oneill: Deadman Wonderland - A still from a grainy recording of Sakigami Toto as he advances to attack (before you die)
[personal profile] oneill posting in [community profile] sutepri
I'm in the process of compiling content notes for all the previous translations, but I feel I ought to make a stopgap note that this section contains graphic violence, child death, and body horror.

[Content Notes]
[Disclaimer]

Scrapped Princess | Canzonetta of the Unforgiven | The Transgressor | Part 1/4

The coach was racing fast enough to whip the wind up around it.

As though their driver's verve had spread to them, the four mares galloped down the road in a fury, churning the earth beneath their hooves. When traveling at such speed, one had to be prepared to die for a single misstep. Even so, Shannon had a look of impatience on his face as he gripped the reins.

"Honestly . . . you're a bit of a soft touch," Chris murmured.

As the coach careered toward the town . . . he sat serenely atop the carriage roof, his ash grey cloak fluttering in the wind.

"Shut up," Shannon said from the coach box. Even amid the whipping wind, his sharp ears caught Chris's words. "What are you even doing here? Riding on our coach, looking like you think you belong here."

"Well, I did share the news with you. Would you rather have remained ignorant and left the town behind?"

Shannon sank into silence. Chris raised an eyebrow and looked down at him in apparent interest.

"I wanted to know what you'd do . . . After that pompous display of yours, if you had run away without a backward glance at the town, I fully intended to stab you in the back." Though he said this playfully . . . Chris was almost certainly dead serious. "Be that as it may, do you think you can win?"

"We still don't even know what's going on. The hell am I supposed to know if we stand a chance or not? At worst, even if we can't beat that thing, we'll have to try to buy enough time for the townspeople to escape."

"You mean the townspeople who intended to drive you off? Even if you save them, I doubt anyone will thank you for it."

"You just don't let up. I'm not exactly doing this for the thanks, you know. You said it yourself, didn't you? It's all just self-satisfaction."

"And you're willing to put your life on the line for that?"

"Is that bad?"

". . . It's noble." Chris smiled softly. "Now then, let's see just what you're capable of."

"Shut up," Shannon groaned.



A child was crying.

The deserted street echoed with the child's frantic calls for his father and mother . . . Echoes of a voice that sounded as though it were being wrung from that tiny body.

However, that voice could not reach to the far-distant end of the road, where the volunteer watch dragged his parents away sobbing and screaming. It could only reverberate through the empty air.

A single cord was coiled around the child's leg.

A cord of flesh . . . a tentacle.

The other end was attached to an enormous mass.

That mass . . . That house-sized coalescence of flesh writhed slowly. As it writhed, its lower half moved like a mass of slugs, slowly creeping toward the heart of the town.

Countless tentacles extended from the fleshy mass like strands of spider silk, then split and stretched farther still, reaching toward the center of town. However, unlike the strands of a spider's web, they moved with a will of their own. They wandered in search of victims.

They . . . corrupted1 any creature they touched.

Upon coming into contact with a living thing, the tentacles would temporarily break down its tissues and anatomical structure, then remake them as they pleased. Like a child kneading clay, the tentacles would fiddle with the creature, toy with it, and ultimately absorb it into the main body.

. . . Otousan . . . OkaASANNnN . . .

The child's voice began to change.

. . . NNnngraRAaaAAAaaa--!

And then.

The child . . . split down the middle.

As though it could no longer bear its own internal pressure, the child's body burst apart from forehead to groin. Crimson rained down from the rupture, like juice from an overripe fruit.

A person possessed of ordinary sensibilities could not have borne the sight.

However . . . if only this had spelled the child's death, he would have found salvation.

The true nightmare lay ahead.

OO . . . OOTOUOOSANNNN . . . NGOO . . . KAASAAANNN . . .

With his head split in twain, the child cried out all the more.

Something seethed up from the laceration on that precariously quivering face. An eyeball, a finger, an ear . . . each and every part that composes a human being.

As though to mock the image of the creatures we call human, they took on a senseless, chaotic form before collapsing a moment later.

In time, the tentacles slithered back, drawing in the crying child . . . or rather, something that had once been a child . . . until the mass of flesh swallowed him up. For just a moment, as though it trembled with joy, the flesh writhed more vigorously.

OTOOSANNN . . . OKAASANNN . . .

As it was absorbed into the mass's core, that cloven face cried voicelessly until the very end.



"Hey, Chris."

"Yes?"

Perhaps because he was happy that Shannon had called him by name for the first time, Chris beamed down at him from atop the roof.

The town lay before their eyes.

However, the outer walls--including the city gate--were completely surrounded by a bizarre, fleshy webbing.

They could not comprehend the monster's intention. However, Shannon and the others could see that it formed a kind of barrier that kept those within from escaping while repelling those without.

"We're going to use kind of a massive attack to force our way through. I need you to take the reins while we do that."

"No problem."

As Chris hopped down onto the coach box, Shannon took his place on the roof, then grabbed Raquel's hand to pull her up from the passenger compartment.

"You ready, Raquel?"

"Ready. I don't sense any people nearby, so . . . as long as we're mindful of the range, we can cast without holding back."

So saying, Raquel chanted a spell:

. . . Be transient,
Grant it me now . . .

Chris recognized it as an Emulator activation spell. Putting it to use would temporarily grant Shannon the abilities of a mage.

And then . . . Shannon's incantation rode upon the wind:

O Heavens,
O Earth,
And all that lies between,
Be you now equally delivered
Unto your end . . .

At the same time, Raquel began to chant a different spell, as though in harmony with Shannon.

My wish,
My desire,
Here be made incarnate.

The two recited their respective spells, their voices clear and rising. Chris seemed to realize their intention, and his expression registered surprise.

"This is . . . the true form . . ."

"Huh? Of what?" Pacifica asked, popping her head through the window.

Under our covenant,
Grant
Even greater power.

Raquel knelt before Shannon and lifted both hands overhead.

The combat support spell Rune activated.

Gods and
Devils both
Be here destroyed!

And after that, the military-grade offensive spell Ragnarök activated.

A flash of white surged forth.

It traced out a double helix that pierced straight through the atmosphere. Both the force of its impact and the intensity of its heat far exceeded that of the spell that Chris had witnessed before.

A thunderous roar battered against Chris's and Pacifica's cheeks.

The blown-apart earth, the city walls, and the web of flesh. The light completely gouged them all out and scattered them in every direction.

"Whoa . . ." Pacifica's dazed voice escaped her. It seemed this was the first time even she had witnessed such powerful offensive magic.

". . . This is Ragnarök's true form, after all," Chris said, an echo of admiration in his voice.

"You're pretty well-informed," Shannon said as he lowered his arms.

"I lost to it once before, so I studied up on it."

Strictly speaking, Ragnarök is a spell that requires at least two mages to cast it. A proper Ragnarök casting--which deploys Rune to handle power amplification, focus, stabilization, and precision targeting--will display a destructive power on an entirely different level from what a single person can manage. Though it depends on the number of mages and their individual capacities, there are records of the spell blowing away entire citadels, foundations and all.

However.

"It--It's healing--?!" Pacifica screamed.

For one moment, the swarm of tentacles had frozen in place, as though flinching from Ragnarök's enormous destructive force, but . . . with a repulsive slurping sound, the mass began to regenerate, and new tentacles instantly sprang from its wounds.

Just as though time itself had been rewound, the section that had been destroyed by that furious, earth-shattering attack was restored. It was a phenomenon completely different, somehow, from the regenerative powers that an organism possesses due to cellular reproduction. Indeed, it was rather more like mud being poured into a mold . . .

"It's fine. We'll make it in time," Shannon said calmly.

However rapid its self-healing, that excessively large wound required a commensurate amount of time to be restored to its previous state. During that time, the coach slipped through the rupture and broke into the heart of the town.

". . . This is . . ."

The town . . . had been overrun by tentacles.

That same old townscape, which had already begun to grow familiar to them. The buildings and streets were infested with tentacles, like flesh-colored fissures ripped into the commonplace scenery.

". . . O Wall, hinder!"

As Raquel's voice rang out, the defensive spell Miðgarðr activated, and the tentacles that had stretched out toward them were sent flying away.

"Shall we head for the Big Bear?" Chris asked.

"No. The Wild Horse. That's where the volunteer watch meets up, and I'm willing to bet it also acts as a shelter during emergencies. I want to start by checking on some of the people we know, make sure they're safe."

"All right."

Chris nodded and snapped the reins.

---

[Next] [Previous]



Notes:
1) The text has "在り様を犯す." A more literal, unenglish translation would be something like "violated/transgressed the circumstances/truth of." Back


Date: 2015-09-17 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] badtzhobby
Thanks for the warnings and especially the translation. The yellow text with hovering explanation is so cool. Please forgive me that I just skimmed through the horror especially child part. I was wondering why you keep the japanese father and mother instead of translating them?
Ah Chris :) Shannon now has another bantering partner :P
Raquel and her spells. Btw, is the body horror continuing or this is it?
I just remembered, I still have The coffin Princess anime to watch and the manga to read and let you know, unless you've already checked them out :D

Date: 2015-09-17 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] badtzhobby
"but I had to take a couple of breaks while translating it."
You know, if it's emotionally draining for you, I'll be happy with a summary on the body horror part, ultimately, it's up to you. I wouldn't want you to not enjoy translating.
"familial address ... and the differences don't carry over to English that well."
So dad/daddy isn't equivalent of otousan and mom/mommy isn't that of okaasan? I'm not questioning your choice, I just want to understand the nuance of the Japanese language.
Book 9, then I don't need to worry yet, just the near future in the next 3 installments, the horror is done, yes?

"I had forgotten about that. orz"
How could you? I thought you are a fan of sensei's, no? ha ha :P Joking aside, I will try, so many things distract me!!!
Edited Date: 2015-09-17 07:30 pm (UTC)

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