pursuit to rout them. But if you notice that the enemy soldiers start to fall back before you can even get close to their general, that will be a sign that they are carrying out a plan to trap you. If that happens, rein in our soldiers and do not pursue the enemy, but come back to the pass and we will discuss what to do next."

Zhou Chu agreed to follow his advice. Then Zhuge Shen instructed Guan Gong and Bo Feng, "You generals take ten thousand soldiers and go out of the pass to help with the fighting. Watch for an opening and then advance. If General Zhou's vanguard gains a victory, you two should follow after him and lend weight to his advance in order to make the enemy quiver. And if the enemy has ambushes laying in wait, you fellows should strike them from behind and rout them as well."

The Wu generals and officers all received their orders and made their preparations. Then a signal cannon was fired atop the pass, and Zhou Chu led five thousand crack troops out of the pass, looking like some god rushing down from the heavens.


When Zhou Zhi saw this fierce being before him, he knew that he must be facing Zhou Chu. So he ordered his soldiers to form up and stand their ground, while he rode his horse out in front of them. In a loud voice he called out to Zhou Chu, "Surely you must be Zhou Ziyin? I am called Zhou Zhi. General, you and I are part of the same family, and I have some words of advice for you. Are you willing to hear me out?"

Zhou Chu retorted, "If you have something worth saying, I am wholeheartedly prepared to listen. But spare me such nonsense as what you have just said. Part of the same family? Zhuge Ziyu (Zhuge Jin) and Zhuge Kongming (Zhuge Liang) were brothers in fact, yet after they began to serve different lords, never once did they put their personal relationship above their duties to their states. Why then should I show you any special regard just because we happen to share a surname?"

"I would never dare to suggest such a thing," said Zhou Zhi. "Yet do allow me to observe that the time of Wu has ended, while it is Jin that is prospering. Though you may win a single battle against us, you cannot hope to preserve your state. General, I recognize that you and the other generals with you, talents and heroes all, wish to prove your loyalty to your state. Yet your lord has already surrendered to Jin; there is no master whom you are actually fighting for. Would it not be better for you to submit to Jin, just as Ma Yuan and Dou Rong recognized the supremacy of Emperor Guangwu of Han and bowed to his authority? Then your legacy and reputations would be secure. Would that not be glorious?"

Zhou Chu said, "The lord of Wu may have inclined towards cruelty, but I never heard that he had committed any great faults. You fellows of Jin are simply using brute force to come and attack us here. We are defending this small and distant corner of the southeast, where we are keeping the fortunes of Wu alive and acting the way loyal subjects should. You are the ones who are so greedy that even what you have already taken is not enough for you, that you come all the way here to trouble us too. So the only thing I intend to do today is right out and fight you to prove who is the better man. Spare me any more talk." And he spurred his horse forward down the road.

Zhou Zhi too twirled his blade and rode ahead to face Zhou Chu. Both of them were bold heroes, and they fought with the zeal of immortals. They struggled so hard to kill each other that the heavens grew cloudy and the ground broke to pieces, the sun turned dim and the mountains wobbled. For more than forty bouts their deadly dance continued. At length, Zhou Zhi felt that it was time to feign defeat, so he made a false swing of his blade to cause Zhou Chu to block it. But Zhou Chu responded with such great strength that he rapidly counterattacked. Zhou Zhi could not respond in time, and Zhou Chu's blade smashed into the hollow of his shoulder and wounded his upper arm. Zhou Zhi at once dropped his blade and turned to flee. The Wu soldiers roared in triumph, shaking the ground, and they were so stimulated by this sight that they advanced.

When Luo Shang and Liu Hong witnessed the brutal ferocity of Zhou Chu, who in two days had vanquished as many generals, they no longer dared to face him in battle; both of them fled from the rear. This left the Jin army without a leader, and they were once again greatly defeated; their wailing shook the land. And even as the tide of battle surged past the place where Yu Qin and Tao Rong were still in hiding, they never stirred, because no one had fired the signal cannon for them to spring their ambushes. But when they saw Zhou Chu riding hard towards their position, with Guan Gong and Bo Feng coming fast behind him, and that their own commander and his generals were fleeing like the wind, they too withdrew their troops and retreated. All this served as proof to the Wu soldiers that the Jin army would never turn and fight them, so they threw caution to the winds and pressed their pursuit to slaughter their foes. The Jin soldiers stampeded in their rush to get away, and countless numbers of them died in the retreat. The pursuit continued for more than thirty li, as the Jin soldiers abandoned their provisions and equipment within the defile and the Wu soldiers took advantage of the confusion to bring these captured goods back up to the pass.

By the time Luo Shang had reorganized his forces at his barricades and counted up his men and horses, he found that he had lost more than ten thousand more soldiers. Zhou Zhi had broken his arm, and all the field provisions had been lost. There was nothing more they could do but send a messenger to ride day and night for Luoyang to present a petition to the court asking for reinforcements. In the meantime, Luo Shang kept his soldiers back to wait for Zhou Zhi to recover.


Such was the fate of the army sent against Guangzhou and Jiaozhou. But we had also mentioned another army which had been dispatched to subdue Jianping, led by Jia Chong's nephew Jia Mo, by Xiahou Jun, and by others. What had become of them?

By this time, Jia Mo and the others had led their troops to the borders of Jianping commandary, where they had established a camp for themselves. The Wu scouts brought news of their arrival to Wu's Administrator of Jianping, Wu Yan, styled Shize. This was the same Wu Yan who had earlier learned of Wang Jun's plans to build a navy with which to invade Wu, and had even sent samples of the discarded lumber to alert Sun Hao, but to no avail. Wu Yan was a native of Wu commandary, and he had always been a clever and calculating man, well-versed in the arts of war. So even though his warning had been disregarded, Wu Yan had thatched the roofs, fortified the defenses, and repaired the walls of his city, and he had forged and restored armor and weapons to be ready for whatever might come. When Wang Jun's soldiers had reached Jianping during their invasion of Wu, they had realized that Wu Yan had been expecting them and had already prepared to hold out against them. Since it would not be easy to take Jianping, they had not dared to assault it, but had simply passed it by and continued downriver. And all this time, Wu Yan had been maintaining his post and never daring to give it up. This was why Emperor Wu had been compelled to send an army to come and subdue the loyalists in the region.

When Wu Yan received this report of the arrival of the Jin army, he summoned his subordinates and discussed things with them. "The cruel brigands of Jin, flaunting their strength, indulged their senseless ambitions and did violence to our state. All of us come from families which have accepted our lord's pay for generations; who among us does not wish to repay our debts to our sovereign? Though the altars of state have been toppled and this enemy army has arrived here, I will never turn my back on the state. Our duty is to avenge ourselves against them; let us devote our full efforts to defend this place."

Wu's Administrator of Xiangdong, Teng Tiao, advised Wu Yan, "The Jin army is counting on their superior numbers to overawe us into submission. They have only just arrived here, and thinking that Jianping is a small city in a cramped region, they will surely not be concerned about us. Thus we should take advantage of the fact that they have not yet had time to prepare themselves here by attacking them at once. We can certainly claim an initial victory over them, and after we have defeated them once, Jianping is strong enough for us to hold out against them. Eventually we will be able to send agents to establish contact with the loyalists in the far south at Guangzhou, and then we can occupy several commandaries and restore the state together. That would be a great success."

Wu Yan agreed with him, and he prepared his army to march out of the city to oppose the Jin army.


Wu Yan girded himself in armor, put on his helmet, arrayed his troops in clear formations, grasped a spear in one hand and wielded a halberd in the other, mounted a tall horse, and rode out to lead an army to battle. As they approached, they heard three rolls of the drum and saw that the Jin army had been split into two wings.

From the front of the Jin army formation, flanked by banners, emerged Xiahou Jun. He crowned his head with a golden helmet, he wore an embroidered coat over a suit of scaled armor, he carried a great blade so massive it could chop off a horse's head in one stroke, he sat atop a horse that dashed about faster than a dragon, and hanging from his side was a quiver of wolf-fang arrows. Behind him, commanding the Jin army, was the commander Jia Mo, who was dressed in a robe of flying fish embroidery, wore a headdress bound in gold, and displayed a coiled-dragon jade at his waist. To either side of Jia Mo were Xin Ran and Li Wei, who commanded the two wings of the army.

From atop his horse, Xiahou Jun brandished his whip at Wu Yan and shouted to him, "Our lord of Jin wishes to extend his benevolence and noble spirit to all and bring the whole realm under the same family. Those who submit to him can be sure they will receive fair treatment and great employment. Sir, why do you insist on this wayward course?"

Wu Yan called back, "Our sovereign had committed no crime which called for his punishment, nor did your state have any personal grudge against him. Why then did you invade us? Besides, all of us come from families which have accepted the pay of Wu for generations. We intend to uphold our duty and defend this city, for we have never received permission to presumptuously give up these walls and moats to someone else. There's no need for further words."

Then Wu Yan beat his horse and rushed towards the Jin army, while on the other side Jin's General Who Routs The Enemy, Xin Ran, hefted his blade and spurred his horse forward from the right wing to meet the challenge. These two generals soon clashed between the two armies, spear against spear and blade against blade; their horses pranced about one another as they closed for bout after bout. For nearly two hours they struggled against one another, without any clear winner.

Jin's General Who Resists The Enemy, Li Wei, saw that his companion Xin Ran had not yet been able to subdue the Wu commander. So he too whipped his horse forward and left his place before the left wing to join the fight. Wu Yan was now flanked on either side, and though he twirled his spear to keep both attackers at bay, there was not a single person in the Wu army who did not fear for his life.

Then suddenly, while they were still fighting, there gradually arose a great tumult from the rear of the Jin army. For suddenly a separate Wu force had appeared from behind them, led by one man on horseback: the Administrator of Xiangdong and native of Wuxing commandary, Teng Tiao. Faced with enemy forces on both sides, the Jin soldiers became uncertain. Their formation soon became loose and disordered, and their discipline broke down. Jia Mo, who after all was more a civil official than anything and had little experience in warfare, quickly lost his courage at this unexpected threat; he took to his horse and was one of the first to flee the field.

The sight of their commander quitting the battle caused a general panic among the Jin soldiers, who now began to scatter. Xiahou Jun called on the soldiers to halt, but he could not stop the stampede. However, determined not to give up, he rushed to the rear of the Jin army to organize a resistance against Teng Tiao's attack.

When Li Wei saw what was happening with the Jin army, he was too distracted to fight clearly. Wu Yan soon speared him in the left shoulder, and Li Wei fled back into the Jin formation. Xin Ran had already broken off to try to help stop the rout, but when his wing of the army refused to stop their retreat, he fled along with them. Wu Yan did not pursue him, but beat his horse to lead his own troops to help Teng Tiao against Xiahou Jun. Xiahou Jun saw that he could not hope to stand against both these forces, so he abandoned the field to go report to Jia Mo.

Thus the Wu army had won the battle, and they pursued the fleeing Jin soldiers, who offered no resistance but simply fled for their lives. The road soon became filled with dead and wounded, and the area was filled with the cry of their mournful wails. The Jin troops fled for more than thirty li, leaving ten to twenty thousand dead behind them. Wu Yan pursued them no further, but brought his forces back into Jianping. Jia Mo too set up a new camp for his soldiers.

The next day, Xiahou Jun tried to fight another battle, but he was routed and put to flight by Wu Yan's skillful maneuvers. And over the following days, though Xin Ran and the others too repeatedly offered battles, they could not gain a victory. Eventually they admitted that Wu Yan and Teng Tiao could not quickly be subdued with the forces they had on hand. So Jia Mo too wrote a petition asking for reinforcements and sent a messenger to travel day and night back to Luoyang, who arrived within a few days.


Emperor Wu was about to attend court when the Yellow Gate servants brought him the two petitions from the commanders Luo Shang and Jia Mo. The petitions reported that the Wu generals Lu Yan and Wu Yan were remaining loyal to their original duties by maintaining a heavy defense of Guangzhou and Jianping, that both Jin commanders had suffered defeats with the loss of generals and soldiers, and that both were begging for more reinforcements in order to subdue these threats.

When Emperor Wu read their petitions, his heart became nervous and uncertain. At once he assembled his civil and military officials and discussed the matter with them. "These remnant Wu ministers are occupying Guangzhou and Jianping against us and refusing to submit to our authority. We shall have to send more troops south now. A greater expeditionary army will be needed to bring these foes to heel. Gentlemen, what are your suggestions?"

Zhang Hua stepped forward and said, "The reason these Wu generals cannot bear to surrender to us is simply because they want to prove their full loyalty to their state as dutiful subjects. Such righteous leaders will never submit to raw force. But their nominal master is none other than Sun Hao, who has already surrendered to us and is present here at the capital. Why don't we order him to write a letter calling on these two commanders to heed his will and submit to Jin? Lu Yan and Wu Yan are wise fellows and faithful servants, so when they see this letter from their old sovereign, they will certainly come and surrender to us. Why should we insist upon further fighting, which will only harm our mandate?"

Emperor Wu was delighted to hear this advice, and he immediately ordered his officials to summon Sun Hao to court. When Sun Hao arrived, Emperor Wu said to him, "The Wu generals occupying Guangzhou and Jianping are resisting our rule and cannot bring themselves to submit. Would you be willing to bring them over to our side?"

"It would be a simple matter," replied Sun Hao. "Those two have always treasured loyal and righteous conduct, but since even I have already surrendered to you, why should they do any less? Just let me write a letter explaining the situation to them and commanding them to give in, and they will surely heed my orders. There will be no further need for you to resort to arms."

Emperor Wu was overjoyed, and he ordered Sun Hao to go back to his residence and write the letter, furnishing him with writing materials. After Sun Hao had finished, he first had it sent to Emperor Wu for his review. Then it was sent out with messengers to be shown to Wu Yan at Jianping and Lu Yan at Guangzhou.

The letter arrived at Jianping first. When it was brought to Wu Yan, he saluted the messenger, then broke the seal and read it.


This is what the letter said:

"In my conduct as a sovereign, I lacked virtue. Heaven refused to support me, nor were the times in my favor. The power of my army and the strength of my people were both exhausted. These were the reasons why I have submitted to the mandate of the great Jin court.

"Recently, gentlemen, I have heard that you are still insisting on holding out in your isolated cities. I appreciate that you wish to remain steadfast and earnest in your duties and feel deep shame for the loss of the state. Yet why must you insist upon killing and harming so many with your actions, snuffing out lives and covering the ground with corpses? My generals, you have more than proved your full loyalty. I am the one who was at fault, not you. Besides, I am not worthy of your support, and I have already given up the state. Who then are you fighting for?

"Do not suppose that you have any chance of success. Your struggle will fail in the end, and you shall be remembered as traitors. After all, even the combined forces of Shu in the west and all of Wu were still not strong enough to resist the might of the north. How then can you ever expect to prevail against a massive state with only the resources of Guangzhou and Jianping to sustain you?

"Gentlemen, if you truly wish to prove your loyal hearts, then on the day that you receive this letter, I command you to roll up your armor and set out for Luoyang. Spare the children of the realm from further bloodshed and give rest to the common people. Thus may you demonstrate your kindness and your regard.

"By the hand of the Marquis Who Heeds The Mandate and former sovereign of Wu, Sun Hao, on this day of the eighth month of the first year of Taikang (280)."


When he realized what he was reading, Wu Yan slowly burst into tears. Upon finishing, he turned to his subordinates with tears in his eyes and said, “Since the lord of Wu has sent us this letter, how can we not surrender? Who is left for us to defend this place for?”

Wu Yan sent a messenger to bring Sun Hao’s letter to Jia Mo’s camp, along with his own notice that the letter should be forwarded to Lu Yan, Wang Yi, and the other loyalists in Guangzhou. Wu Yan pledged that as soon as they recognized the handwriting, they too would cease their resistance and come north to surrender, and then Wu Yan and his forces too would set aside their armor and submit. Jia Mo was overjoyed to learn this, and he sent a messenger to ride a swift horse through the night to bring the letter to Lu Yan and the others.

When Jia Mo’s messenger arrived at the Wu garrison at the Chen Ranges, he presented Sun Hao’s letter and a letter from Wu Yan as well. Zhuge Shen, Zhou Chu, and the others all began to weep as they read these words, wiping their tears away on their sleeves. They sent Bo Feng on ahead to bring the letters to Lu Yan in Guangzhou.

Lu Yan, Teng Xiu, Wang Yi, and the other leaders were in the middle of a discussion when Bo Feng suddenly arrived from the front. He handed over the letters to them and explained the situation. The leaders all dashed forward to see the letters, and they buried their faces in their hands and bitterly wept as they learned the terrible news. But there was nothing left to be done.

Lu Yan mustered all the men and horses under his command, then led them north to join Zhou Chu at the others at the Chen Ranges. Together they all continued north along the main road through Changsha. Upon reaching Jianping, Wu Yan and Teng Tiao led their forces to join them as well, and the whole host marched north until they arrived at Luoyang. Once in the capital, the loyalists went to see their former lord and performed obeisance to him, and they confirmed their submission to Jin.

Thus were Jianping and Guangzhou finally pacified. Jia Mo, Luo Shang, and the other Jin generals remained in these regions for some time longer in order to calm the people there, then brought their armies back to Luoyang as well and appeared in court to report the success of their mission. Emperor Wu was delighted, and he distributed heavy rewards among the officers and soldiers. He also promoted the various generals from the campaign, and they all came to thank him.

Even now, Emperor Wu was still curious about what had led to the downfall of Wu. So while meeting with Wu Yan, he asked him, “What was it that brought Wu to its knees? Was it that its lord was bereft of benevolence? Or perhaps that his servants were lacking in intelligence?”

“The lord of Wu was a talented hero,” retorted Wu Yan, “and his chief ministers were wise and worthy men.”

Emperor Wu laughed, saying, “If it was as you claim, then Wu would not have fallen.”

Wu Yan declared, “It is the will of Heaven alone which measures the life of states; those it favors will rise, and those it curses will fall. Mortal efforts cannot stop Heaven’s decree.”

Emperor Wu praised this noble response.

Though their struggle was futile, history never forgot the struggles of Wu Yan and Lu Yan on behalf of their state. Even centuries later during the Song dynasty, when the Duke of Ye, Kou Zhun, was demoted and exiled to the far south to serve as Household Director of Leizhou, he paid his respects to the spirits of Wu Yan and Lu Yan at their shrines when he was passing through Jianping and Guangzhou.


At the shrine of Wu Yan, he left this poem:

Hitching my horse at this place

I turn my gaze upon Jianping

Recalling the resistance of Wu Yan

His struggle to maintain his city.

Many were the servants of Wu

Loyal to their lord in their own ways

Yet whom among them could compare

To the crimson heart of the General?


And at the shrine of Lu Yan and of Lu Xuan, this was his offering:

This lonely servant, in exile

Sentenced to the south of Chen

Reminiscing on good and loyal subjects

I cannot stop the flow of tears.

If only all the generals of Wu

Had been the peers of these cousins Lu

The Southland and all its strongholds

Would never have been lost.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
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Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Fornadan » Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:56 am

This story is great, but also completely bonkers
Translations from the Book of Jin:
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