Ravaging Times

chapter 215

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

I still remember that day after training – the golden sun shining above.

I still remember giving a date of mobilization, and then took a bet against Heaven.

[?]: It has been over a month; still no news of Xun Yu.

[?]: Any statement from Yuan Shao’s side?

[Guo Jia]: He denies imprisoning any official, of course. And he criticizes us for going too far.
[Jia Xu]: Seeing how the relation between Yuan and Cao has been swirling downhill lately, bro…

chapter 215 Reunion In the Rain

[JX]: Xun Yu might have been offed in secret already.

[JX]: The longer you wait, the worse it will be.

[JX]: Think about it, who is going to be the next target if Yuan and Cao join forces?

[JX]: Put it another way: who would benefit if the two remain hostile to each other? It’s obvious who the culprit is.

[GJ]: You mean…

[JX]: Yes. The stalemate between the two will allow him to recover.

[JX]: The title of “General-of-the-Left” will encourage warlords near Xuzhou to join Lü Bu. You guys are in trouble.

[GJ]: Keh!

[?]: With this new addition Lü Bu will be even stronger. If Yuan and Cao go at it, he will help Yuan Shao for sure.
[?]: And the one to suffer will be his old nemesis Cao Cao.

[JX]: You make a lot of predictions, bro, but that doesn’t mean you’re always right.

[GJ]: No, I’m still waiting for that day.

[JX]: Then I’ll give you a date.

{Xuzhou . Pengcheng}

[Chen Gong]: I received news that Zhang Xiu has reclaimed Nanyang after Cao Cao transfered some troops away.
[CG]: If Yuan and Cao declare war, Zhang Xiu will attack from behind to make up for his earlier humiliation.

[Lü Bu]: Just like you predicted, Cao Cao sent troops to guard against Yuan Shao.

[CG]: One side accuses Yuan Shao of murdering court official; the other lashes out at Cao Cao for making slanderous accusations. Things could get ugly if they can’t find any evidence.

[LB]: Yes. The close tie between the Emperor and Xun Yu would only make things worse.

[?]: Loyalists or not, when push comes to shove they just might have to fight Imperial Han.

[CG]: Besides, the recent loss will force Yuan Shu to beg for Yuan Shao’s help. We should then aid them to gain some favors.

[LB]: Brilliant. The Yuan clan plus us – how will Cao Cao defend against such a powerful alliance?

[CG]: Speaking of increased power, there is someone like that in Xuzhou.

[CG]: This man is hard to predict or control. He is a thorn to our side.

[CG]: And Xuzhou’s people still support him. The trouble will never cease if we make any mistake at all.

[LB]: You are right. Liu Bei is a headache.

[?]: I heard that he’s been drafting recently. Yet I can’t figure out how he’s being funded.

[CG]: My Lord,

[CG]: since Zhang Fei intends to leave,

[CG]: why don’t we “send him on his way” now?
/* meaning send him to hell */

[LB]: Chen Gong,

[LB]: you are really scary.

In the spring of year 198, tension between Yuan and Cao brings both sides near the brink of war.
Cao Cao’s Nanyang forces were sent back to Xuxian. Zhang Xiu moved in after that, reclaiming some of his lost territories and military rations.

[scout]: Our Lord is back! He’s back!

{inside Luyang}

[official]: Congratulations on your victory and safe return, my Lord!
[official]: If we work together, we will payback the humiliation one day.

[Zhang Xiu]: My momentary lapse in judgment has brought pain and suffering to everyone, for that I am ashamed.

[ZX]: Serving under another man has reminded me that I have made a mistake.
[ZX]: Had it not been Jia Xu…

[ZX]: I wouldn’t be able to make it back victoriously.
/* simplified */

[JX]: Then let me handle everything!

[JX]: Tell Guo Jia that I have taken in the rations he left behind.

[messenger]: Now that we have rations we can go ahead with the mutiny. The hell with Liu Biao.

[JX]: Don’t worry, soon Zhang Xiu will surrender and become Cao Cao’s first line of defense in the south.

[JX]: And tell Cao Cao, that bet he made against Heaven,

[JX]: he won.

{thunder sfx: long~}

{rain sfx: sha~ sha~}

{rain sfx: sha~ sha~ sha~}

[Xiahou Dun]: In other words, Yu Jin can secretly attack Xuzhou from the south?

[GJ]: Keh, keh! Yes.

[GJ]: Don’t worry. Lü Bu would think that our forces have already stretched thin. He wouldn’t expect this move.

[XHD]: So those rations are for later use in Nanyang?
[Xiahou Yuan]: I see. We should strike first, before Yuan Shao and Lü Bu form an alliance.

[GJ]: Unfortunately we are short of a chief planner without Xun Yu.

{thunder sfx: long~}

[XHD]: Damnit, not this crazy weather again!
[GJ]: Keh! Keh keh!

[XHD]: And of course your body would be in shambles at a time like this…
[XHY]: How about we rest a while before heading out?

[GJ]: Keh! No, the impending rainy season will slow down our expedition.

[GJ]: It would be much harder to get rid of Lü Bu if he recovers.

[GJ]: We must build up our influences when Yuan Shao is focusing on the northern expansion…

[Sima Yi]: Yes. Take Xuzhou to remove this concern.

[SMY]: And then you may stand a chance against Yuan Shao during the battle of Guandu.

[SMY]: Advisor Guo must have longed for that day.

[SMY]: That is why Lord Cao has sent me to help you,

{thunder sfx: long~}

[SMY]: help you eliminate Lü Bu!

[SMY]: The Sima clan submits, Advisor Guo,

[SMY]: just like how everything is within your plan.

Cao Cao’s army marched on Xuzhou in year 198.

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