Ravaging Times

series 3 chapter 2

[Huang Cheng Yan]: What!

{banner reads: House of Huang}

[HCY]: Say that again? Is that what you really want?

[Zhuge Liang]: Yes, Sir Huang Cheng Yan.
[ZGL]: Please betroth Ms. Yue Ying to me.

Chen Mou
chapter 2

The Last Pillar

Not Human series (3)

[?]: This is great! Ugly Duckling got married!

[HCY]: That boy sure has a strange taste (in women).
[HCY]: Good! Good! Here! A toast!

[servant]: Please, Master, others can hear you.

[Huang Yue Ying]: …Even though we’ve never met,

[HYY]: but… you should’ve known that I look very…
[HYY]: You…

[HYY]: Why do you like me?

[HYY]: Answer me.

{HYY crying}

[ZGL]: Forgive me…

[ZGL]: I will be a good husband.

[ZGL]: Believe me.

Huang Cheng Yan, known for his frankness and social influence, was a famous man in Miannan.

He is also related to Liu Biao, the minister of Jingzhou, and the influential Cai clan – both through marriage arrangements between the families.

For someone like me, who wanted to accomplish great goals by becoming a man of letters…

sacrificing my private life for the career was a wise choice.

As expected, after becoming Huang Chen Yan’s son-in-law, I quickly gained the respect of famous men in the Jing region…

My reputation soared.

Thus…

when my former Lord came to Jingzhou to recruit men of letters, it didn’t take long for well-known figures to recommend me.

Yes, in a society that only cared about lineage, status and rank, how could I – brilliant as I was – accomplish my goals without a reputation?

Correct! This is the shortest route.

[ZGL]: Hoo!

{sfx: cha~}
Soon I became an Advisor, who commanded the loyalty of tens of thousands of men, while served under only one.

{shouting: yah~}

With the extraordinary talent of my former Lord, I helped in establishing Shu’s foundation.

[ZGL]: There are nine types of Generals.

[ZGL]: Those who take their tasks seriously, unmoved by self-interested,

[ZGL]: and would choose a dignified death over a shameful existence – they’re called Righteous Generals.

[ZGL]: Those with high-ranks but remain humble, win without becoming arrogant, talented but friendly to the subordinates,

[ZGL]: and with a resolute personality but able to bear humiliation when necessary – they’re called Courteous Generals.

[ZGL]: Those who reward the brave and punish the cowardly, with timely and just treatments – they’re called Trustworthy Generals.

[ZGL]: Those who are happy to meet talents, has a tolerant and resolute personality, would humbly accept valuable opinions, and capable in both battles and strategies,
[ZGL]: they’re called Supreme Generals.

[Liu Bei]: According to you, Advisor, how many Supreme Generals do we have?
[ZGL]: Right now, I think there is no other than Zhao Yun.

[LB]: Ay… I think your words are too extreme.

[Wei Yan]: My Lord, this is only what men of letters think. Can we really judge people by this standard?

[WY]: Long time no see, mister.

[LB]: Oh, you two have met before?

[ZGL]: It’s you!

[LB]: Kong Ming, Wen Chang just came down from Changsha. You two might want to catch up a little, for old time’s sake.

[ZGL]: Oh.

[ZGL]: So you were that defector, who killed Changsha’s Grand Administrator Han Xuan five days ago!
[ZGL]: Quite a move you made!

[WY]: What the hell do you know!

[LB]: Bastard! How dare you disrespect the Advisor!

[WY]: What… Advisor!

[WY]: Even a man like you made it as an Advisor. I must have misjudged you!

[ZGL]: Nonono, you were right. I should be thanking you for your help at Changsha! Oh, I forgot; your best tactic is “capture the leader”!

[ZGL]: Who’d have thought you would use it on Han Xuan! Selling out your Lord for your own benefit, what a Supreme Commander you are!

[WY]: Han Xuan was cruel to his subordinates. Besides, smart birds choose the tree to rest upon. Just like you, no?

[ZGL]: Ah! So you know how to argue too!

[ZGL]: My Lord, a man with “vengeful bone” is dangerous to keep!

[WY]: Don’t make slanderous accusations!

[LB]: Forget it, Kong Ming. Talents are important at a time like this. Besides, he has always been loyal to Imperial Han.

[ZGL]: Him? A talent? I cannot agree!

[LB]: Wen Chang, you’re dismissed.
[WY]: Yessir.

[LB]: Kong Ming,

[LB]: when it comes to political theories and managing government affairs,

[LB]: you are better than me.

[LB]: But… when it comes to judging a person…

[LB]: I can do so much better than you.

In 209 AD, Wei Yan killed the Grand Administrator Han Xuan and surrendered to my former Lord. My former Lord knew about our grudge against each other, so he placed Wei Yan in his personal army, keeping us completely apart.

Perhaps I was an absolute power in the court of Shu. My former Lord encouraged all the officials to obey my every command. No one challenged my authority, except him.

Actually, I have to admit that he is talented. He’s good during planning and battle. But he suffers for his pompousness and immodesty, because one’s capabilities need to be acknowledged by others, not to be flaunted in front of them. Wei Yan doesn’t understand this rule of life. (Fortunately for him) His arrogance and might made people fear him enough to keep their distance.

He was highly valued during my former Lord’s reign. He was often given complete control of a situation, allowing him to achieve great victories, and soon obtaining the title of the General-in-Chief who Guards the North. He even took Zhang Fei’s seat as the Grand Administrator of Hanzhong – clearly surpassed his status.

[ZGL]: Move out!

{right banner reads: Prime Minister of Han, Militant Marquis of District, Zhuge Liang}
In 225 AD, my former Lord passed away in Yongan. To fulfill his goal of restoring Imperial Han, I prepared for the Northern Campaigns.
In 226 AD, I led the first official campaign.
{left banner reads: General-in-Chief of Han who Conquers the West, Lord of Nanzhen, Wei Yan}

I had a feeling then — that I must not lower my guard against Wei Yan, or the consequence would be severe.

A piece of raw gem in the hands of a skilled craftsman will turn into an exquisitely carved jewelry in the blink of an eye. It would shine in bright colors, making its wearer more esteemed, more proud. Yet… it is still only a piece of rock used for showing off.

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