oneill: Gensou Suikoden III - A home in the Karayan village (home sweet home)
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Finally starting to feel better. With any luck the next translation will be on time (though I suspect the illustrations may be missing at first, as my scanner is acting up).

[Content Notes]
[Disclaimer]

Epilogue

. . . The following day.

Peace was restored to the town, just as though the previous day's uproar had all been a dream or a phantasm.

Though it may be fragile, it seems that the everyday is really rather resilient.

The people returned to their daily work once again, and before long, the incident would be packed away into the storehouse of memory that we call the past.

Be that as it may, they had not forgotten the incident, nor were they ignoring it.

One could discern as much from the gazes that people focused on a coach . . . on a single coach that was slipping away via the town's main street. Those gazes conveyed the same dread and disgust as before.

". . . You're all right with this?" Luke asked as he observed the state of the town from a street corner.

Right beside him, Chris--who had been leaning against a building's outer wall with his eyes closed--looked up. "All right with what?"

"You've left some things unsaid, some questions unasked, haven't you?"

"I wouldn't expect you of all people to say something like that, Major Sturm . . ."

"I'm saying that compromised mental health will interfere with your combat capabilities. Because, as a soldier, you're still greener than green."

"That's rather harsh," Chris said, smiling wryly as he gave a big stretch. "I'm fine. I have my answer."

". . . I see."

Luke nodded and started walking in the direction opposite to the coach. Chris fell into step beside him.

"That said, it seems things are going to become rather interesting . . . regarding the Scrapped Princess1, I mean."

"That is none of our concern." Luke's tone remained as curt as ever. "What we need to think of right now is a way we can be certain to best them the next time we meet. I don't expect that will be too far off."



With a sidelong glance at the enormous cleft in the city walls, they passed through the city gate.

Seeing the people gathered nearby . . . indeed, feeling at bit surprised by how many people had gathered, Shannon brought the coach to a halt. He suspected they might start throwing rocks and the like, but their gazes held neither hatred nor anger.
Scrapped Princess - Pacifica and Raquel Casull poke their heads out from the passenger compartment and talk to Winia Chester.
Noticing that they had come to a stop, Pacifica and Raquel poked their faces out from the passenger compartment.

The first one to come running up to them . . . was Winia, of course.

"I thought so . . . You really are leaving," Winia said, her expression forlorn.

"We're the ones who caused this disaster, you know," Pacifica responded in a tired voice.

It was a fact that Shannon and the others had saved the town. However, it was also a fact that they could not possibly make amends for the plight they had caused.

The people who had been absorbed by the monster would not be coming back.

"Honestly, I have no right to complain about someone killing me."

"That's not true . . . That's not true at all."

Winia knew.

That Pacifica had had nothing but bad dreams the night before. That she would have a nightmare that woke her up, cry until it exhausted her, and then fall back asleep, only to have another nightmare . . . That she continued to torture herself that way.

And that . . . most likely, this girl would have to relive such nights again and again.

"Shannon."

Safir stepped up to the coach and set a large sack down next to Shannon.

"You've already given me a parting gift, sir."

Safir shook his head at Shannon's perplexed voice.

"This isn't from me. It's from everyone who showed up here. Preserved foods, medicine . . . Well, if you're going to continue on your journey, I don't expect these'll be in the way," Safir said with a chuckle.

Shannon and his sisters exchanged looks of surprise.

Michelle was there. Falke was there. Coonan was there. And so were many other familiar faces.

"I gave you some bread. Tastier than Coonan's, I'd say."

"Quiet, girl. The quality of our goods is on an entirely different level. When you're traveling, food's ability to keep well is what matters most."

"I gave you some replacement hinges . . . for the passenger compartment's windows and door and such. 'Cause to my eye, the ones you've got are gonna wear out soon enough. Plenty of other things I wish I could've made, but it was down to the last-minute. Had my hands full making just these, even pulling an all-nighter . . ."

. . .

The people came up to them one after another, and Pacifica blinked in astonishment at their words.

Safir spoke as though to bring things to a close: "You've earned the gratitude of everyone here, at least, so we wanted to see you off. Now wipe those looks off your faces and be on your way with your heads held high."

Pacifica looked around at the people who had gathered there.

Some of their faces were contorted with grief. Some of their eyes were downcast. Some even glared at Shannon and his sisters with disconsolate expressions, and still others wore lambent smiles. The people who had come to see them off wore all kinds of different expressions.

However . . .

The girl's gaze, too, harbored fear within it, yet it timidly touched upon them all. Each of them nodded broadly in return.

The faces of all the people who had thought for themselves, made their own decisions, and chosen to come here.

They were fewer by far than those who who regarded Pacifica and her siblings with disdain, and yet . . .

"Yeah . . . You're right. But . . ." Pacifica stepped down from the coach and bowed her head low. "Thank you. And . . . good-bye."

"Yeah . . . Good-bye for now," Winia said, pulling Pacifica into a firm embrace. "I'll be waiting for you to come back and pay for the inn's repairs . . . I'll be waiting for you no matter what, okay?"

It was fine if that was all that bound them together.

Bonds are never any more substantial than that, after all. What truly matters are the hands that keep a tight hold on either side.

". . . Yeah."

Pacifica nodded into the other girl's bosom.



Thus.

The coach set off once more on its forsaken journey.

What awaited them at the end? A ruined hellscape, or perhaps a hopeful future?

No one yet knows the answer.



Afterword

On a certain day of a certain month. Riding upon the electric tremors that flew through slender wires, which in turn cut across far-distant expanses, was a private conversation.

"Hello~, this is T calling from Dragon Magazi~ne."

"Oh, helloo, this is Sakaki."

"Yes, so, um, the abbreviation for Scrapped Princess has officially been decided."

"Was 'SukuPri' no good?"

"No, it's just, everyone's been abbreviating it in their own ways, and the editorial department has been in chaos. Things like 'Supri' and 'SukuPri' and 'SuteHime' and so on."

"Ah. But 'Supri' is no good. *firm declaration*"

"It isn't?"

"If I remember correctly, there's a kind of Southeast Asian cuisine called 'supplì2.' It's a rice croquette kind of thing. They sound the same, so it's no good. If readers got confused and ended up eating the book, it'd be a disaster, wouldn't it? Just what do you intend to do if we get sued under product liability law?!"

"I doubt that would happen. At any rate, we decided to settle on an official abbreviation before the editorial department spiraled irretrievably into chaos. And well, you see, 'SukuPri' is rather difficult to say, after all, so we're going with 'SutePri3'"

"Su . . . SutePri? That's not what I had in mind."

"Anyway. That's what we've decided; we appreciate your cooperation."

"Ah . . ."



Which is to say, helloo, I'm Sakaki Ichirou.

The second volume of Scrapped Princess, Canzonetta of the Unforgiven, has shipped.

It's the revised version of the "Winia Arc," which was serialized in Dragon Magazine over the course of six months, with one new chapter added on.

The overall story remains unchanged, but if you have the DraMag issues from back then as well as a bit of free time, comparing the two might provide a moment's diversion. Coming to understand Sakaki's brand of suffering should be good for a laugh. Probably.

Well then, I'll try writing just a bit of whatever comes to mind for each of the chapters. Oh, and there will be a few spoilers. People who have yet to read the book should not read these.



The Travelers Come
Notable for being the first chapter to be serialized in a DraMag issue. By the way, when I was writing this chapter, the serialization rights had not been formally decided yet, so I remember sort of being in a constant state of fear as I wrote. There was a chance that it'd all be for nothing, after all.

So, the heroine of this volume, Winia, makes her debut here, but I have to say, she's difficult to write4, and that gave me a lot of trouble. In a sense, she's the only ordinary girl in the series, so as the author, I'm fond of her.



Beauty and the Beast
The new chapter. It's Raquel and Soupy-kun's story. Right after reading a certain completely metallic riot5 novel, I thought, "Hmmm, a mascot costume6, huh? That's awesome. I'm gonna do that too," and blithely decided to write this story. In a lot of ways, it's a shameless barrage of Sakaki's guilty pleasures.

By the way, please only laugh at Soupy-kun if you understand him. The inspiration for his design is that thing7, from the official Sakaki Ichirou site, Ugo Ugo Sakaki-kun. He's missing the glasses, but still.

The one and only favor I wrung from Azumi-shi was to have the designs match up.

What's more, I took the inspiration for his name from a fan letter. Uhmm. That kind of means this chapter is entirely dependent on other people, I guess.



The Songstress
A story of Shannon's suffering. Then again, he's pretty much always suffering, that guy.

Full of running gags8 despite being only the second serialized chapter, and it makes use of the precious "twins" and "drag" tropes. From the beginning, even I could tell that it would be hard going, but somehow, I'm still being serialized even now, in the current Summer '99 run. What a relief.



The SpecOps Combat Technician, Once Again
Chris-kun's reintroduction story. He's well-loved (including by his author), and he's an easy-to-write character too. I've been thinking, I may eventually drag him into a subplot apart from the main characters9. I also get these self-indulgent pipe dreams where I'm like, "Man, wish I could publish a spin-off about him or something."

But I wouldn't want to deal with such a cheeky little bastard in real life, probably. *laugh*



An Unwavering Bond
A continuation from the previous chapter. To be honest, Chris and Winia are the main characters this time around.

By the way, this chapter is the first time we get a spell whose name isn't a reference to Norse mythology--in this series, magic that gets its name from Norse mythology is basically all military-grade magic, or else magic that's been documented and developed by the military. Magic doesn't necessarily have to take its name from Norse mythological terms.



The Weak
A chapter with rapid development. Honestly, I wanted to write more about the Black Hawks (Luke in particular), but I couldn't due to space limitations.

By the way, I'm really into, what do you call them, things like SpecOps units or demolition squads, that kind of thing. My absolute favorite foreign TV series are ones like The Professionals10. Wonder whether it's gonna come out on video.



The Transgressor
One, two, gonna kill you, three, four, lots of go~re.11

Which is to say, when I asked the readers at Ugo Ugo Sakaki-kun for their reactions to this chapter at the time of its serialization, people said things like, "it made me sick to my stomach," "if it had gone on for a dozen more lines, I would've stopped reading," and "you have violated DraMag with this," so it's safe to say the final chapter was a big hit (. . . wait what). Wahahahaha . . . sorry.

But the truth is, I take quite a lot of pride in this sort of thing. *laugh* I absolutely cannot handle reading or watching it on my own, though.



Well, then. I'll wrap things up with the "thanks, guys" roll.

To Kusano Gurima-jou, for maintaining my official website, Ugo Ugo Sakaki-kun. Thanks for all your hard work.

To Okakita-shi, for his encouragement, sharp tongue, and willingness to point out precisely the things I need to see. If you come down with the shakes again, let's go to the acupuncturist together, thanks.

To Shimada-shi, for the interesting game news and for showing me how to maintain my self-built computer. Looks like it'll be a while before I put a new one together.

To Wakana-jou, for drawing the illustrations for Ugo Ugo Sakaki-kun's icons. Hope your Internet troubles are resolved soon.

To my illustrator, Azumi Yukinobu-shi. She hardly ever shows up in the novels, but maybe thanks to her excellent artwork, Carol-kaasan is super popular at Ugo Ugo Sakaki-kun.

To T-jou from DraMag's editorial department, who is filling in as my PIC while Y-shi is traveling. I am so, so sorry for always talking your ear off.

To Kissy Arashiyama-shi of Weekly Famicom Tsuushin's editorial department. I'll be coming to you for lots more advice.

To all the readers who have sent me fan letters. I've been busy these days, so I haven't been able to write any replies. Soorry.

To all the readers who have visited my official site. It sounds like we've got plenty more things planned, aside from the character popularity polls and interviews.

And then, more than anyone else, I'd like to thank you for reading my book. The only reason I'm able to finish writing the rest of my story is because there are people out there reading it. I hope you'll continue to read the "polished" versions of Sakaki's works.

Sakaki Ichirou



1999/6/18
Computer: Panasonic Let's Note AL-N2
BGM: Last Regrets (by Ayana)



First Appearance:

This novel is the revised version of the serialized text from the December 1998-May 1999 issues of Monthly Dragon Magazine.

[Previous]



Notes:
1) If memory serves, this is the first time スクラップド・プリンセス (SUKURAPPUDO PURINSESU) is actually given as the reading for 廃棄王女 (haiki oujo). Before, it was only used to refer to the series itself. I don't know whether there's any particular meaning to that. Back

2) Possibly Sakaki is confused (or pretending to be) about the origin of supplì, which are actually a type of Roman cuisine. Back

3) Written here as 棄てプリ, but すてプリ became the official rendering after the anime version was released. They are pronounced the same. Back

4) The text has 動かし (ugokashi), which literally means to move (whether physically or emotionally), to set in motion, to inspire, to influence, etc. I considered translating this as "to motivate" instead, but I don't think it quite fits, especially since Sakaki uses it again later on for Chris and Luke, where it definitely doesn't work. Besides, I'm pretty sure "to write" makes the most sense, given the context. Back

5) The text has 某完全金属騒乱 (bou kanzen kinzoku souran), referring to Gatou Shouji's Full Metal Panic!. According to the Japanese wiki, both Sakaki and Saiga Reiji (author of Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School) are noted as referring to FMP! this way in their afterwords. Back

6) Referring to Full Metal Panic's Bonta-kun. Back

7) Sadly, Ugo Ugo Sakaki-kun is a thing of the past, but "that thing" refers to Sakaki's avatar, which you can still find at his official twitter. Back

8) The text has ネタ (NETA), which literally means contents, stuff, joke material, etc., and Sakaki uses it twice in this sentence. I chose to translate it as "running gag" in the first instance and "tropes" in the second. Back

9) The text has 主人公達とは別の流れで物語 (shujinkou-tachi towa betsu no nagare de monogatari). I dunno, that sounds like a subplot to me, but I'm unfamiliar with this phrasing. Back

10) "The Professionals" is a British crime-action TV drama series that ran from 1977-81. Back

11) The text has すぷらったらったらったウサギのダンス~ (supurattarattaratta USAGI no DANSU~), which is a play on the lyrics of the children's song 兎のダンス (usagi no DANSU, Rabbit Dance). Basically, they can sound a bit like すぷらった/スプラッタ (splatter), as in a splatter film. Obviously this doesn't translate at all, so I altered the lyrics of an English-language nursery rhyme in a similar way. Back




SOUPY-KUN WAS INSPIRED BY BONTA-KUN I'M GONNA DIE
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