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Ma Zun was an official of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He served as Administrator of Tianshui Commandery and was in charge of defending Tianshui from Zhuge Liang's Shu Han forces. Ma Zun was out to engage Zhuge's army with his subordinates Jiang Wei, Liang Xu, and Yin Shang. When most of the counties betrayed Cao Wei by defecting to Zhuge, Ma became suspicious of Jiang Wei and his colleagues, and fled back to the safety behind the city wall.
After hearing news of Ma's retreat, Jiang Wei and the others followed, not realizing that they were being suspected, until the guards would not let them in when they reached the gate. Jiang Wei, Liang Xu, and Yin Shang had to turn to Ji (冀), where they were prohibited from entering for the same reason. Having nowhere to turn to, Jiang Wei and others were forced to surrender to Zhuge.
In the historical novel Romance of Three Kingdoms, at one time Ma was about to fall for a trap set by Zhuge Liang, but he was saved through a brilliant strategy set by Jiang Wei, who set a trap for the Shu Han general Zhao Yun. However, due to a certain plot that was set by Zhuge, Jiang was made to seem like he betrayed Ma, and he was forced to surrender to Shu Han due to Ma's suspicion. Later, Ma was forced to flee from the Shu armies to the region of Hu.