The story of Lu Xun and how he got his idea for the fire attack at Yi Ling is a strange one, but I am willing to tell it. It all started when Lu Xun was a child (around the age of thirteen). His father was teaching him about warfare, how to use a blade, and things of that matter up on a nearby hillside. Young Lu Xun looked past his father and saw a pillar of smoke rising from his village. He ran down to his village to see his best friend’s house was burning. He quickly became worried and stared into the blaze for any sign of his best friend.
The fire entranced the youngster and he became amazed at the wonders and beauty of the fire. No longer did he care for his friend. He just wanted the fire to stay forever within his sights. When the fire was put out, he wanted to see more fire. It became like a drug to him. He experimented with the wonders of fire and became obsessed with it.
One day his father caught him lighting a fire near the forest. His father scolded him for his stupidity and told him about the dangers of fire. That still did not change his feelings for the warming glow of the fire. He continued experimenting and one day one of his fires raged out of control. It was one of the biggest forest fires ever created.
At that time tensions were rising and Zhang Jiao was gathering troops for his cause. The fire was blamed on the Yellow Turbans, but Lu Xun could not live with the guilt. He gave up his obsession. He later joined Wu and his obsession was brought back when an enemy soldier almost lit Lu Xun’s camp on fire.
He knew if anyone in Wu knew of his obsession he would be frowned upon. He decided instead of quenching his need for fire in his leisure time he would do it in battle. He tried to include fire in all his strategies for each battle but all were rejected, all but one. That was at the battle of Yi Ling. This would be the perfect battle to quench his need for fire.
He knew it would be hard to accomplish this especially since he was up against the great strategist Zhuge Liang. He also knew that this would be the final battle between Wu and Shu. He appointed Zhu Ran as the officer to pull off this plan.
When Shu and Wu finally met in battle the fire attack worked and Lu Xun was satisfied with his work. With his thirst for fire quenched, he went on to win the battle and he then he helped take on Wei and Wu ruled over the land.
Copyright © 2004 Phil H