Edward Hsu 2 Geng #21
Teacher: Mr. de Groof
My name is Chang Liao, I used to be a general of Lu Bu, who was the most valiant general in China, but after he was defeated by Cao Cao, I became a General of Wei. In 207 A.D., we finally defeated the offspring of Yuan Shao who was the ruler of the north of Huanghe and united the northern part of China. So, in 208 A.D., my lord had a great ambition to conquer the whole China. And in September, we conquered Jing Zhou, which was the domain of Liu Biao, after his death, his son surrender. But, we didn’t totally destroy Liu Bei. He killed our general Che Zhou and betrayed us before, but shortly after his rebel, Cao Cao defeated him in Xu Zhou. After his failure, he ran to Jing Zhou for Liu Biao’s protection, but after Liu Biao’s death, he was defeated by us at Chang-Ban slope again, but we didn’t destroy him because of his elite generals such as Guan Yu, Chang Fe, Chao Yun and his formidable advisor Zhu-Ghe Liang. And we were going to cross Chang Jiang to invade Wu because they had decided not to surrender because of Zhu-Ghe Liang.
The ruler of Wu was Sun Quan. His Kingdom was founded by his father Sun Jian and his brother Sun Tse. Sun Jian was born in Shou Chuan. He killed a horde of pirates when he was seventeen. During the revolt of Yellow Turbans, he became one of the best generals like Cao Cao who had defeated Yellow Turbans hundreds of times. Also, when Han Dynasty was controlled by Dong Zhuo, he was the only general who had defeated Dong Zhuo’s army. Sun Jian defeated Lu Bu and even killed another valiant general Hua Hsiong and entered Luo Yang, which was the capital of Han Dynasty but destroyed by Dong Zhuo. Even Cao Cao had been defeated by Dong’s General Hsu Rong. After failure of the alliance against Dong Zhuo, Sun Jian returned to Jing Zhou and became the Prefecture of Changsha County. But, because of the procession of jade imperial seal, he had some conflict with Yuan Shao and Liu Biao. At last, he declared war with Liu Biao. He conquered Jiang Shia and attacked Liu Biao’s capital, Shiang Yang. When Hsiang Yang was almost fell to Sun Jian, Liu’s advisor, Quan Liang, asked Lu Gong to run away from the castle and lure Sun Jian so they could ambush him. Because Sun Jian underestimate the enemy, he only lead 30 calvarias to chase Lu Gong, so he was killed by Liu Biao’s soldiers. After his death, his son, Sun Tse, went to Yuan Shoo to seek for help. But, Yuan Shoo kept breaking his word that Sun Tse could not bear anymore. He exchanged jade imperial seal to 3000 calvarias and tried to become independent. Yuan Shoo thought that he would not succeed so he accepted. Surprisingly, Sun Tse defeated Wang Lung, Yen Baihu Liu Hsian and united the whole southeastern part of China. Unfortunately, when Sun Tse wanted to defeat Cao Cao and conquer the north, he was assassinated by hanger-on of his rebellion, Hsu Gong, who wanted to kill Sun Tse but was founded and killed by Sun Tse.
I thought we can win this battle easily. We had an army of 800 thousands while they had only 50 thousands. In October, we built a gigantic camp in Wulin and Wu’s general Chou Yu built their base at Red Cliff. When I first got on boat, seasickness became my greatest enemy. I felt really uncomfortable, and started to spew. For us, who had never travel in river, it was hard time.
Our vessels were made of wood. There were four kinds of boats. The biggest one was Lou-Chuan, which was the headquarters of the whole navy; they have a big building in the center of the boat. The second biggest ones were Dou-Jian; they were the main fighter in wars, the thick wall could protect our soldiers from getting shot by our enemies. The third biggest ones were Mong-Chung; they were the vanguard of wars, they looked similar with Dou-Jian, but their sizes are much smaller and lighter than Dou-Jian. Due to the weight, they were faster than Dou-Jian but heavier than Zhou-Khe, they were the best forwards. And the smallest ones were Zhou-Khe; they were the support of the wars, although they were the lightest and the weakest, they were still one of the biggest factor in the wars.
One day, an ugly and impolite man named Pang Tung came to our camp. My lord seemed so happy that he rushed out from his room immediately to welcome him, but I didn’t even know who he is. And the next day, my lord asked the whole navy to tie all vessels together with iron chains. I heard that Cao Cao accepted the advice from Pang Tong to cure our seasickness. After tying vessels together, I really felt much better than before. But, I had some presentiment that this decision might affect the war situation.
I wore a dark iron armor to train my troops. My armor was really heavy, but it gave me a nice protection except my arms and my neck, and also, I thought my strength could help m still move easily with the heavy armor. But, my troops weren’t as lucky as I did. Their armor only covered their chest and belly, but no protection for their head, shoulder or legs, their armors were much lighter than mine, yet it still restricted their motion. So, although they were not the strongest during the battle, they were the ones who sacrifice most in the war. Also, without my troops, I would not be able to win any war.
There were many kinds of weapons so did the soldiers. The most common one was army takes Ji, which was a stick with a T-blade. The second common ones were spearmen and swordsmen. Archers and cavalries were important, too.
This night, Kan Zhe came to our camp and said that he had something important to inform us, my lord accepted. He told my lord that general Huang Gai want to surrender. At first, Cao Cao didn’t believe him, but our spy’s report from Wu’s camp said that Huang Gai was slashed by Chou Yu. My lord finally believed him.
Next night, we had a party. Cao Cao intoned his own poem. But, advisor Liu Fu said that a line in the poem was not a good symbol for our war. My lord got mad and killed him with his special weapon “Shuo” which looks like paddle but with many thorns on it. Shortly after Liu Fu’s death, Cao Cao regretted and buried Liu Fu in a dignified manner. Then, a soldier said that Huang Gai’s Mong-Chungs are coming. My lord got to the entrance to welcome Huang Gai. When counselor Chun Yu saw the boats, he told my lord that if the boat was carrying army provisions, it should have a deep draft. But, those boats were too light that almost the whole boat float on water. Also, we detected that wind changed it direction from southeast to northwest, which was the position of our camp. My lord was shocked by the news and seemed terrified. He asked general Wen Pin to stop the boats. But, the boats shot many arrows and attacked Wen Pin. When he failed to stop the boats, we knew that it was too late. Wu’s navies were going to burn all of our vessels.
When Huang Gai’s boats stroked our vessels, it started to burn. Because they were all tied together by chains, the whole camp caught fire. All of us could do nothing but trying to escape. Suddenly, I saw the liar, Huang Gai, chasing Cao Cao. Anger was full of my mind; I took out my bow and shot Huang Gai’s hips. He was injured and fell into river. But, I had no time to kill him because I had to protect Cao Cao. We ran into Wulin forest. And then we got together with other troops. Only Cao Ren, Hsu Huang, Lee Dien, Le Chin and Hsu Zhu escaped with us. Just before we got into the forest, Wu’s army came out and attacked us. Gan Ning attacked from the north, Chiang Chin and Chou Tai attacked from the east, Liu Mong and Han Dang attacked from the west. Hsu Huang tried to withstand Gan Ning so that others could get into the forest and escape. When we got into the forest, Cao Cao laughed, he even faced the sky, said,” I heard that Chou Yu and Zhu-Ghe Liang are two of the smartest man in China, but I thought they are really stupid, because if they hide armies here, I might be killed.” Just after Cao Cao’s talk, Liu Bei’s general Chao Yuen, who killed over 50 Wei generals in Changban slope to save Liu Bei’s son and wives, came out and sitting in his white horse. “I am Chao Zhe-long from Changshan; I have already stayed for a long time.” he said and started to attack us with his spear. I stayed there and covered my lord to escape. After Chao Yuen retreat, I rushed to my troop.
After fleeing for a long time, the Sun had risen out again. We stopped to cook and eat our breakfast. At that time, Cao Cao crazily laughed again and the whole valley was filled with his sound, “I heard that Chou Yu and Zhu-Ghe Liang are two of the smartest man in China, but I thought they are really stupid, because if they hide armies here, I might be killed.” Just as soon as my lord speak, Liu Bei’s sworn brother, Chang Fe, who stopped our army alone in the war of Changban slope, smiled and shouted” Long time no see, Cao Cao, do you still remember me, Chang Fe from Yen!” We were all threatened, but, the strongest of us, Hsu Zhu, roared and started to fight against Chang Fe so that we could escape successfully. After a long escaping, we came to a fork in a road. There are two choices, a big one named Ping-Chuan and a small one named Hua-Rung. And the sky over Hua-Rung road had some smoke floating. We thought that the small road would have our enemies, but my lord said that Chu-Ghe Liang want to lure us to the big road so he set smoke in the small road. We were all admiring his intelligence. But, when we got to the end of the road, Guan Yu came out and blocked us. My lord seemed threatened, either. Guan Yu said,” Zhu-Ghe Liang had already predicted that you will get into Hua-Rung road, so, Cao Cao, today is your end!” Advisor Cheng Yu told my lord that the only way to escape was to beg Guan Yu because Cao Cao treated him well and even gave him a lot of present when he surrender Cao Cao long time ago. My lord started to beg Guan Yu. Although Guan Yu had already saved me once when Liu Bu was defeated by Cao Cao and Liu Bei, I also saved him and Liu Bei’s wives when Liu Bei lost Cao Cao in Hsu Zhou. So, I also kneel on the ground crying for mercy. Guan Yu seemed to be in a dilemma. He roared with his long beard shaking and commanded his troops to let us go even though his troops were all unwilling to do this. We ran away as fast as we could.
Although we lost the War of Red Cliffs, we were still the strongest warlord in China. But, because of the destruction of Cao Cao’s ambition, we gave up conquering the south but tried to suppress the west first. Also, after the War of Red Cliffs, although Wu and Liu Bei still kept alliance, they started to cheat each other for their own good. Till then, the base of the three kingdoms had set after the War of Red Cliffs.
Chen, Shou, Record of the Three Kingdoms, 1006, print
Luo, GuanZhong, Mao ZhongGang, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, 1976, San Min Shu Ji, Taipei, print
Tu Jie San Guo Shi Dai, Yi Bo Shi Wen Hua, 2006, Taipei, print
Shi Ji San Guo Cao Cao Zhi Ba Je Sheng Chu, Ge Lin Wen Hua, 2005, Taipei, print
Shi Ji San Guo Kong Ming Zhi San Fen Tian Shia, Ge Lin Wen Hua, 2005, Taipei, print