Ravaging Times

chapter 355

{north of Xiangyang, Xinye}

[?]: Yuan Shao‘s fiasco at Guandu has led to endless revolts in Jizhou these months.
[?]: Hebei’s in chaos with that much fighting.
(“military trouble consecutively…”)

[?]: My relatives told me that just when Guandu’s dust settles, the Cao army is already sending troops southward.

[?]: Th… then…
(“that… that…”)

chapter 355 The Dragon Closes In On Jingzhou

[?]: Cao Cao is going to attack Jingzhou?

[?]: So what? Cao Cao had always intended to expand southward. Attacking Jingzhou is only a matter of time.
(“afraid of what?…”)

[?]: Nah, we’re just worried… how’re we going to win when Yuan Shao’s army of a hundred thousand couldn’t?

[?]: Not to mention the Sun clan, who has always hated Jingzhou, is now serving Cao Cao. We’re finished if they join forces.

[?]: If they attack from both sides, how’re we going to defend ourselves? We won’t even have reinforcements.

[?]: That clansman Liu Zhang of Yizhou… you can forget about his aid!
(“…he definitely watch dying refuse to help”)
[?]: Damn it! And they call this a world ruled by the Liu clan!
(“…this is what liu clan’s world?”)

[?]: Not so fast. The Liu clan still has loyal and honorable men.
(“not definitely…”)

[?]: Isn’t Liu Bei of Runan at the top of that list?

[?]: Who doesn’t know of Liu Bei? But he has always been weak. How’s he going to help us?

[?]: You jumped to conclusions, sir. Liu Bei lost often because he didn’t have a good supporting base.

[?]: Yuan Shao didn’t trust him, so kept him at bay. However, he has the same ancestry as our Lord.

[?]: That’s right! It’ll be like giving wings to a tiger if he’s able to command our Jingzhou army.

[?]: Liu Bei’s righteous and honorable reputation will raise our morale, then we can take on the criminal Cao.

[?]: I remember our Lord has invited Liu Bei several times in the past, though the latter declined, for fear of dragging Jingzhou into Cao Cao’s hands.

[?]: But times have changed. With the army of Hebei defeated and our ally lost, Cao Cao would certainly see us as easy.

[?]: Cao Cao is the common enemy of both our Lord and Liu Bei. The odds might be different now if our Lord invites him again!

[?]: I heard our Lord has sent someone to Runan again.

[Liaoyuan Huo]: Haha. Liu Bei’s reputation precedes him.
(“…reputation really loud”)

{Zhou Cang}
[Zhou Cang]: It’s almost imperative that Liu Bei comes to Jingzhou.

[LYH]: So, any news from Hebei?

[ZC]: There’s a mutiny in Jizhou. Although the Yuan clan is holding on to the shores of Yellow River, their inner territories are pure chaos.

[LYH]: Any news of Yuan Shao?

[ZC]: I heard he’s still alive. The infighting persists, however, and he’s been pressured to step down.

[LYH]: Yuan Shao lives, but I know the outcome of another man.

[LYH]: Yuan Fang‘s dead.

[LYH]: Cao Cao obtained Yuan Fang’s corpse, but instead of flaunting it publicly, he eliminated all traces of it…
[LYH]: This way… Yuan Fang’s supporters will remain ignorant and continue to fight against the Yuan clan.
(simplified)

[ZC]: How would you know…?

[LYH]: I know one of the Eight Geniuses.

[ZC]: Him? So… did he agree to your invitation?

[LYH]: Unfortunately he’s still unwilling to lend a hand to our Lord.

[LYH]: Yet he’s willing to divulge the news of Yuan Fang’s death – which helped us indirectly.
(maybe slightly distorted, but I think this is clearer in English)

[ZC]: Wh…What does that mean?

[LYH]: Yuan Fang died, so did the greatest threat of Hebei. Sooner or later Cao Cao will move in on Jingzhou.

[LYH]: Now’s the perfect time for our Lord to flex his might here.

[LYH]: Please go to Runan, brother Zhou. And tell our Lord to prepare to head out.

[ZC]: Okay. Right away.

[LYH]: Old Wu,

[LYH]: where did he run off to?

[Wu]: As predicted, you’ve “forced” him to come here.
(he said, “as the boss calculated”, but not sure if “boss” is referring to LYH or SMY or Liu Da)

{knock knock knock}

[LYH]: I am Liu Bei’s subordinate Zhao Yun, here to visit you, mister.

[?]: How scary. Looks like I won’t be able to get by you…
(“…escaping from your palm”)

[?]: Please come in.

[LYH]: I’ll track you down until you acquiesce, mister.

[?]: Hahaha,

[Zhuge Liang]: the leader of the Handicapped Warriors is truly skillful.

[ZGL]: My answer is unchanged. I’ve decided to serve my teacher and no one else.
(“…decided whole life serve teacher, will no longer aid other people”)

[LYH]: Then… I’ll still follow you and never give up.

[LYH]: I heard your new home at Longzhong is well decorated.

[ZGL]: That means I won’t be getting away.

[ZGL]: Perhaps nothing I say would appeal to your sympathy, General Zhao.
(not sure)

[LYH]: I’ll say it again. The Handicapped Warriors do not lose sight of their targets.

[ZGL]: Fine. If Inspector Liu would swear by an oath, I’ll definitely step in.
(“…leave mountain”, meaning leave his school, graduate himself, etc.)

[LYH]: Please clarify.

{note: Inspector is an honorable title for the inspector of a province. From the time Cao Cao appointed Liu Bei to be the Inspector of Yuzhou in year 196, people have been referring to Liu Bei as Liu Yuzhou or Inspector Liu}

[ZGL]: Engulf Liu Biao, destroy Liu Zhang, and unite the Liu clan.

[ZGL]: Have him remove that pretentious mask of benevolence,

[ZGL]: then I’ll do my utmost and serve with unwavering loyalty
(“liang, will then of course swear of death to follow”; it’s not exactly correct, but close enough)

until death.
(a quote from Zhuge Liang’s Northern Expedition Memorial)
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