Ravaging Times

chapter 43

It takes a lifetime of effort to establish power and influence.

But it only takes a a split second to tear it down.

{gallop~}

[Water Mirror]: Qiao Mao was devoured by Liu Dai in one night.

[WM]: Who knows what lurks in men’s hearts.

chapter 43 A Humanitarian Is Invincible

[?]: Teacher, they’re indeed withdrawing!

{Instructor Water Mirror, Sima Hui}
[WM]: So it ended as expected…

[WM]: The Guandong Alliance exists only in name now.

[?]: Deputy, turn the rations caravan this way!

[Han Fu]: What’s the meaning of this, Geng Wu?
{Governor of the Ji Province, Han Fu}
[Geng Wu]: Look over there, my Lord.
{Chief Clerk, Geng Wu}

[GW]: Those are refugees who have been loitering around our camps. Now they’re hoping for leftovers as we’re leaving.

[GW]: My humble opinion is to give them some rations.

[HF]: Wh… what?
[GW]: My Lord, a humanitarian is invincible.

A humanitarian… is invincible?

[?]: Come! Come quick!
[?]: Hurry over here, everyone!
[?]: Governor Han Fu is giving away food!

[Yuan Shang]: Tsk tsk tsk, look, Shen Pei. Who knew Han Fu still had so much rations left.
{flag reads: Yuan}
{Yuan Shao’s adviser, Shen Pei}

[Shen Pei]: Extra rations will only slow things down during a withdraw. Might as well use it for charity to buy some support and bolster one’s reputation.

[SP]: Our Lord loves having a good reputation.

[YS]: Hurry! Bring our ration carts around too!
[?]: Yessir!

[?]: No crowding! Stay orderly!

[Wen Chou]: My Lord, third Master is making you look good with this relief effort.
(“…for you [onto] face surface stick gold”)
[Yuan Shao]: Shang-er did well knowing to buy people’s support.
(“-er” suffix here is an affectionate reference to someone)

[WC]: Scout report says both Cao Cao and Sun Jian were defeated by Dong Zhuo and suffered heavy casualties.

[YS]: I was expecting them to be more formidable. Turns out they couldn’t take a beating either.

[WC]: So you’re the only hero left in the world, my Lord.

[YS]: Oh Wen Chou.
[WC]: Here!

[YS]: Victories and defeats are common in warfare…
[YS]: But heroes must go through the highs and the lows.

[YS]: Tell Fang-er that he’s still young, that he doesn’t need to rush.

[YS]: At least he’s falling behind Shang-er when it comes to winning hearts and minds.
The engagement with the Sun clan has been annulled!

[?]: Remember that this is from lord Yuan Shao!
[?]: Remember well, everyone!

It… it’s too late!
What are you people doing?

{western of Suan Zao}

{sfx: hoo~}

[?]: You’re a weird one, Mr. Xun.

[?]: My Lord’s influence is weak, and yet you still wish to join him…

[Xun Yu]: Victories and defeats are common occurrences. And he’ll be strong soon anyway.
{Water Mirror’s Second Genius, Xun Yu}

{Cao Cao’s officer, Li Dian}
[Li Dian]: Soon? Just because you’re a Genius doesn’t mean…

[?]: General! Our Lord has returned!

{sfx: hoo~}

{flag reads: Cao}

{sfx: hoo~}

[?]: Only a few dozen left. Dong Zhuo is no easy foe!

[LD]: Exaggerate Dong Zhuo’s army size, Secretariat, for the sake of morale.
[?]: Yessir!

[XY]: A win is a win; a loss is a loss.

[XY]: Congratulations, lord Cao Cao, for your timely defeat!

{gasp~}

[Cao Cao]: I’m curious why all the warlords wanted the Eight Geniuses. Therefore…

[CC]: I followed your directions and returned battered.
{Colonel of the Resolute Cavalry, Cao Cao}

[XY]: Your bravery in trusting the people you employ has impressed me to no end.
(“…already makes me [if to] die [then die] without regret”)

[?]: Why do you want to intentionally humiliate our Lord, you brat?
[?]: We’ll give you an end right here!
(“…let you die without regret”)

[Xiahou Dun]: On behalf of our Lord, I thank you all for that gesture.

[XHD]: But now is not the time.
{younger clan brother of Cao Cao, Xiahou Dun}

{younger paternal cousin of Cao Cao, Cao Hong}
{Xiahou Yuan}
{Cao Ren}
[Cao Ren]: Looks like you’re intrigued by this brat, brother Dun.
[XHD]: I want to see his abilities.

[Cao Hong]: Those people…

[?]: More refugees begging for food.

[CR]: I was expecting better ideas from the brat. Bribery through rations? Even I can do that.
(rephrased)

[CR]: Ah-Man, the Eight Geniuses were over-hyped.

{Ah-Man is Cao Cao’s nickname}

{gasp~}

[XHD]: Yuan! Get some food and get rid of them.

[XHD]: And get rid of the brat while you’re at it.

[XY]: General Xiahou, please tell the people…

[XHD]: I know, our great Lord will show his sympathetic side!

[XY]: Tell them the rations are used to fight a war.
[XY]: Tell them to go home!

[XHD]: Wh… what? Be careful or they’ll hear you!

[?]: Why do we need to beg?
{drop~}

[?]: Ever since the Guandong Alliance was formed, we were hoping the fighting would be quelled soon so that the refugees could rebuild their lives.

[?]: Yet none of those warlords took action because they’re unwilling to fight Dong Zhuo. And today all of a sudden they’re pulling out of Suan Zao.

[?]: Retreating because they’re out of food? Then how could they spare so much for us!

[?]: So much food and so many troops! Enough to destroy Dong Zhuo and restore peace…

[XY]: Your anger is justified. But it has nothing to do with us.

[?]: Wrong! Lord Cao Cao was willing to fight Dong Zhuo! He might be defeated, but he hasn’t gone home to Chenliu.
[?]: What we’re seeing today is a hero who’s willing to return to Suan Zao and fight again!

[XY]: Our rations are reserved for war! We won’t share them with you! Since you know that, please go home!

[?]: Lord Cao Cao! With the world in chaos, a sack of rice isn’t enough to buy the people’s support.
[?]: Instead of starving to death in wartime…

[?]: we should pledge the last of our strength to a man with the will to end the turmoil!
[?]: Please take us in, lord Cao Cao!

[?]: We’re willing to conquer the world for you!
[?]: Lord Cao!

Pick the right time and flourish; miss the right time and perish.
(quoting from page 163 in the linked PDF)
That brat knows how to use the right occasion to his advantage.

Even more so is his grasp of the mentality of the common people.
(I don’t think “herd mentality” is correct here)

When we’re at the end of our resources, he managed to recruit so many men without conscription, rations, or money.
The Eight Geniuses truly live up to their name!

[CC]: The most amazing thing is, they don’t even need training.

[CC]: These people might not be simple refugees.

[CC]: I heard that after their leader Zhang Jue‘s death, most of the Yellow Turban rebels congregated around the Suan Zao region.
(you can still translate his name to be “Zhang Jiao” if you want, I haven’t decided)

[CC]: If so, once this small group joins us,
[CC]: the remaining rebels scattered around the country will soon flock to us as well.

[CC]: That will add up to an astonishing number!

[CC]: With few words that tugged the right heart strings, he has changed our fate.

[CC]: If this kid were Zhang Jue, the world would be his for the taking.

[CC]: Except…

[CC]: he is our Zhang Liang!

[WM]: In the end, every warlord tried to buy support from the people.

[?]: Their reputation was on the line if they did not give out food while others did.
[WM]: What are your thoughts, students?

[?]: Reputation and truth are different and not to be confused for the other.

[?]: Overall, only two men are willing to fight for the people.
[?]: They are Sun Jian and Cao Cao.
(“one is sun jian, one is cao cao”)

[?]: Now we understand the purpose of this trip.

[WM]: Yes! There are only two masters before you.

[WM]: Military advisers are responsible for the lives of countless soldiers, but serving the wrong master…

[WM]: could empower a tyrant to create more chaos.

[WM]: Xun Yu anticipated well and took a correct first step, while you all…

[?]: We understand.

[WM]: Very good.

[WM]: What about you three?

[?]: There are many able men in the world…
[?]: How could you, teacher, assert that there are only two wise rulers?

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