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Chapter 074-03 칠군을 물속에 장사지내다

  龐德歸寨,對眾曰:「人言關公英雄,今日方信也。」正言間,于禁至。相見畢,禁曰:「聞將軍戰關公,百合之上,未得便宜,何不且退軍避之?」德奮然曰:「魏王命將軍為大將,何太弱也?吾來日與關某共決一死,誓不退避!」禁不敢阻而回。

  卻說關公回寨,謂關平曰:「龐德刀法慣熟,真吾敵手。」平曰:「俗云:『初生之犢不懼虎。』父親縱然斬了此人,只是西羌一小卒耳;倘有疏虞,非所以重伯父之託也。」關公曰:「吾不殺此人,何以雪恨?吾意已決,再勿多言!」次日,上馬引兵前進。龐德亦引兵來迎,兩陣對圓,二將齊出,更不打話,出馬交鋒。鬥至五十餘合,龐德撥回馬拖刀而走。關公從後追趕。關平恐有疏失,亦隨後趕去。關公口中大罵:「龐賊欲使拖刀計,吾豈懼汝?」原來龐德虛作拖刀勢,卻把刀就鞍矯挂住,偷拽雕弓,搭上箭,射將來。關平眼快,見龐德拽弓,大叫:「賊將休放冷箭!」關公急睜眼看時,弓弦響處,箭早到來;躲閃不及,正中左臂。關平馬到,救父回營。

  龐德勒回馬輪刀趕來,忽聽得本營鑼聲大震。德恐後軍有失,急勒馬回。原來于禁見龐德射中關公,恐他成了大功,滅禁威風,故鳴金收軍。龐德回馬,問何故鳴金。于禁曰:「魏王有戒:關公智勇雙全。他雖中箭,只恐有詐,故鳴金收軍。」德曰:「若不收軍,吾已斬了此人也。」禁曰:「緊行無好步,當緩圖之。」龐德不知于禁之意,只懊悔不已。

  卻說關公回營,拔了箭頭。幸得箭射不深,用金瘡藥敷之。關公痛恨龐德,謂眾將曰:「吾誓報此一箭之讎!」眾將對曰:「將軍且待安息幾日,然後與戰未遲。」

  次日,人報龐德引兵搦戰。關公就要出戰。眾將勸住。龐德令小軍毀罵。關平把住隘口,分付眾將休報知關公。龐德搦戰十餘日,無人出迎,乃與于禁商議曰:「眼見關公箭瘡舉發,不能動作;不若乘此機會,統七軍一擁殺入寨中,可救樊城之圍。」于禁恐龐德成功,只把魏王戒旨相推,不肯動兵。龐德累欲動兵,于禁只是不允;乃移七軍轉過山口,離樊城北十里,依山下寨。禁自領兵截斷大路,令龐德屯兵於谷後,使德不能進兵成功。


47 "People rumor Guan Yu is a mighty man of war. Today I really believe that," said Pang De, when he had got back among his own line.

48 Then his chief, Yu Jin, came to see him and said, "O General, you fought the great combat of a hundred bouts, which ended indecisively. I think it would be prudent to retire out of his way, and therefore blunting his spirit."

49 But Pang De replied haughtily, "What makes you so soft? Yet the Prince gave you the command of the seven armies! But tomorrow I will fight again and that to the death. I swear I will never give way."

50 Yu Jin could not overcome Pang De's decision, so he went back to his own camp.

51 When Guan Yu had got back to his camp, he extolled Pang De, saying, "His swordsmanship is perfect. He is my worthy enemy."

52 "The new-born calf fears not the tiger," said Guan Ping. "But if you slay this fellow, my father, you have only killed a common soldier of the Qiang tribes beyond the frontier. If any accident occurs, then you will have the reproach of not having considered your brother's charge."

53 "How can my resentment be assuaged save by the death of this man?" returned Guan Yu. "I have decided to fight, so say no more."

54 Next day Guan Yu took the field first, and Pang De quickly came out. Both arrayed their troops and then went to the front at the same moment. This time neither spoke, but the combat began forthwith. It went on for fifty bouts, and then Pang De pulled his horse, sheathed his sword, and fled. Guan Yu went in pursuit, and Guan Ping followed lest there should be need of him.

55 Guan Yu roared out reviling to his flying foe, "Traitor! You want to use the 'swinging-horse stab', but here I am, never afraid of that."

56 But the fact was that Pang De had only pretended to try for a foul stroke in order to cover a resort to his bow. He pulled in his horse, fitted an arrow to the string, and was just on the point of shooting when Guan Ping, who was sharp-eyed, shouted out a warning.

57 "The bandit is going to shoot!"

58 Guan Yu saw it, but the bowstring twanged, and the arrow came flying. He was not nimble enough to avoid it, and it wounded his left arm. Guan Ping at once went to his father's assistance and led him away to the camp. Pang De wished to follow up this advantage and came back whirling his sword, but, ere he could strike, the gongs of his own side rang out. He thought there was something amiss in the rear and stopped.

59 The signal for retreat had been sounded by Yu Jin out of jealousy, for he had seen that Guan Yu had been wounded, and he grudged his colleague the glory which would eclipse his own. Pang De obeyed, but when he got back, he wanted to know why retreat had been sounded on the very verge of a great success.

60 "Why did the gongs clang?" asked Pang De.

61 "Because of our Prince's warning. Though Guan Yu was wounded, I feared some trick on his part. He is very cunning."

62 "I should have killed him if you had not done that," said Pang De.

63 "Haste makes slow going. You can postpone your fight with him," said Yu Jin.

64 Pang De, though ignorant of the real reason why he was made to miss success at the critical moment, was still very vexed.

65 Guan Yu went back to camp, and the arrow-head was puled out of the wound. Happily it had not penetrated very deeply, and the usual remedies against injuries by metal were applied.

66 Guan Yu was very bitter against his enemy and declared, "I swear I will have my revenge for this arrow."

67 "Never mind anything but recovering now," said his officers. "Rest and get well; then you may fight again.

68 Before long, Pang De renewed his challenge, and Guan Yu was for going out to fight; however, he yielded to the entreaties of his officers. And when Pang De set his soldiers to reviling the warrior, Guan Ping saw to it that his father never heard it. After ten days of challenges hurled uselessly at an army that ignored them, Pang De took council with Yu Jin.

69 "Evidently Guan Yu is helpless from the effects of that arrow-wound. We ought to advance all our seven armies against him while he is ill and destroy his camp. Thereby we shall relieve Fancheng."

70 Thus spoke Pang De, but jealousy of the glory that might accrue to his next in command again made Yu Jin urge caution and obedience to the command of the Prince of Wei. Yu Jin refused to move his army in spite of Pang De's repeated persuasion. Still more, Yu Jin led the armies to a new camping ground behind the hills some three miles north of Fancheng. There his own army prevented communication by the main road, while he sent Pang De into a valley in the rear so that Pang De could do nothing.




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