Difference between revisions of "Category:Epitaph of Twilight novels"
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Revision as of 13:31, 17 June 2019
.hack//Epitaph of Twilight Miu Kawasaki
Translation: Xithyl_kykorl and Endrance
The curtain of night falls down, a thick fog surrounds us. It was at this place called Alba Lake, which rests at the center of this world, enshrouded in a deafening silence. At the naval of the lake amidst the perfectly still waters---lies a cathedral which poses a myriad of questions. When was it built? For what purpose? Who made it? Why such a place? With its origins left unknown, here it stands in total isolation.
All that is known is the cathedral's name, Hulle Granz Cathedral.
Tonight, within this cathedral rumored to be of ancient times, an unexpected meeting has begun. Helba, queen of the dark, beckons. Apeiron, king of light, heeds Helba's call. The two greatest powers of this world, light and darkness, were locked in a seemingly unending conflict.
---They share a long history. Long before man was born, from a strong wind overseen by the twilight on the 10th month, the land and the skies birthed two spirits: Light and Dark. That was them. Right from birth, light and dark have fought continually for sole control of the regions. It was then that man was born amidst the conflict, but coexistence was impossible, as humans created shadow. Although they appear the same, man has shadow, while the spirits have none. Once mankind realized this difference, it turned against those without shadows and persecuted them. Several of their companions were overcome, and disappeared. It once seemed that the struggle between the three would last forever …… but the spirits’ defeat was definitive. Now, although spirits were born quite frequently, the humans multiplied and thrived. So the spirits created a world for themselves far away from the humans, and since then, the conflict between light and darkness had calmed.
But what would drive the feuding leaders of light and darkness---- even within this lull, to meet?
Disaster had brought these two together. The spirit realm was coming to the brink of extinction due to the Cursed Wave. The fight could not continue with this Cursed Wave, literally a wave in form, steadily advancing. From where it comes, it swallows everything in its path, sweeping even the face of the earth before fading away.
Because of this,
“I wish to have a discussion with you about the Twilight Dragon, and the cursed wave……”
If Helba had not addressed the matter in such urgency, Apeiron would likely not have heeded the call.
“It might be a trap.”
Apeiron’s adviser, Fili the White felt uneasy, however, Apeiron blew off Fili’s concerns and prepared to leave for Hulle Granz Cathedral.
The Twilight Dragon that Helba speaks of is rumored to be the embodiment of what would save them from the Cursed Wave. Its existence is an uncertainty-----but for these peoples to live on, immediate countermeasures would be necessary. The spirits have held onto a legend regarding the Twilight Dragon, but, perhaps humanity could clarify the obscurities in it's foundation. Right now this legend is the only thing the spirits have to believe in, unclear as it may be. “When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits.”
A faint far off voice resounds.
This time it was very clear. Someone was calling my name.
A warm, gentle voice.
I slowly rub my eyes trying to shake off the pink haze enshrouding them.
“Lara, we’ll be there soon.”
Papa says softly to me as I'm still half asleep in the passenger seat of his car.
“I’m sorry, I fell asleep.”
Dad smiles as he says, “No need to be sorry”.
“I suppose... I just think it's terrible falling asleep when I kind of forced you to take me along.”
“Don't worry about it, really. I'm really happy you'd come with me.”
I just smiled at Papa. It made me feel good that he was happy.
“It's been quite a while since you last met your uncle, hasn't it?”
“A WHILE?! But, I'm pretty sure...”
“Papa, I've never met him before”
“That's where you'd be wrong. Once, back when you were very small, he came to our house to play”
“There's no way I’d remember that!”
Papa smiled bitterly when I said that.
“I remember he would look at you strangely.”
“Well, you were just born, and I guess it was the first time he'd seen a newborn.”
“Well, it's not like he sees babies everywhere he goes.”
I will be fourteen years old this year. Although I may still look like a child to Papa and to the world-----I think i’m more in an ambiguous age. Neither a child, nor an adult. But, that isn’t a bad thing either.
“I’m kind of excited to meet him.”
I said as I stretched out, and rolled down the car window.
The breeze flows into the car with the smell of grass and humid air. It’s pretty different from the smell of the sea breeze that runs along the coastline, but it still smells pleasant in its own way. I take a deep breath of the forest air. Because I live by the sea, the rich smell of forests like this is a rare chance for me.
“By the way, did you do some research on it yesterday as well?”
Papa asked as I glanced at him through the reflection in the window. He always watches straight ahead when he's driving. He's done this ever since the time he scraped the car against a wall because he'd gotten so engrossed in conversation. Even when he's stopped at a red light he won't look at you. His face will be full of expression, but always facing straight ahead. It's as if he's speaking to the windshield.
“I did, but it was all a wasted effort. The site with the original text is gone, and then I lost all track of time. I don’t even know what kind of words to search so I can find it.”
“‘The Epitaph of Twilight’... Huh”
Papa mumbled in scrutiny
Every night I was studying into Emma Wielant’s web novel “The Epitaph of Twilight,” completely starving myself of sleep. For an amateur writer, the first section can be explained in fairly generic terms.
Epitaph of Twilight --- the story of how the Cursed Wave eroded the world of the shadowless spirits and brought them to the brink of total destruction. This wave was only gradually encroaching on them, but there was certainly no fighting it. During this desperation, the world’s two great powers, Apeiron king of light, and Helba queen of the dark, determined they would unite in a mutual effort to face the wave. In that world, there was a legend that states, “When the wave arises, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon”.
The tale starts in a windmill shed in the middle of a cornfield, where a young girl, known locally as the Little Witch, rescues a buck with no shadow. The girl believes in the legend, and now she, along with Fili the White, Bith the Black and two shadow-bearing individuals leave in search of the Twilight Dragon. And it’s gonna be a looooooooong fucking journey….
This story, however, has no ending. It's still incomplete because the author, Emma Wielant, died in an accident before she could finish it. Without her around, the story has been swallowed up by the ocean we call the internet. Seems there's no one to preserve some no-name hobbyist writer's work. It's hard to discern the real original writings from all the fake copies.
The copy I have on hand goes from the opening portion to midway in their adventure. It's also in a worm-eaten state with some chapters written in fine detail, and then others I can only understand the subtitles.
The only reason I got into studying such an underground novel is because I knew Emma Wielant’s name from bulletin boards on the net.
Wielant didn't lead any ordinary life (getting caught up with the troubles of inheriting a fortune, and she even had a boyfriend twenty years older than her!), and apparently not long before the accident she had gotten absorbed in the philosophy of anthroposophy.
She’s like the heroine of some drama, or a tragedy. At least that's what I certainly thought studying into her life. I think it's because the book was written by such a person that I got so interested to look into it.
Also, this anthroposophy is supposedly aiming to prove the purpose and existence of ghosts and other such things unexplainable by non human sciences. I mean, I guess if you believe in a sixth sense or the circle of life and rebirth, but personally, I don't.
“There it is”
I tried to find where Papa was looking at. Amongst the evenly spaced lots was a house--- the ONLY house that had an unkempt neglected lawn. Even with the sunlight shining down, it was a depressing sight, like it was abandoned.
“...he lives here?”
Papa noticed the scowl on my face and chuckled bitterly.
“He does. Place is just lacking a few repairs is all.”
“How does it get like this when he lives by himself….”
“I'm sure his job is keeping him too busy to worry about it.”
Surveying the surrounding area there are beautiful, well kept lawns behind quaint white picket fences, and I can faintly hear elated laughter coming from within some of the houses. Then, at the end of these places stands my uncle's queer looking house.
I've heard that my uncle from my dad's side is quite the famous programmer. Anyone who has delved into that realm has at least heard of this amazing engineer. On top of his genius in programming, he also has a deep obsession with anthroposophy, and seems to have met Emma through it.
"Y'know it really surprises me. Despite working at the forefront of that world of 1s and 0s, he's still managed to keep his obsession with that philosophy a secret."
I can't tell whether or not he's being serious with that bitter smile plastered across his face.
It almost feels as though my uncle has excommunicated from us for the past several months, but I hear that he often forgets to do even basic things when he gets fixated on something, and ends up focusing exclusively on that. Papa was always prone to worrying about things, and tried to check up on my uncle without admitting to it. After all, it isn't exactly a short trip. On top of that, Papa isn't that skilled of a driver, which made him quite nervous about the trip, (and I might have been a little concerned myself.) ...My uncle also seems pretty interesting, so, I felt a bit obligated to go with him.
“Well, let’s go.”
Papa stopped the car in front of the house, leaned over and prodded me to go. I went with him up to a door overgrown with ivy and rung an antiquated doorbell. But, I’m pretty sure it didn’t ring. Probably because when I pressed the button, it just lodged itself inward.
Papa leaned his head down, forcibly pulled the button back out and tried pushing it again. At that moment --- the door creaked open.
“...who are you?”
It made me flinch. A tall, lanky man’s figure half emerged from around the door --- he looked at Papa, then glanced at me.
The man --- my uncle, muttered and sighed.
“Yup. Now, don’t be a pain after I came all this way to see you.”
Uncle made a sour face and looked back at me again. It was apparent we weren’t going to receive a warm greeting, but I introduced myself formally.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Lara Hoerwick”
Uncle furrowed his brow. His silence begged Papa for an explanation.
“My daughter. You visited us back when she was first born”
As if searching for a distant memory, he just fixated his eyes on me. He had long silvery hair, an almost abnormally worn out look to him, yet his amber eyes never lost their glimmer. Papa has the same silver hair, but you’d never suspect them to be brothers just by that. And I don’t think they look like grandma or grandpa at all. Maybe distant relatives at best…. Even then the resemblance isn’t there.
Although he continued to stare so rudely, I just smiled at him. I’m not sure if I’m smiling all too nicely though. Uncle finally swapped his gaze back over to Papa. He probably still doesn’t remember, and reasonably so. I'm sure that I look nothing like I did as a baby, after all, that was 14 years ago.
“Ah, alright. Come on.”
Uncle said as he turned back into his house. Papa and I exchanged glances. As uncle disappeared into the house I whispered,
“That wasn’t much of a welcome.”
“It’s just the kind of man he is, Lara. Don’t worry.”
“Ugh… you don’t suppose he’s mad about us showing up so suddenly, do you?”
“If he was angry he wouldn’t have told us to come in.”
“... Is it really okay for us to go in?”
Looking inside it was even gloomier yet, like some freaky mansion. I stood there hesitantly and Papa gave his bitter chuckle,
“No chance you’re going back to the car and waiting, huh? Not after he’s invited us in.”
He said, and in we went. From the other end of the hall, uncle looked over his shoulder, and I flinched again as our eyes met.
“Ugh... The heck do you suppose he does here?”
As I stood there thinking, Papa got way ahead of me.
“Hey, wait up!”
In a panic, I ran to catch up.
From the look of the outside, I couldn’t begin to imagine how neat and pristine everything is in here. I seriously thought there’d be spider webs spanning the walls and dust everywhere. But no, the living room was even swept up all neatly --- A lone picture stands on top of the cupboard. In a room with the newest TV and audio system set up, that picture was the only thing that looked ancient.
“Surprisingly clean in here, huh?”
Uncle says as Papa preemptively sits in a leather sofa. Uncle just laughs in self derision from the kitchen attached to the living room.
“Why don’t you have a seat too, Lara?”
I sit down next to Papa.
I was surprised by this guy. This uncle, standing in the sun rays shining into the kitchen, was a completely different person from before.
(A shockingly nice man.)
He was kinda likeable. Uncle walked back into the living room, and the smell of hot coffee fills the air.
“There’s more in the pot if you want.”
He lines up three coffee cups on the glass table, the one for Papa being filled with straight black.
(I don’t mind coffee, but it needs milk or sugar to be tolerable...)
To make sure I had something I might be able to drink, he filled my cup with pure white milk.
The words escaped me without thinking.
“I thought you might rather have milk.”
While saying this, uncle, sitting across from Papa, stood up.
“Oh, yeah that’s fine. I don’t care for straight coffee... Thank you very much.”
And without expression, he sits back down.
The cool milk definitely quenched the thirst. The unexpected consideration made me like him even more. Papa, sitting next to me, began talking about his current home situations. Even though we had to have come to check on uncle’s condition, Papa just spoke of the comedic events from recent.
(Not much I can do about that.)
Papa and uncle would exchange glances between themselves. Despite Uncle’s expressionless face, he looked intent on listening to Papa.
(It’s all kinda boring...)
We certainly had nothing but time to burn here as I stared into my now emptied cup. Papa put down his cup.
“Shall we go outside for a bit?”
Uncle noticed Papa get up from his seat. As he stood up to follow, he seemed to be pained. They then both walked over to the door. After seeing uncle out, I asked Papa,
“I don’t suppose... I could go out too?”
“Maybe not. I just thought it might be good we talk outside and get some fresh air instead of staying cooped up in here.”
“We’ll only be out for a bit, so maybe turn on the TV or something.”
Papa said and hurried his way out the door. As the door shut behind him the sound resonated throughout the now vacant living room.
“Came all this way just to watch TV...”
I got up to leave the living room and walked over to where I had seen that standing picture frame. Uncle was standing next to a woman in a long black one-piece dress with a parasol and a laced hat, but I couldn’t see her face all that well.
The two of them standing under the radiant sun like that, it makes me think that they would've made a nice couple.
(A picture like that makes me wonder if there aren’t any pictures as magical as this one...)
I turned away from the picture stand and left the living room. Even still, I wanted to know what it is my uncle does around here. Leaving the warm sunlight of the living room, I turned and walked into the gloomy corridor of an entryway. The door at the end of the hall was cracked open slightly, from which a pale blue light was emanating.
“The heck is that?”
I peered into the room. In one corner, there were multiple displays lined up. They had to have been on for the dim light to be shining through the doorway like that. I slowly made my way into the room.
Against the back wall was a bookshelf so tall, that it reached up to the ceiling. Books were even scattered along the floor reaching to the end of a bed, with dust coating everything in sight.
“Is this his study?”
However, the monitors had nothing on them. They just emitted that dim light. Maybe they’re in standby mode.
I then noticed something left in front of one of the monitors. It looked like a thin pair of goggles, and next to that was a game controller.
(Does uncle sport these around?)
I pushed away the piled up books and slowly made my way over. I could see that the goggles were emanating the same faint light as the monitors from within the eye cup. And the light couldn’t have been reflecting off of the monitors, but rather it was being produced by them. Papa’s always fascinated by the latest technology, so if this is some kind of modern video equipment, I should have heard about it from him.
“What could this be...”
Something was playing on this device, and it was making noise, but I couldn’t see what it was. I exited the room to make sure Papa and uncle had not come back in.
“It should be fine if I just take a peek for a little bit.”
I grabbed the goggles and timidly peered inside to see what it was. The picture displayed in the eye cup was an expansive gold-colored wheat field, though the sky was heavy with clouds and mixed with a weird purple color. Not like a thunderstorm, but actually a more unrealistic purple.
(What's this place supposed to be?)
At the far end of this continuous field I saw a windmill. It was pretty easy to see it was operational too. The wind had to be blowing because the wheat was making a rustling noise and began to sway.
It was like nothing I'd ever seen, yet it felt as though I was being absorbed by it. I became uneasy on my feet and a weird feeling overtook me. I needed to do something or I'd fall, so I shot my hand forward onto the desk where the goggles were.
And then something sounded like it fell. It was the controller that had been beside the goggles. As the controller hit the floor, some buttons got pushed and text appeared on one of the monitors.
Probably the game's title. Under the game title was some login info. The same text was being displayed from inside the goggles too.
(Maybe it's played by wearing the goggles?)
I picked up the controller and pushed another button at random.
This time some text I know popped up on a different monitor.
“The spirits have held onto a legend regarding the Twilight Dragon--- When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits.”
It’s the Epitaph of Twilight.
I wonder if that means the picture I saw in the goggles is the wheat field the little witch lives in.
I peeked into the goggles again.
Maybe this is what uncle was so fixated on for the last several months; making a game based on the Epitaph of Twilight. It's only speculation, but he probably met Emma because of his interest in anthroposophy--- uncle being a programmer, thought he'd try make Emma’s fantasy into a game.
It was just a guess though.
I don't know why, but that's how it seemed to me.
Something in my mind had me certain there was a chance. I don't know if it was inspired by the odd atmosphere of this dark room where the only light came from the monitors, but I shut the door.
Then, as though being lured in, I put the goggles on and grabbed the controller.
(Surely it'd be fine if I just play a little bit.)
Then, as if under some sort of trance, I clicked Login.
Episode 1: Can't Back Real Home
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