Han Zhu seized the throne-寒浞篡位

After Hou Yi took over and officially established himself, confident in his unparalleled archery skills that could intimidate all directions, he believed he could live in peace. Consequently, he indulged in a life of luxury and extravagance, similar to Tai Kang, reveling in the pleasures of wine and women, perhaps even more so than Tai Kang. He surrounded himself with unscrupulous individuals, distanced wise and virtuous ministers like Wu Luo, Bo Yin, Xiong Ku, and Long Yu, and instead entrusted important responsibilities to the cunning and deceitful Han Zhu.

Han Zhu, a descendant of the Dongyi tribe’s Bo Ming clan, earned his family’s fame for great achievements during the time of the Yellow Emperor. They were granted the land of Han in Shandong (around present-day Weifang), known as the Bo Ming State or Han State. However, Han Zhu’s unruly behavior led to his expulsion by the Bo Ming clan’s leader. After being expelled, Han Zhu heard about Hou Yi’s overthrow of the Xia Dynasty’s ruler and self-proclamation as king. Admiring him greatly, Han Zhu decided to join and support Hou Yi.

Upon arriving in the capital of Xia, Han Zhu initially had difficulty meeting Hou Yi. However, using his wit and eloquence, he finally gained audience and won the favor of Hou Yi. Disregarding the advice of loyal ministers like Wu Luo, Bo Yin, Xiong Ku, and Long Yu, who warned against Han Zhu’s sinister intentions, Hou Yi continued to trust him and elevated Han Zhu’s status. Han Zhu strategically concealed his true nature, acting cautiously and ingratiating himself with the powerful while simultaneously earning Hou Yi’s trust.

As time passed, Han Zhu’s influence grew, and his personal ambitions expanded. Exploiting his authority, he cultivated allies among the ministers, secretly building his own power base. Despite warnings from ministers such as Wu Luo, Bo Yin, Xiong Ku, and Long Yu, who urged against Han Zhu’s actions, Hou Yi remained oblivious and continued to grant him more authority. Eventually, Han Zhu was appointed prime minister, consolidating his control over the court and becoming the de facto ruler, while loyal officials grew disheartened.

Three years later, Han Zhu, with the support of his allies, orchestrated a coup, leading to the deaths of loyal ministers such as Wu Luo, Bo Yin, Xiong Ku, and Long Yu. He filled the court with his supporters, seizing control of the entire government. Han Zhu, sensing the opportune moment, decided to eliminate Hou Yi and proclaim himself as king.

One day, as Hou Yi went hunting, Han Zhu initiated the coup, taking control of the court, accusing Hou Yi of incompetence, and declaring the deposition of the foolish monarch. Subsequently, he ambushed the returning Hou Yi, who was shot with arrows and killed.

After killing Hou Yi, Han Zhu ascended to the throne. It is said that he mercilessly slaughtered the descendants of the Youqiong clan. Many feared persecution and fled to remote areas, changing their names and seeking refuge in other tribal territories. From then on, the central plains no longer had any trace of the Youqiong clan.

While Tai Kang lost his kingdom due to his pursuit of pleasure and neglect of state affairs, leading to questioning of royal authority, Hou Yi, aware of Tai Kang’s downfall, followed a similar path. It is indeed a tragic turn of events.

Successfully eliminating Hou Yi and seizing the throne, Han Zhu still harbored concerns because he knew that the true heir of the Xia royal family, Xiang, was alive. He needed time to consolidate his strength and eradicate any potential threats. After Han Zhu expelled Xiang, he fled to Diqiu and later moved to Zhen Guan, likely in present-day eastern Shouguang, Shandong. Xiang attempted to reclaim his throne by uniting with other states such as Zhen Xun and Zhen Guan, but faced with Han Zhu’s two sons, Han Jiao and Han Xi, he returned with no achievements. Discouraged, Xiang fled once again to Diqiu.

At this point, the Huaiyi, Fengyi, and Huangyi tribes, who had been previously attacked by Xiang, joined forces with him when he reached Diqiu. They expressed their willingness to submit to Xiang. Han Zhu, alarmed by this development, sent his two sons to launch a sudden attack on the Xia people, achieving significant success by plundering vast wealth and capturing numerous slaves. Observing the Xia people’s vulnerability, Han Zhu solidified his determination to annihilate the Xia dynasty.

In the second year, Han Zhu dispatched his son Han Jiao to launch a full-scale attack on Zhen Guan. After two battles, both the Zhen Guan and Zhen Xun states were eradicated, weakening the power of Diqiu. Han Zhu then sent troops to capture Zhen Guan. By this point, Han Zhu had occupied all the territories ruled by the Xia dynasty. Han Zhu, scheming for power and usurpation, interrupted the rule of the Xia dynasty.