Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Best threads of the SGYYS, for your viewing pleasure.

Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:19 am

This text, Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms, was written in 1609, almost three hundred years after the original novel. Its author went by the pen name The Unauthorized Historian of Xiyang of Western Shu; their real name is unknown. It continues the story of the Romance, beginning with the fall of Shu-Han and continuing into the Jin era, and it assumes that its reader is familiar with the Romance already. The basic premise is something along the lines of “what if most of the people who brought down Western Jin were actually descendants of people from Shu-Han?” It goes without saying that you shouldn’t expect too much historical accuracy here beyond the broad strokes.

One thing to know is that this is a long novel, clocking in at 145 chapters (making it longer than the Romance’s 120 chapters). Ironically, the work was never finished; the end of the 145th chapter states that the text up to that point was only the first half, and that the second half (either never written or lost) would finish the story.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
User avatar
Taishi Ci 2.0
Grand Historian Friendly to Cats
 
Posts: 839
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:55 pm
Location: My life is brilliant

CHAPTER 1

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:20 am

後主降英雄避亂

Chapter 1 – The Later Lord Surrenders, Young Heroes Flee The Chaos


蓋聞天開於子,地闢於丑,人生於寅。自人之生,而有聖人繼天立極以維人紀,上自三皇,中及五帝,下至商湯文武,迭相為治。當是時也,純用禮樂,行一不義、殺一不辜而得天下,所不為也。孔子曰:"三分天下有其二,以服事殷,周之德,可謂至德也已矣。"宜其延世三十,歷年八百,後世鮮及焉。迨至戰國,亡王用霸,日尋干戈,壞亂已極矣。秦用商鞅之法,尚戰功,忽禮樂,雖然得志一時,幸吞六國,而享祚不長,傳世惟二,孰謂天道微藐之不足信,禮樂教化之不足用哉?漢高之興,能變秦律,立法三章,天下歸心,隨滅秦楚。雖然厄於強臣佞戚,光武卒能繼述,垂統綿長,不亦宜乎!及於三國之際,炎精將涸,吳魏分崩,所賴薦生玄德,足稱令主。至窮不背於仁,百敗不折其志,天生賢哲為之羽翼。雖雲立國一隅,而實君臣一德。以弱為強,六徵九伐,敵畏若虎,足為一時之偉稱也。奈何營中星殞,丞相云亡,遂使奸雄得志,千載於今,人心痛忿。幸而天道尚存,假手苗裔夷凶翦暴,使漢祀複興,炎劉紹立。要惟卯金餘德未艾,禮樂未廢,人心向慕之至也歟!

In the beginning, the heavens stretched into being, the earth took form, and mankind arose. Ever since the dawn of humanity, there have been wise rulers who have inherited the legacy of Heaven, stood atop the pinnacle, and directed the affairs of the people. In distant antiquity ruled the Three Emperors. Then came the Five Sovereigns. And after them were Tang of Shang and Kings Wen and Wu of Zhou. Each of these passed on the administration of the realm. During these ages, sovereigns were pure and conducted themselves with propriety and ritual. There was never an instance of someone who gained the realm by acting unrighteously or killing the innocent. Thus Confucius could state, “King Wen of Zhou possessed two thirds of the empire, yet with those he still served the dynasty of Yin (Shang). The virtue of the house of Zhou may be said to have reached the highest point indeed.” And the house of Zhou indeed ruled for thirty reigns and eight centuries; never has there been another to equal them.

By the time of the Warring States, the royal sway had fallen into decline and the Hegemons ruled the realm; every day saw bloody battle, and the destruction and turmoil were absolute. The state of Qin, following the policies of Shang Yang, achieved military dominance. But they cared nothing for propriety or ritual, and though they achieved their ambitions for a time by swallowing up the other Six States, they did not enjoy a long legacy, and perished after only two reigns. Who then can claim that the ways of Heaven ought to be slighted and belittled, or that the education and culture provided by ritual and ceremony can be ignored?

When Gaozu of Han (Liu Bang) established the Han dynasty, he was able to transform the canons of Qin, and he established the laws in three articles. He won the hearts of the realm, who helped him to vanquish the Qin dynasty and the rival state of Chu. And though at times the house of Han fell prey to the dominance of its ministers and the flattery of its relatives, in the end, Emperor Guangwu was able to continue the succession. He propagated its rule and inherited its legacy; well that it was so!

When the realm split into the Three Kingdoms and the states of Wu and Wei tore the land asunder, the flame of the dynasty was nearly snuffed out. Yet even so, it could still depend upon the efforts of that devoted fellow, Xuande, who was worthy to be called its lord. Even when driven to his lowest points, he never abandoned his benevolence; even when defeated for the hundredth time, he never gave up his ambition. Heaven itself provided him with worthy and talented people to serve as his wings. And though he established his state in a corner of the realm, truly both he and his subjects displayed the selfsame virtue. Six times he mustered his armies for war, nine times he campaigned against the foe. His enemies feared him like a tiger. Worthy was he to be acclaimed as a talent of the age.

Alas, that Xuande’s star should fall while he was in the midst of his camps, and that the Prime Minister (Zhuge Liang) too should expire. Their deaths allowed the wicked villains to attain their evil desires. Even a thousand years later, our hearts still rend with pain at the thought. But how fortunate, then, that Heaven was not finished with the house of Han, and it allowed their descendants to slay the cruel and smite the wicked. They restored the fortunes of Han and revived the flame of the Liu clan. The lingering virtue of their house had not been extinguished; the rites and ceremonies of the dynasty had not yet fallen. And our hearts beat with admiration for them!

且說蜀主劉禪自癸巳登位,賴孔明當國,安享四十餘季。丞相既亡,至炎興元年,其中寵用宦官黃皓,致先世文武大臣關、張、黃、馬、趙諸勛舊子孫皆不得干預軍事,或退閒,或致仕,於是國勢浸衰,兵威不振。魏司馬昭聞知,議欲伐之。當有王祥一門,常懷漢德,因上疏阻之云:"蜀土雖狹,民感其惠,君臣義睦,無隙可乘。況今歲星在蜀,伐之恐致不祥。"昭不聽,乃命鄧艾領兵五萬,自狄道越甘松嶺出沓中,以絆姜維之師;諸葛緒引兵五萬,自祁山趨武街橋頭,以絕姜維歸路;鐘會引兵十五萬,從斜谷、子午谷分作三路而進,以趨漢中。細作報入沓中,大將軍都督軍事姜維急修表馳奏後主。後主即命蔣舒、傅僉領兵二萬,分守陽平等關要隘,更欲大發兵以助姜維。時黃皓用事,深恨姜維常欲除己,今若發兵助勢,敵退爵尊,我必受虧,隨阻於帝曰:"臣曾探得魏主深疑司馬,司馬自救不暇,焉能謀人?此來風聞乃懼我兵見加,故為虛張聲勢耳。"又引巫師詐誕,以聾帝聽,以是帝遂不為設備,罷其預守之議,群臣皆不知姜維上表請兵之故。八月,魏軍長驅大進。姜維聞鐘會兵至,乃與廖化、張翼等合議扼守劍閣以拒之。鐘會引兵攻打,被維出奇兵斷會糧道,前後身自挑戰凡數十合,互有勝敗。會亦慮糧運險遠,急未能得志,隨退兵安營相守。忽探得姜維有襲糧之兵出矣,會心甚懼,即欲退回長安,再圖後舉。

But us set the scene. The lord of Shu, Liu Shan, had risen to the throne in the Guimao year (223). And thanks to the supervision of Kongming over the state of Shu, Liu Shan had enjoyed a peaceful reign for more than forty years. But by now, the Prime Minister had died, and it was the first year of Yanxing (263). Liu Shan favored the eunuch Huang Hao and entrusted him with affairs, while the descendants of those great civil and martial servants of his father’s age, the families of Guan, Zhang, Huang, Ma, and Zhao, were no longer granted any part in either the army or in government. Some of these scions lived in obscurity, while others held minor posts. But the state had fallen into decline and decay, and the morale of the soldiers had sunk too low to be revived.

When Sima Zhao of the state of Wei heard that such a state of affairs prevailed in Shu, he held a discussion among his subordinates, proposing a campaign to conquer Shu. Among these men was a certain Wang Xiang, who had always cherished the virtues of the Han dynasty. Thus he sent up a petition opposing the proposed expedition. He stated, “Although the territory of Shu is a cramped place, the people there venerate the kindness of their lord, and the relationship between its sovereign and his subjects is proper and harmonious. There is no internal dissension within the state which we could take advantage of. Besides, the Year Star (Jupiter) is currently hanging over Shu. It is well-known that no state which is enjoying the protection of the Year Star can be attacked. Thus to campaign against Shu would only invite misfortune upon us.”

However, Sima Zhao did not listen to the pleas of Wang Xiang. Being determined upon the campaign, he devised a strategy for his armies to destroy the rival state. He would order the general Deng Ai to lead fifty thousand soldiers from Didao to cross the Gansong mountain ranges and enter Tazhong, where he could keep the army of Shu’s Grand Commander, Jiang Wei, occupied. At the same time, he would order the general Zhuge Xu to lead another fifty thousand soldiers from Qishan to cross the bridgehead at Wujie and cut off Jiang Wei’s route of escape. While these operations were taking place, Sima Zhao would send the main army of a hundred and fifty thousand under the general Zhong Hui to advance along three roads through Xie Valley and Ziwu Valley and capture the Shu bastion at Hanzhong.

Word of the planned Wei operations made their way to Jiang Wei at his base at Tazhong. He wrote a petition informing Liu Shan of the situation and dispatched a messenger at once to bring it to the capital. Liu Shan thus ordered the generals Jiang Shu and Fu Qian to lead twenty thousand soldiers to form garrisons to guard Yangping and other strategic places.

Liu Shan even planned to mobilize the full manpower of the state to reinforce Jiang Wei’s army. But Huang Hao, who monopolized power at the capital, deeply hated Jiang Wei and had often wanted to get rid of him. He was worried that, if such a mobilization proved critical to letting Jiang Wei drive away the invaders, then Jiang Wei would surely be rewarded and honored while his own influence would diminish. Thus he opposed this mustering of troops, telling Liu Shan, “I have always heard that the ruler of Wei has been most suspicious of the Sima clan. The Sima clan must be entirely focused on securing their own position in Wei; how could they have a free hand to plot against us as well? If we panic in the face of this rumor and thus bolster Jiang Wei’s ranks, we will only augment his power for no purpose.” And he also brought in some shamans to perform a false ritual, and they deceived Liu Shan. Thus Liu Shan canceled his drafting preparations and dropped all discussion of reinforcing the defences of the state. None of his ministers ever realized that Jiang Wei had submitted this petition asking for reinforcements.

In the eighth month of that year, the Wei armies surged forward, advancing far into the state. When Jiang Wei heard that Zhong Hui’s troops were on their way, he held a discussion with Liao Hua, Zhang Yi, and the other generals. They resolved to man the defenses at Jiange Pass and hold out against the enemy. When Zhong Hui’s army arrived at Jiange, they launched an assault. But Jiang Wei devised a plan which allowed special troops to sever Zhong Hui’s supply lines, and he also personally dueled enemies for dozens of bouts during the fighting. Each side had their share of victories and defeats. Zhong Hui was worried about keeping his troops provisioned over so far a distance and across such rough terrain, and he had his troops fall back to prepared camps to maintain their position. But when Jiang Wei’s special troops continued to appear in his rear and launch surprise attacks against Zhong Hui’s supply lines, Zhong Hui’s heart failed him. He was resolved to fall back to Chang'an, then wait for some later time to plan another campaign.

鄧艾聞知,以書抵會曰:"竊窺蜀國無能為也。蓋由宦豎專權,忠良解體,縱一姜維之智,亦不能驅眾遠出,不過虛為聲勢以分我軍,彼得以逸待勞耳。將軍但當堅守,待小將父子引本部兵,從陰平邪徑,經德陽亭,出劍閣之背,西去成都,不過三百里,以奇兵出其不意,衝其腹心。姜維知之,必撤劍閣之兵,還救涪城,都督則可方軌而進矣,何退之有哉?如劍閣兵不回,涪城無救,取之甚易。姜維前後受敵,必為公擒,此不待智者可知也。"艾竟不俟約期,即引兵行無人之徑七百餘里,鑿山通道,極其險處,艾則自裹以氈,推墮而下,將士扳援魚貫以進。至江油城,蜀將蔣舒以城降,傅僉戰死,隨逾陰平。

When Deng Ai learned that Zhong Hui’s resolve had begun to waver, he sent him a letter criticizing him. He wrote, “Shu is an exhausted state, unable to accomplish anything. Its affairs are in the hands of a pathetic eunuch, and its loyal and good servants can do nothing. It is thanks to Jiang Wei’s cunning alone that they are able to resist at all. But they lack the ability to move their forces about or march long distances. They can do no more than make threatening noises sufficient to cause us to divide our forces, allowing them to safely receive the brunt of a reduced attack.

"General, you need but hold firm and maintain your position. Allow my humble self and my son to lead the soldiers of my command to march through the badlands at Yinping, pass by Deyang Point, and emerge from behind Jiange Pass. From there, it will be no more than three hundred li west to the enemy capital at Chengdu; we can seize it by surprise and occupy the very heart of the enemy’s country. Once Jiang Wei learns of it, he will surely bring his troops at Jiange to hurry to hold Fucheng against me, and you can then simply follow in his wake. Why then would you need to retreat? Or if the soldiers at Jiange do not turn back towards the capital, Fucheng will be defenseless and extremely easy to take. Jiang Wei will be surrounded by enemies on both sides, and he would doubtlessly fall into your hands. It would not take a genius to recognize that.”

Without waiting for a response, Deng Ai at once led his troops along his proposed route. They traveled through more than seven hundred li of uninhabited land, carving through mountains and clearing roads as they went. When the road suddenly ended in a cliff, Deng Ai had himself wrapped in felt and personally rolled down the cliff, and his generals and soldiers then fashioned a fish-scale rope to descend the precipice. When they arrived at the city of Jiangyou at the far end of the road, the Shu generals Jiang Shu and Fu Qian were waiting for them. But Jiang Shu surrendered, and Fu Qian perished in battle. Deng Ai’s troops then advanced to Yinping.

忽於岩畔見一石牌,上題:"二火初興,有人越此,二士爭衡,不久自死。"艾探知乃諸葛孔明先設示警者。艾因大驚,遂訪孔明之墓,躬備儀禮拜祭,以求赦宥。是夜乃夢二力士,稱元運真君有召命,艾方猶豫,二士夾之而去。須臾至一處,殿閣崢嶸,光曜顯赫,力士引艾至內門。仰觀殿上,執事羅列,整肅森嚴。少頃,真君出御曰:"吾即孔明耳。往時謫降人世,目擊曹瞞、馬懿並無仁德,惟務奸偽,欺上惑下,竊據土宇。吾曾奏聞上帝,削其國籍。劉漢二十六君,守道育民,初無失德,宜使其裔興漢複祀。其餘附奸凶忍之徒,悉填憲典,即目劉主迎降,乃保眾惜民之仁。爾兵進城,若不約束,大禍旋至,可宜知改。"諭畢,命力士引還。後來鄧艾忘戒縱暴,父子遭戮,鐘會亦坐誅夷,魏晉國祚不永,劉氏繼立,漢祀複存,皆如夢中之語。艾既覺悟,神思惑亂,按兵遲回者數日。鄧忠等進曰:"大人深明理道,何不察妖幻者邪術也?是不脫王郎假妻為神,以阻光武之故智耳!何因一夢,隨阻軍心?正中其術矣。"艾隨釋疑,引兵而起,進至綿竹。飛報入成都,後主大驚失措,慌議出師,群臣無敢應諾者。

As Deng Ai’s troops were marching along the side of a cliff, Deng Ai suddenly saw a stone stele. Upon it was written these words: “Two fires arise; men pass by here. Two commanders compete; both will soon perish.” Deng Ai realized that Zhuge Kongming must have earlier placed the stele here as a warning to him. Greatly frightened by the omen, Deng Ai went to visit the grave of Kongming, and he personally conducted the rites to offer a sacrifice to the spirit of Kongming, hoping to win his pardon and forgiveness.

That night, Deng Ai saw two strong men in his dreams, who said that they had been ordered by the Steadfast Lord to fetch him. Before Deng Ai realized it, the two strong men had grabbed him, and they took him with them. The three of them soon arrived at a magnificent residence; its halls and pavilions were lofty and towering, and it shone with a glorious luster. The strong men brought Deng Ai through the gates of the residence. Deng Ai looked up to gaze at the hall, and he saw that everything was laid out meticulously and in strict order, with everything in its proper place.

The Steadfast Lord soon appeared to receive Deng Ai. He told him, “I am none other than Kongming. In life, when I walked the world below, I saw with my own eyes how Cao Man (Cao Cao) and Sima Yi were both lacking in benevolence or virtue, caring only for wickedness and cunning. They deceived their sovereigns above and beguiled the people below, seeking covetously how they might take the land for themselves. But I have heard the wishes of the Supreme God above, and I know how he has laid out the fates of dynasties. Through the twenty-six rulers of the Liu clan of Han, they have held fast to principle and nurtured the people. Never since the beginning have they abandoned their virtue. Thus it shall be that their descendants shall restore the fortunes of Han. Only for the moment shall the minions of the cruel and wicked villains be suffered to hold the laws in their hands. I have foreseen that Lord Liu shall surrender to you, for in his benevolence he wishes to protect the masses and spare the people from suffering. When you advance to the capital, unless you restrain yourself, disaster will overtake you as well. I have informed you so that you might reform yourself.” Having finished speaking, he ordered the strong men to take Deng Ai away again.

Alas for Deng Ai, that he later forgot this warning and set loose his soldiers to pillage; father and son both suffered a grisly end. So too did Zhong Hui suffer execution. Nor did the fortunes of Wei or Jin long endure either. For the Liu clan was able to restore itself and the Han dynasty once again flourished, just as this dream had foretold.

When Deng Ai awoke from the dream, his thoughts were troubled by what the spirit had told him, and for several days he kept his troops back and would not advance. Then his son Deng Zhong and the other generals stepped forward and said, “Sir, you have always been wise and clear-sighted. Don’t you see this is some sorcery that has taken hold of you? This is no different from when Wang Lang heeded the spirit of his wife and opposed Emperor Guangwu, to his ruin! Why should you burden the hearts of the army all for the sake of a dream? You must see through this craft.” Deng Ai thus set aside his doubts and put his troops in order, and they advanced to Mianzhu.

When word arrived in Chengdu that Deng Ai’s army was close at hand, Liu Shan was so shocked that he was at a loss. He hastily summoned a council to discuss sending out an army to oppose Deng Ai. But none of the assembled ministers dared to volunteer to lead it.

諸葛瞻急入,大慟曰:"國家養兵育士,正在今日之用,何無一人應命?皆由陛下寵用黃皓,以至於此。今事已危急,臣雖不才,願拼微軀,上報陛下,下慰父心。"帝即付以禁兵二萬。瞻至綿竹,與鄧艾兵遇。安營已畢,召子諸葛尚議曰:"吾兵屢敗,銳氣已喪,須以奇計取勝。若韓信背水,庶可為力於眾也。"尚曰:"大人之見甚善。彼兵屢勝,志必驕惰。若能三軍致死,勝之極易耳。"次日,兩軍方合,瞻即揮退,艾即逼追至港次。諸葛尚大呼曰:"前臨溪港,後有追鋒,若諸軍不拼死鬥,則盡無生矣。"以是三軍回身死鬥,艾兵大敗。瞻亦不敢深追。鄧艾收兵,責眾不盡力。忠曰:"一人舍死,百夫莫敵,況勝敗兵家之常,安足為責?以子之見,諸葛終非父比,趁今夜彼方得勝,必不提防,一去劫營,必收大功。"艾曰:"謀人之所不謀,正此之謂也。"即命忠在前,自為策應,三軍盡起,望瞻寨殺來。是夜,瞻父子果不提備,為忠斫營而入,諸軍俱在睡中,人不及甲,馬不及鞍,諸葛瞻乃嘆曰:"天不佑漢人,其如何?"隨與子尚俱戰死於陣。可憐忠義兒,罹此殺身慘。所謂綿竹之戰,見孔明之有子也。敗兵逃回者入城奏知後主,計無所出。或曰急召姜都督回救,或曰棄城奔白帝城,入吳求救。眾議紛紛不定。

Then in rushed Zhuge Zhan, the son of Zhuge Liang. In a voice full of grief, he lamented, “The state has raised its soldiers and trained its officers for just such a day as this. How is it then that none of you will take up the call? It is all because Your Majesty has favored and employed Huang Hao that things have come to this. But though the emergency is already so great, and I have no talents to speak of, still I am willing to take the command and oppose the foe. Thus I may repay Your Majesty above and soothe the heart of my late father below.” Liu Shan thus assigned Zhuge Zhan twenty thousand soldiers from the palace guards.

When Zhuge Zhan’s forces arrived at Mianzhu, they encountered Deng Ai’s army. Once the camp was complete for the day, Zhuge Zhan summoned his own son, Zhuge Shang, and discussed the situation with him. “Since our soldiers have suffered several defeats and their spirits have sunk low,” said Zhuge Zhan, “we must rely on a special plan to gain a victory. We shall have to follow the example of Han Xin of old, and post our soldiers with their backs to the river. Then our men will fight with all their strength to defeat the enemy.”

“You see things all too well, Father,” said Zhuge Shang. “And the enemy, after having won several victories, will have also grown complacent and remiss. Thus if we can compel our soldiers to fight to the death, it will be quite easy to triumph.”

The next day, just as the two armies were about to clash, Zhuge Zhan began to have his men fall back. Deng Ai led his own army in pursuit, pressing Zhuge Zhan’s soldiers as far as a nearby river landing. Zhuge Shang then called out to the soldiers, “Before you is the flowing river; behind you is the enemy in hot pursuit. Unless you fight for your very lives, not one of you will survive.” The Shu soldiers then turned and plunged into battle, fighting for dear life, and Deng Ai’s army was greatly defeated.

Zhuge Zhan did not dare to press the pursuit too closely. Thus Deng Ai was eventually able to gather up his scattered soldiers again. He reproached his troops for not fighting with their full strength. But Deng Zhong said to him, “A man driven to the brink of death can overcome even a hundred opponents. Besides, victory and defeat are the common lot of any army. Why should you reproach them? As I see it, Zhuge Zhan is not the equal of his father. He has seized upon a momentary advantage to snatch a victory, but now his troops will be flush with their triumph, and they will surely not have prepared any defenses against us. If we march immediately and strike their camp at once, we will win a great achievement."

Deng Ai remarked, "The schemer does not account for schemes, as they say.” So he ordered Deng Zhong to lead the vanguard, while he held overall command. His army advanced at once, determined to see Zhuge Zhan dead.

That night, Zhuge Zhan and Zhuge Shang had indeed failed to prepare their defenses. Deng Zhong was thus able to break into their camp, where he found the Shu soldiers in the midst of sleep. They did not even have time to put on armor or place bridles on their horses before being overrun. Zhuge Zhan wailed, “Can it be that Heaven does not aid the servants of Han?” He and his son rushed into the battle, where both died in the fighting.

What a pity, that such a loyal and righteous son should meet with such a tragic fate. But we can see from his victory at Mianzhu that he was truly Kongming’s son.

Some of the soldiers who had fled from the night attack returned to Chengdu, and Liu Shan was thus informed of Zhuge Zhan’s fate. He did not know what to do. Some of his ministers advised him to immediately summon Jiang Wei back to save the capital, while others advised him to abandon the city and flee to Baidicheng, where he could seek aid from the state of Wu. Arguments flared back and forth, and no one could decide what should be done.

太史令譙周曰:"大將軍拒鐘會,其兵不可抽,抽則兩失。東吳非好相識,且艾兵已近郊,若知陛下出,縱輕騎追之,亦恐不能脫,皆非善策耳。臣觀乾象,見國數已衰,賊氣方盛,客星犯闕,主星韜光,戰則無益,不如出降。上可救全城百姓之命,下可以保全九族,乃應天順時之舉,非臣不忠,敢陷陛下為屈膝事也。"後主惑其言,乃議出降。鄧艾因頓兵城下。當有帝之第三子北地王劉諶知之,急入阻曰:"誰獻此計,誤陛下為萬世何如主?況城中尚有十萬之眾,當率之或戰或守,敵兵何能即入?彼兵遠來,野無所虜,糧草不接濟,但能堅守一月,全軍皆沒城下矣。且姜維諸將在外,安得無計?獻此計者,不但誤陛下,誠可斬也!設使勢窮力竭,猶當父子背城一戰,何至含垢忍恥以圖苟活,何以見先帝於地下耶?"帝曰:"爾小兒何知國計?可速去。"

Then the Prefect of the Astrologers Bureau, Qiao Zhou, offered his thoughts. “The Grand General is busy opposing Zhong Hui,” he said, “and his army cannot break off from that struggle; if they did so, they could neither defeat Deng Ai nor Zhong Hui. As for Wu, they are no good friends of ours. Besides, Deng Ai’s army is already so close to the outskirts of the city that even if His Majesty tried to flee, Deng Ai could send light cavalry to pursue him, and I fear he would never escape. So that is not a suitable plan either.

“As for me, I have seen the signs and omens and recognized in them the steady decline of the state. The stars are abundant in the quadrant of the sky symbolizing the enemy, while wayward stars have violated our own quadrant and the luster of our chief star has grown dim. It would do you no good to risk a battle. Better to go out and surrender at once. By doing so, our sovereign may ensure the lives of all those within the city, and we may protect the lives of our own families and clans. It is time to heed the will of Heaven and the sign of the times. Though I am not disloyal, still I must dare to propose that Your Majesty bend the knee.”

Liu Shan was beguiled by Qiao Zhou’s words, and he proposed going out to surrender. Deng Ai thus halted his troops and waited outside the walls of the city.

When Shu’s Prince of Beidi, Liu Shan’s third son Liu Chen, learned what was about to happen, he rushed into court to oppose the planned surrender. “Who has proposed this idea and thus led Your Majesty astray?” he cried. “Shall you let future generations wonder at your actions? Besides, there are still a hundred thousand soldiers within the city. We could easily have some of them go out to fight while the others remain to defend the city. Then how could the enemy ever break inside? The enemy army has traveled a great distance, and there is no food in the fields for them to forage, nor provisions in store to keep them supplied. We need only defend the city for a month before their whole army wastes away beneath our walls. And Jiang Wei and the other generals are still in the field; can they really do nothing to help us?

“Bring forth this person who has proposed that you surrender, for not only has he misled you, he ought to be beheaded! At the very least, we should do our utmost and exert every effort by risking a final battle, fathers and sons together with our backs to the city! How could you swallow such disgrace and endure such shame merely in order to save your own lives? How will you be able to face His Late Majesty in the world below?”

But Liu Shan told him, “What does a brat like you know of affairs of state? Begone at once.”

北地王知帝存婦人之仁,執性不回,乃將幼子托劉璩撫育,隨哭入昭烈之廟,先殺其妻,乃自刎。劉璩者,梁王劉理之子也。在諸王之內,號稱智囊,且機警有權略,比時亦欲進議,因見劉諶之死,知帝執迷,不可以舌諍也。方哭念劉諶間,有劉封次子劉靈入省,璩曰:"今國勢如此,奈何?"靈曰:"惟應與吾兄劉宣等商議,全身遠害,豈宜束手待斃,行奴顏婢膝事乎?"劉璩曰:"某亦為此而思度,非宣兄莫可與計者。"靈即馳請宣至。璩曰:"大廈將崩,一木難扶,城若一破,玉石俱焚。兄輩計將安出?"宣曰:"吾弟才略勝我百倍,必有定見。以愚諒之,帝意不可轉,國事不可支,明矣。為今之計,惟有逃避遐方,審機諒勢,或圖興複,此為上也。若還居此遲回,必遭大辱。"璩曰:"兄計深與我合。"言未畢,又有一人自外而入,呼曰:"劉子通在否?"劉靈忙出迎候,乃楊儀之子楊龍也。龍曰:"適到尊府訪議,云兄到此,是以隨亦來會。正欲見殿下呈鄙見耳。"於是同入見璩等,乃曰:"龍本不識時務之人,因思先父曾言諸葛丞相臨終,惟先父在側,囑以後事。言劉氏此複中衰,越三十年後,當有英主再出,複興漢業,重定中原。臣父對臣言之,謹記不忘,將謂國家尚有一統之日,不意事勢若此。主上惑於譙周之說,必不可移矣。臣觀七殿下相貌不凡,神異種種,將來主大器者,必殿下也。夫智者見於未萌,豈待已著乎?申生止而待死,重耳逃而複伯。此已往之明鑒也。吾輩願從殿下周游,萬死而不辭。"言未畢,有一勇士自外披襟而入,大叫曰:"汝眾尚不逃走,是欲自送死耶?"眾視之,乃梁府護衛親兵總領秦州狄道人齊萬年也。

Liu Chen recognized that Liu Shan had only the kindly nature of a woman, and he was stubborn in his decision and would not be swayed. So Liu Chen first entrusted the care of his young son Liu Yao to his cousin Liu Qu to raise as his own. Then, wailing as he entered the ancestral temple of Emperor Zhaolie (Liu Bei), he killed his wife and then cut his own throat.

This Liu Qu was the son of the Prince of Liang, Liu Li. Among the princes of the royal family, he had gained a name for himself as a clever and intelligent young man, and he was quick-witted and had a calculating mind. He too had been planning to offer his thoughts in the recent discussion. But when he saw how Liu Chen had been driven to death, he knew that Liu Shan would not change his mind and rhetoric would not do any good.

Liu Qu was weeping as he thought of Liu Chen’s demise, when Liu Ling came into his residence; this Liu Ling was the second son of Liu Bei’s adopted son Liu Feng. Liu Qu said to him, “The state has been driven to such dire straits. What are we to do?”

Liu Ling told him, “Why not discuss things with your elder brother Liu Xuan and the others? We might preserve ourselves and stave off danger. Why should we sit here with folded hands and await disaster, or else submit to becoming slaves and bending the knee?”

Liu Qu replied, “I had just been thinking the same thing. Liu Xuan is the only one who can tell us what we should do.”

Liu Ling thus quickly sent word asking Liu Xuan to join them. When Liu Xuan arrived, Liu Qu told him, “The trunk is about to fall, and the branches can hardly survive; the city is about to be taken, and the jade will be smashed alongside the stones. Elder Brother, can you think of nothing for us to do?”

Liu Xuan replied, “Younger Brother, you are a hundred times as talented and clever as I am, and you will surely be able to think of something. But in my own humble view, it seems clear that the Emperor’s intention cannot be changed and the state can no longer be saved. Thus all I can suggest is that you run away and seek refuge in some distant place, then muster your strength while watching for some opportunity. By doing so, you may find some chance to revive the state. That would be the best plan. But if you stay here and linger any longer, you too will have to suffer the great disgrace of surrendering.”

Liu Qu said, “Elder Brother, that is exactly what I was thinking.”

He had not yet finished speaking when another man approached the residence, calling out, “Is Liu Zitong here?” Liu Ling quickly hurried out to see who the new arrival was, and discovered that it was Yang Yi’s son Yang Long. “I was just about to attend the council,” Yang Long said, “when they told me that you were here, so I came to find you. I only hope that His Highness will be willing to see me.”

They both went back inside to rejoin Liu Qu and Liu Xuan. Yang Long told Liu Qu, “The reason that I had never taken up office is because I have always been thinking of the words that my father once heard from Prime Minister Zhuge on his deathbed. Back then, my father was the only one by his side, and he was asking the Prime Minister about his last will. The Prime Minister told him that although the Liu clan would fall into decline, thirty years after that time, a bold hero would emerge to restore the endeavor of the Han dynasty and reconquer the Central Plains. My father told this to me and instructed me to be sure never to forget it, saying that such a day for the state was sure to come. Only I never thought that things would come to this.

"Now our sovereign has been led astray by the words of Qiao Zhou, and he surely cannot be moved. I have studied the appearances of the other seven princes of the royal family, but none of them measure up. The only one who seems to have a remarkable appearance and has the makings of a grand leader is Your Highness.

"A wise man recognizes what is going to happen long before the event comes to pass. Why then do you linger here? Do not forget the fates of the sons of Duke Xian of Jin; Shensheng remained at home and so met with death, while Chong'er fled and reclaimed his inheritance in the end. These are clear examples for Your Highness to heed. As for me, I am willing to follow Your Highness wherever you go, and I would not complain even if I suffered ten thousand deaths.”

Yang Long had hardly finished speaking when some bold fellow strode into the room, shaking out his sleeves as he roared, “Why haven’t you people run away yet? Are you so eager to die?” Everyone turned to look, and they recognized him as a troop leader of the soldiers from the Liang garrison, Qi Wannian from Didao county in Qinzhou.

劉璩乃拉萬年手曰:"吾知欲脫此虎阱,非將軍不能周旋,奈何尚有一大關系,須累將軍保扶之。昨北地王死於社稷,天地為之悲慘。又將幼子劉曜托我撫育,以為我必不負托者。我輩仗威力,或可幸全,是兒方在襁褓,為之奈何?若此兒不得出,我亦無棄行之理。"言訖,淚下如雨。萬年言曰:"殿下親子在外監軍,尚不言及,而拳拳以托侄,立相與存亡之誓,真仁人之設心也。他日必為萬民之主,不卜可知矣。"蓋璩之長子聰,生而有神力,善於弓馬,因此後主命之監助姜維之軍。姜維每資其力,倚重之,故嘗留於其軍。萬年乃曰:"臣敢不體殿下之心以報北地王之忠?但只身恐不能兩全。臣有契友廖全者,真勇士也,兼之義俠逾常,乃平西將軍廖化之子也。每欲從徵為國家出力,渠父惜惟一子,留家不遣,因與臣較藝,隨為刎頸之交。臣當前去約彼至此,將曜主縛於其背,臣則向前開路,誓當死戰以報國恩。但須急速,毋致遲誤。"眾曰:"永齡真義勇丈夫也,速宜馳之。"萬年即偕廖全至,劉靈、楊龍等皆會。萬年即手持大刀,當先開路,廖全負劉曜挺槍次隨。劉英、劉宣保護各家眷屬居中,璩與劉靈、劉和等斷後,一齊俱望西門而出。當有魏將方來引兵攔阻去路,曰:"吾觀汝輩皆仕宦裝束,且汝主既降,則盡是魏民,吾主方事招徠,何用逃竄?"萬年更不開言,怒眸若電,就輪起大刀劈面斫去。方來亦挺槍相迎。論方來豈萬年之敵乎?但賊兵眾多,又要保衛眷屬,惟衝擊而已。萬年乃殺條血路而出,廖全奮勇挾斗,人不敢追,擁衛眾人以出敵圍。方來不舍,從後引兵追來。萬年曰:"賊徒不知死活,尚敢來追,不斬之無以見英雄。"乃隨勒轉馬迎之,未及二合,將方來手起一刀斬之。眾魏兵見如此利害,那個敢來追?各自奔散。正是:他年開國興基手,先向成都顯首功。

Liu Qu took Qi Wannian by the hand and said, “I know all too well that I ought to escape from this tiger’s trap. But without your assistance, General, I cannot do so. I have been entrusted with a new ward, and I shall have to depend upon you to defend him. Yesterday, the Prince of Beidi died before the altars of state, and Heaven and Earth grieved and mourned for him. He entrusted me with the care of his young son, Liu Yao, to nurture and raise, for he knew that I would never shirk such a duty. Yet though by my own strength alone I might be able to preserve my life, how could I ever protect this mere infant, still in his swaddling clothes? He would never be able to escape, yet I would not abandon him.” And as he spoke, his tears flowed like rain.

Qi Wannian said, “Your Highness has a grown son who is away with the army. Yet rather than speak of him, you show so much concern about this nephew that you even pledge that you shall live and die together? Truly you have the heart of a benevolent man. This very day, I recognize you as my master; who could have guessed it?”

This son was Liu Qu’s eldest son Liu Cong, who had been born with prodigious strength and was a skilled mounted archer. For that reason, Liu Shan had ordered him to assist Jiang Wei’s army. Jiang Wei had esteemed his strength and deeply appreciated him, thus he had remained at the frontlines.

Qi Wannian continued, “Would I dare not to honor the wishes of Your Highness’s heart or repay your loyalty to the Prince of Beidi? Yet I fear that I alone cannot protect both you and the babe. But I have a sworn friend named Liao Quan, the son of the General Who Pacifies The West, Liao Hua. He is a true warrior, not to mention an uncommonly righteous fellow. He has always wished to exert his strength on behalf of the state, yet since he is an only son, his father has kept him at home and not allowed him to venture forth. He has thus taken the opportunity to test his strength against me, and we have become friends who would live and die together. Allow me to go and fetch him here, and I will have him tie the Young Master to his back, while I clear the way in front. I pledge that we will repay the grace that the state has shown us, in life or in death. But we must move swiftly; to delay further would only be a mistake.”

The others all said, “Yongling is indeed a bold and righteous fellow. Quickly bring him here.”

So Qi Wannian went to get Liao Quan, and the two of them rejoined Liu Ling, Yang Long, and the princes. Qi Wannian wielded a large blade and went in front to clear the path, while Liao Quan followed behind with a spear in hand and Liu Yao on his back. Liu Ying and Liu Xuan stood in the middle of the group, protecting their family members and dependents. Liu Qu, Liu Ling, Liu He, and others brought up the rear.

The group all fled out of the west gate of the city. But they soon found the road barred by Wei troops under the general Fang Lai, who had occupied that place. He said to them, “I can see that all of you are dressed in the attire of officials. Besides, your lord is going to surrender, so you are all people of Wei now, and our lord is going to take good care of you. Why then should you scurry away?”

Qi Wannian did not bother with words, but, with eyes full of rage like lightning, he hefted his blade to cleave Fang Lai’s face in. Fang Lai too brought up his spear, and the two of them traded blows. Now could a man like Fang Lai have ever been a match for Qi Wannian? But the enemy was so numerous, and besides, Qi Wannian had to protect the others as well. So he did no more than charge the enemy and break through, leaving the road filled with blood behind him. Liao Quan too put on a bold display. The enemy did not dare to pursue them, thus they were able to escort the others out of the encirclement.

Yet Fang Lai would not stand by, and he soon led his troops to chase after them. Qi Wannian said, “These villains don’t know the meaning of life and death, to dare to follow after us. Unless I behead this one, they will not recognize my prowess as a hero.” So he turned his horse about to face Fang Lai, and before the two of them had gone two bouts, just as Fang Lai was raising his hand, Qi Wannian lopped off his head with one swing of his blade. When the Wei soldiers saw their commander suffer such a grievous wound, who among them would have dared to pursue any further? They all scattered and fled.

Truly it could be said: that year saw the laying of the foundation for the new state, and here was displayed the first achievement in their flight from Chengdu.

卻說鄧艾知得西門廝殺,即令部將褚群引兵助戰,從後殺來。劉璩忙令劉靈抵敵,曰:"不殺鼠賊,無以雪胸中之忿。"乃大喝曰:"認得劉將軍麼?"褚群忽見劉靈身長一丈,膀闊三停,威風凜凜,大是驚駭,旋勒馬謂曰:"汝家國已破,尚欲何往?不降何待?"靈曰:"賊奴!汝輩尚可降彼婦人小子,安能降我真將軍耶?"言訖,橫衝而入。褚群亦魏中名將,舉刀急架。鏖戰移時,魏兵合圍而來。靈即心生一計,抽馬佯敗而走。褚群不料,從後急追。靈故勒馬緩行,褚群馬逸不能收步,撞過馬頭,被靈一槍刺中透心,落馬而亡。後兵潰散,不敢複追。正是:巧施阱虎擒龍技,得樹安邦立國勛。

We should mention that, when Deng Ai had learned of the disturbance and slaughter at the west gate, he had dispatched the general Chu Qun to reinforce the garrison there. These reinforcements were now coming around from behind, determined to slaughter the fugitives. Liu Qu hastily ordered Liu Ling to deal with these foes, telling him, “Unless you slay these scurrying bandits, I will not be able to quell the rage in my chest.”

Liu Ling stepped forward and announced to the Wei soldiers, “Do you recognize the banner of General Liu?”

Chu Qun suddenly noticed Liu Ling standing before them; he was a man of great height, with broad and powerful shoulders, and the very air around him seemed to chill in a fearsome aura. Chu Qun was greatly astonished. He turned his horse toward Liu Ling and called out, “Your family has already been smashed, so where are you planning to flee to? Why not surrender at once?”

Liu Ling retorted, “Bandits, slaves! Only the women and children of my generation could deign to submit to you. How could I give in and still call myself a general?” And with these words, he charged forward to attack.

Now Chu Qun too was a Wei general of some renown, so he also lifted his blade and rushed to engage his enemy. As they were fighting, the Wei soldiers began to close in around them. Then Liu Ling quickly devised a plan; he pulled on his horse and, pretending to yield the fight, he ran away. Chu Qun, not suspecting that anything was amiss, dashed after him. But Liu Ling suddenly turned his horse about; Chu Qun’s horse was unable to react in time, and the two horses collided. Liu Ling seized the opportunity by driving his spear straight into Chu Qun’s heart, and Chu Qun toppled dead from his horse. The other pursuit troops all scattered and fled, none daring to chase Liu Ling any further.

Truly it could be said: Through skill and guile one traps the tiger and catches the dragon. Thus was this kinsman of the royal line able to establish an achievement for the state.

卻說劉靈方離家之際,猛憶起王彌乃吾心腹之友,當今無以為匹者,萬一陷於敵中,為彼收用,則失吾國一棟梁矣。忙使人邀到,與之同出。蓋王彌者,乃北地將軍王平之子也。自幼生而穎異,膂力過人,長而有千斤之力。尤精於騎射,每為其父器重之。後乃襲父蔭居職,嘗有開跋之志。因見帝之昏庸,信任黃皓,妨賢拒諫,遂杜門不出,時人尚未之奇,惟劉靈痛父失事遭戮,飲恨不仕,彌乃與之結為異姓兄弟,時與較藝,始知彌之賢於人矣。其後彌與關氏兄弟俱稱時俊,亦相結納。當日得靈之信,乃喟然嘆曰:"吾父子早知有今日矣。子通兄既來見召,倘不從命,是無忠義之心而負生平之所學矣。但關家兄弟與我有休戚之托,彼年尚幼,安能自拔?"遂奔至關家。而關防、關謹見說彌至,乃從內大慟而出曰:"飛豹兄,當今事勢若此,奈何奈何?"初,關興於青龍元年間從征失利,患病在家,因見國事日非,每嘆說:"任奸邪於危難之秋,喪無日矣。吾族安能免哉?"昨見王彌來省,坐論時事,乃太息曰:"王子均之有子也,可以托孤寄子矣。"遂囑防、謹深相結納之。王彌曰:"國家垂破,而尊府與賊為世仇,禍且不測。吾因劉子通召往偕遁,深念昆玉,故此特來相訊。且欲議為今之計,惟當速避,後與諸公協謀興複,乃為上策。"防曰:"兄言甚是,其如家口之計何?"彌曰:"大丈夫為國不顧家,況司馬父子方有大志圖篡天下,假仁假義以收攝人心,安肯仇害人之家屬乎?願賢弟放懷以圖大事。"防、謹乃依命同出,竟留家屬在城中,後遭龐德之子龐惠毒手,合家盡罹慘禍,曾無噍類,傷哉!

We should mention that at the moment when Liu Ling had been preparing to depart from his family, he had suddenly remembered his good friend, Wang Mi. Liu Ling had thought to himself, “Wang Mi is no common fellow, and if by some chance he were to fall into the hands of the enemy and be used by them, we would lose a great pillar of our state.” So he had dispatched someone to go and inform Wang Mi of his intentions at once, so that Wang Mi might flee as well.

This Wang Mi was the son of the General of Beidi, Wang Ping. He had been remarkable ever since youth; his arm strength surpassed others, such that by the time he was grown, he possessed the strength of a thousand pounds. And he was exceptionally skilled at mounted archery. He had always been deeply appreciated by his father, who recognized his potential. After Wang Ping had passed away and Wang Mi had inherited his offices, Wang Mi had originally had the ambition to make a name for himself. But when he saw that the Emperor was a dull mediocrity who entrusted affairs to Huang Hao, was jealous of worthy people, and ignored criticism, Wang Mi shut the gates of his residence and would not go out. Thus the people of that time had not recognized how remarkable he was. Only Liu Ling knew about him. Liu Ling had been bitter at how his father Liu Feng had been put to death, and he had nursed his resentment and refused to serve in office. Thus he and Wang Mi had found kindred souls in one another; they formed a bond as brothers of different surnames, and at times they tested their strength against one another. So Liu Ling recognized Wang Mi as a worthy fellow.

Wang Mi had later become good friends with the brothers of the Guan family as well, for they had all been acclaimed as talents of that age. So when Wang Mi received Liu Ling’s message, he sighed deeply and lamented, “My later father always knew that this day would come. Now Brother Zitong is bidding me come and join him, and if I should fail to heed the call, I would be betraying my loyal and righteous heart and casting away the things I have learned all my life. But the brothers of the Guan family have entrusted me to share weal and woe together with them. They are still so young; how could they ever escape on their own?”

So Wang Mi hurried to the home of the Guan family. Guan Fang and Guan Jin saw him approach, and they led him inside. Then, bursting with great sorrow, they exclaimed, “Brother Flying Panther (for this was his nickname), you see how dire the situation has become. What are we to do?”

Years earlier, in the first year of Qianlong (233), their father Guan Xing had suffered a loss during one of the northern campaigns and had been lying in his sickbed at home. Guan Xing had recognized the steady decline of the state, and he was always lamenting, “Now is the season when the villains shall have their way; the day of grief is fast approaching. What shall become of our clan?” But then when he had seen Wang Mi come into their home and sit and speak of affairs, he had been reassured and thought, “He truly is the son of Wang Zijun. I can entrust the fates of my sons to him.” And he had commanded Guan Fang and Guan Jin to form a close bond with Wang Mi.

Wang Mi now told the brothers, “The state is about to fall into the hands of the sworn enemies of your family. You cannot allow this disaster to overtake you as well. Now Liu Zitong has bade me come and take refuge along with him, and because of my deep regard for you, I came especially to inform you of it as well. If you ask me what you should do, the only option is to seek shelter at once, then later join your efforts with those of the other scions to assist them in reviving the state. That would be the best plan.”

Guan Fang said, “Elder Brother, it is just as you say. But what shall we do about the members of our families?”

Wang Mi replied, “When a man acts in the interests of the state, he must put aside considerations of his family. Besides, the Sima clan is just about to fulfill their grand ambition of usurping the throne, and they will want to put on a show of benevolence and righteousness to win over the hearts of the masses. How could they indulge in vengeance against your family? I entreat you, my worthy brothers, to put aside your worries and think only of how to serve the state.”

Guan Fang and Guan Jin thus heeded the call and fled along with Wang Mi, leaving their families behind. Alas, the remaining members of the Guan clan perished at the poisonous hand of Pang De’s son Pang Hui; the whole family was caught up in that tragic disaster, so that the Guan clan was nearly extinguished. What a loss!

卻說王彌同防、謹到家辭親,帶平時用器、強弓勁弩,忻然偕關氏弟兄一齊躍馬而出。關謹曰:"北門有鄧艾自在那裡,不可輕往,東西二門賊兵亦盛,惟南門路窄,提防稍懈,我們當從南門而出。"王彌然之,於是望南門衝突而去。時有魏將李因列兵擋住去路。王彌乃曰:"我等是異鄉客人,因在成都生理,今天兵圍城,口食不給,是以欲奔還鄉,望將軍開一生路,放我眾人逃命,深感大恩。"因曰:"吾奉主將之令,那敢放走一人?必須拿進大營,查驗一過,方可發落放去。"王彌知事不諧,即輪起大刀殺進。李因亦挺槍急架。二人相持良久,關防怒上心頭,亦提起鐵楞混殺一場。於是且戰且卻,將逃二十餘里。

We should mention that when Wang Mi, Guan Fang, and Guan Jin had gone home to take leave of their families, they had buckled on their usual equipment, including strong bows and powerful crossbows. Then, in joyful company, they had all mounted their horses and dashed off.

Guan Jin observed, “Deng Ai himself is present at the north gate, and we could not easily break through there. And the east and west gates are both filled with enemy soldiers. But the road through the south gate, being somewhat narrow, will be less guarded by our foes. Let us flee through the south gate.” Wang Mi agreed, so they hurried towards the south gate.

At this time, the Wei general Li Yin had arrayed his troops to block this road. Wang Mi thus said to him, “We are travelers from another town who were in Chengdu to make a living for ourselves. But now the government troops have surrounded the city, and we have nothing to eat. So we want to go back to our hometown. General, we hope that you will clear a path for us; if you allow us to escape with our lives, we would be deeply grateful.”

But Li Yin replied, “I have my orders from my commander; would I dare to let any fugitives escape? You had better go to the main camp first, and once they have examined you, then you might be allowed to depart.”

Wang Mi saw that further deception was useless, so he lifted his blade and charged ahead, ready to kill. Li Yin too hefted his lance and hurried to meet his opponent. The pair were engaged in combat for quite some time before Guan Fang, whose heart and mind were now full of rage, also raised his weapon and plunged into the fighting. The trio of fugitives were thus slowly able to get away from the city, now turning to fight, now falling back, until they had advanced for more than twenty li.

且說鄧忠正巡視至南門,知城中奸細走出,李因已去追趕,乃令族弟鄧濮帶領家兵二千,星飛趕捉。而王彌等早被魏人團團圍住不放,正在危急之際,只見東南坡下突出三騎,領了莊客數百人,各持利刃殺入陣來。且看那三人入陣,恰似虎入羊群,揮刀亂斫。鄧濮驟馬接戰,卻不提防被暗箭正中坐馬,把鄧濮掀翻在地,那樊榮只一刀斫死。不想放箭者卻是李圭,於是關防、關謹乘亂殺出重圍。李因馳馬急追,防、謹奮力抵衛,殊不知王彌從旁躍出,將李因一刀刺中左腿。因負痛逃去,諸副將亦不知去向。那三人縱橫衝突,彼追兵伏尸流血,殺死殆盡。王彌、關防等見追兵已散,乃回身下馬,相見拜謝,深感再造之恩,且問為何得諸君來救,願聞姓字因由。三人答曰:"某等弟兄乃李圭、李瓚與表弟樊榮也。先祖李嚴被上譴責,徙居於安樂鎮,此去尚有六十餘里。先父李豐曾為參軍,見朝廷任非其人,囑我輩不可出仕。今與叔父李裕權止舊窩,聽得魏兵追捉列位,吾弟兄在前山看已多時,見諸公勢窘,心甚忿怒,以是統領蒼頭前來助鬥耳。"王彌等稱謝不已,亦各道訴逃竄之故。圭曰:"既如此,皆是同志,即吾一家,乃天使之相遇也。且今天色已晚,權到敝莊住宿一宵,再作他圖。"王彌等感其殷勤,即與同到莊所。

We should mention that Deng Zhong had been on patrol near the south gate, and when he saw these fugitives making a desperate escape and that Li Yin had already gone in pursuit of them, Deng Zhong ordered his younger kinsman Deng Pu to lead two thousand of their household soldiers and chase after the trio like shooting stars.

Wang Mi and the Guan brothers soon found themselves totally surrounded by the Wei soldiers; they were unable to break through, and they were in a most perilous position. But suddenly they saw three riders charge out from behind a slope to the southeast, and behind them followed several hundred strong retainers, each wielding good weapons and prepared to slaughter the enemy ranks. And when these three horsemen led their forces into the enemy, they were like tigers among sheep, and their blades inflicted great destruction as they swung to and fro. Deng Pu turned his horse to attempt to face this new threat, but then an arrow loosed from some unknown direction struck his horse; Deng Pu tumbled to the ground, where one of the horsemen, Fan Rong, finished him off with a single swipe of his blade. The marksman had been another of the riders, Li Gui. Guan Fang and Guan Jin then took advantage of the confusion to cut their way out. Li Yin made a mad dash to pursue them, but they exerted all their strength to hold him off. Wang Mi then closed in from the side and pierced Li Yin in his left leg. Yelping with pain, Li Yin fled, and his subordinates did not know which way to turn. Then the three horsemen charged their flank, and the enemy pursuit troops were nearly wiped out; the ground was strewn with their fallen bodies and flowing blood.

When Wang Mi and the Guan brothers saw that the pursuit troops had all scattered, they turned back and descended from their horses to offer their thanks to their rescuers, deeply grateful for having been saved from certain destruction. They further asked these gentlemen where they had come from and inquired what their names were. The three riders replied, “We are the brothers Li Gui and Li Zan, along with their cousin Fan Rong. Our grandfather was Li Yan, who was censured and denounced by the court and exiled to the Le'an Garrison, some sixty li from here. Our late father Li Feng once served as an advisor in the army, but when he saw that the court had no regard for him, he charged us never to take up office ourselves. Until this time, we had been doing nothing more than living with our uncle Li Yu in his old home. But when we heard that the Wei troops were about to catch some fugitives, we went up on that slope earlier and saw that you gentlemen were being sorely pressed. Our hearts were moved by anger and indignation for you, so we led our retainers to come and help you in your struggle.”

Wang Mi and the Guan brothers thanked them unceasingly, and they too related the stories of their escape. Li Gui observed, “Then it seems that we all share the same ambition; we shall be as one family, for Heaven has arranged for us to meet this day. Yet see how the sky is already growing dark. Let us go and take shelter with our uncle at his village to spend the night, then tomorrow we can plan our next move.” The trio were moved by this hospitality, so they agreed to return to the village with the horsemen.

莊內僮僕迎進,其叔李裕秉燭出接,分賓主坐定,又各達姓名衷曲。裕置酒相款,席間嘆息曰:"余先君在日,每嘗戮力王室,為國忘家。後因失事被譴,厥志不遂。見諸葛丞相人亡,傷念不已,竟成疾而逝。今吾輩目擊國破主辱,不能繼述先君之忠,以匡救王室,何用生為?"眾皆感悼,無不泣下數行淚。惟王彌撫掌大笑而起曰:"夫否泰運也,榮辱數也,何足悲哉?況天生吾才,必有所用。昔晉文避難出奔,賢士雲從,卒複霸業。吾輩才雖不及古人,然有志者事竟成,安知他年建立,出於晉文公下乎?諸君何用作楚囚之對泣耶?"裕曰:"飛豹之言,真達時有志之論也。"眾皆拱手稱謝。次日,彌等辭謝,即欲告行。裕曰:"且劉氏諸公子,不知去向。諸君宜且暫住寒莊,待我遣人往張、黃、諸葛、趙等各家探聽的實,那時赴會未遲。不然,彼此各自一方,勢分力弱,欲成大事,此實難矣。"彌曰:"既蒙老丈厚愛,敢不惟命是從?固願速修書一封,令盛使馳各家一探,則老丈報主之忠,交友之信,可謂兩得矣。但思我輩家屬且不顧,恨不能滅此逆賊而後朝食,安可再有遲疑?今就告別,隨盛使去尋舊主,兼打探各家下落,以共圖大事。蓋國賊不俱生,非賊死吾手,我必死於賊之手矣。"裕曰:"有諸君如此忠肝義膽,天地亦為之垂佑,何患事不成哉?"即送王彌等起程。臨行,攜手囑曰:"早晚若舉大事,某當遣侄輩三人前來相助,聊盡老夫先世以來報國之志耳!"眾皆謝別。裕又曰:"諸公如有確信,望早惠玉音,以慰懸念。"

When they arrived at the village, the household servants came out to meet them, and Li Yu set out candles to welcome their arrival. Once the hosts and guests were all properly seated, Wang Mi and the others all gave their names and poured out their emotions. Li Yu passed around the wine, and from his mat he sighed and said, “When my late father was still alive, he was always exerting all his strength on behalf of the royal house, and devoted himself to the state even at the expense of his family. But alas, because my father committed a fault and was denounced, he was never able to fulfill his ambitions. And when he saw that Prime Minister Zhuge had died, he became so overcome with grief that he developed an illness and passed away as well. As for my own generation, we have seen with our own eyes that the state has fallen and our sovereign has been shamed. We are powerless to carry on the loyalty of our forefathers or rescue the royal family. What purpose do our lives have?” And the others were so moved by his grief that not an eye was dry, but all wept freely.

Wang Mi alone let forth a great laugh. He rose up and declared, “Sir, it is not you who has suffered this extreme fate or endured such bitter shame; why then should you grieve so? Besides, Heaven must have had some purpose in mind when it created such talented fellows as ourselves. Remember that Duke Wen of Jin too was once forced to flee his state and abandon his inheritance, yet worthy gentlemen flocked to his cause like the gathering of clouds, and in the end he was able to restore his lineage and become a hegemon. Although we young people cannot claim to be as talented as those heroes of old, still we too have our ambitions and mean to see them fulfilled. And who knows whether in some distant year we might not establish ourselves and put the achievements of Duke Wen of Jin to shame? What use is it for you all to sit around and weep like prisoners of Chu?”

Li Yu replied, “Flying Panther speaks true. That is truly what a man of ambition would say in such times.” And everyone present clasped their hands and apologized to him.

The next day, as Wang Mi and the others were preparing to take their leave, they asked for advice on where they should go. Li Yu told them, “I do not know where the Liu princes have gone off to. Why don’t you fellows stay in this humble village for a while longer, and wait until I can send people to fetch the scions of the Zhang, Huang, Zhuge, Zhao, and other clans and inform them of what is going on? Once they arrive, it would not be too late for you to all leave together. But otherwise, if you all go your separate ways like this, your strength will be divided and weak, and even if you wished to complete the great achievement, it would be hard to accomplish anything.”

Wang Mi replied, “You have been most kind to us, Sir, and would I dare not to consider your proposal? I am certainly willing to write a letter at once and let you send your messengers to seek out each family. By doing so, you would be able to both repay your loyalty to our lord and win the trust of our friends, and could kill two birds with one stone. But suppose our family members are unwilling to join us, and not ready to dedicate themselves to slaying the traitors before tending to their daily concerns? How then could you say that we would not be too late? So though we part ways for now, we will send out word for everyone to rejoin their former masters and let everyone seek out the whereabouts of their own families so that someday we may plan the great achievement together. For the same world cannot contain both us and the villains; either they shall die at our hands, or we shall die at theirs.”

Li Yu said, “With such loyal hearts and righteous souls as you gentlemen possess, Heaven and Earth themselves will lend you their aid. Should there be any worries of failure?” And he accompanied Wang Mi and the others on the first stage of their journey.

As the young men were about to depart, Li Yu clasped his hands and instructed them, “If you should someday launch your great endeavor, perhaps it will have been because I sent my three nephews earlier to aid you. Thus may I repay the ambitions of the generations of our state before us!” They all thanked him and took their leave. Li Yu added, “If you gentlemen are earnest in your efforts, be sure to write to me soon, so that you do not keep me in suspense.”

眾應而別,裕贈詩一首曰:君因國破棄家鄉,萬里迢遙赴遠方。此去若能興大業,早傳魚錦慰牽腸。

When the young men had all departed, Li Yu sang a verse to himself:

These scions of a worthy line

Depart their fallen home

Their kith and kin they leave behind

And far afield they roam.

But if their journeys can revive

The state, let them depart!

And should ambitions they achieve,

Send word to worried hearts.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
User avatar
Taishi Ci 2.0
Grand Historian Friendly to Cats
 
Posts: 839
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:55 pm
Location: My life is brilliant

Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:11 pm

Interesting some of the changes it makes from the novel to Shu’s fall and which bits they keep the same. Enjoyed the poem at the end of the chapter
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 17039
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

CHAPTER 2

Unread postby Taishi Ci 2.0 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:54 am

第二回 二賢合計誅鄧艾

Chapter 2 - Two Worthies Plot Together To Execute Deng Ai


且說張飛自遭範張之變,先主痛念不已,為之建第於成都,移其家屬居之。其後張苞為從孔明出征,追擒魏將,墜崖破頂,中風而亡,後主追惜之,由是待其眷屬特加隆厚。苞妾李氏生一子曰張賓。初因李氏夢呂洞賓賜一玉柱而有娠,故名為賓,字孟孫,乳名柱奴。嫡婦生二子:一曰張實,字仲孫,一名張敬,字季孫,俱有勇力。惟張賓生而秀異,卓犖不群,甫冠時,耽於書史,古今典籍過目成誦,自經史而下,孫臏、吳起之術,諸子百家之談,無不通曉,特以庶之所出,而失嫡母之愛,乃寄育於人。一日,謁姜伯約督府,議論風生,言語英發,旁若無人。伯約驚異曰:"子器非凡,吾邦有人矣。"自後每留心顧待,以其稚年母寡,未忍即挈之軍中,常有事體疑難者,則往咨之,必得善策。伯約於是將孔明所授之遺書,與自己生平之所學,悉傳與之,且誡曰:"以子之才,勝我十倍,他年必出人頭地,建業立勛矣。然大才晚成,貴在涵養。"賓從之,每務韜晦而不以功名為急。至建炎元年八月鄧艾之入寇,後主以仁柔無斷,聽譙周保民全族之說,乃遂決意投降。於是諸勛舊之家相與出避。時張賓友輩亦勸之出避,賓曰:"吾嘗蓍卜累矣,國家運數尚未殞絕,敵之將帥必自敗亡。即不然而萬一有所不韙,吾獨不能為張子房一錐之擊於博浪沙乎?安忍即忘韓而去楚哉?"於是閉門不出,日守窮廬。豈料後主見艾兵蜂至,度勢不可支,遂從譙周之議,作表請降於艾之營。艾即整兵入城,留兵守衛,號令諸軍毋得恣意剽掠,妄行殺戮,違者立斬。入城出示曉諭諸臣民,招安諸勛舊,意氣揚揚,居然自為己功。於是一民尺土悉屬其版圖,而漢家數百載之餘緒與先主幾十年之經營,一旦付於賊手,傷哉!是時鄧艾自以為出奇計取勝,滅人之國,降人之主,即呂望不足比,子房不足數矣。又見鐘會前欲退兵長安,智出己下,司馬昭父子亦因時竊據,無甚異績,遂渺視魏國無人,不稟軍令,任意施為,縱兵殺掠,所至燔宮室、淫妃女,被災者不可勝述。且又以檄報會,而詞語驕矜,毫無退讓之意。會見甚怒,由是始與艾成隙矣。

In the last chapter, we mentioned the flight of some of the scions of the great Han families from Chengdu. But let us not overlook the descendants of the other families. Especially deserving of notice were the descendants of Zhang Fei.

Now when Zhang Fei had met his bloody end at the hands of Fan Jiang and Zhang Da, Liu Bei had mourned greatly at his loss, and he had built a residence in Chengdu to shelter Zhang Fei's family and dependents. And later, Zhang Fei's son Zhang Bao had accompanied Kongming on his campaigns, but while pursuing a Wei general to capture him, Zhang Bao had tumbled off a cliff and hit his head, and he soon succumbed to a fever. Liu Shan too lamented the loss of this young man, and he had shown even greater favor and generosity to Zhang Bao's young children and his dependents.

Zhang Bao had had a certain concubine, Lady Li, who had given birth to his son Zhang Bin. Lady Li had earlier had a dream in which she saw the scholar Lü Dongbin hand her a jade scepter, and she became pregnant immediately afterwards. Thus she named this son Zhang Bin; his style name was Mengsun, and his childhood name was Zhunu. And Zhang Bao had two sons by his legal wife as well; they were named Zhang Shi, styled Zhongsun, and Zhang Jing, styled Jisun. These latter two were certainly strong and bold fellows. Yet Zhang Bin was exceptional even from birth; he stood above the common run of people and surpassed the others of the age. He had a sharp eye when it came to the old texts and classics, and needed only a single glance at any text, ancient or modern, before he could recite it all from memory. There was nothing which he did not fully comprehend, from the ancient classics and histories to the military arts of Sun Bin and Wu Qi and even the musings of all the philosophers. Yet because he was the son of a concubine, his stepmother had no love for him, and she sent him off to be raised by someone else.

One day, when Zhang Bin went to pay his respects at the staff office of Jiang Boyue (Jiang Wei) and was discussing the affairs of the day, he spoke so heroically that no one else present could compare. Jiang Boyue was astonished and amazed, and said to Zhang Bin, "To think, that our state has someone as exceptional as yourself." And from then on, although Zhang Bin was cautious and retiring, and could not bear to get himself mixed up in military affairs because of the early death of his mother, whenever someone had a problem or uncertainty, they would come to him, and he would invariably give them good advice. Jiang Boyue thus decided to give Zhang Bin both the collection of military texts that Kongming had entrusted him with and his own various notes from a lifetime of study. He instructed Zhang Bin, "Sir, your talents are ten times as great as my own, and someday you will surely stand at the head of affairs and establish a great enterprise through your achievements. But remember, the greatest talents are always the slowest to develop. You would do best to cultivate yours." Zhang Bin took his advice, and in his duties he remained reserved and did not chase after achievements or reputation.

We had earlier mentioned that our story had begun in the eighth month of the first year of Yanxing (263). Deng Ai had advanced deep into the state, and Liu Shan, who was already benevolent, yielding, and indecisive by nature, had been persuaded by Qiao Zhou's advice to protect the people and preserve his family and was thus resolved to surrender to Deng Ai. By now, many of the other scions of the great families of Han had already fled the capital. Zhang Bin too was being urged by his friends and associates to run and hide as well. But Zhang Bin told them, "I have already taken a divination, and I have seen in the yarrow sticks that the existence of the state will not yet been snuffed out. The enemy generals and commanders will surely come to ruin of their own accord. Besides, if by some chance I should be in error, could I not still emulate the deeds of Zhang Zifang (Zhang Liang) of old and, with one good hammer, strike a blow against the enemy sovereign at Bolang Sands? Zifang never gave up on his fallen homeland of Hann to take refuge in Chu; how could I do any less?" So he shut the gates of his residence and did not leave the city, but only spent his days tending his hearth. Little did Zhang Bin expect that when the swarms of Deng Ai's army approached the city, Liu Shan, feeling unsuited to the contest, would be swept along by the rhetoric of Qiao Zhou and present a petition asking to surrender to Deng Ai's camp.

As for Deng Ai himself, he originally led his army into Chengdu in strict formation and stationed his soldiers merely to guard the defensive points, with orders that none of his soldiers were to indulge in pillage or harass the people, and that anyone who rashly killed or executed anyone would themselves part with their heads. Yet once he was in Chengdu, he began to send out instructions to the ministers of Han and the local populace according to his own wishes, beckoning and settling the senior and accomplished subjects and expressing his will, for he felt that he alone could claim the achievement for having conquered the state. And what a loss it was, that every inch of the land and its people were under occupation and the hundreds of years of the dynasty's legacy and the decades of Liu Shan's own reign were in an instant severed by the hand of this bandit!

Furthermore, it was at this time that Deng Ai's overweening pride overwhelmed him. For had he not conquered the state and accepted the surrender of its ruler, all thanks to snatching success through means of his cunning plan? In his eyes, not even Lü Wang (Jiang Ziya) or Zifang (Zhang Liang) could match his deeds. Nor did he think much of his colleague Zhong Hui, who had earlier planned to retreat back to Chang'an and thus shown himself to be a lesser intellect, or of the men of the Sima clan, who were merely taking advantage of the trends of the day to grasp for power. He no longer saw anyone in Wei worth concerning himself with. So, abandoning any notion of upholding military law, he soon turned a blind eye to the activities of his soldiers and let them do as they pleased. They proceeded to sack the city, and countless numbers of them even went so far as to burn the palaces, rape the women of the harem, and set other fires as well. And in reporting his achievements to Zhong Hui, Deng Ai used arrogant and conceited language, without the slightest hint of modesty. When Zhong Hui saw the report, he became immensely angry. This led to a grudge between the two commanders.

且說姜維得後主投降之報,會兵入城,集眾將議曰:"國家不幸,至於今日,正為子死孝、為臣死忠之秋也。可恨鄧艾一介黃口,乃得以詭計入破吾國,實由吾國無同心協力之人,早提備於不測耳!令維不死,必不容此豎子得志。倘諸公肯助我一臂之力,吾當重整山河於如故。"眾將曰:"敢不從命!"維曰:"吾與張孟孫籌之熟矣,必須如此如此方可。"於是大開關門,悉詣會軍,屈詞下拜,假申誠悃。會以為實,乃開忱延接款待之下,議論獎借,於維獨致殷勤。夜複召維飲,維乃乘間說之曰:"大都督魏中元將,統帥巨戎,今不血刃以收全功,可謂不世之奇勛矣。第功由副成,吾恐讒言一至,主眷必衰。此韓信所以甘心於烹酈生而不顧也。且鄧將軍以小智僥幸成功,驕矜自恃,不稟命於都督而恣意自行,是蔑視麾下也。維為君侯今日之計,當速進兵成都,招徠四方以集士望,曉諭百姓以收人心,則主副之權自別,而國人知所感戴矣。"會聞言大悅,自以為得知己之助晚也。詰朝乃會兵至成都,長驅入城,大張告示,禁戢剽掠,百姓無不歡呼鼓舞,擁衛而視。鄧艾聞之,心甚憂懼,乃故行斬犯令者以立威。鐘會大怒,乃遣人請姜維入營計議。時姜維既隨會入城,探得諸勛舊名傑俱已避敵出奔,孤力寡助,有謀莫遂。忽聞得張賓尚在城中,維乃喜曰:"孟孫之不去,天使之以成我大事也。"忙使人邀之。賓既至,二人相持哀悼。賓拭淚曰:"事既至此,悔亦無及矣。幸今都督尚在,柱奴未去,見天意之有在也。"維乃以己意達之。賓曰:"此計甚妙,但須趁此О魷喑種日,以收漁人之利。若會、艾既除,其餘碌碌之輩豈足挂意?當草菅刈之,而長安以西亦可一鼓而收矣。"維大喜曰:"孟孫之意與我正合,但邇來張翼、廖化等因忿恚成疾,相繼而亡,智勇兼備之士難得其人,誰為之輔翼者?"賓曰:"今國中雖無人,其豪傑之散佚於四方者尚多,但都督未之訪求耳。賓知子龍之後有二人,乃征西趙統之子,一名趙概,字總翰,一名趙染,字文翰。此二人不惟武藝超群,且義氣如山,兼有一幼弟名勒,賓視其形狀磊落,器宇恢弘,真異人也。又有老將黃忠之二孫黃臣、黃命,臣字良卿,命字錫卿,亦義勇士也。賓曾與彼結為八拜之交。複有諸葛統軍瞻有少子名宣於字修之者,亦吾蜀之名物也,胸中府庫甚富,且深得孔明之秘傳。前者瞻當出軍之日,彼曾極諫不利,唯宜固守以待都督大軍回。瞻因不聽,以致大敗,則其有智謀可知。若此數人,皆吾同志,倘物色以求用之,必得其死力矣。其軍中外務,賓自足主持之。願都督速行徵聘,且事關非細,亦宜慎密。"姜維大喜曰:"天生孟孫,吾社稷不終墟矣,亦不負老夫生平所望也。"

We had earlier mentioned that Jiang Wei was away leading the main Han army at Jiange, opposing the advance of Zhong Hui. But when Jiang Wei received orders from Liu Shan commanding him to surrender, he was now compelled to let Zhong Hui's army occupy the pass.

Jiang Wei first assembled his generals and said to them, "It was the unhappy fate of our state to be reduced to such distress as it now faces. In such a dark season, any filial son should have been prepared to die for the sake of his ancestors, and any loyal subject should have been prepared to die out of loyalty to their sovereign. Alas, thanks to the wild schemes of that yellow-mouthed Deng Ai, he has stolen into our state and smashed it from within. Truly it was because our state lacked the absolute resolve to spend its strength until the very end. How could we ever have defended against such a weakness? But though I am commanded not to give up my life, still I will never let that whelp attain his desire. Gentlemen, if you will but lend me the strength of your arms, I will restore anew all our mountains and rivers."

They replied, "We would not dare to disobey you!"

Jiang Wei said, "The time is ripe to carry out a plan that Zhang Mengsun and I have developed. At a time like this, we shall do such and such..."

Jiang Weu thus threw open the gates of Jiange and brought his troops to present themselves to Zhong Hui's army, where they spoke words of submission and performed obeisance before him, displaying the utmost sincerity. Zhong Hui was quite taken in by this display, and he reciprocated by looking upon Jiang Wei and the rest as his honored guests. He even proposed the granting of rewards and loans, and Jiang Wei was very solicitous towards him.

That night, Zhong Hui once again summoned Jiang Wei and invited him to drink together. Jiang Wei took the opportunity to advise him. "Grand Commander," said he, "you are the foremost general in all of Wei. You command this massive army, yet without even staining your sword, you have accomplished this great achievement. Truly one could say that no one in all this age can match you in worthy deeds. Yet I am afraid that, even as you are on the very cusp of completing your conquest, a single word of slander might bring you and your family to ruin. Do not forget that although Han Xin was quite willing to let Li Yiji be boiled alive in order to further his own interests and achieve military glory, it doomed him in the end.

"Furthermore, although General Deng possesses no more than a handful of cunning, thanks to some fluke he too has been able to achieve a great deed. Now he has become conceited and arrogant thanks to this achievement, and he no longer takes any heed of your commands, but does whatever he pleases. Shall you allow your subordinate to show you such disdain? Allow me to propose to you a plan: you should march with all haste to occupy Chengdu for yourself, then send out word to every corner to gather up the influential people of the region and offer careful orders and instructions to reassure the hearts of the common people. Then the proper chain of authority between the commander and his subordinate will reassert itself, and the people of this conquered state will be grateful towards you."

Zhong Hui was immensely pleased to hear this analysis of the situation, and he even said that he wished he had had the services of Jiang Wei available to him sooner. The next morning, he immediately mustered his soldiers and marched straight to Chengdu. His troops quickly occupied the city, and Zhong Hui issued orders forbidding any further disturbance or plunder. The common people of Chengdu felt so absurdly happy to hear the beat of his army's drums that they hurried to get a good look at their savior. When Deng Ai heard what was going on, he was terrified and very worried. Desperate to shore up his own authority, he at once began to enforce his commands he had been so quick to forget and executed soldiers who had violated military law. Zhong Hui, angered at this further display of presumption, sent word to Jiang Wei asking him to return to his camp so that they could discuss further plans.

At this time, Jiang Wei had accompanied Zhong Hui's army and was already in Chengdu as well. He had been searching around for any sign of the scions of the great families, only to discover that most of them had already avoided Deng Ai's army and escaped to parts unknown. He had thus assumed that he would now be on his own, with no one to help him carry out his plan. But soon he heard that Zhang Bin was still in the city as well. Greatly pleased, Jiang Wei said to himself, "Heaven has kept Mengsun here in order to help me succeed in this affair." And he quickly sent someone to fetch Zhang Bin.

When Zhang Bin arrived, the two men embraced and grieved together. Zhang Bin wiped away tears as he said, "How far we have fallen! But it is too late for regrets. At least you are still here, Commander, and so am I. Heaven has had a hand in this."

Jiang Wei then discussed his plan to Zhang Bin. Zhang Bin replied, "It is certainly a very devious plan. But considering the circumstances, we shall have to let the big fish war with one another until we can claim the fisherman's advantage. For if we can eliminate both Zhong Hui and Deng Ai, why should we have any cause to worry about the rest of the enemy generals, no more than so many mediocrities? We will mow them down like grass, then regain all the lands west of Chang'an with a single roll of the drums."

"Most excellent," said Jiang Wei, highly pleased. "Mengsun, your thoughts are the same as mine. Yet what a pity that Zhang Yi, Liao Hua, and other senior generals have all recently passed away, one after the other; I fear it was the sorry state of the realm that led to the illnesses which killed them. We shall need bold and clever people if we are to succeed in our scheme, yet where shall we find them now? Do you know of anyone who could assist us?"

Zhang Bin replied, "Although there is no one suitable within the city at the moment, there are still quite a few great talents out there. They have scattered to the four corners, but you need only seek them out to attain their assistance.

“For instance, I know of two grandsons of old Zilong (Zhao Yun) by the late General Who Conquers The West, Zhao Tong. One of them is named Zhao Gai, styled Zonghan, and the other is named Zhao Ran, styled Wenhan. They are not only peerless warriors, but they have righteous spirits as immovable as a mountain. I should mention their little brother Zhao Le as well, for I have noticed that he has an extraordinary appearance about him; he seems to have boundless potential, and he definitely stands out from the crowd.

“Then there are also the two grandsons of old General Huang Zhong; they are named Huang Chen, styled Liangqiu, and Huang Ming, styled Xiqiu. They too are bold and righteous fellows, and I have always considered them to be like my own brothers.

“Nor can I forget the younger son of Zhuge Zhan; he is called Zhuge Xuan, styled Xiuzhi. He too is a great credit to our side, for he has a vast abundance of military understanding within his breast, a worthy successor to the genius of Kongming. On the day when his father was about to set out to oppose Deng Ai, this Zhuge Xuan had fiercely opposed the expedition, saying that we ought to have shored up our defenses instead and waited for you to return with the main army to assist us. Zhuge Zhan did not listen to him, and you know how he went down in defeat. That showed how intelligent and calculating Zhuge Xuan was.

“Now all these people have the same wishes that we do, and the moment that you ask for their aid, they will be willing to devote themselves to the death for our cause. As for the other assorted military affairs, I can handle them myself. Thus I urge you, Commander, to focus on sending out word at once to invite these young men to join us. But remember, the situation is critical, and discretion and secrecy must be maintained."

Jiang Wei was overjoyed. "How lucky we are, Mengsun, that Heaven has seen fit to bring you into this age! It will not allow the fortunes of our state to fall to ruin, nor dash my lifelong hopes."

維乃進軍門,入見鐘會,會正獨坐沉吟,維緩言曰:"君侯之沉吟,得無有所籌算乎?"會曰:"可恨那鄧艾小豎子,慢軍違令,故行殺戮,犯我節鉞,法所難宥。正欲請公求議,以除此倔強,不意惠臨,實得大願。"維乃佯為顧盼之狀。會知其意,乃屏退侍衛,延維入密室,事以師禮,曰:"先生何以教我?"維曰:"老夫乃刀斧之餘,安敢僭議大事?今既蒙麾下不以亡國之虜視我,而以腹心相待,維敢不竭誠以效尺寸之愚,上報知遇之恩?且君侯所知夫獵者乎?今之獵者環堵而立,圍場而待,前望界林,後顧西□□執弓石來鉞,志在於麋鹿狐兔也。不虞□□□□□伏而出,威嚇射者而去也。蓋緣貪小利、忽近憂耳!今鄧艾不過一介武夫,謬獲小功,輒生驕懻,亦由其器量不宏,故少受即盈也。君侯用計制之,又何難哉?但司馬昭久蓄不臣之心,必忌勝己之士。今君侯神武,即魏武不能過,況複談笑滅蜀,威震臣主,功居不賞,竊恐雖欲圖安,弗可得也。愚常計司馬之與君侯蓋英雄頡頏,勢不並立者。敢問司馬與君侯,權孰重,勢孰盛?"會曰:"以司馬之挾天子令諸侯,權統禁軍,勢居睥睨,予豈若比?"維曰:"勢既不敵,禍且不免,欲圖全身之策,又將安在?彼鄧艾父子乃疥癬之疾,烏足介意?"會聞維言切中其病,神色俱變,唯垂首撫膝而已。維見可說,複大聲曰:"君侯之智略,足勝司馬十倍,乃事至不斷,吾恐禍不旋踵矣。昔韓信猶豫,拒蒯通之言,自取赤族之慘;孫權勇決,從周瑜之計,以定鼎足之業。殷鑒不遠,機難再得,唯君侯早計焉。"會乃攘臂而起曰:"司馬氏欲圖篡逆久矣,特以有一二舊臣與會在耳,吾即不能為今日之桓文,安肯從奸助叛以遺臭萬年乎?倘伯約不吝相助,我當先剿艾賊,次伐司馬,共平天下,以救蒼生,始遂吾之素志。但恐全蜀之民未必歸順,唯伯約為之倡率。富貴之日,與公共之。"維曰:"益州地險民富,孔明每稱為天府,今日為君侯所有,此實天假君侯以發跡之地也。今老夫當召耆碩舊臣,共圖鴻業,則不惟鼎足之勢成,而擴土興疆,蠶食天下,所向無敵矣,何有於司馬哉?使維異時得奉君侯輦轂入都,一睹先帝陵寢,吾願足矣,敢望富貴乎?"會乃大發倉庫,犒勞三軍,據蜀稱叛,假密旨以檻車收鄧艾父子,並將士有不順從者,悉囚之一室,以待事定剿除。此時鄧氏既收,而鐘會之勢遂孤,計皆出於張賓而會未之知也。

Jiang Wei then went to the Wei army camp and went to see Zhong Hui. He found Zhong Hui sitting alone and muttering to himself. Jiang Wei casually asked him, "Whence comes this muttering? Are you perhaps planning something?"

Zhong Hui replied, "It's that damn whelp Deng Ai. He's been contemptuous of military regulations and violated orders. That's why he rushed to execute those guilty soldiers and flouted my authority. It will be hard for the law to excuse his actions. Sir, I was just about to seek you out and discuss this matter with you. I must weed out this obstinate and overbearing scoundrel, not showing him any mercy, if I am to truly attain my wishes."

Jiang Wei then made a display of looking around. Zhong Hui realized his intentions, so he dismissed his guards and attendants and led Jiang Wei into a private chamber, then solicited his thoughts. "Sir, what do you wish to teach me?"

Jiang Wei replied, "I am just an old blade cast aside by now; would I presume to discuss great affairs? But, since you are kind enough to entrust me with your personal thoughts and ignore my status as a mere captive from a fallen state, how could I not do my utmost to show you my full sincerity and repay my gratitude for being able to know you?

"Now I am sure that you are familiar with hunting. Thus you know that in hunting, one must first establish a wall around the place to be hunted and set up a perimeter to prepare the prey. Then from east and west, one drives the game further and further into the trap. One must keep a firm hold on one's slings and arrows and refrain from rashly swinging the axe, for the goal is to capture all the beasts together in the end, the elk with the deer and the foxes with the hares. It would not do to flaunt one's strength too early with a fearsome shot and so scare the prey away. And this applies to life just as it does to hunting. For why should you be greedy simply for the slight profit in front of your eyes or worry excessively about the matter immediately at hand? Deng Ai is no more than a simple warrior who has been fortunate enough to claim a little credit for himself. He has always been an arrogant man, but he has no great capacity, thus he was entrusted with so little. Sir, why should you be so obsessed about how to deal with such a minor problem as Deng Ai?

"But I notice that Sima Zhao, who has himself long been insubordinate, must surely be jealous of anyone beneath him who seems superior to himself. Are you not such a person, Sir? For your military prowess is so great that even Emperor Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) could not surpass you. It is no laughing matter to Sima Zhao that you have been able to conquer Shu. Indeed, it is as was once said of Han Xin: your power is so great that it frightens your master, and your achievements are so great that they cannot be rewarded. I fear that even if your only wish was to remain safe and secure, you could no longer do so. In my humble view, you and Sima Zhao are now like two proud roosters who will not suffer the other to perch on the same branch. And if I may ask, who now wields more power and influence: yourself, or Sima Zhao?"

Zhong Hui said, "Sima Zhao uses the Son of Heaven as his pawn in order to compel the lords of the realm to do his bidding, and he wields authority over and commands all the armies and palace guards. He stands at the precipice, looking down at all others. How could I ever compare?"

Jiang Wei continued, "Since your influence is no match for Sima Zhao's, you cannot possibly escape disaster. What plan would avail you to save yourself? This is the true threat to your life, Sir. Compared to this looming disaster, Deng Ai and his son are nothing more than a mere skin irritation. What use is it to worry about them?"

Jiang Wei's forthright words had cut Zhong Hui to the core; his expression became so downcast that he could do no more than hang his head and rub his knees. Jiang Wei could see that he was having an effect. In a loud voice, he declared, "Sir, you are ten times as clever and cunning as Sima Zhao. Yet when the time to decide is at hand, you are hesitant. How then can you ever expect to escape your doom? Remember, when Han Xin refused to follow the advice of Kuai Tong and strike out on his own, though at that time he ruled as a king and commanded a great army, in the end he suffered execution by his liege Emperor Gao (Liu Bang) and his clan met a red end. But on the other hand, although Sun Quan had barely inherited the legacy of his elder brother and was a minor power at the time when Zhou Yu advised him to oppose Emperor Wu of Wei (Cao Cao) rather than submit, he chose to do so and thus secured his sovereign enterprise and split the realm into three. These examples are not too distant for you not to have taken note of them, and the same situation has now come again. But Sir, it is up to you to do something about it."

Zhong Hui rose and pushed up his sleeves as he replied, "The Sima clan has only ever had a prayer of usurping the throne and turning traitor because they have had the support of a handful of subordinates like myself. Now though I may not be able to save the dynasty by playing the same role as Duke Huan of Qi, how could I ever go so far as to outright aid the Sima clan in their usurpation and thus leave a stench that lasts for ten thousand years? Boyue, with your generous assistance, we shall first cut down that bandit Deng Ai and then campaign against the Sima clan and bring peace back to the realm together. It has always been my wish to save the common people. But still, I am worried that the people of Shu will not be willing to obey me just yet. Boyue, I will be counting on you to rally them to my side. And when the day of glory comes, you shall share with me in wealth and honor."

Jiang Wei said, "Yizhou is a land blessed by strong natural defenses and a rich populace. Kongming was always calling it the Storehouse of Heaven. Now it is yours to command. Heaven has thus provided you with a path to success. I shall go and summon the old and accomplished ministers of Shu, and we shall all support your lofty ambitions together. Not only will you be able to hold your own, but you shall roll up the land like a carpet and eat through the realm like a silkworm, and no one will be able to stand before you. How could the Sima clan possibly stop you? As for me, I will be quite satisfied to someday ride together into the capital in your carriage and look upon the tombs and coffins of the emperors of old. Would I dare to ask for wealth or honor?"

Zhong Hui thus confiscated all the supplies and other equipment of the Wei army and distributed rewards of food among the Wei soldiers. He occupied the Shu region and declared himself in rebellion against the Sima clan. Claiming the possession of an imperial edict ordering him to act, he arrested Deng Ai and his son Deng Zhong and put them in a cage cart. He also arrested any of the Wei generals and officers who refused to go along with what he was doing and imprisoned them all in a building, planning to get rid of them all once his other preparations were complete.

Now that Deng Ai and his son had been arrested, Zhong Hui stood alone and isolated. This was all according to Zhang Bin's plan, of which Zhong Hui was quite ignorant.

於是姜維深幸得計,以書密啟於後主曰:先帝創業垂統,幾數十年。而遭時不偶,大臣元將相繼而殞,於是朝無柱石,國無棟梁。賊國窺釁而竊發,今日伐我西鄙,明年割我右壤,祖宗社稷一日為墟,此皆臣等不致死力,以陷陛下於此地耳。今維與故將張飛之孫張賓,乘鄧艾、鐘會之有隙,授一詭計,則鄧艾已除,鐘會勢孤,行將揭日月於複明,闢乾坤於再造云云。

Jiang Wei felt himself very fortunate that things were going so well, and he wrote a secret letter and sent it to Liu Shan. He wrote, "It has been many decades by now since His Late Majesty (Liu Bei) established the dynastic enterprise and presided over the realm. We have been unfortunate in recent years, to have suffered the deaths of the foremost generals and administrators of the state one after the other, leaving the court without any guiding hand and the state without any firm pillar of support. The usurpers have taken advantage of this moment of weakness to pounce; this year they have campaigned against our western territories, and next year they will carve out our eastern lands. That the altars of your ancestors should be reduced to ruins in the space of a single day is because we your subjects failed to devote ourselves to fight to the end, and thus Your Majesty's domain has been lost. But I am even now carrying out a plan, together with Zhang Fei's grandson Zhang Mengsun, to take advantage of the enmity between Deng Ai and Zhong Hui to drive a wedge between them. Deng Ai has already been dealt with, leaving Zhong Hui on his own. It will be a mere matter of days or months before the imperial glory has been restored and the cosmos once again expand into being."

張賓乃潛集諸舊將校,日夜計議。又訪得魏延之三子魏攸、魏晏、魏顥,驍勇善鬥,能用大刀,馬謖之子馬寧,有機警,善用槊,及趙府牧馬帥汲桑亦諳於軍務。濟濟英豪,俱得臨時舉用。向來張賓但知得鐘會收鄧艾父子,豈意將士不從命者亦囚禁之也。賓知之,大嘆曰:"自古未有逆情違眾而可以成事者。"乃語弟張實曰:"伯約老耄,計議顛倒,如何不止鐘會囚眾不從命者?大難將作,事不諧矣,亦天數也。"夜半,聞魏兵大亂,姜維方在軍中與鐘會議事,忽見四面火起,亂箭如雨,殺入營中。維知事必敗,乃命子姜發飛報張賓等速逃,以圖後舉。維亦隨為亂兵所害。事悉陳壽衍義內備詳,茲不複附。張賓等見火起,急欲奔探消耗,而姜髮忽至,語其故,眾大驚駭失色,唯趙概揚聲曰:"事既至此,大丈夫當從死中求生,豈可束手待斃乎?倘機會或可複得,顧在人立志何如耳!"張賓曰:"總翰之言是也。此乃玉石俱焚之秋,安可自投羅網?宜且避之,再作別計,以酬夙志。"趙概曰:"家眷不足惜,但幼弟勒乃先君之所鐘愛者,必不可棄,誰能為我保護出城?"忽有僕汲桑在旁厲聲而出,曰:"僕之為主,如手足之捍頭目,安忍幼主遭難而不顧乎?吾當拼死保護出城,以報兩世相待之恩。"眾皆曰:"民德勇於自任如此,此兒得命矣。"汲桑將趙勒縛於背上,徒步而出。按:汲桑字民德,乃渭北之樂鄉人也,雅不好書,性氣剛猛,力敵萬人,且步捷如飛,能追奔馬。建興元年,趙廣因出屯兵,見巨人跡長二尺許,心甚異之,蹤跡至一山窩,見桑方負一虎而出。廣吃一驚,從騎皆為之駭躍。乃即挈之以歸,厚加恩養,置諸親兵以居轄下。昔府中得一羌胡鬣馬,值價千金,以其性烈難馴,人皆不敢馭,乃以鐵鏈紲於廄中。桑一見之,即去其鏈,跨之出入,如素所調良者,以是人服其勇,皆稱為牧馬帥。當日張賓、張實、張敬統眾武士,護送各文武官員出城,魏攸、魏晏、魏顥兄弟曰:"吾等誓欲為國家圖報效久矣,今日雖死,亦所願也。我兄弟當劈開一路,眾後隨之。"於是擁眾一齊向南門而出。

While Jiang Wei had been busy convincing Zhong Hui to rebel, Zhang Bin had gathered together most of the young men he had earlier spoken so highly of, and they had been plotting and discussing events together day and night. Zhang Bin had also extended his invitations to the three sons of Wei Yan; they were named Wei You, Wei Yann, and Wei Hao, and they were all bold warriors and skilled horsemen who fought with large blades. Also present was the son of Ma Su, named Ma Ning, who had a nimble mind and was no slouch with the spear. And there was also a certain horse-tamer from the household of the Zhao family, Ji Sang by name, who offered his thoughts as well, as he knew a thing or two about military affairs. This host of young heroes was fully prepared to act, as soon as the time was right.

Alas, though Zhang Bin was aware that Zhong Hui had arrested Deng Ai and his son, he had until now been unaware that Zhong Hui had gone so far as to imprison those other generals who had disagreed with him and kept them under guard. A great sigh escaped his lips the moment this information was brought to him, and he lamented, "There has never been an instance of a rebel who alienated the feelings of the many and yet succeeded in his plot." And he lectured his younger brother Zhang Shi, saying, "I am afraid that Boyue, old as he is, must have gone soft in the head. How could he not have stopped Zhong Hui from imprisoning the malcontents? This presents such a great difficulty to success that I fear that the whole affair will fall apart now. Such are the whims of Heaven."

Indeed, in the middle of the night, they soon heard reports of great turmoil among the Wei soldiers. At that very moment, Jiang Wei was in the midst of the Wei army, discussing plans with Zhong Hui. Suddenly they saw fires spring up on every side and a cloud of arrows falling wildly around them like rain, as soldiers stormed into the camp. Jiang Wei realized that his plan was now lost. He ordered his son Jiang Fa to escape and inform Zhang Bin and the others to flee the city at once, so that at least they could still plan for the future. It was not long after Jiang Fa fled that Jiang Wei fell victim to the Wei soldiers. The details of his last stand are sufficiently explained in Chen Shou's Records of the Three Kingdoms that we need not recount them here.

Zhang Bin and the others soon saw the fires rising from afar. They were about to hurry and find out what was going on when Jiang Fa suddenly arrived, and he told them the sad fate of his father and the downfall of Zhong Hui's rebellion. Everyone present was so shocked by this development that the color drained from their faces. But Zhao Gai quickly declared, "Since things have come to this, a real man would snatch life from the jaws of death. Why should we bind our hands and wait for the end? Surely there will be more opportunities for us to act, so long as we remain resolved to achieve our ambitions!"

Zhang Bin said, "It's just as Zonghan says. This is already the season when the jade shall be smashed alongside the stones; why should we willingly cast ourselves into the net? The thing to do now is to flee at once. Then someday we may develop another plan, in order to make our dream a reality."

Zhao Gai said, "For the sake of our cause, I am willing to cast aside my family without regret. But I cannot so easily abandon our little brother Zhao Le, for our late father was deeply fond of him. Who can safely spirit him from the city on our behalf?"

It was at that moment that the servant whom we had mentioned earlier, Ji Sang, stepped forward and in a stern voice declared, "A servant must protect his master like the hands and feet protect the head and the eyes. When the young master faces such peril, how could I not be concerned for him? I myself shall brave death in order to bring him safely from the city, and thus repay the grace which I have been shown by two generations of the Zhao family."

The others all said, "Minde, what virtue and courage you possess! We shall leave the child in your care." And Ji Sang took young Zhao Le and strapped him to his back, then strode from the house.

Who then was this Ji Sang, styled Minde? He was a native of Lexiang from north of the Wei River. Though he had no fondness for books, he was bold and fierce by nature and strong enough to be a match for ten thousand foes. He was also exceptionally fleet of foot, nimble as a dragon and able to catch up with a galloping horse. In the first year of Jianxing (223), when Zhao Yun's son Zhao Guang had camped his troops nearby, he had noticed the footprints of some enormous man there, with nearly two feet separating each footprint from another. He had marveled at what sort of man could leave such prints, and after following them to some mountain lair, he had spotted Ji Sang walking around with a tiger on his shoulders. Zhao Guang had had to choke back a gasp, and his attendant riders had been astonished. Zhao Guang had thus recruited Ji Sang to join his household and had shown him special favor by placing him in command of some of his retainers. Now Zhao Guang's household had in its possession a certain horse from the Qiang tribes with a wild mane; the horse was worth a thousand gold, but it was so obstinate and difficult to handle that no one had dared to ride it, so Zhao Guang had kept it bound up in the stable with an iron chain. But when Ji Sang had laid eyes upon the horse, he had unfastened its chain, vaulted upon its back, and ridden it around as though he were long accustomed to the horse. Thus people had recognized his bravery, and Zhao Guang had appointed him as a horse-tamer.

But we digress from the story. Zhang Bin and his brothers had at there disposal a group of warrior retainers, whom they now assigned to protect and escort the various civil and military officials to escape the city. And the brothers Wei You, Wei Yann, and Wei Hao declared, "We have always wanted to devote our efforts to repay our gratitude to the state. Even if we should die today, we are willing. Let us clear a path for you, and the rest of you may follow." So they took some of the warriors with them and advanced towards the south gate.

且說汲桑雖勇,終是背負一人,常欲遮護,不便於奔馳,乃竟陷於敵中。適遭魏將李明撞見,欲刺之。汲桑吼聲如雷,人皆僻易,被桑一斧斫中馬腹,將李明落馬,又一斧斬之。後有張平望見桑勇,不敢向前,但指麾三軍團團圍繞,桑乃左衝右突,縱橫亂斫,叱吒風生,殺得敵軍人亡馬倒,血染征衣。魏中一騎將在高阜處見之,引箭欲射汲桑,趙勒在背上看見,報桑曰:"避箭。"桑忙搶得一牌遮抵,前後箭如雨下,無一矢得中者,可見真命所屬,百靈咸護。蓋汲桑陷於敵中,非其不勇,固恐傷幼主而不敢冒鋒刃耳!然敵人見其驍勇,亦無敢上鬥者。桑正思脫身之際,趙染、趙概見桑不至,回身統率子弟家丁奮勇格鬥,直入深處,卵翼汲桑以出。不移時,又見飛騎來報張賓等曰:"東門尚有不得脫者,但聞吾兵殺聲震地。"賓猛顧曰:"此必黃良卿弟兄也,誰敢去速救者?"眾未及對,怒起張敬,曰:"黃良卿兄弟乃吾姻戚,豈可坐視而不救耶?有志者隨我以往。"乃挺一長矛,徑望敵陣而去。馬寧曰:"張季孫真義勇丈夫也,吾當助之。"趙染、趙概聞言,亦仗劍隨往,蜂入敵中,救出黃臣弟兄之命。蓋黃臣因亂中誤聽約令,錯從東門而出,故與賓等不值,以致幾為魏軍所害。至是黃臣既出,卻又不見了張敬。張賓曰:"吾弟平生好殺,必入敵叢深矣。我思之,非汲民德不可救也。"桑聞言,即持刀縱步如飛,入彼陣中。敵見汲桑向戰之勇,各自回避,直到城下。遇見張敬正挺劍與魏兵接戰,桑欲挾之以出,張敬曰:"待我慢慢殺盡魏賊,方消此恨。"桑乃力挽同回,見張賓等曰:"敵必來追,惟當速去。"賓曰:"近地皆魏管轄,必不可往,且到邊方暫止,訪求劉家諸殿下及王彌去向,以圖會合,再作良謀。"眾從之,徑往張掖而去。

Let us return to Ji Sang and his young ward Zhao Le. It should be obvious by now that Ji Sang was a bold warrior indeed. Yet he did still have little Zhao Le strapped to his back, and though in his movements through the city he attempted to remain inconspicuous, he could not run as fast as his usual manner. Thus, at length he soon found himself faced with the enemy.

When Ji Sang encountered the Wei general Li Ming, Li Ming was going to run him through. But Ji Sang shouted with a voice that shook like thunder, and his enemies all shrank back with fear. Ji Sang swung his axe into the flank of Li Ming's horse, sending Li Ming flying, and with another chop Ji Sang severed his head. Another Wei general, Zhang Ping, soon came up as well. But when he saw how bold a fighter Ji Sang was, rather than face him head on, Zhang Ping directed his troops to encircle Ji Sang and keep him surrounded. Ji Sang charged left and dashed right, causing great confusion as he swung his axe hither and thither; he slew countless soldiers and felled many horses, and his uniform was soon drenched with blood.

As Ji Sang was fighting, a Wei horseman stood atop a nearby mound and fitted an arrow to his bow, ready to send it through Ji Sang's heart. Yet Zhao Le, who from his place on Ji Sang's back could see what was about to happen, quickly warned his protector: "Look out for the arrow!" Ji Sang at once snatched up a shield and turned to cover himself; the enemy arrows fell like rain, but none of them found their mark. Truly he had a charmed life, and the very spirits all protected him!

Now Ji Sang was no coward, and normally he would not have suffered the enemy to keep him surrounded. But he was afraid that if he charged the enemy to break through, some wayward blade might harm his young ward. Nor did the enemy soldiers, who feared Ji Sang's strength and boldness, dare to approach him.

At the very moment when Ji Sang was seeking some way to escape, Zhao Ran and Zhao Gai arrived at the head of a group of their retainers. They had earlier made good their own flight from the city, yet, perceiving that Ji Sang was not there already, they had turned back to seek him out. They plunged into the enemy lines and shielded Ji Sang and Zhao Le until the whole host could make their escape.

Meanwhile, a flying messenger rushed up to Zhang Bin and his brothers leading their group in another part of the city. The messenger reported, "There has been no breakthrough at the east gate, but we have heard that some of our own men are fighting there now, slaying many enemies and shaking the ground itself."

Zhang Bin, turning to hear this report, replied, "These must surely be the soldiers of the brothers Huang Liang and Huang Chen. Who will dare to hurry to their assistance?"

When at first no one responded, Zhang Jing became agitated and exclaimed, "Huang Liang and Huang Chen are our own kinfolk by marriage; how can we sit here and not aid them? I will go to them, and let anyone who is determined enough come with me." Then grasping his long spear, he charged into the enemy lines.

Ma Ning said, "What a man Zhang Jisun is! Truly he is bold and righteous, and I will support him." And he too rushed into the fight.

When Zhao Ran and Zhao Gai heard of the plight of the Huang brothers, they too drew their swords and hurried to aid them.

Thus all these groups swarmed into the enemy ranks and were able to save the lives of the struggling Huang brothers. Huang Liang and Huang Chen had misunderstood orders during the din of fighting and had mistakenly gone towards the eastern gate to flee the city, yet rather than find Zhang Bin and the others waiting there, they had nearly lost their lives at the hands of the Wei soldiers.

By the time that Huang Chen and Huang Liang had emerged from the city, the others noticed that Zhang Jing was now nowhere to be found. Zhang Bin said, "My brother has always had a thirst for killing, and I fear that now he has plunged into the thickest of the fighting in order to take as many lives as he can. Knowing him, I fear that no one but Minde can bring him back out again."

Ji Sang heeded this new call for his services, and blade in hand, he flew like a dragon and pierced through the enemy's formation. The Wei soldiers fled in the face of Ji Sang's frenzy, and he was able to reenter the city. He saw Zhang Jing was locked in battle with a great many Wei soldiers. Ji Sang was going to pull him away, but Zhang Jing objected, "Let me slaughter all of these Wei bandits so that I can slake my bloodlust." But Ji Sang dragged him away from the fighting and brought him back out of the city with him.

After Ji Sang and Zhang Jing had rejoined the others, Ji Sang said to the group, "The enemy is right behind us. We had better get away at once."

Zhang Bin said, "The whole region around the city is now under Wei's control, so we cannot linger. We had better keep moving until we reach the border, then see if we can find out where the Liu princes and Wang Mi have gone off to. Once we are all together, then we come up with some new plan."

The others agreed, and the whole group thus set off, eventually making their way to Zhangye far to the north.

後人有詩曰:四七星官出蜀城,九良八殺六丁神。計羅五曜同離去,自此中原不太平。

A poet of a later era made a poem about this night:

Four and seven stars shot out of the city of Shu
Nine exceptionals, eight killers, six strong spirits.
They plotted to smuggle five brilliances away together
And thus the Central Plains knew no peace.

又有詩贊汲桑曰:天付英豪助晚劉,間生賁育到神州。他年逐鹿爭王伯,捷足先驅孰與儔。

And another poet later extolled Ji Sang in particular:

Heaven sent a bold hero to help the fallen house of Liu
A Meng Bu or Xia Yu come again, to bear them to the Sacred Provinces.
The deer was loosed that year, the kingly chase was on
Yet who could match him for nimbleness of foot?

且說魏之監軍衛瓘,乘便宜以收鐘會,又追斬鄧艾父子,遂欲擅威福以制服蜀臣,事亦前衍義備詳。此時有人知衛瓘之意,急來報於諸葛宣於,宣於尚在家,乃曰:"吾之所以不去者,正為此事耳!"乃即偽扮為雲游道者,直叩魏之大軍中,來見衛瓘。其門客乃急止之曰:"吾聞衛瓘正欲誅戮蜀臣,今豈可自扼虎項而批其逆鱗乎?"宣於笑曰:"吾豈不自知!自幼習祖書,金木五遁,變化莫測。衛瓘豈能害我乎?且賈彪不西入以說竇武,則黨錮之禍不解,吾豈可坐而不救乎?"乃直入魏軍,謂其侍衛者曰:"吾乃西州隱士,欲見將軍言機密重事,煩為通報。"其侍衛見說報機密事,即入中軍報衛瓘。瓘命請入見,宣於乃飄然入內。瓘見宣於一表人物,秀雅不凡,乃即延坐,謂曰:"子有何機密以教不佞?"宣於曰:"愚夫久處山林,不預國政,近聞將軍大兵壓境,紀律甚嚴,聲聞所至,無不踊躍感戴。僕見將軍既成不世之功,當培其根本。且聞成奕世之業者,行必世之仁;建不拔之基者,立異等之方。前者鐘、鄧二公既談笑以定西州,曾不於此時勞來百姓,撫恤瘡痍,乃各妄行私志,肆意貪殘以取滅籍,蓋由量之淺薄耳!今將軍坐收震世之功,不安綏其臣民,乃欲誅滅蜀臣之家,此則人民驚駭,各懷疑懼之心,翕然叛亂,吾恐禍生不測矣,竊為將軍危之。古之聖君賢相,但以德服人之心,安有降而複誅,以及無辜乎!語曰:不妄殺人者能君人,湯武之師是也。"瓘曰:"吾安有是心?皆人之妄言也。以先生曠世之才,下教不佞,敢不從命乎?"乃急出安民之榜,張挂於市,民心始安。瓘欲留宣於計議別事,而宣於已去,瓘遣人遍訪求之,竟不得其蹤跡矣。

We should mention that the Wei general who had been coordinating between the two armies of Deng Ai and Zhong Hui had been a certain Wei Guan. By this time, he had taken advantage of the situation to arrest Zhong Hui and to pursue Deng Ai's cage cart and execute him and his son. He now wished to flaunt his authority and newfound fortune by exerting his will over the Shu ministers. Such things have also already been properly covered in Chen Shou's history, but allow us to elaborate somewhat.

There were those at this time who were quite aware of what Wei Guan intended to do to cow the Shu ministers. They urgently brought word of the situation of Zhuge Xuan, whom we had earlier mentioned. Unlike the other scions, Zhuge Xuan had not yet fled the city, but was still at his home in Chengdu. When these people brought him word of Wei Guan's designs, Zhuge Xuan declared, "It must have been for this very moment that I have refrained from leaving yet!"

Zhuge Xuan thus planned to disguise himself as a wandering Daoist and march right into the midst of the main Wei camp to see Wei Guan. His neighbors rushed to halt him from carrying out this plan, warning him, "We have heard that Wei Guan is just about to kill and execute all the Shu ministers. How then could you cast yourself down the tiger's gullet and poke at your enemy's tender spot?"

But Zhuge Xuan only laughed and said, "Do you think me ignorant of that fact? But I have studied the ancient texts ever since childhood, and I know well the unfathomable changes and flows of the five elements. How could Wei Guan ever harm me? Besides, if it had not been for Jia Biao journeying west to persuade Dou Wu, the Partisan Prohibitions would never have been lifted. How then could I sit by and do nothing to save these people?"

So Zhuge Xuan went straight into the Wei camp and said to Wei Guan's guards, "I am a recluse from the western provinces, and I wish to see the General to discuss weighty and important matters with him. May I trouble you fellows to relay my request to him?"

The guards went into the camp and informed Wei Guan of the arrival of this hermit, and Wei Guan sent word for him to be admitted. Zhuge Xuan serenely entered the camp. When Wei Guan noticed what sort of figure Zhuge Xuan cut and how remarkably refined he seemed to be, he invited Zhuge Xuan to sit and asked him, "Teacher, what weighty affairs do you wish to instruct your humble servant about?"

Zhuge Xuan replied, "I am just a simple hermit who has long dwelled among the mountains and forests, having no hand in affairs of state. But recently, General, I have heard of how your great army has quelled this region and how you have imposed very strict laws and regulations, and that wherever your command has gone forth, everyone in the region has leapt with joy and been moved by your actions. When I saw that you were thus on the verge of completing such an outstanding achievement, General, I wanted to help you to fortify your foundation and steady your roots. Besides, I have heard that one who would fulfill an endeavor to surpass the age must be sure to act with benevolence towards the times. Then their roots will be so sturdy that no one can pull them up, and they will have achieved something remarkable.

"Now I have heard that Zhong Hui and Deng Ai had often jested before about how they were going to settle the western provinces. But when the time came, rather than tend to the burdens of the common people and care for their aches and pains, these two miscreants instead indulged their personal ambitions and exhausted the treasury through their unbridled greed and violence. Such shallow characters they possessed! Yet I cannot help but note, General, that when you yourself are positioned to realize this achievement that shakes the ages, rather than ensure that the servants and people of the fallen state will be able to know peace, you are even going so far as to propose executing and purging the families of the ministers of Shu. That will only disturb and tremble the hearts of the local populace; everyone among them will bear fear and suspicion in their hearts, and many will turn to thoughts of rebellion or turmoil. I fear untold disaster will spring up from such things, and I can only foresee danger for you, General.

"In ancient times, sage sovereigns and worthy ministers secured the submission of the hearts of the people solely through virtue. How then can you contemplate executing those who have already surrendered, not even sparing the innocent from death? And even the Discourses of the States mentions that 'Only those who do not rashly kill others can reign over them; Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou set such examples'."

Wei Guan said, "How could I possibly have had such intentions? You have merely been hearing loose talk about me. And when such an unparalleled talent as yourself, Teacher, thus instructs your unworthy pupil to act in such a way, could I dare to refuse your commands?" And Wei Guan immediately sent out proclamations to reassure the people of his mercy and had them hung up in the marketplaces. Only then did the people begin to calm down.

After this incident, Wei Guan had hoped to retain the services of this mysterious Daoist and discuss other things with him. But Zhuge Xuan had already departed, and though Wei Guan sent agents to seek him out in hopes of inviting him back, they could not find any trace of him.

後人有詩贊宣於曰:胸藏星斗妙無窮,智繼先公並聖聰。未能協漢圖仇晉,先說強臣脫眾凶。

A poet of some later age composed a poem praising Zhuge Xuan:

He held within that breast of his
Some storehouse undefined
A boundless chest of cleverness
A constellation of the mind
He proved himself his grandsire's heir
Their genius of a kind.

Before he overthrew the Jin
And saved the dynasty
He soothed their savage minister
With naught but humble plea
Thus spared he many blameless souls
From dreadful destiny.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."
User avatar
Taishi Ci 2.0
Grand Historian Friendly to Cats
 
Posts: 839
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:55 pm
Location: My life is brilliant

Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Fornadan » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:09 am

I'm starting to wonder if there are Han/Zhao men who won't turn out to be from Shu-Han
Translations from the Book of Jin: http://bookofjin.tumblr.com/index
Fornadan
Academic
 
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:38 pm

Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:14 pm

-I'm worried at where Zheng Jiang's blood-lust will lead

-Wow didn't expect that portrayal of Deng Ai, intresting how negative it was.

-Didn't expect Ma Su to be part of the lineage

-Baby Liu Shan not as useful as Zhao Lie for a warrior
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 17039
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:04 am

could this be the novelization of Book of Jin?

Qi Wannian and Ji Sang was part of Five Tribe Rebels, led by Fu Jian that wreak havoc Jin.
Anyways, its interesting there was a prelude of The tribesmen rebel against Jin, thx.

kinda hardly wait for the continuation :D
Everyone has flaws. It's a matter of finding the ones you can live with.
User avatar
Li_Shengsun
Initiate
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:35 am


Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium Archives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved