Sanguo zhi pinghua
Part A, page 7
Brotherhood Sworn in the Peach Orchard
Xuande sighed: “A real man is supposed to take responsibilities!” They often gathered together and discussed current affairs. They intended to save the masses from misery and suffering, to help the emperor solve urgent problems. They always felt indignant.

The dragon and the tiger are full of righteousness and justice,
Villains and slanderous ministers are startled in their sleep.

One day, Fei told his two brothers: “Nowadays, Yellow Turban rebels are everywhere, robbing people and taking their wives and daughters. If one day they arrive here, I can’t really do anything about it although I am wealthy.” Xuande asked: “Then what should we do?” Fei answered: “How about we ask our magistrate to recruit some righteous soldiers, so that we would not be afraid of the robbers?” Xuande and Lord Guan agreed: “It makes sense.” Immediately, Fei mounted a horse and left for the magistrate of Yan.[1] Soon he arrived at the magistrate’s mansion. He got off the horse. But the doorman stopped them. Fei said: “We are here to discuss important things with the magistrate.” The doorman responded: “Just a second. Let me inform my lord.” Then he took Fei to the hallway, told the magistrate: “There is a person who wants to discuss something with you, my lord.” The magistrate of Yan said: “Bring him in.” Fei followed the doorman entered the hall. The magistrate of Yan seated Fei. Then he asked: “How can I help you, sir?” Fei answered: “Nowadays, Yellow Turban rebels are everywhere. What if they come here and we are not prepared, would they destroy the capital of Yan?” The magistrate of Yan said: “Having said that, there is no money in the treasury, no millet in the storage, and no food to feed soldiers. Who can I appoint to be the leader?” Fei answered: “Although I am only a commoner under your command, I do have a little bit property that can be used to support the soldiers.” The magistrate said: “Then we will be able to recruit some righteous soldiers. Who should I appoint to be the leader?” Fei answered: “I have someone to recommend. His last name is Liu, first name is Bei, style name is Xuande. He is the descendent of Prince Jing of Zhongshan state--Liu Sheng. Xuande has a dragon nose, and phoenix eyes. His ears hung down over the shoulders. And his arms hung down over the knees. He can be the leader.” Then the magistrate of Yan made a command, raised the righteous flag. The righteous army was led by Liu Xuande, followed by Guan Yunchang, Zhang Yide, Mi Fang, Jian Xianhe and Sun Qian. Within a month, they recruited three thousand and five hundred soldiers.

One day, the magistrate of Yan was supervising the troop training and parade with Liu Bei. The magistrate was very glad to see that all the soldiers and officers were strong and powerful. Suddenly someone came to the front gate and reported: “Disaster!”

Valiant soldiers gathered and trained at You Province,
While rebel Yellow Turbans came to commit suicide.

The magistrate of Yan asked: “What disaster?” The spy answered: “Yellow Turban traitors are coming to take over You Province. Now they are only hundreds of kilometers away.” The magistrate asked: “What should we do, the leader of the righteous army?” Xuande answered: “Don’t worry, your majesty. I am willing to lead the troops to defeat the Yellow Turbans.” Immediately, Xuande left the magistrate, led the soldiers, and camped twelve kilometers away from the city.[2]

In the praetorian tent, Xuande asked: “Who have the courage to find out how many enemies are there?” Before he finished the question, Zhang Fei stepped forward, answered: “Fei is willing to go.” Xuande said: “Be careful, my brother!” Then Fei mounted a horse and left the stockade. Before long, Fei came back, got off the horse and reported: “The emperor of Han sent Marshal Huangfu Song with an imperial order to recruit soldiers. The ones who can defeat the Yellow Turban traitors can be appointed to be the vanguards. The ones who can wipe out the Yellow Turban traitors can be awarded with ranks and price. I am telling you, my elder brother: if we stay here, we will only control one province. It would be better if we go to assist the marshal of Han, to contribute for our country, so that we can defeat the enemies in the east and the west, fight over the south and the north. We can make contributions for today, and make tremendous reputation for the future.” Xuande was very excited to hear what Fei said. He went out the stockade to welcome the marshal right away.

The marshal came to the tent and said: “On behalf of the emperor, you will not be accused of recruiting armies. If you can defeat the Yellow Turban rebels, you will be awarded with high rank positions and great price.” Then the marshal granted Xuande a seat. Guan, Zhang and others stood and guarded aside. The marshal glimpsed at extraordinary looks of Xuande, Guan and Zhang. He commented with great joy: “You real heroes will treat the Yellow Turban traitors like straws!” Then the marshal appointed Xuande as the vanguard. Xuande sent out a spy to detect the number of[3] the Yellow Turbans.

SGZ Pinghua page 07










  1. note: Yan was You Province in the Han dynasty.
  2. note: one li equaled 416 meters in the Han dynasty. Here they camped thirty lis away from the city.
  3. note: "the number of" (數目) is actually the end of the sentence in the Chinese text, which appears on page 8 there.

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