(18.7) Diǎn Wéi 典韋

Diǎn Wéi was a Chénliú Jǐwú man. His appearance was very tall and sturdy, his strength surpassed other men, and he had ambition and integrity in chivalry.


Xiāngyì’s Liú clan with Suīyáng’s Lǐ Yǒng were enemies, and Wéi took revenge on their behalf. [Lǐ] Yǒng was a former Chief of Fùchūn, and prepared a guard with great caution. Wéi rode a cart carrying chickens and wine, pretended to be a visitor, and when the gate opened, from his bosom he drew a dagger and entered and killed [Lǐ] Yǒng, and also killed his wife, from the cart took saber and halberd and on foot left. [Lǐ] Yǒng resided near the market, and the entire market was completely astonished, and the pursuers were several hundred, but none dared come near. He went four to five lǐ [1.6 to 2 km], encountered his comrades, turned back to fight to escape. Because of this he became noted as a towering hero.


During Chūpíng [191-193], Zhāng Miǎo raised righteous troops, Wéi became a soldier, under the command of Major Zhào Chǒng. The Ivory Gate Flag was very large, and of the men none could lift it. Wéi with one hand set it up, and [Zhào] Chǒng was amazed by his great strength. Later he was under the command of Xiàhóu Dūn, he repeatedly took heads and had achievements, and was appointed Major.


Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] suppressed Lǚ Bù at Púyáng. [Lǚ] Bù had separate camp to Púyáng’s west by forty to fifty lǐ, Tàizǔ in the night attacked, and before light destroyed it. Before he could return, at that time [Lǚ] Bù’s reinforcements arrived, and on three sides they battled. At the time [Lǚ] Bù personally fought battle, and from dawn until the sun was setting there were several tens of bouts, and they were locked together in difficulty. Tàizǔ gathered volunteers to break the lines. Wéi was first to stand, and commanded those who answered the call several tens of men. All wore heavy clothes and double armor, discarded shields, only grasping long spears and raising halberds. At the time the west side was also in difficulty, Wéi advanced to resist them, the bandits bows and crossbows chaotically fired, and the arrows came like rain. Wéi did not look, and said to the other men: “When the enemies come ten paces, then report it.”


The others said: “Ten paces.”


He also said: “When five paces then report.”


The others were afraid, and quickly said: “The enemy has arrived!” Wéi in his hand grasped over ten halberds, greatly shouted and rose up, and of all that charged none were not handled and fell.


[Lǚ] Bù’s army retreated. At the time it was sunset, Tàizǔ was therefore able to withdraw and go. He appointed Wéi as Commandant, installed him at his side, to command his personal troops several hundred men, and he always patrolled the main tent. Wéi was both strong and martial, and those he commanded were all carefully selected troops, and at every battle, he always was first to charge and break the battle lines. He was promoted to Colonel.


His nature was loyal and cautious, he always at daytime stood in attendance all the day long, and at nighttime lodged beside the tent, rarely returning to his personal quarters. He liked wine and food, drinking and eating enough for two men. Every time he was bestowed with food at the front, he greatly drank with large gulps, left and right in continuous succession, several men filling and supplying, and Tàizǔ was impressed with him.


Wéi was good at wielding large double halberd and long sabers and others, and in the army they said of him: “Of the strong warriors beneath the tent there is Sir Diǎn, who lifts a double halberd of eighty jīn [~20 kg].”


Tàizǔ campaigned against Jīngzhōu [197], reached Wǎn, and Zhāng Xiù welcomed and surrendered. Tàizǔ was deeply pleased, hosted [Zhāng] Xiù and his commanders, and set wine for a great banquet. Tàizǔ passed wine, while Wéi grasped a large axe and stood behind, the blade being a chǐ [~23cm long]. Whoever Tàizǔ stopped in front of Wéi would then raise the axe and glare at. Up to the wine was finished, of [Zhāng] Xiù and his commanders none dared look up.


After over ten days, [Zhāng] Xiù rebelled, and attacked Tàizǔ’s camp. Tàizǔ went out to battle but was unsuccessful, and with light cavalry went. Wéi battled inside the gate, and the rebels could not enter, and therefore scattered and from other gates together entered.


At the time Wéi had with him over ten men, and all to the death battled, and none were not a match for ten. The rebels from the front and rear arrived more and more, and Wéi with a long halberd to the left and right struck them, and with each thrust then over ten [enemy] spears were broken. Those around him were all killed. Wéi was several tens of times wounded, with broken weapon still battled, and the rebels advanced to take him. Wéi with his two arms grasped two rebels and struck and killed them, and the remaining rebels did not dare advance. Wéi again advanced and charged the rebels, killing several men, his wounds burst open, and glaring and shouting curses he died. The rebels then dared advance, took his head and passed it around to look, and hurried forward to see the body.


Tàizǔ retreated to camp at Wǔyīn, heard Wéi had died, wept for him, sent spies to retrieve the body, personally went to face it and weep, sent it back to be buried at Xiāngyì, and appointed his son [Diǎn] Mǎn as Cadet Internal. Every time his carriage passed by, he always sent sacrifices. Tàizǔ in memory of Wéi appointed [Diǎn] Mǎn as Major, and kept him near himself. When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] ascended as King [220], he appointed [Diǎn] Mǎn as Commandant and bestowed title as Marquis Within the Passes.


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