And suddenly, volume 4!?
My apologies for getting this in rather late, I was actually pretty much done with this about a week ago with two pages remaining (and another day waiting for proofreaders who apparently never showed up). Thinking about it now, I probably shouldn’t have introduced Summon Night 5 to sinemerald because I ended up getting hooked on it too!
For those of you who were expecting an update on volume 1, I decided that the progress being made on the first 3 volumes is proceeding steadily enough that I can expect them to be done by the time I finish translating the remaining 4 volumes, which I expect to have done within 2 months’ time. I know that you guys are probably still waiting on the rest of volume 1 and 2 to be completed before you start reading ahead, but I’m putting my faith on the translators at Baka-Tsuki in the hopes that they finish their volumes around the same time that I’ll finish mine. If it happens that I finish before they do, I’ll consider picking up the remaining unfinished chapters.
The difficulty of the grammar used in this novel is quite surprising; it is very easy to understand if I read it in Japanese, but actually quite difficult to smoothly transition it over to a coherent form of English. I had heard from sinemerald that this would be quite common for this author, but it still took me by surprise nonetheless. I’ve tried my best to make it work, but there are some parts that I’m not especially proud of. Feel free to submit a better/more accurate translation for parts you don’t agree with and I’ll take a look. Take note that I try to keep the original formatting of the text as closely as possible, down to the number of periods and commas in a sentence and the dashes between trains of thought. I’m glad that this author doesn’t freely use question marks because those are always a pain in the ass to preserve during translation.
A few things to take note of as you read this.
- I’ve taken the liberty of renaming Calico Cat （三毛猫/mikeneko) to just Calico, after You starts talking to him. In Japanese, it doesn’t sound all that weird to me, but in English, it gets kind of weird after a while hearing You saying “Calico Cat” all the time. If you don’t like the change or prefer naming him by phonetics (Mikeneko), let me know.
- The text is written in first person, but I’ve decided to change it to third person except for dialogue since sinemerald already started it that way.
- I am contemplating changing You’s name to Yo, like how some translators shorten names like Sakai Yuuji to Sakai Yuji, but for the simple reason that it’s just confusing to look at sometimes. If you’d prefer keeping it as You, let me know and I’ll keep it this way.
———-Year 2xxx, Kasukabe Hospital. Room 708.
The last time she spoke with her father was in Autumn when she had just turned 11. She could see the indigo-blue skies and the sea from her private hospital room’s bed. Her father, who was lost in his many years of travel——-Kasukabe Koumei, suddenly appeared in front of her, bringing a vast number of stories for her as souvenirs.
“………An animal with the beak of an eagle, and the body of a lion?”
“Yeah. It’s called a gryphon. They’re brave, tough, and also extremely prideful. They are the kings of the skies and the earth, after all. With their massive wings and powerful limbs as they crossed the sky, they were the most majestic of any animal.”
Her father quietly spoke from memory as his distant eyes looked up at the indigo-blue sky. Unusually, he had come to visit dressed in a full formal suit. The father she remembered was always dressed in some lame clothes, but it was a refreshing sight. Rather large in size but a person with a proper stature, her father told her stories in a calm manner while sitting in a upright posture right next to her bed. Dissatisfied with not being able to share these memories with the father she was so proud of, she rocked her legs back and forth sulkily, and murmured yearningly.
“………I want to meet a gryphon too.”
“I want to become friends with a gryphon, and have me ride on its back………I want to go outside and see the world like you did, Dad.”
The words she spun from her mouth had a such a strong tone that it even surprised herself. But it was a wish that wasn’t meant to be. Even though she was born in an era which was said to be boundless for humanity, she was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and left in the hospital. Although she knew she was being selfish, she couldn’t help but say it. Even if she went with her father, her legs which could barely walk on their own would surely end up tripping her father’s as well. To her, who was trapped inside a pure white hospital room, the outside world her father spoke of………a place full of the scent and vivid colors of life, it was like paradise to her. However, her father, who showed no signs of being troubled by her selfishness, gently narrowed his peaceful eyes and softly spoke.
“………I see. Then this really must also be fate.”
“You, I’m going to entrust this with you. It’s something you’ll need more than anything else right now.”
After saying that, her father pulled a pendant out from his shirt, and put it around her neck. At the tip of the pendant was a wood carving piece, which he placed in her hands and said,
“If you have this genome tree inscribed pendant with you, it should prove useful when you meet a gryphon.”
“Yeah. If you have this pendant, any animal would………hmm,”
Her father stopped mid-sentence, and looked over at the calico cat basking in the sunlight near the window. As it yawned with a big ‘nyaa’, her father casually picked up the cat and suddenly tossed it over towards me.
The calico cat let out a yelp from the sudden act, but managed to land safely. She fell back after receiving this body attack to the chest and hit the back of her head. Unconsciously, she puffed her cheeks at her father and raised her voice in protest——-
“M-Master! Whadd’ya do that for all of a sudden!?”
“I threw you.”
“Izzat right-that ain’t what I was askin’ about, ya numskull!! I’m askin’ why it was ya threw me for!!”
“To tick you off.”
“Izzat so-shut yer trap, ya idiooooot!!!”
The calico cat hissed angrily as its hair stood on end. A look of feigned ignorance showed on her father’s face. While she held onto the wood carving on her pendant, her mouth hung open as she listened to the exchange between the two people(?).
“Yo, what’s up princess?”
“……… You could speak a human language?”
“Huh? ………O,ooh!!? You can talk to me now too!?”
Surprised, Calico responded in a Kansai dialect. Hearing Calico speak for the first time sparked confusion in her, but as her eyes and arms shuddered, she hugged Calico with all her strength.
“Incredible! I’m talking to you, Calico!”
“Yeah. This is the power of the pendant that was given to you. If you have it with you, you’ll be able to talk to all sorts of animals. ………But that’s not the only thing it can do.”
Her father reached out, lifting her off the bed and setting her feet down on the floor. There, she was shocked for a second time. Her legs that weren’t even able to stand——-as weak as they were, were holding up her body.
“……You’re kidding me………!?”
“I’m not. If you have this pendant and come into contact with any sort of animal, your body will become much, much stronger than it is right now. Not only will you be able to get out of this hospital, but you’ll also be able to go to school or out into the town on your own with no problems.”
Saying that, her father let go of her. She wasn’t able to stand for very long, and soon fell back on the bed.
“………If I become friends with more animals, I’ll be able to walk more?”
“I’ll be able to become friends with a gryphon, too?”
“………Well, I wonder about that. Whether or not you can become friends with a gryphon will be up to you. And if you do happen to meet one, don’t get near it without clear resolve. They are highly spirited and prideful. If you are still willing to become friends of equal footing, then you must give it your all. ………Even if it means your life.”
Her father hesitated and glared sharply at her. Even for words of warning, they had a great deal of weight to them.
“Dad, did you put your life on the line to become friends with a gryphon?”
“Hmm? W,well………I guess I can’t deny that. In my case, it was more a fight to the death than a match………No, come to think of it, I did do something stupid. To take on Draco Graife with my bare hands, I must’ve been drunk, or perhaps just very rash………”
Her father’s voice fell to a whisper as he spoke. His already low voice became even harder to hear. She knew that was her father’s habit of inconveniently hiding something, but she let it go anyway.
“Anyway, take care of your friends. When you live on the outside, they will be your most precious fortune.”
“………Was it the same for you, Dad?”
“Yeah. If they weren’t there for me………I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
His distant eyes stared at the setting sun. Looking at those eyes, she thought to herself. If, in the future, she made any friends, they would be the most important people to her than anyone else.
“It’s starting to get dark. I should get going soon.”
“………I see. Then I’ll see you off.”
She’d finally become able to walk. The least she could do was walk her father to the hospital entrance, so she wobbly stood up, but her father seemed troubled and stopped her, so she gave up. Her father clumsily ruffled her hair, and tapered his peaceful eyes.
“——-The next time is in two years to the day. I will come pick you up on the night of the full moon.”
“With that pendant, your body will become far stronger than it is now. So, I’ll promise you. The next time, I will definitely——-travel together with you.”
Her father told her these words of promise with a tint of languish in his tone, and left. ——-She was alone in the hospital room, filling with silence. She thought about her father’s promise to her countless times while gently gripping her pendant.
With that day in mind, she spent her days to fulfill her promise. Starting with Calico, she formed ties with various animals, piling encounter upon encounter to build herself up. Her body, which up until then hadn’t even been able to walk, was able to run in just half a year. To her, who had spent half her life in a hospital room, making friends with animals was refreshing and fun. Rather, it was much more difficult to play with friends her age. The people around her and girls her age didn’t believe her story, and when they ridiculed her father and his stories about the gryphon, there were times when she cried in frustration. From then on, she only made contact with animals. Even if she made human friends, she would have to say her farewells to them in 2 years. Then it would be better not to make any human friends in the first place, and so she put up a wall to protect herself from the people around her.
Over the months, she distanced herself from society, and at last estranging herself from her relatives, leaving her surrounded by nothing but animals. Despite this, she didn’t care. ‘The next time, I will definitely——-travel together with you.’ Just by thinking about that promise………her heart was enveloped in warmth.
——-Spending those months and years like that for 2 years, she greeted the promised day. The evening breeze blew strongly as she stood in the center of the garden, embracing Calico——-and shedding large tears that ran down her face. ‘I will come pick you up on the night of the full moon——-.’ That night was supposed to be a full moon. Going by the Moon’s periodic cycle, it was supposed to be a full moon. Even though just for this promised night, it had to be a full moon. Passing the fifteenth night, the starry sky that should have welcomed a full moon——-it was slightly waned, and the sixteenth night’s moon was smiling. The promise couldn’t be kept.
………Her father never came to pick her up.