Mi Heng (彌衡, onyomi: Dei Kō) is a reputed scholar and a close friend of Kong Rong. His friend's recommendation allowed him to enter Cao Cao's services, but was eventually executed for his sly mouth. The incident where he beats a drum naked is the subject of a famous drama, Ji gu ma Cao.
Role in GamesEdit
Mi Heng appears as a special NPC in Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI. While randomly searching in Jiangling, the player may encounter Mi Heng and be challenged to debate him. Winning the debate will yield the player Technique Points (TP) that are used for research; losing the debate will reduce the player's TP by a small amount. This mirrors the searching encounters with Guan Lu and Zuo Ci. He has no other role in the game.
Mi Heng (173-c.198/200), style name: Zhèngpíng (正平) was born in Pingyuan, Qing Province. Although a talented scholar, he possessed a haughty and disrespectful attitude. He was a close friend of Kong Rong and they both compared each other to Confucius and his student Yan Yuan. Kong Rong recommended him to Cao Cao in a letter. During his service under Cao Cao, he was disrespectful towards him and especially his general Zhao Rong and adviser Xun Yu. Cao Cao wanted to kill him, but he feared the reprobation for doing so, so he sent him away to Liu Biao in Jing Province. Despite being treated well and being admired by the scholars in Jing, Mi Heng eventually angered Liu Biao as well.
Knowing the short temper of his general Huang Zu, Liu Biao sent Mi Heng to him. Huang Zu treated Mi Heng very well and his son Huang She also got along with him very well. However, Mi Heng embarrassed Huang Zu at a banquet and the latter had him executed. Huang She pleaded for Mi Heng's life to no avail. Later, Huang Zu apparently regretted his choice and had Mi Heng reburied with honours.
Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit
In chapter 23 of the novel, after Zhang Xiu had surrendered himself to Cao Cao and Cao Cao was seeking out a messenger to acquire Liu Biao's services, Kong Rong recommended Mi Heng. Kong Rong described the man as having talent ten times greater than his, and actually belonging in the emperor's service rather than executing minor services such as acting as a diplomat, so he sent a memorial to Emperor Xian requesting Mi Heng be hired.
The emperor read over the proposal and gave it to Cao Cao, who then summoned Mi Heng. Mi Heng suffered the indignity of not being commanded to be seated, and said, "In this wide, wide world I see not one real man!" Cao Cao replied with himself having acquired many men whom he would call heroes of the time, and when asked to name them at Mi Heng's request, named Cheng Yu, Xun Yu, Xun You, Guo Jia, Man Chong, Zhang Liao, Xu Chu, Li Dian, Yue Jin, Yu Jin, Xu Huang, Lu Qian, Xiahou Dun, and Cao Ren.
Mi Heng scoffed and retorted, "These men you mention are known to me. Xun Yu is good for attending funerals and visiting the bedridden. Xun You will do for guarding grave sites. Cheng Yu would make a superb gatekeeper. Guo Jia's real talent is for reading prose and reciting verse. Zhang Liao would serve well tapping the chimes and drums, and Xu Chu belongs tending cattle and horses. Yue Jin is good for receiving petitions and edicts, Li Dian for transmitting documents and delivering instructions, Lu Qian for sharpening blades and forging swords. Man Chong consumes wines and dregs. Yu Jin can work at lugging blocks and raising walls. Xu Huang would be best employed slaughtering pigs and dogs. Xiahou Dun deserves the title, 'Whole Body General'; Cao Ren, 'Money-grubbing Governor.' The rest of the lot are so many clothes racks, rice bags, wine casks, meat sacks..."
Cao Cao interrupted and asked what was Mi Heng's specialty, to which he responded with himself having mastered the classical texts, and compared his virtue to that of Confucius'. Zhang Liao, angered, moved towards him, sword bared, but Cao Cao again stopped Zhang Liao in his tracks. Cao Cao said that the position of drum master was vacant, and asked Mi Heng to fill the position, and he did not decline. Mi Heng left, and Zhang Liao inquired why he wouldn't let Mi Heng be killed. It was mentioned that by being a drummer Mi Heng would be embarrassed, and that slaying such a reputed and loved scholar would make the common people disdain Cao Cao.
Later, Cao Cao hosted a banquet and invited many guests. The senior drummers warned Mi Heng to wear new clothes, but he took his place and played the musical piece, "Tolling of Yuyang". The playing was unimaginable, with notes rebounding and being hit perfectly, and many guests begun to cry, if not having their emotions deeply stirred.
In the middle of the performance, Cao Cao's attendants rudely shouted and asked why Mi Heng hadn't changed his clothes, and the response was Mi Heng stripping himself naked. Many guests covered their eyes, and Mi Heng calmly put back on his undergarments. Cao Cao angrily asked why he would commit such an outrage, and Mi Heng shot back, calling Cao Cao corrupt in every manner through his various faults, and the fearful Kong Rong pleaded for Mi Heng's life.
Cao Cao had a protesting Mi Heng be pulled away to go to Jingzhou to acquire Liu Biao's services, and also held a feast at the eastern gate, where the envoy would be exiting. The feast was attended by officials and commanders on orders, and when Mi Heng arrived, on orders from Xun Yu, the assembly did not rise and the guest of honor let out a great wail. Xun Yu asked why he mourned and was replied with: "I'm walking among dead men waiting to be buried! Why shouldn't I wail?"
The officials responded, "If we are in our coffins, you are a headless demon!", and Mi Heng said, "I am not of Cao Cao's clique. I serve the Han. I have my head!" The officials lusted for his blood, but Xun Yu baded them not to, telling them to refrain from dirtying their blades on a rat like Mi Heng. Mi Heng ended the feast with, "I may be a rat, but I have my human nature. The likes of you can only be called parasitic wasps!"
In Jingzhou, Mi Heng sung praises for Liu Biao, but in a sarcastic manner, and so Liu Biao sent him to Huang Zu.
Liu Biao was later informed that Mi Heng had been executed under the command of Huang Zu. The two became drunk, and Mi Heng let out an insult to his host, which led to the execution. Lamenting the death, the governor of Jing had Mi Heng interred in great honor at Yingwu Isle.
In chapters 40 and 60 of the novel, Mi Heng is mentioned. In the former, the words of Chi Lu help cause Cao Cao to become angry at Kong Rong, and on the pretense that Kong Rong was a great friend of Mi Heng, Cao Cao had Kong Rong executed. In the latter chapter, when Zhang Song is warded away from an audience with Cao Cao, Yang Xiu mentions to his lord that since he met with Mi Heng, he should meet with Zhang Song.