Biography (SGYY): Xiahou En

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Xiahou En
(AD 167 - 208)

Family: Xiahou Dun (cousin), Xiahou Yuan (cousin)
Appointments: Yu Territory Spy, Sword Bearer, Front Line General, Commander of Wanzheng.

Sanguo yanyi Officer Biography
Authored by ZhaoZilong

Xiahou En was originally an official of Cao Cao’s father, Cao Song, in Qiao. After Cao Song’s death, he was one of the few survivors, and, leading the others, fled to Cao Cao with the news of his father’s death. After this, at the recommendation of an old friend, Mao Jie, and his cousin, Xiahou Dun, Xiahou En became a travelling officer or messenger for Cao Cao, as he knew much of the land around Yu Province.

After Cao Cao vanquished Yuan Shu and Lu Bu, thus gain control in central China, a hunting expedition was organised. During the expedition, Cao Cao saw a great deer, and went after him. However, Cao Cao suddenly fell in with a large tiger, and had no means of calling for aid. Xiahou En, however, having seen his lord follow the deer, had gone in pursuit, and now came up to his aid. As Cao Cao saw En coming, he filled with determination, and reached for one of his two great swords of renown, the Blue Blade.

Xiahou En, however, shouted out, saying to his lord “Lord! You have such a magnificent blade, which runs through metal as if it were mud! Why should you waste it on a poor beast like this!”

Saying so, he rushed forward and killed the tiger himself. Cao Cao saw that En held his sword in high regard, and so appointed him Sword Bearer, and gave him possession of the fabulous blade. From then on, Xiahou En carried the sword and it’s standard, a blue flag with a white sword on it.

During Cao Cao’s assault on Xu Province, which was under Liu Bei at the time, Xiahou En led a body of troops and marched against Guan Yu, who had reached Tushan. However, he couldn’t break through, and was relieved by Xiahou Yuan. While he was attacking the mountain, a stray arrow hit one of Xiahou En’s subordinate officers, wounding him. Xiahou En took up a bow himself, and shot down all who came in the retreating officer’s way.

The wounded officer reported Xiahou En’s merits to Cao Cao, who was pleased with En, and said “Xiahou En is as great a marksman as his cousin Xiahou Yuan!”

Cao Cao then appointed En as the Commander of Wan Zheng, in case of an attack from the south. En kept this appointment for 3 years, until Liu Bei moved to Runan after Yuan Shao’s collapse. After this, he was relieved and appointed Front Line General, as Cao Cao himself led his veteran army towards the south to capture Jing Province.

2 years later, Cao Cao began his campaign, with his first enemy being Liu Bei, at Xinye at the time. When Xiahou Dun volunteered to lead the army against Liu Bei at Bowang, Xiahou En carried the supplies. When Xiahou Dun set out, Xiahou En noted the position they were in, and secretly abandoned some supplies, guarded by some troops, in a small alcove where they couldn’t be seen. When the fire started, it spread through the rest of the army and it’s supplies, but the ones En placed managed to survive. When En reported back to Cao Cao, he was left unpunished due to his foresight.

4 years later, when Cao Cao had managed to capture Xinye, and forced Liu Bei to retreat to Xia Kou, Xiahou En was given a command of ten of the best cavalry and set in pursuit with the rest of the army. At Dangyang, he managed to wound Jian Yong, and gave the captured steed to one of his soldiers. However, unable to see where to go from here, set about simply plundering off officers and soldiers, and eventually fell in with another general of Liu Bei, this time Zhao Yun.

Zhao Yun had just saved Jian Yong and sent him back to camp, and now saw Jian Yong’s steed. This filled him with rage, and as Xiahou En rode out to duel him, Zhao Yun charged forward, and cut Xiahou En down in the first pass. As a victory token, Zhao took the Blue Blade. Thus, in the autumn of AD 208, at age 41, died Xiahou En.

Copyright © 2003 ZhaoZilong
Based on Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms