Caveat lector: we do not vouch for the historical accuracy of these stories! These are just for fun. We’ve found so many crazy stories recorded (especially included in Pei Songzhi’s notes), that we can’t help but share.
Liu Shan was lost in Hanzhong as a kid!
from Wei Lue, SGZ:33 wrote:When Liu Bei was at Xiaopei and was attacked suddenly by Lord Cao, he abandoned his family and eventually escaped to Jingzhou. Liu Shan was a toddler at that time, and having hid well during the invasion, he wandered westward into Hanzhong, following some strangers and got sold (as a servant) by them.
In the 16th year of Jian’an (AD 211), all was in chaos within the Passes, and a man from Fufeng, called Liu Kuo, migrated into Hanzhong in order to evade the chaos. There he bought Liu Shan, and upon finding out that he was from a good family, he took him in as his own son, and had him take a wife, who bore him a son.
Before Liu Shan was separated from his father, he learnt that his father’s style name was Xuande. There was also a retainer in Liu Bei’s court back then, who had the surname Jian. Now, Mr Jian became a general after Liu Bei took over Yi Province, and was on a mission to Hanzhong and stayed at the official inn there. So Liu Shan went to visit Jian, who interrogated him on what he remembered of his past. Having established Liu Shan’s true identity, Jian was overjoyed and told Zhang Lu about it. And so Zhang Lu had Liu Shan bathed and sent back ceremoniously to Yi Province, and there Liu Bei made him his heir.
Lü Bu, his wife, and Liu Bei
from Yingxiong Ji, SGZ:7 wrote: Lü Bu was respectful of Liu Bei upon meeting with him. … He invited Liu Bei to his tent, and made him sit on his wife's bed, ordering his wife to pay respects to Liu Bei. Then, he feasted Liu Bei and even addressed him as “younger brother”. Seeing that Lü Bu’s words seem deranged, Liu Bei answered “yes, yes” to whatever Lü Bu said, but inside he was upset .
Cao Zhi the crazy host!
from Wei Lue, SGZ:21 wrote:[There was a man called Handan Chun from Yongchuan, whose talents were known to Cao Cao, and who was sent by Cao Cao to visit Cao Zhi.] When Cao Zhi first received Handan Chun, he was greatly pleased, and had him take a seat in the hall; but he didn’t converse with him at first. It was a blazing hot day in the summer, and Cao Zhi ordered his servants to bring water to bathe in. After bathing himself, he applied talcum powder; and leaving his shirt off he did some gymnastic exercises, practised a sword dance, and then recited passages totalling some thousands of words from popular novels and plays. And only after all that, did he address his guest, “What now, Master Handan?”, and at the same time dressing himself properly. After Cao Zhi got appropriately attired, he chatted with Chun on matters such as the creation of the universe, the origins of all things, analyzing the faults and merits of famous men from high antiquity to the present, and then discussed literature, politics, and military matters. … When evening came Chun retired to his own lodgings, and to his own friends he acclaimed Cao Zhi’s talents, naming him “man of heavenly talents”. As the heir has not been chosen yet at that time, Cao Cao had been inclined to choose Cao Zhi, and Chun often praised Cao Zhi’s talents.