Just before Zhuge Liang left Wen Pin’s main camp, a Jingzhou navy arrived in front of it. He looked around as though afraid that someone would see him. “Is the general in?” When he reached the entrance, he was stopped by Wen Pin’s bodyguards.
“Who are you?” The two bodyguards stood in front of the man.
The man looked at the two and spoke, “Greetings. I am a subordinate of Huo Jun of the navy, and a general of a thousand men, Zuo Chao. I have something important to inform General Wen Pin. I hope the two of you could help me notify him!” Zuo Chao said as he gave both of them some money.
“Looking for the General?” The two bodyguards did not dare to receive the money. Wen Pin was very strict. The soldiers were not even allowed to have thoughts of receiving bribes. If they do, they would be chased away. This was why Wen Pin do not have good connections at Jingzhou and have also offended quite a lot of people. If it was not because of Huang Zu’s defeat at Jiangxia, Wen Pin would not have obtained his position.
“Alright. Wait here while we go in and inform him.” Wen Pin was shocked that the bodyguards did not accept his bribe but smiled when they went in to make their reports.
“Huo Jun, a general of a thousand men wants to meet me?” Zhuge Liang had just left. Now, a subordinate of Huo Jun came looking for him. Wen Pin was wondering why this man did not look for Huo Jun or Huo Jun’s superior, Zhuge Liang. Wen Pin did not want to see him. However, he was a man that was strict to his subordinates in the army and also to himself. “Let him in.” The bodyguards accepted the order and Zuo Chao was brought into the camp.
Zuo Chao immediately knelt after he entered. “General of a thousand men, Zuo Chao, greets General Wen Pin!”
“Hm.” Wen Pin nodded and put down the military book in his hand. “Are you the one that wants to meet me? What do you want? Why did you come all the way here to speak to me instead of your superior, Huo Jun?” Wen Pin already had a bad impression of Zuo Chao. This was partly because of Zuo Chao’s appearance. The other reason was because he knew that Zuo Chao had tried to bribe his men. “Speak if you have something important to say. I am busy with important matters and have no time for nonsense!”
Zuo Chao could understand Wen Pin’s thoughts and knew that Wen Pin had a bad impression on him. He knew that he would be chased away if he does not impress Wen Pin. “General. I simply do not dare to speak of this with Huo Jun!”
“Do not dare? Haha. You do not dare to speak of this with Huo Jun but you dare to speak of this with me? If you came here to flatter me, I would have already chased you out as I hate these kinds of vile characters!” Skipping ranks to report on others were actions of a slanderer. This meant that he would be a person of vile character. In fact, Wen Pin had something similar done towards him before.
“General. I am here truly because of a problem with Huo Jun. I am not flattering anyone!” Zuo Chao said looking apologetic. His expression made him seem even more hateful.
“Get out! Now! I will pretend I did not hear anything! If not, I will charge you with the crime of slandering your superior officer and then hand you off to Huo Jun for punishment!” Wen Pin felt disdain for the person who truly came to slander others. He went back to pick up the military book on the table but the next words caused him to almost drop it again.
“General. Huo Jun wants to rebel!” Zuo Chao tried his luck. He originally intended to have a discussion with Wen Pin before informing him about this but now, he was no longer able to.
“What! Huo Jun wants to rebel?” Wen Pin was truly frightened by Zuo Chao’s words and was stumped. “You truly do not fear death. I gave you a chance but you threw it away. Looks like I have to send you to Huo Jun and have him punish you!” Wen Pin believed it was unlikely for Huo Jun to want to rebel. After all, Zhuge Liang was around and would control Huo Jun’s every move. If this was true, it meant that Zhuge Liang wants to rebel. However, Zhuge Liang had very close relations to the entire Jingzhou from various connections. This also meant that Zhuge Liang would not rebel.
Besides that, Zhuge Liang has nowhere else to go if he were to rebel. He is unable to go to Jiangdong because Zhuge Jin was there. They cannot all invest on the same person.
Another reason would be that Zhuge Liang would lose his reputation if he were to rebel. Scholars like him would not care about position and wealth but their reputation. A good example would be the many others during the Three Kingdoms era that did not care about their lives as long as they had good reputation. There would be no benefits for Zhuge Liang if he were to rebel. Besides a bad reputation for himself, he would also cause a bad reputation for his whole family. He would not be able to go to Jiangdong because his brother is there. The next choice would be Lu Bu, but the Lu Bu’s Army would not be able to last much longer. In that case, it would be better to remain at Jingzhou.
“Men! Send this despicable person to General Huo Jun! Let General Huo Jun punish him!” Wen Pin did not waste any time and thought of sending Zuo Chao straight to Huo Jun.
“General. I am speaking the truth! You must believe me!” Zuo Chao was now afraid. What he said was true. He found out when he accidentally heard Zhuge Liang and Huo Jun speak with each other. That being said, he had no evidence. He reported this for wealth and position. If he were to be sent to Huo Jun, his life would be gone. “General. If you don’t believe me, you could go and see for yourself. Look outside your camp. How many faces can you recognize? Also, Zhuge Liang came here and dispatched Huo Jun and Li Yan gift provisions on the first day itself. What do you think Zhuge Liang and Huo Jun are trying to do?”
“Hm?” These words made Wen Pin start to think again. He questioned his two bodyguards to find out that Zhuge Liangs actions were quite big. The provisions he gifted were of high class, so much that the low ranked officials were bribed. This was because Huo Jun or Zhuge Liang were impatient and that they would not have another chance to do it if they didn’t.
“They are going to act tonight! If nothing happens tonight, feel free to hand me over to General Huo Jun! I will have no complains!” Zuo Chao continued to speak.
‘Tonight? If that is the case, leaving him alive for now was not a problem.’ “Fine. I will spare you for now. If your words are true, you will gain merits. If not, I will not only hand you to General Huo Jun but have you executed in front of the entire army!” Wen Pin said as he looked at Zuo Chao. If the man’s words were true, he would need to make preparations. Otherwise, he would have Zuo Chao executed to appease the army.
“Thank you General!” Zuo Chao was extremely happy. It was as though he went from hell to heaven. He had heard about this from Zhuge Liang and Huo Jun’s conversation. He would not have reported this otherwise. As he was certain about the rebellion, he started daydreaming. He would not expect to be a military advisor after Zhuge Liang’s fall. However, he was excited to at least become a general of ten thousand men.