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Lü Meng
Lü Meng - RTKXII
Character information
Force(s): Eastern Wu Crimson Dragonz
Weapon Type: Pike
4th Weapon: White Tiger (3~5)

Golden Glory (WO3)

5th Weapon: Fighting Tiger/Mystic Hunter (3:XL~4:XL)
Significant Battle(s): Xiakou

Chibi Hefei Ruxukou Fan Castle

First appearance: Rise of the Machines
Historical information
Real name: Lü Méng
Chinese name: 呂蒙 - 吕蒙
Style name: Zǐmíng
Chinese name: 子明
Born: 178
Died: 220
He was formerly known as Ā-Méng (阿蒙). Also recorded to have died in 220.


Lü Meng (rōmaji: Ryo Mō) is a general who first served Sun Ce as a warrior subjugating bandits and soldiers. Sun Quan noticed that he was uneducated and advised him to study. After three days of vigorous studying, he was renowned to be a prudent and wise individual who made peace between Gan Ning and Ling Tong. Chen Shou wrote that he was a capable general of remarkable intelligence, as his wit and strength were used to foil Zhang Liao and Guan Yu's armies. His life was claimed by illness, but Romance of the Three Kingdoms instead states he was killed by Guan Yu's vengeful ghost.

In the Dynasty Warriors series, he is 29 years old and his height is 181 cm (a little over 5'11"). Lu Meng is thirty-third place in Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll. In Famitsu's character survey, he placed seventh in the boss category.

His height in Kessen II is 175 cm (close to 5'9").

ContentsEdit

[hide] *1 Role in Games

Role in GamesEditEdit

"This much should be easy for you!"
Sakon Shima; Warriors Orochi

Dynasty WarriorsEditEdit

After Zhou Yu's death, Lu Meng becomes the main strategist for Wu. He acts as army's commander for He Fei and Fan Castle. In the latter battle, he leads the Wu reinforcements and claims Guan Yu's life. He often suffers a mortal wound during the conflict and is succeeded by Lu Xun. Unless players are playing his own story, he will usually not appear after Fan Castle.

His Legend Mode in Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends details his final campaign against Guan Yu. Aiming to destroy the weakened Shu general, he corners his target at Mai Castle. He orders the Wei and Wu soldiers to surround Guan Yu as soon as possible and personally leads the assault. Lu Meng challenges each enemy officer until he defeats their commander. Guan Yu commends his opponent and calmly requests his worthy foe to deal the finishing blow. Although Lu Meng expresses his doubts, he complies with a quick farewell.

Lu Meng starts as a through and through warrior in Dynasty Warriors 5. Trained since childhood to only fight, he is recruited by Sun Ce to be one of his elite guards during the Conquest of Wu. He serves the Wu kingdom after his master's death and is ordered by Sun Quan to be more scholarly. His predecessor also encourages for him to learn patience and strategy at Chi Bi. Lu Meng persists in his studies and gradually becomes a capable officer with equal academic and military strengths. As Wu's Commander, he leads the advance in Jing Province and ends Guan Yu's life with his strategies at Fan Castle. Though the land is still at war in his ending, Lu Meng continues to guide his home's army in several glorious battles.

He shares his Legend Mode in the Xtreme Legends expansion with four other Wu generals in the Battle of Ru Xu Kou. Entrusted with leading the troops, Lu Meng coordinates the events of the battle. He heads eastward with Taishi Ci and may impress Zhang Liao if the strategist defeats him.

During Dynasty Warriors 6, Lu Meng appears as an experienced adviser during the stories for Wu's characters. He fights at Chi Bi and reinforces Wei at Fan Castle, then has him lead the army at Ru Xu Kou and act as the mediator between Ling Tong and Gan Ning. He dies in most scenarios after the army claims victory at Fan Castle. Lu Xun's scenario reveals that he suffers from a mortal arrow wound. In Gan Ning's story, he speaks for the younger man's favor and tries to reinforce the importance of unity to the youth. His death finally makes Gan Ning realize the responsibility he shoulders, which encourages the former pirate to cooperate with his allies.

In Ling Tong's scenario, Gan Ning emphasizes with his friend's feeling of loss since he felt the same pain with Lu Meng's passing. Lu Meng lives to see the land united and congratulates the two friends during Taishi Ci's ending.

Lu Meng follows his usual role of taking the position as Wu's strategist after Zhou Yu's death in the seventh title, starting his services at He Fei. Sun Quan then sends him, Lu Xun and Gan Ning to Fan Castle to defeat Guan Yu. By this time, Lu Meng is suffering from an illness, but he fights on and eventually challenges Guan Yu, proclaiming that he has nothing to lose. After killing Guan Yu, Lu Meng succumbs to his illness. He entrusts Lu Xun with the task of aiding Sun Quan as the new strategist before he passes away. In Wu's ending, Lu Meng appears in Sun Quan's dream, congratulating him on his achievements as a ruler.

In his first Legendary Mode, Lu Meng fights several strategists, including Zhou Yu, to learn the art of strategy. In his second Legendary Mode, which takes place sometime after Zhou Yu's death, Lu Meng fights the Wu army to prove his worth as a strategist.

Character InformationEditEdit

PersonalityEditEdit

Honest and perceptive, Lu Meng is a man who believes in steadfastness. While he speaks with a gruff tone, he is a calm and flexible leader with universal capabilities. Praised for his determination and cunning, he tries to impart his wisdom to several of Wu's younger retainers, as he finds them to be the hope for their kingdom should he fall. He particularly sees talent in Lu Xun and respects the younger man's intellect. He is sensitive about his age and isn't too flattered with Gan Ning's nickname for him.

Character SymbolismEditEdit

In the Japanese version of Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, Lu Meng is given the nickname of "Stormy Warrior" while the English version changes it to "The Scholar of Cunning Moves". As a dominant ruler in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, he calls his five greatest warriors the "Five Patriots".

The original names for Lu Meng's third and fourth weapons -and his Level 11 weapon- are references to one of the Four Divine Beast of Constellations famous in Eastern Asia, the White Tiger. In this case, the name doubles as a nod to Wu and being the polar opposite of the Blue Dragon. Within the Dynasty Warriors series, the Blue Dragon often represents Guan Yu.

Lu Meng's weapons for his Dynasty Warriors 6 appearance had a wordplay when they were collected. His Standard weapon roughly means "Indomitable Spirit". Its literal definition means "unwavering", defined as whatever challenges a person faces, their will -their human heart- will always prevail. His Skill weapon can be translated as "Unbending Will" or more literally, "No Surrender". The definition can mean to never give into pressure. When these two names are combined, they create the four kanji proverb Futou Fukutsu (不撓不屈): whatever challenges a person meets, they will never falter. In Japan, this phrase was originally coined with tax evasion. But as the controversy extended and times changed, the trends encouraged aristocrats to abandon their high-class life styles to become men of war.

The name for his Strength weapon implies to abandon one's care for one's enemy or to not care for impulsive acts (不敵, futeki). It is usually translated as being callous or rambunctious.

His original personal item in Warriors Orochi is Zhan Guo Ce, an indispensable document that details the strategies, politics, and conditions of China's Warring States Period. It is a compilation spread throughout the time period and describes plans created since Shi Huangdi's time of power.

Voice ActorsEditEdit

  • R. Martin Klein - Dynasty Warriors 4 (English)
  • Daran Norris - Dynasty Warriors 5~6, Warriors Orochi (English)
  • Tony Oliver - Dynasty Warriors 6 Special ~ 7, Warriors Orochi 2 (English)
  • No Min - Dynasty Warriors 2 (Korean)
  • Kim Seung Tae - Dynasty Warriors 3 (Korean)
  • Lee Cheol Yong - Dynasty Warriors 4~5 (Korean)
  • Yukitoshi Hori - Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
  • Kazunari Tanaka - Kessen II (Japanese)

QuotesEditEdit

See also: Lu Meng/Quotes
  • "Guan Yu... With all of my strength and wisdom, as well as the might of Wu to finally defeat you. You truly were the God of War, truly a real hero."
  • "I've warned you about that, you insolent pirate!"
  • "I might have known you'd see. You're right... I am suffering from an illness. Now that you know that... You'll know I have absolutely nothing to lose!"
  • "Hey old man, forgive me. For an old man, you're pretty young!"
"I'm glad you finally figured that out."
"So what should I call you from now on? Brother?"
"Stick to old man."
~~Gan Ning and Lu Meng; Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires
  • "I heard stories about your youth. They say you didn't settle down and study until later in life."
"Yes, I was quite rowdy when I was younger. I was never as serious as you."
"Ah, I see! With effort, even the biggest ruffian can improve his ways!"
"And I can see that you need to learn something else - how to lighten up."
~~Lu Xun and Lu Meng; Dynasty Warriors 7
  • "That was an impressive move you pulled back there. I can see you're far from muscle alone."
"I like to think of myself as an all-rounder."
"Sharp up top with the grunt to match. You remind me of a certain warrior of Wu."
"And I'm looking right at him."
~~Lu Meng and Sakon; Warriors Orochi
  • "Liu Chan is safe. My heartfelt thanks to you both."
"We were comrades today by circumstance. We may well be enemies tomorrow."
"But, by fighting together, we learned much from each other."
~~Guan Yu, Xiahou Dun, and Lu Meng; Warriors Orochi 2
  • "Lookin' good, old man! You've still got a lot of life left in you yet!"
"Stop calling me old man. I may not look it, but I'm still quite young."
"A young old man! That's even better! I hope to be just like you when I get old!"
~~Masanori and Lu Meng; Warriors Orochi 3

(178–220),[1][2] style name Ziming, was a military general serving under the warlord Sun Quan in the late Eastern Han Dynasty. Early in his career, he fought in several battles under the banner of Sun Ce (Sun Quan's elder brother and predecessor) and later under Sun Quan, and had been noted for his bravery, but was nonetheless deemed as a "mere warrior". Later, with encouragement from Sun Quan, Lü Meng took up scholarly pursuits to improve himself, gradually becoming a learned and competent military leader and strategist. In 217, he succeeded Lu Su as the frontline commander of Sun Quan's forces in Jing Province. Two years later, in a carefully calculated military operation, Lü Meng led an invasion of Liu Bei's territories in Jing Province, swiftly and stealthily capturing all the lands from Liu's general Guan Yu, who was captured and executed after his defeat. Lü Meng enjoyed his finest hour after the victory but, as he was already seriously ill before the campaign, he died a few months later.

ContentsEdit

Early lifeEdit

Lü Meng was a native of Fupo (富陂), Runan commandery (汝南郡), which is located southeast of present-day Funan County, Fuyang, Anhui.[3] His family migrated south of the Yangtze River when Lü Meng was young, and he lived with his brother-in-law, Deng Dang (鄧當), who served under Sun Ce. When Lü Meng was 14 or 15, he would often secretly follow Deng Dang in his expeditions against the Shanyue against the latter's wishes. When Deng Dang told Lü Meng's mother about this, she wanted to punish her son, but Lü said: "It is difficult to survive in poverty; if we can prove ourselves through hard work, then wealth would come eventually. How can we catch the tiger cub if we don't enter the tiger's den?" Lü Meng's mother sighed and let him have his way.[4]

At that time, an official despised Lü Meng for his age, and often insulted him with words such as: "What can he do? His behaviour would only result in him feeding himself to the tigers." Lü Meng frequently met the official and he killed the latter one day when he could no longer control his anger. He sought refuge in the house of Zheng Chang (鄭長) initially, but later turned himself in to a Colonel (校尉) Yuan Xiong (袁雄). Yuan Xiong pleaded with Sun Ce to spare Lü Meng's life. Sun Ce granted Lü Meng an audience with him, and he was very impressed with Lü, so he acquitted Lü of his crime and recruited him as a close aide.[5]

A few years later, when Deng Dang died, Zhang Zhao recommended Lü Meng to take Deng's place, so Lü was appointed as a "Major of Separate Command" (別部司馬). In 200 CE, after Sun Ce was assassinated, he was succeeded by his younger brother Sun Quan, who planned to merge small numbers of troops into larger garrisons. When Lü Meng heard of this, he collected funds to decorate his troops with brilliant armour. When Sun Quan came to inspect Lü Meng's men, he was very impressed so he placed more soldiers under Lü's command, thus saving Lü's troops from being merged into another unit.[6]

Lü Meng participated in Sun Quan's conquest of Danyang (丹楊) and made many contributions on the battlefield. He was later promoted to "Commandant Who Pacifies the North" (平北都尉) and appointed as "Chief of Guangde" (廣德長).[7]

Battle of JiangxiaEdit

Main article: Battle of JiangxiaIn the spring of 208, Lü Meng was assigned as the navy commandant when Sun Quan launched a campaign against Huang Zu, the Administrator (太守) of Jiangxia commandery (江夏郡; commandery capital in present-day Yunmeng County, Xiaogan, Hubei). During the war, Ling Tong and Dong Xi brought down Huang Zu's two large mengchongs while Lü Meng's unit crushed Huang's navy and Lü personally slew Huang's subordinate Chen Jiu (陳就). Huang Zu attempted to flee after hearing of Chen Jiu's death, but was captured by Sun Quan's soldiers. After the battle, Sun Quan deemed Lü Meng's contributions as the most significant because Chen Jiu's death ensured their victory. Lü Meng was promoted to "General of the Household Who Sweeps Across the Wilderness" (橫野中郎將) and was awarded 10 million coins.[8]

Red Cliffs campaignEdit

Main articles: Battle of Red Cliffs and Battle of Jiangling (208)Later in 208, Lü Meng participated in the Battle of Red Cliffs, in which the allied forces of Sun Quan and Liu Bei defeated a much larger army led by the northern warlord Cao Cao at Wulin (烏林; in present-day Honghu, Hubei). Cao Cao perfunctorily retreated to northern China, leaving behind his general Cao Ren to defend Nan commandery (南郡; commandery capital in present-day Jiangling County, Jingzhou, Hubei). Sun Quan's forces, led by Zhou Yu and Cheng Pu, pressed on their attack and besieged Cao Ren in Nan commandery.[9]

Around that time, Xi Su (襲肅), a military officer from Yi Province (益州; covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing) brought along his men to defect to Sun Quan's side. Zhou Yu proposed to Sun Quan to let Lü Meng take over command of Xi Su's troops. However, Lü Meng praised Xi Su as a courageous person and declined to accept Xi's men, claiming that it was unethical to do so because Xi had come a long way to join them. Sun Quan agreed with Lü Meng and returned Xi Su's troops to Xi.[10]

During the siege of Nan commandery, Zhou Yu ordered Gan Ning to lead a detachment to take control of Yiling (夷陵; present-day Yichang, Hubei), but Gan came under attack by a separate enemy force led by Cao Ren's subordinates. When Gan Ning sent a messenger to Zhou Yu's camp to request for relief forces, most of Sun Quan's generals thought that they did not have enough men to spare to save Gan Ning, but Lü Meng insisted on saving Gan. He told Zhou Yu and Cheng Pu, "I suggest we leave Ling Tong behind while I follow you to help Gan Ning. It's imperative that we lift the siege (on Gan Ning) because he may not be able to hold on for long. I assure you that Ling Tong can defend our current position for ten days."

Lü Meng also convinced Zhou Yu to send 300 men to block the enemy's retreat route with giant logs. When the reinforcements arrived at Yiling, they killed over half of the total number of enemy troops and forced the surviving ones to retreat at night. However, the enemy encountered the giant logs and were unable to cross over on horseback, so they had to dismount and proceed on foot. Sun Quan's pursuing forces arrived at the blockade and seized about 300 horses left behind by the enemy, which they transported back to their camp on boats. The morale of Zhou Yu's army improved greatly, so they crossed the Yangtze River, set up a garrison near the enemy base, and then engaged Cao Ren's forces in battle. Cao Ren was defeated and was eventually ordered to abandon his position and retreat. Sun Quan's forces captured Nan commandery and gained control over much of Jing Province (covering present-day Hubei and Hunan). Upon his return, Lü Meng was promoted to "Lieutenant-General" (偏將軍) and appointed "Prefect of Xunyang" (尋陽令).[11]

Scholarly pursuitsEdit

The Jiang Biao Zhuan (江表傳) mentioned that Sun Quan once told Lü Meng and Jiang Qin: "Both of you are now commanders so you should enrich yourself with knowledge." Lü Meng replied, "I've many things to attend to in the army, so I'm afraid I won't have time to read." Sun Quan then said, "I'm not saying that I want you to take up Confucian studies and become a scholar-official. What I hope you can do is to spend a bit of time reading and understanding history. Do you have as many affairs to handle as compared to me? When I was young, I read the Classic of Poetry, Book of Documents, Book of Rites, Zuo Zhuan and Guoyu, except the I Ching. Since succeeding my brother, I've been reading the Three Histories (Records of the Grand Historian, Book of Han and Dong Guan Han Ji), as well as many military books, and I feel they have enriched me. The two of you are open-minded and fast-learning, so you can definitely pick up reading. Do you really desire not to? You should start off with Sun Tzu's The Art of War, the Six Secret Teachings, Zuo Zhuan, Guoyu and the Three Histories. Confucius once said: 'You will gain nothing even if you give up on meals and sleep and keep thinking about something, so why don't you learn?' When Emperor Guangwu was busy with military affairs, he still found time to read. Mengde agrees that he is already old but he never gives up on learning. Why don't you give some encouragement to yourselves?" Lü Meng was inspired by Sun Quan's words so he began to study diligently and acquire more knowledge. He gradually surpassed some Confucian scholars in terms of what he had read.[12]

Meeting with Lu SuEdit

In 210, after Lu Su had succeeded Zhou Yu (who died of illness earlier that year), he passed by Lü Meng's garrison on his way to Lukou (陸口; in present-day Jiayu County, Xianning, Hubei). Lu Su had viewed Lü Meng lightly, but someone told him, "General Lü's fame and glory are increasing day by day. He shouldn't be seen in the same light now as he was in the past. You should visit him soon." Lu Su then headed towards Lü Meng's camp. After having some drinks, Lü Meng asked Lu Su, "You've received an important appointment and you're going to be stationed near Guan Yu. Have you made any contingency plans to deal with unforeseen circumstances?" Lu Su casually replied, "I'll adapt to the situation when the time comes." Lü Meng then said, "The east and the west may be one family now, but Guan Yu is still nonetheless a person with the might of bears and tigers. How can you not make preparations beforehand?" Lü Meng then proposed five strategies to Lu Su on how to deal with Guan Yu. Lu Su left his seat, came up close to Lü Meng, placed his hand on the latter's back and said, "Lü Ziming, I never knew you possessed such capabilities until I came here." He also visited Lü Meng's mother and left after befriending Lü Meng.[13]

Jiang Biao Zhuan accountEdit

The Jiang Biao Zhuan gave a slightly different account of the meeting between Lu Su and Lü Meng. Lu Su placed his hand on Lü Meng's back and said, "I heard that you were previously a mere warrior. But now, you've taken up scholarly pursuits and you're no longer that Meng under Wu." Lü Meng replied, "When scholars part ways for three days, they will view each other in a different light when they meet again later. Now, as you've succeeded Gongjin, your task will be difficult and you're also going to be neighbours with Guan Yu. Guan Yu is an avid learner and he is very familiar with the Zuo Zhuan. He has a loud and confident voice, and a heroic aura around him. However, he is conceited and thinks highly of himself. Now that you're going to be his opponent, you should have some measures to deal with him." Having said that, he presented three strategies to Lu Su on how to counter Guan Yu. Lu Su respected Lü Meng so he kept the strategies to himself and did not reveal them.[14]

The Chinese idioms "Ah Meng under Wu" (traditional Chinese: 吳下阿蒙; simplified Chinese: 吴下阿蒙; pinyin: wú xià ā méng) and "scrape one's eyes and look" (Chinese: 刮目相看; pinyin: guā mù xiāng kàn) originated from this conversation. The former is used to describe an unlearned person[15] while the latter means to look at a person in a different light (especially after the person has improved remarkably).[16]

Battles of Huan and RuxuEdit

Main article: Battle of Ruxu (213)Cao Cao appointed Xie Qi (謝奇) as the Agricultural Officer (典農) of Qichun (蘄春) and ordered the latter to station at Huan (皖; or Huancheng, in present-day Huaining County, Anhui) to harass Sun Quan's boundaries. Lü Meng tried to induce Xie Qi into surrendering and attacked later when the latter refused. Xie Qi was defeated and retreated, but his subordinates Sun Zicai (孫子才) and Song Hao (宋豪) brought along several civilians and came to submit to Lü Meng.[17]

In 213, Lü Meng followed Sun Quan to Ruxu (濡須; north of present-day Wuwei County, Wuhu, Anhui) to defend against Cao Cao's advances. Sun Quan wanted to construct a dock at Ruxu, but his subordinates said, "We should land on the other side of the river and attack the enemy, then return to our ships. Why build a dock?" However, Lü Meng supported the idea of building a dock, as he said, "Battles are unpredictable and we may not always win. If we lose and the enemy closes in, and we don't have time to retreat to the riverbank, how can we even board our ships?" Sun Quan agreed with Lü Meng and had the dock constructed to make boardings and landings more convenient. With this, Sun Quan's army defended their positions against Cao Cao's approaching forces, who retreated after several failed attempts to overcome the enemy.[18][19]

Battle of LujiangEdit

Around 214, Cao Cao retreated from Ruxu, he appointed Zhu Guang (朱光) as the Administrator (太守) of Lujiang commandery (廬江郡; commandery capital in present-day Lujiang County, Hefei, Anhui) and ordered the latter to station at Huan (皖; or Huancheng, in present-day Huaining County, Anhui). Zhu Guang developed the area for agricultural use, while bribing bandits from Poyang (鄱陽) to serve as spies within Sun Quan's territory. Lü Meng warned Sun Quan, "The lands in Huan are very fertile so the enemy's numbers will rise after they gain a bountiful harvest. Within a few years time, Cao Cao's military prowess would have increased significantly, so we should eliminate them soon." Sun Quan heeded Lü Meng's advice and personally led a campaign to attack Lujiang. Before the battle, Sun Quan summoned all his generals and asked them for their opinions.[20]

The generals suggested to pile up earth to form small hills and replenish their equipment. However, Lü Meng disagreed, "It will take several days to build the hills and replenish our equipment. By then, the enemy would have reinforced their defences and their relief forces would have arrived, and we cannot defeat them. The rainwater has flowed in, and the water level will subside if we linger on for days. By then, it will be very difficult for our ships to retreat and we may be in danger. As of now, I observe that the fortress's defences are weak, so we can achieve victory if we attack it from all directions when our army's morale is still high. We can retreat via the water route after that. This is the way to secure total victory." Sun Quan followed Lü Meng's suggestion.[21]

Lü Meng recommended Gan Ning to lead the assault on Huan while he followed behind with the elite troops. They attacked at dawn, with Lü Meng personally beating a war drum, and the soldiers' morale increased largely. By noon, they had taken the fortress. Around that time, Cao Cao's general Zhang Liao was leading reinforcements from Hefei to help Zhu Guang, and when he reached Jiashi (夾石), he heard that Huan had been captured by the enemy, so he withdrew his troops. Sun Quan praised Lü Meng for his bravery and appointed him as the Administrator of Lujiang. Lü Meng was awarded 600 taxable households from Xunyang (尋陽) and given 30 more subordinates under his command.[22]

When Lü Meng returned to Xunyang, he heard that some bandits were causing trouble in Luling (廬陵), and many of Sun Quan's officers had been unsuccessful in capturing the bandits. Sun Quan remarked, "A hundred birds of prey are not comparable to even one osprey." He then ordered Lü Meng to attack the bandits. Lü Meng achieved success and killed the bandit chiefs but released the others and allowed them to return to normal civilian life.[23]

Sun-Liu territorial disputeEdit

Around 212, Sun Quan's ally Liu Bei embarked on a western campaign to seize control of Yi Province (covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing) from the warlord Liu Zhang. He left Guan Yu behind to defend Jing Province in his absence. By 215, Liu Bei had completely taken over Yi Province. In diplomatic terms, Sun Quan felt that he was "leasing" Jing Province to Liu Bei per an earlier agreement they had in 209, so he wanted the province back because Liu Bei already had a new base of operations (Yi Province). Sun Quan thus ordered Lü Meng to take three commanderies in southern Jing Province - Changsha (長沙), Lingling (零陵) and Guiyang (桂陽). Lü Meng wrote to the administrators of the commanderies, asking them to submit to Sun Quan, and they all agreed, with the exception of Lingling's Hao Pu (郝普). Liu Bei returned to Jing Province when he heard of Lü Meng's advances and he stationed at Gong'an (公安; present-day Gong'an County, Jingzhou, Hubei), while ordering Guan Yu to lead an army to take back the three commanderies. At that time, Sun Quan was at Lukou (陸口; in present-day Jiayu County, Xianning, Hubei), and he sent Lu Su to lead 10,000 troops to Yiyang to block Guan Yu. Sun Quan also sent an urgent order to Lü Meng, ordering the latter to give up on Lingling and head towards Yiyang to help Lu Su.[24]

When Lü Meng pacified Changsha, he passed by Ling (酃) and met someone called Deng Xuanzhi (鄧玄之), who was an old friend of Hao Pu. He planned to use Deng Xuanzhi to trick Hao Pu into surrendering. That night, Lü Meng summoned all his officers and gave them instructions on how to attack Lingling the following morning, without telling them that Sun Quan had given orders for them to give up on Lingling and move to Yiyang. He then lied to Deng Xuanzhi that Liu Bei was being besieged in Hanzhong by Cao Cao's general Xiahou Yuan, while Guan Yu was also occupied in a battle at Nan commandery, and asked the latter to persuade Hao Pu to give up Lingling. Deng Xuanzhi went to see Hao Pu later and conveyed Lü Meng's message. Hao Pu became afraid when he heard that he had been isolated, so he agreed to surrender and asked Deng Xuanzhi to lead him to Lü Meng. When Lü Meng met Hao Pu, he revealed the truth to the latter, clapped his hands and laughed. Hao Pu became wrecked with guilt when he learnt that actually both Liu Bei and Guan Yu were free to reinforce Lingling, but it was too late. Lü Meng left Sun He (孫河) behind to guard the three commanderies while he headed towards Yiyang as per Sun Quan's order.[25]

The territorial dispute between Sun Quan and Liu Bei was eventually resolved when both sides agreed to divide Jing Province between their respective domains along the Xiang River. Sun Quan released Hao Pu and returned Lingling to Liu Bei. Lü Meng was granted the counties of Xunyang (尋陽) and Yangxin (陽新) as his taxable fiefs.[26]

Battles of Xiaoyao Ford and RuxuEdit

Main articles: Battle of Xiaoyao Ford and Battle of Ruxu (217)In 214, after returning from Jing Province, Lü Meng joined Sun Quan in a campaign to conquer the city of Hefei, which was defended by Cao Cao's general Zhang Liao. By 215, Sun Quan's forces had failed to breach Hefei's walls and had also sustained heavy casualties in the earlier engagements with the enemy. When a plague broke out in his army, Sun Quan decided to withdraw. While retreating, Sun Quan was caught up in a fierce counterattack by Zhang Liao, but managed to break out of the encirclement and reach safety when his generals, including Lü Meng, fought with their lives to protect their lord at all costs.[27]

Later, in 217, Cao Cao personally led a large army to invade Sun Quan's garrison at Ruxu (濡須; north of present-day Wuwei County, Wuhu, Anhui). Sun Quan led his forces to resist the enemy and placed Lü Meng in charge of overseeing the army. Lü Meng arrived at the dock, which he suggested to Sun Quan to construct earlier in 213, and stationed thousands of archers there to rain arrows on the enemy when they approached. He also attacked the camp of Cao Cao's vanguard force before the enemy established a foothold and succeeding in destroying the camp. Cao Cao saw that he could not overcome Sun Quan and eventually retreated. Lü Meng was promoted to "General of Tiger's Might" (虎威將軍) and appointed as "Left Protector of the Army" (左護軍).[28]

Succeeding Lu SuEdit

In 217, when Lu Su died, Lü Meng took over command of the former's troops, numbering over 10,000, and moved west to the garrison at Lukou (陸口; in present-day Jiayu County, Xianning, Hubei). Lü Meng was also appointed as the Administrator (太守) of Hanchang (漢昌) and was given the counties of Xiajun (下雋), Liuyang (劉陽), Hanchang and Zhouling (州陵) as his taxable fiefs. He was stationed near the Sun-Liu border, which was guarded by Liu Bei's general Guan Yu on the other side. Lü Meng was aware of Guan Yu's military prowess and intentions of seizing Sun Quan's territories in Jing Province, and that Guan was in a strategic position on the upstream of the Yangtze River. He knew that the temporary stability and truce between Sun Quan and Liu Bei would not last long.[29]

Previously, Lu Su had advocated the maintenance of friendly relations between Sun Quan and Liu Bei to sustain their alliance against Cao Cao. Lü Meng wrote a secret letter to Sun Quan: "You can order Sun Jiao to guard Nan commandery (南郡; commandery capital in present-day Jiangling County, Jingzhou, Hubei), Pan Zhang to station at Baidicheng, and Jiang Qin to lead 10,000 marines to sail along the river and attack any enemy position. I'll personally head towards the frontline at Xiangyang. In this way, we won't need to worry about Cao Cao nor rely on Guan Yu. Besides, Guan Yu and his lord are untrustworthy so you shouldn't be too faithful towards them. Currently, the reason why Guan Yu doesn't advance east, based on your keen sense of judgement, is because of my existence. Now, we should attack him when our forces are still very powerful, because it'll be more difficult to do so later."[30] Sun Quan agreed with Lü Meng and wanted to accept the latter's suggestion, but he then enquired again about attacking Cao Cao in Xu Province, to which Lü Meng replied: "Cao Cao is currently far away in Hebei. He has defeated the Yuans not too long ago and is still busy pacifying You and Ji provinces in northern China, so he won't focus on the east. The troops defending Xu Province are not a cause for concern because they can be easily overcome. However, the terrain there is very accessible by land and is suitable for the deployment of cavalry forces. Even if you manage to conquer Xu Province now, Cao Cao will definitely come to claim it back later. By then, even if we have 70,000-80,000 men to defend the province, we'll still need to be worried. Why don't we attack Guan Yu instead? If we succeed, we'll have the Yangtze River to our advantage and our prowess will increase significantly." Sun Quan felt that Lü Meng's advice was appropriate and heeded it.[31]

When Lü Meng was at Lukou, he treated his neighbours generously and maintained friendly diplomatic ties with Guan Yu.[32]

Invasion of Jing ProvinceEdit

Main articles: Battle of Fancheng and Lü Meng's invasion of Jing ProvinceIn 219, Guan Yu led an army to attack Cao Cao's fortress at Fan (樊; or Fancheng, present-day Fancheng District, Xiangyang, Hubei), leaving behind his subordinates Shi Ren and Mi Fang to defend Gong'an (公安; present-day Gong'an County, Jingzhou, Hubei) and Nan commandery (南郡; commandery capital in present-day Jiangling County, Jingzhou, Hubei) respectively. When Lü Meng heard about that, he wrote to Sun Quan: "When Guan Yu went to attack Fan, he left behind many backup forces because he was afraid that I would seize the territories in his absence. I'm often ill, now I request to return to Jianye (建業; in present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu) under the guise of seeking medical treatment. When Guan Yu learns that I've left Jing Province, he'll definitely withdraw the backup forces and move all out towards Xiangyang. When that happens, our troops will sail along the river, travelling day and night, and swiftly attack the weakly defended territories. We can thus conquer Nan commandery and capture Guan Yu." Sun Quan agreed to Lü Meng's plan and he played along by sending an official decree to Lü, ordering the latter to return to Jianye for medical treatment.[33]

Guan Yu fell for the ruse and withdrew the backup forces and advanced towards Fan. When Cao Cao heard of the attack at Fan, he sent Yu Jin to lead an army to relief Cao Ren, but Yu lost the battle and was captured alive by Guan Yu. Guan Yu's troops increased in numbers after his victory so he lacked food supplies. He sent his men to seize grain from one of Sun Quan's depots along the Xiang River. When Sun Quan heard about that, he sent Lü Meng ahead to invade Jing Province while he followed up behind. Lü Meng arrived at Xunyang (尋陽), where he ordered his elite soldiers to disguise themselves as merchants and sail towards Nan commandery. On the journey, they captured the watchtowers set up by Guan Yu along the river, preventing the defenders from learning of their approach. Guan Yu was totally unaware of this.[34] Shi Ren, who was defending Gong'an, surrendered to Lü Meng after being persuaded by Yu Fan. Earlier on, Mi Fang was punished by Guan Yu for neglecting his duty, which resulted in some weapons being destroyed in a fire, and Mi was still afraid of Guan. Lü Meng showed understanding towards Mi Fang and successfully induced the latter to surrender as well.[35][36]

After entering Nan commandery, Lü Meng treated the civilian population well, among whom included family members of Guan Yu's troops. He also gave strict orders to his men, forbidding them from disturbing the people. In one incident, Lü Meng executed one of his soldiers for stealing from a civilian household, despite that man being an old acquaintance of his, and he shed tears after that. This incident shocked Lü Meng's army and his men did not dare to defy his orders. Lü Meng won the hearts of the people through showing kindness towards them - he provided necessities such as food and clothing to the elderly and the poor, and distributed medicine to the sick. He also ordered the treasury in the commandery office to be sealed up while they awaited Sun Quan's arrival.[37]

Guan Yu was returning to Nan commandery when he heard that Jing Province had fallen under Lü Meng's control. He sent messengers to meet Lü Meng, who brought them on a tour of the city. When the messengers returned to Guan Yu, they spread the word that their families were well. Guan Yu's troops lost their fighting spirit upon receiving news that their families were being treated better as compared to in the past. Guan Yu knew that he had lost and was isolated, so he withdrew to Maicheng (麥城; around present-day Maicheng Village, Lianghe Town, Dangyang, Hubei). When they reached Zhang District (漳鄉) in the west, Guan Yu's men all deserted and surrendered to Sun Quan's side. Sun Quan sent Zhu Ran and Pan Zhang to block Guan Yu's retreat route. Guan Yu and his son Guan Ping were captured by Sun Quan's forces in an ambush. Liu Bei's territories in Jing Province had completely fallen under Sun Quan's control.[38]

DeathEdit

For his achievements in the conquest of Jing Province, Lü Meng was appointed as the Administrator (太守) of Nan commandery. He was also granted the title of "Marquis of Chanling" (孱陵侯) and awarded 100 million coins and 500 jin of gold.[39] Earlier on, Sun Quan threw a banquet at Gong'an to celebrate the victory, but Lü Meng did not want to attend because he was ill. Sun Quan laughed and said, "Ziming, you deserve the honour of capturing Guan Yu. Now that victory has been achieved, you've yet to receive any reward, so how can you leave now?" He ordered the soldiers to play music, while he selected subordinates for Lü Meng and the ceremonial equipment required for Lü's new appointments. After the ceremony, all the soldiers lined up along the path while Lü Meng took his leave, with music playing in the background. That was Lü Meng's finest hour.[40]

Lü Meng rejected the coins and gold, but Sun Quan insisted that he accept. He became ill again before he was enfeoffed as a marquis. Sun Quan was at Gong'an then, and he had Lü Meng brought into his living quarters. He also offered 1,000 jin of gold as a reward to any person who could cure Lü Meng. Sun Quan became more worried as Lü Meng's condition deteriorated over time. He wanted to see Lü Meng but felt that it was too troublesome to keep moving around, so he had a hole drilled into the wall to observe Lü Meng's room. He was happy when he saw Lü Meng having his meals, but could not sleep at night when he saw that Lü could not eat. When Lü Meng's condition improved slightly, he was so overjoyed that he ordered his subjects to visit Lü and wish him well. He even invited Taoist priests to perform rituals to increase Lü Meng's lifespan. Despite Sun Quan's efforts, Lü Meng eventually died in Gong'an at the age of 42 (by East Asian age reckoning). Sun Quan was extremely grieved by Lü Meng's death. Before Lü Meng died, he had instructed his family to store all their priced possessions (including gifts from Sun Quan) in a vault and return them to his lord after his death. He had also asked for a simple funeral. When Sun Quan learnt that Lü Meng had made such arrangements before his death, he was even more saddened.[41]

FamilyEdit

Lü Meng's marquis title was inherited by his son Lü Ba (呂霸). Lü Ba was awarded 50 qing of land (one qing was approximately equivalent to 6.67 hectares), and granted 300 households to help him keep watch over his father's tomb. Lü Ba was succeeded by his elder brother Lü Cong (呂琮) after his death. Lü Cong passed on the marquis title to his younger brother Lü Mu (呂睦) when he died.[42]

AnecdotesEdit

Incident with Cai YiEdit

In his younger days, Lü Meng was not competent in reading and writing. Whenever he issued orders, he had to verbally instruct his subordinates or ask someone to help him write. He was thus derided by Cai Yi (蔡遺), the Administrator of Jiangxia (江夏). However, Lü Meng never hated Cai Yi for that. When Gu Shao (顧邵), the Administrator of Yuzhang (豫章), died, Lü Meng recommended Cai Yi to Sun Quan to replace Gu Shao. Sun Quan laughed and said to Lü Meng, "Are you trying to be like Qi Xi?[1]" He then followed Lü Meng's suggestion.[43]

Dispute with Gan NingEdit

Further information: Gan Ning#Dispute with Lü MengGan Ning, a general under Sun Quan, was notorious for his violent and murderous ways, and Lü Meng was unhappy with him. There was one incident where Lü Meng was so furious with Gan Ning that he wanted to kill the latter. Gan Ning also often defied Sun Quan's orders and the latter was very angry with him. When Lü Meng heard about that, he said to Sun Quan, "The Empire has yet to be pacified. Fierce generals like Gan Ning are hard to come by. You should tolerate him." Sun Quan heeded Lü Meng's advice and treated Gan Ning generously. In return, Gan Ning served Sun Quan faithfully until his death.[44]

AppraisalEdit

Sun Quan once said: "A person improves as he grows older. Lü Meng and Jiang Qin are two excellent examples. They have obtained wealth and glory, but yet they are willing to pick up reading and scholarly pursuits. They view material wealth lightly and value righteousness."[45] On another occasion, he said: "When Ziming was young, I said (he was someone who) did not give in to adversity, (he was) indeed courageous but only so. When he grew older, he became more knowledgeable and resourceful, and was second to Gongjin, but he was less capable in speech as compared to Gongjin. When he defeated and captured Guan Yu, he did better than Lu Zijing."[46]

Chen Shou, who wrote Lü Meng's biography in Records of the Three Kingdoms, commented on the latter as follows: "Lü Meng was courageous and witty, decisive and well versed in military strategy. Deceiving Hao Pu and capturing Guan Yu - those were his best moments. Initially, he was rash and reckless, but eventually he managed to exercise self-restraint. He possessed the magnanimity of a great statesman and was not merely a military officer! Sun Quan's comments (on Lü Meng), both positive and negative, were befitting, hence I included them in this record."[47]

In fictionEdit

Lü Meng appeared as a character in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, which romanticises the historical events before and during the Three Kingdoms period. His death was dramatised in chapter 77 of the novel.

Sun Quan and his subjects were celebrating their conquest of Jing Province, with Lü Meng receiving the highest honour. During the banquet, Lü Meng was suddenly possessed by Guan Yu's spirit and he grabbed Sun Quan and shouted, "Green-eyed brat! Purple-bearded coward, do you still recognise me?" Sun Quan's subordinates were shocked and immediately rushed forth to save their lord. The possessed Lü Meng shoved Sun Quan away and sat on Sun's seat, with an expression of fury on his face, and he boomed, "Since defeating the Yellow Turban rebels, I've fought in wars for over 30 years. But I lost my life because you used an evil scheme against me. I cannot feast on your flesh while I was still alive, but I can still seize Lü Meng's soul after my death! I'm Guan Yunchang, the Marquis of Hanshou." Sun Quan and the others were so terrified that they sank to their knees. Lü Meng collapsed and died, bleeding from seven body orifices. Everyone was traumatised by the scene they witnessed.

Modern referencesEdit

Lü Meng is featured as a playable character in Koei's Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi video game series. In the games, his name is spelled as "Lu Meng" without the diaeresis in the "U" in "Lu". He also appears in all 12 instalments of Koei's strategy game series Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

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