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Chapter 094-04 돌아온 사마중달

  卻說孟達在新城,專望心腹人回報。一日,心腹人到來,將孔明回書呈上。孟達拆封視之。書略曰:近得書,足知公忠義之心,不忘故舊,吾甚喜慰。若成大事,則公漢朝中興第一功也。然極宜謹密,不可輕易託人。慎之!戒之!近聞曹叡復詔司馬懿起宛、洛之兵,若聞公舉事,必先至矣。須萬全隄備,勿視為等閒也。」孟達覽畢,笑曰:「人言孔明心多,今觀此事可知矣。」乃具回書,令心腹人來答孔明。孔明喚入帳中。其人呈上回書。孔明拆封視之。書曰:

「適承鈞教,安敢少怠?竊謂司馬懿之事,不必懼也:宛城離洛城約八百里,至新城一千二百里。若司馬懿聞達舉事,須表奏魏主:往復一月間事,達城池已固,諸將與三軍皆在深險之地。司馬懿即來,達何懼哉?丞相寬懷,惟聽捷報。」

  孔明看畢,擲書於地而頓足曰:「孟達必死於司馬懿之手矣!」馬謖問曰:「丞相何謂也?」孔明曰:「兵法云:『攻其不備,出其不意。』豈容料在一月之期?曹叡既委任司馬懿,逢寇即除,何待奏聞?若知孟達反,不須十日,兵必到矣,安能措手耶?」眾將皆服。孔明急令來人回報曰:「若未舉事,切莫教同事者知之,知則必敗。」其人拜辭,歸新城去了。

  卻說司馬懿在宛城閒住,聞知魏兵累敗於蜀,乃仰天長歎。懿長子司馬師,字子元;次子司馬昭,字子尚:二人素有大志,通曉兵書。當日侍立於側,見懿長歎,乃問曰:「父親何為長歎?」懿曰:「汝輩豈知大事耶?」司馬師曰:「莫非歎魏主不用乎?」司馬昭笑曰:「早晚必來宣召父親也。」言未已,忽報天使持節至。懿聽詔畢,遂調宛城諸路軍馬。忽又報金城太守申儀家人,有機密事求見。懿喚入密室問之。其人細說孟達欲反之事。更有孟達心腹人李輔并達外甥鄧賢,隨狀出首。司馬懿聽畢,以手加額曰:「此乃皇上齊天之洪福也!諸葛亮兵在祁山,殺得內外人膽落;今天子不得已而幸長安,若旦夕不用吾時,孟達一舉,兩京破矣!此賊必通謀諸葛亮;吾先摛之,諸葛亮定然心寒,自退兵也。」長子司馬師曰:「父親可急寫表申奏天子。」懿曰:「若等聖旨,往復一月之間,事無及矣。」即傳令教人馬起程,一日要行兩日之路,如遲立斬;一面令參軍梁畿齎檄星夜去新城,教孟達等準備進征,使其不疑。梁畿先行,懿在後發兵。行了二日,山坡下轉出一軍,乃是右將軍徐晃,晃下馬見懿,說:「天子駕到長安,親拒蜀兵,今都督何往?」懿低言曰:「今孟達造反,吾去擒之耳。」晃曰:「某願為先鋒。」懿大喜,合兵一處。徐晃為前部,懿在中軍,二子押後。又行了二日,前軍哨馬捉住孟達心腹人,搜出孔明回書,來見司馬懿。懿曰:「吾不殺汝。汝從頭細說。」其人只得將孔明、孟達往復之事,一一告說。懿看了孔明回書,大驚曰:「世間能者所見皆同。吾機先被孔明識破。幸得天子有福,獲此消息。孟達今無能為矣。」遂星夜催軍前行。


72 Meng Da was then at Xincheng, anxiously expecting the return of his last confidential messenger, when, one day, the man returned and gave him this letter from Zhuge Liang himself:

73 "Your last letter has convinced me of your loyal rectitude, and I still remember with joy our old friendship. If your plan succeeds, you will certainly stand in the first rank of most worthy ministers. But I scarcely need impress upon you the extreme necessity for most perfect secrecy. Be very careful whom you trust. Fear everyone, guard against everyone. This news of the recall of Sima Yi and the proposed junction of armies at Changan is very serious. If a word reaches Sima Yi, he will come to you first. Therefore take every precaution and do not regard this as a matter of unimportance."

74 "They say Zhuge Liang leaves nothing to chance," said Meng Da, smiling as he read. "This proves it."

75 He lost no time in preparing a reply, which he sent also by a trusty messenger. This letter was like this:

76 "I acknowledge your most valuable advice, but is it possible that I should be remiss? For my part I do not think the Sima Yi's affair need cause anxiety, for Wancheng is three hundred miles from Luoyang and four hundred miles from Xincheng. Should he hear anything, it would take a month to send a memorial to the capital and get a reply. My ramparts here are strong and my forces posted in the best positions. Let him come! I am not afraid of the result, so you, O Prime Minister, need feel no anxiety. You have only to wait for the good news of success."

77 Zhuge Liang read the letter and threw it on the ground, stamping his foot with rage.

78 "Meng Da is a dead man!" said he, "A victim of Sima Yi."

79 "Why do you say that?" said Ma Su.

80 "What does the Art of War say? 'Attack before the enemy is prepared; do what he does not expect.' What is the use of reckoning upon a month's delay for sending up a memorial? Cao Rui's commission has already gone, and Sima Yi may strike whom he will. He will not have to wait to memorialize the Throne. Ten days after he hears of Meng Da's defection, he will be upon Meng Da with an army, and Meng Da will be helpless."

81 The others agreed. However, Zhuge Liang sent the messenger back again with a message:

82 “If the matter has not yet actually started, no other person is to be told of it; for if anyone knows, it shall certainly come to nothing.”

83 And the messenger left for Xincheng.

84 In his idle retreat in Wancheng, Sima Yi had heard of his master's ill-success against the armies of Shu, and the news made him very sad. He lifted up his eyes and sighed.

85 He had two sons, Sima Shi the elder and Sima Zhao, both clever and ambitious, and both earnest students of military books. One day they were present when their father seemed very cast down, and Sima Shi asked his father the reason.

86 "You would not understand," said the father.

87 "I think you are grieving because the Ruler of Wei does not use you," replied Sima Shi.

88 "But they will send for you presently," said Sima Zhao.

89 The prophecy was not long in fulfillment, for even then the bearer of the command stood at the gate, and the servant announced a messenger from the court bearing a commission.

90 As soon as he heard its terms, Sima Yi set about ordering the armies of Wancheng. Soon came a messenger from Governor Shen Yi of Jincheng with a secret message for Sima Yi. The messenger was taken into a private chamber, and his message was that Meng Da was on the point of rebellion. The leakage of this news was due to Li Gu, a confidential subordinate of Meng Da, and Deng Xian, Meng Da's nephew. Li Gu and Deng Xian went to confess the plot in exchange for a promise of amnesty.

91 Sima Yi smote his forehead.

92 "This is the Emperor's great good fortune, high as heaven itself. Zhuge Liang's army is at Qishan already, and all people's courage is at the brink of breakdown. The Emperor must go to Changan, and if he does not use me soon, Meng Da will carry out his plan; his plot will succeed, and both capitals will be lost. Meng Da is surely in league with Zhuge Liang, and if I can seize this Meng Da before he makes any move, that will damp Zhuge Liang's spirits and he will retreat."

93 His elder son Sima Shi remarked, "It is necessary to memorialize the Throne."

94 "No," replied his father, "that would take a month, and delay would mean failure."

95 Sima Yi gave orders to prepare to advance by double-rapid marches and threatened death to all loiterers. In order to avert suspicion, he sent letters to Meng Da by the hand of Military Adviser Liang Ji to tell Meng Da to prepare to join the western expedition.

96 Sima Yi quickly followed Liang Ji. After two days' march Sima Yi fell in with an army of General Xu Huang over the hills.

97 Xu Huang got an interview with Sima Yi, and he said, "The Emperor has arrived at Changan to lead an expedition against Shu. Whither is the Commander-in-Chief going?"
98 Sima Yi, in a low voice, said to him, "Meng Da is on the verge of rebellion, and I am going to seize him."

99 "Let me go as your Van Leader," said Xu Huang.

100 So Xu Huang's troops were joined to the expedition and marched in the van. Sima Yi commanded the center, and his sons brought up the rear.

101 Two days farther on, some of the scouts captured Meng Da's confidential messenger, and with him Zhuge Liang's reply.

102 Sima Yi said to the man, "I will let you live if you tell all you know."

103 So the messenger told all about the letters and messages he had taken from one to the other.

104 When Sima Yi read, he remarked, "All able people think the same way. Our plan would have been foiled by Zhuge Liang's cleverness unless, by the good luck of the Emperor, this messenger had been captured. Now Meng Da will be helpless."

105 The army pressed on still more rapidly.




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