Three Kingdoms: A Historical Novel, Part 1
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courtiers, and Cao Cao tries to assassinate him. The attempt fails and Cao Cao flees the court. In the beginning of chapter 5, Cao Cao recruits an army in his home region and mobilizes the lords of the realm. They form a war confederacy, headed by Yuan Shao, to expel Dong Zhuo and save the dynasty. CHAPTER 5 Cao Cao Rallies the Lords with a Forged Decree; The Three Brothers Engage Lü Bu in Battle T h e war-ruler scanned the audience. Behind G o n g s u n Zan t h r e e extraordinary-looking
trap." But Cao Cao answered, "Lord Guan's word is his bond. He would never break faith." The pullback was implemented. Escorted by his own soldiers, Lord Guan entered Xiapi. He found public order undisturbed. At Xuande's residence Lady Gan and Lady Mi received him eagerly. Lord Guan saluted them from below the stair. "The distress you have suffered," he said, "is my fault." "Where is the imperial uncle?" they asked. "I do not know," Lord Guan replied. "What are we to do now, brother-inlaw?" they
mother's account I have to leave, though our task remains incomplete. But no matter how Cao Cao pressures me, I will not propose a single strategy for him to my dying day." "Once you have gone, master," Xuande said, "I intend to withdraw to the mountain forest." "When I laid plans with Your Lordship for the royal cause," Shan Fu went on, "my meagre intelligence was all I had to count on. But now, because of my mother, I cannot think clearly. Even were I to remain, I would be of no use. My lord
given in marriage with me to your father. She is your mother as well. Serve her as you would have served me. Care for your younger sister, too, and marry her well." With these words she passed away. Sun Quan wailed in grief. He duly fulfilled the ceremonies of mourning and interment. In the spring of the following year, Sun Quan raised the question of attacking Huang Zu. Zhang Zhao counseled caution: "We are still in the first year of the mourning period. It is not the time for military action."
declared, "you were commissioned by your father to defend Jiangxia and have no authority to abandon your duties. What if the Southland soldiers strike? Your appearance here could only annoy the protector and aggravate his condition, which would be most unfilial. You should return at once." Liu Qi stood helplessly outside the gates; after a spell of lamentation he returned sadly to Jiangxia. Liu Biao continued to fail. At last, despairing of his heir's arrival, he groaned loudly and passed away in