Ravaging Times

chapter 356

[Xiahou Yuan]: To the shores!
(“approach shore”, dock, pull into shore)

[?]: Go!

chapter 356 Jackals From The Same Lair
(another dictionary translation)

In the spring of year 201, Cao Cao‘s army crossed the Yellow River and flexed its military might.

They advanced along the shoreline, putting the Yuan army on a constant retreat.

[?]: Now that we’ve crossed the river,

[?]: I didn’t expect the Yuan army to fight in such disorderly manner.

[?]: Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang refuse to cooperate…

[Sima Yi]: They’d rather watch the other die instead of survive together…
(“crisis endangers survival…”)

[SMY]: Something must be going on for this to happen between brothers…

[Jia]: Rations have been sent to the front lines, Young Master. The next batch is for March.

[SMY]: March. So, Guo Jia intends to take Cangting by April…

[SMY]: Once Cangting is breached, Yuan Fang‘s strongest defense will collapse.

[SMY]: What a pity. The Yuan army still outnumbers us despite their loss at Guandu!

[SMY]: Yet by the looks of their incompetence, it seems… Yuan Fang’s death is not so much a rumor anymore.
(“…cannot not believe (it)”)

[?]: Oh, Zhong Da.

[Yang Xiu]: Long time no see.

[SMY]: Ah! Sir Son-in-Law.

[YX]: No need for the formality. We were friends after all.

[SMY]: Friends treat each other honestly. Too bad I couldn’t even figure out an upperclassman’s name.

[YX]: What’s important here is not the name, but that we shouldn’t carry on an old grudge.

[YX]: Besides… we were all Guo Jia’s pawns. I had no choice while the game’s in play.
(“…everybody listened to orders of Guo Jia, under strategy, body not my own will”)

[SMY]: You delayed returning after accomplishing so much.

[SMY]: There must’ve been more to do at the Yuan camp.

[SMY]: I heard your ties with Yuan Shang is quite close now…

[YX]: Oh. I forgot you still have people in the Yuan clan…

[YX]: Must be… my execution of Tian Feng prompted his nephew Tian De to seek your help once more.

[YX]: With Yuan Fang gone, how could Yuan Shang not see me in a different light?
(“…I go to join Yuan Shang…”)

[SMY]: Looks like you want to stir up new hatred between Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang?

[YX]: Yuan Tan might’ve been adopted to another clansman, but he’s still Yuan Shao’s eldest son. The one to command the future Hebei is yet to be determined.
(“…in the future who command Hebei, still an unknown number”)

[YX]: My trip this time is merely to exacerbate the relationship of the two.

[YX]: Now that they’re like water and fire, my presence there is no longer necessary.

[YX]: I became lord Cao’s son-in-law, and you’ve made quite a few achievements yourself.

[YX]: With one of us in politics and the other in the business side of things…
{flag reads: Cao}

[YX]: it won’t be difficult to engulf Cao Cao in the future.

[SMY]: What’s this nonsense, my senior?

[YX]: I put myself in your shoes. I just couldn’t see any reason why you’d help lord Cao.

[SMY]: You’re not a businessman. You don’t understand how it’s all about profit.
(“…[principle] with profit being first (consideration)”)

[YX]: Hahahaha.

[YX]: We’re friends, Zhong Da. I was only joking.

[YX]: As you say, friends should treat each other honestly. And to be honest…

[YX]: the one to engulf Cao Cao could only be me.

[SMY]: This is a joke too, right?

[YX]: No. Choose the strongest and support his tyranny. Then, swallow him whole.

[YX]: Because father said, Yuan Shao is corrupt, and so is Cao Cao…
(“…is treacherous vassal…”)

[YX]: After Yuan Shao’s gone, we Loyalists are still duty-bound to do away with Cao Cao.

[SMY]: You’re so “forthcoming”, my senior. Aren’t you afraid I’ll report this?

[YX]: No, you won’t.

[YX]: It has been a costly investment thus far. You wouldn’t want to break it all up now, would you?

[YX]: I’m good at thinking things through. You won’t be getting out of my control.
(“…getting out of the palm of my hand”)

[YX]: I heard you’re really close to Cao Pi now…

[YX]: Then I’ll become a friend to his younger brother Cao Zhi.

[YX]: The conflict between brothers has always been an interesting “downfall”.

[YX]: Oh I forgot to tell you. Yuan Fang died by my hands…

[YX]: and Yuan Shao will too.

[SMY]: So what more have you figured out by now?
(“then xuexiong this time again deliberated what”, deliberating is dictionary definition, but I think Mr. Chen is trying to say “probing” or something similar, pushing buttons, testing water)

[YX]: You’ll be under my command.

In April of year 201, Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shao again at Cangting.

Seeing many of Cao’s troops crossing the Yellow River, the Yuan army morale crumbled. They retreated and maintained a defensive stance.

The lingering influence of Yuan Fang’s faction hindered the restoration of Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang’s powers – that after months of “efforts”.

Once the two brothers regained their influence, however, they turned to fighting again.

It is all because one man left them to their own devices.
(“…abandoned disciplining, sleeves back ignore”)

That year,

that man indulged in a garden of camellias.

For he wallowed in correspondence with him;

for he believed that a strategy is still being played out to an uncertain end;

for the setup has been explained in the letters.

This setup is still so precise; as ingenious as the one at the Battle of Guandu.

It was his firm belief that Yuan Fang still lives –
until the last letter arrived;

until the truth is revealed.

That year an old man paced back and forth in a garden.

Sometimes he talked to himself; sometimes he howled with laughter.

Sometimes he forgot to eat;

and sometimes he would be entirely at a loss.

Then on one afternoon…
{sign reads: forbidden/prohibit}
(maybe like “no trespass”)

he embraced the flowers

while sinking into the mud beneath them.

And he never stood back up again.

{letter reads: “…did not return. You know why. I killed Yuan Fang. Yang Qing”}

In year 202, Yuan Shao died with a broken heart.
(pick any definition)

Liu Bei applied himself to Jingzhou that year, and Liu Biao greeted him personally at Xiangyang’s city gates.

With new troops, Liu Bei headed the defense of Xinye.

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