Ravaging Times

chapter s1

Dynasty change seemed inevitable during that war torn era.

{post reads: treatment}
And you can even buy a government job. The more you pay, the higher your position. Bribery was the only way to make it in.

I’m just a simple peasant who is too poor to buy a position. My only capital is my lowly life.

{Xihua . Yellow Turban frontline camp}

[man]: Just my luck, getting wounded right after entering the fight.
[caretaker 1]: Well, it’s not too serious. A few days of rest and you can go.

The Ravages (of Time) Side Stories chapter 1 Liu Da, Leader of the Handicapped Warriors

[caretaker 1]: Your left eye, however…

[caretaker 2]: Unfortunately in a few days we’ll be part of a major counter-offensive.
[caretaker 1]: Once the wounds heal we’ll be throwing our lives away again.

[man]: Haha…

[man]: Sounds like nobody wants to fight a war.

[caretaker 2]: If you want a few extra days here, want me to cut you a fresh one?

[man]: Haha, I’ll be happy with all my limbs intact.
[caretaker 1]: Limbs intact? Yeah, easier to get away when you need to.

[man]: Today is Day Three after New Year – should be when the supplies come. I heard that the leader will come too, right?
(as in Chinese New Year, and the date is different for each year…)

[caretaker 1]: Yes, chief always escort the supply transport to the frontline.
[caretaker 1]: He would also visit the wounded to raise morale.

[caretaker 1]: Say the right things and you just might get some reward.

[man]: What reward? How about asking the Immortal to restore my eye?

[caretaker 2]: Charms only save those who are meant to be saved. It’s not your turn yet.

[caretaker 1]: The second battalion will soon be sending their wounded men. Hope you can get a good night’s sleep.
[man]: Appreciate the thought.

In the summer of 184 AD, the Yellow Turban rebels surrounded Changshe.
East Han’s General (Lefthand General of the Gentleman of the Households) Huangfu Song put up a fierce fight, causing the Yellow Turbans to suffer heavy casualties and routing them to Xihua.

[?]: Ow…
[?]: Ow…

[?]: Kill!

[?]: Kill!

[?]: Help… Help me! Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!
[?]: Save me!

[man]: Be quiet, I beg of you.

[?]: Save me, Immortal! Save me!
[?]: I only enlisted for the food!

[man]: You’re right…

{sfx: pa~}

[man]: Who doesn’t want to stay warm and well-fed in this day and age?

[man]: We have no choice. That’s life.

Charms for cure… (Like) Hell!
(the second part is more like spitting, so the meaning of “like hell it does” is implied)

[soldier 1]: Good morning, chief.
[Peng Tuo]: So many wounded man. Thanks for all your hard work.

[PT]: I could hear their screams all night even from a distance away.
{Yellow Turban Circuit Commander, Peng Tuo}
(not sure about the title; someone said this person is mentioned in the historical records)
[soldier 1]: Yessir. So many wounded and the ones losing their minds would do that.
{note: The leader of the Yellow Turbans, Zhang Jiao, organized his followers into thirty-six divisions, each with a Canal Commander in charge.}

[PT]: Listen… this may hurt morale.
[PT]: Don’t forget, we’re not the only ones with ears!

[PT]: The supplies are here. Distribute them to those who look the most depressed first.
[PT]: The caretakers must be tired too. Tell them to take a break.

[soldier 1]: Yessir. I’ll take care of it.
[PT]: Good. I’ll be right out.

[?]: Ah! It hurts!
[?]: Immortal, please give me enchanted water!

[?]: Ow…
[?]: *sob*
[?]: Kill!
[?]: Kill! Kill!

[PT]: You all have been fighting to overthrow the tyrannic Han. I thank you.

[PT]: One day we’ll make those dogs (of the government) pay us back in blood.

[man]: You said it right, chief!

[man]: The fighting will end once the dogs die.

[leader]: You got spirit. Give me your name!
(“you have aspiration/ambition”)

[man]: My lowly name isn’t worth mentioning. I just wanted to see you, chief.

[PT]: Blame it on the over abundance of skilled men in this camp, that our paths never crossed.

[man]: Yes, so this is the only way.

[PT]: Oh, what do you mean, my brother…

[man]: I’ve been in this army for a while, waiting for the best chance to strike.

[PT]: Strike?

[man]: The upcoming major counter-offensive… means the highest bounty on your head.

[PT]: You ruined your own left eye. Quite the sacrifice.

[caretaker 2]: Gua… Guards, there is …

{sfx: cha~}

[?]: Mur-murder!
[?]: Ah! It hurts so much!

[man]: All my limbs are intact. I can escape.

[man]: Their cries can cover the noise. It can work.

[?]: Murder!
[?]: Save me!
[?]: Ah… wah… ah!

[soldier 2]: Is that our chief’s voice?
[soldier 3]: I can’t tell. Should we go check?

[man]: Haha, I think you should just wait a little longer.

[man]: The chief is pretty busy!

Weighing the gains… It could work.

Charms can’t save my left eye either, since it was blind to begin with.

{Henei . Imperial Army’s staging ground}

[man]: The military spending for half a year is fifty thousand jin of gold.

[man]: Peng Tuo is dead.
[man]: The nearby Yellow Turbans have retreated for now.

[man]: I wonder how much saving this brings to you businessmen?

[first uncle]: Mister warrior, you could have just gone to the governor for better luck.
[third uncle]: Unless… you sir have something else in mind?

[man]: I’m just a brute, and I will never be as famous as those who buy their fame.
[man]: Military is paid for by the merchant class. What little you give me will be far less than what you give them.

[man]: The officers defeat the enemy, the businessmen save on war taxes, and I gain a hefty income. Three wins.
[man]: If one day I save enough to buy a government job, good sirs, I won’t forget your favor.

[man]: What do you think?

[fourth uncle]: He’s right. Can’t argue with that logic.
(“The calculation is correct. I have nothing to say.”)

[?]: And just when we need a talent like you to share our burden.

[man]: I, Liu Da, am willing to empower the Sima clan.
“Liu Da”, this “da” is the same as the one in “Lao Da”, but “by numbering” it means First/One; it could mean he is the first son of his Liu family, or could mean he really is called Liu Da; in Cantonese “liu” sounds very close to “lao/low”, so “liu da” (pinyin) = “lau da” (Cantonese pronunciation) = “lao da” (pinyin)

I think that maybe… a new era is about to begin.

Who will I be years from now?
(another possible reading is: “After all these years, who am I?”)


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