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In the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, Lü Kuang originally served under Yuan Shao. After Yuan Shao's death, the Lü brothers served under Yuan Shang, Yuan Shao's third son. During the conflict between Yuan Shang and his older brother Yuan Tan, Yuan Tan sent his best warrior Cen Pi to challenge Yuan Shang's men. Lü Kuang accepted the challenge and defeated and slew Cen after dueling for three rounds. Yuan Shang rewarded the Lü brothers by granting them official seals of generals.
Even after Lü Kuang's display of might, Yuan Shang treated him poorly. When Yuan Shang told the Lü brothers to attack Yuan Tan, Yuan Tan reminded Lü Kuang of their friendship and his position on Yuan Shang's side. The Lü brothers then defected to Yuan Tan.
Yuan Tan originally promised the Lü brothers good pay and treatment but he treated them as equally poor as Yuan Shang later. When Yuan Tan surrendered to the warlord Cao Cao, the Lü brothers accompanied him to meet Cao. Cao eagerly accepted them and rewarded them with silks and jewels. When Cao went to war with the Yuans again later (Yuan Tan betrayed Cao Cao after his surrender), the Lü brothers served as his generals. However, they caused many losses and defections to the Yuans' side. The Lü brothers requested to defend Runan instead after Yuan Tan was killed and Yuan Xi and Yuan Shang were on the verge of defeat. From Runan, the Lü brothers led an attack on the warlord Liu Bei at Xinye.
The Lü brothers led 10,000 troops to Xinye's fields and challenged Liu's generals to a duel. Zhao Yun accepted the challenge and dueled with Lü Kuang. The two fought for 20 rounds with neither side appear to be gaining an advantage. Zhao then lured Lü to chase him and speared Lü in the throat with a surprise attack, killing Lü instantly. Lü Xiang continued fighting Liu Bei's forces until he encountered Zhang Fei, who slew him after a brief fight.