[?]: Business profit increased by two-tenth while you were away.
(careless math mistake corrected by reader MLee; ^_^;)
[?]: Our business allies followed suit, and have entered into a no-loss state.
(translation suggestion by reader MLee)
[?]: Look, this is our newest setup.
chapter 371 The Unbeatable Strategy
[Shan Wu Ling]: Excellent.
[SWL]: These businesses… were among the new allies?
[?]: Yes. They’ve always had dealings with Xuzhou’s Chen clan-
[?]: which they’ve been busy devouring ever since general Chen Deng’s passing.
[SWL]: That kind of ability means a significant backer…
[?]: Looks like they’ve been trying to join us for a while.
[?]: The Sima clan has always stayed clear of the Cao clan’s business dealings, but this time…
[?]: Madam, you think these are Cao clan’s people?
[SWL]: Correct. We monopolized the market…
[SWL]: so they want to infiltrate, then swallow the head of operations by using large amounts of funding.
[?]: If that’s their goal, madam, we should be even more vigilant.
[?]: How do we get rid of them?
[SWL]: Their roots run deep. It’s too late for a clean cut.
[SWL]: This is Guo Jia’s strategy- how could it be easy to overturn?
[?]: Guo Jia?
[SWL]: Zhong Da’s ambition seems to have been discovered.
[SWL]: It’s a double-edged sword. Either serves as support or as a counterattack.
[SWL]: It’s just like how they planted the sleeper in the Yuan clan back then.
(“…waiting for chance to pounce…”)
[?]: Madam, that’s a dirty trick to prevent us from mutiny.
[SWL]: Letting go of a fat catch? Did they forget who I am?
[SWL]: We’ll partner with them, then watch who’s the one getting eaten!
[?]: Haha, you’re in a good mood, madam.
[?]: Good mood means a good appetite.
[?]: Here you go, a tasty bowl of Xiliang beef noodle.
[SWL]: My thought exactly.
[?]: Congratulations, madam, for our long awaited partnership with Ma Teng.
[?]: the Sima Clan is about to have a new boy.
(translation suggestion by reader MLee)
[?]: So, what did Young Master think of this?
[?]: What else? More the merrier.
[?]: We Sima clan has always produced a ton of boys. So will this one.
[SWL]: Zhong Da said, it’s good to have more boys, but remember one thing-
[SWL]: brothers must live in harmony.
[SWL]: Don’t forget how unfriendly Yuan Shao and Liu Biao’s sons are to their siblings.
[SWL]: Now, even Cao Cao’s sons are this way…
[SWL]: They set a precedence to avoid. That’s what Zhong Da indicated.
[?]: How is it?
[Jia Xu]: Guo Jia… is on his last breaths.
[JX]: I can’t believe you’re the one he’s concerned about the most.
[SMY]: You rushed here from a great distance away, Advisor Jia, such bond of brotherhood…
[JX]: No, I’m here to carry out his deployment.
[JX]: Of course, I was also ordered to take care of you, “the good friend”.
[JX]: It’s nice to see your family’s faces again after the storm cleared.
[JX]: This time I must personally protect you from the villains who want to hurt you.
[JX]: And that man in Jingzhou has also shown his face.
[SMY]: Are you waiting for him to fall into the trap?
[JX]: No. I’m maintaining this beneficial setup.
[JX]: You’re on our side after all.
[Cao Cao]: You mean…
[Guo Jia]: The Seventh Genius… Zhuge Liang…
[GJ]: He chose Jingzhou… as base… and allies with Liu Bei…
[CC]: …The “Crouching Dragon” of Water Mirror’s Eight Geniuses is about to enter the scene?
[CC]: But the scout said he refused Liu Bei’s invitation when he felt the balance of power wasn’t right.
[GJ]: No… he’ll continue to refuse, but only as a cover…
[GJ]: By my humble judgment… he’ll agree at the third invitation…
(“if I does not mistakenly observe…”)
[CC]: I’ve taken the north and half of this world.
[CC]: Why the worry when you’ve placed me at an unbeatable position?
[CC]: Besides, Yuan Fang was the only one you were concerned about, why the sudden shift to this man…
[GJ]: My Lord,
[GJ]: Zhuge Liang may pretend not to care about reputation or the state of the world…
[GJ]: Yet for someone who once compared himself to Guan Zhong and Yue Yi, how would he settle for the ordinary?
[GJ]: I’ve always kept an eye on him. And he… kept his motives hidden out of fear of my suspicion.
[GJ]: My Lord, for a genius to make the stupid move of serving a downtrodden master like Liu Bei,
[GJ]: choosing a dead-end military base like Jingzhou… and waiting for the opportunity to strike…
[GJ]: How could he… if he hadn’t come up with a foolproof plan?
[GJ]: Don’t forget, he has two other Geniuses of the eastern region to help him step into the scene.
[CC]: Pang Tong…
[CC]: and Zhou Yu, who united the eastern region?
[GJ]: My Lord… those two are no less capable than myself…
[GJ]: Both Pang Tong and Zhuge Liang despise you, and… his trump card…
[GJ]: is his persuasion skill… and the ability to turn allies into enemies.
[GJ]: Even scarier is that the only way to challenge the south is to fill the Long River.
[GJ]: Otherwise… you’ll never have a chance to beat Zhou Yu on the water.
[CC]: Feng Xiao, is approaching death making you fearful…
(thanks to reader Jax for the translation-tweaking suggestion)
[CC]: or has the illness confused you about who’s in charge of the world?
[CC]: Disregard those three for a moment; you know full well I never employ the questionable…
[GJ]: Sima Yi must not be eliminated, my Lord… I’ve shielded him several times…
[GJ]: because he is an extraordinary talent… like you… an anti-hero during wartime…
[GJ]: but could be molded into an able-minister during peace time.
[GJ]: My Lord, I’ve made sure he won’t have the strength to revolt.
[GJ]: On the contrary… if you’re faced with a crisis in this upcoming campaign, in an attempt to prove his loyalty…
[GJ]: he will find a way…
(“with his capabilities”)
[GJ]: to save your life.
[GJ]: We’re already invincible, my Lord…
[GJ]: but we’ve also inherited the hidden worry that was fatal to Yuan Shao…
[GJ]: Underestimating the enemy…
[GJ]: That… is Zhuge Liang’s most powerful strategy…
[GJ]: Please let me set my plans, my Lord…
[GJ]: then… you may decapitate him any time!
[JX]: Zhao Yun,
[JX]: or Liaoyuan Huo.
[JX]: Liu Bei’s favorite officer and Zhuge Liang’s confidant.
[JX]: Leader of the Handicapped Warriors.
[JX]: He… should know which side to stand on.
And the man who long ago assassinated Xu Lin the Wisest-
is full of experience.