|Water Margin character|
|Nickname||"Little Li Guang"
|Rank||9th, Hero Star (天英星) of the 36 Heavenly Spirits|
|Tiger Cub Vanguard General of Liangshan|
|Origin||Military officer from Qingfeng Fort|
|First appearance||Chapter 33|
|Weapon||Spear; Bow and arrows|
Hua Rong is a fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 9th of the 36 Heavenly Spirits of the 108 Liangshan heroes and is nicknamed "Little Li Guang".
The Water Margin describes Hua Rong as a handsome youth with red lips, white teeth, a narrow waist and broad shoulders. He is renowned for his skill in archery. He is nicknamed "Little Li Guang" after Li Guang, a famous general and archer of the Han Dynasty. Besides, Hua Rong is an excellent tamer of wild horses as well.
Hua Rong serves as a military officer under the official Liu Gao in Qingfeng Fort, Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong). Song Jiang comes to join him after leaving Chai Jin's residence. Liu Gao's wife repays Song Jiang's kindness with evil and frames him for being in league with the outlaws from Mount Qingfeng. Song Jiang is arrested and thrown into prison. When Hua Rong learns that Song Jiang has been wrongly imprisoned, he writes a letter to Liu Gao demanding Song's release. Liu Gao refuses and Hua Rong leads his men to the prison and frees Song Jiang by force.
Battle of Qingfeng Fort
Liu Gao seeks help from governor Murong Yanda of Qingzhou, who sends the general Huang Xin to lead an army to Qingfeng Fort. Huang Xin tricks Hua Rong into an ambush and Hua is captured along with Song Jiang. Huang Xin is assigned to escort the captives back to Qingzhou. Along the way, the outlaws led by Yan Shun from Mount Qingfeng attack the convoy and succeed in rescuing the captives. Hua Rong joins the outlaws as they battle enemy reinforcements led by Qin Ming. Qin Ming decides to join the outlaws after his return route is sealed when they attack Qingzhou in disguise as his men. Murong Yanda has Qin Ming's entire family killed when he learns of Qin's apparent defection. Qin Ming is left deeply embittered for some time as he is still sore about being compelled to join the outlaws and also due to the loss of his family. Later, with Song Jiang as the matchmaker, Qin Ming marries Hua Rong's younger sister.
Hua Rong follows the heroes back to Liangshan after they capture Qingfeng Fort. He becomes one of the Eight Tiger Cub Vanguard Generals of the Liangshan cavalry. He is actively involved in numerous battles between Liangshan and its enemies and his prowess in archery always proved to be a blessing to his fellows. For example, he once shot down a lantern far away, which acted a signal for enemy forces, and allowed Liangshan forces to retreat safely. In another incident, Hua Rong shoots down an eagle high up in the sky with a single arrow. Hua Rong's charisma has also made him an important figure in persuading several other heroes to join the Liangshan cause of "delivering justice on Heaven's behalf".
After the outlaws have been granted amnesty by the emperor, Hua Rong follows them on their subsequent campaigns against the Liao invaders and the rebel forces of Tian Hu, Wang Qing and Fang La. He is one of the few survivors after the campaigns. He takes up a military post offered to him by the emperor in recognition of his contributions. He is overwhelmed with grief when he learns that Song Jiang and Li Kui have been murdered by the corrupt officials. He travels to Chuzhou and finds Wu Yong already there. The two commit suicide together by hanging themselves on a tree near Song Jiang's grave.
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