Ravaging Times

chapter 32

chapter 32 Facing The Heavens

[?]: The wind has turned. Looks like the fire will reach us soon.
[?]: Right. Even if the fire doesn’t reach us, if we don’t break through…

[Yuan Shao]: we’ll choke to death in the smoke.

The fire is moving eastward while Dong Zhuo’s army is retreating westward. Dong Zhuo makes it out by turning with the wind, and I’m still in the city…

Know thyself and the enemy to win without casualty; know heaven and earth so you can survive long after the victory.
(Mr. Chen is using an alternate text of the Art of War for this passage, so the official translations are different)
Oh, Master Sun-zi, how could I have forgotten your Art of War.

[YS]: It’s so quiet.

[YS]: A little too quiet.

[?]: This place is perfect for an ambush, and…
[?]: we have nowhere to retreat to.

[YS]: I ask you all, are you afraid to die?

[?]: Hell no!
[?]: Not afraid!

[YS]: No more questions, now…

give your answer to the enemy!

{army movement sfx}


[?]: The enemy is silent and quick.
[?]: They’ve scattered our rear flank!

[YS]: Huang Jun.
[HJ]: Here!

[YS]: Ma Hong, Zheng Jie.
[?]: Here!
[?]: Here!

[YS]: You three haven’t answered me.

[HJ]: Even if you’re scared shitless, my Lord,
[HJ]: I’ll still be me.

[Ma Hong]: Even if you surrender to the traitors, my Lord,
[MH]: I’ll still be loyal.

[Zheng Jie]: Even if you order us to retreat,

[ZJ]: I’ll still fight to the end!

[YS]: I’ll never forget these words!

[?]: Have you been shaken, my Lord?
[HJ]: Have you forgotten the teaching of your forefathers?

Yes… even in death…
we cannot bring shame to the Yuan clan!
(a reference to saving “face” here, which is related to the theme of this chapter)

My good officers, thank you for the reminder.

[?]: Look, up… up there!

[?]: That man up there…
[?]: is Dong Zhuo!

Dong Zhuo is still here?

Fine. We shall meet up ahead!

What a rich burial ground you’ve bestowed upon me, Heavens, so that I may die a glorious death.

To die protecting the Emperor, my death will be praised by the world and bring honor to the Yuan clan.

{army movement sfx}

{City of Kings, city wall}

[?]: Sir… the fire is here! Please let us through!

[?]: Officer, we beg of you!
[?]: Back off! Back off!

[?]: Don’t make us use force!

[?]: What do we do, sir?

[?]: This is to be Yuan Shao’s graveyard as prepared by Chancellor Dong. We can’t let the peasants disturb it.

[?]: Give the order… to kill anyone who refuse to back down!

[?]: Chase them off!

[?]: There’s nowhere for us to go, sir. What do you want us to do?

[?]: Stop crowding!

[?]: Damn it! Dong Zhuo doesn’t have an ounce of humanity in him!

[?]: Back off!

[?]: AHH!

[?]: Brother Zhong, what do we do now?

[Zhong]: Don’t panic, everyone!
[?]: Father, the wind is turning!

[?]: The thick smoke will reach us soon!

[Z]: Damn it!

[Z]: If we’re dead either way,
[Z]: let’s fight with all we’ve got!

[?]: We have nothing left to be afraid of losing.
[?]: That’s right! Give those dogs a taste of hell!

[?]: Archers! Hurry!

[?]: Ready, release!

{sfx: shoo~ shoo~ shoo~}

[?]: Ow! It hurts!
[?]: My hand! My hand!
[Z]: Back! Pull back!

[?]: Nock arrows, ready…

[?]: Father! Run!

[Z]: Idiot, don’t stand up!

{sfx: so~}

{sfx: pa~ pa~ pa~ pa~ pa~}

What is the purpose of war?
It’s for peace… prosperity… and the restoration of virtues like justice, filial piety, and compassion…
So why am I watching this massacre?

If this is the fate of the Heavens, then…

the Heavens is dead!
Rebel Zhang Jiao of the Yellow Turbans was right!

My humanity still lives even if the Heavens is dead.

But I, too, have embarked on the path of killing for the sake of restoring Imperial Han…
So how am I any different than Dong Zhuo?

[Zhang Fei]: Big Brother, I feel conflicted.

[Liu Bei]: That’s because you don’t understand the true meaning of the Heavens.

[LB]: There is no Heaven in this world.

[LB]: The so-called “Heaven” refers to the will of the people.
[LB]: Their will makes our Heaven,

[LB]: and also our signpost.
[LB]: We cannot change the Heavens no matter how strong we are.

[LB]: Heaven cares not for the passage of time nor the lives lost.

[LB]: It only cares about right and wrong!

[LB]: You hesitate because you’re afraid of harming the innocent and tarnishing my reputation.
[LB]: But a man who worries about reputation than doing the right thing will not accomplish much!
(once again refers to saving/losing “face”)

[LB]: Dong Zhuo treats reputation like dirt and sacrificed his humanity in his conquest. But…

[LB]: this man neither cares for the will of the people, nor right and wrong.

[LB]: By going against the Heavens, his path will only lead to self-destruction!

[ZF]: Big brother! I understand now.
[LB]: Excellent.

[LB]: What now, second brother?
[Guan Yu]: We only have dozens of men, plus these civilians…

[GY]: We’ll only die horribly if we charge up there.

[?]: Don’t make meaningless sacrifices.

[?]: I can take you up there.

[GY]: Does that mean you’re part of Dong Zhuo’s army?

[Liaoyuan Huo]: And also, these folks saved my life.

[LB]: Why should we trust you?
[LYH]: Because you have no choice.

[LB]: Okay, I’ll trust you!
[GY]: Big brother.

[LYH]: I’ll raise hell once I get past the gate. Use that opportunity to break through.

[ZF]: Big brother, can we trust this guy?

[LB]: Remember, I’ve never misjudged anyone!

[?]: Young man, watch out for arrows!
[?]: Don’t go!

[?]: Sir, this man looks familiar!

[?]: It’s Captain Zhao, he’s still alive!

[?]: Hurry! Let them through!
[?]: Eh?

[?]: He works for Dong Zhuo?
[?]: Damn it, what a waste saving him.

[?]: Zhao, you ungrateful bastard!
[?]: Zhao! I’ll haunt you even as a ghost!

[LB]: He knows right from wrong and cares little for reputation. What an interesting young man…
[GY]: Aren’t you afraid of being deceived?

[LB]: Remember how our enemies regard third brother?

[LB]: “No army can stop him from killing his mark. It’s as easy as reaching into his pocket.”
(“[within] millions of troops, decapitate head like reach [into] bag to get something/it”)

[LB]: Look,
[LB]: he’s ready to send his warning shot.

[ZF]: Zhao! Tell us your name!

{sfx: shoo~}

[LB]: Amazing.

{sfx: pa~}

[ZF]: Behind him?
[LB]: The city-burning flame?
[?]: Zhao Huo? Named after fire?

[LB]: I think he’s pointing upward.

[GY]: Zhao Tian? Like the sky?

[?]: Or is it…

Zhao Yun, like the clouds?


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