Skep's Place


Chapter 62: Vroom Vroom

Liu Bei hears about Lady Sun's departure, followed by that naval battle between Cao Cao and Sun Quan that I barely talked about, and he starts getting nervous that one of them is going to win over the other and then attack Jing.

He consults with Pang Tong who says, nah, it would take them so long to decide on a winner that it's not even worth worrying about. But on the other hand, he figures Liu Zhang doesn't need to know that; so he then tells Liu Bei, hey, pretend you want to go help Sun Quan and see if Liu Zhang will give you command of a bunch of his dudes.

Right around now is when Liu Zhang's advisors start to convince him that pouring all his resources into Liu Bei miiiight possibly backfire on him, so instead of an entire army he just sends a couple crap troops.

So Liu Bei, pissed that Liu Zhang didn't give him the army he didn't actually need, finally launches his campaign to take the Riverlands.

The attack is supposed to be swift and unexpected, so Liu Bei sends a letter of false intention to Liu Zhang, saying he needs to go defend Jing from Cao Cao, and that's why he's mobilizing his army. Problem is, the envoy from a couple chapters ago who's been trying to help Liu Bei oust Liu Zhang also falls for the fib, and he's caught trying to send a letter urging Liu Bei to reconsider the retreat and instead just march on the Riverlands already. So now Liu Zhang is fully aware of the scheme, and he sends his armies out to block the two passes from Liu Bei's advance.

Huang Zhong offers to launch the first attack for Liu Bei, but then Wei Yan says nah, he's too old, send me. To which Liu Bei says, oh my god, guys, there's two camps, each of you take one, do I have to figure out everything around here. So they march out.

I'm going to dip into a NASCAR analogy for a bit here.

Before engaging their targets, both generals take a pit stop to refuel their armies. Huang Zhong decides to make a full pit stop with a fresh round of tires. But Wei Yan figures, I bet I could just take two tires and get out of the pits faster, and then clean up both enemy camps myself so that I get all the glory and Huang Zhong gets none.

Well, long story short, Wei Yan can't make it the rest of the race on just two new tires and gets wrecked in the final lap. Huang Zhong takes the checkered flag at his camp, then goes to bail out Wei Yan and captures that camp as well. To celebrate his success, Huang Zhong does donuts on his horse in the infield before pulling into victory lane.

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