Biography (SGYY): King Mulu

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King Mulu
木鹿大王
(AD C.178–213)

Sanguo yanyi Officer Biography
Author Notes in Blue
Authored by SlickSlicer

King Mulu

Mulu was the King of the Bana Ravine and was famous in his native lands as a powerful sorcerer. He dressed in fine silks decorated with many exotic gold and pearl ornaments. On his belt he carried two swords and in battle, Mulu rode atop a magnificent white elephant. King Mulu cared for and trained a pack of various wild animals, including tigers, leopards, wolves and venomous snakes. These beasts loved their owner and playfully frolicked about behind King Mulu wherever he went.

After Zhuge Liang defeated the King of the Mang tribe, Meng Huo, on 5 separate occasions, Meng Huo became distressed and gathered his clan to address them in a meeting. Meng Huo asked what could be done to finally beat Zhuge Liang. A man in the assembly piped up and said, “I know of a man able to defeat Zhuge Liang.” Surprised at this sudden and confident statement, all the people present at the conference turned to the speaker, who was none other than Chief Dai Lai, the brother of Meng Huo’s wife and head of the eight Southern Mang Tribes. Chief Dai Lai went on, “I am of course referring to Mulu, King of the Bana Ravine. He is a master of witchcraft who can muster up windy tempests and invoke the rain. He rides upon an elephant and is attended by tigers, leopards, wolves, scorpions and all manner of other critters. Besides this, he has under his authority some thirty thousand superhuman soldiers. He is very bold as well. O King, write him a letter and send him presents, which I will deliver. If he will consent to lend his aid, what fears have we of Shu?” Meng Huo liked this plan and so drafted a letter to send for the highly recommended chieftain of the Bana Ravine. When King Mulu came, Meng Huo bowed low before him and explained how Zhuge Liang had managed to capture him on multiple occasions. Mulu promised to avenge the Mang king’s losses and, after attending a banquet, marched off to battle mounted on his trusty pachyderm. King Mulu was met by foot soldiers commanded by Zhao Yun and Wei Yan.

Both of these Shu officers came out to the frontlines of their arrays to examine their unusual opponents. It was like nothing they had ever seen before. The Mang banners and weapons were all amazing. The troops in Mulu’s regiment carried sharp, pointed knives on their belts. Although sunburned, a majority of the warriors in Mulu’s band fought in the nude. Finally signals were given to the army not by drum or trumpet but by gong, a method quite foreign to the Shu officers. From between the flags of his army, King Mulu emerged, sitting upon his elephant and with his dual blades fastened to his waist. In his hand he held a bell and from time to time would ring it or recite an incantation. To the surprise and dismay of the Riverland troops, Mulu’s spells caused the wind to suddenly howl and stones started rolling around the two armies. Sand and dust began to fly into the air and the Shu troops heard noises that sounded like a deluge pouring forth from the heavens. One of King Mulu’s men then rang a horn and out of the blue rushed in tigers, leopards, wolves, serpents and all sorts of other creatures. The Shu troops knew not what to do and so Mulu and the rest of the Mangs pursued their adversaries all the way to the city of Three Rivers, hacking and cutting down their enemies as they went.

The next day King Mulu’s spies saw the soldiers of Shu camped at the entrance to the Silver Pit Ravine. They then returned to their leader and told him about Shu’s whereabouts. King Mulu, after his previous victory just the day before, had become complacent and now thought himself perfectly invincible. This time King Mulu brought Meng Huo with him so that Meng Huo could observe his force’s power in action. As Mulu drew closer to the Silver Pit Ravine, a figure dressed in Taoist robes and sitting comfortably inside a light chariot appeared in the distance. Meng Huo recognized this man and said to his ally, “That is Zhuge Liang in that small vehicle. If we can only capture him, our task is done.” Mulu understood and began to summon up stormy winds once more. As in the last battle, Mulu’s wild creature companions roared and ran towards the Shu army. This time however the tides of war had changed. Zhuge Liang waved his feather fan in the opposite direction and the violent gusts blew the other way. Then, from amidst Zhuge Liang’s lines, burst forth fire-breathing contraptions disguised as terrible fiends. The animals under King Mulu’s sway turned tail and fled at the sight of these horrid things, running in the direction of King Mulu’s soldiers and trampling them down as they sped away into the distance. Zhuge Liang’s troops then fell upon King Mulu’s army with beating drums and blaring trumpets. The sudden attack and various reversals of King Mulu’s tactics caused Mulu’s troops to panic and as a result King Mulu was killed in the ensuing melee.

Copyright © 2006 SlickSlicer
Based on the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong