The manipulation of state affairs by the prime minister Dong Zhuo towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) aroused strong anger in people, but nobody dared to air it. Upright ministers wanted to but failed to think of a way to get rid of him. Deep at night and alone in his garden, Wang Yun, a minister, sighed at these worries, his teaful eyes cast up at the moon. Suddenly, he heard a sigh from the pavilion nearby. He went over to see Diao Chan, the sixteen-year-old, very beautiful singsong girl in his family. Upon enquiry, the girl went down on her knees and said, “Your excellency has treated me so nice after Icame. How could I repay your kindness? Ihave noticed your knitted eyebrows, You must have big worries that Idare not ask. Isighed, because Iwish Icould help you in some way.”

  Who could believe, thought Wang that the destiny of the Han Dynasty lies in this girl's hand. He helped the girl up, then he himself prostrated and kowtowed to her. “Why do you bow to me?” the puzzled girl asked. She repeated her offer to help in any way.

  Convinced of her resolüte attitude, Wang Yun was straightforward: “Both Dong Zhuo and his stepson Lü Bu love women. I'll take you as my step daughter, then I'll betroth you to Lü Bu before I present you as a gift to Dong Zhuo. You will seek opportunities to sow discord between them and make Lü kill Dong. In this way we can preserve the Han Dynasty.” “If I fail to do as you say,” she vowed, “I will die a violent death.” These were the interlocking stratagems laid by Wang Yun and Diao Chan.



  黄忠请战 This is a story from Three Kingdoms. Huang Zhong, a veteran in the army of Shu, was one of its top five generals. Zhang He under Cao Cao had suffered one defeat after another. Cao Hong gave him a 5,000-strong army to attack Jiameng Pass. When Liu Bei learned this, he consulted with Zhuge Liang, his military advisor. Zhuge Liang said: “Zhang He is a distinguished general of Cao Cao. Only Zhang Fei could defeat him.” This irritated veteran Huang Zhong. Huang shouted: “Advisor has looked down upon me. I will get his head off and offer it to you.” Zhuge Liang prodded Huang again by saying, “Though you are valiant, I am afraid you are not Zhang He's match because you are too old.” When Huang Zhong heard this, his gray hair angrily stood on end. He said, “Old as I am, I am able to open two bows and am full of vitality.” Huang went down and got a big sword off the rack and performed with it. He took two hard bows off the wall and pulled them broken. Then Zhuge Liang said: “If you go ,whom would you like to be your assistant?” Huang Zhong replied, “Veteran Yan Yan. If the two of us can not defeat Zhang He, my gray-haired bead is yours.” Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang were very pleased. The veteran generals were ordered to fight Zhang He. When Huang Zhong and Yan Yan got to Jiameng Pass, they laid a trap to defeat Zhang He. Then they used skillful tactics to take over Tiandang Mountain, the granary of Cao Cao's army. Later, they captured Dingjun Mountain. They reported back to Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang declaring a complete victory.

  黄忠是蜀军中有名的老将。曹将张郃在连吃败仗的情况下,曹洪又给他五千人马叫他攻打葭萌关。刘备得知,与军师集众商议对策。诸葛亮说:“ 张郃是曹操手下名将,要想取胜只有张飞才行。”诸葛亮一句话,激怒了老将黄忠,只见他大声喊道:“军师太小看人了,我黄忠愿取张郃首级,献于军师帐下。” 诸葛亮再激道:“你虽然很勇敢,但年纪太大了,恐怕不是张郃的对手。”黄忠听了,气的白发倒竖说:“我虽然老了,但两臂能开三石之弓,浑身还有千斤之力。 ”只见黄忠大步走下堂,取下架上大刀,舞动如飞,拿下墙上硬弓,一连拉断两张。诸葛亮说:“将军要去,谁做你的副将。”黄忠说:“老将严颜。如果我俩不能取胜,我愿献上这颗白头。”刘备、诸葛亮大喜。命二人带兵与张郃交战。黄忠、严颜到了葭萌关,先用计打败张郃,又用智夺取了曹操的屯粮重地天荡山。而后又攻下定军山,果然大获全胜而归。


  走马荐诸葛Xu Shu was much valued by Liu Bei for his strategic talents. After several victories on the battleground against Cao Cao, Xu was made the chief military advisor. At the news, Cao Cao was begrudging. “If you want this person,” one of his advisors said, “you can bring his mother to Xuchang and send a forged letter in his mother's handwriting, asking Xu Shu to desert Liu Bei and come here. As Xu is well-known for a strong filial affection, surely he will come.” This plot worked, for Xu, on receiving the letter, cried tearfully, asking Liu Bei for an immediate departure. Feeling sad, though, Liu persisted in his stay for another night, during which the two aired their sad feelings.

  The next day Liu laid a banquet outside the city for Xu. Holding the latter's hand, Liu said, “After we separate today, only heaven knows when and where we will meet again.” He wept bitter tears. After setting off on his way, Xu suddenly turned his horse and returned. “I almost forgot an important matter,” he said to Liu. “Ten kilometers from Xiangyang City, in a place called Long zhong, Do you want to meet him?” Liu expressed his willingness at once, but also aired doubt about whether Zhuge Liang was as talented as Xu. “He tells configurations of stars in the heavens,” Xu assured him, “and recognizes everything on earth. He knows a person's real nature at the first meeting-the number one talent under the heaven. If you have him as your military advisor, you'll have the country under your name.” Liu suggested a visit to Zhuge by Xu on his behalf, at this, the latter shook his head in disapproval. “You must go and offer your invitation personally, and his acceptance depends entirely on your sincerity.” With these words said, Xu turned his horse and left. Later, Liu paid three trips to Zhuge's straw house, another favorite story among Chinese people.

  徐庶反奔刘备后,很得刘备重用。曾帮助刘备几次打败曹兵,被封为军师。曹操得知此事很惊讶。曹操的谋士程昱献计说:丞相如果想用此人,召来不难,徐庶是个孝子,丞相派人把他母亲接到许昌,再仿他母亲的笔体写信让他来许昌,他必来。“徐庶接信,果然大哭一场,拿信找刘备辞行。刘备见信也哭,强留徐庶叙情一夜。第二天,刘备在城外排宴替徐庶饯行。刘备拉着徐庶的手说:”先生这一走,你我天各一方,不知何时才能再见?“说完又痛哭流涕。徐庶行数里又拍马返回对刘备说:”忘了一件大事,襄阳城外二十里的隆中,有一位天下奇人叫诸葛亮,将军想不想见他?“刘备说:”我当然愿意见他,不知他能比上先生吗?“徐庶说: ”他抬头能知天文,低头能察地理,见面能识人心,是天下第一才人,如他能出来帮助胸,将军就可以稳坐天下了。“刘备见徐庶这样了解诸葛亮,想请徐庶辛苦一趟把诸葛亮请来。徐庶摇头说:”这样的人才,只能将军亲自去请,他愿不愿出来,还得看将军的诚意。“ 徐庶说完,策马离去。之后引出刘备三顾茅庐的故事。