Jia-jing: Year 17, Month 3, Day 24
22 Apr 1538
Previously, due to a memorial from Li Ning, the Emperor temporarily halted the army being sent on expedition to punish Annam. It had been Imperially commanded that the supreme commanders and grand coordinators of Yun-nan and Guang-dong/ Guang-xi carry out thorough investigations to assess the true yi situation and pacify them or eliminate them accordingly. Thereupon, the Censor-in-chief Wang Wen-sheng, grand coordinator of Yun-nan, transmitted orders to Annam, instructing them that all native-official chieftains who came to allegiance in advance would be allowed to retain their posts. Also, Wu Wen-yuan and others were instructed to summon all of the old ministers of the Lis to raise troops and realize achievements. Further Deng-yong was instructed that if he was able to restrain himself, come to allegiance and compile and submit maps of his territory, he would not be subject to execution. Thereupon, the Annam official-chieftains Chen Cong and Huang Gong-gan as well as border native officials, the Shui-wei Subprefecture chieftain Tao Xian and other chieftains were all willing to come to allegiance. Wu Wen-yuan thus attacked one of Deng-yong's camps guarding a pass, and broke through. Deng-yong's son Fang-ying had, at this time, replaced Deng-yong in controlling the country and he led his troops in attacking Wen-yuan, but could not defeat him. As the area of Lian-hua Rapids in Meng-zi County was where the water and land routes from Jiao-zhi and Guang-xi met, Wen-sheng set up stockades and erected camps and placed troops in the bandit areas to assist those persons who had reverted to right. Fang-ying was frightened and thus sent his chieftain Fan Zheng-yi to bring a memorial of surrender and to deliver a despatch to the grand defender and grand coordinator, including Mu Chao-fu. The despatch noted that when the Lis declined and unrest occurred, Chen Hao rebelled and Fang-ying and his father realized achievements. Thus, the people of the country attached themselves to them. The despatch also noted that the geography of the country could be seen in the Yi-tong zhi. They requested that they be pardoned their crimes and that they be allowed to offer tribute as usual, noting that they would make up the tribute amounts that were owed from previous years. It was also said that as Li Ning was a son of the Ruan family, the seal he held was spurious and not of any validity. Chao-fu advised of the memorial and requested that Fang-ying be pardoned so that he could fulfil the duties of a feudatory-guarding minister, would not employ his troops in fighting against Li Ning and Wu Wen-yuan, and would return the border territory he had invaded. He also requested that the troops be withdrawn from Lian-hua Rapids and proposed the promotion and rewarding of officials who had realized achievements. Subsequently, Li Ning also received the previously-mentioned orders and reported in detail how the country had been usurped, how the ruler had been killed and how he himself had fled. He also submitted a despatch detailing the numbers of troops and horses as well as the distances along the water and land routes of attack. Chao-fu thus advised of this. It was Imperially commanded that all be sent to the Ministry of War and that the officials of the military commissions, ministries, offices of scrutiny and circuits jointly deliberate on this matter. They advised: "Mo Deng-yong and his son usurped the position of ruler and brought harm to the people. These crimes cannot be pardoned. Now, although they have advised surrender, they still occupy the country and are unwilling to provide a map of the territory. They have cunningly submitted this request in an effort to delay the troops. The request submitted by Chao-fu and so on cannot be easily approved. When the Emperor punishes rebellion, both benevolence and righteousness are fully manifested. The proclaiming that they are bandits and the capture of these criminals is what the people all want. Relief must be provided. It is requested that the crimes of Deng-yong and his son in usurpation and rebellion be recognized and that Heaven's punishment be respectfully carried out. Even though it is a yi country, how can the ministers be disloyal! Also, of those native officials who are nearby us, who is not anxious to assist? When Heaven's majesty draws near, the rebellious chieftain and his son will be swiftly eliminated. However, in this, the supreme commanders and grand defenders of the three provinces which abut Annam must combine their forces and divide responsibilities. If they act on the basis of different ideas, it will unavoidably result in difficulties between them. There must be unified command over the senior civil and military officials, so that arrangements are well-ordered and success can be quickly achieved. It is requested that the Xian-ning Marquis Qiu Luan and the Minister of Works and Superintendent of Construction Mao Bo-wen, who were originally appointed, be ordered to continue to hold their positions as supreme commander and adjutant and that they proceed to command the armies. They should be permitted to handle matters in accordance with the demands of the situation." An Imperial command was issued ordering that all matters be handled as proposed.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 80, page 4341/43