Ravaging Times

chapter 12

chapter 12 A Beauty Beyond This World

Huo… why would it be you?

{sfx: hoo~}

[Lü Bu]: You’re here!

[LB]: Go see the man you came to see.

{sfx: pong~}

AH~

{sfx: pong~}

[Zhao Huo]: I…

[ZH]: am Zhao Xian’s son, Zhao Huo. You must be the mastermind behind my father’s death!

[ZH]: Murderer! Prepare to die!
(“…give life [to me]”)

[?]: Stop! You can’t kill this man!
[?]: There’s still a use for him! Don’t be rash!
[?]: Keep calm, sir Zhao!

[?]: Zhao Xian? The man who died along with Advisor Xu?
[?]: That’s right. General Lü met him at Advisor Xu’s grave last month, then brought him here.

Now I understand. Ah-Huo is using Lü Bu’s friendship with Xu Lin

to win his trust. That’s how he entered the Ministry of War so easily…

His insistence on vengeance meant he could be led straight to me, instead of having to search for me in the prison…

Such a high risk move…

required tremendous courage and insight, Liaoyuan Huo!

[LB]: Are you ready, now that you know who is behind it all?

[ZH]: When do we go wipe out the Sima clan?

[LB]: There is something important we have to do before that…

[ZH]: You mean the one-eye assassin?

[LB]: Correct! I intend to use that guy as bait and kill them both!

[LB]: Then we shall make the Sima clan of Henei bleed!
(“…bleed until forming blood”)

You know what, naive Lü Bu, I’ll have your head before we leave for Henei!

Yet, something in Bo Da’s eyes tells me that it won’t be that easy. Does it mean…

that this Lü Bu is not as simple as I thought?

{sfx: hoo~}

{sfx: huff~}

Hua Xiong?

[Hua Xiong]: Like you expected.

{sfx: pong~}

{sfx: zing~}

{sfx: pa~}

[HX]: There’s someone here who is colluding with the Guandong Alliance. He intends to join the rescue operation during the Festival of Remembrance.

[HX]: And this man just left the Zhang residence that had been under our surveillance…

Shit, he…

[HX]: Only death awaits an insider!

{sfx: pong pong pong pong pong}
{Dong Zhuo’s residence at Luoyang}
{sfx: pong pong pong pong pong}

[?]: Nice! Nicely done!
(“good! danced well”)
[?]: Encore!
[?]: These performers from Minister of Education Wang Yun sure live up to their reputation!
(“courtesan” would imply a prostitution component, which I’m not sure is true in its ancient form)

[Dong Zhuo]: Li Jue, Guo Si and their men are already prepared to act at a moment’s notice. What else?
[?]: That’s about it.

[?]: Brother Luo Zhan, long time no see!
[?]: We lot haven’t had a chance to gather like this since leaving Xiliang.

[?]: Why the long face!
[?]: Brother Zhang Wen, drink!

[?]: Come on!

{stands}

[DZ]: What is it, Zhang Wen?

[Zhang Wen]: It pains us to just leave Luoyang when we fought so hard to get here!

[?]: Zhang Wen! What nonsense is this?

[DZ]: You object?

[ZW]: Large clans like ours have deep roots in Luoyang. Our relatives have immeasurable wealth. How can you, Chancellor, simply get up and leave?
[ZW]: A hasty move will be costly!

{gasp~}

[?]: Zhang Wen, the Chancellor has yet to announce the moving date. Stop assuming!

[ZW]: I dare not. But the frequent transfers of troops recently, and the widening of the west gate…
[ZW]: I believe the move will happen in a few days.

[?]: Zhang Wen, enough!

[?]: Please pardon his offense, Chancellor. Zhang Wen is drunk!

[ZW]: I’m not drunk! We men of Xiliang have endured the discrimination by the people of the central plains. Now that we can stand tall with Luoyang in hand, why give it up so easily?

[?]: Zhang Wen, the move is a top-secret operation. We’re bound to lose if the Guandong Alliance finds out the details and attack at our most vulnerable moment.
[?]: Anyone who leaks the secret will die. Didn’t you receive the secret notice?

{cup down sfx}

AH~

[?]: Wake up, brother Zhang! You’re in big trouble!

[?]: Please, Ch… Chancellor, consider Zhang Wen’s financial support…

[DZ]: Zhang Wen, give up your wealth for our troops!

[ZW]: Ye… yes!

{sfx: zing~}
[ZW]: Please spare my family, Chancellor!

{gasp~}

[?]: See the consequence of leaking secrets?
[DZ]: As for the moving date, you will be notified.

Yessir!

[DZ]: However, Zhang Wen’s slip means everyone who isn’t involved in the move, including his friends…
[DZ]: will disappear.

{standing up sfx}
[?]: How do we explain it?
{standing up sfx}
[?]: They’re out on assignment, or killed by the Guandong army.

[?]: Wa… wait, I have nothing to do with Zhang Wen!

AH~

{sfx: cha~}

[?]: We… we have nothing to do with this!

{sfx: zing zing zing zing zing zing zing zing zing}

[DZ]: A Requiem of Xiliang.

[?]: Dead or alive, I wish to return to Xiliang.

[DZ]: Why aren’t you fleeing?

[?]: Stay here and become the enemy of many. How is such uncertainty any different than death?

[DZ]: That note between the lines– yours, or someone else’s?
(wordplay based on scene context)

[?]: I heard this note among the soldiers of Xiliang.

[DZ]: They won’t be singing this once they find out they’re leaving.

[?]: But they will resent it.

[?]: The men of Xiliang protected the borders from foreign invasions. Yet they received none of the credit and all of the discrimination. Leaving will hurt their pride.
(“…heart has not willing”)

[?]: A buildup of resentment will divide loyalties and hinder your revolution…

[DZ]: Do you know how to persuade them, musician?

[?]: I will explain with a song, then reassure with a dance.

[DZ]: Why not.

All right~

{shake off disguise}

[Meng]: Diao Chan, at your command!

Her dance ended with stolen glances over the curtain. Who shall admire her like King Qingxiang of Chu?
(king Qingxiang of Chu was said to have lusted after a goddess-like woman instead of being a responsible ruler)

With cherry lips and pearly teeth she sang of “White Snow In Early Spring.”
(“White Snow In Early Spring” was said to be one of the music pieces that were enjoyed by the high-class, and not accessible/comprehensible to the common people)

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