Ravaging Times

chapter 19

chapter 19 Deadly Escape

During the Festival of Remembrance, lanterns were hung, offerings were burned, and trumpets were blown- all done to comfort the spirits of the ancestors. But it was also a way to ask for their blessing in return.

Sadly, their blessing failed to protect some of the descendants. Something strange happened that night…

Over a hundred new residents of the Zhang estate perished mysteriously, and the ministry of war reported their deaths as such…

[?]: General Li Jue has arrived!
After the strange incident, Dong Zhuo’s subordinate Li Jue rounded up the civilians of his city to gather below Luoyang- to join the relocation to Changan along with the masses at Luoyang.

In order to make the move go smoothly, Dong Zhuo had been spreading rumors that the Guandong Alliance instituted a new emperor and carried out massacres on the people who supported the former emperor.

The gathering of Li Jue’s civilians seemed to add credibility to the rumor, and the masses of Luoyang began to fear for their lives as well.

That was when Dong Zhuo ordered, for the safety of the emperor and the people, the immediate relocation to Changan.
{announcement reads: Relocation Order, Guandong army’s cruel massacre…}

The move was so hasty it gave people little time to pack up. Luoyang was in total chaos that night.

News from Guo Si in Baoyang reached the southern gate of Luoyang by midnight, saying he was under siege by the Guandong army.

The messenger also said: the Guandong army had passed three camps and was now outside the city preparing to pitch camp.

{Dong Zhuo’s General-in-Chief, Li Jue}

[?]: General Li, there they are!
That shocked Li Jue, who had just arrived in Luoyang not long ago. He immediately led his troop to assist.

[Li Jue]: I am Li Jue! Who’s there?
(“…in front [of us] who”)
[LJ]: Speak up!
(“report name”)

{sfx: shoo~}

{sfx: cha~}

[?]: Vanguard of the Guandong army!

[?]: We’re here to kill Dong Zhuo’s guard dog!
(“specially here to take dong traitor’s vicious dog li jue dog life”)

[LJ]: Damn you!

[LJ]: Give chase! Shred those bastards to pieces!

The two armies clashed in the darkness without another word.

Meanwhile in the Luoyang prison.

[?]: We’re all set to move the hostages to Changan!
[?]: General Guo Yan will use the main road and head for the seventh troop!

{Li Meng}
[?]: General Fan Chou will take the Yuan hostages through the secret passage, then meet up with Lord Dong Zhuo outside the city.
[?]: General Li Meng will assist in the escort!

[?]: The remaining hostages will be handled by the second infantry!
[?]: Turn by the seventh alley on the main road. Leave by the west gate to join the commander.
[?]: General Lü Bu’s subordinates will escort the special hostages to the Headquarters of the Imperial Guards.

[?]: They’re moving us…

{Yuan Shao’s uncle, Yuan Wei}
[?]: Grandpa, does that mean uncle Yuan Shao has fought his way here?
(“…fighting reached nearby”)
[Yuan Wei]: It seems so.

[?]: Strange. Why are there so many people escorting the special hostages?
[?]: Is that Sima Lang guy really important?

Lü Bu prepared to fend off a rescue attempt, but he would never have expected that the person to escort the hostages will also be the rescuer!

The showdown is coming…
[Liaoyuan Huo]: So tired!

I haven’t slept in three days…

[?]: Make way! Urgent news!
[?]: Change of plans!

[?]: General Guo Si is under siege. He’s trapped in the city!
(“…momentarily unable come out”)
[?]: General Lü Bu ordered us to use the hostages to relieve the siege!

[?]: Your authorization, please! Hurry!
[?]: This is Lü Bu army’s command token!

[?]: The hostages of Yuan, Liao,
[?]: Wang, Zhang, Han, Kong,
[?]: Qiao and Sun clans. Get them here!
[?]: Hurry! No time to waste!
[?]: The Lü Bu army will take it from here. You’re dismissed!
(“…everybody can go back”)

[?]: So many people? And they’re all important too.
[?]: Looks like they’re attacking General Guo in full force!

[?]: Make way! Make way!

{troop movement sfx}

[?]: Thanks for your cooperation!

[?]: Wake up, sir Zhao! It’s time for your departure.

[?]: Captain’s token?
[?]: You’re a captain, right?

Wa… wasn’t mine seized by the Guandong army?

Co… could it be?
(“unless”)

[LYH]: Move aside!

Impossible!

Their insider Yuan Tai is already dead. They weren’t supposed to have another plan. Even if they know the move happens today…

they couldn’t have redeployed in time! Unless…

a better strategy is already in motion?

{sfx: shoo~}

{sfx: pa}

[Huang Gai]: Nice move, rascal! We meet again!
{sfx: cha~}

[LYH]: Huang Gai of Sun Jian’s army!

[?]: And me!

Liao Lan of Yuan Shu’s army!

{sfx: pa~}

[HG]: Don’t let’m get away! Kill’m!

{sfx: pong~}

[HG]: OW!

[?]: Got it!

{Sun Shu}
[Sun Shu]: Remember this rope, boy?

Wha?

{sfx: pong~}
{sfx: shoo~}

[LYH]: Bitch!
{sfx: ta~}

[?]: Hold it!

{sfx: pong~}
[?]: We got’m trapped!

[?]: Go!

{sfx: pa~ pa~}

[LYH]: Cough! Cough!
[?]: Shu-zi, he must die!
(“zi” suffix here is used as an affectionate reference to someone)
[?]: Don’t let’m tell on us!

[SS]: Got it! Boy…

[SS]: go to hell!
{strangle}

{strangle}

HOH~

{sfx: pa~}

Everything is…

under my control.

{sfx: pa~}
[?]: Bro! It’s you!
{Yuan Shao’s nephew, Yuan Fang}
[YW]: Good job, Fang-er!
(“er” suffix is used as an affectionate reference to someone)
[Yuan Fang]: Thanks, grandpa!

{group movement sfx}

[?]: Open the gate!
{sfx: da da da}

[YF]: General Guo Si’s city is under attack by the Guandong army.
[YF]: General Lü Bu ordered us to use hostages as leverage!

[?]: General Li Jue is out fighting the enemy. I can’t decide for him!
[?]: Please wait!

[YF]: Wait for what? If General Guo Si loses his city, Luoyang will be surrounded. Could General Li afford to take the blame?

[?]: He has a point, sir. We shouldn’t get General Li in trouble!
[?]: But…
[YF]: Hurry! It’s urgent!

[?]: What do you think, Deputy?

[YF]: One.
[YF]: Two.

[YF]: Three.
[?]: Open the gate! Let them out!

{wagon movement sfx}

[YF]: Thanks a lot!
[YF]: General Lü Bu will reward you for sure!

[Liao Lan]: Haha, what a scaredy-cat Deputy! Hilarious!
[HG]: I never thought we could get out so easily!
[?]: Not a single casualty during this rescue. Young Master sure is the best!

[?]: How did we get out so easily, Young Master? Was Li Jue leaving his post also your doing?
[?]: Phtt! Like Young Master would tell you!
(“…young master’s plan why tell you”)
[?]: Young Master had everything under control,
[?]: so we just need to do our part!

[?]: Right! Everything’ll work when Young Master’s with us!

{envelop reads: To First Disciple Brother, From Junior Disciple Brother Liang}

A well thought-out plan will decide a victory on a distant battlefield. Had it not been for the Seventh Disciple Brother’s letter that said “gather below the City,” things would not have been under my control.

Looks like the title of “Crouching Dragon”… will either be yours or mine…

[?]: Stop! We’re on the same side!

[LJ]: Guo Si! Weren’t you besieged by the Guandong army?
[Guo Si]: How could I be?
{Dong Zhuo’s General-in-Chief, Guo Si}
[GS]: Someone reported that the Guandong army has arrived at Luoyang’s gate…

[LJ]: That means we were both fooled!
[LJ]: That first archer must be the insider!
[GS]: Yeah! He claimed to serve you and volunteered to lead the way!

[?]: Look! He fled!

{sfx: da da da da}

[Lu Gu]: It worked!
{Lu Gu}
[LG]: Young Master’s scheme sure is effective.
{Wei Tong}
[Wei Tong]: We’ll save our people while they fight each other!

{caravan movement sfx}

[?]: Brother Ma, what’s on your menu once you get home?
[Ma]: Steamed, fried, boiled, sautéed, roasted- I’ll eat them all!
[?]: Hahaha! A few months of starvation… make everything taste good!

[?]: Young Master, Young Master!

[?]: Thunderous noise from over there, and it’s getting louder!
{galloping sfx}
[?]: It’s a cavalry force from the east gate!
[LL]: Cavalry?

{cavalry sfx}
[LL]: Young Master! That speed…

{cavalry sfx}
[LL]: It’s Hua Xiong’s Redhare cavalry!

{Dong Zhuo’s General-in-Chief, Hua Xiong}
[Hua Xiong]: Huang Gai! I’m not done with you yet!
(“…we not yet determined victory defeat”)

[?]: So that’s the Redhare cavalry? They’re fast!
[?]: The red horses of Xiliang are at least twice as fast as our native breed!

[?]: We’re almost surrounded, Young Master. What should we do?
[?]: Some of us may escape if we split up!
[?]: Or should we fight to the last man? Young Master!
[?]: Shut up! Young Master will have a plan!

Everything is under my control…
Disciple Brother, watch my next move!

[YF]: How about we defeat the Redhare cavalry without any casualty either?

[?]: Hurry! Carry out Young Master’s plan!
{caravan movement sfx}

I’m going to do something you’ll never be able to do.

[SS]: Hurry!

If this succeeds…

the title of “Crouching Dragon”…
will belong to none other than me!
(“…yuan fang’s bag-inside item”)

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