Lǔ Sù appellation Zǐjìng, was a Línhuái Dōngchéng man. He was born and lost his father, and with his father’s mother resided. His family was wealthy with treasure, and he by nature enjoyed donating. At the time the realm Under Heaven was already in chaos, Sù did not manage family business, instead greatly distributing wealth and goods, easily selling farmland, to provide relief to the poor and make connections with scholars, and he deeply won the local town’s pleased hearts.
Zhōu Yú became Jūcháo Chief, led several hundred men and happened to pass by Sù, and asked for supplies and grain. Sù’s family had two granaries, each with 3000 hú, and Sù therefore pointed to one granary to give to Zhōu Yú, and so [Zhōu] Yú better knew that he was special, and therefore they became close friends, in the manner of [Gōngsūn] Qiáo and [Jì] Zhá.
Yuán Shù heard of his reputation, and appointed him Dōngchéng Chief. Sù observed that [Yuán] Shù had no law and order, and was insufficient to settle affairs, so he therefore brought along the old and weak and led valorous youths of over a hundred people, going south to Jūcháo to join [Zhōu] Yú. [Zhōu] Yú was crossing east [of the Jiāng], and therefore they traveled together, (1) leaving his [Lǔ Sù’s] family at Qū’ē. At the time his father’s mother died, and he returned to bury her at Dōngchéng.
- Wúshū “History Book of Wú” states: Sù’s appearance was exceptional and unique, when young he had strength and integrity, and he was good at making unusual plans. The realm Under Heaven was about to be in chaos, and therefore he studied fencing and riding and shooting, recruited the young, giving them clothes and food, going to the southern mountains to shoot and hunt, in the dark drilling them, giving military instruction and practicing warfare. The elders all said: “The Lǔ clan is in decline, and therefore they bore this wild boy!” Later the powerful figures all rose up, the central provinces were disturbed and in chaos, and Sù therefore ordered his followers: “The central states has lost order, bandits and brigands are brutal and violent, and between the Sì and Huái there is no security. I have heard the Jiāng’s east has fertile land of ten thousand lǐ, the people are rich and the troops strong, and can avoid harm, would you like to follow me to together go to this happy land, to watch for when things change?” His followers all obeyed his command. Therefore he sent the young and weak at the front, the strong and robust at the rear, men and women of over three hundred traveling. The province sent pursuing riders that arrived, Sù and the rest walked slowly, lining up troops and drawing [bows], and said to them: “You good sirs, should understand the situation. Now the realm Under Heaven is in war and chaos, any achievements you have will not be rewarded, and not pursuing us will have no punishments, so why come after us?” He also himself planted his shield, drew his bow and shot at it, and his arrows all pierced it. The riders were already impressed with Sù’s speech, and moreover judged they could not control them, and therefore they returned. Sù crossed the Jiāng [Yángzǐ river] and went to meet [Sūn] Cè, and [Sūn] Cè was also impressed with him.
Liú [Yè] Zǐyáng with Sù was friendly, and sent Sù a letter: “Now the realm Under Heaven’s powerful figures all rise up, and your ability, is well suited for today. If you quickly return and bring your aged mother, then you will have no matters remaining at Dōngchéng. Nearby is a certain Zhèng Bǎo, now at Cháohú, with an army of over ten thousand, occupying land fertile and abundant, and of Lújiāng’s remaining men most rely on and join him, so how about you join himf? Observing his current strength, it can increase further, time cannot be lost, so you sir should quickly come.” Sù answered in agreement with this plan. When the burial was complete he returned to Qū’ē, intending to go north.
At the same time [Zhōu] Yú had already moved Sù’s mother to Wú, and Sù told everything to [Zhōu] Yú. At the time Sūn Cè had already died, [Sūn] Quán occupied Wú, and [Zhōu] Yú said to Sù: “In the past Mǎ Yuán answered Guāng-̇Wǔ by saying: ‘In this present age, it is not only lords choosing their ministers, but ministers also choosing their lord.’ Now our ruler is close with the worthy and honors scholars, receiving the special and taking note of the unusual, and moreover I have heard that the foremost of the wise have secretly discussed, saying that the successors of the Liú clan, will certainly rise in the southeast. Advancing this state of affairs, in accordance with the times, in the end building the Emperor’s foundation, to assist Heaven’s judgment, this is the critical time for great hero’s to ride the dragon and join the phoenix [join the future powerful]. I have said this much, so may you sir not take anymore thought of [Liú Yè] Zǐyáng’s words.” Sù followed this advice.
[Zhōu] Yú therefore recommended Sù as an ability suitable to assist the times, appropriate to widely search for those similar to him, in order to achieve their enterprise, and so could not be let go.
[Sūn] Quán met Sù, talked with him and was deeply pleased with him. The various guests left and retired, and Sù also said farewell to go, but he alone invited Sù back, sat together on the same couch to drink, and therefore secretly said: “Now the Hàn House is near collapse, the Four Corners are all disturbed, I carry on my father’s and elder brother’s remaining work, and thinking of reaching Huán’s and Wén’s achievement [in achieving hegemony to support the ruling house]. With your kind consideration, how would you assist this?”
Sù answered: “In the past Gāo-dì [Liú Bāng] had the trifling wish to honor Yì-dì but could not achieve it, because Xiàng Yǔ did harm. Now this Cáo Cāo, is like the past’s Xiàng Yǔ, so General how can you act as Huán and Wén? By my humble consideration, the Hàn House cannot again be restored, and Cáo Cāo cannot be eliminated. The plan for you General, is only to form a leg of a tripod in the Jiāng’s east, to observe the realm Under Heaven’s quarrels. A plan like this, is also to have no problems yourself. Why is this? The north truly has many problems. While the north has many problems, take advantage to eliminate Huáng Zǔ, advance to attack Liú Biǎo, reach the Cháng Jīang’s utmost origin, occupy and hold it, and afterward establish Imperial title in order to plan for all the realm Under Heaven. This is the enterprise of Gāo-dì.”
[Sūn] Quán said: “Now I exert all strength in this region, in order to assist the Hàn and that is all. This advice is not what I can reach.”
Zhāng Zhāo blamed Sù for having insufficient modesty, and so detested and defamed him, saying that Sù was young and course and negligent, and could not be employed. [Sūn] Quán did not pay it mind, increased honor and trust in him, and bestowed on Sù’s mother clothes and curtains, and household items, so that their wealth resembled what it was before.
 Liú Biǎo died. Sù advanced a proposal: “Jīng-Chǔ is adjacent to our state, its waters flow north, outside it has the Jiāng and Hàn, inside it has defenses of mountains and hills, it has the firmness of metal city walls, fertile lands of ten thousand lǐ, its scholars and people are prosperous. If it is occupied and possessed, it is an Emperor’s supply base. Now [Liú] Biǎo is newly dead, his two sons by nature are not harmonious, the various Generals in their army, each choosing a side. Moreover Liú Bèi is one of the realm Under Heaven’s ambitious and ruthless, is an enemy of [Cáo] Cāo, depended on and resided with [Liú] Biǎo, but [Liú] Biǎo feared his ability and would not employ him. If [Liú] Bèi can win over the local hearts, bringing together high and low, then it is suitable to support him, making alliance and friendship; but if there is dissent and discord, it is appropriate to separately plan against them, in order to achieve our great affairs. I ask to receive your orders to go send condolences to [Liú] Biǎo‘s two sons, while also showing appreciation to their military personnel, and persuade [Liú] Bèi to console [Liú] Biăo’s army, to be of one heart and mind, to together deal with Cáo Cāo, so [Liú] Bèi will certainly be pleased and follow orders. If this can be achieved, then the realm Under Heaven can be settled. Now if we do not quickly go, I fear we will be by [Cáo] Cāo preempted.”
[Sūn] Quán at once sent Sù to go. He arrived at Xiàkǒu, heard Excellency Cáo had already headed toward Jīngzhōu, traveling morning and night. By the time they reached Nánjùn, [Liú] Biǎo’s son [Liú] Cóng had already surrendered to Excellency Cáo, [Liú] Bèi was frightened and hurriedly fled, intending to go south to cross the Jīang. Sù directly welcomed him, arrived at Chángbǎn in Dāngyáng, with [Liú] Bèi met, announced [Sūn] Quán’s intentions, and explained the Jīang’s east’s strength and firmness, advising [Liú] Bèi to with [Sūn] Quán join forces. [Liú] Bèi was deeply pleased.
At the time Zhūgě Liàng was following with [Liú] Bèi, and Sù said to [Zhūgě] Liàng: “I am [your elder brother Zhūgě Jǐn] Zǐyú’s friend,’ and so they together established friendship. [Liú] Bèi therefore arrived at Xiàkǒu, sending [Zhūgě] Liàng as envoy to [Sūn] Quán, and Sù also returned to receive orders. (1)
- Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Liú Bèi and [Sūn] Quán joined forces, together resisting the central states, was all Sù’s original strategy. He also said to Zhūgě Liàng: “I am Zǐyú’s friend,“ so [Zhūgě] Liàng had already frequently heard Sù’s advice. But the Biography of [Zhūgě] Liàng in the Shǔshū “History Book of Shǔ” states: “[Zhūgě] Liàng with the Horizontal Alliance strategy persuaded [Sūn] Quán, and [Sūn] Quán was therefore greatly pleased,” as if this plan was originally due to [Zhūgě] Liàng. The historians of the two states, each would record what they heard, competing in wish to praise their home state’s greatness, each claiming their achievements. Now these two histories, both came from one man [Chén Shòu], so a contradiction like this, is not the form of proper narration.
At the same time [Sūn] Quán had received news Excellency Cáo wished to go east, discussed it with the various officers, and all urged [Sūn] Quán to submit to him, but Sù alone did not speak. [Sūn] Quán rose to change clothes [use the restroom], Sù followed him down, [Sūn] Quán knew his intentions, grasped Sù’s hand and said: “What do you wish to say?”
Sù answered: “Observing everyone’s suggestions, it is a wish to deceive you General, and insufficient to plan for great affairs. Now I could simply submit to [Cáo] Cāo, but you General cannot. Why do I say this? Now if I welcome [Cáo] Cāo, [Cáo] Cāo would send me back to my hometown, grade my reputation and rank, and so I could not fail to be a lesser official and advisor, ride an ox-drawn carriage, with a following of officials and troops, befriending various scholars, and so my rank would therefore not fail to reach a province or prefecture [position]. But if you General submit to [Cáo] Cāo, where could you go? May you early settle this great matter, and use none of the crowd’s suggestions.”
[Sūn] Quán sighed and said: “These suggestions from everyone, deeply failed my hopes. Now your great opening plan, is exactly the same as mine. This is Heaven bestowing you onto me.” (1)
- Wèishū “History Book of Wèi” and Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū “Nine Provinces Chronicles” state: Excellency Cáo campaigned against Jīngzhōu, Sūn Quán was greatly afraid, Lǔ Sù truly wished to urge [Sūn] Quán to resist Excellency Cáo, and therefore fiercely advised [Sūn] Quán: “Excellency Cáo is truly a severe enemy. He has newly conquered Yuán Shào, his troops and horses are very elite, he is following up on the power of a victory, cutting down a state in confusion, and his success is certain. It is better to send troops to assist him, and also send your family to Yè; otherwise you will be in danger.” [Sūn] Quán was greatly furious, wished to behead Sù, and Sù therefore said: “Now the situation is already urgent, so if you have another plan, why not send troops to assist Liú Bèi, instead of wishing to behead me?” [Sūn] Quán agreed with this, and therefore sent Zhōu Yú to assist [Liú] Bèi.
- Sūn Shèng states: According to Wúshū and Jiāngbiǎozhuàn, Lǔ Sù in the first meeting with Sūn Quán immediately advised resisting Excellency Cáo and discussed a plan for becoming Emperor. When Liú Biǎo died, he also asked to be sent to watch for changes, so in no way could he have instead fiercely advised and urged for welcoming Excellency Cáo. Also at the time those urging welcoming were many, but it says that he only wished to behead Sù, which makes no sense.
At the time Zhōu Yú had been sent to Póyáng, and Sù urged sending summons for [Zhōu] Yú to return. Therefore [Zhōu] Yú was appointed to handle affairs, with Sù as Colonel Supporting the Army, to assist in making plans. Excellency Cáo was defeated and fled, Sù at once was first to return, and [Sūn] Quán greatly gathered all the officers to welcome Sù. Sù was about to enter the pavilion to bow, and [Sūn] Quán rose to pay respects to him, and therefore said: “Zǐjìng, I grasp saddle and dismount horse to welcome you, is it enough to honor you or not?”
Sù hurriedly advanced and said: “It is not.” Everyone heard this, and none were not amazed. When they were seated, he slowly raised whip and said: “I hope when your honored virtuous authority gains the Four Seas, envelops the Nine Provinces, achieving the Emperor’s enterprise, you then use a light wheel carriage to summon me; only then will it be enough to honor me.” [Sūn] Quán grasped his hand and happily laughed.
Later [Liú] Bèi visited their headquarters to meet [Sūn] Quán, asked to command Jīngzhōu, and only Sù urged [Sūn] Quán to lend it, to together resist Excellency Cáo. (1) When Excellency Cáo heard [Sūn] Quán was giving the territory to establish [Liú] Bèi, he was about to write, and the pen fell to the ground [due to his surprise].
- Hàn-Jìn Chūnqiū states: Lǚ Fàn urged the detaining of [Liú] Bèi, but Sù said: “It cannot be. Though you General have divine military power to command the age, yet Excellency Cáo’s power is truly great. We are newly overlooking Jīngzhōu, our favor and faith are not yet made known, so it is appropriate to lend it to [Liú] Bèi, in order to comfort and secure it. Increasing [Cáo] Cāo’s enemies, while also cultivating our own group of allies, this is the best plan.” [Sūn] Quán followed this.
Zhōu Yú was severely ill, and sent up memorial: “Presently the realm Under Heaven is occupied with warfare, and this is what my heart morning and night worries for. I hope that your honor will first think over what will come, and afterward be in peace and happiness. Now we both have Cáo Cāo as an enemy, and Liú Bèi nearby at Gōng’ān, and with the borders this close, and the common people not yet attached, it is suitable to obtain elite Generals to subdue and comfort them. Lǔ Sù is wise in planning and sufficient for appointment, and I ask that he succeed me, so that on the day I perish, I will be at ease.” (1)
- Jiāngbiǎozhuàn states: Previously [Zhōu] Yú was seriously ill, and wrote letter to [Sūn] Quán: “Though I am of ordinary ability, in the past I happened to receive [General] Punishing Rebels [Sūn Cè]’s special favor, was entrusted like stomach and heart [most intimate official], and therefore held responsibility in honored positions, commanded troops and horses, grasping whip to command, exerting myself in military affairs. I had planned to settle Bā-Shǔ, and then capture Xiāngyáng, and relying on your authority and prestige, it could be said to be within grasp. But because I was not careful, I encountered this terrible illness, yesterday I received medical treatment, but today there is no remission. In life there must be death, the shortness of life is decided, and truly it is not enough to begrudge, but I regret my small ambition is not achieved, and that I can no longer fulfill your commands and that is all. Now Excellency Cáo is to the north, the borders are not yet tranquil, Liú Bèi lodges near, like raising a tiger. The realm Under Heaven’s affairs, cannot be know in how they develop, and this is the season for Court scholars to eat late [work hard], the day to deeply think hard for your honor. Lǔ Sù is loyal and ardent, in overlooking affairs he is not lax, and he can succeed me. When a man is about to die, his words are indeed true. If this is heeded, I will not die in vain.”
- Comparing this letter to the base biography’s record, though the meaning is the same, the words are very different.
At once Sù was appointed Exerting Martiality Colonel, succeeding command of [Zhōu] Yú’s troops. [Zhōu] Yú’s army of over four thousand men, and its supporting fief of four counties, were all given [to Lǔ Sù]. Chéng Pǔ was given [Zhōu Yú’s former] office as Administrator of Nánjùn [instead of Lǔ Sù]. Sù first occupied Jiānglíng, and afterward went down[stream] to garrison Lùkǒu. His authority and grace greatly spread, his army increased to over ten thousand, and he was appointed Administrator of Hànchāng and Supporting General.
Nineteenth year , he followed [Sūn] Quán in capturing Huànchéng, and was transferred to General Across the Jiāng.
Before this, Governor of Yìzhōu Liú Zhāng’s governance was declining and slackening, and Zhōu Yú and Gān Níng both urged [Sūn] Quán to capture Shǔ. [Sūn] Quán consulted [Liú] Bèi, [Liú] Bèi inside wished to take it for himself, and so falsely replied: “I and [Liú] Zhāng are of the Imperial Clan, and hope to rely on the [ancestral] spirits, to rectify the Hàn Court. Now [Liú] Zhāng has offended your attendants, and I can only be afraid, and not dare listen, and hope you may pardon him. If you do not accept this plea, I will resign and go into the mountains and forests.”
Later [Liú] Bèi went west to plan against [Liú] Zhāng, leaving Guān Yǔ to defend, and [Sūn] Quán said: “This sly bandit dares threaten and cheat me!”
When [Guān] Yǔ was neighboring Sù, he was repeatedly suspicious, the borders were disordered and confused, but Sù always was friendly to comfort him. When [Liú] Bèi had settled Yìzhōu, [Sūn] Quán requested Chángshā, [Líng]líng, and Guì[yáng], but [Liú] Bèi would not agree, and [Sūn] Quán sent Lǚ Méng to lead an army to advance and capture them. [Liú] Bèi heard this, and personally returned to Gōng’ān, sending [Guān] Yǔ to contest the three commanderies. Sù occupied Yìyáng, and resisted [Guān] Yǔ.
Sù invited [Guān] Yǔ to meet in person, with each side halted troops and horses a hundred bù away, while the Generals alone carrying swords met. Sù therefore repeatedly reproached [Guān] Yǔ: “Our state only originally lent territory to your group, because your army was defeated and from afar came, with nothing to support itself. Now you have already obtained Yìzhōu, with no intention of returning thanks, and even when requesting three commanderies, you also will not comply.” He was not yet finished talking, when someone seated said: “Territory should belong to the virtuous, how can it constantly be held?” Sù sternly yelled at him, his words and face deeply cutting. [Guān] Yǔ grasped sword and rose and said: “This is the state’s affairs, how can a common man understand it?”, glared and causing him to leave. (1)
- Wúshū states: Sù wished to meet with [Guān] Yǔ to talk, the various officers were suspicious and feared treachery, and said he could not go. Sù said: “In today’s affairs, it is appropriate to deal with them openly. Liú Bèi betrayed our state, the quarrel is not yet settled, so how can [Guān] Yǔ dare seriously wish to act wrongly?” Therefore he hurried to meet [Guān] Yǔ. [Guān] Yǔ said: “In the Wūlín campaign, the General of the Left [Liú Bèi] personally went about, when lying down not shedding his armor, joining strength to defeat Wèi. How can he toil without even one piece of land, and yet you sir have come wishing to take the land?” Sù said: “Not so. When I first saw [Liú Bèi of] Yùzhōu at Chángbǎn, Yùzhōu’s army was not even one battalion, his plans were exhausted and his anxiety was extreme, his ambitions and power broken and weak, and he wished to flee far away, with no other hope. Our ruler pitied Yùzhōu, who had no place to go, did not begrudge giving land and people, to allow him to protect himself and relieve his suffering, but Yùzhōu has only selfish intentions, violating virtue and overthrowing good. Now he has already seized the western province, and also wishes to combine with it the land of Jīngzhōu. This is what a common man could not bear to do, so all the more for a ruler of men! I have heard that the greedy who abandon righteousness, will certainly come to disaster. You my good sir have heavy responsibility, but do not understand principle and discipline, to with righteousness assist the times, and instead depend on your weak army to plan to fight hard. When you always do evil, how can you achieve success?” [Guān] Yǔ had no answer.
[Liú] Bèi therefore divided territory with the Xiāng river as border, and then withdrew the army.
Sù at forty six years, Jiàn’ān twenty-second year  died. [Sūn] Quán led mourning for him, and also oversaw his burial. Zhūgě Liàng also mourned him. (1)
- Wúshū states: Sù as a man was upright and stern, never made false excuses, inside and outside was frugal, and did not act coarsely in affairs. In commanding the army he was orderly, his prohibitions were certain to be followed, and though he was among the army, his hand did not set down books. He was also good at debate, able to compose prose, his thinking and judgment great and far-reaching, and his wisdom surpassed other men. After Zhōu Yú died, Sù was the greatest.
When [Sūn] Quán claimed Imperial Title, he faced the altar, and looked back to say to the Excellencies and Ministers: “In the past Lǔ Zǐjìng once predicted this. He can be said to have understood the state of affairs.”
When Sù’s posthumous son [Lǔ] Shū was grown, Commander of Rúxū Zhāng Chéng said in the end he would be successful. During Yǒng’ān [258-264] he became Manifesting Martiality General, Marquis of a capital precinct, and Commander of Wǔchāng. During Jìanhéng [269-271] he was given Staff of Authority and transferred to Commander of Xiàkǒu. Wherever he was he was orderly, and acted well. Fénghuáng third year  he died. His son [Lǔ] Mù inherited title, and commanded troops and horses.