Chapter 4

How Hua Guan Suo was sent away to Yunnan

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 34
Then they brought over Zhou Cang under guard
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,
And he also bowed to the youth Hua Guan Suo.
He placed himself in the service of Yunchang, Guan Shouting.
With his whole heart he followed Commander Guan,
To be a man devoted to his leader and content.
All the gold and other valuables in the city
Were used to reward the troops under Prince Liu's command.
They killed cattle and slaughtered horses in the main hall,
Prepared a feast and poured the wine.
The Han Dynasty gained the capital city Chengdu;
Only then was there peace in the realm.
Guan, Zhang, and Liu Bei, the three men
Took over the five circuits of Xichuan.


Guan, 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.


Duke 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.
Its body is as red as his vermilion tassels.


On 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.


Military 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.
Great and small, the group of officials all came to see them off
Out of the city in Xichuan.
On the point of departure they sent them off with three cups of wine.
They went out Yang Gate in the west and parted from their old friends.
Duke Guan at the echo of a blow to the gong
Led the army, men and horses, to start on the journey.
When they had marched one li they marched another li;
They went one stage and another stage.
We will sing no more about their journey on the road,
Nor will we relate how they met mountains and crossed ranges,
Until looking off, they saw Jingzhou city.
The group of officers, great and small, came from afar to meet them
And escorted them inside the triple gates.
On the drill field they encamped horses and troops.
Duke Guan sat in the conmander's quarters.
Mi Zhu and Mi Fang poured wine
And entertained the Prince of Jingzhou, Commander Guan.
They set up camp at Jingzhou city.
Father and sons, dad and boys, all gathered together;
Each day they enjoyed themselves and drank several rounds.
With a snap of the fingers they had been at Jingzhou for three months,
When what should they see but, up ahead, a soldier come to announce,
"Right now, from the capital Chengdu in Xichuan,
The adopted son Liu Feng has come to the city."
When Duke Guan heard this, he instructed that he be invited in,
Straight to the front of the main hall.

He bowed to his uncle Commander Guan.

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 35
Then from the beginning he explained the situation.


Liu 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."


Guan 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.
"I have no patience with these two enemies.
No longer will they be allowed to stay at court.
The two men both harbor ill will."
Guan Suo was then sent away to Yunnan,
To act as keeper of the pass at Yunnan.
Liu Feng was sent away behind Yinshan,
Also to act as keeper of the defile in front of the pass.
As soon as Prince Liu had given his imperial comnand,
The two men each went and set off on his journey.
We will say no more about Liu Feng going behind the mountain;
We will only sing about Hua Guan Suo.
He received the imperial command and set out on the road.
He came to Jingzhou and saw his father.
"Our sovereign has sent me to Yunnan,
To go to Yunnan and be the keeper of the pass.
He gave me fifty thousand soldiers."
Guan Zhi and Guan San Kai, the two men,
And his three handsome wives he all took along;
Also the twelve fierce generals of Taihang
All went out of Jingzhou city.
At the sound of a blow to the gong he led forth his troops—
Fifty thousand soldiers set out on the road,
Going to Yunnan to hold the pass.
We will sing no more about Guan Suo raising troops and leaving;
We will only sing about Commander Guan
In charge of the garrison at the city of Jingzhou.
Alone he guarded the isolated city, horses and troops.
Duke Guan sat in the commander's quarters
When an arriving messenger came in front of him.
"Now there is the military advisor Lü Meng who has arrived.
He does not presume to come forward and see the general."
Duke Guan at that time directed that he be invited in,
So they led the military advisor to the official hall,
Where he saw Commander in chief General Guan.
From the beginning he explained the situation.


Lü 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.


The 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.
The Prince of Wu rode in the imperial carriage and went in person to attack.
Iron-armed Yan Zhao was the vanguard general,
While Military Advisor Lü Meng protected the ruler.
One hundred three thousand troops and horses
Crossed the river and continued their march, but we will sing no more of this.
They went straight to Jingzhou city;
They bivouacked and set up camp and stationed the troops.
They surrounded Jingzhou city;
In loud voices they called to the people inside,
"If you offer up Jingzhou now in good faith,
We'll let bygones be bygones and discuss it no more.
If you utter so much as a word of refusal,
In less than the time it takes to eat a meal, we'll wipe out the city."
A mounted courier went like a comet into the city.
He reported to Commander Guan,
"Now the troops and horses of the Prince of Wu have arrived.

They challenge us to fight today to decide loser and winner."

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 36
When Duke Guan heard this, he smiled.
"He has led troops here to be an avenger of injury."

He called over Guan Ping.
Zhou Cang the Brave then mustered his army;
He mustered fifty thousand soldiers.
Duke Guan himself acted as general.
The sound of a heaven-shaking blow to the gong rose,
And he led forth fifty thousand soldiers.
In the wild outskirts he camped men and horses.
Duke Guan put on his general's gear.
He rode astride Red Hare;
ed bow [with the tension of] more than four hundred pounds;
On his right side his quiver held one hundred wolf-tooth arrows.
Without a hand touching the saddle he mounted his horse.
His long spear was like a python.
Beside his horse he raised the flag that marked the mouth of his formation,
Pointed at Duke Guan, and cursed.
"You have insulted my prince Sun, the Son of Heaven.
Now today I've come to avenge him.
Stop this chattering and yammering.
Since when did cursing each other settle anything?"
When Duke Guan saw him, he felt angry.
In his hand he took up his big sword and brandished it,
While Lu Xun flourished his spear.
The two men challenged each other to combat to decide loser and winner.
Lu Xun's mount was like the white-faced tiger of Nanshan,
Duke Guan's horse was like a red-bearded dragon.
One skilled general was up against another skilled general;
One founder of a family cursed the founder of another family.
When the sword chopped, the spear came to intercept;
When the spear came, the sword protected the body.
The sword chopping at the throat missed by a fraction;
The spear stabbing at the chest missed by a tad.
Life and fate hung by a hair.
They wanted to be men who won fame and fortune.
The two men fought for thirty rounds
Before, in front of the battle formation, one general lost.
Duke Guan's heroic air had vanished to the skies;
He was not what he used to be in former days.
Duke Guan in front of the battle formation could not beat him back.
He reined in his horse, turned its head, and then made his return.
When Zhou Cang saw this, he felt upset and annoyed
And called up Guan Ping, the eldest son in the family.
The sound of a heaven-shaking blow to the gong echoed.
The two sides killed horses and troops in confusion.
Pulling aside shields, they hacked with their swords;
Upending quivers, they slew generals.
A chop at a helmet and smoke rose rapidly;
The blade of a spear struck armor and sparks shot everywhere.
Men's heads were chopped like bits of melon;
Horses' hooves were sliced like onion slivers.
Fresh blood flowed deep in the low places;
Corpses tripped up the front men in the ranks.
Duke Guan in front of the formation raised his head and saw that
He had lost two-thirds of his men.
He called and said, "Son, stop killing."
He drew back his soldiers and horses and men
And withdrew into the city of Jingzhou,
Where he rested the remaining troops and defeated generals.
Duke Guan sat in the commander's quarters,
Sunk in thought turning ideas over in his head.
"The prowess of my former days is no longer to be seen.
Today I was grievously defeated."
Duke Guan then wrote a letter to his family.
"Immediately go to Xichuan to get rescue troops."
Two soldiers wasted no time.
"Today we will act as couriers."
Then he quickly sealed the family letter
And immediately they went out of Jingzhou city,
Swiftly across the grassy wild outskirts.
On the road they were like wind-blown clouds.
We will say no more of the events of their journey.
Marching forward they looked and saw a mountain forest.
They passed below Mount Beiyin,
When Liu Bei's adopted son Liu Feng blocked their way.
He searched out the letter the soldiers were carrying and read it.
The contents were about going to Xichuan to get rescue troops.
When Liu Feng saw it, he got upset and annoyed
And grabbed the two soldiers.
Then he tore up the family letter
And killed the two couriers.
"Just let Duke Guan hope in Jingzhou.
They won't send out men and horses from Xichuan."


Liu 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,

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 37
"Father, I will go myself." Duke Guan said, "Very well." That very day Guan Ping left Jingzhou. The troops, men and horses, of the Prince of Wu with a great uproar surrounded Jingzhou. Mi Zhu and Mi Fang deceived Duke Guan, offered up Jingzhou, and surrendered to the Prince of Wu. At the four gates troops and horses slaughtered their way inside the walls. Duke Guan and Zhou Cang then fled, leading the remaining troops and defeated generals. They fled straight until they arrived at the base of Jade Spring Mountain. Again the Prince of Wu's troops set out and blocked Duke Guan's men and horses for a day and a night. Duke Guan said, "Zhou Cang, the three armies are all falling over with hunger. I am also hungry." Zhou Cang said, "I will go hunt a mountain beast to assuage your hunger." He went one time but there were no animals at all. He said to himself, "My lord is hungry." He cut from his left leg a piece of flesh and grilled it on the fire until it was done. He went to the center of camp and gave it to Duke Guan to assuage his hunger. After two hours had elapsed he said, "Zhou Cang, I am hungry again." Zhou Cang again went to hunt, but there were no animals at all, and from his right leg he again cut off a piece of flesh. Zhou Cang had not eaten and he fell down in a faint. Duke Guan waited for a long time when what should he see but a soldier who reported, saying, "Zhou Cang is dead." Duke Guan said, "How did he die?" The soldier said, "Because my lord had nothing to eat, he cut flesh from his leg and fainted and died." Just as Duke Guan was lamenting, "What am I to do?" what should he see but the horse Red Hare, bearing his sword, leap into the river. The sword fell into the water.


When 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;
His seven souls mournfully rushed out of the camp.
The Prince of Wu seized his troops and horses
And took control of the city of Jingzhou.
Duke Guan died and returned to the sky.
He led a million mighty spirit soldiers
And went up to the capital Chengdu in Xichuan
To appear in a dream to Prince Liu the sovereign of Han.
As they passed by beneath Mount Beiyin,
Thirteen valiant souls reported to their lord,
"We were all killed by Liu Feng.
We did not reach Xichuan to get the rescue army."
Duke Guan at that time loudly lamented,
"How could I have known that Liu Feng would scheme to injure me?
My wandering soul will go to Xichuan
And appear in a dream to Prince Liu the sovereign of Han."
But when he reached the capital Chengdu in Xichuan,
He ran into his brother Zhang Fei.


Zhang 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."


When 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.
Late that night he returned to his bedroom.
Alone in the palace he thought of his brothers.
"Ever since Guan and Zhang have been gone,
I have been listless here at court."
Just as Prince Liu was pondering in his heart,
Guan and Zhang arrived at the palace gate.
The two men stood in the glow of the lamp.
When they saw their elder brother, tears flowed copiously from their eyes.
"The Prince of Wu surrounded my territory of Jingzhou.
Inside there were no provisions nor were there any troops.
Thirteen letters requesting relief
Were all intercepted by Liu Feng, who killed the couriers.
I perished at Jade Spring.
I have come to the inner court to appear in a dream to my elder brother."
Zhang Fei said, "I died in Langzhou.
My subordinate stabbed me and my fate returned to the clouds.
I hope you will avenge this grievance.
Do not forget that we swore an oath of brotherhood at Peach Spring."
The bereft elder brother Liu Bei saw them in his dreams.
He cried out in his sleep and his dreaming soul was alarmed;
He cried all night until the sky got light.
Then he summoned Zhuge and told him the situation;
From the beginning he told it to Zhuge Liang.
The Military Advisor proceeded to memorialize his sage and enlightened sovereign.
"It is said that 'dreams are what you think in your heart.'
This dream, on this occasion, must surely be true."
Just as the Military Advisor finished speaking,
The usher announced to his enlightened sovereign,
"Now Guan Ping and Zhang Yi have arrived.
They are dressed in deep mourning and are at the door of the audience chamber."
Prince Liu the First Sovereign directed that they be summoned to enter.
The two men in the audience chamber paid their respects to their enlightened sovereign.
"From the beginning we will explain to you the circumstances of the affair."
Prince Liu wept bitterly.
Tears flowed in streams of pearls from the Military Advisor's eyes.

"The heroes of this world are no more."

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 38


Prince 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?"


Liu 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.
When Prince Liu saw him he felt pleased.
He instructed Jiang Wei and Zhuge Liang,
"Hammer nails inside the hoop of a drum
And take revenge on my enemy for this grievance.
Afterwards kill him by dragging him inside a cowhide.
Kill Liu Feng and erase every trace.
Start off by seizing this person;
There will be time enough later on to kill the Prince of Wu and the men from the east.
Who in the hall among the groups of officials, civil and military,
Dares to command horses and troops
To capture the Prince of Wu, General Sun Quan,
And sacrifice him to Guan Yu and Zhang Fei?"
The groups civil and military had no words to reply.
The Military Advisor Zhuge Liang commented on the matter:
"If you still want to get revenge for this wrong,
At once transmit an imperial command to leave the court and go;
Go to Yunnan and get Hua Guan Suo
And appoint him to be the avenger."
When Prince Liu heard this, his heart gladdened.
Then in the court he wrote the text of his imperial command.
He summoned Jiang Wei.
"Go get Hua Guan Suo and his army."
He bowed and said farewell to the Prince of Han, Liu the First Sovereign,
And took leave of the Military Advisor Zhuge Liang.
Leaving the capital Chengdu in Xichuan,
He made for Yinlin city in Yunnan.
When Jiang Wei saw it, he felt glad.
Then he entered the triple gates and went through the inner gate.
He came to the quarters of Commander Guan Suo.
The doorkeeper faced the throne and respectfully reported,
"Now there are people and horses from Xichuan who have arrived.
They have not presumed to come to the front of the hall to see the ruler."
Hideous Guan Zhi looked in front of the door.
"Indeed it is Uncle Jiang Wei."
Bowing he came forward to the head of the main hall.
Everyone bowed to the man surnamed Jiang.
Jiang Wei greeted them and explained from the beginning.
He spoke to Sanniang and Dame Hu.
"General Zhang Fei has died in Langzhou.
Duke Guan was wrongly done to death in Jingzhou.
If you want to get revenge,
I have come to get the son of the Guan family."
The group of generals all heard in front of the hall.
Everyone cried and grieved.
"Yunnan has brought Guan Suo low;
He is close to dying and being no more.
He does not know that you, Uncle, have come in person.
How can this not make people sad?"


The 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."


When 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.
"There is an adept who has taken down the announcement.
He does not presume to come in front of the hall and see the general."
Jiang Wei, so informed, directed that he be invited in.
"Invite the master to come in."
When the two men had finished formally greeting each other,
They had tea and then he explained the situation.
The adept then asked to see Hua Guan Suo,
So Jiang Wei asked him to ascend the hall and meet the Daoist.
Three men supporting him, he went to the front of the hall.

The adept then saw the scion of the noble family.

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 39
Guan Suo propped up his head and looked—
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.
Who would have thought that they would meet again today?
Tears flowed in streams of pearls from Guan Suo's eyes.
The entire family all bowed to this adept.


The 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.


The 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,
Saying to Hua Guan Suo,
"Today in Yunnan I have saved your life.
You need not sculpt the Three Pure Ones before the hall.
I will return to Qiuqu Mountain,
There to be one who cultivates truth and studies the Dao."
No matter how hard they tried, he could not be persuaded to stay.
He told them, "Take care of yourselves," and went his way.
His steps were swift as clouds; you could not catch up with him.
Into the empty void went the man who had left his family to become a Daoist.
In our story we will talk only about Hua Guan Suo.
The whole family was glad in the main hall.
They entertained his uncle General Jiang Wei.
Various kinds of food and drink filled the front of the hall
And they drank half a cup and ate five courses.
The great General Jiang Wei then explained the situation.
From inside his bag he took out white hemp mourning clothes
And distributed them among the whole Guan family.
General Guan Suo spoke and asked,
"Uncle, what is the reason for these deep mourning clothes?"
Tears streamed down from Jiang Wei's eyes
As he spoke to Hua Guan Suo.
"General Zhang Fei died in Langzhou.
A subordinate stabbed him to death and his fate returned to the clouds.
To speak of your father Commander Guan:
He was trapped in the city of Jingzhou,
Surrounded by the Prince of Wu from Jiangdong,
With neither provisions nor troops.
Thirteen letters were sent appealing for help,
But all were blocked by Liu Feng,
Who killed the thirteen couriers.
Duke Guan waited in vain and wore his eyes out staring.
He waited in vain for the troops from Xichuan that did not arrive.
The city of Jingzhou fell
And Zhou Cang and Commander Guan fled,
But they were surrounded at Jade Spring Mountain.
Truly it was difficult to hold off the enemy in front of the mountain.
They were done in by them and became mighty spirits.
The two men appeared in a dream to Liu the First Sovereign,
Who rolled Liu Feng in a drum.
There is no one to go take revenge for this wrong.
It fails to you today to act as avenger."
General Guan Suo lamented loudly;
Great and small, the whole family was sorely distressed.
"Our uncle General Zhang Fei was wrongly done to death.
Our father General Guan died a bitter death.
Today we must avenge this wrong
By killing all of the Prince of Wu's horses and troops.
Do not stay long in front of the hall.
Get everything ready today and then we will set out on the journey."
Hideous Guan Zhi and Guan San Kai,
Along with the group of generals from the Taihang Mountains,
Called up all the troops.
Fifty thousand soldiers donned armor.
They left Yunnan, a foggy, miasmic land,
And returned to the metropolis of the five circuits of Xichuan.
A mounted courier went like a comet into the city.
They came out to meet the Guan family's horses and troops.
Outside the city wall they encamped the men and horses,
And General Guan Suo entered the city.
Jiang Wei together with him entered the Imperial Hall
And they bowed to Prince Liu the First Sovereign.
The lone elder brother Liu Bei spoke up,
Saying to Hua Guan Suo,
"Your uncle and father have been wrongfully slain.
You must today act as their avenger.
Do not tarry long today.
Call up the army, men and horses, and set out at once on the journey."
Guan Suo then said farewell to Liu the First Sovereign.
The sound of a blow on the gong summoned the troops.
A minion soldiers, men and horses,
Left the metropolis of the five circuits of Xichuan.
The Commander in chief was Hua Guan Suo.
Hideous Wang Zhi acted as vanguard.
Guan San Kai opened the way through the mountains for them.
The ten fierce generals from the Taihang Mountains formed the rear guard.
The two men Zhang Yi and Guan Ping
Aided and supported Hua Guan Suo.
The two female generals Wang Tao and Wang Yue
Aided and supported Madame Bao Sanniang.
A million troops advanced along the road,
Straight to Jingzhou city.
The sound of a heaven-shaking stroke to the gong echoed.
They bivouacked and set up camp and stationed the troops.
A million soldiers were ordered to assemble,
While Guan Suo in front of the troops explained the situation.
The men dismounted and listened to his orders,
Listened to him order them to kill the army of Wu.
The infantry wore metal swords at their waists;

The cavalry held long bows in their hands.

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 40
When the army arrived below the city wall, they gave a shout.
At once a mounted courier like a comet entered the city

And reported to the Prince of Wu, the emperor and ruler,
"The Guan family has come to be avengers."
When the Prince of Wu heard this, he felt upset and annoyed.
"Which general will go out of the battle formation?"
Big Sword Lu Xun hurriedly donned armor,
Putting on his complete suit of general's gear.
He sat astride a sand-kicking horse;
His hand grasped a long sword like a door leaf.
A heaven-shaking stroke to the brass gong echoed,
Assembling the troops inside the walls of Jingzhou.
Then they opened up the city gate.
In the wild outskirts he called to attention the horses and troops.
First he grasped a long spear and put the battle formation in order;
Later he took his short sword, Naked Dragon.
Lu Xun in front of his lines called in a loud voice;
He yelled and cursed the Guan family's horses and men.
"Today you have riled the Prince of Wu.
We will kill all of the troops of the five circuits of Xichuan."
Guan Suo himself heard this in front of the lines.
In his hand he held his yellow dragon spear.
Beside his horse he raised the banner that marked the mouth of his formation.
He yelled and cursed the Prince of Wu's horses and men.
"You have caused my father Commander Guan to die of chagrin.
Today I am going to act as an avenger."
Guan Suo then spoke up and cursed;
He yelled and called for the Prince of Wu to come out of the battle formation.
Before the sound of Guan Suo's yelling had ceased,
In front of his eyes a general appeared in response to his challenge.
Holding a large sword in hand, he rode a fast horse
And yelled and cursed at Hua Guan Suo:
"I am Yan Zhao.
I aim to capture the sires and sons of the Guan family."
On both sides all that could be heard was the echo of gong and drum
While the pair of generals contended for supremacy.
The two men fought for over ten rounds,
And Yan Zhao was defeated.
A stroke of Guan Suo's gong reverberated.
"Round up the soldiers, horses and troops.
See that our troops and horses are properly encamped.
We will march directly against the Prince of Wu and his army from the east."
We will speak no more about the Guan family's men and horses;
Instead we will take up the Prince of Wu's horses and men.


The 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[1]. 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."


General 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.
He pointed to Guan Suo and cursed him in a loud voice,
"Today I'll have it out with you."
A junior officer reported this to the headquarters tent.
It angered Guan Suo, the man of mettle.
Then he called for his clothes and armor
And hastily dressed himself as a general.
As soon as he finished donning every item of his outfit,
He took his long spear in hand and approached his dragon steed,
Rolled into the saddle and mounted his piebald horse.
In front of the formation he arrayed his horses and men.
He pointed at the formation of the troops of the Prince of Wu and cursed,
"Which general will come out of the battle formation?"
The great general Zeng Xiao heard this himself.
He had a Seven Star flag rolled up in his hand.
He pointed at the youth Hua Guan Suo, saying,
"You will die beneath the Seven Star flag."
This angered the youth Hua Guan Suo,
Who flourished his decorated spear in anticipation of seizing his enemy.
Of the thirty-six moves in the art of swordsmanship,
He adopted the twenty-fourth: "leaving yourself wide open."
He yelled at him, "Zeng Xiao, quit your boasting!"
With his jeweled spear he struck straight at his face,
But it was blocked by his opponent's Seven Star flag.
Every thrust of his spear became entangled in the starred flag.
Each of them wielded his flag or spear with all his strength.
The echo of the clash was surely frightening.
Guan Suo raised his head and saw that
His yellow dragon spear was broken in two.
Guan Suo gave three loud cries of lamentation.
"I am going to have a hard time fighting this bout to its conclusion."
Guan Suo reined up his horse and turned around,
When in front of the formation another general suddenly came out.
He rode astride a yellow-haired horse
And held in his hand a three-pronged iron pitchfork.
He called and said, "Elder brother, don't fret.
Guan Kai will enter the lists to do battle for supremacy."
Iron Flag Zeng Xiao loudly yelled,
"If you enter the lists you'll lose your three souls."
On both sides they beat their decorated drums,
And the two men fought to determine the winner.
When they had fought about ten-odd rounds,

Zeng Xiao brought his weapon down on the crown of his opponent's head.

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 41
When the Seven Star flag came down it was impossible to resist.
The two men broke apart and separated to either side.

Guan San Kai had been defeated on the field of battle.
The army of the Prince of Wu was greatly heartened.
A heaven-startling stroke to the brass gong echoed,
And they fell to slaughtering the Guan family's men and horses.
Guan Suo pulled back his men and horses,
Having lost one-third of his men.
All that remained of his army were thirty or forty thousand men,
And half of them were men who had suffered sword wounds or been struck by arrows
The youth Guan Suo lamented loudly,
"I have not managed to gain vengeance.
We have lost Zhang Yi, the flower-bedecked.
We have lost Guan Ping, the eldest son in the family."
Tears flowed from Guan Suo's eyes.
Anger choked his throat and he could not make a sound.
Wang Tao and Wang Yue quickly supported him.
Mistress Bao Sanniang called, "Help!"
Hua Guan Suo was dying of anger;
His four limbs were ice cold and his soul did not return.
When they all saw this their tears flowed.
They called until their throats were hoarse, but their cries were not heard.
"If Hua Guan Suo dies of anger
Who will be able to act as avenger?"
The three comely wives came to support their husband
And did their best to revive Hua Guan Suo.
They plucked out ten thousand strands of his raven locks;
They brought cold water and splashed it on his face.
They pinched at his eyebrows with their fingernails
Until the skin of his brows was flowing with blood.
From sundown they worked to revive him until it was past the third watch [midnight].
Little by little he revived and his soul returned.
They forced him to swallow a spoonful of restorative,
Until he recognized that the people around him were the members of his family.
"Today I died but my soul has come back.
The King of the Underworld released me to make the journey back.
It is like being sick in bed for a long time and then encountering a marvelous remedy,
Or like a withered tree putting forth flowers and having another spring.
It is truly like the clouds opening and enabling one to see the moon,
Or like an old mirror freshly polished regaining its brightness.
I am so happy to see my brothers once again.
[It is as unexpected as] lotus blossoms emerging from the flames or lanterns on the water."
There in his camp Guan Suo hastily spoke,
Speaking to his comely wives and the group of his brothers.


Guan 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."


Guan 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,
Until they came to Jade Spring Mountain.
The water of the pool was clear enough to amaze the beholder.
He encamped his five hundred soldiers.
Guan Zhi instructed the crowd of men to listen.


Guan 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.


Hideous 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.
They waited for Guan Zhi, the getter of the sword.
From early morning they waited until mealtime;
From mealtime they waited until the noon period.
The crowd of troops on the bank were all troubled,
Since there was no way they could tell what was going on.
Then, what should they see but, in the water, wind and waves rising,
And Hideous Guan Zhi appeared.
His hand held up a santing sword.
He crossed the mighty waves, walked on the water,
And ascended to the foot of Jade Spring Mountain,
Where the crowd of men met the getter of the sword.
Hideous Guan Zhi called loudly
And spoke to all the troops and officers.
"Elder brother is waiting below the walls of Jingzhou.
All of us, both men and horses, must hasten on our return journey."
The sound of a heaven-shaking stroke on the gong echoed,
And the five hundred soldiers set out on their journey.
When they had marched one li, they marched another li;
They went one stage and then another stage.
They headed straight for the camp of the armies of Guan Suo.
A junior officer came far to meet them;
All together they came to the army headquarters tent.
When Guan Zhi saw Hua Guan Suo,
He handed over the santing sword.
The crowd saw and tears fell in double streams.
"Today the santing sword still exists,
But my father Guan Shouting is not to be seen."

Then he took fine incense and burned it.

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 42
He made sacrifice to the steel sword in the center of his camp.
Great and small, the crowd of officers all bowed to it.

He sacrificed to his father Guan Shouting.
In front of his officers and men he displayed his proficiency in the martial arts.
He wanted to demonstrate clearly his mastery of the sword:
All thirty-six moves in the art of swordsmanship,
Each of the twenty-four opening stances.
He showed that he had mastered all of this father's tricks
And extemporized an eight-line poem to express his feeling.


Guan 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.


I 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;
In the Yangtze River bloody water will flow.
One day my horse will cross the river and go east;
Until I behead the Prince of Wu, my anger will not end.


Guan 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,
While the generals of the Taihang Mountains marshalled the troops at the rear,
And the three female generals were divided left and right.
Everyone was accoutered like one of the six ding gods.[2]
Their helmets tied tight their hair to the sides of their necks;
Their armor was securely fastened with cords under, their arms.
The infantry was equipped with swords with curved blades;
The cavalry carried arrows and curved bows.
He announced to the combined forces, "All together now, go to it! This very day we will fight to a decision."
First he held his long spear and called the troops to attention;
Later he took his short sword glittering red.
His troops were deployed as thick as clumps of grass.
Everyone was lined up like a herd of tigers and wolves.
The youthful adventurer Hua Guan Suo
Gripped his steel blade, as big as a door leaf.
He sat astride a piebald horse
And, standing in front of his lines, challenged his opponents.
"If you return Jingzhou to me without delay,
We'll let bygones be bygones and discuss it no more.
If you utter so much as half a refusal,
There will be no mercy under my santing sword."
A junior officer reported to the Prince of Wu, saying,
"The Guan family is challenging battle and wants to fight with you."
Big Spear Lu Xun felt upset and annoyed.
"I'll capture this little devil from the Guan family."
When the Prince of Wu heard this, he felt pleased.
At the sound of a stroke to the gong he mustered his troops.
Lu Xun led the army and was commander.
The fierce general Zeng Xiao acted as vanguard.
The military advisor Lü Meng deployed his army ranks.
One hundred three thousand soldiers in armor
Went out of Jingzhou city
And hurriedly deployed on the grassy ground.
Fierce generals and heroic troops were all prepared.
The great general Lu Xun came out of the entrance to the camp.
He came in front' of the ranks and yelled loudly.
He pointed at Guan Suo and reviled him a bit.
"Stop bragging today in front of the ranks.
Today we will engage in battle to determine loser and winner.
The two sides struck their decorated drums
And formed a ring around the two men in the center.
Eight horse hooves pounded like drums;
Four arms flailed like cart wheels.
Looking down one saw horses: horse fought horse;
Looking up one saw men: man fought man.
When men fight each other, horses also fight;
A true man on horseback battled a true man.
When they had fought about ten-odd rounds,
Hua Guan Suo was affronted.
He wanted to kill his opponent
So he could sacrifice him to his father Guan Shouting.
Taking his steel blade, he dealt him a single blow
And felt sure that now he could capture Lu Xun on horseback.
The troops in Guan Suo's command grabbed him
And imprisoned this general in a prison cart.
A soldier went in and reported to the sovereign of Wu,
"The great commander Lu Xun has been defeated."
Iron Flag Zeng Xiao felt upset and annoyed.
He put on his complete suit of general's gear
And sat astride a sand-kicking horse,
The Seven Star flag in his hand.
He came in front of the ranks and cursed in a loud voice.
He yelled and cursed, "Guan, you little devil,
For every one you defeat, another will come forward.
For every loss there will be a replacement."
He called and said, "Guan, stop yammering.
Under my Seven Star flag there is no mercy."
The two sides beat loudly on their decorated drums;
The two men fought each other to determine the winner.


Iron 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.


Zeng 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;
Each swipe of the flag came straight for the ear.

One was like a blue dragon coming out of a pool of water;

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 43
The other resembled a fierce tiger descending from a mountain grove.
The sword was like a fierce wind blowing fallen leaves,

The flag like dense clouds hiding the light of the sun.
The two men had fought for twenty rounds
When Hua Guan Suo became angry.
He ran through all thirty-six moves in the art of swordsmanship
And tried all the twenty-four opening stances.
First "in the ring" then "outside the ring";
The "inner four gates" led to the "outer four gates."
First he used "scattering flowers" to cover his head;
Then he twirled the Yellow Dragon three times around his body.
When Iron Flag Zeng Xiao raised his head and looked,
All he could see was the blade, not the man.
Zeng Xiao then struck with his banner,
Squarely hitting Hua Guan Suo.
The youth Guan Suo then quickly passed by his side,
And with his great sword he quickly slashed at the man with the iron flag.
He yelled, saying, "Zeng Xiao, don't try to escape."
Holding the sword in both hands he brought it down through the crown of his head.
The avenging hero put forth all his effort at once.
He divided horse and man into four halves,
Killing Zeng Xiao.
With his horsewhip he directed his retainers.
They didn't ask whether the Prince of Wu wanted to fight;
They simply fell to slaughtering the horses and men of the Prince of Wu.
"Ping, ping" bow strings echoed;
"Sa, sa" wolf-tooth arrows sped at them.
Men struck by arrows resembled porcupines in flight;
Horses struck by arrows looked like the bodies of hedgehogs.
The horses that were felled, fell over on the ground;
Men with heads pillowed them on headless men.
They killed their way to the walls of Jingzhou
And chased the Prince of Wu into the city.
Guan Suo's forces surrounded him on four sides
And attacked the Prince of Wu so that he had no way to escape.

Zan verse

When the northern dipper looked on,
its stars were bright,
as bright as midday.
But the Red Bird[3] flew away,

Xuan Wu[4] fled;
there was no one to shine on their camp.
The sun flag was dark,
the moon flag askew;
the heavens were without light.
The heavens grew dim,
the earth grew dark;
the earth was dark and black.
Horses trampled men
and every man fought for his life.
Putting away their flags and spears,
to the sound of gongs and drums
they fled for their lives.
Swords slashed horses,
horses were struck by swords;
swords wounded horses' backs.
Spears stabbed men,
men were struck by spears;
spears pierced men's hearts.
Mountain-cleaving battle-axes
struck the crowns of heads,
giving off fiery sparks.
Iron-ridged weapons
flailed horses' legs;
horses screamed and neighed.
Men drew bows
with arrows on their strings;
the arrows fell like raindrops.
Nine-barreled cannon
shot a myriad missiles;
missiles flew like comets.
Princes with golden helmets,
princes with silver helmets,
were snared by grappling hooks.
Chiliarchs were wounded,
myriarchs[5] were wounded;
they died and became vengeful ghosts.
On the field of battle
men's heads were chopped off;
men's heads rolled helter-skelter.
The Prince of Wu was slain,
his troops and horses were defeated;
they were all reduced to dust.


They 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;
In the Yangtze River bloody water flowed.
Guan Suo, at the echo of the sound of a stroke to the gong,
Assembled his fifty thousand soldiers.
He captured the military advisor named Lü Meng
And the two men Mi Zhu and Mi Fang.
He occupied Jingzhou city,
Killed the Prince of Wu, and wiped out his men.
The gold and valuables in Jingzhou city
He bestowed upon the soldiers, calling them out in formation.
Guan Suo at that time transmitted a general's order:
"Bring the two men Mi Zhu and Mi Fang over in custody."
At a stroke of the brass gong he summoned his men and horses
And all went out of Jingzhou city,
Straight to Jade Spring Hountain.
He sacrificed to his father Guan Shouting
And himself hauled over Mi Zhu and Mi Fang.
He burned fine incense in his camp.
He first sliced Mi Zhu into one thousand pieces with a knife;
Then he cut up Mi Fang.
He placed their hearts and livers in a bowl of fragrant rice
And sacrificed to the soldiers who had suffered a wrongful death.
On the mountain he burned paper spirit-money.
He sacrificed to the two men Guan and Zhang.
A heaven-shaking blow to the brass gong echoed,
And he took command of his army, horses and troops.
Lu Xun and Lü Meng were imprisoned in a cart
And taken to Xichuan to see the ruler.
They raised high the flag of victory,
The entire army joining in a victory song.
We will sing no more about the events of their journey;
In order to avoid exaggeration our story will record no more of this.
They returned to the capital Chengdu in Xichuan.
A mounted courier swift as a comet entered the city first.
When the Han sovereign, Prince Liu, had been informed of their arrival,
He ordered a formal reception for the crowd of generals.
On the drill field they encamped troops and horses.
The group of officers in the court paid their respects to their enlightened sovereign.
Guan Suo bowed to his uncle, Liu the First Sovereign.
The sobbing of the group of officials filled the court.
Then they brought the two men over in custody.
"Today I will be an avenger."
He sliced the military advisor named Lü Meng into ten thousand pieces;
Then he sliced up the great General Lu Xun.
Much gold coin and men and horses
Were sacrificed to the two men Guan and Zhang.
They took the corpses out to the drill field
And rolled over them with carts and trampled them with horses until they were dust.
In front of the court he wrote a memorial to Heaven

And held a memorial service for the two men Guan and Zhang.

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 44
Then they raised a temple
And molded images of the two brothers Guan and Zhang.

The First Sovereign returned to court.
Three times a day in his heart
He pondered on Guan and Zhang's humanity, virtue, and righteousness;
But no matter how many words he addressed to them, they could not hear.
The Prince of Han was lost in memories of his brothers,
And his anxious sad thoughts made him sick.
He didn't think of tea or food, but longed for them day and night.
The First Sovereign became severely ill in the Dragon Palace.
He summoned the Military Advisor Zhuge Liang.
"I have something to tell you.
Today I entrust you with the prime-ministership of the dynasty.
You must continue to be in charge of military and civil affairs."
Having so enjoined him, the dragon took its leave;
Silently his three souls rode the purple clouds.
The phoenix ascended to the vermilion clouds and returned to its palace chambers;
The dragon returned to the blue ocean and disappeared in its waves.
The First Sovereign of the Han Dynasty returned to Heaven.
The military and civil officials at court were distressed.
The Military Advisor Zhuge Liang cried his heart out.
The young crown prince sorely bewailed his bereavement;
In the imperial hall he wept as he assumed the kingship.
In front of the white jade steps all the officials sobbed.
The nine chief ministers put on mourning in their grief for the Son of Heaven;
The Four Ministers wore hempen mourning and cried for their ruler.
The soldiers in the army all wore white clothing
And the concubines of the Six Palaces put on white skirts.
The palace women showed their respects by grieving.
They beat their breasts and wrung their hands as they cried over the general.
Grieved and resentful, their ruler had departed in sorrow.
In silence and darkness he ascended to the starry clouds.
The sad-hearted Crown Prince's face was like jade;
The bodies of the princesses in mourning were like silver.
There was no longer a habitation for his three souls or his seven spirits.
They struck the golden bell and saw off his three souls.
His mortal form departed from the Imperial Hall.
They escorted it to the newly erected Eastern Floriate Shrine.
Riding a phoenix he returned to his distant abode in the Islands of the Blessed;
Astride a luan-bird he rode into the clouds of the Nine Heavens.
That day the Son of Heaven ascended to Heaven.
Flying flowers came down from Heaven and all the ground was silver.
His spirit entered the Temple to Guan Yu and Zhang Fei.
Military Advisor Zhuge explained the situation.
"Today my wife is already old;
My three brothers are no more.
I have no love for the capital Chengdu in Xichuan.
I will go to Sleeping Dragon Ridge to engage in self-cultivation."
The officers great and small could not dissuade him,
And the Military Advisor departed.
The youth Hua Guan Suo was prostrated by chagrin,
Which before long developed into an illness that endangered his health.
He remembered Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Liu the First Sovereign.
He resented Heaven and hated earth and gave expression to his wishes.
He neither drank any tea nor ate any food,
But enjoined his three wives:
"You three sisters listen to what I have to say.
Do not think about Hua Guan Suo."
When he had said a few words to them, his tears flowed down in two streams.
He was so distraught he could not make a sound.
The group of men supported Hua Guan Suo,
But no matter how often they called to him, he did not respond.
Mistress Bao Sanniang lamented loudly,
"This time it must surely be that he will die."
They tried to save him for a day and a night,
But Hua Guan Suo died.
His three comely wives all cried painfully.
The group of generals and people wept without ceasing.
They buried the youth Hua Guan Suo.
They summoned his wandering spirit and carved an image of him in the temple.
We will say no more about the ceremonies for the dead performed on every seventh day.
Listen to what we shall sing about the three women.
"Not only has Liu the First Sovereign died,
But also our father-in-law, Commander in chief Guan,
And in addition our uncle, General Zhang Fei, are no more.
The Military Advisor Zhuge Liang has gone.
Our husband Hua Guan Suo has died.
It's best that we should each return home."
Hideous Guan Zhi went to Langzhou
And Lü Kai collected his own army in Bazhou.
Wang Tao and Wang Yue went back to Lutang.
We will just mention Sanniang, Dame Bao.
She spoke to the twelve generals of the Taihang Mountains.
"Lead your armies back into the mountains as of old.
Do not bury yourselves in Xichuan."
We will say no more about Prince Liu's retainers.
Mistress Bao Sanniang returned to the mountain;
She returned to the manor to attend dutifully to her parents.
Achievements and fame that once overshadowed the world have completely eroded away;
Armies departed and generals scattered, leaving nothing behind.
We have finished singing this tale, famous for all time,
Recalling the youthful and heroic general.
It is a new chantefable, re-edited in its complete form,

A record of those who are loyal and filial to be handed on to the ages.


  1. 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.
  2. Ferocious and vindictive star gods who preside over those years in the sexagenary cycle which contain the Heavenly Stem ding.
  3. A star god.
  4. A star god.
  5. 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.

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