oneill: Scrapped Princess - Pacifica, Shannon, and Raquel Casull stand together as the sun sinks into the sea behind them (free or thus forever bound)
[personal profile] oneill posting in [community profile] sutepri
I've compiled content notes for all the previous translations and will continue to add notes from now on. They're listed on a separate post so that people who wish to read the translations unspoiled may do so. I'll also provide a link to them at the beginning of every translation post, outside the cut, so people can read the notes without needing to click through the main text.

[Content Notes]
[Disclaimer]

Scrapped Princess | Canzonetta of the Unforgiven | The Transgressor | Part 2/4

"What the hell . . . is that thing . . . ?!"

A cry disturbed the heavy atmosphere of the Wild Horse.

There was no answer. There was no way anyone could answer. There was nothing but profound horror in the face of an unknown threat, and it weighed heavily on them all.

"Blades, fire--none of 'em do a damn thing to that monster . . ."

The volunteer watch had realized something strange was happening when some livestock were absorbed, and they had rushed in and launched an attack against the creature. However, any wounds they inflicted, whether by blades or by fire, had healed. By contrast, a member of the volunteer watch who had strayed too near to the monster ended up a part of it.

The tentacles had already propagated to the point that they covered the entire town. As matters stood, human strength was surpassing helpless to deliver a decisive blow. All the people could do was to take refuge in homes and shelters, and to pile furniture in front of the doors and windows.

But how long could such meager bulwarks hinder the tentacles' invasion . . . ?

Neither flame nor blades would allow them to fight effectively.

They would need something far stronger to defeat such an enemy.

"Maybe if we had powerful . . . magic . . . ?" someone mumbled.

Those words etched the face of a certain young woman into the minds of everyone in the room.

"Raquel--!"

"That's right, that one twin. If she were here . . ."

"That's right, that girl! I saw her usin' some offensive magic."

"If she's a powerful mage, then . . ."

A hum of mutters spread through the tavern. People exchanged glances, and found their own faint hopes reflected in each other's faces.

However.

". . . Raquel-san and her siblings have left."

A quiet voice that was nevertheless filled with undisguised rage chilled the hum of voices.

"We made them leave . . . Did you forget about that?"

It was Winia.

"We treated them like filth, gave them the cold shoulder . . . even though they hadn't done anything wrong!" Beside her, her grandmother reached out in a desperate attempt to silence her, but Winia shook her off and shouted, "We didn't even check to see whether the things we heard were true . . . We just turned our backs on them, all on account of a bunch of idle rumors! And now you want them to come save us . . . How selfish can people be?!"

"Y--You say that, Winia, but . . ."

Though momentarily overawed by this rare vehemence from Winia (who did not usually allow her emotions to show) . . . one of the members of the volunteer watch raised an objection.

"It's a fact that Raquel used offensive magic in the middle of town, and they were fighting against those assassin-looking guys too."

Here and there, people raised their voices in agreement.

"I mean, using powerful offensive magic is against the law, right?"

"And didn't you get dragged into all that, and get yourself kidnapped?"

"When we all got together to go save you, they stopped us, you know? Don't you think it sounds like they've got something to hide?"

"Maybe they even sent that monster as payback for running them off . . ."

One bit of idle chatter followed the other.

Winia stood there pathetically with tears streaming down her face.

"People are weak," Raquel had told her. She had also said that weakness was not necessarily a bad thing. That weakness was precisely what granted people the humility needed to admit their mistakes.

But, Raquel-san . . ., she thought, the people here . . . they can't even admit their own weakness . . . Is that not wrong either? Is that just the way things are too?

"All this trouble started when they showed up . . ."

Thunk.

Suddenly, an echoing sound rang out.

It was a low yet distinct sound. The people clamped their mouths shut as one.

Next, a clattering rose up near the Wild Horse's entrance. On the other side of the tables, which had been stacked up high, someone was attempting to open the door.

The people turned frightened eyes on it.

The door continued to clatter for a while, but . . . then it stopped abruptly.

"Hey . . . W--We gonna be okay?"

"We stacked everything up pretty good. Not like we half-assed it or any--"

Without warning, the mountain of tables blew apart.

As though mocking the effort that people had put into stacking them, the tables flew lightly through the air and crashed into the walls. Surely this could not be achieved by a "half-assed" strength.

"--!"

With the image of rushing tentacles in their heads, the terrified people braced themselves. However, the sight that met their eyes was a single pole, poking in from the other side of the door.

". . . I'd say it's well and truly open now."

The one to appear through the shattered door, speaking these carefree words, was Chris, followed by . . .

"Shannon-san?" Winia murmured, her eyes going wide.

". . . You're all right, huh?"

As he entered the Wild Horse alongside Chris, Shannon spotted Winia and breathed a sigh of relief.
Scrapped Princess - Christopher Armalite and Shannon Casull break through the Wild Horse's front door.
The coach was parked on the other side of the door, blocking the Wild Horse's entrance. The tentacles that were wandering around nearby were trying to slip through the gap between the coach and the door and into the Wild Horse, but Miðgarðr hindered them from doing so.

". . . You know," Chris said, as looks of fear, disgust, bewilderment . . . all manner of emotions were sent their way, all focused on Shannon, who stood beside him. "It's almost like they all hate you, isn't it?"

"Shut up," Shannon said, moving to knock Chris upside the head, but Chris casually sidestepped his fist, and it passed through empty air. Deciding not to bother with him anymore after that, Shannon turned to face the people in the tavern. "We'll secure an escape route. Hurry up and get out of here."

There was no response. Rather, it was incredibly long in coming.

That was understandable, but . . .

"Wha--What's going on here? Why are you . . . And that boy there, he's the one who--"

There was no telling who had said that . . . but it was only natural that this turn of events would raise suspicions. Shannon looked around at all of them and answered irritably.

"We don't have time to go into detail. As far as that monster goes, I don't know anything either. Anyway, if you wanna get out of here, come with us."

Even so, the people were slow to react. They had no idea whether they could trust him or not.

Feeling his impatience rise, Shannon opened his mouth to argue more forcefully, but at that moment . . .

"All right. We're counting on you. Everybody, get your stuff together."

A peremptory voice drew everyone's eyes all at once. The person who came walking out from the interior kitchen was the proprietor of the Wild Horse, Safir.

In his hand, he carried an antique long sword, as though he had dug it out from somewhere. He showed no discomfort with being armed, instead seeming quite familiar with the practice; such ease is the prerogative of one who has wielded a weapon countless times before . . .

"You know, I had been thinking to myself, 'No way this guy's a civilian,'" Shannon said, smiling.

Certainly, it would also make little sense for a mere innkeeper to serve as the volunteer watch's adviser. Safir patted the scabbard and gave a wry smile.

"I'm a civilian, all right. Gave up the mercenary life twenty years ago."

"Safir-san . . ."

The men of the volunteer watch called out to him, a trace of reproach in their voices. Safir silenced them with a cool stare.

"You're all old enough to know better, but here you sit, talking about who's to blame, who's at fault . . . What are you, a bunch of kids? You need to leave all that mess till after we make it out alive. Anyone who wants to stay here and argue, you go right on ahead. I'm getting out of here with Shannon and the others."

As may be expected, no one raised any objections.

The people began hurrying to put their things in order.

A mother cradling her child in her arms. A tottering elder and the son who supported him. A wife lending her shoulder to her injured husband. The men of the volunteer watch, taking weapons in hand as they exchanged words of encouragement.

Shannon happened to glance at the SpecOps combat technician, who stood beside him . . . and the boy was gazing at the scene laid out before them, as though dazzled by it.

". . . Guess you've had it pretty rough, yourself."

At the rare, quiet sincerity in Shannon's voice, Chris smiled wryly, and said nothing.

. . . At that moment.

. . . Listen well.

A voice suddenly resounded.

It was the distinctive sound of countless voices speaking in chorus, so that their words seem to rumble up from the ground. It grew into a deep, thunderous roar that shook the town. In all likelihood, it resounded throughout the entirety of the town.

The voice spoke thus:

Listen well. O humanity. Listen well . . .

The web of tentacles covering the city underwent a transfiguration.

Here and there, bulges large and small swelled up . . . and then split open.

What appeared from within the bulges--though once again of varying sizes, ranging from large to small--were each and every one of them perfectly identical: a man's face.

Beautifully, finely chiseled. Features composed of lines that could well be called delicate, the likes of which are possessed only by perfected works of art, and radiating an air of pure majesty. Though the faces had sprung up like boils1 on the tentacles' flesh, theirs was a beauty that transcended worldly aesthetics.

"This is . . ."

Shannon and Chris went outside, and then looked around them in shock.

The town was overflowing with faces, faces large, faces small, faces of every size . . .

"What's going on?"

Pacifica and Raquel climbed down from the coach and stared in blank amazement at the swarm of faces. Several people, Safir and Winia included, came out of the Wild Horse to see what was going on, and found themselves at a loss for words.

Before long.

As though to make a display of its majesty to the bewildered people, an enormous mass of flesh appeared from the far end of the road.

At the heart of the mass was an especially large face.

By Divine Decree2, I command you.

Countless lips parted as one, and spoke with grandeur.

Destroy . . . Destroy the seed of calamity . . . It beareth the name of Pacifica Casull . . .

"Wha--!"

Pacifica's expression froze.

The seed of calamity. The deadly poison that would destroy the world. The one whose very existence was a sin.

The unforgiven one . . . The Scrapped Princess.

That was the brand she was fated to bear.

"Wha--What are you . . . Huh . . . ?"

Suddenly . . . she sensed a chill in the air around her.

No, surely that was her imagination. But that was certainly how it had felt to Pacifica.

And then she noticed that Chris was looking at her.

Winia was looking at her.

Safir was looking at her.

And . . . even Shannon and Raquel had turned in her direction.

Everyone in that place was staring at her.

Faces she knew, familiar faces, wordlessly, mechanically surrounded her.

The gazes that converged on her held no trace of emotion. That is not to say they were expressionless. Rather, it was just as though . . . they were incapable of seeing Pacifica, though she stood before their eyes. Just as though everyone around her had been instantaneously replaced with dolls that looked exactly like them, the people fixed their eyes on her, voicelessly, without showing any expression.

An eerie silence prevailed over the town.

Bearing the weight of all those lifeless gazes, Pacifica screamed, "Wha . . . What is this? What's going on?! Sha . . . Shannon-nii? Raquel-nee?"

She stared in disbelief at her sister's hands, which were reaching for Pacifica's throat.

At Raquel's side, Shannon unsheathed his katana. Safir and Chris pointed their weapons at Pacifica, and Winia, too, was reaching out for her throat.

In the twinkling of an eye, every single person . . . even her elder brother and sister, who had cast everything aside in her defense, had become her enemy.

"No way . . . You--You're joking, right? Knock it off. This is no time for--"

White fingers dug mercilessly into Pacifica's neck. The katana calmly swung overhead.

"Wh . . . y . . . ?" Pacifica rasped.

But her sister's fingers did not slacken. Raquel's face held neither fury nor sorrow. Without any strong feelings one way or the other, she attempted to strangle her little sister . . . the little sister she had fought so hard to protect.

"Oneecha . . . Onii . . ."

Pacifica reached up reflexively and tried to pull her sister's hands away, but she was not nearly strong enough for that, and Raquel's grip did not loosen. Pacifica was not as strong as her sister to begin with, but even so, the strength that now filled Raquel's fingers was too great by half. At this rate, Pacifica's neck would break before she could suffocate.

Pacifica's eyes blurred.

She was going to be killed.

By the hands of her brother and sister.

That was fine. She had prepared herself for that possibility. If, as the oracle had foretold, her very existence would bring the world to ruin, then her death would be the only possible course . . . That was what Pacifica thought.

However.

She did not want to die in this baffling and absurd way.

She could not understand what had happened. She could not understand why her brother and sister--and all these other people--had suddenly obeyed this monster's words, as though it were a matter of course. She could not understand it at all. And she would die without understanding.

"Ugh . . . ngh--!"

Rather than fear, it was frustration that stood at the forefront of her mind. As her consciousness melted into suffocation, tears of frustration streamed down Pacifica's face.



No way . . . Why am I . . .

Shannon's consciousness struggled furiously.

He was fully aware of his own actions. He was fully aware that he was about to do something that could not be undone. He knew that, but he could not stop himself. His body was completely ignoring his commands and obeying those of a monster.

I'm going . . . to kill her? Pacifica?

In response to his enraged question, a voice from some place deep inside, deeper still than even his consciousness, answered.

Indeed. That is the order given thee, so thou will carry it out, the voice affirmed. As though it were a matter of course. Thou cannot defy that3. It has been predetermined. In days long passed. Before thou were born.

What are you saying . . . ?

It is law, and it is reason. Thou should know that. That being reigns over humans. Therefore, humanity must obey. It cannot rebel. It is not allowed to. Therefore, it cannot.

Cut the crap! I . . . I'm . . . !

Shannon's consciousness cried out in opposition. All while it remained imprisoned in his immobile body.

It was too meager a resistance by far . . .

---

[Next] [Previous]



Notes:
1) The text has jinmensou (人面疽, lit., "human-faced carbuncle"), which appears in Japanese folklore as a sort of monster/disease hybrid. It starts as a wound that festers and eventually takes on the appearance of a human face, which is then capable of speaking, eating, and drinking. The Japanese wiki entry can be found here, and while I can't seem to find an English-language equivalent, ShotaKotake on DeviantArt has posted an illustration, along with a summary of the tale. Back

2) The text has 律法 (rippou), which literally means "law" or "commandment" but is also used as another term for the Torah (in other words, God's law, as revealed to Moses). Given the possible connotations of divinity and the way Sensei sets it off with brackets, I chose to use a less literal translation. (Also, just, the thought of Galil saying "In the name of the Law" is a bit . . .) Back

3) Literally あれ (are), referring to the Relay Point, I think. I translate it a few lines later as "that being" for clarity's sake, but it's written the same way both times in the original. Back




Edit: Added in a scan I forgot the first time around. Sorry about that.

Date: 2015-10-01 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] badtzhobby
Thanks so much for continuing translating. It's always great to read these.
I really enjoy Chris' teasing Shannon :)
Go, Winnia, she's grown so much.
I think "pore" conveys it well.

"none of 'em do a damn thing to that monster"
I thought "none" usually is treated as singular, no?

"...with faces, faces large, faces small, faces of every size . . ."
Shouldn't it be "large faces, small faces"?

What a place to stop!!! Thanks goodness, I already watched the anime, otherwise, this cliff will kill me :P

Date: 2015-10-02 05:40 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] badtzhobby
"Pore?"
Ooops, I meant "boils" - sorry, I guess I was thinking of the synonym and didn't recheck!

"So I went with the more poetic [noun][adjective] structure."
I thought it may be intentional so hoping for clarification :)

"Subways Are People"
I googled for the poem and found it. It's lovely. Very nice. I'll check out the author's book, then. Thanks for mentioning it.

Oh, the baron!!!!

Date: 2015-10-12 05:00 am (UTC)
evey_w: (howl)
From: [personal profile] evey_w
Glad you seem to be going on a regular schedule for the translations, dude. :Db I find it really interesting to read about all the extra little details not in the anime. ie. Winia speaking out! Shannon and Chris' interactions! Also did not know Safir had a mercenary past aha.

I'm kinda wondering who is speaking in Shannon's head at the end. The "thou" thing sounds kinda like Zefiris but the things being said sound more like a Peacemaker?
Edited Date: 2015-10-12 05:02 am (UTC)

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sutepri: Scrapped Princess - Pacifica Casull beams while the sun rises in the background. Also, Shannon's shoulder. (Default)
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