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4. [The Book of Flight]

UNTIL THE MOON SETS #4

tl by danluffey

1)
4. [The Book of Flight]

2)
1: /The next day,
2: /I was moved to a caged room in a high tower,
3: /surrounded by priests and priestesses I had never seen before.
4: I am
5: the new High Priest.
6: I hear you haven't been eating...I imagine that your horrifying experience must be making it hard for you to keep your food down.
7: But please, you must eat this.
8: Otherwise, you could get sick.

3)
1: /How can he say that with such a straight face?
2: /It all has deccar in it...
sfx: snap
3: It's dirty!
4: I understand that you are angry at us for our lack of support during the incident. In order to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again,
5: we would like you to tell us all the details about the time you spent with the kidnapper.
6: /Is that...how you plan to catch Zeal?
7: "I won't say anything. I'm a vessel of God. A White Child."
sfx: crack
8: "No one must require any speech of me aside from the word of God. That is holy law."
9: "Do you claim to have greater authority than God Himself?"

4)
1: I can only think that she is covering for the kidnapper, since they were both White Children.
2: But after what she said, everyone is hesitant to ask her anything.
3: How wise. Well, what do you suggest we do, then? His Majesty and the General are awaiting a report.
4: We have no choice.
5: We'll use a special technique to put her to sleep
6: and then force her to talk using a truth serum.
7: We also had a medical priestess investigate whether or not she was still a virgin, in order to complete our report to His Majesty.
8: This may sound rude, but does such a thing actually matter at this point?
sfx: click
9: Until a new White Child is born, we have no choice but to force her to continue her service, correct?
1: No...it isn't about that. You see, when female White Children finish their terms, they are often summoned by the Emperors...
sfx: slip

5)
sfx: wham
sfx: glance
1: I feel...
2: sick.
3: What a foul part I play...
4: What's going on?!
5: The White Child threw the oracle throne at the window...
6: She's hurt! Suppress her!
7: Restrain her!
8: This is for her own sake!

6)
1: /When I woke up, I was no longer hungry or thirsty.
2: /I felt like I had said certain things.
3: /I couldn't protect anything...
4: Zeal...

7)
1: /Please be safe...
2: Natori...
3: /Whenever the moon rises, I feel like you're calling me.
4: Natori...
5: /When the moon rises...even if the deccar blinds me...

8)
1: Hey, mister.
2: Yo, long time no see.
3: How goes it?
4: Not bad.
5: Give me the key to the room.
6: Someone's already in there.
7: A friend of yours, perhaps?
sfx: stomp
sfx: wham
sfx: munch...
8: You son of a bitch...

9)
sfx: thud
1: What are you doing here?!
2: I thought they captured you?!
3: Or did you rat us out for your own freedom?!
4: They did capture me...but I escaped in no time!
5: What about you, master?
sfx: fwap
6: How dare you skip town without me?!
7: And what about the girl, eh?
8: They say the White Child was returned to the temple!
9: Some great escape that was!!

10)
1: It's all your fault, you scumbag!
sfx: wham
2: If only you would have waited another day to blow your cover, they would have never caught up to us!
3: Oh yeah? "Us," he says!
4: So you really did plan to leave me hanging!
5: I had no intention of teaming up with you in the first place!
sfx: smack
6: Oww!
7: Wh...what?
8: All you ever did was bring my father bald-faced lies! Rumors about this and that, word of a boy who resembles the missing Master Zeal...
9: I've hated you from the day I met you!

11)
1: Heh...heh...
2: 'zat so? Fine, then.
3: But...
4: I don't give a shit what you like or don't like!
5: I was just trying to do my job!
6: Some job that is! You've never worked an honest day in your life!
sfx: wham
7: That hurts, goddammit!
sfx: smack
8: And who says you're some honorable tradesman, huh?!
sfx: glare
9: Besides...
10: he always knew they were just lies.

12)
1: Wh...at?
2: You don't understand...
3: how guilty he felt toward his missing son
4: as a result of living with you.
5: I don't know how noble a family you came from, or whatever, but there was a whole horde of pursuers
6: who came after you.
7: The boss was so busy taking care of you that no longer had any time to search for his son.
8: So I'd sell him rumors time to time, just to put him at ease. Then he'd go into town, take a peep, and come home.
9: For a scoundrel like me, it was a fine job.

13)
1: He knew it was all a sham, but that's what he wanted -- the chance to fulfill his duty to his son. He forgave me, but I guess...
2: that's something a hero like you could never understand!
3: You're the strong, debonair Master Zeal, after all.
4: If you hadn't been kidnapped, you'd probably be master of a fief somewhere right now.
5: I guess it's only natural, then,
6: that he would pay more attention to you than his real son.
7: Shut up.
8: And I guess it's also only natural that a maggot like me would betray you!
9: Shut up!
10: I won't! Why do I have to take orders from you?!
11: He may have raised you, but you didn't turn out a thing like my boss!
sfx: wham
12: You don't possess a fragment of the heart he had!

14)
sfx: slam
1: Huh?
2: (Did I hit him...?
3: Damn...
4: Don't punch me in the chin, you idiot...
5: Huh?!

15)
1: I'm sorry, Og.
2: Also, I'm glad...
3: that you got away safely.
sfx: clack
4: Huh...where are you going?
5: Out.
6: I need to dye my hair.
7: Aw...what a waste.
8: Wait, before you go, Master...let's make ourselves a little money.
sfx: wahahahaha
9: Are you mad? You might as well dye yours too.
10: There's a price on both our heads!

16)
1: /I miss Og's cooking...
2: She won't eat anything.
3: Fine, then. Burn some incense and prepare the liquid food.
4: /The greens we found in the mountains...the roast birds that Og hunted for us...the mushrooms i picked...boiled in chicken-bone soup.
5: /And baked apples...
6-7: Uuu...

17)
1: It's almost time for the purification ceremony, so we'll practice the ritual now.
2: After the ceremony, you will be cleansed of all the corruption you suffered outside, and you will be capable of speaking the word of God as a White Child again.
3: /So it's finally...going to begin?
4: Even if I sit back on that throne again,
5: I will no longer be a White Child.
6: /Zeal...I promised you...
7: /But will I be able to keep my promise?
8: /I've been forgetting a lot recently.
9: /Zeal...
10: /What was the name of that flower?
sfx: whisper
11: The purification ceremony won't help anything.
12: I know...
13: It isn't a matter of corruption!

18)
1: Anyone who's received a name
2: can no longer go on as a White Child.
3: /My name...I told them my name!
4: /My one and only name...
5: Now take one step to the left.
6: Thieves...
7: What...
8: did you just say?

19)
1: /The scent of the incense grew stronger,
2: /and whenever I wasn't practicing for the ceremony, they made me sleep.
3: /They tested me to see whether or not I would eat,
4: /then bathed me.
5: /Over and over,
6: /over and over.
sfx: splish
7: Natori...
8: /I...am Natori...

20)
1: /I...won't forget.
sfx: splish
2: /No matter...what...

21)
1: Alright? This is the maximum weight.
2: I can't be responsible for any more than that.
3: Sold!
sfx: skritch
sfx: creak
4: Haa...
sfx: silence...

22)
1: Let's see here...three types of identification papers, an introduction to an eastern temple, travel passes, immigration forms, ship boarding documents...
2: Haaa...
3: That's everything.
4: Dammit.
5: This better work.
6: "Zeal."
7: Master!
8: I went around and gathered up everyone who has a debt to the boss!
sfx: stagger
9: Thanks.
10: Haa...my legs feel like jelly.
sfx: slouch
11: I can't even feel my hands anymore...

23)
1: I can't believe it. I went a whole day without talking to a single woman!
2: I wonder how the girl's doing...
3: It really feels tough living in this bachelor's pad now that she's gone...
4: That reminds me...when I stripped that priest in black naked, he was wearing what I reckoned to be women's underclothes.
5: Are all priests like that?
6: It really stuck in my mind. But I was just so scared, I couldn't look at them anymore than that...
sfx: wahahahha
7: Q...quit it, I'm going to die...
8: The White Child was kidnapped by a brigand who was popular with the commoners...it was something that couldn't be allowed to exist.
9: I hid the matter...for the sake of the Empire!

24)
sfx: clack
1: How was the private hearing?
2: He had his fortune confiscated, and was exiled to Zede Island.
3: Priests aren't allowed to be executed.
4: Any news?
5: There was a rebellion in Ganeday.
6: What?!
7: An admiral came asking for backup.
8: I knew this would happen...
9: The ringleader claims that the White Child kidnapping was proof that God does not want the current Emperor to be in power any longer.
10: When...did you get this?
11: Just now. An admiral came galloping on a horse, dropped it off, then left immediately.
sfx: clang
12: As soon as His Majesty saw it, he directed me to send the army in.

25)
1: The rebels' leader...
sfx: trot
2: He couldn't possibly be that man, could he?
3: Zeal, was it? Do you have any information on him?
4: Not a thing. Their men most likely learned from Bel Fran, though.
5: Ganeday is a dangerous place.
6: Their area's given birth to the largest number of White Children, so many of them have a firm belief that they live in a holy land.
7: If that man were to go there...
8: We need to hurry up and suppress things there before it ignites a big spark, even if we have to sacrifice our numbers.
9: But...the ceremony is tomorrow...
10: I've got it. Secretary General, you stay here and keep an eye on the ceremony.
11: Me? But General Gell's the one who's running it.
12: You think that clown has the capacity to run anything?!
13: By the way, how is the White child? Do you think she'll be able to complete the ceremony?
14: Well...she did appear to be practicing.

26)
1: She'll be fine. At times, she looks just like a doll...
2: So pathetic...
3: Even when she glares at me...
sfx: pat
4: I see...
5: I really can't wait for all this temple trouble to be over and done with. Look at how wrapped up we've got in this...we're no less guilty than that Head Priest now...
sfx: pop

27)
1: Foreign envoys, please come this way.
2-4: May God bless you.
5: Hey, outta the way!
6: Don't swarm the envoys!
7: Geez, there's no end to them! Where are all the other guards?
sfx: clatter
8: There was a rebellion in Ganeday, so General Dorrell shoved all his troops onto a warship.
9: It'll only take them a day to get there by sea.
10: I am an envoy from a temple in the east.
11: This seal...are you the bishop?
12: No, I am but his representative. The vice-bishop.
13: What's in the pack?
14: It's already been examined by the offering attendant.

28)
1: It is our custom to raise this up in the sky to cleanse all the corruption before the new year.
2: Therefore, I would like to include this in the cleaning ceremony.
3: Oh, I see. It's an eastern kite, eh? I've heard about this.
4: It's so big!
5: Sorry to keep you waiting. This way, please.
6: Thank you very much.
7: The waiting room is this way.
sfx: rattle
sfx: fwip

29)
sfx: rattle
1: General Gell!
2: What do you want?
3: I'm in charge of the ceremony this time! What could one of Dorrell's dogs possibly want from me?!
4: A common born one like you shouldn't even be allowed inside the temple!
5: Get out!
6: What are you standing there for?!
sfx: skritch
7: I apologize for shaming you with my presence, General.
8: Please...allow me to be of service as a guard in the ceremony, no matter how low the rank.
9: You can save face for General Dorrell this way.
10: Yes, I suppose I might as well.

30)
1: We will now begin the cleansing.
2: How are preparations?
3: Complete. His Majesty and the foreign envoys have all gathered in the cleansing chamber.
4: Any degree of mistakes will not be permitted!
sfx: cheer
5: How is the White Child? Please, relax.
sfx: cheer
6: She's been perfectly adjusted...

31)
1: /White cloth
2: /envelops me...
3: /Painting me pure white...
4: /Natori...!

32)
1: Where's Zeal?!
2: /Here...

33)
1: /Inside me...!
2: /Please...don't disappear...

34)
sfx: cheer
sfx: fwip
sfx: slip
sfx: slip

35)
sfx: rustle
1: Ahh, I knew it...
2: What should I do?
3: /If I report it, General Gell will take all the credit. But if I let it happen...
4: Rebellion!
5: /what will happen to me?
6: /we'll lose the White Child...
7: /He resembles him. Even though they aren't related by blood...
8: I came to save the one you've trapped...

36)
1: The White Child is about to be placed inside the tower.
2: I can't believe we're actually using outside soldiers for such a sacred ritual!
3: We have no choice, after all the problems that have been happening...
4: We will now close the tower and light the incense in order to summon God.
5: Please chew on these leaves as we proceed.
6: What are they?
7: Unless you chew on them, God will become angry.
sfx: munch
8: /There's something in these that they aren't telling us about...probably not poison, but...
sfx: grip
9: /Ah, what am I doing? A little longer and it'll be too late...should I really keep quiet?

37)
1: The White Child will now climb the stairs.
2: She's so pale...she kinda looks scary...
3: The White Child has entered the chamber.
sfx: clang
4: Everyone, please keep quiet.
sfx: swoon

38)
sfx: clang
1: Wh...what's going on...
2: What's happening? Where are the pana leaves?!
3: I...I passed them all out!
4: No...these look like pana leaves, but they're not!
5: /What...?
6: /But I didn't even put them in my mouth...
7: Pigs...are oinking...
8: /No! I can't lose my mind like this!
sfx: clunk
9: You let someone switch out the pana leaves, you fools!
10: Someone!
11: Help!

39)
1: Hieee!

40)
sfx: smack crack
1: All eight of my legs are squishy!
2: From the side, diagonally! That's the way to happiness!
3: /He's here...
4: /He's here!
5: /And he looks so calm.

41)
1: /The White Child that Bel Fran raised...
sfx: slip
2: The pigs...were yummy
sfx: slip
3: Tell Bel Fran that...
4: at his grave.
5: What he delivered to us
6: after they shut us off due to the plague...

42)
1: It saved...
2: my little brother and I.
3-4: My little sister...
5: became a white flower, but....
6: Please.
7: Save her...
8: Alright...
9: But you should tell him about the pigs yourself. There's a pile of rocks next to Bel Fran's stronghold. That's his grave.
10: I can't go back there anymore,
11: so please visit him for me...

44)
1: Natori.
2: Natori!
sfx: slouch
3: Dammit...they really drugged you up!
4: Hey!
5: Natori!
6: C'mon! Wake up!
7: Bite down slowly on this...

45)
1: /Zea...l?
2: Phew...
sfx: fwah
3: I still
4: remember him...

46)
1: I thought about nothing but you,
2: so that...I wouldn't forget.
3: But the truth is...you aren't with me anymore.
4: I don't even know...if you're still alive...
5: And I can't...touch the moon...
6: Hey?
sfx: slip
7: Zeal...
8: I...don't have much time left...
9: I...
10: I'm reverting more and more into a White Child...
11: I'm scared...that when I wake up...
12: I may lose you...
13: My memories of you, and my name...

47)
1: I don't want to wake up...
2: I'd rather just die.
3: Kill me! Kill me like you almost did back then!
4: You...
5: druggie!
sfx: stuff
6: Wake up!
7: Get yourself together!
sfx: smack

48)
1: Stop blabbering that nonsense!
2: When did I ever try to kill you? I can't believe you!
3: You're alive and breathing, aren't you?!
4: I didn't put together this creepy disguise just to hear that rubbish!
5: Zeal...?
sfx: fwish
6: That's why
7: I brought you back, you moron!
sfx: fwap
8: If you want to sit around and feel sorry for yourself, that's your problem!

49)
1: You think you can make it through life
2: by clinging to nothing but memories from your childhood?!
3: Unless you let people call out to you, or call back to them,
4: you won't make it! And no one else will, either!
5: We aren't the only ones who should fear being painted white!
6: Don't you get it?!
7: That's why Bel Fran raised me when he was alone.

50)
1: That's why I lived on as Zeal!
2: And why I'm still living!
3: Why do you think dying will help anything?!
4: Are you just trying to scare me to death and take me out with you?!

51)
sfx: clang
1: Zeal...
2: Zeal!
3: I...I want to go with you!

52)
1: I want to be with you!
2: I hate this place.
3: Take me away!
4: There's been no rebellion?!
5: Yes...not at all, sir.
6: What are you talking about?! An admiral on a horse bearing your crest came and delivered a report to us!
7: Th-that can't be...

53)
1: Look. Our crest is right here.
2: And our flag!
sfx: fwip
3: (A two-headed pigeon...
4: H-huh...?
5: It seems... slightly different from the usual flag...
6: Admiral! We're missing a few of our white scrolls!
7: Kyaaaa!

54)
1: /A huge black bird zoomed across the sky. And then, with the first sound of laughter I had ever made, I flew down to the ship on its wings.
2: My lady!

55)
1: Og...?
2: Welcome home!
3: Og!
4: Wahh!
sfx: clunk
5: Owww.
6: I really missed your cooking...
7: Heh...heheh!
sfx: drip
8: I-I'll make you as much as you want!
9: Y-you really lost some weight, huh?

56)
1: Guess we'll just have to fatten you up again!
2: /After that, Zeal dyed my hair the color of chestnuts.
3: /Then, he wrapped me in a blanket and made me a bed.
4: You'll probably have a big fit.
5: This reminds me
6: of the cleansing ceremony.
7: True. They kept you in an equally dirty place. Tied you to that pillar, injured your hands...
8: Are you in any pain now?
9: I'm fine...

57)
1: /I've seen a lot of different Zeals...
2: /Which one is this?
3: /He's looking at me with curious eyes...
4: Natori...!
5: /Is more pain going to come?
6: /I know the answer...

58)
1: /This cycle will pain will only last...until the moon sets...

59)
1: They isolated the bulk of our manpower and our fastest warship...
2: with a single piece of paper...!
3: It wasn't just that. The flag, scroll, and seal were all real...the writing was all perfectly copied as well.
4: Goddammit!
sfx: smack
5: Hey...please don't take out your anger on my documents.
6: This is a travesty. It won't be easy to catch him now, either...
sfx: rustle

60)
1: What's going to happen now...
2: that we've lost the White Child?
sfx: skritch
3: Indeed...
4: the empire has lost the word of God.
5: But...so what?
6: I've been doing a lot of thinking about it, and I've come to the conclusion...
7: that adults relying on the sacrifices of children
8: couldn't possibly be what God had in mind.

61)
1: I do not believe it truly helps our country
2: or our people.
3: This is a chance
sfx: click
4: for us to make a new start.
5: What's that?
6: A request of absence. I'd like to visit my hometown and the graves of my loved ones.
7: I see...where are you from, again?
8: The village of Soveny.
9: Hmm...you'll need about three days, then.

62)
1: Hey, Hal!
2: You're...coming back, aren't you?
3: Of course, Dorrell.

63)
1: /I'll buy some souvenirs from the city for my brother's family, and pay a visit to Bel Fran's grave on my way back.
2: /As thanks for the pigs, I'll tell him how his son flew off with a girl that fit him perfectly.
3: /I'm sure he'll be glad to hear that...
sfx: fsssh...
4: Natori...

64)
1: You're still awake?
2: Go to bed already...
3: Zeal.
4: There are some funny fishes out there...
5: What do you call those?
6: Those are skydolphins. They aren't fish...they're closer to us.
7: Closer to us?
8: Why? Because the two of them are swimming together?
9: Yeah...that's about right...

65)
1: Natori...
2: Hurry and grow up, alright?
3: /He says again, staring at me with those curious eyes.
4: I'll grow up before you know it! Og's been making me so much to eat lately...
5: Haha! Good, I'm counting on you.
6: /And then, I bend in to stare deeper into his eyes...
7: Natori...
8: /Now, I have a name...

66)
1: /"Natori." That is what we call the moon. That is what we call my soul.

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