Skep's Place


Chapter 55: Escaping the Honeymoon

Lady Sun, who is usually named Sun Ren in other media, is really the only woman in the Three Kingdoms for whom any sort of martial prowess is implied. Not displayed, mind you; but her ladies-in-waiting carry swords, and she has all sorts of weapons decorating her room. Which all seems very in-character, being the daughter of Sun Jian, so that's pretty cool.

Something less cool: sometimes said media builds up a bit of a "romance story" between Liu Bei and Lady Sun. But... Liu Bei is fifty at this point, and we don't have an age for Lady Sun, but 18 is the BEST-case scenario. I'm not going to say any more on that.

Anyway, Liu Bei hangs around in the Southland, living it up. He's never had it this good; I mean, this guy started out weaving sandals after all. So he's living the royal life for once, graciously provided by Sun Quan—because Zhuo Yu figured, hey, if we make Liu Bei's life REALLY good, he'll never leave, and his annoyingly great generals won't want to fight for him anymore, and we can take Jing back.

This actually works for a while; but the end of the year is coming up, and Zhao Yun is getting kind of bored. He decides it's time to open another of the scheme bags Zhuge Liang sent with him. After reading the contents, he runs up to Liu Bei and tells him this tiny, insignificant fib: Cao Cao is seeking vengeance for Red Cliff and is marching half a million guys on Jing.

Liu Bei sighs and says, fiiiine, I guess I should get back. Lady Sun is never going to want to come with me though.


And you know what happens?

SHE SEES HIS VIEWPOINT AND MAKES THE DECISION TO GO WITH HIM. Despite the really uncomfortable age gap this is somehow the healthiest spousal relationship we've seen so far.

However, Lady Sun is understandably concerned that Queen Mother Wu won't let her go. But Liu Bei has a plan for this. He conveniently has some ancestors buried a county over, and at the start of the new year, it's considered appropriate for a devoted child to visit and offer tribute. It's likewise appropriate for the spouse to come with. So this is the excuse they use as to why they're stepping out of the palace, and Lady Wu gives her blessing.

Sun Quan, meanwhile, had too much to drink at the New Year's Eve party, so he doesn't even find out about this for a while. When he does, he realizes what is happening and sends out a bunch of generals to go chase them down.

Eventually the generals close in, and Zhao Yun has no choice but to open the last of Zhuge Liang's sacks. He shows the contents to Liu Bei, who then tells Lady Sun, heeeey, I know we're doing great together, but actually your brother arranged this marriage just to bump me off and now he's about to do that thing, just an FYI.

And Lady Sun is like, whaaaat is that shit.

So the generals rock up, and Lady Sun gives them as good a chewing-out as Lady Wu would give. She tells them, hey idiots, we have the Queen Mother's blessing to be out here, and going against her blessing is not a cute look for my brother, because we're supposed to be all reverent to our ancestors and stuff, and tomorrow he'll realize that and he's going to feel pretty stupid, so you'd better just let us go and save everybody the hassle.

It works, and Liu Bei's entourage meets up with Zhuge Liang who brought some boats, and they all sail home.

Except they get chased by Zhuo Yu; but Zhuge Liang already planted Guan Yu to ambush him, and Zhuo Yu's men get driven out of Jing again, causing Zhuo Yu's wound to open back up due to the stress of it all.

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