Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Vamp! III - Color Pages

(Download the updated version in PDF/epub format here.)

[It has been a long time, ladies and gentlemen! Today, allow me to impart to you a tale most vicious in nature.]

[Vengeance. Ah, yes. A tale of vengeance. It is a universal theme in the realm of fiction, present in every genre from adventure to tragedy.]

[It is often said that vengeance gives birth to yet more vengeance. But what, pray tell, would happen if the avenger left nothing behind that could continue the cycle? If he were bent on erasing everything about his target, from his family to his distant relatives?]

[Indeed, he would have his revenge. But there is one thing he will never take hold of from that day forth--peace.]

[After all, a man who is prepared to go so far will ultimately wish to turn that vengeance upon himself and the world.]


And so, the curtain rises on the hour of vampires...






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[Now, then... Allow me to discuss the matter of romance between humans and vampires.]

[It is not at all uncommon for humans and vampires to enter a relationship that transcends the boundaries of our respective species. Perhaps this is due to our great physical resemblance to humans. Or perhaps it is in large part due to the fact that many vampires had once been human themselves. But I believe the greatest reason for this occurrence is the fact that we are capable of communicating with one another. From the ability to convey one’s intentions, to the ability to lie, threaten, and extort--one cannot overlook the fact that our capacity for communication heavily influences the prevalence of this phenomenon.]

[My children Relic and Ferret, born and raised on this island, have for their entire lives lived between the value systems belonging to humans and vampires respectively. And as for my son, he has come to love a girl who accepts the world of the night in spite of her humanity.]

[...Naturally, the fact that love is possible at all for vampires means that we are also capable of mourning a lost love, just as humans are. That is why these two so greatly fear losing one another. Sometimes this sentiment can become a weakness, and at other times it can become their greatest strength. But is this not an age-old nugget of wisdom?]

[As I continue to watch over the two, I come to be reminded of another human-vampire couple who once lived on this island, so very much in love with one another.]

[But in the end, their love for one another was so strong that they did not have quite enough care to spare for their child. Perhaps that is why he had grown to be so full of resentment.]

[In any event, Relic and Hilda’s relationship seems to me like a mirror image of that of Watt’s parents.]

[...When I confessed this to my son, he chuckled bitterly with an incredulous look.]


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[Allow me to tell you the story of a certain vampire.]

[At one point in the past, this vampire’s mind was indescribably warped and twisted. To be more accurate, however, I suppose I should say that his mind had been warped and twisted by another.]

[In any event, this vampire committed a great many sins. By human standards of justice, he would be fit to die for his crimes. (Of course, being a vampire, he would never be brought to judgement in a human court.) And at the time, the thought that someone might pass judgement upon him did not even cross his mind. After all, what child expects that he would be tried for murder by the ants upon which he tramples?]

[But one day, sense returned to the boy’s twisted mind, and his warped psyche righted itself instantly. Perhaps it would be right to say that his sanity had been restored. But any case, the weight of all his sins--the violence he had done upon so many humans--instantly fell atop him like an armful of bricks.]

[The boy lived in fear of his own sins and the days to come. At the same time, he desired judgement. To be punished for his crimes by the girl who just happened to be there beside him, who knew of all the things he had done. In other words, he desired death at her hands.]

[But instead... He received forgiveness.]

[Though he had granted the right to judge him upon her and her alone, the girl elected to forgive him. Could you imagine? If you were that little child trampling upon the ants... If, one day, you came to realize that these ants possessed minds and lives of their own. If, at that very moment, one of these ants looked at you with positively angelic eyes and said, “I forgive you”. Would you be able to accept that forgiveness?]

[Though he was hated by every one of the humans and vampires around him, the one girl to whom he had given the right to pass judgement upon him chose instead to show him mercy... Yes. To the vampire, this show of forgiveness was in itself a sort of punishment.]

[He no longer knew what he should do with the sins with which he was burdened. He was unable to pass judgement upon himself. So time passed as he continued to hesitate. Ironically enough, the one who stayed at his side to support him all this time was the girl who had forgiven him.]

[Why in the world had the girl chosen such a path? And what happened to the girl and the vampire afterwards?]

[My sincerest apologies. I know little of what happened from that point onwards, and even if I did, I do not believe it is something I should speak of myself.]

[But one day... The day will come when that story will be told. If that vampire truly has the resolve to face his past, then he will make that a certainty.]


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[What is the vampire’s greatest enemy?]

[The answer is, without a doubt, humanity.]

[Just as humans can become our servants, slaves, masters, lords, neighbors, friends, or lovers, they can also just as likely become our enemies. They say that the greatest threat to humanity is humanity itself, and I am of the opinion that this can be applied to us vampires as well. Especially as humans outnumber us so greatly.]

[And in order to put an end to our constant persecution at the hands of humans, we established a certain organization. Now that I look back on it, I am quite surprised that we were able to gather so many strange and varied vampires into a singular group.]

[A particularly memorable friend, you ask? Ah, my sworn friend from childhood, Melhilm Herzog, comes to mind. Though our friendship waned momentarily due to a certain incident in the past, that wound, too, has healed with time.]

[Another memorable friend from the Organization would be Caldimir Aleksandrov, a man who held a great deal of hostility towards me. If only he would tell me exactly what about me it was that bothered him, I would have spared no effort in attempting to change that part of me. But in any event, I hold a great deal of respect for this man. Though he has his moments of absentmindedness, he is a man willing to do everything that is necessary for the completion of his goals... However few they may be.]

[Ah, yes. Including former members of the Organization like Sprite and Pink, there have been countless vampires who left a lasting impression on me over the years. Why, Garde Ritzberg, the Black Gravekeeper...]

*Eight hours of discussion omitted.

[A vampire I hold particularly dear, you say? Naturally, that would be my beloved fiancee Dorothy Nifas... Please, do not ask me to relay to you the story of our relationship. Even I am capable of embarrassment, my friend. Does this ruddy complexion of mine not speak for my bashfulness?]

[Now, then. Let us discuss a hypothetical situation.]

[Let us say that a certain target of revenge has come to see the error of his ways, and was doing everything in his power to make up for what he had done. How would you respond?]


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[Ah, so that is your answer. But do you think that your friend would come to the same conclusion? I promise you, each and every person would have a different answer to this question of mine. Ask anyone who has lost a loved one; their answers will vary greatly from person to person.]

[That is what revenge tends to be. If the target were a monstrous villain, unchanged from the day of his crimes, then the avenger’s reaction would be simple. But how to make the target repent for his sins? That is left to the avenger to decide.]

[This is why laws exist in society. Unfortunately, very few organizations enforce these laws upon vampires. Many religious groups, of course, designate us to be enemies, if that could be called a sort of law.]

[In other words, one can never expect help from the law in taking vengeance upon a vampire. And so, to take revenge, one must at once become an officer, a prosecutor, a witness, and an executioner. For all standards to be left at the discretion of the individual--this is what it means to be unprotected by the law.]

[To pass judgement upon another and even carry out their punishments by the measure of one’s own standards is a most tiring effort. Not only does it eat away at one’s soul, it may also cut down the avenger’s life in the midst of the attempted execution. After all, things like lives and souls are protected only by law and society.]

[But there is one thing that those who would avenge themselves must never forget.]

[Those who step past the bounds of the law in order to pass judgement must one day also judge themselves for the sin of the execution.]


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Chapter 7.


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Dorothy Nipas: It's mentioned later on in the novel that Dorothy's surname means 'snowstorm' in Greek. Can anyone confirm this? Did I get the spelling correct?

8 comments:

  1. thanks for all your hard work. I can't wait to read this

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  2. Hello Untuned, I'm Greek.
    Actually, "Nifas" is "oldie" Greek for snowflake. "Nipas" doesn't ring any bells.. It could be a spelling error ("pa" is almost identical to "fa" in Japanese Alphabets).

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    Replies
    1. Same Greek anon,
      just want to inform that the modern Greek word for snowflake, "Nifada", actually gets you results in google, so if you want to verify, you can check that too.

      Keep on with the translations! You are doing a great job.

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    2. Thank you! I think I'll go with "Nifas" and change the relevant explanation once it happens in the story. Thanks again!

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  3. Wow, so fast! Thanks for the translation.

    About Dorothy's surname, it could be either what the greek anon says and there was a mistake in the kana pa/fa (very strange, though, since "pa" is written "haº"/パ while "fa" is written "hua"/ふぁ/ファ) or the mistake was made due to the fact that greek letter ϕ is usually transcribed as "ph" in order to differentiate it from latin f, which could either make Narita misread it as "p" or the place he looked at mistyped it. Or maybe greek "ph" is officialy trancribed as "p" in japanese, since greek ϕ and japanese ふ f-sounds are very different.

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  4. "After all, what child expects that he would be tried for murder"
    I think "expects to be tried for murder" would be a bit more smooth.

    Thank you very much! I love the viscount.

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  5. I've just notced that, as it's fit of a two parter, the covers of volume 2 and 3 match together. If you put them side-to-side, you get a nine person group with matching opposites. From front to back, we have Valdred vs. Selim, Relic vs. Ferret, Doctor/Theo vs. Theresia, Hilda vs. Mihail and half of Rudy in each cover. Amusing.

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