Ravaging Times

chapter 309

[?]: Master Huainan said, those who hunt deers ignore the hares.
(you’ll have to look up translation for this, Huai Nan Zi/Tzu, chapter 17, “Discourses In the Forest” or “A Forest of Persuasion”)

[?]: The closer you approach the center of interest, the more prey there are.

[?]: And the more you gain, the greedier you become.

chapter 309 The Silent Ways of Heaven

[Sun Ce]: The southeast is like a hare compared to the world.

[Ling Tong]: My Lord, did you cross the river over that belief?

[SC]: Yes; to hunt.

[SC]: I said “hunt”.
[LT]: My insanity has been cured, my Lord.

[SC]: But Zhou Yu is still worried, so he sent people here to make a scene.
(“…ruin things”)

[LT]: It’s not their fault, my Lord. They have to protect you.
(“It’s their duty to protect their lord; don’t take it out on them.”)
[SC]: Gong Ji, they’ll just be spoiling the mood if they keep trailing us.
{Ling Tong’s courtesy name is Gong Ji}

[SC]: Much like what the warlords are doing in this game of conquest.
(“…heroes chasing the deers…”)

[SC]: They have the same ambition; so why the endless lecturing about loyalty?

[LT]: That’s Cao Cao‘s sophistry. Don’t take it seriously.

[SC]: I’m just mad, you know.

[SC]: He certainly has a talent for speeches.

[SC]: When straight-faced Cao Cao scolded me in front of everyone,
(“…without fear on his face…”)

[SC]: it made me feel deflated even though I knew he was lying.

[SC]: And seeing how stern Guan Yu acted brought back that good old guilt.
(“…that I haven’t felt for a long time…”)

[SC]: Ambition backed by talks of loyalty becomes a murderous weapon…
(“ambition, using Loyalty as weapon, letting it butcher…”)

[SC]: Ridiculous, and highfalutin.
(not sure)

[LT]: Compared to others, your belief definitely needs polish.

[SC]: Perhaps a total simplification would make noble behavior lose its attractiveness.
(not sure; using my own interpretation)

[SC]: But all that talk about serving for the sake of the people, or restoring Imperial Han – what a bunch of lies.

[SC]: Truth is truth. Why should I hide it?

[SC]: Yet the world is full of liars. Only a few people speak their mind.

[SC]: Yuan Shu had to pay for his honesty.

[SC]: I’m starting to feel that I must be more pretentious the closer I approach the core.

[LT]: Why fight it if that’s the inevitable path for a conqueror?

[SC]: One must obey the rule of the world in order to conquer it.

[SC]: Oh but how pathetic that rule is.

[SC]: And I shall take no part in it.
(“and I, determined to draw a line between it and me”)

[SC]: In peacetime we’re haunted by guilt for taking one life.

[SC]: But in wartime we’re praised for murdering tens of thousands.

[SC]: We can be killers or heroes depending on the situation.

[SC]: What kind of bullshit rule is that?

[SC]: Heaven doesn’t give a damn about justice.
(“this heaven…”)

[SC]: Maybe Heaven only protects the strong;

[SC]: or it’s watching us…

[SC]: to see who is able to destroy this hypocrisy.
(“…change this hypocritical/pretentious situation”)

[SC]: But who could know for sure what Heaven is thinking?

[SC]: It’s as if it asks, what’s the point of life if you’re only after fame and fortune?

[SC]: And what do you gain from perpetuating?
(here it is more like “procreation”)

[LT]: Didn’t you already have the answer, my Lord?

[SC]: No.

[SC]: It’s not the same anymore after I killed people.

[SC]: Nothing’s the same anymore after I entered this state of mind.

[SC]: The more I think about it the less sense it makes.
(“…more perplexed/lost”)

[SC]: Haha, Yu Ji was right. It’s easy to go insane in this state of mind.

{sfx: pa}

[LT]: You are a descendant of Strategist Sun!
(reworded)

[LT]: With your ancestor’s wisdom

[LT]: you’re capable of changing this world!

{sfx: pa}

[LT]: You have a true understanding of life,
[LT]: and that makes your life more valuable than anyone else’s!

[LT]: People have always lived for shallow reasons.
(“…empty values for surviving…”)

[LT]: You are in command of life when you trample on the lives of others!

[LT]: If we are to continue our kind then understand why we do so!
(“…principle/essence”)
[LT]: Do tigers feel guilty for eating other beasts? And why do good people die if they’re favored by Heaven?
(“…if Heaven protects good people, why do their lives end”)

[LT]: Sun Ce, I remember everything you’ve taught me!
(“…have never forgotten the things you taught me”)
[LT]: Your path is before you!

[LT]: On this vast and open land!
(“…middle plains/kingdom”)

[LT]: Run, deers!

[LT]: Run forth! Let your footprints lead my Lord…
(“gallop…”)

[LT]: to world
(“chase deer“)

[LT]: domination!
(“Middle Plain/Kingdom”)

[LT]: You…

[LT]: are within reach of Heaven!

I…

want the answer.

[SC]: Thank you.

And for that I shall make a world for myself!

Without asking Heaven,
(“because I don’t ask Heaven”)

I…

will find the answer through conquest!
(Chinese reference; wordplay on “ask ____”; Bronze Age cauldron in ancient China has the connotation of ruling power. It is said when a ruler of Chu Kingdom/state asks for the size of Zhou Empire’s cauldron, it implies that he wants to take over the weakening Empire for himself)

This has brought me clarity today.
(“because of that today I’m enlightened”)

Heaven…
once again I invite you
(“I want to invite you again”)

to join my hunt for the world.
(“you and I chase deers on this Middle Plain/Kingdom”)

Therefore…

Heaven…

[?]: Heaven,

[?]: is dead.

Heaven…

I get it now.
(“…understand”)

Haha, you’re dead.

You’re already dead!

That’s why
life is spectacular yet gloomy…

And rife with inconstancy…

Or is it that… Heaven behaves in a constant manner.
(here is a minor wordplay between 無常 and 有常, inconstant versus constant)

It does not live because of a sage like Yao, nor die because of a tyrant like Jie.
(a quote from Master Xun‘s text, see first sentence of this excerpt)

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