Ravaging Times

chapter 49

{Tiger’s Tail Pass}
(I can’t find this name in Chinese or English relevant to Three Kingdoms, but it’s probably to make a thematic connection to Lü Bu being the predator)

[?]: The Guandong Army’s reinforcements are attacking the Tiger’s Tail Pass in full force?
[?]: This troop is clearly flying our banner,

[?]: does that mean… master Hua Xiong fell for a trap?

[?]: The plan’s changed! Listen up, Hua Xiong’s supporting units in the hills!

[Zhang Liao]: By General Lü’s orders, combine your forces with mine!
[ZL]: We’ll attack the Guandong Army camp from the rear.

chapter 49 Big Fish Small Fish

[?]: What’s your plan, deputy general Zhang? Their rear camp is heavily defended, while our troop strength…
[ZL]: Please take a look there toward the back hills.

[?]: Back hills? That… that’s…

[?]: Why is the enemy troop retreating? Wouldn’t that be abandoning their main force?
[?]: Wh… what’s going on? Is that a trick?

Master was right.
Yuan Fang’s schemes are deep and enigmatic!

There are three cases of strategy deployment: In the first case, it’s unidirectional.
In the second case, it’s bidirectional.

In the third case, it’s comprehensive.
(my interpretation only)

[?]: Scram!

{whack~}

[?]: Lü… Lü Bu is here!
[?]: Fall! fall back!

[?]: Lü Bu has been lured here.

[Kong Zhou]: An attack from the ambushing unit in the hill will scatter Lü Bu’s troop, then we’ll crush them with overwhelming force.
[Han Fu]: Lü Bu is strong, but even he can’t escape this defeat.

[Gongsun Zan]: Go ask Advisor Yuan whether the ambush is ready.
[?]: Advisor Yuan Fang has gone to oversee the troop in the hill.

Oversee the troop in the hill? When did he…

[?]: Sir! Chief Yuan Shao has also returned to the rear camp to oversee his troop.
(“report…”)

[GSZ]: Oversee… troop…?

[GSZ]: Signal officer! Send the signal toward the hills!

[HF]: Brother Gongsun, it’s not the time yet.

[GSZ]: I just want to confirm something.

[?]: Sir! The rear camp is under attack!
(“report…”)
[?]: The enemy has us surrounded!

[HF]: The rear camp is heavily guarded. There was no way it would fall. Impossible!
[GSZ]: We’re doomed if they break through the rear camp.

[?]: No… no response from the hills!

No response!

Yuan Shao’s troop in the rear camp.

Wen Chou’s troop in the hills.

Yuan Shao went to oversee his troop in the camp…
And Yuan Fang went to oversee his troop in the hills…

So…

[?]: Retreat! Hurry up and retreat!

[?]: Once the main force of both sides are in a face-off, no one would bother with the fishes that slipped through the net.
[?]: Tsk tsk tsk! I bet our allies never would’ve expected an ending like this!

[Yuan Shang]: Soon father and the rest of us will already be out of the war zone.

[YS]: Who knew my falling for the rations-depletion trick gave you the inspiration for this brilliant scheme. You certainly are the top of the Eight Geniuses!

[Yuan Fang]: Pity that someone missed a chance to become world-famous.

{catch~}

[?]: General Wen, your hand?
[Wen Chou]: My injury healed long ago.

[WC]: I pretended to still be injured because Advisor Yuan wanted to keep me out of the battle to save our troop strength.

[YF]: The duelists were inept. I almost had to call on you had it not been someone else who beat you to the punch.
[YF]: Thought I expected him to be Pan Feng and not a lowly cavalry archer.
(rephrased)

[WC]: With extreme self-confidence, he stayed in the fight until the fourteenth challenger took him down.
[WC]: Hua Xiong was truly a fierce but reckless warrior.
(I think he’s giving a back-handed compliment here as opposed to an all-positive praise; think of it in the context of that “On Morale” philosophy)

[YF]: Fortunately for us, we’ll reap the benefit without incurring any casualty.
[WC]: Lü Bu must be noticing your goodwill by now as the Alliance falls into disarray.

This is the third case of strategy deployment.
And countless benefits can be gained from the success of a brilliant scheme.

[?]: Do you get it now?

[?]: We could’ve fought and suffered huge casualties, but at least we’d have a chance to escape.

[?]: But that Yuan Fang made us stay put for three days so as to deplete our remaining rations.

[GSZ]: Then backed our alliance army into the dead zone that’s easy to attack but hard to defend.
[GSZ]: There’s no recovery from this now that the enemy has slipped through from our weakened rear camp.

[GSZ]: However… these are only the first moves in Yuan Fang’s strategy.

[GSZ]: The scariest part is, in order to render us defenseless, he goaded our officers

[GSZ]: and sent thirteen of our most capable commanders into a death match.

[GSZ]: No rations, no escape, and no commanders either. Our troop morale has crumbled.
[GSZ]: His second move is to let allies and the enemy wear down each other.

[GSZ]: And his third move is the most amazing of all.

[GSZ]: How is Yuan Shao able to retreat with no rations either? Precisely because…
(“…reason only one”)

[GSZ]: his brother Yuan Shu is nearby!

[GSZ]: Once he joins forces with Yuan Shu and march north… Han Fu, do you remember what happened to Qiao Mao?
[HF]: W… what?

[Wang Kuang]: Ji is a wealthy province. Yuan Shao has been eyeing your territory for a long time.

[Kong Zhou]: After that it’ll be brother Gongsun’s eastern Beiping region, and then…

[KZ]: Territorial disputes are future concerns…

Right now we must deal with…

someone who is more terrifying than the Eight Geniuses…
Lü Bu!

[?]: The frontline can’t hold on any longer… Where are the reinforcements from the hills and the rear camp?
[?]: Unless…

[?]: The world is full of simpletons and useless officers.

[?]: Lü… Lü Bu!

Genius Yuan Fang is amazing indeed.
I accept your goodwill!

[?]: Lord Yuan Yi, ru… run! We’ll hold off Lü Bu!

[Yuan Yi]: There’s no way out, and we’ll just be a laughing stock if we surrender!

[YY]: Why bother fighting
(“skill not match opponent”)

[YY]: when we’re not as skilled?
(“fight yet what use”)

Power and influence are not for simpletons like us. To continue fighting would just cause more harm to all living things!
Yuan Shao! With my blood and life…

I toast to your world domination!

[Lü Bu]: First one.

[?]: Right. If death is inevitable,

[?]: we should die with dignity!

[LB]: Now that’s more like honorable warlords.

That makes you all worth my time!

[?]: Charge! Guard our masters with your lives!

Your life is yours, but you would give it to useless men.

People who are blindly loyal
make me sick!
(“really cause [me] hatred”)

Sadly they are everywhere.

[?]: Protect your master! Give it your all!
Rulers rule and servants serve; am I not a slave? Am I not human?
(my interpretation is that LB thinks he is still serving someone dutifully despite having betrayed several to get to his current master)

Am I incompatible with the values of Master Kong and Meng?
(not sure)
Or is it that I simply don’t belong in this era?

[LB]: What a powerful killing aura. Tell me your name.

[?]: Damn you for not even know who we are!
(“…you didn’t hear-of us several lords’ big name”)

[Zhang Fei]: From the region of Yan, Zhang . Yi . De.
(Yi De is Zhang Fei’s courtesy name; Yan here is not the Yan province of late Han, but an old reference to the kingdom of Yan during the Spring And Autumn period; for dramatic purpose I’m keeping the Yi De part in this exchange as opposed to say “Zhang Fei”- supposedly ancient Chinese don’t self-reference by their courtesy name)

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