Stories and Folktales in Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Dead from a Needle
How did Long-Winning General Zhao Yun die? It is said he was killed by his wife using a needle. Why would his wife want to kill him? Is it because his wife fell in love with another guy? No, they really love each other. So what is the reason?
Zhao's wife's name was Sun Ruan Er. She was very pretty, have a beautiful body, and very outgoing. After she was married to Zhao, they often joke with each other. Zhao loved his wife also.
One time, Zhao went to a battle and did not come back until few months later. When he finally got back, his wife welcomed him. But after a while, Sun used a broom to swipe the floor. Suddenly, she used it to hit Zhao Yun and said, "How come you never return, you deserve it". Zhao Yun, on the other hand, was escaping the broom while he laughed, "Please stop, I will not do it again next time". After he pleaded a while, Lady Sun then stopped. From that time on, everytime when Zhao Yun got back, Sun would scold him badly and Zhao did not get angry at all. It is said that "hitting is a way showing close relation, and scolding is a way showing love."
One day, Zhao came back from the battlefield, Sun was very happy and heated the water so Zhao could take a bath. While she was sewing with a needle. Zhao took down his clothes and his skin was like a jade, smooth and shiny without a scar anywhere. Sun was very curious, "General, even with a jade, there is a scar somewhere, how come you don't have any when you went to battle so many times?" Zhao was very proud, and said, "Because I have never lost a battle, and never had a scar, or why would people call me Long-Winning General?"
Sun heard it, she smiled, "Really, you never lost a battle, I don't believe
Zhao said, "Then what can make you believe it?"
Sun laughed, "I will like you bleed today". As she said it, she used the needle to poke Zhao Yun on the shoulder. She was just joking around with Zhao, however, the small poke made Zhao bled a lot.
Zhao Yun cried, "No..."
Sun was really surprise and quickly moved to his side and helped him to cover up the bleeding point. But the scar keep bleeding and Zhao soon turned white. He looked at his crying wife and said, "I have never had a scar on the countless battle I have been to, but today I will die from a needle of my beloving wife, what a pity!" Then he died. Sun never guessed that one small joke can kill her husband, she regretted it very much and cried, "I killed my husband, I killed my husband ..... General, you are dead already, why would I want to live anymore?" So she used Zhao's sword and killed herself.
When Luo Guanzhong wrote RTK, he thinks Zhao Yun, as a brave general, should not died so plainly. If he wrote it in the book, it will not only blacken Zhao, but also will make the people blame Lady Sun, so he deleted this story.