The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:43 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:
Han wrote:
Sure. But seldom military ranks.

Thats not what I said. Im saying Liu Bei would not have rejected Ma Chao in the first place not because 'he could not afford to do so' but because of 'Ma Chao skill and ability'. Xu Jing I will give but his appointment came after Liu Bei became Emperor and political support would be important. The appointment for the 4 generals(yes not 5) came after King of Hanzhong, not Emperor of Shu Han.

Its Zhao Yun but again not because of political factors.

Its because Zhao Yun merits and experience as CIC were lower than Guan Yu(killed Yan Liang/CIC in Xu/rescued Liu Bei/rescued Liu Bei in Bowang), Zhang Fei(CIC in Xu/CIC of reinforcment/destroyed Zhang He), Ma Chao(CIC of the rebellion against Cao Cao/ambushed Cao Cao/ambushed Xiahou Yian/frightened ChengDu into submission), Huang Zhong(vanguard in Sichuan/slayed Xiahou Yuan).


Military ranks were used for "come, this guy joined us", for HR, for sending signals, for dealing with court anger and so on.

We don't know Liu Bei's personal feelings towards Ma Chao and his abilities, I imagine he rated him but even if he thought Ma Chao was poor he had to take him. You say the 4 and mention it elsewhere in your post but where is that from? First time I have heard the 5 tigers came from that, usually I hear it is from Liu Shan's 5.

That and political factors.


Thats false. I dont even know what HR or court anger means. The only time ranks are given for sending signals are the domestic ones. Military ranks not so as those came with actually power[mostly]. The only exception in Liu Bei camp was Mi Zhu AFAIK.

We do know actually. According to Ma Chao SGZ.

The Former Lord sent a man to receive Ma Chao and Ma Chao’s troops reached the walls of the city. Those within the city were alarmed and Liu Zhang surrendered immediately. The Former Lord assigned Ma Chao General who Pacifies the West, administering Linju and extended his former enfeoffment as Marquis of Duting. The Former Lord became King of Hanzhong and assigned Ma Chao General of the Left, with insignia bestowed. In the year of Zhangwu [221], he was promoted to the role of General of Chariots and Cavalry, and Governor of Liangzhou, with enfeoffment as Marquis of Fengxiang. The edict decreed: “We have few virtues to speak of. We have succeeded to the throne and consecrate the imperial clan temples. Cao Cao and his son have committed countless crimes in their time and deserve to come to judgement. For this We are pained with bitter hatred. All within the Seas are angry; they hope to restore legitimacy and return to the basics. Even the Di and Qiang are willing to follow; even the northern barbarians are capable of admiring the great cause. Your trustworthiness is famed throughout the northern lands and your martial prowess is famed throughout this age. Hence the task is bestowed on you and We hope that you can exercise the spirit of a tiger in managing the ten thousand mile lands and caring for the pains of the people. You should propagate the teachings of the Court, maintain in peace the lands far and near, somberly administer rewards and punishment to extend the fortunes of the Han and be worthy of All Under Heaven.”


'Your martial prowess is famed throughout this age'.

Because the 5 Tigers is a ROTK thing and not a historical thing. IIRC the award thing came after the conquest of Sichuan when the four are given the ranks of North,Left,Right and Rear. In history these 4 generals were also given the same rank and at the same time. And eventually these 4 generals were also posthumously honoured which I mentioned below already.

And these 4 plus Zhao Yun were known as the 5 Tigers because of their historical fame, ranking[ occupy same section] and fictional embellishment
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Elitemsh » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:34 pm

Han wrote:It goes both ways. Personalities aside, would you deny he was held in extremely high regard by pretty much everyone that comment on his generalship skill and martial prowess? Thoroughly outnumbered excluding his fight against Cao Cao. His loss to Xiahou Yuan was ultimately because Xiahou Yuan massacred the ethnic minorities and Ma Chao was surrounded at all sides with no secure power base. Lü Meng also didnt fight at Jing but the destruction of Guan Yu is credited to him. Ma Chao presence sped up the fall of Chengdu. He should receive some credit for this. At Hanzhong he had no [recorded] accomplishment. Not caring about rank? Come on thats silly and you know it. Prestige and status mattered alot in Han China. Huang Zhong fought for less than a decade. And Zhao Yun wasnt even acknowledged as a proper general or given a nobility rank even AFTER Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han. Wei Yan died to late and was never CIC other than that time he sneaked behind to buy horses and encounter Wei forces on his way back.


Ma Chao had ability for sure and some impressive accomplishments when he was independent. Ma Chao may have sped up the fall of Cheng Du but it's debatable how much since at that time Liu Bei already had the place surrounded. A small amount of credit because bottom line is he didn't fight. Huang Zhong, Zhang Fei Zhao Yun, even Liu Feng deserve much more credit as far as I'm concerned because they risked tooth and nail fighting at the front. I don't place as much emphasis on rank as you do. Huang Zhong fought very bravely for Liu Bei in his two major campaigns, Zhao Yun stuck with him in some of the most miserable times for Liu Bei. Saving his wife and son during the most horrible defeat, helping governing Jing for years, conquering territories during Yi campaign, publically suggesting good proposals, protecting Han Zhong. Obviously I don't need to talk about Guan and Zhang's contributions. Ma Chao shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath when it comes to Shu generals. Liu Bei was just the last guy he sought refuge under. Wei Yan did fight at Yi and governed Han Zhong setting up that solid defence system. Far more than Ma Chao for Shu. Ma Chao wasn't really a Shu general that's why I say he doesn't deserve his place there.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:01 pm

Elitemsh wrote:
Han wrote:It goes both ways. Personalities aside, would you deny he was held in extremely high regard by pretty much everyone that comment on his generalship skill and martial prowess? Thoroughly outnumbered excluding his fight against Cao Cao. His loss to Xiahou Yuan was ultimately because Xiahou Yuan massacred the ethnic minorities and Ma Chao was surrounded at all sides with no secure power base. Lü Meng also didnt fight at Jing but the destruction of Guan Yu is credited to him. Ma Chao presence sped up the fall of Chengdu. He should receive some credit for this. At Hanzhong he had no [recorded] accomplishment. Not caring about rank? Come on thats silly and you know it. Prestige and status mattered alot in Han China. Huang Zhong fought for less than a decade. And Zhao Yun wasnt even acknowledged as a proper general or given a nobility rank even AFTER Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han. Wei Yan died to late and was never CIC other than that time he sneaked behind to buy horses and encounter Wei forces on his way back.


Ma Chao had ability for sure and some impressive accomplishments when he was independent. Ma Chao may have sped up the fall of Cheng Du but it's debatable how much since at that time Liu Bei already had the place surrounded. A small amount of credit because bottom line is he didn't fight. Huang Zhong, Zhang Fei Zhao Yun, even Liu Feng deserve much more credit as far as I'm concerned because they risked tooth and nail fighting at the front. I don't place as much emphasis on rank as you do. Huang Zhong fought very bravely for Liu Bei in his two major campaigns, Zhao Yun stuck with him in some of the most miserable times for Liu Bei. Saving his wife and son during the most horrible defeat, helping governing Jing for years, conquering territories during Yi campaign, publically suggesting good proposals, protecting Han Zhong. Obviously I don't need to talk about Guan and Zhang's contributions. Ma Chao shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath when it comes to Shu generals. Liu Bei was just the last guy he sought refuge under. Wei Yan did fight at Yi and governed Han Zhong setting up that solid defence system. Far more than Ma Chao for Shu. Ma Chao wasn't really a Shu general that's why I say he doesn't deserve his place there.


Surrounded for more than 1 year btw. And they were still holding on. And Lü Meng never fought on the front lines against Guan Yu so he doesnt deserve credit? :wink: The fact that Ma Chao sped up Liu Zhang surrender means that many troops and civillians from both sides would be spared from further bloodshed. Also, Liu Bei would have the opportunity to quicky consolidate his gains in case of further attack from Cao Cao and Zhang Lu. Governence and domestic advice are not good ways or reasonings to judge generalship. Funny thing is both Guan Yu and Huang Zhong were never Shu generals in the first place. Most of Liu Bei early followers were not Shu Han generals too. Also, neither me nor your opinions really matter. What matters is Liu Bei thoughts.

And the fact is, Zhao Yun was never made an official general. Most of his titles before Zhuge Liang rise was randomly made ranks created by Liu Bei out of thin air. Heck even after Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han, Zhao Yun was never acknowledged as a noble. Not even a 'Gate marquis'. This shows that Zhao Yun was never considered the equal of Ma Chao and Zhang Fei who were both given the highest honours in Liu Bei army after Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han.

And frankly speaking, ranks, titles, prestige etc etc were serious business back then AFAIK. You shouldnt just dismiss it so casually.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:40 pm

Han wrote:

Thats false. I dont even know what HR or court anger means. The only time ranks are given for sending signals are the domestic ones. Military ranks not so as those came with actually power[mostly]. The only exception in Liu Bei camp was Mi Zhu AFAIK.


That defectors got high ranks including military? It was a common practise. HR is human resources and in essence means people management, court anger is when a miliatry figure needs to stem court criticism so takes a rank hit.

We do know actually. According to Ma Chao SGZ. SGZ quote


'Your martial prowess is famed throughout this age'.


We know what Liu Bei said in public proclamations as part of his political and HR management of the Ma Chao situation. He was not going to say, under the circumstances, "and your record is a bit hit and miss, I don't trust you". Liu Bei was going to big up what was a star addition and send a message, like the rank, to Ma's supporters, to Wei and to the Qiang. That is different from his actual views

Because the 5 Tigers is a ROTK thing and not a historical thing. IIRC the award thing came after the conquest of Sichuan when the four are given the ranks of North,Left,Right and Rear. In history these 4 generals were also given the same rank and at the same time. And eventually these 4 generals were also posthumously honoured which I mentioned below already.

And these 4 plus Zhao Yun were known as the 5 Tigers because of their historical fame, ranking[ occupy same section] and fictional embellishment


Fair enough, I see where your coming from
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:36 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:
Han wrote:

Thats false. I dont even know what HR or court anger means. The only time ranks are given for sending signals are the domestic ones. Military ranks not so as those came with actually power[mostly]. The only exception in Liu Bei camp was Mi Zhu AFAIK.


That defectors got high ranks including military? It was a common practise. HR is human resources and in essence means people management, court anger is when a miliatry figure needs to stem court criticism so takes a rank hit.

We do know actually. According to Ma Chao SGZ. SGZ quote


'Your martial prowess is famed throughout this age'.


We know what Liu Bei said in public proclamations as part of his political and HR management of the Ma Chao situation. He was not going to say, under the circumstances, "and your record is a bit hit and miss, I don't trust you". Liu Bei was going to big up what was a star addition and send a message, like the rank, to Ma's supporters, to Wei and to the Qiang. That is different from his actual views

Because the 5 Tigers is a ROTK thing and not a historical thing. IIRC the award thing came after the conquest of Sichuan when the four are given the ranks of North,Left,Right and Rear. In history these 4 generals were also given the same rank and at the same time. And eventually these 4 generals were also posthumously honoured which I mentioned below already.

And these 4 plus Zhao Yun were known as the 5 Tigers because of their historical fame, ranking[ occupy same section] and fictional embellishment


Fair enough, I see where your coming from


Again it wasnt, the only time Liu Bei gave a high military rank to a surbodinate who was not given authority as a general was Mi Zhu. Even the Xu Jing example you use was a domestic rank.

By record are you referring to his generalship skill or crazy personality? Liu Bei himself shouldnt be criticising anyone win loss record considering that he had his ass handed to himself for most of his first 2 decades of his life.

Anyway, Liu Bei was definitely hyping up the apointment. But whats not pure hype is the fact that Ma Chao was equal to Zhang Fei in military rank post Guan Yu and when Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:18 pm

Han wrote:Again it wasnt, the only time Liu Bei gave a high military rank to a surbodinate who was not given authority as a general was Mi Zhu. Even the Xu Jing example you use was a domestic rank.


I do admit when I think Shu and ranks for defections, I more think Xiahou Ba and Jiang Wei. Wang Ping was promoted from colonel to general on surrendering, Pang De was offered rank due to his connections by Guan Yu. I was more thinking on those lines but on the Mi Zhu one, Jian Yong also held miliatry rank as did Sun Qian

By record are you referring to his generalship skill or crazy personality? Liu Bei himself shouldnt be criticising anyone win loss record considering that he had his ass handed to himself for most of his first 2 decades of his life.


Former. One doesn't have to be a good miliatry commander to decide if another general is good. However that wasn't really my point

Anyway, Liu Bei was definitely hyping up the apointment. But whats not pure hype is the fact that Ma Chao was equal to Zhang Fei in military rank post Guan Yu and when Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han


Sure. That could be because that was politically the correct decision to make given Ma Chao's status, Qiang connections, history with Wei and recent defection.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby wk123 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:02 pm

For me, I see Ma Chao as a Richard Sherman-type where just his presence deters opponents from attacking towards his direction.

ie Sherman's stats are not that great, but everybody knows he is one of the best.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:10 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:
Han wrote:Again it wasnt, the only time Liu Bei gave a high military rank to a surbodinate who was not given authority as a general was Mi Zhu. Even the Xu Jing example you use was a domestic rank.


I do admit when I think Shu and ranks for defections, I more think Xiahou Ba and Jiang Wei. Wang Ping was promoted from colonel to general on surrendering, Pang De was offered rank due to his connections by Guan Yu. I was more thinking on those lines but on the Mi Zhu one, Jian Yong also held miliatry rank as did Sun Qian

By record are you referring to his generalship skill or crazy personality? Liu Bei himself shouldnt be criticising anyone win loss record considering that he had his ass handed to himself for most of his first 2 decades of his life.


Former. One doesn't have to be a good miliatry commander to decide if another general is good. However that wasn't really my point

Anyway, Liu Bei was definitely hyping up the apointment. But whats not pure hype is the fact that Ma Chao was equal to Zhang Fei in military rank post Guan Yu and when Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han


Sure. That could be because that was politically the correct decision to make given Ma Chao's status, Qiang connections, history with Wei and recent defection.


So common practice but Liu Bei army did it 4 times only ok. Xiahou Ba was highly promoted because he had close ties with the Imperial family and the Xiahou clan was one of the most powerful clans from the beginning of Cao Cao rise in both domestic and military affiats. Jiang Wei was because Zhuge Liang loved him. Wang Ping I will give but that came during a middle of a long campaign spanning months where encouraging defections and weaknesses would be important. Excluding the connections, Pang De was also encouraged to defect through ranks because he was also acknowledged by the Han court as a nobility. So basically these examples werent just 'ranks for defections' and shouldnt be chalk up as such. In reality all of these individuals you mentioned were promotoed/appointed not just because of their defection but mainly their reputation and relationships with the higher ups.

Sure. But it would be hypocritical.

And his generalship skill, martial prowess, Empire-wide reputation, unification of the ethnic minorities for a short period of time, acknowledged as a noble, ambushed Cao Cao and defeated Xiahou Yuan once and etc etc. Also, his defection wasnt 'recent' it came 5yrs plus ago.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Elitemsh » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:05 pm

Han wrote:Surrounded for more than 1 year btw. And they were still holding on. And Lü Meng never fought on the front lines against Guan Yu so he doesnt deserve credit? :wink: The fact that Ma Chao sped up Liu Zhang surrender means that many troops and civillians from both sides would be spared from further bloodshed. Also, Liu Bei would have the opportunity to quicky consolidate his gains in case of further attack from Cao Cao and Zhang Lu. Governence and domestic advice are not good ways or reasonings to judge generalship. Funny thing is both Guan Yu and Huang Zhong were never Shu generals in the first place. Most of Liu Bei early followers were not Shu Han generals too. Also, neither me nor your opinions really matter. What matters is Liu Bei thoughts.

And the fact is, Zhao Yun was never made an official general. Most of his titles before Zhuge Liang rise was randomly made ranks created by Liu Bei out of thin air. Heck even after Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han, Zhao Yun was never acknowledged as a noble. Not even a 'Gate marquis'. This shows that Zhao Yun was never considered the equal of Ma Chao and Zhang Fei who were both given the highest honours in Liu Bei army after Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han.

And frankly speaking, ranks, titles, prestige etc etc were serious business back then AFAIK. You shouldnt just dismiss it so casually.


Lu Meng example is an odd one to give. He planned pretty much that entire campaign. Of course he deserves massive credit. Ma Chao didn't plan Yi or Han Zhong. Ma Chao may have sped up the surrender but we don't know by how much. What we know is Ma Chao just came to Liu Bei because he had nowhere else to go. From that point all he did was be paired with Zhang Fei (maybe because he wasn't trusted to be alone) and made to retreat. Then he dies a few years later. When it comes to service to Liu Bei or his cause you've got to admit there's not much to admire about Ma Chao. The other four had all their best accomplishments under Liu Bei. Furthering his cause through blood, sweat and tears.

Doesn't really matter. Liu Bei used him a lot. Put him at the front in his campaigns and he did the job. He led the reinforcements and conquered territories along his own marching route to Yi. In terms of fighting and commanding, only Zhang Fei and Liu Bei did more in that campaign. Han Zhong was a skirmish but since he's met with Cao's van it obviously means he's right at the front along with Huang Zhong. If Liu Bei didn't think the guy could fight and lead troops he wouldn't be in the most dangerous place a person be.

I place more emphasis on how someone is utilised and where they're assigned not on rewards and titles.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:07 pm

Elitemsh wrote:
Han wrote:Surrounded for more than 1 year btw. And they were still holding on. And Lü Meng never fought on the front lines against Guan Yu so he doesnt deserve credit? :wink: The fact that Ma Chao sped up Liu Zhang surrender means that many troops and civillians from both sides would be spared from further bloodshed. Also, Liu Bei would have the opportunity to quicky consolidate his gains in case of further attack from Cao Cao and Zhang Lu. Governence and domestic advice are not good ways or reasonings to judge generalship. Funny thing is both Guan Yu and Huang Zhong were never Shu generals in the first place. Most of Liu Bei early followers were not Shu Han generals too. Also, neither me nor your opinions really matter. What matters is Liu Bei thoughts.

And the fact is, Zhao Yun was never made an official general. Most of his titles before Zhuge Liang rise was randomly made ranks created by Liu Bei out of thin air. Heck even after Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han, Zhao Yun was never acknowledged as a noble. Not even a 'Gate marquis'. This shows that Zhao Yun was never considered the equal of Ma Chao and Zhang Fei who were both given the highest honours in Liu Bei army after Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han.

And frankly speaking, ranks, titles, prestige etc etc were serious business back then AFAIK. You shouldnt just dismiss it so casually.


Lu Meng example is an odd one to give. He planned pretty much that entire campaign. Of course he deserves massive credit. Ma Chao didn't plan Yi or Han Zhong. Ma Chao may have sped up the surrender but we don't know by how much. What we know is Ma Chao just came to Liu Bei because he had nowhere else to go. From that point all he did was be paired with Zhang Fei (maybe because he wasn't trusted to be alone) and made to retreat. Then he dies a few years later. When it comes to service to Liu Bei or his cause you've got to admit there's not much to admire about Ma Chao. The other four had all their best accomplishments under Liu Bei. Furthering his cause through blood, sweat and tears.

Doesn't really matter. Liu Bei used him a lot. Put him at the front in his campaigns and he did the job. He led the reinforcements and conquered territories along his own marching route to Yi. In terms of fighting and commanding, only Zhang Fei and Liu Bei did more in that campaign. Han Zhong was a skirmish but since he's met with Cao's van it obviously means he's right at the front along with Huang Zhong. If Liu Bei didn't think the guy could fight and lead troops he wouldn't be in the most dangerous place a person be.

I place more emphasis on how someone is utilised and where they're assigned not on rewards and titles.


But he never fought on the front lines. :wink: . Isnt that the criteria here? But what we do know was that Liu Zhang immediately surrendered after months mainly because of Ma Chao presence. Generals get paired up ALL the time. The five Wei elites teamed up various times even though they didnt always get along. The other 4 contributed more to Liu Bei enterprise? Maybe? But Ma Chao gave Liu Bei alot of prestige and helped him secure his new powerbase with little bloodshed. Anyway, limiting Ma Chao accomplishments to just under Liu Bei and then use that as the measuring stick of Ma Chao abilities and reputation isnt appropriate and straight up unfair.

I already showed u why it mattered but ok. Did his job? We are comparing generalship. In that case, Changban was a defeat. In Chibi, Zhang Fei was promoted and rewarded with nobility while Zhao Yun received nothing showing he had little contributions. In Sichuan, Liu Bei was the CIC of main force, Huang Zhong and Zhuo Ying(?) were the vanguards of the main force, Pang Tong and Fa Zheng were the main advisors, Zhang Fei was CIC of reinforcement, Zhuge Liang seemed to be the coordinator(?). So no, Zhao Yun did not do 'more' in the campaign than all these guys. The fact that Liu Bei paired him up with Huang Zhong shows that he didnt trust him.(/s).

Its not Ma Chao fault he died too soon to be utillised [by Liu Bei/Zhuge Liang]. Even then, Ma Chao was trusted as the CIC of the Guanxi alliance, which consisted of various ethnic groups and hostile warlords while Zhao Yun was never CIC of anything.
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