“Brother Kuai Ran. Your uncle really lives far away.” Liu Mang commented.
“Nothing can be done about it. My uncle refuse to live father so he moved to the outer parts of the city!” Kuai Ran shook his head and smiled bitterly. There was some conflict between the two brothers. Their combined efforts are one of the reasons Liu Biao could obtain Jingzhou and prosper especially since that time, his predecessor, Wang Rui, was a talented person. It would have been much more difficult to obtain Jingzhou had Wang Rui not been killed by Sun Jian.
After Wang Rui was killed by Sun Jian, Dong Zhuo recommended Liu Biao to be the successor. At that time, Jiangnan was full of bandits and there were also many other people proclaiming themselves the hegemon with plenty of soldiers. As a result, Liu Biao could not step up directly and had to remain anonymous.
Liu Biao entered Jingzhou and met with Kuai Liang, Kuai Yue and Cai Mao. He said, “There is a lot of unrest in the area and the people are not attached. Yuan Shu only made things more disorderly! I want to recruit troops here but I am afraid I would not be able to gather them. What should I do?”
“The reason the people are not attached is because of the lack of benevolence. The reason those attached to Jingzhou are unable to prosper is because of the lack of righteousness. The people will return if there are enough benevolence and righteousness and there would be no need to worry about recruitment.” Kuai Liang replied.
Liu Biao then asked Kuai Yue the same question. “During times of peace, benevolence and righteousness. During times of chaos, power and schemes. Yuan Shu is rash while Bei Yu can only fight. They are both nothing to worry about. I have subordinates who can bring out all these bandit chiefs. The bandit chiefs are all greedy and tyrannical. The King will kill them and the people will choose to follow someone with virtue. You will be able to take over this land and Yuan Shu would be incapable of stopping you.”
Liu Biao was happy with this advice and sung praises for Kuai Yue. Kuai Yue then dispatched his people to invite the fifty five bandit chiefs to banquet where they were all executed and their troops taken. After that, the other self-proclaimed hegemons also eventually fled or surrendered. At this point, Liu Biao controlled seven regions in Jingzhou except the Nanyang region.
It is from here that the differences between the two brothers is seen. Kuai Liang was more stubborn and preferred open schemes. Like Xu Shu, changing his opinion would be a difficult task once he feels certain or determined about something. On the other hand, Kuai Yue could adapt better. He is the type to use anything that is useful. Kuai Yue’s schemes allowed Liu Biao to obtain power while Kuai Liang helped Liu Biao to obtain a good reputation.
However, the part that made them have conflict was from after Liu Biao obtained the whole of Jingzhou. At that time, Liu Biao had plenty Huang Zu and Wen Pin as his generals, Kuai Yue and Kuai Liang as his strategists and also lots of soldiers taken from the other nobles. He was a powerful force that could conquer the South especially since some places only had small groups of bandits.
Kuai Liang wanted to go South but Liu Biao refused. This made Kuai Liang angry. Liu Biao was not well and no longer had thoughts of forging ahead. Life in Jingzhou had also been too pleasant for him to think about struggling for more power. All the bandits in the South also feared Liu Biao and gave him peace offerings which dampened his intentions of going to war against them even more.
Kuai Liang thought that this was the moment he had to risk his life in attempt to make sure Liu Biao send troops. There were many officers under Liu Biao’s employ who also supported Kuai Liang. They wanted to be dispatched. For ordinary soldiers, the only way they could get merits was through battle. However, the nobles did not want this. Liu Biao had previously signed a treaty with them. Liu Biao had promised to protect their interests but they had to provide provisions during war. Naturally, they would be against starting a war.
Besides them, the new noble Cai Family was also against war. The reason for this is because the Cai Family had also received offerings. If these small groups were wiped out, Cai Mao would no longer obtain any offerings.
Kuai Liang then thought of relying on his brother, Kuai Yue, who could easily influence Liu Biao’s decision. One word from Kuai Yue was enough to change Liu Biao’s opinions.
Unfortunately, Kuai Liang’s hopes were dashed when his brother unexpectedly disagreed with him. He wondered if his brother could not see the opportune moment to capture the entire South of the Yangtze River while the rest of the world was going after Dong Zhuo. Even if an overlord appears on the Central Plains, they would be able to cut them off at the river.
Despite Kuai Liang’s stubbornness, Kuai Yue still decided not to send troops. As a result, the two brothers drifted apart.
Kuai Liang angrily moved out to the outer city to separate from his brother. As the brothel was at the inner city, it would take time to arrive at Kuai Liang’s place. The carriage also could not go any faster as there were another six women inside the carriage. That was why it took a long time.
“Brother Wang. There are times where I wonder if you are really acquainted with my uncle.” Kuai Ran commented with a laugh.
“Why? Does Brother Kuai doubt me?” Liu Mang asked in reply.
“Haha. Out of the question. I, Kuai Ran, am someone who would properly treat those that treat me well. It does not matter whether Brother Wang is acquainted with my uncle or not. I would bring you to meet him regardless.”
“Brother Kuai. Since you have already said so, I won’t conceal things from you. I really do know your uncle.” Liu Mang replied. Kuai Ran felt his thought process come to a halt. He had expected Liu Mang to admit to not knowing Kuai Liang. This way, he could just say farewell to Liu Mang after introducing him to his uncle as though it was business.
Kuai Ran wanted to believe that Liu Mang could be a real friend as friends were hard to find in that era. He was afraid that Liu Mang would trick him and trouble Kuai Liang even though he already said that he would introduce Liu Mang to Kuai Liang.
“Although I am acquainted with him, I have never paid him a visit before! This time, I am paying Mister Zirou a visit to keep in touch.”
“Is that so?” Kuai Ran replied with disbelief.
“Of course, if Brother Kuai do not believe me, there is no need to introduce me. Brother Kuai can just leave if I and Mister Zirou are not acquaintances. Consider ourselves even.”
“Haha. I believe you. Of course I believe you.” Kuai Ran nodded after hearing Liu Mang’s words. He was afraid Liu Mang was just using him. It would certainly be the best if this was not the case.
The two became silent for a while. Then someone outside shouted angrily. “Who is this? How dare you!”