mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Manly men

Good heavens, what can this be, thirty-six chapters into RoTK? Plot? Personal feeling? High emotion? Fated meetings? Suspiciously sudden attachments to good-looking young men?

In the train of the Magistrate, Liu Bei saw a very handsome and distinguished-looking young man, and asked who he was. Liu Mi replied, "He is my nephew, Kou Feng, son of Lord Kou of Luo. I have taken care of him after his parents died." Liu Bei had taken a great liking for the lad and proposed to adopt him. His guardian was willing, and so the adoption was arranged. The young man's name was changed to Liu Feng.
To say nothing of betabeta clinging to young advisors:
Liu Bei broke into loud moans when he heard that his adviser Xu Shu was to leave.

(Snarky marginal commenters on the website:
Etherie -- Don't worry Liu Bei -- It's like losing a toy, but buying a newer, shinier, and better one!
TiangFu -- Is the better one Zhuge Liang?)

"The bond between mother and son is divine," said Liu Bei, "and I do not need to be reminded where your duty lies. When you have seen your venerable mother, perhaps I may have again the happiness of receiving your instruction." Having said farewell, Xu Shu prepared to leave at once. However, at Liu Bei's wish, he consented to stay over the night. ..

"Alas! Your departure is as if I lost both my hands," said Liu Bei. "Even the liver of a dragon or the marrow of a phoenix would be bitter in my mouth." They looked into each other's eyes and wept. They sat silent till dawn. When all was ready for the journey, the two rode out of the city side by side. At Daisy Pavilion they dismounted to drink the stirrup cup.

Liu Bei lifted the goblet and said, "It is my mean fortune that separates me from you, but I hope that you may serve well your new lord and become famous." Xu Shu wept as he replied, "I am but a poor ignorant person whom you have kindly employed. Unhappily I have to break our intercourse in the middle, but my venerable mother is the real cause. Though Cao Cao use all manner of means to coerce me, yet will I never plan for him." "After you are gone, I shall only bury myself in the hills and hide in the forests," said Liu Bei.
Liu Bei could not bring himself to part from his friend. He escorted him a little further, and yet a little further, till Xu Shu said, "I will not trouble you, O Princely One, to come further. Let us say our farewell here." Liu Bei dismounted, took Xu Shu by the hands, and said, "Alas! We part. Each goes his way, and who knows if we shall meet again?" His tears fell like rain and Xu Shu wept also. But the last goodbyes were said. When the traveler had gone, Liu Bei stood gazing after the little party and watched it slowly disappear. At the last glimpse he broke into lamentation. "He is gone! What shall I do?"

One of the trees shut out the traveler from his sight, and Liu Bei pointed at it, saying, "Would that I could cut down every tree in the countryside!" "Why?" said his officers. "Because they hinder my sight of Xu Shu."
On which Romeo-like note, back Xu Shu comes galloping to say O I nearly forgot, there's this chap called Zhuge Liang you might want to look up.

Yes, I know. But it's so much better than "Cao Ren led out an army of 500,000 men and after various ambushes half were slain. The land wallowed in blood and corpses clogged the streams" for chapter after chapter after chapter. Europe survived the Black Death so I suppose it's no wonder China survived Yuan Shao et al, but I'm still amazed it did.
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