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The King Who Lit the Beacon to Trick the Lords

King You of Zhou was a bad man, who neglected his country and spent his whole life eating, drinking and flirting with women. His favourite of them all was the concubine named Bao Si, whom he adored greatly. However, Bao Si never smiled, and the King was annoyed about this. He offered a huge reward on whoever made Bao laugh.

An obsequious official, Guo, thought of a nasty idea. To defend China from the barbarous tribe, about twenty beacons had been built along the mountains from the frontier to the capital. When the the barbarous tribe attacked China, the first beacon would be lit. The second beacon would be lit at the sight of the first, and so on. When nearby lords, who owned land and power in the feudalist society, saw the lit towers, they would send an army to assist the king. Guo told the King to light the beacons in order to trick the lords.

They did as planned. The lords, thinking that their country was in danger, brought their army to fight the barbarous tribe. When they arrived at the 'battlefield', however, they heard little but a piece of music, leaving the noblemen dumbstruck. Amused by the palaver, Bao Si smiled. Her smiled made the King very happy, but it also left the lords angry. Concealing their fury, the lords went away.

The King adored Bao so much, that he decided to abandon the heir apparent Prince, and appointed Bao's son instead. the Queen was angry. So were the people, as this was against his ancestors, the Duke of Zhou and King Wu's institution. The Queen's father, the Marquis of Shen, decided to rebel against the King. He allied with the barbarous tribe and attacked the capital. The other lords, thinking that they were being tricked again, ignored the signals.

The King was defeated  by the Marquis of Shen and the barbarous tribe, and later killed.


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