Ravaging Times

chapter 255

I remember that on the seventh day, Cao Cao‘s main force unleashed a full-fledged assault on Xiapi‘s main entrance – the White Gate Tower.

On the same day the Eastern Peacekeeping mercenaries coordinated a mutiny and opened the city gate from within.

With the Tiger and Leopard Cavalry leading the charge, the vanguard troop made an extremely chaotic scene in the city.

On the eighth day Cao Cao’s army entered the city to round up the remaining opposition.

Two days later Lü Bu’s entire army was annihilated.

chapter 255 Atop The White Gate Tower

On the twelfth day the main thread is completed, though loose ends are emerging one after another.
{Xun Yu}

{banner reads: white gate tower}
(reads right to left)

[?]: Years later I return to this familiar place.

[?]: The snow looks more like white hair lining this ancient tower’s temple.

[Xun Yu]: Enduring decades of weather and corrosion from termites – even a famous tower is now unsafe.

{Jia Xu}
[Jia Xu]: I didn’t expect a nostalgic man like you would feel this way too.

[?]: But there are still people who think it is usable after a little fixing.
[?]: Besides, a famous tower is a famous tower. You can still reside in it even if it’s ancient.

[XY]: Though I fear the resident will grow in anxiety in this unsafe tower.

[JX]: So you feel this way too, shi-xiong. That sure puts me and Gua Jia at ease.

[XY]: Are you afraid to be reprimanded by His Majesty, shi-di?
[JX]: Yes.

[XY]: Tear it down. I will explain to His Majesty.

[JX]: This trip to Xuzhou was certainly worth it now that you will stand behind us.

On the fourteenth day Xun Yu led the main force back to the Xu capital.

{Xiaopei}

[?]: The tower empties (of people).

{Chen Deng}
[Sima Yi]: It is a hint that Cao Cao will execute Lü Bu soon.

[Chen Deng]: I didn’t expect the news of Lü Bu’s capture to reach the Xu capital so soon.

[SMY]: His Majesty is on good terms with Lü Bu. He will definitely send help.

[SMY]: I shortened the war, but it gave Cao Cao more time to cement his influence.
[CD]: You’re saying…

[SMY]: Cao Cao delays the execution so he can pluck out Lü Bu’s accomplices in the courts.

[CD]: So you’re saying anyone who support His Majesty in sparing Lü Bu is someone to get rid of?

[SMY]: Attacking Xuzhou was the main thread, but there could be various loose ends to explore if Lü Bu can be captured alive.
[SMY]: If Lü Bu sympathizers are removed, Cao Cao’s pillar in the courts will be free of termites – keeping him safe longer.

[SMY]: You must understand that the most worrisome problem in war is retaliation with added complications.

[CD]: Looks like someone wants a piece of the action.

[SMY]: Yes. I must take advantage of this diversion and accomplish something.

[SMY]: Right now they are exterminating the bugs in the courts, but the nest is still there. Why waste an empty nest? Let someone live in it.

{sfx: ka}

[SMY]: Old Jia is here.

[SMY]: His son Jia Kui is a bug. I want you to get him into the courts.
[CD]: Understood.

[J]: Young Master, do you want me to kill Guo Jia’s two watchdogs?

[SMY]: No need. What’s with the secrecy?

[J]: Someone spotted Xiao Meng.

[SMY]: Is it true this time?

[J]: I have witnesses from Cao’s army and from the city. It’s very credible.
[J]: I heard from the Cao army that the one who took blind Xiahou‘s left eye was a woman.

[J]: And Lü Bu’s defectors said there was a woman in their midst that is skilled with the bow.

[J]: I have already sent out many scouts. Hopefully we will have an answer soon.

[CD]: That’s strange. Why doesn’t Xiao Meng contact us if he is alive?

[J]: It’s a pity. If only I could approach a higher ranked defector…

{sfx: pong~}

[SMY]: Send someone to find him immediately!

[SMY]: He is definitely still in Xiapi!

[J]: Still in… Xiapi?

[SMY]: My main thread isn’t completed yet…

[SMY]: It doesn’t need another loose end!

On the fifteenth day I climbed atop the tower.

It is so cold today, enough to numb me.

Only a small flame struggles in the icy cold.
{banner reads: white gate tower}

The small flame only has a little light.

At least it lit up in my heart.

Memories flash before my eyes at this instant.

I still remember how they looked.

I still remember my path.

I still remember those elders who raised me.

I still remember Guo Ang‘s strong arms.

I still remember Zhang Lei‘s graceful kicks.

I still remember the faces of those dead hundred.

I still remember the shooting techniques master (teacher) taught me.

I did not forget.

Young Master,

did you?

Your will for vengeance is like this shaky tower –

already corroded.

Only this arrow –

let this arrow help you.

To all who have passed – wait for Xiao Meng.

Wait for me.

I am an assassin.
I only have one mission.

The small flame will consume itself.

Wait for me, everyone.

See you at the destination on the fifteenth day.

They say life flash before your eyes,

just before you die.

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