Ravaging Times

chapter 382

[?]: The wind direction was correctly predicted.

[?]: With its help, the flames have blocked Cao Cao’s main force from advancing southward.

[?]: But we’re running out of time.

[?]: The Cao army has taken a detour to eventually strike Xinye from two sides.

chapter 382 The Cao Army Marches South

{Liu Bei’s Attendant Clerk, Jian Yong}
{Sun Qian}
[Sun Qian]: My Lord, preparations to retreat have been made.
{Mi Zhu}

[Zhang Fei]: Don’t worry. A retreat is feasible with my maps.

[Liu Bei]: Xiakou has arranged to help us on the other end. Now we’re just choosing a particular retreat path.

[?]: Have we packed up all supplies?

[?]: Yes, whatever we could take with us.

[Zhuge Liang]: Xinye’s civilians are afraid of Cao Cao. We should take them along if they wish to leave.

[ZGL]: This is the will of the people, and it also demonstrates our Lord’s kindness and generosity.
{Liu Bei’s military advisor, Zhuge Liang}

[Mi Zhu]: You sound so unconcerned.

[?]: Taking civilians with us would only slow our army’s movement. If we’re being pursued…

[LB]: we would be forced to abandon the people, leaving them displaced and lost in the wild…

[ZGL]: You value reputation, my Lord, so you fear that this move would destroy everything you’ve worked for?

[ZF]: That’s right, Advisor. I don’t see what’s inappropriate about letting the civilians stay behind.

[ZGL]: No. Reputation is our Lord’s greatest weapon.

[ZGL]: We absolutely cannot ignore it.

[LB]: Haha, I’m willing to take the civilians, Advisor, if your strategy allows.

[LB]: And… we should take them all while we’re at it.
(“…if taking, then take everyone”)

[ZGL]: Fine. Xiahou Dun has captured Xiangyang and will cooperate with Cao Cao at any time.

[ZGL]: According to the methods of war, he’ll perform a pincer attack from behind, and trap us in Xinye.

[ZGL]: Except that Jingzhou encompasses a large area. It won’t be easy for him to predict our retreat route.

[?]: Unfortunately dragging civilians along will slow us down and greatly increase our risk.

[ZGL]: Xu Shu has followed my plan to hinder Xiahou Dun using Xinye’s geography.

[?]: As you predicted, Advisor, he left half of his forces to guard the city and dispatched the other half.
(don’t understand the last big; “…march southward and then head north”?)
[?]: The open passage is to avoid the enemy by going the southward route along the Han River.

[?]: But we’ll be passing Xiangyang, wouldn’t that…

[ZGL]: Don’t worry, everyone…

[ZGL]: I guarantee there won’t be an obstacle along that way.

[?]: My my, all of our advancing routes have been blocked.
{flag reads: Cao}

[?]: And this place is full of natural strongholds. We must be extra careful of ambushes.

[?]: If we lose our rations, hundreds of thousands of men will be for naught.

[Xun You]: So we’re just like them, my Lord, each step proving to be quite an ordeal.

[Cao Cao]: Haha, deployment based on geography, how brilliant.
{Prime Minister of Han, Cao Cao}

{Cao Cao’s counselor, Xun You}
[XY]: Xiahou Dun has dispatched his men. Liu Bei is nearly finished.

[CC]: Hm, with such precise deployment, I bet they’ve already predicted our next move.

[XY]: So then… he might choose the Han River route.

[XY]: And he might’ve already seen through the facade of Xiangyang’s deployment.

[CC]: Xun You, it looks like…

[CC]: the Seventh Genius has entered the fray.

[?]: Twenty thousand infantry

[?]: and over ten thousand cavalry have all bypassed our defenses.

{Liu Bei’s subordinate, Liao Hua}
[Liao Hua]: Just as Advisor predicted, Xu Shu.

[LH]: Xiahou Dun has indeed chosen this path.

[Xu Shu]: Not as many as I thought. Perhaps this is only a small portion.
[XS]: But… based on the situation at Xiangyang, he really didn’t need to do this.

[XS]: A surefire deployment plan indeed.

[?]: They’ve enlarged the encirclement.

{sfx}
{sfx}

[?]: It’s the Cao army, the one from Xiangyang!

[?]: Hold them off. We cannot let them move forward!

[?]: Prepare to go around their back!

[?]: First, third and fifth division, get ready!
{Sun Quan’s General-in-Chief, Taishi Ci}
[?]: Second, seventh, and eighth division, get ready!

[?]: Let twenty of their ships pass through!

[Taishi Ci]: Prepare to split them in half!

[?]: Seventh division, engage!

[?]: So their pursuit of Liu Bei is indeed just for show.

[?]: Xiangyang has already arranged a surrender. There was no need to station an occupying force.

[?]: Their navy will resupply at Xiangyang and travel south together.

[?]: Cao Cao’s deployment is truly flawless.

[?]: Except, he miscalculated one thing.

[Zhou Yu]: To challenge me over the water,
(“never has anyone be able to over the water”)

[ZY]: as if it’s… negotiable!
(“with me…bargain/haggle”)

[?]: The Sun army has changed their formation. Our leading ships must not move in too deep!
{flag reads: Cao}
[?]: Be careful not to let them separate our forces!

[?]: Advisor, I saw… saw the enemy flag, it’s…

[?]: It’s Zhou Yu.

[?]: Except, Gong Jin, could you have ever imagined…

[Jia Xu]: that Xiahou Dun is merely playing the supporting role,

[?]: while the main force

[JX]: is me.

As he quips, Jia Xu has already set up his famous trick.

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