Thursday, July 29, 2010

Final Fantasy XII: -the day of its birth cry-

This city, destruction and ruin its only fate, was once so beautiful.
The palace stood above the lake, rising up against the moonlit sky, cool and serene. The city that spread out beneath it like some stark shadow.
The city was under a civil war, with the largest empire in the world close to invading. The people of the city were strained, and everywhere you could see unrest. But the night skies were clear, and the stars shown as though falling from somewhere on high. If the moon has the power to see into Hades, then the stirring of humans is seen as nothing more than a speck of dust been blown by a light breeze. The ancient city is elegant and everlasting, each of its landscapes as grand as any painting. But then...
Everything became twisted beyond recognition. Crushed, collapsed, broken.
Like a nightmare.
Even if, somewhere within Ivalice, there were truly a “hell” that existed to torment sinners, even that place could not have been as terrible as the city had been that night. A disaster worse than even your most horrible imaginings. It swallowed the city whole.
It started with Mist. Vast amounts of it pouring into the city.
Mist is the origin of all magic power, and contains an abundant amount of energy. A little bit of it can be found everywhere, and is not normally dangerous. It is used in many inventions that are necessary for comfortable living, and fills the world in the same way as air.
But that Mist was not normal. Thick and choking.
It was as if a thousand years worth of rain all fell at once within the same hour. Every single space would be filled with water droplets, and the water pressure would rise. Imagine this, as you imagine the Mist rampaging through the city.
The Mist, which you normally cannot see or feel, had turned into a rushing torrent of gold. A whirlwind of energy which crushed everything in its path, and destroyed anything it touched without mercy. Most buildings in the city were decimated by this violent outpour of tangible Mist. The only building that remained untouched was the one large building that lay at the center of the whirlwind: the palace.
But the destruction the Mist itself caused lasted not more than a few seconds. What truly brings to mind the image of hell was what happened next. What came after. And all the fear, hatred and madness it brought with it.
The Mist, spreading across the capital but losing none of its density, took its energy and began to rage in a different form. A magical one.
It invoked magic of destructive proportions. Fire, ice, lightning... power that everyone knows so well, with a violence no one had seen before. Thus, the first attack struck down from the Mist upon those so unfortunate enough to still be alive.
Flame that burned hot enough to evaporate rocks scorched the air. Crimson bursts erupted, and slithered like snakes. Anyone who got licked by that tongue turned to ash in an instant. Those who ran were swallowed by a lava flow of melted rock and burned alive, or bathed in a boiling steam until they became white, bubbling corpses.
Just beyond the flames a frozen world unfolded. The temperature suddenly dropped to absolute zero, freezing the molecules that make up life and bringing them to a standstill. In a glimmer everything was changed into a huge pillar of ice that took its victims and turned them into lifeless statues. For a moment, these frost covered ice statues were almost beautiful, until the next, when they were crushed down into the smallest of particles. Thousands of lives turned into beautiful flowers, before being violently scattered and blown away on the wind.
But the one that took the most lives, was the horrific lightning storm that formed between the two temperature extremes. Flashes of lightning struck the already ruined city without pause, bathing it in white. The electrical energy formed a net which caught all those people who hid within the wreckage. The city was wrapped in a spider’s web, electric threads writhing, reaping countless number of souls.
At this point there was hardly even 0.01 percent of the population left alive. But the pitiless magic power kept coming...
Underground toxins condensed together, and flooded the land to turn into a poisonous spring that wouldn’t be neutralized for decades. The magic mutated and bred viruses that could survive even in that harsh environment. Light harmful to your eyes danced across the sky, and spells that would turn your flesh as hard as stone ran through in waves. Dark smoke turned everything it touched into sod, and spectral spheres of light took whatever was inside and sent them to a space between dimensions. Only death screams pierce the silence, and viscous oil bursts forth from deep within the earth to lend strength to the flames...
Then gravity began to twist, and the hard ground beneath the city tore itself apart. The entire capital sunk under the ground. The castle, having lasted this long, fell beneath the waves of the poison lake, half sunk, rocked by the waves, a monument to the end of a dynasty.
The stars no longer glitter in the heavens. Even as the magic breathed its last, the night sky was filled with dark, obscuring clouds.
A black rain mixed with smoke and dust fell upon the ruined city. It absorbed the hot Mist that still remained in the air, and let it sink into the ruined ground. The land that had been the city turned into rotting wetlands, and from deep within the waters came a dark mist which laid a veil over the city of death, never to see light again.
And so a cursed land was born to this world. More Mist surrounds that land than any other, a ruined city forever tainted with an “evil spirit”. So it came to be known by a terrible name:
The Necrohol of Nabudis.


It was only just after the destruction of Nabudis.
The howl of the wind could be heard between the sound of falling rain. A thunderous cry.
But it was not the wind. Perhaps because of the chaos brought by the Mist, the air was heavy there, and would not move. Stopped by the falling rain drops.
It was a wail. Spirits clinging to the only thing they had left: their hatred. A terrible howl to release their pent up rage.
Despite the havoc that completely destroyed this land, there were still a handful of survivors. Some lucky few who managed to escape the swinging scythe of Death himself. But no, their lives are not retained with out some price. If their lives had ended with all the others there wouldn’t be this pain, this terrible suffering.
A Moogle wailed as he laid in the filth. The fur covering his small body was soaked in black, polluted water and mud. No breath he took between his screams. His voice was distorted beyond recognition, no longer the high and cute voice Humes come to expect from one of the Moogle race. It was the sound of wind from deep within the earth blowing up through the mouth of a dark cavern. Or the sound of a blade biting the desert sands and then grating into its scabbard.
The sound suddenly wavered, and blood flowed from his blackened lips. Used passed its limit, his abused throat finally tore. But his screams did not cease, he continued to howl, completely unaware of his pain. He had to, or else has body would explode without wringing out that unending pain that flowed from him. His spirit hung in dangerous balance between sanity and insanity, so spitting up blood, the Moogle screamed until he lost his voice.
A little further away, a Nu Mou woman stood up in a daze.
Having three times the life span of a Hume, the Nu Mou number few, but excel in wisdom and magical prowess. But that Nu Mou woman was like a creature without sentience, standing in the black rain, staring, no movement. Her wide open eyes held no shine, her mouth drooped listless and dull. Only her white breath, and the tears trailing down her blackened face, showed that she was not one of the dead.
The Nu Mou woman did not see the landscape before her. No, she only could see the wreckage of her heart, her beliefs and her soul. From when she was very young she had believed wholeheartedly in the existence of the god of light. But what she saw was only an incredible power of destruction. If there truly were gods watching over the world, they surely only must be those of evil. She had always believed that the gods would come to save them. But standing there, among the despair and destruction, the heart that had believed that died.
Deep within her eyes the devout Nu Mou was crushing every last fragment of her faith. No longer would her heart reach out to that evil and cruel god. The slight pain in her eyes was nothing in comparison to the hurt this caused her. Killing her own spirit, over, and over...
Somewhere else the sound of rubble falling against each other echoed.
There, one of the Bangaa race crawled through the muddy water, digging between the mountainous wreckage of buildings.
Her right leg was gone from the knee down. The wound was scorched and ashy, you could see it was destroyed by the fire. But she did not notice the pain, throwing one rock after the other, chanting a word like a spell.
It was names she spoke. The name of the young child she had held in her arms before the earth had overturned and everything had turned to chaos. The name of her husband who lit up like a torch right in front of her eyes as he tried to protect her. The Bangaa woman dug through the rubble, whispering the names of her loved ones who longer anywhere on this world. She dreamed that if she just lifted one more rock, her beautiful daughter would jump up from beneath it and hold her.
But it wasn’t even her own house. Blown by the blast, she didn’t know where in Nabudis it was she stood. The only thing she knew was the rubble in front of her that she must dig through. Her hands were already bleeding, scales and flesh had parted on her fingertips to give way to the bone underneath. But she would not stop. Giving up would mean accepting that she had lost her family forever.
Lifting a heavy rock, she found a hollow between the rocks. Her heart lifted, and she dug faster. But then...
What she pulled out looked like the corpse of a young Hume boy, black from the fire. Her voice lifted to the heavens in a scream. A flash of lightning from the dark clouds brought his burned face into stark relief. She seethed with hatred against those who had done this to them.
The same flash of lightning illuminated the shadows of two who stood outside the city walls.
A Hume man, unsteady on his feet himself, held up a Viera, her ears shaking in fear. Her body was slender but muscular, and the armor she wore was in tatters. Pulling on the clasp, she took a step away from the cracked mortar wall and it fell away. When the clanging of metal echoed across the ruined streets, the young Viera shrank back.
The young Hume’s face remained expressionless. He seemed not to realize that he had been left behind. He held up his companion, but his own footsteps were mechanical. Or perhaps his spirit had left him completely. He didn’t seem to know the person he was with. Even the flash of lightning produced no reaction in him.
Despite this, a sheath hung from one shoulder, and he held a sword gripped tightly in his hand. It was as if the sword itself was his soul.
At last, the two reached the edge of the city. Running away from death and destruction, towards the forest. A final flash of lightning sent them on their way.
As if to blame them.


Alexander said...

Good post, very interesting

Raiden said...

Thanks Lissar! What a nice surprise! You have made my day.

Anonymous said...

I dont have any idea there was ffxii novel. Good job translating them. Thank you so much!

By the way, on december 16 Square will release another FFXIII novel called episode i, along with FFXIII international version. Do you have any interest for translating it?

Afeni said...

This was very interesting. I hope you'll translate the other chapters as well soon.

Thank you for translating this. I'm looking forward to read next one.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this. Forever I have been looking for some sort of translation of the XII omega works. Not only do you translate them, but also in a beautiful, flowing manner.

I hope you will find the time to do the other as well. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lissar, how are you?
I've just read your wonderful translation of FF XII Ultimania Omega first novella.
It was like I was there.
When will I be able to read the next one?
Best regards from Italy and keep up the (very!) good work!

eager for the next chapter said...

This is awesom please give us the rest ;_;

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