Skep's Place


Chapter 71: Getting Sidetracked on the Way to War

After their victories against Wei last chapter, all that's left is for the Shu forces to kick Xiahou Dun's brother Yuan off of a nearby mountain. Xiahou Yuan writes to Cao Cao to tell him he's gonna need some help out here, come quick.

Cao Cao marches out... except he stops to solve an optional riddle along the way. One which English readers can't even solve because it plays on how Chinese words are drawn. But anyway, I think this is the book's way of trying to explain why Cao Cao doesn't arrive to the battle on time, when really, it's just a long frickin' march across the better half of China.

So Xiahou Yuan and Zhang He will have to fight this battle alone. Zhang He, who got his butt kicked all over the mountains last chapter, is now somehow the voice of military strategy because he has to keep telling Xiahou Yuan how to foil all of Huang Zhong's tactics. Xiahou Yuan must also realize how stupid this sounds because he doesn't listen to Zhang He once.

Except this time, Zhang He is actually correct about everything, and Xiahou Yuan gets HIS butt kicked all over the mountains. And then gets decapitated by Huang Zhong in battle.

Also when Cao Cao's troops DO show up, Zhuge Liang sends Zhao Yun to deal with them. And Zhao Yun tells them all, hey, remember that time I fought all of you guys off literally single-handedly because I was carrying Liu Bei's kid? Do you really want to mess with me now that I have an actual army?

And the Wei troops are like, wow, we guess we don't actually want that. But Zhao Yun springs an ambush and kicks their butts back home anyway.

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