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Chapter 102-03 목우와 유마를 만드는 공명

  權覽畢,大喜,乃謂費褘曰:「朕久欲興兵,未得會合孔明。今既有書到,即日朕自興兵,入居巢門,取魏新城﹔再令陸遜、諸葛瑾等屯兵於江夏沔口取襄陽﹔孫韶、張承等出兵廣陵取淮陽等處:三路一齊進軍,共三十萬,(左克右寸)日興師。」費褘拜謝曰:「誠如此,則中原不日自破矣!」

  權設宴款待費褘。飲宴間,權問曰:「丞相軍前,用誰當先破敵?」褘曰:“魏延為首。”權笑曰:“此人勇有餘,而心不正。若一朝無孔明,彼必為禍。孔明豈未知耶?」褘曰:「陛下之言極當!臣今歸去,即當以此言告孔明。」遂拜辭孫權,回到祁山,見了孔明,具言吳主起大兵三十萬,御駕親征,兵分三路而進。孔明又問曰:「吳主別有所言否?」費褘將論魏延之語告之。孔明歎曰:「真聰明之主也!吾非不知此人。為惜其勇,故用之耳。」褘曰:「丞相早宜區處。」孔明曰:「吾自有法。」

  褘辭別孔明,自回成都。孔明正與諸將商議征進,忽報有魏將來投降。孔明喚入問之,答曰:「「某乃魏國偏將鄭文也。近與秦朗同領人馬,聽司馬懿調用。不料司馬懿徇私偏向,加秦朗為前將軍,而視文如草芥,因此不平,特來投降丞相。望賜收錄。」

  言未已,人報秦朗引兵在寨外,單搦鄭文交戰。孔明曰:「此人武藝比汝若何?」鄭文曰:「某當立斬之。」孔明曰:「汝若先殺秦朗,吾方不疑。」鄭文欣然上馬出營,與秦朗交戰。孔明親自出營視之。只見秦朗挺槍大罵曰:「反賊盜我戰馬來此,可早早還我!」言訖,直取鄭文。文拍馬舞刀相迎,只一合,斬秦朗於馬下。魏兵各自逃走。鄭文提首級入營。

  孔明回到帳中坐定,喚鄭文至,勃然大怒,叱左右推出斬之。鄭文曰:「小將無罪!」孔明曰:“吾向識秦朗﹔汝今斬者,並非秦朗。安敢欺我!」文拜告曰:「此實秦朗之弟秦明也。」孔明笑曰:「司馬懿令汝來詐降,於中取事,卻如何瞞得我過!若不實說,必然斬汝!」

  鄭文只得訴告其實是詐降,泣求免死。孔明曰:「汝既求生,可修書一封,教司馬懿自來劫營,吾便饒汝性命。若捉住司馬懿,便是汝之功,還當重用。」鄭文只得寫了一書,呈與孔明。孔明令將鄭文監下。樊建問曰:「丞相何以知此人詐降?」孔明曰:「司馬懿不輕用人。若加秦朗為前將軍,必武藝高強﹔今與鄭文交馬只一合便為文所殺,必不是秦朗也。以故知其詐也。」

  眾皆拜服。孔明選一舌辨軍士,附耳分付如此如此。軍士領命,持書逕來魏寨,求見司馬懿。懿喚入拆書看畢,問曰:「汝何人也?」答曰:「某乃中原人,流落蜀中。鄭文與某同鄉。今孔明因鄭文有功,用為先鋒。鄭文特托某來獻書,約於明日晚間,舉火為號,望乞都督親提大軍前來劫寨,鄭文在內為應。」

  司馬懿反覆詰問,又將來書仔細檢看,果然是實﹔即賜軍士酒食,分付曰:「本日二更為期,我自來劫寨。大事若成,必重用汝。」軍士拜別,回到本寨告知孔明。孔明仗劍步罡,禱祝已畢,喚王平、張嶷分付如此如此﹔又喚馬忠、馬岱分付如此如此﹔又喚魏延分付如此如此。孔明自引數十人,坐於高山之上,指揮眾軍。

  卻說司馬懿見了鄭文之書,便欲引二子提大兵來劫蜀寨。長子司馬師諫曰:「父親何故據片紙而親入重地?倘有疏虞,如之奈何?不如令別將先去,父親為後應,可也。」懿從之,遂令秦朗引一萬兵,去劫蜀寨,懿自引兵接應。是夜初更,風清月朗﹔將及二更時分,忽然陰雲四合,黑氣漫空,對面不見。懿大喜曰:「天使我成功也!」


46 Sun Quan was pleased at the news and said to the envoy, "I have long desired to set my arm in motion, but have not been able to arrange with Zhuge Liang. After this letter I will lead an expedition myself, and go to Juchao and capture Xincheng of Wei. Moreover, I will send Lu Xun and Zhuge Jin to camp at Miankou and Jiangxia, and take Xiangyang. I will also send another army under Sun Shao and Zhang Cheng into Guangling to capture Huaiyang. The total number will be three hundred thousand troops, and they shall start at once."

47 Fei Yi thanked him and said, "In such a case the Middle Land will fall forthwith."

48 A banquet was prepared. At this, Sun Quan said, "Whom did the Prime Minister send to lead the battle?"

49 Fei Yi replied, "Wei Yan was the chief leader."

50 "A man brave enough, but ambitious. One day he will work a mischief unless Zhuge Liang is present. But surely Zhuge Liang knows."

51 "Your Majesty's words are to the point," said the envoy. "I will return at once and lay them before Zhuge Liang."

52 Fei Yi quickly took leave and hastened to Qishan with his news of the intended expedition of Wu against Wei with three hundred thousand troops in three directions.

53 "Did the Ruler of Wu say nothing else?" asked Zhuge Liang.

54 Then Fei Yi told him what had been said about Wei Yan.

55 "Truly a comprehending ruler," said Zhuge Liang, appreciatively. "But I could not be ignorant of this. However, I value Wei Yan because he is very bold and devoted."

56 "Then Sir, you ought to decide soon what to do with him."

57 "I have a scheme of my own."

58 Fei Yi returned to Chengdu, and Zhuge Liang resumed the ordinary camp duties of a leader.

59 When Zhuge Liang was in a council with his commanders, suddenly a certain Wei leader came and begged to be allowed to surrender. Zhuge Liang had the man brought in and questioned him.

60 "I am a leader, Zheng Wen by name. General Qin Lang and I are old colleagues. Recently Sima Yi transferred us and, showing great partiality for my colleague, appointed him Leader of the Van and threw me out like a weed. I was disgusted and left, and I wish to join your ranks if you will accept my service."

61 Just at that moment a soldier came in to say that Qin Lang with a company had appeared in front of the tents and was challenging Zheng Wen.

62 Said Zhuge Liang, "How does this man stand with you in fighting skill?"

63 "I should just kill him," said Zheng Wen.

64 "If you were to slay him, that would remove my doubts."

65 Zheng Wen accepted the proposer with alacrity, mounted his horse, and away he went. Zhuge Liang went out to see the fight. There was the challenger shaking his spear and reviling his late friend as rebel and brigand and horse-thief.

66 "Traitor! Give me back my horse you stole!" cried Qin Lang, galloping toward Zheng Wen as soon as he appeared.

67 Zheng Wen whipped up his horse, waved his sword, and went to meet the attack. In the first bout he cut down Qin Lang. The Wei soldiers then ran away. The victor hacked off the head of his victim and returned to lay it at Zhuge Liang's feet.

68 Seated in his tent, Zhuge Liang summoned Zheng Wen and burst out: "Take him away and behead him!"

69 "I have done nothing wrong!" cried Zheng Wen.

70 "As if I do not know Qin Lang! The man you have just killed was not Qin Lang. How dare? you try to deceive me?"

71 Zheng Wen said, "I will own up. But this was his brother Qin Ming."

72 Zhuge Liang smiled.

73 "Sima Yi sent you to try this on for some reason of his own, but he could not throw dust in my eyes. If you do not tell the truth, I will put you to death."

74 Thus caught, the false deserter confessed and begged his life.

75 Zhuge Liang said, "You can save your life by writing a letter to Sima Yi telling him to come to raid our camp. I will spare you on this condition. And if I capture Sima Yi, I will give you all the credit and reward you handsomely."

76 There was nothing for it but to agree, and the letter was written. Then Zheng Wen was placed in confinement.

77 But Fan Jian asked, "How did you know this was only a pretended desertion?"

78 "Sima Yi looks to his people," replied Zhuge Liang. "If he made Qin Lang a leading general, Qin Lang was certainly a man of great military skill and not the sort of man to be overcome by this fellow Zheng Wen in the first encounter. So Zheng Wen's opponent certainly was not Qin Lang. That is how I knew."

79 They congratulated him on his perspicacity. Then Zhuge Liang selected a certain persuasive speaker from among his officers and whispered certain instructions in his ear. The officer at once left and carried the letter just written to the Wei camp, where he asked to see the Commander-in-Chief. He was admitted, and the letter was read.

80 "Who are you?" said Sima Yi.

81 "I am a man from the Middle Land, a poor fellow stranded in Shu. Zheng Wen and I are fellow villagers. Zhuge Liang has given Zheng Wen a Van Leadership as a reward for what he has done, and Zheng Wen got me to bring this letter to you and to say that he will show a light tomorrow evening as a signal, and he hopes you will lead the attack yourself. Zheng Wen will work from the inside in your favor."

82 Sima Yi took great pains to test the reliability of these statements, and he examined the letter minutely to see if it bore any signs of fabrication, but he found it was Zheng Wen's writing.

83 Presently he ordered in refreshments for the bearer of the letter, and then he said, "We will fix today at the second watch for the raid, and I will lead in person. If it succeeds, I will give you a good appointment as a reward."

84 Taking leave, the soldier retraced his steps to his own camp and reported the whole interview to Zhuge Liang.

85 Zhuge Liang held his sword aloft toward the North Star, took the proper paces for an incantation, and prayed.

86 This done, he summoned Wang Ping, Zhang Ni, Wei Yan, Ma Dai, Ma Zheng, and Jiang Wei, to whom he gave certain instructions. When they had gone to carry them out, he ascended a hill, taking with him a few score guards only.

87 Sima Yi had been taken in by Zheng Wen's letter and intended to lead the night raid. But the elder of his sons, Sima Shi, expostulated with his father.

88 "Father, you are going on a dangerous expedition on the faith of a mere scrap of paper," said his son. "I think it imprudent. What if something goes unexpectedly wrong? Let some general go in your place, and you come up in rear as a reserve."

89 Sima Yi saw there was reason in this proposal, and he finally decided to send Qin Lang, with ten thousand troops, and Sima Yi himself would command the reserve.

90 The night was fine with a bright moon. But about the middle of the second watch the sky clouded over, and it became very black, so that a man could not see his next neighbor.

91 "This is providential," chuckled Sima Yi.




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