[?]: Little Yang,
[?]: is the boss in?
[Jia]: So that means the Xu clan is the one in trouble.
[?]: Yes, the Xu clan has been indicted for embezzlement. All of their properties are to be confiscated.
(“…soldiers by order city-by-city confiscate home/assets”)
[J]: Looks like they want to strike before we do.
[?]: This incident has far-reaching effects, boss. We could be caught in the middle as well.
(“…perhaps difficult to stand-clear of it”)
[J]: Notify everyone to withdraw.
(“notify everyone, prepare to retreat”)
[J]: Oh, has Young Master returned?
[?]: Young Master was with Tian De this morning; he should’ve been back by now.
[?]: But I heard he went with his senior classmates in the meantime.
[J]: He went with…
And hasn’t returned…
[?]: We brought him, master.
[Xu You]: Finally, my protection charm.
(“finally found protection charm”)
[Sima Yi]: What is the meaning of this, sir Xu?
[XY]: It’s all my fault-
[XY]: My nephew behaved badly and got you in trouble as well.
[?]: Young Master Xu Yuan has been arrested. His life is in danger.
(top left bubble)
[?]: Sima Yi is Yuan clan’s valuable guest. Why don’t we trade him for our young master?
[XY]: Trade? The duke is strict and impartial, plus we’ve made too many enemies in Ye. I doubt it’ll work.
[SMY]: I’m deeply sorry for this turn of event, sir Xu, but…
[XY]: But the Xu clan mustn’t be destroyed…
[XY]: We may have to reestablish our fame elsewhere.
[XY]: I remembered a good friend who was like a brother to me…
(I do not dare to write “be bros with”, haha!)
[XY]: Escort him onto the carriage.
[?]: I know what it’s like to lose one’s entire family…
[XY]: Boy, I bet Cao Cao will be happy to see you…
(“…certainly Cao Cao upon seeing you”)
[SMY]: He certainly will.
(“definitely will be very happy”)
In October of year 200, one of Yuan Shao’s key ministers Xu You was indicted with embezzlement charges, which led to the arrest of his family.
Xu You escaped, and kidnapped Sima Yi to see Cao Cao.
[?]: Hey! Be careful!
[?]: This is a “confiscation”, Steward. We’re playing by the book here.
(“…we play-act must also go through every step”)
[?]: You know full well it’s for show. If anything’s amiss once the master returns, you’ll be sorry!
[?]: Where’s Xu Yuan? Why isn’t he ready to “go to jail”?
(“…still haven’t come out ‘enter jail’ “)
[?]: The sun’s almost up. I’ve got other places to be!
[?]: Who said I sent someone there?
[?]: Goddamnit we’d only be there by the afternoon!
[?]: Go find out where they’re headed!
[?]: Sir, they’re here.
[Cao Hong]: Earlier than our agreed date.
[Jia Kui]: You’re early, master Hong.
[CH]: Where’s Sima Yi?
[JK]: Please forgive him, but there was a little mishap.
[CH]: Oh well. He’s merely one part of Guo Jia‘s strategy. No big deal if he fails.
[JK]: No, Sima Yi will definitely arrive tonight.
[CH]: Fine. Where’s this Xu Yuan that we were after?
[CH]: I believe his information will be really useful to us.
[JK]: Apologies, but the man Sima Yi brings is Xu You.
[JK]: Meeting an old friend would surely make for a more effective conversation.
(“…no need to play qin to a cow”)
[JK]: And… he said Xu You is cunning and has a way with words.
(“…another sound beyond the note/string played”)
[JK]: Therefore he has prescribed a few remedies for our Lord to try.
(“so he bravely/boldly for master prescribed medication”)
[JK]: With this in hand, Xu You will divulge anything our Lord wants.
(“…certainly to master talk about everything”)
[?]: Please check, master Hong.
[JK]: Xu Yuan’s head is a warning.
[JK]: If our Lord thinks Xu You is exaggerating, reveal this.
[JK]: If our Lord thinks Xu You is still unwilling to cooperate,
[JK]: apply the five-piece medication when he haggles over detail.
[JK]: Five coins a catty. With the right remedy it works every time.
(“…according to symptom apply medicine, no endeavor not benefiting”)
[JK]: These are Xu You’s five sons. Please check.
(“…bone and flesh…”)
[San Chuan]: Hai.
A man invites his own fortune or misfortune.
(“fortune (or) misfortune has no entrance, only person self invites”; quote from “Commentary of Zuo“, chapter about duke Xiang of Lu, year 23; Chinese source)