Skep's Place


Chapter 54: Meeting the In-Laws

Lu Su meets with Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang to offer his condolences for the death of Liu Qi. Then, predictably (and as casually as he can), Lu Su goes, soooooo I remember something about us having Jing once Liu Qi kicked the bucket?

Zhuge Liang, of course, has a plan, and that plan is to GO OFF on Lu Su. Criticizing Sun Quan for being a greedy nobody who already has more land than he's earned, and poor Liu Bei being a descendent of the Han's founder, who only has Jing here and nothing else to his name, and by the way did we not do the bulk of the fighting against Cao Cao, and wouldn't Zhuo Yu have been up shit creek if I hadn't called in the wind, and if you're even thinking about taking us on militarily I'd recommend you think twice about it because we fearlessly stood up against Cao Cao's million-man army, and, for the record, technically you guys asked us for help against him.

And poor Lu Su can only say, well, I can't really argue with that, but I'm going to look bad if I don't go back with Jing.

So Zhuge Liang says, okay, tell you what. We just want some land, it doesn't matter where. We're actually about to go west and see if we can't take Liu Zhang's from him, because he's such a trash-tier governor that he hasn't even been mentioned in this book yet. If we can pull that off, we'll give Jing back to you guys after, and we'll even sign an agreement saying so.

Lu Su happily signs this agreement and returns to Zhuo Yu.

And Zhuo Yu is FURIOUS.

He's like, what the shit is this agreement you signed! Even if they do give Jing back to us—which, by the way, they're definitely not gonna, because this is just a stall tactic—how long would it even be until we owned it again? Ten years? More?! And he whacks Lu Su over the head with the paper.

BUT, a couple days letter, Zhuo Yu gets word that Liu Bei is once again setting up funeral arrangements—this time for Liu Bei's wife (the one that didn't throw herself down a well when Zhao Yun rescued Liu Shan).

With this knowledge, Zhuo Yu hatches an evil scheme to arrange a marriage between Liu Bei and Sun Quan's younger sister. The plan is, they'll bring Liu Bei over under the pretext of the wedding, and then they'll assassinate him, nice and easy.

Sun Quan approves the plan and sends over an envoy, who tells Liu Bei, yeah, this will be a great way to cement our alliance... but Lady Sun's aunt, Queen Mother Wu? She ain't gonna be happy about sending her daughter off, so you'll have to come to the Southlands to collect.

Even Liu Bei recognizes this is probably a trick; but Zhuge Liang says, do it, I can outscheme Zhuo Yu, just take Zhao Yun and an entourage of 500 guys with you. He then gives Zhao Yun three sacks, each of them containing a scheme, and tells Zhao Yun when exactly to open them.

So Liu Bei heads to the Southland, and Zhao Yun opens the first scheme sack. After reading its contents, he tells Liu Bei, hey, you should stop by the house of Elder Qiao—the father-in-law of Zhuo Yu and the late Sun Ce—and introduce yourself.

Liu Bei goes to meet Elder Qiao; meanwhile, Zhao Yun sends his men out on the town to buy wedding supplies and generate some buzz about the upcoming event. After meeting with Liu Bei, Elder Qiao then goes to visit Lady Wu, congratulating her on the upcoming wedding, everybody in town is talking about it already.

This is, of course, the first time Lady Wu is hearing about it, and she is NOT HAPPY. And she chews out Sun Quan, and he's like, uuhhhhh Zhuo Yu planned it. And she goes and chews out Zhuo Yu even harder.

Basically she demands that she has to meet Liu Bei herself, and if she approves of him, the wedding MUST happen.

So there's a party, and they meet. Turns out, she LOVES Liu Bei. But as this is going on, Zhao Yun learns that somebody hid assassins at the party; he tells this to Liu Bei, and Liu Bei tells Lady Wu.

And again, Lady Wu is NOT HAPPY and chews out a bunch more people.

Then Liu Bei and Sun Quan hang out and do fun activities together and slice rocks in half with swords to avow fates that won't actually come to pass, but I think the book expects you to forget that by the end; but either way it's just so darn dramatic.

And then Liu Bei weds Lady Sun, cementing an alliance that will in no way be tested pretty much immediately.

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