Sleeping Beauty, A Princess of Thorns (Part 1/7)
I’m doing this mainly as a quick test of my own abilities, so if I get ordered to take this down, it’ll come down – enough said… Sorry, blame the uninviting industry.
I’ll be doing one part a day for the whole week.
The translations will not be edited, as I’m focusing mostly on “accuracy and readability in a timely fashion” (this may result in awkward-to-English-readers-formatting). Due to my obsessive work on lyrics and poetry I’ve known myself to spend hours on a single line or stanza, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to develop a separate and quicker mindset for longer format works. One day I hope to work on fiction translations professionally, so basically this is practice.
I thought I’d start with one of my favorite shorts from a series I thoroughly enjoy, so here we go. I hear they’re making an OVA from this too.
「茨姫」”Episode 04: La Belle au bois dormant” from Volume 2 of ダンタリアンの書架/Dantalian no Shoka/Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian/The Mystical Archives of Dantalian.
The Japanese title for “Sleeping Beauty” is “Rose-Thorn-Princess”.
Sleeping Beauty, A Princess of Thorns (Prologue)
The mansion was engulfed in flames.
The beautiful white walls, towers, elegant furniture and dressings were all burning.
The fleeing servants’ screams could be heard mixed with the crackling of the wood aflame.
The conflagration dyed the very night sky red.
The halls were filled with a black smoke which threw everything into darkness, only broken by the shafts of light thrown by the scorching flames.
Using that faint light, the master of the mansion tried to find his way out. Dragging along his injured leg, he fled for his life, his face struck with fear.
Then, a faint trace of relief crossed his expression. Finally the smoke began to clear and he could see his way to the front hall. The fire hadn’t yet reached this far, if he could just make it through this room he would be able to escape. He was saved.
The man rushed forward crying out with excitement, but suddenly stopped. He had seen a silhouette coming towards him, cast by the flames.
The shadow was of a young woman, a girl wearing nothing but her nightclothes.
“Y..You’re alright! You made it out too, Florence?!” He said, walking towards her.
The girl nodded, and a flash of flame showed a smile on her face. In her right arm was a book, an old book with oriental designs. In her right hand, it looked as if she was pulling something heavy.
“What are you doing Florence?! We’ve got to r…”
He tried to hurry his daughter, but his words suddenly trailed off. As he moved towards her she had raised her left arm high above her head.
In her hand was a small axe used for chopping wood.
As the man froze, opening his eyes wide in surprise, the axe came crashing down.
“Wh…” Moaning in the sharp pain screaming from his right shoulder. He looked at the axe, unable to believe what he was seeing.
As his daughter violently ripped the axe out of him, he collapsed, blood spraying from the wound. Fire on the carpet had reached the fresh blood and began to smoke and smell.
“Florence… Why?” The man looked up at his daughter, his eyes tearing up in fear and pain.
She did not answer. Instead, with a smile still on her face she swung down the axe a second time. This time it split the man’s skull. He didn’t move again.
Seeing this, the girl’s expression didn’t change one bit. Only a high pitched laughter escaped her lips.
She threw the axe aside and picked up a bottle that had rolled onto the floor. She poured its contents over the man and for a second the sharp smell of gasoline stung her nose, but it was soon replaced by another foul smell as the man’s body caught fire.
The girl walked out of the entranceway and left the mansion, never looking back as she disappeared into darkness, that book still held in her right arm, as her laughing echoed through the night.