Meaning of the Idiom
er yu wo zha（You cheat while I deceive.）
During the Spring and Autumn Period, the Chu State relied on its strength and sent troops to attack the weak Song State. Seeing that the situation was critical, the king of Song State sent envoys to Jin State to ask for help. The king of Jin didn’t want to send troops for the time being, so he sent his envoy Xie Yang to Song, telling Song not to surrender, and Jin’s army would soon go to rescue them.
Unexpectedly, Xie Yang was arrested, and the king of Chu forced him to say the opposite to the Song people, and Xie Yang pretended to agree. Therefore, Xie Yang was under the city of Song State, and took the opportunity to convey the order of King Jin to Song State. Seeing that Yang had deceived himself, the king of Chu was furious and scolded him: “You don’t keep your promise, prepare to die!” Xie Yang replied calmly without fear: “I have accepted the order of our king. No promise. I pretended to agree to the king of Chu in order to fulfill my mission, and I would have no regrets even if I died.” The king of Chu admired Xie Yang’s loyalty and unyielding, so he let him go.
The state of Song and the state of Chu were in a stalemate, and the state of Chu was running out of food. When the King of Chu was about to retreat, Minister Shen Shushi said: “I heard that the people of the Song state have no food. We only need to let the soldiers build houses, grow food, and pretend to live here for a long time, and the Song army will collapse. We are afraid that they will not surrender. Is it?” The king of Chu thought it made sense, so he accepted his opinion.
That night, Hua Yuan, the general of the Song Army, sneaked into the camp of Chu. He called General Chu back and said, “We have now reached the point where we cannibalize human flesh and burn human bones. However, we would rather let the country perish than surrender. If you retreat for thirty miles, we can make peace.” Under Hua Yuan’s intimidation, Zifan had no choice but to agree to retreat. Zifan reported the matter to the king of Chu, who agreed.
The next day, the Chu army retreated thirty miles. Hua Yuan signed a covenant with the state of Chu, and the covenant wrote: “I will not deceive you, and you will have no danger to me.”
[ěr yú wǒ zhà]，比喻互相欺骗，互不信任。
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