Ravaging Times

chapter 366

{north of Jingzhou}

[?]: Waiter, get us some food.

[?]: Are you from the north, sir?

[?]: Yeah, I’ve been asked that over ten times today.

chapter 366 Of Poetry and Flower
(“good poem good flower”)

[?]: What else… The Cao army is everywhere and we’re all peeing our pants.
(“…scared farting and peeing”)

[?]: Cao Cao’s troops went north, took Liyang and also secured Pingyang.

[?]: The troops are transferred back as soon as they won.

[?]: Why not give chase to the retreating army? They’ve got the advantage.
(he still believes the Yuan clan has more men to overwhelm Cao Cao’s army?)

[?]: Blame it on those two Yuan brothers.

[?]: Like dogs after a bone, they went at each other’s throats the moment Cao Cao pulled out.

[?]: Brothers at odds? Not unlike our two young masters of Jingzhou.

[?]: It was all fine and dandy for Liu Qi to inherit the rule, but lately I’ve heard that his younger brother Liu Cong is to be the successor.

[?]: I fear there’s going to be waves of infighting within the clan.
(“…really cause one to worry”)

[?]: Those two will attack each other once Liu Biao leaves. Then it’s all over for Jingzhou.
(“…mutual biting…”)

[?]: Yes. Cao Cao will be here sooner or later, and we’ll already be wounded at the core.

[?]: Tens of thousands of soldiers were buried alive during the battle of Guandu. That certainly puts people in and around the Jingzhou region on edge.

[?]: And the recent increase in conscription has raised hell for every family in Jingzhou.

[?]: Was your family drafted too, shopkeeper?

[?]: Yes, my son and my younger brother both went.
[?]: They’re headed for Xinye, right?

[?]: Grimmer. Their target is Jiangxia’s Sun Quan.

[?]: What? More trouble at Jiangxia?

[?]: Sun Quan is powerful. Huang Zu keeps losing and is too busy to respond properly.

[?]: Originally Liu Biao had wanted to join forces with Yuan Shao for a guaranteed victory. But the opposite happened.

[?]: Yeah, Sun Quan alone already put us in disarray.

[?]: Now that Yuan Shao’s nearly gone, we’re still kept in check by that boy of the eastern region.

[?]: Blame it on Jingzhou’s withering talent pool. We lack capable men!

[?]: Lucky for us Liu Bei has arrived recently. That sure gave us a chance to breathe.

[?]: Shopkeeper, do you think our lord would be like Tao Qian back then…

[?]: Yield Jingzhou to Liu Bei? Haha! In your dreams!
(“three transfer Jingzhou…”)

[Zhang Fei]: Big brother’s reputation rings loud and clear. Job well done, guys.

[Zhao Yun]: Such trivial task compared to your journey across the lands, third master.
(“raise hand task, how compare to third gramps thousand mountain ten-thousand river”)

[ZF]: Fun times traveling and painting. Can’t say the same for the subject matter.

[ZF]: Based on the geography, the Yuan brothers must flee to Wuwan. We still have time.

[ZF]: But if we’re not ready when Cao Cao conquers Wuwan… it’ll be even more difficult.

[ZY]: Your maps will aid in our calculations and give us more peace of mind.

[ZF]: Then hand these paintings to him on my behalf.

[ZF]: If that boy still won’t come out of hiding,
(maybe not literally “coming out of the hills”, but in context probably works too)

[ZF]: tell him I’ll have the whole of Longzhong flattened!

[ZY]: You know as well as we do that now’s not the time.

[ZY]: The Crouching Dragon is lurking too, waiting for the best opportunity.

[ZF]: Still that plan of three division?
(“…three divide all under heaven”)

[ZY]: Yes. I received another bag of trick yesterday.
(“silken/brocade bag”, synonymous in Chinese pop culture to “secret winning strategy”)

[ZY]: We’re to do more shady business behind our Lord’s back.

[ZY]: Slanderous talks make brothers bicker.
(Chinese source of full quote; Chinese dictionary)

[ZF]: Understood.

In February of year 204, Cao Cao pulled his troops back just far enough to give Yuan Shao’s feuding sons Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang the opportunity to start infighting again. Both of them suffered heavy casualties.

In April, Cao Cao re-mobilized his army to first take Handan, then attack Yuan Shang’s base at the city of Ye.

In May, the enemy at the gate kept Yuan Shang locked inside the city. Once the food shortage began, over half of the residents died of starvation. The will of the people slowly crumbled…

On the night of August second, Ye’s guards opened the city gate and let in Cao Cao’s troop. Yuan Shang and his older brother Yuan Xi beat a retreat.

Yuan Shao’s subordinate Xin Pi surrendered, and Cao Cao executed Yuan Shang’s other subordinates that included Shen Pei.

By the next morning, Yuan Shao’s main city, Ye, finally succumbed to the invader.

{army marching sfx}

{sign reads: forbidden}

[?]: Camellia lasts through the bitter cold, but sadly…

[?]: never could its connoisseur.
(“…always not lasting”)

[?]: Who’s to blame? A hero feels for the flower, but the flower feels for none.
(the other interpretation is “The hero may harbor feelings for the flower, but the flower does not reciprocate.”)

[?]: Soaring lightly like a startled swan, graceful like a dragon in flight.
(shortened from translation “Her body soars lightly like a startled swan, gracefully, like a dragon in flight” – page 314)

[?]: More splendid than the autumn chrysanthemum, more flourishing than the spring pine.
(shortened from translation “In splendor brighter than the autumn chrysanthemum, in bloom more flourishing than the pine in spring.” same source as above)

[?]: Zi Jian, that doesn’t sound like a description for camellia.
{Cao Zhi, courtesy name Zi Jian, Cao Cao’s fourth son}
(this was changed from “third” to “fourth”, so I double-checked wikipedia, with confusion about how many sons Cao Cao had; Cao Ang, Cao Pi, Cao Zhang, then Cao Zhi… and more)

[Yang Xiu]: Ah… that feeling, like fluttering in the wind, joining and parting abruptly.
(not sure, can only use literal translation due to lack of professional sources)
{Yang Xiu}

[CZ]: Be careful how you use that line, Yang Xiu.

[Yang Xiu]: These flowers may be a sight to behold, but they flourish in someone else’s hands.

[YX]: That lady we saw today…

[YX]: lost to your older brother’s quick hands. How infuriating.

[CZ]: Yang Xiu, are you trying to pit me against my brother?

[YX]: Steadfast to honor code, but dreaming of her still.
(this translation is my own rendition after reader Ashiya’s interpretation and another Chinese reader’s explanation)

[CZ]: Nice poem, very nice.
(“good poem, good poem”)

[?]: Haha, we birds of a feather.
(“…we are certainly things group by type”)

{Cao Chun}

[?]: Nice flower, very nice.
(“good flower, good flower”)

[?]: Uncle Chun, please inform Sima Yi on my behalf.
[Cao Chun]: Yessir.

[?]: This blossom-

[?]: I, Cao Pi, gladly accept.

Accept the seeds of trouble, then grow beans to boil.
(“accept trouble’s root…”; second part is a future-reference of Cao Zhi’s poem)


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