Nv Ai, or Ru Ai, was a female general under Shao Kang during the Xia and Shang dynasties. In order to help Shao Kang regain his throne, she came to the center of Han Milestone’s rule in disguise to spy and learn about the people, providing Shao Kang with valuable information. This made her the first female spy in Chinese history and one of the earliest recorded female spies in the world.
The third monarch of the Xia Dynasty, Taikang, was a man who only knew how to eat, drink and have fun, and often went out hunting and did not return for months when he was happy. Such a ruler naturally did not have the support of his subjects, and Taikang had a brave and good archer under him, Hou Yi. He took advantage of Taikang’s absence and made his brother Zhongkang the ruler of the kingdom. Taikang was unable to return home and died in his hometown, which is called “Taikang lost his country”.
Hou Yi was so powerful that he could not see anything. After a long time, he ignored the government and became absorbed in the fun of hunting in the mountains. A conspirator named Han Milestone, who was under Hou Yi’s command, murdered Hou Yi and took his beloved wife and had two sons with her: Pour and Pigs. The two places, over and gao, were granted to them by Han Milestone.
Zhong Kang’s son, Xiang, was the fifth king of the Xia Dynasty. Fearing that Xiang would jeopardize his ruling position, Han Milestone cruelly killed Xiang. At that time, Xiang’s wife was pregnant and she managed to escape through a hole in the wall and gave birth to her son Shaokang. Shaokang grew up and lived in the tribe of Youyu. The chief of the Youyu clan valued Shaokang so much that he married his two daughters to him and gave him a small piece of land and 500 slaves.
Shao Kang always kept his father’s murder in his heart. But with only a small piece of land and 500 slaves to get revenge is not easy, Shao Kang thought about it, and thought of using “spies”. Shao Kang had a loyal servant named Nui Ai. Female Ai is not only loyal to Shao Kang, but also wise and brave. Shao Kang told her what he wanted to do, and she was happy to go.
When she arrived at the place ruled by Shoukang, she deceived him and kept reporting Shoukang’s situation to him. Shao Kang drew up a plan of action to destroy Zeng, and finally destroyed him in one stroke. He then took advantage of the victory to send out an army and destroyed Pigs again. By this time, Han Milestone was dead. Shaokang returned to his homeland and restored the Xia Dynasty.
Shaokang was the first king of China to use spies. It is thought-provoking that the first recorded use of spies led to such a big event, so the role of spies cannot be underestimated.
The story of female Ai and spies shows that the good use of spies is very important for a group. It can be said that without the intelligence gathering work of Ai and Ji, Shao Kang would not have been able to know himself and his opponent in a very closed information situation, and finally achieve victory. The fact that Shao Kang had such foresight showed that he was indeed an outstanding politician. Since he had experienced hardships since childhood, he was able to be diligent in politics and trustworthy after his restoration. Under his rule, the world was stable, culture flourished, and all tribes supported him, and the Xia dynasty flourished again.