|Force(s):|| Sun Jian's Forces|
Yuan Shu's Forces
Sun Ce's Forces
176 cm (5'9")
|Weapon Type:|| Dual tonfas (3~5, 7~8)|
|4th Weapon:|| |
Royal Tonfa (WO3)
|5th Weapon:|| |
God of War/Hierophant (3:XL~4:XL)
|Playable Debut:||Dynasty Warriors 3|
|Real name:|| |
|Chinese name:|| |
孫策 - 孙策
|Style name:|| |
|Chinese name:|| |
|Exact cause of death is unknown.|
|Mystic Weapon:|| |
|Personal Item:|| |
The Sun Bin Scrolls
Sun Ce (onyomi: Son Saku) is Sun Jian's eldest son and Sun Quan and Sun Shangxiang's older brother. Popular and well-liked, Sun Ce was an ambitious leader who laid down the foundations for Wu with his best friend Zhou Yu. Romance of the Three Kingdoms dons him "The Little Conqueror" and emphasizes his warrior image. The narrative has him die due to Gan Ji's ghost. He is Daqiao's husband and Sunshi's father.
His Dynasty Warriors incarnation is twenty-fifth place in Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll and forty-fourth in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends poll. In Famitsu's character survey, he placed fourth for the sibling category.
Role in GamesEdit
- "Wow! You have the strength of a hundred men!"
- ~~Hideyoshi; Warriors Orochi
Sun Ce is rowdy youth who is popular with his countrymen. He joins his father's campaigns and is made his family's new leader after Sun Jian's death. Aiming to take the land for himself, he starts by conquering the territory and regional lords within Wu. Quickly gaining followers for his cause, he duels Taishi Ci during this time and, respecting his opponent's strength, soon becomes best friends with him. In short time, he restores the Sun family name to power. A couple scenarios states that he then meets a sorcerer named Yu Ji, whom Sun Ce generally despises. Except in certain Musou Modes, he dies sometime after gaining Wu or after Yu Ji's death. The circumstances behind his final moments changes in each game. In Da Qiao's Legend Mode in Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends, he dies in his wife's arms after he protects her from arrows.
His personal Legend Mode in the previously mentioned title surrounds his encounter with Yu Ji. With his conquests in Wu over, the sorcerer suddenly appears within his domain. Using his spells to demoralize and mislead the people, the magician is deemed by Sun Ce to be a bad influence for his people. Heading to deal with Yu Ji personally, the mage admits that his act is an attempt to take Sun Ce's life. Interested in seeing through Yu Ji's illusions, Sun Ce faces several of Yu Ji's body doubles and defeats the real one. Yu Ji flees with regret while Sun Ce berates the magic used to try to stop him.
Dynasty Warriors 5 has Sun Ce join his father end the Yellow Turban Rebellion and participate in the assault on Si Shui Gate. He takes responsibility of his family's future when Huang Zu causes his father's death. Though sadden by the loss, he fires his own ambitions for conquest and strikes at Wu. After gaining the reputation of the "Little Conqueror", Yu Ji stirs unrest within his ranks at his home. He deals with him in a similar manner as his previous Legend Mode, except Yu Ji summons illusions of his father and wife to attack him. Angered by the trick, he slays the sorcerer. However, Yu Ji plants a curse on Sun Ce that makes him succumb to illness. Fatigued but unwilling to stop, Sun Ce leads his army to take revenge for his father at Xia Kou. Determined to gain the rest of the land so that Sun Quan can rule it, he ignores his ailed state and looks forward to moving on with his conquests.
In the Xtreme Legends expansion, Sun Ce and Zhou Yu face a test to win the hearts of the Two Qiaos. Da Qiao asks Sun Ce to take the western path and tests his strength against a group of tigers. As he clears this test, he is forced to challenge other Wu generals who come on the sisters' request, such as Taishi Ci and Zhou Tai. After the battle, he admits that the experience was odd but entertaining. He shares his other Legend Mode with his father and Huang Gai as they suppress Ou Xing's rebellion in their home territory.
Dynasty Warriors 6 gives Sun Ce no personal story, but he plays a large supporting role in Wu's stories. He is normally seen in his conquest to claim the Wu territory, where he simultaneously severs his ties with Yuan Shu. Seeing Cao Cao occupied at Guan Du, he then aims to steal Xu Chang during the warlord's absence. Although they win the battle, Sun Ce lets his guard down and suffers a mortal wound when he is struck by three arrows from an off-screen archer. In his childhood friend's story, he lives after the battle when he listens to Zhou Yu's advice to retreat. They fight Lu Bu at Xia Pi, confront Cao Cao at Chi Bi, and beat back Shu at Jing Province. After defeating Liu Bei at Yi Ling, Sun Ce unites the land under Wu and hands leadership to Sun Quan. He leaves his home with Zhou Yu, looking to continue his life of exciting adventure. During Sun Jian's story, he fights under his father's banner and lives for all of their campaigns.
In Taishi Ci's Musou Mode for Special, Sun Ce invades Liu Yong's home at a different section of Jiang Dong. As his large army scares the enemy generals witless, his interest in the battle is perked when Zhou Yu is beaten by Taishi Ci. Yelling for the general to face him, his army retreats while he duels Taishi Ci. He promises to withdraw completely if he loses the fight against his opponent and keeps his word upon his defeat. Later, he realizes Liu Yong has left completely and asks the wandering Taishi Ci to join him. After Xia Pi Castle, he tries to conquer Xu Chang. Though Taishi Ci comes to his rescue from Cao Cao's soldiers, Sun Ce loses his life after the struggle. For a brief moment, two Wei peons attack Sun Ce, presumably stabbing the youth as he clutches his abdomen before his death.
Wu's Story Mode in Dynasty Warriors 7 has Sun Ce appear in his father's campaigns since the start of their story. At his father's insistence, he and his family begrudgingly helps Dong Zhuo suppress the rebels in Liang Province. During the conflict, Sun Ce has an enjoyable duel with Ma Chao. When the battle concludes, he protests Dong Zhuo's charge to slaughter the rebels they defeated. He is stopped by his father, who would rather refrain from having to intermediately deal with Dong Zhuo. Sun Ce later curses for not dealing with the tyrant, due to the carnage found in the aftermath of Si Shui Gate.
He marvels at his father finding the Imperial Seal, thinking that his father has Heaven's will to rule and can use his strength to seize power. Therefore, when Sun Jian decides to not use it and serve under Yuan Shu, Sun Ce can't condone his father's actions. He confronts his father directly about the matter prior to their battle against Liu Biao in Jing Province, but Sun Jian puts their conversation on hold and orders the troops to march. Spending the initial movements of the battle beating off a raging tantrum, Sun Ce's frustration wanes slightly when his father comes to his rescue from an enemy ambush led by Huang Zhong. When the battle concludes, Sun Ce approaches his father to apologize. Before he can say his thoughts, enemy archers shoot Sun Jian's back when his guard is finally lowered to talk to his son. Sun Jian dies in Sun Ce's arms.
Left with Sun Jian's dying words to lead the family with his own methods, Sun Ce gives the Imperial Seal to Yuan Shu and decides to conquer the south. He wants to take the piece of land by first moving in honor of his father's memory, working together with Zhou Yu for his dream. He defeats Taishi Ci twice in a fair duel, winning his enemy over with his battle spirit. With Wu united under his name, Sun Ce and his army join Cao Cao and Liu Bei's alliance to eradicate Yuan Shu at Shou Chun. With Yuan Shu gone, he sets his sights on toppling Cao Cao's base of operations in Xuchang. Before they march out, Xu Gong protests his decision, declaring it's as though Sun Ce aims to overthrow the Han emperor. Mistaking Sun Ce's strong rebuff to the misunderstanding as a death threat, a scared Xu Gong falls off the castle walls to his death.
Feeling responsible for an innocent man's end, Sun Ce decides to think it over by himself. As he wanders the exterior of Xuchang, he encounters Yu Ji, who draws him into a hallucination to explain his ambitions to the souls of the departed and doubles of his family. Sun Ce asserts he doesn't want the land for himself, but rather for the friends and family who believe in him. By the time he finally dispels Yu Ji's magic, a group of Xu Gong's subordinates arrive to swear vengeance for their master's death. Fighting them off by himself, he suffers three arrow wounds in the back. During the time it took for him to beat back his assassins, Sun Quan takes Xu Chang in his place. Proudly congratulating his younger brother, a dying Sun Ce has enough time to say his final wishes before Sun Quan and Zhou Yu. After Sun Quan defeats Cao Pi, Sun Quan sees Sun Ce and Sun Jian praising him in a brief dream.
Sun Ce's first Legendary Mode has him and Zhou Yu verify the beauty and existence of the famed Two Qiaos. During their trip, they prove their might to several Wu generals and the Two Qiaos. When he sees Da Qiao for himself, he is impressed by her looks and declares his heart to belong to her. She decides to answer his loyalty after he defeats her in a small bout. His secondary Legendary Mode lets players have him personally lead the charge to take Xuchang.
Dynasty Warriors Next has Sun Ce reinforce his father during the Yellow Turban Rebellion and the Anti-Dong Zhuo coalition. He helps the player slay tigers at Chang'an and serves as the player's avatar during Liu Yao's preemptive assault and the Battle of Wujun, earning Taishi Ci's trust in the last conflict. During their conquests in the south, Sun Ce and Zhou Yu use their bows to save the Qiao sisters from hungry tigers and willingly take the girls under their care. After unifying the south, he is convinced by Sun Quan to obey the imperial edict to subjugate Yuan Shu at Hefei. Although Sun Ce sought to challenge Cao Cao, he unexpectedly dies before the start of the sixth chapter. In Wu's ending movie, his spirit proudly watches over Sun Quan's coronation.
In Dynasty Warriors 8, he assumes his father's role after the latter's victory against Liu Biao, though the circumstances of his ascension to the head of the family will change depending on Sun Jian's ultimate fate. Either way, he leads the army during the campaign for the Wu Territory. During a hunting trip with Zhou Yu, Sun Quan, and Zhou Tai, however, he is assaulted by Xu Gong and Gan Ji, who are conspiring against him in order to aid Cao Cao. After mortally wounding Xu Gong, Sun Ce is grievously wounded by a spectral soldier summoned by Gan Ji, the attack also killing Xu Gong in the process; depending on the player's actions in the stage, Sun Ce will either fully succumb to his injuries at the end of the stage or merely fall unconscious. In the case of the former, his role in the story ends; if he still lives, however, Zhou Yu, Sun Quan, Taishi Ci, and Daqiao will fight a battle on his behalf to dispel Gan Ji's sorcery and save his life, after which he awakens from his coma. While resting from his near-death experience, he asks Sun Quan to rule in his stead.
By fulfilling certain conditions to ensure Sun Ce's continued survival, along with preventing the deaths of Sun Jian, Zhou Yu, and Lu Su, the player unlocks Wu's fictional story path. At the Battle of Hefei, a recovered Sun Ce will arrive as reinforcements along with his father, helping to prevent Zhang Liao's ambush and preventing Taishi Ci's death. After this point, both Sun Jian and Sun Ce continue to defer to Sun Quan, lending their support to him rather than retaking control of the army despite the latter's protests. Sun Ce plays a central role in the story after this point, spearheading a battle against Cao Pi and participating in the final battle at Xuchang. After his family's victory over Cao Cao, he is seen at a banquet celebrating the end of the turmoil and the end of warfare brought about by his brother, who has managed to create a lasting peace between Wu, Shu, and Wei.
In the new alternate if stages in the Xtreme Legends expansion, Sun Ce will appear as Liu Bei's ally in his quest to defeat Lu Bu in Shu's story. In Wu's story, Sun Ce's northern expedition proceeds earlier than planned, and Sun Ce invades Liu Bei's land at Xuzhou, while also needing to keep an eye on an encroaching Lu Bu. He also appears during Yuan Shu's conquest against Cao Cao.
In Lu Bu's scenario, Sun Ce's appearances are more sporadic, but he consistently appears among Yuan Shu's officers. In the historical route, Sun Ce will appear at Shouchun, ambushing Lu Bu's troops as they approach Shouchun. In the hypothetical route, he has an early confrontation with Lu Bu at Wujun, and eventually is defeated by him. He reappears with the remnants of his forces combined with Yuan Shu's remnants, at Chang'An, and is slain when he attempts to avenge his comrades at the waterways of the capital.
During Orochi's story mode, a late Sun Ce reinforces his kingdom's defense against the serpent army led by Zhuge Liang. Defeated in battle, he follows suite with his father and submits to Orochi's will. Quickly put to work by Da Ji, he leads the siege against Ieyasu and Masamune's armies at Edo Castle. With his father and loyal retainers held hostage, Sun Ce continues to assist Orochi's conquests.
In Warriors Orochi, he tries to endure servitude whilst trying to free his father. Thanks to Sakon's guidance, he eventually rescues Sun Jian but is forced to leave him at the elder's behest. Branded as a selfish traitor by his siblings, Sun Ce allows them to vent their anger and gradually convinces them to rebel with him. Both he and his sister save their father and Sun Quan from being executed by Orochi's men. Reunited at last, the Sun family work together to defeat Orochi.
In Warriors Orochi 2, he and his wife were returning from a reconnaissance mission when they spot Sun Quan heavily outnumbered by Kiyomori's army. They lend their aid and help stall the army while Motochika and Yoshitsune head for the Water Dragon shrine. In one of the dream modes in the game, he teams up with Toshiie and Pang De to fend off Da Ji, Himiko, and Sun Wukong. Seeing that the odds are against them, he makes a bid to send out a messenger to call for Zhou Yu's reinforcements. When he arrives, their armies make a final charge against Da Ji.
Sun Ce helped his father by patrolling their territory's boarders during Warriors Orochi 3's original timeline. He and his regiment were overwhelmed by the Oda and Shu forces at Changban; Sun Ce himself fell in battle. When a future Hanbei and company return to the past, they use their knowledge to counter the enemy forces. Agreeing to join their cause, he helps them obtain Nobunaga, Mitsuhide, and Fu Xi's allegiance to the coalition.
In the downloadable scenario, "Memories of Vyashion", Sun Ce and his siblings help Nemea as he fights the demon army and recalls the memories of his home world. In another stage, "Animal Rescue" he and Xiaoqiao help Kotarō in saving animals that are pushed out of their homes by Yuan Shao.
He resumes his role as Wu's leader in both Dynasty Tactics games. If he chooses to conquer the entire land prudently, there is a chance he will survive to rule it. If any of his units dare to march near Xu Chang while Cao Cao is at Guan Du, he will be ambushed by hunters and will perish while he is sitting on his throne. After he participates at Chi Bi, Sun Ce suffers a serious wound during the pursuit for Cao Cao's head. Although he was able to fight his way to safety, the damage was done. Knowing that news of his wound would weaken morale, he orders the nearby men to silence and endures the pain in secret. The wound reopens after his army conquers the southern Jing Province. At the end of one of his stories, he unifies China and gives its governing to Sun Quan. Knowing he may die soon, Sun Ce and Zhou Yu ride off into the sunset for further battle. In either scenario of his death, he passes their father's sword and leadership of the Sun family to Sun Quan before he dies.
One of the story routes in Dynasty Tactics 2 depicts him living past an assassination attempt. Many of his retainers, including the people closest to him, thought he died but he soon marches out into battle. Unbeknown to them, his physician warned him that his body could no longer take the strains from battle. Not wanting to quit what he started, he stubbornly defies bed rest and leads his men. Eventually, he passes the rule of the land he unified to Sun Quan, exerts himself and dies in his room from the stress. Zhou Yu was present at the time and mourns his passing.
In another story route, he corners Cao Cao in a decisive battle to unite the land under Wu. Declaring that he will kill the tyrant for his departed friend, Zhou Yu, he shoots an arrow from horseback and wounds Cao Cao's shoulder. In their final confrontation, the lone Cao Cao angrily fights off the surrounding soldiers with his sword. Sun Ce challenges him to die honorably in a duel which is quickly obliged. A few bouts later Wu's ruler is overwhelmed and thrown off his feet. Cao Cao moves to deliver the decisive blow but dies in his final strike due to the arrow wound caused by Sun Ce. Hearing his rival's last words for an era of tranquility, Sun Ce respects his wishes and peacefully unites the land.
Sun Ce is an energetic, outgoing, brash, and informal leader. He is charismatic and well liked by his troops and his family. He often does whatever he likes on whim with a macho and confident attitude. Proud of his heritage and gung-ho for battle, he has a tendency to get lost in the thrill and forget his limits. Therefore, he relies on the wisdom and responsibility of his friend, Zhou Yu, to keep him focused and on track. He is grateful for any helping hand and strives to repay his debts in kind. Ranmaru's overall assessment of him in Warriors Orochi implies that his unpredictability is not merely based on a whim, but out of consideration for the Kingdom of Wu.
He is also a loving husband who greatly appreciates his wife's efforts. In her Musou Modes, Sun Ce becomes especially protective for her safety and well being. However, he does show more support at the idea of fighting alongside his spouse as seen on her Hero Scenario in Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends. In Daqiao's dream mode in Warriors Orochi 2, Sun Ce's loyalty to his wife is jokingly questioned as he did not realize that the Daqiao closest to him at the time was a phantom created by Da Ji. After defeating said phantom, the real Daqiao humorously scolds her husband for not knowing the difference between her and the phantom. He more than makes up for this mistake by helping her drive off their assailant.
Sun Ce's nickname, "Little Conqueror", forms the namesake of his third weapon in the Dynasty Warriors series. The name itself originated in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but its basis is from an actual quote found in Record of the Three Kingdoms. Xu Gong, who wanted to dispel of Sun Ce's presence in Jiangdong, tried to convey a private message to the emperor imploring an order to recall Sun Ce back to the capital. Within the letter's inscription, he stated Sun Ce's headstrong figure to be the same as Xiang Yu. He stressed that if Sun Ce were ever to leave the capital without permission, "discord would surely follow". The novel discards the negative tones of the historical comparison to instead be heroic and positive.
In honor of Xiang Yu's self-proclaimed title (西楚霸王), Sun Ce was given the "little" for the "conqueror" section (小覇王). To break it down in figurative terms, the nickname is another way of saying "Xiang Yu Junior". His fourth weapon and Standard spear are named directly in Xiang Yu's image, basically removing the "little" from their names. Additionally, the battle king motif is also found in all of Sun Ce's weapons in the sixth title. His preferences for fighting is found in all of his weapons in the Asian ports, as his Level 11 tonfa is originally named "Combat God".
In the Japanese version of Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, Sun Ce is given the nickname of "The Red Cyclone" while the English version changes it to "The Spirit of War Incarnate". As a dominant ruler in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, he calls his five greatest warriors the "Five Conquering Generals".
The original name of his personal item in Warriors Orochi is Sun Bin's Art of War, which is so far compiled as an unfinished work in modern day publications. Sun Bin is thought to have been a relative of Sun Tzu and is argued as the author of the scrolls. Sun Ce's item is meant to tie into his father's alleged family ties to Sun Tzu and is an alternative to Sun Quan's personal item.
- Michael Lindsay - Dynasty Warriors 4 (English-uncredited)
- Yuri Lowenthal - Dynasty Warriors 5~8, Warriors Orochi series (English-uncredited)
- Steven Blum - Dynasty Tactics 2 (English-uncredited)
- Oliver Mink - Dynasty Warriors 4 (German-uncredited)
- O In-Seong - Dynasty Warriors 3 (Korean)
- Kim Jang - Dynasty Warriors 4~5 (Korean)
- Takahiro Kawachi - Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
- Munehiro Tokita - Dynasty Tactics (Japanese)
- Hideo Ishikawa - Dynasty Tactics 2 (Japanese)
- Kazuhiko Inoue - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series
- See also: Sun Ce/Quotes
- "What's the point of ruling the land if you're not there to enjoy it with me?"
- "I say we should attack! Boldness is what's required! Should we act like old men, or show him real power?!"
- "Heh, I like an enemy who fights with his whole heart!"
- "As do I! I think we're both going to enjoy this!"
- ~~Gan Ning and Sun Ce; Dynasty Warriors 5
- "Alright! We've built a foothold for our quest to unite the land!"
- "The speed with which you make decisions and take action is frightening. You truly deserve the name Little Conqueror of Jiang Dong."
- "Zhou Yu, this is just the beginning! I'll do whatever it takes to rule this land!"
- ~~Sun Ce and Zhou Yu; Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires
- "Ah! That was a good workout today! Now let me rest my head on your shoulder."
- "My lord, stop that! Not while other people are watching!"
- "Really?! I don't mind!"
- "Well I do!"
- ~~Sun Ce and Da Qiao; Dynasty Warriors 7
- "Brother, Cao Cao has raised an army to put down Yuan Shu. We have also received an Imperial edict to do the same."
- "I owe Yuan Shu greatly for all that he has done for us. Quan, what do you think we should do?"
- "I understand how you must feel... However, it is an Imperial edict and we are loyal subjects of the Han. Also, this new coalition will consist of several powerful generals. It will be our chance to show them what you are capable of."
- "That's my little brother, always thinking ahead! Alright, I've made my decision. Let's get out there and show them what we can do!"
- ~~Sun Quan and Sun Ce; Dynasty Warriors Next
- "Hmm, well at least that proves you are trying. Keep it up. And remember, I never tolerate failure!"
- "If I only knew where you were keeping my father... I'd crush you and the snake you rode in on!"
- ~~Da Ji and Sun Ce; Warriors Orochi
- "Disgrace though it is, I must be prepared to endure the unendurable."
- "I know what you mean - you have to protect your men as well..."
- ~~Ieyasu and Sun Ce; Warriors Orochi 2
- "Hey there. When I see you, I'm reminded of my son."
- "Really, your son, huh? Now that's someone I'd like to duel one day!"
- "I'd prefer you didn't. My young cub doesn't have fangs or claws."
- ~~Ujiyasu and Sun Ce; Warriors Orochi 3
- See also: Sun Ce/Movesets
|Keys:||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
Dynasty Warriors 7Edit
Sun Ce is affiliated with tonfa in this appearance. When he is equipped with it, he can perform a unique attack exclusive to him. Upon performing his Musou techniques, he will automatically use the weapon in his attacks.
- EX Attack: , , , , , , : Charges forward with a flying kick enshrouded in a flaming aura. Sun Ce names the attack "Rekka Tendōkyaku" (烈火天道脚, Raging Fire/Conflagration Heavenly Path Leg) in the Japanese script.
- Musou - Tiger Fists (猛虎連掌): : Does an uppercut with one tonfa and follows up with multiple strikes. He ends with one last uppercut which summons a small diagonal pillar of flame from the ground. Classified as a Multi-strike Musou in Next and used in Warriors Orochi 3.
- Alternate Musou - Blazing Smash (爆炎抱): R1 + : Does an explosive uppercut which launches opponents upward.
- Dynasty Warriors Next
- Speed Musou - Shock: Tap both sides of screen: Sun Ce's strikes one of his tonfas on the ground to produce a powerful impact, ending the attack with a more devastating slam. Following the attack's rhythm causes the shockwaves to turn red and expand in size.
- Warriors Orochi 3
- , : Slams the earth to create fissures, damaging enemies on contact.
- R1: Twirls his tonfas and does double-succession-punches with both of them. Each punch sends a fireball forward.
- , R1 (Ultimate only): Launches multiple downward rapid strikes before triggering a grounded explosion while spin-kicking to the ground once.
Dynasty Warriors 8Edit
Sun Ce keeps the same moveset from the previous title with the following additions.
- EX Attack 2 (Xtreme Legends only): , , : Launches multiple short jabs followed by a thrust powerful enough to break the sound barrier.
- Aerial Musou - Heavenly Fire Spear (炎槍天道脚): , : Violently dives unto the ground to perform a sliding kick that unleashes a wide fiery streak above. The kick is followed up by a blazing leap rush that blows back nearby opponents.
- Awakening Musou: Strikes weapons from left to right repeatedly. At the end of the attack, Sun Ce swings with enough might to release a repelling burst of energy. The extension has him perform a headbutt and ram combo along with an extra swipe and kick.
- See also: Sun Ce/Weapons
Dynasty Warriors 8Edit
Sun Ce still uses the tonfa as his default weapon in this title.
Sun Ce originated from Fuchun county in the Wu prefecture. He married a year before his death and had three daughters, as well as the adopted Sun Shao and blood-related son also named Sun Shao.
In his childhood, he had followed his father to various government posts, but when Sun Jian joined the Han armies to suppress the Yellow Turbans in 184 AD, Sun Ce and his family stayed in Shouchun in Yang province. The Records of Three Kingdoms states that by this time Sun Ce had already made a name for himself, becoming friends with some famous men of the area and Zhou Yu, a boy belonging to the wealthy and one of the leading clans of the empire. In 190, when Sun Jian began mobilizing against Dong Zhuo, he had the family move to Shu county in Yang province. One Sun Ce arrived there, the Zhou clan gave them a generous house to reside in.
Sun Jian was killed battling the forces of Liu Biao in 191 AD, and Sun Ce attended the funeral in Qu'e, afterwards moving the family to Jiangdu county in Guangling, Xu province. Sun Jian's troops stayed under Yuan Shu.
Yuan Shu, the former commander of Sun Jian, set up his base in Shouchun after losing his position in the Liu Biao-held Jing province as well as being attacked north by Cao Cao. This, along with the nearby hatred by Tao Qian, Imperial Protector of Xu province, incited Sun Ce to join Yuan Shu. He entrusted his family to Zhang Hong in Guangling. The Jiangbiao zhuan states that Sun Ce was able to have an audience with Yuan Shu, in which he offered his services to repay the favor given to Sun Jian. Yuan Shu enjoyed the address and assigned Sun Ce a small command, in addition with the hundreds Sun Ce had already gathered with some help from Lu Fan. Some of Sun Jian's old soldiers also joined Sun Ce, and he himself was able to take in some of Sun Jian's generals, too, including Cheng Pu, Huang Gai, Sun He, and Han Dang. It was at this point in time he sent Lu Fan to recover Sun Ce's family and relocate them to Qu'e.
Sun Ce was almost killed in an unexpected battle with Zu Lang, a nearby chieftain. From there, he went back to be stationed in Shouchun, was given more of his father's former troops, and was promoted to Colonel Who Cherishes Righteousness. Sun Ce wished to have an independent command to acquire his own personal territory, so the promotion was not a complete success. In addition, Yuan Shu was to give the generous position of Grand Administrator of Jiujiang commandery, but instead chose to reward it to another officer, and that he also promised to make him the Grand Administrator of Lujiang if he could defeat the person occupying that rank, Lu Kang. Su Ce had an enmity towards Lu Kang after a special incident, and eventually defeated him, though Yuan Shu did not reward him with the position, giving it to Liu Xun.
Solidifying His StateEdit
Some time later, Wu Jing, Sun Ce's uncle and a general of Yuan Shu, was under attack by Liu Yao. Wu Jing was appointed as the commander of the campaign against the new enemy. Sun Ce persuaded Yuan Shu to allow him to help his uncle and was appointed Colonel Who Breaks the Enemy Lines and acting General who Destroys the Criminals. His command was somewhere near fifteen hundred men, with several hundred of them followers of him and Sun Jian. When he reached Liyang, where Wu Jing retreated, he had amassed some five to six thousand. From then on, Sun Ce took command over the campaign in accordance to his own military aptitude and how his father before had been the commander of Wu Jing.
The campaign was a success, with Sun Ce conquering all enemy cities he came across. He defeated Zhang Ying at Dangli, raided an important supply depot of Liu Yao at Niuzhu, drove off Zhai Rong and Xue Li, causing Xie Li to flee and refrain from taking part in the campaign any longer, and his mere march made Liu Yao abandon his position. Sun Ce settled in Qu'e with his family. With these battles, surrendered enemy troops were given a free choice of whether to join Sun Ce and within weeks his manpower increased by twenty thousand infantry and one thousand cavalry.
Xu Gong, the grand administrator of the Wu commandery, tried to oppose Sun Ce but was warded off from the commandery into the service of Yan Baihu by one of Sun Jian's first officers, Zhu Zhi. In 196 AD, attention was turned to Wang Lang. Offensives on the river against Wang Lang were unsuccessful, and accordingly Sun Jing led an attack in the dead of night sneaking around Wang Lang's camp and pressing him to retreat. Sun Ce pursued and coerced his target to surrender.
Yuan Shu met with his council bringing up the topic of installing himself as an emperor of a new dynasty, to which Sun Ce sent a letter to protest against. It was of no consequence, and in the summer of 197, Yuan Shu proclaimed himself the emperor of the Zhong dynasty. Sun Ce immediately broke all claims of subordinacy, and invited his associates under Yuan Shu to join him. Wu Jing and Zhou Yu responded and were enlisted, the latter bringing along Lu Su.
Emperor Xian came to be protected by Cao Cao, and Cao Cao sent an edict to Sun Ce, recognizing him as the adminitrator for Kuaiji and ordering him to work with Lu Bu and the recently-appointed Grand Administrator of Wu, Chen Yu to bring Yuan Shu to justice. Sun Ce accepted the edict but wished to become a general, and so the emissary bestowed upon him the rank General Who Glorifies Han, identifying him as a faithful Han servant.
Chen Yu's appointment conflicted with Zhu Zhi's, who had been conferred the same authority. He sent messengers in secret to potential upstarts in a plan to seal off Kuaiji from Sun Ce while he was off facing Yuan Shu, thereby exposing the opportunity to weaken and possibly destroy him. Somehow, Sun Ce realized the same, then forcing Chen Yu to flee north. Afterwards, he received the title General Who Exerminates Rebels and a new fief as Marquis of Wu from Cao Cao. The Wu shu argues that the enfeoffment was due to Zhang Hong's praise for the Little Conqueror in Xuchang that made Cao Cao give the titles. Sun Ce later conquered and captured Zu Lang and Taishi Ci, who both became vanguard generals.
Yuan Shu later died while Sun Ce was campaigning against Huang Zu. After robbing Huang Zu of his power base, Sun Ce sent a dramatic memorial to the emperor and Cao Cao describing the brutal battle. Cao Cao said, "That wolf-cub! It will be difficult to deal with him."
Hua Xin, an appointed administrator of Yuzhang, gave his formal surrender to Sun Ce and was permitted to leave as Wang Lang had done. Both went to Cao Cao. Soon, Yuan Shao and Cao Cao clashed near in what would become a year-long standout near Guandu. To ensure that Sun Ce would not attack the capital, Cao Cao married a niece was given in marriage to Sun Kuang, Sun Ce's youngest brother, and Cao Zhang married a niece of Sun Ce himself. Some sources agree that, undeterred by the alliance, Sun Ce was planning to take Xuchang while the bulk of its defenders were away in an operation to take control of the emperor not unlike Cao Cao.
Chen Deng, Grand Administrator of Guangling through Cao Cao and a cousin of Chen Yu, pressed Yan Baihu and Xu Gong to rebel. Xu Gong wrote to the imperial court recommending that Sun Ce be kept in the capital, and Sun Ce captured and executed him via strangling.
During a deer hunt, Sun Ce was separated from the rest of his followers, explained by his tenacity and fast horse. Three of Xu Gong's former followers ambushed and shot at him with bows. An arrow hit him in the jaw, and the retainers were quickly killed. Sun Ce died on May 5 of the year 200, aged twenty-six by Chinese count, twenty-five by Western reckoning. The next brother in seniority was Sun Quan, who succeeded in takng over the land that Sun Ce had garnered.
On his death bed, he repeated the famous quote of how in building a state through the military, Sun Ce was superior to Sun Quan, but in sustaining a state, Sun Quan was the better one.
The Wu li tells that medics told him that a full recovery was possible but Sun Ce had to stay calm and quiet for a few months. Upon seeing himself in the mirror, Sun Ce questioned, "With a face like this, how shall I achieve anything again, and how shall I set up my power?", and died.
The Soushen ji says that when Sun Ce was planning to take Xuchang, the land was struck by a drought, and soldiers were assigned to salvage transport barges, but instead ignored duties and went to see the traveling Yu Ji. Sun Ce arrested him and said that he would only free him if the heavens made it rain. Sure enough, it begun to rain, and the excited men of Sun Ce rejoiced that Yu Ji would be pardoned. Embarrassed, Sun Ce killed Yu Ji anyway. As a result, Sun Ce began hallucinting about the man, and after seeing an image of him in a mirror thrice, died.
When Sun Quan ascended the throne as emperor of the Wu dynasty in 229 AD, Sun Ce was posthumously bestowed the title of King Huan of Changsha. In his lifetime, he had taken in the sons of both Liu Yao and Yuan Shu.
Sun Ce was described to be a happy, handsome man, loving to make conversation and joke. Being courageous and broad-minded, he could also securely listen to the thoughts and opinions of others. His armies were well-disciplined, and whether going through a territory, would not harm or interfere with the commoners or local farming. Hence, both peasant and officer loved him. At the same time, like Sun Jian, he was stubborn. Sun Ce was also noted to be an orthodox follower of Confucianism.
Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit
When the warlord Sun Jian moved his family to Shucheng while serving the Han against Dong Zhuo, Sun Ce had met a peer born in the same year as him. His name was Zhou Yu, and the two became close friends, swearing an oath of brotherhood along the way. Two months apart from birth, Sun Ce was looked up upon by Zhou Yu, but eventually they were separated with Sun Jian's relocation.
In chapter 7, Sun Ce appeared with his brothers and uncle, Sun Jing, when Sun Jian prepared to move out for revenge against Liu Biao, who had previously blocked his passage when trying to leave Luoyang with the Imperial Seal. Though Sun Jing pleaded for his brother not to go, Sun Jian refused the offer. Sun Ce, the eldest of Sun Jian's children, asked to go out into battle, and was accepted. He personally accompanied his father dressed in armor and spear at the ready as they went out to battle. Later, he separated and managed his own force.
Soon, Sun Jian was killed in an ambush set by Huang Zu. Huang Zu was captured, however, and Sun Ce was notified of the events. He let out a long cry, which his army followed in doing. He declared that they could not leave Sun Jian's body in Liu Biao's hands, and so he sent the subordinate Huan Jie to ask for Sun Jian's body in exchange with Huang Zu. The offer was quickly accepted, and fighting ceased as Sun Ce had the respective ceremonies completed, his father buried in Qu'e, and led the army home. By being humble and treating treating everyone generously, he attracted many talented men to his court.
The usurper Dong Zhuo heard of Sun Jian's death, and was told Sun Ce was serving in his stead. After asking of Sun Ce's age, another replied, "Seventeen." This convinced Dong Zhuo he had nothing to fear from the southland.
Conquest of Wu and under Yuan ShuEdit
- "My father's death remains unavenged. Liu Yao, inspector of Yangzhou, threatens my uncle Wu Jing, and I fear for the lives of my mother and family in Qu'e. I come, therefore, to beg a few thousand soldiers to take across the river in order to save my family and visit with them again. I have here the imperial seal left me by my father; I offer it to you as security."
- ―Sun Ce requesting soldiers and supplies from Yuan Shu.
When his mother's brother, Wu Jing, began quarreling with Tao Qian, Sun Ce, along with the Imperial Seal passed down from his father, relocated the whole family to Qu'e and Sun Ce came under the governor Yuan Shu's army. Yuan Shu much admired Sun Ce and said often, "If I had such a son, I could die without regret." He was appointed Commandant Who Cherishes Loyalty, and made his mark by winning the many campaigns he was sent on. He was then ordered to attack the Lujiang district. Sun Ce returned soon and a banquet was held for his victory.
After the banquet, Sun Ce returned to his camp, feeling Yuan Shu had been condescending throughout the ceremony. He paced through the courtyard, brooding over his minor accomplishments in comparison to his father's. Zhu Zhi, who was previously a servant of Sun Jian, came up and suggested taking Danyang instead of staying with Yuan Shu. Lu Fan, an adviser of Yuan Shu, appeared to the two and agreed.
The next day during an audience with Yuan Shu, Sun Ce explained his plans, feigning grief: "My father's death remains unavenged. Liu Yao, inspector of Yangzhou, threatens my uncle Wu Jing, and I fear for the lives of my mother and family in Qu'e. I come, therefore, to beg a few thousand soldiers to take across the river in order to save my family and visit with them again. I have here the imperial seal left me by my father; I offer it to you as security."
Yuan Shu had long been interested of the Imperial Seal, and after examining it, said, "I have no wish for your seal; however, you may leave it with me temporarily, and I will lend you three thousand men and five hundred horses. After you have pacified the region, hurry back." Yuan Shu then declared he'd suggest to the court that the thankful Sun Ce become General Who Annihilates Outlaws, and Commandant Who Breaks the Enemy.
Sun Ce set out on the designated day, coming with him Lu Fan, Zhu Zhi, and the generals Cheng Pu, Huang Gai, Han Dang, and the others who had previously served Sun Jian. They reached Liyang where they met a man who dismounted and saluted Sun Ce. It was Zhou Yu, who was on his way to visit his uncle in Danyang. Sun Ce took delight in sharing his ambitions with Zhou Yu, and acquainted him with the other generals. Zhou Yu offered his service and was accepted.
Zhou Yu recommended the Two Zhangs, Zhang Zhao and Zhang Hong, into service, and after a personal visit from Sun Ce, were accepted.
The army then advanced to Ox Landing, where they were met by Zhang Ying, an officer of Liu Yao. Huang Gai engaged Zhang Ying, but before the battle fully begin, Zhang Ying's camp was set on fire and he was forced to retreat. The fires were set by two brigands, Zhou Tai and Jiang Qin. The two had heard Sun Ce was receptive to the talented and were received and given rank. The year was 195 AD.
Duel with Taishi CiEdit
- "Only quick feet saved Taishi Ci!"
- ―Sun Ce, taunting Taishi Ci and his soldiers.
Sun Ce, after gathering the stores and weapons at Ox Landing, moved on to the Shenting Hills. He was positioned in the north, while Liu Yao positioned his troops in the south. At one point in time, Sun Ce dreamt that the founder of the Later Han, Liu Xiu, called him to an audience. He asked if there was a nearby temple dedicated to Liu Xiu, and there was, at the south of the hill. Sun Ce wished to go, but Zhang Zhao advised there might be an ambush lying in wait. Sun Ce, declaring the gods would protect him, went anyway.
At the temple, Sun Ce prayed that if the southern territories were granted to Sun Ce, he'd pray at the temple and offer service every season. After, he wanted to scan Liu Yao's positions, and came to a high ridge and did so.
Not long afterward, Taishi Ci, an officer of Liu Yao, raced to the ridge and challenged Sun Ce to a duel. The challenge was accepted, and the two exchanged some fifty blows. However, Taishi Ci, seeing his opponent's skill, fled and ran, luring Sun Ce to follow. During the pursuit, Taishi Ci turned around and exchanged some other fifty blows before leaving again, this time going onto an equal plain.
Once again, the two fought, each masterfully dodging the other's strikes. Eventually, Sun Ce caught his opponent's spear underneath his arm, as did Taishi Ci. Each was pulled down by the other off their horse and began to wrestle after throwing away their spears, with the battle cloths being torn apart. Their horses fled, and Sun Ce grabbed the halberd off of Taishi Ci's back. Taishi Ci did the same to Sun Ce's helmet. Sun Ce tried to spear Taishi Ci with the halberd, but was blocked by a skillful maneuver of the helmet. Soon, however, the duel was broken up by Cheng Pu with a dozen riders, and Liu Yao with one thousand men. Though Zhou Yu came with reinforcements, the fray was soon ended with each side recalling its forces with a thunderstorm coming about.
The next day, Sun Ce rode around the enemy camp showing off Taishi Ci's spear, yelling with his troops, "Only quick feet saved Taishi Ci!" They were met with Taishi Ci and his men displaying Sun Ce's helmet, retorting, "And Sun Ce's head would have been here!"
Taishi Ci rode forth to meet his enemy and began dueling with Cheng Pu, but was quickly recalled after thirty bouts when Liu Yao discovered his bases were ransacked by Zhou Yu and Chen Wu. Liu Yao retreated to Moling to gather men to retake their bases. However, Sun Ce quickly overran Liu Yao's positions, and Taishi Ci fled for his life with a score of followers to Jingxian county.
Sun Ce heard that Liu Yao and Ze Rong had joined forces to attack Ox Landing, and, fueled by anger, led his forces to meet the enemy alliance. "Surrender to me now!" Sun Ce yelled. Yu Mi, one of Liu Yao's commanders, galloped out but was quickly captured alive. On the way back to camp, however, Fan Neng, another officer of Liu Yao, raced to save his friend. He was about to deliver a fatal spearthrust when Sun Ce's men shouted, "Ambush behind you!" Sun Ce turned around and gave a thunderous roar. Fan Neng, in fear, lost control of his mount, was thrown off, and died. When he finally reached camp, Sun Ce threw down Yu Mi, who had been squeezed to death in Sun Ce's headlock. For his strength, he was given the nickname "Little Overlord", being compared to Xiang Yu, a Chu general and rival to the founder of the Han Dynasty, Liu Bang.
Sun Ce then returned to the siege at Moling. He rode out to demand surrender, but was shot in the left thigh with an arrow, falling off of his horse. Quickly the arrowhead was removed, and the wound treated. Sun Ce ordered his men to spread a rumor that he had died, and the army did so while beginning to mourn and decamp. Xue Li, Zhang Ting, and Chen Heng, three officers of Liu Yao, rode out to give chase. They were ambushed with Sun Ce at the head of the enemy, shouting, "Master Sun has come!" Panicked, the soldiers flung down their weapons and surrendered and were spared. Zhang Ying tried to escape, however, and was speared by Chen Wu. Chen Heng was killed by an arrow from Jiang Qin, and Xue Li in the ensuing chaos. After calming Moling's inhabitants, Sun Ce relocated to Jingxian to capture Taishi Ci.
At Zhou Yu's plan, three sides of Jingxian were surrounded, and only the east gate was left unattended. That night, Chen Wu was ordered by Sun Ce to sneak into the city over the walls and set fire to it. When it was done, Taishi Ci and his two thousand undisciplined warriors fled through the east gate. Sun Ce pursued for some ten miles but broke off then. For another six miles Taishi Ci fled and eventually rested his men, but from the sides he was ambushed. His horse was snared down, and Taishi Ci was taken prisoner into Sun Ce's tent.
Inside, Sun Ce personally untied Taishi Ci's bonds and placed a brown surcoat over him. Sun Ce pointed out his prisoner's fighting spirit and failures at Liu Yao's mistrust of him. Taishi Ci begged to surrender, being moved by Sun Ce's generosity. When asked if he would kill Sun Ce if he had captured him, Taishi Ci replied, "It is hard to say." Sun Ce laughed, and after a banquet, Taishi Ci offered to bring back the remaining troops of Liu Yao, who had died of illness. Sun Ce accepted while bidding him farewell, though the other commanders doubted he'd ever come. Sun Ce kept adamant to his faith in Taishi Ci, and sure enough, Taishi Ci came back the next day with more than one thousand soldiers. Sun Ce was praised as a great judge of character.
Continuing the ConquestEdit
Soon, Sun Ce gathered tens of thousands more troops, while another wave of followers came to him when he encouraged the population of the Southland. Hailed as Young Master Sun, wherever Sun Ce's armies passed, his foes were demoralized and fled. Even with his mass influence, Sun Ce forbid any off his soldiers to abduct anyone or even disturb the local livestock, which earned him much praise and popularity. Villagers brought gifts of food and wine to their camps, and Sun Ce responded with giving gold and silk. For Liu Yao's troops, whomever wanted to join them was welcomed, and to those who didn't wish to join were rewarded and sent home. Sun Ce settled his uncle and cousins back in Qu'e, sent Sun Quan and Zhou Tai to guard Xuan, and advanced to Wujun, which was ruled by Yan Baihu.
When he heard the news of Sun Ce's coming, Yan Baihu sent his general and brother Yan Yu to check them at Maple Bridge. Sun Ce was eager to fight him, but Zhang Hong said, "My lord, the eintire army depends on you for direction. Why risk your life fighting a minor enemy?" Sun Ce replied with him not having authority over his army if he couldn't take the forefront of battle. He sent out Han Dang to challenge Yan Yu, but both Chen Wu and Jiang Qin had already moved out on boats to support him, and together, they forced Yan Yu to flee into Wujun. Sun Ce laid siege to the city, and for three days, no one came out. However, when Taishi Ci took his bow and shot an enemy officer's hand, pinning it to a wall of the city, Yan Baihu sent Yan Yu to negotiate peace. Yan Yu was welcomed with a banquet, but when he introduced Yan Baihu's desire to share Wujun with Sun Ce, the disgusted warlord ordered Yan Yu executed and slayed Yan Yu himself, saying, "That skulking rat rates himself my equal!"
Realizing the futility of staying, Yan Baihu fled, plundering the places he passed through. Ling Cao, a native, led the people in defiance to attack him, sending Yan Baihu in the direction of Kuaiji. Ling Cao and his son, Ling Tong welcomed Sun Ce and his armies, and the two were appointed as commandants of the march.
After a failed resistance from Yan Baihu, Sun Ce pursued the enemy into Kuaiji. Wang Lang and Yan Baihu joined forces, but were caught in a pincer attack, with Zhou Yu and Cheng Pu leading the attacks at the rear. Wang Lang and Yan Baihu barricaded themselves in Kuaiji, but at the advice from Sun Jing, his uncle, Sun Ce feigned retreat and headed for the enemy supplies at Chadu. Yan Baihu with his general Zhou Xin pursued with some five thousand followers, but in a forest, they heard wardrums and shouting. Yan Baihu turned around for a retreat, but he found Sun Ce laying in wait. Zhou Xin raced to defend his master but was killed in a single thrust by Sun Ce. Yan Baihu was able to flee once again, and Wang Lang fled from Wujun. Sun Ce captured the city and brought peace. The next day, a man by the name of Dong Xi brought Yan Baihu's head. Later, he had the battle-wounded Zhou Tai healed by the physician Hua Tuo, whom was recommended by Yu Fan.
As the next course of action, Sun Ce pacified the mountain bandits, officially conquering the Southland. He made sure to send contingents to the strongpoints of his territory, had his accomplishments detailed to the court, established relations with Cao Cao, and demanded the return of the Imperial Seal to Yuan Shu, who in turn made excuses so he wouldn't have to.
Dealing with Yuan ShuEdit
Yuan Shu later announced himself emperor at his possession of the Imperial Seal, and, after a major defeat at the hands of Lu Bu, requested troops from Sun Ce. Sun Ce said, "With my royal seal, Yuan Shu has arrogated the name of emperor, breaking his alleigance to the ruling house. It is high treason! And I mean to wage war and bring him to justice. Does the traitor expect my help?" Yuan Shu was outraged at the rejection, and as a precaution, Sun Ce fortified the strategic points of his territory.
Cao Cao sent a decree enabling Sun Ce to chastise Yuan Shu by force of arms, and though he spoiled for a fight, Zhang Zhao warned of Yuan Shu's still vast supplies. Sun Ce was informed of Cao Cao's intentions to deal with Yuan Shu.
Later, Sun Ce participated in a surrounding attack on Yuan Shu's Shouchun attacking from the west, while the warlord Lu Bu dealt with the east, Liu Bei the south, and Cao Cao the north. Sun Ce donated one thousand bushels of grain to Cao Cao at his request.
For his participation in mandated campaigns, Sun Ce was named Lord of Wu and General who Brings Renegades to Justice.
By 199 AD, Sun Ce had taken the district of Lujiang from Liu Xun, and accepted a surrender of Yuzhang from Hua Xin. After sending Zhang Hong to the capital, Xuchang, to detail his victories to the court, Cao Cao sighed, saying, "We cannot take the lion head on." Cao Cao arranged for his the daughter of his cousin to marry Sun Ce's youngest brother, Sun Kuang, to bind the two houses and ensure safety. Sun Ce requested the post of Grand Marshal, which would give him status comparable to Cao Cao, but Cao Cao refused. Sun Ce began resenting him and planned an attack on the capital.
But the governor of Wujun, Xu Gong, caught word of the plans and secretly wrote a letter to Cao Cao warning him of the rising problem. The messenger sent to deliver the letter was caught, and after the letter was read, beheaded. Sun Ce had Xu Gong strangled to death, and his family fled Wujun.
Sun Ce was riding through a forest when he encountered three men who claimed to be Han Dang's men. He then began to pass them by, but one of the men slashed through Sun Ce's left thigh. Sun Ce tried to fend him off with his sword, but the blade broke leaving him only with the hilt. Another of the men raised his bow and shot an arrow in Sun Ce's cheek. Sun Ce retaliated by ripping the arrow out, and shooting his own, which downed the man. The other two began relentlessly attacking Sun Ce, revealing that they were men of Xu Gong, aiming to revenge him. Sun Ce was stabbed several times and his horse maimed. Luckily, Cheng Pu came with some troops and at Sun Ce's order killed the assailants. One of his troops cut some cloth from his own person and wrapped it around Sun Ce.
Sun Ce once again sought Hua Tuo's service, but the healer had gone north. Instead, a student of his took care of Sun Ce, remarking the arrow that pierced him was poisoned and that it penetrated the bone. He ordered Sun Ce to rest for one hundred days, not letting anger influence him lest the wounds wouldn't heal. Sun Ce became frustrated at the prospect of not being able to immediately cure the leg.
Twenty days into the resting period, a messenger coming back from Xuchang came to Sun Ce, reporting that Cao Cao and all of his advisers respected Sun Ce, save for Guo Jia. The angered Sun Ce demanded to know what Guo Jia had said, to which he was responded: "Guo Jia told Cao Cao that you were not a serious concern because you are reckless and always ill-prepared, hasty and deficient in strategy, a foolhardy man sure to die by a scoundrel's hand."
Haunted by the TaoEdit
Now furious, Sun Ce begun planning to invade the capital despite Zhang Zhao's objections when Chen Zhen, a messnger from Yuan Shao, arrived to tell him that Yuan Shao wished to ally with Sun Ce to attack Cao Cao. Delighted, he held a banquet for Chen Zhen, but it was soon disrupted as the generals began going down the tower the feast was being held on. An attendant said, "The immortal Yu has passed below us. The commanders simply wanted to go out and honor him." Sun Ce rose and looked over the railing to see a Taoist priest being venerated by prostrating commoners. He was informed, "The man's name is Yu Ji. He resides in the east and has traveled here distributing potions that have relieved an unusual number of ailments. He is widely known as an immortal. Pray do not abuse him."
Nevertheless, Sun Ce ordered Yu Ji brought to him, threatening death to anyone who would disobey the command. Once his prisoner was brought, Sun Ce bellowed, "Lunatic priest! You dare to fan the flames of man's ignorance?"
Yu Ji replied, "This poor priest is a Taoist divine from Langye who, during the reign of Emperor Shun, found a sacred text near a spring in Yangqu while gathering herbs in the hills. Called The Millennium: Purification and Guidance, it had one hundred volumes, all concerned with techniques for curing pain and disease. Once obtaining it, I have devoted myself to spreading its influence on behalf of Heaven and for the salvation of mankind, never accepting the smallest gift from anyone nor stirring up the people's hearts."
Sun Ce compared Yu Ji to the Taoist rebels from the previous years, and ordered him to be put to death. All of the officials, including Chen Zhen, protested and begged him to call of the execution, but Sun Ce ordered the priest imprisoned so he could decide further action. Despite the protests of his biological mother, the elder Lady Wu, Sun Ce had Yu Ji interrogated.
After discovering how comfortable Yu ji was treated in prison, Sun Ce punished the jailers and sent Yu Ji back bound in hand and foot. His adviers once again called for mercy, and Lu Fan suggested Yu Ji to summon rain to cure the drought to redeem himself.
Yu Ji, after bathing and preparing, came to an altar to prepare his spell. The commoners flooded the streets to witness the magic first-hand, but contradicting what they said in support, Yu Ji spoke, "I will pray for three spans of timely rainfall to succor the myriad people. But in the end I will not escape death." Meanwhile, the watching Sun Ce, anticipating the failure of Yu Ji, had kindling heaped to burn the Taoist to death.
Before noon, giant masses of black clouds swarmed the skies, bringing thunder and lightning along. As Yu Ji had said, the sky began to pour, allotting three spans of rain to flood the streets as if it were a river. Yu Ji looked up to the heavens and spoke, and at the same time the rain clouds disappeared with the sun shining in full force. Everyone helped Yu Ji down, bowing down and voicing their thanks for the rain. Sun Ce couldn't help himself in anger, watching the townspeople in knee-deep water praising Yu Ji, so he ordered him executed, saying, "Fair weather and storms are natural phenomena. The sorceror has simply taken advantage of a lucky coincidence. What are all of you doing in such a mindless uproar?" Once again Yu Ji was sentenced to death, and ignoring the pleas of commoners and officials alike, his head was lopped off. Sun Ce had the corpse displayed in the marketplace.
That night, the watchmen for Yu Ji's corpse reported the body was gone. Sun Ce threatened to kill them, but in the main hall, from nowhere, Yu Ji appeared. Sun Ce moved back and tried to hack the image, but fainted and was carried to his bedroom. Lady Wu said to Sun Ce, "My son, you have provoked disaster by killing an immortal." She recommended that Sun Ce perform worthy deeds to appease the dead, yet Sun Ce said in reply, "No sorceror can do me harm. Whom should I appease?" Lady Wu instead secretly arranged good work to be done to win forgiveness from the spirits.
That night, Sun Ce's lamp went out, but quickly flamed once more. Yu Ji appeared at the foot of Sun Ce's bed, and in retaliation, the ruler threw his sword at the apparition. Lady Wu ordered him to pray in apology at a temple. As a filial duty, Sun Ce could not refuse. He went to the temple his mother prepared for him, burned incense, but offered no apology. The fumes from the incense formed the image of Yu Ji sitting atop a canopy. Cursing, Sun Ce exited the temple, but saw Yu Ji perched on the temple fate. He asked his followers whether they saw the same, but all said they didn't. Sun Ce threw his sword at Yu Ji, killing a man in the process. It was the man who had killed Yu Ji on order from the day before, with blood running through his orifices. The man was ordered to be buried.
As he left the temple grounds, Yu Ji appeared once more, and Sun Ce ordered the priests to evacuate and the troops to burn down the temple. Yu Ji manifested on top of the temple, throwing down tiles, and when the temple was set afire, he could be seen at the very heart of the flames. At his residence, Sun Ce once more saw Yu Ji standing at the gates. He ordered the entire army to camp outside the city wall, and with his commanders and advisers, talked of joining with Yuan Shao to attack Cao Cao. Zhang Zhao advised otherwise. That night, Yu Ji reappeared inside of the camp. Sun Ce screamed a stream of curses, and the next day his mother was horrified to see his appearance. Sun Ce reached for a mirror, seeing that his face had turned ghastly, and inside of the mirror he saw the reflection of Yu Ji. Sun Ce struck the mirror, but his wounds reopened and he fainted.
Sun Ce summoned all of his closest men to his bedside and noted he could not live on. Conferring his official seal and cord of rank to Sun Quan, he said, "In this period of upheavel the Southland has great possibilities. We have a substantial population and the natural defense of the rivers. I now ask Zhang Zhao and all of you to aid my younger brother." He turned to Sun Quan, comparing the two, with Sun Ce himself being the better in all terms of warfare, but Sun Quan in all of domestic affairs and employment. Sun Ce asked Sun Quan to always remember the hardships Sun Ce and their father had to go through to establish territory. Sun Quan wept as he accepted the seal and cord.
To his weeping mother, Sun Ce assured her that Sun Quan was ten times more able to rule than he was, and to go to Zhang Zhao for internal affairs, and Zhou Yu for external. Next, he summoned his remaining brothers, telling them to always support Sun Quan in full, and that no clan renegadew would be buried with the rest of the family. Lastly, Sun Ce summoned his wife, Lady Qiao. He said, "Alas, you and I must part halfway through life. Honor my mother with your filial love; and when your sister visits, have her tell her husband to give Sun Quan his full support for the sake of our friendship." With that, Sun Ce passed away peacefully at the age of twenty-six.
In 229 AD, Sun Quan named his elder brother King of Changsha.
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