Ravaging Times

chapter 270

Both were anti-heroes.

Both were for the world.

But only one of the two can live.

[?]: So fast. Yuan Shao has already deployed troops in Shequan last year.

[?]: The way it looks now their (intended) setup is beginning to take shape.

chapter 270 A Drink Between Anti-heroes
(“anti-heroes drinking together”)

[?]: As predicted, the showdown will occur at Guandu.

[?]: We’re adapting, however. Shi Huan‘s forces will defend our southern border.

[?]: Army Overseer Xiahou Yuan will even lead the main force to defend along the Yellow River.
(not sure about the rank translation; alternative is “Controller”)

[?]: Yue Jin will specialize in surprise attacks while Li Dian will be in charge of the supply line. Everything is in order.

[?]: None of our various defense positions has weak points. We await the day of battle.

{Xun You}
[Xun You]: The first phase of Guo Jia‘s setup has taken shape.

[Cao Ren]: As we approach war, Yuan Shao certainly has drastically reduced his tributes to the Emperor – a telltale sign.
{Cao Ren}

[?]: Besides that, his brother Yuan Shu has also been busy using the military. People in and around Shouchun have lost all of their resources to the draft. Complaints fill the streets.
[?]: Those two have immense power. Their defense line already match half of our forces.

[?]: The most worrisome thing is that our forces are all concentrated in the north. We’ll be in serious trouble if Jingzhou‘s Liu Biao allies with the Yuan clan.
[?]: According to reports, Liu Biao has been expanding his army recently, totaling over a hundred thousand men.

[Cao Hong]: Coincidentally, Liu Biao’s tributes these months have also decreased.
{Cao Hong}

[?]: Tributes make up part of our resources. And now…

[XY]: So what do members of the court think of this situation?

[CH]: It’s weird; the court is calm, and the Emperor is taking it all in stride.

[CR]: That means… the Emperor approves of this as well.

[?]: If the Emperor does not voice his opinion, the warlords on the outskirts will not obey our command.
[?]: The emperor dares to do this, in other words, there are insiders in the court who are encouraging him.

[XY]: So it seems… the extermination was not thorough, and now the bugs are causing more damage.

[?]: I think it takes both internal and external factors to overthrow our Lord.

[CH]: Yuan Shao to our north; Liu Biao to our south; which (traitor) among us?

[?]: Yuan Shao’s abnormal behavior has alerted us to call Xiliang‘s Ma Teng to aid our northern defenses. The Xiliang army moves fast. If they listen to Yuan Shao’s command, they can occupy Xu (capital) within a day.

[CR]: Ma Teng’s force is not weak. Hm, another loose end.

[CR]: If they add Liu Biao and Ma Teng, their allied forces will be more than ten times the size of ours.

[?]: But these can only happen after Yuan Shao makes his move.

[?]: Guo Jia will deal with Yuan Shao while we handle the rest. Now the most important thing is who will light the fuse.

[XY]: The Zhongjia Empire, no doubt.

[?]: I have an idea to take on Yuan Shu.

{Jia Kui}
[Jia Kui]: With Yuan Shu they light the fuse; with ethos we turn the wind.
(a “sort of” couplet; “The enemy plans to light the fuse with Yuan Shu; we will use talk of righteousness to redirect the wind.”)

[CH]: You mean, let public opinion be about the arrogant rebels?
(or “revolting lunatics”? This is distorted somewhat.)

[JK]: Yes. The chaos today is the result of moral erosion. If we can hurt Zhongjia using Righteousness, Yuan Shao will have to think twice before rebelling.

[?]: Jia Kui, Yuan Shao will surely find an opportunity against us if we attack Yuan Shu. We might win in principle, but we’re in danger of losing our ground!

[JK]: I believe an elite army of ten thousand is enough to fight the Zhongjia empire.

[XY]: With that small an army, the commander must really have the ability to rally the world.

[JK]: That’s right. Not only must he be good at command, his reputation must also be world renowned in order to unite the scattered warlords for this cause.

[JK]: Our Lord took him in because he understood the essence of Advisor Xun Yu‘s military philosophy…

[JK]: Maintain an army for a thousand days for use in one (crucial) moment.

[?]: I didn’t know you were coming, my lord.

[Mi Zhu]: Please forgive me for having nothing prepared.

[Xiahou Dun]: You’re too kind, Sir Mi Zhu. We’re only here to visit the Imperial Uncle.
{Xiahou Dun}

[MZ]: Then… I’ll notify him.
{Mi Zhu}

{Xu Chu}
[?]: No need. We’ll show ourselves in.

[Liu Bei]: Oh.

[Cao Cao]: Nothing’s changed, Xuan De.
(Xuan De is Liu Bei’s courtesy name)

[LB]: Your sudden visit startled me, lord Cao.

[CC]: What you’re doing also startles me, Imperial Uncle.

[CC]: I’m ashamed to say that work has made me forget about you, who was a great help in eliminating Lü Bu.

[CC]: Having prepared some wine and appetizer, today I make a point to drink with you.

[CC]: You know, Yuan Shao’s activities these days have alarmed the world.

[CC]: Even commoners are talking about it; yet you hide at home, Imperial Uncle.

[CC]: Can it be that tending to your garden is more important than discussing politics in the court?

[LB]: I’m a descendant of Prince Jing of Zhongshan. I am contend with the official acknowledgment.

[CC]: That’s nowhere near what you said at the White Gate Tower. Please speak your mind.

[LB]: You want the honest truth, lord Cao?
[CC]: Please.

[LB]: The court is full of idiots and scoundrels. I can’t stand them!

[CC]: Haha, you remind me of myself when I was new to politics.

{sfx: pa}

[LB]: Yuan Shao’s recent action has angered anyone who has heard about it, and yet none of the ministers reprimanded him.

[LB]: What’s worse, they claim to serve Han, but they ignore the fact that Yuan Shu declared himself the emperor. Is that how they should behave in court?

[CC]: Yuan Shao’s royal clan is known for three generations of dedication to the emperor, but his action deviates from this loyalty. It’s unfathomable.

[CC]: Here.

[CC]: Your show of integrity makes Yuan Shao appear more dishonorable.
(not sure)

[CC]: But Imperial Uncle, did you know that someone is behind Yuan Shao’s rebellion?

[CC]: And he has such a background that even I was caught off-guard…

{thunder sfx}

{cup shatter sfx}

{thunder sfx}

{thunder sfx}

[LB]: He is still no match for Heaven.
(“no matter how big he is, he can’t be bigger than the sky”)

[LB]: I am determined to save the world. He does not scare me!
(“I have the heart/intention to save the world; no matter how big, I do not fear it”)

[LB]: His Majesty is still young. He does not understand your intentions!

[LB]: What influence do men in power have if they do not seize control?
(not sure)

[LB]: What great things can saviors accomplish if they are not dictators?

[LB]: The world cannot be saved by foolish subjects of the former regime with their useless politics.

[LB]: The world cannot be saved by a naive youngster who changes policies at whim.

[CC]: Of all the heroes in the world,

[CC]: only you and I walk the same path!

[LB]: I don’t attend (the court), lord Cao, because of bug(s).

[CC]: Then I ask you, Imperial Uncle, to eliminate the bug(s) for the world!

[XHD]: Imperial Uncle, you are hereby ordered to assemble ten thousand elites with five hundred thousand in funding to march to Xuzhou and eliminate Yuan Shu.

[LB]: Yessir!

[CC]: All right!

[CC]: It’s about to rain. Next time we’ll drink and talk about the world again!

[LB]: Safe journey.
(“(I) respectfully see you off”)

{rain sfx}

[?]: What? Cao Cao was here? Then…
[?]: Don’t worry, our Lord is fine.

[LB]: The test is over.

[LB]: As another anti-hero, how could I not know Cao Cao’s intention? Though it sure was easy to get on his good side.

[LB]: Zi Long was right; I would gain both fame and fortune if I stayed here.

[LB]: In terms of fame I first received His Majesty’s acknowledgment of my status as Imperial Uncle.

[LB]: Then I get to represent Han in the fight against Yuan Shu. This has elevated my reputation to a previously unreachable height.

[LB]: In terms of fortune I obtained an elite army from Cao Cao, plus a nice pay.

[LB]: And the most important thing is, both His Majesty and Cao Cao treat me like their confidant. Everything will go smoothly from now on.
[LB]: Returning to Xuzhou, redeploy, a step higher than before!

[LB]: Let’s go. We’ll remain on the outside without this constant vigilance.

[LB]: We’re like fish in the water, my brothers,
(“… fish entering the sea”)

[LB]: and birds in the sky.
(“… birds flying over the cloud”)

A fish, a bird, or is it a bug?

Butterfly or locust; who would know?
(these two lines supposedly form half of a 4-line “poem”, see the black pages of the next chapter. I can’t judge if it’s supposed to be “if one is butterfly or locust”, or “if one will become butterfly or locust”, so I’m omitting them entirely ^^;)

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