22. Shut the door to catch the thief
To capture the enemy, you must plan prudently if you want to succeed. Do not rush into action and before you ‘move in for the kill’ first cut off your enemy’s escape routes, and cut off any routes through which outside help can reach them.
During the reign of Empress Wu Ze Tian in the Tang Dynasty there were two ministers by the name of Lai Jun Chen and Jhou Sing who were much favoured by the empress. These two ministers enjoyed devising various torture instruments and became experts in such torture and the gaining of confessions from anyone who was suspected of treason or disloyalty to the empress.
One day the empress received a tip that Jhou Sing was plotting a revolt and the empress asked Lai Jun Chen ...