Putting Cai Yang To Death, The Brothers’ Doubts Disappear; Meeting At Gucheng, Lord and Liege Fortify Each Other.
Sun Qian had joined Guan Yu in escorting the two ladies, and they were on the road to Runan when Xiahou Dun suddenly determined to pursue. So with a couple of hundred horse, Xiahou Dun set out. When Xiahou Dun was seen approaching, Guan Yu bade Sun Qian go ahead with the carriage while he remained to deal with the pursuers.
When they were near enough, Guan Yu said, “In coming after me thus you do not reinforce the magnanimity of your master！”
Replied Xiahou Dun, “the Prime Minister has sent no definite instructions. You have caused the death of several people, among them one of my commanders, and so I have come to capture you！ You have behaved most grossly. The Prime Minister will decide.”
thereupon Xiahou Dun dashed forward with his spear ready to thrust.
But at that moment a rider came up behind him at full gallop, crying, “You must not fight with Guan Yu！”
Guan Yu stayed his steed at once and waited.
the messenger came up, drew from his bosom an official letter, and said to Xiahou Dun, “The Prime Minister loves General Guan Yu for his loyalty and honor, and fearing lest Guan Yu might be stopped at the various passes, he sent me with this letter to show when necessary at any point on the road.”
“But this Guan Yu has slain several commanders of the passes. Does the Prime Minister know that？” said Xiahou Dun.
the messenger said these things were unknown.
“then,” said Xiahou Dun, “I will arrest him and take him to the Prime Minister, who may set him free or not as he wills.”
“Do you think I fear anything you can do？” said Guan Yu getting wrathful.
And he rode forward. Xiahou Dun, nothing loth, set his spear and prepared for battle. they met and had reached the tenth encounter when a second horseman came up at full speed, crying, “Generals, wait a little！”
Xiahou Dun stayed his hand and asked the messenger, saying, “Am I to arrest him？”
“No,” replied the messenger. “Fearing lest he should have difficulties at the passes, the Prime Minister has sent me with a dispatch to say he is to be released.”
“Did the Prime Minister know that he had slain several commanders on the way？”
“He did not know！”
“Since he was ignorant of that, I may not let this Guan Yu go,” and Xiahou Dun gave the signal to his men to close in round Guan Yu.
But Guan Yu flourished his sword and made to attack them and a fight was again imminent, when a third rider appeared, who cried, “Guan Yu, give way and do not fight！”
the speaker was Zhang Liao. Both combatants made no further move but awaited his arrival.
Zhang Liao said, “I bring the Prime Minister’s order that since he has heard that Guan Yu has slain certain commanders on the way, he fears that some will hinder his passage. Wherefore he has sent me to deliver his command at each gate that Guan Yu is to be suffered to pass freely.”
Xiahou Dun said, “Qin Qi was the son of Cai Yang’s sister, and he was confided to my especial care. Now this Guan Yu has killed him, and how can I refrain？”
“When I see his uncle Cai Yang, I will explain. But now the main point is that you have the Prime Minister’s orders to let Guan Yu pass and you may not despise his wish.”
So the only thing for Xiahou Dun to do was to retire, and he did.
“Whither are you going？” then said Zhang Liao to Guan Yu.
“I fear my brother is no longer with Yuan Shao, and now I am going to find him wherever he is.”
“As you do not know where to go, why not return to the Prime Minister？”
“Where is the sense of that？” said Guan Yu with a smile. “But, Zhang Liao, you return, and try to arrange pardon for my faults.”
With this Guan Yu saluted Zhang Liao and took his leave. Zhang Liao retired and joined Xiahou Dun.
Guan Yu quickly regained the carriage, and as they went along side by side he told Sun Qian what had happened. Several days later a heavy rain storm came on which soaked everything. Looking about for protection they noticed a farm under the shelter of a precipice and took their way thither. An old man came out to them, to whom they told their story.
When they had finished, the old fellow said, “My name is Guo Chang, and I have lived here many years. I am very pleased to GREet the man whom I have known so long by reputation.”
Guo Chang quickly killed a sheep for their refreshment and brought out wine for the two men. The two ladies were entertained in the inner apartments. And while they refreshed themselves, their baggage was put out to dry and their steeds were fed.
As the day closed in, they saw several youths come along, and their host said, “My son is come to pay his respects.”
“This is my humble son,” said Guo Chang, presenting a lad to Guan Yu.
“What has he been doing？” asked Guan Yu.
“He has just come in from hunting.”
the young fellow went out. The old man continued, “All my family have been farmers or scholars. He is my only son, and instead of following in the footsteps of his ancestors he cares for nothing but gadding about and hunting, unhappily.”
“Why unhappily？” said Guan Yu. “In these days of disorder a good soldier can make a name for himself.”
“If he would only learn the military arts, that would be something of a career. But he is nothing but a vagabond and does everything he should not. He is a grief to me.”
Guan Yu sighed in sympathy. the old gentleman stayed till a late hour； and when he took his leave, his two guests began to prepare for rest.
Suddenly outside there arose a GREat hubbub, men shouting and horses neighing. Guan Yu called to his people； but as no one answered, he and Sun Qian drew their swords and went into the stable yard. There they found their host’s son on the ground shouting to his followers to fight.
Guan Yu asked what it was all about, and his guards told him, “the young fellow had tried to steal Red Hare, but had been badly kicked. We heard shouting and went to see what it meant when his men had set on us.”
Guan Yu was very wrathful.
“You mean thieves！ Would you steal my horse？” cried he.
But before he could do anything, his host came running out, saying, “It was not with my consent that my son did this evil thing. I know he is very guilty and deserves death. But his mother loves him tenderly, and I pray you be generous and pardon him！”
“Really he is unworthy of his father,” said Guan Yu. “What you told me shows he is a degenerate. For your sake I pardon him.”
then Guan Yu told his own people to keep a better lookout, sent the people about their business and, in company with Sun Qian, went away to rest.
Next morning both the host and hostess were up betimes waiting to thank Guan Yu for forgiving their son’s mad freak.
“My son has insulted your tiger dignity, I know, and I am deeply affected by your kindness in not punishing him,” said the old man.
“Bring him here and I will talk to him,” said Guan Yu.
“He went out before daylight with a lot of his fellow rogues, and I know not where he is.”
So Guan Yu bade them farewell, got the ladies into their carriage, and they moved out of the farmyard. Guan Yu and Sun Qian riding abreast as escort. They took the road toward the hills.
Before they had gone far, they saw a large party of men, led by a couple of riders, pouring down one of the gullies. One of the riders wore a yellow turban and a battle robe. The other was Guo Chang’s son.
the wearer of the turban called out, saying, “I am one of the commanders of Zhang Jue the Lord of Heaven. Whoever you may be, leave that horse you are riding for me. You may then go free！”
Guan Yu GREeted the speech with a hearty laugh.
“O you mad ignoramus！ If you had ever been with Zhang Jue as a bandit, you would have learned to know Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei, the three brothers.”
“I have heard of the ruddy long beard called Guan Yu, but I have never seen him. Who may you be？”
Guan Yu then laid aside his sword, stopped his horse, and drew off the bag that covered his beard thus showing its magnificence.
the turban wearer immediately slipped out of the saddle, laid an angry hand on his companion, and they both bowed low in front of Guan Yu’s steed.
“Who are you？” asked Guan Yu.
“I am Pei Yuanshao. After the death of Zhang Jue, I was left forlorn； and I got together a few others like myself, and we took refuge in the forests. This morning early this fellow came to tell us that a guest at his father’s farm had a valuable horse and proposed to me to steal it. I did not think I should meet you, General.”
the wretched Guo Chang’s son implored that his life might be spared, and Guan Yu pardoned him for his father’s sake. Then Guan Yu covered his face and crept away.
“You did not recognize me. How then did you know my name？” asked Guan Yu.
Pei Yuanshao replied, “Not far from here is a mountain called the Sleeping Bull, where lives a certain Zhou Cang, a very powerful man who came from the west. He has a stiff curly beard and looks very handsome. He also was a commander in the rebel army, who took to the forest when his leader perished. He has told me a lot about you, but I have never had the happiness of seeing you.”
Said Guan Yu, “Under the GREen wood trees is no place for a hero’s foot. You had better abandon this depraved life and return to the path of virtue. Do not work out your own destruction.”
As they were talking, a troop of horsemen appeared in the distance. They belonged to Zhou Cang, as Pei Yuanshao said, and Guan Yu waited for them to approach. The leader was very dark complexioned, tall, and armed with a spear. As soon as he drew near enough to see, he exclaimed joyfully, “This is General Guan Yu！”
In a moment he had slipped out of the saddle and was on his knees by the roadside.
“Zhou Cang renders obeisance,” said he.
Said Guan Yu, “O Warrior, where have you known me？”
“I was one of the Yellow Scarves, and I saw you then. My one reGREt was that I could not join you. Now that my good fortune has brought me here, I hope you will not reject me. Let me be one of your foot soldiers to be always near you to carry your whip and run by your stirrup. I will cheerfully die for you.”
As he seemed thoroughly in earnest, Guan Yu said, “But if you follow me, what of your companions？”
“they may do as they please： Follow me or go their ways.”
thereupon they all shouted, “We will follow！”
Guan Yu dismounted and went to ask the ladies what they thought of this.
Lady Gan replied, “Brother-in-law, you have traveled thus far alone and without fighters； you have safely passed many dangers and never wanted their assistance. You refused the service of Liao Hua, why then suffer this crowd？ But this is only a my view and you must decide.”
“What you say, sister-in-law, is to the point.”
therefore returning to Zhou Cang, he said, “It is not that I am lacking in gratitude, but my sisters-in-law do not care for a large following. Wherefore return to the mountains till I shall have found my brother, when I will surely call you.”
Zhou Cang replied, “I am only a rough uncouth fellow, wasting his life as a brigand. Meeting you, General, is like seeing the full sun in the skies, and I feel that I can never bear to miss you again. As it might be inconvenient for all my people to follow you, I will bid my companion lead them away, but I will come and follow you on foot wherever you go.”
Guan Yu again asked his sisters-in-law what they thought of this. Lady Gan said one or two made no difference, and so Guan Yu consented. But Pei Yuanshao was not satisfied with this arrangement and said he wished also to follow.
Zhou Cang said, “If you do not stay with the band, they will disperse and be lost. You must take command for the moment and let me accompany General Guan Yu. As soon as he has a fixed abode, I will come to fetch you.”
Somewhat discontentedly Pei Yuanshao accepted the situation and marched off, while his one-time colleague joined the train of Guan Yu, and they went toward Runan. They traveled quickly for some days, and then they saw a city on a hill.
the natives told them, “This city is called Gucheng. A few months before a warrior suddenly appeared, drove out the magistrate, and took possession. Then he has begun to recruit soldiers, bought up horses, and laid in stores. The warrior’s name is Zhang Fei. Now he has a large force, and no one in the neighborhood dare face him.”
“To think that I should find my brother like this！” said Guan Yu, delighted. “I have had never a word of him, nor knew I where he was since Xuzhou fell.”
So Guan Yu dispatched Sun Qian into the city to tell its new commander to come out to meet him and provide for their sisters-in-law.
Now, after being separated from his brothers, Zhang Fei had gone to the Mangdang Hills, where he had remained a month or so while he sent far and near for tidings of Liu Bei. Then as he happened to pass Gucheng, he had sent in to borrow some grain, but had been refused. In revenge, he had driven away the magistrate and taken possession of the city. He found the place well suited to his needs at the moment.
As directed by Guan Yu, Sun Qian entered the city and, after the usual ceremonies, told Zhang Fei the news, “Liu Bei has left Yuan Shao and gone to Runan； and Guan Yu, with your sisters-in-law, is at the gates. He wishes you to go out and receive them.”
Zhang Fei listened without a word till he came to the request to go out to meet his brother. At that point he called for his armor and, when he had put it on, laid hold of his long serpent halberd, mounted, and rode out with a large company at his back. Sun Qian was too astonished to ask what this meant and simply followed.
Guan Yu was very glad when he saw his brother coming, put up his weapons and, with Zhou Cang at his back, rode toward him at full speed. But as Guan Yu approached, he saw all the signs of fierce anger on Zhang Fei’s face, and Zhang Fei roared as he shook his spear, threatening Guan Yu.
Guan Yu was entirely taken aback and called out anxiously, “Brother, what does this mean？ Is the Peach Garden Pledge quite forgotten？”
“What impudence is this that you come to see me since your disgraceful behavior？” shouted Zhang Fei.
“What disgraceful behavior has been mine？” said Guan Yu.
“You have betrayed your brother； you have surrendered to Cao Cao； and you have received title and office at his hands. And now you are come to exploit me. One of us shall die！”
Guan Yu said, “Really you do not understand, and it is hard for me to explain. But ask the two ladies here, worthy brother, and they will tell you.”
At this the ladies lifted the curtain of the carriage and called out： “Brother, why is this？”
Zhang Fei said, “Wait a while, sisters, and see me slay this traitor. After that I will conduct you into the city.”
Said Lady Gan, “Since he knew not where you were, our brother took shelter with Cao Cao. And since he knew that his elder brother was at Runan, he has braved every danger to escort us thus far on the road. Pray take a correct view of his conduct.”
Lady Mi also chimed in, “When your brother went to Xuchang, no other course was open to him.”
“Sisters, do not let him deceive you to the truth. Real loyalty prefers death to dishonor. No good person can serve two masters.”
Guan Yu said, “Brother, cease to wrench me I pray you.”
Sun Qian said, “Guan Yu came expressly to seek you.”
“How much more nonsense will you talk？” roared Zhang Fei. “How can he be true-hearted？ He came to capture me, I say.”
“Had I come to capture you, I should have come with troops and horses,” said Guan Yu.
“And are there not troops and horses？” said Zhang Fei pointing to a point behind Guan Yu.
Guan Yu turned, and there he saw a cloud of dust rising as though a squadron of horse was coming. And soon they were near enough, and from their trumpets and banners they showed themselves to be of Cao Cao’s army.
“Now will you try to cajole me further？” cried Zhang Fei in a rage.
He set his serpent halberd and was just coming on when Guan Yu said, “Brother, wait a while. See me slay the leader of these that I may prove myself no traitor.”
“Well, if you are really true, prove it by slaying that leader, whoever he may be, before I have finished three rolls of the drum.”
Zhang Fei’s condition was accepted. Soon the attacking force was near enough to make out the leader to be Cai Yang.
Sword in hand Cai Yang rode at full speed, crying, “So I have found you, slayer of my nephew！ I have a command to capture you and will execute it.”
Guan Yu made no reply. Raising his sword ready to strike, he moved out and the drums began to beat. Before a roll could be completed the fight was over, and Cai Yang’s head had rolled on the ground. His force scattered and fled. Guan Yu, however, captured the young ensign bearer and questioned him.
the youth said, “The fact is the Prime Minister had not given an order. Incensed at the loss of his nephew, Cai Yang wished to cross the river to pursue and attack you, General, although the Prime Minister refused permission. To satisfy him, the Prime Minister had sent Cai Yang to attack Runan, and the meeting at this place is entirely an accident.”
Guan Yu bade him repeat this story to his brother. Zhang Fei also questioned him concerning all that had happened in the capital, and the recital of the whole story satisfied Zhang Fei of the fidelity of Guan Yu.
Just then messengers came from the city to Zhang Fei to say： “Some scores of horsemen has arrived at the south gate. They seem in a GREat hurry but no one know them.”
Zhang Fei, with still a lingering doubt in his mind, went to look at the newcomers and there saw some forty mounted archers with light bows and short arrows. Hastily dismounting to see them better, he found they were Mi Zhu and Mi Fang.
Quickly slipping out of the saddle, they came up and Mi Zhu said, “After the dispersal at Xuzhou when we lost sight of you, we returned to our village whence we sent all around for news of you. We heard that Guan Yu had surrendered to Cao Cao and our lord was in the North of Yellow River with Yuan Shao. The one of whom we could hear nothing was yourself. But yesterday, while on our way, we fell in with some travelers who told us a certain General Zhang Fei, of such and such an appearance, had suddenly occupied Gucheng, and we felt it must be you. So we came to inquire, and we happily fell in with you here.”
Zhang Fei replied, “Guan Yu and Sun Qian are here, and my two sisters are with them. They had heard where my elder brother was.”
This news added to the joy of the two newcomers who went to see Guan Yu and the women, and then they all entered the city. When the ladies had settled down a little, they related the whole story of the adventures on the road at which Zhang Fei was overcome with remorse and bowed before his brother bitterly weeping. Mi Zhu and Mi Fang were GREatly affected. Then Zhang Fei related what had happened to him.
A day was spent in banquets, and next day Zhang Fei wished his newly found brother to go with him to Runan to see their elder brother Liu Bei.
But Guan Yu said, “No； you take care of the ladies here while Sun Qian and I go to get news.”
So Guan Yu and Sun Qian with a small escort set out. When they reached Runan, they were received by Liu Pi.
“Liu Bei is no longer in the city. After waiting some days, he has come to the conclusion that the soldiers are too few, and has gone back to Yuan Shao to consult with him,” said Liu Pi.
Guan Yu was GREatly disappointed, and Sun Qian did his best to console him, saying, “Do not be sorrowful. It only means the trouble of another journey into the North of Yellow River to tell Uncle Liu Bei, and then we can all meet at Gucheng.”
So spoke Sun Qian, and Guan Yu accepted it. they took leave of Liu Pi and returned to Gucheng where they related what had happened.
Zhang Fei wanted to go with them into the North of Yellow River, but Guan Yu opposed this, saying, “Seeing you have this city, it makes a rallying point for us and a resting place. We must not abandon it lightly. Sun Qian and I will go； and while sway we look to you to keep the city safe.”
“How can you go after killing the two generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou？”
“That will not stop me. And after I am there, I can act according to circumstances.”
then Guan Yu summoned Zhou Cang and asked him, saying, “How many followers are there with Pei Yuanshao at Sleeping Bull Mountain？”
“I should think four or five hundred.”
“Now,” said Guan Yu, “I am going to take the shortest road to find my brother. Can you go to summon your army and lead them along the high road to assist me？”
With instructions to bring up this force, Zhou Cang left, while Guan Yu and Sun Qian and their small escort went off to the north.
When they drew near the boundary, Sun Qian said, “You must be careful how you go over. You ought to stop here while I go in, see Uncle Liu Bei, and take the necessary steps.”
Seeing the wisdom of this, Guan Yu stopped there and sent his companion in advance. He and his followers going up to a nearby farm as an abiding place.
When they got to the farm, out came a venerable man leaning on a staff. After exchanging salutes, Guan Yu told the old man all about himself.
“My family name is also Guan, my personal name being Ding,” said the old man. “I know your reputation, and I am very happy to meet you.”
Guan Ding sent for his two sons to come and make their bow. He put up Guan Yu in his house and provided for his escort in the farm buildings.
In the meantime Sun Qian had made his way to Jizhou City and told Liu Bei the whole story.
Liu Bei said, “Jian Yong is also here. We will send for him secretly to talk over this matter.”
they did so； and when the usual salutes had been exchanged, they three began to consider the means of getting away.
“My lord,” said Jian Yong, “you see Yuan Shao personally and say you wish to go to Jingzhou to see Liu Biao about a scheme for the destruction of Cao Cao. That will give an excuse.”
“That seems best,” said Liu Bei, “but will you go with me？”
“I have another plan to extricate myself,” said Jian Yong.
Having settled their plans, Liu Bei soon went in to see his protector and suggested, “Liu Biao is strong and well posted. His help should be sought against our enemy.”
“I have sent messengers repeatedly to ask his help,” said Yuan Shao, “but he is unwilling.”
“As he and I are of the same family, he will not refuse me if I go and ask him,” said Liu Bei.
“Certainly he is worth much more than Liu Pi. You shall go.”
“I have just heard,” Yuan Shao continued, “that Guan Yu has left Cao Cao and wants to come here. If he does, I will put him to death out of revenge for my two beloved generals——Yan Liang and Wen Chou.”
“Illustrious Sir, you wished to employ him and so I sent for him. Now you threaten to put him to death. the two men he slew were but deer compared with such a tiger as he is. When you exchange a couple of deer for a tiger, you need not complain of the bargain.”
“Really I like him,” said Yuan Shao. “I was only joking. You can send another messenger for him and tell him to come soon.”
“May I send Sun Qian for him？”
After Liu Bei had gone, Jian Yong came in and said to Yuan Shao, “If Liu Bei goes, he will not come back. I had better go to speak to Liu Biao. And I can keep a watch on Liu Bei.”
Yuan Shao aGREed and issued orders for both to go.
On the subject of the mission, Guo Tu came in to his chief to dissuade him.
Said Guo Tu, “Liu Bei went to speak to Liu Pi, but he accomplished nothing. Now you are sending Jian Yong with him, and I am sure neither will ever return.”
“Do not be too suspicious,” said Yuan Shao. “Jian Yong is clever enough.”
That was the end of the interview. Forthwith Liu Bei sent Sun Qian back to Guan Yu and then, with Jian Yong, took leave of Yuan Shao and rode out of the city, As soon as they reached the border line, they met Sun Qian and all three rode off to Guan Ding’s farm to meet Guan Yu. He came out to welcome them, bowed and then seized his brother’s hands while tears streamed down his face.
Presently the two sons of their host came to bow to the visitors. Liu Bei asked their names.
“these are of the same name as myself,” said Guan Yu. “The sons are Guan Neng, who is a student, and Guan Ping, who is to be a soldier.”
“I have been thinking of sending the younger in your train, General,” said old Guan Ding, “Would you take him？”
“What is his age？” said Liu Bei.
“He is eighteen.”
Liu Bei said, “Since, O Senior, you are so kind, I venture to suggest that your son should be adopted by my brother, who has no son of his own. What think you of that？”
Guan Ding was perfectly willing, so he called Guan Ping and bade him make a son’s obeisance to Guan Yu and to style Liu Bei “Uncle.”
then it was time to get on their way lest they should be pursued, and with Guan Yu went Guan Ping. Guan Ding and Guan Ning escorted them a long distance and then returned.
the party took the road to Sleeping Bull Mountain. Before they had gone very far, they met Zhou Cang with a small party. He was wounded. He was introduced to Liu Bei who asked him how it was.
He replied, “Before I reached the hill, a certain warrior all alone, had fought with my friend Pei Yuanshao and killed him. Then many of our troops surrendered to him, and he occupied our old camp. When I reached it, I tried to allure the soldiers back to my side but only succeeded with a few. The others were too afraid. I got angry and engaged the interloper, who however worsted me time after time and wounded me thrice.”
“Who is the warrior？ What does he look like？” asked Liu Bei.
“All I know he is a doughty fighter, I do not know his name.”
thereafter they advanced toward the hill with Guan Yu in front and Liu Bei in rear. When they drew near, Zhou Cang began to abuse his enemy, who soon appeared, mailed and armed, coming down the hill like a tornado.
Suddenly Liu Bei rode out waving his whip and shouting, “O Zhao Yun, I am here to look for you！”
Indeed the rider was Zhao Yun. He instantly slipped out of the saddle and bowed by the roadside.
Liu Bei dismounted to talk with him and ask how he came to be there.
“When I left you, I had no idea that Gongsun Zan was a man who would listen to no reason. the result was disaster, and he perished in the flames. Yuan Shao invited me to him several times, but I thought too little of him to go. Then I wanted to go to Xuzhou to you, but you had lost that place, and Guan Yu had gone over to Cao Cao, and you had joined Yuan Shao. Several times I thought of coming to you, but I feared Yuan Shao. So I drifted from one place to another with nowhere to rest till I happened to come this way, and Pei Yuanshao tried to steal my horse. So I slew him and took possession of his camp. I heard Zhang Fei was in Gucheng but thought it might be only a rumor. And so the days have passed till this happy meeting.”
Liu Bei told Zhao Yun all that had happened to him since they parted, and so did Guan Yu.
Said Liu Bei, “the first time I saw you, I felt drawn to you and did not want to part from you. I am very happy to meet you again.”
“In all my wanderings, trying to find a lord worth serving, I have seen no one like you. Now I have reached your side, that is enough for all my life. I care not what may happen to me.”
Next they burned the camp on Sleeping Bull Mountain, after which they all took the road back to Gucheng where they were welcomed. They exchanged the stories of their several adventures, and the two ladies related the valiant deeds of Guan Yu whereat Liu Bei was too affected to speak.
then they performed a GREat sacrifice to Heaven and Earth with the slaughter of a bull and a horse.
the soldiers also were recompensed for their toils. Liu Bei surveyed the conditions around him and found therein much to rejoice at. His two brothers were restored to his side and none of his helpers were missing. Moreover he had gained Zhao Yun, and Guan Yu had acquired an adopted son Guan Ping. Another commander had joined his ranks in the person of Zhou Cang. There was every occasion for feasting and gratification.
[hip, hip, hip] Scattered wide were the brothers, none knew another’s retreat, Joyfully now they foregather, dragon and tigers meet. [yip, yip, yip]
At this time the forces under the command of Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Sun Qian, Jian Yong, Mi Zhu, Mi Fang, Guan Ping, and Zhou Cang numbered four or five thousand soldiers. Liu Bei was in favor of leaving Gucheng and occupying Runan, and just then Liu Pi and Gong Du, the commanders of that city, sent to invite him to go there. So they went. There they devoted all their efforts to strengthen their army, both horse and foot.
Yuan Shao was much annoyed when Liu Bei did not return and at first was for sending a force after him. However Guo Tu dissuaded him.
“Liu Bei needs cause you no anxiety. Cao Cao is your one enemy and must be destroyed. Even Liu Biao, though strongly posted on River Han, is none too terrible. there is Sun Ce on the southeast of the GREat River, strong, feared, with wide domain of six territories, a large army, and able counselors and leaders； you should make an alliance there against Cao Cao.”
Guo Tu won his chief to his view and wrote to Sun Ce, sending the letter by Chen Zhen.
[hip, hip, hip] Just as one warrior leaves the north, Another from the east comes forth. [yip, yip, yip]
Future chapters will reveal the outcome of these dispositions.