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     Tropes Applying To Lu Bu faction 
  • Anachronism Stew: Zang Ba is seen working for Lu Bu at the battle at Puyang, while historically he was a Xu native and just joined Lu Bu when Bu took over Xu from Liu Bei several years after the battle.
  • Badass Army: The Chargers, led by Gao Shun.
  • Badass Crew: Gao Shun and Zhang Liao.
  • Brains and Brawn: Chen Gong and Lu Bu.
  • Decapitated Army: The biggest weakness of Lu Bu's faction: they're too dependent on Lu Bu himself. This is the reason why Cao Cao's army eventually turns the tables on them, since Cao Cao's generals are MUCH more independent and capable without needing Cao Cao directly lording over them, and they are much more determined when the odds are bad. Not even hearing rumors of Cao Cao's death discourages them: they either go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge or simply disregard them.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Quite a lot, considering the amounts of ass-kicking dealt to them in the tenth volume by Jia Xu and in later volumes by Cao Cao. The crowning moment of despair occurs during the Xiapi campaign, when they fell for Guo Jia's trap and are besieged on all sides by flood, sicknesses, rapidly declining food rations, being cut off from other troops, and there were no longer any allies they could count on. Even those who had followed Lu Bu since the beginning decided against staying with him on this sinking boat and defected to Cao Cao.
  • Dirty Coward: A lot of the foot soldiers.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Chen Gong and Gao Shun.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Lu Bu (anytime he goes full God of War mode into battle), Gao Shun (it's what he does) and Zhang Liao (after he takes his level(s) in badass).
  • Hopeless Suitor: Qin Yi Lu to Xiao Meng in the novel, although he never says it out loud.
  • Morality Pet: Lu Bu's daughter is one to him. Xiao Meng might be another, but the novel is more obvious about this.
  • Kill the Cutie: Poor Lu Bu's daughter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Lu Bu fell for Sima Yi's ruse and caused the entire disaster of flooding Xiapi by sending away Gao Shun, who was guarding the river on Chen Gong's order.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The sentiment of many Lu Bu's soldiers, when the situation in Xiapi turned hopeless.
  • The Chessmaster: Lu Bu, and after Chen Gong joins him, only Chen Gong.
  • Undying Loyalty: Gao Shun.

    Lu Bu 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/546025_177043522450025_1693344609_n_7256.jpg
Dong Zhuo: "A scholar doesn't know how to fight; a warrior doesn't know how to write. One who can both write and fight is rare. Who do you reckon Lu Bu is?"
Xu Lin: "It is said among soldiers - "Among horses, Red Hare is the fastest. Among men, Lu Bu is the strongest". But I reckon that Lu Bu is not human at all!"

The War God of the series, an indomitable fighter and a capable strategist. Ambitious and power hungry, he seeks to murder Dong Zhuo for power, just as he did to his previous foster-father. He succeeds, but soon finds himself a foe to the Third Genius Jia Xu and loses to his schemes. After that he tries to become a dominant power in northern China with the help of his advisor Chen Gong.

Chen Gong got Out-Gambitted during the battle of Xia Pi, and Lu Bu was captured and finally executed.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: If it means he can save his own hide and get another chance to start anew, then yes, unashamedly. Unfortunately, Lu Bu had essentially admitted as much to Cao Cao during the Battle of Puyang, so years later at Xiapi Cao Cao opts not to take the risk of Lu Bu "accomplish[ing] much more by staying alive".
  • A God Am I: "I am the God of War! A god among men!!"
  • Asskicking Equals Authority... though that's actually a weakness of his faction, considering what the other factions have going for them.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When he serves in Dong Zhuo's army, he manages to win the hearts of men all over, and neither Dong Zhuo nor his wiseguy team can do anything about it despite knowing Lu Bu's true colors; this ends up playing a major role in the final usurpation and deaths of Dong Zhuo and Li Runote 
  • Blade on a Stick: His trademark Ji, sometimes he wields two at once.
  • Body Double: He has dozens of them, either for faking his presence (which is often enough to hold off the enemy) when he's needed elsewhere or faking his deaths so that he can get away; Zhang Liao first appears as one of them.
  • Butt-Monkey: And the instigators of his constant falls are Cao Cao, Sima Yi and Jia Xu, then Guo Jia for his final downfall.
  • Call-Back: See Main page.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: When you can easily pick up and throw Xu Chu in full armor then you're this.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
  • Cool Horse: A badass horse, in fact. "Red Hare among horses, Lu Bu among men" indeed.
  • Creator's Pet: In one of the afterwords, Chen Mou admitted that he cried both when drawing Lu Bu's execution for Unhuman (an earlier work) and for Ravages of Time, and in an interview he elaborated that he saw Lu Bu's behavior as honest and not hypocritical, unlike so many others in Chinese history who had also done what Lu Bu had done but always covered it up, a theme recounted more than once in Ravages.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle and No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Thy names are "Lu Bu vs. everyone".
  • Despair Event Horizon: The sight of his beloved daughter being cut in half by Xu Chu and trampled to death under horse' feet during a failed siege breakout was absolutely gut-wrenching to Lu Bu. Then he went on full berserk mode and took his anger and misery out on the Xiahou brothers, Xu Chu, Xu Huang and Han Hao. And they couldn't even fight back.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: It takes three of Cao Cao's best generals (one of them the giant Xu Chu) to asphyxiate him. Eventually, Xiahou Dun has to behead Lu Bu to kill him off for real... a timely kill, as at that moment Lu Bu broke out of the ropes!
  • Face Death with Dignity: Completely averted; at his execution Lu Bu begged for his life and humbled himself to the point of self-humiliation to Cao Cao's mooks, only for Cao Cao to publicly declare that Lu Bu knew the value of life - compared to Cao Cao's own "shallow" men - and thus was willing to stake his superficial pride for it, and praised Lu Bu for his courage. Upon hearing this, Lu Bu sobered up immediately for his Dying Moment of Awesome.
    Cao Cao: What good is reputation if you are dead? A true hero understands that one can accomplish much more by staying alive. In the past we had Gou Jian surviving as a peasant, and today we have Lu Bu begging for his life. Your courage surpasses all the shallow men here. It surpasses the reputation which they hold dearer than life. Of all the heroes (in the world), who is more fearless than you on the battlefield? And who more unafraid of death? And of all the heroes, who dares to trample on their pride like you have? God of War, Lu Bu, you truly embody the essence of brains and brawn.
    • As it turns out, Cao Cao's speech and how Lu Bu acted were actually a Call-Back to what Lu Bu said to Cao Cao in the Battle of Puyang when Lu Bu had Cao Cao cornered.
  • Faking the Dead: One of his most favourite tactics.
  • Grasp the Sun: In his dying moment, whereby he got the epiphany of the final victor of this war - a fiery phoenix, aka Sima Yi.
  • Heroic BSoD: He never recovers from the shock of his daughter death, on top of the increasingly hopeless situation he finds himself stuck in at Xiapi. When the Cao Army's Tiger and Leopard Cavalry leader Cao Chun comes searching for him, the "God of War" image of Lu Bu still remains so strong that he doesn't even acknowledge a man so deep in depression as Lu Bu:
    Cao Chun (to Lu Bu and Gao Shun): Lu Bu?... no. No aura of dominance. You are not Lu Bu. Send someone to get Lu Bu.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard
  • Honor Before Reason: Not surprisingly, an averted trope here. Even averted in his last moments.
  • Hunk.
  • Ignore The Fanservice: In an instance when Lu Bu has the Crippled Legion cornered while they're trying to rescue Sima Lang from Luoyang - seeing no other way to get out of it, Xiao Meng offers to be his 'woman' and kisses him. Most men will probably goes wobbly-kneed in Xiao Meng's presence, but Lu Bu being Lu Bu, he's still alert enough to notice Xiao Meng has a poisonous needle hidden in his throat and side-steps this honey trap. Just not as alert as he'd like to be however, as Xiao Meng had another poison in his mouth too and not even Lu Bu's immune enough to his charms to notice that... and it didn't kick in noticeably until Lu Bu was fighting Liaoyuan Huo.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Lu Bu has what can only be described as chin buttcheeks. Behold it in all its glory.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Every traitorous deed that Lu Bu ever does will eventually come back to bite him in the ass, no exception.
    • The whole deal with overthrowing Dong Zhuo, as it turned out, sent at least three mortal enemies hot on his heels, all of whom would later contribute to his downfall(s). He was dealt three crippling defeats by the Thanatos Gambit of Jia Xu, Li Ru's oath brother and Dong Zhuo's advisor. His daughter was killed by Xu Chu, the son of Xu Lin whose death Lu Bu had indirectly caused (by sending Xu Chu away right at the moment the Crippled Legion was targeting him. Finally he was captured at the White Gate Tower due to the betrayal of Hou Cheng, Song Xian and Wei Xu, former subordinates of Dong Zhuo's general Hua Xiongnote  who had agreed to act as sleeper agents for Cao Cao.
    • Then the business with robbing Liu Bei, who'd sheltering him, of Xuzhou; at the White Gate Tower execution ground, Liu Bei returned the favor by convincing Cao Cao to kill Lu Bu instead of sparing his life.
  • Lightning Bruiser
  • Living Legend: His infamous deeds and legendary strength soon make his name synonymous with Genius Bruiser, One-Man Army, treachery and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, and consequently gets invoked a bunch of times before and after his death even in seemingly unrelated contexts.
    • One of Sun Ce's enemies mocks him as having Lu Bu's audacity but not Lu Bu's wisdom.
    • One of the more notable posthumous ones is that when Yuan Tan's army is broken by "two civilians"note  for trampling the mass graves of Xiapi, he returns to camp shrieking about how Lu Bu faked his death and secretly allied with Cao Cao against the Yuan clan.
    • When Sun Ce attacks Cao Cao's forces before the Battle of Guandu, Cao Cao thinks to himself that Sun Cenote  reminds him of Lu Bu at the Battle of Puyang and the fear that he felt back then, then he wonders, "You too, Red Hare? Are you reminded of Lu Bu as well?"
    • In the end, it takes almost a decade for Lu Bu's legend to be finally eclipsed in Cao Cao's mind by Zhao Yun aka Liaoyuan Huo at Changban.
    • In chapter 391 as the Cao army begins to overwhelm Zhao Yun, he gets the feeling suddenly that he's "a traitor who forgot his benefactor", for having spurned Liu Da, Sima Yi and his own past as Liaoyuan Huo by rescuing Adou, to himself out of sense of righteousness, but seemingly to the world "for the sake of glory", such thoughts are what occurs to him:
      Zhao Yun: I’m reminded of someone, and the thought won’t go away. No, I’m not. Not quite a man of three surnames, yet not far off either. But I’m not Lü Bu!
  • Madness Mantra: "It doesn't hurt. It doesn't hurt. IT DOESN'T HURT."
  • Meaningful Echo: "No pain. No pain at all." - what he said to his daughter, which were her last words to him when she died, then repeated several times by him in poignant moments.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Is seen by others as having crossed it a long time ago when he betrayed and killed his two foster fathers Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo, to the point that one slur for him is "three-surnamed slave". Heck, as Zhao Yun starts feeling the pressure from the Cao army at Changban, he starts drawing — only to reject — parallels between himself and Lu Bu over having also turned on his former master, Sima Yi.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Among his three closest subordinates, Chen Gong is perfectly aware how immoral, selfish and disloyal he isnote ; Gao Shun just doesn't seem to care; only Zhang Liao believes him to be a man of some principles (just not the principles that common men respect) but he also gets disillusioned by Lu Bu's actions at the end of the Xiapi arc.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: How he earned the title "God of War" in the first place. Another is his very first battle against the Guandong alliance, in which it's said that he defeated 60 great generals and 100,000 soldiers with merely a handful men on his side.
  • Oh, Crap!: The crowning ones are courtesy of said guys who makes a Butt-Monkey out of him for their breakfast:
    • The first sign that his streak of outgambitting others has ended comes when Sima Yi threatened him with Dong Zhuo's edictnote  to get his team out of Chang'an safely and warn Lu Bu's hands off his family's business at the same time.
    • In the Chang'an arc when he realized Niu Fu's death was a bait by Jia Xu, then again in the same arc when he fell for Dong Yue's death, again a bait by Jia Xu, and when he realized that Sima Yi indirectly lent a hand by leaving the aforementioned edict behind for Jia Xu's taking.
    • In Puyang when the Yellow Turban troops turned on him.
    • In Xiapi when Chen Gong hammered it home that Sima Yi had duped him. For the second time.
  • One-Man Army: Par for the course for him. Unfortunately, it's also his biggest weakness. See Decapitated Army above on the faction tropes.
  • Papa Wolf: For a guy who has betrayed two foster fathers, he loves his little daughter a lot.
  • Perma-Stubble
  • Pet the Dog: Lu Bu can, and will, abandon the "useless" mooks to save his own skin, but it doesn't mean he will leave behind his closest companions without a fight.
    • Again - Even Lu Bu loves his daughter. Sob.
    • He risks his life to save Gao Shun after their botched sally against Cao Cao's camp while he himself is being hotly pursued (he breaks through the defenses so deeply that he makes it right up to Cao Cao, who he hadn't seen since Puyang years before, but between actually doing Cao Cao in or helping Gao Shun, he chooses to save Gao Shun and thus spares Cao Cao). His distressed reaction to Gao Shun's death at Cao Chun's hands also tells a lot.
    • He truly appreciates Chen Gong's service and addresses the old man on equal terms, which is why Chen Gong likes to be by his side better than joining the court or serving Cao Cao. Their final talk, depressing as it was, was another proof of their strong friendship - Chen Gong insisted on staying behind to cover for Lu Bu's escape and apologized for having failed him so many times, while Lu Bu entreated that they should leave together. Soon after, they were both captured by the three traitors Song Xian, Wei Xu and Hou Cheng.
    • Lu Bu treated Xiao Meng almost as a honored guest after retrieving himnote , even though no one else at that moment knew that Xiao Meng was even still alive; moreover, he was both an old enemy and an obvious object of lust for Lu Bu.
  • Red Baron: Deservingly, "God of War".
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When Xu Lin is murdered by the supposedly one-eyed leader of Cripple Legion, he goes out of his way to hunt down almost every known one-eyed general from Guandong warlord alliance, believing (like many Guandong generals themselves) that the mysterious assassin is just a smoke-screen perpetrated by Yuan Shao to create a morale-raising legend for his soldiers and conceal the real killer in their midst at the same time. The poor saps' severed heads are then delivered to Xu Lin's grave.
  • Scars Are Forever: Receives one on his forehead from Dong Zhuo's elite guards at his coup attempt.
  • Ship Tease: With Xiao Meng.
  • The Berserker: He thoroughly curbstomped the best five generals of Cao Cao after his daughter was killed before his eyes.
  • The Starscream: There's two things Lu Bu is known for in-story: his prowess in battle as a cavalryman, and this. Even posthumously, when (the former) Liaoyuan Huonote  is pursued by the Cao army and pressed on all sides at Changban, when he gets the sense that the Cao army is filled with righteous indignation at his own betrayal of Sima Yi, he insists righteously that although he thinks of "a man of three surnames", nevertheless "I'm not Lu Bu!"
  • Super Strength: Lu Bu has the look, size and muscle of an average One-Man Army, but he can swing Xu Chu around on his shoulders, carry Ji Ling on one arm, then throw the poor guy down and proceed to mop the floor with Yuan Shu's army single-handedly.
  • Super Toughness: Arrows, swords and poison do harm him, but if you think they can stop him for a second from beating you to a pulp, think again. Or better yet, just run. In the end it takes three of Cao Cao's best generals (including the behemoth Xu Chu) to strangle him and Xiahou Dun to behead him and finally put an end to Lu Bu's life.
  • Too Dumb to Live: For all his wits, Lu Bu never seemed to learn that Jia Xu's and Sima Yi's words are not to be trusted under any circumstances; the latter would precipitate his final downfall at Xiapi.
  • Übermensch
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Zhang Liao wants to have a word with the way Lu Bu treats his brothers-in-arms.
  • World's Strongest Man: The first and foremost One-Man Army of this era. If you are a latecomer in this field like Guan Yu, Zhang Fei or Sun Ce, expect to be judged by the standards he has set. In a real fight, as long as he doesn't engage in a fight with Guan Yu or Zhang Fei (both One-Man-Armies on his level) and 'undead' monsters like Liaoyuan Huo or Dian Wei, Lu Bu is the only fighter who never, ever fails to utterly curb-stomp his opponents, whether they are Yuan Shu's thousand-soldiered army or a team of up to five of Cao Cao's best generals with his sheer strength, skills and badassery.
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    Zhang Liao 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/538008_177042832450094_420723904_n_4735.jpg
  • AntiVillain: Type IV.
  • A Father to His Men: Unlike Lu Bu, he cares a lot for his subordinates, and frequently risks his life to guard their escape routes instead of the other way around. When many of them were beheaded after Cao Cao defeats Lu Bu, he even disobeyed orders to stay behind and recover their remains. Yuan Tan's armys came charging throughnote  the mass grave? He beat the hell out of them and sent them back the way they camenote .
  • Badass Boast and Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "No one has ever passed the range of my swords".
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: He intervened in a sparring match between Lu Bu and Guan Yunote  in the manner of a "sneak" attack that was actually meant to alert and free Guan Yu, because Guan Yu had once saved his lifenote . Lu Bu knew what he was doing, and backhanded him good for doing so.
  • Body Double: For Lu Bu and Cao Cao after he joined his side.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Liaoyuan Huo. A badass former assassin-turned-general and dragon to a master with questionable morality, with a subconscious desire for a better life instead of one of constant underhanded scheming, who later joins a new master who can offer them all that? You bet. The author is quite obvious about it as well, what with his constant dual expositions of these two, with hints here and there about their Future Badass status:
    Chapter 273: He who honors comrades and commitments, will shock the world a few years later at Changban.
    Chapter 274: He who holds his ground will surpass Lü Bu a few years later as a god of war at Hefei.
  • Foreshadowing: The famed legend of Zhang Liao's name being used in Wu after Hefei by mothers to stop children from crying is given at least two nods beforehand — first, during the post-Dong Zhuo struggle between his remnant forces, the mere mention of his name is enough to stop Niu Fu's son from crying. Second, almost two decades later at Changban, Adou at first stops crying and then starts shivering after the former Liaoyuan Huo now Zhao Yun seemingly for good breaks out of the Cao army's encirclement, and when he asks the baby why, the answer is Zhang Liao's, "Sorry, the little guy must be scared..."
  • Friendly Enemy: To Guan Yu over their personalities and philosophies, and to a lesser extent Zhang Fei and Zhang He due to their shared surname, as per an in-universe saying about how men surnamed Zhang share a common ground.
  • Future Badass: 20 years later, this man Zhang Liao... with a hundred men by his side, defeated Sun Quan's 100,000 soldiers in the Battle of Hefei. His name was celebrated far and wide across the land.
  • Heel–Face Turn: When he was finally captured by Cao Cao at the end of Xiapi campaign. Initially he was going for a Defiant to the End ending, but Liu Bei persuaded him otherwise.
  • Honor Before Reason
  • Legacy Character: Of Lu Bu, whose headband he'd recovered and worn in the man's memory and Gao Shun, whose fighting style he'd taken after. In Guandu arc, he even leads a newly formed unit of the Chargers.
  • Made of Iron: A subtle yet notable anecdote in chapter 100 shows off just how tough he was even when he was younger: Guan Yu sends him flying with a single punch — reinforced by Zhang Liao's jumping at him — yet Zhang Liao remains conscious enough not only to see fear in his men's eyes while his head is knocked back, but also to notice Guan Yu's troops, gauge their firing range, and recognize their proximity to his own men all before he hits the ground, concurrently asking himself existential/philosophical questions, and he flings his hand axe in their direction quickly enough that his troops' commander realizes how close they are to Guan Yu's troops, thereby protecting his men from counter-fire.
    • A later scene around the time of Guandu shows him practicing at night with Guan Yu's glaive while shirtless, and his still-boyish face belies a stacked, thick torso.
  • Meaningful Echo: To make Guan Yu surrender, he uses the same words that Liu Bei said to him in convincing him not to die after Lu Bu's defeat.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: He has certain issues with Lu Bu's amoral ways after the Dong Zhuo arc, but shuts up most of the time. He finally loses it when Lu Bu suggests using their subordinates as scapegoats to escape from Xiapi, and leaves Lu Bu's side to protect his men.
  • Scars Are Forever: He got two slight gashes on his face during a battle in which he impersonated Lü Bu, and they stay with him for over two decades.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After Lu Bu died. His biggest feat so far by Guandu was killing Wen Chou, and the foreshadowings of the Battle of Hefei state that it's just the beginning of many levels in badass that he's going to take. More recently, in Chapter 406 he defeats and kills Taishi Ci in a one-on-one sword duel during a skirmish between their forces before Chibi.
  • Tranquil Fury: Oops. Run, Yuan Tan, run again.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Whenever he's in "No one has ever passed the range of my swords" mode. And not pass they shall. Save for Sun Ce and Zhao Yun at Changban. And even then, it's only because the latter was both fleeing — to get Adou back to Liu Bei — and fortunately backed up just in time by Zhang Fei.

    Chen Gong 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/544679_526067944103860_673437065_n_6600.jpg
  • Bald of Awesome: Seen twice: once during the preparations for the Battle of Puyang when his hat is knocked off by Gao Shun, then when he kneels for his execution in Xiapi, one of the executioners respectfully removes his hat.
  • The Chessmaster: Quite notable in that he's so intelligent, even the Eight Geniuses give him props. The reason Lu Bu's faction stayed in power so long is that he had Chen Gong as advisor and chief strategist. In specific, his preparation skills are the distinguishing trait of his strategies.
  • Cool Old Guy: So cool even Cao Cao's three Geniuses respect him, and would have been honored to have him on their sides had he not choosen dying instead of joining Cao Cao.
  • Cool Teacher: To many younger advisors.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Chen Gong's most formidable skill as a strategist is planning WAY in advance for any eventuality. The comic makes it a point to show how he plans strategies step-by-step and considering how each step might be foiled, so as to have an alternate strategy already set up for when the inevitable happens. You can't really call what he does Xanatos Speed Chess because his "improvisation" was actually already part of the plan all along.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: He manages to publicly coerce Cao Cao into taking care of his relatives after his execution, counsel other captives facing executionnote  and explains concisely why he won't submit and live: Cao Cao isn't worse than Lu Bu, he's just as bad. For all of these, Xiahou Dun begs him to reconsider so that he might live, Guo Jia and Jia Xu salute him (that is, two of the Eight Geniuses) saluting their "inferior" who Guo Jia had overcome) and Cao Cao salutes and sheds Manly Tears for him.
    The chapter's conclusion: After that, Cao Cao tended to Chen Gong's mother until her death, and he also found a husband for the daughter. He still grieves whenever he is reminded of Chen Gong.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Many of Chen Gong's strategies can be summed up into this, especially during Lu Bu's takeover of Xuzhou.
  • Older Sidekick: To Lu Bu
  • Token Good Teammate: Pretty much as close as it gets within this faction; not only will he choose death over serving Cao Cao, but the reason that he stayed behind and thus got captured was because even though he intended to cover Lu Bu's escape to Yuan Shao, he had no desire to serve Yuan Shao or to work alongside Yuan Fang.
  • Worthy Opponent: Xun Yu himself states that Chen Gong is as formidable as any of the Eight Geniuses, giving him the title of "wisest of the wise."
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