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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Genius of Yingchuan (Part 10) 《颍川之鬼才》

So apparently, this is the final part of my Guo Jia journey. Can't imagine that this can last for 10 posts straight...


[年三十八,自柳城还,疾笃,太祖问疾者交错。及薨,临其丧,哀甚,谓荀攸等曰:“诸君年皆孤辈也,唯奉孝最少。天下事竟,欲以后事属之,而中年夭折,命也夫!”

乃表曰:“军祭酒郭嘉,自从征伐,十有一年。每有大议,临敌制变。臣策未决,嘉辄成之。平定天下,谋功为高。不幸短命,事业未终。追思嘉勋,实不可忘。可增邑八百户,并前千户。”

魏书载太祖表曰:“臣闻褒忠宠贤,未必当身,念功惟绩,恩隆后嗣。是以楚宗孙叔,显封厥子;岑彭既没,爵及支庶。故军祭酒郭嘉,忠良渊淑,体通性达。每有大议,发言盈庭,执中处理,动无遗策。自在军旅,十有馀年,行同骑乘,坐共幄席,东禽吕布,西取眭固,斩袁谭之首,平朔土之众,逾越险塞,荡定乌丸,震威辽东,以枭袁尚。虽假天威,易为指麾,至於临敌,发扬誓命,凶逆克殄,勋实由嘉。方将表显,短命早终。上为朝廷悼惜良臣,下自毒恨丧失奇佐。宜追增嘉封,并前千户,褒亡为存,厚往劝来也。”

谥曰贞侯。子奕嗣。魏书称奕通达见理。奕字伯益,见王昶家诫。

后太祖征荆州还,於巴丘遇疾疫,烧船,叹曰:“郭奉孝在,不使孤至此。”

傅子曰:太祖又云:“哀哉奉孝!痛哉奉孝!惜哉奉孝!”

初,陈群非嘉不治行检,数廷诉嘉,嘉意自若。太祖愈益重之,然以群能持正,亦悦焉。

傅子曰:太祖与荀彧书,追伤嘉曰:“郭奉孝年不满四十,相与周旋十一年,阻险艰难,皆共罹之。又以其通达,见世事无所凝滞,欲以后事属之,何意卒尔失之,悲痛伤心。今表增其子满千户,然何益亡者,追念之感深。且奉孝乃知孤者也;天下人相知者少,又以此痛惜。奈何奈何!”

又与彧书曰:“追惜奉孝,不能去心。其人见时事兵事,过绝於人。又人多畏病,南方有疫,常言 ‘吾往南方,则不生还’。然与共论计,云当先定荆。此为不但见计之忠厚,必欲立功分,弃命定。事人心乃尔,何得使人忘之!”

奕为太子文学,早薨。子深嗣。深薨,子猎嗣。世语曰:嘉孙敞,字泰中,有才识,位散骑常侍。]

Analysis: Now I'm not gonna translate this big ass piece of statement. But suffice to say, this is all about Guo Jia's death. That plus a few segments above which were actually brought up in the various posts before.

But before we hit the big one, let's take a brief look at...

[奕为太子文学,早薨。子深嗣。深薨,子猎嗣。世语曰:嘉孙敞,字泰中,有才识,位散骑常侍。]

Apparently, Guo Jia's son also died early. Why is it that I've got this funny feeling that everything started from the genes? >.<

Now onto the correct track. Guo Jia died at the young age of 38. Is it a pity? Let's see how Cao Cao saw his death:

[后太祖征荆州还,於巴丘遇疾疫,烧船,叹曰:“郭奉孝在,不使孤至此。”

傅子曰:太祖又云:“哀哉奉孝!痛哉奉孝!惜哉奉孝!”]

This was back during Cao Cao's defeat at the hands of Zhou Yu (周瑜) during the Battle of Chibi (赤壁之战). So why did Cao Cao lament for Guo Jia?

Now the thing is this: The entire intent to declare war on Sun Quan (孙权) was down to Cao Cao himself. Prior to his fateful decision made, there were at least two advisers beseeching him not to do so.

Firstly, Jia Xu actually suggested a waiting game where the number one importance should be all about consolidating Cao Cao's influence on the newly conquered Jing Province. The people there had yet to declare their undying loyalty and it was Jia Xu's idea that Cao Cao should do his utmost best to stabilise the region so that victory over Sun Quan would be far more of an absolute in the longer run.

[诩谏曰:“明公昔破袁氏,今收汉南,威名远著,军势既大;若乘旧楚之饶,以飨吏士,抚安百姓,使安土乐业,则可不劳众而江东稽服矣。”]

Secondly, Cheng Yu has always been a proponent of counter intuitive thinking. Therefore, he did warn Cao Cao not to dumb down the tigerish upstart to the east.

[论者以为孙权必杀备,昱料之曰:“孙权新在位,未为海内所惮。曹公无敌於天下,初举荆州,威震江表,权虽有谋,不能独当也。刘备有英名,关羽、张飞皆万人敌也,权必资之以御我。难解势分,备资以成,又不可得而杀也。”]

Which now comes to whether Cao Cao would still go ahead if Fengxiao (i.e. Guo Jia) is still around. Via the disastrous defeat, I believe his lament had never been about whether Guo Jia would be able to help him come hell or high water, but rather with Guo Fengxiao around, Cao Cao wouldn't end up making that rash decision.

In an eerie manner, this was also the case when Zhuge Liang lamented over Fa Zheng's (法正) premature death due to Liu Bei's total failure at the Battle of Xiaoting (猇亭之战).

[亮叹曰:“法孝直若在,则能制主上,令不东行;就复东行,必不倾危矣。”]
《三国志:法正传》

Which now comes to the second part: How important was Guo Jia to Cao Cao?

[ 初,陈群非嘉不治行检,数廷诉嘉,嘉意自若。太祖愈益重之,然以群能持正,亦悦焉。]

Cao Cao had never took into account Guo Jia's numerous acts of indiscretion (maybe it's about getting drunk, being a sucker for pretty ladies, being late nine out of ten times... I dunno srsly). In fact, chances were that Cao Cao was rooting for Guo Jia by my own imagination. After all, I do sense some kind of parallel between Guo Jia and the Cao Cao of early youth:

[太祖少机警,有权数,而任侠放荡,不治行业,故世人未之奇也]
《三国志:武帝纪》

In case you all don't really understand what's being said above, it basically means that:

1. Cao Cao is certified talent.
2. Cao Cao is a certified ah-beng.
3. Cao Cao is a certified slacker.

And let's not go on about Cao Cao being a certified lecher. >.<

[每有大议,发言盈庭,执中处理,动无遗策。]

Basically, that means Guo Jia's authority within every major meeting was basically indisputable and absolute.

[东禽吕布,西取眭固,斩袁谭之首,平朔土之众,逾越险塞,荡定乌丸,震威辽东,以枭袁尚。]

This part is all about his posthumous CV.

[自在军旅,十有馀年,行同骑乘,坐共幄席]

This one precedes the former and it's is all about him and Cao Cao being far more like long lost brothers rather than merely a vassal and his lord. You don't get ride the same carriage and sitting with each other side by side if we're talking about a person like Cao Cao. It's just like me saying so-and-so will always sit in the same car as ex-MM Lee Kuan Yew while also eating together at the same table during every banquet.

A/N: Am I bullshitting here? Of course this is just a mere hyperbole, so please grow up kids. One thirteen year old coward is more than enough trouble to handle.

[“诸君年皆孤辈也,唯奉孝最少。天下事竟,欲以后事属之,而中年夭折,命也夫!”]

Guo Jia was being stated as the most junior amongst Cao Cao's advisers, but yet he ended up being far more important than any one of them. The ancient China back then could be extremely anal at times society wise. Simply put, if you're someone senior, you're a demi-god. If you're someone younger, it means you deserved to be pecked.

In fact, Cao Cao actually stated that Guo Jia was to be his choice of overseeing his empire after his death!

[天下事竟,欲以后事属之]

In fact, the account of Fuzi below has pretty much collaborated nicely. Only with a different style of wording:

[傅子曰:太祖与荀彧书,追伤嘉曰:“郭奉孝年不满四十,相与周旋十一年,阻险艰难,皆共罹之。又以其通达,见世事无所凝滞,欲以后事属之,何意卒尔失之,悲痛伤心。今表增其子满千户,然何益亡者,追念之感深。且奉孝乃知孤者也;天下人相知者少,又以此痛惜。奈何奈何!”

又与彧书曰:“追惜奉孝,不能去心。其人见时事兵事,过绝於人。又人多畏病,南方有疫,常言 ‘吾往南方,则不生还’。然与共论计,云当先定荆。此为不但见计之忠厚,必欲立功分,弃命定。事人心乃尔,何得使人忘之!”]

With some additional facts like:

1. Guo Jia died even before he reached 40. That can be construed as him being far more suay than Fa Zheng who at least managed to break that 40 year mark.

2. Guo Jia was merely with Cao Cao for 11 years. Comparatively, even Jia Xu managed to last far more longer (although that's mainly down to him being able to play his own game of self-preservation under his own terms and conditions. What a slippery bastard. Poor Xun Yu must be vomiting blood like a twisted form of the Merlion in afterlife now).

3. Cao Cao again affirmed Guo Jia's contributions via merit in talent and not just results, i.e. he praised Guo Jia's ability to understand every matter in politics and military even though nothing is being stated explicitly on the former in terms of text.

4. No one knew Cao Cao better than Guo Jia. We the Chinese (not just from the PRC mind you) have a famous saying: Accompanying a ruler is akin to accompanying a tiger [伴君如伴虎]. In fact, that's why Xun Yu died at Shouchun [寿春] although I can assure every Jia Xu hater that Wenhe (文和), i.e. Jia Xu, had nothing to do with it.

5. Guo Jia knew that he would die anyway, so might as well exit the living world in the most spectacular fashion possible. And that is to achieve something he truly wanted to.

Talent's KPI: Ungraded. Not because he failed horribly of course, but rather how are we able to grade someone like Guo Fengxiao, knowing full well that his accomplishments had exceeded whatever grading system possible? Hello people, we're not talking about this, okay?

Actually come to think of it, if someone is to write a romance light novel with Guo Jia pairing up together with whoever should be that (un)lucky girl, then...



疾风击下邳,人中吕布擒
良言一语道,智冠震天下

料事知袁绍,曹公意志定
惊闻虎儿哮,远见挫江东

鬼谋制敌变,隔岸观火延
渔翁既得利,神算定河北

军略袭乌丸,恃远不备败
双眸兼胆量,决策识二刘

从军十一载,唯其最年少
惜哉郭奉孝,奇人名千古