August 02, 2008

"Shadow of the Moon" revisions

Chapter 62 / 8-3

TP is the TokyoPop translation. EW is my translation.

1. TP: The breakfast table conversation became a council of war, where Yoko soon learned that most kingdoms had two armies.

EW: The kingdom had two armies.

The Japanese is that succinct. The indefinite article could be used, but as they are referring specifically to troops under the En's command, I think the definite article is preferred.

2. TP: The Ever-King told her [1] that it would take over a month for mounted knights from En to reach Iryu, the capital of Sei Province in the kingdom of Kei. He also assured her [2] that Keiki didn't have that long.

EW: The regular cavalry would push toward Iryuu, the provincial capital of Sei in the Kingdom of Kei. This campaign, however, would take a month, and when it came to saving Keiki, a month was too long to wait.

2.1. Not in the original.
2.2. Not in the original.

3. TP: Surely that had somehow been related to the visions the sword had shown her, which were always accompanied by a dripping sound. Yoko assumed that the weapon had been trying to warn her of approaching enemies--it had sent her its visions in dreams as a way to protect its master.
      But wait--back then I hadn't met Keiki yet. I'd agreed to no pact. How did the sword know it was mine? Which comes first? Selection by the kirin, or the mandate of Heaven?
      Yoko had asked the Ever-King as much. [2] Had she been born into the mandate? Or was it Keiki's decision that set the wheels of her fate in motion?
      It was Enki who had replied, [3] however, saying only that he simply didn't know.

EW: When she asked the En about it, he told her [1] that those visions had undoubtedly been shown to her by the sword. Most likely, the sword had predicted the enemy attack, and had been warning her, the lord of the sword, of what was going to happen.
      But at the time, Youko hadn't yet met Keiki, had not covenanted with anybody. Yet the sword knew that she was its lord. Before receiving the Mandate of Heaven, before being chosen . . . .
      The En ventured that perhaps she had been born with [2] the Mandate of Heaven upon her shoulders. Or perhaps the burdens of the throne had become her own as soon as Keiki made his decision.
      "Who knows?" Enki had chimed in.

3.1. Lit: "When she talked to the En about those things."
3.2. Lit: "When she asked the En about it, he ventured . . . " I dropped the tag this time because of the redundancy. Here's my rewrite:

      Explaining all of this to the En, he ventured in turn that perhaps she had been born with the Mandate of Heaven upon her shoulders.

3.3. It's not dialog in the original: "Enki had replied that he didn't know."

4. TP: Whatever the reason, Yoko knew she had a link with the sword. [1] Surely she should be able to communicate with it.

EW: Enki said that a kirin chose a king by instinct. [2] In any case, Youko did not think that communicating her intentions to the sword should be all that difficult.

4.1. Better: "In any case, Youko did not think that communicating her intentions to the sword should so difficult."
4.2. A literal translation.

5. TP: What does the Naze-King intend?
      Yoko wasn't sure she had what it took to become a good king, but at least she might learn from watching a bad one.

EW: Show me what the Royal Kou intends to do. Or, his intentions still being up for grabs, show me what makes the bastard tick.

5.1. Better: "Show me what the Royal Kou is up to. As she didn't yet know her own mind, it could at least show her the mind of a fool."

6. TP: It's no better than the scabbard, Yoko thought. A blue monkey, sassy, impertinent, and impossible to control.

EW: It's this scabbard, Youko thought. The scabbard was toying with her the same way the blue monkey did.

TokyoPop is correct: "It's just like the scabbard, Youko thought. Toying with her the same way the blue monkey did."

7. TP: Only the woman's eyes had life. Her skin was white as a corpse, and the stain of illness clung to her sunken cheeks and rode the cordlike muscles of her emaciated neck.
      Suddenly, Yoko saw demons ransacking villages, towns burned to the ground in civil conflict, fields stripped bare under an onslaught of cicadas and rats. Flooding rivers spilled into the fields, where bodies floated among fragments of the ravaged crops.
      All this because the kingdom is without its king?

EW: The only life left in the Empress Jokaku was in her eyes. She had the skin of a corpse, sunken cheeks, the tendons stood out in her neck, there was a sickly pallor all about her. Youko sensed these were the woman's last days. She must be suffering much to be that shrunken and skeletal. Despite the mounting pain and knowing the foolishness of her crimes, she was not able to stop herself from committing them. [1]
      Youko saw the ruin of the Kingdom of Kei. She thought Kou was poor, but it was nothing compared to the destitution in Kei. [2] She saw villages decimated by youma, the burning huts of the poor caught up in the conflagrations. The land and fields overrun with rodents and locust, rivers overflowing their banks, inundating the paddies with mud and sludge, countless bodies bobbing in the water.
      This is the destruction visited upon a kingdom that loses its king.

7.1. In the original. The author uses a very poetic term: "Youko sensed she was seeing the woman's kugin." It means "a poem composed after much difficulty and hard work."
7.2. In the original.

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