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)


June 27, 2018

chapter 502 (magazine syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — Tags: — merc @ 1:34 am

{the Xu Capital}

[?]: Ancestors… now as Imperial Han declines, so spreads peasant rebellions!

[?]: The corrupt rules the court and locks loyalists outside, plunging the world into chaos!
[?]: His Majesty is talented for his age, and he is diligently taking on the task to save the world.

[?]: We senior subjects are too feeble to serve the kingdom to the fullest of our abilities.

[?]: Thus we pray to the Heavens to bless the world of Imperial Han…

chapter 502 The Rising And Setting of Sun And Moon
(another translation)

[?]: Like the moon advancing to the full, like the sun ascending the heavens!

[?]: My life for the well-being of His Majesty!
(“…willing [to] reduce lifespan…”)
[?]: My life for the revitalization of Great Han!

[?]: May the Heavens answer the prayer of this aging vassal!
[?]: May the ancestors listen to the loyalists’ heartfelt words and bless us!

[?]: Sheesh, those geezers are putting on their show again.

[?]: Clinging to their posts instead of retiring when they could…

[?]: The deposed emperor certainly liked to hear these words.

[?]: Sigh and cry for the suffering of the people. Anybody could be a reincarnated Qu Yuan.
(another translation; not sure about the second part, maybe he’s mocking those sycophants, or maybe he’s saying we all could love our kingdom a little more)

[?]: So then that rumor from the palace is true.

[?]: His Majesty is concerned for the people, and so the people are concerned for him.
(“…fear [what] people fear…”)

[?]: Your Majesty, your people pray that you share the longevity of the Heavens.
[?]: Your Majesty’s wellness is a blessing to the world!

[?]: Your Majesty…

[?]: Teacher.

[?]: Oh! What a rare guest!

[?]: So you still remember your teacher.
[?]: But I dare not associate with someone of your high standing.

[?]: Don’t forget who promoted you in the past, you stinking brat!
[?]: Forgetting so soon after entering the Office of the Prime Minister, huh!

[?]: Now with a high position and salary, have you forgotten your original aspiration?

[?]: Isn’t he the new favorite of the Prime Minister? Why did he come here?
(another translation I saw online is “fair-haired boy” but I thought this one is less slangy and easier to understand)

[?]: We’ve devoted our lives to the concern of this kingdom.
[?]: But you, do you even have any regard for the son of Heaven?

[?]: It’s wise to speak when it’s fitting.
(quoting “Master Xun”, chapter 6, “Against the Twelve Masters”)

[?]: When silence is fitting…
(the full quote from “Master Xun”: “When one speaks and it is fitting, this is wisdom. When one is silent and it is fitting, this is also wisdom.”)


being silent is also wise.

[?]: Ah, AHHH!
(it’s probably more satirical to make him go “OMGWTFBBQ” but that breaks the tone)

[?]: Wh… what in the world happened?

[?]: Sir, troops are coming in!

[?]: We’re late, Young Master!

[?]: Search every building!

[?]: Find them! There must be more of their faction!
[?]: Unit two, head for the inner chamber!

[?]: It’s too late, you idiot!

[?]: A rare talent,
(“[once in] hundred year outstanding talent”)

[?]: but gave up his life merely because of an Imperial Edict.
(“…willing [to] shorten lifespan”)

Cao… Cao Xiu!

[Cao Xiu]: A loyalist like that sure is a blessing to Imperial Han.
{Cao Cao’s second cousin once removed, Cao Xiu}
(grandfather’s brother’s son’s grandson, thanks to reader fyreFLYH for this diagram)

[?]: He had released both the Edict and his Official Seal before his death.
[?]: The Edict must’ve been announced to the world by now.

{Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Xun Yu}
[Xun Yu]: The Imperial Edict was written by His Majesty and witnessed by the Office of the Prime Minister. There’s no doubt about it.

[XY]: The Prime Minister must not have expected that a rare talent like him…
[XY]: would give up his precious life over an Imperial Edict.

[?]: Prefect Xun, I’m afraid that the Prime Minister would revoke the Edict as soon as he finds out.
[XY]: No. What the Prime Minister fears the most now is to be accused of being a puppet-master of the Emperor.

[XY]: The Prime Minister had declined the enfeoffment of Yangxia, Zhe County, and Ku County for that very reason.
[XY]: He did it to show the world that he is still a vassal of Han.

[?]: So that means the Prime Minister dares not to invalidate this fake announcement even if he wants to?

[XY]: The announcement might be fake, but it hits the Prime Minister’s weakness…
(not sure how to translate the first part, because he’s either saying the Edict is fabricated by Seventh or the act of announcing the Edict is illegitimate, which doesn’t make sense if it’s actually written by the Emperor)

[XY]: The right timing, place, and people. Another brilliant move by the Seventh.

[XY]: Notify Kong Ming that Liu Bei’s request has been granted. If he wants the Nan Commandery, he must hand over Jiangxia to prove his sincerity.
(Kong Ming is Zhuge Liang’s courtesy name)

[?]: Are you certain Zhou Yu would give up the Commandery he almost died for?

[XY]: Gong Jin might not want to, but Sun Quan is very interested in this.
(Gong Jin is Zhou Yu’s courtesy name)

[XY]: You must realize that ever since the Prime Minister engulfed the north, the rapid development these past years has made the Central Plain invincible.

[XY]: And Sun Quan also knows that his victory is but a short-term upset, because there is a limit to the population of the southeast.
[XY]: He could only form an alliance with Liu Bei, who has the full support from the people of the Jing Province, in order to create the checks and balances.

[XY]: The tripartite setup relies on the legitimacy of Sun and Liu’s power.
[?]: Yessir!

[?]: You used to regard Sun and Liu as rebels, Prefect Xun, but now you’re paving the way for them. It’s so sudden, I don’t understand…

[XY]: I’m a vassal to Han, so the only reason I help the Prime Minister is to help His Majesty. As long as Sun and Liu exist,

[XY]: His Majesty will remain alive.

[?]: If you granted that request, does that mean Dong Zhao’s proposal for a Duke of Wei is not a rumor?

[XY]: Imperial Han is near its end, so a Duke of Wei is almost a reality. The Prime Minister would not allow a scandal to stem from this.

[XY]: The only way to delay the promotion is if the world is still full of Han vassals.

[XY]: I must face the consequences of my foolish action.

[XY]: Perhaps… my hope in the capable minister in times of peace has long since vanished.

[XY]: A great many people will be affected by this scandal. Disperse, everyone, and let me shoulder the full blame.

[?]: It’s better to be poor but reputable than to be rich but corrupt.
(quoting from Da Dai Liji, does anyone know of an official translation?)

[CX]: It’s better to die with respect than to live with shame.

[CX]: Except, rare talent, you… haven’t achieved anything yet.

[CX]: Is this declining Imperial Han worth dying for?

[CX]: To leave behind a mismatched reputation after one’s death is a grave concern for a noble man

[CX]: You… are a true hero.

[CX]: On the contrary, those who could confound right and wrong with words yet contribute nothing…

[?]: W… wait, I don’t know him that well!
[?]: He has nothing to do with us!

[?]: Yeah yeah yeah, that boy must’ve done some bad after entering the Office of the Prime Minister, right?

[CX]: He deceived the Prime Minister and announced an Edict without permission…

[?]: Oh ancestors, now that the Prime Minister has united the world for Han,
[?]: he should be widely praised for this unrivaled accomplishment for the world!

[?]: Everyday with tearful eyes I’m thankful to the Prime Minister!
[?]: My life for the Prime Minister’s longevity!
(“willing to reduce [my] lifespan…”)

[?]: Yeah yeah yeah, the Prime Minister’s well-being is what we pray for!
(slightly distorted)

[?]: Oh heavens…
[?]: Now I know how they’re able to keep their standing.

[?]: If the Young Master is here, declaring the Duke of Wei might not be a rumor.
[?]: Yes. The revolution is finally starting.

[?]: Young Master, we found out who the mastermind is.

[CX]: I think I do too.

This is a new era. Nothing can be accomplished in a household that has two masters.

The Sun declines once it reaches the meridian; the moon eclipses once it becomes full.
(supposedly it’s quoting from “Book of Changes”, chapter Feng, but the English ctext entry doesn’t match the Chinese one)

Oh Xun Yu, you great Vassal of Han…

your end is finally near!

====== teaser missing, but here is author’s afterword commentary =====
Mou: The rising and setting of the sun and moon… Once you become an adult, you’ll understand just how many rare talents disappeared while minions continued to exist.

June 5, 2018

chapter 501 (magazine syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — Tags: — merc @ 10:06 pm

He did something that year.

[?]: Look! That’s the harbor!
[?]: It’s even wider and deeper than last time!

[?]: With the waterway so deep, watch out for eddies at the center!

[Jian Yong]: What!?

[JY]: Amazing. No wonder there’s no defense here!

chapter 501 A Debate Over Power

No one was braver than him in that era.

[?]: They hid hundreds of warships along the waterway?
[?]: The enemy will be surrounded if they are lured in!

[?]: Look over here. Over a dozen more ships!
[?]: This formation will cut off the enemy’s retreat route!

[JY]: The southeast has managed to set up a formation over water that was designed for land battle.
{Jian Yong}

[JY]: It uses the speed of the current by going with the flow.
(not sure)

[JY]: Not only do they treat the ships as soldiers…

[JY]: they even renovated the shoreline to accommodate such formation.

[JY]: The current and the wind direction have all become weapons.
[JY]: It won’t be an easy feat to conquer the southeast.

[?]: Enough gawking. Their patrol is here!

(war-horn sfx)

[?]: The mountain breeze can push their tall ships faster than the small boats!?

[?]: Who goes there?

[?]: Don’t wait to act on a chance of a lifetime.
(quoting from “Discourses of the States”, part 2 of chapter on “Discourses of Yue”; anyone has an official translation?)

[Jiang Qin]: The pass phrase is correct. What do you do for the Imperial Uncle?

[JY]: I am Liu Bei’s assistant Jian Yong. We seek an audience with lord Sun Quan.

[JQ]: If it’s a gift in return for the wedding, leave it and go.
{Jiang Qin}

[?]: A marriage is one step away from either blessing or curse.
((quoting from “Discourses of the States”, chapter on “Discourses of Zhou”; anyone has an official translation?))

[Liu Bei]: I came to personally pray for a blessing.

[LB]: Please lead the way, General.


[?]: He only brought several dozen men- is he crazy?

[?]: No sign of any accompanying troops by land or water, and he dared to set foot here?
[?]: What in the world is going on?

{Han Dang}
[Han Dang]: Insanity. Even Gong Jin would be caught off guard if he were here.
(Zhou Yu’s courtesy name is Gong Jin)

[HD]: Old Huang, is that really him?

[Huang Gai]: It is Liu Bei.

[?]: The man we’ve been desperate to get a hold of came to us instead.

[HG]: Except that the war of the southern Commanderies is not over yet.
{Huang Gai}
[HG]: How could Liu Bei know that Zhong Mou has returned to Jingkou?
(Sun Quan’s courtesy name is Zhong Mou)

[?]: Unless Gong Jin was right about having both the Crouching Dragon and the Fledgling Phoenix make him all-knowing?

[HD]: Don’t notify Gong Jin about this, or it might disrupt his existing plans.
[?]: Yessir.

[Zhou Tai]: I’ve prepared a grand residence to welcome your surrender, Imperial Uncle.

{Zhou Tai}
[ZT]: Your good fortune might rub off on me, your neighbor, so that I can enjoy a comfy retirement.

[HG]: Hm, that Tiger General is always blunt to the bone.
[HD]: You came straight here, knowing Zhong Mou doesn’t beat around the bush.


[?]: Well played, Imperial Uncle.

{General who Annihilates Barbarians, Sun Quan}
[Sun Quan]: What a bold move that might even catch Zhou Gong Jin off-guard.

[LB]: I wouldn’t dare to come if the world’s best warrior Zhou Yu is here.

[LB]: I only hope that you will treat your brother-in-law well, General.

[SQ]: Cut the bullshit, brother-in-law. You stay, give up Jiangxia, then tell Guan Yu and Zhang Fei to follow my command.

[SQ]: The world will be pacified with the support of the Crouching Dragon and the Fledgling Phoenix.

[SQ]: And I will definitely treat your family like my own.

[LB]: Fine, I’ll cut to the chase.

[LB]: I have made Kong Ming my successor.
(Zhuge Liang’s courtesy name is Kong Ming)

[LB]: I came bearing gift, not to surrender.

[LB]: I want to show the world that this is not a political marriage, General, as well as to bring good news to you.

[SQ]: It’ll be good news if you could escape from my home.

[LB]: You might be in the southeast, General, but this is a conquered land.
[LB]: By conquering land that belonged to Imperial Han, your court-appointed title has already lost its legitimacy.

[LB]: The Sun clan might be famous, but you are best known as the number one traitor to Han.

[LB]: Without the approval from the Imperial court, are you any different than Emperor Zhongjia Yuan Shu?

[LB]: The people have no choice but to live in the traitor’s land. But where does their loyalty lie?

[LB]: Even without any territory, I was able to gain wide-spread support from the people with just the title of Imperial Uncle and Governor.

[SQ]: The world has seen how pathetic you looked.
[ZT]: Ha.

[LB]: The chaos of today’s world has made people long for a safe place to live.

[LB]: The common folks here could only settle, while they yearn for the true homeland in the north.
(not sure)

[LB]: For that reason, I have submitted a proposal to the court to legitimize you.

[SQ]: Does that mean you have the capability to obtain such legitimacy for me?

[SQ]: Don’t forget, any “proposal” now is just bullshit. Why would Cao Cao approve of it?
(not sure)

[LB]: If you want this, General,

[LB]: do you dare to lend me the Nan Commandery that’s almost in your grasp?

[LB]: Territories south of Xiangyang have all been ruined after Red Cliff. Few would travel there, while the natives of Jing Province are against the Sun clan. It’ll be a hard asset to make use of.

[LB]: Why not use me to develop the land and have an ally against Cao Cao in times of war!

[LB]: You have many talented men who either support war or stability.

[LB]: My Advisor Kong Ming’s Longzhong Plan advocates for stability in the hope of a victory in the long-run.
(slightly distorted)

[LB]: This point coincides with the plan you must’ve heard from one of your subordinates.
(simplified, since “Tashang plan” by Lu Su is less well-known than “Longzhong plan” by Zhuge Liang; both names of the plan refers to the general setting of when the plan was proposed, the former while sitting on a bed-chair, another in a place called Longzhong)

[SQ]: So you planted an insider.

[?]: Cough.

[Lu Su]: This move was my push for stability. Cao Cao’s strength is leagues above our own.
{Sun Quan’s military counselor Lu Su}
{note: “tashang” plan, a proposal by Lu Su to Sun Quan about how to govern the kingdom}
(has anyone seen an official translation of the name of this strategy proposed by Lu Su? “over bed-chair strategy”, suggesting it was discussed during a small/private meeting. If we can’t find an official name for it, might be less confusing to just explain it’s by Lu Su)

[LS]: The battle of Jing may have gained some grounds for Gong Jin, but we lack the military strength to cover vast stretches of land.
[LS]: The northern territories have legitimacy of Imperial Han, and the people’s support is stronger the further north you go.

[LS]: I don’t mean to undermine our morale, but my priority is the southeast. I can’t underestimate the long game.

[LS]: I beg your forgiveness, my Lord.

[HG]: So you’re now Imperial Uncle’s man after just one trip to Jiangxia!

[LB]: Say your piece if you disagree.

[HG]: You think traitor Cao would grant such a generous gift to our Lord?
[HD]: Even if we got it and become like Commander-in-Chief Yuan Shao, then what?

[?]: That’s right. Why go after an empty title when we could give our all for a push northward?

[?]: This swindler is only using his title to try to benefit from such a scheme!

[?]: We should arrest him, my Lord, and let’s go back to the battlefield!
[?]: Like the Little Conqueror always says, deal with all the troubles at once by lumping them together!

[LB]: Who is your master?

[LB]: Is it Zhou Yu, or Sun Quan?

[SQ]: This is only a debate. Winning or losing, mere words.
(not sure)

[SQ]: If you have the capability, Imperial Uncle, prove it. Obtain that legitimacy for me.
[SQ]: Otherwise, I have plenty of land to lend you for your retirement in the southeast!

[ZT]: Capturing Liu Bei is already a success. We’ll be able to command Guan Yu and Zhang Fei today!

[JQ]: Right! How will you pull a fast one when the two of them aren’t here!
(referring to Guan Yu and Zhang Fei helping to make Liu Bei look like a powerful fighter)

[?]: Arrest him!


[ZT]: Look out!


[LB]: I

[LB]: have more than just Guan Yu and Zhang Fei.


[HG]: Hold it!

[?]: What’re you doing, old Huang?

[HG]: D… don’t
(“this… this man”)

[HG]: fight him!
(“touch not [recommended]”)

magazine-only-teaser: “next chapter: Path of A Loyalist” (to be continued in New Youth issue #29)

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