Skep's Place


Chapter 29: Deadline to Downpour

At the end of last chapter, Yuan Shao sent a message to Sun Ce asking him to march against Cao Cao. Although Sun Ce isn't on bad terms with Cao Cao necessarily, he does want to attack because one of Cao Cao's advisors called him names.

Unfortunately, one of Sun Ce's guys leaks the plot to Cao Cao, and Sun Ce has the guy executed. Even more unfortunately, some of that guy's followers later ambush Sun Ce while he's out on a hunt, and he gets stabbed a bunch and shot in the cheek with a poison arrow. The injuries are pretty bad, but the doctor is like, you'll be fine, just as long as you take things super easy for a hundred days. A nobleman like you, should be the easiest thing in the world.

And it would be, if the chapter didn't suddenly devolve into shenanigans.

Sun Ce is having a very relaxed feast one day, when a bunch of his officers leave halfway through because there's a famous mystic outside. His name is Yu Ji. Sun Ce doesn't like not being the center of attention, so he orders Yu Ji executed. Which seems extreme, but in fairness, Yu Ji's teachings ended up being followed by the Yellow Turbans, and it's possible he's peddling whatever the ancient Chinese version of homeopathy is.

However, nobody wants Sun Ce to kill this guy. One person is even like, hey, we've had a drought. If this guy truly is a miracle worker, let's see if he can call in rain. Sun Ce says, fine; if you can bring in some rain by noon, I'll maybe think about not executing you.

Well, the rain rolls in at 12:03—just in the nick of time to put out the fires around the stake he's about to be burned at because he missed the noon deadline. This may seem like surefire evidence to some, but not to Sun Ce, who is a man of scientific principles I guess. Figuring that the late rain was just a coincidence, he has Yu Ji beheaded instead.

At this point the book goes all Twilight Zone for a bit, because Sun Ce keeps seeing Yu Ji everywhere he goes. Yu Ji just shows up wherever, and Sun Ce tries to kill him with a sword a couple times. One time he even accidentally knocks off the guy who actually performed the execution. Sun Ce also orders a temple destroyed at one point... and then calls in the entire army when he spots Yu Ji after that. Safe to say, the guy is kind of losing it.

Well eventually, he sees Yu Ji in his bedroom mirror, which freaks him out so badly that his wounds open up again, and Sun Ce dies.

Surprise! This isn't the Sun family member we're following in this story, either.

Sun Ce passes the torch to his younger brother, Sun Quan, who puts on a hiring event and decides that now's a bad time to get involved with Yuan Shao's stupid thing, so he opts to play nice with Cao Cao instead.

With all that sorted in the south, Yuan Shao is informed that Sun Quan won't be helping out in the war. He doesn't take this news very well, and angrily sets an immediate march on Cao Cao regardless.

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