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Chapter 100-04 기회를 놓친 퇴군

  孔明坐於帳中,左右將張虎、戴凌、樂琳拼九十個軍,皆縛在帳下。孔明笑曰:「吾縱然捉得汝等,何足為奇!吾放汝等回見司馬懿,教他再讀兵書,重觀戰策,那時來決雌雄,未為遲也。汝等性命既饒,當留下軍器戰馬。」遂將眾人衣甲脫了,以墨塗面,步行出陣。司馬懿見之大怒,回顧諸將曰:「如此挫敗銳氣,有何面目回見中原大臣耶!」即指揮三軍,奮死掠陣。懿自拔劍在手,引百餘驍將,摧督衝殺。

  兩軍恰纔相會,忽然陣後鼓角齊鳴,喊聲大震,一彪軍從西南上殺來:乃關興也。懿分後軍當之,復摧軍向前廝殺。忽然魏兵大亂。原來姜維引一彪軍悄地殺來。蜀兵三路夾攻,懿大驚,急忙退軍。蜀兵周圍殺到,懿引三軍望南死命衝出。魏兵十傷六七。司馬懿退在渭濱南岸下寨,堅守不出。

  孔明收得勝之兵,回到祁山時,永安城李嚴遣都尉茍安解送糧米,至軍中交割。茍安好酒,於路怠慢,違限十日。孔明大怒曰:「吳軍中專以糧為大事,誤了三日,便該處斬!汝今誤了十日,有何理說!」喝令推出斬之。長使楊儀曰;「茍安乃李嚴用人,又兼錢糧多出西川,諾若殺此人,後無人敢送糧也。」

  孔明乃吃叱武市士去其縛,仗八十放之。茍安被責,心中懷恨,連夜引親隨五六騎,逕奔魏寨投降。懿喚入,茍安拜告前事。懿曰:「雖然如此,孔明多謀,汝言難信。汝能為我幹一件大功,吾那時奏准天子,保汝為上將。」安曰:「但有甚事,即當效力。」懿曰:「汝可回成都布散流言,說孔明有怨上之意,早晚欲稱為帝,使汝主詔回孔明,便是汝之功。」

  茍安允諾,逕回成都,見了宦官,布散流言,說孔明自倚大功,早晚必將篡國。宦官聞知大驚,即入內奏帝,細言前事。後主驚訝曰:「似此如之奈何?」宦官曰:「可詔還成都,消其兵權,免生叛逆。」

  後主下詔,宣孔明班師回朝。蔣琬出班奏曰:「丞相自出師以來,累建大功,何故宣回?」後主曰:「朕有機密事,必須與丞相面議。」即遣使齋詔星夜宣孔明回。

  使命逕到祈山大寨,孔明接入,受詔以畢,仰天嘆曰:「主尚年幼,必有佞臣在測!吾正欲建功,何故取回?我如不回,是欺主也。若奉命而退,日後再難得此機會也。」姜維問曰:「若大軍退,司馬懿乘勢掩殺,當復如何?」孔明曰:「吾今退軍,可分五路而退:今日先退此營。假如營內兵一千,卻掘二千灶。今日掘三千灶,明日掘四千灶,每日退軍,添灶而行。」

  楊儀曰:「昔孫臏擒龐涓,用添兵減灶之法;今丞相退兵,何故增灶?」孔明曰:「司馬懿善能用兵,知吾退兵,必然追趕;心中疑吾有伏兵,定於舊營內數灶;見每日增灶,兵又不知退與不退,則疑不敢追。吾徐徐而退,自無損兵之患。」遂傳令退軍。

  卻說司馬懿料茍安行計停當,只待蜀兵退時,一齊掩殺。正躊躇間,忽報蜀寨空虛,人馬皆去。懿因孔明多謀,不敢輕追,自引百餘騎前來蜀營內踏看,教軍士數灶,仍回本寨;次日,又教軍士趕到那個營內,查點灶數。回報說:「這營內之灶,比前又增一分。」司馬懿謂諸將曰:「吾料孔明多謀,今果添兵增灶,吾若追之,必中其計;不如且退,再作良圖。」於是回軍不追。孔明不折一人,望成都而去。次後川口土人來報司馬懿,說孔明退兵之時,未見添兵,只見增灶。懿仰天長歎曰:「孔明效虞詡之法,瞞過吾也!其謀略吾不如之!」遂引大軍回洛陽。正是:

棋逢敵手難相勝,
將過良才不敢驕。

未知孔明回到成都,竟是如何。且看下文分解。


99 They were taken to the center, where Zhuge Liang sat in his tent, and the three leaders with their ninety men were ranged in front.

100 "Indeed you are prisoners. Are you surprised?" said Zhuge Liang, smiling. "But I will set you free to return to your leader, and tell him to read his books again, and study his tactics, before he comes to try conclusions with me. You are pardoned, but leave your weapons and horses here."

101 So they were stripped of their arms and armors and their faces inked. Thus were they led on foot out of the array. Sima Yi lost his temper at sight of his people thus put to shame.

102 Said he, "After this disgrace, how can I face the other officers in the Middle Land?"

103 He gave the signal for the army to fall on and attack the enemy, and, grasping his sword, led his brave generals into the fray and commanded the attack. But just as the two armies came to blows, Guan Xing came up fromt the southwest, his drums rolling and troops shouting, and attacked. Sima Yi told off a division from the rear to oppose Guan Xing, and again turned to urge on his main body.

104 Then the army of Wei was thrown into confusion by another attack from Jiang Wei, who came up silently and joined in the battle. Thus three sides of the Wei army were attacked by three different divisions of the enemy, and Sima Yi decided to retire. However, this was difficult. The soldiers of Shu hemmed him in and came closer every moment. At last, by a desperate push, he cut an alley toward the south and freed his army. But he had lost six or seven out of every ten of his soldiers.

105 The Wei army withdrew to the south bank of River Wei and camped. They strengthened their position and remained entirely on the defensive.

106 Zhuge Liang mustered his victorious army and returned to Qishan.

107 Now Li Yan sent an officer, General Gou An, from Baidicheng with a convoy of grain. Gou An was a drunkard and loitered on the road so that he arrived ten days late.

108 Zhuge Liang, angry at the delay, upbraided him, saying, "This grain is of the utmost importance to the army and you delay it. Three days' delay ought to mean the death penalty. What can you say to this delay of ten?"

109 Gou An was sentenced to death and hustled out.

110 But Yang Yi ventured to intervene, saying, "Gou An is a servant of Li Yan, and Li Yan has sent large supplies of all sorts from the West River Land. The road is long and difficult. If you put this man to death, perhaps others will not undertake transport duty."

111 Zhuge Liang then bade the executioners loose the offender, give him eighty blows, and let him go.

112 This punishment filled Gou An's heart with bitter resentment, and, in the night, he deserted to the enemy, he and his half dozen personal staff. He was taken before Sima Yi and told the tale of his wrongs.

113 "Your tale may be true, but it is hard to trust it," said Sima Yi. "Zhuge Liang is full of guile. However, you may render me a service, and if you do, I will ask the Ruler of Wei that you may be allowed to serve him and obtain a post for you."

114 "Whatever you ask, I will do the best I can," replied the deserter.

115 "Then go to Chengdu and spread a lying report that Zhuge Liang is angry with the powers there and means to make himself emperor. This will get him recalled, and that will be a merit to you."

116 Gou An accepted the treacherous mission. In Chengdu he got hold of the eunuchs, and told them his lying tale that the Prime Minister was too proud of his services and was about to use his sweeping powers to usurp the Throne.

117 The eunuchs became alarmed for their own safety and told the Emperor all these things.

118 "In such a case what am I to do?" asked the Latter Ruler.

119 "Recall him to the capital," said the eunuchs, "and take away his military powers so that he cannot rebel."

120 The Latter Ruler issued an edict recalling the army.

121 But Jiang Wan stepped forward and said, "The Prime Minister has rendered many great services since he led out the army. Wherefore is he recalled?"

122 "I have a private matter to consult him about," said the Latter Ruler. "I must see him personally."

123 So the edict was issued and sent to Zhuge Liang. The messenger was at once received as soon as he reached Qishan.

124 "The Emperor is young, and there is some jealous persons by his side," said Zhuge Liang sadly. "I was just going to achieve some solid success. Why am I recalled? If I go not, I shall insult my Prince. If I retire, I shall never get such a chance again."

125 "If the army retire, Sima Yi will attack," said Jiang Wei.

126 "I will retire in five divisions. Thus today this camp goes. Supposing that there are a thousand soldiers in the camp, then I shall have two thousand cooking places prepared, or if there are three thousand soldiers, then four thousand cooking plates shall be got ready, and so on, increasing the cooking arrangements as the troops are sent away."

127 Yang Yi said, "In the days of old, when Sun Bin was attacking Pang Juan, Sun Bin decreased the cooking arrangements as the soldiers were increased. Why do you reverse this, O Prime Minister?"

128 "Because Sima Yi is an able leader and would pursue if he knew we were retreating. But he would recognize the probability of an ambush; and if he sees an increase in the cooking arrangements in a camp, he will be unable to conclude whether the troops have gone or not, and he will not pursue. Thus I shall gradually withdraw without loss."

129 The order for retreat was given.
130 Confident of the effect that Gou An's lying report would produce, Sima Yi waited for the retreat of the Shu army to begin. He was still waiting when the scouts told him the enemy's camps were empty. Wishing to make sure, he rode out himself with a small reconnoitering party and inspected the empty camps. Then he bade them count the stoves. Next day he paid a second visit to another empty camp, and again the cooking stoves were counted. The count showed an increase of a half.

131 "I felt sure that Zhuge Liang would have more troops ready. He has increased the cooking arrangements, and so, if we pursue, he will be ready for us. No! We also will retire and await another opportunity."

132 So there was no pursuit, and Zhuge Liang did not lose a soldier on his retreat to Hanzhong.

133 By and by, people came in from the River Lands to say that the retreat was a fact, and that only the cooking arrangements had been increased, not the soldiers.

134 Sima Yi knew that he had been tricked, and looking up the sky, he sighed, "Zhuge Liang imitated the ruse of Sun Bin to rouse my suspicion. His thinking is superior to mine."

135 And Sima Yi set out for Changan.

136 When players of equal skill are matched, 
Then victory hovers between; 
Perhaps your opponent's a genius, 
So put on your lowliest mien.

137 What happened when Zhuge Liang returned to Chengdu will be told next.




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