Skep's Place


Chapter 4: Depression Party

With the intimidating Lu Bu by his side, the imperial courtiers are now suddenly a lot more agreeable to Dong Zhuo than they were, and they think deposing the emperor is actually not that bad an idea, after all.

Well, except for Yuan Shao, who buggers off home. And a couple of other guys who say something and get executed.

Anyway, Bian is removed from the throne, and Xie is made emperor in his place. Bian and his mother, Empress He, are kept under house arrest, but eventually they're unceremoniously dispatched. Because, you know, tyrant.

Yeah uh Dong Zhuo is bad and now he basically has unchecked power. He takes his run of the palace and helps himself to the emperor's things. He also takes his troops out to go slaughter some people celebrating a holiday. For... fun and profit? I don't know this is hard to joke about. So let's joke about Cao Cao instead.

One of the ministers, Wang Yun, isn't taking the tyrrany thing so well, and he fakes a birthday party just so people will console him. One of the people who shows up is Cao Cao, and he starts laughing at Wang Yun, because he figures, geeze, you'll bitch and moan but you won't do a damn thing about it. In fact, Cao Cao has gotten close to Dong Zhuo, and he just might be able to assassinate the despot. But first, he asks to borrow a jeweled dagger from Wang Yun to do the deed with.

So Cao Cao makes his move. Except when he's finally alone with Dong Zhuo, the latter sees Cao Cao in a mirror he had sewn into his clothes because he's a sneaky sumabitch. And also in that moment Lu Bu happens to walk in. At that point I might have just stabbed myself and saved everybody the trouble, but Cao Cao is also a sneaky sumabitch, so he drops to his knees and offers the dagger as a gift. In case you wondered why he specifically needed a jeweled dagger. Man thinks ahead.

Dong Zhuo accepts it and Cao Cao leaves, but Zhuo is still suspicious, so he puts out a warrant for Cao's arrest, and Cao Cao flees the capital. He's arrested in another city by a magistrate named Chen Gong, but instead of turning Cao Cao in, Chen Gong quits his job and goes with him, because he, too, wants to do his duty to the empire and get rid of Dong Zhuo.

On the way to wherever the hell they're going, they stop by a Cao family friend's place to stay the night. They're entertained for a while, but eventually the friend says, would you look at that, we're out of wine. I need to go a town over to get some more. And then while he's gone, from outside, Cao Cao and Chen Gong hear a knife being sharpened and somebody saying "let's tie him up and kill him!" And Cao Cao reasons, well, is this guy a good enough friend not to turn me in for the bounty?

So he and Chen Gong preemptively kill the entire family. Just to find out they were actually talking about the pig they were about to butcher.

You know. Everybody's made that mistake at some point in their lives.

So the two of them understandably don't stick around. But they run into the family friend on the road out, returning with the wine. He's like, hey, where are you guys going?! But he doesn't ask them why they're covered in blood. I would want to know that if I were him, but whatever.

Anyway Cao Cao kills him too. Chen Gong is NOT okay with this, because this guy, at least, they knew was innocent. But Cao Cao figures, well, he'd return home to see what they'd done, and would demand retribution.

And in his words, "Better to wrong the world than to have the world wrong me."

Which is the kind of thing guys with pointy black goatees say. I'm just saying.

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