Ravaging Times

chapter 327

{city of Ye}

[?]: Having been away for years,

chapter 327 Another Military Oath
(this hearkens back chapter 77; what’s an English equivalent? promise/oath of mission success, military order in writing with serious consequences for failure; mission statement? otherwise I’m tempted to just translate this as “another promise” or something lame but clear)

[?]: I see that the development of Hebei has certainly took off.

[?]: How are you guys nowadays?

[Yang Qing]: As always, everything made harder by war.
{Yang Qing}

[?]: So you’ve been promoted, brother?
(he’s actually saying something like the Japanese “sempai”, senior classmate of regular school setting; I fear for the western readers on directly using “xuexiong” here, but it’s not “shixiong”, albeit similar)

[?]: Promoted? What, are they going to clean out my house if I don’t enlist?

[?]: Shh.

[?]: Don’t mind him. He didn’t mean it that way.

[Sima Yi]: Brother Yang is right. My family tragedy is the unfortunate result of the times.

[Duan Jian]: Zhong Da, why stay with Cao Cao when he has treated you thus?
{Duan Jian}

[SMY]: I cannot let my clan’s legacy be ruined.
(“the accumulated assets of my ancestors must not be ruined by my generation”)

[?]: You didn’t come here to air your grievances, right?

[Xu Yuan]: This war between two powerful figures has certainly pained the wealthy elites in these provinces.
(“…caused… unending headache”)
{Xu Yuan}

[XY]: Except when it’s clear which side has the advantage, any wrong investment will be disastrous.

[XY]: Sima clan is one of Cao Cao’s suppliers. In these trying times…

[XY]: I suspect… your clan is near the breaking point.
(“…almost can’t hold on any longer, right?”)

[SMY]: You’re absolute right.
(“brother Xu’s words are very right-on”)

[XY]: And with Cao Cao in dire straits, you must be here to seek help?

[?]: Our clans have had close ties with one another for years, plus we were classmates. So of course we’ll help you.
(“…how could we have the reason to watch you die”)

[?]: But you know this isn’t just about the superficial lending and returning.
(“…also know the condition of helping…”)

[SMY]: Frankly, I’m looking for the chance of a payback.

[XY]: Your influence in Yanzhou will definitely benefit our side.

[SMY]: And I intend to serve duke Yuan.

[YQ]: Hahaha.

[?]: Don’t be silly, Zhong Da. We’re not serving duke Yuan.

[SMY]: So you guys are supporters of young master “Yuan Fang“?
(“…yuan fang gong-zi’s faction?”)

[XY]: Not just us. The entire Hebei will do his bidding.
(“…entire Hebei are all his minions”)

[?]: Zhong Da, the new era has arrived.

[YQ]: Oh.

[XY]: Of course…

[XY]: those of the old are finished.
(“old era…”)

[XY]: Zhong Da,

[XY]: the Tian clan lost its influence because they couldn’t take a hint.

[XY]: This isn’t the same world we thought it was.
(“…already not what we thought its type to be”)

[SMY]: Understood.

[SMY]: You were right, Tian De.

[SMY]: “Loyalist” Yuan Shao is long gone.

[Tian De]: How will you deal with it then, Zhong Da?

[SMY]: As businessmen, Tian De, we always look to our capital.

[SMY]: Yuan Fang wanted me dead,
(“…had long since…”)

[SMY]: which just proves my value. And that is my capital…

[SMY]: the greatest bargaining chip I have against him.

{Yingshui Pass}

[?]: When did this happen?

[?]: Yesterday morning, when servants entered the room.

[?]: Both the master and the Secretariat died from spear wounds in their throats.

[?]: The assassin might’ve sneaked in the night before.

[?]: It was just so sudden. In response, I’ve ordered the lock down and the defense of the city.
(“…to prevent other situation/event/problem occurring…”)

[?]: The scouts reported that an enemy troop set camp ten li inside the pass.
[?]: They waited until your troop arrived before returning to Runan.

[Jia Xu]: They’ve taken Guan Yu.

[JX]: We’re too late.

[?]: Advisor, rebels in Runan are increasing day by day. Now that Guan Yu is here…

[?]: doesn’t the addition of this renowned God of War make Liu Bei even more unstoppable?
(“…like adding wings to a tiger”)

[?]: This exigency calls for an aid from central command, so that we may suppress the southern region.

[?]: Since Guan Yu has already escaped, Advisor, we should transfer back the ambushing troops outside the pass.

[JX]: No.
(“no withdraw/retreat”)

[JX]: I am the Third Genius. I attack who I want to.
(“…water mirror third genius, who I want to attack I attack”)

[JX]: Unite the forces of Yingshui under my command. And as I’ve said before…
(“unite ying shui soldier and officers, follow my footsteps…”)

[JX]: Liu Bei will be defeated in ten days,
[JX]: or off with my head.
(even though “I/my” is implicit, the vagueness allows for someone else to be court-martialed/executed)

There is also the saying, the Dark Art of War is circled in black ink.
(“dark methods of war, full stomach of ink circles”; this is not citing from classic text, so I’m struggling to interpret this myself; I could say it’s just someone who’s “full of cruel ideas”, or it’s literally involving writing, which in this case works! see chapter 330 for my reasoning)


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