Wú Fàn appellation Wénzé was a Kuàijī Shàngyú man. As he could perform calendar calculations, and understood weather patterns, he was heard of in his prefecture. He was nominated as a Having Way candidate, visited the capital, but the world was in chaos and he could not go. It happened that Sūn Quán rose up in the southeast, and Fàn devoted himself in submitting to and serving him. Every time there was disaster or auspicious sign, at once he would calculate and report the situation, his methods were often effective, and therefore from this he had prominent reputation.
Previously, [Sūn] Quán was at Wú, wished to suppress Huáng Zǔ, and Fán said: “Now there would be few benefits, it is not as good as next year. Next year on a wùzǐ [day], Jīng province’s Liú Biǎo will also die and his state destroyed.” [Sūn] Quán then campaigned against [Huáng] Zǔ, but in the end could not overcome him. Next year, the army set out, went to Xúnyáng, Fàn observed the weather, and therefore went to [Sūn Quán’s] boat to give congratulations, urge the troops to hurriedly go, and they at once defeated [Huáng] Zǔ, and [Huáng] Zǔ in the night fled. [Sūn] Quán feared they would lose him, and Fàn said: “He is not yet far, we will certainly capture alive [Huáng] Zǔ.” Reaching the fifth watch, indeed he was taken. Liú Biǎo indeed died, and Jīng province was divided apart.
Reaching a Rénchén year , Fàn also reported: “When the year is a Jiǎwǔ , Liú Bèi will obtain Yì Province.” Later Lǚ Dài from Shǔ returned, encountered him at Báidì, and said that [Liú] Bèi’s army was scattered and fallen, the dead and deserted more than half, and the matter would certainly not be accomplished. [Sūn] Quán with this reproached Fàn, but Fàn said: “What I your servant speak of is Heaven’s Way, but what [Lǚ] Dài has seen is a Human Affair and that is all.” [Liú] Bèi in the end obtained Shǔ.
[Sūn] Quán with Lǚ Méng plotted to attack Guān Yǔ, discussed it with close ministers, and many said “It cannot be.” [Sūn] Quán asked Fàn, and Fàn said: “He can be taken.” Later [Guān] Yǔ was at Màichéng, and sent envoy asking to surrender. [Sūn] Quán asked Fàn: “Should we accept his surrender or not?” Fàn said: “There is an aura of fleeing, his words of surrender are deception and that is all.” [Sūn] Quán sent Pān Zhāng to prepare interception on his road, but a scout returned, and reported that [Guān] Yǔ had already gone. Fàn said: “Although he has gone he will not escape.” He was asked when [Guān Yǔ would be captured], and he said: “Tomorrow midday.” [Sūn] Quán set up and started a water drip clock to wait for this. When it was midday without arrival, [Sūn] Quán asked the reason, and Fàn said: “The time is not yet true noon.” Shortly after there was a wind that moved the curtains, and Fàn patted his hand saying: “[Guān] Yǔ has arrived.” Immediately, those outside shouted Ten Thousand Years, and passed report that they had taken [Guān] Yǔ.
Later [Sūn] Quán with Wèi made good relations, and Fàn said: “Using the weather patterns to speak of it, they have appearance of coming, but in fact have plots, and it is appropriate to for this make preparations.” Liú Bèi raised troops at Xīlíng, and Fàn said: “Later there will be peace.” In the end it was all as he said. His divination and examination was like this.
[Sūn] Quán appointed Fàn as Cavalry Commandant, with office as Grand Scribe Director, repeatedly went to interview him, wishing to know his determinations. Fàn secretly begrudged [divulging] his methods, and would not tell its most critical parts to [Sūn] Quán, and [Sūn] Quán because of this resented him.
- (1) Wúlù states: Fàn himself was shrewd, and the reason he met with heavy value was his methods, if his methods were lost then he would be discarded, and therefore to the end he would not explain.
Previously, at the time [Sūn] Quán was a General, Fàn once reported that the Jiāng’s south had a King’s aura, and between a Hài and Zǐ day there would be great fortune and celebration. [Sūn] Quán said: “If in the end it is as you say, you will be a Marquis.” At the ascension as King of Wú, Fàn at the time attended at a banquet, and said: “In the past in Wú, I once spoke of this matter, does the Great King remember this?” [Sūn] Quán said: “There was,” and therefore called those around him, to give a Marquis’s ribbon to Fàn. Fàn knew [Sūn] Quán wished to by this avoid his previous words, and at once with his hand pushed away and would not accept. Later at the discussion of merits and giving fief, Fàn became a capital precinct Marquis. Imperial Order was about to be sent out, but [Sūn] Quán was angry that [Wú Fàn] loved his skills more than him [Sūn Quán], and removed his name.
Fàn as a man was firm and upright, enjoyed praising himself, however with kin and old friends he had good relations at end and beginning. Previously he with Wèi Téng of the same hometown were friendly with each other. [Wèi] Téng once had a crime, [Sūn] Quán’s reproach and anger were very severe, those that dared remonstrate died, and Fàn said to [Wèi] Téng: “I will die with you.” [Wèi] Téng said: “To die is of no benefit, why die for me?” Fàn said: “How can I consider this, and only sit and watch you?” Therefore he shaved head and bound himself and went below the gate, and sent bellman to be heard. The bellman did not dare, saying: “I will certainly die, and do not dare report.” Fàn said: “Do you have sons?” [The bellman] said: “I have.” [Wú Fàn] said: “If you for Wú Fàn die, your sons will be cared for by me.” The bellman said: “Alright,” and then opened the side door and entered. His words were not finished, when [Sūn] Quán was greatly furious, and wished to throw a halberd. [The bellman] drew back and fled out, Fàn because of this rushed inside, knocking head [on the ground] until it bled, speaking with tears together. After a long while, [Sūn] Quán’s thoughts were resolved, and he therefore spared [Wèi] Téng. [Wèi] Téng met Fàn and thanked him: “My father and mother were able to birth and raise me, but cannot spare me from death. For knowing a good friend, someone like you is enough, what use is anything more!” (1)
- Kuàijī Diǎnlù states: [Wèi] Téng appellation Zhōulín. His grandfather was Hénèi Administrator [Wèi] Lǎng appellation Shàoyīng, ranked among the Eight Eminents. [Wèi] Téng by nature was firm and upright, in conduct did not accord [with others], and although he encountered difficulty and pressure, to the end he would not turn back. Previously he also offended [Sūn] Cè, and was almost killed, and relied on [Sūn Cè’s mother] the Dowager’s rescue to obtain pardon; for the story see the Biographies of Consorts and Concubines. He was successively Magistrate of Lìyáng, Póyáng, Shānyīn, three counties, and Administrator of Póyáng.
Huángwǔ Fifth Year , Fàn of illness died. His eldest son had previously died, his younger son was still young, and therefore his work was ended. [Sūn] Quán was sorrowful of this, and ordered recruitment from the three provinces those able to understand and know methods and calculations like Wú Fàn and Zhào Dá, to be given fief of a thousand households as a Marquis, but to the end no one was obtained. (1)
- Wúlù states: Fàn previously knew his own death day, and said to [Sūn] Quán: “Your Majesty on some day will mourn for a Master of the Army.” [Sūn] Quán said: “I have no Master of the Army, how can I mourn for one?” Fàn said: “When Your Majesty sent out the army facing the enemy, you always waited for I your servant’s work and only afterward went, I your servant am therefore Your Majesty’s Master of the Army.” On that day he indeed died.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: At the time Fàn died, [Sūn] Quán had not yet claimed Imperial title. This saying of ‘Your Majesty’ is wrong.