Skep's Place

 

Chapter 76: Full Mail Sack


As Lu Meng sneaks his troops through Jing behind Guan Yu's back, a couple of guys who Guan Yu put in charge of the other nearby cities basically surrender immediately. In their defense, Guan Yu more or less put them in detention a couple of chapters ago, after they hadn't been keeping an eye on where their men were setting their campfires, and some gunpowder stores kinda accidentally blew up.

Guan Yu was about to execute them right then, but an advisor was like, it's gonna be a morale hit to the rest of the troops if you kill them before we roll out. So instead Guan Yu figured, eh, I'll just kill you guys when I get back.

Which, uh... maybe not the best employee retention strategy. Anyway, Jing is pretty much entirely lost to Wu at this point.

Cao Cao is notified, so he sends one of his long-time generals Xu Huang to go lift the siege at Fan. Guan Yu's son Ping is camped to block any Wei reinforcements, but he's no match for the veteran, and he gets chased off. Meanwhile, Cao Ren sallies out to attack Guan Yu's flank, which is right when Guan Yu gets the report that he doesn't have a capital to retreat to anymore. This is slightly demoralizing, so he has to pull away from Fan.

Pissed, he writes Lu Meng like, hey dude, I thought we agreed to ally against Cao Cao? But Lu Meng replies, sorry bro, that was just a gentleman's agreement between you and me, and this order is coming from the top.

Additionally, Lu Meng has been doing the thing they do sometimes where he DOESN'T outright kill the entire population of the areas he's capturing, and he's actually taking pretty good care of the families of Guan Yu's soldiers. Just as the messenger is about to get sent back to Guan Yu, the poor guy is bombarded with other letters from family members saying they're doing okay, Lu Meng isn't bad, we even have government-provided healthcare now.

Guan Yu's soldiers, once they hear that their loved ones are in good hands, start losing their will to fight, and most of Guan Yu's forces end up deserting. Guan Yu himself ends up holing up in the last little town he has access to with a pittance of troops.

While he's here, he remembers, ah yes, Liu Bei's adopted son Feng just took a small city nearby, maybe he'll send me some help. But Liu Feng hears the request and decides, well, I kinda don't have enough men to take on two entire armies. Of course, he's also kind of bitter that Guan Yu recently recommended the much younger Liu Shan as Liu Bei's heir over Liu Feng, sooo...

Sun Quan ends up sending one last envoy to Guan Yu offering amnesty if he submits to the Southlands. But Guan Yu replies, nah, I can't betray my brother that way, I'd rather fight you to the death than give in.

...I don't know what the difference is between that time Cao Cao had Guan Yu surrounded and Guan Yu submitted to him, and now. I guess there's no Zhang Liao around to talk him out of going down swinging this time.

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