Ravaging Times

chapter 31

{flag reads: Yuan}
{Luoyang, outside the north gate}

[?]: Third master!

[Yuan Shang]: Tsk tsk tsk!
{Yuan Shao’s third son, Yuan Shang}

[YS]: What’s the situation? Where’s father?

[?]: Chief Yuan Shao heard that His Majesty (Liu Bian) was at the palace,
[?]: so he led his cavalry forces there to protect the Emperor!

[YS]: No wonder Dong Zhuo set this vicious fire!

chapter 31 The Heroism Of Brave Men

[?]: General Wen Chou charged in too after hearing that our Lord rushed in!
[?]: Then the hidden enemy troops suddenly appeared…
[?]: We couldn’t fend them off, so we retreated. And Lü…

[YS]: Tsk. How many of Dong Zhuo’s troops are still in the city?

[?]: Li Jue and Guo Si have left the city, with Fan Chou and the rest serving as rear guard. If the reports are accurate, only Lü Bu and Hua Xiong’s troops still remain.

[?]: The guard of the city must be one of them.
[?]: However, Advisor Yuan Fang should’ve already worn down Hua Xiong’s troops, so it should just be Lü Bu’s men.

[YS]: So you heard Lü Bu’s name and got too scared to attack?

[YS]: Lü Bu isn’t even in the city!
[YS]: Spy reports say Lü Bu is serving as rear guard with Fan Chou on their way to Changan.
[?]: Looks like Dong Zhuo used the title of “Invincible God of War” to make fools out of you all.

[YS]: Lü Bu is no big deal. He got lucky in a few battles, but he’s just a brute. Nothing to be afraid of.

[YS]: Like how he led a troop to Liu Zong’s camp looking for the rumored one-eyed assassin who killed Xu Lin.

[YS]: Getting Liu Zong’s head cost him tens of thousands of Xiliang army’s miserable lives. Guts he has plenty, but brains, not so much.

[YS]: People only know of Lü Bu’s head hunt, not of the price he paid for it. How could a General-in-Chief act like that! You should learn from deputy general Zhang Ba. I bet he’d have breached the west gate by now.

[?]: Gen… General Zhang… he…

[YS]: What about him?

{Luoyang, west gate}

{sfx: woo~}

[?]: Another officer sought out his death. Eh?

[?]: Isn’t he Zhang Ba the Wise General?

[?]: That… wise and courageous Zhang Ba?
[?]: Along with Ma Fu and Wu Zhi, three General-in-Chiefs were killed!
[?]: He’s no doubt the strongest fake Lü Bu!

[?]: Congratulations, General. Killing three officers is a major accomplishment.

[?]: Is killing small-fries considered a major accomplishment?
[?]: The real Lü Bu killed “Unmatched Under Heaven” with one hand and subdued Yuan Tai in one move. How is this even comparable?

[?]: You’re too modest, General. With your skills, you’ll be a commander of your own right sooner or later.
(simplified)

[?]: You think all it takes to be a commander is being brave?

[?]: Sure, just like General Lü’s night raid on Liu Zong’s camp.

[?]: He became infamous over night. Now whenever enemies hear of his name…

[?]: How much do you know of one-eyed Liu Zong’s death?

[?]: Of course we know- General Lü stormed through five li of enemy encampment and killed Liu Zong in one strike.
[?]: Every warrior worth his salt knows about it.

[?]: And what happened afterwards?

[?]: Liu Zong’s head was hung in front of Xu Lin’s grave.
[?]: I think… this won’t be difficult for you either!

[?]: General Lü also went to Bai Fang’s camp in the Guandong army after killing Liu Zong.
[?]: Bai Fang’s camp? Why?

[?]: He lured Liu Zong’s pursuing troops to Bai Fang’s camp, and thanks to the dim moonlight…
[?]: soldiers on two sides mistook the other as enemies and General Lü killed Bai Fang during the ensuing chaos.

[?]: Oh yeah, I heard the Guandong army stayed put for nearly a month after that, could it be…

[?]: because he raided six encampments and killed fifty commanding officers that night.

[?]: The Guandong Alliance unwittingly suffered casualties by tens of thousands while he got away unscathed. The Guandong army ordered a settlement and delayed their attack on Luoyang.

[?]: I remember now. Defectors in two western cities led a revolt that day which demanded the attention of all of our forces.
[?]: Does that mean the revolt and the attack on Luoyang were related?

[?]: Correct. That’s the baiting strategy.
(“…lure tiger away [from] mountain…”)
[?]: Under the worst conditions, he was able to keep calm and singlehandedly saved our key positions without having any advantage- now that’s the smart kind of bravery.
(simplified)

[?]: In order to salvage morale from this utter humiliation, they pretended that the dead were Lü Bu’s soldiers.
[?]: They tried to twist Lü Bu’s heroic image into one where he is a mere brute.
(rephrased)

[?]: What impressed me the most was that General Lü controlled the enemy’s movement. He killed thirty one-eyed officers in the name of vengeance, and it crushed the enemy’s will to fight.

{sfx: hoo~}
[?]: That alone is leagues above my skill level.

[?]: Look. Here come more enemies!

[?]: But nothing’s there!

[?]: Oh!

{troop movement sfx}
[?]: Ah! So there really are enemies!

[?]: Attacking again after two losses? This commander must not have fought Lü Bu before!

[?]: General, you mean they’re outside reinforcements?

[?]: Who is this fake Lü Bu? He’ll be famous one day!
[?]: He came over with Lü Bu after leaving Ding Yuan…
{Ding Yuan is Lü Bu’s former lord}

[?]: I think his name is Zhang Liao!

Twenty years later at the Battle of Hefei, this man named Zhang Liao will shock the world by defeating Sun Quan’s army of tens of thousands with only a force of a few hundred strong.

[?]: They’re here!

{army movement sfx}

[?]: Sir, Yuan Shao’s remaining forces have arrived.
[?]: Good!

[?]: Yuan Shao is here! Do you all want him dead?
YES~
(“think/want”)

[?]: Good! Formations!

[?]: Reporting! General Zhang Liao has defeated Yuan Shang’s army.

[Lü Bu]: Good old Zhang Liao!

[LB]: And yet the ten of you couldn’t even beat one…

[LB]: You won’t be missed.

[Wen Chou]: According to you, these ten morons must all be fake Lü Bu! No wonder Lü Bu was sighted everywhere in and out of the city…
[WC]: While you, the real deal, were the actual mastermind.

[WC]: Sending these morons to their deaths so my Lord would be lured here to die.

[WC]: By the looks of things, there must be an ambush behind my Lord.

[WC]: Good!

[WC]: So this is what “gather below the city” really means.
[WC]: Flawless! Brilliant! Brilliant scheme indeed!

Hahaha!

[Dong Huang]: He’s still laughing even when he’s doomed?

[WC]: They say Lü Bu is a mere brute, but today I realized a truth.

[LB]: What have you realized?

[WC]: I realized the essence of Master Water Mirror’s theory “On Morale.”

[?]: Master Water Mirror? Founder of the Adviser Group?
[DH]: “On Morale” is that greatest fallacy there is.

[LB]: You mean that treatise on how to preserve your army’s morale in battle?

[WC]: There are three ways to boost yourself and diminish your enemy.
[WC]: If the enemy commander wins the first encounter, blame your own commander for being reckless;

[WC]: if the enemy commander wins often, blame your own tacticians for poor use of terrain or weather’

[WC]: or if the enemy commander always wins,

[WC]: dismiss them as brave yet brainless.

[?]: The one who wins all the time is a brainless brute? Isn’t that what rumors say about General Lü?
[?]: This theory is brilliant.
[?]: Right. Their morale would be crushed if they didn’t believe that saying.

[WC]: Today I’m deeply honored to meet the Xiliang commander who always wins.

[LB]: I’m flattered.

[?]: Yeah, war isn’t child’s play. How could a mere brute always score victory? Diminishing the enemy like this only works for the weak and inept.

[WC]: Officers may be brave, but soldiers do the real fighting.
[WC]: Wars are fought on the morale of soldiers.

[LB]: And how well their commander’s reputation holds up.

[WC]: There are only a few so-called “brave brutes.” You’re one of them.

[LB]: After Commander-in-Chief He Jin’s death, Yuan Shao of Hebei enjoyed a quick growth in influence. I heard it was also due to the hard work of two such men.

[LB]: Are you Yan Liang, or Wen Chou?

[WC]: General-in-Chief and military adviser of Yuan Shao army’s sixth battalion-
(not sure if it’s “sixth” or “six”)
[WC]: Wen Chou.

[?]: This… this is the famous Wen Chou?
[?]: A “brave brute,” but never lost a battle.
[?]: That means something’s in the works if he dared to came alone.

[?]: Quiet!
[?]: Quiet!
[?]: Stay calm! Stay calm!
[LB]: Amazing. A few words were enough to rattle my troops.

[WC]: Now that they’ve been rattled, what do you plan to do?

[LB]: We have the advantage in timing, location and numbers, but the morale has been shaken.
[LB]: There’s only one solution.

[WC]: Correct. Please ready your horse.

[Wang Gang]: Horse?

[WC]: Duel me to salvage your troops’ morale and strengthen your advantage.

[LB]: In a few words you’ve left me with no choice. When faced with quick-thinkers like you…

[LB]: I have nothing but the deepest admiration.
[LB]: So I shall fulfill your expectation.

[WC]: A good opponent is hard to find. I appreciate it!

[?]: S… so this is the heroism of brave men.
[?]: In a few words I’m already touched!

[DH]: So that’s what it feels like. It’s no easy feat being them!

{salutes~}

[Sima Lang]: These are brave men indeed!
(“…true brave person”)

These two warriors are both brave and wise. Are the Handicapped Warriors no match for them?

Wars are cruel. Brave men win, while the inept lose.
Did we lose?

Or is it…
that our brave hero… hasn’t shown up yet?

[?]: The fire is getting stronger! Hurry, everyone!
[?]: Brother Zhong, is there really a secret passage through the City of Kings?

[Zhong]: Beats me! We’ll figure it out when we get there!

[Z]: How’s that young man doing?
[?]: He’s still bleeding, but…

[?]: could a bun really stop the bleeding?

[Liaoyuan Huo]: That’s right. Gimme!

[?]: Wh… what are you doing?

AH~

[Liaoyuan Huo]: Don’t waste blood.

{bite}

AH~
[LYH]: I’ll eat back what I’ve lost!

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