Skep's Place

 

Chapter 75: Outpatient Procedures


With Yu Jin and Pang De taken care of, Guan Yu moves on Fan again; but while taunting Cao Ren out to fight, he takes another arrow to his sword arm. This particular arrow was tipped in poison, so Guan Yu has to pull back, and it starts to look like an amputation might be necessary. Luckily, a doctor heard what had happened and swung by to help.

"Hey, aren't you the same doctor that helped Zhuo Tai recover after he was wounded defending Sun Quan?" Guan Yu's son asks helpfully for anybody who isn't keeping detailed character notes.

The doctor tells Guan Yu, okay, I can treat it, but it's going to involve tying you down and throwing a blanket over your head because it's going to be so painful and gnarly.

But Guan Yu goes, nah, we can just do it while I'm sitting here. So the doctor begins to cut through all the way to the bone, and then scrapes the poison off of the bone with a razor, and then sews the arm back up. Everybody else around is about to throw up watching it because it's so gruesome—and I will remind you that these are people who regularly engage in warfare—but Guan Yu goes about his business playing chess and eating lunch and carousing with his men the whole time like nothing was even happening.

But Guan Yu still has to give it some time to recover, so he postpones taking Fan for a little bit. Regardless, Cao Cao is running out of options here; Fan is pretty much the last bastion between Guan Yu and Wei's capital, and a lot of his army is either still out playing defense from Liu Bei's offensive a few chapters ago, or recovering from that rebellion I glossed over around the same time. So he decides it's time to put Sima Yi's plan in place and bring in Wu.

The Southlands are chomping at the bit to move in on Jing. They feel like it's rightfully theirs; remember, Sun Quan's father Jian died attacking Liu Biao in Jing, and by rights, they pulled a lot of the effort in the Battle of Red Cliff to save Liu Bei's hide.

Upon receiving the reinforcement request from Cao Cao, Sun Quan gives the go-ahead to Lu Meng, who is stationed in a city bordering Jing. Guan Yu's been pretty wary of Wu this whole time though; he made sure to have a section of his army guarding against Lu Meng just in case, and a series of signal towers to alert him if Wu tried anything funny.

To fool Guan Yu into lowering his guard, Lu Meng pretends to be sick, and Sun Quan "fires" him from his posting to "tend to his illness". Sun Quan then replaces him with Lu Xun, a young man who is very bright but who hasn't really done anything noteworthy yet. Lu Xun then writes Guan Yu a letter, since they're neighbors now, basically doing a bunch of ass-kissing.

Guan Yu likes the ass-kissing and decides Lu Xun isn't a threat, so he takes those troops he had guarding against the Southlands and moves them against Fan.

That's when Lu Meng has his army disguise themselves as merchants and sails them up the river, knocking out the signal towers so Guan Yu isn't alerted of their advance. In this way, Lu Meng is able to move in and steal the capital of Jing right out from under Guan Yu's nose.

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