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CHAPTER 1. Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood In The Peach Garden; One Victory Shatters The Rebels In Battlegrounds.

| English Version - Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel | March 6, 2011

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Author by Luo Guanzhong
Translated by CH Brewitt Taylor

Domains under heaven, after a long period of
division, tends to unite; after a long period of union,
tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity.
When the rule of the Zhou Dynasty weakened, seven
contending kingdoms sprang up, warring one with
another until the kingdom of Qin prevailed and
possessed the empire. But when Qin’s destiny had
been fulfilled, arose two opposing kingdoms, Chu
and Han, to fight for the mastery. And Han was the
The rise of the fortunes of Han began when Liu
Bang the Supreme Ancestor slew a white serpent to
raise the banners of uprising, which only ended
when the whole empire belonged to Han (BC 202).
This magnificent heritage was handed down in
successive Han emperors for two hundred years, till
the rebellion of Wang Mang caused a disruption. But
soon Liu Xiu the Latter Han Founder restored the
Three Kingdoms Romance empire, and Han emperors continued their rule for
another two hundred years till the days of Emperor
Xian, which were doomed to see the beginning of the
empire’s division into three parts, known to history as
The Three Kingdoms.
But the descent into misrule hastened in the
reigns of the two predecessors of Emperor
Xian—Emperors Huan and Ling—who sat in the
Dragon Throne about the middle of the second
Emperor Huan paid no heed to the good people
of his court, but gave his confidence to the Palace
eunuchs. He lived and died, leaving the scepter to
Emperor Ling, whose advisers were Regent Marshal
Dou Wu and Imperial Guardian Chen Fan. Dou Wu
and Chen Fan, disgusted with the abuses of the
eunuchs in the affairs of the state, plotted the
destruction for the power−abusing eunuchs. But
Chief Eunuch Cao Jie was not to be disposed of
easily. The plot leaked out, and the honest Dou Wu
and Chen Fan were put to death, leaving the
eunuchs stronger than before.
It fell upon the day of full moon of the fourth

month, the second year, in the era of Established
Calm (AD 169), that Emperor Ling went in state to
the Hall of Virtue. As he drew near the throne, a
rushing whirlwind arose in the corner of the hall and,
lo! from the roof beams floated down a monstrous
black serpent that coiled itself up on the very seat of
majesty. The Emperor fell in a swoon. Those nearest
him hastily raised and bore him to his palace while
the courtiers scattered and fled. The serpent
But there followed a terrific tempest, thunder, hail,
and torrents of rain, lasting till midnight and working
havoc on all sides. Two years later the earth quaked
in Capital Luoyang, while along the coast a huge
tidal wave rushed in which, in its recoil, swept away
all the dwellers by the sea. Another evil omen was
recorded ten years later, when the reign title was
changed to Radiant Harmony (AD 179): certain hens
suddenly crowed. At the new moon of the sixth
month, a long wreath of murky cloud wound its way
into the Hall of Virtue, while in the following month a
rainbow was seen in the Dragon Chamber. Away
from the capital, a part of the Five Mountains

collapsed, leaving a mighty rift in the flank.
Such were some of various omens. Emperor
Ling, greatly moved by these signs of the
displeasure of Heaven, issued an edict asking his
ministers for an explanation of the calamities and
marvels. A court counselor, Cai Yong, replied bluntly:
“Falling rainbows and changes of fowls’ sexes are
brought about by the interference of empresses and
eunuchs in state affairs.”
The Emperor read this memorial with deep sighs,
and Chief Eunuch Cao Jie, from his place behind the
throne, anxiously noted these signs of grief. An
opportunity offering, Cao Jie informed his fellows,
and a charge was trumped up against Cai Yong, who
was driven from the court and forced to retire to his
country house. With this victory the eunuchs grew
bolder. Ten of them, rivals in wickedness and
associates in evil deeds, formed a powerful party
known as the Ten Regular Attendants—Zhang Rang,
Zhao Zhong, Cheng Kuang, Duan Gui, Feng Xu,
Guo Sheng, Hou Lan, Jian Shuo, Cao Jie, and Xia
One of them, Zhang Rang, won such influence

that he became the Emperor’s most honored and
trusted adviser. The Emperor even called him
“Foster Father.” So the corrupt state administration
went quickly from bad to worse, till the country was
ripe for rebellion and buzzed with brigandage.
At this time in the county of Julu was a certain
Zhang family, of whom three brothers bore the name
of Zhang Jue, Zhang Bao, and Zhang Liang,
respectively. The eldest Zhang Jue was an
unclassed graduate, who devoted himself to
medicine. One day, while culling simples in the
woods, Zhang Jue met a venerable old gentleman
with very bright, emerald eyes and fresh complexion,
who walked with an oak−wood staff. The old man
beckoned Zhang Jue into a cave and there gave him
three volumes of the “Book of Heaven.”
“This book,” said the old gentleman, “is the Way
of Peace. With the aid of these volumes, you can
convert the world and rescue humankind. But you
must be single−minded, or, rest assured, you will
greatly suffer.”
With a humble obeisance, Zhang Jue took the
book and asked the name of his benefactor.

“I am Saint Hermit of the Southern Land,” was the
reply, as the old gentleman disappeared in thin air.
Zhang Jue studied the wonderful book eagerly
and strove day and night to reduce its precepts to
practice. Before long, he could summon the winds
and command the rain, and he became known as
the Mystic of the Way of Peace.
In the first month of the first year of Central
Stability (AD 184), there was a terrible pestilence
that ran throughout the land, whereupon Zhang Jue
distributed charmed remedies to the afflicted. The
godly medicines brought big successes, and soon he
gained the tittle of the Wise and Worthy Master. He
began to have a following of disciples whom he
initiated into the mysteries and sent abroad
throughout all the land. They, like their master, could
write charms and recite formulas, and their fame
increased his following.
Zhang Jue began to organize his disciples. He
established thirty−six circuits, the larger with ten
thousand or more members, the smaller with about
half that number. Each circuit had its chief who took
the military title of General. They talked wildly of the

death of the blue heaven and the setting up of the
golden one; they said a new cycle was beginning
and would bring universal good fortune to all
members; and they persuaded people to chalk the
symbols for the first year of the new cycle on the
main door of their dwellings.
With the growth of the number of his supporters
grew also the ambition of Zhang Jue. The Wise and
Worthy Master dreamed of empire. One of his
partisans, Ma Yuanyi, was sent bearing gifts to gain
the support of the eunuchs within the Palace. To his
brothers Zhang Jue said, “For schemes like ours
always the most difficult part is to gain the popular
favor. But that is already ours. Such an opportunity
must not pass.”
And they began to prepare. Many yellow flags
and banners were made, and a day was chosen for
the uprising. Then Zhang Jue wrote letters to Eunuch
Feng Xu and sent them by one of his followers, Tang
Zhou, who alas! betrayed his trust and reported the
plot to the court. The Emperor summoned the trusty
Regent Marshal He Jin and bade him look to the
issue. Ma Yuanyi was at once taken and beheaded.

Feng Xu and many others were cast into prison.
The plot having thus become known, the Zhang
brothers were forced at once to take the field. They
took up grandiose titles: Zhang Jue the Lord of
Heaven, Zhang Bao the Lord of Earth, and Zhang
Liang the Lord of Human. And in these names they
put forth this manifesto:
“The good fortune of the Han is exhausted, and
the Wise and Worthy Man has appeared. Discern the
will of Heaven,
O y e p e o p l e , a n d w a l k i n t h e w a y o f
righteousness, whereby alone ye may attain to
Support was not lacking. On every side people
bound their heads with yellow scarves and joined the
army of the rebel Zhang Jue, so that soon his
strength was nearly half a million strong, and the
official troops melted away at a whisper of his
Regent Marshal and Guardian of the Throne, He
Jin, memorialized for general preparations against

the Yellow Scarves, and an edict called upon every
one to fight against the rebels. In the meantime,
three Imperial Commanders—Lu Zhi, Huangfu Song,
and Zhu Jun—marched against them in three
directions with veteran soldiers.
Meanwhile Zhang Jue led his army into Youzhou,
the northeastern region of the empire. The Imperial
Protector of Youzhou was Liu Yan, a scion of the
Imperial House. Learning of the approach of the
rebels, Liu Yan called in Commander Zhou Jing to
consult over the position.
Zhou Jing said, “They are many and we few. We
must enlist more troops to oppose them.”
Liu Yan agreed and he put out notices calling for
volunteers to serve against the rebels. One of these
notices was posted up in the county of Zhuo, where
lived one man of high spirit.
This man was no mere bookish scholar, nor found
he any pleasure in study. But he was liberal and
amiable, albeit a man of few words, hiding all feeling
under a calm exterior. He had always cherished a
yearning for high enterprise and had cultivated the
friendship of humans of mark. He was tall of stature.

His ears were long, the lobes touching his shoulders,
and his hands hung down below his knees. His eyes
were very big and prominent so that he could see
backward past his ears. His complexion was as clear
as jade, and he had rich red lips.
He was a descendant of Prince Faubus of
Zhongshan whose father was the Emperor Myers,
the occupant of the Dragon Throne a century and a
half BC. His name was Liu Bei. Many years before,
one of his forbears had been the governor of that
very county, but had lost his rank for remissness in
ceremonial offerings. However, that branch of the
family had remained on in the place, gradually
becoming poorer and poorer as the years rolled on.
His father Liu Hong had been a scholar and a
virtuous official but died young. The widow and
orphan were left alone, and Liu Bei as a lad won a
reputation for filial piety.
At this time the family had sunk deep in poverty,
and Liu Bei gained his living by selling straw sandals
and weaving grass mats. The family home was in a
village near the chief city of Zhuo. Near the house
stood a huge mulberry tree, and seen from afar its

curved profile resembled the canopy of a wagon.
Noting the luxuriance of its foliage, a soothsayer had
predicted that one day a man of distinction would
come forth from the family. As a child, Liu Bei played
with the other village children beneath this tree, and
he would climb up into it, saying, “I am the Son of
Heaven, and this is my chariot .” His uncle, Liu
Yuanqi, recognized that Liu Bei was no ordinary boy
and saw to it that the family did not come to actual
When Liu Bei was fifteen, his mother sent him
traveling for his education. For a time he served
Zheng Xuan and Lu Zhi as masters. And he became
great friends with Gongsun Zan. Liu Bei was
twenty−eight when the outbreak of the Yellow
Scarves called for soldiers. The sight of the notice
saddened him, and he sighed as he read it.
Suddenly a rasping voice behind him cried, “Sir, why
sigh if you do nothing to help your country?”
Turning quickly he saw standing there a man
about his own height, with a bullet head like a
leopard’s, large eyes, a swallow pointed chin, and
whiskers like a tiger’s. He spoke in a loud bass voice

and looked as irresistible as a dashing horse. At
once Liu Bei saw he was no ordinary man and asked
who he was.
“Zhang Fei is my name,” replied the stranger. “I
live near here where I have a farm; and I am a wine
seller and a butcher as well; and I like to become
acquainted with worthy humans. Your sighs as you
read the notice drew me toward you.”
Liu Bei replied, “I am of the Imperial Family, Liu
Bei is my name. And I wish I could destroy these
Yellow Scarves and restore peace to the land, but
alas! I am helpless.”
“I have the means,” said Zhang Fei. “Suppose
you and I raised some troops and tried what we
could do.”
This was happy news for Liu Bei, and the two
betook themselves to the village inn to talk over the
project. As they were drinking, a huge, tall fellow
appeared pushing a hand−cart along the road. At the
threshold he halted and entered the inn to rest
awhile and he called for wine.
“And be quick,” added he, “for I am in haste to get
into the town and offer myself for the army.”

Liu Bei looked over the newcomer, item by item,
and he noted the man had a huge frame, a long
beard, a vivid face like an apple, and deep red lips.
He had eyes like a phoenix’s and fine bushy
eyebrows like silkworms. His whole appearance was
dignified and awe−inspiring. Presently, Liu Bei
crossed over, sat down beside him and asked his
“I am Guan Yu,” replied he. “I am a native of the
east side of the river, but I have been a fugitive on
the waters for some five years, because I slew a
ruffian who, since he was powerful, was a bully. I
have come to join the army here.”
Then Liu Bei told Guan Yu his own intentions,
and all three went away to Zhang Fei’s farm where
they could talk over the grand project.
Said Zhang Fei, “The peach trees in the orchard
behind the house are just in full flower. Tomorrow we
will institute a sacrifice there and solemnly declare
our intention before Heaven and Earth. And we three
will swear brotherhood and unity of aims and
sentiments; thus will we enter upon our great task.”
Both Liu Bei and Guan Yu gladly agreed.

All three being of one mind, next day they
prepared the sacrifices, a black ox, a white horse,
and wine for libation. Beneath the smoke of the
incense burning on the altar, they bowed their heads
and recited this oath:
“We three—Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang
Fei—though of different families, swear brotherhood,
and promise mutual help to one end. We will rescue
each other in difficulty; we will aid each other in
danger. We swear to serve the state and save the
people. We ask not the same day of birth, but we
seek to die together. May Heaven, the all−ruling, and
Earth, the all−producing, read our hearts; and if we
turn aside from righteousness or forget kindliness,
may Heaven and Human smite us!”
They rose from their knees. The two others
bowed before Liu Bei as their elder brother, and
Zhang Fei was to be the youngest of the trio. This
solemn ceremony performed, they slew other oxen
and made a feast to which they invited the villagers.
Three hundred joined them, and all feasted and
drank deep in the Peach Garden.
The next day weapons were mustered. But there

were no horses to ride. This was a real grief, but
soon they were cheered by the arrival of two horse
dealers with a drove of horses.
“Thus does Heaven help us,” said Liu Bei.
And the three brothers went forth to welcome the
merchants. They were Zhang Shiping and Su
Shuang from Zhongshan. They went northwards
every year to buy horses. They were now on their
way home because of the Yellow Scarves. The
brothers invited them to the farm, where wine was
served before them. Then Liu Bei told them of the
plan to strive for tranquillity. Zhang Shiping and Su
Shuang were glad and at once gave the brothers fifty
good steeds, and beside, five hundred ounces of
gold and silver and one thousand five hundred
pounds of steel fit for the forging of weapons.
The brothers expressed their gratitude, and the
merchants took their leave. Then blacksmiths were
summoned to forge weapons. For Liu Bei they made
a pair of ancient swords; for Guan Yu they fashioned
a long−handled, curve blade called Green−Dragon
Saber, which weighed a full one hundred twenty
pounds; and for Zhang Fei they created a ten−foot

spear called Octane−Serpent Halberd. Each too had
a helmet and full armor.
When weapons were ready, the troop, now five
hundred strong, marched to Commander Zhou Jing,
who presented them to Imperial Protector Liu Yan.
When the ceremony of introduction was over, Liu Bei
declared his ancestry, and Liu Yan at once accorded
him the esteem due to a relation.
Before many days it was announced that the
rebellion had actually broken out, and a Yellow
Scarves chieftain, Cheng Yuanzhi, had invaded the
region with a body of fifty thousand rebels. Liu Yan
bade Zhou Jing and the three brothers to go out to
oppose them with the five hundred troops. Liu Bei
joyfully undertook to lead the van and marched to the
foot of the Daxing Hills where they saw the rebels.
The rebels wore their hair flying about their
shoulders, and their foreheads were bound with
yellow scarves.
When the two armies had been drawn up
opposite each other, Liu Bei rode to the front, Guan
Yu to his left, Zhang Fei to his right. Flourishing his
whip, Liu Bei began to hurl reproaches at the rebels,

crying, “O malcontents! Why not dismount and be
Their leader Cheng Yuanzhi, full of rage, sent out
one general, Deng Mao, to begin the battle. At once
rode forward Zhang Fei, his octane−serpent halberd
poised to strike. One thrust and Deng Mao rolled off
his horse, pierced through the heart. At this Cheng
Yuanzhi himself whipped up his steed and rode forth
with sword raised ready to slay Zhang Fei. But Guan
Yu swung up his ponderous green−dragon saber
and rode at Cheng Yuanzhi. At the sight fear seized
upon Cheng Yuanzhi, and before he could defend
himself, the great saber fell, cutting him in halves.
Two heroes new to war’s alarms,
Ride boldly forth to try their arms.
Their doughty deeds three kingdoms tell,
And poets sing how these befell.
Their leader fallen, the rebels threw away their
weapons and fled. The official soldiers dashed in
among them. Many thousands surrendered and the
victory was complete. Thus this part of the rebellion

was broken up.
On their return, Liu Yan personally met them and
distributed rewards. But the next day, letters came
from Imperial Protector Gong Jing of Qingzhou
saying that the rebels were laying siege to the chief
city and it was near falling. Help was needed quickly.
“I will go,” said Liu Bei as soon as he heard the
And he set out at once with his own soldiers,
reinforced by a body of five thousand under Zhou
Jing. The rebels, seeing help coming, at once
attacked most fiercely. The relieving force being
comparatively small could not prevail and retired
some ten miles, where they made a camp.
“They are many and we but few,” said Liu Bei to
his brothers. “We can only beat them by superior
So they prepared an ambush. Guan Yu and
Zhang Fei, each with a goodly party, went behind the
hills, right and left, and there hid. When the gongs
beat they were to move out to support the main
These preparations made, the drums rolled

noisily for Liu Bei to advance. The rebels also came
forward. But Liu Bei suddenly retired. Thinking this
was their chance, the rebels pressed forward and
were led over the hills. Then suddenly the gongs
sounded for the ambush. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei
poured out from right and left as Liu Bei faced
around to meet the rebels. Under three−side attack,
the rebels lost heavily and fled to the walls of
Qingzhou City. But Imperial Protector Gong Jing led
out an armed body to attack them, and the rebels
were entirely defeated and many slain. Qingzhou
was no longer in danger.
Though fierce as tigers soldiers be,
Battle are won by strategy.
A hero comes; he gains renown,
Already destined for a crown.
After the celebrations in honor of victory were
over, Commander Zhou Jing proposed to return to
Youzhou. But Liu Bei said, “We are informed that
Imperial Commander Lu Zhi has been struggling with
a horde of rebels led by Zhang Jue at Guangzong.

Lu Zhi was once my teacher, and I want to go to help
So Liu Bei and Zhou Jing separated, and the
three brothers with their troops made their way of
Guangzong. They found Lu Zhi’s camp, were
admitted to his presence, and declared the reason of
their coming. The Commander received them with
great joy, and they remained with him while he made
his plans.
At that time Zhang Jue’s one hundred fifty
thousand troops and Lu Zhi’s fifty thousand troops
were facing each other. Neither had had any
Lu Zhi said to Liu Bei, “I am able to surround
these rebels here. But the other two brothers, Zhang
Bao and Zhang Liang, are strongly entrenched
opposite Huangfu Song and Zhu Jun at Yingchuan. I
will give you a thousand more troops, and with these
you can go to find out what is happening, and we
can then settle the moment for concerted attack.”
So Liu Bei set off and marched as quickly as
possible to Yingchuan. At that time the imperial
troops were attacking with success, and the rebels

had retired upon Changshe. They had encamped
among the thick grass. Seeing this, Huangfu Song
said to Zhu Jun, “The rebels are camping in the field.
We can attack them by fire.”
So the Imperial Commanders bade every man cut
a bundle of dry grass and laid an ambush. That night
the wind blew a gale, and at the second watch they
started a blaze. At the same time Huangfu Song and
Zhu Jun’s troops attacked the rebels and set their
camp on fire. The flames rose to the very heaven.
The rebels were thrown into great confusion. There
was no time to saddle horses or don armor; they fled
in all directions.
The battle continued until dawn. Zhang Liang and
Zhang Bao, with a group of flying rebels, found a
way of escape. But suddenly a troop of soldiers with
crimson banners appeared to oppose them. Their
leader was a man of medium stature with small eyes
and a long beard. He was Cao Cao, a Beijuo man,
holding the rank of General of the Flying Cavalry. His
father was Cao Song, but he was not really a Cao.
Cao Song had been born to the Xiahou family, but
he had been brought up by Eunuch Cao Teng and

had taken this family name.
As a young man Cao Cao had been fond of
hunting and delighted in songs and dancing. He was
resourceful and full of guile. An uncle, seeing the
young fellow so unsteady, used to get angry with him
and told his father of his misdeeds. His father
remonstrated with him.
But Cao Cao made equal to the occasion. One
day, seeing his uncle coming, he fell to the ground in
a pretended fit. The uncle alarmed ran to tell his
father, who came, and there was the youth in most
perfect health.
“But your uncle said you were in a fit; are you
better?” said his father.
“I have never suffered from fits or any such
illness,” said Cao Cao. “But I have lost my uncle’s
affection, and he has deceived you.”
Thereafter, whatever the uncle might say of his
faults, his father paid no heed. So the young man
grew up licentious and uncontrolled.
A man of the time named Qiao Xuan said to Cao
Cao, “Rebellion is at hand, and only a man of the
greatest ability can succeed in restoring tranquillity.

That man is yourself.”
And Ho Yo of Nanyang said of him, “The dynasty
of Han is about to fall. He who can restore peace is
this man and only he.”
Cao Cao went to inquire his future of a wise man
of Runan named Xu Shao.
“What manner of man am I?” asked Cao Cao.
The seer made no reply, and again and again
Cao Cao pressed the question.
Then Xu Shao replied, “In peace you are an able
subject; in chaos you are a crafty hero!”
Cao Cao greatly rejoiced to hear this.
Cao Cao graduated at twenty and earned a
reputation of piety and integrity. He began his career
in a county near Capital Luoyang. In the four gates of
the city he ruled, he hung up clubs of various sorts,
and he would punish any breach of the law whatever
the rank of the offender. Now an uncle of Eunuch
Jian Shuo was found one night in the streets with a
sword and was arrested. In due course he was
beaten. Thereafter no one dared to offend again, and
Cao Cao’s name became heard. Soon he became a
magistrate of Dunqiu.

At the outbreak of the Yellow Scarves, Cao Cao
held the rank of General and was given command of
five thousand horse and foot to help fight at
Yingchuan. He just happened to fall in with the newly
defeated rebels whom he cut to pieces. Thousands
were slain and endless banners and drums and
horses were captured, together with huge sums of
money. However Zhang Bao and Zhang Liang got
away; and after an interview with Huangfu Song,
Cao Cao went in pursuit of them.
Meanwhile Liu Bei and his brothers were
hastening toward Yingchuan, when they heard the
din of battle and saw flames rising high toward the
sky. However, they arrived too late for the fighting.
They saw Huangfu Song and Zhu Jun to whom they
told the intentions of Lu Zhi.
“The rebel power is quite broken here,” said the
commanders, “but they will surely make for
Guangzong to join Zhang Jue. You can do nothing
better than hasten back.”
The three brothers thus retraced their steps. Half
way along the road they met a party of soldiers
escorting a prisoner in a cage−cart. When they drew

near, they saw the prisoner was no other than the
man they were going to help. Hastily dismounting,
Liu Bei asked what had happened.
Lu Zhi explained, “I had surrounded the rebels
and was on the point of smashing them, when Zhang
Jue employed some of his supernatural powers and
prevented my victory. The court sent down Eunuch
Zhuo Feng to inquire into my failure, and that official
demanded a bribe. I told him how hard pressed we
were and asked him where, in the circumstances, I
could find a gift for him. He went away in wrath and
reported that I was hiding behind my ramparts and
would not give battle and that I disheartened my
army. So I was superseded by Dong Zhuo, and I
have to go to the capital to answer the charge.”
This story put Zhang Fei into a rage. He was for
slaying the escort and setting free Lu Zhi. But Liu Bei
checked him.
“The government will take the proper course,”
said Liu Bei. “You must not act hastily!”
And the escort and the three brothers went two
It was useless to continue on that road to

Guangzong, so Guan Yu proposed to go back to
Zhuo, and they retook the road. Two days later they
heard the thunder of battle behind some hills.
Hastening to the top, they beheld the government
soldiers suffering great loss, and they saw the
countryside was full of Yellow Scarves. On the
rebels’ banners were the words “Zhang Jue the Lord
of Heaven” written large.
“We will attack this Zhang Jue!” said Liu Bei to his
brothers, and they galloped out to join in the battle.
Zhang Jue had worsted Dong Zhuo and was
following up his advantage. He was in hot pursuit
when the three brothers dashed into his army, threw
his ranks into confusion, and drove him back fifteen
miles. Then the brothers returned with the rescued
general to his camp.
“What offices have you?” asked Dong Zhuo,
when he had leisure to speak to the brothers.
“None,” replied they.
And Dong Zhuo treated them with disrespect. Liu
Bei retired calmly, but Zhang Fei was furious.
“We have just rescued this menial in a bloody
fight,” cried Zhang Fei, “and now he is rude to us!

Nothing but his death can slake my anger.”
Zhang Fei stamped toward Dong Zhuo’s tent,
holding firmly a sharp sword.
As it was in olden time so it is today,
The simple wight may merit well,
Officialdom holds sway;
Zhang Fei, the blunt and hasty,
Where can you find his peer?
But slaying the ungrateful would
Mean many deaths a year.
Dong Zhuo’s fate will be unrolled in later chapters.

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