|Yellow Turban Bandits|
|…After he cried, schoolteacher Sun told his father: “Don’t worry, father. I received a book from Heaven. It can cure my illness.” Then they went back to the villa. He took a bowl of clean water, cast a spell and drank it. His disease was cured all of a sudden. And his hair and skin were recovered. From then on, people near or far away came to ask him for treatment. And everyone was cured. Schoolteacher Sun received gifts and money worth around 20,000 guans from the patients, and recruited over five hundred apprentices.
Among the apprentices, there was a man named Zhang Jue. One day, he bid farewell to schoolteacher Sun: “I have a mother at home. She is very old. I have no choice but to ask to go and see my mother.” Schoolteacher Sun said: “I will give you a volume of the pharmacopeia when you leave, so you don’t have to come back.” Then Sun shared one volume with Zhang Jue, asking him to cure patients all over the world for free. “You have to obey this rule!”
Zhang Jue left his master and came home. Everywhere he went by, he cured all the patients who came to him for free. Zhang Jue told them: “If you are cured, young men can follow me as apprentices, while seniors are free of charge!” Zhang Jue traveled around, recruited more than 100,000 apprentices. He asked them to write down their names, hometowns, and dates of birth. “When I need you, I will send you an order. Once you see the order, you have to come right away. All the apprentices will be summoned by provinces. If you don’t come when you received the order, you will die. If you don’t follow me, bad luck will come to you!”
Suddenly one day, the Yellow Turban army started their rebellion. Zhang Jue’s orders were passed around everywhere. In a few days, all the apprentices gathered at the Zhangjia villa, which was located 14.5 kilometers further east from Guangning county, Yangzhou. Zhang Jue and his other two brothers gathered in the villa, everybody was exclaiming: “Come up here, our second brother!” The second brother brought four bundles, and unwrapped them. There were all yellow turbans in the bundles. Everyone took a turban and wore it. Zhang Jue addressed to the crowd: “The Han dynasty is over. It is our time. If one day I become the emperor, the greatest contributor will be conferred to the king rank, the second great contributor will be conferred to the marquis rank, and the least ones will be provincial governors.” After the gathering, the rebels did not have armors or metal weapons. They wrapped bodies with layers of cloths and picked up farming tools as weapons. Led by Zhang Jue and the other two, the army of 100,000 took over Yangzhou. After this battle, they armed the army with armors, broadswords, bows, and horses.
On that very day, the rebellions started their riot from Guangning county, Yangzhou. When they passing by a village, they took over the village; when they passing through a county, they took over the county. On their way, they took over countless of regions. Everywhere the rebellions went, the locals followed them with entire families. The people who did not want to follow them were captured or killed. Two third of the Han territory was taken over by the rebellions. Yellow Turban armies gathered over 360,000 soldiers.
Meanwhile, Emperor Ling of Han set up a meeting at the court, gathered officers to discuss: “The Yellow Turban traitors now gathered over 360,000 soldiers. What should we do?” Huangfu Song stepped out and answered: “Your Majesty, if you allow me to do three things, the Yellow Turban traitors will be defeated by themselves.” The emperor asked which three they were. Huangfu answered: “First, set the prisoners, who were accused of conspiring rebellions, gathering in the wood and robbing in cities, free; Second, (set the prisoners, who were accused of) murdered officers, robbed/stole from storages, or hurt people, free; Third, as for the Yellow Turbans, accept the ones, who are willing to take off the yellow turban, to be good people of the state. Otherwise, kill their entire family.” The emperor agreed: “I will send out the pardons as you requested. Prisoners will be set free once the pardons arrive.” Huangfu Song continued: “Currently, the Han army is overnumbered by the Yellow Turban armies. It is not wise to defeat them by engagement. Your Majesty can ask for help outside of the government, and highly reward upper rank officers; appoint an honored marshal, and reward all the soldiers. When a high reward is offered, brave fellows are bound to come forward.” The emperor asked: “who do you think can be the marshal?” Huangfu answered: “If there is someone qualified, you can appoint him marshal; if not, I am willing to take this responsibility.” The emperor said: “Then you will be the marshal.” Next, the emperor gave out treasures and sent 100,000 palace guards to Huangfu Song. Huangfu took the imperial order: “Although I don’t have palace guards anymore, if I need to do something in person, I will do it as simply as possible.” Huangfu Song accepted the marshal’s signet, bid farewell to the emperor and left. At the same time, a poem says:
People who don’t take advantage of the messy situation, are the real heroes who can hold the sky.
There is a man, …