Ravaging Times

chapter 174

For thousands of years, the Central Plain has always continued with the same method.
(“central plain” is more or less synonymous to “middle kingdom”, but has clearer connection to the title “fiery phoenix light up the plains”)

[?]: Liu Biao is an indecisive man. He made a nice gain when he took those small cities from us, but then would just stay put.
[?]: Cao Cao is busy appeasing the people of Changan, so he won’t bother us for a few years.

[?]: Liu Bei is a soft-hearted man, and taking in Lü Bu will just bring catastrophe upon himself.

[?]: War just broke out in the Eastern region, so those bunch will be preoccupied.

chapter 174 Shadow Beneath the Pole
(stick a bamboo pole on the ground, it will cast a shadow; dictionary says “get instant results”)

[Yuan Shu]: Looks like this outcome isn’t too far off from what we had planned.

[Ji Ling]: My Lord, it’s just that Sun Ce ruined our plan of taking the Eastern region.
[?]: A young hero is born. It seems that Sun Ce is mightier than his father.

[YS]: This world is for the capable men!

[clan elder]: The Yuan clan is famous for its Loyalty, and since Imperial Han still exists, we must do its bidding!
[elder]: Not even your older brother Yuan Shao dares to disobey our Heaven, why is my dear nephew disregarding the Principle?
(Heaven here could refer to “fate/destiny”, or the emperor)

[JL]: Your brother is finally making a move.
[YS]: Watch me overcome this last obstacle.

[YS]: (Master) Clan Elder, whose world is this?

[elder]: It belongs to the Liu clan!

[YS]: Why is it the Liu clan, and not the Yuan clan?

Uh…

[YS]: First Emperor of Han used to be a mere Marquis of Commune. How did he end up as the Emperor? What Principle is that?
[YS]: The Principle is, an empire is conquered.

[YS]: For thousands of years, the descendents of emperor Huang
(Chinese people are traditionally termed “the descendents of emperor Huang”)
[YS]: were nothing more than a bunch of unevolved slaves.

[YS]: They trudge around under the sun, like ghosts looking for a shadow of a master.

[YS]: If that is the Principle…

[YS]: I’m willing to “continue (the tradition)” in the name of Heaven…

As the sun rises, Yuan Shu took a first big step in his life.

As the noon approaches, that man took a major step forward as well.

[?]: It’s near noon.

[?]: What a crappy weather; so damn hot.

[?]: Are we still fighting in this weather, Advisor?
[?]: They haven’t withdrawn.

[Zhou Yu]: No matter; it’s almost over.

{sfx: pa!}

[?]: You ok?
[?]: Sir! Another heatstroke victim.

[?]: Our formation is long since ready, Taishi Ci, when can we attack?
[Taishi Ci]: We must wait for the ninth and tenth legions.

[?]: Sir! Archers and Siege Towers haven’t arrived yet!
[?]: We’ve waited for a few days. The men in the rear camp are already complaining!

[?]: Give your order already, Taishi Ci!

[TSC]: No!
[TSC]: Siege Towers are in those troops. We will suffer heavy casualties if we attack now!

[?]: Tell them to hurry up!
[?]: It wasn’t easy to deploy in a favorable setup. We must hold on no matter what!

The sun is up high, but the fighting spirit is not burning.

[Han Dang]: Don’t force yourself, Ling Tong!
[Huang Gai]: If you keep this up, you will…

[Sun Ce]: Commandant Ling, has your hatred dissolved?

[Ling Tong]: Kind of depressed, but must bare the heat a little longer.

[LT]: Don’t disturb my thoughts. I’m trying to feel what those soldiers are feeling.

[SC]: Then I’ll listen to your command.

[TSC]: Huff!

[TSC]: Are they here yet?

[?]: No… not yet.

I know a lot of them in the back have ran away.

Those in the front are still hanging in there because they are afraid of punishment.

The closer to the front, the more helpless they are.
I wonder…

what do they live for?

I keep staring at this door,
so… what do I live for…?

{sfx: ka~}

[TSC]: Here he comes!

[SC]: Shadow forms beneath the pole. When it’s noontime,

[SC]: would the shadows of master-less ghosts disappear as well?

[TSC]: Stand up!

[?]: Everybody stand up!
[?]: Let’s exact revenge for our Lord!

[TSC]: Follow me! Give them all we’ve got!

{horse spit sfx}

[TSC]: Whoa…

{sfx: pong~}

A disappointing beast.

An inharmonic era.

Everyone lives without a purpose.

[?]: Look… up there!

Though occasionally some do make a decision.

Is it a compromising submission, or a wise choice?

[?]: It’s… the ninth and tenth legion?

[?]: So they surrendered!
[?]: No wonder they won’t come…

It hurts!

I feel weak,
perhaps it’s the heatstroke…

[SC]: I didn’t bring this upon you.

[SC]: You were fated for this disappointment.

Sages of the past, are your teachings of Loyalty already outdated?

[?]: Finish him off, Taishi Ci!

[?]: What are you worthless men waiting for? Our Lord paid you…

{sfx: cha~}

[?]: You… you guys!

[?]: General! Why are you forcing us to die?

There are also…

men who are fighting for survival.

[?]: General Taishi! We’re all peasants.
[?]: War has kept us from going home, and our families are starving!

[?]: Please! Discharge us!
[?]: We beg of you!

On that day, I suddenly felt the need to survive.

The moral teachings suddenly became insignificant.

[SC]: Do you still not understand the meaning of Loyalty, Taishi Ci?
[SC]: Loyalty is a method.

[SC]: A lie from scholarly men to encourage fools to give their lives.

[SC]: A despicable method for the Lords to protect their interest.

[SC]: My father Sun Jian was a man of Loyalty, but it sent him to his death.
[SC]: Imperial Han is almost ending. Why try to extend its life?

[SC]: Loyalty (and righteousness) is not a thing of the warmongering Lords.

[SC]: Loyalty (and righteousness) is (from) the desire of all living beings.

[SC]: Ignorance is not a crime nor Heaven’s Will.
[SC]: If “propagation” is Heaven’s Will for mankind,

[SC]: Propagation means this.
(probably means evolution/revolution of a new way of thinking)

[SC]: This.

[SC]: With this you can understand everything. And you will have lived with meaning, no matter what you did.

[SC]: I also use teachings to kill tens of thousands of people. An opportunist.

[SC]: Is my path right? Or wrong? People will believe what they want to.
(“the willing will bite the fishhook”; Chinese idiom, usually to describe gullible people)

[TSC]: It’s very deep, but…

[TSC]: Heaven’s Will has let me found myself.

At noon, Taishi Ci and all of Liu Yao’s remaining forces surrendered to Sun Ce.

Is Loyalty (and righteousness) the culprit of the ancient Feudalism?

Is sectarian bias the cause of a country’s crisis?
(I had to consult the dictionary, otherwise I have no clue)

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