Ravaging Times

chapter 8

Yesterday we were high above.

Today, it’s chilling at the top.
(also metaphor for loneliness, like “lonely in position of leadership”)

chapter 8 The Bloody Path of a Hegemon

Who are we?
History has already forgotten us.

{the Luoyang Palace}
On the first day that Dong Zhuo established Liu Xie as the Emperor…

{horn sfx}
The path to welcome the king… would be paved in blood.
(“…will be awash in blood red”)

{paper reads: admission of guilt}

Yet the intention of loyalists… was at fault.
(“…guilty of a thousand deaths”)

[?]: Chancellor Dong Zhuo will escort His Majesty to the throne!

{horn sfx}

[?]: Ah~

[?]: I’m sorry, brother Zi Fa!
(it’s a courtesy name)

[?]: Screw it, brother Yan Cheng! It’s just death!
(“…fear what”)

[?]: Year 189, Dong Zhuo usurped the courts! Killing countless loyalists!

[?]: That’s how the historical records shall say!

[?]: There’s just no way you’ll get away with this!
(“we refuse believe you can escape”)

[?]: Ah!
[Dong Zhuo]: Don’t stop. Keep going!

[DZ]: The country has fallen this far. Do you know why, Your Majesty?
(“country turned into this state of being…”)
{Liu Xie}

{pa}

{paper reads: admission of guilt}
{splash}

[Liu Xie]: I don’t! I don’t know!

[DZ]: Greed!

[DZ]: Debauchery!
[DZ]: Selfishness!

[DZ]: Eunuchs!
[DZ]: Status quo!

[DZ]: Relatives of the wives!
[DZ]: Corruption!

[DZ]: I bought my rank because imperial relatives dominated all corners of the world!
[DZ]: Forced taxation turned peasants into rebels, while they ignored their jobs!

[DZ]: Greedy men enjoyed themselves while the wise were discarded. The court filled up with idiots!

[DZ]: Poor guidance from the top trickle down to the people, breeding depravation and cultism!

[DZ]: Why didn’t anyone try to stop it?

[DZ]: Why didn’t anyone voice their protest?

[DZ]: You men who kneel before me! That was your duty!

[DZ]: Today, I shall use this pair of hands

[DZ]: to paint the eyes of this blind dragon
[DZ]: wake up!

[DZ]: Look! Look at these useless scoundrels who just wanted an easy life!
[DZ]: High and mighty, but all talk and no action when it comes to reform!
(“not insist reform, full speak benevolence righteousness high official influential clans”)

[DZ]: What have they done? What have they said? Why was my revolt so easily achieved?
[DZ]: And when the country was in chaos, what have they done for your useless father?

[DZ]: Our country declined because of these pigs!

{sfx: ka~}

Are these the pillars of the country?
Are these the dutiful loyalists?

What can I do?
{paper reads: admission of guilt}
Why am I sad?
Why do I cry?

I don’t know! Wrong! I, the Emperor, am suddenly filled with disgust!

NO!

[LX]: Reform!

[LX]: Nothing but!

[DZ]: Right! That’s it!
(“Correct! This is the reason”; not sure; I looked at Fifay.net’s scanlation, but I still can’t interpret the meaning of the original Chinese in context)

{sfx: hoo~}
[LX]: Dong Zhuo! I hate you!

GO~
[LX]: I hate you for being late!

[DZ]: I acknowledge my uselessness and guilt!

{splash~}

[DZ]: All I have is the strength to be hated!
(not sure)

Rebels are more powerful than anything!

The wheel of dynastic change turns faster with their push-

crushing obstacles in the path of the king.
Drain the bruise and raise hell-
until people learn what they value the most!

My child, allow me to use life and blood…
strength and cruelty…

to stride toward a new age!

To create a new age!

I see it…
(“I saw”)

I see…

the bloody path of a ruler!

In year 190, Dong Zhuo killed seventy civilian officials, fifty military officials, and over thirty-six hundred maternal relatives of the imperial clan.

Luoyang was the capital during the Han dynasty. Those imperial relatives in positions of power wanted to court favor with the Emperor, so they sent key family members to live in Luoyang to prove their loyalty. But such loyalty came at a heavy cost!

After the Guandong Alliance declared war to topple him, Dong Zhuo imprisoned all of those key family members.

Dong Zhuo didn’t kill them, but demanded large sum of ransom from their families.

[?]: Request for a person from the Xiping Pass. Quickly!

[?]: Yessir!

Among them was Alliance Chief Yuan Shao’s uncle Yuan Wei and his household of over a hundred and thirty people.

Relatives of commanding officers in the Guandong Alliance and those from the top Imperial clans total up to thousands. They were all imprisoned.

[?]: Have some water.

Sima Lang, the eldest of the Sima clan, was one of them.

Dong Zhuo did not release the hostage after receiving the ransom…

because these hostages were the biggest obstacle that prevented the Guandong army from besieging the city…

These human shields put a significant damper on the siege efforts of the Guandong army.
Many commanding officers pulled back from the front line because of the threats to their relatives…
The hostage situation put Guandong Alliance in a predicament…

begging to be resolved…
(“but predicament needs turning around”)

[?]: Next! Name!
(“…report name”)

[?]: Bai San. Tenth street, third alley. In my household…

When the festival of remembrance prompted a flood of travelers to come home,
the Guandong Alliance sent their elites to sneak in among the crowd.

[?]: Uncle Huang, look at that guy…

{crowd noise~}

[?]: Boy, how dare you bring a weapon into the city!

[?]: Might be a skilled fighter if he intends to force his way in.

[?]: Stop right there, boy!

{sfx: pa~}
[?]: You hear me?

OUCH

[Zhao Huo]: Didn’t you get the memo, uncle?
{token reads: command}
[ZH]: I am Zhao Huo, Shengchi’s administrator Zhao Xian’s son! It’s my first day on the job!

[?]: Hmph! Skilled? More like a dandy with rich parents.

Southern accent… Must be part of the Guandong Alliance!
My hearing has always been sharp.

{Henei, Sima clan}
[?]: Fifth brother! That’s my crab!
[Fifth]: I’m older, so I need a bigger crab.
[?]: But I’m stronger, so I need a bigger crab!
(to me, this might be a parody of Kong Rong giving up big pears to his older brother and younger brothers)

[Fifth]: Want a beating, boy?
{headband reads: fifth in the world, fourth in the world, third in the world}
[Third]: Second brother, where did sister Meng and brother Huo go?

[Sima Yi]: Can’t you have a quieter meal?

[Sixth]: He’s evading. What’s he up to?
{headband reads: sixth in the world, fifth in the world}
[Fifth]: I bet they’re doing something big for second brother.

[SMY]: They’re going to rendezvous with big brother at the port. Xiao Meng went to check the date.
[Fifth]: This pincer’s too hard, second brother, help me crack it!
[SMY]: There will be a lot of traffic, so Ah-Huo went to keep the crowding under control.
(“a” or “ah” here is a prefix like “xiao” as an affectionate reference to someone, the choice of which to use depends on context and naming convention)

[SMY]: The port must be a mess at this point!
{sfx: ka!}

[Fifth]: Fourth Uncle! Second brother stole your jade pincer and broke it!
[Fourth]: You’re dead, Zhong Da!
[SMY]: Sigh! Problems from within and without…

The massive rescue operation by the Guandong Alliance will worsen the chaos. If Zhong Da wants to successfully rescue the hostage in a race against the sea of elites, he must place in motion-
his craziest pawn!
(the analogy is to the board game of Weiqi, but Chess is easier to relate to an English-speaking audience)

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