Ravaging Times

chapter 7

chapter 7 Legend of Heroes

{flag reads: Northern Alliance of Guandong}

[?]: …Li Ming,
[?]: Xiahou Cai.
[?]: Two in Yuan Shu’s army:
[?]: Zhang Cheng,
[?]: Weng Jian.

[?]: Six in Qiao Mao’s army: Guan Hong, Peng Jun.
[?]: Zhang Wei,
[?]: Guan Song,
[?]: Yuan Liu,
[?]: Wang Zun.

[?]: Four in Sun Jian’s army:
[?]: Cheng Kuang,

[?]: Liu Yuan,
[?]: Zhou Guo Tai,

[?]: Deng Hai,
[?]: even that Thousand-Kill Liu Yuan died…
[?]: I heard that his head was cut off too.

[?]: Two in Liu Dai’s army:
[?]: Cheng Jing,
[?]: Kong Fang.
{the map shows 4 circled groups of figures, left of Mount Taihang, right-to-down-to-left: “Dong Zhuo, Lü Bu, Hua Xiong, Jia Xu, Xu Lin (crossed out), Li Su, Hu Zhen, Zhao Cen“; right of Mount Taihang, right-to-down-to-left: “Yuan Shao, Liu Dai, Wang Kuang, Zhang Miao, Han Fu, Zhang Chao, Kong Zhou, Bao Xin, Cao Cao, Gongsun Zan”; right of that, “Qiao Mao, Bao Lin, Yuan Shu, Sun Jian”; bottom left, “Li Jue, Guo Si, Zhang Ji, Fan Chou”}

[?]: Total dead:
[?]: twenty-nine.

[?]: All died by assassination?

[?]: We suspect it’s the same assassin.

[?]: The legendary Lü Bu?
[?]: That’s hard to believe!
(“not likely possible”)

[Liu Zong]: Every victim was an one-eyed general? I doubt it’s a coincidence.
{Yuan Shao’s subordinate, Liu Zong}

[LZ]: Even lord Yuan Shao is starting to worry!

[LZ]: I, One-Eyed Liu Zong, with decades of war behind me,
[LZ]: killing anyone I please in a sea of enemies, only a myth…

[LZ]: In order to raise morale during times of war, it’s always necessary to fabricate legends.

[LZ]: The most popular myth being circulated recently is that…
[LZ]: one-eyed assassin from the Sima clan who killed Xu Lin!

[?]: Something like he killed Xu Lin and fifteen of his generals all by himself.
[?]: What? It’s not true?

[LZ]: Fool! Xu Lin and those fifteen generals are famous across the land. How does one man stand a chance with that odds?

[?]: Then why does lord Yuan Shao believe the Sima clan was responsible?

[LZ]: The making of a hero.

[LZ]: Lord Yuan Shao doesn’t actually believe it. But Sima clan refusing recruitment and Xu Lin’s strange death invite speculation.

[?]: So he let his men spread falsehoods and embellish the tale.
[?]: That means… the one-eyed assassin is fake?

[LZ]: Yes! For the purpose of countering the legends made up by the enemy!

[?]: You mean… the God of War Lü Bu?

[LZ]: Letting one man take all the credit for the death of twenty-nine one-eyed generals of the Guandong Alliance. It creates an image of an invincible warrior.

[?]: That’s right. We’re sure to be at a disadvantage if we don’t have someone equally powerful.
[?]: It’s night time. Cease training.
[?]: Yessir!

[LZ]: Therefore if our myth of the one-eyed assassin overpowers their legend of the God of War, it’ll hurt their morale.
[LZ]: Rumormongering is the deadliest weapon in a stalemate.

[LZ]: There’s no denying that the Xiliang army has their skilled assassins. But it won’t be just one.
[LZ]: How the military text teaches us about myth-making- tell us, Li Deng!

[Li Deng]: The commanding officers take the credit for a battle of hundreds. After a thousand retelling, the credit will all go to one man.
(not sure)

[LZ]: Right! By hearsay, it’ll end up being one man!
[LZ]: That’s the power of rumor.
[?]: Even lord Yuan believed it. Hahahaha!

[LZ]: Since most of you officers are here, let me explain something.

[LZ]: Listen up!

[LZ]: The so-called myth of the “One-Eyed Assassin”…

[LZ]: was actually my fabrication.

[LZ]: Lord Yuan Shao was in full agreement too.
[LZ]: Thus he wanted me to spread it across the troops in order to raise morale!

[?]: Goddamnit, so you made up the one-eyed assassin!
[?]: That certainly let the Sima clan off the hook!

[LZ]: In other words, I am the true one-eyed assassin!

[?]: A toast to you! The “hero” who killed Xu Lin!
[?]: General Liu the trickster!
[?]: A toast to you!

{noise}
[?]: And all those deceased twenty-nine of you!
(not sure)

[?]: Cut that ruckus! Didn’t I order training to cease?

{wind sfx: hoo~}

{sfx: cha~}

AH~

[?]: Did you kill Xu Lin?

{horse neigh}

[LZ]: Who are you?

[Lü Bu]: Duke of Wen of the Great Han!

[?]: God of War Lü Lü Lü Lü… Bu?

[?]: The Xiliang army’s God of War?

[?]: Don’t worry, General Liu. There’s just him. We’ve already got him surrounded!

[?]: Shit! You’re ballsy!
[?]: Charging in here all alone!

Alone?

Charging to the center of an encampment of five li in radius, all by himself!?

[LB]: Twenty-eight!

[LB]: Twenty-nine!

[LB]: By my count! That makes you the thirtieth.

[LB]: For vengeance! No kill like overkill!
(“for avenging killed brother enmity, rather kill wrong [target] than miss [one target]”)

KILL~

{wind sfx: hoo~}

[Liaoyuan Huo]: Wisest man of the world, take a guess…

{tombstone reads: Military Adviser of Han, Xu Lin’s grave}

{galloping sfx: ta ta ta ta}

[LYH]: Once you find out,

[LYH]: your jaw will hit the floor!

Liaoyuan Huo’s theory about killing: It’s less hassle to kill one strong opponent than a hundred peons…

Lü Bu’s theory about killing: It’s more fun to kill a hundred strong opponents than one peon…

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