About this time Pang Shu, who had been hiding and protecting Lu Bu’s
family in Changan since his disappearance, restored them to him. This deed angered Li Jue and Guo Si so that they put Pang Shu to death and wrote to Lu Bu’s protector to serve him the same. To escape this Lu Bu once again had to flee and this time joined himself to Zhang Miao, the Governor of Chenliu.
Lu Bu arrived just as Zhang Miao’s brother, Zhang Chao, was introducing Chen Gong.
Chen Gong said to Zhang Miao, “the rupture of the empire has begun, and warriors are seizing what they can. It is strange that you, with all the advantages of population and provisions you enjoy, do not strike for independence. Cao Cao has gone on an expedition against the east, leaving his own territory defenseless. Lu Bu is one of the fighting people of the day. If you and he together attacked and got Yanzhou, you could then proceed to the dominion.”
Zhang Miao was pleased and resolved to try. He ordered an attack, and soon Lu Bu was in possession of Yanzhou and its neighborhood, all but three small counties of Juancheng, Fanxia, and Dongjun, which were vigorously and desperately defended by Xun Yu and Cheng Yu in concert. Cao Cao’s cousin, Cao Ren, had fought many battles but was repeatedly defeated, and the messenger with the evil tidings had come from him asking prompt help.
Cao Cao was GREatly disturbed by this and said, “If my own region be lost, I have no home to return to. I must do something at once.”
“the best thing would be to become friends with Liu Bei at any cost and return to Yanzhou,” said Guo Jia.
then Cao Cao wrote to Liu Bei,