Ravaging Times

chapter 249

Water gradually recedes;

even the horses’ feet are starting to show.

[?]: West side,
[?]: fifteen groups, two hundred men each!

[?]: Forty-five groups to the south, three hundred men each!

[?]: There are thousands of archers behind us!

chapter 249 Revealing The Cloven Foot

{Zang Ba}
[Zang Ba]: Cao Cao… is attacking the White Gate Tower in full force!

[?]: Sir! By headcount our numbers fall below five thousand!
[?]: Three hundred less than yesterday.

[ZB]: Listen up! You men of the two gates will coordinate your defenses. Deploy men wherever they are needed!

[ZB]: In addition, relax the draft requirement. Take them all, old or young!
[ZB]: And,

[ZB]: draft women and children too if things get desperate. Let them take charge of the supply line.

[?]: Sir!

[?]: Good news! General Wei Xu has gathered three thousand men five li outside the east gate!

[?]: We have… reinforcement?

[?]: Yes, they are the famous Eastern Peacekeeper mercenaries!
(is there a military name in Ro3K for these guys?)

[ZB]: The Eastern Peacekeepers, that… that’s great.

[?]: Wei Xu sure knows a thing or two. He recruited them when we never could!
[?]: These greedy bastards must have money on their minds as Yuan Shao is about to return!

[?]: Go tell Wei Xu immediately that the mercenaries will be rewarded handsomely if they come in and help our defenses!

[?]: Wait, their sudden agreement could mean that they have been bought out by Cao Cao!
[?]: Can you imagine what will happen if they serve as the insider for our enemy?

[?]: Nonsense. Wei Xu is our Lord’s trusted subordinate, so why are the mercenaries not trustworthy if Wei Xu recruited them himself?

[?]: Besides, do we even have a choice at this critical time?

[?]: Right. And why are we still discussing this? The mercenary troop is in danger outside the gates.
[?]: If the Cao army attacks them from all sides there will be no one left.

[Qin Yi Lu]: How can you question Wei Xu’s loyalty?

{Qin Yi Lu}
[QYL]: If you keep debating this I’ll have to draft your families to defend the city!

[ZB]: That’s more like it, old Qin!
(“human language”, or “something a human being would say”, “something humans understand”)

[ZB]: Listen up! Let the mercenaries enter the city!

[?]: The water is not deep. The mercenaries have entered the city.
[?]: Will Lü Bu use them?

[?]: Lü Bu will have no choice but to employ them once we mount an offensive.

[?]: Go tell Yu Jin,

[Sima Yi]: feign a pursuit of the mercenaries, then retreat as soon as the arrows start flying.

[SMY]: In addition, have him join Cao Hong and assault the two gates in turn – wear the guards down a little.

[SMY]: And order the army to approach the city by a hundred steps for every half chi of water receded.
[?]: Yessir!

[?]: Formations!

[Guo Jia]: Your command ability is a sight to see even for your first try.

[GJ]: Not bad, little bro.

[SMY]: I learned it all from you, sir.
(“elder brother” as a honorific)

[GJ]: I only know warfare, brother Sima, but you learned something else.
[SMY]: Which is…

[GJ]: When we were busy plotting Lü Bu’s death you have already been working on Hou Cheng.

[GJ]: What you learned is taking sneaky routes.

[GJ]: After Hou Cheng’s capture, who would have thought your second path is through Wei Xu.

[GJ]: You even used Lü Bu’s brother-in-law. That’s really something.

[GJ]: I dare to say, that even if Wei Xu’s path leads nowhere…

[GJ]: you have another way…

[GJ]: But you’ll be hiding that cloven foot until the very end, right?

[SMY]: Since my route is rather sneaky, how can it be compared to your straightforward pathway?

[SMY]: I’m merely showing off in front of a master.

[GJ]: Aren’t you the modest one.

[GJ]: I’m no match to you when it comes to taking sneaky routes.

[GJ]: So the way of war and business are just different.

[GJ]: It’s all about loyalty and righteousness on the battlefield, whereas in business it’s all about self-interest.

[GJ]: But there are a light and dark side; both have their uses.

[GJ]: It’s just that the one taking the sneaky route is taking a mighty big risk.

[SMY]: Please speak your mind, Advisor Guo.

[GJ]: Fine, I’ll be blunt.

[GJ]: When us three Geniuses chose our Lord,
[GJ]: we already decided to serve him till death.

[GJ]: We may each hold our own views, but our goal is the same, and that is to bring peace to the world for our Lord.
[GJ]: We may handle different matters, but they are interconnected, so we have nothing to worry about.

[GJ]: Different talents fill different needs.

[GJ]: A talent like you was created out of a need.

[GJ]: Frankly, you are really unpredictable.

[GJ]: Like an enemy yesterday, but a friend today.

[GJ]: I’m not a businessman. I can’t walk in your shoes.

[SMY]: Why not be clearer, Advisor Guo?

[GJ]: I only hope that you are what we need right now.

[GJ]: But our Lord once said, don’t question the employed,

[GJ]: and don’t employ the questionable.

[GJ]: You must feel the same way, no?

[?]: Advisor Guo, the entire Sima clan has been escorted to capital Xu and is under strict protection.

[GJ]: Do you remember that old score between Xu’s clan and yours?

[GJ]: Our Lord made a promise to Xu Chu when we were fighting the four Mount Tai bandits.
[GJ]: Since he promised, the Sima clan is in danger of extinction.

[GJ]: This move was sudden, but it was done to prevent your family from falling into Xu Chu’s hands.

[GJ]: I had to think long and hard to figure out how to save you.

[GJ]: These two men will become your shadow and protect you.

[GJ]: Understand, you two?
[?]: Yessir.

[GJ]: And lastly let me tell you something,

[GJ]: as long as you walk the right path, your life will be tied to mine.

[GJ]: Once we succeed, our hostility will transform into friendship.

Goodness, so he has already planned this.

Now my family is threatened and there are two watchdogs on me,
both as warning and support. This move really is hard to counter.

Even my sneaky route is rendered impassable by this stumbling block.

[SMY]: I am in your debt.

[SMY]: Let me tell you something as well,

[SMY]: I swear my allegiance.

And another thing:

There is only one way to deal with a stumbling block.
(“tripping stone only has one ending”)

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