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Chapter 075-03 형주 함락

  由是呂蒙託病不起,上書辭職。陸遜回見孫權,具言前計。孫權乃召呂蒙還建業養病。蒙至,入見權。權問曰:「陸口之任,昔周公瑾薦魯子敬以自代;後子敬又薦卿自代;今卿亦須薦一才望兼隆者,代卿為妙。」蒙曰:「若用望重之人,雲長必然防備。陸遜意思深長,而未有遠名,非雲長所忌;若即用以代臣之任,必有所濟。」

  權大喜,即日拜陸遜為偏將軍右都督,代蒙守陸口。遜謝曰:「某年幼無學,恐不堪大任。」權曰:「子明保卿,必不差錯。卿毋得推辭。」遜乃拜受印綬,連夜往陸口;交割馬步水三軍已畢,即修書一封,具名馬、異錦、酒禮等物,遣使齎赴樊城見關公。

  時公正將息箭瘡,按兵不動。忽報:「江東陸口守將呂蒙病危,孫權取回調理,近拜陸遜為將,代呂蒙守陸口。今遜差人齎書具禮,特來拜見。」關公召入,指來使而言曰:「仲謀見識短淺,用此孺子為將!」來使伏地告曰:「陸將軍呈書備禮,一來與君侯作賀,二來求兩家和好,幸乞笑留。」公拆書視之,書詞極其卑謹。關公覽畢,仰面大笑,令左右收了禮物,發付使者回去。使者回見陸遜曰:「關公欣喜,無復有憂江東之意。」

  遜大喜,密遣人探得關公果然撤荊州大半兵赴樊城聽調,只待箭瘡痊可,便欲進兵。遜察知備細,即差人星夜報知孫權。孫權召呂蒙商議曰:「今雲長果撤荊州之兵,攻取樊城,便可設計襲取荊州。卿與吾弟孫皎同引大軍前去,何如?」孫皎字叔明,乃孫權叔父孫靜之次子也。蒙曰:「主公若以蒙可用則獨用蒙;若以叔明可用則獨用叔明。豈不聞昔日周瑜、程普為左右都督,事雖決於瑜,然普自以舊臣而居瑜下,頗不相睦;後因見瑜之才,方始敬服?今蒙之才不及瑜,而叔明之親勝於普,恐未必能相濟也。」

  權大悟,遂拜呂蒙為大都督,總制江東諸路軍馬;令孫皎在後接應糧草。蒙拜謝,點兵三萬,快船八十餘隻,選會水者扮作商人,皆穿白衣,在船上搖櫓,卻將精兵伏於 船中。次調韓當、蔣欽、朱然、潘璋、周泰、徐盛、丁奉等七員大將,相繼而進。其餘皆隨吳侯為合後救應。一面遣使致書曹操,令進兵以襲雲長之後;一面先傳報陸遜,然後發白衣人,駕快船往潯陽江去。晝夜趲行,直抵北岸。江邊烽火臺上守臺軍盤問時,吳人答曰:「我等皆是客商;因江中阻風,到此一避。」隨將財物送與守臺軍士。軍士信之,遂任其停泊江邊。


63 Wherefore Lu Meng's malady waxed worse, so that he was confined to bed. He gave Lu Xun his letter of resignation to carry back to Sun Quan. The messenger hastened back and explained the ruse to his master, who soon after issued a command for Lu Meng to retire and attend to the recovery of his health.

64 But Lu Meng came to Sun Quan to discuss the matter of a successor.

65 Sun Quan said to him, "As to the appointment at Lukou, you know Zhou Yu recommended Lu Su, who at his last moment proposed you. Now you ought to be able to mention some other talented and well-known officer to succeed you."

66 "If you choose a well-known man, Guan Yu will certainly be on his guard against him. Now Lu Xun is deep and farseeing, but he has no widespread fame. Hence no particular notice would be taken of his appointment and no countermeasures taken. So he is the most suitable person to send."

67 Sun Quan agreed and thereupon promoted Lu Xun to the rank of General of the Right Army and Admiral of the Right Fleet, and sent him to defend the port.

68 "I am very young," said Lu Xun, "and feel unequal to such a post."

69 "Lu Meng has proposed you, and you will not make any mistakes. Pray do not decline," said Sun Quan.

70 So the appointment was made, and Lu Xun set out at once. When he had assumed charge of the cavalry, the infantry, and the marines, he set about drawing up a letter to Guan Yu, and he selected fine horses and beautiful silks and good wines and delicacies suitable for gifts to go with the letter. He sent all by the hand of a trusty messenger to Fancheng.

71 The news of the change of command reached Guan Yu when he lay ill from the effects of his wound and unable to conduct any military operations. Close upon the news came the letter and the gifts from Lu Xun, and the bearer was called in to see the warrior.

72 "Friend Sun Quan was not very prudent when he made a Commanding General out of a mere youth," said Guan Yu, pointing to the messenger.

73 The messenger said, "General Lu Xun sends this letter and some presents, which he hopes you will accept. He also sends his felicitations, and would rejoice if the two houses could become friends."

74 Guan Yu read the letter, which was couched in most modest language, and then threw back his head and laughed aloud. He bade the attendants receive the various gifts, and sent the bearer away.

75 The messenger forthwith returned to Lukou and reported to Lu Xun, “Guan Yu seemed very gratified, and he felt no anxiety and danger toward the South Land.”

76 Spies were sent out to report on proceedings, and they returned to say that half the troops of Jingzhou had been sent to assist in the siege of Fancheng. That city was to be seriously assaulted as soon as Guan Yu had recovered.

77 This news was promptly sent on to Sun Quan, who at once called in Lu Meng to decide upon the next move.

78 "Now is the favorable moment to get possession of Jingzhou," said Sun Quan. "I propose to send you and my brother, Sun Jiao, to lead the army."

79 This Sun Jiao was really only a cousin, as he was the second son of Sun Quan's uncle, Sun Jing.

80 But Lu Meng objected. "My lord, if you think to employ me, then employ me only; if Sun Jiao, then Sun Jiao only. You cannot have forgotten that Zhou Yu and Cheng Pu were associate commanders, and although the final decision lay with Zhou Yu, yet the other presumed upon his seniority and there was some unfriendliness between the two. All ended well because Cheng Pu recognized the ability of his colleague and so supported him. I know I am not so clever as Zhou Yu, but Sun Jiao's consanguinity will be a greater obstacle than mere length of service, and I fear he may not be wholly with me."

81 Sun Quan saw the force of the contention, and appointed Lu Meng to sole command with Sun Jiao to help him in the commissariat. Lu Meng thanked his lord for his commission, soon got his thirty thousand marines together, and assembled eighty ships for the expedition.

82 Lu Meng dressed a number of sailors in the plain white costumes of ordinary merchants and put them on board to work his vessels. He concealed his veterans in the compartments. He selected seven generals---Han Dang, Jiang Qin, Zhu Ran, Pan Zhang, Zhou Tai, Xu Sheng, and Ding Feng---to serve under him and settled the order of their successive movements. The remainder of the forces was left with Sun Quan as supports and reserves. Letters were also written to Cao Cao that he might cooperate by sending his army to attack Guan Yu in the rear, and to Lu Xun that he would act in concert.

83 Then the sailors in plain white dress navigated the ships to River Xunyang as quickly as possible, and then crossed to the north bank.

84 When the beacon-keepers came down to question them, the men of Wu said, "We are traders forced into the bank by contrary winds."

85 And they offered gifts to the beacon-keepers, who accepted them and let the ships come to an anchor close to the shore.



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