Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ezam: The Story of Lu Bu in Romance of the Three Kingdom-Part 1

By: Rashid Yusoff

Towards the end of the Han dynasty, the government was corrupt and at the same time, famines and flood struck the land repeatedly. As a result, the people suffered greatly. Zhang Jiao of Julu was an unclassed scholar. He established an organization known as “The Way of Peace” to administer charmed remedies to the sick so as to gain followers and disciples. After a decade “The Way of Peace” had gathered in several provinces of Northern China a few hundred thousand disciples. Zhang Jiao and his brothers, Zhang Liang and Zhang Bao then prepared to revolt against the government. They close a date to attack the government armies simultaneously throughout the country. As they used yellow turban to bind their heads, they were known as “The Yellow Turbans Army”.
Emperor Ling was enjoying life in the palace leaving his “Ten Eunuchs” to administer state affairs. The “Ten Eunuchs” were corrupt and wicked, everyone in the country hated them.
One day, Dong Zhuo one of the governor in northern china had a private discussion with Li Ru his special officer, he intended to dethrone the young emperor and let Prince of Chenliu take his place. That would give him full control of the country and consolidate his power and prestige. Li then suggested a plan to carry out this plot.
At a grand feat was held at Wenming Gardenthe next day. All officials and ministers were invited. They would not dare to decline the invitations as they were afraid of the host’s power and influence. Dong Zhuo announced, “An emperor is the head of a nation and its people, and he must have excellent talents. The present emperor is weak and incapable, he stands nowhere when compared to Price of Chenliu who is wise and learned. I intend to dethrone the emperor and let t he Price of Chenliu take his place. What say you gentlemen?” He then glanced at the guests all around. Silence reigned. All the officials and ministers looked at each other blankly in dismay. Suddenly a man pushed down his table, stood up furiously and reproached Dong Zhuo, “No! No! What do you think you are? How dare you to make such an impertinent announcement!” The speaker was Ding Yuan, the governor of Jinzhou. Fuming Dong Zhuo said “Those who submit to me shall live, those who resist shall perish”. He then unsheathed his swords to kill Ding. At this juncture Li Ru saw a young, big sized, tall and awe-inspiring man standing behind Ding. With his eyes wide open and ferocious look, he was holding a halberd. Li quickly rushed over to stop Dong Zhuo. The officials also persuaded Ding to leave. Dong Zhuo was enraged. He unsheathed his sword again to kill Lu Zhi who disagrees earlier but was stopped by the officials. Situ Wangyun then said, Ït’s inappropriate to discuss the Empror’s position at the feast. We shall hold a discussion some other day.”Thereupon all guests left.
After the official departure, Dong Zhuo stood at the entrance of Wenming Garden with his fhand on his sword. Suddenly he saw a brave warrior with a halberd galloping to and fro outside the garden. As Dong Zhuo did not know who he was, he asked Li Ru. Replied Li, “He’s Lu Bu, godson of Ding Yuan. He’s an usually strong man. I suggest you keep away from him for the time being.”Dong Zhuo went into the garden stealthily.
The following day Ding Yuan led a troop of soldiers and threw a challenge to Dong Zhuo. Fuming, Dong Zhuo, together with Li Ru, went up immediately with an army to fight the enemy. Both sides had their formation ready. Lu Bu was wearing a golden “crown” (for tying his hair) and battle dress. He was holding a halberd on a steed. Together with Ding Yuan, he came to the front of the enemiy formation. Pointing at Dong Zhuo, Ding Yuan hurled abuses at him. Before Dong Zhuo could answer, Lu Bu sped over and started attacking. Dong Zhuo back tried to flee, throwing his men disarry. Ding Yuan led his troop to pursue the fleeing enemy for a while. Dong Zhuo suffered a crushing defeat with much causality.
Back in his headquarters, Dong Zhuo, assembled his army, officers for a discussion to find a way to deal with the situation. He heaped praises on Lu BU, alleging that he was a talented man. Gen. Li Su from Huben boldly volunteered to go and see Lu Bu and try to persuade him to surrender. Dong Zhuo was overjoyed at this move. Dong Zhuo was quick to ask, “How are you going to make Lu Bu submit to us?”Li Su elaborated, “I understand you’ve a fine horse called “Red Rabbit” which can travel 1,000 li a day. Give him this horse, some jewelry and other valuables and he will certainly rebel against Ding Yuan and surrender to you.
However, Dong Zhuo was skeptical about Li Su’s suggestion. He would not part his ‘Red rabbit’for any price. After lengthy deliberation, he sought Li Ru’s opinion. Li Ru advised him to accept the plan. Gladly Dong Zhuo handed Li Su the horse, 1,000 teels of gold, 10 peals and jade belt.
With these bribery articles, Li Su went to Lu Bu’s encampment. On the way, he met Lu Bu’s sentinels and asked them to inform him of his arrival. Li SU was invited into Lu Bu’s tent. When they met, they felt very dearto each other. Asked the host “Where did you come from?”The visitor replied currently I’m holding the rank of General Huben. I understand you’re quite successful in life. I’ve specially brought a steed for you, which I hope will enhance your prestige. Lu Bu noticed that the horse as red as live charcoal, without any coarse hair. It was a zhang (3.33 m) long and 8 chi (2.67 m) tall. When it neighed, as if it was going to fly. He liked so much that he thanked the giver repeatedly. Lu Bu treated Li Su with a sumptuous meal. They had a good chat while having their meal. After consuming a large amount of wine, Li Su tried to provoke his host. Lu BU thought he was drunk and was talking nonsense. Bursting into laughter, Li Su snapped, “I’m referring “to Ding Yuan, Lu Bu turned red and replied bashfully, “I took Ding Yuan as my Godfather because I’ve no alternative.” Li Su elaborated “You’re a very capable man. All the people in our country admire your ability. You can secure a high official rank and great wealth as easily as a wink. How do you account for “I’ve no alternative”? Lu Bu sighed with emotion. Li Su move closer to Lu Bu and told him provocatively, ‘Since you’re capable man, you must look for a boss who can appreciate your caliber. Make up your mind at an early date”. Said Lu Bu “Since you’ve been in the court all along, I’m sure you know who’s the man I should serve under”. Li Su was pleased with that remark. He then lavished on Dong Zhuo. Lu Bu regretted that there was no way whereby he could approach Dong Zhuo under whom he wiched to serve. He banged the table and sighed. Nothing that Lu BU had make known his intention, Li Su asked him to dismiss his servants. Then he took out the jewellery and valuables and the jade belt, and told him the truth. Overjoyed, Lu Bu said. “How can I repay Dong Zhuo for his favour and kindness?” To which Li Su quickly added a few words. Lu Bu lowered his head and pondered for a while. Then he declare, “I intend to have Ding Yuan killed, after which I’ll lead his army to serve under the command of Dong Zhuo. Li Su commented joyously “What you’re going to do will be a meritorious contribution”.
Lu Bu made an appointment there and then. Lu Bu was to lead his troops to surrender to Dong Zhuo early the next morning. He then left. AT the 2nd watch (4a.m) Lu Bu came into Ding Yuan’s tent with a long knife. The latter was reading a book. When he saw his godson, he asked for the purpose of his visit. With his eyes wide open, the intruder shouted. Ding Yuan saw that he had changed his mind suddenly. I a fluster, he asked “Fengxian, why do you change your mind for no reason at all?”Before he could finish Lu Bu rushed forward and chopped of his head. The next day Lu Bu brought Ding Yuan’s head to see Li Su, who showed him to Dong Zhuo. With a jubilant expression, Dong Zhuo knelt before Lu Bu respectfully. Lu Bu was overjoyed at the remark. Quickly he helped him up, got him seated and said “If you don’t mind Sir, I’m willing to be your son.”So saying, he went on his knees and kowtowed repeatedly. Dong Zhuo burst out laughing. Then Dong Zhuo conferred 2 high military arny ranks to his new son who also received a suit of armour and a battle dress. A feast was held to celebrate the occasion.
To be continue…
source: from epic history of Romance of the Three Kingdom

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