Ravaging Times

chapter 48

I’m suddenly reminded of something that happened seven days ago…

After the capital was relocated to Changan, Lü Bu proposed a plan to deplete the enemy’s rations using trickery, then lead a force into Tiger Cage Pass to trap the Guandong Alliance there.

All the officials agreed to let Lü Bu be the commander.
{sign reads: Changan}
That was expected.

[Hua Xiong]: I never thought you’d invite me to battle.

[Lü Bu]: And I never thought that you’d still have reservations about me, your colleague.

chapter 48 The Weather Improves

[?]: We wish commanders Lü and Hua a victorious return!
[?]: Quell the unrest for our Lord!

[Lü Bu]: It’s auspicious to have hundreds of officials send us off.
(simplified)

[HX]: Wang Yun is still around? Shouldn’t he be executed for letting the assassin into the city…?
(“…to rescue person…”)
[HX]: Unless our Lord is unaware of this?

[LB]: It’s not the right time to root out everyone yet.

[HX]: You mean you’re collecting evidence against all the conspirators…?
[LB]: Yes.

[LB]: This could make a big mess of things. So I’ve informed Young Master Dong Huang.
[HX]: So Young Master went to investigate? No wonder he’s been missing…
(rephrased)

[LB]: I figured I’d report to foster father when it’s over, since he’s so busy with state affairs.

[HX]: You mean let Young Master take the credit, right?

[LB]: That’s what a vassal should be doing.
[LB]: Besides, he could become our next master.

[HX]: They say Lü Bu is a recreant when it benefits him. But I’m starting to change my opinion about you.

[LB]: Change? So you haven’t!

[HX]: Right! And our rival status won’t change either.
(“…another thing, I never at below you”)
[?]: Oh no.

[?: General, we found another body down the well. This well…
[HX]: Just seal it!

[HX]: There have been quite a few deaths since we moved in.
[LB]: You can’t stop traitors and crooks from dying.

[?]: Master! Wait up!

[?]: You sure you don’t want us to go, Master?
{Hua Xiong’s subordinate, Hou Cheng}
{Wei Xu}
{Song Xian}
[Song Xian]: Isn’t it too risky to bring so little rations?

[HX]: We must move swiftly without the burden of more rations.
(rephrased)
[HX]: Besides, do you doubt our victory when I’m in command?
(rephrased)

[Wei Xu]: You’re right, master, we worry too much.
[SX]: General Lü and Hua make an unbeatable team!

[HX]: I’ve delegated my authority to you three. Get back to work!
[SX]: All right, master, please be careful.

[LB]: They knew how much rations we were carrying just by seeing our formation. Those three officers of yours… sure live up to their fame.
[HX]: So does your officer Zhang Liao!

[LB]: With brains and brawn, those three are valuable tools for world conquest.
[LB]: Zhang Liao is too young to be comparable.

[HX]: What does that mean? Unless… you’re thinking of world conquest?

[HX]: You’ll have to get rid of me first then! Hahaha…
Now I understand…

that Lü Bu’s campaign at Tiger Cage Pass was only an excuse. His real goal was…

to get rid of me- the thorn in his side!

According to the military law, my authority and officers Hou, Wei and Song will service Lü Bu after my death!
(“…all belong [to] Lü Bu’s management”)

Lü Bu keeps Wang Yun alive to use the latter’s influence among the officials to secure his position in the court.

He’s killing off the witnesses!

Only three people know of his scheme.

First is Lü Bu himself.

I’m the second.
And the third is…

[HX]: Young Master Dong Huang is dead, isn’t he?

[Zhang Liao]: Yes! I did it. All that’s left is you.

[HX]: After I’m gone, Lü Bu will be the second most powerful man…
(not sure)

[ZL]: You’re too simpleminded.

[HX]: Right! Too simpleminded! I should’ve stopped my Lord from taking in someone who sold out his father for fame.
[HX]: Who knew… that was when we planted the seed of trouble. A man as deliberate as him, rising to such heights within a year’s time…

[HX]: Lü Bu knew I won’t yield to him, so he set this trap to kill me.

[ZL]: Master knew how you thirst for achievements and couldn’t be persuaded to retreat. Now he won’t be responsible for your death in battle.

[HX]: My tenacity gave him a headache, and me an end.

[HX]: What’s more, I never expected him to be fooled…

[ZL]: Xu Lin was only a pawn to him to get close to Dong Zhuo. However, master’s desire to repay his patron was real-
[ZL]: as real as his pain over losing a friend, even if it helped in gaining Dong Zhuo’s trust.
(I agree with the current translation/interpretation but I disagree with the syntax of the original sentence; if you study Chinese or Linguistics, I think the unambiguous syntax should be something like 他那博取董卓信任之丧友之痛也是真心的, albeit it’s kind of awkward to say)

[ZL]: But master said, friendship and power are separate matters.
(“…friendship is friendship, power is power”)
[ZL]: Unless you’ve forgotten what happened to Ding Yuan… master’s previous foster father?

Does that mean if Xu Lin wasn’t assassinated by the Handicapped Warriors… he might suffer the same fate as me!?

A father’s nurturing or a friend’s patronage… still led to such a fate?
Then… since Young Master Dong is dead, the position of successor is now vacant…
And having protected our Lord in Luoyang, Lü Bu had become irreplaceable in the eyes of the troops.

Now the time is ripe…
does that mean he’ll soon…

My Lord!
You’ve really invited calamity by raising a tiger!

{before the Guandong Army’s formation}

[LB]: My headache is fading away as the weather improves.

[LB]: The most troublesome matter has been dealt with. Everything is going smoothly, and all I need now…

is an excuse to avoid punishment…

Foster father, I shall bring back a few lords’ heads to complete the mission!

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