Lv Xiaobai -- First Overlord with Murderer Sons
Lv Xiaobai (? — 643 BC), also respected as Qi Huan Gong, was the first overlord in the Spring and Autumn Period.
Lv was a prince of a vassal state named Qi, which was designated to his ancestor Jiang Ziya for remarkable contributions in assisting King Ji Chang and Ji Fa established the Zhou Dynasty in the history of China.
When Lv was young, he and his brother escaped to different states of chaos in their state Qi.
A few years later, his father, the current lord of Qi was assassinated, so his brother and he both tried their best to go back to their capital and wanted to inherit the throne.
The most important assistant of his brother, named Guan Zhong, shot an arrow on Lv; under that condition, Lv fell on the ground and pretended to be dead. When his brother thought Lv was dead and slowed down, Lv and his followers hurried to the capital and ascended the throne.
Lv then forced the lord of the state who had helped his brother before to assassinate his brother, later Lv perished that state as well.
However, he respected the person Guan Zhong, his brother’s former follower who shot him an arrow, as Qi’s most powerful minister. It turned out to be a wise decision since Guan was quite intelligent and insightful.
Together, they refined administration and tax system and improved military efficiency and stability, which made Qi the wealthiest and most powerful state in that period.
Then Lv paid a visit to the king of his Suzerain Zhou and showed great respect. The king was quite happy about a powerful lord being so loyal and supportive, while so many other lords already stopped listening to him for a long time. So the king awarded Lv and his state many privileges.
Under the name of King of Zhou, Lv and his army defeated, or even perished some states who didn’t listen to him or the king; then Lv held many large scale alliance meetings which were representatives of Lv being the most powerful overlord and the actual monarch.
In those important meetings in the history of China, they set some rules, such as no unreasonable invasions, the legality of queens and heirs, freedom of trading food and people, respect elders and intelligent people, etc.
When Lv was old, his exceptional minister Guan got very sick. Before Guan passed away, he tried to persuade Lv that some people were dangerous and not trustworthy.
However, Lv nominated and empowered them anyway after Guan’s death.
These treacherous people, together with Lv’s five sons, kept fighting each other for the throne and power.
His sons locked Lv in his palace with no food and water. Only a former maid risked her life to provide Lv some food by crossing a secret small hole in the wall.
This brave and remarkable overlord in the history of China, the man who was in actual charge of the whole kingdom, was starved to death in his palace, alone and desperate, by his sons and trusted ministers that he promoted.
What’s even sadder was that his body was found two months after his death, decomposed, smelly, and covered with disgusting bugs.
The Qi state was severely damaged during this chaos; they lost not only prosperity and many cities, but also the actual power as the overlord.
Ji Chonger -- Adrift and Faithful Overlord
Ji Chonger (697 BC — 628 BC), one of the five greatest overlords in the Spring and Autumn period in the history of China, had experienced countless life and death moments before he got the throne.
Ji Chonger's father was a lord of a big vassal state named Jin, who was madly in love with his beautiful young concubine. This concubine wanted to make her son to be the crown prince, so she set the current crown prince up, which made him feel desperate and later committed suicide.
Then she tried to get rid of Chonger and his other brother. Those two young princes had to escape separately to different states. Their father was angry with them gone AWOL and sent people to punish them, but they all successfully ran away again.
After their father passed away, some ministers were not willing to accept the concubine’s son as their new lord; so they disobeyed their dead lord’s will and assassinated the new lord and the concubine.
Some people wanted to welcome Chonger back to ascend the throne, but he refused, for having disobeyed his own father’s will and were not able to be there when his father was sick and dead, which were considered serious fault in ancient Chinese culture. His brother, the one escaped with Chonger, ascended to the throne and became the new lord.
However, his brother was not an honest monarch; he broke many promises he made before in exchange for other lords’ supports.
Then more people believed that Chonger was a much better monarch with great morality and exceptional talents. This made the new lord thought Chonger, his own brother, was quite a threaten to his throne; so he sent many people to have Chonger assassinated.
Escorted by his loyal followers, Chonger finally arrived state of Qi and meet overlord Lv Xiaobai, after countless of life and death moments and suffering from fear and starvation.
Lv highly respected him as an honorable prince of a huge state and married him a noble girl of Qi. Chonger loved his wife very much and spent some great times here.
After Lv Xiaobai departed and state of Qi was in huge chaos, Chonger had to leave again. He stayed in many different states, some lords were very rude to him, while some other powerful lords, on the contrary, respected him very well.
Finally Chonger arrived the state of Qin and achieved many supports from Qin’s lord.
At that time, Chonger’s brother passed away and gave the throne to his own son. Many people of Jin still missed Chonger and wanted him back; Qin also sent an army to escort him to go back to ascend the throne.
Chonger’s nephew, the new lord, lost the throne and was assassinated soon, because his own people and state of Qin all supported Chonger to be the king.
After 19 years of fleeing from home and suffering, Chonger finally arrived at his own state and became the next lord, respected as Jin Wen Gong, another excellent overlord in the history of China.
As a monarch, he nominated the most qualified and intelligent officers and applied many policies to encourage agriculture, the economy and construction of transportation. His state kept flourishing under his ruling.
Later, his Suzerain Zhou’s current king’s brother had an affair with his queen; the king was furious and abolished his unfaithful queen after he found out.
Then the king’s brother allied with a nomadic regime and attacked Zhou. The king’s army failed and he escaped out of the Zhou’s capital city.
Chonger welcomed the fleeing king after received the king’s summon and led his army defeated and killed king’s brother, expelled the nomadic army and gave the throne back to the king.
Zhou’s king was satisfied with Chonger’s loyal behaviors and great contribution.
During the following battles among lords, Chonger repaid lords who had helped him properly and defeated uncooperative ones.
Years later, when he held a big alliance meeting, the king of Zhou awarded him as the most powerful and loyal overlord, while other lords also respected him for his remarkable achievements and honorable character.
Decades later, he passed away decently in his palace when he was old; his beloved son, who was also a talented and great monarch, inherited the title and further developed their state.
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