Happy Heroes 31 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 July 2008 12:09

Chapter 30 – The Old Fox and the Great Drunken Hero


Guo DaLu really did not enjoy swearing and cursing, nor did he really know how to insult people, but his voice was extremely loud. As he stood before the front door of the Jin mansion hurling insults, even Yan Qi, who was outside of the lane, could hear him clearly.

A large white poplar tree grew near the entrance to the lane, and beneath the tree was a stone block. Yan Qi was standing on that stone block listening to Guo DaLu. A look of appreciation covered his face, as if he was listening to a famous actor singing in an opera. That was because he was not the person Guo DaLu was cursing; Guo DaLu was insulting Commander Jin.

“You, surnamed Jin! You should be a human being. Why are you hiding away inside your house like a frightened turtle hiding its head? What are you afraid of? Could it be that your nose was knocked crooked by someone and you do not dare show your face to others now?”

The more Yan Qi listened, the more proud he felt because he was the one who taught Guo DaLu to say all those things.

“Since Commander Jin refuses to see you, then you will stand in front of his door and insult him until he does come out.”

This tactic was called “battle through verbal abuse.” It was actually an age old battle strategy that was, in fact, usually very effective. In a situation where two armies were facing off, if one stood firm and refused to come out, the other army would send someone out to do “battle through verbal abuse.” This person would mock and ridicule the opponent until they could bear it no longer and finally came out to do battle head on, at which point, the ‘battle through verbal abuse’ would be considered a success. Reportedly, Zhuge Liang had insulted Cao Cao in the same manner[12] .

At first, Guo DaLu had not been willing to cooperate with the plan, but Yan Qi’s one sentence finally convinced him: “Even Mister Zhuge could use this type of strategy; why can’t you?” This was actually a type of battle strategy, not something a scoundrel would do. So, off Guo DaLu went to throw insults, and he did so heartily. As long as Commander Jin heard his curses, then it would truly be a strange thing if he did not come out.

Strange things occur every year.

When Guo DaLu’s voice was bellowing insults, even people three streets away could hear him. But no hint of activity came through the front door of the Jin mansion. Could Commander Jin be deaf? His hollering had not caused anyone to come out yet before his impatience first took over. He had already cycled through several times the words that Yan Qi had taught him. The people inside were not sick of listening to them, but he was already sick of yelling them. He wanted to think of some new and fresh insults to shout, yet sadly, he could not think of any.

At that moment, that sly, old doorkeeper sauntered out leisurely carrying a chair in his arms – a very comfortable wicker chair. The old fox actually went and placed the chair right in front of Guo DaLu. As he set it down lightly, his face carried on it that skin-smiles-but-the-muscles-don’t-smile look but not even a trace of anger.

Guo DaLu was taken aback, and he could not help asking, “What are you doing with that?”

The old doorkeeper smirked, “Our household’s master specifically instructed me to deliver this to you.”

Guo DaLu: “Has he heard me insult him or not?”

Old doorkeeper: “Even though our master’s age is no longer young, his ears have not yet gone deaf.”

Guo DaLu: “What does he mean by having you deliver this chair to me?”

Old doorkeeper: “He is concerned that Great Hero Guo is overly tired from shouting, and therefore, invites Great Hero Guo to sit while you continue with your yelling. He also said, should Great Hero Guo you grow thirsty from your efforts, you only need to order me. Whether it be tea or wine that you request, I will immediately bring it to you.” He sneered again before continuing, “Although many great heroes have come to this place, none of them have cursed as superbly as Great Hero Guo, so our master hopes that Great Hero Guo will continue cursing for a while longer. If you could actually shout your insults a little louder, that would be even better.”

Dazed, Guo DaLu stared at that wicker chair for half a day. Without saying a word, he turned his head and left.

Behind him, the old doorkeeper was still laughing loudly as he called out after him, “Great Hero Guo, you are leaving? Pardon me for not seeing you out. If you have time in the future, please feel free to come back whenever you would like. We not only have tea and wine here but also medicines to treat laryngitis.”

Guo DaLu was so maddened that his nose was quickly going to become crooked. Yan Qi looked at him, shaking his head as he chided, “I told you to go provoke people, and instead, you come back provoked half to death. Why put yourself through that?”

Guo DaLu fumed hatefully, “If you saw that old fox’s face, I would be surprised if he did not infuriate you to death.”

Yan Qi: “No matter what he says, just treat it as bull***t and then you won’t get angry, right?”

Guo DaLu: “It was more like no matter what I said, he treated it as bull***t.”

Yan Qi blinked in surprise. “Did he really tell you that you were saying bull***t?”

Guo DaLu: “Even though he did not say it out, the look on his face was even more hateful than if he had.”

Yan Qi: “And you could actually stand it?”

Guo DaLu: “Even if I couldn’t, I still had to.”

Yan Qi: “Why?”

Guo DaLu: “Because I was saying bull***t to begin with.” Yan Qi laughed. Naturally, he was much more pleasant to the eyes than the old doorkeeper, but it seemed that he was no longer as nice to look at as before. Guo DaLu stared at him with a scowl on his face. “How many other brilliant ideas do you actually have? You might as well just say them all out at once.”

Yan Qi: “You still want to listen?”

Guo DaLu: “I might as well listen to them. With each one I listen to, that is one down.”

Out of the blue, Yan Qi exhaled a breath and smiled bitterly. “But alas, I do not have any ideas either.”

Guo DaLu replied sarcastically, “How could a genius like you suddenly have no ideas?”

Sighing, Yan Qi said, “You said that doorkeeper is a sly, old fox. In my opinion, though, Commander Jin is the real sly, old fox.”

Guo DaLu’s tone was chilly. “Didn’t you say that he is always very greathearted and generous?”

Yan Qi: “When he really does agree to enter into a fight, if he is not able to hit you, then he must compensate you with several hundred liang of gold. Even if he injures you, he will give you several hundred liang of silver to cover your medical expenses.” With another sigh, Yan Qi remarked, “I think Commander Jin must have been fooled a few times lately and has learned some lessons, so he finally understands this theory. If that is the case, why would he be willing to be duped again?”

Guo DaLu: “He was not duped, but I was.”

Yan Qi beamed at him with a sweet smile. “Really, you cannot be considered as having been duped. At least you got a very satisfying opportunity to curse and swear at someone.”

Guo DaLu: “Could I curse and swear one more time?”

Yan Qi: “Who do you want to curse at?”

Guo DaLu: “You.”

All of a sudden, a horse and rider came galloping over. Guo DaLu was already so annoyed that he was uninterested in everything and could not be bothered to turn his head around to even cast a glance. However, Yan Qi, who was standing across from him, had lowered his head, as if he did not want the rider on the horse to see him. Unfortunately, the rider’s eyes were extremely sharp. The horse had just streaked into the alley when, with a long neigh, it reared unexpectedly on its hind legs.

The rider on the horse had outstanding horsemanship. With a sharp tug on the reins, this person was already leaping upwards and somersaulting in midair before coming down lightly in front of Guo DaLu. The garments this person wore were redder than a plum, so red they dazzled the eyes.

End of Chapter 30

[12] Of the Three Kingdoms period. Zhuge Liang was the renowned military strategist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuge_Liang) and Cao Cao a warlord (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Cao) of the time.