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Meng Yi
20090418090621414882
Some attributes
First Name: Yi Xiaochuan
Second Adopted name: Meng Yi
Third Nationality: Chinese
Other attributes
Fourth Allegiance: Qin Dynasty
Fifth Occupation: Official
Sixth Gender: Male

Yi Xiaochuan was born in a peasant family in Zhongyang Village (中陽里), Feng Town (豐邑), Pei County (沛縣), which is in present-day Feng County, Xuzhou, Jiangsu. Xiaochuan found a tiger pendant by coincidence. Xiaochuan met Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, and became sworn brothers with them. He also encountered the Qin general Meng Tian, who had mistaken him for his long-lost younger brother Meng Yi, because the pendant belonged only to members of the Meng clan. Xiaochuan also met Princess Yushu of the tribal kingdom Tu'an, and she became the love of his life. However, the lovers were unable to be together, as Yushu became the Qin emperor's concubine in exchange for peace between the Qin Empire and Tu'an. Xiaochuan was unwilling to give up and he met Yushu in secret inside the palace. But in order to do so, he had to pretend to be Meng Yi.

Qin Shi Huang trusted the Meng family and regarded them very highly. Meng Yi served in Qin Shi Huang's court as a minister and was one of the emperor's close aides and advisers. He was allowed to ride in the same carriage as the emperor and stand near the emperor during court sessions. When Zhao Gao, a eunuch serving as a personal attendant to Qin Shi Huang's youngest son Huhai, committed a serious offense, the emperor ordered Meng Yi to prosecute Zhao according to the laws. Meng Yi went by the book and noted that Zhao Gao was to receive the death penalty and be stripped off his official titles. However, Qin Shi Huang eventually pardoned Zhao Gao on account of the latter's diligence in performing his duties.

In the winter of 210 BCE, Qin Shi Huang became seriously ill while he was on an inspection tour in eastern China so he sent Meng Yi to help him pray to the gods on his behalf. Before Meng Yi returned, the emperor died at Shaqiu (沙丘), with only Zhao Gao, Huhai and Li Si by his deathbed. Zhao Gao and Li Si secretly changed the emperor's final edict — which named his eldest son, Fusu, as his successor — and named Huhai the new emperor instead.

The altered edict also ordered Fusu and Meng Tian, who were away at the border, to commit suicide. Fusu faithfully followed the order but Meng Tian felt suspicious and repeatedly requested for confirmation, but was placed under arrest. When Huhai heard that Fusu was dead, he wanted to spare Meng Tian, but Zhao Gao advised him against it because he feared that the Mengs would take revenge against him.

When Meng Yi returned from his mission, Zhao Gao suggested to Huhai to exterminate the Meng clan, but Huhai had Meng Yi arrested and imprisoned in Dai (代). Meng Tian, who had already been arrested earlier for defying the edict, was imprisoned in Yangzhou (陽周). After Huhai returned to the Qin capital Xianyang, he held a grand funeral for his father, after which he ascended the throne as Qin Er Shi (Second Emperor of Qin). Zhao Gao became Qin Er Shi's close aide and he often spoke ill of the Mengs in front of the emperor and urged the emperor to get rid of them.

Fusu's son, Ziying, strongly advised Qin Er Shi against executing the Mengs, but the emperor refused to listen. Qin Er Shi sent an envoy to meet Meng Yi and order Meng to commit suicide. Meng Yi gave a long reply, in which he hinted that the emperor had no reason to execute him. However, the envoy, who knew that the emperor wanted to see Meng Yi dead, ignored Meng's response and killed the latter. Meng Tian committed suicide in Yangzhou later by consuming poison.

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