Ravaging Times

chapter 341

{sfx: foom~}

[?]: I’ll open a path, follow me!

[?]: Farewell, my Lord!
(“…I’ll leave first”)

chapter 341 A Test From The Hidden Man
(related to chapter 7 “kao ji” of “Comments of a Recluse” by Wang Fu. Chinese text here; there is an interesting – but maybe irrelevant – tidbit about the surname “Yuan” that is talked about in the aforementioned text, see this wiki page. One reader suspects that this title has one more level of wordplay, saying Zhang Liao is the “hidden/lurker” who is testing the two sides of the battle)

[?]: A gap over here. This way!
(“here is a opening, follow out”)

[?]: Brace yourselves! Attack Yuan Fang‘s flank!

[?]: The… the Cao army broke through!?

[?]: Look out! Their men on the left have engaged our troops!

[?]: Chief Controller! Their other troop has exited as well!

[?]: Master Hanfei said, “fire’s aggressiveness keeps people from getting burned.”
(from Hanfeizi, chapter 30; the full context of the quote is that people are wary of powerful fire but are careless against water, so more people are drowned than burned; some readers complain this is a poor use of quotation)

[?]: Who knew the Cao army could disregard it altogether.

[Yuan Fang]: The battle of Puyang back then has certainly trained an army who can rein in fire.

[YF]: This scene reminds me of chapter seven from Wang Fu‘s “Comments of a Recluse”.
(“…test merit chapter”; I’m afraid of translating the chapter title wrong, so cheating by using its number)

[YF]: Concealed is the sharpness of an untested sword.
(can’t find official translation, so I’m basing this on Chinese interpretation)

[YF]: Questionable is the strength of an untested bow.
(can’t find official translation, so I’m basing this on Chinese interpretation)

[YF]: A conflict of weaponry in our formations of sword and bow.
(a little wordplay here using “spear”, which attacks, and “armor”, which defends, together they mean contradiction/irony)

[YF]: Since we’re both commanders of army, Cao Cao,

[YF]: I challenge you to another match.
(“…request formation”)

[Cao Cao]: I intend to redeem our lost battle on behalf of Guo Jia.
(“…clear past shame”)

[YF]: Is this a fair fight considering the size difference?
(“use few against many…”)

[CC]: You made it last time, so could I.

[YF]: The chapter also says, misleading is the agility of an untested eagle; doubtful is the quality of an untested horse.
(can’t find official translation, so I’m basing this on Chinese interpretation)

[YF]: Look out. The falcon is coming.
(“…hunting eagle…”)

[?]: Formation! Ho-!
(the sound is more like “huh”)

[CC]: Riders, rise.
(“horse up/rise”)


(“the sound is more like “huh”)

(“the sound is more like “huh”)

[?]: Formation!

[YF]: Master Wang Fu,

[YF]: your chapter on testing merits is testing ours indeed.
(“your ‘recluse commentary” indeed is testing us two’s achievements”; since he’s using the “respectful you” here, I added the word “Master” to the previous line that doesn’t have it in the original)

[?]: Spread the wings; kill~

[?]: Trample the enemy; kill~



[?]: Surround them. Rope them off their horses!

[?]: Be careful! The enemy rides are faster!

[?]: The remaining four troops are ready!

[YF]: Having followed me for years, the four of you know my methods of war very well.
{Yuan Fang’s subordinate Liu Hong}
{Huang Hui}
(or “huang kuai”, possibly original characters so I’m not going to bother with spelling accuracy)

[YF]: If Cao Cao wants to break eggs on a rock before he dies,

{Huangfu Ren}
{Lin Zhen}
[YF]: pick the hardest one and smash him to smithereens.

[Huang Hui]: Got it? Join the main army formation!
(“did you hear that! follow main army enter formation”)

[HH]: Four by the rules, four as the surprise. Begin!
(see chapter 323)


[YF]: The wing formation; surround them.

[YF]: The start of Feng Hou-
(possible wordplay on the name “feng hou”, but maybe reading too much into it)

[YF]: the spread of eight units.
(“Eight-Unit Formation cometh”)

[HH]: The main force to the center. We play the surprise.
(“the straightforward/orthodox division is center…”)

[HH]: Surround the enemy!

[?]: Surround!

[?]: Boss, General Liu’s troop…

[HH]: Liu Hong, why haven’t you started your formation?

[Liu Hong]: It’s a fleeting chance, old Huang!

[HH]: What?

{galloping sfx}

[HH]: Cao… Cao Cao is leaving the formation?

[LH]: His formation is just a cover for his retreat!
(“…only a cover, this guy wants to escape”)

[?]: Capture him!

[?]: General Liu and Huang have exited the formation!

[YF]: Oh no.

[LH]: Die, Cao Cao!
(“…accept death”)

[CC]: Okay.

{sfx: cha~}

[HH]: Shit, a back thrust!?

[CC]: Dismount.

{sfx: cha~}


[CC]: The wing is broken. Take down their army!

[?]: Cavalry, break through!

[?]: Who knew the anti-hero turns out to be an assassin!

[YF]: What an over-powering blade.

[YF]: He traverses on narrow and unstable ground, but every step lands firm and strong.
(“pathway may be insidious, but treading incomparably strong”)

[YF]: In the years since we last met, he has found the right path.

[YF]: The fake Lü Bu of old-
(“that year’s fake Lü Bu”)

is the fake Cao Cao of new!
(“now’s fake Cao Cao”)

The weapon explains the warrior.
(“for warrior, observe his blade, see his aspiration”)

Zhang Liao, what makes Cao Cao worthy of the honor!
(one reader made a keen observation, that Zhang Liao using Guan Yu’s blade is to continue the metaphor of single-sided edge/loyalty; see the other chapter when Cao Cao first commented connecting weapon and warrior. However, another interpretation is that Yuan Fang means Zhang Liao is the other person being tested, so he is saying Cao Cao is not worthy of the test)

With a single-edged blade, this is not the Wen Yuan of old.

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