Ravaging Times

chapter 205

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

Mencius once said, one who gains the Way receives much help, one who loses the Way receives little help.
/* http://www.hku.hk/philodep/courses/dr/mencius/mencius/mencius-04.html */

Gaining people’s support is an important issue for a nation. On the basis of that then can one weigh the pros and cons…
to achieve anything else.

[?]: The seventh legion has arrived!
[?]: The sixth camp is heading for Hekou!
/* or “the delta”? head of the lake? */

[?]: Report! The second legion has arrived!

[Cao Cao]: If we want to hold on to this territory then we must have more men in station, scattering our combined force.

chapter 205 The Brave Knows No Fear

[CC]: In that case you all wouldn’t have need to work so hard had I been killed.
[Xiahou Yuan]: Yes. Our placements got all messed up because we needed to save you.
[CC]: It’s frightening; everything has been in that schemer’s control up to this point.

[CC]: Liu Biao is right across the river.
[CC]: We have a new enemy now.
[XHY]: You seem to think highly of that schemer.

[CC]: I already have Xun, Guo and Cheng as my military advisors. If I get him too, conquering the world would be simple.

[XHY]: Only you dare to employ someone so carelessly. Watch out for his chain strategem.
/* see #35, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-Six_Strategies */
{Xiahou Yuan}

[CC]: Haha, what’s to fear when we have Guo Jia?
[CC]: Oh right, how’s the situation at Henei?

[XHY]: Cheng Yu has put down the mutiny in just one night. He has now sent for the main force to strengthen the defense.
[XHY]: A Man, how will you treat the Sima clan?

[CC]: They’re only a headache to keep. We already have too many enemies.

[XHY]: Yes. Right now the biggest problem is Chen Kingdom’s Liu Chong within our territory. He has already taken three cities.

[XHY]: Plus the many Imperial Han conspirators, whom Guo Jia has been diligently dealing with.
[XHY]: But besides the internal conflicts we got external threats. If Lü Bu comes then it’ll be troublesome.

[CC]: Lü Bu is just an appetizer. With that schemer’s ability, I bet the main course will come soon.

[XHY]: Thanks to your precious words we will have a new enemy.

[XHY]: A Man, frankly…

[XHY]: we don’t have enough troop to fend off Liu Biao…

{Xuzhou . Pengcheng}

[Lü Bu]: Thank you, Prefect Imperial Secretariat; I deeply appreciate His Majesty’s good will.
/*
simplified
http://members.shaw.ca/jiuwan2/Ranks.htm
*/

[Xun Yu]: Nonono, with Yuan Shu declaring himself the emperor, General Lü should succeed him as General of the Left.

[XY]: Besides, if you could help the nation by settling internal conflicts, you can gain reputation easily.

[LB]: Sir Secretariat, do you mean to say… that I don’t have people’s support in Xuzhou?

[XY]: That’s an overstatement. General Lü can now rule Xuzhou as General of the Left, making you a legitimate governor.

[LB]: Haha, Sir Secretariat is right. Please rest while I prepare a reply to His Majesty.

[XY]: General Lü is loyal to the nation. His Majesty has certainly employed the right people.

[?]: This way, please.
[XY]: Thank you.

[?]: Oh, so he is that renowned Second Genius Xun Yu.
[?]: Tsk, renowned my foot; they still come to negotiate a truce when Cao Cao is in danger.

[officer]: My Lord, Cao Cao is in trouble now, what’re we waiting for?
[official]: Right, Sixth has given us a perfect strategy. Let’s do it!

[LB]: You guys are too impatient. Second’s words might sound shallow, but there is a hidden meaning.

[LB]: We see the great landscape before us, but don’t forget there are mountains beyond. Rush and you forget your limits.

[LB]: Besides, Second knows what he’s doing when he came to Xuzhou.

[LB]: Think about it.

[LB]: Do you know what he is good at?

[LB]: Only Chen Gong can think like the Eight Geniuses.

[XY]: Oh.

[XY]: Long time no see, mister Chen Gong.

[Chen Gong]: Now I must refer to Xiao Xun as Prefect Imperial Secretariat.

[XY]: I’m really not as competent as you for this position if mister Chen is loyal to Imperial Han.

[CG]: Unfortunately my questionable reputation disqualifies me for the position, even if I have the desire to govern.

[XY]: Lü Bu’s reputation isn’t any better, but it’s fortunate that he has now returned to Imperial Han.
[XY]: His Majesty is young, easily influenced; what would happen to the empire if those manipulators take over?

[XY]: The empire is strengthened by capable hands. We must never let several military heads take control and create an endless struggle.

[XY]: I came only to express my Lord’s intention of establishing a long-term alliance of peace.

[CG]: Of course His Majesty’s order overrides the one given by Pang Tong and his gang.

[XY]: I expected mister Chen to be a principled man.

{Shouchun}

[Yuan Shu]: Mister Xun, you mean…

[Xun You]: Yes, Lü Bu is preparing to move southward while there’s trouble in our region.
[XY]: On behalf of my Lord I come to deliver the news, Your Majesty of Zhongjia.

[YS]: But I heard that Lü Bu is preparing to strike back at Cao Cao.
{Emperor of Zhongjia, Yuan Shu}
{note: The former General of the Left Yuan Shu declared himself the emperor at Shouchun in year 197, naming his empire the Zhongjia Empire}
(end of Han dynasty)

[XY]: Hoo, I bet it was that Sixth who said it.

[YS]: Yes. This is the perfect opportunity for me to join forces with Lü Bu to fight Cao Cao.

[YS]: I’m afraid your trip is in vain, mister Xun. I am only interested in expanding my territory, never to help your Lord fight Lü Bu.

[XY]: Looks like Your Majesty doesn’t know the truth yet.

[Ji Ling]: The truth is that people hates Cao. Cao Cao is at a deadend, needing the renowned Xun clan to seek help.

[JL]: If mister Xun means to persuade His Majesty to help you lessen the threat with a counter-threat, then you should show your sincerity. If not…
{Ji Ling}

[JL]: then give me your head as my trophy.

[XY]: My Lord supports the young Emperor for the good of the people. That’s his sincerity.

[XY]: Han lives while the young Emperor lives, so ambitious lords dare not to be reckless. This has spared the world of many conflicts.

[XY]: Zhongjia Empire was established for a similar goal, to spare the people of the Southern region from the conflicts within Imperial Han.
[XY]: My Lord Cao Cao understands this reason, hence he did not protest when Zhongjia Empire came to being.

[XY]: Your Majesty should know Lü Bu very well, so I came to tell you this merely for the sake of benefiting the people, by creating a long-term alliance of peace.

[XY]: Besides, Sixth is for Imperial Han; why would he spare a “separatist”?

[XY]: I’m afraid Imperial Han’s Loyalists will have another main “enemy” if my Lord loses.

[YS]: Sincere words are pleasant to hear.

[XY]: So if Lü Bu mobilizes…

[YS]: I’ll trust you.
{sfx: ding!}

Talks of the Way are always taken to heart.
/* ??? */

{Xuzhou . Pengcheng}

[LB]: I just came to Xuzhou, without full support of the people. We cannot turn back if our campaign against Cao Cao fails.

[LB]: Xun Yu found my weakness. If our foundation is not firm, there is no speed in war to speak of.
/* ??? */

[official]: Then let’s decide based on how things develop.
[officer]: So we should transfer the troops that were going to attack Yuzhou back here.

[LB]: Being in battle for so long, I, of course, know the importance of strengthening the foundation. Chen Gong understands this well, thus he wants us to wait for the opportunity before mobilizing.

[scout]: Report!

[LB]: See, our opportunity has arrived…

[scout]: Report. Our allies at Xuzhou (outlaws) are heading for Shouchun under our name!

[LB]: It’s easier to defend than to attack. Yuan Shu will strike back soon. Everyone get ready to defend. Be a Loyalist!

[LB]: Now I must apologize to Sixth;

[LB]: I cannot go your way anymore.

Enemies can become allies too when there is something to gain.

[XY]: Let me repeat, if Lü Bu is loyal to Imperial Han then nothing’s changed. He will only receive His Majesty’s official appointment, stabilizing his governance in Xuzhou.

[CG]: So then with this reason Sir Xun will persuade Liu Bei next.
[CG]: Altogether that makes Yuan Shu the only enemy of Han. A Loyalist like Liu Bei would dare not oppose, and he would even join the alliance.

[XY]: You sure are a smart man, mister Chen. I left the outlaws just to help Lü Bu, gaining mutual benefit.

[CG]: Hoo, so the true employer of the outlaws is revealed.

[XY]: Yes. Unfortunately that’s the only trick I ever play…

[XY]: Years of reservation, only for this moment.
[CG]: Ingenious!

One must understand the situation, for “The Annals of Lü Bu Wei” says,

a ship-eating fish is no match for ants when it is on dry land.

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