Ravaging Times

chapter 271

{Shequan . Cao army’s staging ground}

{flags read: Cao}

[?]: He left, even after all these months together.

[?]: Sounds like you don’t want him to go?
[?]: You’re right. Not many people click with you like he did.

chapter 271 Warfare Takes Risks

[Shan Wu Ling]: Zhong Da and Zhong Mou are two of a kind.

[Sima Yi]: You mean how we always target businessmen?

[SWL]: Yes. Now the most influential clans of the Eastern region, led by the Qiao family, have all submitted to the Sun family.

[SWL]: And the two Qiao daughters have “unfortunately” ended up with Sun Ce and Zhou Yu.

[SWL]: Zhong Mou’s tactic was just like how you crudely married me.

[SMY]: He did well in establishing the relation. As for that Immortal from Langye…

[SWL]: You mean Yu Ji?
[?]: It’s strange. Sun Ce didn’t take him out, but recruited him instead.

[SMY]: I have always said Sun Ce is a smart man. He has his reasons for keeping Yu Ji alive.

[?]: Yu Ji is also good at mind games. You can tell what he’s up to when he pulls back the revolting civilians.

[SWL]: You sure know this Yu Ji. Can it be…

[SMY]: Wu Ling, remember how I like to play celestial beings?

[SWL]: You mean Chisongzi? Then you…
(the rain god; see volume 13)
[SMY]: Correct. I learned some “mystic” tricks from him. Pretty useful.

[SMY]: But after learning the tricks I found that the Way of Taiping is just a shell. Something more complex lurks within.

[SWL]: Let me send another letter to the Eastern region to warn Sun Ce of this “Immortal”.

[SMY]: No need. He won’t answer at this time.

[SWL]: Can he be that busy?

{sfx: ta}

[SMY]: Wu Ling, a letter to the Eastern region won’t reach him.

[SMY]: Send to Jiangxia if you must.

[SWL]: Oh, you mean he’s already at Jiangxia?

[SMY]: Zhou.
[Zhou]: Yessir.

[SMY]: After the spy returns and confirms that Yuan Shao‘s force at Shequan has been transferred, we’ll set out immediately.
[Z]: Yessir. I’ll notify General Cao Ren right away.

[SMY]: Yu Ji’s followers amount to over ten thousand. Why let it go to waste.

[?]: People are all about self-interest these days.
[SMY]: Take risks to achieve goals, and I…

[SWL]: And a profiteer like you takes the cake when it comes to this principle.

[?]: The small boats have been delivered. Who will pay?

[SMY]: Cao Cao, of course.

{Aocang . Cao army’s staging ground}

[?]: Report from the fifth battalion!

[?]: Sir! Twenty thousand of Yuan Shao’s infantry has advanced on Quanchao!

[Guo Jia]: Quanchao?

[?]: Yuan Shao has already stationed a large force at Shequan. Why station another behind it?
[?]: Unless they want to open a path southward?

[?]: No, Cao Ren’s army has crossed the river at night and took control of Shequan!

[?]: Yuan Shao’s defending general Sui Gu has been killed!

[?]: My master Xiahou Dun has led reinforcements there!

[?]: Our battalion is preparing to open a path northward. Please dispatch rations and equipment!

[?]: Took… took control of Shequan.
[?]: That’s fast. The messenger hasn’t even arrived yet.

[GJ]: Goodness. He already prepared boats.

[?]: Sir!

[GJ]: Li Dian.
[Li Dian]: Here.

[GJ]: Cao Ren and Xiahou Dun have crossed the river. Be cautious when delivering rations and supplies.

[LD]: Yessir!

[LD]: Fortunately I already prepared, or I would be way behind.

[?]: Your master did well. Our army has acquired the right location first.
[?]: Yessir!

[LD]: Go report to Cao Ren that I’ll bring supplies soon.

[?]: Yessir… I’ll report back immediately!
[LD]: Rations officer, come with me!

[Cheng Yu]: Shequan had a strong deployment. How could Cao Ren take it so easily?

[CY]: Unless the main force was suddenly diverted.

[GJ]: Correct. Yuan Shao noticed that Liu Biao retreated back to Jingzhou instead of joining forces with him to attack us.

[CY]: I get it. After Liu Biao’s retreat they thought we would transfer our forces to defend along the Yellow River.

[?]: Liu Biao’s retreat means something has gone wrong at Jiangxia.

[?]: So, that boy Sun Ce has made his move.

[GJ]: Little Conqueror might be powerful, but our military precision beats his.

[GJ]: Being able to take advantage of that moment of military redeployment, that decision maker sure is worthy of praise.

[GJ]: As military advisors you all must work harder,

[GJ]: or Sima Yi will take the credit again.

{army moving sfx}

[?]: Ten thousand.

[?]: Twenty thousand.

[?]: More now.

{Shaxian . Liu Biao’s territory}

[?]: We miscalculated!

[?]: Many of our camps out there are now lost. We’re in danger.

[Huang Zu]: The kid from the Sun clan has grown (some) teeth.
{Jiangxia’s Grand Administrator Huang Zu}

[?]: Sir, our requested reinforcements have arrived.

[HZ]: Young and reckless. Those consecutive victories must have jaded Sun Ce. He will underestimate us.

[HZ]: This battle will test their hubris. To make sure Sun Ce doesn’t take caution,

[HZ]: it would be best to have commanders who are not well-known.

[HZ]: And yet, they must be the most skilled.

[HZ]: First, Gan Ning.

[HZ]: Next, Huang Zhong.

Commander, general, or a soldier?
(or “chief, officer, or pawn”)

Heroes only hope for recognition.
(not as poetic in this translation… See the first half of the “4-line poem” on the black pages of the previous chapter)

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