Ravaging Times

chapter 329

{City of Ye}

[?]: Huh. Looks who’s here.
(“oh? see who has arrived?”)

[?]: Is this road yours to use?
(or to rephrase it, “who gave you permission to use this road?”)

[?]: You guys haven’t been here for a while. Feeling lost?
(“long time not here, afraid you(pl) feel lost”; my first impression is that he’s sarcastically offering to be their guide, but maybe I’m over-interpreting it)

chapter 329 The Plot Thickens
(this might be the wrong translation, but let’s see how far my first impression gets us; I might possibly have to revert it back to “Rings of Intrigue” or “Layers of Schemes” or something)

[?]: The fuck! Know your damn place!
(“…speaking must know high/superior or low/inferior”)

[?]: Why not speak your mind? Like I’m afraid of you dreg!
(“have word straight talk, afraid of you useless-person/coward not”)
[?]: Fine! Right here, right now!
(“…you want to settle it right here?”; maybe I should just translate it as “Oh yeah? You wanna settle this right here?”; but that’s longer…)

[?]: Not again. Go separate them!

[?]: Of the years I’ve been away, how did it get like this?

[?]: Sectarian wars have been escalating recently. Perhaps it is because the sons are now old enough to plan for their own futures.
[?]: On the left is Yuan Tan‘s faction, led by Xin Ping and Guo Tu; on the right is Yuan Shang‘s faction, led by Shen Pei and Pang Ji.
(it’s only recently that I found out “Feng Ji” should technically be “Pang Ji”, due to copy-editing mistake in the various historical writing leading to confusion for modern readers/translators; so if you go back to earlier scanlation, you’ll see his name as “Feng Ji”, that is if you were keeping track. XD)

[Sima Yi]: I suppose only big clans with high stakes in the successor war lead to such rivalry between brothers.
(“brothers compete/clash, perhaps only big clans with struggle to be successor has”; what’s the correct legal term? Not inheritance battle per se since that’s just for property/assets)

{Duan Jian}
[Duan Jian]: By tradition Yuan Tan the eldest should be the successor. But his recent loss of influence helped to embolden Yuan Shang.

[DJ]: Right now Hebei’s second and third most powerful factions belong to them.
(“right now Hebei besides Yuan Fang, biggest influences are them two”)

[DJ]: Plus Xin and Shen’s groups never got along. With their futures at stake,
(“plus Xin Sheng always inharmonious, each for their own future,”)
[DJ]: the fights here won’t ever cease.
(“this place’s conflicts never ending”)

[SMY]: Why won’t the duke step in?
(“so lord Yuan won’t handle/deal-with?”)

[DJ]: It’s strange how he turns a deaf ear to this.

[DJ]: Normally a father would be concerned about the fighting among his sons.
[DJ]: Yet recently duke Yuan seems to be in a great mood…

[DJ]: With the winning advantage at Guandu, I say he’s beside himself due to the prospect of dominating the world.
(“due to”? “from”? or “by”? they’ll sound awkward to me)

[?]: Mister Sima, please come in.

[Xu You]: Are you saying your clan will stop supplying rations to Cao Cao?
{Yuan Shao’s subordinate, Xu You}
{Xu You’s nephew, Xu Yuan}

[SMY]: I serve Cao Cao with the bitterest hatred and indignity, if only for the day when I can pour oil on a fire that burns him.
(“I bitterly hate Cao Cao, enduring humiliation for great task only to wait for when he sits on a fire, pour oil for him”; verbose, but maybe adds emphasize on his dramatic acting; there is also a possible pun on the last part, but I think it’s a coincidence in this case, not deliberate; “add oil” ~ “encourage/support” ~ “ganbatte” in Japanese)

[XYou]: Interesting. Go on.

[SMY]: Yanzhou’s Shan clan and Puyang’s Tian clan have also decided to stop their aid. They can no longer stand the foolishness of fighting impossible odds.
(“…the foolishness of striking a rock with an egg…”; also rephrasing a bit)

[XYou]: The information you provided about these clans are indeed helpful to our deployment.

[XYou]: Are they all correct?
[Xu Yuan]: Nearly the same as our spy reports.

[XYou]: Send more to return with Mister Sima.

[XYuan]: From now on many of our people shall be living in the Sima residence. Will you accept such supervision?

[SMY]: Haha, having witnesses will give us clearer goals. As you wish.
(“…target even more correct…”; not sure how to translate this)

[XYou]: So then, how will you coordinate with us once you return?

[SMY]: I’ve arranged with the Imperial clan in the capital. We’ll be able to rally the world when the time comes.

[SMY]: His Majesty will be safe after Guandu, and Yuan Fang shall be heralded as a hero to the world.

[SMY]: In addition, I’ve brought information on Cao Cao’s supply routes…

[XYou]: What an introductionFascinating.
(“what a first-meeting gift, amusing/interesting, amusing/interesting”)

[XYou]: I’m all ears.
(“willing to hear its details”)

[?]: Yessir.

[DJ]: Has the assassination order from Yuan Fang been rescinded?
[SMY]: Yes.

[SMY]: The preliminaries are over. More discussion tomorrow.

[DJ]: We would’ve saved some hassle had Young Master been here.
(rephrased)

[SMY]: Yuan Fang’s growing influence is certainly poised to overtake his master.

[SMY]: And coincidentally he is also a Yuan. One would think he is…

[DJ]: You and me both.
(“(our) views similar”)

[DJ]: That’s right. Rumor has it he is duke Yuan’s illegitimate son.

[SMY]: The duke has quite a harem; so what if he has another son?

[DJ]: Duke Yuan has always denied it, that’s what.
(“strange is that…”)

[DJ]: Disassociation or not, however, he still gives the latter his wholehearted support.
(“except on one hand drawing a clear line, but on the other, empty his bag to give”)

[DJ]: It’s unbecoming of a clan leader to hand everything over to an outsider.

[SMY]: So Yuan Fang’s surname isn’t Yuan?
(I’m not convinced by this line of conjecture/thinking, it feels more like forcing a character to raise the question to send the fandom into wild-theory-mode, AGAIN)

[DJ]: The Yuan clan has an adoption tradition. As long as it’s a person of talent, he’ll become a Yuan sooner or later…
(“…change surname to Yuan…”)

[?]: Guards, quickly!

[DJ]: They’re still here.

[?]: Break it up! Back off, all of you!
(“stop, all go back”)

[SMY]: Those two groups… the eldest… and the third…

[SMY]: But doesn’t duke Yuan have two other sons?

[DJ]: Men only have two loves. Some like to scheme for power…

[DJ]: The youngest son died, and the second…

[DJ]: He gave up on fighting and gave in to whoring.
(“indulge in women, have no conflict with the world”)

[DJ]: Although he’s also on our side.

[SMY]: You mean Yuan Xi is one of Yuan Fang’s allies?

[DJ]: Hard to believe, isn’t it? He probably wouldn’t be back then, but times have changed.
(“…but now is different than before”)

[DJ]: Since the marriage he suddenly handed everything over to Young Master Yuan Fang.

[DJ]: I heard that it polarized the brothers even more.
(“…brothers even more against each other, approaching water fire (extremity)”)

[?]: Haha, even heroes fall under the spell of beauty.
(“…heroes have difficulty passing the barrier of beauty”)

{Yuan Xi}

[DJ]: The three brothers made bitter enemies out of each other all because of that woman.

[DJ]: As they say, “Two Qiaos of the eastern region;
(“…jiangdong has two qiao”)

[DJ]: Zhen Fu of Hebei.”
(“Hebei has zhen fu”; the modern spelling of 宓 is “mi”, but it seems in the historical context it should be “fu”, so you might find search results calling her “Zhen Mi”)

Men’s love

for power,

and women.
(“…scheme for power, women’s beauty”)

The beauty trap

Really fascinating.
(“very interesting/amusing”)

The “plot” thickens.
(“…this place more and more ‘intrigue/trick'”)

There is also the saying, a relationship based on wealth will end once the wealth is depleted. A relationship based on beauty will change once the beauty fades.
(see point #9 in this scanned translation)

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