Ravaging Times

chapter 401

[?]: So, Zhuge Liang agreed?

[?]: Tell me, how did you all get him to agree?
[?]: My Lord, as long as a leader is selected…

[?]: Me, right?

[?]: No… Liu Zhang.

chapter 401 The Ultimate Debate

[Sun Quan]: Hahahaha, good choice!

[Yu Fan]: We’ve done our best, my Lord, unfortunately…

[SQ]: Hahaha, you so-called elite wordsmiths of the southeast, yet playthings to him.

[SQ]: Zi Yu, your brother is really something.
(“…really is scarily able”)

[Zhuge Jin]: Kong Ming is determined, my Lord. There was nothing I could do.
{Zhuge Jin, his courtesy name is Zi Yu}

[Zhou Yu]: You need not blame yourself, Zi Yu. This was my failing.

[SQ]: What failing? His willingness to join a downtrodden Liu Bei is proof that his mind was made up long ago.

[ZGJ]: Yes. Kong Ming did not come to admire Liu Bei overnight.

[ZY]: If so, then my wishful thinking is to blame…

[ZY]: Looks like disciple brother was prepared. He sent Lu Su away to lower our chance of success.

[ZY]: Fortunately Lu Su fulfilled his role and arranged a “joyful union.”

[SQ]: Yes. He’ll still take orders from me once Liu Bei marries into our family.

[SQ]: You’ve all done fine work. Go home and rest.

[?]: How did it go?

[Zhang Zhao]: We caught fifteen, and they won’t be much of a threat now that I’ve tightened control over them.

[ZY]: I purposely left out Ma En, Cheng Chao and Lu Yuan.

[ZY]: Ma En and Cheng Chao have long been Cao Cao’s insiders.

[ZY]: I sent Lu Yuan to spy on them. He has just been accepted into their group.

[?]: After this fiasco, Ma and Cheng will definitely take our military intelligence and flee.

[?]: Being one of our navy generals, Lu Yuan will be given key tasks by Cao Cao when he defects.
[?]: I trust that soon he’ll be providing us with plenty of useful information.

[SQ]: Your main plan may’ve been foiled, but your contingency plan packs quite a punch.

[ZY]: Hm.
(could even be interpreted as a sigh of disappointment)

[SQ]: I know you did your best, but you still feel disheartened, right?

[SQ]: You’re so magnanimous. Would you really yield to Kong Ming if he joins us?

[ZY]: Yes.

[ZZ]: Indeed, for I’ve also witnessed Kong Ming’s skills,

[?]: as well as Master Water Mirror’s appraisal of him, but…

[SQ]: But as a manager I have more faith in my own foresight!

[SQ]: Gong Jin,

[SQ]: they must still rely on your abilities.

[SQ]: Remember who plays the lead at Red Cliff.

[?]: Haha, you were still afraid to offend Gong Jin in the end.

[Zhuge Liang]: Yes, because he’s indeed the lead in this battle.

[ZGL]: It was the same with Guo Jia for Guandu.

[ZGL]: I refuse to submit to Sun Quan, but I wouldn’t dare to vote for Liu Bei either.

[?]: Haha, a magnanimous man like Gong Jin will keep the big picture in mind. Why the paranoia?

[ZGL]: Is that why you’ve decided to stay here and advise him?

[?]: Gong Jin is skilled in naval warfare. Now that the Heavens have granted him the greatest stage, it would be a pity not to participate.

[?]: Too bad your stage isn’t here yet.

[?]: Perhaps after Red Cliff?

[?]: Having laid in wait for all these years, you can accomplish so much with your knowledge of this world’s wisdom.

[?]: By then a collaboration between you and Gong Jin would be even more worthy of anticipation.

[?]: It made sense for Gong Jin to go through all that trouble to invite you into their fold.

[ZGL]: Conquering the world is not so difficult for a talent like Gong Jin.

[?]: He didn’t need to pursue me.

[?]: It’s only because Gong Jin put too much faith in what Master Water Mirror once said…

[?]: Crouching Dragon or the Fledgling Phoenix,

[Pang Tong]: either one will help conquer the world!

[ZGL]: Either one will do…

[ZGL]: So was it about me, or you?

[ZGL]: I just want to say, disciple brother, you slipped.

[ZGL]: I agreed to the debate because I wanted to see…

[ZGL]: if you would be there.

[ZGL]: You were absent, which meant that Gong Jin failed to persuade you.

[ZGL]: You refused, which meant that I had a chance too.

[ZGL]: None of us cared for wealth or power,

[ZGL]: and all of us believed in the ideology of a three-split world.

[ZGL]: My goal here is the same as Gong Jin’s plan.

[ZGL]: But I’m here to speak for Liu Bei.
(is “lobbyist” way too anachronistic? “mouthpiece” sounds so awkward)

[ZGL]: To debate, mister Fledgling Phoenix.

[ZGL]: Disciple brother!

[ZGL]: Please join us!
(“…surrender to us”)

Please.

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