Time for some Raul headcanons, because apparently thought about replying to a reply earlier, but then I thought too much and could no longer write it all on my phone (I feel like I could almost write fanfic about this; if I wrote fanfic). So I had to find an actual computer to type this up on…
He mentioned that this battle was his first defeat in the conversation with Stocke. So he has probably seen plenty of casualties, but never lost the battle in the end. (Which makes the casualties easier to bear, since you can at least tell yourself they died for a good cause) So after a long series of constantly winning and things working out for him, finally losing a battle has to be quite a shock by itself.
Jia Chong replied, “[…] Some years ago a yellow dragon was twice observed in the well by Ningling. All the vassals congratulated the Emperor, supposing it to be a favourable omen. But the Son of Heaven said, “It is not auspicious. The dragon signifies the liege. If the liege is not in the heavens and not in the fields but trapped in a well instead it signifies eclipse and confinement.” So saying, the Emperor composed the ‘Ode to the Submerged Dragon.’ The intent of the poem clearly points to you, my lord. It goes:
Weep for the dragon when he’s ta’en,
And cannot prance beneath the waves,
Nor mount up on the Milky Way,
Nor show himself among the fields.
Deep inside the well he’s coiled:
Before him loach and eel make free,
Safe from tooth or claw or scales –
Alas, I am the same as he!”
Deeply angered by the verse, Sima Zhao said to Jia Chong: “So he wants to go the way of Cao Fang! We have to get rid of him now or he will destroy us.” “I’m ready, Your Lordship, any time.” Jia Chong replied.
Sima Zhao said sternly, “We three, my father, my brother, and myself, have rendered the Wei most distinguished service. Would the Nine Dignities not be appropriate?” Cao Mao responded, “Dare I not comply?” Sima Zhao said, “In your ‘Ode to the Submerged Dragon’ you called us loaches and eels, showing no respect.” Cao Mao did not answer. Sima Zhao smiled icily and descended from the royal hall. A chilling fear swept the assembly.
(From Chapter 114)