Ravaging Times

March 3, 2009

help me proof the translation

Filed under: Uncategorized — merc @ 9:47 am

Feel free to pick out errors in the English! Or suggest better wording! Some “mistakes” might be intentional, but I’m really a mediocre writer. Thanks! (don’t have to register to leave a comment here)

July 28, 2015

volume 55 afterwords

Filed under: Ravages of Time — Tags: — merc @ 8:40 pm

v55afterword_1v55afterword_2

(from the end of volume 55; scan found on baidu forums)

Written for volume 55.

There have always been readers asking me: “Where would the conflict be in a work without a clear divide between loyalty and corruption? And what stance do each of the hegemons take?” Starting with this volume, I will try to explain whenever there’s a spare moment.

In the feudal ages, the greedy and corrupt nature of the Chinese people meant that a dynastic rule will always result in conflicts after a certain period. A war-torn era would then follow!

From Liu Xiu’s coronation in 25 A.D. to Cao Pi’s usurpation of Han in 220 A.D., it took a hundred and nine-six years. East Han was beyond saving. Having lost the support of the people, “Han” was looking at a regime change sooner or later. It was only a matter of whoever used the right opportunity…

It’s like the political scene now, “the rise of a conqueror” requires a convincing line of argument and goal – for the people and to save lives – to have one’s own faction end up dominating the world. Obviously I believe the historians of the time will pen the losing side as “self-important (crowning self as emperor) and self-serving.”

My humble work “The Ravages of Time” has made it to volume 55, yet the story is still full of nonsense and pretentiousness. To help the readers understand how chaotic the Han’s demise was, I’ll try to present each character as “in the right” (???), and use modern day political factions as reference. Treat it like a joke.

If you want the people to serve you, champion a method that prioritizes the masses, eliminates corruption and scums.

Below are each character’s political platform:

* Dong Zhuo’s faction was intolerant of corruption. They entered the capital through radicalism, believing that only a total reform could save the world. Unfortunately their political leader was killed. As their main ideal teeters, they were plunged into disarray and ultimately destroyed.

* Yuan Shao led the conservatives with centuries of Loyalist baggage to boot. He had to toe the party line but also fend off attacks from other factions. Hence he started up a second track with “Yuan Fang”, whose job was to break out of the constraints and gain votes elsewhere.

* Yuan Shu headed the honest faction. Why not crown himself when “Han” had failed? He was the first to turn his back on “Han”. Unfortunately his similar-minded opponents knew to hide their true intentions and attack him using this point, costing him all of his votes…

* The Sun clan had no baggage. They prided themselves on self-reliance, and “continuous enterprise” was their greatest motivating factor to the working class. (As long as they agreed on “continuation” in principle, even the bloodiest inter-party feud can be put aside for the sake of progress.)

* Cao Cao represented the faction with power of propaganda. Basically he would appear in any form of media, since he would be dragged into any event. Whoever dominated the media dominated the world, and he won by a landslide at Guandu.

* And Liu Bei worked at the grassroots level. He knew that a small political faction must toil away in secret. He came from a decent background, but he needed a campaign manager. After he finally obtained Kong Ming, he won the election in the western area and became the biggest opposition.

Obviously there were various factions in each area. Through appointment or heritage, or even religion… There were too many types to cover.

With this guide I hope you all will have an easier time reading “The Ravages of Time.” Haha.
(at first I also got the impression that he meant not to take it too seriously and be stuck on hating the plotholes or favoritism of characters, etc.)

July 24, 2015

chapter 444 (magazine syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — merc @ 1:33 pm

[?]: Sir! Cheng Pu’s troop has arrived!
(“report…”)

[?]: Good! The forth division is plateauing. Change shift!
[?]: Let none escape from the city!

[?]: Sir! We spotted Cao Ren’s troop in Yiling!

[?]: However, our men have already taken Yiling’s main city and are preparing to defend it!

chapter 444 Becoming The Warrior Saint
(or “the making/realization/crowning/formation of Warrior Saint”?)

[?]: And we have just received the letter of surrender from Gong Su of Yizhou.

[?]: So Liu Zhang’s border guards do get spooked as soon as we reach Yiling!
[?]: Yes! They’re wavering because they think Cao Cao’s forces will withdraw!

[?]: Chief Controller made a “killer” move!

[Zhou Yu]: They never could’ve anticipated that my goal was… Yizhou!

[?]: Amazing. We could take Yiling by merely blocking off Jiangling.
[?]: Try as he might, Cao Ren will never see Jiangling’s reinforcements since the latter has to dig in its heels.

[?]: Though I have to admit that the Third Genius Jia Xu had the brilliant foresight to predict your next move.
[?]: It’s a pity that he hasn’t the military power to do anything about it.

[ZY]: Any news of Liu Bei’s troops?

[?]: The communication line with the Huarong Path is hindered. We’re still waiting.

[?]: However, as you said… they will… travel south by ships?

[ZY]: If Cao Cao manages to escape, then yes.

[?]: Is that the supposed… dividing the world in three?

[ZY]: Haha, my brothers, I welcome you to think like the Eight Geniuses.

Quietly and unassumingly, Zhou Yu returned.

In November of 208 A.D.,

Cao Cao miraculously withdrew from the Huarong path despite Liu Bei’s blockade.

And the derision of Cao Cao had reached its peak that year.

[Guan Yu]: You must be discontent to see Cao Cao walk free, right, my child?

[Guan Ping]: Damn it! We could’ve been world famous, not this three division crap…
(“…but now instead changed into three division”; emphasis mine for tone)

[GY]: Don’t blame the Advisor for hiding his intention to release Cao Cao. It would’ve been a hard sell in the beginning…

[GP]: Of course I get that. This is just my raw emotions…

[GP]: Except… this Advisor really don’t understand what his men want!

[?]: Please board the large ship, my Lord.

[Cao Cao]: Ships in the hills. Unbelievable.
[Sima Yi]: Haha, it does feel ridiculous.
(“…is very exaggerated”)

[CC]: But I do wonder, why don’t we retaliate now when we outnumber Liu Bei’s forces?

[Zhu Ling]: We had to lighten the load to get the ships down the river, my Lord. They’ve already noticed that we don’t have much rations.

[SMY]: Don’t fret, my Lord. There will be plenty of opportunities to have your revenge.

[CC]: Yes, there will. Except…

[CC]: as the greatest villain I’ll be the laughing stock for millennia to come.

[SMY]: It’s possible to soften the blow.
(rephrased)

[SMY]: Zhu Ling.

[ZL]: Understood.

[ZL]: Listen up, everyone! Repeat after me…

[ZL]: Minister Cao is benevolent and virtuous,

[ZL]: Repeat!
(“recite”)

[ZL]: Minister Cao is benevolent, virtuous and beloved by the world…

[?]: Thank you, Lord Guan, for your help!
(not sure)

[?]: Thank you, Lord Guan, for your better judgment!
(not sure)

[?]: Wh… what…

[GP]: Damn it, what nonsense! They want to frame my father!

[?]: Yeah, it wasn’t like that at all!
[?]: Come on guys, think of something to yell back at him!

[GP]: Huh… Why me?

[Zhuge Liang]: It’s only believable because it’s you, second master.

[ZGL]: Second Master is a righteous man of Cao Cao’s “ilk”.

[GP]: Bullshit! Releasing the traitor will make father the laughing stock of the world!

[ZGL]: No questions, second master?
(not sure)

[ZGL]: You don’t understand your father, Guan Ping.

[ZGL]: What seems like a frame-up is not so in your father’s case.

[ZGL]: Remember that a contempt for fame is the best praise for virtue.

[ZGL]: Is it not the highest form of flattery to imply both righteousness and arrogance?
(maybe “superiority” is better than “arrogance”? Since the latter nearly always sound negative)

[ZGL]: Congratulations, second master.

[ZGL]: You’ve finally topped Lü Bu, the God of War!

[GY]: Of all men in the world… only you understand me, Kong Ming!

[GY]: And for that, Advisor, I’m yours to command!

[ZGL]: Hahaha, that one’s funny, Yun Chang, funny indeed!
(Yun Chang is Guan Yu’s courtesy name)

{horn sfx: woo~}

[Xiahou Dun]: Good job, little bro!

[XHD]: You’ve earned the Xiahou clan’s unquestioning loyalty!

[SMY]: Thank you.

[?]: To Advisor Sima, salute!

Climbing the ladder and gaining trust. He… has finally taken a solid step forward.

Of the craftiest men in the world, the other him has also made a move.

[?]: Advisor, the Sun army has blocked the paths from the north. The southern commenderies of Jingzhou is now without reinforcements.

[ZGL]: Good. We must beat Zhou Yu to the punch-

[ZGL]: and take the four commenderies!

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