A Plot of Manage-a-Trois

At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220AD), Dong Zhuo, a mighty and ruthless general, seizes power from the emperor. Wang Yun, the loyal Prime Minister, worries about Dong’s threat to the throne. One day Wang chances to see Diao Chan, his beautiful adopted daughter, praying to the Moon Goddess in the garden and finds out that she too is worried about the chaotic state of the country. Together they set up a Plot of Manage-a-Trois to turn Lu Bu, a gallant warrior and Dong’s adopted son, against Dong and to assassinate him.

Wang meets the father and son on two separate occasions. He first promises to marry his daughter Diao Chan to Lu, praising him as the Greatest Hero of the nation. Wang later meets Dong and makes another promise to send Diao Chan to his residence to be his concubine. He then persuades Dong to assign Lu to fight against a powerful enemy battalion two days prior to the wedding day he promised to both of them. Returning with victory, Lu is surprised that his beloved Diao Chan has become Dong’s concubine. Driving by uncontrollable rage, Lu challenges Dong’s authority and vows to win Diao Chan back. The father and son thus become enemies. Before long, Lu kills Dong, but soon he himself is killed by other warlords.

As for Diao Chan, after saving her country by this Plot of Manage-a-Trois, she bids farewell to her adopted father and resides in a nunnery for the rest of her life.

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