And asked him in front of the hall the whole story.
Military Advisor Zhuge raised his head and looked;
He recognized Zhou Cang.
"You'd better come forward and communicate your name and surname,
And today surrender and submit to the family of Han.
If you utter so much as half a refusal,
I will shatter your body into ten thousand pieces and make you a dead man."
Zhou Cang lifted his face and looked;
He saw the group of generals in great number.
"If you spare what remains of my life and let me live,
I am willing to serve you, even as a stableboy and groom."
Then they let Zhou Cang loose.
He gave his allegiance and bowed to Prince Liu and Lord Guan.
He bowed to Guan and Zhang, the two men.
Then he bowed to the Military Advisor Zhuge Liang,
ProseGuan, Zhang, and Liu Bei, the three men, rested. Their officers, great and small, each set up camp. Without their realizing it, time flew like an arrow. Days and months passed like a shuttle. They sighed that good times pass like a galloping horse under the whip. They thought about the affairs of the world, as evanescent as fallen blossoms and flowing waters. Liu the First Sovereign said, "Already it has been a year since we vanquished the capital Chengdu. Summon my two brothers. Today I shall enfeoff Duke Guan to be Bingjian Prince of Jingzhou, and Zhang Fei Yizi Prince of Langzhou." After he had done with enfeoffing and presenting gifts to the two men, he prepared a feast in honor of the two men, and they had a Great Peace Banquet. In the midst of the banquet Duke Guan said, "Elder brother has occupied the capital Chengdu. At present your troops and horses are many, and you should divide the army into three parts and gather more provisions." The First Sovereign said, "That cannot be. My brothers are like my hands and feet. How could we see each other at any time of day to talk?" The First Sovereign said again, "If you two men want to go, if you can bring down the spirit wall with a shout, then I will let you go. If you cannot shout down the spirit wall, then I will not let you go." Duke Guan said, "I will yell and give it a try." At that time he put on his uniform and armor.
VerseDuke Guan at that time quickly donned his armor
And put on all his general's gear from head to foot.
They led out Red Hare from the stall
And brought over a steel sword, as big as a door leaf.
How was Duke Guan dressed?
He wore chain mail and a red battle robe.
The beard on the lower part of his face was divided into five beak-shaped tufts;
His jeweled sword was enchased with the design of a fabulous beast.
He rode astride an embroidered saddle on a red-haired steed;
Generals like this are rare in this mortal world.
He surely must be a spirit come down from the Palaces of the Ninth Heaven;
His battle-charger puts the fable steed Qiji to shame.
ProseOn his horse with single sword he shouted three times in a row. What should happen but the sound resounded and knocked down the spirit wall.
VerseMilitary Advisor Zhuge was shocked.
Liu the Imperial Uncle fell down in consternation,
But he could only tell them to raise men and horses.
The three bothers each went his own way.
The one who went to Jingzhou was Commander Guan;
The man surnamed Zhang went to Langzhou.
We will only tell about Commander in chief Guan.
He mustered his one hundred thousand troops
And took along the youth Hua Guan Suo.
He also took along his eldest son Guan Ping
And Guan Zhi, Zhou Cang, and Guan San Kai.
The subordinate officers followed at the rear.
ProseLiu Feng said, "Father ordered me to deliver a cartload of gold and pearls and treasure to you, Uncle, to reward your troops." When Duke Guan heard this, he said, "I am grateful for Elder Brother's concern." He summoned Guan Ping and Guan Suo to have an informal feast with the crowd of brothers in the rear hall. At that time they went straight to the rear hall. The brothers sang songs and enjoyed themselves. They drank until they were half drunk and ate five courses. Guan Suo refilled the goblets. First he refilled Guan Ping's, and afterwards he refilled Liu Feng's. Liu Feng said, "Guan Suo, why do you insult me? After my father passes on, the empire will be mine. I surely will be Crown Prince. Why do you insult me?" Guan Suo said, "It won't necessarily come to you to be ruler of the empire. Before you, there first are my father and uncle." The two of them spoke to each other as if they were fighting, shouting out loud. When Duke Guan heard of it, he asked Guan Ping, who then said, "Both of them have violated the rules of decorum." Duke Guan was very angry and said, "Guan Ping, you take the two of them in custody to where the First Sovereign is to explain themselves."
VerseGuan Ping thus instructed said, "Fine,"
Acceding to his father Guan Shouting's request.
He escorted Liu Feng and Guan Suo
And they went out of Jingzhou city.
Mountains were distant and the road far and they set out on their journey.
They came to the gate outside the capital city of Xichuan
And entered through the triple gates.
In Gold Phoenix Hall they saw the enlightened sovereign.
Guan Suo bowed to his uncle, Liu the First Sovereign,
And from the beginning he explained the situation.
When Prince Liu heard it, he felt upset and annoyed.
ProseLü Meng said, "Commander, I have come. Briefly, there is a small matter. At present my ruler, the Prince of Wu's Crown Prince, is just eighteen years old. We know that you, Commander, have a daughter. I have come especially to ask for a marriage." Duke Guan said, "I have only one daughter. It isn't fitting for her to marry into Sun Quan's family. How can he and I be related? I am of a general's family, not suited to be the son of a melon-planter." Military Advisor Lü Meng had no words with which to reply. At that time he said goodbye to Duke Guan and turned around and went out of the building and immediately returned to Jiangdong.
VerseThe military advisor Lü Meng turned around and left;
We will not relate the events of his journey.
He went straight to Sun Quan's throne room,
Where he saw Sun Quan the ruler of Wu.
From the beginning he related what Duke Guan had said;
When the Prince of Wu heard this, he became furious.
"I cannot stand this unreasonable member of the Guan family,
Insulting my family in this way."
The Prince of Wu called up troops and horses
And crossed the Yangtze, intending to be an avenger of injury.
Lu Xun the Brave acted as commander.
"He has led troops here to be an avenger of injury."
He called over Guan Ping.
ProseLiu Feng said, "Your son Guan Suo insulted me. You also sent me under escort to go to my father and explain, and he sent me away to the pass at Mount Beiyin. I cannot return home. So I will suppress your letter to get troops. Just let him hope in vain in Jingzhou." We will not talk about Liu Feng's scheming. We will only talk about Duke Guan waiting in Jingzhou. When the rescue army did not arrive, he said, "Why haven't I heard from them? Why does my elder brother not send out a rescue army?" He wrote another, and again had a soldier take it, and he too disappeared. One after the other he sent off thirteen letters requesting rescue troops, and all were blocked by Liu Feng, and he killed the thirteen men. Duke Guan said, "What's the best thing to do?" Guan Ping said,
VerseWhen Duke Guan saw this, he lamented loudly.
"Hy soldiers, men and horses, are dying of hunger.
Zhou Cang cut his flesh and fainted and died.
The roan horse bearing my sword entered the water.
The rescue army from Xichuan is nowhere to be seen.
How can Prince Liu act like this?
How can he forget that we swore an oath of brotherhood together?
I was in difficulties but he didn't come to help.
The army and horses of the Prince of Wu came and surrounded me.
On my own I cannot fight them back."
His three spirits silently returned to the skies;
ProseZhang Fei said, "Elder brother, where are you going?" Duke Guan said, "I was done in by the Prince of Wu in Jingzhou. He surrounded me below Jade Spring Mountain. I cut my throat and died. I have especially come to appear in a dream to our elder brother." Zhang Fei said, "My subordinate Zhang Da revolted against me in Langzhou. I made the mistake of giving him a beating, and he waited until I was drunk and stabbed me to death. I have also come to appear in a dream to our elder brother. How pathetically the two of us have died."
VerseWhen Duke Guan heard this, his tears fell in streams of pearls.
"We two brothers were wrongly done to death."
The two men waited until after sunset
To appear in a dream to their elder brother and explain the situation.
We will sing no more about the two men waiting below the gate;
We will sing only about Prince Liu the First Sovereign.
Each day he longed so for his two brothers
That he tired of sitting on the throne in the throne room.
ProsePrince Liu said, "It is too much to bear that Liu Feng sent Duke Guan to his doom. Now we must arrest Liu Feng and kill him." The Military Advisor said, "I fear we may frighten him into fleeing. Transmit an imperial command and order him to come. Just say you will hand the empire over to him. When he hears that, he will certainly come." Prince Liu went along with the Military Advisor's advice, and an envoy carrying the imperial command went forward to Mount Beiyin and announced to Liu Feng that he would be given the empire. Liu Feng said, "Truly, if I hadn't used this plot to take care of Duke Guan, how would I ever have gained the empire?"
VerseLiu Feng received the envoy upon his arrival.
"My father the prince will make me the sovereign,
So now then I will go with the envoy."
They went out of the gate securing the defile at Three Passes.
We will not sing anything about their journey on the road.
They marched forward until, looking afar, they saw Xichuan.
They arrived at the capital Chengdu in Xichuan.
He entered the audience chamber and paid his respects to his father the enlightened sovereign.
ProseThe group of generals said, "Uncle, Guan Suo has taken to his bed with illness in the rear hall. He caught malaria, and it will not be long before he will die and perish. These deaths which you, Uncle, report today, whatever you do, don't speak of them to Guan Suo. If he learns of them it will be like adding frost to snow." Jiang Wei said, "When I see Guan Suo in the rear hall, I win just say that no news of him had come through, so I was sent to come and see him." Bao Sanniang said, "Uncle, what you propose is the right thing to do." At that time they went together to the rear hall to see Guan Suo. Guan Suo said, "I have come down with an illness. I cannot greet you properly. I hope that you will not take offense, Uncle. Your coming today is a rare event." Jiang Wei said, "When he hadn't heard anything from you, Prince Liu told me to come see you." Guan Suo said, "I am not yet acclimated to the water and soil. I have been infected by a noxious malarial air, and my illness has entered the critical stage. The chances for an unfortunate outcome outweigh the chances for a good outcome. I do not yet know how it will be." Jiang Wei said, "Guan Suo, you are thin, and the illness is wasting away your body. Your wives cannot bear the wounds of grief." Guan Suo said, "I have taken medicine, but it hasn't been effective. Medical treatment is not able to cure it." Jiang Wei said, "What I ought to do is to transmit your instructions to hang up a placard and summon someone to treat it medically. Even if there should be a good doctor or a marvelous remedy available, you and I would have no way of knowing about it."
VerseWhen Guan Suo heard this, he repeatedly said, "Fine,"
Agreeing to what his uncle Jiang Wei had suggested.
Then he wrote the text of an announcement
And directed that it be hung at the door of his official residence.
For three days after they hung up the placard no one inquired,
When a Daoist adept turned into the street.
He took down the announcement from the door of the official residence,
And a soldier reported this event to the man surnamed Jiang.
It was none other than his teacher who had left his family to become a Daoist.
He had been separated from his teacher for eighteen years.
ProseThe adept said, "Guan Suo, it has been eighteen years since you left. It is fore-ordained that this day I save your life." His teacher took out from his gourd a round medication in his hand. He took a blade of an immortal herb and decocted it in order to wash down the pill. When he took it, his whole body, joints and pores, gave off a fragrant sweat. Guan Suo said, "My body feels refreshed." One after the other he swallowed three doses. The disease receded and he was just as he was in the old days.
VerseThe noble Guan Suo's body was well,
Completely restored to its normal state.
At the head of the front hall they set out a feast
And he entertained his teacher, a man who had left his family to become a Daoist.
He said, "Teacher, do not go.
I will obtain an imperial mandate to sculpt the images of the Three Pure Ones before the hall."
The teacher at that time spoke and said,
At once a mounted courier like a comet entered the city
And reported to the Prince of Wu, the emperor and ruler,
ProseThe Prince of Wu said, "We have lost two engagements in a row." He asked the military advisor Lü Meng, "In this situation, what is the best thing to do?" Lü Meng said, "The best thing would be to have Iron Flag Zeng Xiao. There is no match for him in our area east of the river. If you can get that man to come, he certainly will capture Guan Suo." The Prince of Wu said, "That's so." Immediately he dispatched a man to go get him that very night. Our story will spare you the details. It was reported that Zeng Xiao had arrived, and he met with the Prince of Wu. The Prince of Wu said, "Today I have brought you here solely to capture Guan Suo. Once I've seized control of Xichuan, the empire will all belong to my family to control." Zeng Xiao said, "My lord, do not worry. Tonight it is too late to array our formation, but tomorrow morning with my bare hands I will capture Guan Suo." We will say no more of Iron Flag Zeng Xiao arraying his troops. We will talk instead about Guan Suo instructing his generals. He said, "Rest tonight, and tomorrow our troops will confront the forces of the Prince of Wu. When they have been defeated, our army must pursue them. When they have been driven to the bank of the river, kill all the troops of Wu and do not leave a one."
VerseGeneral Guan Suo issued his orders.
He saw to it that his horses and men were properly arrayed.
They waited until the next day when the sky was bright
And the troops and horses of the Prince of Wu came out of the city gate.
Iron Flag Zeng Xiao acted as commander.
In front of the formation he arrayed his horses and men.
The two men broke apart and separated to either side.
Guan San Kai had been defeated on the field of battle.
ProseGuan Suo said, "Brothers, I seemed to see my father and uncle, and [my father] said to me, 'The hundred kinds of military weapons are all unable to overcome him. Nothing but my great sword will enable you to slay these troops of Wu. Only then will you be able to avenge this grievance for your father.' I asked where the sword was and he said, 'It is in the pool at Jade Spring Mountain. Only when you get that sword will you be able to make the troops of Wu retreat.'" Guan Suo said, "Which one of you men will go and get the sword for me?" Guan Zhi the Hideous said, "I will go get it." Guan Suo said, "How will you go down in the water?" Guan Zhi said, "I can stay under water for three days." Guan Suo said, "In that case, I will give you five hundred troops. Go and fetch the sword for me. Go quickly and return quickly."
VerseGuan Zhi at the echo of a blow to the gong
Led off his five hundred soldiers.
Leaving Guan Suo's camp in front of the mountain,
His entire contingent of men and horses set out on their journey.
When they had gone one li, they went another li;
They marched one stage and then another stage,
ProseGuan Zhi said, "You wait here while I go into the water. If I don't come up again in a day, wait another day for me. The men and horses are not to disperse." The crowd of troops heard the order. Guan Zhi took off his clothes and armor and dressed in his diving gear, instructed the crowd of troops, and then went down into the water. They could not see what happened to him.
VerseHideous Guan Zhi, wasting no time,
Went into the water,
And not a ripple could be seen on the thousand-foot surface of the water.
His body then entered the water to search
While the crowd of troops all waited in front of the mountain.
Great and small, the crowd of officers all bowed to it.
He sacrificed to his father Guan Shouting.
ProseGuan Suo said, "I have mastered my father's brand of swordsmanship and feel ready for the fray. Be prepared, men, to exert your strength with one accord. To sacrifice Mi Zhu and Mi Fang to my father and kill the Prince of Wu will fulfill my lifetime ambition.
PoemI take this newly acquired steel blade in my hand,
Angry that I have not yet been able to assuage my just indignation.
I will capture Lü Meng alive and put him to the sword,
Take Lu Xun alive and imprison him in the cart.
Below the walls of Jingzhou corpses will bestrew the ground;
VerseGuan Suo was in charge of the army and was its commander.
He mustered a million soldiers.
The sound of a heaven-shaking stroke to the gong echoed.
Hideous Guan Zhi acted as vanguard;
On the road ahead leading the army was Guan San Kai,
ProseIron Flag Zeng Xiao said, "Guan Suo, you will be defeated. Do not think that you will only have to fight us today, as though there were no tomorrow. Our troops are not mercenaries and our horses are not borrowed for the occasion." Face to face they bloodied their lips with their curses. First one side and then the other struck up drums and gongs. Suddenly the colored embroidered flags waved. The armies all gave a shout, and the two mounted riders engaged each other.
VerseZeng Xiao then furled his flag,
And Guan Suo flourished the big sword in his hand.
When the sword slashed, the flag parried;
When the flag chopped, the sword protected his body.
Every stroke of the sword was aimed at the throat;
The sword was like a fierce wind blowing fallen leaves,
The flag like dense clouds hiding the light of the sun.
Zan verseWhen the northern dipper looked on,
its stars were bright,
as bright as midday.
But the Red Bird flew away,
Xuan Wu fled;
VerseThey fled to the side of the Yangtze River.
On neither side did the soldiers have an escape route.
Those who went forward died in the river;
The men who brought up the rear died under the sword.
Below the walls of Jingzhou corpses bestrewed the ground;
And molded images of the two brothers Guan and Zhang.
The First Sovereign returned to court.
- ↑ A fictional character, unless he can possibly be connected with Zeng Xia 曾夏, an outlaw active about 242. He is mentioned in Sanguo zhi 60.1393.
- ↑ Ferocious and vindictive star gods who preside over those years in the sexagenary cycle which contain the Heavenly Stem ding.
- ↑ A star god.
- ↑ A star god.
- ↑ Chiliarch, qianhu 千户, and myriarch, wanhu 萬户, were technical terms for military units of, respectively, one thousand and then thousand men during the Yuan Dynasty.