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Dragon Quest IV Novel, Book 1

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Hello! Some of you may know that in Japan, a novel or series of novels was published for each Dragon Quest game. I live in Japan, study Japanese and love Dragon Quest, so I thought it would be a fun project to translate one of the novels into English. I'm doing this mostly for myself, to improve my Japanese reading skills, but I thought I'd post the translation up here too in case anyone has an interest in reading the Dragon Quest novels.

 

I've chosen to translate Dragon Quest IV. The reasons for this are:

 

1. Dragon Quest IV was my favorite growing up.

2. Dragon Quest IV was just released in English on the DS, so it's kinda "current"

 

The Dragon Quest IV novels were originally published as a series of four books. They have since been republished as three thicker books. As far as I can gather, the content is exactly the same. In case you want to own your own copy, you can purchase the books at Amazon.co.jp (they are all Japanese). Here are the links:

 

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

 

As much as possible, I am going to use character/monster/town names from the original NES version of Dragon Warrior 4. This means Ragnar, Alena, Cristo, Brey, Taloon, Mara, Nara, Necrosaro, etc. If you don't like that, tough. :) I won't be giving characters Russian or Scottish or whatever accents either. Also, the Japanese title of DQIV translates literally to "The Guided Ones", but I have chosen to use "The Chosen Ones" since that seems to fit the English title. BTW, if you discover that I make a mistake in the naming, or any other errors at all, please let me know!

 

A little information about me. I am not Japanese nor am I a perfect speaker of Japanese. I've lived in Japan for about 3 years and my Japanese language ability is around JLPT level 2. I will be translating the novels as I go, and I am a slow reader, so don't expect daily updates. I'll post what I have as soon as I get it done. Anyway, long term project.

 

All characters/story/etc are copyrights/trademarks of Square Enix. This particular translation is my (Thomas Hjelm) work, so please don't copy it and say it's yours :).

 

That's all for the introductory post. The next post by me will be prologue of the first book. Each time I make an update, I will edit this original post with a table of contents so you can easily find the story posts.

 

BTW, the numbers in parenthesis correspond to the page numbers in the book. I use these for reference when I translate. If these are annoying, please tell me and I will remove them.

 

Enjoy, and feel free to leave me comments.

 

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: The Royal Solders

Edited by tummai
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Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, Book 1

 

"The enemy is shielded by enormous dark power.

But you are protected by the power of brilliant light.

Now it is but a small light, but with a little guidance, soon it will glow radiantly.

Do not be impatient.

It is only after you have been broken by dispair that your true journey begins."

 

-Oracle

 

Prologue

 

It was winter.

 

(6)

The sky hung low, blotted with pale purple. Dusk. Rows of mountain ridges trailed off into the distance like great waves of earth. Behind them, the falling sun brushed a red blush onto the virgin snow of the frozen peaks, illuminating briefly the glacial flowers that bloomed from deadwood.

 

A lone traveller, slightly built and with unsteady steps climbed up a steep path that threaded through the heavily-snowed slopes. The thick snow was soft, and every step buried the traveller up to his waist. The cold wind winded its way across the ravine, ruffling the traveler's worn woolen cloak.

 

When he crossed the ridge, the traveler stopped. Hood hanging low over his face, he raised his chin and gazed out across the landscape.

 

From beyond a hill a thin line of smoke rose into the sky.

 

Seeing the mark, the traveler felt a smile of relief float across his lips. Then his walking stick fell out from under him.

 

His hands were frozen solid from the cold. He wasn't wearing any gloves. The traveler raised his hands up to his eyes. They were swollen badly. The traveler chanted something under his breath and instantly the redness disappeared from his hands. Having regained flexibility in his fingers, the traveler reached to pick up his walking stick.

 

Then, at that moment..

 

He heard the baying of hunting hounds, and it wasn't just one of two. Before he knew it he was surrounded.

 

(7)

The traveler stood there quietly, a mass of white frosty breath escaping his mouth as he waited.

 

Soon, men bundled in fur cloaks appeared one after another from a grove of withered trees. Their thick, unkempt beards and eyebrows were white with frozen breath. Each man had a bow or a staff in his hands. Hardy mountain men.

 

The hounds were on their guard, growling low. The men held them at bay underfoot, and shot the traveler an unreserved look.

 

"What are you doing here, stranger?" one of them said. "This road is blocked in with ice and snow. It deadends at our village. Until it thaws, you won't be able to pass."

 

"Then shall I turn back?" the traveler answered in a quiet voice, "Or perhaps I can winter in your village?"

 

"You'd have to earn your keep. What can you offer?"

 

"Whatever you ask of me," the traveler gave a light bow. "As long as it is within my ability."

 

The men laughed.

 

"Don't make light of winter in the mountains. You will freeze to death."

 

"No, no. I shall not die," the traveler shook his head. "In the cold. In the heat. Starving. Thirsty. Unfortunately I shall never die. That is my grace, that is the existence I have been charged with."

 

The men looked at each other.

 

(8)

The intruder's way of speaking was archaic. It had a tinge of melody to it, an aloof, exotic air. It wasn't the sort of answer they had anticipated. The men were at a loss, but only briefly. A quick look into each other's eyes reminded them where they were. They puffed their chests out again and spoke with diliberate roughness.

 

"Can you chop firewood, stranger?"

 

"Not really."

 

"Are you good with a bow? Could you hit a bear?"

 

"Hmm. I've never tried it before."

 

"Well, how about changing diapers then? Or maybe you'd rather stitch the holes in our drawers?"

 

"I do not have experience in doing such things. However..."

 

As if on cue, the wind blew, throwing the traveler's hood off of his head. His black hair fluttered in the wind like the wings of a bird taking flight. Against the snowy background, it appeared to glow brightly.

 

His appearance was that of a young man with cool eyes. Smooth white cheeks, kind eyebrows, a carefree smile. It was clear that this traveler's birth and upbringing were very different from those of the rugged mountain men, their skin like crumpled paper, smoked beneath the ceaseless mountain sun.

 

The men knitted their brows and frowned, puzzled. Without realizing it, the strength left their stiff shoulders and they lowered their weapons.

 

"It is my job to relay the truth of what happened in ages past. To pass down tales. I can bring comfort and entertainment to your long nights."

 

(9)

The young man's hair was parted plainly down the middle. A leather cord was stretched across his intelligent forehead. In its center hung a decorative blue stone in the shape of a teardrop, which reflected the rays of the setting sun.

 

The men, discerning the mark, stirred.

 

"Master, you are a traveling minstrel?"

"A troubadour!"

"Well! Why didn't you say so earlier?"

 

The traveler broke into a shy smile.

"So you'll have me then?"

 

"Of course!"

"We welcome you to stay with us."

"The winter is long and hard in our village. We have no way to relax. You coming here is a godsend!"

 

The hounds appeared happy too, wagging their tails.

 

The men came down to the young man's side. They gathered his belongings and treaded down the snow in his path. Supporting the minstrel's slender arms they made a wreath around his sinuous body to protect him from the thick snow and cold gusts of wind. In that manner, they walked. One of the men tried to help with the one remaining bundle on the traveler's back, a case of hard leather. The young man declined politely. "No. Thank you". Thinking it must be his harp case, the men didn't press the issue.

 

(10)

Soon the party entered the village. The men brought the young man to the largest house in the village. It was a fancy estate, constructed of thin-cut stones stacked closely together. Inside was a grand hall equipped with a large hearth. The village chief's wife laid some food out and offered it to the young man, but he declined saying he wasn't hungry. He unpacked his belongings and settled into the room. Then he took his harp out of the leather case and began to tune the strings. Soon, the men, women and children of the village were called to assemble in the hall.

 

Once the strings were tuned, the young man placed the harp upon his knee, rested his fingers and looked out to the crowd. A deep silence stretched over the hall that by now had filled with people. The young man smiled gently, closed his eyelids and made a gesture as if praying. It was a mysterious gesture that the villagers didn't recognize.

 

The wavering image of the minstrel's profile was reflected in the body of the harp, which was well-polished and had a shine like the shell of a beetle. The young man stilled his body completely. For a few moments, it was like he had hardened into a beautiful statue. He was waiting for something. Then it came. Lifting his slender white hands, he began plucking the strings. For the villagers, it was as if the harp had a life of its own and was speaking to them. In a moment an air of magic and power pervaded the hall.

 

The young man and his harp twined and tangled like a pair of butterflies hopping and twirling around each other, and the people were lulled far back into dreams of ages past. The soft sound and the human voice, gathering speed and just on the cusp of plunging through a dizzying melody, quieted to the sweet scent of a flower opening its petals. The simple villagers then heard the Saga of the Chosen.

 

(11)

People of the world, do not forget,

those Chosen Ones who brought this age of peace and stability and hope to our world.

The days vivid with life and the nights where all can sleep peacefully,

The awakening Spring and the ripening Autumn,

The green earth and the luxuriant sea,

Everything,

secured by the actions of those heroes.

In a loud voice, proclaim their deeds to the world!

Let their legend echo on for eternity!

 

The Chosen Ones, eight in number:

The lone soldier

The daring princess

The cunning magician

The healing priest

The ambitious merchant

The two sisters: the elder a dancing girl

The younger a fortuneteller

And

The young hero.

 

They fought that grotesque monster, the Ruler of Evil.

They went to the legendary castle in the sky.

They had an audience with the just and powerful Master Dragon.

And they defended the whole world, mankind, the future, freedom.

 

(12)

People of the world, do not forget.

The law of the world is this: on the road of one's quest, wherever you are,

be it a (rose) road thick with thorns, or a poisonous swamp, ***[see note at bottom]

In the company of loving friends,

there is nothing to fear.

 

"In the company of loving friends..."

 

When those words reached the young minstrel's lips, his eyes darted to the hearth's fire, trembled faintly. But the crowd of mountain villagers, entranced as they were by the bard's intoxicating song, not one of them noticed that.

 

The minstrel's name was Healie.

 

That name, too, is legendary.

 

 

***note: This line was difficult for me to translate without ditching the metaphor. The Japanese translates literally to "the rose-with-thorns road". The basic idea (I think) the line is trying to relate is that when things are generally going well but there is a little adversity (rose-with-thorns road) or even when things are going very badly and there is a lot of adversity (poisonous swamp), if you have people you can count on, you'll be alright.

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As much as possible, I am going to use character/monster/town names from the original NES version of Dragon Warrior 4. This means Ragnar, Alena, Cristo, Brey, Taloon, Mara, Nara, Necrosaro, etc. If you don't like that, tough. :)

Ah, oh well. My preference is the Japanese names, but I'm sure I'm in the minority.

 

A little information about me. I am not Japanese nor am I a perfect speaker of Japanese. I've lived in Japan for about 3 years and my Japanese language ability is around JLPT level 2. I will be translating the novels as I go, and I am a slow reader, so don't expect daily updates. I'll post what I have as soon as I get it done. Anyway, long term project.

If I knew you were in Japan I would have suggested you check your local Book Off or the like for the books. It's only 105 yen/book for the old print versions.

 

 

BTW, the numbers in parenthesis correspond to the page numbers in the book. I use these for reference when I translate. If these are annoying, please tell me and I will remove them.

 

Wow, the older version does not end the page where I left off. O_o I just left off there because it seemed like a good cliffhanger. What strange luck that the first page ends there in your edition.

 

I don't have the books on me at the moment but it looks like a pretty good translation. The English at least reads very smoothly. Keep up the good work.

Edited by Mimas

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I think this is awesome, thank you!

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If I knew you were in Japan I would have suggested you check your local Book Off or the like for the books. It's only 105 yen/book for the old print versions.

 

My Book Off doesn't have them. I don't really mind paying the full price though. I just consider it educational expenses :)

 

I don't have the books on me at the moment but it looks like a pretty good translation. The English at least reads very smoothly. Keep up the good work.

 

Thanks for the encouragement! I probably won't get everything 100% since it's my first attempt at translation. There are some parts where I have very little comprehension at first read, especially when the demons are talking in archaic Japanese (which means I have to bust out the Japanese-Japanese dictionary more frequently). It's been a lot of fun for me though. I'm learning a lot of Japanese words I didn't know before.

 

I think this is awesome, thank you!

 

You're welcome. Sorry that it's so slow, but I'm a slow reader, slower translator, and I just got my computer back from the shop :). I hope to pick up the pace here soon. Next post should be coming within the hour.

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Translator's note: The novel has a lengthy introductory chapter that as far as I know doesn't appear in the game at all. It talks about a bit of Underworld politics and tells the story about how Saro met Rosa. We don't get to Burland until page 72 :).

 

Some notes on translation choices:

 

Generic monsters (魔物, i.e. monsters without a personal name), I translate as "monster".

 

Strong monsters like Saro, Esturk, etc, I translate generically as "demon". I may get into trouble later as some monster names have the word "demon" in them (demon toadstool, gigademon, etc) but whatever.

 

The place where all the monsters and demons live (地獄、魔界), I alternate between "World of Darkness" and "Underworld".

 

These are all subject to change as I go along. Let me know if you have suggestions for changes. Also, please feel free to comment about anything at any point in the story.

 

Introduction: The Demon Prince

 

Part 1

(16)

The Ruler of Evil sat upon his obsidian throne on a terrace at the top of his palace. His hand, resting on a luxurious embroidered cushion, was adorned with many rings. Each one of them was of excellent quality, rare and with a long history. They were plundered from generals of fallen kingdoms, venerable stones all of them.

 

The king was old. Beneath his arrogant countenance wavered a fatigue that he couldn't hide. His enormous body was still strong. He took pride in that. But the knotted hair that fell around his shoulders like a great lion's mane was ivory white. His face was thickly creased with wrinkles and sallow. His eyes, glowing darkly like steel, gazed carelessly upon his territory, shrouded in dull gray clouds.

 

There was no sun in the sky in the World of Darkness. The Underworld was forever covered in the darkness of night.

 

Piercing through the blinding darkness that engulfed the palace, the king saw the restless shadows of the dead souls, will-o-the-wisps and winged monsters that flew through the air.

 

"Our chances of victory?" the king mumbled as if talking to himself.

 

"Sufficient," answered a voice from the thick darkness behind the king, at the edge of the mosaic-patterned floor. "Nelwick has a few score of tough elven knights under his command. No more than 200 dwarven infantry. The rest are women, children and talking beasts, and those are hardly your enemies."

 

(17)

 

King Nargoth narrowed his eyes. "There are no dragons?"

 

"No. There is no sign of dragons," the shadow answered, remaining hidden. "Perhaps the rumors are true and they've died out. According to our scouts' report, there are no caves or anything in the forest that could shelter them. Even if one or two could be called from somewhere, it is well known that when dragons aren't up and about they are sleeping. It would take a lot of time to wake them up. By the time any reinforecements could arrive, the battle will be long over. An overwhelming victory for your Majesty.

 

The shadow let out a muffled laugh. "Well then, Master Nargoth. What is your command? Our armies are prepared to advance."

 

"Wait," Nargoth twisted his face. "We shall not attack them by surprise."

 

After a short silence, the hidden speaker asked cautiously, "....wh.. why not.. Your Excellence?"

 

The King waved one of his hands. "Elves are a prideful race who place great value on following rules. If we start a war without giving a formal declaration, then they will surely speak ill of our victory for years to come. I don't see any great need to give them an excuse for their ignominious defeat."

 

(18)

"Ahh! It is as you say, Majesty. What excellent foresight."

 

"First we will send an envoy. We will show the required courtesy and open communication with the elfking Nelwick following proper protocol. 'We have no desire to destroy you, tear you to pieces, etc' we will say. 'If you swear fealty to us, then of course we will generously accept. We will grant you and your people the status you deserve: slave status.'

 

Nargoth stroked his white beard and smiled.

 

"However, if for some reason King Nelwick refuses our proposal, we will have no choice but to interpret that refusal as proof that he is in league with those Overworld maggots, and that makes him our enemy. In that case, it will be extremely unfortunate for both of them, but we must declare war. 'We will attack in full force and we won't hold back,' we'll tell them, 'so be well prepared.' Such a warning will leave them with no excuse."

 

"I will see to it immediately," said the shadow. Then it vanished.

 

The Ruler of Evil Nargoth kept his eyes closed for a few moments, but soon after he sensed something. Gathering his eyebrows suspiciously, he got up slowly.

 

Then, from the shadow of the terrace pillar, a slender demon appeared. The wind that blew through the darkness of the Underworld tossed his black cloak wild. The red underside of the cloak glistened like fresh blood. The demon's long silver hair trailed to his waist and shined brilliantly, even in the dark.

 

(19)

"Prince," Nargoth frowned. "How long have you been there?"

 

"Since the beginning," the demon said indifferently. "Since before Your Majesty arrived. I was actually taking a quick nap here. Don't tell me that you didn't realize I was here the whole time?"

 

Nargoth scowled at the prince, but the young demon didn't flinch, just perked up his eyebrows.

 

"Forgive my rudeness Grandfather, but this kind of carelessness is deplorable. If some overambitious generals were to meet in secret and plot a rebellion against you, I fear you don't have enough lives to make it through.

 

The silver-haired demon opened his crimson lips and laughed. It was the kind of look that would stop a human's heart dead. "It is for just that reason that I am going too."

 

"Where?"

 

"Please don't feign ignorance Grandfather. To the Elf Forest. I think interesting things will happen there."

 

Nargoth gathered a deep breath and said, "No."

 

"Why not?"

 

"Because."

 

A spark of defiance flashed in the younger demon's eyes.

 

(20)

"Have you lost faith in me?"

 

"No, I haven't. But when I say no, that means no! It's best to leave that kind of common duty to commoners."

 

A silence fell over the room.

 

The eyes of the Ruler of Evil and his grandson crossed in midair like the clattering of blades. In the end it was the young demon who turned away his eyes.

 

"Your will."

 

The young demon bowed politely to his grandfather. Nargos opened his mouth to say something, but before he could utter a word his grandson jumped off the edge of the terrace. The young demon changed his form into a black crow and flew off into the distance.

 

The king was left there smiling bitterly.

 

"He's disappointed," the king muttered under his breath. "He wants to earn his first victory on the battlefield. That's only natural. But if I let him go, I will have to let the other princes go too. War is war and they will fight each other over exploits on the battlefield. That one is strong, but the others? They will just die useless deaths."

 

The king moved his body weakly. His beloved grandson was without equal, a natural-born killer. But the king predicted a storm in the young demon's future.

Edited by tummai
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Introduction Part 1 continued (Part 1.2)

 

Elf King Nelwick's capital Samulraan was located alongside a great river on the southeast of the continent, straddled between the World of Darkness and the Overworld. It lay in the middle of a mysterious forest.

 

(21)

The capital was known as both "The Forest of Mercy" and "The Forest of Slumber" and had stood for hundreds of centuries. It numbered among the oldest capitals ever built by a sentient race.

 

The forest had a mild climate and was rich in fertile soil. The surrounding mountains acted as a natural shield, and the forest was filled with streams teeming with fish. It was not unheard of for humans to wander in and lose their way, but those who made it to the heart of the forest were very few. Only once had a human made it all the way to the capital, and they never saw their home again. The elves of Samulraan had never once been threatened by neighboring human kingdoms.

 

The inhabitants of Samulraan were peaceful, dreamy, and shy. Elves, dwarves and talking beasts, they all had lived quietly, in obscurity, in this forest since ancient times.

 

It is no mystery why the Ruler of Evil Nargoth chose this land as his first target. Samulraan was the halfway point between the Overworld and the Underworld, and humans dared not approach it. It was the ideal place for an above-ground stronghold for the long war ahead.

 

Nargoth had selected a Karon*** named Dakros to visit the forest and speak with Elf King Nelwick. The wicked priest, gripping his Staff of Thunder, approached the noble king and delivered his ultimatum. "Surrender now, and casualties will be few. If there is war, it will be all the more brutal," he said. "Join our side, make battle against the humans and in the future you can hope to attain great wealth and power.

 

(22)

"I am not one who delights in carnage," he continued, "But know that among our leaders there are those who take great pleasure in slaughter and butchery. There are many among our ranks who are bored of waiting, who can barely contain their desire to spill blood. Others are ambitious and eager for glory on the battlefield. If there is war we will hold nothing back, even against you who are our brothers. O King, do you really wish to cause to end your reign, your honorable race?"

 

"The hell you say!" Elf King Nelwick roared, his eyes charged with anger.

 

"Do you think we would allow the beautiful green earth to be polluted by filthy creeping creatures from the Underworld? We, who are bathed in the blessings of the sun? If only you knew how disgusting and repulsive you and your kind truly are. And to imply that we are your brethren, the very thought makes me sick. I've heard enough of your treachery. We will not join you. Why, we'd rather side with the ignorant humans!"

 

"You will regret that," Dakros said with a dark smile. "Such insolence! Such arrogance! Since antiquity you have been king of your race. What a pity, but that pride and self-confidence you have no longer applies. Have you been sheltered in this little forest of yours for so long that you've forgotten worldly wisdom? Since you seem to be unaware, I will tell you. Our Ruler of Evil Nargoth is the true descendant of the legendary Emperor Esturk. If you doubt his greatness, if you foolishly defy him, he will fill the oceans with the bodies of your dead. The monster race has united once again. Brave generals, ferocious beasts, all have chosen to follow our king. Those who did not follow, all have been destroyed. Our monster race must be made whole, and you elves cannot be excluded. When our armies arrive here, if you still choose to disobey, O noble King, it will be a very foolish thing indeed."

 

(23)

Nelwick's body trembled with fear but he had too much pride to let it show in his words. "Begone! Who are you to judge what is foolish and what is not? I see no reason to be lectured by dark-blind lunatics. Begone!"

 

***Note: This is a Karon:

karon.gif

Actually wields a Staff of Thunder in the game too.

Edited by tummai
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Introduction Part 1 continued (Part 1.3)

 

***********************

 

"Hey, hey. WilyMage."

 

"Huh? Oh, it's a Noctabat***1. What do you want?"

 

"Hey, can I ask you something? I have this question that's been bugging me. It's really scrambling***2 my brains. If I go into battle against the Elf King in this state of mind, I'll die for sure. Not that it's such a big deal if I die, but I don't want to slow everybody else down. Everyone seems so busy though. I try talking to them but they just yell at me."

 

"Ahhh. Well, sorry but I'm a little busy too. Before we march I'd like to fix this robe. The hem is much too long you see. I'm constantly stepping on it. If my feet get tangled up on the battlefield, I'll be humiliated. I really need to shorten it. I'm sorry, but can you ask me later?"

 

"Actually, I have a needle on me. I'll sew it up for you. Let me see that robe."

 

"Ok, here... Hey! You're pretty good with a needle. I'm impressed."

 

"I may be a monster, but I love sewing."

 

".......... So, what's your question? I'll help you out as payment."

 

"Yeah. Right. About Esturk. Who is he?"

 

(24)

"......huh? WHAT!?!?"

 

"Hey! Stop laughing!"

 

"I can't help it! You deserve to be laughed at. You're a monster, and you don't even know the hero of our people? The legendary emperor Esturk? I can't believe it."

 

"Believe me! I'm not lying. It's like.. how can I say this.. I feel like I've heard the name before. But the other day I was cleaning my ears for the first time in three years. While I was digging the earwax out, some of my brains spilled out too! I forgot many things."

 

"You're crazy.... Well, here goes. Listen up. Esturk is the superstar of the ancient monster world. A long, long time ago, at the height of chaos for our race, Esturk united the monster world for the first time in history and became emperor. He's a hero. All monsters all look up to him. "

 

"Wow! He must have been very tall!" ***3

 

"Shut up and listen. Ok? At that time, ancient times remember, Esturk was possessed with a thirst for power that went beyond what was allowed him by Fate. For him it wasn't enough to just be the emperor of the Underworld. He wanted to rule the Overworld too. So he invaded the Overworld. He wanted to gather up all of the human worms and squeeze them in his iron fist."

 

"Oooh. I bet his hands were huge! So what happened? Did he succeed?"

 

"You idiot. If he succeeded do you think we'd have to go to all this trouble invading the Overworld now?"

 

(25)

"Hey! Shut up! Don't call me idiot!"

 

"At the beginning, our armies advanced very fast. Enemies who came from behind were tossed over our shoulder. Those who came from the front were tripped onto their backs. We were just one step away from enslaving all of mankind and turning them into monster food. Then that hateful dragon god* came and all our plans went out the window."

 

"Whoa! There must have been glass everywhere!"

 

"Uhm.. yeah.. something like that. Anyway, isn't this despicable? Listen. A god is supposed to stay enshrined up in the heavens, right? He's supposed to stay up there quietly, sitting around in his Sky Castle, and make rain or snow fall every once in a while. But instead, for some reason he has an itch to come down to the Overworld and take a little walk. Then, out of the blue, for no reason whatsoever, he decides to support the humans. Now, his powers were only meant to be used in heaven, but he uses them in the Overworld anyway. As a result, the world goes insane. It was terrible. Light and darkness crashed head-on. The world was thrown into absolute chaos. Because the dragon god broke the rules, our great leader was seriously injured and sealed deep under the earth."

 

"Damn! That's terrible!"

 

"During the cataclysm time exploded. The world shook, the stars writhed, nothing in the Overworld was left undisturbed. The seas split, the mountains exploded, islands crumbled, and rivers dried up. Thunder roared day and night, innumerable fingers of lightning ripped apart the night sky. Clouds of dirt and dust soared through the air and blocked out the sun and the stars for many years. The world was plunged into dispair. There was only cold, hunger, darkness and fear for a long time... That's the skinny on the struggle we now call Esturk's Great War. This happened a few ten thousand years ago."

 

(26)

"You tell it like you were there yourself!"

 

"It's my grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's daughter's landlord's retired step-brother's friend's testimony, so it's the truth.... at any rate, the thing that really makes me mad is that even after this terrible calamity the humans don't harbor any hard feelings towards the dragon god. No, they only hold a grudge against our Emperor. Sure, maybe we killed some humans. Maybe we ate some of them too. But we were just doing what we needed to do to survive. We didn't orchestrate a worldwide bloodbath like the dragon god did. No, we showed restraint. So why are we the ones who are hated? Why are we the ones who are in the wrong? Huh? It just doesn't make sense. Dammit. I hate the blue sky and everything in it."

 

"It's monster-bashing."

 

"But the word is that that evil, conspiring dragon god idiot got depressed. He was supposed to stop Esturk, but instead he ended up destroying the world. Hahaha! Serves him right! The god swore an oath that he would never ever descend into the Overworld again, not under any circumstances. You see, if he comes it will not necessarily end in a better result than if he doesn't come."

 

"Haha. I see ... hey, wait a minute. That means this is our chance! This time the god won't be there. I bet we'll win this time!"

 

(27)

"That's right! That's right! You've got it! But we suffered a lot of damage in the war too. Many monsters died. Others were completely scared out of their wits. Some thought they would never serve under another Emperor, no matter how great he is. Many felt that nothing good could come from another war, and they'd rather be left to cause mischief on their own. But now the monster world is united again. Master Nargoth has brought us together under his imperial reign. We have high hopes for Nargoth, hahaha, high hopes indeed! And the first step, the first target for Master Nargoth's assault on the Overworld, is the capture of Samulraan. So fight hard, Noctabat. This time we must fight with all the spirit we can muster. This is the war to avenge Lord Esturk!"

 

"Yes. I understand. Thank you.... hey, I just finished your robe. Try it on."

 

"Ok. Oh, this is perfect!.... Yaagh! What was that? Noctabat, I think I pricked myself on something... Aaah, what's happening. I feel dizzy. And my legs feel weak. The room is spinning."

 

"Ah. Sorry. I didn't have a pin to hold the robe in place, so I used my Poison Needle instead. I must have forgotten to take it out."

 

"Hey! That's not funn..Ahhh! Quick! Cast Healall..."

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

Notes

 

***1 These are what WilyMages and Noctabats look like:

 

wilymage.gifnoctabat.gif

 

***2 The word translated here as "scrambled" is the same as that for the spell "Chaos" which confuses people (メダパニ).

 

***3 The Noctabat is being stupid and mishearing words. In the Japanese, he mistakes 方 (kata - person) and 肩 (kata - shoulders). These words aren't homonyms in English, so I replaced it with my own bad pun (Noctabat takes "look up to" literally). The second joke (about the big hands) made sense in English, so I left it in. The last one didn't make sense in English so I made up my own with "out the window" and "broken glass". In the original Japanese, the Noctabat confuses 神 (kami - god) with the kami of おかみさん (okami-san - wife) and then wonders out loud whether or not the dragon god's wife can breathe fire.

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Introduction Part 1 continued (Part 1.4)

 

*****************************************

 

 

The night was stained red with burning flames and blood.

 

(28)

Elf King Nelwick understood the doom of the forest and of his people. Hell's gatekeepers let out their war cries, and from them fire arrows and thunder rained down upon beautiful Samulraan. People ran panicked, like ants who had just had their nest kicked in. They fell victim to tusks, blades, claws and dark magic. The elves' graceful and ancient swordfighting, the dwarves' courage and powerful iron hammers, the talking beasts' speed and fleet-footedness: they were no match for the soldiers of darkness.

 

Nargoth's armies knew no mercy. Drunk with the excitement of battle, they delighted in slaughter. Not even the young and elderly could escape. When the monsters grew tired of ripping flesh and slurping blood, they turned to plunder and rape. Anything they could get their hands on they ripped to pieces, then trampled: fragrant crops from the harvest, old family treasures, everything. The young, who would have no opportunity to know happiness, became cold corpses. Gentle beasts were skinned alive. The women, stinking of blood, were used again and again to satisfy the monsters' beastly pleasures.

 

When the seemingly never-ending destruction finally stopped, all was quiet. The forest, having burned away completely, was still. The trees were shriveled and thin like the fingerbones of a devil. Strings of smoke rose into the air, into a sky filled with wild-flying black clouds. Piles of torn, trampled and blood-spattered corpses littered the ground, heaped up like rags. The elf king's ancestral mansion, built from the wood of and old konujure***1 tree, elegant in its simplicity, smouldered black and crumbled to the earth.

 

"Did we get Nelwick?" Dakros asked. He was standing on a hill overlooking the ruined forest. A Bisonbear stepped up from behind and raised a severed head into the air. It was the head of a beautiful man in the prime of his life. It's eyes were closed.

 

(29)

"Quite a trophy, eh?" Dakros grinned. The Bisonbear remained silent.

 

"No," a Skullknight protested. "That honor does not belong to the Bisonbear. The forest king committed suicide with his family retainers***2."

 

"Ho!"

 

"We called for their surrender up until the very end, as you ordered," a Weretiger***3 cut in. "But the king set fire to his mansion himself. We searched all over the remains, but there were no survivors. Even the cats were dead."

 

"I see," Dakros shrugged his shoulders and left to report to King Nargoth what had transpired.

 

..... that is the story of the battle that is known around the world as "King Nelwick's Folly".

 

The noble, reserved elves of the forest, the handy and hardy dwarves, the talking beasts: most of them died. As for the rest of them, those who survived, they were forced to assimilate into the monster race. Trapped in the ruler of darkness's unforgiving hand, they had no choice but to obey.

 

And the sun, that pride of heaven, which before could turn away any demon king, any monster, no matter how terrible, now lost its influence. The morning glow and the bright afternoon sunshine could no longer act as a shield against the spread of evil.

 

(30)

The creatures that charged out of Hell bred with the Overworld fey race, bore children, mixed blood. The monsters had lived under the mud and earth, beneath the swamps, within the veil of darkness for so long. They had lurked timidly in the darkness of their colorless world. But now their damnable nature was changing. Having mixed with the elves, they no longer had to fear the light.

 

_____________________________________________

Notes

 

***1 I have no idea what a konujure tree is. A google search for konujure (コヌジュレ) came up with 0 hits. There is a Japanese word "konjure" which is borrowed from French and means "Frozen". Also, konujure looks a little bit like "conjure". So "frozen tree"? or "conjuration tree"? Beats the hell out of me. It's probably a proper name, some made-up tree, but as far as I know it doesn't show up in the DQ games. If anyone has any idea, let me know.

 

***2 I love it. It's just like an old samurai movie :)

 

***3 Here are the NES pics of Bisonbear, Skullknight and Weretiger:

bisonbear.gifskullknight.gifweretiger.gif

 

In case you forgot, Dakros is a Karon, which looks like this:

karon.gif

Edited by tummai
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Wow!! tummai, this is great! I love reading about the story behind one of my favorite games. I always thought DW4 was a little too...dry, I guess. That's why I liked all the dialects and other story additions made to the DS version. It made it more fun. But this novel is so good. I'm very glad you're translating it for us. Thank you, and keep up the hard work. :)

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Wow!! tummai, this is great! I love reading about the story behind one of my favorite games. I always thought DW4 was a little too...dry, I guess. That's why I liked all the dialects and other story additions made to the DS version. It made it more fun. But this novel is so good. I'm very glad you're translating it for us. Thank you, and keep up the hard work. :)

 

Thanks for the comment. It's good to know that someone is reading it :). I can't wait to get to Ragnar's story, but that chapter doesn't start until page 70-something. I hope I can make it there before Christmas!

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Thanks for the comment. It's good to know that someone is reading it :). I can't wait to get to Ragnar's story, but that chapter doesn't start until page 70-something. I hope I can make it there before Christmas!

 

Don't worry, you're doing fine. :wd_coolslime: And all this pre-game, demon stuff is actually very interesting. This is the kind of stuff that makes the whole story much more enjoyable! :)

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So when you finish with the DQ4 books is there any chance of you moving on to novels from the other games? This is easily the most interesting topic I've read in a while and I'd love to read more, especially from DQ3 or 5, when you're done.

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Thanks for the comment. It's good to know that someone is reading it :). I can't wait to get to Ragnar's story, but that chapter doesn't start until page 70-something. I hope I can make it there before Christmas!

 

Don't worry, you're doing fine. :wd_coolslime: And all this pre-game, demon stuff is actually very interesting. This is the kind of stuff that makes the whole story much more enjoyable! :)

 

I agree, the pre-game demon stuff is cool. But it's not easy to translate. :) The monsters tend to use archaic Japanese, which means my Japanese-English dictionary doesn't have the words. I have to bust out the Japanese-Japanese dictionary. Lots of unfamiliar verb-endings and stuff too. I'm getting used to it though!

 

So when you finish with the DQ4 books is there any chance of you moving on to novels from the other games? This is easily the most interesting topic I've read in a while and I'd love to read more, especially from DQ3 or 5, when you're done.

 

Sure. Assuming that I do eventually finish all three DQ4 books, chances are good that I'll translate more. As long as I'm having fun. I think DQ5 is a trilogy again while DQ3 is a standalone novel. Don't hold your breath though. It might take a while before I finish these DQ4 books :) Hopefully I'll get faster as I go along. Thanks for the support!

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Wow, this is great. I've only just found this thread because I was staring at the screen wondering what to have to eat when I found that I was staring at your signature! This is some pretty exclusive stuff for us non-Japanese speaking DQ fans.

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Wow, this is great. I've only just found this thread because I was staring at the screen wondering what to have to eat when I found that I was staring at your signature! This is some pretty exclusive stuff for us non-Japanese speaking DQ fans.

 

Thanks. Glad you like it. I'm also glad that my sig was successful in reeling someone in. I hope you'll keep reading. Next update should be tomorrow (my time). I just need to polish it up a bit before posting.

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Introduction Part 1 continued (Part 1.5)

 

Translator's note: Throughout the introduction, Saro is described as a Youma (妖魔). The book doesn't explicitly say how a Youma is different from any other monster, but he tends to be described as "agile", "slender", "beautiful", "bewitching", "lithe", etc whereas other monsters are more grotesque. For this reason I have decided to leave the word "Youma" untranslated. Before I was calling him regular old "demon", but from now on I will keep the term "Youma". Just be aware that in the context of this novel, this kinda just means "slender, graceful, beautiful monster". I may change my mind again later, but this is just a heads up.

 

***********************************************************

 

Elf Forest. After the tragedy. A little before the coming of dawn.

 

Near the remains of King Nelwick's mansion, a bird landed amidst the dust and ash. Its wings, black like the surrounding darkness made solid, suddenly transformed into a long cloak. The flap of the wings became the fluttering of the cloak's edge.

 

Lithe arms brushed against the back of the billowing cloak. Long blue-tinged silver hair poured down like a waterfall and encircled the enchanting young nobleman's face. His skin was snow-white. His eyes were wolf-golden. His lips were rosebuds filled with morning dew, burning crimson. That magnificent, beautiful face smiled gently, but the smile didn't show in his body. He stood solemnly, with an air of uninvadable dignity.

 

"Violent. Reckless," the beautiful demon muttered, picking up a shard from a broken crystal sake cup.

 

"Dakros, he doesn't understand or appreciate anything that is beautiful. Everything has been smashed to pieces."

 

The Youma stilled his hand and listened carefully.

 

(31)

He detected the presence of life.

 

It was a faint sign, as subtle as if a single berry were to fall and shake a leaf on a tree in a far corner of a vast garden. Even to the Youma's keen senses, it seemed like it was an illusion, not real.

 

He held his breath and waited. He sensed it again. There. It hit his senses like a butterfly flying into a spider's web.

 

He grinned.

 

Waving his cloak, he advanced upon the king's ruined mansion with long steps. There was no hesitation in his stride. His boots trampled on debris and fallen bodies, but didn't make a sound. Deep inside the mansion, littered with its own fallen beams and crumbled walls, the darkness gradually thickened until it was lacquer-black, but the Youma's pace did not slow. Darkness was the Youma's faithful servant, his cradle.

 

Soon, just as he expected, he discovered his delicious prey beyond the darkness. A noble elf. The sign was unmistakable. The sweet fragrant smell of a pure and innocent virgin life. Like buried embers unable to stifle the heat emanating from them, the maiden's pristine soul pierced through the darkness and shined brightly, far and wide. To the night hunter's proficient eyes, it was clear where her hiding place was.

 

Layer upon layer of obstacles separated him from his prey, but the Youma saw through them all. King Nelwick's fort had an elaborate hidden room. The Karon Dakros, familiar with dark magic, had scoured the remains thoroughly with his penetrating eyes, but even he missed this. Only a great treasure would be hidden so securely. The Youma realized then that his prey was none other than Nelwick's beloved youngest daughter.

 

(32)

"Dakros," the Youma smiled. "How loyal of you to leave me the most delicious one."

 

He concentrated his senses and heard two voices. The sound was so clear that it jingled the silver crescent-shaped earring he wore.

 

One voice was like a child romping around merrily, laughing. The other was a whisper laced with resignation and cynicism, a woman who has grown tired of living, the child's nurse.

 

"Ahhh, that won't do princess. Please be quiet! Here, princess. Rosa! The bad people are still snooping around somewhere. I can feel it. Please listen to me. You need to... " the nurse stopped mid-sentence. Something happened inside her body, something she didn't understand.

 

You see, the Youma had passed through many doors, walls and locks on the way to his prize. Now, he passed through through the final obstacle: the nurse's heart.

 

"A life of hard work, eh servant," he said casually. He pulled his fingers out of the nurse's chest. They were dripping with warm blood. Unconsciously he licked them.

 

"You should thank me. Your lonely fight is over now. You have no need to worry about anything anymore."

 

The nurse's body collapsed, revealing the whole of the secret room to the Youma.

 

(33)

The candlelight from the wall trembled dimly, looking like it might fade away at any moment, as if symbolizing the fate of the forest capital. Suddenly the Youma felt a shock that pierced through his whole body. There, upon a luxurious rug, sitting casually in the middle of the floor with her legs to the side, was a young princess. She was beautiful beyond words, the youngest daughter of the fallen elf king.

 

"Stupid King Nelwick," the Youma muttered involuntarily. "You decided to die a horrible death. But there was one treasure that you had to protect at all costs."

 

The elf race as a whole are naturally beautiful in appearance. And it was no mystery that the royal family was the most elegant among them. But this young princess was so beautiful, so pure, so delicate, so perfect that even a devil's chest would ache sweetly upon seeing her. Her beauty was so complete that the Youma felt jealousy stirring inside him.

 

Her cheeks were like single pale crimson flower petals floating in white porcelain bowls. Her eyes were blossoming forget-me-nots encased in crystal. Her lips were young and juicy like ripening strawberries. Her chin and the bridge of her nose were so delicate, her arms and legs so smooth they seemed artificial. Her ears, which poked out from beneath her yellow-golden ringlets, were pointed, the tell-tale sign of the elven race. From the skirt of her gray dress, worn out perhaps because of a long life confined in the palace, the golden-yellow tip of her thin elven tail peeked out. It was an alluring addition to her figure, like a partially untied garter ribbon.

 

The princess was innocent and childlike, but her unblemished figure, faultless facial features, her perfection caused the Youma's heart to swing violently between his protective instinct and his destructive urge. Above all, that simple smile gave off the scent of a noble soul. It was a feature that no low-born woman, no matter how beautiful she was, could ever learn or acquire, and the Youma liked that the best of all.

 

(34)

"What happened?" the little girl asked. "Adeline.. why did she stop talking so suddenly? Who are you?"

 

Those eyes, that voice, there wasn't a trace of surprise or fear in them. The young princess was too young to understand what happened to her people, to her father, or what could happen to herself at any moment.

 

The silver and black Youma didn't hesitate any longer.

 

He dropped to his knees on the floor beside her and lifted her up into his arms.

 

"Adeline died. Rosa, I will take care of you now."

 

The little girl bowed her head lightly.

 

"Who are you?" she repeated her question.

 

The Youma smiled, answered quietly.

 

"My name is Saro. I will give the world to you."

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my goodness. that's a heart-breaking snippet. a really scary piece of imagery about pure innocence and pure...pure evil, i guess. i don't think i pictured this as how they met. yet, i'm still enjoying this translation and this story very much. i do hope you continue. good luck!

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my goodness. that's a heart-breaking snippet. a really scary piece of imagery about pure innocence and pure...pure evil, i guess. i don't think i pictured this as how they met. yet, i'm still enjoying this translation and this story very much. i do hope you continue. good luck!

 

Not quite how I pictured it either! It gets worse too :). I've read a little bit ahead of the translation and Saro is a pretty creepy guy. Thanks for reading and commenting. The next update should be up really soon, since it's really short. Hope you'll stick around!

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Not quite how I pictured it either! It gets worse too :). I've read a little bit ahead of the translation and Saro is a pretty creepy guy. Thanks for reading and commenting. The next update should be up really soon, since it's really short. Hope you'll stick around!

 

gets worse? uh oh. i hope this doesn't ruin my misunderstood-hero image of Saro...oh well, i suppose i can handle it. unfortunately, it's getting late here in the States and i need to hit the sack. i'll check on it tomorrow night, though. :)

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Not quite how I pictured it either! It gets worse too :). I've read a little bit ahead of the translation and Saro is a pretty creepy guy. Thanks for reading and commenting. The next update should be up really soon, since it's really short. Hope you'll stick around!

 

gets worse? uh oh. i hope this doesn't ruin my misunderstood-hero image of Saro...oh well, i suppose i can handle it. unfortunately, it's getting late here in the States and i need to hit the sack. i'll check on it tomorrow night, though. :)

 

 

I didn't mean it would be up THAT soon! :) I still have to read it over and edit it before posting. It might take more than a day depending on whether I can find free time or not.

 

I'm also hoping they don't ruin my image of Saro! I'm not too worried about it yet though. It's too early in the book. :)

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Introduction Part 2 (Part 2.1)

 

Translator's note: The next two updates will be pretty short 1-2 page deals.

 

(35)

Emperor Nargoth had four sons born at the same time from the bellies of four different queens. They were the celebrated military commander Kunef, the cunning and brave Degant, the mysterious and beautiful Nyuii, and the simple and dull-witted Haygen. The first two sons were widely regarded as suitable heirs to the great king, but they left the world when they were young, in battle. Later, Nyuii had a son Saro and Haygen had a son Miasof.

 

There wasn't outright hostility between Nyuii and Haygen, Saro and Miasof, but there was some discord between them that they couldn't keep hidden. In times of war, each of the honor-seeking princes would compete with each other. Each wanted to be a step ahead of the other. They would spread lies in order to confuse the other. They would plot and counterplot, trying to gain an advantage.

 

Anyway, after gaining a foothold in the now-scorched elf forest, Nargoth's armies steadily broadened their influence and eventually came to construct a stronghold on an island. It was called "Dire Palace", a castle for monsters. Now while it is true that the monster race delights in plunder and destruction, at the same time they love extravagance and ostentation. Though still a temporary branch castle, it was not the least bit inferior to even the greatest of human fortresses.

 

Walls glowing with phosphorescence were made from magical stones brought from the quarries of Hell. No weapon in this world could even scratch them. The floors, encrusted with multicolored crushed gems were interwoven with illusion magic written in ancient script. Were someone to tread there unawares, they would go around in circles forever.

 

(36)

Because the monsters still felt discomfort in the light of the sun, the windows were fitted with black glass and covered with thick velvet curtains. The banquet hall was big enough to hold the camps of all of the armies. The kitchen boasted a size that could hold tens of thousands of monsters at the same time.

 

There were three moats surrounding the castle. The first of them was filled with freezing ice water. The second with boiling magma. The third was filled with blood that seethed with hatred. The drawbridges and gates that hung over each of the moats were built from pure-white marble inlayed with bronze, black oak and gold.

 

But neither the drawbridges, the gates, nor the spells cast upon them could obstruct, let alone confine the noble Youma, whose dark powers were strongest among the royal heirs.

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Introduction Part 2 (Part 2.2)

 

Translator's note: This scene is very short. The next few updates are longer though, I promise.

 

*****************************

 

One day. On the top floor of the castle's western tower, a single bird's feather appeared. A few moments later the feather was gone and in its place stood a tall cloaked man.

 

The Rhinoking1 on guard turned and raised his steel battle axe. Then he lowered it. "Oh! Master Saro! Forgive my rudeness."

 

(37)

"The sky above is full of holes, guard captain," The Youma rebuked. "You have no defense against flying enemies. And use your head before you wave that dangerous thing around."

 

"Yes, sir," the Rhinoking nodded meekly, but Saro didn't fail to notice the twitch of sarcasm in the Rhinoking's lips.

 

"Of course, humans cannot fly. But don't we also have enemies up in heaven? Enemies much more dangerous than humans? Have you forgotten your history? We can't afford to have chinks in our armor. I suggest you remedy the problem immediately. Tell the dwarf slaves to come up with something. Some mechanical bow and arrow device perhaps?"

 

"Yes, sir."

 

Waving his cloak, the Youma descended the spiral staircase. The Rhinoking bowed deeply to his retreating form, but he wrinkled his nose. (Punk. What a conceited bastard.) Keeping his eyes to the floor, the Rhinoking twisted his mouth. (But isn't that strange. He came here yesterday. And a few days ago too. Why does he keep coming to the west wing? There has to be a reason.)

 

The Rhinoking detested Saro. Saro was graceful and sly, noble and unapproachable. And the Rhinoking favored Prince Miasof. Before he had been a mere palace guard. Miasof promoted him to guard captain. He felt loyalty towards Miasof, unprecedented loyalty for a being of the Underworld.

 

(38)

(Saro comes here a lot. I'm going to tell Prince Miasof about this.)

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Notes

 

1 This is a Rhinoking:

rhinoking.gif

 

Rhinoking has two attacks per round and can cast bounce. You find one in the battle right before Esturk and you can also fight them in the tower on the way to the sky castle]

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Yay! tummai updated. ^^ *waits patiently for next update*

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Yay! tummai updated. ^^ *waits patiently for next update*

 

Unless I get really busy, the next one should come tonight (Japan time). I think I have it edited down to where I want it.

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