Friday, December 23, 2011

Book I : Sworn Brothers of the Peach Orchard

Merchants on the Loyang ship watch a young man running in their direction. As he approaches, the merchant questions the young man:

“Lad, what is your name? Are you the new worker here to carry goods overland? Why hasn’t the port sent more people? Surely, this is not enough for all our goods.”

“No, my lords”, the boy replied. “My name is Liu Pei, and though I am poor, it is my greatest wish that one day, my mother may taste the tea from Loyang.”

Liu Pei then hands over a sack of coins. The merchant looks sheepishly and then replies, “My son, this is really too little to buy good tea from us, but I am impressed by your filial piety and so will sell you a small amount.”

Liu Pei is overjoyed and takes the small amount of tea in return for coins. On the way back, however, he is kidnapped by Yellow Turban rebels. Thinking he has nothing to lose, he agrees to join the rebels.

The rebels soon realizes that he has tea and force him to relinquish it to their overlord Chang Pao. Out of concern for his mother, Liu Pei offers to trade the tea for his jaded sword. The rebels see it is a great sword, probably used by previous Emperors, and take it from him, but they refuse to return his tea. Unable to resist, Liu Pei becomes a mere prisoner of the rebels.

However, as they march home, a great warrior attacks the rebels. Although there were more than fifty rebels, the warrior defeats them easily and rescues Liu Pei and Bee Fu Yong, a beautiful lady also in captivity of the rebels.

“I am truly greatful,” Liu Pei says meekly. “I do not know how to repay you, but I really need the tea for my mother. Please take this precious sword as a sign of my gratitude.”

“A good sword indeed!” The warrior says, taking the sword in admiration. “I am Chang Fei. Technically, I am a wealthy butcher here, but I’ve always hated these Yellow Turban Rebels. Liu Pei, we are friends now, and perhaps one day in the future, we shall meet again.”

Many years later, Liu Pei marries Lady Bee and watches the government’s warrant against the Yellow Turban Rebels and sigh. A burly Chang Fei meets him and shouts “Why does the young man sigh?”

“Chang Fei!” Liu Pei exclaims. «I did not think of meeting you again. »

Together, they meet another great warrior at the tavern and invite him for drinks. The warrior introduces himself “My name is Kuan Yu. I killed a corrupt mayor who was trying to harass innocent women.”

Together, the three men befriend. Chang Fei realizes that Liu Pei is the scion of the Han dynasty and a descendant of the Marquis of the East. Liu Pei also happens to be older than him, so he returns him his sword and asks him whether they should swear brotherhood.

So they swore brotherhood at the Peach Orchard, slashing blood from their arms, and saying “Though we may not be born together, let us be brothers that never part even in death.”

So Liu Pei became the eldest brother of the Peach Orchard brotherhood. Kuan Yu the Red-Faced Warrior becomes the second brother, and Chang Fei became the youngest brother.

The age of the Three Kingdoms was about to begin.

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