美人計 No Man May Pass the Hall of Beauties
In Ancient China, the seeds of the destruction of the Han Empire were sown due to the neglect and ineptitude of the latter Han Rulers. During the chaotic times, the warlord Dong Zhuo managed to seize control of the Han Capital, Luo Yang and install Emperor Xian as his puppet figurehead.
Dong Zhuo was a tyrannical megalomaniac and put many loyal and noble officials to their deaths. Although several warlords throughout the country formed an alliance led by Yuan Shao to defeat him, their attempts ultimately failed.
The reason was exceedingly simple. Dong Zhuo had an adopted son, the famed Lu Bu, widely regarded as the fiercest and skilled warrior of his times. Lu Bu was a master in horseback riding, archery, and was thus known as the Flying General. He was a handsome and mighty warrior wielding a ji known as the "Sky Piercer" on top of his steed, Red Hare.
So long as the combination of father and son (adopted) stood firm, the tyrant Dong Zhuo could not be overthrown. Thus, the 美人計 Mei Ren Ji strategem was hatched by the Imperial Minister of the Interior, Wang Yun.
Wang Yun had a beautiful song girl named Diao Chan in his household that he treated like his own daughter and used her as a tool to plant the seeds of strife between Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu. He invited Lu Bu to his house one night to present him a gift. Lu Bu was enamored with Diao Chan’s beauty as she served wine during the banquet. Wang Yun, taking advantage of this, promised to marry her to Lu Bu.
Wang Yun subsequently held another feast for Dong Zhuo with Diao Chan displaying her skills in singing and dancing. On that very night, Dong Zhuo brought back Diao Chan back to his household and made her his concubine.
When Lu Bu heard of this event, he was seized with an uncontrollable rage. Whenever she was alone with Lu Bu, Diao Chan pretended that she was taken by force by Dong Zhuo and acted as though she really loved Lu Bu. At the same time, she constantly complained to Dong Zhuo that Lu Bu had evil intentions on her although she was already Dong Zhuo’s concubine.
Through her constant manipulations of father and son, their relationship soon soured. In the end, Lu Bu and several conspirators successfully hatched a plan and assassinated Dong Zhuo, ending the tyrant’s life. Alas, the death of Dong Zhuo merely hastened the rise of another warlord, Cao Cao.
And what happened to our bold warrior, Lu Bu? He survived as a minor warlord for some time. Unfortunately, he also met his bitter end at the hands of Diao Chan. Though he was killed by Cao Cao, he was ultimately defeated as he was too enamored with Diao Chan’s beauty that he neglected his duties and allowed his vigilance to wane.
Take note that this strategem refers to the Hall of Beauties. As Beauties is a generic term, it can refer to anything desirable, be it sex, drugs, gambling, cash, riches, even sympathy and flattery, so do be careful to avoid falling for this strategem employed by your adversaries.
Further, no matter how beautiful a woman may look on the outside; a wise man should always consider her morality, character and wisdom. Do not be led astray by a moment’s desire only to suffer for an eternity.
A woman’s external beauty
Is like a flower in full bloom
Exciting, enchanting and enticing
Ephemeral, a mirage
A woman’s inner beauty
Is like a candle shining brightly
Patient, persistent and protective
Banishing an eternity of darkness and ignorance