Lǐ Diǎn appellation Mànchéng was a Shānyáng Jùyě man. Diǎn’s cousin’s father [Lǐ] Qián, had imposing aura, and united guest retainers of several thousand families at Chéngshì. During Chūpíng [190-193], he led his army to join Tàizǔ, defeating Yellow Headscarves at Shòuzhāng, also accompanying in striking Yuán Shù, and campaigning against Xú Province. During Lǚ Bù’s chaos, Tàizǔ sent [Lǐ] Qián back to Chéngshì, to comfort the various counties. [Lǚ] Bù’s Aide-de-Camp Xuē Lán and Internal Manager Lǐ Fēng recruited [Lǐ] Qián, wishing to have him join the rebellion, but [Lǐ] Qián would not listen, and therefore they killed [Lǐ] Qián. Tàizǔ sent [Lǐ] Qián’s son [Lǐ] Zhěng to command [Lǐ] Qián’s troops, and with the various officers struck [Xuē] Lán and [Lǐ] Fēng. [Xuē] Lán and [Lǐ] Fēng were defeated, and in accompanying in pacifying Yǎn Province’s various counties he had achievement, gradually promoted to Qīng Province Inspector. [Lǐ] Zhěng died, Diǎn transferred from Yǐngyīn Magistrate, became Internal Cadet General, commanding [Lǐ] Zhěng’s army, (1) and was promoted to Qiānlí Administrator.
- (1) Wèishū states: Diǎn when young enjoyed study, did not take pleasure in soldier affairs, and therefore met teacher to study Chūnqiū Zuǒshì Zhuàn, widely ready various books. Tàizǔ praised him, and therefore tested him with governance in ruling people.
At the time Tàizǔ with Yuán Shào were locked together at Guāndù, Diǎn led his clansmen and guard retainers to donate grain and silk to supply the army. [Yuán] Shào was defeated, and Diǎn became Supplemental General, garrisoning Ānmín. Tàizǔ struck [Yuán] Tán and [Yuán] Shàng at Líyáng, sending Diǎn with Chéng Yù and others to on boats transport military provisions.
It happened that [Yuán] Shàng sent Wèi prefecture Administrator Gāo Fán to command troops to garrison above the Hé, cutting off the water ways, and Tàizǔ ordered Diǎn and [Chéng] Yù: “If the boats cannot cross, dismount and follow land routes.”
Diǎn with the various officers discussed: “[Gāo] Fán army has few armored and relies on the river, and have slacking hearts, striking them they are certain to be overcome. The army cannot only manage itself; if it will benefit the state, taking initiative [to disobey these orders] is allowable. It is appropriate to urgently strike them.” [Chéng] Yù also believed this correct.
Therefore they crossed the Hé north, attacked [Gāo] Fán, defeated him, and the water ways could be connected.
Liú Biǎo sent Liú Bèi north to invade, reached Shè, and Tàizǔ sent Diǎn to accompany Xiàhóu Dūn to resist them. [Liú] Bèi in one mourning burned his camp and left, and [Xiàhóu] Dūn led the various armies to pursue and strike them. Diǎn said: “The bandits without reason withdrew, and one suspects there will certainly be ambush. The south road is narrow, grass and trees thick, we cannot pursue.” [Xiàhóu] Dūn did not listen, and with Yú Jīn pursued them, Diǎn remaining to defend.
[Xiàhóu] Dūn and the rest indeed entered the bandits’ ambush, battled but was not successful, Diǎn went to rescue, and [Liú] Bèi seeing rescue had arrived, therefore scattered and retreated.
He accompanied the siege of Yè, Yè was settled, and with Yuè Jìn besieged Gāo Gàn at Húguān, striking Guǎn Chéng at Chángguǎng, and defeated them all. He was promoted to Capturing Caitiffs General, with fief as a capital precinct Marquis.
Diǎn’s clansmen and guard retainers of over 3000 families, resided at Chéngshì, and he himself asked to move them to Wèi prefecture. Tàizǔ laughed and said: “You wish to admire Gěng Chún?” Diǎn apologized and said: “I Diǎn am worn and rustic and my achievements small, but my rank and favor are exceedingly generous, and truly it is appropriate to raise my clan to exert strength; moreover campaigns have not yet ceased, and it is appropriate to fill the suburbs of the interior, to control the Four Quarters, it is not admiring [Gěng] Chún.” Therefore he moved his guard retainers and clansmen of over 13,000 people to reside at Yè. Tàizǔ praised him, and promoted him to Breaking Caitiffs General.
With Zhāng Liáo and Yuè Jìn he garrisoned Héféi. Sūn Quán led armies to besiege them, and [Zhāng] Liáo wished to carry out instructions to go out and battle. [Yuè] Jìn, [Lǐ] Diǎn, and [Zhāng] Liáo all previously did not get along, [Zhāng] Liáo feared they would not agree, but Diǎn sighed and said: “This is the state’s great affair, I only consider what your plan is and that is all. How can I for personal resentments forget the public righteousness?” Therefore he led the armies to with [Zhāng] Liáo defeat and drive away [Sūn] Quán. His fief increased by 100 households, adding to the previous to 300 households.
Diǎn enjoyed learning, esteemed the scholarly, and did not with the various officers compete for achievement. He respected worthy scholar officials, sincerely worried he could not compare, and in the army he was praised him as senior. At thirty-six years he died, his son [Lǐ] Zhēn succeeded. When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] ascended the throne, in memorial of the Héféi achievement, increased [Lǐ] Zhēn’s fief by 100 households, and bestowed on another of Diǎn’s sons rank as Marquis Within the Passes, fief of 100 households; posthumous name was given on Diǎn as Mǐn-hóu “Martyred Marquis,”