Ravaging Times

chapter 322

{flags from right to left: Guo, Xu, Xiahou, Zhang?}

{army moving sfx}

[?]: Yanzhou’s fifth battalion has arrived!
[?]: Ninth battalion of the Qingzhou Regiment has arrived!

[?]: Reinforcement from the Xiahou clan has arrived!

[?]: Reinforcement from the Cao clan has arrived!

chapter 322 The Face-off Between The Best
(“the most powerful face-off”; I’m trying to use the same wording as the previous chapter’s title)

[?]: Sir! The scattered enemy forces are gathering as well!
(“report! …”)

[Xiahou Dun]: What do you guys think of their regrouping efforts?

[Xiahou Yuan]: Their commanders are all dead. Headless dragons are nothing to be afraid of.
[Yue Jin]: Right. Not to mention we have the upper hand in size. Victory is ours.

[Xu Huang]: They’re just bluffing now. The outcome won’t change.
(“…even if we keep fighting the result will be the same”)
[Zhang Liao]: We’re done resting, Advisor; ready when you are.

[XHD]: Advisor?

[Guo Jia]: They still managed to regroup after such a defeat.

[GJ]: You sure have a gift at rallying, first shixiong!
(“…your ability to call/appeal is not weak”; shixiong = “male upperclassman”)

[?]: However…

[?]: it’s now dawn.
(“the sky is lighting up”)

[ZL]: What a shock they’ll be getting!
(“this time we will definitely make them shocked”)

Instead of retreating in the dark you regrouped them…

First shixiong… have you lost your mind?

Look…

[?]: There… there are over thirty troops of Cao‘s army!
[?]: Even more than last night!
(“last night’s?” or just “last night”?)

[?]: Maintain your positions! Stay calm!
(“maintain group shape, don’t become chaotic”)

[?]: Stay calm!

[?]: The enemy has over thirty troops, compared to our ten or so…
[?]: More will be gathered in daylight. It’s frightening!

[?]: Shut up! Did you forget Chief Controller‘s winning streak?
(“…long-held record of victories”)
[?]: But… but our commanders are all dead. What’re we going to fight them with?

[?]: Quiet! Maintain your position!

[?]: That’s all of Cao Cao’s forces…
(“…completely all out”)

[Yuan Fang]: Your name, deputy, and also tell me which formations this troop has been trained in.

[Chen Feng]: Chen Feng, sir, in temporary command of the first battalion. These men were trained in the two styles by Master Sun and Military Records!
(said here that the latter is one of those ancient text written around the West Zhou era, pre-Spring-Autumn-Annals, and did not survive to today)

[YF]: Disregard the former. Go with Military Records.
(“don’t use Sun-zi, use military records as your main formation”)

[YF]: Don’t fight to the death when confronted with the enemy.

[YF]: Military Records is about not fighting the odds.
(“jun zhi’s formation, know difficulty and retreat”; any suggestion for something better/clearer without making it too long?)

[YF]: Survival is a priority. Keep your casualty to a minimum.
[CF]: Yessir!

[YF]: Name, formations.

[Han Lou]: Deputy Han Lou, in temporary command of second battalion.

[HL]: These men were trained in the Old Master‘s Subtle Perception style.
(“wei ming” is a chapter title of a book written by Master Wen, allegedly a student of the Old Master; the title is extracted from the text itself, thus the translation would make sense to do the same, but here’s another Chinese explanation; Chinese text here)

[YF]: Your troop will go first. Seize advantageous grounds.

[YF]: That which shrinks must first expand.
(in case you are dubious of this source, try other references)
[?]: Yessir!

[YF]: Third battalion!

[Hua Jin]: Deputy Hua Jin in place of my severely wounded master.

[HJ]: My troop learned the same style as second battalion!

[YF]: Okay. The Old Master’s art of war, to take from someone, first give to them.
(I’m thinking about simplifying it “give before you take”, but it feels slightly distorted in its emphasis? As if you are teaching good manners instead of craftiness in warfare)

[?]: Yessir!

[YF]: Name, formations!

[Zhou Qing]: Deputy Zhou Qing, commanding fourth battalion.
[ZQ]: Master Sun, Military Records.

[YF]: Like I chose before, Military Records!

[YF]: Strike first to hurt enemy morale. Take control of that small terrain on the left and help the archers set up formation!
(can’t find translation, here’s a Chinese reference)

[YF]: Commander-in-Chief, which formations?
(“great general…”)

[Zhang He]: My men still have new weapons and reserved strength. Right now all four battalions are holding their positions.
(“my army’s weapons are still new, troops have strength, now all four troops in defense”)

[ZH]: I’ll use Guan Zhong‘s methods of war, with weapons and instructions ready we’ll take down their vanguard forces;
(page 276 of that specifically referenced book; Chinese reference)
[ZH]: chase the fleeing like a whirlwind; strike them like thunder and lightning!

[YF]: Ambitious.
(my first impression is “gutsy”, but the word doesn’t mean “brave”, not exactly “ambitious” either, but I’m stuck)

[YF]: Strike first.
(“first stab”)

[ZH]: Zhang He’s army, clear the path for our four battalions!

KILL~

[?]: The Yuan army isn’t retreating…
(maybe it should be “didn’t retreat”, but it doesn’t sound right in context)

[?]: They’re attacking instead!
[?]: We outnumber them, but they still choose to attack?
(“our army is numerous, they don’t retreat instead they move forward”)

[YJ]: Look at that strange formation….
[YJ]: What in the world is Yuan shixiong doing?
(not sure why he’s calling Yuan Fang shixiong here, since that’s not an appropriate honorific for him to use, shixiong ~ “male upperclassman”)

First went Yan Liang, then goes Wen Chou.
(“first take down Yan Liang, then kill Wen Chou”)

Yuan army’s morale was obliterated after those two battles.

First shixiong, if you think a victory in this crippled state can revitalize morale…
(“…remnant formation achieve victory to turn-around morale…”)

you… must be…

insane!
(my first impression is “hysterical”, but I think that’s not the right meaning here)

[?]: Men, engage!
(“enter formation”)

[?]: Chief Controller, the Cao army is responding!
(“…started army movement”)

[YF]: Keep to the formation and take order from within!
[?]: Yessir!

[YF]: Yuan Fang,

[YF]: engage.
(“enter formation”)

And then came a strange flurry, as if an old friend is visiting.

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