When Sun Quan was in control of the Wu territories, the lands were not very peaceful as the Shanyue tribes in the region often raided counties and caused much trouble. Huang Gai was sent to pacify the Shanyue. Once, Huang Gai was assigned to oversee Shicheng County and he knew that the local officials did not follow the laws and were difficult to control. After entering the county office, he chose two officers to be his assistants and ordered them to manage the office. He also gave instructions for all the officers to abide by rules and regulations and perform their duties well. The two officers were afraid of Huang Gai so they put in full effort in their work. However, as time passed, they realised that Huang Gai did not inspect their work, so they became lax and reverted to their old ways. Huang Gai was actually aware of what was going on. He invited all the local officials to attend a banquet later and exposed the two officers' misdeeds in front of everyone. The officers were frightened and started begging for their lives, but Huang Gai still executed them. This incident shocked everyone in the county. Huang Gai was later reassigned to be the Chief of Chungu County (春穀縣; northwest of present-day Fanchang County, Anhui) and the Prefect of Xunyang County (尋陽縣; southwest of present-day Huangmei County, Hubei). The nine counties under his governorship were peaceful and stable. Huang Gai was subsequently promoted to Commandant of Danyang Commandery (丹楊郡; around present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu). He helped the poor and earned the respect of the Shanyue.