Ravaging Times

chapter 50

Life is short, only hard work gets you ashore. But I say, the ordinary will just toil away their lives.
(this is a mishmash of old sayings)

I’m not ordinary.
(“I not ordinary person”)

I must…
take SHORTCUTS!

chapter 50 Shortcuts To Fame

[Zhang Fei]: My, my! How come I never realized you were this strong!

[Lü Bu]: My, my! How come I’ve never heard of you!

{clang~ clang~ clang~ clang~}

[?]: Th… thirty rounds without a winner!?

{clang~ clang~}
[?]: The one before defeated Hua Xiong, and this one rivals Lü Bu. Are they really cavalry archers?

[?]: Brother Gongsun, you didn’t know you had such fierce warriors under your command?
[?]: No wonder Yuan Shao asked to borrow them specifically during his attack on Luoyang!

[?]: Strange. Why would Yuan Shao set this up knowing these cavalry archers are so powerful?

[?]: Yuan Shao already knew of our skills and actually wanted to recruit us.

[?]: But my big brother said Yuan Shao was not honorable and refused to join him. So out of anger…

[Guan Yu]: Yuan Shao decided to let us die here. He just didn’t expect the opposite to happen…

[?]: Is that true, sir cavalry archer?
(“horse archer paladin/hero…”)

[Liu Bei]: What’s that nonsense, second brother?

[LB]: Yuan Shao asked to borrow us due to my knowledge of the Imperial clan in Luoyang. So it was easier for us to sneak in to set an ambush. What does that have to do with this?

[GY]: It’s true if I say it’s true!

[GY]: Didn’t you say you hate being bandits for life,
[GY]: that you wanted to step onto a grander stage?

[GY]: The path is before us. All it needs now is a willing man.

You… you mean…

[?]: Sir hero, the tide has turned; sir painted-face is keeping Lü Bu busy,
[?]: so if we attack from two fronts, sir hero, with you leading the charge through the center…
[?]: we’ll have a fighting chance!
[?]: We’re at your service, sir hero! Please hurry!
(“…willing be [your] dog [or] horse”)

[GY]: Third brother!
[GY]: Listen to me!

[ZF]: What?

[Gongsun Zan]: Lü Bu is no match against these two. Our victory is certain!

[GY]: Lü Bu is a tenacious foe. Victory is uncertain even if you and I fight him together!

WHAT?

[GY]: What a shame that our best warrior had retired. And in our dire straits…

[GY]: he still chooses to stand by and watch!

Ah~

[GY]: Big brother, don’t you want to save lives?
(“you for-which is-it-not world’s living-things”)

[GSZ]: Liu Bei, no! Imperial Uncle Liu, for the sake of our friendship, why don’t you tell me what you want!
[Wang Kuang]: Yeah, if you win… I’ll recommend you to be the governor of Pingyuan. No, something even better!
[?]: I’ll also pledge five thousand elites, Imperial Uncle Liu, and a hundred thousand picul of ration. More on the way!

[LBei]: How does that make me any different than a bandit?

[GY]: Everything an emperor owns were either swindled or seized.

[GY]: Third brother and I have already made our names, and we just need a master with true merit. Now, is it proper for us to overshadow our master?

You meddlesome busybody…

Is this how you use deception when you fight?
(“this is your military method’s deception way”)

[LBu]: Why are you getting weaker all of a sudden?

[ZF]: Because the stronger our opponent is, the more we’ll benefit from it.

[LBu]: The more you’ll benefit? I really don’t get…

what you two are thinking.

{clang~}

{gasp~}
I just want to say one thing…

[LB]: Hua Xiong’s defeat was no fluke.
(I think he means GY defeated HX because of truly superior skill)

I have something to say as well…
[GY]: Lü Bu’s courage is second to none!

[ZF]: Too bad! The fame of the God of War ends today!

[ZF]: Big brother!

HERE~

[LBei]: Liu Xuan De is here!
(for dramatic purpose I’m keeping the Xuan De part in this exchange as opposed to use “I’m” or “Liu Bei”; supposedly ancient Chinese don’t self-reference by their courtesy name)

[LBu]: Here to die!

Clown-face was right.

The stronger I am, the more it benefits them.
But can you three make it work?

[LBu]: Dismount!

BIG BROTHER,

HOW DARE YOU GO EASY ON LÜ BU!

WITH YOUR SKILLS…

What a joke!

YOU COULD DEFEAT LÜ BU IN ONE MOVE!

{punch~}
[ZF]: Big brother’s special move- the soul-seeking sword!
(“…thousand li chase soul sword”)

{stab~}

One move!

All warfare is based on deception. When able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive…

Hiding his true potential for that final surprise!
Both scholarly and martially-trained, with brains and brawn; now that’s a real Godly Warrior From Heaven!

[ZF]: Everyone’s watching you. Keep up that heroic pose.

[LBei]: But… but you can’t kill Lü Bu with me in the way.

[GY]: You use deception to live, while we use deception…

[GY]: to make you world-famous.

[LBu]: Clever! Defeating me is the best shortcut to fame!
Pity these two would forgo personal glory to support a fool. Is it worth it?

I’ll say it again!
People who are blindly loyal make me sick!
(“…really cause [me] hatred”)

Everything had gone well.
The ones I wanted dead are dead, and I captured what I wanted.

The wheel in my mind is turning again. I must weigh between…
a short-term win,
(“one moment’s breath/pride’s staking-life-and-limb”)

and… a long-term gain.

The weather is unpredictable.
There’s no telling which choice is right and which is wrong.

[Sima Yi]: They defeated Lü Bu?
[SMY]: No wonder Liu Bei has become a household name.

[Guo Ang]: They say he’s now a favorite among the warlords, and more renowned than Lü Bu.
[GA]: Like a sudden clap of thunder, lifting the fame of both of his followers too!

[?]: Sadly those two couldn’t kill Lü Bu…
[SMY]: You mean…

[Liaoyuan Huo]: I mean that if Lü Bu is dead, things wouldn’t turn out this way.

[LYH]: Zhong Da, is this letter real?
(Zhong Da is Sima Yi’s courtesy name)

[SMY]: The truth is in front of us. We really don’t have a choice.

[LYH]: Right. We owe Wang Yun too much.

{letter reads: Lü Bu killed Dong Huang and Hua Xiong, then threatened my clan. He said he can overlook all past wrongs if the Handicapped Warriors kill Dong Zhuo.
Beseechingly, Wang Yun}
(“wang yun kowtows”; or you could translate it like “Respectfully, Wang Yun”)

[?]: That man dares to do anything to get ahead.

[Xiao Meng]: Much like our Young Master here!

[SMY]: What do you think?
[LYH]: Dong Zhuo will have a hard time saying no.

The emperor has lost control as the warlords grew in influence. This should mean the end of the Great Han.

No one can be righteous alone.
(I’m not sure Mr. Chen means what I think this phrase means; the last bit is quoting from Mencius, so you are welcome to interpret it how you want)
Or perhaps… they just don’t know how.

The more people get involved in the situation, the harder it is to turn back.
(not sure, as my instinct tells me there’s a subtle difference between “making things more complicated” and “affecting more things/people”)
The cycle of killing never ends.
(Or “Kill and then be killed. It never ends.”)

And I…

have already been caught up in this flood.
(“torrent” works too, but less change from the existing translation is better)

One day, conscience and instinct
(“[in] some month [on] some day…”)

were sold out…

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