Guan Yu, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei were walking on a mountain track leading to a plateau. It was a freezing noon, but they were in a sweat facing the sun hanging in the cloudless sky.
“If I had known it would come to this, I would have raised troops with Zhao Yun and Zhuge Liang! It’s hot as hell...Hey! Is there really a mount better than my Ferghana horse?” Guan Yu asked Liu Bei as he wiped the sweat from his brow.
“Yes. It’s my father’s old friend. He used to ride on that mount——wow!” Guan Yu pressed Liu Bei down suddenly and blocked an attack from a shadow with his Crescent Blade.
“Is it saliva? Eew...It stinks!” Guan Yu covered his nose, frowning at the thick sticky liquid on his blade. “I’ve said many times. We won’t help your tyrant,” said a cold voice. A young boy riding on an alpaca came down from the hill. Judging from the slobbery mouth of the alpaca, it should be its saliva.
“Tyrant? At best, our emperor is just a boastful nerd!” Guan Yu swung his Crescent Blade to shake off the disgusting saliva.
“Guan Yu, don’t be so harsh,” Liu Bei said helplessly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about! Anyway, I won’t let you touch my precious.” Ma Chao pulled a long face and swung his spear; the bellicose alpaca tightened its whole body muscles immediately. Coupled with its shaggy, curly white hair, it delivered an unusual sense of humor.
“Shaggy...loves...plays together…” Attracted by the alpaca, Zhang Fei charged at it suddenly, but he was almost stabbed by Ma Chao. Luckily, Guan Yu grabbed his collar in time and asked Liu Bei to protect him. “That alpaca boy is muddled by his anger. Leave him to me. You protect Zhang Fei!” Guan Yu said with a serious tone.
Liu Bei pulled back with Zhang Fei; Guan Yu and Ma Chao had a face off. Ma Chao despised at them: “Losers, hide behind a woman! Let me show you a tough lesson! Go Jamal!”
“Bleat!” The alpaca rushed towards Liu Bei at full speed. Guan Yu swirled his Crescent Blade to create a strong wind, which made Ma Chao pull up the rein and stop the alpaca.
“I don’t fight women. Move away!”
“Why!? Are you scared?”
“You——!” Ma Chao was completely tongue-tied with rage. He pulled the rein and directed the alpaca to face Guan Yu. “You want a fight!? Let’s fight then!”
Instructed by Ma Chao, the alpaca charged at Guan Yu; Ma Chao took a deep breath to calm him down, holding his spear backhanded. He knew better than anyone else that attack timing was crucial to a cavalry, so he should not be affected by his emotion.
As Ma Chao came close to Guan Yu, his will and perception became stronger, which allowed him to entirely catch Guan Yu’s actions. Then, Ma Chao attack his dead angle with the spear.
Without the alpaca, Ma Chao would have hit Guan Yu. Unfortunately, the alpaca was scared by a glare reflected by the Crescent Blade. It kneeled forwards immediately, dropping Ma Chao to the ground.
“Game over!” Guan Yu put his blade close to Ma Chao's neck.
“...I lose. Take my life, but please spare Jamal.” Ma Chao petted his alpaca.
“No worries. I won’t kill you two.” Liu Bei came up and handed a letter to Ma Chao; he opened it in puzzlement and then felt shocked: “So you’re not sent by Cao Cao, but my father’s friends!”
The whole thing was a misunderstanding. Ma Chao kneeled down and kept apologizing. Eventually, Liu Bei appeased his feeling. Ma Chao brought them to a ranch. There were more than a thousand alpacas resting on the grass.
“My father heard that there will be a good harvest in a southern farmhouse, so he rushed to purchase the forage grass there. He must have forgotten your visit. I’m so sorry.”
“Never mind.” Liu Bei smiled. Suddenly, a servant ran towards Ma Chao. He said as he picked up a half-full bucket of forage grass: “Master, Maymay still has a poor appetite today. There is much left in the bucket. How can we help it?
“There is so much left...Well, I’ll feed it in person, maybe Maymay will eat more.”
The servant left after handing the bucket to Ma Chao, who looked worried. Liu Bei asked concernedly: “What bothers you?”
“Sigh! The alpacas are listless these days. Even if I’ve changed the forage and water, it doesn’t help...Look at Maymay. She used to eat ten pounds of grass, but only ate half today. And Lily, a black and white alpaca near the fence, always loves spitting. But now, it hasn’t spat for two days. The most worrying is Anan, under that tree——” “Hold on!” Guan Yu interrupted: “Do you remember all their names? There are thousand alpacas here.
“Of course! They’re my important family. I’m sure you won’t forget your family members’ name.” Ma Chao hardly understood his question.
“He is hopeless. All he cares about is only alpacas.” Guan Yu shook his head.
Zhang Fei, who was sitting on Jamal, stood up straight suddenly, closed his eyes and listened to the cries of the alpacas. He said as he pulled Ma Chao’s clothes: “Sun...hot...not well…”
“What did you say…” Ma Chao was shocked. “Do you mean they’re unwell because of the burning sun?” He asked Zhang Fei.
“Yes...hot...nowhere to hide…”
“Alpacas can’t stand heat. I didn’t expect this coming, particularly at noon in winter…” Ma Chao continued with a smile: “Thanks to you. I found out the reason. I owe you one!”