Ravaging Times

September 25, 2015

chapter 448 (magazine syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — merc @ 6:25 am

Before virtuous Kong Rong’s death that year, he left behind a saying…

Slander and wickedness damage impartiality, like floating clouds overshadowing the white sun.
[?]: Surround him. Don’t let’m get away!

{the Xu capital}
[?]: Pick on us because you’re tall? Think again!
It was exactly the state of things that year.

[?]: Surrender, brother Zhi!
(Cao Wei family tree)

{Cao Zhi}
[Cao Zhi]: You won’t get it that easily, brother Chong.

chapter 448 Qilin and Elephant

{sfx: pa}

{Yang Xiu}
[Yang Xiu]: Haha, brothers fighting brothers. What a grand sight.

[?]: Mine, it’s mine.

[CZ]: Where did you find the time to wander, busy man?

[YX]: Ay… this once a year celebration landed on my lap due to the defeat.

[Cao Chong]: Yang Xiu is so good at bragging he could spin any bad news into a good one.
{Cao Chong}

[YX]: Haha, you could do it too if you read more books, young master.

[CC]: I loved those books you gave me. Do you have more?
[YX]: Sure sure.

[YX]: Work hard, young master. Don’t lose to your elder brother!

[?]: You’re here, Sir Yang.

[YX]: Did something happen to our gift?
[?]: Yes, one fell ill. I don’t know if it’ll make it…

[YX]: So my bragging might get us in trouble this time.

[YX]: Young Masters, do you want to see a celestial beast?

[?]: Look, look!

[?]: Is that a Qinlin?

{giraffe bleats: loo, loo}

[Cao Ju]: Look, it’s so big.
{Cao Ju}
{Cao Yu}
[CZ]: Too tall to stand once it falls.

[YX]: It’s too cold. It might not make it.
[?]: Let’s use the other auspicious beast then.
(reworded; is there a difference between 瑞獸 and 吉祥獸?)

[?]: Young Masters, be careful!

[?]: Haha, not only is this one big,

[?]: it’s heavier too!

[?]: Do you know how heavy this elephant is, young masters?

[?]: Heavier than five horses, right?
[?]: No, must be ten!

[Cao Xuan]: It stinks here, ninth brother. Let’s go.
{Cao Biao}
{Cao Xuan}
[Cao Biao]: Yeah. Celestial beasts are overrated. Let’s bolt.

[CC]: You mean father will ask us how heavy the elephant is?

[CC]: That’s simple. Put the elephant on a boat, then…

[YX]: That’s no fun if you tell everyone your method so soon.

[YX]: Don’t you want to impress your father?
[CC]: Yeah, I get it!

[CZ]: Trying to curry favor with my younger brother again, aren’t you?

[YX]: Of course. Young Master Chong is clever. He might just be a successor.

[CZ]: Teaching Cao Chong to weigh the elephant seems like a scheme.

[CZ]: What’s scarier is your ability to always predict my father’s next move.

[YX]: If the Qilin goes wrong, there’s still an elephant to fall back on.
(“…as arrow-blocking shield”)

[CZ]: Please don’t drag brother Chong into this.
(“…pull chong brother down [into] water…”)

[YX]: That’s still not enough competition.
(not sure; “add more some opponent, target still not that big”)

[CZ]: Are you worried that even a Qinlin and an elephant won’t be his match?

[YX]: We’re fine and dandy on the surface, Young Master, but behind all that we’re fighting with everything we’ve got.
(“…before us all kinds of pretty stance…”)

[YX]: Cao Pi appears like a dragon that overpowers the Qilin and the elephant.

[YX]: But beware, for the one behind the auspicious beast is not kind.

[YX]: He is a wolf.

The Wolf-neck is coming for me.

[?]: Yang Xiu is amazing. These Good Wishes he wrote made you the personification of perfection.

[?]: The internal strife is just beginning. Why the extravagance?
[?]: Ah-Man, we can’t skip a birthday banquet.

[?]: At least it’s our way to thank the Heavens for surviving that deadly ordeal.

[?]: As for funding…

[Xiahou Dun]: That guy over there had already planned for it.
{Xiahou Dun}
{Cao Cao}

{Sima Yi}
[Sima Yi]: Don’t worry, my Lord. I’ll take care of everything.

[XHD]: Besides, we need the extravagance to awe the enemy, now more than ever.

[XHD]: The merchant class is afraid of chaos. They’ll support us at all cost.

[CC]: Reining in the chaos must take priority. As long as it doesn’t hurt their bottomline…

[CC]: the merchants will unite for the sake of stability.
[CC]: Those pretentious idealists sure can’t lie with their bodies.

[CC]: Hoo.

[CC]: I’m getting old. Stately concerns always give me the jitters…
(“…all [over] body not comfortable…”)

[XHD]: You’ll live to a hundred, Ah-Man. Quit bitchin’ about imaginary ailment.
(“…grumbling/moaning/whining…”, but somehow I feel “bitching” is a wittier wordplay, and in-character too, hehehe)

[XHD]: I say you should take it easy and just play with your kids sometimes.

[CC]: Farmers love to have many sons. Not so for a large clan.

[CC]: That’s another headache of a problem.

[CC]: As soon as Yuan Shao and Liu Biao died, their sons fought amongst themselves and destroyed their family legacy.
(“…big great river mountain destroyed in an instance”)

[CC]: And I have over ten sons. Not short of rare talents among them either.

[CC]: History has taught us, however, that something went wrong for both Qin and Han when absolute power was being handed to the second generation.

[XHD]: Are you worried about a power struggle between your sons?

[CC]: Chong-er joined in too recently.

[CC]: Pi-er, Zhang-er, Zhi-er, Chong-er… They all have supporters.

[CC]: What pains a father the most is knowing that only one of them will survive.

[XHD]: They’re born of the same roots, Ah-Man. Stop that nonsense!

[SMY]: You are right, my Lord. History is like this.

[?]: Since it cannot be changed, we should do our best to maintain social stability to avoid a repeat.

[CC]: Even though we could pre-select the successor, I’m still observing in case I choose the wrong person.

[CC]: Zhong Da.
[SMY]: Here.

[CC]: Pi-er may be talented, but conquest and governance are two different things.

[CC]: For the good of the world I’m willing to play the villain…

[CC]: For the good of all people, if the Cao descendants are incompetent,

[CC]: I want you… to rule in their stead!

[CC]: I won’t give power to Liu Xie because I know he’s not capable.

[CC]: The world could only be ruled by the capable, not be given up like Kong Rong and his pears.

[XHD]: Ah-Man, you…

{sfx: pa}

[SMY]: Your flattery is overwhelming, my Lord.

[SMY]: But it’s not as moving because you’re not Liu Bei.

[SMY]: Your humor…

[SMY]: proves that you have everything under control. So I’m not concerned.

[CC]: Haha…

[CC]: Haha, hahahaha.

[CC]: You see that, Yuan Rang?
{note: Xiahou Dun, courtesy name Yuan Rang}

[CC]: I’m predictable to so many people, but only one dares to speak the truth.

[CC]: And I… hate those phonies who’d cry over what I just said.

[CC]: Wise and diligent vassals are the real assets to Pi-er.

[CC]: That’s more reassuring than those with silver-tongue who would use auspicious beasts to flatter me.

[CC]: I ask you, Zhong Da. What’s the greatest obstacle in Pi-er’s path.

[CC]: I want your honest opinion.

[SMY]: The obstacle isn’t the greed among brothers, my Lord. It’s the man behind them.

[SMY]: The instigator, Yang Xiu.
(“fan flame light fire…”)

======= black page preview ======
The story of Cao Chong weighing the elephant spread across the country that year.

His father held back tears as he smiled at the flowery speech that filled the Imperial Garden that day.


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