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CHAPTER 101. Going Out From Longshang, Zhuge Liang Dresses As A God; Dashing Toward Saber Pass, Zhang He Falls Into A Snare.

| English Version - Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel | March 7, 2011

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By means of the artifice just described, Zhuge
Liang withdrew his army safely into Hanzhong, while
Sima Yi retreated upon Changan. Zhuge Liang
distributed the rewards for success and then went to
Capital Chengdu for audience.
“Your Majesty recalled me just as I was about to
advance upon Changan; what is the important
matter?” said the Prime Minister.
For a long time the Latter Ruler made no reply.
Presently he said, “I longed to see your face once
more, that is the only reason.”
Zhuge Liang replied, “I think my recall was not on
your own initiative; some slanderous persons has
hinted that I cherished ulterior objects.”
The Latter Ruler, who indeed felt guilty and ill at
ease, made no reply, and Zhuge Liang continued,
“Your late father laid me under an obligation which I
am pledged to fulfill to the death. But if vile
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influences are permitted to work at home, how can I
destroy the rebels without?”
“The fact is I recalled you because of the talk of
the eunuchs. But I understand now and am
unutterably sorry.”
Zhuge Liang interrogated the eunuchs and thus
found out the base rumors that had been spread
abroad by Gou An. He sent to arrest this man, but
Gou An had already fled and gone over to Wei. The
eunuchs who had influenced the Emperor were put
to death, and all the other eunuchs were expelled
from the Palace. The Prime Minister also upbraided
Jiang Wan and Fei Yi for not having looked into the
matter and set the Son of God right.
Zhuge Liang then took leave of the Latter Ruler
and returned to the army. He wrote to Li Yan to see
to the necessary supplies and began preparations
for a new expedition.
Yang Yi said, “The soldiers are wearied by the
many expeditions, and the supplies are not regular. I
think a better plan would be to send half the army to
Qishan for three months, and at the end of that time
exchange them for the other half; and so on
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alternately. For example, if you have two hundred
thousand troops, let one hundred thousand go into
the field and one hundred thousand remain. In this
way, using ten legions and ten legions, their energies
will be conserved and you can gradually work toward
the Middle Land.”
“I agree with you,” said Zhuge Liang. “Our attack
is not a matter to be achieved in haste. The
suggestion for an extended campaign is excellent.”
Wherefore the army was divided, and each half
went out for one hundred days’ service at a time,
when it was relieved by the other half. Full penalties
were provided for any laxity and failure to maintain
the periods of active service. In the spring of the
ninth year of Beginning Prosperity, the Shu army
once more took the held against Wei. In Wei it was
the fifth year of Calm Peace (AD 231).
When the Ruler of Wei heard of this new
expedition, he called Sima Yi and asked his advice.
“Now that my friend Cao Zhen is no more, I am
willing to do all that one man can to destroy the
rebels against Your Majesty’s authority,” said Sima
Yi.
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Cao Rui was gratified by this ready offer, and
honored Sima Yi with a banquet. Next day an edict
was issued for the army to move. The Ruler of Wei,
riding in his state chariot, escorted Sima Yi out of the
city, and, after the farewells, the general took the
road to Changan, where the force was gathering.
There was assembled a council of war.
Zhang He offered his services, saying, “I
volunteer to guard Yongcheng and Meicheng against
the Shu army.”
But Sima Yi said, “Our vanguard army is not
strong enough to face the enemy’s whole force.
Moreover, to divide an army is not generally a
successful scheme. The better plan will be to leave a
guard in Shanggui and send all the others to Qishan.
Will you undertake the leadership of the van?”
Zhang He consented, saying, “I have always
been most loyal and will devote my energies entirely
to the service of the state. So far I have not had an
adequate opportunity to prove my sincerity; but now
t h a t y o u c o n f e r u p o n m e a p o s t o f s u c h
responsibility, I can only say that no sacrifice can be
too great for me, and I will do my utmost.”
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So Zhang He was appointed van−leader, and
then Guo Huai was set over the defense of the
counties of Xizhou. Other generals were distributed
to other posts, and the march began.
The spies reported: “The main force of Shu is
directed toward Qishan, and the Leaders of the Van
are Wang Ping and Zhang Ni. The route chosen for
their march is from Chencang across San Pass and
to the Xie Valley.”
Hearing this, Sima Yi said to Zhang He, “Zhuge
Liang is advancing in great force and certainly
intends to reap the wheat in Xizhou for his supply.
You get sufficient troops to hold Qishan, while Guo
Huai and I go to Tianshui and foil the enemy’s plan to
gather the wheat.”
So Zhang He took forty thousand troops to hold
Qishan, and Sima Yi set out westwards to Xizhou.
When Zhuge Liang reached Qishan and had
settled his army in camp, he saw that the bank of
River Wei had been fortified by his enemy.
“That must be the work of Sima Yi,” remarked
Zhuge Liang to his generals. “But we have not
enough food in camp. I have written to Li Yan to
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send grain, but it has not yet arrived. The wheat in
Xizhou is now just ripe, and we will go and reap it.”
Leaving Wang Ping, Zhang Ni, Wu Ban, and Wu
Yi to guard for the camps, Zhuge Liang, with Wei
Yan, Jiang Wei, and several other generals, went
over to Lucheng. The Governor of that city knew he
could not offer any real defense, so he opened the
gates and yielded.
After calming the people, Zhuge Liang asked,
“Where is the ripe wheat to be found?” The Governor
replied, “Longshang is the place.”
So Zhang Yi and Ma Zhong were left to guard the
city, and the remainder of the army went to
Longshang.
But soon the leading body returned to say, “Sima
Yi has already occupied that city.”
“He guessed what I intended to do,” said Zhuge
Liang, taken aback.
Zhuge Liang then retired, bathed and put on
another dress. Next he bade them bring out three
four−wheeled chariots, all exactly alike, that were
among the impedimenta of the army. They had been
built in Shu some time before.
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Jiang Wei was told off to lead a thousand troops
as escort for one chariot, and five hundred drummers
were appointed to accompany it. The chariot with its
escort and drummers was sent away behind the city.
In like manner two other chariots were equipped and
sent east and west of the city under Ma Dai and Wei
Yan. Each chariot was propelled by a team of
twenty−four men, all dressed in black, barefooted
and with loosened hair. Each one of the team also
had in hand a sword and a black seven−starred flag.
While the chariots were taking up their positions,
thirty thousand soldiers were ordered to prepare
wagons and sickles to cut and carry away the grain.
Next Zhuge Liang selected twenty−four good
soldiers, whom he dressed and armed like those
sent away with the three chariots. These were to
push his own chariot. Guan Xing was told to dress
up as the God of Clouds and to walk in front of
Zhuge Liang’s chariot holding a black seven−starred
flag. These preparations complete, Zhuge Liang
mounted, and the chariot took the road toward the
Wei camp.
The appearance of a chariot with such attendants
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more than startled the enemy’s scouts, who did not
know whether the apparition was that of a human or
a demon. They hastened to their general and told
him.
Sima Yi came out himself and saw the cavalcade,
and its central figure being Zhuge Liang, dressed as
a Taoist mystic, with head−dress, white robe and a
feather fan. Around the chariot were twenty−four
hair−loosened beings, each with a sword in hand;
and leading was a being as a heaven−sent god with
the seven−starred flag.
“Some of Zhuge Liang’s odd doings,” said he.
And Sima Yi ordered two thousand troops,
saying, “Chase as fast as you can, and bring in the
chariot, escort, and the seated figure.”
The soldiers went out to do their bidding; but as
soon as they appeared, the chariot retired and took a
road leading to the rear of the Shu camp. Although
the Wei soldiers were mounted, they could not come
up with the cavalcade. What they did meet with was
a chilly breeze and a cold mist that rolled about
them.
They found it uncanny and halted, saying one to
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another, “How extraordinary it is that we have been
pressing on and yet we got no nearer. What does it
mean?”
When Zhuge Liang saw that the pursuit had
ceased, he had his chariot pushed out again to the
front and passed within sight of the halted troops. At
first they hesitated, but presently took up the pursuit
once more. Whereupon the chariot again retired,
proceeding slowly, but always keeping out of reach.
And thus more than seven miles were covered and
the chariot was still not captured. Again the soldiers
h a l t e d , p u z z l e d a n d p e r p l e x e d a t t h i s
incomprehensible chase. But as soon as they
stopped, the chariot came again toward them and
they retook pursuit.
Sima Yi now came up with a strong force. But he
also halted, and said to his generals, “This Zhuge
Liang is a master in the arts of necromancy and
juggling and Eight Gates and knows how to call up
the Deities of Six Layers to his aid. I know this trick
of his; it is the ‘Ground Rolling’ in the ‘Book of Six
Layers Deities,’ and it is vain to pursue.”
So they ceased following. But then a roll of drums
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came from the left side as if a body of troops were
approaching. Sima Yi told off some companies to
repel them, but there only came into view a small
force, and in their midst was a party of men dressed
in black, the exact counterpart of the cavalcade he
had first sent to pursue. In the chariot sat another
Zhuge Liang just like the one that had just
disappeared.
“But just now he was sitting in that other chariot,
which we chased for fifteen miles; how can he be
here?” said Sima Yi.
Shortly after they heard another roll of the drums,
and as the sound died away there appeared another
body of men, with a chariot in the midst, exactly like
the last and also carrying a sitting figure of Zhuge
Liang.
“They must be heaven−sent soldiers,” said Sima
Yi.
The soldiers were now feeling the strain of these
weird appearances and began to get out of hand.
They dared not stay to fight such beings, and some
ran away. But before they had gone far, lo! another
roll of drums, another cohort and another chariot with
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a similar figure seated therein.
The soldiers of Wei were now thoroughly
frightened, and even Sima Yi himself began to feel
doubtful whether these appearances should be
ascribed to humans or devils. He realized, however,
that he was in the midst of dangers as he did not
know the number of the Shu soldiers, and he and his
troops ran away helter−skelter, never stopping till
they reached Shanggui. They entered the city and
closed the gates.
Having thus driven off the Wei soldiers, Zhuge
Liang proceeded to reap and gather the wheat,
which was carried into Lucheng and laid out to dry.
Sima Yi remained shut up within the walls for
three days. Then, as he saw his enemies retiring, he
sent out some scouts, who presently returned with a
Shu soldier they had captured. The prisoner was
questioned.
“I was of the reaping party,” said the man. “They
caught me when I was looking for some horses that
had strayed.”
“What wonderful soldiers were they of yours that
one saw here lately?” asked the general.
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The man replied, “Zhuge Liang was with one
party of them, the others were led by Jiang Wei, Ma
Dai, and Wei Yan. There was a thousand of fighting
soldiers with each chariot and five hundred
drummers. Zhuge Liang was with the first party.”
“His comings and goings are not human,” said
Sima Yi sadly.
Then Guo Huai came, and he was called to a
council.
Said Guo Huai, “I hear the soldiers of Shu in
Lucheng are very few, and they are occupied with
gathering the grain; why not smite them?” Sima Yi
told him his last experience of his opponent’s wiles.
“He threw dust in your eyes that time,” said Guo
Huai with a smile. “However, now you know. What is
the good of more talk? Let me attack the rear, while
you lead against the front, and we shall take the city
and Zhuge Liang too.”
An attack was decided upon.
In Lucheng, while the soldiers were still busy with
the wheat, Zhuge Liang called up his generals, and
said, “The enemy will attack tonight. There is a
suitable place for an ambush in the newly reaped
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fields, but who will lead for me?”
Four generals—Jiang Wei, Wei Yan, Ma Dai, and
Ma Zhong—offered themselves, and he posted
them, each with two thousand troops, outside the
four corners of the city. They were to await the signal
and then converge. When these had gone, Zhuge
Liang led out a small party of one hundred soldiers
and hid in the newly reaped fields.
In the meantime Sima Yi was drawing near. It
was dusk when he stood beneath the walls of
Lucheng.
Said he to his officers, “If we attacked by daylight,
we should find the city well prepared; so we will take
advantage of the darkness. The moat is shallow
here, and there will be no difficulty in crossing it.”
The troops bivouacked till the time should come
to attack. About the middle of the first watch Guo
Huai arrived, and his force joined up with the others.
This done, the drums began to beat, and the city was
quickly surrounded. However, the defenders
maintained such a heavy discharge of arrows, bolts
and stones from the walls that the besiegers dared
not close in.
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Suddenly from the midst of the Wei army came
the roar of a bomb, soon followed by others from
different places. The soldiers were startled, but no
one could say whence the sounds had proceeded.
Guo Huai went to search the wheat fields, and then
the four armies from the corners of the city
converged upon the Wei army. At the same time the
defenders burst out of the city gates, and a great
battle began. Wei lost many troops.
After heavy fighting Sima Yi extricated his army
from the battle and made his way to a hill, which he
set about holding and fortifying, while Guo Huai got
round to the rear of the city and called a halt.
Zhuge Liang entered the city and sent his troops
to camp again at the four corners of the walls.
Guo Huai went to see his chief, and said, “We
have long been at grips with these soldiers and are
unable to drive them off. We have now lost another
fight; and unless something is done, we shall not get
away at all.”
“What can we do?” asked Sima Yi.
“You might write to Xizhou and Yongzhou to send
their forces to our help. I will try my fortune against
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Saber Pass and cut off Zhuge Liang’s retreat and
supplies. That should bring about discontent and
mutiny, and we can attack when we see the enemy
in confusion.”
The letters were sent, and soon Sun Li came
leading the troops, foot and horse, of two hundred
thousand. The new arrivals were sent to help Guo
Huai in the attack on Saber Pass.
After many days had passed without sight of the
enemy, Zhuge Liang thought it was time to make
another move. Calling up Jiang Wei and Ma Dai, he
said, “The soldiers of Wei are well posted on the hills
and refuse battle because, firstly, they think that we
are short of food, and, secondly, they have sent an
army against Saber Pass to cut off our supplies. Now
each of you will take ten thousand troops and
garrison the important points about here to show
them that we are well prepared to defend ourselves.
Then they will retire.”
After these two had gone, Yang Yi came to see
the general about the change of troops then due.
Yang Yi said, “O Minister, you have ordered the
troops to be alternated every one hundred days.
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Now the time is due, and the replacing troops have
already left Hanzhong and that dispatches from the
leading divisions have come in. Here we have eighty
thousand troops, of which forty will be due for relief.”
“There is the order; carry it out,” replied Zhuge
Liang.
So the forty thousand home−going soldiers
prepared to withdraw.
Just then came the news: “Sun Li has arrived with
reinforcements of two hundred thousand troops from
Xizhou and Yongzhou. Guo Huai and Sun Li have
gone to attack Saber Pass, and Sima Yi is leading
an army against Lucheng.”
In the face of such important news, Yang Yi went
to ask if the change of forces was to take place or be
postponed for a time.
Zhuge Liang replied, “I must keep faith with the
soldiers. Since the order for the periodical exchange
of troops has been issued, it must be carried out.
Beside, the soldiers due for relief are all prepared to
start, their expectations have been roused and their
relatives await them. In the face of yet greater
difficulties I would let them go.”
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So orders were given for the time−expired
soldiers to march that day. But when the legionaries
heard it, a sudden movement of generosity spread
among them.
And they said, “Since the Prime Minister loves us
so much, we do not wish to go, but will prefer to
remain to fight the Wei army to death.”
“But you are due for home; you cannot stay here,”
said Zhuge Liang.
They reiterated that they all wished to stay
instead of going home.
“Since you wish to stay and fight with me, you can
go out of the city and camp ready to encounter the
army of Wei as soon as they arrive. Do not give them
time to rest or recover breath, but attack vigorously
at once. You will be fresh and fit, waiting for those
fagged with a long march.”
So they gripped their weapons and joyfully went
out of the city to array themselves in readiness.
Now the Xiliang troops had traveled by double
marches, and so were worn out and needed rest. But
while they were pitching their tents, the troops of Shu
fell upon them lustily, leaders full of spirit, soldiers full
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of energy. The weary soldiers could make no proper
stand, and retired. The troops of Shu followed,
pressing on them till corpses littered the whole plain
and blood flowed in runnels.
It was a victory for Zhuge Liang, and he came out
to welcome the victors and led them into the city and
distributed rewards. Just then arrived an urgent letter
from Li Yan, then at Baidicheng, and when Zhuge
Liang had torn it open he read:
“News has just come that Wu has sent an envoy
to Luoyang and entered into an alliance with Wei
whereby Wu is to
attack us. The army of Wu has not yet set out, but
I am anxiously awaiting your plans.”
Doubts and fears crowded in upon Zhuge Liang’s
mind as he read. He summoned his officers.
“As Wu is coming to invade our land, we shall
have to retire quickly,” said he. “If I issue orders for
the Qishan force to withdraw, Sima Yi will not dare to
pursue while we are camped here.”
The Qishan force broke camp and marched in
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two divisions. Zhang He watched them go, but was
too fearful of the movement being some ruse to
attempt to follow. He went to see Sima Yi.
“The enemy have retired, but I know not for what
reason.”
“Zhuge Liang is very crafty, and you will do well to
remain where you are and keep a careful lookout. Do
nothing till their grain has given out, when they must
retire for good,” said Sima Yi.
Here General Wei Ping stepped forward, saying,
“But we should seize the occasion of their retreat to
smite them. Are they tigers that you fear to move?
How the world will laugh at us?”
But Sima Yi was obstinate and ignored the
protest.
When Zhuge Liang knew that the Qishan troops
had got away safely, he called Yang Yi and Ma
Zhong and gave them secret orders to lead ten
thousand of bowmen and crossbowmen out by the
Wooden Path of Saber Pass and place them in
ambush on both sides of the road.
“If the soldiers of Wei pursue, wait till you hear a
bomb. When you hear the bomb, at once barricade
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the road with timber and stones so as to impede
them. When they halt, shoot at them with the bows
and the crossbows.”
Wei Yan and Guan Xing were told to attack the
rear of the enemy.
These orders given, the walls of Lucheng were
decorated lavishly with flags, and at various points
within the city were piled straw and kindling wood
ready to make some smoke as though there were
cooking activities in the city. The soldiers were sent
out along the road from the Wooden Path.
The spies of Wei returned to headquarters to say
that most of the Shu soldiers had left, only a few
being in the city. In doubt, Sima Yi went himself to
look, and when he saw the smoke rising from within
the walls and the fluttering flags, he said, “The city is
deserted.”
He sent men in to confirm this, and they said the
place was empty.
“Then Zhuge Liang is really gone; who will
pursue?”
“Let me,” replied Zhang He.
“You are too impulsive,” said Sima Yi.
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“I have been leader of the van from the first day of
this expedition; why not use me today, when there is
work to be done and glory to be gained?”
“Because the utmost caution is necessary. They
are retreating, and they will leave an ambush at
every possible point.”
“I know that, and you need not be afraid.”
“Well; you wish to go and may, but whatever
happens you must be prepared for.”
“A really noble man is prepared to sacrifice self
for country; never mind what happens.”
“Then take five thousand troops and start; Wei
Ping shall follow with twenty thousand of horse and
foot to deal with any ambush that may discover itself.
I will follow later with three thousand to help where
need be.”
So Zhang He set out and advanced quickly. Ten
miles out he heard a roll of drums, and suddenly
appeared from a wood a cohort led by Wei Yan, who
galloped to the front, crying, “Whither would you go,
O rebel leader?”
Zhang He swiftly turned and engaged Wei Yan,
but after some ten passes Wei Yan fled. Zhang He
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rode after Wei Yan along the road for ten miles and
then stopped to observe. As he saw no ambush, he
turned again and resumed the pursuit. All went well
till he came to a slope, when there arose shouts and
yells and another body of soldiers came out.
“Zhang He, do not run away!” cried this leader,
who was Guan Xing.
Guan Xing galloped close, and Zhang He did not
flee. They fought, and after half a score of passes
Guan Xing seemed to have the worst of the
encounter and fled. Zhang He followed. Presently
they neared a dense wood. Zhang He was fearful of
entering in, so he sent forward scouts to search the
thickets. They could find no danger, and Zhang He
again pursued.
But quite unexpectedly Wei Yan, who had
formerly fled, got round ahead of Zhang He and now
appeared again. The two fought a half score bouts
and again Wei Yan ran. Zhang He followed, but
Guan Xing also got round to the front by a side road
and so stopped the pursuit of Zhang He. Zhang He
attacked furiously as soon as he was checked, this
time so successfully that the troops of Shu threw
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away their war−gear and ran. The road was thus
littered with spoil, and the Wei soldiers could not
resist the temptation to gather it. They slipped from
their horses and began to collect the arms.
The maneuvers just described continued, Wei
Yan and Guan Xing one after the other engaging
Zhang He and Zhang He pressing on after each one,
but achieving nothing. And as evening fell the
running fight had led both sides close to the Wooden
Path.
Then suddenly Wei Yan made a real stand, and
he rode to the front yelling, “Yield, rebel! I have not
fought yet and you have had it all your own way so
far. Now we will fight to the death.”
Zhang He was furious and nothing loath, so he
came on with his spear to meet Wei Yan, who was
flourishing his sword. They met; yet again, after
some ten bouts, Wei Yan threw aside weapons,
armor, helmet and all his gear, and even left his
horse, and led his defeated company sway along the
Wooden Path.
Zhang He was filled with the lust to kill, and he
could not let Wei Yan escape. So he set out after
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Wei Yan, although it was already dark. But suddenly
lights appeared, and the sky became aglow, and at
the same time huge boulders and great bulks of
timber came rolling down the slopes and blocked the
way.
Fear gripped Zhang He, and he cried, “I have
blundered into an ambush!”
The road was blocked in front and behind and
bordered by craggy precipices. Then, rat−tat−tat!
came the sound of a rattle, and therewith flew clouds
of arrows and showers of bolts. Zhang He and many
of his officers were killed.
With myriad shining bolts the air was filled,
The road was littered with brave soldiers killed;
The force to Saber Pass faring perished here;
The tale of valor grows from year to year.
Soon the second army of Wei under Wei Ping
came up, but too late to help. From the signs they
knew that their comrades had been victims of a cruel
trick, and they turned back. But as they faced about,
a shout was heard, and from the hilltops came, “I,
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Zhuge Liang, am here!”
Looking up they saw his figure outlined against a
fire. Pointing to the slain, he cried, “I have gone
hunting in this wood, as you see; only instead of
slaying a horse, I have killed a deer. But you may go
in peace, and when you see your general, tell him
that he will be my quarry one day.”
The soldiers told this to Sima Yi when they
returned, and he was deeply mortified, saying,
“Letting friend Zhang He die is my fault!”
And when he returned to Luoyang, the Ruler of
Wei wept at the death of his brave leader and had
his body searched and honorably buried.
Zhuge Liang had no sooner reached Hanzhong
than he prepared to go on to Capital Chengdu and
see his lord.
But Li Yan, who was in the capital, said to the
Latter Ruler, “Why does the Prime Minister return, for
I have kept him fully supplied with all things needed
for the army?”
Then the Latter Ruler sent Fei Yi into Hanzhong
to inquire why the army had retired. And when he
had arrived and showed the cause of his coming,
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Zhuge Liang was greatly surprised and showed the
letter from Li Yan, saying, “Li Yan wrote to warn that
East Wu was about to invade the country.”
Fei Yi said, “Li Yan memorialized to the Throne,
saying he had sent you supplies and knew not why
Your Excellency returned.”
So Zhuge Liang inquired carefully, and then it
came out that Li Yan had failed to find sufficient grain
to keep the army supplied, and so had sent the first
lying letter to the army that it might retire before the
shortage showed itself. His memorial to the Throne
was designed to cover the former fault.
“The fool has ruined the great design of the state
just to save his own skin,” cried Zhuge Liang bitterly.
He called in the offender and sentenced him to
death. But Fei Yi interceded, saying, “O Minister, the
First Ruler had loved and trusted Li Yan with his son.
Please forgive him this time.”
And so Li Yan’s life was spared. However, when
Fei Yi made his report, the Latter Ruler was wroth
and ordered Li Yan to suffer death. But this time
Jiang Wan intervened, saying, “Your late father
named Li Yan as one of the guardians of your
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youth.”
And the Latter Ruler relented. However, Li Yan
was stripped of all ranks and relegated to Zitong.
Zhuge Liang went to Chengdu and appointed Li
Feng, Li Yan’s son, as High Counselor.
Preparations then began for another expedition.
Plans were discussed, provisions were accumulated,
weapons put in order, and officers and soldiers kept
fit and trained. By his kindness to the people, Zhuge
Liang waited for three years before beginning
marching, and in the Two Lands of Rivers people’s
hearts filled with joys.
And the time passed quickly. In the second month
of the twelfth year (AD 234) Zhuge Liang presented
a memorial saying, “I have been training the army for
three years; supplies are ample, and all is in order
for an expedition. We may now attack Wei. If I
cannot destroy these rebels, sweep away the evil
hordes and bring about a glorious entry into the
capital, then may I never again enter your Majesty’s
presence.”
The Latter Ruler replied, “Our state is now firmly
established, and Wei troubles us not at all; why not
Three Kingdoms Romance
enjoy the present tranquillity, O Father−Minister?”
“Because of the mission left me by your father. I
am ever scheming to destroy Wei, even in my
dreams. I must strive my best and do my utmost to
restore you to the ancient capital of your ancestry
and replace the Hans in their old palace.”
As Zhuge Liang said this, a voice cried, “An army
may not go forth, O Minister!”
Qiao Zhou had raised a last protest.
Zhuge Liang’s sole thought was service,
Himself he would not spare;
But Qiao Zhou had watched the starry sky,
And read misfortune there.
The next chapter will give the arguments against
fighting.

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