The Qi (齊) army started invading the Lu (魯) country. As they crossed the border, there was a woman carrying a child in one hand and leading another child with the other. When she saw the soldiers, she let the child she was carrying down and carried the other child and ran. The child left behind ran after her, crying for her but she wouldn’t even look back.
The Qi general was curious and ordered his soldiers to capture the woman for interrogation.
When asked about the two children, she said, “The one I left behind was my child while the other one is my brother’s.”
The Qi general said, “You could abandon your own flesh and blood to protect your brother’s child?”
She replied, “My son is my personal love but my brother’s child is loyalty. It may hurt deeply to sacrifice my own son but if I were to abandon my brother’s son, that would be disloyal. How could possibly live in my country then?”
The Qi general ordered the conquering army to halt and sent a message to the Qi king saying that a lowly woman is so loyal, how much more so would be the case for that country’s officers and generals. The time is not ripe yet for the invasion. The Qi king agreed and ordered his army to retreat.
Later, the Lu king heard of the story, commended the woman and gave her a huge reward.
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Live with righteousness and disasters and calamities can be averted.