Liang Bai Ju Shang (Both Sides Lose, Neither Side Gains)
The State of Han and the State of Wei were fighting each other. For a whole year, the two were locked together in the tussle. King Hui of the State of Qin was thinking of interfiering, and so he asked his ministers for their opinion. Some said that interference would bring good to the state while others asserted that it would only bring harm. This left King Hui in a dilemma, unable to come to a decision.
An eloquent debater called Chen Zhen opened up, saying: "Has anyone ever told Your Highness the story of Zhuangzi Killing tiger? Well, Zhuangzi was going to kill tigers having an ox as their prey when an attendant in his inn came to stop him, saying: 'Not now. The two animals are just beginning to eat the ox, and when they find the taste of the meat really delicious, they will certainly come to contend for it. And contention will lead to a fight, and in fighting the big one will suffer injury while the small one will be killed. Then you can go and kill them and you will win yourself the fame of having killed two tigers at one stroke.' Bian Zhuangzi thought that the man had said the right thing and waited. Before long the two beasts as predicted came to a strife and also as had been said, the big one got injured and the small one succumbed. Zhuangzi then thrust his sword into the wounded one and obtained two dead tigers at once."
Chen Zhen paused and then went on, "Now, Han and Wei have been fighting each other for a year and come out even. But it will turn out that the bigger state is to suffer from damage and the smaller one to collapse. Taking advantage of this, we will reap double gains, just like the case of Zhuangzi, the tiger-killer."
"Good!" uttered King Hui, who then gave up the idea of interference. Truly, things happened as expected: the bigger state Wei lost much of its strength and the smaller Han was vanquished. Qin then dispatched its troops to attack both and won an overwhelming victory.