Ravaging Times

chapter 176

The earth looks up at the sky.

It enjoys the flesh and blood which moisten its skin.

It awaits the nourishment soon to be brought from above.
(“…irrigation brought on by heaven”)

chapter 176 A Battle

As if today is the red dew.

[?]: Line up! Formations!

[?]: Line up! Formations!

{flag reads: Ji}
In 196 AD, Yuan Shu‘s general Ji Ling led a force of fifty thousand against Liu Bei‘s army at Xuyi.

{flag reads: Liu}
Taking the first strike is an objective factor in war, while morale is the subjective one!

The earth is silent, but it is noisy on the ground.

War is about controlling morale. First there must be a boring speech about Morality, Loyalty and Righteousness.

[Ji Ling]: Open your eyes, simpletons.

[JL]: This empire is dead. Why do you still bother with the way of Loyalists?

[Liu Bei]: My brother, I’m sick of answering this every time.
[Guan Yu]: Then I’ll simplify it for you.

[GY]: Ji Ling! How can mortals plot against Heaven’s plan?

[JL]: Guan-zi said the end of extreme is the opposite, and the end of a flourishing empire is its decline!
(Guan Zhong wrote about legalism, one of the old Classics among writings of Master Mo, Master Lie, etc. I’m not sure about what it means, so it’s just my interpretation; “empire” is not in the text, but I’m putting it in to make the sentence make sense)
[JL]: The time to act is now!

[GY]: I request a match!

[JL]: Welcome!

And then make the case based on whether the General lives or dies.
(“…to prove”, justify)

The one who wins is in the right.

{sfx: don~}

{flag reads: Ji}

[GY]: Huff!

[JL]: Whoa!

{sfx: don~ don~}

{sfx: don~}

Both sides are searching for the opponent’s weak point.

[LB]: He’s good!

[?]: Don’t stray from the group. Maintain the formation!

And the soldiers are searching for the prospect of victory.
[?]: Stay back!

Praying for one side to win.

[JL]: The match is over.

Sometimes it takes a while.

{sfx: pa~}

[GY]: Another blade! Thirty catty heavier.

[GY]: And get another horse with more stamina.

[LB]: You sound upbeat, my brother.

The Superior knows to inspire the warrior; and the warrior enjoys the attention.

Win by whatever means necessary…

The earth is watching.

[JL]: Another axe. Fifty catty heavier.

[JL]: Get me another horse that runs faster.

[Xun Zheng]: Get someone else who fights differently.

[JL]: No, that’s too dangerous.

[XZ]: What’s to fear? Didn’t I kill the last one?

[JL]: Yes, but unfortunately… this one is really talented.

[XZ]: Old man Ji, reality is even more important!

[XZ]: I am Ji Ling army’s vice commander Xun Zheng!
[XZ]: Does Guan Yu dare to fight me?

[?]: Xun Zheng, the King of Duel?
{flag reads: Liu}
[?]: That guy fights to win by whatever means.

[XZ]: An unknown General has no right to fight General Ji.
(reworded)
Sometimes it’s also necessary to make the opponent feel threatened.

[XZ]: But I, Xun Zheng, will play with you!

[LB]: What do you think? His name rings louder than yours.

[GY]: That’s how the world works…

[GY]: build your success upon the success of others.
(“step all over others to climb higher”)

[GY]: I accept!

Huh~

Weird pose, but… the angle is just right.

Just like that skilled fighter back then.

He could have become famous, but unfortunately…

wits is also part of the battle.

Survival usually transcends the constraint of morality.

{sfx: cha~}

First the horse, then the rider.

Where did he go?

Trickery is also a fighting technique;

{sfx: don~}

some are of higher-grade than others.
(wordplay; this can mean so many things… such as
1. their physical position
2. who has a better method/technique, who is more skilled
3. who has won)

One… just one move!

In a single instance, the glorious reputation will only be crowned on the winner.

[JL]: Get… get me an axe!

[GY]: New blade!

[GY]: A hundred catty heavier.

{sfx: pa~}

[GY]: And a horse that can run like it’s flying.

Including all kinds of boasting lies.

[GY]: Hurry. It looks like Ji Ling is about to flee!

[LB]: The enemy’s confidence has been shaken. What’re you waiting for?

[?]: Forward!

War is like that; the victor is the one who is right.
The earth was nourished on that day!

====
FYI: 胜王败寇 (see #277)

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