Ravaging Times

July 3, 2015

chapter 443 (magazine syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — merc @ 8:13 pm

[?]: Look, the sleet has halted. The water is retreating, opening up the roads again.
[?]: Who knew the flood would get so severe.

[?]: As an old resident of Jingzhou, General Liao, have you ever seen this kind of natural disaster?
[Liao Hua]: Haha, once when I was younger.

[?]: General Liao, look!

[LH]: What spooked you? More corpse…?

chapter 443 Alternative Kindred-Spirit
(“alternative bosom-friend”; this “alternative” is used like in “alternative music/genre”, or “alternative life style”; it sounds weird in this context, but that’s part of Mr. Chen’s style I guess)

[?]: No, h…

[?]: H… h-how could there be a ship here?

[LH]: These are Cao Cao’s ships. How could they have sneaked into the valley?

[LH]: Follow me to high ground!

How…
(“this”)

[LH]: They’re empty… Where are the men?

[?]: General Liao, something’s going on up the hill!
[?]: S… so many of them!

{army movement sfx}

{army movement sfx}

[LH]: Oh no, something’s wrong!

[?]: That is indeed Liu Bei’s rations transport.
[Xun You]: Your move caught them off guard…

[XY]: And who’d have thought this would be Guo Jia’s contingency plan.

{Cao Cao’s General, Zhu Ling}
[Zhu Ling]: Yes. Back then we couldn’t have expect this either…

that his successor… would be him!

{Mount Huarong, Zhuge Liang’s encampment}
[?]: Is this news reliable?

[?]: Yes. The enemy force is sizable and is now at our rear!

[?]: Damn it. That’s impossible!

[Guan Yu]: How did they get here?
[?]: We haven’t a clue, second master…
(“…full head fog moisture…”)

[GY]: Not only that, but we heard nothing from the outposts despite the number of enemy…

[GY]: Stay calm. There’s nothing to fear when we have Cao Cao!

[GY]: Guan Ping, gather the troops and follow me!
[Guan Ping]: Right away, sir!
(“…I go prepare”)

[?]: Advisor, second master has headed for the back hills!
[Zhuge Liang]: Looks like you have planted a surprise behind us.

[Sima Yi]: Have you forgotten that the flood of Jingzhou is deep enough to carry ships?

[SMY]: If you could block the roads and surround Cao Cao, so could I.

[SMY]: You must’ve missed one possibility, that I would use the low-lying swamp of Huarong instead of roads to transfer troops to Red Cliff…

[ZGL]: Haha! Ships in the hills? That certainly exceeded all expectation.

[ZGL]: No wonder we couldn’t have predicted that.

[SMY]: You used water to restrict me, but I could also use it in return.

[SMY]: And now… I’m definitely stronger than you.

[ZGL]: Need I remind you that your master is in our hands?
(rephrased)

[SMY]: We have surrounded someone similar.
(“my surrounded the person, also the same”)

[ZGL]: What are you trying to say?

[SMY]: Like I said, similar.
(“I said the same, it is the same”)

[SMY]: How much forces are left in Jiangxia? If “he” isn’t coming…

[SMY]: who else is there?

[ZGL]: Haha… yes, yes.

[ZGL]: You have surrounded my Lord Liu Bei.

[SMY]: I’m thankful for your candidness, mister.

[SMY]: Though I must say, you seem happy instead of nervous.

[ZGL]: What do you mean, mister Sima?

[SMY]: You know what I mean, mister Zhuge.

[SMY]: Because I’m beginning to think like you.
(“…I going-to step into your logic/thought realm”)

[SMY]: And everything I’m doing is exactly what you want.

[SMY]: It’s true. What little forces the Sun Liu alliance had still decimated a hundred thousand of our men.
[SMY]: My Lord Cao Cao will need years to recuperate from this grave wound.
(rephrased)

[SMY]: For you, however, this victory would lead to a hidden concern far greater than before…

[SMY]: Who would benefit from this deadlock between us?

[SMY]: You know that the alliance was based on self-interest. There might not have been a battle if the “wind” wasn’t favorable.
(there is no mention of “wind” in the original, but in English there is a saying about “seeing which way the wind is blowing”, let me know if that’s so clever that it’s actually misleading)

[SMY]: Why is Zhou Yu hell-bent on taking Jiangling?
(“…bite on jiang ling not release”)

[SMY]: Because he’ll have a backup no matter what this outcome is.

[SMY]: On the surface, attacking Jiangling is the first step toward retaking Jingzhou.

[SMY]: It’s a feint. He knows that you will become the target of all opposition after this victory.
(“…definitely become all arrows’ target, facing every rebellion, outsiders’ invasion”)

[SMY]: Suppose you do shake off the infamy of being the emperor’s kidnapper in a few years, Zhou Yu, skilled as he is, would’ve invaded the Shu territories from Jiangling. He would then conquer the three southern commanderies and have a showdown with you.

[SMY]: Supported by the Long River and defended by Yizhou’s geography, it would be easy to defeat someone as chronically troubled as you.
(this reference to “chronic illness” is a saying, not to be taken literally)

[SMY]: You’re using him, and he’s using you too. But this all depends on Cao Cao’s surrender or death.

[SMY]: Therefore… you haven’t strayed from your “contingency plan” even til now.
(rephrased)

[SMY]: You show kindness in the hopes that I provide a “main plan” for you.

[ZGL]: Which is?

[SMY]: We’ve already gained a common ground through this man.

[SMY]: Abandon Liu Xie and divide the world in three!
(Liu Xie is the current emperor)

[SMY]: This is an unspeakable desire that we all want.

[SMY]: Because true loyalty to righteousness is to the ideal and not to a person. That’s why you chose Liu Bei and not the emperor.
(“…is loyal to ‘the Way’…”)

[SMY]: Therefore rescuing the emperor is only your contingency plan. Your main strategy is about finding a path to remove that impediment.

[SMY]: Your greatest wish is to balance the three kingdoms and let the weakest Liu Bei take part in one.

[SMY]: Right?
{sfx: pa}

[ZGL]: Yes. There is only victory in this battle.

[SMY]: No defeat.

[ZGL]: I knew all along that you will be my “advisor” to save Han.

[SMY]: And I did all of this for you because in order to take everything from Cao Cao… I’ll need a “strategist” like you.
(“…strategy-giver…”)

[?]: Our paths are intertwined until one of us must fall.
(“your ‘way’, my road, before not-yet determined one victory [and] loss, always together not separable”)

[ZGL]: That… is our common ground.

A common ground that only the two of us share…

============= BOOK VERSION BLACK PAGE PREVIEW ===============
After the laughter, both armies found their own number two man.

Funny enough that it was a corrupt (disloyal/treacherous) vassal who finally ended the war.

And what’s even funnier was that the one to ultimately destroy Imperial Han was a Loyalist.

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