Skep's Place


Chapter 44 / Red Cliffs Part 2: The Pact

Fortunately, Zhuo Yu just happened to be swinging by that day, so he didn't even need to be summoned from whatever the heck he was off doing.

He's trying to get settled into his Airbnb, and everyone keeps swinging by to convince him to support them. The advisors who were harassing Zhuge Liang yesterday stop by advocating submission to Cao Cao, then Huang Gai and a bunch of generals drop in advocating war, then civil officials swing around asking for submission, and then some other captains pop in and can't even decide what they want and basically just waste Zhuo Yu's time.

It's made clear to us that Zhuo Yu favors war, but he still needs to suss out Zhuge Liang. So he goes into their meeting acting like submission to Cao Cao is his preference, because he wants Zhuge Liang to ask for help, rather than offering it to him.

Lu Su is here too, and he and Zhuo Yu argue back and forth about what to do. Eventually Lu Su turns to Zhuge Liang, saying hey, back me up here, tell Zhuo Yu we need to fight.

Zhuge Liang goes, uh, yeah, you should probably just surrender to Cao Cao.

Lu Su is LIVID (but for some reason doesn't question the fact that Zhuge Liang was totally in his court yesterday, and all of a sudden he's done a complete 180). So Lu Su is looking like a bit of a chump in all this, because obviously Zhuge Liang is being Zhuge Liang.

Zhuo Yu is contemplating how much they're going to have to offer Cao Cao to keep him from beating the snot out of them. Zhuge Liang tells him, you only need to send him two people, and he's going to go away forever.

Zhou Yu:

a gif of Vinny from My Cousing Vinny sitting on a desk saying I'd love to hear this

Zhuge Liang tells him, no, it's true! There's an elder lord in the south with the family name of Qiao; he has two very beautiful daughters. Cao Cao is apparently building a huge-ass tower, and it's common knowledge that he'd like to move the Qiao sisters in and turn it into his own personal love palace. Somebody even wrote a song about it. In fact, that's the real reason he's going to invade the Southland, just for them. You send him the girls, and he gets too distracted to invade.

Zhou Yu:

a gif of Hades from the Disney Hercules movie exploding in rage

He's ready to go sock Cao Cao in the face right now. Because the older Qiao sister was married to Sun Ce.

And uh, since they were bros and all... the younger sister is Zhuo Yu's own wife. SAFE TO SAY Zhuo Yu isn't giving Cao Cao anything.

(For what it's worth, Zhuge Liang is all, whaaaaat, that's crazy, I didn't know that they were your wives! But of course, he knew the whole time.)

The next day, Sun Quan pulls everybody together to hear Zhuo Yu's decision. Zhuo Yu says, we need to fight Cao Cao. But Sun Quan, I'm afraid your indecisiveness in this matter will cause conflict.

So Sun Quan draws his sword and slices the corner off his table. To show his commitment. Or something. And he says that anybody advocating submission from here on out ends up like the table. With their... corner cut off, I guess. Anyway, he gives Zhuo Yu full military authority over the army.

However, a little while later, Zhuo Yu and Zhuge Liang are talking, and Zhuge Liang is like, I dunno, you need to talk to Sun Quan again, I think he still has reservations about all this. And it turns out, he does; but Zhou Yu puts his mind at ease right away, so that's not important. The bigger takeaway for Zhuo Yu is, wow, Zhuge Liang knew what Sun Quan was thinking. He'd actually be kind of dangerous if he was ever working against us.

He tells Lu Su, who's like, well, what would you do? Kill him?

Zhuo Yu says, "...maybe?"

But Lu Su says, you can't do it now, though, we still need his help. Maybe instead we send his brother over and try to convince him to work for us?

So Zhuge Jin stops by, and he's like, hey, brothers shouldn't be separated. You should come work for us and we can be together! To which Zhuge Liang replies, my mission is too important, I can't leave it. But maybe you should come work for Liu Bei instead! That's a much better idea!

Zhuge Jin has to mutter something about just joking around and buggers off.

However, despite Zhuo Yu's apprehension of Zhuge Liang, the alliance is officially formed. But that in and of itself won't be enough.

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