I now proceed to condense volume 52 of The Ravages of Time.
- Chapter 412: Xun You welcomes Huang Gai and shows off the defensive ship walls.
- Chapter 413: The ship walls block the advance of Jiang Qin’s fire ships.
- Chapter 414: Lu Xun spots Kan Ze’s corpse and realizes the failure of the fire attack plan.
- Chapter 415: Zhuge Jin facilitates the departure of Zhuge Liang and Pang Tong.
- Chapter 416: Cao Cao’s forces ambush Lü Meng and corner Lu Xun.
- Chapter 417: Zhuge Liang’s capture of Hua Tuo facilitates Zhao Yun’s infiltration of plague-infested camps.
- Chapter 418: A secret exchange of hostages allows Hua Tuo to return to the Cao camp.
- Chapter 419: Cao Cao and Zhou Yu prepare for their next maneuvers.
This volume mainly deals with the twists and turns in the Chibi campaign that led to Cao Cao gaining the initial upper hand. Interestingly, not only was Huang Gai’s scheme anticipated, but the manner by which Cao Cao’s forces countered it is also a brilliant utilization of the chained ships advice. Another fascinating detail concerns the deadly effects of Zhuge Liang’s ‘soft’ scheme of apprehending Hua Tuo, furthermore allowing for the possibility of another fire attack (to be initiated by Zhao Yun). Several of Cao Cao’s officers get their fair share of the spotlight as they repel Zhou Yu’s forces, while Sima Yi seemingly betrays Zhuge Liang near the end.