Thursday, 16 January 2014

Vamp! IV - Epilogue+Extra Chapter B

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

And that's all for Vamp! IV. At the end of this update is a smaller bonus showing off several characters whose faces are new to the volume.

Here is the mobi file, courtesy of Andyy.

Coming up in the next few weeks should be the first update of Vamp! V, which focuses on the events taking place on Growerth at the same time as this book.

Enjoy!

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Epilogue: Humans and Vampires


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Evening, the Mars estate.


<The police are continuing their investigation into the connection between the mass disappearance and the riots that took place last night on the roads. Because many people in the city are beginning to testify that the disappeared villagers were actually vampires, and that they hired professionals to exorcise them, the police are beginning to investigate the possibility of a cult or a new religion that believes in vampires—>

A highly distorted version of the morning’s events were being broadcast on the news on the parlor television.

<In related news, the sudden influx of belated testimonies has driven the city into a mild state of panic. Some citizens even raised a commotion, claiming to have been bitten by a vampire overnight. The police also suspect that such people may be connected to the suspects arrested in last night’s riot—>

Blankly watching the news, Horst wondered on one hand if the events of last night had all been a dream. On the other hand, he told himself that the arrest of nearly three hundred rioters last night only emphasized the reality of his experiences.


“Do not worry about your current position. I’ve spoken to the right people in the right places. Continue to live as you did before. And this might be a rather small price for your silence, but I will also pay for your new house out of my own pocket.”

When the man called Gardastance said this to him that morning, Horst wondered then, too, if he was dreaming.

The Gardastance Group was well-known, even in Germany. And the former chairman of this multinational corporation was right before his eyes, claiming to be a vampire. How could Horst possibly believe?

Alma, the victim of the incident, was set to stay at the Mars family’s estate for the time being.

It was decided that it would be best to keep her out of the public eye, at least until the commotion settled. Horst agreed with the Organization’s decision.

To be specific, he could not bring himself to disagree.

‘In the end… I didn’t know a thing about Alma…’


When he and Alma were led into the manor and surrounded by the Organization members, she looked them in the eye and said,

“Please make me a vampire.”

There was an uncharacteristically determined glint in her eye.

That was when a pool of red liquid wrote out a response for her.

[Do you ask this of us in order to get revenge on the humans? Or is it that you wish to become like the people you loved? If it is the latter, I would suggest that you wait until you have matured. And if it is the former, I would also advise you to wait for the right opportunity.]

“…”

[If you wish to avenge the people of your village, or clarify the city’s misunderstanding and make those responsible regret what they did, I have no right to try and stop you. But I will advise you—if you truly wish to reclaim the honor of the villagers—the vampires who loved you and were loved by you—then you must remain human. You must remain human and resolve the conflict in the language of humanity in order to most clearly prove the fact that humans and vampires can truly coexist.]

“…I don’t understand.”

Alma probably meant exactly what she said. She was hanging her head.

The red letters reformed into an arrow and pointed towards Mihail.

[That boy over there is just like you in that he loves vampires. But in his case, vampires are not the only beings he loves. He holds passionate love for humanity, as well.]

“…”

[You know many good things about the vampires who lived in your village. Now, you must learn about the many good things humanity has to offer. The villagers had the choice of living apart from the human world, sequestering themselves from contact. And yet they chose to interact with humans and showed love to a human like you.]

The pool of blood sloshed nostalgically and slowly wrote out for the girl,

[If you love those vampires, it will do you no harm to try and learn a little more about what they also loved. It won’t be too late to become a vampire after you’ve come to know. So I suggest that you give thought to the people who care for you deeply at this moment.]

The pool of blood called Gerhardt probably knew that his advice was not foolproof; he refused to force Alma into a choice, instead giving her time to think things over herself.

[After all, it is not a bad thing at all to have many places to which one can return.]


‘That pool of blood knew exactly what to tell her.

‘But I…

‘All I did was hurt Alma.’

Lost in self-hatred, Horst looked out into the courtyard through the window.

Suddenly, someone called his name.

“Horst.”

“Oh. H, hey, Alma. Say, I—“

Before Horst could apologize, Alma smiled at him.

“Thank you.”

“Wha…”

“If not for you… I think… I think I really would have started to hate humans.”

“…”

‘No… That’s not it.

‘I only tried to protect you because I was being stubborn…’

As Horst fell deeper into guilt, Alma continued.

“Say, could you take me to the festival in Munich one day?”

“…The festival…? …Yeah! Oktoberfest, right? That’s right. You’re too young to drink right now, but there’s a lot of fun things you can do there. We get people visiting from all over the world! It’s fun just watching everyone enjoy the festivities!”

“Promise?”

“Promise. And I’ll come visit you here on my days off.”

Alma pursed her lips for a moment—

She then took a deep breath and asked him something similar to what she had asked before.

“Horst? If… if I become a vampire one day, are you going to hate me?”

Horst gave her a gentle pat on the head and lied.

He wouldn’t know how he felt until it actually happened. But he decided to say what he hoped would be his reaction.

“I’ll be happy as long as you grow up to be a good person, Alma.”

He knew that he was just saying whatever sounded good to hear.

But as he saw a smile spread on Alma’s face, Horst made a silent wish.

That one day, Alma would have the freedom to live out such a life.

And that when the time came,

He would be capable of coming to terms with a certain answer.


<=>


The courtyard.


Alma’s smiling face was visible from out the wide-open window.

Fannie, trying to get a peek at the sight, was being dragged away by the collar at Aiji’s hands.

Mihail, watching everything from a bench, chuckled.

“I’m glad she looks a little happier now.”

“Yes… But she’s lost so many people who were dear to her. I’m sure her heart has not yet healed.”

Ferret hung her head, feeling a sense of connection with the girl.

She had also lost her parents to Hunters, and she had also been attacked by an Eater.

Then, she remembered Mihail’s right hand, and recalled what she had made up her mind to say several times over.

“But you shouldn’t let that get you down, Ferret.”

Mihail was still being very considerate, but Ferret grew more hesitant.

She worried that, if she said something, the relationship they had now would fall apart.

As Ferret wavered silently, Mihail looked at her face and wondered if she was trying to hold back a trip to the toilet.

Then, a pool of blood came slithering in their direction.

[The two of you plan to stay here a few more days, correct?]

“F, Father.”

“Oh, Viscount Waldstein! Yes! I came here for a part-time job—“

[Well, concerning that job… I am here to ask about Alma.] The viscount wrote, [Mihail, I would like you to live with her for some time.]

“Huh.”

“…Pardon?”

Mihail sounded as relaxed as ever.

Ferret froze.

[You see, the girl does not yet know very much about vampires. It was decided that you, as a fellow human, should take care of her and teach her everything she needs to know.]

“Oh, I get it!”

It looked like Mihail was all for the idea. Ferret took to her feet, raising her voice.

“H, how improper! Father! Living with a young girl? That is simply unacceptable—indecent!”

“Why’re you getting so angry, Ferret?”

“Wh, why? Because I…”

Ferret trailed off. The viscount twisted his body into letters again.

[My dear Ferret. You don’t mean to tell me that you feel envious of a young girl?]

“Not at all, Father!”

“So that’s it, huh? Don’t worry, Ferret! Even if I were living with a hundred hot ladies, my heart would still belongrrrrrkkkk…”

Mihail looked quite happy even as Ferret began to choke him.

Unable to hide her panic, Ferret complained, nearly in tears.

“I, I am merely concerned for the girl! She is only about twelve years old! If she falls under Mihail’s influence, her character may be compromised!”

The viscount watched his daughter in amusement, his body trembling in laughter as he wrote out,

[Then why not join Mihail?]

“F, Father?”

[Ah, think of it this way, Ferret. That this is merely practice for when you and Mihail one day have children together.]

“~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!”

“That’s it! You heard that, Ferret? Your father’s finally accepted our relationship! Yes! Thank you! Huzzah! Grk.”

Mihail’s face, streaked with tears of joy, was crushed by Ferret’s iron fist.


I refuse to accept it!”


<=>


Somewhere in Eastern Europe. Inside a castle stronghold.


“Damn you… I will never forget this humiliation…”

A certain vampire returned to his home, his breathing ragged.

It was LeVillio, who had turned to fog just moments before he was digested by the dinosaur and had escaped in pieces.

The great castle was a ways away from the city, and on the surface it was an abandoned building on private property.

But in reality, the interior of the castle was in better shape than castles renovated for tourists. It was essentially a replica of archaic aristocratic life.

The ‘aristocrats’ ruling over this particular castle were the vampires of the Clan from which LeVillio hailed.

This was the home of the Sunfold Clan, the second-weakest of the seven vampire Clans.

Most of its forces were comprised of its squad of Eaters. But the Eaters were rendered powerless now, and—shamefully enough—in the custody of the human police force.

“How could I face the master now…? Those monsters… Only the likes of Dimguil could defeat them! But how do I convince that failure to listen to me…?!”

He dragged his ragged feet through the corridors, but there was no one in the castle’s great hall.

Was everyone asleep in their coffins because it was daytime? But the members of the Sunfold Clan were immune to sunlight. It was exceedingly rare for every member to be asleep at once.

Deciding that he had to see someone, anyone, from among the thirty or so members of the Clan, LeVillio wandered the castle.

“That’s right… I’ll have to quietly look into these Christopher Lee and Sir Baskerville characters…”

Still in shock from all the confusion, he found himself believing Gardastance’s bluffs.

Not even trying to prioritize, he drowned in the compulsion to find someone—

And that was when he spotted the girl in the lord’s chamber.

“Oh. Hello there.”

The pigtailed girl flashed him an innocent smile.

Her face was unfamiliar to him. From the color of her hair, LeVillio could tell that she was not a member of their Clan.

“Who… are you?”

The outsider dared to sit in the lord’s throne. Refusing to forgive the transgressor, be she a vampire or a lost human, LeVillio glared at her with all the bloodlust he could muster. The girl slowly got up and bowed politely.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Loa.”

“I never asked for you name. What are you doing here.”

“Well, I wonder… I guess I could say I’m in charge of the phone. Ta-dah!♥︎”

The girl tossed something at LeVillio with a smile.

It was a pink cell phone covered in hearts.

“What…?”

There was a call in progress. A familiar voice escaped the speaker.

<Ah, Mr. LeVillio. I apologize about what happened earlier.>

“Doubs Hewley… you wretch!”

<Jumping Jehoshaphat! It is an honor to know that you remember my humble name! If it’s not too much trouble, please add a side of thunderous applause the next time you see fit to call my name!>

“What is the meaning of this?!”

LeVillio gnashed his teeth at the fact that the loathsome man was speaking to him from out of his reach.

<You see, I thought I’d inform you about the outstanding outcome of our bet.>

“…What…?”

<Don’t pretend you’ve forgotten, now. You wagered your life. On that bet to see if the Organization could defeat your two hundred terrifying Eaters. And you lost. You have my conscientious condolences.>

LeVillio lost his patience at Doubs’ rambling.

“Damn you, Doubs Hewley! Where are you— gurk…?”

His howls of rage never found a conclusion.

“That’s enough of your whining. You’re just a bitch with a pedigree.”

LeVillio noticed something red sticking out of his chest.

Whether Doubs knew what was happening or not, he continued chatting merrily.

<In other words, I happily handed over your life to an acquaintance of mine. Who knows? If you catch her fancy, you just might survive. Although from the sound of that ‘gurk’, I suppose it’s too late.>

“Damn… you…”

Who was he speaking to, the girl, or Doubs?

Noticing that the object in his chest was a blade laced with silver, LeVillio realized the fact of his impending death.

“The master… the others… where…?”

“Oh, that irritating old man? Well… by now, he’s in my tummy! Heeheeheeheeheeheehee!”

The girl mocked LeVillio as he looked on in despair.

“Dim…guil…”

“Who the hell is that? I don’t know anybody’s names around here. I ate everyone in this castle.”

“…Impossible… How could a girl like you…”

“Like this.”

A moment later, LeVillio’s body disappeared.

In front of the girl was a maw of teeth—the jaws of a wolf. The jaws chewed on the meat that entered, and disappeared into the floor. In the end, only a pink cell phone covered in hearts popped up from the spot.

“I am this castle now, you little shit! Hahahahahaha! Hee hee hee! Ahahahahahahaha!”


After a round of laughter, the girl suddenly fell to her knees and muttered to herself, her shoulders trembling.

“…Fuck. These powers are putting some serious strain on my body… Relic might be the only one who can use them without screwing himself over. That mayor just might kick the bucket after five tries.”

<You sound particularly pained. Are you all right?>

The phone call still seemed to be in progress. Doubs’ voice came out of the speaker.

Loa put on airs and replied,

“Oh, it looks like I haven’t spoken to you properly yet. In any case, thank you for your help. Thanks to you, we’ve finally found a foothold here in Europe.”

<‘We’, you say? I’m impossibly interested to see who else will gather at your side, Miss Loa.>

It was a transparent attempt at fishing out information.

Loa laughed without a care and sternly said her goodbyes with the cutest voice she could muster.

“I don’t have a fucking shred of info to piss off to a cock-sucking multi-agent dickbag. If I ever see your bitchy face again, I’ll kiss your ass and tear it off with my teeth, so fuck off, you little shit.♥︎”


<=>


The Mars estate.


“She hung up.”

<You’re one hell of a gent, Doubs.>

“She’ll tear off my rear with her teeth, she says. My goodness. Although I do suppose it might not be too bad if she were closer to Laetitia’s age.”

<And a degenerate sicko, too. Gimme a break here.>

Hackey Mouse’s voice continued from the laptop, even after the phone call was ended.

Doubs ignored him and looked out at the courtyard through the window.

There, he saw Ferret mercilessly beating Mihail. The officers around them were laughing good-naturedly.

“Mihail has already fit right in with the Organization.”

<Ah, speakin’ of which. Why’d ya bring Mihail? I thought y’said you were gonna bring that Theo guy. Feel pretty damned awful for him, by the way. You’re the one Melhilm asked to look into Elsa. Then ya go and tell ‘im she got killed by humans! …You plottin’ something, Doubs?>

“‘The vampire named Elsa died by the love of humans’. That was what I meant when I reported to Melhilm, intending to bless her fresh beginnings. But I suppose that much poetry was too much for Melhilm. To think he would really take everything at face value…”

Doubs went silent for a moment, falling into thought. Then,

“I don’t take too much entertainment from meaningless deaths. The massacre at the village entertained me so little that I decided to give Theo a petite poke. But to think Theo and I shared such a strange connection.”

<Ah, right. You’re a hedonist, but you ain’t a homicidal loon. Sorry, man.>

Doubs chuckled wryly, still keeping his eyes trained on Mihail.

“I’ve told Fannie this already, but… I brought that boy here because I was curious. Just what kind of future will he attain? Of course, Ferret is also a rather special case. She also walks the boundary between humans and vampires. I’m almost starting to want to cheer for them.”

<You, cheer on a relationship? I sure as hell wasn’t expectin’ that.>

“I do always say: As long as I am entertained.”

There was a tinge of loneliness somewhere in Doubs’ stoic response.

“So innocent are the two of them… that I get the feeling that only tragedy awaits their future.”

<Mihail ‘specially. He’s the kinda guy who’d die laughin’ before he knows how bad he has it.>

“And if the two of them somehow beat the odds, and find happiness… wouldn’t it feel rather like winning the lottery?


“Let us pray. That their future, at least, will be a blessed one.”


<=>


Not knowing that two vampires were evaluating his future, Mihail laughed as Ferret punched him.

“Where should we start, Ferret? If we’re practicing for married life, I think we should try out matching clothes! And we’ll have to get clothes for Alma too, since she’s family—“

“Silence! I’ve told you, this is extremely improper!”

[But Ferret. You, Mihail, and Alma are not living alone—there are servants at this manor as well]

“What?! The maids, too?! Don’t worry, sir! My heart always belongs to Fe-“

“Please! Learn to listen to people when they are speaking!”

Though Ferret lashed out at Mihail, on the inside, she was relieved.

Things had returned to the way they always were. But now she found herself truly realizing it.

At this moment, they were not interacting as human and vampire.

She just enjoyed the days she spent, Mihail and herself.

Ferret had the nagging suspicion that she had fallen into a sort of trap set up by her father, but she did not mind so much.

The state of their current relationship would not last forever. Ferret knew that well.

And yet she prayed.

That once they came to the point of choosing between the paths of humanity and vampires, they would at least be able to smile just as they did now.


She prayed to herself with all her heart.


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Extra Episode B: Humans


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Somewhere in Japan. The words of an anthropologist.


And that is the story of the incident that took place not so very long ago.

Ah, yes. I happened to go drinking with a friend of mine from the Organization. That’s where I got a hold of this piece of news.

My friend?

His stomach began acting up again after the stress of running away so much. He ended up with an ulcer.

I suppose humans and vampires are no different in that life becomes difficult when you can’t lie to yourself.

In any case, now you know that there are all sorts of connections binding humans and vampires, even in the narrow categories of love and hate.

When you add understanding, duty, and fetters to the mix, you end up with a complicated mess of undefined knowledge.

I think you might ask then if relationships between humans are not the same. I think the biggest difference is the time that is granted to the respective species.

Humans being jealous of vampires? That’s not even the half of it.

…What is the leading cause of death among vampires, do you think?

Of course, many are killed by humans. But that is only the second cause.

The leading cause of death among vampires… is suicide.

In many cases, they despair at eternity or grow bored and fall into depression.

Because they live on for eternity, they are constantly fighting boredom and the loss of identity.

The longer you live, the less defined your self becomes… and vampires tend to be rather lonely creatures to begin with, you see.

The officers in this story were all rather colorful characters, no? That might perhaps be a defense mechanism for them. To keep a hold on a defined sense of identity. Members of Clans have family to support them and compete with, but the vampires of the Organization tend to be, by nature, alone. Especially those like Dark Grey.


In any case, perhaps that is why vampires so admire humanity.

Just as humans long for eternity, vampires long for the finite.

And they see beauty in humans, whose lives pass by in the blink of an eye.

If you want to dream of a happy end to the relationships between humans and vampires…

Let us, at least, walk with them. Side-by-side.

Believing that our transient light could be carved into their eternity.


-To be continued-


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Volume 5.


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This won't make up for the lack of illustrations in this volume, but here'a a small bonus for those who were curious about Horst and Alma's appearances. (Rudy's face also shows up in the illustrations this time, so I've included him as well)


You can spot Horst and Alma on the right-hand side of the cover page. Also note Tromm Ed Romans on the bottom left, as well as Fannie next to Horst, Doubs in his top hat and (presumably) Wol at Doubs' feet.





















I don't have a scan of the picture with Rudy's face, but here's a decent piece of fanart that shows both Rudy and Theresia. (source)

15 comments:

  1. Would you happen to have the epub/mobi versions of volume 2 somewhere? The replacement links appear to be dead, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've re-uploaded them and put the links on the Volume 2 download page. Sorry for the inconvenience!

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  2. Very funny the character profiles. The last three (four) are the best ones, in reverse order (Hawking>George>Key&Watson).

    Thanks for your work.

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  3. "When the man called Grdastance said this to him that morning"
    Misspelling on Gold's name.

    "Whether Doubs knew what was happening or now, he continued chatting merrily."
    I think it's supposed to be, "happening or not right now, he continued"... or something like that. What you have there seems incomplete?

    ""
    Capitalization on the second sentence.

    "My goodness. although I do suppose it might not be too bad if she were closer to Laetitia’s age.”
    Same as the previous.

    I actually got some pretty good chills this final update of IV. Thanks for that. Can't wait for the next book.

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    Replies
    1. Third one was "You sound particularly pained. are you all right?"
      Sorry about that. It was picking up on the pointy brackets around Doubs' phone-voice.

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    2. Thank you again. Argh, I was so sure I'd gotten all of them, too...

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    3. Heheh~ Not a problem. Always glad to help out where I can. And it's not like they were glaring errors; I would've easily missed them if they were in my own writing.
      Once again: Thank you for all of your hard work in translating these.

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    4. thanks for another great vol of Vamp

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  4. Thanks for giving us another volume of Narita greatness.

    I hope he will eventually write a new Vamp! story. (Maybe after finishing Baccano?)

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  5. Thank you very much!
    Is there gonna be a mobi/epub version?

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  6. I tried to scan the pages of the last two books from the new Enami artbook (and maybe some others which are not from those volumes, I'm not sure, I just scanned the unfamiliar ones). They're not good since I don't want to damage my book too much (not AnonSpore quality unfortunately:P) but maybe they can be any use of you;) here

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    Replies
    1. Sweet! Thanks! I'll update the pdf with the relevant images.

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