Ravaging Times

chapter 360

[?]: The county of Jiang did not resist?
[?]: No sir. They surrendered upon our arrival.

[?]: That would put the southern cities on edge.
(“jiang-xian’s loss, downward side people’s hearts anxious”)
{flag reads: Guo}

[?]: Two cities of the Hu Pass have also surrendered.
(this is not Hulao Pass; with potential related spoiler, Hu Pass mentioned here)

[?]: Boss, those two cities actually have had contact with our Lord before…

chapter 360 Blooming Of Xiliang

[?]: You mean… they had proposed to our Lord to serve as insiders?

[?]: Yessir. Luckily Cao Cao burned those letters for fear of a mutiny after the battle.
{Yuan Shang‘s General-in-Chief, Hedong’s Grand Administrator, Guo Yuan}

[?]: Boss, Cao Cao buried tens of thousands of our surrendered soldiers alive during the battle of Guandu. Should we “return the favor”?

[Guo Yuan]: Those who surrender are spared. This has always been our way. Let others see how we differ from the corrupt.

[?]: Sir! Our main force has occupied the Hu Pass.

[?]: Any news of the enemy?
[?]: No. Still just one troop at Hongnong.

[?]: Boss, he’s been summoning us to surrender ever since our Lord’s death, and now…
(“…keep sending letter that summons our surrender…”)

[?]: Boss, we fooled him with a fake surrender. But if we move now, he’ll definitely…

[GY]: Sadly he discovered that too late.

[GY]: Young Master Yuan Shang has already lured away Cao Cao’s main force. His troop is the only one to remain in Hedong.

[?]: Though I can’t shake the feeling that this is Guo Jia‘s scheme…
(“…think of the front and consider the back…” ~ “mulling it over”)

[?]: Boss, do you think Guo Jia wants to crush us once we’re deep in their territory?

[GY]: Guo Jia may be brilliant, but he overlooked one thing.
(“…missed calculation on one thing”)

[?]: You mean…

[GY]: The way I maneuver my troops!

In the autumn season of year 202, Cao Cao’s army crossed the river and clashed with the Yuan army in the north.

While Cao Cao’s main force advanced northward, the Yuan army targeted somewhere else instead – the Cao army base at Hongnong.

Guo Yuan, the appointed Grand Administrator of Hedong by Yuan Shang, breached several of Cao Cao’s encampments and cities in one fell swoop.

The reunification of Hebei marked the beginning of Yuan Shang’s counterattack in full force. Cao Cao’s defenses were driven to a constant retreat – bringing a shock to the Hongnong area.

Cao Cao ordered Grand Commandant Zhong Yao to march north to head off Guo Yuan’s invasion.

[?]: We fell for it.
(“got lied to”)

[?]: Yes.

[?]: They’re really fast. The Mighty Army of Shanxi indeed.

[?]: The Southern Xiongnu army has already occupied and prepped for battle in Pingyang. We’ve stopped the march.
{flag reads: Cao}

{flag reads: Zhong}
[?]: Master, Guo Yuan sends his apologies.
(“…sent a letter of apology”)

{Grand Commandant of Han, Zhong Yao}
(the title looks more complicated than just “grand commandant”, but I can’t find the exact title right now)
[Zhong Yao]: Report back to Guo Jia that this nephew of mine is beyond redemption.
[?]: Yessir.

[?]: We’d thought he’d come to his senses after Yuan Shao‘s death. But we got lied to instead.

[ZY]: War is about deception. It’s understandable when we serve different masters.

[ZY]: If anything’s to blame, it’s that twisted sense of “loyalty and honor”…

[ZY]: The power influences of the world is shifting. Close ties are now cut by weapons of war.
(“…back in the day relationship intimate, today weapons meet”)

[?]: You’re referring to more than just your nephew Guo Yuan, right?

[ZY]: Those who surrender are spared. This is my principle.

[ZY]: Our Lord wanted me to do my best not just in commanding an army.
(“master wanted me to lead a troop, also wanted me to give all my strength”; this one has subtle hinting that I’m not sure how to translate)

[?]: Sir! Enemy to our south!

[?]: They’re ambushing us from behind during a cease-fire!

[?]: Fifty thousand strong with a vanguard cavalry of three thousand riders!

[?]: Their vanguard force is small; easy enough to block.

[?]: No, they’re already here!

{crowd noise}

[?]: Sir… the… the generals of the vanguard force are finished!

There had been a legend in Bingzhou that year.

That man was Lü Bu, who carried an earth-shaking title.
(“…sky-shocking…”, but that’s not a common saying in English)

{sfx: pong!}
{sfx: pong!}

And in these years another legend has been circulating in Liangzhou.

It is a pity how the spine-chilling legends of God of War always diverge from the way of morality and justice

{sfx: pa~}

Ma Teng, my good friend, I had deemed you a Loyalist…

Is this your response?

Since you want death to bloom…
(“death” is my addition, not in the raw; wordplay on “open flower”/”bloom” and references to “blood flower”/”blood” at the end of chapter 357)

[ZY]: Tell Guo Jia,

[ZY]: it’s now open season for killing!
(“precept on killing is open/lifted”)

Even though Zhong Yao issued the order, he is still puzzled by Guo Jia’s insistence that he use force while knowing how lenient he is…

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