Ravaging Times

chapter 45

Water Mirror’s “On Morale” says: war is a competition between soldiers’ morale

and a bragging battle between the reputation of their leaders.

{rumble~}

chapter 45 Laughing To The Top

[?]: Hua Xiong is here again! Remember the Advisor’s order…

[?]: Ranged attack only. Do not go out and engage!

[Hua Xiong]: The terrain is too narrow. We’ll be forced back if we move any further.
[?]: They’ve been falling back one camp per day. Do they wish to defend a dead zone?

[HX]: They haven’t fought in three days. Does it mean they still have rations? Or…
[HX]: there’s reinforcement coming? Strange!

[HX]: Is there enemy movement at the Tiger’s Tail Pass?
(I can’t find “tiger tail pass” through search that’s relevant to Three Kingdoms, but I think it’s a thematic tie-in with Lü Bu being compared to a predator, so I’m using direct translation)
[?]: I can go defend it, General, in case of their trickery.

{Guandong Army’s main encampment}

[?]: Sir! Hua Xiong has taken the bait! He even sent his deputy to the Tiger’s Tail Pass!
(“report…”)

[Yuan Fang]: Good! Give order to Wen Chou in the maintains to prepare his ambush!
[?]: Yessir!

[?]: That shaves his troop size again, giving us an advantage for the counter-attack!
[Han Fu]: Right. If Hua Xiong stumbles at all, Lü Bu will leave the Pass to rescue him, making them vulnerable to our two-pronged attack. Brilliant tactic!

[?]: Sir! Upon seeing our inaction, Hua Xiong has issued a challenge!
(“report…”)

[Yuan Shao]: That fool has finally lost his patience!
[?]: Young Master Yuan Fang, your tactic has worked!
[?]: We’re no longer on the defensive. Brilliant!

[?]: When comparable in strength, morale will be the key to victory.

[?]: A duel could affect morale while minimizing loss of troop or rations.

[YF]: Hua Xiong sure understands Instructor Water Mirror’s teachings!

[?]: Summon the officers!

[Yuan Yi]: Yuan Fang, I have a question.
[YF]: Ask away, uncle Yuan Yi.

[YY]: Hua Xiong may be strong, but you selected nearly twenty officers for the duel.
[YY]: Do you think so poorly of them to send out so many? Based on their reputation…
[Wang Kuang]: Yeah.

[?]: You… you did this on purpose?

[YF]: Expert fighters tend to be comparable in skill. Since we cannot lose this battle, victory will depend on their fighting spirit.
[?]: Yes! Taking troops to battle will exhaust our rations.

[YF]: When twenty arrogant officers are suddenly placed together to compete against each other for credit, the effect is immediate.

[HF]: You… you’re goading them!
(“…goading general strategy”)
[HF]: This is how you’re boosting their will to fight!

[?]: Right! They’ll certainly go all out when reputation is at stake.
[?]: So even if troop morale were low, these officers wouldn’t be affected by it.

[?]: Using officers’ pride to raise troop morale. Brilliant.
[?]: Eight Geniuses has their own style of strategic thinking indeed.

[?]: Their own style? Appalling.

[YF]: Inspector Kong Zhou, are you referring to…

[Kong Zhou]: You added some “spice” in order to push their morale to the limits, didn’t you?

[KZ]: The last of the duelists were three obscure cavalry archers.

[?]: Ca… cavalry archers? That’s a grave insult to the officers, Advisor Yuan!
[?]: That’ll drive them mad. You… you’ve gone too far!

[?]: The officers are coming.

[YF]: There are different kinds of mad.
(“…chi…”; wordplay lost in translation)

{huff~}

{sfx: zing~}

M… mad as hell!
(“…killing aura”; wordplay lost in translation)

[Pan Feng]: Permission for battle, Advisor Yuan.
[PF]: Victory on pain of death!
(“if not win, accept [punishment under] military law”)

[YF]: There’s that effect we want, sirs.

[Gongsun Zan]: Their will to fight has been drawn out in full.
[KZ]: I’ve never seen such galvanized warriors in all my years in the military.
[KZ]: Pessimistically, morale would be unscathed even if they lose a few rounds!

[YF]: Strategists and advisers, have you anything to add?

[?]: We should act at once while the morale is high!
[?]: We await your command, Advisor Yuan Fang!

[YF]: My Lords, have you anything to add?

[GSZ]: With all the advisers in agreement, this must be a surefire strategy.
[WK]: Yuan Fang, do as you please!

[YF]: Officers, have you more to add as well?

{General-in-Chief of Yuan Shu’s army, Yu She}
[Yu She]: I volunteer to be the vanguard.

[YShao]: Commendable bravery. I’ll prepare you for battle!
[YF]: Pour him some wine.

[YShe]: Thank you, chief.

{huff~}

{smash~}

[YShe]: Ready my horse!

[?]: Drum rolls, to victory!
(“battle drum unison strike, congratulate triumphant return”)

{drumming sfx}

HRAH~

HRAH~ HRAH~
HRAH~

[?]: What a spectacular stage. Even death won’t make me regret a thing!
[?]: This feeling is like there’s no one else but the two of you left in the world.
(“…like heaven and earth in-between, only left two people”)

[PF]: But in the end, there can only be one left standing on that stage.

[PF]: The curtains of this grand stage will only fall after the main character achieves his victory.

[PF]: And that main character will be none other than me, Pan Feng!
(“and main character’s name definitely is me pan feng only person”)

[?]: You think so poorly of Yu She, General Pan?
[PF]: As if you don’t, General Ma? Hahahaha.

[Liu Bei]: Get it now? Yuan Fang wasn’t giving us a chance.
[LB]: He used our low status to rile up the officers.

[LB]: Third brother, your rashness almost got us killed.
(the syntax is vague on the object/receiver, so it can be “you”, “us” or someone else like the entire army)

[Guan Yu]: Big brother is right. This is about social standing. We’re powerless without it!

[LB]: Besides having a way with words, I also know how to read people.
(“…besides one mouth…”; referenced by the title of chapter 474)

[LB]: Start laughing.

[Zhang Fei]: Laugh… about what?
[GY]: Nonsense. Did they break your head, big brother?

[LB]: Trust me! Keep laughing.

We’ll laugh our way to the top!

KILL~

KILL~

[?]: This battle will change the balance of power in the world.

[?]: We can only benefit from it no matter who wins.

[?]: You’re right, sis. Doing big business in the world…

[?]: is in no way an exclusive privilege of the Sima clan.

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