In the end, Jia Xu still surrendered to Liu Mang. Jia Xu was quite a straightforward person1. Before this, Liu Mang had indeed come out of Shouchun but he had brought the Wolf Cavalry with him. This destroyed Jia Xu’s test. The second issue was that Liu Mang had spoken rudely2. Jia Xu had also tried to raise his value which is why they could not have worked together. However, the way back had already been blocked. The only way to survive was to surrender. Jia Xu was smart person. Since much earlier, he had already noticed that Liu Mang wanted him dead. If Jia Xu had not left earlier, it was possible that Liu Mang would have attacked with the Wolf Cavalry. After all, Liu Mang was more profound compared to the other Lords and feared Jia Xu. Liu Mang knew that Jia Xu was a viper.
As there was already no other way out, Jia Xu surrendered. He looked less like a scholar and more like a sly fox. Liu Mang was sure that if Jia Xu was captured, Jia Xu would immediately betray him. It was impossible for Jia Xu to be like Xu Shu who would even die to protect the city. This was Jia Xu’s natural characteristic and it was impossible to change it. To prevent Jia Xu from betraying him, Liu Mang had to maintain absolute power.
Although Liu Mang had some disdain for Jia Xu’s character, he still greeted Jia Xu with a warm smile. He even got down his horse to personally support Jia Xu up. This was already giving Jia Xu a lot of face. After all, Jia Xu was extremely talented and deserved such treatment.
“Your Majesty. This sinner has committed many offenses in the past. Please excuse them!” Jia Xu was truly a sly person. He became humble the moment his life was within the grasp of others. It was not surprising as he was a person that had thrown away his own ident.i.ty just to survive. Liu Mang found his current actions quite funny. It was as though viper hid its fangs and pretended to be a docile house pet.
“Mister Jia Xu. Why do you call yourself a sinner? It is I, who is lucky to have your loyalty!” Liu Mang did not bother to see how loyal Jia Xu was. He simply needed to put Jia Xu into Yangzhou and make use of the man’s poison.
“Jia Xu Jia Wenhe greets Milord!” Jia Xu had shown a sudden change and addressed Liu Mang as ‘Milord.’ Before this, he had been fighting against Liu Mang in a war of words. If Liu Mang had not put a stop to it, Liu Ye could have even been forced to die by Jia Xu. Yet, Jia Xu was now greeting Liu Mang with a smile on his face. Liu Mang had only thought of how to make sure the viper won’t bite him but now the viper had called him Milord.
“Haha! With Wenhe, it is like I have a hundred thousand men!” Liu Mang said sincerely. Jia Xu alone was worth more than a hundred thousand men. He was one of the best strategists. Jia Xu lived up to seventy seven years old. During those times, a thirty year old man was already considered very old. A forty five year old man would have lots of descendants and was considered to have already lived a very long life. Dong Zhuo, Guo Si, Li Jue, and Zhang Xiu had all died but Jia Xu was still living well.
Even Sima Yi had to be respectful to Jia Xu. This showed how frightening Jia Xu was.
Liu Mang’s high evaluation of Jia Xu made Jia Xu feel relieved. Zhang Hu and Ge Jun were also happy about this as it would also mean that Liu Mang would not mind them. Liu Mang also helped these two men up and continued his act. After all, he also needed the Xiliang Cavalry.
“Milord overpraises us.” Jia Xu replied modestly, no longer as overbearing as before. “Milord, I have presumptuous request.”
“Hm?” Liu Mang frowned. He had thought that Jia Xu wanted to be released or something similar. These are not requests that could be fulfilled.
“We hurriedly rushed out of Nanyang with barely any preparations. It is late and the weather is damp. I hope Milord can give us tents for us to spend the night.” Jia Xu requested. They had spent many nights sleeping outdoors. This was fine as they had been running for their lives. However, now that they have surrendered, they might as well be a little thick skinned and ask for lodging.
Seeing Liu Mang’s frown, Jia Xu hurriedly added, “Milord. It is fine if there is not enough tents. Most of us are already used to sleeping outdoors. However, please find some for the Young Lord Zhang Lei and his family.” Jia Xu had thought that Liu Mang was unwilling to grant his request. This is because the Xiliang Cavalry under his command had opposed the Wolf Cavalry. Even if they had already surrendered, Liu Mang had to first show off his strength or else he would not be able to explain himself to the Wolf Cavalry later. This would have also raised his prestige amongst the Xiliang Cavalry. So, Jia Xu asked for the next best thing which is only possible because of Zhang Lei’s presence. Zhang Lei was only five year old which also meant that he could fall sick easily. Jia Xu also gave the lack of tents as an excuse to cover up Liu Mang’s unwillingness.
“It is cold outside the city. Might as well enter the city!” Liu Mang looked at the densely packed Xiliang Cavalry. They were no longer able to hide their fatigue. Behind the Xiliang Cavalry were two carriages. Inside it should be Zhang Xiu’s family.
“Enter the city?” Liu Mang’s words immediately caused Jia Xu and the two generals to be lost for words. What Liu Mang felt baffled about was that voices of shock could also be heard from inside the carriage.
Jia Xu’s expression changed as amongst Zhang Xiu’s family was one of the reasons Zhang Xiu opposed Cao Cao. Cao Cao wanted to take Lady Zou, who was Zhang Ji’s younger wife, as a concubine. Although she was his aunt, she was younger than him. By marrying her, Cao Cao would be above Zhang Xiu in terms of generation. In other words, he would have to call him uncle. This was not something Zhang Xiu could do. Besides that, his uncle Zhang Ji had treated him well in the past. He had also promised his uncle that he would take good care of Lady Zou. This was why Zhang Xiu rebelled against Cao Cao.
Now, Liu Mang allowed them to enter the city. It is possible that he had evil intentions. After all, Lady Zou’s beauty is obvious to all. Even a sly person like Jia Xu was moved by her beauty. Zhang Xiu had thought that by rebelling against Cao Cao, Lady Zou would be able to escape calamity but it seems as though she only left the frying pan and went into the fire.
“Military Advisor! This is…” Ge Jun was the first to disagree to this. At the same time, he did not dare to go against Liu Mang as they were already like fish on a chopping block. The moment they rebel would be the moment they die.
“Military Advisor! We owe our previous lord, Zhang Xiu, a favour which is why we brought Young Lord to Yangzhou. However, we have also sent his aunt to the King of Shu!” Zhang Hu felt troubled. They had received Zhang Xiu’s kindness. To send Lady Zou away would be like a slap to the face.
“That’s right. General Zhang Ji and General Zhang Xiu have treated us well!” Ge Jun was someone who had been with them since Zhang Ji was alive. He could be considered to have been with them for three generations already.
“Do you have a better idea?” Jia Xu looked back at the two coldly. Truthfully speaking, Jia Xu also did not want to send Lady Zou away as it would be like selling people away for glory. However, as Liu Mang had ‘specifically called for her’3 they had no choice but to do so.
“We could stay outside and face hardships for one month.” Ge Jun suggested.
“We have already surrendered to His Majesty. Even if we do not enter today, there would be other days. You must also consider the fact that you would offend His Majesty if you refuse today!” Jia Xu said to the two feeling a bit guilty. This is because Zhang Xiu had treated him well in the past. However, that was also a thing of the past. It was already good enough that he could keep Zhang Lei alive.
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“We…” Zhang Hu and Ge Jun could not help but agree with Jia Xu’s words. Liu Mang would be able to obtain Lady Zou any time he wants. However, they would offend their new Lord if they do not hand her over today. On one hand is the favour they owed to their previous Lord. On the other hand is their future prospects. Which of the two would be more important? This question made the two feel troubled.
“I will not follow Milord in. I still need to placate the Xiliang Cavalry here.” Although Zhang Lei and Lady Zou would enter the city, there would still be many soldiers outside. If they rebelled, not only would the Lu Bu’s Army suffer but so would Jia Xu himself.
“You can do that after entering the city.”
“Enter the city to placate the troops?”
“What’s wrong? It’s damp outside. Even if you have tents, it would be hard to shield yourself from the rain. It would be easy to fall sick in this weather. Besides that, it’s already late. By the time you set up camp, the sun would have risen already. You might as well let the whole army enter the city!” Liu Mang’s barracks in Shouchun still had lots of s.p.a.ce. After all, he also made preparations for the time the Lu Bu’s Army would join him in Shouchun. There was enough for hundreds and thousands of troops and the building was made with cement. It could shield them from the rain and it was drier than wood.
“This is…” Jia Xu was loss for words. His eyes grew wide as though he could not believe his ears. He then realized that Liu Mang did not pay attention to Lady Zou at all and there was no l.u.s.t in his eyes. He then realized that Liu Mang was serious with his words. Liu Mang truly wanted to let all of the Xiliang Cavalry into the city.
Jia Xu took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He then opened his eyes, straightened his appearance. With a feeling of satisfaction, he slowly knelt in front of Liu Mang and said, “Jia Xu Jia Wenhe of Wuwei greets Milord!”4
NOOOO! I am offended by that statement! Every living being I have ever met in this world is more straightforward than this fool.
Its more obvious in Chinese. Though, I never quite understood polite/rude speech styles in English, if there is even any. Basically, Liu Mang had been speaking in a more ‘friendly’ manner as opposed to politely such as using Jia Xu’s courtesy name.
This caused me a lot of heartache, headache and soul ache, if that is even a thing. 点名道姓 “dian ming dao xing” is basically to ‘call someone out specifically.’ Like how your teacher may call out your full name and then tell you to come see him in his office. How did Liu Mang ‘specifically called for Lady Zou’? Go back and read the part where he told them to enter the city. Liu Mang looked at the carriage carrying Lady Zou around the time he said that. This and ancient common sense is apparently all that is needed for a few more paragraphs of texts.
Standard things to say when entering people’s house.
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