I now proceed to condense volume 38 of The Ravages of Time.
- Chapter 302: Cheng Pu and Pang Tong ambush Yu Ji.
- Chapter 303: Sun Ce launches a surprise attack on Cao Cao.
- Chapter 304: Sun Ce takes down Zhang Liao and goes after Cao Cao.
- Chapter 305: Sun Ce takes down Xu Huang and repels the Tiger and Leopard Cavalry.
- Chapter 306: Sun Ce faces Guan Yu’s intimidating aura and receives Cao Cao’s stern reprimand.
- Chapter 307: Lü Meng and Zhang Liao declare their respective oaths.
- Chapter 308: Zuo Ci swears to avenge Yu Ji’s loss.
- Chapter 309: Zuo Ci’s Taiping assassins hit Sun Ce with an arrow.
This volume basically unveils the twists and turns in Sun Ce’s surprise decision to attack Cao Cao right after weakening and outmaneuvering the Taiping followers of Yu Ji (who in turn tried to assassinate Sun Ce on behalf of Cao Cao). Interestingly enough, Zhang Liao and Guan Yu figure prominently alongside Sun Ce inasmuch as the three of them are recognized as inheritors and rivals of Lü Bu’s legacy, albeit in different ways. Some other officers of Sun Ce and Cao Cao also make their respective appearances, and Lü Meng in particular foreshadows his future conflict with Guan Yu. The rivalry between Sima Hui and the ‘Nanhua Immortal’ followers is further explored, with Pang Tong joining in the final battle against Yu Ji, and with the introduction of Zuo Ci (who turns out to be Yuan Fang’s other teacher) into the scene as the mastermind behind Sun Ce’s fatal wound.