This translation is not complete (not yet anyway). This is the first four pages of a 15 page short story "Jealousy". (The fifth page is a mongrel to try to translate - it's the Delktoe dialogue which kills me...)
While I generally prefer to maintain as literal a translation as possible, in this case, I've tried to give priority to making the text flow naturally in English. I've never studied Japanese and what Japanese I've picked up over time has been by osmosis through watching anime, reading manga, subtitling, visiting websites, etc, so none of this translation is guaranteed to be accurate at all. In particular, I have almost no concept of verb conjugation or grammar. Happily, the poor quality of my translation dovetails with my belief that licensed works should be supported, so I hope you'll buy a licensed English version of this story if and when one is published. For now, if anyone has comments or corrections about my translation, I'd be happy to read them (if you can work out how to contact me ^_^)
Where I'm particularly unsure about a translation, I've marked the text with italics and question marks and then followed the suspect phrase with the romaji text in parantheses. Also, the original text will sometimes use a word and then write the Baronh (Abh language) equivalent above the word as furigana. In those situations, what I'll do is underline the Baronh equivalent and put it in parantheses. Hope that makes sense.
This Fragment of the Stars short story comes from the Crest of the Stars (Seikai no Monshou) Film Book volume 1, published by Hayakawa Publishing Inc., ISBN 4-15-030663-X, price 620 yen excluding tax. If you find it interesting, I hope you'll support the author by buying a copy of the film book. Apart from the short story, the 176 page book contains the story of the first four episodes of the Crest of the Stars anime.
The most important requirement in Minchiu, a traditional game of Delktoe of Vorash County, is fortitude. In any case, far more time is spent waiting than on the move.
But even so, it is still athletic, such that at the end of a match one will be sweating profusely.
Lin Jinto - born Jinto Lin, now with another true name; but he ?got along? (sumashiteita) without that name here - took a shower after a match. There are easier ways to clean the body, but the people of Delktoe are partial to this classic method. Jinto was too. The sensation as the sweat was washed away with the hot water, coursing along the lines of his body, he liked that.
"Hey, Lin Jinto" a voice broke in amidst the sound of the hot water showering down.
He looked through the steam in the direction of the beckoning voice; it was Main Takris.
Takris was one of the guys on the same Minchiu team, but Jinto couldn't remember him talking much. Moreover, there were times when he would look towards Jinto with eyes full of hostility. And when Takris spoke, Jinto didn't feel that the tone of his voice carried any affection either.
"Why the hell do you want to become an Abh?"
"I don't want to become one", Jinto answered honestly. First of all, up to now he had not entertained any thoughts of wanting to become an Abh. Secondly, Jinto was already an Abh, and a noble (suif) at that, so there was no issue of becoming or not becoming one.
"Liar", Takris pressed on. "If that's the case, then why are you going to an Abh school and stuff?"
"My dad ordered me to."
"So you do whatever your dad says. What a pitiful guy", Takris laughed derisively.
"There's nothing I can do about it, is there?" Jinto countered. "When I came to this planet, I was only 10 years old."
"But now you're 16 already."
"What about it?"
"You can be independent at this age."
"And what about you?" Jinto wasn't close to him and didn't know him well, but Takris was a fine person to be talking about being independent. As with most of the members of the West Bukik Minchiu Team, he was part of a large extended family.
"Forget about me. Right now we're talking about you", Takris continued, "Your dad's stupid too. What's the point of a child being an Abh? He probably feels that you'll be able to live well if you're an Abh, that an Abh will take care of his parents, ?but he's not thinking properly? (hassou ga naindase)."
To Jinto, Delktoe was his second home town. No, it was more than that. He had spent that important stage of life known as adolescence on this ground world. At what Takris called an 'Abh school', that is, the Academy for Abh Language and Culture, all the students were Delktoe-jin except Jinto. As expected, although some of the teachers were graduates from other territories, they were in the minority. Since coming to this planet at the age of 10 years, he had been brought up and completely immersed in Delktoe culture. Already there were only traces of the Martine colour remaining in the marrow of his bones; the rest was firmly Delktoe-jin.
Nevertheless, there was a part of his thinking which didn't identify with the native Delktoe-jin way of thinking. His thoughts while Takris was speaking were one such part. One thought was about raising a child to be one's security in old age. Which is not to say that the welfare system for the aged was undeveloped here. In a number of ways, it was more compassionate than Martine society, which lacked reserves. However, it was considered an embarrassment for the aged to be cared for by the government rather than by their family.
In particular, there was no greater shame than to be moved into public facilities when one had children. There were many people who considered that they would rather not continue living at an old age if that was the case.
"My father probably isn't thinking that his son will look after him", Jinto said.
"That's outsiders for you", Takris despaired exaggeratedly. "Why are you talking such nonsense?"
"What're you arguing about?" Ku Dourin approached them.
"Not arguing", said Takris. "Just asking a question."
"There was serious mood at any rate, Main Takris."
"That's just how it seemed to you, Ku Dourin. Then again, it's understandable that you'd get the wrong impression. As far as this outsider is concerned, I've never known him to talk honestly."
Jinto was of course accustomed to the Delktoe style of conversation. When he first arrived, he nervously wondered why it seemed somehow wrong if everyone didn't get angry. Now he realised that this was just the ordinary way of talking. But even so, there was a harshness in Takris' words.
"It must be so easy for you, Main Takris", Jinto said. "You hate all outsiders, don't you? You don't really try to hide it."
"To be frank, I couldn't really say", Takris smiled faintly, "since you're the only outsider that I know. So I'm not able to compare a hate of outsiders with the feeling that I can't stand you. It could even be that other outsiders are better people."
"Don't lie", Dourin interjected. "It's the students who go to the Abh school that you hate."
"It's the same thing. I don't know any other students at the Abh school either."
"Oy, Main Takris. If you want to deceive me, you'll have to sharpen your wits first. Trying to convince me with a lie from your dull head; I'm not a fool, you know."
"You're going too far (saying that)!"
"Ooh. ?I've gone right to the end.? (Kikizute ni sarete tamaru ka) Listen. There's a corner of my brain where I store memories which are like junk; if I rummage around there, then I know that since before this newbie joined us, you've hated the sight of guys from the Abh school. Don't say you didn't cheat them out of their money."
"I'm not saying that. You did that with me, so even if it was a lie, it can't be helped."
"Oh. I've got a clear memory of it."
"Then you're just as guilty."
"Your brain is worm infested, man. Who said it was wrong to take their money? My problem is with your lying."
"So, you're supporting this guy, are you?", Takris raised his voice. "Since this kid came, he's been more important to you than hanging out with me."
"In the past even if you did stupid things, you were like a runt who hadn't grown out of bedwetting habits so I put up with it, but now it's not really possible to blame your idiocy on your age, Main Takris. The problem is that you told the lie to me, how many times do I have to say it? Whether Lin Jinto is my heart's lover or my life's bitter enemy, ?there's no doubt you're moving your rotten tongue at me like an excited, squirming maggot.? (omae ga ore ni mukatte, korokoroshita uji ga waiteiru youna kusatta shita wo ugokashita koto ni wa chigainai)."
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