Skep's Place


Chapter 28: Hopping the Border a Few More Times

"But Cao Cao says I'm free to go. You were even there for that," says Guan Yu.
"Yeah, sure. But you killed a bunch of dudes on the way out. Cai Yang isn't happy about what happened to his nephew," says Xiahou Dun.
"I had no choice. If you want to stop me, go ahead and try."

"Wait!" says a random messenger who appears. "I have a note from Cao Cao that says you're free to pass."

"Does Cao Cao know he killed a bunch of dudes?" asks Xiahou Dun.
"Uhhh... no..."
"Then I still have to stop him."

Guan Yu and Xiahou Dun spar a couple rounds, until...

"Stop fighting!" says a second messenger. "I have orders that Guan Yu is free to pass."
"Okaaaay," says Xiahou Dun, "anything from Cao Cao about killing the dudes?"
"Nope, not a thing."
"What the actual shit, he sent two guys carrying the same stupid message? Well, whatever, now I stop Guan Yu."

"Hold up!" says a third arrival. This one is Zhang Liao, so you know it's actually going to be important.

"Cao Cao heard about what happened and says he doesn't actually care," Zhang Liao explains.
"Entirely off-topic," says Xiahou Dun, "but are we expected to believe that Cao Cao sent three messengers from the capital, all of whom traveled over 300 miles, and not only could none of you on horseback catch up to a guy escorting ladies being pushed around in a rickshaw, but you all showed up within five minutes of one another?"
"I guess so," says Guan Yu. "Anyway I'm gonna go for real now, bye."
"All right, but just remember," says Xiahou Dun, "I'll be keeping my eye on you."
"...I'm driving home separate," says Zhang Liao.

Anyway Guan Yu has a couple more small adventures where he meets some former Yellow Turbans and adopts a son, but none of it is the character-defining stuff of the previous chapters that has made him a Chinese legend.

He eventually comes to a city where he finds out that Zhang Fei showed up out of the blue one day, kicked the mayor out, and took over. And Guan Yu is like, Zhang Fei is here, this is great!

And Zhang Fei is like, I'ma kill you because you served Cao Cao!

Everybody tries to talk him down to no avail. But eventually Zhang Fei says, fine. You want to prove yourself to me? Well, why don't you go kill that Cai Yang guy and that contingent of Cao Cao's men that literally just showed up right behind you? But you have to do it before I finish this drum roll, or I won't buy that you're not faking, even if you do actually kill them all.

Of course Guan Yu does it before Zhang Fei can even pick up a drumstick, so they end up as buds again.

Leaving Zhang Fei in the city to hold on to the only piece of land they have, Guan Yu decides to look for Liu Bei in Runan (which turns out is actually on the southern end of Cao Cao's territory, meaning Guan Yu has to go back the way he came). Then, when he arrives at Runan, he's told that Liu Bei went back to Yuan Shao after all, and he needs to make the trip north again.

Eventually though, Guan Yu manages to meet up with Liu Bei, who gives Yuan Shao the slip. Then, they run into Zhao Yun, who they thought was totally dead after Gongsun Zan got crushed. Zhao Yun greets them by killing one of Guan Yu's new ex-Turban friends, because ex-Turban friend tried to steal Zhao Yun's horse even though Guan Yu had had a talk with him about not being a robber anymore and he agreed it was really good advice. But nobody can be mad at Zhao Yun for offing the guy that didn't listen to Guan Yu, so he joins the crew and serves Liu Bei now.

This means that we're all reunited and everybody is happy. Well, except for Yuan Shao, who's realizing that Liu Bei ain't actually coming back. So he sends a letter to Sun Ce seeing if he'll march against Cao Cao too.

Yeah, it's been a while since we've checked in with the Sun family. We'll see what they're up to next chapter.

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