Ravaging Times

chapter 265

(They have) gone mad.

Everyone in the city have been scared out of their minds.

The scary part is not the scenes of cannibalism inside the city.

The scary part

is not that their soldiers never returned again.

chapter 265 Straight To The Core

The scary part is this man outside the city –

who has just entered.

[?]: Father…

[?]: Father… No… Don’t!

[?]: I don’t want to die… no…

{sfx: cha~}

[Gongsun Zan]: No…
{General of the Front, Gongsun Zan}

[GSZ]: my son,

[GSZ]: my son, fear not!

[GSZ]: Fear not!

[GSZ]: You have been freed (from misery)!

[GSZ]: He’s here!
(“(here) he comes”)

[GSZ]: He’s here!

{Yuan Shao‘s military advisor Yuan Fang}
[GSZ]: Hell’s king is here!
(“evil spirit” + “king” = “prince of devils”/”demon”/”fiendish despot”; the wordplay is forcing me to translate it this way…)

[GSZ]: Don’t come any closer.

{slide finger across throat}

[GSZ]: No more! No more!
(“Don’t come any closer! Don’t come any closer!”)

{sfx: cha~}

[GSZ]: Hell’s…

{sfx: pa~}

[GSZ]: Hell’s…

[Yuan Fang]: King.

[?]: Victory!

(actually just crowd noise)

From sieging the city to cutting the supply line to ending an ally. Within a few months Yijing has turned into a living hell.

Having suffered psychological torment to a breaking point, Gongsun Zan killed his whole family then slit his own throat.

In year 199, the entire northern lands fell into the hands of the Yuan clan.

[?]: The thorn has finally been removed.

[?]: So what is Fang-er’s next move?
(-er “suffix”, affectionate reference to someone)

[?]: The external trouble from the north has been eliminated. Now it’s just the “internal” trouble within our clan.

{Wen Chou}
[Yuan Shao]: So it’s time to hand over Yuan Shu.
{General-in-Chief, Yuan Shao}

[Wen Chou]: Yes. Young Master’s plan is to get Cao Cao to campaign against the Zhongjia Emperor.

[?]: If Cao Cao mobilizes his forces, we will attack him from both sides.

[YS]: Fighting against Han will undoubtedly bring widespread dissent from the clan elders. This won’t be easy.

[WC]: No, Young Master already had a perfect scheme.

[WC]: Once in play, this scheme will justify the war against Cao AND win the support within our clan.

[YS]: He’s saying…

[WC]: The Imperial Seal.

[WC]: That token object Yuan Shu handed over.

[WC]: Secretly return it to the Emperor, first as a pledge showing our determination to support Imperial Han, and second, to give Yuan Shu the chance to redeem himself.

[WC]: If the Emperor approves, he will notify the lords in various regions. This will redouble our efforts once the fighting starts.

[YS]: Feasible in theory, but in practice…

[WC]: Are you worried that the Emperor lacks internal support to take on Cao Cao?
[YS]: Yes.

[WC]: You remember the recent “operation insecticide”, right, my Lord?

[YS]: The death of Lü Bu gave Cao Cao the perfect opportunity to eliminate his dissenters.

[?]: With these people out of the way, Cao Cao will be even more fearless.

[WC]: Don’t worry, my Lord. Young Master has already established contact with members of the court.

[WC]: Messages travel secretly. Cao Cao has only eliminated a bunch of scapegoats.

[WC]: Cao Cao might think that the court is now free of bugs, but they are actually preparing for their moment to strike.

[YS]: Who’s the lead?

[WC]: Xiliang‘s Ma Teng has arrived at court to deliver his job report, but that’s only a cover.

[WC]: My Lord, Cao Cao is not very cautious against the court right now. It is the right time to strike back.

[YS]: Yes. It is also about time for the age old chasm within our clan to dissipate.

[YS]: Fang-er, you just gave the Yuan clan a reason to revolt.
[YS]: Wen Chou,

[YS]: tell Yuan Shu to keep provoking Cao Cao.

{Xu capital}

{old city ruins west of the city}

[?]: You mean all our contacts were killed?

[?]: Yes. We are now alone in this fight.

[Liu Bei]: Hoo.

[LB]: Impossible!

[LB]: How could those men revolt?
[LB]: Something else is at work on here.

[Guan Yu]: Big brother, we should find an excuse and leave after we meet His Majesty.

[LB]: The court is going through an eventful period.

[LB]: Wait a bit longer.

[LB]: If my calculation is correct, we are right on time.

[LB]: Whoever invited us here must not be an average figure.

[LB]: Let’s wait and see.

[LB]: Stop looking. I’m not being followed.

[?]: Please follow me then.

[?]: My lord, the Imperial Uncle is here.

[?]: Liu Bei’s honor is world-renowned.

Haha, straight to the core of Imperial Han.

[Dong Cheng]: Welcome to the city, “king of benevolence.”
(this echoes “king” as referring to Yuan Fang in the beginning of this chapter, hence I had to somehow keep “king” in the translation)

Then Dong Cheng took out an Emperor’s belt, which contained a secret command.

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