Huáng Gài appellation Gōngfù was a Línglíng Quánlíng man. (1) He began as a prefecture official, was nominated as a Filial and Incorruptible candidate, recruited to the Offices of the Excellencies. Sūn Jiān raised righteous troops, and Gài followed him. [Sūn] Jiān to the south defeated mountain bandits, to the north drove away Dǒng Zhuó, and appointed Gài as Separate Division Major. [Sūn] Jiān died, Gài followed [Sūn] Cè and [Sūn] Quán, wore armor traveling about, treading blades and slaughtering cities.
- (1) Wúshū states: He was former Nányáng Administrator Huáng Zǐlián’s descendant. Branch and leaf [of the Huáng clan] separated, from his grandfather they moved to Línglíng, and therefore resided there. Gài when young was orphaned, in infancy and childhood suffered difficulties, and experienced bitter hardships, however he had strong will, and though he was poor and lowly, he would not be mediocre, and always used spare time between carrying firewood to study books and learn military affairs.
The various Shānyuè would not submit, there were bandit troubles in the counties, so they employed Gài as a defending [county] chief. Shíchéng county officials, specially had difficulty in managing, Gài therefore installed two Officials, dividing management of the various departments.
The instructions said: “I your Chief am not virtuous, relying on martial achievements became an official, and not as a civil official am praised. Now the bandits are not yet pacified, [I] have army affairs, and all written documents are entrusted to the two Officials, to inspect and take over the various departments, and investigate and expose errors and wrongs. What the two Officials arrange, matters entering and orders going out, if there is treachery and deception, in the end there will not be application of whip or cane, it is appropriate for each to devote their hearts, to not for the masses be [bad] example.”
At first all feared his authority, morning and night respectful and dutiful; after a while, the officials because Gài did not inspect written documents, gradually tolerated personal affairs. Gài also suspected estrangement and slackness, at the time there was investigation, and for each he found the two Officials’ not observing law several incidents.
Then he all invited the various officials, bestowed liquor and food, and therefore he presented the incidents and interrogated. The two Officials had no reply, and all knocked head [on the ground] to apologize for crimes. Gài said: “Previously there were already orders, that in the end it would not be whip and cane applied, this was not deception.” Therefore he killed them. Inside the county was shaken and afraid.
Later he was transferred to Chūngǔ Chief, Xúnyáng Magistrate. Altogether he managed nine counties, wherever he was was pacified and settled. He was promoted to Dānyáng Commandant, he restrained the strong and helped the weak, and the Shānyuè submitted and attached.
Gài’s looks and appearance were stern and resolute, he was good at caring for the army, every time he campaigned, the soldiers all fought to be the front. During Jiàn’ān, he accompanied Zhōu Yú in resisting Excellency Cáo at Chìbì, established plan for fire attack, the story is in [Zhōu] Yú’s biography. (1)
He was appointed Martial Vanguard Internal Cadet General. Wǔlíng’s Mán and Yí rebelled, attacking and holding cities, and therefore Gài was designated Administrator. At the time the prefecture’s soldiers were only five hundred men, since they were no match, he therefore opened the city gates, when the bandits were half entered, then he struck them, beheading several hundred, the rest all fled, and he completely recovered all the cities and tribes. He executed the leaders, the followers he pardoned them. From spring ending to summer, the bandit chaos was completely pacified, and the various isolated and remote Bā, Lǐ, Yóu, Dàn lords and tribal leaders, all changed conduct and integrity, observing courtesy and requesting audience, and the prefecture borders were then purified. Later Chángshā’s Yìyáng county was by mountain bandits attacked, Gài again pacified and suppressed. He was added Supporting General, and of illness died in office.
- (1) Wúshū states: At the Chìbì campaign, Gài was by a stray arrow hit, at the time was cold and he fell into the water, was by a Wú army man found, who did not know it was Gaì, and placed him on a lavatory seat. Gài used his strength to in one cry shout for Hán Dāng, [Hán] Dāng heard it, and said: “It is Gōngfù’s voice.” Facing him shedding tears, he released and changed his clothes, and so he survived.
Gài as an official was decisive, in matters he was without sluggishness, and the state’s people thought of him. (1) When [Sūn] Quán ascended, they discussed his achievements, and bestowed on his son Bǐng noble rank as Marquis Within the Passes.
- (1) Wúshū states: Also they drew Gài’s appearance, and in [all] four seasons sacrificed to it.