Ravaging Times

chapter 120

(I need to read this over, no time right now)

All beings of the earth follow the rules of life.
One can’t oppose Heaven’s Will…

Moutain fire destroys excess ancient trees,
paving the way for sprouts to grow.

Starvation removes needless competitors,
providing descendents with a better living environment.

Turmoils of war purify the world, for it is the Will of Heaven. Men are beings of this earth, so they follow the same rules. One can’t oppose Heaven’s Will.
For a Hegemon to mature, he must first face adversity. He must prepare for the next step.

chapter 120 From Waste to Worthy
/* “obstuse/unsharp stone become utensil/talent/useful/instrumental/valuable” */

I… see the Truth behind the chaos.

{Juancheng}
[Cao Ren]: Stop!

{Cao Cao’s younger clan-brother, Cao Ren}
[CR]: Team four captain, tell your men to get serious!

[captain]: Put more strength into it, come at me like I’m your enemy!

[soldier]: General, they’re only rookies, why so…
[CR]: Right now we’re vulnerable, and the enemy will pray on our negligence!

[Guo Jia]: Yes, we’re facing enemies from all sides, and General Cao Ren not only holds firm against the chaos, he’s even helping our Lord building up forces…

{sfx: pa~ pa~ pa~}

[GJ]: Definitely a farsighted leader.
{Guo Jia}

[CR]: Defending the rear makes me a vital support for my brother, so I must do my best.
[CR]: Know this, home cannot be lost, because the empire is in sight!

[GJ]: Keh!
[GJ]: Then… have you heard the rumor…

[CR]: Bullshit, I never believe that my Lord is dead!

[GJ]: Then, suppose the rumor is true… General is our Lord’s brother, also an important figure, ever thought about…

[CR]: Right now I just want to kill an inciter like you!

[GJ]: Excellent.

[GJ]: Our Lord’s first concern is resolved.

[CR]: What nonsense, Advisor you must be really ill!

[GJ]: Any news from the frontline?

[soldier]: Yes… Advisor Xun Yu has asked the Xiahou family to send reinforcements from the west city to Puyang.

[GJ]: Excellent.

[GJ]: The number two General Xiahou Dun and the number two Advisor work well together,
[GJ]: all’s well despite my absence, so our Lord’s second concern is resolved too.

[GJ]: I heard that many from our side surrendered, then… how’s the bunch at Puyang?
[soldier?]: It’s said that the situation is dire, but none of the Generals surrendered.

[GJ]: Our Lord’s most-valued subordinates did not fail him, so even the third concern is resolved.

[GJ]: The bad leaves, and the good remains.

[CR]: You sure know how to talk black into white; now I’m more relaxed as well.

[GJ]: You see, it’s good to be alive.

[GJ]: One can see these worthy men grow, except our Lord is…

[CR]: Enough! My Lord is a mighty Hegemon, how can he lose so easily?

[GJ]: It’s a big world, why is our Lord the only Hegemon…
[CR]: Gibberish! Somebody! Escort the Advisor back to his room to rest!

[Cheng Yu]: Also, for the rumormongers,

[CY]: I’m happy to kill them.
{Cheng Yu}

[GJ]: Advisor Cheng is knowledgable and flexible in his governing, thus rumors won’t take effect.

[CY]: Don’t you worry; it’s my job.

[GJ]: Having a keen observer at a time of crisis, so it seems all of our Lord’s concerns are resolved.

[GJ]: All in all, the Generals can fight, and my second shige can manage the internal affairs.
/* “shige” = “male upperclassman” */

[GJ]: And the wiseman…

{sfx: pa!}

[GJ]: Everything’s ready, except for two outsiders. It’s only a matter of time before the first gives in.
[GJ]: As for the second… we’d have a great deal of wealth if he comes over to our side…

[CY]: Servant, make sure he gets a good rest.

[captain]: Aiya… ya…

[soldier]: Idiot! Did you take the captain’s order literally?
[rookie]: Si… sir, I… I’m just…

[GJ]: General Cao Ren, you shouldn’t rush. One extremity might lead to another!

[CR]: I know that, but battlefields need soldiers; though this training might prove difficult.

[GJ]: To make soldiers mature, why not send them straight into battle?

[GJ]: Lv Bu is powerful, because he has been in many battles.

[GJ]: Our side has many talents, but not enough experience in dealing with adversity.
[GJ]: We’ve only faught small battles, but if disaster strikes…

[GJ]: our army might then suffer a total defeat.
[GJ]: Win a little, lose a little, better to learn from mistakes now, then later when…

SONOFABITCH!

[CR]: You mean you lost at Xuzhou’s on purpose?

[GJ]: I lost to them fair and square, but that doesn’t matter.
[GJ]: Because for Yanzhou’s crisis, our Lord’s goal was…

[GJ]: To lose! To create chaos!

[GJ]: My Master once said this about our Lord…
[GJ]: An able minister in peace times, an anti-hero in war times.

[GJ]: More chaos,
[GJ]: only means it’s destiny’s calling!

[GJ]: Think about it, why would our Lord carelessly use all of his forces, just for a measly Xuzhou?

[GJ]: What was he doing? And what have you all been doing for him?

[GJ]: Yes, he’s worried about blind supporters, those who do not speak up when the Lord is caught in the moment. Where were your brains?

[GJ]: Let the sensible Lords look down on the senseless! Let the competitors underestimate the clumsy!

[GJ]: Let helplessness expose friends and foe! Why would a Hegemon show his vulnerability?

[GJ]: Why did he hit rock bottom from such heights?

[GJ]: It’s for training!
[GJ]: To make his men have their own will and minds!

[GJ]: Lives and dignity are being put to the grindstone that is an undefeatable evil man!

[GJ]: The Xuzhou excursion wasn’t for the territory, but for a training ground!
[GJ]: There is a shallow saying, “put oneself in a deadly peril and one will survive.”

[GJ]: But how to survive? With real experience! The Classic of Rites says,

Leadership must be attested!
(quoting from Doctrine of the Mean – “However excellent may have been the regulations of those of former times, they cannot be attested. Not being attested, they cannot command credence, and not being credited, the people would not follow them.”)

[Cao Cao]: Dun.

[Xiahou Dun]: What?

[CC]: Watch out.
[CC]: A dull stone can be made worthy!

[CC]: Stop looking, the Handicapped Warriors are long gone.

[XHD]: A Man, your vision is even better than mine!
[CC]: No, someone already told me.
[XHD]: You… you mean…

[CC]: You think I would depend on a group of strangers to protect me against Lv Bu?

[CC]: Once we’re out, let Guo Jia know that everything’s fine. And tell him…

[CC]: Henei has talent as well as riches.
[XHD]: A Man, what-in-the-world are you doing?

[CC]: Talents should be used.
[CC]: Wealth should be used.
/* word-play on “talent” and “wealth”, because they sound exactly the same */

[XHD]: Talent? Wealth?
[CC]: Now is the best time to tell friends from foe, and I like to act dumb to observe them.

[XHD]: So… all this time you’ve been observing the Sima clan…

[CC]: I owe Sima Fang a favor, now I just used a little trick and got the Sima clan’s support. Once they fall my way, the other business clans will come too.
[CC]: You know, today’s training will prepare the soldiers for disasters in the future. Also…

[CC]: today is full of surprises. Lv Bu almost died, and I realized something as I was running for my life…

[CC]: Being afraid of death is actually being unafraid of death.
[CC]: But that’s not all I’m happy about. Every one of my concerns… have gone up in smoke.

[CC]: The training is complete.
[CC]: The sun is shining.
(“bright sun high shine”)

[GJ]: To take over the world, one must have a firm foundation!

[GJ]: Yanzhou’s loss is a preparation for a much urgent crisis!

[GJ]: That enemy is extremely powerful, in army size, funding, everything!

[GJ]: If we win against Lv Bu at this point, then this crisis will be here immediately. But now, he will lower his guard…

[GJ]: Watch me pit one against a hundred at Guandu!
(akin to “tipping the scale” or “even the odds”, but this literal translation carries through to chapter 343, so now I’m changing it back to literal translation)

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