Zhong you is a general under Cao Cao. Although he also leads soldiers to fight, his martial arts are not flattering.
Think of the battle between Ma Dai, Ma Chao’s cousin, and Zhong you, which was rated by later generations as the one with the greatest disparity in strength in the history of the Three Kingdoms war: “Dai led 15000 troops, vast and mighty, all over the mountains and fields. Zhong you came out to answer. Dai made a sword and fought with you. If it didn’t agree, you was defeated and ran away.”
Posterity commented: “it’s too exaggerated to use a sword against Zhong you who can only write black words on white paper!”
It is the black characters written on the white paper that is really a specialty of Zhong Yao.
Zhong you is the founder of regular script. There is a saying in the calligraphy circle that Wang Xizhi, the “sage of calligraphy”, learned calligraphy from his wife, who learned from Zhong Yao. In this way, Wang Xizhi is still the grandson of Zhong Yao, which shows the position of Zhong Yao in the history of calligraphy.
According to the history, Zhong you studied calligraphy for more than 30 years. When he was dying, he called his son Zhong Hui to his side and gave him a calligraphy script. He told his son that for more than 30 years, no matter day or night, no matter where the occasion was, he would write whenever he had time and practice whenever he had the opportunity. Sitting with people, chatting while squatting on the ground to write. When I go to bed at night, I use the quilt as paper. After a long time, the quilt is cut a hole. Seeing natural scenery such as flowers, trees, insects, fish, birds and animals, they will be associated with their writing skills. Sometimes they go to the toilet and forget to come out.
There is one more thing that can prove that Zhong you is a bone ash calligraphy enthusiast.
In his youth, Zhong Yao and his later leader, Cao Cao, came together because of their common hobbies. They often exchanged calligraphy together. A group of calligraphy fans such as Handan Chun, Wei Dan, sun Zijing, Guan Pipa and so on also participated in this calligraphy “salon”.
One day, Zhong Yao found that there was Cai Yong’s writing practice secret on Wei Dan’s seat, so he borrowed it from Wei Dan. Mr. Wei, who is good at making ink (the ink made by Wei Dan is called “Wei Dan ink”, which is praised as “stone like for a hundred years, a little like paint”), may be afraid that Zhong Yao borrowed it or that Zhong Yao’s calligraphy exceeded him, and he was determined not to borrow it even if it was worn hard.
Zhong you was very angry. He beat his chest so loudly that his chest was black and blue, and he vomited a lot of blood. The book review of the past dynasties described him as “beating his chest for three days, his chest was blue, and he vomited blood”.
However, Wei Dan was cruel enough not to be moved by Zhong Yao’s “bitter meat trick” and simply didn’t show him. Zhong Yao, however, beat himself to death because he was too involved in “performance”. Fortunately, Cao Cao sent someone to give him five elixirs (the holy medicine for healing during the Three Kingdoms period) before he came back to life. Zhong you was suffering from a heart attack and vowed to see Cai Yong’s secret even if he went to rob the tomb after Wei Dan died.
This is almost an advertisement for Wei Dan. Everyone knows that Wei Dan has a calligraphy script in his hand, so that Wei Dan’s tomb was really stolen later.
However, Wei Dan died 20 years later than Zhong you, and Zhong you could not go to rob the tomb himself. However, because of the oath he made, later generations still insisted that the tomb robbery was directed by Zhong Yao, which really wronged him.