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Chapter 081-04 해를 당한 장비

  先主再三求問,意乃索畫兵馬器械四十餘張,畫畢便二扯碎。又畫一大人仰臥於地上,傍邊一人掘土埋之,上寫一大「白」字,遂稽首而去。先主不悅,謂群臣曰:「此狂叟也!不足為信!」即以火焚之,便催軍前進。

  張苞入奏曰:「吳班軍馬己至。小臣乞為先鋒。」先主壯其志,即取先鋒印賜張苞。苞方欲挂印,又一少年將奮然出曰:「留下印與我!」視之,乃關興也。苞曰:「我已奉詔矣。」興曰:「汝有何能,敢當此任?」苞曰:「我自幼習學武藝,箭無虛發。」先主曰:「朕正要觀賢姪武藝,以定優劣。」苞令軍士於百步之外,立一面旗,旗上畫一紅心。苞拈弓取箭,連射三箭,皆中紅心。眾皆稱善。關興挽弓在手曰:「射中紅心,何足為奇!」

  正言問,忽值頭上一行雁過。興指曰;「吾射這飛雁第三隻。」一箭射去,那隻雁應弦而落。文武官僚,齊聲喝采。苞大怒,飛身上馬,挺父所使丈八點鋼矛,大叫曰:「你敢與我比試武藝否!」興亦上馬,綽家傳大砍刀縱馬而出曰:「偏你能使矛!吾豈不能使刀!」

  二將方欲交鋒,先主喝曰:「二子休得無禮!」興、苞二人慌忙下馬,各棄兵器,拜伏請罪。先主曰:「朕自涿郡與卿等之父結異姓之交,親如骨肉;今汝二人亦是昆仲之分,正當同心協力,共報父讎;奈何自相爭競,失其大義!父喪未遠而猶如此,況日後乎?」

  二人再拜伏罪。先主問曰:「卿二人誰年長?」苞曰:「臣長關興一歲。」先主即命興拜苞為兄。二人就帳前折箭為誓,永相救護。先主下詔使吳班為先鋒,令張苞、關興護駕。水陸並進,船騎雙行。浩浩蕩蕩,殺奔吳國來。

  卻說范疆、張達將張飛首級,投獻吳侯,細告前事。孫權聽罷,收了二人,乃謂百官曰:「今劉玄德即了帝位,統精兵七十餘萬,御駕親征,其勢甚急,大如之奈何?」百官盡皆失色,面面相覷。諸葛瑾出曰:「某食君侯之祿久矣;無可報效,願捨殘生,去見蜀主,以利害說之,使兩國相和,共討曹丕之罪。」權大喜,即遣諸葛瑾為使,來說先主罷兵。正是:

兩國相爭通使命,
一言解難賴行人。

未知諸葛瑾此去如何,且看下文分解。


91 But the First Ruler pressed him to say. However, the aged one got paper and a brush and wrote "soldiers, horses, weapons" again and again on many sheets of paper. Having done this, he suddenly tore them into fragments. Further, he drew a picture of a tall man lying supine and another above him digging a grave. And over all he wrote "white".

92 After this he bowed and departed, leaving the First Ruler annoyed.

93 "This is only a demented man. What he says is not worthy of confidence," said the First Ruler.

94 And he burned the paper. Then he ordered an advance at full speed.

95 Zhang Fei's son, Zhang Bao, came in, saying, "Hu Ban and his army have come. I pray that I may be appointed to lead the van."

96 The First Ruler admired his noble intent and gave him a Van Leader's seal.

97 But just as Zhang Bao was attaching the seal to his girdle, another youth boldly stepped forth and said, "Leave that seal to me!"

98 It was Guan Xing, son of Guan Yu.

99 "I have already received my commission," said Zhang Bao.

100 "What abilities have you for such a task?" cried Guan Xing.

101 "That I have been training as a soldier since my boyhood. I can shoot and never miss."

102 "I should like to see your prowess," said the First Ruler, "that I may decide who is the better."

103 Zhang Bao ordered some of his people to set up a flag at a hundred paces, and on the flag he drew a heart in red. Then he took his bow and shot three arrows, each of which went through the heart. Those present commended the performance.

104 Then Guan Xing seized his bow, saying, "What is it to hit such a mark?"

105 Just as he said this a flock of wild geese flew over his head.

106 "I will hit the third of the flying geese," said he.

107 He shot; and the third fell.

108 "Fine!" cried all the assembly as one voice.

109 But Zhang Bao was enraged. Leaping on his steed, he seized the long serpent halberd left him by his father, crying, "Dare you try a real combat?"

110 Guan Xing took up the challenge at once. He sprang into the saddle, took his great saber, and galloped out.

111 "You can use the spear, think you that I cannot wield a sword?" cried he.

112 The two impetuous youths were on the point of a battle when the First Ruler bade them hold.

113 "Do not behave so badly!" cried he.

114 Both dropped out of the saddle, threw aside their weapons, ran to his feet, and begged pardon.

115 "Young men, from the time I left my native place Zhuo and swore brotherhood with your fathers, they were as my own flesh and blood. You two are also brothers, and you should help each other in vengeance rather than quarrel and dispute. You have lost the sense of rectitude while your fathers' deaths are still recent, and what will happen in future?"

116 Both fell at his feet and implored forgiveness.

117 "Which of you two is the elder?" asked the First Ruler.

118 "I am the elder by a year," said Zhang Bao.

119 The First Ruler then bade Guan Xing bow to Zhang Bao as to an elder brother, and there, in front of all, they broke an arrow as a pledge that each would always succor the other.

120 Then the First Ruler issued a mandate appointing Hu Ban the Van Leader, and the two young men were enrolled as his own escort.

121 The advance began on land and on water, and they made a brave show as they moved against the land of Wu.

122 In the meantime the two assassins, Fan Jiang and Zhang Da, with the grim evidence of their deed, duly reached Wu and told their story to the Marquis who received them.

123 Then Sun Quan said to his assembled officers, "Liu Bei has declared himself Emperor and is leading against us in person a great host of more than seven hundred thousand. What shall we do, for the danger is imminent?"

124 They all turned pale and looked one at another. Then Zhuge Jin spoke out.

125 "I have been in your service these many years and have never justified the favor you have shown me. I will risk my life and go to this Liu Bei of Shu that I may talk to him plainly and prove to him the advantages of friendship and alliance against Cao Pi."

126 This offer pleased Sun Quan, who then appointed Zhuge Jin as his messenger to try to induce the First Ruler to keep the peace.

127 Messengers pass when states are at wrangle; 
May this one succeed and unravel this tangle!

128 What fortune attended this messenger will be related in the next chapter.




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