the victors were welcomed into the city, and as soon as possible a banquet was prepared in their honor. Mi Zhu was presented to Liu Bei. Mi Zhu related the story of the murder of Cao Song by Zhang Kai, Cao Cao’s vengeful attack on Xuzhou, and his coming to beg for assistance.

Liu Bei said, “Imperial Protector Tao Qian is a kindly man of high character, and it is a pity that he should suffer this wrong for no fault of his own.”

“You are a scion of the imperial family,” said Governor Kong Rong, “and this Cao Cao is injuring the people, a strong man abusing his strength. Why not go with me to rescue the sufferers?”

  “I dare not refuse, but my force is weak and I must act cautiously,” said Liu Bei.

  “Though my desire to help arises from an old friendship, yet it is a righteous act as well. I do not think your heart is not inclined toward the right,” said Kong Rong.

  Liu Bei said, “This being so, you go first and give me time to see Gongsun Zan from whom I may borrow more troops and horses. I will come anon.”

  “You surely will not break your promise?” said the Governor.

  “What manner of man think you that I am?” said Liu Bei. “the wise one said, ‘Death is common to all; the person without truth cannot maintain the self.’ Whether I get the troops or not, certainly I shall myself come.”

  So the plan was aGREed to. Mi Zhu set out to return forthwith while Kong Rong prepared for his expedition.

Taishi Ci took his leave, saying,

“My mother bade me come to your aid,

and now happily you are safe.

Letters have come from my fellow townsman,

Liu Yao, Imperial Protector of Yangzhou,

calling me thither and I must go.

I will see you again.”

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