Stories and Folktales in Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Zhang Fei Stops Cao Cao at Changban Bridge
Wen Ping and his company pursued Zhao Yun till they saw Zhang Fei's bristling mustache and fiercely glaring eyes before them. There he was seated on his battle steed, his hand grasping his terrible octane-serpent spear, guarding the bridge. They also saw great clouds of dust rising above the trees and concluded they would fall into an ambush if they ventured across the bridge. So they stopped the pursuit, not daring to advance further.
In a little time Cao Ren, Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, Li Dian, Yue Jin, Zhang Liao, Xu Zhu, Zhang He, and other generals of Cao Cao came up, but none dared advance, frightened not only by Zhang Fei's fierce look, but lest they should become victims of a ruse of Zhuge Liang. As they came up they formed a line on the west side, halting till they could inform their lord of the position.
As soon as the messengers arrived and Cao Cao heard about it, he mounted and rode to the bridge to see for himself. Zhang Fei's fierce eye scanning the hinder position of the army opposite him saw the silken umbrella, the axes and banners coming along, and concluded that Cao Cao came to see for himself how matters stood. So in a mighty voice he shouted: "I am Zhang Fei of Yan; who dares fight with me?"
sound of this thunderous voice, a terrible quaking fear seized upon Cao Cao,
and he bade them take the umbrella away. Turning to his followers, he said,
"Guan Yu had said that his brother Zhang Fei was the sort of man to go through
an army of a hundred legions and take the head of its commander-in-chief,
and do it easily. Now here is this terror in front of us and we must be careful."
As he finished speaking, again that terrible voice was heard, "I am Zhang Fei of Yan; who dares fight with me?"
Cao Cao, seeing his enemy so fierce and resolute, was too frightened to think of anything but retreat; and Zhang Fei, seeing a movement going on in the rear, once again shook his spear and roared, "What mean you, cowards? You will not fight nor do you run away."
This roar had scarcely begun when one of Cao Cao's staff, Xiahou Jie, reeled and fell from his horse terror-stricken, paralyzed with fear. The panic touched Cao Cao and spread to his whole surroundings, and he and his staff galloped for their lives. They were as frightened as a suckling babe at a clap of thunder or a weak woodcutter at the roar of a tiger. Many threw away their spears, dropped their casques and fled, a wave of panic-stricken humanity, a tumbling mass of terrified horses. None thought of ought but flight, and those who ran trampled the bodies of fallen comrades under foot.