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The Son of Severed-Feet and The Wife-Stealer's Lackey

Before ascending to the throne, Duke Yi of Qi had a bitter rivalry with Bing Yuan, the father of Bing Ru, over a piece of land. Duke Yi lost and harbored a grudge. After becoming the ruler and long after Bing Yuan had passed away, Duke Yi desecrated his grave by severing the corpse's feet. Yet, he employed Bing Ru as his charioteer. Meanwhile, Yan Zhi had a beautiful wife whom Duke Yi took for his own pleasure, assigning Yan Zhi to oversee his carriage trains during royal outings.

In the spring of 609 BCE, Duke Yi visited Shen Pond. While soaking in the hot springs, his two charioteers, Bing Ru and Yan Zhi, taunted each other. Yan Zhi sneered, "Son of a Disgrace!" Bing Ru retorted, "Wife-Stealer's Lackey!" Both men were consumed by shame and resentment, fostering an urge to kill Duke Yi. On the way back, they seized the opportunity to assassinate him, leaving his body in a bamboo forest before fleeing, their fates unknown.


"Son of a Disgrace": This term stands in for "断足子" and refers to Bing Ru's shame that his father's corpse was mutilated by Duke Yi.

"Wife-Stealer's Lackey": This replaces "夺妻者" and is directed at Yan Zhi, underlining the humiliation he felt for serving the man who took his wife.

These slang terms aim to convey the complex feelings of shame, resentment, and animosity both Bing Ru and Yan Zhi felt towards Duke Yi, which eventually led to his assassination.


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